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Liberalism: Why think when you can “feel”?

CIA Director Panetta: I’m using the MSM instead of intelligence reports to figure out what’s happening in Egypt

When it’s not the National Security Director stepping in it, it’s the CIA chief a day later.  It is terrifying to think these two geniuses are in charge of national security and intelligence.  Details:

CIA Director Leon Panetta helped touch off an avalanche of erroneous expectations Thursday when he testified that there was a “strong likelihood” that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak would step down by the end of the day.

Within minutes, senior aides to Panetta sought to tamp down the impact, saying he was merely referring to media reports. But by then, the comments had ricocheted around the Internet, underscoring U.S. confusion about events unfolding in Egypt, as well as the perils of publicly weighing in on such developments while serving as director of CIA.

After the committee chairman referred to media accounts predicting that the Egyptian president would step down, Panetta said, “I got the same information you did, that there is a strong likelihood that Mubarak may step down this evening, which would be significant in terms of where the hopefully orderly transition in Egypt takes place.”

Shortly thereafter, a U.S. intelligence official said that Panetta “was clearly referring to press reports alluded to” by the panel chairman, Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.).

The explanation that Panetta was citing news accounts protected him from being on the hook if the prediction turned out not to be true. But it also carried a more subtle public relations risk, suggesting that the CIA chief was not necessarily any better informed than others at Thursday’s hearing, scanning their cellphones for breaking news.

Well, I guess when CNN says that they are the “most trusted” news source (don’t laugh, they really claim that!), Panetta takes their word for it.  “Screw intel reports!  Wolf Blitzer is telling me all I need to know!”

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February 11, 2011 Posted by | Egypt, intelligence, shameful | 2 Comments

Dems: Who needs terrorist surveillance?

From the AP:

President Bush on Monday lobbied again for an intelligence law allowing government eavesdropping on phone calls and e-mails, as the tone of the dispute between the White House and Congress over terrorist surveillance grew increasingly sharp.

“To put it bluntly, if the enemy is calling into America, we really need to know what they’re saying, and we need to know what they’re thinking, and we need to know who they’re talking to,” Bush said at the start of his annual meeting with the nation’s governors at the White House.

“This is a different kind of struggle than we’ve ever faced before. It’s essential that we understand the mentality of these killers,” Bush said.

The law in question targets foreign terrorist threats and allows eavesdropping on communications involving people in the U.S., so long as those people are not the intended focus or target of the surveillance. The latest version of the legislation expired on Feb. 16, and the rules reverted to those outlined in the 30-year-old Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

Bush and Congress are at odds over whether to give legal immunity to companies that in the past helped the government spy on customers without court warrants…

…Democrats, in an op-ed piece Monday in The Washington Post, accused Bush of resorting to “scare tactics and political games.”

“It is clear that he and his Republican allies, desperate to distract attention from the economy and other policy failures, are trying to use this issue to scare the American people into believing that congressional Democrats have left America vulnerable to terrorist attack,” said the article.

The piece was signed by Democratic Sens. Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee; Patrick Leahy, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee; Democratic Reps. Silvestre Reyes, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee; and John Conyers, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.

White House press secretary Dana Perino responded to their op-ed with her own statement. Perino said that Bush is not using scare tactics, but rather repeating the concerns of the intelligence community about the risks to the nation. “Unless this threat is taken more seriously in Congress, the ability to obtain the intelligence we need will be at risk, and with it our national security,” Perino said.

Later, speaking to reporters, Perino said the Democrats’ use of the phrase “scare tactics” must “be like one of their favorite words — it must poll very well, because they use it almost every time. What we have done is state facts.

Well, good grief, Perino!  There’s your problem right there: you stated facts.  The left has little use for those things.  They get in the way of their agenda. 

If you have not yet afforded yourself the opportunity, feel free to question the left’s patriotism now.

February 26, 2008 Posted by | defeatism, intelligence | 6 Comments

Wiretapping halted due to…unpaid phone bills?

For those of you who are paranoid enough to think Bu$hitler McRummyburton is spying on your calls, you will be relieved to know that you’ve been given a reprieve.  From the AP:

Telephone companies cut off FBI wiretaps used to eavesdrop on suspected criminals because of the bureau’s repeated failures to pay phone bills on time, according to a Justice Department audit released Thursday.

The faulty bookkeeping is part of what the audit, by the Justice Department’s inspector general, described as the FBI’s lax oversight of money used in undercover investigations. Poor supervision of the program also allowed one agent to steal $25,000, the audit said.

More than half of 990 bills to pay for telecommunication surveillance in five unidentified FBI field offices were not paid on time, the report shows. In one office alone, unpaid costs for wiretaps from one phone company totaled $66,000.

And at least once, a wiretap used in a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act investigation — the highly secretive and sensitive cases that allow eavesdropping on suspected terrorists or spies — “was halted due to untimely payment.”

