Thursday, May 25, 2006

The War Against the CIA

A reader sends an article from Time Magazine describing how efforts to "reform" the CIA are in reality creating enormous damage to an institution which has long defended America from its enemies. Some excerpts from the article:

The embattled agency is opened up, aired out and trimmed down

Never before has a secret agency received such public scrutiny. It is indeed a unique event that a modern nation is exhaustively examining one of its chief weapons of defense for all the world to see—including its adversaries. Yet this unprecedented exposure of the Central Intelligence Agency is perhaps the inevitable result of attacks on a vast bureaucracy that operated too long out of the public eye. America's premier defense agency has been under intense fire both at home and abroad for violating what many critics felt were proper standards of international conduct.

Once a proud company of proud men acting with the confidence that not only would their accomplishments serve their country but that their fellow citizens would support them, the agency has found its very functions and rationale severely questioned. It has had five directors in five stormy years. Its chiefs seem to spend more time before congressional committees than in planning and administering. Its agents, never public heroes because of the secrecy of their work, are now portrayed in the harshest of press accounts as conspiratorial villains. Somehow the rules of the spy game changed and, as the CIA men keep telling themselves, changed in the middle of the game.

The result has been inevitable—sagging morale, deteriorating ability to collect intelligence, and declining quality of analysis. Increasingly, this has worried Government policy framers, who are all too well aware of the need for prime intelligence sources and evaluation.

It has also, not incidentally, comforted those who work against the CIA. A Soviet KGB agent told a TIME correspondent in Cairo last week: "Of all the operations that the Soviet Union and the U.S. have conducted against each other, none have benefited the KGB as much as the campaign in the U.S. to discredit the CIA. In our wildest scenarios, we could never have anticipated such a plus for our side. It's the kind of gift all espionage men dream about. Today our boys have it a lot easier, and we didn't have to lift a finger. You did all our work for us."

KGB? Is the phrase KGB a slip of the keyboard? No. The passage quoted above is from the February 6, 1978 edition of Time Magazine and the President accused of destroying the CIA isn't George W. Bush. It's Jimmy Carter. The article continues.

In an effort to restore the CIA'S esteem, reorganize the U.S. intelligence community, and deflect further criticism from the agency, President Carter last week signed an Executive order that places all nine U.S. intelligence agencies under the direct budget control and loose coordination of one man: CIA Director Stansfield Turner, 54. Incorporated in the order were sharp curbs on the kinds of clandestine practices that brought the CIA much of its criticism.

The Time article goes on to describe "skepticism that the overall problems of intelligence, coordination and direction could be cured either soon or simply"; it complains that "more is expected of the CIA just when its capabilities are being restricted"; of hamstringing its ability to supply intelligence on Third World countries even as it is needed most. The article exposes how intelligence agencies, contrary to intent, are being run from the White House by political figures. "When last week's executive order was finally hammered out, Admiral Turner, perhaps only half in jest, threw up his arms, sighed and told Brzezinski: 'They call me the intelligence czar, but you're the boss.'" Long time agency veterans complained about the new Director's abrasive style. "With scant regard for the feelings of people who had served their country unsung for decades, he permitted a photocopied memo informing 212 employees of their dismissal to be distributed last Oct. 31. Some of the people fired thought he bore them a personal grudge."

Commentary

If journalism were held to the same standards as fiction, the courts would be clogged with accusations of plagiarism. Although plot details may vary, news "narratives" bear a closer resemblance to each other than Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code did to Baigent and Leigh's Holy Blood, Holy Grail. That plaigarism case went to court, though Baigent and Leigh lost; and Time doesn't have to sue itself. The real function of an editorial room isn't to maintain stylistic consistency. Its true purpose is to enforce a certain point of view. The mainstream media's strength lies in its role as a foundry of news objects; as the creator of stories and masters of its lifecycle. Media power consists in being able to determine a narrative's birth, evolution and its final fate. The media has, as Orwell said, the power over history; a history which as Marx observed and Time demonstrates, always appears twice, first as tragedy and the second time as farce.

