Archive for the ‘Intelligence Information’ Category

Will Obama Make a Deal for Snowden?

by Cliff Kincaid on Thursday, June 5th, 2014

This is article 32 of 33 in the topic Espionage

As the fallout continues from NSA leaker Edward Snowden’s first U.S. television interview, there is a dramatic report that “negotiations” are underway to allow the traitor to return to the U.S., in exchange for a form of immunity from prosecution.

The prospect of Snowden getting back into the U.S., and evading prosecution for some, or most, of his crimes has taken on special importance because of the Obama deal to exchange five terrorists from Gitmo for an American soldier who, by most accounts, deserted his fellow soldiers.

An Obama deal to take Snowden back, in negotiations that seem designed to make him look like a hero, cannot be considered out of bounds for an administration that makes deals that support terrorists in the Middle East. The broker in the Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl deal, the government of Qatar, protected terrorists, including the mastermind of 9/11, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, for years. It also sponsors the Al Jazeera channel.

Snowden is “considering” returning home to the U.S. under certain conditions, his lawyer told German news magazine Der Spiegel. The lawyer, leftist radical Wolfgang Kaleck, insisted that “There are negotiations” underway and that “an amicable agreement with the U.S, authorities will be most reasonable” when it is completed.

His bio discloses that Kaleck worked from 2004 until 2008 with the Marxist Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) to pursue frivolous criminal proceedings against members of the U.S. military, including former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. The allegations concerned treatment of suspected terrorists at Guantanamo and U.S. prisons in Iraq that were described by CCR as “war crimes.”

Another German lawyer assisting Snowden is Hans Christian Ströbele, who represented the communist terrorist group, the Baader-Meinhof Gang—also known as the Red Army Faction (RAF). Ströbele had met with Snowden in Moscow.

Despite the media’s best efforts to make the NSA leaker look like a patriotic whistleblower, an NBC News poll finds that only 24 percent back Snowden’s actions. The way NBC phrased the poll probably inflated support for Snowden.

In the poll, NBC asked people if they backed the “release of information about how government agencies collect intelligence data.” That phrase is a gross understatement about the impact of the classified documents Snowden stole from the NSA and released to Glenn Greenwald and others. Even so, only 24 percent in the poll supported the document thief. This compared with 34 percent who disagree with his actions, and another 40 percent who said they didn’t have an opinion.

Among those who say they’ve closely followed the story, NBC said that 49 percent oppose Snowden’s actions and 33 percent support them.

NBC added, “The overall numbers are essentially unchanged from a January 2014 NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, when 23 percent of registered voters said they supported Snowden’s actions, versus 38 percent who opposed them.”

About a year ago, a Washington Post-ABC News poll found that a majority of Americans—53 percent—said that Snowden should be charged with a crime for his leaks.

In fact, Snowden has been charged with various crimes, including espionage and theft of government property. But President Obama failed during his recent foreign policy address to call on Moscow to return the former NSA employee to the U.S. to stand trial. This stance can be explained by the fact that negotiations are underway for his return.

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Obama conducts unscrupulous secret surveillance, say Chinese in report

by Jim Kouri on Thursday, May 29th, 2014

This is article 1187 of 1211 in the topic International

AChinese think-tank specializing in Internet technology released a report on Monday that claims U.S. President Barack Obama and his spy agencies are taking advantage of their advanced military technology to spy on other countries with no regard to whether they are friend or foe.

China’s Internet Media Research Center slammed Washington for allegedly conducting a far-reaching secret surveillance program that targets governments and government leaders throughout the world. The Chinese group alleges that the spy operations in many cases has nothing to do with terrorism or warfare in Afghanistan

“[PRISM and other spy operations] demonstrate that the [Obama Administration] has mounted the most wide-ranging, costly, long-term surveillance operation in the history of the Internet,” the Chinese report states.

