Data-mining vindicated

Condi Rice a Chinese agent? That would explain a lot.

I’ve been resolutely ignoring the “Able Danger” story, but today’s revelation that the “data miners” seem to have come to the conclusion that Condi Rice might be a Chinese agent is cleary designed to make data-mining look silly: which, no doubt, it often is.

Still, are we absolutely certain that Condi Rice is not a Chinese agent?

Consider: In the long term, the U.S. is China’s rival as the dominant world power. Anything that weakens the U.S. is good for China.

The Bush foreign policy, of which Rice was one of the architects, has been a spectacular success — from the Chinese perspective.

It is a maxim of the law that a person may be taken to intend the reasonably forseeable consequences of his actions. Since much of the foreign policy train wreck of the past five years was completely forseeable, by courtroom standards Rice can be taken to have intentionally screwed the pooch. By the rule of qui bono?, she can be taken to have done so at the behest of the obvious beneficiary, China.

Thus the data-miners, and the process of data-mining, are not only vindicated but can be seen to have done the country a great service by revealing the disloyalty of the Secretary of State.

Yes, I know that by this logic Tenet, Rumsfeld, Bolton, and many others also fit the profile of Chinese agents of influence. (The only one we’re sure doesn’t work for the Chinese is Bush himself, who obviously works for the Saudis.)

A conspiracy so vast ….

Footnote Has someone data-mined the links between the VRWC and Bob Shrum? If Shrum has really been working for the Scaife family all along, that would explain a lot.

Update A reader points out that anyone named “rice” ought to be presumed to be a Chinese agent until proven otherwise. I hadn’t thought of that.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: