Saturday, August 18, 2018

CLEARANCES don't equate to ACCESS

It's a SECURITY LEVEL, not a Clearance!


We keep seeing this drivel on the concept of CLEARANCES and Trump's canceling of Brennan's CLEARANCE, and suddenly, everyone who can spell it is suddenly an EXPERT.

A clearance is like a driver's license; you are tested, you are then granted authority for ACCESS to restricted information ranging from FOUO to Top Secret/SCI.

Our experience derives from commanding a unit composed of Intelligence Special Agents who trained others and conducted background investigations to determine the suitability of candidates for CLEARANCES, and all that entails.

We will now share with you the exciting details of what a CLEARANCE entails so you can SHARE with all the EXPERTS with whom you come in contact, and recognize the depths of buffoonery you see on all the "news" programs.

1) US Citizens [and an occasional foreign national] are eligible for a CLEARANCE adjudication. 

2) To obtain a CLEARANCE, one undergoes a background investigation, ranging from a LAC [Local Agency Check] and/or NAC [National Agency Check] to determine if one has a criminal or subversive background and is suitable for a position of Trust and Responsibility in the Military or in the Government, even for the lowest ACCESS.

 A two-year SPECIAL BACKGROUND INVESTIGATION [SBI] may determine if one qualifies and be ADJUDICATED for Top Secret/SCI ACCESS, and categories above.

[Notably,the background investigation on Senator Obama produced a recommendation 
that he not be granted a Clearance due to his association with known terrorists, and the 
lack of true documentation on his personal history; as such, he was denied access to 
classified information while he was in the Senate. As POTUS, he became the ultimate 
adjudicator and declared ACCESS for himself -- although much 
Intelligence was withheld from him] 


3) The CLEARANCE means you have passed the first level of the background investigation, when the investigator determines that one is recommended
"... for a position of TRUST AND RESPONSIBILITY.
 THAT IS ALL THE CLEARANCE IS!

IF THERE IS REASONABLE DOUBT FOLLOWING THE DETERMINATION OF THE SUITABILITY OF THE INDIVIDUAL,
the recommendation is downgraded to UNSUITABLE, and all ACCESSES are revoked!

The dividing line here is ACCESS! The CLEARANCE procedure allows the adjudicator to open the door to varying levels of ACCESS on the basis of NEED TO KNOW.

[As some of you may recall, Top Secret ACCESS was afforded, by Obama, to his driver, whom he then appointed to the National Security Council.]

LEVELS OF ACCESS:

1) FOUO: Basic administrative data pertaining to employees, their addresses and phone numbers.

2) CONFIDENTIAL [US or NATO], routinely granted to the lowest level of employment on the basis of exposure to some sensitive data -- e.g., family information of officials; basic information on Military units or logistics; SOPs, etc., generally it is information which is preferable to not release in the public domain.
[unauthorized release is punishable by fines and/or imprisonment]

3) SECRET,  (US or NATO)which entails occasional exposure to SENSITIVE material, the exposure of which could damage national security. There are multiple categories and compartments here, to include NOFORN (No Foreign Dissemination), LIMDIS [Limited Distribution], EYES ONLY (limited to only a few recipients],  etc.

4) TOP SECRET [there are multiple categories/compartments here].
ACCESS is restricted to a small percentage of those with CLEARANCES FOR ACCESS TO EXTREMELY SENSITIVE INFORMATION.  This category requires extensive background checks [SSBI], although a SECRET clearance can be administratively upgraded to a Top Secret level of ACCESS by a commander or senior executive

[For Example:
PVT Manning: Sex Change
Get Out of Jail Free!
Private Bradley Manning's clearance allowed him to access Confidential information, but was administratively upgraded to SECRET by his unit commander in the 10th Mountain Division to process Intelligence information. 

Another administrative order inexplicably upgraded his ACCESS to Top Secret/SCI, during which he illegally delivered hundreds of thousands of classified documents to Wikileaks; he was court-martialed and sentenced to 35 years in prison -- but was pardoned by President Obama.  

Manning's chain of command suffered no punishment for their laxity in management of Top Secret Intelligence Information; that criminal case has yet to be pursued, although the 10th Mountain Division also produced the series of Commandants and Superintendents of West Point which allowed communists to matriculate and be commissioned]

5) SCI (Sensitive Compartmented Intelligence [restrictions are based on Methods & Sources of the Intelligence]. Each compartment requires a "Read-In"and brief, with a signed Non-Disclosure Agreement [NDA] as it reveals the Method of Collection of this Intelligence.
Unauthorized disclosure has penalties in excess of $10,000 and/or 10 or more years in prison.