I can see it now:  “Muhammed, Ibrahaim said that the explosives are going to be detonated at…(click!)

According to a DOJ Inspector General audit…:

As part of our audit, we analyzed 990 telecommunication surveillance payments made by 5 field divisions and found that over half of these payments were not made on time. We also found that late payments have resulted in telecommunications carriers actually disconnecting phone lines established to deliver surveillance results to the FBI, resulting in lost evidence including an instance where delivery of intercept information required by a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) order was halted due to untimely payment.

According to FBI field division officials, the various types of telecommunication charges, coupled with the number of invoices resulting from each surveillance order, make it difficult to identify and track incoming surveillance bills. The FBI also lacks proper guidance and consistent procedures necessary to track telecommunication surveillance bills accurately. Lacking such headquarters-issued procedures, FBI field divisions have instituted separate, ad hoc tracking mechanisms, which had mixed results in paying bills on time. For example, a primary carrier sent a list to one of the field divisions we tested detailing $66,000 in unpaid telecommunication costs resulting from surveillance activity.

When they’re not fouling up border security and enforcement of immigration laws, and when they’re not frisking senior citizens at airport checkpoints while letting those who “look” Arab/Muslim walk right by, DHS and TSA are finding creative ways to showcase their incompetence.  Feel safer now?  Me neither.

January 11, 2008 Posted by | big government, corruption, intelligence, shameful | 1 Comment

The NIE: fact or fiction?

I haven’t covered the National Intelligence Estimate report much, mainly because there’s been quite a bit of info out there about it.  In short, our intel community (which has been at war with the administration as much as, if not more so than, with Al Qaeda) released a report that says Iran doesn’t have nukes or the ability to make them.

Well, the Euros beg to differ, as do the Israelis.  As Allah puts it, you have no idea how much it stings to have the Euros telling us we’re naive about a threat!

British spy chiefs have grave doubts that Iran has mothballed its nuclear weapons programme, as a US intelligence report claimed last week, and believe the CIA has been hoodwinked by Teheran…

British intelligence is concerned that US spy chiefs were so determined to avoid giving President Bush a reason to go to war – as their reports on Saddam Hussein’s weapons programmes did in Iraq – that they got it wrong this time.

A senior British official delivered a withering assessment of US intelligence-gathering abilities in the Middle East and revealed that British spies shared the concerns of Israeli defence chiefs that Iran was still pursuing nuclear weapons.

The source said British analysts believed that Iranian nuclear staff, knowing their phones were tapped, deliberately gave misinformation. “We are sceptical. We want to know what the basis of it is, where did it come from? Was it on the basis of the defector? Was it on the basis of the intercept material? They say things on the phone because they know we are up on the phones. They say black is white. They will say anything to throw us off.

John Bolton describes the NIE as both “politics disguised as intelligence” and “quasi-putsch”, which is more diplomatic than I would be.

December 10, 2007 Posted by | defeatism, Euros, intelligence, Iran | 2 Comments

CIA: Terrorist mole / criminal alien agent no big whoop

Whether the next president be Democrat (God help us) or Republican, could we please do a bit of housecleaning in the CIA?  From NY Daily News:

In the wake of Nada Nadim Prouty’s guilty plea to lying her way into U.S. citizenship and sensitive FBI and CIA jobs, operatives of both agencies disagree whether she breached the government’s trust, or just showed poor judgment.

For many in the buttoned-down FBI, a fellow special agent tarnished the bureau’s image and betrayed them by living the lie that she was a law-abiding naturalized citizen from Lebanon.

“That can’t be glossed over,” said John Sennett, a retired agent and former president of the FBI Agents Association. “To get into the FBI under false pretenses is inexcusable. This isn’t like lying about your age to join the Navy in December 1941.”

But to CIA veterans, where Prouty was recruited as a covert operations officer in 2003, a talented spy merely fudged the truth to win her citizenship.

Prouty, 37, admitted in court that she became a U.S. citizen by hiring an American to marry her. She then joined the FBI in 1999.

“That’s not uncommon – people do it all the time,” said a dismissive CIA source. The source strongly praised her undercover work in Iraq fighting insurgents, and said at worst she used bad judgment before joining the CIA. 

Really?  This kind of stuff is “not uncommon” and “people do it all the time”?  Seriously, we routinely have illegal aliens getting high security clearance jobs that handle sensitive issues of national security AND have ties to terrorist organizations, all under false pretense?

Here’s the real jawdropper:

Several other CIA officers also shrugged off her pleading guilty to rifling FBI files for information on family members and a Hezbollah counterterror case in Detroit.

“As far as I can tell, she was just looking out for her family,” another senior official said. 

Um…yeah.  Her brother-in-law is a Hezbollah fundraiser!  We damned sure do not need anyone in the CIfreakin’A “looking out for her family” if her family is composed of terrorists or terrorist abetters!

November 20, 2007 Posted by | illegal immigration, intelligence, religion of peace | 2 Comments