Schneier on Security quotes an anecdote that amused me a while ago:

Back in the 1980s, Yosemite National Park was having a serious problem with bears: They would wander into campgrounds and break into the garbage bins. This put both bears and people at risk. So the Park Service started installing armored garbage cans that were tricky to open — you had to swing a latch, align two bits of handle, that sort of thing. But it turns out it’s actually quite tricky to get the design of these cans just right. Make it too complex and people can’t get them open to put away their garbage in the first place. Said one park ranger, “There is considerable overlap between the intelligence of the smartest bears and the dumbest tourists.”

Rumsfeld seems to think the terrorists are smart, according to this AP report:

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said Monday he is deeply troubled by the success of terrorist groups in “manipulating the media” to influence Westerners.

“That’s the thing that keeps me up at night,” he said during a question-and-answer session with about 200 naval aviators and other Navy personnel at this flight training base for Navy and Marine pilots.

Rumsfeld was asked whether the criticism he draws as Pentagon chief and a leading advocate of the war in Iraq is an impediment to performing his job. He said it was not and he knows from history that wars are normally unpopular with many Americans. “I expect that,” he said. “I understand that.”

“What bothers me the most is how clever the enemy is,” he continued, launching an extensive broadside at Islamic extremist groups which he said are trying to undermine Western support for the war on terror.

“They are actively manipulating the media in this country” by, for example, falsely blaming U.S. troops for civilian deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan, he said.

“They can lie with impunity,” he said, while U.S. troops are held to a high standard of conduct.

What should bother him more is how dumb the MSM is. In the recent war in Lebanon the media swallowed photoshopped pictures, staged photographs and Hezbollah propaganda and foisted it on Joe Public. Luckily, the MSM was exposed by the blogosphere, again.

Perhaps Rumsfeld was referring to the alleged massacre at Haditha. Sweetness and Light is a great blog that exposed the short-comings of the massacre story that Time headlined. The MSM was too dumb to realize that their sources had an agenda and played them for fools. The Yosemite bears would not be so dumb.

David Frum has more.

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