Tuesday, May 14, 2013

When correlation apparently becomes causation - another Richard Spires post

One piece of fallout from the departure, either voluntary or involuntary, or a person from an organization - when problems subsequently happen at the organization, the person's departure is blamed for the problem - even if the person had nothing to do with solving - or creating - that particular problem.

The chief information officer of the Department of Homeland Security doesn't keep an eye on cyberattack attempts, any more than he staffs airport scanners. Other people do those things. But Richard Spires' departure seems to be becoming a hook in recent DHS stories, such as this one that begins as follows.

A new wave of cyber-attacks is striking American corporations, prompting warnings from federal officials, including a vague one issued last week by the Department of Homeland Security. This time, officials say, the attackers' aim is not espionage but sabotage, and the source seems to be somewhere in the Middle East.

Now this has nothing to do with the INTERNAL IT workings of DHS, such as whether procurement is centralized or decentralized. But that didn't stop the author from mentioning Spires' departure in the closing paragraph.

For the last four years, the Department of Homeland Security has said it needs to expand its cyber-security force by as many as 600 hacking specialists to keep pace with the rising number of threats. But in the last four months, the department has been grappling with an exodus of top officials, including Jane Holl Lute, the agency's deputy secretary; Mark Weatherford, the department's top cyber-security official; Michael Locatis, the assistant secretary for cyber-security; and Richard Spires, the agency's chief information officer, all of whom resigned.

Now even if Spires had remained in his position, the lead of the article would have been the same. But that doesn't stop people from adding 2 and 3 and getting 6.

People like me. Although I'm sure that all of you would agree that the poor performance of the Lakers, Clippers, Dodgers, Angels, and now Ducks is entirely related to the fact that Democrats are running California's state government. It's fairly obvious, isn't it?
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