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ccp
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« Reply #200 on: June 07, 2012, 09:40:52 AM »

Sen McCain seems convinced the leaks are political and from the WH.   Congressman Peter King was on cable a day or two ago pointing out to the visibly annoyed (partisan) CNN anchor that the leaks absolutely *have to be* coming from high up at the WH because they include converstaions from only the very few high ranking individuals who were even at these meetings.

I would cherish the fantasy that FBI investigation will take us to Axeljerk as the source.  Of course, I would not hold my breath enough evidence will ever be discovered to make such a link (if it exists).   In the end, probably the maid or cleaning guy will go down:

http://content.usatoday.com/communities/theoval/post/2012/06/obama-aide-says-little-about-fight-with-holder/1
« Last Edit: June 07, 2012, 09:45:26 AM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #201 on: June 07, 2012, 09:47:01 AM »

I am glad to see that apparently some serious folks are taking this seriously.  Even Sen. Diane Feinstein, a long-time member of the Sen. Intel committee is lending her weight to calling for serious investigations.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #202 on: June 12, 2012, 03:10:47 PM »



http://pjmedia.com/michaelledeen/2012/06/10/leaks-and-lies/?singlepage=true
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #203 on: June 12, 2012, 07:34:13 PM »

New York Times v. Obama
By DICK MORRIS
Published on TheHill.com on June 12, 2012

Printer-Friendly Version
Both can't be telling the truth. One is lying.
The New York Times says that the national-security leaks that exposed our cyber-war against Iran and how our drone strikes against terrorists operate came from "aides" to the president and "members of the president's national security team who were in the [White House Situation Room]" during key discussions, as well as current American officials involved with the program who spoke anonymously because "the effort remains highly classified." The author of one of the Times stories, David Sanger, writes that some of his sources would be fired for divulging classified material to him.

White House press secretary Jay Carney calls the charges "grossly irresponsible" and attacks Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) for making them.

They can't both be right.

My money is on The New York Times.
 
At stake is not just some routine Washington leak. Both the substance conveyed and the motivation for passing the information along separate this story from the run of the mill.

The material leaked could not be more sensitive. It includes the procedure by which kill targets among al Qaeda terrorists in Yemen and the Horn of Africa are selected and the personal role the president exercises in the decisions. Another leak explored the details of America's cyber-war against the Iranian nuclear weapons program.

But the intent of these leaks is what makes them all the more extraordinary -- indeed, sui generis. While most national-security leaks (like those of Daniel Ellsberg and WikiLeaks) are aimed at exposing and discrediting a program, these leaks are friendly fire -- designed to enhance the president's image during a tough reelection campaign.

These leaks are just means to the end of the president's reelection. They are of a kind with the spiking of the football presidents do.

When George W. Bush declares, "Mission accomplished" or Obama rehashes the details of his decision to kill bin Laden, these are justifiable victory laps around the stadium. But when the leaks compromise ongoing security operations, they fall into an entirely different category. Indeed, they border on treason.

Yet compare the fury generated by the leaking of Valerie Plame's status as a CIA agent with the silence that has greeted these leaks. Plame's leaking involved no threat to our nation and did not interdict or threaten any ongoing operation. The leaks were investigated out of pure partisan bloodlust.

The outrage the leaks have kindled in Congress is bipartisan. But from the White House we hear no outrage. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-Mass.) said the leaks are, "frankly, all against [our] national-security interest. I think they are dangerous, damaging, and whoever is doing that is not acting in the interest of the United States of America." Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said the leaks "endanger American lives and undermine America's national security." Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) has convened hearings about the leaks.

But from the administration come only the sounds of silence and the accusation that criticism of the leaks is "grossly irresponsible."

Top political consultant Pat Caddell speculated that National Security Adviser Tom Donilon might be the source of the leaks. That makes sense. What made no sense was to appoint a political consultant to the role of national security adviser (unless it was for this very purpose -- to turn state secrets into campaign ads). But as the leaks surfaced in the newspapers, the president himself must have figured out that it was his top people doing the leaking. But he has resisted calls for an independent counsel to investigate the source of the leaks and relies, instead, on his own discredited attorney general to locate their source.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #204 on: June 12, 2012, 09:06:03 PM »

One point to add to leakgate is that it seems to me that the President cannot leak.  The Commander in Chief always has the power to declassify.  So some top aide is in big trouble or else it is just another example of being sloppy with our national security.

If Fast and Furious had been dealt with quickly and decisively it wouldn't.feel. so much like drowning.in scandals now.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #205 on: June 12, 2012, 10:05:02 PM »

But then he would have to justify his declassification of the material , , ,
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bigdog
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« Reply #206 on: June 13, 2012, 11:35:11 AM »

FWIW, here is the EO that describes, among other things, how material is declassified:

http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/executive-order-classified-national-security-information
« Last Edit: June 13, 2012, 11:48:47 AM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #207 on: June 15, 2012, 01:15:41 PM »



National Insecurity
Most U.S. presidents understood that campaign rules-of-engagement don't include leaking classified national security information. But of course, most presidents aren't The Chosen One. That seems to be the attitude behind a series of White House leaks apparently aimed at bolstering Barack Obama's "I'm strong on national security" image. Despite his presidential oath to the Constitution and to defend America against all enemies, the operative criterion here is whether the compromise will make Mr. Hope-&-Change look good this November.

What "highly secret information" was compromised, exactly? For starters, how about a "deep-black" U.S. cyberspook operation using a computer worm called "Stuxnet" to trash centrifuges and computers used in Iran's nuclear program?

Obama proselytes at The New York Times ("All the news fit to print, classified or not") could hardly wait -- and, of course, didn't -- to publish details related to this special-access, über-sensitive program. But wait, there's more ... much more.
Other leaks include: The "Kill List" revelation that the president is personally involved with the selection process for targeting and assassinating terrorists; the selling-out of Dr. Shakil Afridi, the Pakistani doctor who helped locate Osama bin Laden through DNA testing in a CIA fake-polio vaccine campaign, leading to a 33-year sentence for high treason for the good doctor by "our ally" Pakistan; a thwarted underwear bomber plot -- a leak that threatened the lives of U.S.-friendly operatives working in covert operations abroad by exposing information that directly pointed to infiltrated terrorist groups in Yemen.

The list goes on -- the "Zero Dark Thirty" leak, the CIA's involvement in introducing faulty parts in Iran's nuclear-program-related systems, the White House-blessed exposé on the bin Laden takedown, etc. Unfortunately, an exhaustive list is impossible within this space. Suffice it to say that leaks within this administration have done more grave damage to U.S. national security than perhaps any since Julius Rosenberg turned over U.S. and British nuclear-bomb-building secrets to the Russians.

Don't look for an apology from the sorry lot of squatters occupying the Executive Branch, however. During the latest damage control session, Obama announced, "The idea that my White House would purposely release national security information is offensive." Note that he didn't say the White House didn't release highly classified national security secrets, nor that the accusation was untrue -- only that the "idea ... is offensive." Of course it's offensive -- accusations of treason often are. Here's a question for Mr. Offended, though: Is that "idea" any less offensive than the idea of putting American lives at risk for political gain?

Regarding the leaks themselves, only two options exist. Either: (1) the sources were legally authorized to leak the information, or (2) they were not. If the former were true, although a duly authorized person may release classified information, doing so would require the president's knowledge and approval. If the latter is true, then the leak source(s) must be investigated and prosecuted.

This least-damaging approach seems to be the administration's preference.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has promised a thorough investigation of the leaks. Sadly, the fact that he is a known liar, at least regarding the "Fast and Furious" congressional probe, promises that his commitment to the pursuit of truth won't produce much. Ultimately, American voters will decide with whom they feel more comfortable guarding national secrets. To most Patriots, however, the answer is obvious.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #208 on: June 15, 2012, 01:34:33 PM »

second post

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303734204577466910796158718.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop

What is happening with all these breaches of our national security? Why are intelligence professionals talking so much—divulging secret and sensitive information for all the world to see, and for our adversaries to contemplate?