82 Comments:

Blogger 2164th said...

There has been a forty five year old war against all US institutions. You can broaden that to Western and stretch it without distorting truth to include Christianity. The lies and distortions are spiked with hate and revenge. The agenda is to discredit and destroy. The abuse has been mostly conducted in the courts with the MSM singing chorus. The draft dodgers, via student deferment infiltrated the schools and universities. The likes of John Heinz Kerry destroyed the good name of many a better man than anyone would have ever dreamt possible. Jimmy Carter, Nobel Laureatte, provided them cover. The schools of journalism joined the crusade boosted by the endorphins provided by Watergate. The CIA is an easy target, as it cannot defend itself on the chosen field of battle, the media. Lies quickly become repeated and thicken to dogma and soon to “Truth”.

I had an ugly exchange in this forum when someone repeated the lie about a certain incident during Iran Contra. I knew the situation and persons involved first hand and it is now and was then an outrageous slander. My knowledge and witness is of no use because the damage has been done The lies have been repeated and are now dogma. The culture is sick and getting sicker. As in most times in history a man of decision, action and conviction will seize the moment when things get universally recognized as intolerable. The time and man has not yet appeared, but it and he will. The CIA will be diminished to the joy and disbelief of our enemies.

5/25/2006 12:54:00 PM  
Blogger snowonpine said...

One never knows just how effective the CIA is since, by definition, what it does is secret. However, if the whole series of lame estimates--from their failure to devine the true state of the economic,political and military situations in the pre-collapse Soviet Unio and their inability to predict the likelihood of the collapse, to the recent Iraq WMD thing (although I think the jury is still out on this count)--is any indication, they are doing a rotten job on the analytical front.

Add to this the increasing number and seriousness of leaks from the Agency and it seems to me that any sensible President would try to basically purge the agency. However, the fact of these leaks tells me that not only are analysts leaking but that some of their supervisors are probably looking the other way and silently cheering them on. The Plum Book lists only eight key positions in the Agency that a President can appoint his advocates to. Ridding an agency of a pervasive mind-set, it seems to me,would be next to impossible with only eight people on your team. You can't get rid of everybody because you do need people to take care of business at some minimum level. If supervisors are sympathetic to the leakers or think as do the always wrong analysts, they are hardly going to show their true colors or nominate their favorite subordinates for purging are they?

5/25/2006 12:56:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

"Never before has a secret agency received such public scrutiny."

Short memory or a young reporter who doesn't remember Senator Frank Church's (D-Idaho) televised Senate hearings on the CIA following Watergate. That marked the Company's beginning of the end of solidarity and espirit de corps.

The author is correct about Jimma Carter and Stansfield Turner. They did some real damage too and the old OSS hands bailed out. The CIA never recovered from Church,Carter, and Turner and they are almost universally hated by those of us who were there prior to their arrival.

5/25/2006 01:04:00 PM  
Blogger oldefogey said...

Stephen Hayes asks the question, "Can the CIA be saved" in the May 22nd issue of The Weekly Standard and concludes that the answer is a resounding NO.

At least not during this administration because the administration has already taken on the CIA culture and lost as evidenced by Portor Goss' firing and the prior vetting of his replacement's 2nd in command by the CIA old guard.

Senior CIA management's objective appears to be to protect their own organization and not the American people. They are ably abetted by the mainstream media who relish any leak that casts the adminstration in a negative light - whether true or not.

This apparently can include seditious acts if they cast a doubt on the administration. Of course, seditious acts commited by the media are, a priori, not seditious but brave reporting worthe of Pulitzers.

Unfortunately, it appears that many more Americans will have to get killed before this situation can be changed.

