Intelligence heads aren’t intelligence personnel

There are many who will try to say President Elect trump is going against the intelligence community when he questions reports he’s given or things said in new articles.  Something to consider is that the leadership in the intelligence agencies are not the intelligence personnel.  They don’t always see eye to eye and I think you can guess who gets the last word.

Something to keep in mind when the press who often think Jason Bourne is realistic, tell you the intelligence community is against trump.  Some no doubt are, as I’ve found many of the analyst who never see the field tend to lean center left while field personnel tend to lean a bit right in my limited experience at least. 

Take if for what it’s worth.


US Intelligence caught off guard?

clip_image002WH counter terror official says that US intelligence was caught off guard.

Nobody saw the Yemen fiasco coming?

It’s seems we either have a very incompetent group of intelligence people working for us (not the case) or our intelligence leadership isn’t very good at listening (possible) or finally, our civilian leadership has their ears and eyes closed. They are probably too busy taking selfies, making videos and playing golf.

The White House’s top counterterrorism official admitted Thursday that the overthrow of Yemen’s government by Shiite rebels last month caught U.S. intelligence off guard. 

Nick Rasmussen, director of the National Counterterrorism Center, told the Senate Intelligence Committee that the Yemeni army’s response to the advancing Houthi rebels resembled the Iraqi military’s response to an onslaught by the Islamic State terror group (ISIS) that ended in the capture of Iraq’s second-largest city this past summer.

"As the Houthi advances toward Sanaa [Yemen’s capital] took place," Rasmussen said, "they weren’t opposed in many places. … The situation deteriorated far more rapidly than we expected."


Is the DNI competent?

Intel chief suggests US spies might defect over budget impasse

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper seems to think so.

Taking the warnings about the impact of the partial government shutdown to new levels, Clapper suggested Wednesday during a Senate hearing that cash-strapped spies might be tempted to switch national loyalties.

"This is a dreamland for foreign intelligence services to recruit," Clapper said, citing the "financial challenges" facing intelligence employees from both the current stand-off and furloughs driven by the sequester. He said roughly 70 percent of civilians doing intelligence work have been furloughed. 

"The danger here of course (is) that this will accumulate over time. The damage will be insidious. So each day that goes by, the jeopardy increases," he said.


So, basically James Clapper is insulting every intelligence employee, asset and I assume IC government worker out there.  Does he really think our intelligence people are that motivated by money or that hard up?  Yes, assets are money driven but they don’t just run to the other side and say hey, the US isn’t paying well enough can I help you? 

In an attempt to play up the pain of a Government partial, kind, sort of, shutdown once again this administration has succeeded in pointing the doubt inward.

Remember this is the guy who during the congressional hearings on Benghazi said,"I responded in what I thought was the most truthful, or least untruthful, manner by saying ‘no.  Yahoo/NBC

If it’s truly this easy to lose national intelligence assets or employees we are in deep trouble and probably in need of some serious intelligence community investigations.  Starting at the DNI’s officer perhaps.

DNI, Director of National Incompetence?

"The term Muslim Brotherhood is an umbrella term for a variety of movements. In the case of Egypt, a very heterogeneous group, largely secular, which has eschewed violence and has decried al-Qaeda as a perversion of Islam," Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told a congressional hearing today.

Would it even be possible to be lead by a more incompetent group of people? 

They are so eager to please.  But unfortunately it’s not the American Public and once again our intelligence community seems to have missed something.  Actually I would bet many in the community seen this coming but it didn’t fit the narrative. 

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Military intelligence…stop laughing…

U.S. Orders Covert Military Action in Mideast

Gen. David Petraeus, the head of U.S. Central Command, is said to have signed a directive authorizing Special Operations troops to conduct surveillance missions in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Somalia.

The Pentagon has approved a broader range of secret military operations against militant groups in the Middle East and Africa, officials said Monday, according to a published report.

The New York Times said Gen. David Petraeus, the head of U.S. Central Command, signed a directive in September authorizing Special Operations troops to conduct surveillance missions in such countries as Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Somalia.

The document says the goals are to "penetrate, disrupt, defeat or destroy" militant groups, including Al Qaeda, and "prepare the environment" for future attacks. The Times said the document does not authorize offensive action.

Anonymous U.S. officials cited by the Times said the order does allow for intelligence-gathering missions in Iran, which could lay the groundwork for possible military action if tensions between the U.S. and Iran continue to rise.

The directive, called the Joint Unconventional Warfare Task Force Execute Order, does not describe specific missions, although the Times said it had withheld some details in response to Defense Department concerns over U.S. troop safety.

Some of the covert military operations that followed the secret order have been reported.

These include a September 2009 attack by helicopter-borne Special Operations Forces on a car carrying one of east Africa’s most wanted Al Qaeda militants, Kenyan-born Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan.

According to Reuters, Central Command has been positioning Reaper drones at a base in the Horn of Africa. Officials told the news agency the drones can be used against militants in Yemen and Somalia, and even against pirates who attack ships traversing the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean.

"They (the drones) are part of it but it is much broader than that," one U.S. official told Reuters of the order.

This could be interesting.  While the media will try and make it a pentagon Vs CIA It’s really not.  Both produce different types of Intelligence and often work closely.  Now my experiences with the CIA is very mundane.  I’ve seen Operators work well and headquarters people very condescending to SF types.  It’s probably the nature of the business.  Turf wars will always be there to some degree. 

Tactical intelligence is simply something covert military units do well.  The CIA can take care of the strategic level stuff.  I won’t comment on how good that is because frankly it’s too easy a shot and doesn’t reflect on the field guys who I believe are doing a pretty good job.  Not counting the bombing of CIA operators at Forward Operating Base Chapman last December.  There seems to be some issues there with the CIA base chief.  I’m just not sure how they hire analyst.