An Intelligence Failure of Alarming Proportions

How bad were we at assessing the threat posed by ISIL? This bad: By late last year, classified American intelligence reports painted an increasingly ominous picture of a growing threat from Sunni extremists in Syria, according to senior intelligence and military officials. Just as worrisome, they said, were reports of deteriorating readiness and morale among …

Our Astonishingly Incoherent Anti-ISIL Policy

So, notwithstanding the Obamaesque promises of 2008--and after--we are at war again in Iraq. And if that isn't enough, we are also at war in Syria. Here is the stated reason for our intervention: The U.S. launched eight airstrikes Monday night against a little-known, al-Qaida-affiliated militant group in Syria. The United States Central Command said Tuesday morning …

In Which I Side–Somewhat Belatedly–with James Clapper

Back in June of this year, in passing, I faulted Director of National Intelligence James Clapper for lying to Congress. I see now that Rep. James Sensenbrenner wants Clapper prosecuted for the lie. Let me dissent from that view, and from my previous stance on this issue. As discussed here, Clapper was trapped by a question …

James Clapper Throws the Obama Administration Under the Bus

Following up on this post, we have yet another indication that the intelligence community is pushing back against White House claims that it knew nothing about spying on friendly foreign governments: The nation’s top spymaster said on Tuesday that the White House had long been aware in general terms of the National Security Agency’s overseas eavesdropping, …