In the past few months we have read that the U.S. penetrated Al Qaeda in Yemen and foiled a terror plot; that the Stuxnet cyberworm, which caused chaos in the Iranian nuclear program, was a joint Israeli-American operation; and that President Obama personally approves every name on an expanding "kill list" of those targeted and removed from life by unmanned drones. According to the New York Times, Mr. Obama pores over "suspects' biographies" in "what one official calls 'the macabre 'baseball cards' of an unconventional war."

From David Sanger's new book, "Confront and Conceal: Obama's Secret Wars and Surprising Use of American Power," we learn that Stuxnet was "the most sophisticated, complex cyberattack the United States had ever launched." Its secret name was "Olympic Games." America and Israel developed the "malicious software" together, the U.S. at Fort Meade, Md., where it keeps "computer warriors," Israel at a military intelligence agency it "barely acknowledges exists."

 
Martin Kozlowski
 .The Pentagon has built a replica of Iran's Natanz enrichment plant. The National Security Agency "routinely taps the ISI's cell phones"—that's the Pakistani intelligence agency. A "secret" U.S. program helps Pakistan protect its nuclear facilities; it involves fences and electronic padlocks. Still, insurgents bent on creating a dirty bomb, if they have a friend inside, can slip out "a few grams of nuclear material at a time" and outwit security systems targeted at major theft. In any case, there's a stockpile of highly enriched uranium sitting "near an aging research reactor in Pakistan." It could be used for several dirty bombs.

It's a good thing our enemies can't read. Wait, they can! They can download all this onto their iPads at a café in Islamabad.

It's all out there now. Mr. Sanger's sources are, apparently, high administration officials, whose diarrhetic volubility marks a real breakthrough in the history of indiscretion.

What are they thinking? That in the age of Wikileaks the White House itself should be one big Wikileak?

More from the Sanger book: During the search for Osama bin Laden, American intelligence experts had a brilliant idea. Bin Laden liked to make videotapes to rouse his troops and threaten the West. Why not flood part of Pakistan with new digital cameras, each with a "unique signature" that would allow its signals to be tracked? The signal could function as a beacon for a drone. Agents got the new cameras into the distribution chain of Peshawar shops. The plan didn't catch Osama, because he wasn't in that area. But "traceable digital cameras are still relied on by the CIA . . . and remain highly classified."

Well, they were.

There was a Pakistani doctor named Shakil Afridi who was sympathetic to America. He became involved in a scheme to try and get the DNA of Osama's family. He "and a team of nurses" were hired by the U.S. to administer hepatitis B vaccinations throughout Abbotabad. The vaccinations were real. Dr. Afridi got inside Osama's compound but never got to vaccinate any bin Ladens.

In the days after bin Laden was killed, the doctor was picked up by Pakistani agents and accused of cooperating with the Americans. He was likely tortured. He's in prison now, convicted of conspiring against the state.

No word yet on the nurses, but stand by.

Mr. Sanger writes that President Obama "will go down in history as the man who dramatically expanded" the use of drones. They are cheaper than boots on the ground, more efficient. But some of those who operate the unmanned bombers are getting upset. They track victims for days. They watch them play with their children. "It freaks you out," a former drone operator told Mr. Sanger. "You feel less like a pilot than a sniper."

During the Arab Spring, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia was insistent that Mr. Obama needed to stick with Egypt's Hosni Mubarak, even, Mr. Sanger reports, "if he started shooting protestors in the streets."

King Abdullah must be glad he called. Maybe he'll call less in the future.

***
All of this constitutes part of what California Sen. Dianne Feinstein calls an "avalanche of leaks." After she read the Stuxnet story in the Times, she was quoted as saying "my heart stopped" as she considered possible repercussions.

Why is this happening? In part because at our highest level in politics, government and journalism, Americans continue to act as if we are talking only to ourselves. There is something narcissistic in this: Only our dialogue counts, no one else is listening, and what can they do about it if they are? There is something childish in it: Knowing secrets is cool, and telling them is cooler. But we are talking to the world. Should it know how, when and with whose assistance we gather intelligence? Should it know our methods? Will this make us safer?

Liberally quoted in the Sanger book, and in Dan Klaidman's "Kill or Capture: The War on Terror and the Soul of the Obama Presidency," is the White House national security adviser, Thomas Donilon. When I was a child, there was a doll called Chatty Cathy. You pulled a string in her back, and she babbled inanely. Tom Donilon appears to be the Chatty Cathy of the American intelligence community.

It is good Congress has become involved. They wonder if the leaks have been directed, encouraged or authorized, and by whom. One way to get at that is the classic legal question: Who benefits?

That is not a mystery. In all these stories, it is the president and his campaign that benefit. The common theme in the leaks is how strong and steely Mr. Obama is. He's tough but fair, bold yet judicious, surprisingly willing to do what needs to be done. He hears everyone out, asks piercing questions, doesn't flinch.

He is Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Slayer.

And he is up for re-election and fighting the constant perception that he's weak, a one-man apology tour whose foreign policy is unclear, unsure, and lacking in strategic depth.

There's something in the leaks that is a hallmark of the Obama White House. They always misunderstand the country they seek to spin, and they always think less of it than it deserves. Why do the president's appointees think the picture of him with a kill list in his hand makes him look good? He sits and personally decides who to kill? Americans don't think of their presidents like that. And they don't want to.

National security doesn't exist to help presidents win elections. It's not a plaything or a tool to advance one's prospects.

After the killing of bin Laden, members of the administration, in a spirit of triumphalism, began giving briefings and interviews in which they said too much. One of the adults in the administration, then-Defense Secretary Robert Gates, reportedly went to Mr. Donilon's office. "I have a new strategic communications approach to recommend," he said. What? asked Mr. Donilon.

"Shut the [blank] up," Mr. Gates said.

Still excellent advice, and at this point more urgently needed.

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #209 on: June 18, 2012, 11:43:33 AM »

http://pjmedia.com/victordavishanson/the-scandal-of-our-age/?singlepage=true
The Scandal of our Age:  VD Hanson
Like Nothing Before

In the Watergate scandal, no one died, at least that we know of. Richard Nixon tried systematically to subvert institutions. Yet most of his unconstitutional efforts were domestic in nature — and an adversarial press soon went to war against his abuses and won, as Congress held impeachment hearings.

As far as national security went, Nixon’s crimes were in part culpable for destroying the political consensus that he had won in 1972, at a critical time when the Vietnam War to save the south was all but over, and had been acknowledged as such at the Paris Peace Talks. But Watergate and the destruction of Nixon’s foreign policy spurred congressional cutbacks of aid to South Vietnam and eroded all support for the administration’s promised efforts to ensure that North Vietnam kept to its treaty obligations.

Iran-Contra was as serious because there was a veritable war inside the Reagan administration over helping insurgents with covert cash that had in part been obtained by, despite denials, selling arms to enemy Iran to free hostages — all against U.S. laws and therefore off the radar. The Reagan administration was left looking weak, hypocritical, incompetent, and amoral — and never quite recovered. Yet even here the media soon covered the story in detail, and their disclosures led to several resignations and full congressional hearings.

Quite Different

What I call “Securitygate” — the release of the most intricate details about the cyber war against Iran, the revelations about a Yemeni double-agent, disclosures about covert operations in and against Pakistan, intimate details about the Osama bin Laden raid and the trove of information taken from his compound, and the Predator drone assassination list and the president’s methodology in selecting targets — is far more serious than either prior scandal. David Sanger and others claim that all this was sort of in the public domain anyway; well, “sort of” covers a lot of ground. We sort of knew about the cyber war against Iran, but not to the detail that Sanger provides and not through the direct agency of the Obama administration itself.

Here is the crux of the scandal: Obama is formulating a new policy of avoiding overt unpopular engagements, while waging an unprecedented covert war across the world. He’s afraid that the American people do not fully appreciate these once-secret efforts and might in 2012 look only at his mishaps in Afghanistan or his public confusion over Islamic terror. Ergo, feed information to a Sanger or Ignatius so that they can skillfully inform us, albeit with a bit of dramatic “shock” and “surprise,” just how tough, brutal, and deadly Barack Obama really is.