 6) SAP (Special Access Program) One step above TS/SCI, requiring special conditions for ACCESS, frequently requiring a polygraph examination, and further background checks and updates.

7) Other [Special Access Black Programs]
An Adjudicator determines the CLEARANCE level of ACCESS. Another level of Adjudicator will determine ACCESS based on "NEED TO KNOW". These programs are conducted in the Special Operations arena, or, in highly technical operations (e.g., Project Blue Book).
The Need to Know caveat is extremely restrictive, and US Presidents [including Carter, Clinton, and Obama] were excluded from most of those programs.

IN SUMMARY:
The POTUS does not determine Clearances, or revoke them. It's an Administrative process.
On occasion, the POTUS will determine special ACCESS, and he can end that as well. To be clear, former Presidents and political appointees do not need Clearances to be granted ACCESS after they leave office.  In effect, the current POTUS can grant ACCESS if the expertise of these individuals is needed.  [Mr Kissinger should never be granted such access].

No further ACCESS for Brennan
In Brennan's case, Mr Trump simply cuts off his ACCESS, as he should to all former government executives and appointees.  He should also suspend "Clearance" granted to companies spawned by Obama appointees [e.g., Brennan and Clapper] to ensure they do not obtain ACCESS to classified material.

Jimmy Carter once granted ACCESS to a Colombian national on loan to the State Department; to our  horror, he was granted ACCESS to the Bureau of Intelligence & Research [INR] Library where he was reading highly restricted Intelligence reports; when we complained to the Librarian, he advised that Carter himself had granted ACCESS - even though it was a national security violation.

As Editor of the Black Book at the Pentagon, our access was virtually unlimited since a NEED TO KNOW existed about the Intelligence we reported in the Black Book - each level of which was tailored to meet the NEED TO KNOW ACCESS of groups of recipients, all of whom had ACCESS to Top Secret Intelligence, but, each group had levels of ACCESS to certain types of Intelligence based on SOURCES and METHODS of collection.

Very often, we would determine the NEED TO KNOW of the members of the group, which include senior flag rank officers and senior executives. 

Before retiring, we were offered the position of Inspector General of the BLACK PROGRAMs reporting to only one Assistant Secretary of Defense. On the advice of a close friend, we turned down the position since our friend advised that virtually all of those who had held the position were deceased -- indicating that, once one's NEED TO KNOW expired, one's utility expires as well.  [Our friend died of an incurable decease the following year].

We recommend to Mr Trump that he REVOKE ACCESS to ALL former Obama appointees, to include Admiral McRaven, who has now disgraced himself in the National Security Arena.


FOOTNOTE:

Under the Obama Administration, background investigations were contracted out to private company [USIS]; the investigations generally consisted of a quick phone call to a listed friend or neighbor asking if they would recommend the subject for a clearance. 
According to DOJ charges, USIS conducted 665,000 fake background checks between 2008 and 2012.

Among the USIS background checks were 3,900 IRS employees.

Friday, August 17, 2018

IRS and Congressional Insider Trading?


Testimony on Congressman Collins Insider Trading



This blog post is an extract from a NY Post story by John Crudele.  
We've made a few edits to keep it short, but the basics are all included.  
We highly recommend you read the entire story at the link below.  
Crudele advises he was able to vet the Whistle-blower, 
and is satisfied the story is accurate.


For full story, click here
New York Post,  John Crudele [15AUG2018] 

Ever wonder how a Congressman or Senator [or IRS official]
who earns less than $200,000 per year, 
can have an annual income of several million dollars, 
and retire into a lifetime of extraordinary wealth?

John Crudele explains below:

The IRS reportedly tipped off members of Congress to corporate takeovers and other pending actions so the elected officials could profit from Insider Trading.  Allegedly, higher-level employees of the IRS also used that information to enrich themselves.

[Congressman Christopher Collins testified that an indicted Congressman talked others into buying a pharmaceutical stock and pushed legislation to help it; his son's girlfriend was just nailed on Insider Trading charges.]

Until a few years ago Members of Congress were not barred from trading stock based on information they got while performing their public duties. However, following scandalous headlines in 2012
[you remember, when the News Media was credible], the practice was officially banned.

