Honesty in Training

Apparently honesty is not always thought to be the best policy after all.

Story one: Army pulls training slide listing Clinton as insider threat.

Story two: Stanford pulls training on sexual harassment and alcohol that is a bit too straightforward about reality for comfort.

In both cases, I think these materials are among the best I've ever seen in their genres, both of which are irritating but necessary aspects of contemporary life. Read the archived drinking page for yourself. It doesn't just treat the dangers of rape (which is what caused the objection), but that women risk organ damage at lower levels and shorter periods of heavy drinking. If the intent of the training is to help young women learn how to manage the risks that alcohol poses to them, both socially and as a chemical, this is a fantastic page.

Likewise, the OPSEC slide put its finger on a serious issue that is hard to talk about: that those who outrank you, both in the chain of command and also as civilian appointees or elected officials, may themselves be the risk. You can't let someone's higher rank cause you to turn a blind eye to bad practices. It's just because the State Department lacked such a culture that some of America's most sensitive secrets were exposed by Hillary Clinton to our national enemies. If the intent of OPSEC training is actually operational security, that was a great slide.

We'll have to do with weaker sauce that leaves these risks unaddressed, I suppose.


raven said...

Richard Fernandez has often spoken of the dangers of lying- not necessarily about lying to others, but lying to oneself- when one starts believing ones own lies, then the reality of the matter is completely obscured, and the necessary responses are misdirected.

ie- you can tell people your '69 Volkswagen with a new fiberglas body is an exotic sports car, but don't go believing that on a twisty mountain road...

Ymar Sakar said...

State Department did a great job in Iraq as "patriots", after all. That was the defense I heard, at least, that the State were full of "good guys" because X, Y and Z's family and relatives and friends were in it.

Sure, they were. Humans have no cap on their self deception abilities.

Ymar Sakar said...

One of those Cold War spy stories was about an American set of operatives who figured out that the Soviets had spies in the US. But those spies happened to the Boss and superiors of the operatives, so once the operatives reported the info, they would be disappeared. Sometimes literally. So they either had to not report it or do something else with that.