Yet these disclosures will endanger our national security, especially in the case of a soon-to-be-nuclear Iran. They will probably get people killed or tortured, and they will weaken America’s ability for years to work covertly with allies. Our state-to-state relations will be altered, and perhaps even the techniques and technology of our cyber and special operations wars dispersed into the wrong hands. There is nothing in the recent “exclusive” writings of David Sanger or David Ignatius that was necessary for the American people to know at this stage, unless one thinks that we had a right to the full story of the Doolittle Raid in 1942, or that Americans by July 1944 needed an insider account of the date and planning of D-Day, or that we should have been apprised about what was really going on in New Mexico in 1944.

Here is why Securitygate is a national outrage and goes to the heart of a free and civil society.

National Security

Iran probably knew of U.S. covert involvement against its nuclear facilities, but now it knows that that the entire world also knows. There is no more plausible deniability on our part. The information about the nature of the cyber war is so detailed, the partnership with the Israelis rendered so complex, and the disclosures about technology and technique so explicit, that the Iranians will not only better defend themselves, but use these details to encourage and support even more terror against the United States. How ironic that Obama once called Guantanamo al-Qaeda’s “chief recruiting tool” only to keep it open, and instead give them a real recruiting tool in the disclosure of the inner workings of the war on terror.

Pakistan is a veritable enemy and Iran an explicit one. But now both will recite endlessly David Sanger’s catalog of our efforts to subvert them, and claim any new anti-American efforts on their part were simply justified tit-for-tat. Why would the Gulf states help us, when they come off as brutal supporters of the old doomed dictatorships? Europe and our allies no doubt knew all about predators and the cyber war, but their publics did not. Expect even more anti-Americanism, as our enemies decry targeted assassinations and efforts at subverting governments.

George W. Bush turned off the world by waterboarding three known and confessed terrorists — with help from the American Left who publicized that fact hourly for eight years. Barack Obama, we now read, has not only personally selected several hundred suspected terrorists for airborne execution, but alternates between reading their terrorist biographies and theology as he picks who lives and who dies. I am sure Catholic theologians appreciate the fact that St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Augustine bulked up the American president’s fortitude when he chose to press the kill button over Waziristan. Crude presidents watch Patton or wear flight suits under “Mission Accomplished” banners; sophisticated metrosexual wartime Presidents read theology. I am surprised only that we did not hear from leaks that Obama had read these didactic texts in the original Latin.

Is the world to be outraged that Russia sends war material to Syria or Iran arms to Hezbollah — when it matter-of-factly now reads that almost all communications inside Pakistan are intercepted? Do we need to know that the U.S. warped medical vaccination programs to gain information about bin Laden — right out of a scene from the film Man on Fire? I bet the Gates Foundation and other American philanthropic organizations will appreciate the doubt that will now be cast on their own vaccination efforts. In the world war of ideas, we accuse Iran of wanting to wipe out Israel and they now will accuse us of resorting even to manipulating vaccination programs for the sick and poor for our own national security.  Do we really need to know — or rather does the world need to know — that we sabotaged video cameras in Pakistan? Wait — I err in the use of the past tense: we are still sabotaging video and photographic equipment in Pakistan.

We live in dangerous times, with a war in Afghanistan, a soon-to-be-nuclear Iran, a duplicitous nuclear Pakistan, an estranged nuclear ally Israel, an Arab Spring gone haywire, a failed reset with Russia, and almost all of the above conniving over Syria. The work of National Security Advisor Tom Donilon, New York Times reporter David Sanger, and all their assorted subordinate reporters and Obama administration officials may well help to set off a conflagration unlike any in our time.

The Timing and Theme

Why are we suddenly learning in spring of 2012 of all sorts of classified information about the administration’s war on terror? Why not in 2009? Why is all the disclosed information in the press predictably designed to offer another side of Barack Obama in an election year? The president turns out not to be the familiar senator or presidential candidate Obama, who once demanded that Guantanamo be shut down, who mocked renditions and tribunals, who opposed preventative detentions, who wanted to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in a civilian court, and whose team characterized the Major Hasan murders as workplace violence and the Mutallab plot as “allegedly” or came up with the laughable euphemisms “overseas contingency operations” and “man-caused disasters.”

In other words, all the prior public knowledge of the Obama administration’s conduct of the war on terror had helped contribute to real public worries about its national security reliability. In contrast, all the recent disclosures paint a much different picture of the real “Obama Doctrine” — a Nobel Peace Prize laureate reading his St. Thomas Aquinas as he struggles with blowing up bad guys from the air, takes out bin Laden, unleashes a cyber war against Iran, or sends his agents into Yemen. A Hollywood scriptwriter could have done Obama the “paradox” no better: ruthlessly sensitive, decisively reflective, and tragically underappreciated.

The decision to disclose a multifaceted covert war on terror and ensure the continuance of the administration Barack Obama is supposedly far more important to our long-term national security than is any short-term damage that follows these disclosures.

The Role of the Press

We all know how the deplorable practice of “leaking” works. But in truth, these were not quite leaks: information was not “leaked” by rogue insiders or hostile outsiders, but rather given freely to the press by administration officials.
That fact alone makes Securitygate different from any other past scandal over publicized classified documents or insider accounts of covert operations — or even Bob Woodward’s mythography and insider psychodramas, where he only imagines what presidents and secretary of states are “really” thinking silently to themselves.

Usually liberal reporters nurture and stroke unnamed sources and would-be whistle-blowers who claim worry about an administration’s stealthy and dangerous national security efforts. Sometimes they divide and conquer — warning reluctant sources that when the proverbial stuff hits the fan, their own silent narratives will be drowned out by the connivers who squawked. Message? If you can’t beat them, then beat them to the punch.

When the leaked story goes public, the administration in question goes bananas; after all, its most private protocols and operations are rendered worthless as they enter the public domain. Our Woodstein-like reporters in question predictably fancy themselves Edward R. Murrows, as if speaking truth to power. They earn praise from the New York-Washington, D.C., corridor, with all the accruing beneficia of strong book sales, career promotions, TV appearances, or often prizes for their “courage.” The leaker, if found out, often likewise is canonized, in Daniel Ellsberg fashion, as he usually beats the rap.

None of that was true of the released information about the bin Laden mission, subversion in Pakistan, the Yemeni double agent, the Predator drone protocols, and the cyber war against Iraq, or our covert war in Africa. The press were lapdogs, not bull terriers. The leakers were not misguided whistle-blowers, but careerist insiders. We don’t quite have an investigative press these days, but rather a Ministry of Truth put in charge of Barack Obama’s public relations: when the worldwide Left worries that Obama is too militaristic, we heard of deep engagement with Catholic theologians and a desire to go after former CIA agents, or more plans to close Guantanamo; when the Right is up in arms that Obama is not pursuing Islamic terrorists, then the drone tally, cyber war, and more details about Osama bin Laden suddenly are all over the news.
Complicity not skepticism is the theme of the work of a Sanger or Ignatius and their kindred reporters. Their aim is that we should be “surprised” about just how muscular is the Obama version of the war on terror — an appreciation that is especially timely in mid-2012, rather than, say, 2009 or 2010.

Doubt all that? The subtitle of David Sanger’s book – Surprising Use of American Power – says it all, does it not? “Surprising” is a rather mild adjective that one might not usually expect from a New York Times “investigative” reporter hell-bent on rushing into print leaked material about controversial, legally questionable, and covert U.S. operations. “Surprising” is the sort of loaded adjective that reminds us of the press’s other favored word – “unexpectedly” – when citing the latest dismal economic news.

Cui Bono?

