Intelligence

A Director of National Intelligence Trump trusts? The horror!

Featured image Democrats, journalists, and some in the intelligence community are expressing outrage over the replacement of Daniel Coats by John Ratcliffe (if Ratcliffe is confirmed). A headline in the Washington Post (paper edition) says the move is viewed as a “bid to silence [intelligence] agencies.” It’s certainly true that intelligence gathering and analysis ought not be politicized — not by partisans of any stripe. Ratcliffe will have to satisfy Senators like »

Ratcliffe replaces Coats as Director of National Intelligence

Featured image Dan Coats announced yesterday that he will resign as Director of National Intelligence. Coats did not see eye-to-eye with President Trump on some important national security issues. Coats’s replacement will be Rep. John Ratcliffe. He’s a three-term congressman and a former terrorism prosecutor who served as a U.S. Attorney in George W. Bush’s administration. He has also served on the House Intelligence Committee. In the paper edition of today’s Washington »

Don Surber: Barr’s greatest hits

Featured image I cannot recommend Jan Crawford’s interview of Attorney General William Barr for CBS News highly enough. Here is the whole thing in podcast form. I plucked my favorite quote from the interview yesterday here. This morning I intended to comb through the CBS News transcript of Jan Crawford’s interview of Attorney General William Barr to highlights its greatest hits, but I find that Don Surber has done the work for »

Barr speaks

Featured image Attorney General Barr sat for an extended interview with Jan Crawford of CBS News to discuss matters of current concern including Robert Mueller’s public “it’s not my job” statement and the ongoing investigation of the spying on the Trump campaign. CBS News has posted its transcript of the interview in its entirety here. I have posted the podcast version below. Mollie Hemingway gives the interview a rave review: “AMAZING INTERVIEW! »

Talking about the Times

Featured image Yesterday afternoon Seth Leibsohn invited me to discuss the peculiar dishonesty of the New York Times on intelligence and national security issues at the top of hour 2 of his AM 960 The Patriot show in Phoenix. Seth was up to speed on everything I’ve written about this branch of the poisonous Times tree over the past 15 years. Most recently, I returned to the subject in “The Assange indictment” »

The Times wants to know, cont’d

Featured image New York Times media reporter Marc Tracy has written with a question following up on my long message responding to his request for comments on the Assange indictment. He wonders if I “could speak to [my] feelings specifically on the superseding indictment against Assange.” I thought my feelings were apparent from what I wrote, but I have responded as follows: I support enforcement of the Espionage Act against perpetrators of »

The Times wants to know

Featured image On Friday afternoon New York Times media reporter Marc Tracy wrote us to ask if we might be available to discuss the superseding indictment of Julian Assange before a Tuesday evening deadline. I promptly gave Marc my personal contact information and invited him to fire away. He didn’t get around to posing a question until 11:00 p.m. last night. Here is what’s cooking in his kitchen: Basically we are writing »

Tears of the Times

Featured image I was deeply touched by the concern implicit in the Julian Barnes and David Sanger New York Times story reporting President Trump’s authorization of Attorney General Barr to declassify the documents underlying the greatest political scandal in American political history — i.e., the Russian collusion hoax. Their concern for national security permeates the story. There it is right at the top, for example, in the lead paragraph: President Trump’s order »

The Assange indictment

Featured image The man from Wikileaks — i.e., Julian Assange — is the subject of a superseding indictment charging him with 17 counts under the Espionage Act along with the original count of conspiracy to commit computer intrusion. I have embedded a copy of the indictment below. Charlie Savage expresses the institutional interest of the New York Times in the case in his story on the indictment: Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks leader, »

No “spying” at the FBI

Featured image At ReaclClearPolitics yesterday, the invaluable Eric Felten took a deep dive into the testimony of former FBI counterintelligence chief Bill Priestap before the House last year (and do read the whole thing). President Merkin Muffley explained in Dr. Strangelove: “Gentlemen, you can’t fight in here. This is the war room!” By the same token, Priestap explained to Congress: “You can’t ‘spy’ here. This is the FBI.” Eric tells the story: »

Barr brings accountability

Featured image Kim Strassel devotes her weekly Wall Street Journal column today — “Barr brings accountability” (behind the Journal’s column) — to the news that Attorney General William Barr is undertaking a review of the surveillance of the Trump presidential campaign conducted by the FBI and intelligence agencies under the Obama administration. As we have frequently observed, we weren’t meant to learn a blessed thing about this surveillance. Strassel picks up this »

“Spying did occur”

Featured image Democrats cannot handle the truth. We saw this yesterday in their uniform reaction to Attorney General Barr’s acknowledgment that “Spying did occur” on the Trump presidential campaign. The link is to today’s Wall Street Journal editorial (by Kim Strassel, I am quite sure, and behind the Journal’s paywall. Somewhere near the top of this post, however, I want to quote a sentence from Mollie Hemingway’s Federalist column on the Barr »

Trump v. Coats et al.

Featured image Our top intelligence officials presented their unclassified threat assessment at a January 29 hearing of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats testified with CIA Director Gina Haspel, Defense Intelligence Agency director Robert Ashley, National Security Agency director Paul Nakasone, and National Geospatial Agency director Robert Cardillo. According to Coats et al. (as Jeff Jacboy put it in his emailed Boston Globe Arguable column), “the »

Burr under the saddle

Featured image The confidence of the oleaginous Mark Warner in his colleague Richard Burr gives me my doubts. Burr is the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee who has kept up a bipartisan vibe in the committee’s investigation of Russian interference in the election. The parallel House committee operating under Chairman Devin Nunes has filed its Report on Russian Active Measures. Burr’s committee labors on. I have my doubts about Burr, but »

Baby, Chinese spy can drive her car

Featured image In the Politico Magazine article “How Silicon Valley became a den of spies,” Zach Dorfman reported in passing: ” Former intelligence officials told me that Chinese intelligence once recruited a staff member at a California office of U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, and the source reported back to China about local politics.” He added parenthetically: “A spokesperson for Feinstein said the office doesn’t comment on personnel matters or investigations, but noted »

Ishmael Jones: A modest proposal

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. Last year we posted his column below in the context of the proliferation of leaks attributed by reporters at the New York Times and the Washington Post to “current and former officials.” Given the White House announcement today that President Trump is considering revoking the security clearances of »

Inside Israel’s Tehran heist

Featured image Last week the Israeli government briefed a few select reporters on the dramatic Mossad heist of documents from Iran’s nuclear weapons program. The government invited these reporters to review key documents from the heist. The government briefing included either David Sanger or Ronen Bergman from the New York Times and Gerald Seib from the Wall Street Journal. The Sanger/Bergman account of the heist is published as “How Israel, in Dark »