Tagged CIA

Donald Trump Is Not as Bad as We Thought He Would Be. He’s Worse. Far Worse.

Since Donald Trump’s inauguration as president, the following has occurred in the United States of America: Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington had to file a complaint “to notify the new president that he was officially in violation of his lease for the Trump International Hotel down the street from the White House. The lease that one of Trump’s company’s, Trump Old Post Office LLC, signed with the government states that no ‘elected official’ of the U.S. government can share in the lease or derive benefit from it.” Trump heard a sermon from Robert Jeffress, a Trumpkin pastor who tried to invoke God to…

Quote of the Day

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. “My understanding is … it was a military aide who compiled this list of those that were greeting the president when he came,” Plame said. “Colossally stupid, but I think it was inadvertent. It was an error … really stupid. The White House apparently has said that…

The Wisdom of Crowds (Intelligence Analysis Division)

This should impress everyone, and surprise no one: The morning I met Elaine Rich, she was sitting at the kitchen table of her small town home in suburban Maryland trying to estimate refugee flows in Syria. It wasn’t the only question she was considering; there were others: Will North Korea launch a new multistage missile before May 10, 2014? Will Russian armed forces enter Kharkiv, Ukraine, by May 10? Rich’s answers to these questions would eventually be evaluated by the intelligence community, but she didn’t feel much pressure because this wasn’t her full-time gig. “I’m just a pharmacist,” she said. “Nobody…

Not Since Nixon

This is deeply shocking, and deeply disturbing: The head of the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday sharply accused the CIA of violating federal law and undermining the constitutional principle of congressional oversight as she detailed publicly for the first time how the agency secretly removed documents from computers used by her panel to investigate a controversial interrogation program. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said that the situation amounted to attempted intimidation of congressional investigators, adding: “I am not taking it lightly.” She confirmed that an internal agency investigation of the action has been referred to the Justice Department for possible criminal…

Things Get Worse in Ukraine and the Crimea

Russian troops are in the Crimean Peninsula, and are busy “taking control of military and civilian installations.” Ukraine is getting ready to respond, but let’s not pretend that Ukrainian forces are any real match for the Russians in Crimea (although it would appear that if Russian forces seek to further expand their reach, Ukrainian forces might be better equipped to fight back). So, in sum, things are not good. Making things worse–and more worrisome–is the fact that in the run-up to Russia’s invasion of the Crimea Peninsula, there was a complete American intelligence breakdown: On Thursday night, the best assessment…

Still Think We Shouldn’t Take the Benghazi Terror Attack Seriously?

I for one would like to know just what on Earth is going on here: CNN has uncovered exclusive new information about what is allegedly happening at the CIA, in the wake of the deadly Benghazi terror attack. Four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens, were killed in the assault by armed militants last September 11 in eastern Libya. Sources now tell CNN dozens of people working for the CIA were on the ground that night, and that the agency is going to great lengths to make sure whatever it was doing, remains a secret. CNN has learned the CIA is involved in…