But outrage was not the intent of Sanger, nor of any of the other “reporters” who have been given exclusive access to either Obama administration insiders or once sort of, now kind of, classified materials. When one reads David Ignatius on the covert bin Laden raid, here are the sort of inanities that pop out: “This desire to reattach al-Qaeda to the Muslim mainstream is evident in the documents I reviewed that were taken from bin Laden’s compound the night he was killed. … As Wednesday’s anniversary of bin Laden’s death approaches, I have been going back over my notes of these messages. I found some unpublished passages that show how bin Laden’s legacy is an ironic mix.” Or “The scheme is described in one of the documents taken from bin Laden’s compound by U.S. forces on May 2, the night he was killed. I was given an exclusive look at some of these remarkable documents by a senior administration official. They have been declassified and will be available soon to the public in their original Arabic texts and translations.”

How does one seriously claim an “exclusive look” at “remarkable documents” that have been “declassified” and “will be available soon.”  (Note the tense gymnastics.) Either a document is in the public domain for all, or it is not. One does not have an “exclusive” look at otherwise common knowledge. This is incoherent: “A senior administration official” calls up a senior Washington Post reporter to provide him with an “exclusive” look at unclassified documents in the public domain. Why would a “senior” official have to remain unnamed when all he was doing was passing along unclassified information?

What Next?

What should we expect next from the administration rather pleased at these disclosures? More of  “how dare you!” denials from Barack Obama who is “shocked” that we might possibly conclude that he runs the defense of the United States like a poorly managed Tony Rezko land deal.

Expect the New York Times and Washington Post stable to likewise be aghast at any hint they were massaged, and in vain to point to all sorts of nuanced little qualifiers in their stories that we missed, but that really do prove their own independence and “worry,” “skepticism,” and “concern” over some of the shocking things they wrote.

“Classified” is now a postmodern idea, as we see from Ignatius. I think the damage-control procedure will go like this: although we, the public, could not read what the New York Times and Washington Post people read, these “classified” sources were still not really classified. You see, the president decides from moment to moment what is legally classified, what not. When given to a reporter to ensure the public knows that an Achilles rather than a Paris is our commander in chief, the documents in a nanosecond became declassified. In other words, once these leaks go into print, then immediately postfacto all such information was declassified all along: stupid us, we just never asked to read it or talk with these folks who had.

If — a big if — and when either Congress or the media goes after the damage that was done to U.S. interests, expect that almost every subpoenaed source imaginable is now “classified” — as in “How dare you ask for classified information that might endanger the national security just to find out how and why we released ‘declassified’ information that did no harm at all.”

Reader, forget politics. Just digest the nature, theme, the timing, and the damage of these disclosures. Do that and most of you will conclude they are offenses to the security of the United States — or, in the words of Barack Obama on another matter, “unpatriotic.”

« Last Edit: June 18, 2012, 12:01:36 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #210 on: June 21, 2012, 02:48:37 PM »


By MICHAEL B. MUKASEY
The imprudent release of secrets has become a hallmark of the current administration.

It began in April 2009 with the attorney general's disclosure of Justice Department legal opinions, written in 2003, describing classified interrogation techniques that were harsh but lawful by the standards then in force—and effective, although used on only a tiny fraction of captured terrorists. That disclosure informed the nation's enemies of the absolute limit of what they could face if captured, and it demoralized the intelligence operatives who had thought they could rely on Justice Department opinions but were then told that those opinions were no longer valid.

Imprudence accompanied even the splendid achievement of killing Osama bin Laden, with revelations about the intelligence seized from his residence. These included knowledge about the location of al Qaeda safe houses, which warned those who would otherwise have been targets and thereby frustrated the use of that information. There was also the disclosure of a Pakistani physician's cooperation with U.S. intelligence agents trying to obtain bin Laden's DNA to confirm his presence in Abbottabad, which caused the physician's imprisonment for 33 years on a charge of treason and will probably deter many potential foreign sources in the future.

Imprudence has now degenerated into incontinence: detailed disclosure in newspapers of how the drone program operates; how an undercover agent was said to have penetrated an al Qaeda operation and frustrated a plot to put a bomb aboard an airliner bound for this country; and how the United States and Israel allegedly developed and then inserted into Iranian nuclear-enrichment equipment a computer virus that caused centrifuges to spin out of control and destroy themselves, and then another virus that allowed us to monitor the workings of Iran's nuclear program.

It would be difficult to overstate the damage inflicted by these revelations, and a comprehensive assessment will be impossible even decades from now. Consider that in May 2011, the Defense Department announced that a cyber attack that inflicted physical damage on the U.S. would be considered an act of war and would justify a kinetic response. As one general put it, if anyone took down our power grid with a cyber attack, we would feel justified in putting a missile down the smokestack of one or more buildings where the attack originated.

Has a so-far-unnamed U.S. official, in boasting about the physical damage caused by a computer virus we allegedly helped develop, now justified a kinetic response from Iran or some group claiming to act in its behalf? What protective steps will our enemies take to counteract the programs described in these newspaper articles? What valuable information will foreign intelligence agencies now withhold from us in the justified belief that we cannot be trusted to protect secrets?

Assuming the information in these articles is true, it is of a sort that is closely held, known only to a few and treated with the strictest of confidence. That includes, among other things, conversations in the White House Situation Room—conversations that occurred only among people who hold the highest security clearance known to our government, and in a place open only to such people. Documents setting forth such information may not be taken out of secure facilities even by those people, who are finite in number.

The outrage about this seems to be bipartisan (for once), with calls for investigations by various congressional committees and by prosecutors both ordinary and special. The attorney general, who regrettably opened the bidding with his 2009 disclosure of the previously classified interrogation memos, said he was asking not one but two U.S. attorneys to investigate the latest disclosures. And of course there have been numerous calls for appointment of a special prosecutor—more precisely an "independent counsel," although "special prosecutor" sounds so much more . . . special.

As to the two U.S. attorneys, both may be assumed to be honest and competent, and it is not unheard of for a U.S. attorney to ask a grand jury to indict even a high government official; I worked for the U.S. attorney who secured the indictment of an incumbent attorney general, John Mitchell, in 1973 (for alleged crimes connected to an attempt to improperly influence the Securities and Exchange Commission).

But those bent on concealment can assure that even diligent investigations are prolonged for months (even past a certain November election). Independent counsels proceed no faster. The time needed to set up and staff the office of an independent prosecutor can itself delay an investigation.

Moreover, the record of such counsels has been spotty, not to mention their constitutionally anomalous status—within yet supposedly independent of the executive. Criminal investigations would also frustrate any congressional subpoena, which would be met with the claim that disclosure to Congress could compromise the criminal proceedings. In addition, the standard under current criminal law could require a showing beyond a reasonable doubt that the leaker in question acted with intent to injure the security of the U.S., or with knowledge that such injury likely would occur—a difficult standard to meet.

Nor is it clear that there has been a violation of any criminal law. Those empowered to classify information are also empowered to declassify it. If these disclosures came from, or with authorization from, people allowed to declassify information—including but not limited to the president—there was no crime even in the disclosure of purported cyber activity.

But there is every reason why this inquiry should proceed in Congress, where oversight authority resides. If the bipartisan outrage is genuine, Congress is peculiarly well suited to investigate and disclose what went on here, and who is responsible. An informed electorate would be grateful.

To prevent further intelligence disclosures during the process, a joint congressional committee, populated by lawmakers from intelligence and armed services committees already used to handling classified information, could meet when necessary in executive session, with limited and cleared staff, and eventually make findings in which the nation could have confidence.

The president, too, has a role. For one thing, he could order any of the finite number of public officials who had access to this information and who is summoned for questioning to waive any assurance of confidentiality that might have been received from a journalist. Thus the journalists involved would be free to testify without offending the rules of their craft. An official who refused to sign would be justly suspect and could be dismissed, serving as he does at the pleasure of the president.

Holding people to account is far more useful at this time and in this situation than putting people in prison, and it avoids the difficulty of proving a conventional crime.

To be sure, the Constitution hints broadly that more than mere disclosure could result. It empowers Congress to investigate, prosecute and try what our founding charter quaintly refers to as "high crimes and misdemeanors," a category that may include conventional crimes but is certainly not limited to them. Rather, it embraces all grave breaches of public trust, criminal or not, and the public trust assuredly was breached here.