5/25/2006 01:11:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Newsweak has an article describing the "real" story at the CIA

"... May 24, 2006 - As controversial CIA Director Porter Goss exits the agency, NEWSWEEK has discovered new details about a purge of top agency operatives shortly after Goss's arrival in 2004. A bitter secret feud over a Clinton-era counterintelligence case was apparently a major motivation behind the loss of those seasoned intelligence veterans, sources say. Gen. Michael Hayden, President Bush's nominee to replace Goss as CIA chief, has signaled that when he is confirmed by the Senate, probably later this week, he intends to appoint one of the principal victims of the feud, former CIA operations chief Stephen Kappes, as deputy CIA director—a move that is regarded inside the intelligence world as a final insult to Goss and his inner circle. ..."

At Newsweek.

5/25/2006 01:14:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

DR..
Sir, need some tech help..how do you link those blue highlighted articles to a post?
Thx

5/25/2006 01:19:00 PM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

Dems in the House and Senate threw the agency under the bus in the mid seventies. Seems they wanted to know what covert activities they were up to and weren’t too pleased with what they found during the Church and Pike investigations. They blocked various activities in South Africa In the end the agency was put on the end of a leash, ultimately held by the president. It is ironic that an institution that was born out of WWII and performed so ably during the Cold War would become the sheep dipped bastard step-child in the midst of 15 other agencies. What the committees started Carter ably finished.

Psychotics around the world are certain that the CIA is invading their minds and running things from a vast satellite network. An agency that can inspire that kind of paranoia is to be respected. Jihadists have fitful dreams of the agencies black ops bagmen who might come in the dead of night.

The CIA has become a sh!t magnet for the political drama that has been quietly ripping the country apart ever since the Clintonistas lost their seemingly endless grip on power. Throughout the nineties the administration was busy repopulating the dens of power with it’s true believers and when the 2000 election didn’t go their way they felt more than justified to ankle bite at the GWB government. In the end, I hope they turn the whole thing up side down and give it a good shaking. The cling-ons that don’t fall out should be scoured out with a Brillo pad. V. Plame comes to mind.

5/25/2006 01:30:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

1st type an < then without space type
a href=
then paste in the address from the Navigator bar
http://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=12136206&postID=114858555605687508
then type > becomes the blue letters <
then type /a and then without a space >

5/25/2006 01:31:00 PM  
Blogger Pascal Fervor said...

MSM's strength? Or its purpose? Should its ad money, predominantly from large corporations, dry up, what strength would remain? Maybe if that connection were highlighted more, perhaps by replacing MSM with the phrase "corporate media," the reform or die mechanism will be finally forced to the fore.

But you won't take this advice, will you? NIH?

5/25/2006 01:33:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

Mr. Rat

Many thanks, next brandy and cigar on me.

5/25/2006 01:34:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Legal Letter To ABCNEWS President Westin...
---
Hey, didn't you like my Hieroglyphics Habu?

5/25/2006 01:59:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

SHANKLIN SUPERNEWS
---
---
http://help.blogger.com/

5/25/2006 02:01:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

Doug,

The herio's freaked me out. I quickly got my tin foil hat and double x-ray glasses on to protect against any possible hypnotic scopolamine.
Whew, a close one.

5/25/2006 02:08:00 PM  
Blogger exhelodrvr said...

"premier defense agency"
LOL!!

5/25/2006 02:12:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Throughout the nineties the administration was busy repopulating the dens of power with it’s true believers "
---
---
Then "New Tone George" steps in, and leaves them, or excuses them when caught.
What a Wuss!
Weakness is Provocative!

5/25/2006 02:25:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Habu:
The tips when you preview comments are actually helpful:
Tell you what mistake you made.
Once you get 'Rat's down right, save it in notepad so you can just copy, paste, and replace address and link name.
...or type it every time, and in no time it seems like Spanish.
...er ENGLISH.

5/25/2006 02:31:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Continuity is everything, doug.
They teach that at Yale, I believe,
or Harvard. Or perhaps at Mr Bush 41's dinner table.

The Democrats are said to have "stacked the deck". Well that's to be expected, when the "deal" is passed, it's also time to change the cards.

