Re: They already had the info and did nothing
That's the trouble with asymmetric non-state actors, the greater the assymmetry, the more effective the little ba*ds become. We should have learned that lesson in Vietnam when guys in black pyjamas carrying AK47's sent home the most powerful army in the world.
In many of these latest atrocities, useful information and intelligence was either completely ignored or forgotten in electronic haystacks.
Look at 9/11, where agency non-communication led to the creation of a monster called Homeland Security. Perhaps if the different agencies had just talked to each other, instead ?
And it was Russian security agents who warned the FBI about the Boston marathon bombers. Apparently they didn't get the memo.
There are now millions of people on no-fly lists (including these latest dick heads who killed the cartoonists). That didn't help though, cause they probably just rode on the metro.
And these are the intelligence failures we hear about. We aren't allowed to know about the successes. That's a big problem. Sounds like they have too much intelligence and are not using it properly, pun intended
Trillions of dollars spent on star wars, land wars, airport security, drone attacks and mass surveillance haven't made us much safer, quite the contrary. Instead we've just become poorer and more scared. Despite the horror of what happened in Paris, I believe many people were secretly relieved to discover that an Islamic terror cell was actually just a small band of no-hopers who couldn't make it a 100 miles away from the scene of the crime. State asymmetry then paid off and showed the bogeyman in his true light.
IMHO, more special forces and spooks who get symmetrically and pre-emptively close, personal and occasionally terminal with the bad guys, unpleasant as that may be, are what is really needed. We do not need more people sitting in air-conditioned bunkers moving joy-sticks and scanning emails to find these people, since it seems clear we already know where most of them are.
We can do without the politically correct hand waving and story telling as well. Terrorists are not the unfortunate victims of mass hysteria and insanity. They are not deserving of our understanding or our pity. Many have been groomed from an early age, are militarily trained and are being directed either remotely or locally by people who truly hate the West. We need to stop treating them like juvenile delinqents and more like the harbinger of an invading army. The French definitely got that last part right this week. If you want to go to Syria and play soldiers, be prepared to face terrorism charges when you come home. If you want to take on a modern nation state, be prepared to end up on a slab.
Although, personally I have no problem with anonymous civilians making their web sites a lot harder to reach, either. We all need to do our bit.