Intelligence

Journalism or espionage?

Featured image Back in the dark days of the Bush administration I wrote about the New York Times’s damaging violations of the Espionage Act on Power Line and in the Weekly Standard column “Exposure.” I was appalled by the Times’s revelation of secret eavesdropping and monitoring techniques adopted by the administration to detect and undermine al Qaeda. I wasn’t alone in my concerns. Writing from the front lines of the battle against »

The spy left out in the cold

Featured image Robert Seldon Lady is a former covert CIA operative who performed extraordinary renditions on behalf of the agency in Italy while under diplomatic cover in Milan. In 2009 he was convicted of kidnapping for the snatching of an Egyptian Islamist in 2003. Rachel Donadio reported on the convictions of Lady and others in the New York Times, declaring the convictions “a landmark ruling.” Donadio was predictably excited and impressed. According »

Confusing minor technical mistakes with real civil liberties infringements

Featured image Benjamin Wittes provides a devastating critique of the Washington Post’s overwrought account of what the latest set of Snowden-leaked NSA documents shows. According to Wittes, the Post “has managed. . .to completely mislead its readers as to the significance of these documents.” The problem, he explains “is not the paper’s facts [but] with the edifice it has built with those facts.” Wittes also finds that the Obama administration’s public response »

On the trail of the Stuxnet leak

Featured image This will not come as a great shock to many readers, but it is of interest: “In classified cyberwar against Iran, trail of Stuxnet leak leads to White House.” Rowan Scarborough reports: The Obama administration provided a New York Times reporter exclusive access to a range of high-level national security officials for a book that divulged highly classified information on a U.S. cyberwar on Iran’s nuclear program, internal State Department »

Obama Epic Fail on Foreign Policy Revisited

Featured image Last week I put up a brief post on how the current terror warning that has seen the U.S. close most of its embassies in the Middle East–based on “chatter”–is peculiar, if not worse.  Every watcher of The Sopranos or The Wire knows that the bad guys are not dumb, and know that we’ll be listening to any conventional communication, which is why I suggested this whole thing might well »

Ledeen on the Benghazi cover-up

Featured image Our friend Michael Ledeen is a student of intelligence matters and American foreign policy. He writes to comment on John’s post on the Benghazi cover-up. I have regularized the capitalization in Michael’s message but otherwise left it as is. Submitted for your consideration without further comment: I have never believed the rumor that we were sending arms from Libya to Syrian rebels. I was told by Syrian friends that the »

Can’t defect to Russia? Defect to the Soviet Union

Featured image That thought is prompted by this report from Bill Gertz called “Edward Snowden Seeking to Join KGB Veterans Group.” Renegade National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden has applied to join a group of former Russian intelligence and security officials, according to the group’s director. Participation in a union of former KGB security, intelligence, and police officials, would likely change Snowden’s status from that of a whistleblower seeking to expose wrongdoing, »

EJE: The Snowden variations

Featured image Our friend Edward Jay Epstein is the author of several books on intelligence related matters including James Jesus Angleton: Was He Right? and Deception: The Invisible War Between the KGB and the CIA. Ed now wonders “Who helped Snowden steal state secrets?” We previewed Ed’s intriguing Wall Street Journal column here. I wrote Ed this morning to ask him what he made of today’s story that the NSA was monitoring »

EJE: Was Snowden alone?

Featured image Our friend Edward Jay Epstein takes a look at the Snowden timeline and asks whether Snowden has been playing with others who remain unidentified: My question: Was Snowden alone in this enterprise to publish COMINT? Prior to his taking the Booz Allen Hamilton job in Hawaii, he was in contact with other people who, five months later, helped arrange the publication of the COMINT. In January 2013, according to the »

Three Days of the Snowden (with comment by Paul)

Featured image In a sidebar to the Washington Post’s profile of of NSA leakmeister Edward Snowden, Barton Gellman reports regarding Snowden: “I understand that I will be made to suffer for my actions, and that the return of this information to the public marks my end,” he wrote in early May, before we had our first direct contact. He warned that even journalists who pursued his story were at risk until they »

Was Orwell Right After All?

Featured image Cast your mind back a ways to the 1980s and early 1990s, and you may recall that our thoughts about technology started undergoing a revision—namely, that far from offering increasingly powerful tools for government oppression and control, personal computers, cell phones, and all the rest of the emergent technologies were becoming means of our liberation as well as barriers to oppressive government.  Certainly personal computers and new communication technology—or really »

The Falcon and the Snowden

Featured image It turns out that the lunatic leftist Glenn Greenwald has relied on one source for his Guardian articles blowing the anti-terror surveillance programs conducted by the National Security Agency — one Edward Snowden. Snowden has an unusual background for a security expert with a top-secret clearance. He holds a high-school equivalency degree and expertise in digital security systems, leading to his most recent position as he describes it — a »

A Snowden job

Featured image If you’ve been queasy about the ongoing disclosures of anti-terror national security programs by lefty Glenn Greenwald in the Guardian (UK), as I have, I doubt the Guardian’s profile of Greenwald’s source — one Edward Snowden, a 29-year-old self-described former technical assistant for the CIA who says he has has worked at the NSA for the last four years as an employee of outside contractors including Booz Allen and Dell »

Chickens of a feather

Featured image Revelations over the past few days of the Obama administration’s national security surveillance measures have prompted a furious reaction on the left. The New York Times announced that with the revelations the administration had forfeited all credibility, then ratcheted back its condemnation to apply only to “this issue.” The Times isn’t getting off the Obama Express with a midterm to come and nearly four years to go, but the disillusionment »

P.S. on the AP

Featured image According to Eric Holder, Eric Holder is no more responsible for the investigation of the Associated Press than Barack Obama is for events in Benghazi according to Barack Obama. That was Holder’s theme in his testimony before the House Judiciary Committee, which I first read about yesterday in a post by Allahpundit at Hot Air. Looking around for a narrative account of Holder’s testimony this morning, I find the liberal »

Mukasey and McCarthy: Personal testimony

Featured image The Wall Street Journal published a book review by former Attorney General Michael Mukasey yesterday. Judge Mukasey (as I will refer to him here) is one great American. He was the trial judge in the case of the Blind Sheikh and a man who answered the call of duty by resigning from the bench to take the position of Attorney General for the last two years of the Bush administration. »

Abu Ghaith’s day in court

Featured image The New York Times reports: Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, a son-in-law of Osama bin Laden who once served as a spokesman for Al Qaeda, pleaded not guilty at his arraignment on Friday morning in federal court in Manhattan, where he was charged with conspiring to kill Americans. Now you may be wondering what is going on here. “Mr. Abu Ghaith” as the Times refers to him, is charged with conspiracy to »