Real poker players know that. Fresh cards are important.
Unmarked, unbent & clean.

Mr Nixon, no silver spooner, knew that much, and more, about poker.

5/25/2006 02:34:00 PM  
Blogger whit said...

Doug: Habu dissed you bigtime!!!

5/25/2006 02:38:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

What's diss mean?

5/25/2006 02:42:00 PM  
Blogger whit said...

I haven't read one satisfactory story yet about why Porter Goss left. Yes, I know that it was said that he was bucking Negroponte but doesn't that sound weak? Also, the poker games business sounds like some sort of smear campaign. Maybe in time, we'll know the reason. It just seems like really bad timing for him to have left so soon. Maybe he just wasn't suited for the job? Who knows?

5/25/2006 02:47:00 PM  
Blogger whit said...

He thought your technical advise from the previous thread sucked and went to DR for his answers.

5/25/2006 02:50:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

HAYWORTH/Blackwell '08!
REP. J. D. HAYWORTH: An amnesty is an amnesty.
Call It What It Is.

5/25/2006 02:51:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

2:50 PM
What's up with dat?
Diss and dat.
I'm fine.

5/25/2006 02:53:00 PM  
Blogger Randy said...

Robin Sloan's flash documentary on how the current global media will change by 2014 and how media events will be systematically changed based on how we want to perceive them.

"The Fourth Estate's fortunes have waned."

http://epic.lightover.com/

5/25/2006 02:58:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

Whit and Doug,
Most humble apologies if I dissed Doud but diss guy would never diss Doug,dig?

5/25/2006 02:58:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

dissed Doud, now that might qualify..of course it's Doug

5/25/2006 03:00:00 PM  
Blogger whit said...

Doug: Dog! re your 2:42 I was going to ask you to be more specific.

5/25/2006 03:04:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Dowd deserves Dissing!

5/25/2006 03:04:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Just Desert:
Maureen Dowd, winner of the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for distinguished commentary.

5/25/2006 03:08:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

If for some reason you still think Bush’s plan is tough on illegal immigrants, ask yourself what would happen if we set up a booth at the border charging $2,000 to come and live and work in the U.S. with the possibility of citizenship down the road. My guess is the line would stretch from Nogales to Buenos Aires and we’d erase our budget deficit overnight.

The idea that this plan would be onerous for illegals is insulting, especially to legal immigrants who have patiently gone through the laborious process of lawfully coming into this country.

The American people see through the White House spin. They know an amnesty when they see it. And the president’s plan is an amnesty.


—Rep. J. D. Hayworth is a Republican U.S. congressman from the 5th District of Arizona.

5/25/2006 03:10:00 PM  
Blogger whit said...

Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, Lists ten reasons this is a bad bill.

http://grassley.senate.gov/index.cfm?FuseAction=PressReleases.Detail&PressRelease_id=5073&Month=5&Year=2006

It's easier for you to copy and paste than for me to format to click through.

5/25/2006 03:23:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Let me guess:
They "have" to pay taxes for THREE out of the last 5 years, right?
---
Become an illegal:
Sure beats Citizenship in the New, New US of A.

5/25/2006 03:30:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Chuck Grassley's Top Ten Flaws in the Senate Immigration Bill

5/25/2006 03:32:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Our Hero

5/25/2006 03:35:00 PM  
Blogger whit said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

5/25/2006 03:38:00 PM  
Blogger whit said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

5/25/2006 03:39:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

McCain Sings:
You're Our Guest Worker Now!

5/25/2006 03:39:00 PM  
Blogger whit said...

We probably would not be having this national debate had we not aborted 40 to 50 million potential workers.

Also, how could Arizona send both Hayworth and McCain to Washington? And can we trade Hayworth for McCain in the Senate?