Besides leaders in countries such as Germany, Brazil, and many others, the Chinese think-tank alleges that the U.S. secret spy program also monitors ordinary people throughout the world, which was proven by documents leaked by NSA contractor Edward Snowden now residing in Russia.

Snowden claims that the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) collects information on close to five-billion cellular telephone calls and another two-billion text messages sent every day.

The Chinese also accused the NSA of using high-tech, spy software in tens-of-thousands of computers worldwide since Obama’s election as president. What shocked people who were following the spy story was the accusation that the NSA could “access and control these computers using radio waves even if they are not connected to a network.”

Monday’s report from the Chinese think-tank addresses the fact that the exposure of PRISM brought worldwide comdemnation of the U.S. as well as calls for the NSA program to be eliminated.

“America must provide explanations for its surveillance activities, cease spying operations that seriously infringe upon human rights, and refrain from causing stress and antagonism in global cyber space,” the report read.

“This report is a definite case of ‘the pot calling the kettle black.’ For years the Chinese government and its businesses have been spying on the United States, Great Britain, Japan and other industrialized nations as reported in publications such as the Examiner,” said corporate security expert Nicholas Menchen.

“It’s getting to the point where this world no longer has secrets,” Menchen added.

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Obama administration to intelligence community: Keep your mouths shut!

by Jim Kouri on Thursday, April 24th, 2014

This is article 111 of 113 in the topic Free Speech

The Obama administration’s top intelligence chief issued a new directive dictating that all intelligence agency workers are prohibited from speaking to members of news media organization without getting permission from their superiors, according to news reports on Monday.

The quietly promulgated directive was exposed by the Federation of American and is believed by many observers to be a knee-jerk response to the recent National Security Agency (NSA) scandal as well as NSA contractor Edward Snowden’s releases of classified documents.

The actual directive was written and sent out to the intelligence community by President Barack Obama’s hand-picked Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper. The directive threatens intelligence personnel who fail to follow the directive with the loss of their security clearances and their jobs and even criminal prosecution.

The Obama administration claims the rules are designed to protect the United States and its people from the nation’s enemies who would like nothing better than to compromise U.S. intelligence gathering and analysis.

“This is quite an interesting situation: on the one hand, the Obama administration and the Democrats continue to threaten Central Intelligence Agency staff with criminal prosecution for their methods of gathering information in the search for terrorist icon Osama bin Laden; on the other hand they’re telling these intelligence officers that they cannot divulge information that may help them to avoid convictions by the over-zealous Obama minions,” said former intelligence officer and police detective Michael Snopes.

As far as obtaining permission, the directive stipulates that in a majority of situations, permission or authorization must be obtained from a very limited pool within the intelligence community, usually the top officials at the intel officer’s agency.

TheFAS’ secrecy news states:

So under most circumstances, an intelligence community employee is at liberty to discuss unclassified intelligence-related information with his or her next-door neighbor. But if the neighbor happened to be a member of the media, then the contact would be prohibited altogether without prior authorization.

In the aftermath of the Snowden intelligence leaks, the Obama White House has suggested additional security measures to protect classified information from unauthorized disclosure to the press and to the public, and many lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are eagerly awaiting Obama’s plan.

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Pulitzer Prizes for Russian Spy Stories?

by Cliff Kincaid on Thursday, March 20th, 2014

This is article 30 of 33 in the topic Espionage

The American media establishment is on the verge of awarding “distinguished” Pulitzer Prizes to National Security Agency (NSA) leaker Edward Snowden’s media mouthpieces, the recipients of his stolen national security documents. Such a move would further confirm the role of the media in helping America’s enemies and adversaries, and undermine whatever credibility the media have left with the American people.

