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The Lighthouse®

The Lighthouse® is the weekly email newsletter of the Independent Institute.
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Volume 8, Issue 19: May 8, 2006

  1. Failed Intelligence Reorganization Needs Reorganizing
  2. WTO Trade Talks: All Talk, No Action
  3. DNA Testing Exposes (Some) False Rape Accusations
  4. Shelby Steele to Receive Outstanding Achievement Award

1) Failed Intelligence Reorganization Needs Reorganizing

The resignation of CIA Director Porter Goss on Friday signalled to the public that something has gone wrong in the U.S. intelligence community. The community's underlying problems, however, have more to do with structure than with personnel. In September 2004, Ivan Eland, director of the Independent Institute's Center on Peace & Liberty, warned that the Bush administration's reorganization of the U.S. intelligence community -- creating an office of Director of National Intelligence to oversee the other 15 intelligence agencies -- would enlarge a bloated bureaucracy ill-suited for fighting terrorists and other national-security threats.

"Unfortunately, recent developments in [Director of National Intelligence] John Negroponte's quest to tame the intelligence community have proven my prediction to be correct," Eland writes in his latest op-ed.

News reports about a demoralized intelligence community corroborate Eland's prediction. Armed with a $1 billion budget and a staff of 1,539, Negroponte's office is a bureaucratic attempt to solve the many problems of an overly bureaucratic intelligence bureaucracy -- one still badly in need of reorganization: "The re-reorganization should start by drastically slimming down Negroponte's new office, which has become a bureaucratic morass in a very short time," writes Eland. "To counter nimble terrorists and better its general performance -- which has recently been abysmal -- the bloated U.S. intelligence community needs to go on a diet."

See "The Failed Intelligence Reorganization Needs Reorganizing," by Ivan Eland (5/8/06)

Also see "More Bureaucracy, Less National Security," by Ivan Eland (9/28/04)
"Más Burocracia, Menos Seguridad Nacional"

THE EMPIRE HAS NO CLOTHES: U.S. Foreign Policy Exposed, by Ivan Eland

THE WAY OUT OF IRAQ: Decentralizing the Iraqi Government, by Ivan Eland

Center on Peace & Liberty (Ivan Eland, director)


2) WTO Trade Talks: All Talk, No Action

Representatives of the World Trade Organization's member countries had agreed to finalize reductions of agricultural and industrial tariffs and subsidizes on April 30th of this year, but that deadline passed with no real progress to show for it. Sadly, this is par for the course for the four-and-a-half-year-old trade negotiations, according to Alvaro Vargas Llosa, director of the Center on Global Prosperity at the Independent Institute.

"The best one can say about these meetings is that both rich and poor countries...have become pretty sophisticated at appearing to be making concessions they are not really making at all," writes Vargas Llosa in his latest op-ed.

Vargas Llosa explains that the Doha Round trade negotiations (named after Doha, Qatar, the city in which the talks were first held) have stalled because both rich and poor countries have been espousing sly rationalizations of their protectionist policies. In addition, members of the European Union have reached no consensus position on trade. And although trade bureaucrats will claim that export subsidies will be eliminated by 2013, such talk rings hollow because export subsidies account for only a small percentage of farm subsidies.

See "The Doha Joke," by Alvaro Vargas Llosa (5/4/06)
"El chiste de Doha"

Spanish-language Blog:
El Independent: El Blog del Centro Para la Prosperidad Global de The Independent Institute


LIBERTY FOR LATIN AMERICA: How to Undo Five-Hundred Years of State Oppression, by Alvaro Vargas Llosa
Center on Global Prosperity (Alvaro Vargas Llosa, director)


3) DNA Testing Exposes (Some) False Rape Accusations

How common are false accusations of rape? Although it is sometimes asserted that two percent of rape accusations are false, a 2004 report by legal scholar Michelle Anderson of Villanova University School of Law found that no study has ever provided an evidentiary basis for that percentage. A more accurate estimate, one based on forensic DNA testing, is that at least 20 percent of rape accusations are false and another 20 percent of DNA tests of rape accusations are inconclusive, according to criminal attorneys and Innocence Project founders Peter Neufeld and Barry C. Scheck, who studied 10,000 sexual assault cases since 1989.

Independent Institute Research Fellow Wendy McElroy argues that "25 to 26 percent is probably accurate, especially since it is supported by other sources." She also notes that "false accusations" mean merely that "the specific accused is innocent," not that a rape didn't occur or that an accuser is lying about the accused. Thus, all accusations deserve a thorough and professional investigation, McElroy states.

"False accusations are not rare," McElroy concludes. "They are common."

See "False Rape Accusations May Be More Common Than Thought," by Wendy McElroy (5/2/06)
"Las falsas acusaciones de violación pueden ser mucho más comunes de lo que pensamos"

LIBERTY FOR WOMEN, Wendy McElroy, ed.

For related topics, see


4) Shelby Steele to Receive Outstanding Achievement Award

Shelby Steele -- who will address the Independent Policy Forum in Oakland, Calif., on Tuesday evening -- will receive a 2006 Bradley Prize for Outstanding Achievement later this month.

"The Bradley Foundation is honoring Dr. Steele for his contributions to the study of race in America and his undying devotion to equality for all," said Michael W. Grebe, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Bradley Foundation. "He has a distinguished body of work that has led to understanding of racial equality in America."

The premise of Steele's latest book is that the age of white supremacy has given way to an age of white guilt -- and neither has been good for African Americans. Steele is a captivating speaker, and his talk is not one to miss!

EVENT TITLE: "Is White Guilt Destroying the Promise of Civil Rights?"

SPEAKER: Shelby Steele is a long-standing critic of racism and segregation, as well as welfare programs, affirmative action, and black victimization. He has written extensively for the NEW YORK TIMES, WALL STREET JOURNAL, and HARPER'S, and in 1990, he received the National Book Critics Circle Award for THE CONTENT OF OUR CHARACTER.

Tuesday, May 9, 2006
Reception and book signing: 6:30 p.m.
Program: 7:00 - 8:30 p.m.

The Independent Institute Conference Center
100 Swan Way
Oakland, CA 94621-1428
For a map and directions, see

TICKETS: $15 per person ($10 for Independent Institute Members). Special Offer: Admission and a copy of WHITE GUILT: $35 ($30 for members). Reserve tickets by calling (510) 632-1366 or ordering online at

Praise for WHITE GUILT: How Blacks and Whites Together Destroyed the Promise of the Civil Rights Era, by SHELBY STEELE:

"Shelby Steele exposes the social hypocrisies and racial lies that transformed the once promising post-civil rights era into a period of cultural decadence and mediocrity."
-- CHARLES JOHNSON, National Book Award Winner

"A hard, critical look at affirmative action, self-serving white liberals and self-victimizing black leaders."

"Shelby Steele is America's clearest thinker about America's most difficult problem."

For more information about this event, see


  • Catalyst
  • Beyond Homeless