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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #350 on: October 31, 2013, 07:38:15 AM »

Michael Hayden: American Intelligence and the 'High Noon' Scenario
The hardworking folks at the NSA surely must feel a little like Marshall Will Kane.
By Michael Hayden
Updated Oct. 30, 2013 7:27 p.m. ET

While I was at the CIA, I grew concerned over America's ability to keep secrets. I was so concerned that I asked the agency's civilian advisory board to address the question.

Could American espionage survive inside a broader political culture that every day demands more transparency and more public accountability from every aspect of national life?

Their answer wasn't comforting. They weren't sure.

Then I was focused on domestic transparency: What level of openness with the American people would sustain their confidence in what we were doing? I had no thought of international transparency as some sort of prerequisite, but today we find ourselves dangerously close to that prospect.

Responding to the effects of Edward Snowden's serial exposures of the National Security Agency's surveillance programs, President Obama admitted to Europeans last month that there were "questions in terms of whether we're tipping over into being too intrusive with respect to the . . . interactions of other governments." The president added that, "We are consulting with other countries in this process and finding out from them what are their areas of specific concern."

In other words, we are asking other countries what aspects of our espionage make them uncomfortable.

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto claims to have secured a commitment from a personal conversation with President Obama that "corresponding sanctions" would be applied if press accounts proved true. And now the government of German Chancellor Angela Merkel feels fully entitled to ask (and have answered) the Watergate question: "What did the president know and when did he know it?"

It is bad politics and bad policy for good friends to put their partners in politically impossible situations, and recent reports of aggressive American espionage have done just that.

It matters little that the reports may or may not be true or that foreign leaders may or may not have already suspected these activities. The issue now is that seemingly plausible accounts are in the public domain, and people are angry.

To be sure, there is some theater involved here. Public allegations of espionage require "victims" to be publicly outraged. But there also are legitimate concerns about privacy, and even theater can force reduced cooperation with the U.S. on a variety of issues.

And so the president is clearly committed to a "rebalancing." He has teed this up by reminding audiences that "just because we can do something doesn't mean we should do it," and the coming report from his "outside experts" panel, due by year's end, will give him recommendations (and political cover) for making some moves.

Fair enough. I had my share of "political guidance" while at the NSA, too. It's not new.

But the administration needs to be careful not to overachieve.

Recall in 2008 how candidate Obama was a near-obsessive user of his BlackBerry BB.T -2.17% and once elected said that, "They're going to have to pry it out of my hands," much to the alarm of his security staff.

Eventually the president kept his BlackBerry, but his email list was confined to a small group of family and friends and the device itself got some security enhancements.

Picture the backdrop of this episode. The most powerful man in the most powerful country on earth was warned that his communications were vulnerable to intercept by multiple foreign intelligence services in his own national capital. No moral offense, no political pressures, no public posturing. In fact, no attempt was made to portray this as anything other than the way things are.

Things are still that way. States conduct espionage against one another. Including us.

Going forward we need to remember how U.S. intelligence suffered a similar crisis of conscience in the 1990s when the CIA's human-intelligence (humint) collectors were told to stand down and not talk to "bad" people, a deficit from which the agency had to recover after 9/11. We can create a similar effect now if we tell signals-intelligence (sigint) collectors in the NSA that they cannot listen to any "good" people.

There is another important concern. It has to do with Gary Cooper.

In the iconic last scene of the Western "High Noon," Marshall Will Kane (Cooper) is surrounded by townsfolk crowding one another to congratulate him for killing Frank Miller and his murderous henchmen. These are the same townsfolk who a few hours earlier had not only refused to help Kane, but actually accused him of causing Miller's vengeful descent on them.

I wonder how many folks at NSA headquarters in Fort Meade, Md. (and actually throughout this country's intelligence community), might want to stream the 1952 classic; they surely must feel a little like Will Kane.

American intelligence works to meet the needs and follows the lead of American policy makers. There is actually a formal framework for national intelligence priorities agreed upon regularly at the National Security Council level.

When policy makers validate a need to better understand, say, the level of corruption in a particular state or the intentions of a friendly but balky ally, what is it they think they are asking the intelligence community to do?

And when they read a responsive, incisive report, where do they think it came from?

There's a real danger here. The American signals-intelligence community is being battered at home from extreme left and extreme right, and it's being battered from abroad for just being extremely good.

Beyond receiving new policy guidance, I fear that community will now take new blows and be conveniently labeled by some as "excessive" or "unconstrained" or "out of control."

At the end of "High Noon," Gary Cooper throws his marshall's badge into the dust, stares his way through the crowd, joins Grace Kelly in a buckboard and drives off in disgust. Let's hope something similar doesn't happen with our intelligence professionals.

Gen. Hayden was director of the Central Intelligence Agency from 2006 to 2009.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #351 on: November 01, 2013, 05:01:41 PM »


By
R. James Woolsey
Oct. 31, 2013 7:11 p.m. ET

Nearly a quarter of a century ago, the nuclear-policy strategist Albert Wohlstetter wrote in these pages a fine essay titled "The Fax Will Make You Free." In the 1980s, as he noted, the CIA, working with the AFL-CIO and restive Eastern European labor unions, put fax machines to excellent use undermining Soviet rule. That particular technology is now ancient, but Wohlstetter's bigger point remains valid: Technological innovations that vastly expand the amount of information we can transfer to one another are fundamentally revolutionary, for good or ill.

Smartphones are the new faxes and, for many all over the globe, especially the young, their phone is their source of news, their grocery store, their means of talking with (and seeing) absent friends and family, their bank, their movie theater. It is at the core of their lives and their sense of personal freedom. If the United States government wanted to collect intelligence on Germany's leadership, it could not have picked a method more likely to stir wide outrage than tapping the personal phone of a politically popular democratic leader.

And in targeting Chancellor Angela Merkel, the U.S. picked someone who grew up dodging East Germany's Stasi secret police in order to talk honestly to friends. The U.S. has not denied that the monitoring occurred in the past and some media reports say it went on for a decade. If so, we have been sitting on a powder keg for years.

Some Europeans are now being candid about their own espionage, including against the U.S. Bernard Squarcini, the head of French intelligence until last year, recently told Le Figaro that the "French Intelligence Services know full well that all countries, whether or not they are allies in the fight against terrorism, spy on each other all the time."

Many of the recent blasts of allied indignation thus ring quite false, especially since it appears that much of the National Security Agency's collection involved basic information called metadata, such as the date sent and the sender and receiver addresses, not the message content itself. Chancellor Merkel's Germany, however, has not to the best of my knowledge perpetrated the kind or degree of intelligence collection against us that some other allies inside and outside Europe have.
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kai pfaffenbach/Reuters

Some critics have waxed indignant over the possibility that the U.S. has collected intelligence on some 35 national leaders. But the intelligence business is not a competition to avoid collecting intelligence. In particular, we should be getting the lowdown on hostile regimes and the governments that deal with them. Keeping an eye on allies has always been part of the effort as well. Yet there is no doubt that the U.S. has taken a heavy blow regarding our part in this wild dance of spies—especially from the monitoring of Chancellor Merkel's phone.

The episode poses its greatest danger if it seriously damages America's ability to obtain badly needed allied intelligence and allied help in dealing with terrorism and terrorist-backing states. We are doubly at risk of losing that sort of cooperation because our allies are already wary of the U.S., having seen less American leadership in recent years on a number of important issues.

Syria is probably the most dramatic case of the U.S. not even leading from behind but rather stumbling along behind. Wavering American leadership has also led the Europeans to fear that their tough economic sanctions on Iran may be subjected to a pre-emptive weakening, now that the Obama administration is avidly pursuing talks with Tehran over its nuclear program. The Europeans also have not forgotten that in 2009 the Obama administration abandoned plans to install antiballistic-missile sites in the Czech Republic and Poland, to the deep concern of both nations and to Moscow's pure delight.

In addition to France's being a far better leader than the U.S. on Syria—they were ready to punish Bashar Assad for his chemical-weapons use, no need for a parliamentary vote of approval—the French also took charge in Mali earlier this year to combat Islamist rebels. Germany has long stood beside us in Afghanistan. In short, our allies over the past several years, almost always including Britain, have taken action that is in America's interest on more than one occasion.

But they have also rather frequently seen the U.S. make unilateral concessions to enemies and refuse to lead. And whereas those badly served by the ObamaCare website have received a presidential apology, those badly served by our weakness overseas have not. At our worst, we have suggested by our behavior that it is better to be an enemy of the United States (Assad) than a friend ( Hosni Mubarak ).

Because of this history, the U.S. must take steps to bolster a spirit of trust and cooperation with its allies. A restoration of American leadership would do much to help on that front, as it did during the Cold War, when the U.S. would show initiative and assumed, rightly, that its allies would follow. With America and its allies battling the global terror threat, no less sense of direction from Washington is needed.

