Hillary’s Sources, Methods, and Lies

September 9, 2015

An interesting discussion of how the same piece of information can wind up assigned different levels of classification by different agencies: it depends on how the information is obtained.

The XX Committee

I’ve been doing my best to explain the complex intelligence realities behind Hillary Clinton’s on-going #EmailGate scandal for months now, and we’re still far from the end of this messy saga.

Hillary’s take on what happened with her State Department “unclassified” email and her “private” server has see-sawed with the customary Clintonian lawyerly evasions, untruths, and now something approaching half-truths.

First it was: everything done was legal and acceptable.

Then came: mistakes were perhaps made, but not by me, and I’m not apologizing.

Followed by: the inevitable Clintonian sorry-not-sorry.

Now, having seen her polls dropping in rock-like fashion, we’re at: I’m kinda sorry but still nothing I emailed was “marked” classified.

The last is a particularly dishonest evasion, given that the Intelligence Community has twicedetermined that in fact TOPSECRET//SCI information was included in Hillary’s “private” email on at least two occasions. Given that’s from a sample of just forty…

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MI5: On the anniversary of London tube bombings, raise UK terror threat to “critical?”

July 6, 2015
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“Never give in!”

That’s the news out of London today, as UK security chiefs warn the nation faces the greatest danger of attack in years:

The revelation comes just 24-hours before the nation stops to remember the dead from the 7/7 terrorist attack in 2005 in which 52 London commuters were killed.

Threats from the Islamic State to attack the West during Ramadan have prompted the re-think on national security. The top level meeting follows the terror bombing in Tunisiathat claimed the lives of 30 holidaying Britons.

The Daily Express reports a ‘well-placed security source’ revealed that security chiefs were homing in on three areas of particular concern; East London, the West Midlands and Greater Manchester. The source said:

“The authorities are literally monitoring thousands of people who are deemed a threat. They had their work cut out before the rise of the Islamic Sate but the threat of terrorism now is probably at it’s highest for eight years.

“The Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre meets regularly and there have been serious discussions about whether to raise the nation’s threat level to ‘Critical’. “To make that leap is a very, very big step because what it is basically saying to the public is that we are about to be attacked.

“For that reason the data has to be watertight to make such a decision and for the time being there isn’t enough credible evidence to do so. However the discussions are ongoing and nothing has been discounted. We are facing a really serious threat from Islamic State.”

Tomorrow is the tenth anniversary of the London bombings, when four brave jihadis murderous suicide bombers killed 52 people. Al Qaeda and its offshoots, including ISIS/Islamic State, love to attack on anniversaries, as we experienced in Benghazi on 9/11/12. The anniversary of their cowardly attack on London must be a very tempting occasion.

The Brits have excellent, very serious-minded counter-intelligence and counter-terrorism services and personnel. If they say the threat is borderline critical, take them at their word. One wonders if they leaked this news to fend off the threat by sending a message to the terrorists that “we’re on to you lot,” perhaps goading them into a mistake, or if this is some sort of public alert, issued in the hope of someone reporting something they might otherwise have overlooked.

Regardless, we wish our friends in the UK “good hunting” and hope they nail these medieval psychos before any more innocents are hurt.

PS: While I meant every word of praise written above, one has to think “What the unholy [eff]??” at the news that an al Qaeda-aligned imam, who was an inspiration for the group behind the recent massacre of Britons in Tunisia, continues to live in a mansion in London on welfare. That’s not just wrong, that’s insane.


Snowden is a Fraud

June 12, 2015

Dear Snowden fans, “We told ya so!.” The guy is no hero: far from it.

The XX Committee

In the two years since the Edward Snowden saga went public, a handful of people who actually understand the Western signals intelligence system have tried to explain the many ways that the Snowden Operation has smeared NSA and its partners with salacious charges of criminality and abuse. I’ve been one of the public faces of what may be called the Snowden Truth movement, and finally there are signs that reality may be intruding on this debate.

No American ally was rocked harder by Snowden’s allegations than Germany, which has endured a bout of hysteria over charges that NSA was listening in on senior German officials, including Chancellor Angela Merkel. Although these stories included a good deal of bunkum from the start, they caused a firestorm in Germany, particularly the alleged spying on Merkel, which was termed Handygate by the media.

In response, Germany tasked Federal prosecutors with looking into the…

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The OPM Hacking Scandal Just Got Worse

June 12, 2015

Jim Geraghty described this news a a “cyber-Pearl Harbor.” I’d quibble over the “Pearl Harbor” description, but that this is an almost-certain intelligence disaster (and I use that word deliberately) is doubtless. Think I’m wrong? Just read Mr. Schindler’s post analyzing the latest news.

The XX Committee

The other day I explained in detail how the mega-hack of the Office of Personnel Management’s internal servers looks like a genuine disaster for the U.S. Government, a setback that will have long-lasting and painful counterintelligence consequences. In particular I explained what the four million Americans whose records have been purloined may be in for:

Whoever now holds OPM’s records possesses something like the Holy Grail from a CI perspective.  They can target Americans in their database for recruitment or influence. After all, they know their vices, every last one — the gambling habit, the inability to pay bills on time, the spats with former spouses, the taste for something sexual on the side (perhaps with someone of a different gender than your normal partner) — since all that is recorded in security clearance paperwork (to get an idea of how detailed this gets, you can see the form, called…

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(Video) Andrew Klavan with the revolting truth about the Senate “torture report”

January 16, 2015

Writer and satirist Andrew Klavan takes a sober, dignified look at the recent report on torture and the CIA’s enhanced interrogation techniques from the Senate Intelligence Committee. I think he sums it up just about right:

Notice how quiet the Democrats and the MSM have become about that report? That’s because they realize it was such an embarrassingly bad hack job that even they can’t defend it.