Mrs Peter Strzok -
Deputy Director -  SEC Enforcement
Interestingly, a page left unturned in this scandal is the one in which the wife of Peter Strzok [Melissa Hodgman] is the Deputy Director of the Securities & Exchange Commission Enforcement Division.

One might guess that in addition to blocking investigations into Hillary Clinton's money laundering schemes, Melissa might also have blocked inquiries into Congressional Insider Trading in exchange for Congress supporting Strzok's illegal activities and ignoring the criminal activities of senior officials at the DOJ and FBI.

It was assumed that Members of Congress were just profiting from what they happened to learn while working on their Committees — e.g., perhaps a drug about to be turned down by the FDA,  or that a company was exploring to see how regulators would feel about a merger.

However, what the Whistleblower alleges goes well beyond that.
[ The Chris Collins story provides further details on Congressional Insider trading ]

Did the Whistleblower report his findings to "authorities"?
He did, but was told to "get lost".  Apparently Congress was making too much personal profit to have some reported blow their illegal enterprises.

[Ever wonder why no criminal charges were brought against Lois Lerner?]

Chief IRS Scoundrel
Unprosecuted Sacrificial Lamb
According to the the Whistleblower, the IRS made their own illegal operation "legal".
“In 2003-05 an official Memo was created within the IRS  noting who was permitted to participate in ‘insider trading’. The memo noted that all IRS employees in the executive branch and those one step below (territory managers, etc.) were permitted to participate. I was below that rank by one step, i.e., a large-case manager at the IRS.  However, as my evaluation showed, I was expected to inform my manager of any and all mergers.” 

In fact, the Whistleblower says he was fired for not doing so and was later the subject of retaliation. That was a lot of years ago. And the only people who could properly look into something like this — and hopefully determine that it couldn’t possibly be true — would be in the IRS Inspector General’s  [TIG] Office of the IRS. That’s who is supposed to investigate allegations of wrongdoing.

So, Crudele called the IRS Inspector General’s media contact, planning to give them the information, and perhaps the IG could convince the Whistleblower to come forward or obtain more details in exchange for Crudele's getting an exclusive on the story if the allegations were verified.

Crudele's exchange with the IG’s spokeswoman was unexpected:.

IG Spokeswoman:  “Concerning..?”

Crudele: "A tip from a reader of mine about IRS wrongdoing

IG Spokeswoman: We get those on a regular basis; tell the tipster to contact the IRS Hotline.

Crudele:  "The tipster doesn't wish to do that"

IG Spokeswoman:   “All complaints are taken very seriously.” 

Crudele:  “Is there an insider trading exemption for officials in the IRS?” 

IG Spokeswoman: [Crudele advised] she said there wasn’t such an exemption and sent him a brochure.
“Once again, thank you for contacting us. Let me know if we can help further”

Crudele:  “I’m amazed at the lack of cooperation I am getting from you” commented, criticizing her laziness before finishing with “have a nice weekend".

IG Spokeswoman: “On background, we sorry you feel that way. We are not lazy…just careful”

Mergers & Acquisitions
Insider Information = Big Bucks
Crudele continued the Whistle-blower's story [details were excluded to protect his identity]:

“So then one day I was informed of a merger between (two big companies), I was the Case Manager on that audit; I refused to inform my manager.  Well, that was a sad day for my career.  He (the manager) first produced a memo and then suspended me for failing to inform him of the merger so he could tell his supervisor.  It seemed that the supervisor had planned to pay off his home mortgage with the merger information to the tune of $1 million plus.” 

"There’s something you need to understand. The IRS places its workers permanently inside many companies where they continually receive privileged information while doing audits. So there’s plenty of money-making tips to go around.  In addition my supervisor had planned on informing his manager who then could contact members of Congress so they could invest and profit from this information,.  It was a way of securing a comfortable job on one of the boards like the Smithsonian once they retired.”

Crudele advises: 
Consider how many individuals could have had access to this information and profited while the average American is told that it is “illegal.” The Whistleblower says he was pushed out of the IRS in 2004 and charges — trumped-up ones, he says — were brought against him. But he wouldn’t be surprised if this insider trading continued.

According to the Whistle-blower:
“Unfortunately I doubt that this has stopped. One cannot allow this to take place and then suddenly end it.  These individuals had planned and budgeted for these events to fund their lifestyle. That type of income generator just does not end.  It’s always hard to take away perks from employees. Just try stopping the free coffee at your office."

On a final note, which you may find of interest, my previous manager had assigned another manager to [a highly prized international] office for two years because she gave him numerous inside information tips."