But even in the absence of such leadership, the U.S. can take another step to build necessary bridges with its allies. America already is part of the decades-old "Five Eyes" pact with Britain, Australia, Canada and New Zealand, agreeing to share intelligence and not to spy on each other. The U.S. should accede to recent requests from Germany and France to join the group.

Taking such a step would not be popular in some corners of the intelligence community. But if the U.S. is already going to stand down on intelligence efforts and military capability because of the costs imposed by sequestration, world-weariness, or other reasons, then we must stop and take stock of where intelligence now fits in the nation's interests. If President Obama is not going to lead in the way that successful leaders always have, the U.S. must figure out other means of enhancing the support of major allies. For these seven nations to agree not to spy on one another is, in these circumstances, a reasonable direction to take.

Chancellor Merkel should be able to use her phone with the confidence that at least the Americans are not among those listening in.

Amb. Woolsey is the chairman of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and a venture partner with Lux Capital. He is a former director of Central Intelligence.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #352 on: November 04, 2013, 10:18:17 AM »

How to Live With Spying
'Five Eyes' shows that governments have the ability to restrain themselves.
By Holman W. Jenkins, Jr.
Nov. 1, 2013 7:13 p.m. ET

Google, Facebook and Microsoft are in a near-panic about U.S. surveillance disclosures, especially with claims this week that government agencies were reading traffic among their far-flung data centers. Yet always dubious, and becoming more so, are suggestions by analysts and trade groups that tens of billions of dollars in U.S. business interests are at risk.


If web users were going flee the cloud over security fears, they would have done so already over Russian mafia, Chinese technology thieves and malignant hacktivists, who are out to do real harm. Users may not like or trust the National Security Agency's claim that it merely is hunting terrorists. But of all the people trolling through our data, the NSA would seem most benign.

The latest revelations do nothing to change this. Despite the furor, German Chancellor Angela Merkel would have known multiple intelligence agencies were interested in her phone calls—and she used her smartphone anyway. Why wouldn't Joe Shmoe ?

In a speech six years ago, then-CIA Deputy Director Donald Kerr delivered the unwelcome verdict: Privacy is not a realistic expectation much of the time on the Web. Our world is increasingly self-regulated by this fact. Recognizing as much is the beginning of wisdom.

Mr. Kerr added, "I think all of us have to really take stock of what we already are willing to give up, in terms of anonymity, but also what safeguards we want in place to be sure that giving that doesn't empty our bank account or do something equally bad elsewhere."

The answer won't be, as some in Germany have proposed, to close off the "national" Internet and require data belonging to German users to be kept on German servers. This would only deliver a squalid, impoverished Internet that users would find unacceptable (ask those in Iran and China).

A new modus vivendi is taking shape and it probably begins with the "Five Eyes" Club, now widely known because of the Edward Snowden leaks. Five Eyes consists of the U.S, Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand—countries that claim (pretend) they don't spy on each other in order to maintain a trusting intelligence-sharing relationship.

Five Eyes has become the finest club in the world. Angela Merkel wants to join (though she might suggest France isn't quite ready). Five Eyes rewards governments precisely for recognizing, even as they go about their spying, the mutual benefit of restraint in pursuit of common interests.

Five Eyes almost certainly explains why Australia, after making conciliatory noises, last week abruptly refused to let Huawei, a Chinese contractor distrusted by U.S. intelligence, play a role in its national broadband rollout (a decision meant to encourage China to curb its own exploitative and reckless activities in the infosphere).

Five Eyes likely explains why Canada last month prohibited an Egyptian company, already part-owner of a Canadian wireless network, from acquiring a fiber backbone whose customers include government agencies.

Five Eyes is a model for governments balancing friendship and rivalry in view of a bigger picture. A telling episode, in retrospect, was Canada's little-noticed 2008 shootdown of a U.S. company's purchase of a Canadian firm that operates a high-resolution satellite in an unusual polar orbit.

Radarsat-2, as the satellite is known, is increasingly vital to observe human activity in a warming Arctic, whose resources are claimed by several countries, including the U.S. and Canada. Canada worried the U.S. would cut off its ability to observe U.S. warships in the event of a future sovereignty showdown, but its company also needed access to the U.S. space market to thrive. This dilemma the U.S. graciously helped to solve last year by waving through, with little fuss, the Canadian firm's acquisition of an important U.S. space contractor despite the countries' Arctic dispute.

In the coming world, it probably doesn't hurt that government secrets not only are unsafe from each other, but from their own people. It probably doesn't hurt either that spying is an overrated source of national advantage—otherwise East Germany today would be a superpower.

No doubt many would prefer the countryless world of the Internet to be protected by the kind of strict and enforceable laws that are possible within national boundaries. That's not in the cards anytime soon.

It may not be anybody's ideal solution, but the only solution on offer is the one illustrated by U.S.-Canada dealings over Radarsat-2—namely responsible countries restraining their own rivalries and cooperating in their common interest not to kill the golden goose of Web commerce, including the trust users have in their email and Facebook feeds.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #353 on: November 17, 2013, 07:54:12 AM »

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/17/world/europe/a-russian-gps-using-us-soil-stirs-spy-fears.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20131117&_r=0

 WASHINGTON — In the view of America’s spy services, the next potential threat from Russia may not come from a nefarious cyberweapon or secrets gleaned from the files of Edward J. Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor now in Moscow.

Instead, this menace may come in the form of a seemingly innocuous dome-topped antenna perched atop an electronics-packed building surrounded by a security fence somewhere in the United States.

In recent months, the Central Intelligence Agency and the Pentagon have been quietly waging a campaign to stop the State Department from allowing Roscosmos, the Russian space agency, to build about half a dozen of these structures, known as monitor stations, on United States soil, several American officials said.  They fear that these structures could help Russia spy on the United States and improve the precision of Russian weaponry, the officials said. These monitor stations, the Russians contend, would significantly improve the accuracy and reliability of Moscow’s version of the Global Positioning System, the American satellite network that steers guided missiles to their targets and thirsty smartphone users to the nearest Starbucks.

“They don’t want to be reliant on the American system and believe that their systems, like GPS, will spawn other industries and applications,” said a former senior official in the State Department’s Office of Space and Advanced Technology. “They feel as though they are losing a technological edge to us in an important market. Look at everything GPS has done on things like your phone and the movement of planes and ships.”

The Russian effort is part of a larger global race by several countries — including China and European Union nations — to perfect their own global positioning systems and challenge the dominance of the American GPS.

For the State Department, permitting Russia to build the stations would help mend the Obama administration’s relationship with the government of President Vladimir V. Putin, now at a nadir because of Moscow’s granting asylum to Mr. Snowden and its backing of President Bashar al-Assad of Syria.  (WHAT THE FCUK?!?!?!?!?)

But the C.I.A. and other American spy agencies, as well as the Pentagon, suspect that the monitor stations would give the Russians a foothold on American territory that would sharpen the accuracy of Moscow’s satellite-steered weapons. The stations, they believe, could also give the Russians an opening to snoop on the United States within its borders.  The squabble is serious enough that administration officials have delayed a final decision until the Russians provide more information and until the American agencies sort out their differences, State Department and White House officials said.

Russia’s efforts have also stirred concerns on Capitol Hill, where members of the intelligence and armed services committees view Moscow’s global positioning network — known as Glonass, for Global Navigation Satellite System — with deep suspicion and are demanding answers from the administration.

“I would like to understand why the United States would be interested in enabling a GPS competitor, like Russian Glonass, when the world’s reliance on GPS is a clear advantage to the United States on multiple levels,” said Representative Mike D. Rogers, Republican of Alabama, the chairman of a House Armed Services subcommittee.

Mr. Rogers last week asked the Pentagon to provide an assessment of the proposal’s impact on national security. The request was made in a letter sent to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, Secretary of State John Kerry and the director of national intelligence, James R. Clapper Jr.

The monitor stations have been a high priority of Mr. Putin for several years as a means to improve Glonass not only to benefit the Russian military and civilian sectors but also to compete globally with GPS.

Earlier this year, Russia positioned a station in Brazil, and agreements with Spain, Indonesia and Australia are expected soon, according to Russian news reports. The United States has stations around the world, but none in Russia.

================================================

 Russian and American negotiators last met on April 25 to weigh “general requirements for possible Glonass monitoring stations in U.S. territory and the scope of planned future discussions,” said a State Department spokeswoman, Marie Harf, who said no final decision had been made.

Ms. Harf and other administration officials declined to provide additional information. The C.I.A. declined to comment.

The Russian government offered few details about the program. In a statement, a spokesman for the Russian Embassy in Washington, Yevgeniy Khorishko, said that the stations were deployed “only to ensure calibration and precision of signals for the Glonass system.” Mr. Khorishko referred all questions to Roscosmos, which did not respond to a request for comment last week.

Although the Cold War is long over, the Russians do not want to rely on the American GPS infrastructure because they remain suspicious of the United States’ military capabilities, security analysts say. That is why they have insisted on pressing ahead with their own system despite the high costs.

Accepting the dominance of GPS, Russians fear, would give the United States some serious strategic advantages militarily. In Russians’ worst fears, analysts said, Americans could potentially manipulate signals and send erroneous information to Russian armed forces.