Dylan Byers’ story in POLITICO, “Edward Snowden looms over Pulitzer Prizes,” engages in speculation about which media figures receiving the Snowden documents might get a prize. It also plays down Snowden’s debt to the Russian regime, which gave him asylum. Snowden “is living in Russia,” Byers says, as if the former NSA contract employee has been on a vacation and may soon depart for the Bahamas. Why the reluctance to tell the truth about Snowden’s circumstances? Even Snowden adviser Jesselyn Radack says “it is perfectly appropriate” for the Russian security service, the FSB, to be “guarding” the former NSA contractor. Snowden is Russian President Vladimir Putin’s puppet.

Byers fails to note that a classified report from the Department of Defense (DoD) concludes that  Snowden downloaded approximately 1.7 million intelligence files—described as the single largest theft of secrets in the history of the United States—and that “much of the information stolen by Snowden is related to current U.S. military operations” (emphasis added). That could include the operations of NATO, in response to Russian aggression in such places as Ukraine.

This doesn’t bother Byers, who challenges the Pulitzer Board to honor Snowden’s collaborators, saying, “…to pass on the NSA story would be to risk giving the appearance of timidity, siding with the government over the journalists who are trying to hold it accountable and ignoring the most significant disclosure of state secrets in recent memory.”

Hold the government accountable?

Even those who understand the basic facts of the case, without reference to a classified assessment, understand that Snowden is not a hero or a whistleblower. “I think he broke the law, so I certainly wouldn’t characterize him as a hero,” commented Microsoft founder Bill Gates in a Rolling Stone interview. “If he wanted to raise the issues and stay in the country and engage in civil disobedience or something of that kind, or if he had been careful in terms of what he had released, then it would fit more of the model of ‘OK, I’m really trying to improve things.’ You won’t find much admiration from me.”

Gates understands that Snowden went far beyond revealing details of what Byers misleadingly calls the NSA’s “widespread domestic surveillance program.” In fact, the NSA targets foreigners in order to uncover terror plots and espionage operations, and their American-based operatives. One of the most famous projects in the history of the NSA was Venona, which helped uncover Alger Hiss and other Soviet spies in the U.S. government by analyzing communications from Moscow to the U.S.

Snowden has been labeled a “modern-day Alger Hiss” by former Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ), a description that captures the essence of his betrayal and the damage he has done. Hiss went to prison.

Saluting Snowden’s media collaborators would give the Pulitzer another black eye, in the same way that Walter Duranty’s cover-up of Stalin’s murder of millions of people in Ukraine was given a Pulitzer Prize in 1932.

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The Case for Arresting Glenn Greenwald

by Cliff Kincaid on Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

This is article 28 of 33 in the topic Espionage

If Edward Snowden can be charged with espionage and threatened with arrest if he returns to the U.S., why can’t his associate, Glenn Greenwald, be charged as well? That’s the question some in the media are asking as Greenwald prepares to return from abroad for a scheduled appearance before a Muslim Brotherhood front group, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), on Saturday.

Snowden depended on Greenwald, formerly with the Guardian and now working for the billionaire eBay founder Pierre Omidyar, to release and publicize his illegally acquired classified information from the National Security Agency (NSA).

Omidyar is described as a French-born Iranian American entrepreneur. But now that he has decided to sponsor Greenwald’s brand of “journalism,” shouldn’t he be under scrutiny as well? Turning his back on the country that made him a billionaire, he has just posted a “Time to Thank Edward Snowden” message on his Twitter account.

It has become painfully obvious that Snowden’s disclosures have been timed to do maximum damage to the United States and its allies. John R. Schindler, professor of national security affairs at the U.S. Naval War College, writes, “To anyone versed in counterintelligence, specifically the modus operandi of Russian security services, the Snowden Operation is a classic case of Active Measures, in other words a secret propaganda job.” He adds, “Relying on fronts, cut-outs, ‘independent’ journalists, plus platoons of what Lenin memorably termed Useful Idiots, is just what the Kremlin’s intelligence services do when they want to engage in Active Measures.”

The purpose, he says, is to “fractur[e] the Western security and intelligence alliance,” a long-time objective of the old Soviet Union, and now Russia.