5/25/2006 03:44:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Mr McCain came as a carpetbagger, moved into John Rhodes's District and won that safe seat, war hero that he was.
He married the local Beer baron's daughter, the Phoenix Budwieser market is rather lucrative.
Mr McCain and his wife still live in her families home, though it is on the market after it's AD profile.
He became Senator when the seat became open. He'll remain one of the Senators, 'til he's not.

5/25/2006 03:50:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Snow interview with Rush
---
Skip first 10 min to get to immigration:
Snow might as well be from Mars imo.
"It's going to take a couple of years to secure the border."
---
HELLO!
---
Earth to Tony: 2001 was FIVE YEARS AGO!
Geez.
---
Code word:
"binky"

5/25/2006 04:22:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Like Condi:
Talks fast, says nothing!
(At Truman level, that is.)

5/25/2006 04:32:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Stepped up Enforcement Lately"
2 months.
Pure Crap.
Sept 11, 2001

5/25/2006 04:43:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

Col. Fletcher Prouty’s, “The Secret Team”, from the mid-70’s was probably the most “scholarly” of the “CIA in control of the world” books but as I recall its main point was that the CIA insisted on doing things independently from the DoD, even when that made little sense from the logistics standpoint. It is amusing to recall that issue in the midst of the current “With an Air Force General in charge the CIA will not be independent” concerns emanating from DC.

But I think that the descent of the CIA as an independent force was to some extent inevitable due to technology. The NRO and NSA had to become proficient in their areas and the CIA had no chance of keeping up – it became a user of other’s intelligence resources rather than an independent acquirer. That meant it had to defer to others in some very critical areas. And that included turning to those same agencies when it needed the expertise to understand what it was seeing. I have personal experience with that aspect.

5/25/2006 04:43:00 PM  
Blogger John Samford said...

I humbly disagree. The CIA is just another bureauracy, albeit one with more pretensions of grandeur then more bureaucracies.
THAT is what all this nonsense is about. A shuffel of desks. Nothing more, nothing less.
Back when it bacame obvious to all that WW2 was won, although not finished (July of '44), cetain minds started thinking about the post war period. As far as a 'National Intelligencey Effort' went, It was the bureaucratic "Golden Goose".
Every bureaucrat in The Fredral government wanted it. Why not? Hugh budgets, little oversight, unlimited power. A bureacrats wet dream.
Before WW2. only the military had control of 'intelligence gathering', with some cooperation from State. Anaylsis was done by the Library of Congress! The Post Office disiminated the 'product'.
Donovon got FDR to sign off on creating the OSS by putting it under the loose authority of the JCS (which at the time was an illegal organization, operating informally, by Presidential fiat in defiance of the Constitution and Congressional usege of it's 'advise and consent' authority).
When it came time for the OSS to change it's name and go legal, there were 2 competing plans. The one adopted, after much bureaucratic bloodletting was the one that was formalized in 1947, by Conress. It was the reason why the CIA never had a chance to be anything other then the collection of pooked-up incompetents it is today.
The alternate plan, by John Franklin Carter, was as close to fool proof as possible. It would have made penetration by foriegn agents impossible. But it had the draw back of not creating a giant bureaucracy, with a hugh 'black' budget and very limited accountability. So the bureacrats killed it off.
Regardless, way too many people confuse the CIA with American Intellignce collection. The CIA is but one part of a GIANT, HUGE, IMMENSE, unregulated bureacracy. It's removal will be a boon to American efforts at the intelligence game. Very little on the net about the actual working of the US Intelligence machine, but public libraries might have something. It's not unknown for various agencies to send people out to steal books and destroy them.

http://www.namebase.org/books28.html

This is a case of "The King is dead, long live the king". The CIA will just change it's name and hide out at various other agencies until the heat is off.

5/25/2006 05:08:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

It's goin' be a "long war" on the Border, doug.

Nothin' ever ends, it's just another "Program" to be continued forever.

We ought to put Greencards on ebay, see what they really are worth. How much is a guest worker visa really worth?