Monitor stations are essential to maintaining the accuracy of a global positioning system, according to Bradford W. Parkinson, a professor emeritus of aeronautics and astronautics at Stanford University, who was the original chief architect of GPS. As a satellite’s orbit slowly diverges from its earlier prediction, these small deviations are measured by the reference stations on the ground and sent to a central control station for updating, he said. That prediction is sent to the satellite every 12 hours for subsequent broadcast to users. Having monitor stations all around the earth yields improved accuracy over having them only in one hemisphere.

Washington and Moscow have been discussing for nearly a decade how and when to cooperate on civilian satellite-based navigation signals, particularly to ensure that the systems do not interfere with each other. Indeed, many smartphones and other consumer navigation systems sold in the United States today use data from both countries’ satellites.

In May 2012, Moscow requested that the United States allow the ground-monitoring stations on American soil. American technical and diplomatic officials have met several times to discuss the issue and have asked Russian officials for more information, said Ms. Harf, the State Department spokeswoman.  In the meantime, C.I.A. analysts reviewed the proposal and concluded in a classified report this fall that allowing the Russian monitor stations here would raise counterintelligence and other security issues.

The State Department does not think that is a strong argument, said an administration official. “It doesn’t see them as a threat.”
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G M
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« Reply #354 on: November 18, 2013, 07:03:03 AM »

Obama has more room to  maneuver after the election.
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bigdog
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« Reply #355 on: November 22, 2013, 04:57:47 AM »

http://www.brookings.edu/events/2013/11/20-new-model-defense-intelligence
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #356 on: November 25, 2013, 10:32:51 AM »

Continuing with our consideration of both sides of this issue

Snowden and His Fellow Fantasists
Declassified NSA documents disprove his claim that he could legally wiretap anyone.
By
L. Gordon Crovitz
Nov. 24, 2013 6:52 p.m. ET

Edward Snowden thought he was exposing the National Security Agency's lawless spying on Americans. But the more information emerges about how the NSA conducts surveillance, the clearer it becomes that this is an agency obsessed with complying with the complex rules limiting its authority. Contrary to the fantasies of Mr. Snowden and other critics, the NSA may be dangerously risk-averse.

Last week the NSA responded to demands for disclosure by declassifying a 2,000-page trove of documents, including reports to Congress and internal training materials. They portray an agency acting under the watchful eye of hundreds of lawyers and compliance officers.

These documents disprove one of Mr. Snowden's central claims: "I, sitting at my desk, certainly had the authority to wiretap anyone, from you or your accountant, to a federal judge, to even the president if I had a personal email," he told the Guardian, a British newspaper.

Hardly. A 131-page PowerPoint deck, used to train NSA officers, details constitutional and regulatory limits on the agency. It emphasizes that warrants are required to access emails or calls involving Americans. One slide warns: "Under NO circumstances may the substantive content of communications be received."

A 52-page directive issued in 2011, "Legal Compliance and U.S. Persons Minimization Procedures," outlines how to avoid emails or phone calls involving Americans. Another training slide warns: "No matter how inconvenient the rules may seem, if we fail to adhere to them, the next set of rules will be far stricter."
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Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

The NSA also released the legal arguments the Justice Department used in 2006 to justify collection of phone metadata—the telephone number of the calling and called parties and the date, time and duration of the call.

The legal brief explained that the collection of metadata solves "the following fundamental problem: Although investigators do not know exactly where the terrorists' communications are hiding in the billions of telephone calls flowing through the U.S. today, we do know that they are there, and if we archive the data now, we will be able to use it in a targeted way to find the terrorists tomorrow."

Metadata collection is about connecting the dots linking potential terrorist accomplices. The Clinton administration created barriers to the use of metadata, which the 9/11 Commission concluded let the terrorists avoid detection. Since then, metadata has helped stop dozens of plots, including an Islamist plan to blow up the New York Stock Exchange in 2008.

The Supreme Court this month refused to hear a legal challenge to the collection of phone logs. In 1979, the court held that there is no legitimate expectation of privacy in records of phone calls (as opposed to the calls themselves). The declassified brief from 2006 made clear that such metadata "would never even be seen by any human being unless a terrorist connection were first established," estimating that "0.000025% or one in four million" of the call records "actually would be seen by a trained analyst."

To get approval for a query to test connections among phone numbers, analysts must get approval from one of seven top NSA officials. Listening to the content of calls requires a warrant from a judge.

These privacy protections are poorly understood. Stanford security expert Amy Zegart, who conducted a recent opinion poll, reported on the Lawfare blog that "39% of respondents still erroneously believe (after consistently hearing otherwise from intelligence officials) that the NSA's bulk telephone 'metadata' program includes call content." The only cases so far of NSA officers intentionally violating the rules—other than Edward Snowden—were a dozen cases of agency staff spying on their love interests.

The disclosures by the NSA may begin to set the record straight, but the truth must overcome months of disinformation. Last week, veteran investigative reporter Bob Woodward told Larry King he wished Mr. Snowden "had come to me instead of others, particularly the Guardian" with the documents he took. Mr. Woodward said he would have tried to "sort it out and present it in a coherent way." Instead, "people are confused about whether it's illegal, whether it's bad," Mr. Woodward said, adding, "I certainly wouldn't call him a hero."

This month, new FBI head James Comey told a congressional hearing that the NSA is "obsessed with compliance." Matthew Olsen, director of the National Counterterrorism Center, recently worried at a Georgetown Law conference that "some of the operators may be reluctant to go up the line and take full advantage of the legal authorities we have" due to the "controversies now swirling."

Before the Snowden leaks put the NSA on the defensive, the agency was making the case for more power to gather anonymous data to identify terrorists. That's the debate we should be having.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #357 on: December 13, 2013, 08:45:40 AM »

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/missing-american-iran-was-working-cia-0
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G M
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« Reply #358 on: December 13, 2013, 09:16:34 AM »


Now he's really fcuked. Too bad they couldn't hide that info the same place as Obama's college transcripts and Ambassador Stevens' autopsy report.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #359 on: December 17, 2013, 10:59:15 AM »

WSJ
Disarming Surveillance
Obama's NSA review panel has some dangerous proposals.
Dec. 16, 2013 7:21 p.m. ET

'Gentlemen do not read each others' mail." That was Secretary of State Henry Stimson's immortal logic for closing the Cipher Bureau in 1929 and depriving the U.S. of the capacity to read foreign diplomatic cables as world-wide threats grew. The danger now is that President Obama, Congress or both will shift to a comparably blinkered strategy on antiterror surveillance—and for no better reason than Stimson's.
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Amid the deluge of Edward Snowden intelligence disclosures, Mr. Obama appointed a five-member panel to review the National Security Agency's methods and the balance between security and privacy. The panel recently sent a draft report to the White House, and a version is expected to be made public next month.

But the word on Capitol Hill is that the scope and radicalism of the recommendations stunned even this White House, not least because the task force was stacked with Obama loyalists. If the details are anything like the leaks, then the panel is advising the government to seriously degrade U.S. counterterror defenses and shut down several valuable surveillance assets in a dangerous world.

• Bulk metadata collection. One of the worst proposals would effectively cripple the NSA's ability to collect, store and analyze telephony records, or the time, duration and originating and terminating numbers for phone calls. This program was authorized by Section 215 of the Patriot Act and collects a vast amount of information, even if the database is only searched narrowly on the basis of specific facts as approved by judges on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, or FISC. The minimization procedures are strict enough that the NSA only used the 215 program to make 300 queries in 2012.


The panel would prohibit the NSA from collecting metadata and instead require telecom providers to retain their own records for the phone calls placed on their networks. The NSA would need to make Section 215 requests individually to each carrier.

The problem is that metadata is only useful if it is pooled, formatted and organized so it can be searched quickly and accurately. Intelligence is not an on-demand technology but an ongoing, painstaking process in preparation for questions that no one can know until U.S. spooks need immediate answers.

Say the CIA station chief in Yemen acquires a phone number and wants to know who the target was calling in the U.S. The FISC would still likely approve the query. But instead of keeping the data in one place under a collection-first policy, the NSA would need to turn to the telecom companies one by one, including foreign companies that operate inside the U.S.

The NSA would then need to aggregate the links to the original number from scratch, potentially missing the "hops" when a person of interest receiving a call dials someone else. This is a great way to overlook a terror cell inside the U.S.

Any potential risks to privacy are the same, so there's no extra protection against abuse. Personal information may be even less secure if not housed at the data farms NSA built specifically for that purpose. The delays and intentional inefficiencies, however, will make metadata far less effective in practice.

• Foreign-to-foreign intercepts. The panel attempts to quell the European uproar over purely foreign surveillance by the U.S. by suggesting some kind of agreed-upon code of conduct among allied intelligence agencies. The target here is the President's core constitutional power for warrantless overseas wiretapping, also authorized by Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

Put aside the hypocrisy of the foreign leaders who have looser limits on domestic surveillance than the U.S. complaining about spying when they also spy on the U.S. The U.S. has good reasons to surveil even close allies whose interests are never perfectly in sync with ours. The European Union is now threatening to blow up the Swift antiterror finance program, while the 9/11 plot was hatched in Hamburg.

