Even Canada Doesn’t Want a Traitor

Traitor Chelsea Manning has been refused entry into the NA liberal bastion of Canada because, as she put it, of conviction similar to treason:

Canadian law stipulates that a person may be barred from entering the country if “convicted of an offense outside Canada that, if committed in Canada, would constitute an offense under an Act of Parliament punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of at least 10 years.”

In the ruling, the unnamed official noted that Manning’s actions would have constituted treason according to Canadian law, a charge that holds a minimum sentence of 14 years.

Too bad. I’d rather have her in Canada than roaming free in the USA. Recall that Obama commuted her sentence and she was released after serving only 7 of the 35 years to which she was sentence. Recall also that she plea-bargained to get the 35 years in order to avoid the death penalty.

Posted September 28th, 2017 Filed in Intelligence, International, Military Stuff

Secret Service Using 1980s Mainframes

ABC News reveals that a “classified review” shows that the Secret Service’s computers are so outdated that they are only fully operational 60 percent of the time:

According to officials at the time of the review, the unofficial cost estimate to update the system was $187 million. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which oversees the Secret Service, has so far allocated $69 million, including $36 million in the department’s most recent budget request.

A Secret Service contracting memo from Oct. 16, 2009, reviewed by ABC News found, “Currently, 42 mission-oriented applications run on a 1980s IBM mainframe with a 68 percent performance reliability rating. Networks, data systems, applications, and IT security do not meet current operational requirements. The IT systems lack appropriate bandwidth to run multiple applications to effectively support USSS offices and operational missions around the world.”

Once the envy of the entire world, American spy agencies have undergone decades of neglect. The FBI’s systems were woefully out of date on 9/11. In 2005 they canned the $170 million Virtual Case File project and began working on a $451 million Sentinel project. This project is actually going well, with the first phase completed with all functionality on time and within budget, and the second phase expected to deliver more functionality than originally planned yet extend the milestone date only 3 months.

Given Big Government’s track record on efficient spending and meeting promises, I will wait well past delivery to declare success.

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Posted February 26th, 2010 Filed in Intelligence

LA Times: Bush Never Lied

New Republic editor James Kirchick writes in the LA Times that Bush never lied to us about Iraq:

In 2004, the Senate Intelligence Committee unanimously approved a report acknowledging that it "did not find any evidence that administration officials attempted to coerce, influence or pressure analysts to change their judgments." The following year, the bipartisan Robb-Silberman report similarly found "no indication that the intelligence community distorted the evidence regarding Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction."

Contrast those conclusions with the Senate Intelligence Committee report issued June 5, …

Yet Rockefeller’s highly partisan report does not substantiate its most explosive claims. Rockefeller, for instance, charges that "top administration officials made repeated statements that falsely linked Iraq and Al Qaeda as a single threat and insinuated that Iraq played a role in 9/11." Yet what did his report actually find? That Iraq-Al Qaeda links were "substantiated by intelligence information." The same goes for claims about Hussein’s possession of biological and chemical weapons, as well as his alleged operation of a nuclear weapons program.

Four years on from the first Senate Intelligence Committee report, war critics, old and newfangled, still don’t get that a lie is an act of deliberate, not unwitting, deception. If Democrats wish to contend they were "misled" into war, they should vent their spleen at the CIA.

And if Democrats “vent their spleen" at the CIA, they should stand up and admit that they destroyed our intelligence abilities through years of systematic deconstruction, from the Hughes-Ryan amendment of 1974 to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to the Torricelli Principle.

Posted June 16th, 2008 Filed in Intelligence

Skeptics of a Feather

Fred Thompson took time out from his campaigning to say that he is skeptical of the recent US intelligence report that says that Iran stopped its nuclear weaponization program way back in 2003. As I can remember the myriad of conflicting reports in the months leading up to the liberation of Iraq, I am skeptical as well.

Amir Oren, writing for Haaretz, sums it up when he writes:

The document’s eight pages, which include embarrassing instructions on how to differentiate between different yet related terms ("it is possible," "it may be so," "one must not remove from the equation," and "it’s reasonable to assume"), enable the Ayatollas’ nuclear and operations officials and the heads of the Revolutionary Guards to reach this soothing conclusion – from their point of view: The Americans have no understanding of what is really happening in Iran’s nuclear program. They have no solid information, they have no high-level agents and they have nothing more than a mix of guesswork and chatter. The dissemblance and concealment have succeeded, and the real dispute is not between Washington and Tehran, but within the U.S. administration itself.

The CIA was once one of the top three spy agencies in the world (Russia’s KGB and GRU being the other two), but democrats mounted a five-year campaign against our intelligence capabilities and effectively destroyed it in 1978. It was a blow from which it has never recovered.

