Intelligence

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 »

Clapper on the great unmasking

Featured image Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper is a known liar. Former Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power is a known reprobate. Invoking the testimony of Clapper to question Power places us in a wilderness of mirrors, yet Hugh Hewitt rightly turned to Clapper for his take on the unresolved scandal of Samantha Power. Jay Latimer to the contrary notwithstanding, Hugh did not ignore it. Interviewing Clapper about his »

Clapper: Not his job

Featured image Larry O’Connor now writes for the Washington Times. He has been following the comments of former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper on the FBI counterintelligence investigation that swept up the Trump campaign. Clapper is out promoting his book Facts and Fears: Hard Truths from a Life in Intelligence. Larry found “Clapper’s claptrap wearing thin” in response to a question posed by CNN’s unabashed Dana Bash. Bash asked Clapper why »

James Clapper deceives again

Featured image In his new book, James Clapper, the former Director of National Intelligence, says “of course” Russian activity swung the election to Donald Trump. The left is treating this speculation, almost certainly driven by animus towards President Trump, as immensely important. For example, Rachel Maddow said, ahead of her interview with Clapper: “The immediate past director of national intelligence, who was director of national intelligence during the Russian attack on the »

Gina Haspel will be confirmed

Featured image Gina Haspel, President Trump’s nominee to head the CIA appears to have enough votes to be confirmed. The support of Senate Intelligence Committee Vice Chairman Mark Warner, announced today, should ensure that Haspel has the votes she needs. In fact, soon after Warner’s announcement, Sens. Heidi Heitkamp and Bill Nelson said they are on board to confirm Haspel. A couple of guys named Joe — Manchin and Donnelly — had »

An FBI informant in the Trump campaign?

Featured image Rush Limbaugh summarizes Kim Strassel’s Wall Street Journal column of this past Friday, today’s Wall Street Journal editorial (obviously written by Kim), and a related Washington Post story in which the deep state strikes back against House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes. It’s a complicated story to unravel. In the transcript posted at his site, Rush links to each of the three sources and summarizes the salient details. Close reading »

Analyze this

Featured image One of yesterday’s gabfests should have made news with its interview of House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (video below). On FOX News Channel’s Sunday Morning Futures show, host Maria Bartiromo quizzed Rep. Nunes about the Electronic Communication (“EC” in intelligence parlance) that kicked off the counterintelligence investigation culminating in the Special Counsel investigation (“the Mueller Switch Project” in my parlance). On what intelligence was it based? Rep. Nunes stated: »

Let’s reopen the “torture” debate

Featured image On Sunday, the Washington Post featured an attack on Gina Haspel, President Trump’s nominee to be CIA Director, by John Kiriakou. He’s a former CIA counterterrorism officer who served 23 months in prison after being charged with five felonies, including espionage, by the Obama Justice Department. Sometimes it’s helpful to consider the source. The sub-headline of Kiriakou’s piece (paper edition) was “The torture debate was over — until Haspel’s nomination.” »

Understanding Russiagate

Featured image Lee Smith is one of the two commentators whom one must read to understand the synthetic Trump-Russia collusion scandal and the real intelligence scandal that underlies it. The other is Andrew McCarthy. Lee’s current Tablet column is “Who believes in Russiagate?” Lee draws on his reporting and analysis of the past several years to give the big picture and to name names (here he singles out Adam Entous, formerly of »

Night thoughts with Nunes

Featured image House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes appeared for the full hour on the second installment of Mark Levin’s new FOX News show last night (video below). It is thanks to Rep. Nunes in particular and his Republican colleagues in general that we know as much as we do about the Obama administration’s efforts to undermine the Trump campaign during the election and the incoming Trump administration afterwards. The saga continues. »