Any kind of agreement on universal sharing or international information norms that are meant to exempt countries from U.S. surveillance and scale back overseas collection makes the NSA more dependent on its European counterparts. Their mistake becomes our dirty bomb explosion. Any binding enforcement mechanisms short of a treaty approved by the Senate is unconstitutional, and in any case subjecting U.S. spycraft to foreign approval is preposterous for a nation serious about defending itself.

• A more adversarial FISC process. The FISC judges are not now operating as a judiciary but instead fill a quasi-legal management role over NSA. This dilutes accountability for the political branches, but the Obama panel wants to go further and appoint a public advocate whose job is to argue against the NSA as in a public lawsuit.

This roving ACLU corps would second-guess the agency and presumably urge the judges to reject or limit NSA requests. But as we have learned from the Snowden dossier and the documents the NSA has declassified in response, the FISC already sees its role less an a neutral arbiter and more as an opponent of the government. The court is now disclosing how many times it forces the NSA to charge its orders or procedures, as if that reveals anything of substance. Introducing another layer of opposition inevitably means fewer approvals and even less accountability.
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Speaking of which, the Director of National Intelligence post currently filled by James Clapper was designed post-9/11 to integrate the intelligence silos and focus national security responsibilities in the White House. He is a Presidential appointee. But now a senior Administration official tells the New York Times NYT +0.43% without attribution that the panel report means "We're not leaving it to Jim Clapper anymore." If so, Mr. Clapper should be fired for not being up to the job.

Mr. Obama seems to view the NSA as some independent operation running on autopilot, but the programs that keep the country safe are his responsibility. In that sense his panel choices were a fiasco waiting to happen. Task force member Cass Sunstein is a noted economist but the Harvard professor is hardly an expert in technology or intelligence law. University of Chicago law professor Geoffrey Stone was a prominent critic of antiterror surveillance during the George W. Bush years.

The report lands at a bad political moment, with tea party Republicans and anti-antiterror Democrats smelling opportunity and sociopaths with stolen documents campaigning to harm U.S. national security. Federal Judge Richard Leon ruled Monday that phone metadata collection is unconstitutional, part of a larger post-Snowden legal assault.

Now Mr. Obama's own commission wants to introduce more obstacles to the surveillance that is America's main remaining advantage over terror networks. If Mr. Obama won't toss the report, grownups in Congress should do it for him.
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« Reply #360 on: December 18, 2013, 06:49:39 AM »

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/18/us/politics/senators-ask-to-see-internal-cia-review-of-interrogation-program.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20131218&_r=0
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« Reply #361 on: December 19, 2013, 03:20:57 PM »

http://benswann.com/nsa-spying-was-never-about-terrorism-it-is-about-economic-spying/

What do we make of this?

That everyone does it and best that we do it best, or , , , ?
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« Reply #362 on: December 23, 2013, 05:35:21 PM »

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/12/fbi-copyrighted-interrogation-manual-unredacted-secrets
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« Reply #363 on: December 30, 2013, 07:22:30 AM »

http://thehill.com/blogs/hillicon-valley/technology/194098-hayden-nsa-infinitely-weaker

http://thehill.com/blogs/defcon-hill/operations/194104-top-secret-nsa-hacking-teams-exposed
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« Reply #364 on: January 16, 2014, 08:36:10 AM »

reliability of site unknown:

http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2014/01/us-defense-contractor-arrested-after-caught-smuggling-us-fighter-jet-plans-to-iran/
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« Reply #365 on: January 17, 2014, 10:48:30 PM »

Krauthammer gave it an "A-"  shocked
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« Reply #366 on: January 20, 2014, 01:25:25 PM »

http://20committee.com/2014/01/20/how-snowden-empowered-russian-intelligence/
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« Reply #367 on: January 20, 2014, 01:40:02 PM »


So why is Buraq sitting on this?
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« Reply #368 on: January 30, 2014, 05:05:26 PM »



http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303519404579353173552039730?mod=WSJ_hp_RightTopStories
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« Reply #369 on: February 05, 2014, 07:55:11 PM »

http://freebeacon.com/report-4-in-10-government-security-breaches-go-undetected/

Yet rep King asks who can show one shred of proof of NSA abuse.  Then I asked oh really?  How would any average person know?  How could any average person do anything about it?

Even the government doesn't even know when they are hacked.  So how the hell would we know?

And we have the FBI telling us the mafia is broken.  What a laugh.  Organized crime is bigger and more invisible then ever.

Until this country wakes up and realizes the terrorism is not just clowns with bombs (including you google facebook and the rest) then we are all screwed.
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« Reply #370 on: February 09, 2014, 07:57:48 AM »

Feb. 7, 2014 6:37 p.m. ET


Edward Snowden, call your minder. Russia's secret services are intercepting telephone conversations of American diplomats and putting the juiciest bits on the Internet. Surely the best-known privacy advocate in Moscow will protest.

Meantime, the F-bomb heard 'round the world has added a spy thriller subplot to the geopolitical standoff over Ukraine. A recording of two senior U.S. officials discussing the latest twists in Kiev was posted online late this week and went viral. Whoever did this wanted to embarrass the U.S. and the democratic opposition in Kiev and provoke tensions with Europe. The operation has instead exposed a case of American leadership abroad and underscored how desperate Russia is to keep Ukraine a loyal, authoritarian satellite.



In a four-minute call on January 25, Geoffrey Pyatt, the U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, and Victoria Nuland, the assistant secretary of state for Europe, talked through options for the "Maidan" movement, named after a square occupied by anti-government protestors in central Kiev. President Viktor Yanukovych, who brought on this trouble last year by dropping plans to integrate Ukraine with the EU, had just offered several opposition leaders government posts. At one point, discussing a mediation role for the U.N. and Europe, Ms. Nuland blurts out, "[Blank] the EU!"

Our first takeaway is that it's good to see American diplomats fully engaged in their jobs. Mr. Pyatt has been a trusted mediator for both sides. Ms. Nuland, an old Europe hand, has made repeated visits to Kiev to try to resolve the most serious European security crisis in years. And the U.S. is hardly a puppet master in control of events. Even as the American duo earnestly considered the Yanukovych deal, the Ukrainian opposition saw a trap and without hesitation rejected it.

As for Ms. Nuland's frustration with EU foot-dragging on Ukraine, who hasn't had the same thought? Moscow's independent radio station Ekho Moskvy reported from Kiev Friday on the large number of Ukrainians who shared her view and cheered her honesty. Many EU diplomats are also upset by the unwieldy 28-member bloc's inability to rise to the occasion in its backyard. Ms. Nuland apologized for her sailor's tongue, but it's laughable to call it a scandal, or even a gaffe.

The hacker fingerprints point straight to Moscow. The YouTube video was posted on Wednesday by a user identified as "Marionetki Maidana" (Puppets of the Maidan) with subtitles in Russian. The next day, a Kremlin official was one of the first to tweet a link to the video. The story then ran on the Kremlin's propaganda cable channel, Russia Today, and spread from there. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki called the recording "a new low in Russian tradecraft," which shows she needs a longer memory. But clearly KGB Colonel Vladimir Putin won't give up Ukraine without a fight.

Here's an idea. Why doesn't Glenn Greenwald, who broadcast the Snowden trove of stolen NSA secrets, reunite with his old partner in Moscow to stage an intervention at the Kremlin. Or are lectures on the evils of phone surveillance and spying only for free and open societies?
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« Reply #371 on: February 25, 2014, 07:41:12 AM »

https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/02/24/jtrig-manipulation/
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« Reply #372 on: February 26, 2014, 01:23:41 PM »

NSA watchdog: Snowden should have come to me
Politico
Darren Samuelsohn
25 February 2014

The National Security Agency’s top watchdog slammed Edward Snowden on Tuesday for failing to follow official protocol in relaying his concerns about wayward intelligence gathering and also faulted Congress for not vetting the details of post-9/11 surveillance programs.

“Snowden could have come to me,” George Ellard, the NSA’s inspector general, said during a panel discussion hosted by the Georgetown University Law Center.

Ellard, making his first public comments in seven years working for NSA, insisted that Snowden would have been given the same protections available to other employees who file approximately 1,000 complaints per year on the agency’s hotline system.

“We have surprising success in resolving the complaints that are brought to us,” he said.

In Snowden’s case, Ellard said a complaint would have prompted an independent assessment into the constitutionality of the law that allows for the bulk collection of Americans’ telephone metadata. But that review, he added, would have also shown the NSA was within the scope of the law.

“Perhaps it’s the case that we could have shown, we could have explained to Mr. Snowden his misperceptions, his lack of understanding of what we do,” Ellard said.

And if Snowden wasn’t satisfied, Ellard said the NSA would have then allowed him to speak to the House and Senate intelligence committees.

