Intelligence

Samantha Power denies serial unmasking

Featured image It has been reported that Samantha Power, while serving as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, requested or initiated a request for more than 260 unmaskings of Americans whose conversations were picked up during surveillance. But today, according to Rep. Trey Gowdy, Power denied making anything close to that number of unmasking requests. Here is what Gowdy told Fox News’ Bret Baier: BAIER: You are also looking, and have talked »

Pompeo speaks

Featured image Bret Baier interviewed CIA Director Mike Pompeo yesterday afternoon for a segment of the FOX News Special Report. The interview was occasioned by the anniversary of 9/11. The questions were well informed and the answers were direct. Most striking to me was Pompeo’s contrast with his predecessor. Baier, for example, asked Pompeo whether the intelligence assessments supported the proposition that ISIS constituted a junior varsity terrorist organization consistent with the »

CIA keeping a watchful eye on. . .its director!

Featured image This Washington Post story is called “At CIA, a watchful eye on Mike Pompeo, the president’s ardent ally.” It sounds like the CIA is spying on its own director. If there is such a thing as the “deep state,” I think we have sighted it. According to Post reporter Greg Miller, “Mike Pompeo has taken a special interest in an agency unit that is closely tied to the investigation into »

James Clapper assesses

Featured image President Trump’s attack on the liberal media has, of course, produced fierce criticism from the liberal media and from the anti-Trump figures the liberal media enlists as talking heads. The criticism getting the most play comes from former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. Appearing on CNN, Clapper told Don Lemon this, among other things: I really question [Trump’s] … fitness to be in this office. And I also am »

Talking ten theses, with footnotes

Featured image On Monday our friend Seth Leibsohn invited me to appear on Phoenix AM 960’s Seth and Chris Show yesterday afternoon. Seth asked me to discuss my post on the law, the leaks and the New York Times. My discussion with Seth frames the background to my “Ten theses on leaks.” What is to be done? In my view, the Trump Department of Justice must pick its best case to prosecute »

For AG Sessions, ten theses on leaks

Featured image This past Friday Attorney General Sessions held a news conference to announce the Justice Department’s dedication to stopping the flood of leaks of classified information that is undermining the Trump administration and damaging our national security. The transcript of Mr. Sessions’ statement at the press conference is posted here. What is to be done? This was the only potential reform of policy or practice mentioned by Attorney General Sessions: “[O]ne »

Is the Times a law unto itself?

Featured image Yesterday on FOX News Special Report, Chris Wallace led a panel discussion of Attorney General Sessions’s press conference announcing the Trump administration’s efforts to suppress leaks of classified information. Video of the segment is below. In the course of the segment Charles Krauthammer addresses the applicable law in a manner that is extremely misleading. This is what he had to say on the legal issues (my transcription): I thought we »

Ben Rhodes is person of interest in unmasking probe

Featured image Sara Carter of Circa reports that former Obama administration National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes has emerged as a person of interest in the House Intelligence Committee’s unmasking investigation. Carter cites a letter sent yesterday by the committee to the National Security Agency (NSA). The letter requests the number of unmasking requests made by Rhodes from Jan. 1, 2016 to Jan. 20, 2017, according to Carter’s sources. Susan Rice, Samantha Power, »

Ethics Watchdog Files Complaint Against Wasserman Schultz

Featured image The Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT), an ethics watchdog group, has filed a complaint with the Office of Congressional Ethics against Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz. The complaint pertains to the House IT scandal. We wrote about that matter here and here. Peter Hasson of the Daily Caller reports that the complaint centers on the fact that Wasserman Schultz continued to employ House IT aide Imran Awan even while »

Epstein’s assessment

Featured image Edward Jay Epstein is the author of several books on Soviet/Russian intelligence-related matters including Legend: The Secret World of Lee Harvey Oswald, Deception: The Invisible War Between the KGB and the CIA, Dossier: The Secret History of Armand Hammer and, most recently, How America Lost Its Secrets: Edward Snowden, the Man and the Theft. In the July 1974 Commentary essay “Did the press uncover Watergate?” Ed correctly deduced the identity »

Stand by your Awan

Featured image Luke Rosiak of the Daily Caller reports that Debbie Wasserman Schultz seemed prepared to pay cyber-probe suspect and IT aide Imran Awan even while he was living in Pakistan, if the FBI hadn’t stopped him from leaving the U.S. This is only the latest indication of Wasserman Schultz’s immense loyalty to Awan. As we noted here, the IT scandal involving the Awan family broke in February. It centered around the »

Report: FBI General Counsel under investigation for leaking

Featured image Sara Carter reports that the FBI’s top lawyer, James A. Baker, is said to be under investigation for leaking classified material that disclosed a top-secret U.S. surveillance program built by Yahoo Inc. The leaked information formed the basis for a story in Reuters. The Reuters story described how the the software program developed by Yahoo for the U.S. government allowed the intelligence community to search Yahoo emails containing specific characters »

Ishmael Jones: Phoniness of the Trump Dossier

Featured image Ishmael Jones writes to comment on the infamous Trump “dossier.” It is one of the keys to the “collusion” hysteria and related “fake news” with which we have been inundated since the 2016 election. Mr. Jones is the pseudonymous former CIA officer and author of The Human Factor: Inside the CIA’s Dysfunctional Intelligence Culture. He notes that his comments here are based upon his experience in writing “lots of intelligence »

Understanding the Awan connection

Featured image Scott wrote today about the “Awan connection” — a scandal, finally getting some attention, that involves House staffers with ties to Pakistan who are accused of stealing equipment from members’ offices without their knowledge and committing serious, potentially illegal, violations on the House IT network. Interest in the scandal has been reinforced by the arrest of Imran Awan Monday evening as he was about to board a flight to Lahore, »

A Pompeo postscript

Featured image In a June 2 story by Matthew Rosenberg and Adam Goldman, the New York Times blew the identity of the new CIA chief of operations against Iran. The Times’s decision to do so was deliberate, willful and deeply dishonorable. It may have been illegal as well. The special counsel investigation of the Bush administration was predicated on possible criminal violations in the unauthorized disclosure of Valerie Plame. Possible criminal violations »

Pompeo on the leaks

Featured image Since the inauguration of President Trump we have been inundated by leaks of classified information attributed to current and former government officials. These current and former government officials have leaked classified information to their friends at the New York Times, the Washington Post and other mainstream media organs. The leaks have become a flood of crisis proportions. Two months ago, for example, New York Times reporters Matthew Rosenberg and Adam »

Pompeo slams the Times

Featured image CIA Director Mike Pompeo took the occasion of an interview by New York Times columnist Bret Stephens at the Aspen Security Forum yesterday to call out the Times for disclosing the identity of the CIA new officer in charge of Iran operations. The Times’s wantonly destructive article blowing the identity of the CIA officer required a little help from its friends — the usual cadre of “current and former intelligence »