5/25/2006 05:12:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

DC as a whole has become so bloated, the connection with the people and reality has been largely lost.

Snow talked about how thrilled everyone is to be included in the Aura of the Regals.
I'm sure Steyn will have a Jewel soon.
DC:
Black hole for information from the Real World.

5/25/2006 05:14:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Rat: Somebody said $100,000

5/25/2006 05:15:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Washington has 'em @ $2,000 per.

5/25/2006 05:18:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I gotta dig out Sowell's:
VISION OF THE ANNOINTED
More timely than ever.

5/25/2006 05:20:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

Mr. Samford (5:08)

Do you now or have you ever in the past worked for the CIA?

You certainly not shy about the Company and it's failings.

Just curious if you've ever even been "inside" What Directorate?

5/25/2006 05:22:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Habu:
How is human intel divided up now among agencies referenced by rwe?

5/25/2006 05:26:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Hewitt is interviewing Stalag 17 Vet played by William Holden!

5/25/2006 05:54:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Brian Ross Dan Rather Moment
---
Incidentally, Brian Ross was behind the NBC Dateline report in the early 90s whereby NBC rigged explosive devices in an attempt to argue that pickup truck gas tanks were dangerous. Essentially, the story was made up.

5/25/2006 06:14:00 PM  
Blogger DanMyers said...

Sorry, Off-topic, but couldn't help myself.

This was news to me..

The illustrious AP has a new branch office...

5/25/2006 06:16:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

Doug,
How human intel (HUMINT) is divided up today?
I haven't got a clue. I worked for the Company in the 1970's, going to work for IBM after that. Ten years was enough.
I also worked for the Directorate of Science and Tecnology, Office of Special Projects. We ran the Oxcart A-12 precusor to the SR-71, Hexagon,Rhyolite, and othe "national technical means" of intelligence gathering (ELINT) or Electronic Intelligence.
At that time, and I'm sure it's true today for it's good "tradecraft" almost everything is compartmentalized, thus reducing the chances of one person knowing too much.
What went on in other Direcorates was something I never needed to know and thus didn't.
Many times I felt like and was just a cog in the wheel. You accept that. You live your cover. You follow orders. I never saw any "cowboys", they were usually in the Operations Directorate where they did the HUMINT stuff and "wet" work, ie. snuffing people when necessary.

5/25/2006 06:19:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

My son is responsible for securing compartmentalized info for the Air Force.
Everyone I've known, from Lockheed to the Military, treated it exactly as it is supposed to be treated, following procedures to the letter.

Sure would have been nice to see some Clintonistas burn.

5/25/2006 06:33:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Local lawmakers split on Mexican president's visit to Sacramento:

Sen. Denise Ducheny, D-San Diego, and Assemblywoman Bonnie Garcia, R-Cathedral City, attended Fox’s speech to a joint session of the Legislature.

Regardless of differences, Garcia said California should receive Fox with respect. ‘‘It is extremely important that we be respectful of a visiting dignity whether or not we agree with his point of view. He represents million of people and is the head of a country,’’ she said.

‘‘I have a personal interest in what he has to say (about) what responsibility both of our countries have in stopping illegal immigration and working on a comprehensive immigration policy that allows for legal entry into our country and allows for finding solutions to keep people within Mexico to wait for a legitimate path and to address the people who are here and how they can earn their right to citizenship,’’ she said.

Local Lawmakers Split

5/25/2006 06:56:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

Doug,
How Sandy Burger got away with what he did just boggles my mind, especially when you realize that prior to working for Clinton and post Clinton his biggest client are the ChiComs.
Imagine a man in that position, National Security Advisor stuffing his pants with TS and stealing gov't codeword secrets ... and he walks. He should have been hanged by the neck until way dead and then hung by his heels and left to rot.
One day we will find out that Clinton had foreign paymasters he passed national security secrets to.
I'd bet my 401K that NSA has tape on Clinton.