”Given the reaction, I think somewhat feigned, of some members of that committee, he’d have found a welcoming audience,” Ellard said in a reference to outspoken NSA critics on the panel, including Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Mark Udall (D-Colo.).

“Whether in the end he’d have been satisfied, I don’t know,” Ellard added. “But allowing people who have taken an oath to protect the constitution, to protect these national security interest, simply to violate or break that oath, is unacceptable.”

The NSA inspector general is the latest high-ranking U.S. national security official to publicly condemn Snowden, the former contractor granted asylum last summer by Russia after stealing what the NSA estimates are upwards of 1.5 million classified documents and leaking them to select journalists.

While also criticizing Snowden, President Barack Obama has said the disclosures have prompted a necessary debate between protecting national security and safeguarding their privacy. Ellard said he too welcomed that debate, but argued that Snowden’s moves were “the wrong way to do it” because the stolen documents also gave America’s enemies a blueprint for how the country tries to safeguard against terrorist attacks.

“The losses…were not the result of some wacko bureaucrat wanting to classify everything and anything,” he said. “If I were to be able to speak more specifically about these particular documents I think you’d agree with me [that] yes, there’s absolutely good reason that they should be classified at the highest levels.”

Ellard praised Congress for conducing extensive oversight — he has four staffers assigned over the next year to review the legality of several programs in response to a query from the Senate Judiciary Committee — but he also complained that lawmakers hadn’t done their homework either.

Here, he cited a recently declassified opinion from the federal court that oversees NSA programs where Judge Claire Eagan highlighted the role that lawmakers could have played in attending top-secret briefings on the bulk collection program.

”Now that should have led to some sort of discussion,” Ellard said. “The fact that it did not is certainly not the blame of the intelligence community.”

David Cole, a Georgetown law professor speaking on the same panel as Ellard, pushed back at the NSA official’s explanation that Snowden could have followed the official channels to raise his concerns. That review, he said, wouldn’t have gotten him anywhere and the public debate would never have started.

“I think it was appropriate in telling the American public and no one else had done it,” Cole said. “George [Ellard] hadn’t done it despite his independent constitutional reviews. The courts hadn’t done it despite their independent reviews. The executive branch hadn’t done it. Congress hadn’t done it. Somebody has to do it.

Cole said there’s no dispute that Snowden’s moves were illegal, but he added, “There couldn’t have been a debate without a leak.”
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« Reply #373 on: April 01, 2014, 10:43:50 AM »

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/02/world/middleeast/jonathan-pollard.html?hp&_r=1   huh huh
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« Reply #374 on: April 01, 2014, 04:25:25 PM »


Could also be posted under the death of the rule of law. Lurch/Buraq want a peace deal at any cost, not that it will happen. Pollard deserves to rot in prison.
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« Reply #375 on: April 01, 2014, 08:35:33 PM »

If I got this right, Bret Baier Special Report reported today that Pollard OPPOSES the deal because the Israelis will have to release so many psycho killers.

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« Reply #376 on: April 05, 2014, 08:22:25 PM »

http://www.npr.org/blogs/parallels/2014/04/02/297839429/-so-you-think-youre-smarter-than-a-cia-agent?utm_campaign=storyshare&utm_source=share&utm_medium=twitter
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« Reply #377 on: April 15, 2014, 08:11:03 AM »

The FBI Could Have Stopped the Boston Bombing

Posted By Robert Spencer On April 15, 2014

To order Robert Spencer’s just-released new book, Arab Winter Comes to America: The Truth About the War We’re In, Click Here.

With the first anniversary of the Boston Marathon jihad bombings approaching, the New York Times made yet another attempt to exonerate the Obama Administration of responsibility for one of its manifest failures, claiming that an inspector general’s report on the bombings was an “exoneration of the F.B.I.,” as it showed that “the Russian government declined to provide the F.B.I. with information about one of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects that would most likely have led to more extensive scrutiny of him at least two years before the attack.”

See? The bombing was all the fault of that scoundrel Putin. It had nothing to do with the FBI, because of fecklessness and political correctness, failing to act properly on information the Russians gave them.

Full disclosure: I used to give FBI agents and other law enforcement and military personnel training on the teachings of Islam about jihad warfare against and subjugation of non-Muslims, so that they would understand the motives and goals of those who have vowed to destroy the United States as a free society, and be better equipped to counter them. I provided this training free of charge, out of a sense of patriotic duty, and it was well received: I received certificates of appreciation from the United States Central Command and the Army’s Asymmetric Warfare Group.

But as I explain in detail in my book Arab Winter Comes to America, all that ended on October 19, 2011, when Islamic supremacist advocacy groups, many with ties to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, demanded that FBI counter-terror trainers (including me) and training materials that referred to Islam and jihad in connection with terrorism be discarded, and agents educated by them be retrained. John Brennan, then the U.S. Homeland Security Advisor and now the director of the CIA, readily agreed in a response that was written on White House stationery – thereby emphasizing how seriously the Obama Administration took this demand.

Subsequently, as I detail in the book, politically correct willful ignorance then took hold in our intelligence and law enforcement agencies – to the extent that after the Boston Marathon bombing, then-FBI director Robert Mueller admitted that the bureau had not investigated the Islamic Society of Boston, where the Tsarnaev brothers attended mosque, and had not even visited it except as part of an “outreach” program – despite the fact that it was founded by Abdurrahman Alamoudi, who is currently in prison for financing al Qaeda, and was attended by convicted jihad terrorists such as Tarek Mehanna and Aafia Siddiqui.

Accordingly, the FBI was harshly criticized for not doing all it could to prevent the Boston bombing, and that criticism was bipartisan, coming not only from Texas Republican Representative Louie Gohmert, but from Massachusetts Democrat Representative William Keating and South Carolina RINO Senator Lindsey Graham. And the inspector general’s new report shows how justified that criticism was. According to the Times, the Russians told the feds that Tamerlan Tsarnaev “was a follower of radical Islam and a strong believer” and that he “had changed drastically since 2010 as he prepared to leave the United States for travel to the country’s region to join unspecified underground groups.”

Those “underground groups” could in this context only have been a reference to jihad groups. And so that means that the Russians essentially told the FBI that Tamerlan Tsarnaev was a jihadi. Why wasn’t that enough for the FBI to keep him under close surveillance? It has now become clear that Tsarnaev murdered three Jews – his former friends – on September 11, 2011, the tenth anniversary of the day that jihad came most bloodily to the United States. The victims’ friendship with Tsarnaev was known to many – why didn’t those murders, even if law enforcement officials couldn’t charge him with them at the time, lead the FBI to think it might be worth watching him?

The Times says that the FBI didn’t pursue watching him and his brother because they hadn’t “found anything substantive that ties them to a terrorist group.” The possibility that they could have pulled off a lone wolf jihad attack apparently didn’t occur to these intel experts. And because of the Obama/Brennan scrubbing of counter-terror training materials of information about Islam and jihad, agents probably had no idea of the deep roots or virulence of Islamic anti-Semitism, so they had no idea of the implications of Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s close acquaintance with the 9/11/11 murder victims, despite the fact that the Russians had told them he was a “radical.”

The FBI clearly failed in this case and bears some responsibility for the Boston bombing, but ultimately the responsibility lies with Barack Obama and John Brennan, who made sure that agents would be abysmally ignorant of Islam and jihad when they scrubbed all mention of both from counterterror training — so how could the FBI properly evaluate what the Russians told them?

The FBI’s failure wasn’t the Russians’ fault. It was the fault of the Obama Administration’s politically correct unwillingness to face the nature and magnitude of the jihad threat. Meanwhile, the media stigmatizing of all resistance to jihad terror and Islamic supremacism as “Islamophobia” only abets this willful ignorance, and leaves us all less safe. The one lesson that is clear one year after the Boston Marathon jihad bombing is that, unless there is a massive change of thinking at the highest levels of government and media, there will be many more such bombings.
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« Reply #378 on: April 22, 2014, 07:26:25 PM »

New Israeli Satellite Eyes Iran Nuke Program, Terrorist Arms Smuggling
by Yaakov Lappin
Special to IPT News
April 22, 2014
http://www.investigativeproject.org/4357/new-israeli-satellite-eyes-iran-nuke-program

 
An advanced satellite with radar sensors Israel launched into space earlier this month which is expected to enhance surveillance of the two greatest threats to Israeli and international security: Iran's nuclear program, and the extensive Iranian terrorist arms smuggling network.

The SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar) satellite, called Ofek (Horizon) 10, creates high definition, radar-generated images, that look as if they've been taken by an optical camera. As it circles the Earth every 90 minutes, it can hover over several targets, peering through all weather conditions to beam back data to Israel's Military Intelligence Directorate.

Once it becomes fully operational, it will assist Israeli efforts to catch any Iranian nuclear transgressions. This development comes as defense officials in Jerusalem continue to warily follow diplomatic negotiations between an Islamic Republic that has reached nuclear breakout status, and an international community that may, according to Israeli fears, lack the resolve to force Iran back from its nuclear advances.