I do not advocate impeaching anyone, particularly not at this late stage in the electoral cycle. But at a minimum, investigating diligently and disclosing candidly would allow Congress to pull up its dismal level of public approval. It's worth a try.

Mr. Mukasey served as U.S. attorney general from 2007-09, and as a U.S. district judge from 1988-2006.

« Last Edit: June 21, 2012, 02:50:30 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
bigdog
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« Reply #211 on: June 26, 2012, 12:25:01 PM »

http://thehill.com/blogs/defcon-hill/policy-and-strategy/234761-thirty-one-gop-senators-call-for-special-counsel-to-investigate-security-leaks
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« Reply #212 on: June 26, 2012, 01:14:18 PM »

ZERO chance of special prosecuter with this corrupt WH.  It is sad but expected not one Dem Senator calling for the sp. pros.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_E._Donilon
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« Reply #213 on: June 29, 2012, 02:42:00 PM »

I am trying to keep thread integrity, and I hope this is the place. It might also belong in the Constitutional Issues thread and/or Gun Rights?

http://www.rollcall.com/news/darrell_issa_puts_details_of_secret_wiretap_applications_in_congressional-215828-1.html

In the midst of a fiery floor debate over contempt proceedings for Attorney General Eric Holder, House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) quietly dropped a bombshell letter into the Congressional Record.
 
The May 24 letter to Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), ranking member on the panel, quotes from and describes in detail a secret wiretap application that has become a point of debate in the GOP’s “Fast and Furious” gun-walking probe.
 
The wiretap applications are under court seal, and releasing such information to the public would ordinarily be illegal. But Issa appears to be protected by the Speech or Debate Clause in the Constitution, which offers immunity for Congressional speech, especially on a chamber’s floor.
 
According to the letter, the wiretap applications contained a startling amount of detail about the operation, which would have tipped off anyone who read them closely about what tactics were being used.

continued on web site.
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« Reply #214 on: June 29, 2012, 04:59:38 PM »

Excellent find; "Gun Rights" is the correct thread for this.
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« Reply #215 on: July 09, 2012, 12:57:22 PM »

http://www.tnr.com/print/article/politics/magazine/104219/jack-goldsmith-SCOTUS-Leaks-CIA

WHEN SUPREME COURT Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg rose to speak to the American Constitution Society on June 15, many in the audience hoped she would hint at the fate of the Affordable Care Act. The justices had voted on Obamacare on March 30, and by mid-June the Court’s opinion, as well as any concurrences or dissents, had been drafted and circulated internally. But despite palpable panting by journalists, no one outside the Court knew what it had decided. And Ginsburg gave no clue. “Those who know don’t talk,” she said. “And those who talk don’t know.”

In the national security bureaucracy, the opposite rule has prevailed: Those who know talk quite a lot. In recent weeks, the press has reported on U.S. cyber-attacks on Iranian nuclear enrichment facilities, a double agent inside the Al Qaeda affiliate in Yemen, and internal deliberations about drone operations. And by all accounts, the primary sources for these revelations were executive branch officials. “The accelerating pace of such disclosures, the sensitivity of the matters in question, and the harm caused to our national security interests is alarming and unacceptable,” charged congressional intelligence committee leaders in rare bipartisan unison. Why is the Court so much better at stopping leaks than the government agencies entrusted with the country’s most critical secrets?

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« Reply #216 on: July 09, 2012, 01:28:46 PM »

Lifetime job security?-- i.e. no need to seek political advantage to keep one's job?

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« Reply #217 on: July 09, 2012, 02:25:44 PM »

"Why is the Court so much better at stopping leaks than the government agencies entrusted with the country’s most critical secrets?"

Yes. I had that same thought, though not posted.  Quite impressive the secrecy of this opinion in particular. 

Jan Crawford had nice inside stories on the case buy there was no indication at all that she had them early.

"Lifetime job security?-- i.e. no need to seek political advantage to keep one's job?"

That's a pretty good guess, but the aides don't stay for a lifetime.

Besides trying to understand why it happened, the secrecy of the Court proves it is possible.  Intelligence agencies and oversight and enforcement of classified secrets personnel could stand to learn from that.

Perhaps a public beheading (or legal equivalent) would persuade officials not to leak military secrets to the NY Times.  We could at least conduct an investigation and try to enforce our laws. 

Scooter Libby went to prison for not leaking.  Now THAT was an investigation.  They had the truth in the first 15 minutes and decided to run a year or so with the investigation. The zeal for getting at the truth and enforcing federal laws sadly depends upon the political implications.
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« Reply #218 on: July 09, 2012, 10:21:37 PM »

Scooter Libby went to prison for not leaking.  Now THAT was an investigation.  They had the truth in the first 15 minutes and decided to run a year or so with the investigation. The zeal for getting at the truth and enforcing federal laws sadly depends upon the political implications.

Actually Scooter Libby was a Criminal.

Libby was indicted on five counts: Two counts of perjury, two counts of making false statements to federal investigators, and one count of obstruction of justice.

In the subsequent federal trial, United States v. Libby, the jury convicted Libby on four of the five counts in the indictment (one count of obstruction of justice, two counts of perjury, and one count of making false statements.
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« Reply #219 on: July 13, 2012, 08:07:17 AM »

http://www.rollcall.com/news/house_judiciary_chairman_launches_investigation_into_national_security-216104-1.html?ET=rollcall:e13631:80133681a:&st=email&pos=eam
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« Reply #220 on: July 13, 2012, 08:41:05 AM »

GOOD.
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« Reply #221 on: July 14, 2012, 10:35:46 PM »

Pasting yet again BD's post in this thread as well:

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/07/13/dark_soldiers_of_the_new_order
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« Reply #222 on: July 18, 2012, 08:59:44 AM »

Haven't had a chance to give this a proper look yet, but wanted to get it posted:
================================================

http://www.npr.org/blogs/alltechconsidered/2012/07/16/156839153/in-q-tel-the-cias-tax-funded-player-in-silicon-valley

http://www.npr.org/2012/01/22/145587161/cia-tracks-public-information-for-the-private-eye

In the years since its formation, many have been led to speculate about In-Q-Tel and its investments, but what requires no speculation is an understanding that a privately owned venture capital firm, created by and for the CIA, in which well-connected board members drawn from the private sector can then profit from the investments made with CIA funds that itself come from the taxpayer represent an erosion of the barrier between the public and private spheres that should give even the most credulous pause for thought.

What does it mean that emerging technology companies are becoming wedded to the CIA as soon as their technology shows promise?

What can be the public benefit in fostering and encouraging technologies which can be deployed for spying on all internet users, including American citizens, in direct contravention of the CIA’s own prohibitions against operating domestically?

http://www.corbettreport.com/meet-in-q-tel-the-cias-venture-capital-firm-preview/

http://business-news.thestreet.com/mercury-news/story/spy-agency-fund-targets-bay-area-technology/1
==================


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objectivist1
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« Reply #223 on: August 16, 2012, 10:05:40 AM »

www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-Xfti7qtT0&feature=player_embedded
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« Reply #224 on: August 20, 2012, 07:12:03 AM »

Also posted in the Islam in America thread:

http://pjmedia.com/blog/the-biggest-d-c-spy-scandal-you-havent-heard-about-part-two/?singlepage=true
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« Reply #225 on: August 20, 2012, 03:57:13 PM »

Have not watched this yet but posting it here so it does not fall off my radar screen

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-Xfti7qtT0

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« Reply #226 on: August 21, 2012, 03:17:33 PM »

OBAMA AND THE POLITICS OF TREASON

Posted on August 21, 2012

BUCK SEXTON
Buck Sexton is The Blaze's national security editor and a GBTV contributor. Before joining the Blaze, Buck served in the U.S. Intelligence Community for six years.

President Obama has dismissed and derided the former military and intelligence officers who believe his administration passed out sensitive national security information for partisan gain. In a press conference yesterday, he said of the Special Operations OPSEC Education Fund and similar groups—“I don’t take these folks too seriously.”

