Intelligence

Today’s Intelligence Report Proves Nothing [Updated]

Featured image Today the U.S. intelligence community–i.e., the CIA, the FBI and the NSA–released a report titled “Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections.” This is the declassified version of a longer report that was delivered to President Obama, President-Elect Trump, and indirectly to the Washington Post and other news organs friendly to the Democratic Party. The report constitutes, allegedly, the long-awaited proof that Russia (specifically, Vladimir Putin) meddled in »

GOP Senators bring clarity to the Russia election hacking debate

Featured image Yesterday, the Senate Armed Services Committee held a hearing on Russian hacking especially as it pertained to last year’s presidential election. Paul Kane, a liberal at the Washington Post, gives this account: Senate Republicans walked a tightrope Thursday trying to show their toughness against Vladi­mir Putin’s Russia without undermining the legitimacy of President-elect Donald Trump’s victory in November. Again and again during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Russian »

Reforming Intelligence (2)

Featured image Further to our item here yesterday on Trump’s apparent inclination to reform (or punish) the intelligence community, it’s worth looking back to another of Herbert Meyer’s reflections on the problems of intelligence that he wrote ten years ago when controversy over a leaked National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) of the Bush Administration was much in the news. Here Herb reflects on the inherent problem of the institutional biases of intelligence agencies, »

Report: Senior Russian officials “celebrated” Trump’s victory

Featured image The Washington Post reports that American intelligence agencies intercepted communications showing that senior officials in the Russian government “celebrated Donald Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton as a geopolitical win for Moscow.” The Post says the communications also show that “Russian officials congratulated themselves on the outcome.” Celebrating would mean that the officials in question wanted Trump to win. Congratulations would suggest that Russia tried to help him win. Without seeing »

Trump Is Right: Intelligence Agencies Leak Like a Sieve

Featured image Someone in the U.S. intelligence community–if it has been reported exactly who, I haven’t seen it–has prepared a 50-page report on, among other things, alleged Russian efforts to “meddle” with the 2016 presidential election. That report was delivered to President Obama today, and will go to Donald Trump tomorrow. Naturally, it took only a matter of hours for the Washington Post to be briefed on the report’s contents. One point, »

Can—Or Should—Intelligence Be Reformed? (1)

Featured image Today’s most interesting story may be Trump’s intention to “reform” our intelligence community because the office of the Director of National Intelligence has become too bloated and politicized. The Wall Street Journal account says: One of the people familiar with Mr. Trump’s planning said advisers also are working on a plan to restructure the Central Intelligence Agency, cutting back on staffing at its Virginia headquarters and pushing more people out »

Ishmael Jones: From Russia with doubt

Featured image The pseudonymous Ishmael Jones is a former CIA case officer and author of The Human Factor: Inside the CIA’s Dysfunctional Intelligence Culture. He writes with a timely comment on the current intelligence controversy that is reaching a fever pitch. Mr. Jones advises that his commentary has been reviewed and approved by the CIA’s publications review board. He writes: CIA intelligence reporting stating that the Russian government hacked the presidential election »

Epstein blows the whistle on Snowden

Featured image Edward Jay Epstein’s Wall Street Journal column “The fable of Edward Snowden” (accessible here via Google) blows the whistle on Snowden and his presentation as a whistleblower, both by himself and his media enablers. In the column Ed summarizes the findings in his forthcoming book How America Lost Its Secrets. Ed previews his findings in the video below with the Journal’s Mary Kissel. Ed is in my opinion the foremost »

About that “typo”

Featured image Last week the New York Times published a long story by three of their top reporters on the alleged Russian hacking of the DNC and Podesta emails. In a good summary of one thread of the article, Ed Rogers notes the “Keystone Cops-worthy episode” when the FBI sought to alert the DNC: [I]t turns out the FBI repeatedly called the DNC beginning in September 2015 to warn them about hacking »

The hackers & the hacks

Featured image The Washington Post and New York Times have created a post-election furor with stories citing unnamed intelligence sources promoting a certain line on Russian hacking of the DNC and John Podesta email accounts. Podesta now takes to the pages of the Washington Post to call out the FBI. Podesta’s gmail account appears to have been hacked via a simple phishing scam with no evident connection to Russia. The phishing scam »

Russian hackers and American hacks

Featured image The Democrats and their media adjunct are turning the alleged activities of the Russian government leading up to the election last month into a crisis of the republic. If nothing else, the Democrats continue to demonstrate a great genius for destruction. Politico reports that electoral college electors have demanded an intelligence briefing before the electoral college vote. Subhead: “The request represents the latest effort by Democratic electors to look to »

Full of Schiff

Featured image I think Tucker Carlson got the better of the incredibly smug Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff on Tucker’s FOX News show last night. The subject under discussion was Russian cyber hacking in connection with our just concluded election. Schiff should know what he is talking about; he is the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee. Carlson questioned the factuality and basis of Schiff’s assertion. Among other highlights, Schiff accused Carlson »

A good man leaves the Trump transition team (no, not Chris Christie)

Featured image At this time a week ago, polls were still open in many states and it was unclear who would win the election. So it seems premature for talking heads breathlessly to be discussing “chaos” in Donald Trump’s transition team and claiming that the president-elect is off to a start unprecedented in its rockiness. The cause (or pretext) for this chatter is the removal of Chris Christie from the transition team. »

And Now: DNC Voicemails!

Featured image When Wikileaks first released classified materials embarrassing to the Bush Administration, the left either celebrated or was silent about the security implications of this kind of disclosure of classified information. This contrasts with the case of the Pentagon Papers way back in 1971. Since those secret documents were deeply embarrassing to the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, Nixon’s political operatives briefly considered exploiting them for partisan gain. But Nixon and Kissinger »

After Brussels, it’s time to revisit enhanced interrogation

Featured image According to reports, the terrorists who carried out last week’s attacks in Brussels acted sooner than originally planned because they feared that captured terrorist Salah Abdeslam would inform authorities of the attacks. Apparently, they need not have worried. Belgian officials questioned Abdeslam only lightly, and not at all about possible new attacks. Instead, using the discredited law enforcement model, they focused on the Paris attacks of last November, presumably hoping »

How secret is it? (11)

Featured image Attorney General Loretta Lynch testified to Congress yesterday that the matter of Hillary Clinton’s private email for official State Department business was under investigation by the FBI and career attorneys at the Department of Justice. Catherine Herridge and Pamela Browne report on Lynch’s testimony here. Herridge and Brown add that the assignment of career DoJ attorneys to the case shows the FBI probe has progressed beyond the initial referral, or »

If Putin is reading her email…

Featured image It is highly likely that Vladimir Putin’s minions obtained Hillary Clinton’s emails while they were hanging out there on her insecure private server. Even former CIA Director and Defense Secretary Robert Gates has said so. (I’m sure the same applies to the intelligence services of other hostile states as well.) Well, so what? Paul Roderick Gregory addresses the question in an intensely interesting Forbes column. Gregory reviews the course of »