5/25/2006 07:08:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

"But I think that the descent of the CIA as an independent force was to some extent inevitable due to technology. The NRO and NSA had to become proficient in their areas and the CIA had no chance of keeping up – it became a user of other’s intelligence resources rather than an independent acquirer."

The CIA is both a user of others' resources and an independent acquirer. And its relationship with NSA is closer than with DoD, which is to say very.

The CIA has a completely unique mission as well as capabilities and authorities. It does what no one else can, being wholly under executive authority.

Habu: Looked at from a different perspective, the Church hearings simply brought DoD out of the covert business, which suffered because of DoD's involvment.

5/25/2006 07:28:00 PM  
Blogger DanMyers said...

Trish,

you said - "the Church hearings simply brought DoD out of the covert business, which suffered because of DoD's involvment."

Can you expound on "the DoD getting out of the covert business"? Not being facetious/snarky, really want to know why the DoD should be out of the covert business.

5/25/2006 07:47:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Yeah, I wondered also:
Maybe she means wrt the CIA?
I can assure you, the DOD is involved elsewhere!

5/25/2006 07:55:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

It puts the common soldier in legal jeopardy because the law under which he/she must operate is more restrictive. By design. Relatedly, DoD is subject to an extent of oversight and regulation that the CIA is not. Were the covert mission transferred to or shared by DoD, it would die on the vine. For that reason.

Division of labor in this case works.

5/25/2006 08:05:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

You're referring to clandestine, doug. Not covert. The covert mission belongs entirely to the CIA.

5/25/2006 08:07:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

pascal said,
"Should its ad money, predominantly from large corporations, dry up, what strength would remain?"
---
From what I've read, significant quantities are being shifted from MSM to Google, and the Web in general.
And then there's Craig's List and etc to Bankrupt the papers.
I'll be sorry to see them go, actually. (the papers as a whole, not their politics/sedition of course)

5/25/2006 08:09:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Trish:
I don't think I know the meaning of the terms:
I'll go look.
Any special place to do that?

5/25/2006 08:10:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Experts says Cheney can't avoid testifying:

Cheney would have a tough time arguing that his notes on Wilson's article qualify as a national security secret, said attorney Stanley Brand, a former general counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives.

"He's commenting on something he read in the press, and that is hardly a national security issue," Brand said.

Cheney

5/25/2006 08:11:00 PM  
Blogger DanMyers said...

Thanks Trish, gives me a start.

Clandestine and covert have a legal definition that prohibits the military?

Or, are we just talking about which committee's/sub-committee's do the oversight?

5/25/2006 08:17:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Secrecy
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Secrecy is the practice of hiding information from others. That which is kept hidden is known as the secret.
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Clandestine
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Clandestine is an adjective meaning that its reference is something secret or guerrilla in nature, such as certain activities executed by spies.

Clandestine operations, secret or covert operations
National Clandestine Service, formerly the CIAs Directorate of Operations

5/25/2006 08:21:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

"Clandestine and covert have a legal definition that prohibits the military?"

Yes.

5/25/2006 08:23:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Covert: Not openly shown.

Clandestine: Conducted with secrecy.

Webster

5/25/2006 08:23:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Any way to have specific examples?
Like in the old days, satellite photos?
Resolutions were kept secret, as were orbits.
They were "Spy Satellites"
Is that a covert mission, clandestine, or N/A?

5/25/2006 08:25:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

...and that legal definition would be?

5/25/2006 08:26:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

Clandestine activities are those that are not declared openly. Covert activities are those entirely denied or made to seem the actvities of others.

5/25/2006 08:29:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Don't we still have some military stuff/hardware that is completely denied?

5/25/2006 08:32:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

The National Clandestine Service is a "shared" endeavor, being clandestine an' all.

Doug, I'm just talking about operations, not hardware.

5/25/2006 08:44:00 PM  
Blogger DanMyers said...

From CIA web page - "The National Clandestine Service is responsible for the clandestine collection of foreign intelligence. The current director is under cover and cannot be named at the present time."