Iran, Russia, and some damn thing in the Balkans

October 24, 2014
Bosnia-map

Bosnia

There are a couple of must-read articles today at XX Committee (1), both dealing with Iran’s schemes against the West. This first details Iran’s growing activities in Bosnia and Central Europe, where they have been working to cultivate Muslim extremists since Yugoslavia broke up. Note especially that Shiite Iran is quite happy to cooperate with Sunni jihadists, when the target is the “main enemy” — us and Europe. Here’s an excerpt:

…Iran has a considerable espionage base in Bosnia, which they view as a safe haven for their secret operations in the rest of Europe. Of greatest concern are the detectable ties between Iranian intelligencers and Salafi jihadist groups in Bosnia, some of which operate more or less openly (Sunni-Shia disputes notwithstanding, Tehran is happy to arm, train and equip Salafi jihadists, and nowhere more than Bosnia, where they have been doing that for over two decades). This Tehran-Sarajevo spy-terror nexus cannot be divorced from radical activities in Vienna, since Austria’s capital in many ways is the de facto capital of Salafi jihadism in Southeastern Europe, as well as a major playground for Iranian spies. These form an extended web of malevolence that stretches across Eastern and Central Europe.

…and…

Of particular concern is the large number of Iranian intelligence fronts operating in Bosnia that provide cover for operations and funding of terrorists and radicals: NGOs, charities of various sorts, and schools. For the Pasdaran, its most important cut-outs in Bosnia are the “Ibn Sina” Research Institute and the Persian-Bosnian College, but there is a long list of Iranian-linked fronts in the country (my analysis of these and how they provide cover for VEVAK and Pasdaran is here) that play an important role in Tehran’s secret war in Europe.

Should the West ever come to blows with Iran over its nuclear program, don’t doubt for a moment that the mullahs would use these assets to strike back violently in Europe.

Then Mr. Schindler also broke news today of a major Iranian-Russian intelligence cooperation agreement, aimed, of course, at us and the Israelis:

An indication of how cozy things are getting between Moscow and Tehran came this week with a visit to Iran by Nikolai Patrushev, the head of Russia’s National Security Council, who met with Iranian counterparts to discuss mutual threats. As Patrushev explained, “Iran has been one of Russia’s key partners in the region and it will remain so in future … [we] have similar and close views on many key regional issues and we had a serious exchange of views on the situation in Syria, Iraq and Libya.”

But this was not just a diplomatic gab fest. In the first place, Patrushev is a career intelligence officer and one of President Vladimir Putin’s closest confidants. A career counterintelligence officer with the Leningrad KGB, just like Putin, Patrushev served as head of the powerful Federal Security Service (FSB) from 1999 to 2008, leaving that position to take over the National Security Council.

As you’ll discover in the article, Mr. Patrushev is not a friend of the United States. For him, the Cold War is still very warm. Continuing:

Now, however, a full intelligence alliance has been agreed to. As a Russian report on Patrushev’s visit explained:

“The events in Syria and Iraq, where contacts between the Russian and Iranian special services have not only been resumed but have also proven their mutually advantageous nature, particularly in assessing the threats and plans of local bandit formations, both “secular” and Islamist, with respect to Russian facilities in Tartus in Syria, have impelled Moscow and Tehran to the idea of the need to formalize these contacts in the shape of a permanently operating mechanism. Russian special services also valued the volume of information, voluntarily conveyed by Iran to our specialists, on the potential activity of the Israeli Air Force against the Russian humanitarian convoys to Syria in the period of the sharp aggravation of the situation in that country in the summer of last year.”

Let there be no doubt that this new espionage alliance is aimed directly at the United States and Israel. As the report added, “the Iranians are prepared to provide Russia on a permanent basis with information on American military activity in the Persian Gulf obtained from their own technical intelligence facilities” — in other words, the Russians and Iranians will be sharing SIGINT, the most sensitive of all forms of intelligence gathering.

As Mr. Schindler likes to say, there is a “secret war” going on against us and our allies, one which our enemies seem to be fighting better than we do. Now that Iran and Russia have buried the hatchet, their cooperation will likely pose us serious problems and threats, not just in the Middle East, but also in Europe, where Russia maintains significant intelligence operations.

Our enemies have stepped up our game; I wish I had faith our current leadership could do the same.

Footnote:
(1) Frankly, one can say that about all Mr. Schindler’s posts.


The Ebola Crisis and Medical Intelligence

October 4, 2014

Here’s an article on an intelligence agency I’ve never heard of: the National Center for Medical Intelligence. Yes, a US Government intel agency devoted to medical threats to the US military — and, in the latest crisis, to the US itself, I’m sure. And I’ve no doubt there are at least a half-dozen development teams in Hollywood writing pitches for the “NCMI TV series” even now.

The XX Committee

There’s now no denying that West Africa’s Ebola outbreak has become a global crisis. After months of downplaying the threat, Western governments are facing the painful fact that the situation is deteriorating fast. It’s now plain to see that the world is at the precipice of something genuinely awful, with official predictions of more than a million new infections by the new year. Given that the death rate among those infected with Ebola is roughly fifty percent — and a good deal higher in underdeveloped regions like West Africa — serious concern is warranted.

Now that a Liberian visitor has brought Ebola to American shores, the assurances of officials that the situation is “under control” are being viewed skeptically by many. Our self-reporting system for preventing diseases entering the United States has failed, and investigators are reaching out to a hundred or more travelers who might have been exposed to…

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