So color me skeptical. In 2005, the CIA was certain that there was a nuclear program in Iran. In 2007, the CIA thinks there isn’t. In spite of the fact that Iranian terrorist President Ahmadinejad takes every opportunity to tell us that Iran wants one and deserves one.

Bottom line is that we don’t know what the hell is going on in the Middle East any country. The CIA is politicized and handcuffed by regulations and congressional oversight.

So I have no choice but to believe Ahmadinejad. Here’s hoping our next president will too.

Posted December 4th, 2007 Filed in Intelligence, Thompson, Fred, War on Islamofascism

Traitor Gets Slap on Wrist

Ronald Montaperto was an intelligence analyst for the Pentagon. He has been convicted of passing “highly classified” information to the Chinese.

A crime for which he will serve three months in jail, three months of home detention and five years’ probation.

That’s right. A man that compromised national security will spend three months in jail, in spite of the fact that sentencing guidelines call for four to five years.

Why so little? Judge Gerald Bruce Lee (a Clinton appointee) was impressed that other traitors that infest our intelligence agencies wrote character references in support of Montaperto.

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Posted September 10th, 2006 Filed in Clinton Legacy, Conservative Causes, Intelligence

News Watch

CIA Watch: how we can learn from the Mossad in fixing our dysfunctional intelligence agency.

Kerry Watch: The hubris of a billionaire’s self defense fund.

Economy Watch: US Steelmakers are expecting robust demand for the rest of the year, making it the third year in a row that demand has remained strong.

Tax Watch: It looks like Republican lawmakers will succeed in extending some of the tax cuts for another year or two.

UN Watch: U.N. peacekeepers, aid workers and teachers are having sex with Liberian girls as young as 8 in return for money, food or favors.

MSM Watch: The New York Times has once again been caught plagerizing.

Illegal Alien Watch: An Arizona sheriff is using an old tactic to find and arrest those entering our country illegally: posses.

Health Watch: Cancer resistant mice have been discovered. “When white blood cells from the mice are injected into other mice, they eradicate advanced tumours and provide lifetime protection against the disease. … Even highly aggressive forms of malignancy with very large tumours were eradicated.”

Looney Watch: PETA has launched an ad campaign in which PETA President and co-founder Ingrid Newkirk is quated as saying, “Even if animal research resulted in a cure for AIDS, we’d be against it.” [One supposes the same goes for cancer.]

Fun Facts for Lefties: Fidel Castro is apparently worth $900 million and ranked seventh on the Forbes magazine list of wealthy heads of state.

“Unique” Torture Information Extraction

CIA director Porter Goss insists that his agency does not torture, but admits to “unique and innovative ways” to gather information from prisoners:

“This agency does not do torture. Torture does not work,” Goss told the newspaper USA Today.

“We use lawful capabilities to collect vital information, and we do it in a variety of unique and innovative ways, all of which are legal and none of which are torture.”

Perhaps the CIA would benefit from the Democrat-approved torture techniques documented by Random Numbers (I’ll just give you the first of six):

  1. The Kerry Attention Grab: Senator Kerry clears his throat repeatedly until everyone is forced to listen to his tales about river boat trips to Cambodia and magic hats.

On the other hand, 63 percent of Americans believe that torture can be justified under the right circumstances with only 32 percent saying it can never be justified. Maybe we should leave information extraction up to the experts.

Posted November 21st, 2005 Filed in Intelligence

CIA Dysfunction

A former CIA case officer talks about how poorly constructed the cover stories really are for our clandestine operatives. Money quote:

You have to give credit to Langley: Overseas it may be incompetent; but in Washington, it can still con many into giving it the respect and consideration it doesn’t deserve.

Thanks to Hollywood, Americans have no concept of how our intelligence community operates.

Posted November 9th, 2005 Filed in Intelligence

Bush Orders Goss to Beef Up CIA

President Bush has ordered CIA Director Porter J. Goss to increase by 50 percent the number of qualified CIA clandestine operators and intelligence analysts, an ambitious step that would mean the hiring and training of several thousand new personnel in coming years.

Bush also ordered the doubling of CIA officers involved in research and development “to find new ways to bring science to bear in the war on terrorism, the proliferation of WMD [weapons of mass destruction] and against new and emerging threats.” In the presidential order, dated Nov. 18 and released by the White House yesterday, Bush also called for a 50 percent increase in the number of CIA officers proficient in “mission-critical languages” such as Arabic.

Step 1: get rid of the administrative overhead that sat around Washington offices and did little more than criticize the administration. Step 2: hire new talent with the skills and drive to get something done.

I like it.

Update: Two senior CIA officials from clandestine operations are resigning:

As the chiefs of the Europe and Far East divisions, the two officials have headed spying operations in some of the most important regions of the world and were among a group known as the barons in the highest level of clandestine service, the Directorate of Operations.