5/25/2006 08:55:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Unless by a Democrat or Official Member of the MSM.

5/25/2006 08:58:00 PM  
Blogger DanMyers said...

That was my first thought on reading it...

5/25/2006 09:28:00 PM  
Blogger John Samford said...

HaBU1; NSA, CTCS attached duty. I did 2 years in the black hole. I got to see the CIA at work from a nose to the grindstone perspective.
Naturally, I gained an interest in Intelligence work, and the history thereof.
The CIA is neither special, nor effective. The Idea of one central Intelligence agency is basically flawed. It makes that agency easy to penetrate and tends to homogenize the 'output' to the point of making it worthless.
The Carter (not the president) plan farmed out the various parts of the Intelligence cycle to other agencies and put 1 guy in the white house that answered DIRECTLY to the President. When the President had a tasking, his Staffer would go outside and get a volunteer (non-professional and no federal bureaucrat with an agenda) to lead the effort. That volunteer (a dollar a year man) would get access to what ever part of the intelligence apparatus he needed to do his job. If he needed overheads, the NRO would send, JUST WHAT HE WANTED. If he needed commo intercepts, he would get those from NSA, if he needed background material, it would come from the Library of COngress, Pych profiles from NIH, black bag jobs or survaliance from either State or SOCOM.
This system makes it impossible for a foreign spy to be effective. There is no one place that a spy can work from. Put a Spy in NRO and they can tell which overheads were requested. So what? They could only tell about a tiny fraction of the totals. Same for a spy in any of the 20 or 30 agencies that would do intelligence work. You would need 2 dozen spys and even then, the odds of them all working on the same project are not very good. N * N{squared} -1, IIRC.

No, American Intelligance has been a bureaucratic football since day one. Something of the holy grail for the inside the beltway crowd. NO other Nation does it like America does, and for a good reason. Remember the KGB is offset by the GRU. MI-5 has MI-5(v) and MI-6. I forget the french initials, but they do it the traditional way also. YOu need more then 1 agency to prevent that agency from being the tail that wags the dog. Yet having too many means they are always tripping over each other. Most nations use two, both of which are keeping one eye on their sister agency. America has 26 (I think) that we know about. It might be 28, or 24. The lage number represents 'empire building' by bureaucrats.
The Carter plan was uniquely American. Carter was a reporter, and knew what had to be done to prevent guys like him from digging out secrets. Remember the difference between a journalist and a spy is the spelling.
Having ONE guy charged with doing 1 job means an exceptionally gifted human focusing on one problem and solving it. America at it's best.

5/26/2006 06:06:00 AM  
Blogger John Samford said...

Berger cut a deal. Remember the Clintonistas use the FBI to complie dirt on their enemies. I'm sure Sandy had copies. That is what allowed him to didge the bullet.
What tirked my head bolts was when he got busted for a DUI a few months later. Part of ANY parole is the requirement that one boeys the law while on parole. Sandy didn't. AFAIK, a DUI in Virginian REQUIRES an automatic revocation of parole. So what Happened? Somebody needs to look at the judge and see about impeaching them and letting Sandy finish off his jail term, like everyone else.

5/26/2006 06:12:00 AM  
Blogger speaker-to-animals said...

since trish opened this can of worms....each agency has a charter for collection and/or analysis.
HUMINT has been traditionally CIA charter.
the clintonistas and the toricelli doctrine pretty much rolled up our HUMINT networks, particularily in the ME. the CIA also did collections, but that was taken away from them in the 90's in reorg. clinton's "peace dividend" budget cuts hurt the CIA more than any other agency, because Clinton didn't like that dirty messy HUMINT and preferred sensor collection, OPINT, SIGINT, ELINT, IMMINT.
there is also traditional interagency rivalry and competing agency cultures. it is, for example, easier to get a CIA clearance than an NSA one.

5/30/2006 09:17:00 PM  
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6/09/2006 03:01:00 PM  

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