Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Counter-Intelligence - Obama-Style

Think of me as your Big Brother - I Protect You from the Truth  [InfoWars.com]

Click here for related post [Federation of American Scientists (FAS)]

The Administration's War of Terror has stepped up a notch.  Mr obama has created a "counter-intelligence" directive, which in effect, counters the collection and accurate analysis of professional intelligence by adding a new step -- the Fear Factor -- to the Intelligence Community.  Meet with a  journalist and risk your career and a jail sentence.

Intelligence Community Directive (ICD) 119 effectively prohibits intelligence personnel from contact with the Media/journalists -- unless they have specific authorization to do so
"... to mitigate risks of unauthorized disclosures of intelligence-related matters that may result from such contacts."

[ICDs replace the old DCIDs -- which older Intelligence professionals may remember]

Since the new regulation "does not distinguish between classified and unclassified intelligence information", traditional interaction between intelligence analysts and operatives with journalists to informally trade information will now become a thing of the past.

Some eons ago, in our Spook and Analyst days, we routinely met with professional journalists who were notable for their areas of areas of expertise to pick their brains on who was who in political, economic, and military hierarchies, who controlled key financial instruments, who controlled the Media, and who within a foreign government might be amenable to giving up "Open Source" or even "Classified" information.

Those were the days of both professional journalists and professional intelligence officers.

We recall discussing, some decades back, political and military events in a Latin American country in order to get a feel for the progress of a rumored coup.  After reading CIA TD-FIRs, DIA IIRs, Attache reports, DIRNSA intercepts, we were still not certain of who was doing what to whom, when or where.

After discussions with two journalists who specialized in the region, we were able to put all the pieces [unclassified and classified] together and created an assessment for the Pentagon Black Book in which we predicted the coup down to the day and even the hour [10:00 am local time], naming and assessing the key players in the coup, and detailing the composition of the succeeding junta -- and their commercial supporters.

That analysis drew guffaws from the senior Pentagon officers reading it, and the reigning IC powers of the era announced their scorn for such an amateurish analysis.

Our lead line, on the day the coup actually took place was
"As predicted, ......"

This led to a meeting of the heads of each segment of the IC as it was structured then, all demanding to know how it was that we had such precise information, and accusing us of keeping classified information from the IC.

We responded that we had used the classified reports which their operatives and analysts had provided the IC, but we felt no obligation to direct those same personnel to "Open Source" materials which they could have found in the US and foreign Press reports.  We provided each agency with copies of their reports which we had used, and then supplemented that material with Media reports we had assembled which filled in the gaps of the classified material.

Although we made few friends that day [as the IC directors and analysts were forced to eat humble pie], we did catch the attention of the DCI (Director of Central Intelligence) who felt that our precise coup prediction was not an aberration since we had a previous solid string of such accurate assessments.  Thus, we were gratified when the DCI blessed us with the DCI Exceptional Intelligence Analyst Award, a graduate fellowship to Georgetown and Oxford, a bag of money to travel throughout the world and interview diplomats and intelligence officers, and an assignment to provide special intelligence assessments to the Secretary of State and to write State inputs to National Intelligence Estimates.

But, we digress.

If you can't eavesdrop, it's not Intelligence
The point of this blog post is that the Director of National Intelligence [JimmyBob Clapper] is neutering the Intelligence Community by blocking their access to some of the most lucrative sources of information and leads.  In the absence of interaction with professional journalists, the Intelligence analysts and operatives lose a valuable resource.

Clapper has traditionally opposed Human Intelligence [HUMINT], and regards human espionage with disdain. Why, it's almost immoral!

Now, we've known Mr Clapper for several decades, and recognize his intellectual limitations, particularly where they relate to the various components and capabilities of the Intelligence Community.

Mr Clapper, like little Keith Alexander, kept his understanding of Intelligence collection to only electronic collection means -- a process which he promotes based on his experience and stock holdings in those Defense contractor companies which support electronic surveillance, be it SIGINT, IMINT, ELINT, or, anything but HUMINT!

The coup takes place tomorrow at 10:00 am
You see, even though HUMINT is generally the most reliable source of intelligence, augmented by the other INTs, it is far too inexpensive.

Our annual budget for running a global DCS amounted to the cost of a single satellite pass over a target.

Now, how, you ask, is a Defense Contractor like Boeing, Lockheed, or General Dynamics to make a billion dollar profit from a DCS operation, the total cost of which will likely be less than $200,000.

On the other hand, building and launching a satellite requires billions of dollars in support equipment and monitoring personnel -- not to speak of hundreds of IT servers and equipment processing thousands of yottaflops, and hundreds of hardware and software subcontractors.  Why, it's the American Way!

Now, to be fair, JimmyBob did claim credit for creating DOD HUMINT, and in particular, the DOD HUMINT Clandestine Service [DCS], until we reminded him over dinner one evening that we had built the DCS back in 1984 [about 16 years prior to his claim] -- while he was a mere two-star at CincPAC -- notable for his blockage of HUMINT operations.

But, we would not want to accuse JimmyBob of prevarication in such matters; we'll leave that to Congress when they charge him with perjury for his more egregious transgressions.  We may even blow him kisses as he is marched off to jail in a perp-walk in an orange jump-suit and cuffs.

We grieve that Mr Clapper has been given control over national intelligence collection since he has degraded the process which was designed to deliver to national decision-makers accurate assessments of threats to the United States.

Of course, today, the greatest threat to the US comes from within.