Unsurprisingly, the White House has been quick to attack the men behind these accusations instead of explaining to the American people that this administration has not leveraged defense secrets for positive press reports. The best Obama was able to muster in his defense yesterday was “this kind of stuff springs up before election time.”

Of course, this does not adequately address accusations of leaks that many believe could amount to treason.  While the specific source of the leaks remains in question, as a former intelligence officer, I see why so many informed observers, including the OPSEC whistleblowers, smell something rotten at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Let’s press into the facts of the case.

From the start of the controversy, the news articles that leaked the information claimed that their sources were members of “Obama’s national security team.” That would seem the drain the pool of possible leakers rather quickly, but alas—no progress has been made on the White House-approved investigation.

Even without that massive clue, there is plenty of circumstantial evidence pointing to the White House as the source. The leaks are obviously political because they are positive. Leaks usually hurt administrations, but not these leaks. Whoever told the press about these sensitive national security matters had very high-level access and used it to lionize the President. From the Bin Laden raid details to the President’s so-called “Kill List,” the leaks bolstered the perception that Obama had transformed into a hawk.

In response to the OPSEC group’s accusations, media outlets often tout that Obama’s Department of Justice has brought more Espionage Act prosecutions—six and counting—than every President before him combined. They cite this to further a narrative that Obama takes leaking seriously, but that’s a misreading. The prosecutions have everything to do with appearances for Obama and very little to do with national security.

Leaks can create major political headaches, as seen during the Bush years. To blunt this liability, the Obama administration established an early precedent: leak, and Attorney General Holder’s DOJ will ruin your life.  This approach ensnared a range of offenders—from legitimately dangerous offenses to a case against former NSA analyst Thomas Drake that completely fell apart in court.

Thus the Obama administration has maintained a two-track enforcement approach to leakers. Senior political operatives seem to get away with them; working-level national security professionals cower in fear of DOJ’s wrath.

Instead of pulling clearances and firing alleged leakers, Obama’s DOJ jumped right to felony charges in these instances. Regardless of the trial outcomes, the message to all who have classified access and a political disagreement with Obama was heard loud and clear.

And what liberals claimed was laudable behavior under President Bush—leaking– was now treasonous under Obama. For a President who ran on a promise of transparency, this was a particularly craven abandonment of previously espoused principle.

Contrast the draconian enforcement approach to working-level intelligence employees with the zero arrests that have been made in relation to the major national security disclosures that set off the current furor. Despite the reckless revelation of sources and methods in the recent leaks, it is a near certainty that no senior White House officials will face charges or even lose their security clearance because of them.

Instead, the White House will make the Pentagon and intelligence agencies turn the screws even tighter on civil servants who had nothing to do with these disclosures. To appear tough, the executive branch has empowered prosecutors and internal bureaucrats to ferret out leakers that do not exist. Countless patriotic Americans who protect classified information every day will be harassed and slowed in their work so that connected political advisors and special assistants in the White House can continue to tell whatever they want to whomever they want.

Of course, all of this would have been avoided if President Obama had decided to release the information officially, as is his purview as Commander-in-Chief. Instead, somebody with seemingly unrestricted classified access gave the stories behind closed doors to favored media mouthpieces. Had President Obama declassified the information himself on record, his administration could also be held to account for the intelligence fallout afterwards. Thus the current White House policy of disclose-and-deny gives the administration de facto credit without suffering any blowback.

Once again, politics, not the safety of the nation, is the primary factor at work.

President Obama’s national security record is unlikely to determine the election this fall. But to groups like OPSEC Education Fund and countless national security professionals still working in the shadows, the spate of leaks plays into a broader narrative of a solipsistic President and administration that appear to value reelection above all else.

Though we will likely never find out the source of the leaks, President Obama appears more upset about them as a political liability than a possible threat to our national security. That alone is cause for concern.
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« Reply #227 on: August 21, 2012, 03:38:08 PM »

"Of course, all of this would have been avoided if President Obama had decided to release the information officially, as is his purview as Commander-in-Chief."


I'm not defending the leaks; I suppose it depends upon who is doing it and on what authority.

But Obama IS Commander in Chief.  At his discretion, for reasons known only to him and his immediate staff (he is under no obligation to offer an explanation) isn't he entitled to release information (leak it) if he deems it appropriate officially or unofficially?

As for the special ops video, saying that the soldiers on the ground killed bin Laden, well that's like saying the Tibbets dropped the bomb on Hiroshima, not Truman.  Technically true, but ......
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« Reply #228 on: August 21, 2012, 08:38:48 PM »

"Leaks usually hurt administrations...".

I'm not sure that this empirically accurate. Usually when the adminstration leaks it is just called something different. A "trial balloon" perhaps. There is plenty of evidence that suggests that adminstrations have leaked info for benefit for years.
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« Reply #229 on: August 22, 2012, 08:53:41 AM »

True enough BD but you're a bright guy with intellectual integrtiy.  Do you really think what appears to be the case here (destroying the value of extraordinary intel gathered at extraordinary effort and cost, costing lives, and destroying the value of ongoing programs) to be run of the mill.

I sure don't.  Indeed I seethe at what appears to have happened here.
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« Reply #230 on: August 23, 2012, 04:26:14 AM »

That's not what I said. I was taking issue with what I suspect is a fallacious claim in the article.

And, it is worth noting that "Obama's national security team" includes people from outside government, so I don't think the circle is as small as the author implies.

By the way... here is an article about a forthcoming book from a SEAL who was part of the OBL raid team: http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/48754703/ns/today-the_new_york_times/.
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« Reply #231 on: August 23, 2012, 06:43:36 AM »

*Not sure I'm following the distinction you're making but OK.

*My understanding is that some of the intel leaked could ONLY have come from certain high placed individuals.

*Obama sure did not and does not seem very upset that this intel got leaked.  What of the guy that SecDef Gates told "STFU"?  No consequences there , , ,

IMHO this simply is as bad as it looks.
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« Reply #232 on: August 23, 2012, 08:51:18 AM »

*Not sure I'm following the distinction you're making but OK.
One of the points made in the article to support the thesis that Obama and/or a proxy is that an administration usually looks bad due to a leak. Since the Obama administration didn't look bad, the implication is that the leak was purposeful. I am NOT saying that it wasn't on purpose, I am saying the supporting argument isn't true.

*My understanding is that some of the intel leaked could ONLY have come from certain high placed individuals.
But how do you, or any reporter, know for sure how many people are in the circle. And, given the number of people supporting those in the circle, the reality is there are likely many people with access to at least some of that specific information. Why couldn't 2 or 3 people have leaked? A recent book by Jack Goldsmith, which I highly recommend, states that there were at least 183 since 2005. He also quotes Richard Helms as saying"the probability of leaks escalates expontentially each time a classified document is exposed to another person--be it an Agency employee, a member of Congress, a senior official, a typist, or a file clerk." Given the amount of support needed for the mission, there were MANY eyes.

*Obama sure did not and does not seem very upset that this intel got leaked.  What of the guy that SecDef Gates told "STFU"?  No consequences there , , ,

IMHO this simply is as bad as it looks.

And, despite all of the above, I agree with you here. I suspect it was purposeful, and I agree that it is likely bad, at least in the short term, for the IC. I just think the people making the argument should make without holes in the logic.
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« Reply #233 on: August 23, 2012, 11:14:20 AM »

*I'm going to quibble on the number of people with access point.  My understanding is that certain passages described events taking place and things being said in a particular room/office to which the number of people who have access could be counted on the fingers of one hand.

*SecDef Gates certainly thought he knew who was responsible. evil

*Still not following your point about unsound logic-- "Qui bono?" seems a valid analytical concept to me , , ,

*I'd argue that the damage is serious and long term.  We've always been suspect-- with good reason!-- in this regard, but i the eyes of friends, possible friends, and enemies to have the President's innermost circle and possibly/presumably the President himself be willing to sell out sources, methods, and operations (e.g. the Pakistani doctor, the Saudi double agent, etc) is going to be remembered by the real players in these things for a very long time.

