Poetry — The Haiku Master, the Cicadas and the CIA

“One is reminded of Montaigne’s acerbic comment: ‘Men under stress are fools, and fool themselves.’ ”

Michael Crichton — The Andromeda Strain

June 2 2022 — Matsuo Bashō was the most famous poet of the Edo period in Japan. After centuries of commentary, he is recognized as the greatest master of haiku. The CIA could learn a few things from his poetry. Follow us on Twitter: @INTEL_TODAY

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Perhaps, one of his most famous haiku is the following which he wrote during a summer retreat in a mountain temple:




Allow me to first provide the most accurate translation I can think of.

The feeling of being free from noise!

The sound of the cicadas

penetrates deep inside the big rock.

Now, the beauty of poetry is that each of us is allowed to interpret it the way he likes. Here is my own understanding of this masterpiece.

The noise of the cicadas is powerful enough to penetrate deep inside a big rock, but it can not reach inside the mind of a wise man.

In times of stress and chaos, it is only natural to be confused and distracted by the noise around us. Yet, one must be disciplined and stay focused.

In these most trying moments, we have a duty to think clearly and precisely.

Despite a $85 billion annual budget, it took the US Intelligence Community and the CIA task force more than 5 years to realize that the primary cause of the Havana Syndrome was just the chirping of Cicadas.

And yet, from the very beginning, the CIA had all the information needed to rule out microwave attacks.

PS — For the record — The expression “Havana Syndrome” was coined by Dr. Ludwig De Braeckeleer and appeared for the first time in a story published by the Intel Today blog on October 3 2017. [Here is the tweet] Why would Wikipedia dispute such a simple fact?

“Men are tormented by the opinions they have of things, and not the things themselves.”

Michel de Montaigne


US Intelligence Agencies Are Trying To Solve Scientific Mysteries And Failing Badly — BuzzFeed News


Poetry — The Haiku Master, the Cicadas and the CIA

“It is the role of intelligence to identify and characterize threats to the nation and to sift what is likely true from what is probably false. But the public has gotten very little useful or meaningful information from our intelligence agencies. They could do better.”

Steven Aftergood — Federation of American Scientists

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