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Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Miniter: Open FBIS to Bloggers, Public

Did you know the U.S. intelligence community translates the vast majority of the world's broadcasts and print news from virtually every language into English every day? It's done by the Foreign Broadcast Information Service. There is nothing else like it anywhere else in the world.

Unfortunately, FBIS is classified and thus available only to select people in the federal government, even though what is translated has already been either broadcast or printed for the rest of the world to hear and read. The result is the rest of the world knows far more than the American people are allowed to know from our government about world events.

Richard Miniter, author of Disinformation: The 22 Media Myths that Undermine the War on Terror, was recently interviewed by Pajamas Media's Roger L. Simon and propsed that FBIS be made available to bloggers and the general public.

"If you allow any American to tap that database and to comment on it and to analyze that, suddenly breaking news from Pakistan in Urdu or Tamil and we would have a much larger realm of analysis," Miniter told Simon.

"It would put the policy makers and the press much more in the vise, but so what, let them suffer," he added.

It's a fascinating interview and a great proposal for using greater transparency to help focus the full power and resources of the U.S. on winning the War on Terror and the general gaining a far more comprehensive and useful knowledge of world events on a daily basis.

Go here for the full Miniter interview.

HT: Aaron Welty