May
29
2014
6

Left apparently ready to shrug off White House incompetently outing Kabul station chief.

Well, if you were ever unsure whether the entire Libbygate thing was overwrought

Valerie Plame doesn’t deny that blowing the cover of the CIA station chief in Afghanistan is a serious matter. It’s just that, discussing the issue at a Wednesday evening forum sponsored by The Atlantic, Plame seemed to view the outing of the CIA’s top spy on the front lines in the Afghan war as more of an embarrassment than an outrage.

…actually, if you were unsure: well, why?  It was obvious at the time that the antiwar movement wasn’t really outraged over the issue.  They were just looking for a viable line of attack on a war that they were too petty to support and too craven to oppose.  If they had actually cared then the Left would be the first people screaming about the fact that the slapdash and slap-happy White House team did what they do best, which is screw up in a fashion that might end up getting people killed. (more…)

May
13
2014
3

Former CIA acting Director Michael Morell *wants* Benghazi panel.

I believe that he feels it will clear his name.

It took me a while to figure out what was so off about former acting CIA Director Michael Morell’s forthright statement that he supports the House investigating committee on Benghazi:

Speaking to a forum founded and run by his former boss at the CIA, Leon Panetta, Morell said he hopes that the House effort can lay to rest lingering questions Americans’ have about the attack which killed the U.S. Ambassador to Libya and three other Americans.

“A lot of people have looked at this, but the polls show that the American people still have questions. I want to make sure that all of those questions are cleared up. There are still some questions about the role of the agency. And there are still questions about my own personal role and I want to clear that up,” Morell said during a panel discussion at the Panetta Institute in Monterey, Calif. “It might be surprising for you to hear me say this, but I am a supporter of the creation of this committee because I want all the facts to come together in one place and be presented as one—by one entity as one thing, so the American people can see all of this.”

…and then it hit me: Michael Morell sounds like a guy who thinks that he can walk into House hearings on Benghazi and walk back out again with his scalp intact. I don’t know whether that’s because of a clean-enough conscience, self-confidence in his abilities to finesse a House committee, a certain warm awareness of knowing where all the bodies are buried, or a combination thereof: at any rate, it is an attitude that is in stark contrast to everybody else in this administration (current and former) that was involved in the Benghazi mess. And since Morell is acting how you would expect an innocent (or innocent-enough*) civil servant to act… why aren’t the rest of them? Because if the rest of the Obama administration responded as did Morell and the Pentagon, this issue would have been over a year ago…

Via @amandacarpenter.

 

Moe Lane (crosspost)

*Nobody is ever truly innocent in this business.  But the CIA’s involvement in this particular outrage is easily overshadowed by the actions of the State Department and the White House.

May
10
2014
15

Of COURSE Ed Snowden’s heist was an espionage operation.

This should surprise nobody:

Edward Snowden‘s massive misappropriations of classified documents from the inner sanctum of U.S. intelligence is mainly presented by the media as a whistleblowing story. In this narrative—designed by Mr. Snowden himself—he is portrayed as a disgruntled contractor for the National Security Agency, acting alone, who heroically exposed the evils of government surveillance beginning in 2013.

The other way of looking at it—based on the number and nature of documents Mr. Snowden took, and the dates when they were taken—is that only a handful of the secrets had anything to do with domestic surveillance by the government and most were of primary value to an espionage operation.

(more…)

Aug
13
2013
1

:raised eyebrow: Why on Earth WOULD the CIA spy on Noam Chomsky?

I mean, honestly: what’s the point?

For years, the Central Intelligence Agency denied it had a secret file on MIT professor and famed dissident Noam Chomsky. But a new government disclosure obtained by The Cable reveals for the first time that the agency did in fact gather records on the anti-war iconoclast during his heyday in the 1970s.

The disclosure also reveals that Chomsky’s entire CIA file was scrubbed from Langley’s archives, raising questions as to when the file was destroyed and under what authority.

Were they spying on somebody relevant at the time that just hung around Chomsky? – That would make sense: God knows that the antiwar movement has always been a hotbed of subversion, sedition, foreign espionage, and general hatred of Western Civilization in general and the United States of America in particular. (more…)

May
14
2013
--

McClatchy circles back to #benghazi, and the lies about the video.

McClatchy (!) has decided to get in on the Benghazi dogpile, probably because, hey, no line for this one*!