One of those “independent” journalists is Greenwald, who insists he acts like a journalist and observes journalistic standards. But how does that square with his appearances before the annual conferences of the International Socialist Organization? Or his scheduled appearance at CAIR’s November 16 “Faith in Freedom” conference?

Greenwald is an American citizen, but lives in Brazil with his homosexual lover, David Miranda, who was accused of espionage for trying to sneak some of Snowden’s documents through Britain. Miranda was detained and questioned for nine hours.

British law enforcement said:

Intelligence indicates that Miranda is likely to be involved in espionage activity which has the potential to act against the interests of UK national security…We assess that Miranda is knowingly carrying material the  release of which would endanger people’s lives. Additionally the disclosure, or threat of disclosure, is designed to influence a government and is made for the purpose of promoting a political or ideological cause. This therefore falls within the definition of terrorism…

The Miranda material reportedly included 58,000 documents from the NSA and its British equivalent, the Government Communications Headquarters.

The charges against Snowden include violating the Espionage Act, theft of government property (18 U.S.C. 641) and the unauthorized communication of national defense information (18 U.S.C. 793 d).

Section 798 of the Espionage Act absolutely prohibits the publication of classified information in the area of communications intelligence. That would include programs of the NSA. The law does not include a loophole for self-proclaimed journalists who cooperate with spies to violate the law.

On October 13, Democratic Rep.

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Navy commander sells U.S. classified info for cash, hookers and Lady Gaga

by Jim Kouri on Friday, November 8th, 2013

This is article 269 of 302 in the topic US Military

On the same day that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told “NPR Morning Edition” host Steve Inskeep that the U.S. military had to get costs under control, a senior U.S. Navy official was formally charged on Wednesday with accepting luxury trips, $100,000 in cash, “hooker services,” and even Lady Gaga concert tickets from a foreign-based defense contractor as payment for turning over classified U.S. Navy information to that contractor, according to the U.S. Department of Justice’s Criminal Division.

U.S. Navy Commander Jose Luis Sanchez was arrested Tuesday evening in Tampa, Fla., and appeared in a federal courtroom in the Middle District of Florida on Wednesday morning. Also named in a complaint unsealed on Wednesday is Leonard Glenn Francis, 49, of Malaysia, the CEO of Glenn Defense Marine Asia (GDMA), who was arrested on Sept. 16, 2013, in San Diego, Calif.

Besides Cdr. Sanchez, two other senior Navy officials — Commander Michael Vannak Khem Misiewicz, 46, and Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) Supervisory Special Agent John Bertrand Beliveau, 44 — were charged separately in connection with bribery allegations in September 2013.

Court records allege that the conspiracy started in January 2009, when Sanchez was the Deputy Logistics Officer for the Commander of the U.S. Navy Seventh Fleet in Yokosuka, Japan, and continued when he was transferred to serve as Director of Operations for Fleet Logistics Command in Singapore, until he transferred to Florida in April of this year.

Besides the GDMA CEO, another company executive, Alex Wisidagama, 40, of Singapore, has also been charged with participating in a related scheme to overbill the Navy for services provided in ports throughout Southeast Asia.

“As described in the corruption charges unsealed today, senior officials with the United States Navy abused their trusted positions as leaders in our armed forces by peddling favorable treatment — and even classified government information — for their personal benefit,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman.

“In turn, the GDMA executives who illicitly sought information and favors from those Navy officials boasted about their unlawful access to those officials and then traded on the influence that they illegally bought. Day by day, this massive Navy fraud and bribery investigation continues to widen, and as the charges announced today show, we will follow the evidence wherever it takes us,” said Raman.

According to the criminal complaint, the 41-year-old Cdr. Sanchez received bribes in return for providing sensitive U.S. Navy information to Francis. Sanchez would also recommend Francis’ company to other senior officers within the Navy.