For the President to be an "amateur" is one thing, but for him to be a sociopathic narcissist who puts his personal political gain above the lives of those who serve in dark and dangerous places fills me with loathing.  I could be wrong, but my impression from body language, choice of words, and the career implications for the people (and these are very serious people who have dedicated themselves and literally their asses on the line apolitically in the service of our country) in this clip lead me to surmise that my loathing comes in second to theirs.
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« Reply #234 on: August 23, 2012, 11:54:01 AM »

*I'm going to quibble on the number of people with access point.  My understanding is that certain passages described events taking place and things being said in a particular room/office to which the number of people who have access could be counted on the fingers of one hand.

Feel free, of course. I've not seen the same.

*SecDef Gates certainly thought he knew who was responsible. evil

I'd like to see a quote, if I may, that makes this crystal clear. I've looked at http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2012/06/11/obama-and-intel-leaks-investigation-this-smells-like-fix/ and http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/gates-national-security-team-osama-raid-shut-f_646731.html?nopager=1 and http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2892376/posts and http://www.npr.org/2012/06/11/154749427/weekly-standard-leaker-in-chief. Only the last story seems to implicate the National Security Advisor, and even then the story hedges, by saying that Gates felt the he was responsible "directly or indirectly." All of the other stories relate the leak was somewhere in the administration's circle of advisers, with Donilon being the point, seemingly because of the position.

*Still not following your point about unsound logic-- "Qui bono?" seems a valid analytical concept to me , , ,

You can have logical structure but have specious precepts. He does.

*I'd argue that the damage is serious and long term.  We've always been suspect-- with good reason!-- in this regard, but i the eyes of friends, possible friends, and enemies to have the President's innermost circle and possibly/presumably the President himself be willing to sell out sources, methods, and operations (e.g. the Pakistani doctor, the Saudi double agent, etc) is going to be remembered by the real players in these things for a very long time.

For the President to be an "amateur" is one thing, but for him to be a sociopathic narcissist who puts his personal political gain above the lives of those who serve in dark and dangerous places fills me with loathing.  I could be wrong, but my impression from body language, choice of words, and the career implications for the people (and these are very serious people who have dedicated themselves and literally their asses on the line apolitically in the service of our country) in this clip lead me to surmise that my loathing comes in second to theirs.

"At least in the short term," as I said, certainly does not preclude the possibility of the long term damage you discuss.

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« Reply #235 on: September 24, 2012, 10:10:32 AM »

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/24/world/africa/attack-in-libya-was-major-blow-to-cia-efforts.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20120924
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« Reply #236 on: October 12, 2012, 08:00:19 PM »

Ex-CIA chief slams Biden for throwing U.S. spies under the bus during debate by 'blaming those who put their lives on the line' for Benghazi debacle


Two former intelligence chiefs today blasted Vice President Joe Biden for making the U.S. intelligence community a scapegoat for 'the inconsistent and shifting response of the Obama Administration'.

Michael Hayden, former CIA director, and Michael Chertoff, who served as Homeland Security chief, hit out after Biden stunned many in the intelligence community by insisting that the U.S. consulate in Benghazi did not ask for additional security before it was attacked on September 11 - directly contradicting what security officials and diplomats have testified under oath.

The tough joint statement was issued via the Romney campaign. In it they added: 'Blaming those who put their lives on the line is not the kind of leadership this country needs.'

'During the Vice Presidential debate, we were disappointed to see Vice President Biden blame the intelligence community for the inconsistent and shifting response of the Obama Administration to the terrorist attacks in Benghazi.  Given what has emerged publicly about the intelligence available before, during, and after the September 11 attack, it is clear that any failure was not on the part of the intelligence community, but on the part of White House decision-makers who should have listened to, and acted on, available intelligence. Blaming those who put their lives on the line is not the kind of leadership this country needs.'

Hayden, a career intelligence officer and retired U.S. Air Force general, and Chertoff, a former prosecutor, both served in the Bush administration.

Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney's vice-presidential running mate, hit out at the Obama administration's handling of the Libya assault which killed ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans. The Vice President defended the government's handling of the crisis and denied that the State Department had turned down a request for security reinforcements in the months before the raid.

The heated debate exchange came just hours after presidential candidate Mitt Romney launched his own denunciation of Barack Obama's response to the attack, saying the administration 'failed to grasp the seriousness of the challenges that we face'.

Earlier this week, it was revealed that Stevens himself expressed concerns about security at the facility.

Also, the head of a special operations team helping out with security asked for 'more, not less' reinforcements before the government pulled dozens from Libya earlier this year.

But Biden, when asked about it by debate moderator Martha Raddatz, said: 'We weren't told they wanted more security there.'

Ryan kept up his attack, saying: 'There were requests for extra security - those requests were not honoured.'

He compared the situation in Libya with the heavily guarded American embassy in France as he insisted: 'Our ambassador in Paris has a Marine detachment guarding him, shouldn't we have a Marine detachment guarding our ambassador in Benghazi?'

The Vice President attempted to deflect the blame for the security failures onto Republicans in Congress, saying that Ryan's fiscal plan 'cut embassy security in his budget by $300million below what we asked for.'

The pair also sparred over another controversial issue connected to the Benghazi assault, as Biden again insisted that the administration initially believed the deadly raid was the result of protests over an anti-Muslim YouTube video which were sweeping the Islamic world at the time.

'The intelligence community told us that,' he said. 'As they learned more facts about exactly what happened, they changed their assessment.'

But Ryan replied: 'It took the President two weeks to acknowledge this was a terrorist attack. He went to the UN and in his speech at the UN six times talked about the YouTube video.

'Look, if we are hit by terrorists, we are going to call it for what it is: a terrorist attack.'

Former presidential candidate Newt Gingrich predicted on Friday that Biden's uncompromising statements would 'haunt' the Obama campaign ahead of next month's election.

'Biden on Benghazi was so wrong last night, it’s going to haunt them from now until the next debate,' the former House speaker told CBS This Morning.

Romney also launched a blistering assault on the Obama administration's treatment of the crisis as he spoke at a campaign rally in North Carolina.

After an Obama official suggested that the tragedy had been politicised by Republicans, the GOP candidate responded: 'I think today we got another indication of how President Obama and his campaign fail to grasp the seriousness of the challenges that we face here in America.'

He continued: 'Mr President, this is an issue because we were attacked successfully by terrorists on the anniversary of 9/11.

'President Obama, this is an issue because Americans wonder why it was it took so long for you and your administration to admit that this was a terrorist attack.'

The White House today defended Biden's comments saying what he meant to say was that the Sate Department handles security and that Obama and Biden weren't told of the need for security.

Hours before the debate, two top security officials who had been to the consulate testified on Capitol Hill that they had made requests for more troops.

Former regional security forces officer Eric Nordstrom and Lt Col Andrew Wood, who was head of a Special Forces 'Site Security Team' in the country, placed blame on Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Charlene Lamb for rejecting their requests.

'The takeaway... for me and my staff, was abundantly clear - we were not going to get resources until the aftermath of an incident,' Nordstrom said. 'And the question that we would ask is: how thin does the ice have to get before someone falls through?'

'We were fighting a losing battle,' Wood added. 'We couldn't even keep what we had.'

Lamb and Patrick Kennedy, the undersecretary for management, testified that they believed the security measures in place were enough.

On September 11, the day he died, Stevens wrote to Washington officials detailing a dispute involving the leaders of two prominent Benghazi militias who were responsible for security in the city, according to the Daily Beast.

The two men, Wissam bin Ahmed and Muhammad al-Gharabi, claimed that the U.S. was lobbying for centrist politician Mahmoud Jibril to become Libya's prime minister.

They said that if he won the vote, they 'would not continue to guarantee security in Benghazi, a critical function they asserted they were currently providing,' according to Stevens.