Assuming Mr Crudele's story of IRS corruption alarms you, you will appreciate his parallel tale of Congressional Insider Trading based on confidential information presented in Committee Hearings.

Mr Trump's "Draining of the Swamp" comes none too soon, and it will create some soon-to-be impoverished Congressfolk who have lived large off their corrupt practices -- but will likely face prosecution and substantial legal bills this Fall.




----

Editorial Note:

We concur with Mr Crudele's story since we are somewhat aware that the IRS has not been pure as the driven snow; so, his tale of corruption comes as no surprise.   

We are also gratified for confirmation on just how corrupt our bureaucrats, and politicians [of both Parties] are, and how they've gotten wealthy through their corruption; it might also explain why we so much inaction on their part in pursuing the corruption of government bureaucrats and law enforcement officials.

During our post-IC career, one contractor told much the same story based on his consulting time with the IRS.  Among his lurid tales were IRS rooms full of tax returns which employees dutifully were flushing down toilets; and, then there was a unique scam the IRS operated in which they sent out a computerized letter advising taxpayers in the upper-six figure income range that they had underpaid by $800 to $1,800, correctly assuming that the victims would simply pay the extra rather than waste time reviewing their taxes or fighting the penalty. 
[We were one of those unsuspecting victims in 1997, and we paid the extra $800.]

We were also targeted by Lois Lerner's team, apparently purely out of spite since we have not been involved in a PAC, although we do admit to being a bit Conservative.  We fought back, threatening to bring the case public and to Congress during the Lerner hearings, and the IRS relented.

Finally, recognize that the IRS [and FBI] places their officers in US Embassies around the world, as part of the Country Team [Ambassador, CIA Station Chief, Defense, Political/Commercial, Economic, Agricultural Attache's] - each privy to sensitive Intelligence briefings on country and regional political and financial issues.  Officially, the IRS Advisor role is to ensure US citizens and companies operating abroad pay their taxes.  However, passing along sensitive Intelligence information to friends and supervisors is likely part of the abuse of the access the Whistleblower above has reported.




Thursday, August 2, 2018

Brennan -- No Credentials

John, now here's what I want you to say next about Trump. 


We offer another guest post by a respected writer with the 
expertise for critical comment.

Charles Faddis is a retired CIA operations and case officer, and 
the author of Beyond Repair: The Decline And Fall Of The CIA“.


AN OPEN LETTER TO MR. BRENNAN 
By Charles Faddis 
Published in andmagazine.com [July 24, 2018] 

Obama and his CIA Director John Brennan

Dear Mr. Brennan,

I understand that you are a political opponent of the current President of the United States.



I understand that you are an American citizen, and you have the right to freedom of speech.

I encourage you to utilize that right. I encourage you to speak your mind.

I encourage you, as I do all Americans, to be heard.





I implore you, however, to cease and desist from continuing to attempt to portray yourself in the public media as some sort of impartial critic concerned only with the fate of the republic.

I beg you to stop attempting to portray yourself as some sort of wise, all-knowing intelligence professional with deep knowledge of national security issues and no political inclinations whatsoever.




None of this is true!

You were never a spy.

You were never a case officer.

You never ran operations or recruited sources or worked the streets abroad.

You have no idea whatsoever of the true nature of the business of human intelligence.

You have never been in harm’s way.

You have never heard a shot fired in anger.


You were, for a short while, an intelligence analyst.
In that capacity, it was your job to produce finished intelligence based on basic intelligence provided to you by others.

The work of intelligence analysts is important; however in truth you never truly mastered this trade either. In your capacity as an analyst for the Central Intelligence Agency, while still a junior officer, you were designated to brief the President of the United States who was, at that time, Bill Clinton.

As the presidential briefer, it was your job to read to the President, each morning, finished intelligence, written by others, based on intelligence collected by yet other individuals.
Period.

While serving as presidential briefer, you established a personal relationship with then President Bill Clinton.
End of story.

Everything that has transpired in your professional career since has been based on your personal relationship with the former President, his wife, Hillary, and their key associates.

Your connection to President Obama was, in fact, based on you having established yourself by the time he came to office as a reliable, highly political Democratic Party functionary.

All of your commentary in the public sphere is on behalf of your political patrons. 
It is no more impartial analysis than would be the comments of a paid press spokesman or attorney. You are speaking each and every time directly on behalf of political forces hostile to this President.