According to investigators, like Sanchez, Cdr. Misiewicz is accused of providing sensitive Navy information to Francis and secretly working on behalf of GDMA in exchange for prostitutes and luxury travel. Meanwhile, the NCIS agent, Beliveau, is charged in another complaint with illegally supplying Francis with sensitive information, including reports of investigations by NCIS into possible billing fraud committed by GDMA. GDMA allegedly overcharged the Navy and submitted bogus invoices for millions of dollars in services.

Court records allege that Sanchez regularly emailed Francis internal Navy discussions about GDMA, including legal opinions, and made recommendations in GDMA’s favor about port visits and Navy personnel assignments. In return, Francis gave Sanchez over $100,000 in cash, together with travel expenses and prostitutes.

Court records allege that Francis sent an email on Oct. 20, 2011, asking Cdr.

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John Kerry concedes Obama’s spy team ‘reached too far’

by Jim Kouri on Sunday, November 3rd, 2013

This is article 26 of 33 in the topic Espionage

Secretary of State John Kerry surprised many reporters, as well as intelligence, law enforcement and military officials, when he conceded on Friday that some of the U.S. surveillance has gone “too far.” The Obama administration has come under intense criticism from many world leaders including some heads of state from NATO allies, according to Josh Hollander, a former intelligence-division police detective.

Responding to increased questioning by major news organizations, Secretary Kerry admitted that at times the technological surveillance by the super-secret National Security Agency (NSA) “have reached too far.”

However, Kerry quickly alluded to the Obama claim of ignorance when he added, “There is no question that the president and I have actually learned of some things that had been happening, in many ways, on an automatic pilot because the technology is there,” Kerry was quoted as saying.

John Kerry, who replaced Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, found himself confronting reports that the U.S. spies had eavesdropped on cell phone calls by world leaders, including Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel. In Merkel’s case, there are allegations that her office telephone was also “bugged” by U.S. spies and that the NSA collected data on tens of millions of phone calls in European countries.

In a direct contrast to statements he made while he served as a Senator during the Bush administration, Kerry actually defended the NSA’s operations during the Obama administration, claiming that U.S. surveillance programs are an “effective counterterrorism tool” that has prevented Islamic and domestic terrorists from bombing buildings, hijacking or bombing passenger airliners, assassinating leaders, and murdering people since the NSA was able to “learn ahead time of the [terrorists'] plans.”

President Barack Obama and members of his administration are being pressured by the international community since June after former NSA contractor Edward Snowden exposed the spy agency’s massive surveillance program which monitors worldwide phone calls and Internet communications as part of the U.S. counterterrorism strategy.

“The Obama White House promised it will conduct a full investigation of its global intelligence-gathering operations, but many expect a continuation of most of the intelligence operations in spite of criticism,” said Josh Hollander.

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Edward Snowden Labeled a Modern-day Alger Hiss

by Cliff Kincaid on Saturday, November 2nd, 2013

This is article 25 of 33 in the topic Espionage

Former Republican Senator Jon Kyl says former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, now living in Moscow, is “this generation’s Alger Hiss” and “may be one of the worst traitors in the history of our nation.” Alger Hiss, the State Department official who was convicted of perjury in 1950 for denying he was a Soviet spy, served 44 months in prison.

In remarks prepared for delivery on Thursday night to the “Pumpkin Papers Irregulars” dinner in Washington, D.C., Kyl said, “As with Hiss, many in the public seem to be confused about whether Snowden is a ‘hero’ or a ‘traitor,’ with many, especially young people, more worried about the National Security Agency than Edward Snowden. Much of this confusion is the fault of the same media that is reaping large financial windfalls from publishing highly damaging news articles and stories.”

