Saturday, May 7, 2011

The pacer

The Washington Post reports that a phone call to a courier years ago, led intelligence to the compound where they eventually located the guy with the beard. In the courtyard, satellite images showed a man who paced back and forth every day. They thought it might be Osama....

The White House asked the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, which provides and analyzes satellite imagery, to determine the pacer’s height. The agency said the man’s height was somewhere between 5-foot-8 and 6-foot-8, according to one official.

Wow. Intelligence information like that must have been very valuable. I heard they also determined the man's weight to be somewhere between 130 and 400 lbs.

Death of Osama bin Laden: Phone call pointed U.S. to compound — and to ‘the pacer’



  1. That wouldn't be "intelligence information". It's indirectly derived from satellite photos using math and considering the angles and distances involved, along with probably quite a few other factors, that is the range of accuracy you get - somewhere around 15% to 20%. Not bad considering, but also not that useful. So then your analogy might better be expressed "somewhere between 145 and 175 pounds" instead of 130 to 400. I'm guessing you don't teach math, so glad to help...

  2. the white house asked the intelligence agency to determine the man's height. they said between 5-8 and 6-8. this describes about 97% of the population. my post wasn't meant to be taken seriously.