The Ofek 10 spy satellite soared into orbit on board a Shavit (comet) rocket, produced by Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI). The latest launch, which was overseen by the Israeli Defense Ministry's Space Administration, means that Israeli intelligence can now fall back on several spy satellites to create one rolling evaluation of targets of interest, Amnon Harari, who heads the Space Administration, said this month.

Israel designed the satellite to be able to maneuver easily over multiple targets, meaning that Military Intelligence operators can direct the radars not only at nuclear sites in Iran, but also at ongoing Iranian efforts to smuggle powerful weapons, including missiles and long-range rockets, to terrorist proxies such as Hizballah in Lebanon and Islamic Jihad in Gaza.

Israel's intelligence agencies divide their time between watching the Iranian nuclear program and working to disrupt the arms smuggling network, in a covert campaign that sees frequent, yet classified, successes.

The nuclear program and the arms-to-terrorists program are interlinked threats. The former, if completed, would enable Iran to threaten Israel and Sunni states with mass destruction, and the latter already enables pro-Iranian terror groups to do Tehran's regional bidding and sow radicalism and instability. If Iran went nuclear, its terrorist arms program could serve as a potential delivery mechanism for a dirty bomb that could be deployed anywhere in the world.

As a result, Israel is heavily investing in upgrading intelligence capabilities.

Ofer Doron, who heads the IAI's Mabat Division, which develops space systems, said the new satellite has "an incredible ability to take photographs, and it is very small." The Ofek 10 can provide very precise, high quality images under all conditions, he added.

Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon alluded to the satellite's future role against Iran's conventional and unconventional proliferation activities when he stated that it would enhance Israeli capabilities to deal with threats "near and far, at any time of the day, and in all types of weather."

"This is how we continue to consolidate our enormous qualitative and technological edge over our neighbors," Ya'alon said.

Although Israeli officials have decreased the number of public statements expressing concern over the Iranian nuclear program, the issue remains at the top of the national security ladder in the eyes of the military and government, and considerable resources are being invested quietly to cope with the program.

Those efforts include ongoing refinements to a military strike option in the event that Iran is caught making a secret effort to break out to the weaponization stage.
The Iranian arms network represents the largest known program of state sponsorship of terrorism. It reaches far beyond Gaza and Lebanon, and includes Shi'ite militias and pro-Iranian terror groups in Syria, Iraq, Bahrain, Yemen, Sudan, Libya, Pakistan, the Far East, Afghanistan, and even Latin America, according to Israeli intelligence assessments.

Iran is also facilitating the arrival of thousands of Shi'ite foreign fighters into Syria, to fight on behalf of the Assad regime. Many of these militiamen may go on to form Quds Force cells when they return to their countries of origin, according to a report released in March by the Tel Aviv-based Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center.

Yaakov Lappin is the Jerusalem Post's military and national security affairs correspondent, and author of The Virtual Caliphate (Potomac Books), which proposes that jihadis on the internet have established a virtual Islamist state.
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« Reply #379 on: May 05, 2014, 11:28:39 AM »

Note some interesting references to ammo herein that may be relevant to civilian ammo shortage:
=================

Arms Cache Most Likely Kept in Texas by the C.I.A.

By CHARLIE SAVAGEMAY 4, 2014


WASHINGTON — In passing references scattered through once-classified documents and cryptic public comments by former intelligence officials, it is referred to as “Midwest Depot,” but the bland code name belies the role it has played in some of the C.I.A.’s most storied operations.

From the facility, located somewhere in the United States, the C.I.A. has stockpiled and distributed untraceable weapons linked to preparations for the Bay of Pigs invasion and the arming of rebels and resistance fighters from Angola to Nicaragua to Afghanistan.

Yet despite hints that “Midwest” was not actually where it was located, the secrecy surrounding the C.I.A. armory has survived generations of investigations. In a 2007 essay on the 20th anniversary of the Iran-contra affair, for example, a congressional investigator noted that the facility where the C.I.A. had handled missiles bound for Iran remained classified even as other “incredible things were unveiled during the hearings.”

But three years ago, it became public that the C.I.A. had some kind of secret location at Camp Stanley, an Army weapons depot just north of San Antonio and the former Kelly Air Force Base, though its purpose was unclear. And now, a retired C.I.A. analyst, Allen Thomson, has assembled a mosaic of documentation suggesting that it is most likely the home of Midwest Depot.

In December, he quietly posted his research, which he has updated several times with additional clues, on the website of the Federation of American Scientists. In an email exchange, Mr. Thomson argued that the Midwest Depot’s history should be scrutinized.

“I have worried about the extent to which the U.S. has spread small arms around over the decades to various parties it supported,” he said. “Such weapons are pretty durable and, after the cause du jour passed, where did they go? To be a little dramatic about it, how many of those AK-47s and RPG-7s we see Islamists waving around today passed through the Midwest Depot on their way to freedom fighters in past decades?”

Spokesmen for the Pentagon and the C.I.A. declined to comment. A public affairs officer for Camp Stanley said its mission was to be a weapons storage and testing facility for the military.

There is no outward indication of what would be one of the C.I.A.’s three known facilities in the United States, along with its headquarters in Langley, Va., and Camp Peary, a military base near Williamsburg, Va., known by its code name, “The Farm,” that is believed to be used for training. Camp Stanley has a low-key gated entrance, and a few nondescript warehouses are visible from its perimeter fence. Rows of bunkers are nestled deeper into the base, according to satellite images.

The mayor of the nearby town of Boerne, Tex., Mike Schultz, said he knew nothing of any C.I.A. presence at Camp Stanley. Henry Cisneros, a former mayor of San Antonio who served as secretary of Housing and Urban Development, also said he had never heard speculation about a C.I.A. role there.

The existence of a C.I.A. facility at Camp Stanley first surfaced in 2011 because of lawsuits brought by Kevin Shipp, a C.I.A. official who had lived with his family in a government-owned house there a decade earlier. His family grew severely ill from exposure to a toxin, possibly from mold in the house, though the base is environmentally contaminated. Their possessions were destroyed.

Mr. Shipp filed a lawsuit against the C.I.A., but the Justice Department invoked the state-secrets privilege to block it, warning against disclosing to a consultant his identity or any connection between his employer and the location. The New York Times identified Camp Stanley as the C.I.A. site in 2011 based on the court records from a related insurance lawsuit.

Mr. Shipp also wrote a memoir, but a C.I.A. pre-publication review board blacked out large parts about his family’s experiences. His son, Joel Shipp, noting that he signed no confidentiality agreement, said he was writing his own memoir and wanted to sell the movie rights. He said he still suffered health problems from his teenage years, confirming that the C.I.A. had sent his family to Camp Stanley, which he called “a secret base which had been used for illegal arms running and chemical weapons storage.”

The 2011 Times article caught the eye of Mr. Thomson, who worked for the C.I.A. from 1972 to 1985 and now lives in San Antonio. He searched through declassified documents and old articles, accumulating clues.

Several of the documents he found traced Midwest Depot’s role without identifying its location, including a 1967 C.I.A. memo linking it to paramilitary training of Cuban exiles before the 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion, and a 1987 State Department memo showing that equipment bound for the Nicaraguan contras passed through it.

The Times separately identified a 1963 C.I.A. memo discussing 300 tons of C-4 plastic explosives that were available in the “Midwest Depot stocks.” There were no restrictions on its use “because the items have world-wide distribution and are consequently deniable.”

In a 2009 interview, a former C.I.A. logistics officer said AK-47 rifles sent to the Northern Alliance after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks came from the C.I.A.’s Midwest Depot stockpiles. Arms funneled to anti-Marxist fighters in the Angolan civil war in the 1970s did, too, another former C.I.A. official said this month, while emphasizing that he was never told its location.

But Mr. Thomson, who said he had not been read into classified information about Midwest Depot’s location when he worked at the C.I.A., identified a series of references in old news accounts, books and interviews placing a covert weapons depot near San Antonio.

And he found an explicit reference in a 1986 memo by Col. Oliver North, a chief figure in the Iran-contra affair. It said the C.I.A. would truck missiles bound for Iran from a military arsenal “to Midwest Depot, Texas,” for preparation, then fly them out of Kelly Air Force Base. Connecting Midwest Depot to yet another historical episode, it added that some missiles would go to “Afghan resistance” fighters battling the Soviets.

Camp Stanley has recently undergone a building boom of new warehouses. A March 2010 solicitation for environmental cleanup emphasized that workers needed security clearances. “The installation stores large quantities of arms and ammunition and has sensitive missions, thus access to the installation and security clearance requirements for long-term personnel are much more restrictive than most military installations,” it said.