Rejecting claims by some conservatives and libertarians that Snowden is a hero or whistleblower for stealing and releasing classified information, Kyl, who retired from the Senate after the 2012 election, said, “Heroes and whistleblowers don’t admittedly steal thousands of classified documents about some of NSA’s most sensitive collection activities, give copies of them to the media, flee to that bastion of personal and political freedom, the People’s Republic of China, and, in an irony to end all ironies, seek political asylum in Russia.”

Snowden gave much of the stolen material to Glenn Greenwald, who has now left the British Guardian newspaper to work for billionaire eBay founder Pierre Omidyar. Greenwald had been a regular participant in communist conferences, featuring Marxist enemies of the United States, and this month will speak to a conference of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a Muslim Brotherhood front.

In comments that could be seen as directed toward some of his fellow Republicans, such as Senator Rand Paul (KY) or Rep. Justin Amash (MI), the former senator from Arizona said, “I don’t know whether I’m more dismayed by our failure to protect national secrets, the despicable actions of Snowden and Greenwald, or the naivety of many Americans and even leaders in their reaction to the disclosures.”

Amash, who has partnered with far-left Democratic Rep. John Conyers (MI) in a legislative effort to undermine the surveillance programs of the NSA, was a featured speaker at an anti-NSA rally on October 26 in Washington, D.C., in support of Snowden. The event was organized by the George Soros-funded Free Press group.

Senator Rand Paul jumped to Snowden’s defense as the disclosures were being made, even as the former NSA contractor was making his way to Moscow. Snowden has since been indicted for espionage and theft of government secrets.

The term “pumpkin papers” carries special significance for anti-communists and national security experts and analysts. It is a reference to microfilm copies of secret and stolen State Department documents given to Whittaker Chambers by State Department official Alger Hiss for transmission to the Soviet Union. They constituted absolute proof of Hiss’s guilt and role as a Soviet spy. Chambers broke with the Communist Party and wrote the classic book, Witness, about his conversion to the cause of freedom.

The “Pumpkin Papers Irregulars” dinner is held every year to pay tribute to Chambers and those who follow in his footsteps.

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GOP Congressman Flees Anti-NSA Rally

by Cliff Kincaid on Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

This is article 23 of 33 in the topic Espionage

Libertarian Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan and former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson were the most prominent Republicans appearing at last Saturday’s far-left anti-NSA rally, staged in honor of former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.

Johnson, who is also a libertarian, was introduced to the crowd as an advocate of legal marijuana, and drew applause and cheers.

Amash was also a favorite, but clearly seemed uncomfortable on stage as he was surrounded by “Stop Watching Us” activists holding thousands of anti-NSA petitions. Numerous “Thank you Edward Snowden” banners were visible in the crowd before him.

Amash gave a speech, staged a brief photo op with some of the participants who formally presented the anti-NSA petitions, and then quickly walked away in order to avoid interviews with the press.

This didn’t stop NBC News reporter Michael Isikoff from following the Michigan congressman after his speech and trying to corner him about whether he regards Snowden as a criminal, traitor, or hero. Isikoff’s cameraman was filming the exchange while walking backward.

Only one small part of the exchange with Amash aired on NBC News. The Michigan Tea Party-backed Representative was overheard telling Isikoff that Snowden had “very few options, but the issue is not whether he did the right thing or not. I think he’s certainly broken some laws.”

Yet, the rally was designed specifically for the purpose of supporting Snowden and his criminal disclosures.

Snowden is the subject of a sealed criminal complaint charging him with espionage and theft of government property. He fled to Chinese Hong Kong and then Russia, where President and former Soviet KGB officer Vladimir Putin gave him asylum. Snowden’s disclosures about the nature and extent of U.S. surveillance programs have clearly benefitted America’s enemies and damaged America’s international standing in the world.

The small crowd, which assembled near Union Station and then marched to the Capitol Reflecting Pool, was led in chants of “They say wiretap. We say fight back.”

