Intelligence

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 »

One Pillar of unwisdom revisited

Featured image A number of signs point to the pending agreement of the United United States et al. with the mad mullahs of Iran on a bad nuclear deal. Jonathan Tobin collects a few such signs at Commentary in the post “Aid can’t buy Israel’s silence on Iran deal.” Another such sign, it seems to me, is the trashing of Israel in Jeff Stein’s Newsweek article “Israel won’t stop spying on the »

Al Qaeda’s day out

Featured image Americans may have lost interest in terrorism, but terrorism remains interested in us. For example, the Washington Post reports on a video that surfaced on Islamist websites showing a large group of al Qaeda terrorists, including high ranking ones, taking part in an open-air gathering in Yemen. Describing the outing as “brazen,” the Post notes that the terrorists make no apparent effort to avoid detection by U.S. drones. The terrorists »

Former CIA official responds to attack by Senate Dems

Featured image I wrote here about the report by Democrats on the Senate Intelligence which, according to leaks, accuses the CIA of all manner of misconduct during the perilous post-9/11 period. I concluded that there is no basis for evaluating the truth of the report’s findings and that, considering the source, little reason to credit its conclusions or to take it very seriously. The same would be true, I added, if the »

Senate Democrats fire once again on the CIA

Featured image A new report by the Senate Intelligence Committee accuses the CIA of all manner of misconduct during the perilous post-9/11 period in which that Agency helped America combat al Qaeda and prevent additional deadly attacks. The Committee’s core conclusion, according to the Washington Post, is that “the CIA misled the government and the public about aspects of its brutal interrogation program for years.” Specifically, the CIA is said to have »

Intelligence Failure Revisited, Part 2

Featured image Musing about Putin’s swallowing up Crimea back on March 5, we posited that perhaps our intelligence agencies just aren’t that intelligent.  There’s a real howler in the lede of today’s Wall Street Journal front page article about the matter: U.S. military satellites spied Russian troops amassing within striking distance of Crimea last month. But intelligence analysts were surprised because they hadn’t intercepted any telltale communications where Russian leaders, military commanders »

The 1970s are calling

Featured image Rand Paul says he will call for the creation of a bipartisan committee to probe and reform the intelligence community. Paul wants the committee to “watch the watchers,” along the lines of the post-Watergate Church Committee in the 1970s. This idea was well-received by Berkeley students, as you would expect. The Church Committee too was very popular in leftist circles. The Church Committee was a response to serious abuses of »

Intelligence Failure Revisited

Featured image How come, people are asking, our vaunted intelligence establishment didn’t foresee Putin’s aggression against the Ukraine?  For instance, Politico asks: “A range of lawmakers and intelligence community experts are puzzled about why U.S. intelligence agencies seem to have misjudged Putin’s intentions and whether the lack of warning fits a pattern of other significant intelligence shortcomings in recent years.” How about this for an answer: Our “intelligence community” just isn’t very »