Just last July, according to another document Mr. Thomson spotted, the Army sought to purchase two million rounds of ammunition of the caliber that fits AK-47 rifles, which American soldiers do not use. The delivery address: Camp Stanley.
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« Reply #380 on: May 05, 2014, 11:44:16 AM »

I doubt overt or covert ammo purchases by the USG is the cause of the now mostly resolved ammo shortage.
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« Reply #381 on: May 26, 2014, 09:05:57 AM »



http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/white-house-mistakenly-identifies-cia-chief-in-afghanistan/2014/05/25/ac8e80cc-e444-11e3-8f90-73e071f3d637_story.html
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« Reply #382 on: May 26, 2014, 09:21:22 AM »


At least this administration is equally competent in everything it does.
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« Reply #383 on: June 28, 2014, 08:35:17 AM »



European Reports Show NSA's Successes
by Abigail R. Esman
Special to IPT News
June 24, 2014
http://www.investigativeproject.org/4437/european-reports-show-nsa-successes

 
Few events in recent years have sparked the kind of global outrage that accompanied Edward Snowden's revelations, through documents stolen from the National Security Agency, that the organization had been spying on millions of private citizens around the world. Political leaders immediately demanded explanations. Pundits argued the wisdom and constitutionality of tracking private phone calls and e-mails. Government committees were organized, editorials scrawled, fury unleashed, investigations demanded. And all the while, President Obama and the NSA jointly insisted that the program had saved countless lives, preventing numerous terrorist attacks in America, Europe, and the entire Middle East-North Africa region.

Now the results of some of those investigations are in. The findings: Washington was right all along. NSA programs in Europe – and specifically its PRISM project – have now been confirmed to have stayed dozens of terror attacks across the continent, and helped America kill suspected terrorists abroad. Indeed, a report published last month by the Dutch agency responsible for overseeing Dutch intelligence states clearly that "thanks to PRISM, 26 attacks (in Europe, including one in the Netherlands), were neutralized."

Details have not been released.

And a report from Germany's Der Spiegel shows that US/German cooperation on the PRISM program prevented attacks on German soil, as well.

All this comes just as Europol has released its terrorism findings for 2013. According to that report, "the majority of EU Member States continue to consider religiously inspired terrorism as a major threat," as evidenced by "two attacks and several disrupted plots in 2013 and an increase in arrests for religiously inspired terrorism from 159 in 2012 to 216 in 2013." (Total terror-related arrests for 2013 was 535, 143 of which involved religiously inspired terrorists in France alone.) It is worth noting that the number of religious-inspired arrests in 2013 Europe-wide was nearly double the number in 2009.

Nonetheless, European criticism of PRISM has been vehement since the Guardian first published the stolen documents, which Snowden provided to blogger-cum-journalist Glenn Greenwald, then a freelancer for the British daily. German Chancellor Angela Merkel allegedly compared American intelligence to the Stasi. As recently as two weeks ago, Belgium threatened to sue the USA for spying.

Now it appears Europe's own intelligence agencies not only were aware of the program (despite their initial denials), but fully cooperated with it. A document from the Dutch Parliament, for instance, stated that the "1.8 million metadata records were collected by Dutch agencies AIVD and MIVD in their efforts to combat terrorism and foreign military operations."

Belgian officials – the same officials, in fact, who now feign shock and indignation – also admit that not only did they work with the NSA, but that the NSA provided them with information that allowed them to prevent three terror attacks. Without the NSA's help, they said, they never could have done it.

Similarly, France – the country that seems, based on Europol's records, to have benefitted most from its alliance with the PRISM program – played the "shocked and appalled" card when Snowden's revelations became public. And yet, the New York Times reported as early as last November: "the facts of the N.S.A. data collection in Europe have been known for months, which led two nonprofit groups that oppose the spying to describe it as 'astonishing' and 'cowardly' that the French government would portray itself as not knowing about the surveillance. It also became clear over the summer that France's espionage agency, the General Directorate for External Security, carried out data collection on French citizens without clear legal authority, suggesting that although the technology used by the United States may be more sophisticated, electronic eavesdropping as an antiterrorism and anticrime tool is broadly practiced."

Now it appears that Germany, the hub of the NSA's European operations, was a willing and integral part of the program as well. According to Der Spiegel, "Cooperation between Germany's foreign intelligence services, the BND, and America's NSA is deeper than previously believed. […] German intelligence agencies, for their part, consider their cooperation with the NSA to be indispensable – for counterterrorism efforts, for the fight against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and for the battle against organized crime." Moreover, between 2012, and 2013, Der Spiegel reports, "some three million items of content data, or intercepted conversations and messages, were sent to the United States each month."

In addition, the BND itself seems to refute the accusation that the US spied on Germany – confirming all the statements the White House and NSA have made to that effect.

Der Spiegel's in-depth coverage also outlines the parameters of much of the surveillance, noting that 'most of the targets monitored jointly by the BND and NSA are in Africa and Afghanistan – or, in other words, precisely at the heart of some of the world's most dangerous Islamic terrorist organizations.

Does all this really matter?

Absolutely.

First and foremost, it reconfirms the serious threat of Islamic terrorism in Europe – one so dire that European intelligence agencies are willing to push the limits of their privacy laws in efforts to combat it. It demonstrates the extent to which international cooperation has allowed Western forces to kill terrorist leaders – and to do so with extraordinary accuracy. And it shows, finally, the powerful unity of Western intelligence forces in the battle against Islamic terrorism. It is a unity clearly needed (as recent events in Iraq make clear) when hundreds, possibly thousands of European nationals are joining the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in Syria, and are likely to bring their extremism – and warfare knowledge – back home with them. So long as such cooperation can continue, we can remain safe. It is time to be honest about what is being done, and why it is needed. It is time to stop the theatrics of indignation, end these frivolous internal battles and get back to winning the war.

Abigail R. Esman, the author, most recently, of Radical State: How Jihad Is Winning Over Democracy in the West (Praeger, 2010), is a freelance writer based in New York and the Netherlands.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #384 on: August 13, 2014, 09:32:23 AM »

http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-TV/2014/08/11/Morell-Underestimating-ISIS-A-Policy-Failure-Not-an-Intelligence-Failure
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« Reply #385 on: September 06, 2014, 01:14:26 AM »

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/sep/4/islamic-state-using-edward-snowden-leaks-to-evade-/
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« Reply #386 on: September 06, 2014, 09:23:47 AM »



http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/al-qaeda-wasn-t-run_804366.html?page=1
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« Reply #387 on: September 16, 2014, 10:40:12 PM »

FBI: Cuban Intelligence Aggressively Recruiting Leftist American Academics as Spies, Influence Agents

BY: Bill Gertz     
September 5, 2014 5:00 am

Cuba’s communist-led intelligence services are aggressively recruiting leftist American academics and university professors as spies and influence agents, according to an internal FBI report published this week.

Cuban intelligence services “have perfected the work of placing agents, that includes aggressively targeting U.S. universities under the assumption that a percentage of students will eventually move on to positions within the U.S. government that can provide access to information of use to the [Cuban intelligence service],” the five-page unclassified FBI report says. It notes that the Cubans “devote a significant amount of resources to targeting and exploiting U.S. academia.”

“Academia has been and remains a key target of foreign intelligence services, including the [Cuban intelligence service],” the report concludes.

One recruitment method used by the Cubans is to appeal to American leftists’ ideology. “For instance, someone who is allied with communist or leftist ideology may assist the [Cuban intelligence service] because of his/her personal beliefs,” the FBI report, dated Sept. 2, said.

Others are offered lucrative business deals in Cuba in a future post-U.S. embargo environment, and are treated to extravagant, all-expense paid visits to the island.

Coercive tactics used by the Cubans include exploiting personal weaknesses and sexual entrapment, usually during visits to Cuba.

The Cubans “will actively exploit visitors to the island” and U.S. academics are targeted by a special department of the spy agency.

“This department is supported by all of the counterintelligence resources the government of Cuba can marshal on the island,” the report said. “Intelligence officers will come into contact with the academic travelers. They will stay in the same accommodations and participate in the activities arranged for the travelers. This clearly provides an opportunity to identify targets.”

In addition to collecting information and secrets, Cuban spies employ “influence operations,” the FBI said.

“The objective of these activities can range from portraying a specific image, usually positive, to attempting to sway policymakers into particular courses of action,” the report said.

Additionally, Cuban intelligence seeks to plant disinformation or propaganda through its influence agents, and can task recruits to actively disseminate the data. Once recruited, many of the agents are directed to entering fields that will provide greater information access in the future, mainly within the U.S. government and intelligence community.

The Cubans do not limit recruitments to “clandestine agents,” the report said. Other people who do not have access to secrets are co-opted as spies because of their political position or political views that can be exploited for supporting Cuban goals, either as open supporters or unwitting dupes.

“Some of these individuals may not be told openly that they are working for the [Cuban intelligence service], even though it may not be too hard for them to figure out,” the report said. “The relationship may openly appear to be a benign, mutually beneficial friendship.”

Chris Simmons, a retired spycatcher for the Defense Intelligence Agency, said Cuban intelligence has long targeted U.S. academics. For example, Havana assigned six intelligence officers to assist Council on Foreign Relations Latin Affairs specialist Julia E. Sweig in writing a 2002 book on the Cuban revolution, he said.