USA Today said “thousands” had rallied against the NSA, but several hundred was a more accurate estimate. The crowd included members of Code Pink, the Marxist organization that frequently demonstrates against aid to Israel; extremists from the Lyndon LaRouche organization (with posters showing Obama with a Hitler mustache); ACLU activists; and advocates for American “political prisoners” such as convicted cop-killer Joanne Chesimard (a member of the Black Liberation Army who escaped to Cuba).

Other official sponsoring organizations included the ANSWER Coalition, a front of the Party for Socialism and Liberation, and the International Socialist Organization (ISO).

Glenn Greenwald, one of the individual endorsers of last Saturday’s rally, has been Snowden’s handler and conduit for leaks to the media. He has also spoken at several ISO conferences, declaring on one occasion that the “weakening of America” is a “very good thing.”

Evan Gahr reported for AIM that Greenwald is speaking at the November 16 “Faith in Freedom” banquet of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a Muslim Brotherhood organization. CAIR was also an official sponsor of Saturday’s rally.

The October 26 event was emceed by Kymone Freeman, director of something called the “National Black LUV Fest,” and featured a statement by Snowden from Moscow. “It’s about our right to know, to associate freely, and to live in an open society,” said Snowden. His statement, however, said nothing about government surveillance in Russia, conducted by the former KGB, now known as the FSB.

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Rules for Spies

by Alan Caruba on Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

This is article 22 of 33 in the topic Espionage

With all the dramatics by Germany, Argentina, and the leaders of other nations protesting that the National Security Agency is spying on them, the experts on espionage have been patiently pointing out that all nations spy on one another and always have. Two thousand years ago Sun Tzu, a Chinese general, wrote “The Art of War” and devoted a chapter to “The Use of Spies” in which he said, “Be subtle! Be subtle! And use your spies for every kind of business.”

I often visit “Stormbringer”, a blog by a former U.S. soldier with an extensive special operations background, and he recently published “Rules for Spies” by John Schindler, “a National Security Agency veteran and now a professor at the Naval War College.” Schindler spent ten years at the NSA as an analyst and counterintelligence officer.

Most of us will never know what really goes on in the NSA and that’s the way it’s supposed to be, but I will raise a personal objection to its use to spy on Americans. As I understand it, the NSA is authorized solely to spy on foreign subjects, as is the CIA. Domestic surveillance is the job of the FBI. Clearly the lines of legal authority have been breached. One can only hope that congressional oversight will correct this problem.

In the meantime, here is a selection from Rules for Spies that will provide some insight regarding the way espionage and counter-intelligence should be conducted:

“All important intelligence methods have already been perfected by the Russians. We need to figure out how to do them nicely.”

“It’s not what you know. It’s not who you know. It’s what you know about who you know. If you don’t understand that, in intelligence, your job is based on breaking other people’s laws, get out now.”

“U.S. intelligence is the world’s BIG DAWG, especially in SIGNINT (signals intelligence) and IMINT (image intelligence, i.e, that gathered by satellites and other means) but the bureaucracy is so vast as to undercut too much of that.”

“SIGNINT is the golden source, but if the enemy doesn’t understand his own system, neither will you. If you don’t understand the other side’s collection and what he’s doing to mess up your collection, you’re clueless too.”

“The bigger your bureaucracy, the less effective your intelligence system is. No exceptions.”

“You can learn tradecraft. You can’t learn common sense. Nor can you get ‘up to speed’ on a problem in a couple of weeks.”

“Intelligence services are accurate reflections of their societies. It’s not always a pretty picture.”

“The best way to protect your secrets is to steal the other side’s.”

“If you don’t own the street, the other side will. And soon they will steal your lunch.”

Schindler’s reflections on bureaucracy and the way it can undermine or misinterpret intelligence are of particular importance in the present time. The U.S. not only has the largest intelligence gathering operation on planet Earth, but its size can contribute to failures to analyze and act on it.

Examples of this would include, of course, the 9/11 attack that transformed America in major ways.

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