Intelligence

Ishmael Jones: Panetta’s betrayal

Featured image Ishmael Jones is a former CIA case officer. He is the author of The Human Factor: Inside the CIA’s Dysfunctional Intelligence Culture, the book that serves as the point of reference in the column below. Mr. Jones advises us that this column has been approved for publication by the CIA’s Publications Review Board. He writes: In 2008 I wrote a book that criticized CIA bureaucracy. The book contains no secrets »

“We Are Going To Win the Cold War”—A Conversation with Herbert Meyer, Part 3

Featured image In this installment of our conversations with Herbert Meyer (part one here, and part two here), we look back at the end of the Cold War, and especially Herb’s prescience in a memo he wrote in the fall of 1983, since declassified, entitled “Why Is the World So Dangerous?” (PDF link). Here he remarks that this memo was not just controversial, but also unwelcome even among many hard-liners in the »

The Risen heist comes to FOX News

Featured image New York Times reporter James Risen appeared on Greta van Susteren’s FOX News show tonight to promote his new book (video below). Van Susteren touched on the subject of Risen’s noncompliance with the subpoena requiring his testimony in the pending prosecution of former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling for violation of the Espionage Act. Van Susteren clearly has no idea of the issues raised by Risen’s conduct. I wrote about them »

Gabriel Schoenfeld: A Risen in the sun

Featured image Gabriel Schoenfeld has graciously responded to my invitation to comment on last night’s 60 Minutes segment publicizing the case of New York Times reporter James Risen. Mr. Schoenfeld is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute and the former senior editor of Commentary. He is also the author of The Return of Anti-Semitism and, most recently, A Bad Day on the Romney Campaign. In Necessary Secrets: National Security, the Media, »

Is James Risen a law unto himself?

Featured image Writing in an adjacent post about New York Times reporter James Risen and last night’s 60 Minutes segment on him, I link to a January 2006 column that I wrote for the Weekly Standard on Risen’s first big story blowing a critical national security program during the Bush administration. The Standard headlined the column “Exposure and it is still accessible online, but errors crept into the formatting when the Standard »

Intelligence Failure: A Conversation with Herbert Meyer, Part 2

Featured image I’m finally getting back to processing more of my wide-ranging conversation with former CIA honcho Herbert Meyer from last month.  (You can see part 1 of our conversation here.)  In this short segment, we talk more about the importance of knowing what you’re looking for, why it is important not to demand too much information, and how easy it is to go astray by sticking too closely to your own »

Ain’t got time to PDB

Featured image With President Obama blaming his intelligence functionaries for his failure to anticipate the swift advances of ISIS in Syria and Iraq, the intelligence community has responded in stories such as the Peter Baker/Eric Schmitt round-up yesterday in the New York Times (discussed by Paul here). I think the fault for the ongoing catastrophes in Syria and Iraq lie with Obama’s worldview and his related action (and inaction). Nevertheless, in the »

New York Times exposes Obama’s shameless ISIS blame-shifting

Featured image Peter Baker and Eric Schmitt of the New York Times destroy President Obama’s attempt to shift blame to the intelligence community for his lack of focus on ISIS: By late last year, classified American intelligence reports painted an increasingly ominous picture of a growing threat from Sunni extremists in Syria, according to senior intelligence and military officials. Just as worrisome, they said, were reports of deteriorating readiness and morale among »

An embarrassment of Democrats: Obama edition

Featured image President Obama famously disparaged the Islamic State terrorist group as the terrorist JV to his apostle David Remnick in an interview for the New Yorker late last year (Remnick’s article is here). It sounded good at the time, but reality has intruded and the words have come back to haunt Obama. They mark him indelibly as the jv president. Asked about it last night by Steve Kroft on 60 Minutes, »

Intelligence Failure: A Conversation with Herbert Meyer, Part 1

Featured image We’ve featured the wisdom of Herbert Meyer before on Power Line (and he has a new article on the subject of political persuasion out right now that I want to discuss over the weekend), here and here on the end of the Cold War, for example.  I got to spend some time with Herb in person recently, and I brought Power Line’s video production crew with me to record some »

Edward Jay Epstein: Who is Edward Snowden?

Featured image As I have frequently observed here, Edward Jay Epstein is incapable of writing a dull book. He is the author, most recently, of a new edition of Deception: The Once and Future Cold War as well as The JFK Assassination Diary: My Search for Answers to the Mystery of the Century, published in paperback (available here) and as an ebook (available on Amazon here), reflecting his longstanding interest in the »

Bart Gelllman confirms the value of NSA intercepts

Featured image Bart Gellman and his colleagues at the Washington Post’s shadow NSA have produced another breathless article purporting to show the threat to civil liberties posed by the NSA’s interception of private internet communications. Ultimately, though, the article succeeds only in confirming the value of the NSA’s practice in combating the threat to our safety posed by terrorists. Leftists like Glenn Greenwald have persistently maintained that NSA’s electronic spying is basically »

Is the Times a law unto itself?

Featured image In writing here about New York Times reporter James Risen yesterday, I linked to a January 2006 column that I wrote for the Weekly Standard on Risen’s first big story blowing a critical national security program during the Bush administration. The Standard headlined the column “Exposure and it is still accessible online, but errors crept into the formatting when the Standard redesigned its site. I am taking the liberty of »

James Risen would prefer not to

Featured image New York Times reporter James Risen has excellent sources in the intelligence community. If you are a disgruntled intelligence officer or official and want to preserve your anonymity while undermining a top secret program or aiding the enemies of the United States, Risen is your go-to guy. Risen’s accomplishments in this area have been overshadowed by the emergence of Edward Snowden, but Risen should not be forgotten. We know of »

Meanwhile in Kabul

Featured image Today comes word that the White House blew the cover of the CIA station chief in Kabul by identifying him in a list submitted to Washington Post White House bureau chief Scott Wilson and other reporters covering Obama’s trip to Kabul. Wilson copied the list in the pool report that he disseminated to 6,000 recipients (“including foreign media, not taking part in the trip”) before noting the reference to the »

Was Greenwald justified?

Featured image The case of Edward Snowden is important in more ways than one. He has massively violated the espionage laws of the United States and done great damage to our national security. Glenn Greenwald has been one of Snowden’s most prominent journalistic conduits and in my view shares Snowden’s culpability for the violation of the espionage laws. I made this case in principle when James Risen and the New York Times »

What was Snowden’s heist?

Featured image The most important column published online today is Edward Jay Epstein’s Wall Street Journal column “Was Snowden’s heist a foreign intelligence operation?” The column is behind the Journal’s subscription paywall, but it is easily accessible via Google. Ed makes the case that Snowden’s heist of intelligence data was part of an intelligence operation conducted against the United States. Here is how Ed’s column opens: Edward Snowden’s massive misappropriations of classified »