You are, in fact, currently on the payroll of both NBC and MSNBC, two of the networks most vocally opposed to President Trump and his agenda.

There is no impartiality in your comments.
Your assessments are not based on some sober judgment of what is best for this nation.
They are based exclusively on what you believe to be in the best interests of the politicians with whom you have long since allied yourself.

It should be noted that not only are you, most decidedly, not apolitical, but that you have been associated during your career with some of the greatest foreign policy disasters in recent American history.

As CIA Director for Barack Obama you:

1) Presided over the Iran nuclear deal, which allowed Iran to escape from decades of containment and set the Middle East on fire.

2) Watched while Russia annexed Crimea and then reestablished itself as a hostile force in the Middle East.



3) Dithered and tinkered with organizational wiring diagrams at CIA Headquarters while China annexed and fortified the entire South China Sea.




The extent to which you are tied directly to the Clintons, Barack Obama and the Democrat Party is clearly evident in the emotional nature of your recent commentary.

Ever since President Trump was elected, there has been a concerted effort to delegitimize him and destabilize him. This has been an unprecedented attempt to undermine the stability of the Republic in order to achieve partisan political advantage.

You and your patrons have been complicit in this effort and at its very heart.

Now as the Mueller investigation collapses of its own weight and the extent of this conspiracy is beginning to become clear you are in evident panic.

You should be.

You are free to do as you wish politically.
Stop representing to the American people that there is anything else at play.

You abandoned any hope of being a true intelligence professional decades ago and became a political hack.
Say so!


Meanwhile, Senator Rand Paul’s assessment of you stands:


John Brennan started out his adulthood by voting for the Communist Party presidential candidate. He’s now ending his career by showing himself to be the most biased, bigoted, over-the-top, hyperbolic sort of unhinged director the CIA ever had.

-----------



Ed Note:
Having served with the CIA as a Case Officer, a guerrilla advisor, and as Regional Intelligence Advisor in Asia (1970-74), and having received, among other forms of recognition, the DCI Exceptional Intelligence Analyst  Award, we feel qualified to add a few comments on Mr Brennan, based on both personal knowledge as well as feedback from colleagues in the CIA, DIA, FBI, DEA, and other IC agencies.

1) Mr Brennan first came to our attention when we observed him as the analyst at CIA's Terrorist Desk, which, at that time, was the lowest and least respected position in the analytical chain. He was then, as now, regarded as a simpleton, but, in that position, no one felt he could do harm.  His co-workers had nothing positive to say about him.  We all assumed he was a protected entity as his incompetence demanded he be fired, much the same as Bob Gates was viewed during his early years at CIA.

2) Dysfunctional and incompetent as an analyst, Brennan was inexplicably bumped up as an assistant briefer at the White House, again, presumably a position in which he could do no harm.

3) Alarm bells began going off when the professional Intelligence Community noticed he was was providing the Print Media opinion pieces on Intelligence - while a member of the Intelligence Community!  This was a first, and an appalling breach of security as well as ethics for any officer still active in the IC.

4) Still, he toadied up to Bill Clinton, who recognized Brennan as a "useful idiot", and potential tool for the future.

5) When W arrived on the scene as the new POTUS, he recognized Brennan  as a very useful tool, particularly in endorsing the bogus 9/11 scenario, pointing fingers at the IC for its failure.  Not mentioned was the fact that the precise details of the attack had surfaced in a police raid in the Philippines as well as by several other elements of the IC -- and all reports were stifled.  But, Brennan was quite willing to toady up to Bush in recounting the official version of the "attack" on the Twin Towers, in spite of the challenges to the story by highly experienced engineers who viewed the destruction of the Twin Towers as a carefully constructed "implosion".

6) And, like Bob Gates, he was well rewarded, and, without operational experience or CIA backing,  Brennan was appointed as the Chief of Station in Saudi Arabia, coordinating with the Saudi Intelligence on US Intelligence, and ignoring the threat of the Muslim Brotherhood throughout the Middle East.

7) Although young toadies feel Brennan had some credibility, experienced professionals felt that Brennan had been emplaced from Day One by the Deep State to ascend to the highest level of the CIA in order to bolster as "Intelligence Community Fact" whatever nonsense was proposed by other IC leaders.  


Notably, both Brennan and Clapper became documented perjurers while serving in their appointive positions. 

We understand both their names are on several of the 50,000+ sealed indictments which will be served up in September.  

We trust they will be comfortable in their Gitmo cells.