Wednesday, December 29, 2004

We never learn
In 1944, as the allied armies approached the western border of Germany, Hitler and his generals planned a brilliant counterstoke. Following the same path as the 1940 invasion of France, a specially picked reserve army would crash through the allied armies and drive to the North Sea. One side would be destroyed and the other would find itself with impossibly long supply lines and a huge exposed flank. They would have to retreat.

German resources were short. To make the most of them, they needed an intensive commando operation to spead confusion and fear among the allies. Famed commando Otto Skorzeny was assigned to carry out that operation. He planned to take fluent English speakers behind the enemy lines in American uniforms. They would change road signs and spread rumors. Those captured would "confess" to scouting the way for assassination squads hunting the allied leaders. Of course, as a first step, he needed to recruit those fluent English speakers. Field-Marshal Keitel sent a memo to all units of the German Army:
Very Secret: To Divisional and Army Commands Only

Officers and men who speak English are wanted for a special mission. Volunteers selected will join a new unit under the command of Lieut.-Col. Otto Skorzeny, to whose headquarters at Freidenthal application should be made.

Of course, a memo sent out in the hundereds of copies would never be intercepted and read by the allies.

Today the following was reported on CNN.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Wanted: Good doctors to analyze the health of terrorists and foreign leaders. Must pass polygraph and other "security procedures."

To apply, call the CIA.

That's the classified ad running in the current issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, right between an ad calling for an internist in Chicago and another promising "exciting opportunities in geriatric primary care."

Stupidity or misinformation. You be the judge.

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