The directorate has been the main target of an overhaul effort by Mr. Goss and his staff. Its chief, Stephen R. Kappes, and his deputy resigned this month after a dispute with the new management team.

Update: Powerline opines:

This is great news. At the rate Goss is revamping the CIA, we may, at some future date, have a competent intelligence organization dedicated to protecting the country’s security and not to advancing the interests of the Democratic Party.

Posted November 24th, 2004 Filed in Intelligence

The Deconstruction of the CIA

The Senate Intelligence Committee has released documents showing that the CIA had agents actually inside al Qaeda in the three years before 9/11, but none were sufficiently trusted to know of the planned attacks. The new CIA Director Porter Goss is planning on fixing this by placing a renewed emphasis on undercover spies infiltrating organizations and fancy gadgets to collect and pass information (just like in the olden days of the Cold War).

As it becomes increasingly clear that there really has been a failure of human intelligence, the CIA is receiving more ink and airtime since the 9/11 witch hunt Commission that was used to bash the president in the pre-election season.

Intelligence is becoming more critical every day, what with Iran’s nuclear ambitions, the on-again-off-again talks with North Korea, the fact that we don’t know what is going on in North Korea at all (could a power struggle be in the making?), and reports that al Qaeda plans to smuggle a nuclear weapon into the U.S. through Mexico. The world is an increasingly dangerous place and we can’t survive if we’re blind.

So how did we get here? Why is it that our CIA was able to go toe-to-toe with the Soviet’s KGB and GRU, yet now seem ineffective? How did we get to a place where a once-proud organization is undergoing a purge of the members that are trying to undermine the President of the United States?

Those that ignore history are doomed to repeat it, so that is a very good place to start.

The convention have done well, therefore, in so disposing of the power of making treaties, that although the President must, in forming them, act by the advice and consent of the Senate, yet he will be able to manage the business of intelligence in such a manner as prudence may suggest.
— John Jay, 1778, Federalist No. 64.

Let us take a stroll down History Lane to look at the highlights of intelligence legislation over the last 30 years. The three major questions are:

  1. How long does it take to build an effective, global intelligence system?
  2. How long does it take to destroy one?
  3. Who were the agents of destruction?
Late 60s
to 1974
This was a very contentious time in U.S. history. It is an era when groups like the Black Panthers advocated the violent overthrow of the governmentand the Weathermen was planting bombs in capitals, ROTC buildings and blowing themselves up in townhouses. Many groups like these were financing their activities with bank robberies and kidnappings. 1974 was the year that the Symbionese Liberation Army kidnapped Patricia Hearst.

1974 It is in during period of social upheaval that the New York Times publishes a series of articles by Seymour Hersh, which alleges that the CIA has been engaged in massive domestic spying activities.

Senator James Abourezk (D-SD) and Representative and Representative Elizabeth Holtzman (D-NY) introduced bills that would to ban all covert operations. Both bills failed but the attack on our intelligence community had commenced.

Senator Harold Hughes (D-IA) and Representative Leo Ryan (D-CA) authored the Hughes-Ryan amendment of 1974 which restricted CIA operations to pure intelligence gathering unless the president determined the mission to be essential to national security, in which case the the President was required to notify the House and Senate of CIA covert operations in a “timely fashion”, which was understood to be 48 hours. This necessitated the establishment of the first permanent oversight committees in both the Senate and the House.

1975 The Murphy Commission headed by Robert Murphy (party affiliation unknown, although he served as Deputy Under Secretary of State in the Eisenhower (R) administration) wraps up a three-year study. It urged greater status for the Director if Central Intelligence (DCI) with closer ties to the president, recommended that covert action be used only when it was “clearly essential to vital U.S. purposes” and only after high-level review. Prophetically, “It further urged that the NSC’s Committee on Intelligence be actively used as the principal forum to resolve the differing perspectives of intelligence consumers and producers, and “should meet frequently for that purpose.” ”

President Ford (R-MI) forms the Commission on CIA Activities within the United States, chaired by Vice President Rockefeller (R-NY). The Rockefeller Commission spends six months investigating before issuing a report recommending increased oversight. It does not recommend halting covert operations abroad or even a ban domestic intelligence gathering and operations by the CIA.

Rep. Michael Harrington (D-MA) introduces a resolution to investigate the CIA. He attempts to castrate the CIA by calling for the abolition of all covert activities.

The Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations With Respect to Intelligence Activities is formed, chaired by Senator Frank Church (D-ID) who described the Agency as a “rogue elephant rampaging out of control.” The Church Committee spends 16 months investigating allegations of CIA domestic spying abuses.