Lost in the controversy over who requested revisions of CIA-written talking points on September’s attacks in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans is one key fact: In every iteration of the document, the CIA asserted that a video protest preceded the assaults, and no official reviewing the talking points suggested that that was in error.

Yet interviews with U.S. officials and others indicate that they knew nearly immediately that there had been no protest outside the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi before attackers stormed it, setting a fire that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and Sean Smith, a State Department computer expert. A subsequent attack on a CIA annex nearby killed two security contractors, former Navy SEALs Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods.

Why the CIA insisted that there had been a protest tied to a YouTube video that mocked the Prophet Muhammad for several days after the attack, mirroring some news reports, has never been publicly explained.

Well, never been publicly explained by the CIA. Everybody reading this knows that the actual reason that the protest was linked to the video is because the Obama administration could argue that there’s no realistic way to predict when a random event like a ‘spontaneous demonstration’ would go deadly. But a planned terrorist operation? Yeah, the American public has an expectation that counter-terrorism agencies are supposed to catch that sort of thing. Goodness knows that the Obama administration has been pushing itself as being hyper-competent and on-the-ball; a disaster like Benghazi** might have destroyed that narrative.  Which is why they kicked the can down the road by claiming that nonsense about a video. (more…)

Nov
14
2012
4

*IF* it turns out to be true that we were operating a secret jail in Benghazi…

…and that is a legitimate ‘if:’ anyway, if it turns out that Broadwell’s revelation last month is correct and that Benghazi was hosting a secret jail* for the purpose of extraordinary rendition then I hope that people will find the following posts to be useful.

(more…)

Nov
13
2012
1

Andrew Malcolm walks us through the latest in the Petraeus mess.

And you can tell just how bad all of this is from this sardonic comment: “No wonder Defense Secy. Leon Panetta is out of the country and the president will be too this weekend. It all makes tomorrow’s scheduled White House news conference seem more like an episode of Generals’ Hospital.”

Anyway, short version: adultery adultery adultery (Mrs. Petraeus so far seems to be mercifully absent from all the bed-jumping), with a side order of obsessive behavior and piss-poor documents security for dessert.  That last bit is possibly the most worrisome; I don’t like to think that actual espionage may rear its head here, but at the moment you legitimately can’t rule it out.  It’s been a while since the last spy sex scandal; we’re probably overdue.

Anyway, the score so far is at least two careers blighted… and, oh, yeah: (more…)

Written by in: Politics | Tags: ,
Nov
02
2012
2

Fox News reports that Benghazi consulate gave three hours’ warning of attacks.

Having a good morning? This will fix it.

Via Hot Air. Summary: the consulate warned their higher ups of the imminent attack, noted that their own Libyan security detachment was acting questionably, and reported that militia forces would likely be involved. And, relatedly, military intelligence was reporting that this was an organized terrorist attack within hours of the attack. So why the delay in the government admitting it? Fox News didn’t say why here, but I will: it’s because if the government admitted that it was Islamist terrorism, it would have stepped on their narrative that Islamist terrorism was in full retreat ever since Osama bin Laden was killed. So the government did nothing.

And good men died.

Aug
24
2009
1

The war of leaks may now begin.

And as I noted yesterday, what an interesting war it will be. Via AoSHQ:

Justice Dept. Report Advises Pursuing C.I.A. Abuse Cases

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department’s ethics office has recommended reversing the Bush administration and reopening nearly a dozen prisoner-abuse cases, potentially exposing Central Intelligence Agency employees and contractors to prosecution for brutal treatment of terrorism suspects, according to a person officially briefed on the matter.

[snip]

With the release of the details on Monday and the formal advice that at least some cases be reopened, it now seems all but certain that the appointment of a prosecutor or other concrete steps will follow, posing significant new problems for the C.I.A. It is politically awkward, too, for Mr. Holder because President Obama has said that he would rather move forward than get bogged down in the issue at the expense of his own agenda.

My reading of the article suggests that the focus of this is not Bush administration policies, but is instead on how the CIA carried those policies out. This should prove interesting: the CIA is already dealing with new Director Leon Panetta’s epic-level bungling of the ‘assassination program’ nonsense, and this is going to do nothing to persuade the career bureaucrats in the Agency that the current administration isn’t planning to hang them all out to dry. Having lived through one Church Committee, I suspect that the CIA is not inclined to endure another.

