Monday, November 26, 2012

CIA: Spies or Assassins?

CIA Lobby.  They used to conduct "espionage"
Now they kill people with Drones

Click here for related story [Washington Post]
Now that General Petraeus has resigned as Director of CIA, the rush is on to find a politically acceptable hack -- or pro -- to manage it.

Sabotaged by CIA's Law Enforcement Mafia [Fox]

Petraeus resigned to circumvent Mr Obama's potential use of Executive Privilege to prevent Petraeus from testifying before Congress on the Benghazi assault.  Petraeus took over a highly politicized CIA and had to fight the Old Guard there while they attempted to manipulate him -- thus the "leaks" to the FBI.
[Even Porter Goss, a former CIA operative and DCI under Bush, was undercut by the CIA Old Guard who undercut him at every opportunity].

Current candidates range from outrageously unqualified hacks to the acceptable; one is qualified for the position.  Petraeus was an excellent Director, but ran afoul of the  CIA hierarchy which has been intent on converting the CIA into a techno-paramilitary surveillance agency -- without portfolio -- but with Drones, and with an eagerness to play soldier -- even though most Case Officers had never served in the Military.

We don't need another politician heading up the CIA.  We've recently had two there, Panetta and Tenet, both incompetent, insecure, self-serving political hacks whose only background in Intelligence consisted of being spoon-fed by CIA lobbyists while they were on Congressional committees -- which continued once they assumed the leadership role.

Let's keep in mind that the mission of the CIA has traditionally been the conduct of Clandestine [i.e., espionage] and Covert [i.e., paramilitary] operations.  Covert operations were carried out with Military Special Operations support.

I've got a secret    [CIA]
Clandestine operations involve HUMINT, or Human Intelligence, using Case Officers/Agent Handlers and support elements to spot, assess, recruit, and manage foreign humans to commit treason and turn over highly classified and sensitive materials of their governments to the CIA.

Such operations generally take years to establish since they entail lengthy spotting and assessing processes, a number of support personnel in the recruitment and vetting process, followed by complex communications processes, and finally, tasking the agent to actually spy and report.  Thus, the Spook Community grieved when Mr Obama outed the principal agent in the Osama bin Laden assassination - plastering his identity and photo for all the world to see -- and destroying years of clandestine operations and exposing the entire support network.

Special Support Staff
Also supporting these clandestine operations were an extraordinary group of highly qualified and well trained Analysts in addition to Psychologists to assess potential foreign agents, and Documentation Specialists who created false passports, drivers' licenses, birth certificates -- and even Social Security Cards [similar to the documentation created for Mr Obama -- but of much higher quality].  Thus, a recruitment of a single recruited agent might entail more than 100 personnel in a variety of support roles.

Over the past 30 years, however, the CIA has drifted away from its traditional espionage role with the dissolution of the USSR, and has moved into the paramilitary realm, staffed with former law enforcement officers from ATF, DEA, State Police, and even street cops -- to rationalize and justify its existence,  leaving its espionage role to the DOD Clandestine Services [quite a role reversal!].

Today's CIA analysts have been consumed with Middle East military OB [Order of Battle] and trying to connect the dots for terrorist organizations, plus a contingent of target assessment "analysts" directing drone strikes -- all of which should be the mission of the Defense Intelligence Agency -- not the CIA.

In essence, the CIA has become a self-serving organization, borrowing missions from DOD, DIA, and NSA, conducting its own wars, and essentially becoming the President's personal military intelligence/police unit.

The CIA needs to return to its original mission of espionage in order to gain intelligence on the plans and intentions of our actual and potential adversaries.  Petraeus had begun to shift the mission emphasis from video games to espionage, but the senior CIA power structure worked to undercut him in order to preserve their paramilitary and Covert Action role.

The Candidates:

1)  Jane Harman
Served nine terms in Congress [CA-D] on the Armed Services, Intelligence, and the Homeland Security committees.  Married to billionaire Sidney Harman, owner of Newsweek -- a potential media leak mechanism. Her dynamic pro-Israel position and close ties to AIPAC forced her out of her Committee position.

She now heads up the leftist Wilson Center.  She has been schmoozed by CIA lobbyists -- who claim to love her, likely because she allowed them to do whatever they pleased.

[The Director of CIA should be both apolitical, diplomatically neutral, and competent to understand Intelligence processes; serving on Congressional committees is not a substitute for experience - as verified by the buffoonery of Panetta and Tenet].

2)  Michael Morrell
Acting incumbent Director, rose through the ranks as an analyst to Director of Intelligence -- the post Bob Gates held before rising to DCI.  Morrell is an analyst by trade, and not an operator; thus, he knows tradecraft only as an observer and consumer.
A nice guy, but not a good pick for Director.

3) John O Brennan
Deputy National Security Advisor for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism.  He was an analyst who maneuvered himself into a Station Chief [COS] slot in Saudi Arabia in 1996.  On his watch, he was apparently too busy strutting around and mirror-gazing that he failed to detect al-Qaeda operatives planning [and succeeding] to blow up Khobar Towers, killing 19 US Servicemen.  Had Brennan been conducting clandestine operations -- even bilaterally with the Saudis, this operation would likely have been detected and terminated.  Brennan has no operational experience and appears to function by bluster instead.

Brennan later made a name for himself as Bush's Terrorist advisor by grandstanding and holding press conferences on terrorism issues; he was also the advocate of "enhanced interrogation" techniques.  He later criticized Bush for not responding immediately to his expert advice -- which consisted of periodic announcements that the "terrorist threat is imminent!"  Bush should have fired him for incompetence.

Not a nice guy; grandstander; pontificator; he has ticket-punched without producing; and of these candidates, would be the most likely to abuse the position.  And, he holds a much higher opinion of himself than do others.

Vickers: Field experience in SpecOps
4) Michael G Vickers
Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence,  previously ASD-SO/LIC&IC [SpecOps/Low Intensity Conflict], served with the Army Special Forces -- attached to the CIA to  advise the Mujahideen resistance forces against Soviet occupation forces in Afghanistan. He sports an MBA from the Wharton Business School and a PhD in International Relations from Johns Hopkins - SAIS.
Of the visible candidates, Vickers seems the best choice as an educated, relatively apolitical guy with hands-on expertise.

We believe that Vickers understands the mentality of the CIA and can function very effectively herding the CIA cats [i.e., the law enforcement mafia that has gained control of the CIA].   He should finish what Petraeus started and ditch the "Law Enforcement Mafia" which hasn't a clue as to how to run espionage ops.


We highly recommend Vickers' selection and that he weed out the overly political left-overs from the morally bankrupt Tenet/Panetta regimes and reorganize the CIA to accomodate its original mission of Clandestine Services -- the espionage arm.

He should retain Morrell as Deputy Director to coordinate analytical support to the Clandestine Services.  Ultimately, he should divorce the CIA from paramilitary operations and instead, serve as the linkage between the Special Operations Command and DIA for all operations involving military assets and activities.