The Select Committee on Intelligence is formed, chaired by Representative Lucien Nedzi (D-MI). The Nedzi Committee is to investigate allegations of “illegal or improper” activities of federal intelligence agencies. The committee has a 7 to 3 Democratic majority. Nedzi is against the Vietnam war, the development of the B-1 bomber, and the anti-ballistic missile system. The Nedzi Committee disintegrates and is replaced by a committee chaired by Rep. Otis Pike (D-NY).

1976 The final report of the Church Committee is submitted to the U.S. Senate, and significant restrictions were placed on wiretapping, mail opening and other “intrusive” intelligence gathering operations.

1977 Turner is appointed DCI by President Carter (D). The Senate Committee decides that intelligence budgets should be a matter of public record — an unprecedented thought. Incredibly, Turner does not object.

Later that year Turner stuns the world by announcing that he will cut the CIA’s Directorate of Operations by 800 people. Some theorize that Turner is attempting a takeover of the technical collection programs run by the Department of Defense.

1978 Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA) had been trying to regulate FBI and NSA activities for four sessions. With the results of the Church Committee on his side, he was able to achieve his goal in 1978 when he sponsored and pushed through the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). This legislation imposed strict rules on intelligence gathering, and created large bureaucratic hoops that CIA and FBI officers had to go through before they could wiretap suspected terrorists. In fact, FISA-related obstacles were largely responsible for the FBI’s decision not to search the computer and apartment of Zacarias Moussaoui (the alleged “20th hijacker”) prior to September 11.

The CIA was established in 1947. How long before it was an effective intelligence organization is debatable, though there is little doubt that it took a least a couple of decades. But in four short years the Democrats were able to cripple it.

In his 1991 memoirs, John Tower wrote:

The repercussions of the Church Committee’s misguided zeal are still being felt today. The committee’s inquiry severely shook the confidence of allies who cooperated with us on intelligence gathering activities and caused many of them to reassess their relationship with the U.S. intelligence community. They feared that the precedent of allowing congressional investigations of the CIA would lead to the exposure of their own intelligence sources and methods.

Among other notable comments about the Church Committee:

  • Former Secretary of State James Baker said that Church’s hearings had caused us to “unilaterally disarm in terms of our intelligence capabilities.”
  • The Wall Street Journal editorial page called the opening of Church’s public hearings “the moment that our nation moved from an intelligence to anti-intelligence footing.”
  • Best selling author Tom Clancy said on Fox News’ O’Reilly Factor: “The CIA was gutted by people on the political left who don’t like intelligence operations, and as an indirect result of that, we’ve lost 5,000 citizens last week.”

Unfortunately, it didn’t end there.

In 1995 Sen. Robert Torricelli (D-N.J.) led the effort to forbid the CIA from hiring informants of unsavory character (which came to be known as the ‘Torricelli Principle‘). The Clinton administration complied.

Also in 1995 Jamie Gorelick (D-DoJ) reinforced the wall set up by FISA, admonishing investigators in the first World Trade Center attack to “go beyond what is legally required…[to] prevent any risk of creating an unwarranted appearance that FISA is being used to avoid procedural safeguards which would apply in a criminal investigation.”

This double-whammy relegated the CIA to the role of monitoring and analyzing electronic surveillance and second-hand reports.

The above are just the high points, of course. Missing is Reagan’s fulfillment of a campaign promise to revitalize intelligence, a number of spy scandals in the mid-80s, the discovery that the U.S. embassy in Moscow had bugs built into the walls during construction, Iran-Contra (which liberals seem incapable of discussing rationally), the fall of the Berlin Wall (which had people questioning the need for an intelligence arm at all), the first Gulf War (which demonstrated how intelligence and military power could be combined with devastating effect), the Clinton-Gore effort to “reinvent” government — including intelligence services, and much more.

But the thread of Democrat hostility to the intelligence community is continuous throughout the last 30 or so years. The efforts of Republicans to protect and even enhance intelligence is consistent with their attitude towards the military.

On final anecdote to illustrate the differences in partisan agendas. Consider these two facts:

  • CIA was established in part as a reaction to the disastrous lack of intelligence and the subsequent failure to be prepared for the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
  • The first World Trade Center bombing was in 1993.

Now look at these facts from John Kerry’s Senatorial career:

  • 1994: Twice pushed to cut $1 billion from the budgets of the National Foreign Intelligence Program and from Tactical Intelligence.
  • 1995: Proposed cutting $1.5 billion from the intelligence budget, which was just one of the areas targeted for cuts as they were “pointless, wasteful, antiquated, or just plain silly.”
  • 1997: “Now that [the Cold War] struggle is over, why is it that our vast intelligence apparatus continues to grow?”

Why indeed, Johnny, why indeed.

Further sources of information:

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Posted November 18th, 2004 Filed in Intelligence