I don’t exactly have ‘a pox on both their houses’ attitude towards this, but I do consider this to be a bit of a karmic balancing for both the White House and the CIA.

Moe Lane

Crossposted to RedState.

Aug
11
2009
--

Possible options on investigating the Bush-era CIA.

As I see it, there are three possible ways that you could investigate claims of CIA abuse of suspected terrorists during interrogations under Bush.

  1. Don’t.  This would infuriate the Left, most of whom spent considerable amounts of time, effort, and money to elect a President and Congress that would revisit the Salem Witch Trials (with possibly even the mass hangings); and give no net gain to the Right (it’s what they should be doing, anyway), the CIA (ditto), and the Middle (they just don’t care).
  2. Do.  This would infuriate the CIA, a bureaucracy that easily outmatches the current administration in the arcane art of Beltway warfare; quietly please the Right (as that means that a lot of embarrassing* documents would finally get put in the public record); and give no net gain to the Left (it’s what they should be doing, anyway) and the Middle (they just don’t care).
  3. Do, but ostensibly only those claims that violated Bush-era guidelines.  This would anger the CIA (ex post facto career blighting), the Left (it’d legitimize the guidelines), the Right (tailor-made for scapegoating); and give no net gain to the Middle (they just don’t care).  In other words, it’d be the single most politically tone-deaf solution.

So yes, that’s the one that they’re going with.

Moe Lane

PS: Oh, you want a solution?  Easy.  The administration comes out and says that now that it’s had a chance to look at all the information, they’ve changed their mind on their previous position with regard to appropriateness of the Bush administration’s counter-terrorism strategy; and that they’ll be doing a thorough review with the CIA to fix the system to make sure that anything that slipped through the cracks won’t happen again.  Then they actually do the review in a bipartisan fashion, with enough well-known CIA advocates involved to reassure the Agency that there’s not going to be a witch hunt.  That satisfies everybody.

Well, everybody except the Hard Left, but what are they going to do?  Vote Republican?

Crossposted to RedState.

May
28
2009
--

NRCC targets Democrats using Speaker Pelosi.

I was originally going to go with something from Coleridge, but an albatross necklace is not exactly the image that either I or the GOP was trying to invoke, here.

The NRCC will be launching a barrage of television, radio, phone, and physical advertisements today at specific Democratic-controlled House Districts. The theme of the message: Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s attacks on the CIA, the implications of those attacks, and the curious disinterest in selected House Democrats in facing up to those implications. The television ad for MD-01′s Frank Kratovil sums it up:

If the CIA deceived the Speaker of the House, then the CIA is committing a crime. The GOP has been saying for a couple of weeks now that Speaker Pelosi needs to provide either evidence or an apology; and when she provided neither, the GOP called for a bipartisan investigation of the CIA. Speaker Pelosi and her cronies in the House had it squashed.  So the NRCC is going to ask selected voters how they feel about the idea that their legislators may be supporting a slanderer and liar.

Specific breakdown of names/type of advertisements below the fold: I’ll be updating with the scripts once I get them.

Moe Lane (more…)

May
24
2009
2

Be grateful the RNC didn’t call her ‘Miss Moneyspendy.’

Although I plan to email them about that.

Nothing much happened yesterday, huh? Aside from a lot of people yelling over this rather innocuous ad, apparently:

Allahpundit and Legal Insurrection I’ll forgive: they’re merely offering tactical advice, not taking seriously Lefty faux-outrage currently being cataloged (along with other reactions) by The Other McCain, Little Miss Attila, Protein Wisdom, & The Sundries Shack. Personally, I’ll start taking said Left-outrage more seriously when they start reacting to attempted media rapes of conservative female public figures in any way besides helping to pin the victim’s shoulders to the table.

Oops, did I just type that out? I guess that means that a bunch of online would-be pundits who stood up and cheered when their side beat feminism to death with a tire iron as part of their winning Presidential election strategy won’t like me any more, then.

Gee.
Darn.
Shucks.

Moe Lane

PS: If you don’t like the way that we mock the Speaker of the House for being not only a liar, but a stupid liar, here’s a thought: replace her with someone who isn’t a stupid liar.

Crossposted to RedState.

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