Despite that warning, Stevens did not ask for more U.S. troops, and commented that Benghazi officials believed the city was becoming safer.

The cable made no mention of a U.S.-made YouTube video mocking the Prophet Muhammad which was originally thought to have been the motivation for the deadly assault on the consulate later that night.
Pleas: Lt. Col. Andrew Wood said he asked for reinforcements in Libya but faced troop withdrawals instead.

The American compound was being guarded by members of the 'February 17 Martyrs Brigade', a militia which shared members with the groups run by Mr bin Ahmed and Mr al-Gharabi.

It was not only Stevens who saw potential security issues cropping up in Libya before the September 11 raid.

Wood said officials felt 'like we were being asked to play the piano with two fingers' after a number of troops were withdrawn from Libya in August.

He told CBS This Morning that worried embassy staff had approached him to ask if they would still be safe when his team had left.

'I could only answer that what we were being told is that they're working on it,' he said.

He added: 'Shooting instances occurred, many instances involved the local security guard force that we were training. Constantly, there were battles going on between militias, criminal activity and that became an increasing danger as time went on as well.'

Wood claimed that other senior officials, including Stevens, had requested a boost in the U.S. security presence, saying: 'We felt we needed more, not less.'

Although his team was based in the city's capital Tripoli, Wood said he would have accompanied the ambassador to Benghazi had he still been in the country. State Department officials said that as the Site Security Team was intended to help re-open the embassy in Tripoli, their departure from Libya was irrelevant to the subsequent security situation. 
They also claimed that Wood did not know the details of the situation in Benghazi, which is 400 miles from the capital.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #237 on: October 20, 2012, 07:08:17 AM »



http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/20/world/middleeast/danes-wild-tale-of-ruse-to-find-anwar-al-awlaki.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20121020&_r=0
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bigdog
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« Reply #238 on: October 21, 2012, 06:20:19 AM »

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history-archaeology/The-CIA-Burglar-Who-Went-Rogue-169800816.html

The CIA is not in the habit of discussing its clandestine operations, but the agency’s purpose is clear enough. As then-chief James Woolsey said in a 1994 speech to former intelligence operatives: “What we really exist for is stealing secrets.” Indeed, the agency declined to comment for this article, but over the course of more than 80 interviews, 25 people—including more than a dozen former agency officers—described the workings of a secret CIA unit that employed Groat and specialized in stealing codes, the most guarded secrets of any nation.

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DDF
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« Reply #239 on: October 21, 2012, 04:31:51 PM »

Wondering if anyone here has any info on CISEN. Thank you in advance.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2012, 05:01:00 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged

We all die. The second one accepts that, only then are they capable of living.
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« Reply #240 on: October 22, 2012, 04:17:06 PM »

Wondering if anyone here has any info on CISEN. Thank you in advance.

Yo sabe nada.
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« Reply #241 on: October 22, 2012, 05:01:53 PM »

First person conjugation of the verb "saber" is "se' "  cheesy
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G M
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« Reply #242 on: October 22, 2012, 05:08:11 PM »

Mi espanol es muy feo.
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bigdog
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« Reply #243 on: October 22, 2012, 05:15:42 PM »

 grin grin
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DDF
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« Reply #244 on: October 22, 2012, 06:01:13 PM »

Gracias todos modos a todos.  grin
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bigdog
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« Reply #245 on: October 22, 2012, 06:18:37 PM »

Wondering if anyone here has any info on CISEN. Thank you in advance.

More seriously, what do you need to know? Structure? Budget? Size? Mission? Quality? History?
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« Reply #246 on: October 22, 2012, 11:29:05 PM »

D) All of the above.  Please email me and we can take if from there.
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« Reply #247 on: October 24, 2012, 10:58:54 PM »

Just got the email GC. Thank you Sir.
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« Reply #248 on: November 09, 2012, 06:33:23 PM »

CIA Chief Resigns Over Affair
Petraeus Relationship With Biographer Surfaced After FBI Probe of His Email .
By DEVLIN BARRETT, SIOBHAN GORMAN and JULIAN E. BARNES
 
(FILES) CIA Director David Petraeus, seen testifying on Capitol Hill in January 2012.

WASHINGTON—Central Intelligence Agency Director David Petraeus resigned after a probe into whether someone else was using his email led to the discovery that he was having an extramarital affair, according to several people briefed on the matter.

A Federal Bureau of Investigation inquiry into use of one of Mr. Petraeus's personal email accounts led agents to believe the woman or someone close to her had accessed them, the people said.

Multiple officials familiar with the investigation identified the woman with whom Mr. Petraeus had the affair as Paula Broadwell, who wrote a biography of him called "All In: The Education of Gen. David Petraeus.'' Efforts to reach Ms. Broadwell on Friday weren't successful. A spokeswoman for her publisher didn't immediately comment.

The resignation, which surprised the nation's capital on Friday afternoon, represented an abrupt fall in the career of a man who had been one of the most celebrated military leaders of his time, a four-star general credited with turning the tide in Iraq and reversing the momentum of the Taliban in Afghanistan.

The computer-security investigation points to one reason Mr. Petraeus and the White House believed the popular official couldn't remain in the senior intelligence position: The affair raised the possibility his improper relationship could have compromised national security.

Administration officials said the White House was briefed on the affair on Wednesday, the day after the election. President Barack Obama was informed of the affair on Thursday by his staff and met with Mr. Petraeus that day. Mr. Petraeus then offered to resign.

 CIA Director David Petraeus resigned as head of the intelligence agency, saying he "showed extremely poor judgment" by engaging in an extramarital affair. Neil King has details on The News Hub. Photo: AFP/Getty Images.
."After being married for over 37 years, I showed extremely poor judgment by engaging in an extramarital affair," Mr. Petraeus said in a statement to CIA employees Friday. "Such behavior is unacceptable, both as a husband and as the leader of an organization such as ours."

Mr. Petraeus leaves the CIA at a time when it is embroiled in controversy surrounding the events of Sept. 11, 2012, when four Americans were killed in the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. After weeks of conflicting accounts of what happened that night, the CIA acknowledged that it had played a central role in gathering intelligence and providing security for the U.S. presence there.

Mr. Petraeus's wife, Holly, works at the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, as the head of its office for service-member affairs.

The leading contenders to succeed Mr. Petraeus include acting CIA Director Michael Morell and Defense intelligence chief Michael Vickers. Another option mentioned was Rep. Michael Rogers (R., Mich.), who is chairman of the House intelligence committee.

More
 Resignation letter
 Obama's statement
 Intelligence Director's statement
.A former CIA official called Mr. Morell an "odds-on favorite," adding "he would bring over three decades of experience inside the agency. He's the consummate straight shooter. He's very well liked inside the agency. He has enormous street creds on Capitol Hill. He projects an image of calm."

The computer probe began this spring, according to a person familiar with the investigation. Mr. Petraeus, however, was not interviewed by the FBI until recently.

While Mr. Petraeus was still a general, he had email exchanges with the woman, but there were no physical transgressions, the person said. The affair began only after Mr. Petraeus retired from the military in August 2011, and ended months ago, the person said.

An extramarital affair has significant implications for an official in a highly sensitive post, because it can open the official to blackmail and compromise of his security clearance.

Mr. Obama praised Mr. Petraeus on Thursday for his "extraordinary service to the United States for decades," and added: "By any measure, through his lifetime of service, David Petraeus has made our country safer and stronger."

Mr. Obama tapped Mr. Petraeus, a favorite of President George W. Bush, to serve as his top commander in Afghanistan after the abrupt resignation of Gen. Stanley McChrystal in 2010. Mr. Obama nominated him as CIA director in 2011. Messrs. Petraeus and Obama did not have the close chemistry that the president has with other top officials in his cabinet.

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #249 on: November 09, 2012, 11:07:24 PM »


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a87vzzfKb-A

and this on the woman in question:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/10/us/linked-to-petraeus-paula-broadwell-is-lifelong-high-achiever.html?_r=1&
« Last Edit: November 09, 2012, 11:44:36 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
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