“College campuses are seen as fertile grounds for the recruitment of the ‘next generation’ of spies,” Simmons said. “Cuba heavily targets the schools that train the best candidates for U.S. government jobs, like Georgetown University, Johns Hopkins University, and George Washington University.”

One goal of the Cubans is to recruit students prior to federal employment, a method that allows Havana to direct a recruited agent into targeted key spy targets, like Congress or the FBI, Simmons said.

“A preferred target are ‘study abroad’ programs in Cuba, as participating students are assessed as inherently sympathetic to the Cuban revolution,” Simmons said.

Cuban intelligence has recruited numerous spies in the past that became long-term penetration agents inside the U.S. government. According to the CI Centre, a think tank, there have been 25 Cuban spies uncovered in the United States since the 1960s, including former CIA officer Philip Agee to who defected and worked closely with both Cuban intelligence and the Soviet KGB starting in 1973.

One of the most notorious Cuban spy cases involved Ana Montes, a senior analyst who worked in the highest levels of the U.S. intelligence and policymaking communities.

Montes, a former Defense Intelligence Agency analyst, pleaded guilty in 2002 to spying for Cuba for 17 years. She is serving a 25-year prison term.

Montes was recruited by Cuban intelligence in 1984 while a student at the Johns Hopkins’ School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), where she was a graduate student and had voiced her hatred of the then-Reagan administration policy of backing anti-communist rebels fighting the Sandinista regime in Nicaragua.

She was recruited at SAIS by another Cuban spy, Marta Rita Velazquez, who worked for U.S. Agency for International Development and fled the country after Montes was arrested in 2001.

Two other notable Cuban spies were Walter Kendall Myers, a State Department Foreign Service contractor who worked for Cuban intelligence from 1979 to 2007, and his wife Gwen Myers. They were recruited after visiting Cuba. Walter Myers was a leftist who criticized “American imperialism” in a diary entry after visiting Cuba. He held a top-secret security clearance and in 2010 was sentenced to life in prison after a conviction for spying.

Cuba’s spy agencies “actively target academia to recruit agents and to support Cuban influence operations.”

“Unfortunately, part of what makes academic environments ideal for enhancing and sharing knowledge also can assist the efforts of foreign intelligence services to accomplish their objectives,” the report concludes. “This situation is unlikely to change, but awareness of the methods used to target academia can greatly assist in neutralizing the efforts of these foreign intelligence services.”

The FBI report was based largely on testimony from José Cohen, a former officer of the Cuban Intelligence Directorate, known by its Spanish acronym as DGI, who defected in 1994.

The targeting of American spies takes place at schools, colleges, universities, and research institutes. “Cuban intelligence services are known to actively target the U.S. academic world for the purposes of recruiting agents, in order to both obtain useful information and conduct influence activities,” the FBI said.

The academic world, because of its openness and need for networking, “offers a rich array of targets attractive to foreign intelligence services,” the report said, noting that U.S. government institutions draw on academia for personnel, both for entry level staffing and for consultation from established experts.

Cuban intelligence seeks leftists and others sympathetic to Cuba’s communist regime because it lacks funds needed to pay recruited agents, the report said.

The process includes targeting American and Cuban-American academics, recruiting them if possible and eventually converting them into Cuban intelligence agents.

Cuban front groups also are used to recruit spies in the United States, including a network of collaborators and agents in Cuba that make contact with counterparts in the United States.

Specific universities in Washington and New York that were not specified by the FBI are targets because they are close to Cuban intelligence posts in those cities.

An example of the recruitment effort was provided to the FBI by a “self-admitted Cuban intelligence” officer outlining how a spy is recruited at a U.S. university.

“The Cuban intelligence officers located at the Cuban Mission to the United Nations in New York, New York, or the Cuban Interests Section in Washington, D.C., obtain a published work by a specific professor or student … from a university the [Cubans] are monitoring,” the report said.

A Cuban control agent in Havana studies the work and works together with a co-opted Cuban academic and together the pair analyzes published material and forms a plan of action that may include a personal letter to the targeted individual in the United States.

“The letter will suggest a ‘genuine’ interest in starting a friendship or contact regarding the topic of the article,” the report said. “The personal letter becomes a pretext for the Cuban intelligence officer stationed in the United States to use for initial contact with the targeted individual.”

A Cuba spy posing as a diplomat develops a relationship with the academic that can last months or years of assessing motivations, weaknesses, and current future and access to information.

In some cases, the Cubans use compromising video or audio and sexual entrapment to develop U.S. spies.

“Ultimately, when the time is right, the plan will be executed and the targeted individual will be approached and formally asked to help the government of Cuba,” the report said.

This entry was posted in National Security and tagged Cuba. Bookmark the permalink.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #388 on: September 17, 2014, 08:21:19 AM »

"Cuba’s communist-led intelligence services are aggressively recruiting leftist American academics and university professors as spies and influence agents, according to an internal FBI report published this week."

What a bizarre story!  On one hand it seems too wild of an accusation to be true, and on the other it seems like a waste of their money to be bribing people to do what they are already highly motivated to do.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2014, 10:28:48 AM by DougMacG » Logged
G M
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« Reply #389 on: September 17, 2014, 08:26:38 AM »

Yes. I think a large number of our academics see the Castro brothers as too moderate.
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ccp
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« Reply #390 on: September 17, 2014, 09:24:09 AM »

"it seems like a waste of their money to be bribing people to do what they are already highly motivated to do"

Yes that was my thought too. 

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #391 on: September 24, 2014, 03:15:04 PM »



http://www.newsmax.com/newswidget/israel-espionage-mossad-internet/2014/09/22/id/596080/?Dkt_nbr=1645F-1&utm_source=Crooks_and_Liars&utm_medium=widget&utm_content=527&utm_campaign=widgetphase2
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« Reply #392 on: September 30, 2014, 10:32:57 AM »

Obama on Faulty Intelligence
The President blames the spooks for his own policy failure on ISIS.


President Obama rode to the White House in part by assailing George W. Bush for believing faulty intelligence about Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction. So there is no small irony in his claim now that America's spooks missed the rise of the Islamic State. The difference is that U.S. intelligence did warn about the threat from ISIS. Mr. Obama chose not to listen.

Asked on CBS's "60 Minutes" Sunday if ISIS's march into Iraq was a "complete surprise," Mr. Obama replied, "Well I think our head of the intelligence community, Jim Clapper, has acknowledged that I think they underestimated what had been taking place in Syria."

Mr. Clapper is the presidential appointee who coordinates U.S. intelligence messaging. Perhaps he does think his agencies misjudged ISIS. But we doubt he missed the Feb. 11, 2014 Senate testimony of Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who was director of the Defense Intelligence Agency at the time:

"Al-Qa`ida in Iraq (AQI), also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (IS1L): AQI/ISIL probably will attempt to take territory in Iraq and Syria to exhibit its strength in 2014, as demonstrated recently in Ramadi and Fallujah, and the group's ability to concurrently maintain multiple safe havens in Syria."
Opinion Journal Video
Editorial Page Editor Paul Gigot on President Obama's "60 Minutes" interview with journalist Steve Kroft. Photo credit: Associated Press.

That was five months before the fall of Mosul and a couple of months after Mr. Obama had compared ISIS and various al Qaeda offshoots to the junior varsity.

If Mr. Obama didn't want to believe DIA, he could always have bought this newspaper. On Jan. 6 this year we wrote that "Syria's contagion is also spilling into Iraq with the revival of al Qaeda in neighboring Anbar province. . . . Much of eastern Syria is now controlled by the al-Nusrah front or the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, and they move with ease back and forth into Iraq. Men flying the flag of al Qaeda took over large parts of Ramadi and Fallujah last week, ousting the Iraq army."

This required no great prescience or deep sourcing. It was apparent to anyone paying attention to Middle Eastern events, or at least to anyone who was open to hearing news that conflicted with Mr. Obama's mantra that "the tide of war is receding" and that al Qaeda had been defeated.

The failure to confront ISIS sooner wasn't an intelligence failure. It was a failure by policy makers to act on events that were becoming so obvious that the Iraqis were asking for American help for months before Mosul fell. Mr. Obama declined to offer more than token assistance.

But if Mr. Obama truly believes this was an intelligence failure, we have a suggestion. Fire Mr. Clapper as director of national intelligence and replace him with Lt. Gen. Flynn, who retired from DIA earlier this year. The President clearly needs an intel chief who will tell him more than what he wants to hear.
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« Reply #393 on: October 15, 2014, 01:25:33 PM »


http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2014/10/14/the_dark_knight_rises_qassem_suleimani_iran_quds_force
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« Reply #394 on: October 22, 2014, 06:42:26 PM »



On so many levels, the mind boggles , , ,

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2014/10/22/keith_alexander_stock_trades_potash_aluminum_russia_china?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_term=*Editors%20Picks&utm_campaign=2014_EditorsPicks22%2F10RS
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