Jan 04 2006

Donkey At The Party

Published by at 12:13 pm under All General Discussions

Mac Ranger has a tip that when Bush met with the NYTimes, there was a Donkey (or more?) at the party in the Oval Office.

They weren’t all Elephants. Seems some Donkey’s were singng the “Amen chorus” to the President’s request [to the NY Times to hold the NSA story].

Recognizing protocol, my guess is maybe a NY Senator or two was present. Or maybe just a kindred-spirit democrat.

So were Hillary Clinton and/or Leiberman present? Was Jane Harmon?

Mac’s tips are usually right.

3 responses so far

3 Responses to “Donkey At The Party”

  1. Snapple says:

    Well,I sure hope so.

    I get tired of the Republicans and Democrats fighting with each other more than with the terrorists.

  2. Snapple says:

    The news says a former NSA employee named Russell Tice wants to testify about illegal activities at the NSA and DIA.

    I read someplace else that Sybil Edmonds is coming to his defense.
    I am pretty sure that she has the same lawyer as that Colonel Tony Schaffer.

    It is claimed that NSA psychiatrists say he is unstable.
    This doesn’t look so good to me.

  3. sbd says:

    I know that this is not exactly in line with the topic, but I just had to post this story I found back from 1999. It describes the situation back in 1999 when Donald Rumsfield was conducting a commission on missle threatsat CIA Headquarters. It’s enough to make you laugh, if it wasn’t so important. It’s no wonder the Able Danger technique was destroyed, it actually did what CIA could never do and it seems pretty obvious that their 1999 techniques were made to never see the bigger picture of anything, Period.

    The Washington Post
    May 05, 1999, Wednesday, Final Edition
    LENGTH: 1007 words
    HEADLINE: Rumsfeld: Intelligence ‘Need to Know’ Smacks of Not to Know
    BYLINE: Walter Pincus, Washington Post Staff Writer

    Former defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld and other members of a commission weighing new missile threats saw something that seemed strange as they got briefed recently at CIA headquarters in Langley.

    According to a participant in the meeting, intelligence analysts constantly got up to leave the room when certain questions arose outside their specialty. The reason: The answers included highly classified material that the analysts were not cleared to hear.

    “We found that China experts had to get up and leave when talk turned to Iran,” one source said. In the intelligence world, the means used to gather information—-called sources and methods—-are the most guarded secrets in the business. They are put in “compartments,” open only to those who must know (termed “need to know”) todo their work. The most tightly held information would be a human spy deep in the heart of an enemy target. In order to protect the source of the material and the means by which it was gathered, its substance is frequently withheld because, officials explain, to disclose what is known could give away the source.

    Now intelligence experts have begun to wonder whether such compartmentalization has gone too far. A senior intelligence official said, for instance, that the problem was so irritating at the session for Rumsfeld’s Commission to Assess the Ballistic Missile Threat to the United States that one key analyst was given clearance “on the spot” to a compartment previously barred to him so he could continue to participate.

    For Rumsfeld, that briefing illustrated the little publicized but serious problem that compartmentalization has created in the government. Highly sensitive intelligence is so compartmentalized, Rumsfeld said during a recent interview, that wrong information is sometimes being given to policymakers because analysts do not have access to correct secret data. The situation so concerned Rumsfeld that he included it as a major issue in a classified report sent in March to Director of Central Intelligence George J. Tenet. The former defense secretary said protected compartments withheld from key analysts “can have the effect of seriously impeding the flow of information, distorting analyses and resulting in incomplete or misleading information being presented to policymakers.”

    Rumsfeld said his concerns have brought a response. Already, he said, “some limited numbers of people . . . are accessing compartments across the board, rather than simply in their precise areas.” A senior intelligence official confirmed steps are being taken to loosen the compartments, “but the solution must be a
    balance between access and protection of sources and methods.”

    As an example taken from his experience, Rumsfeld said at the end of a two–hour classified briefing on several countries’ ballistic missiles and other weapons, his group was told “that most of what we had heard was incorrect.” The reason, he said, was “the briefers did not have access to the information contained in the compartments that we were now to be briefed on.”

    The tight compartmentalization is an outgrowth of the 1994 discovery of former CIA officer Aldrich H. Ames’s nine years of spying for Moscow. Ames was able to gather top–secret materials not only in the counterintelligence areas in which he worked, but also in other sensitive areas to which he could gain computer access.
    “The extent to which the number of compartments balloon after a serious espionage case is enormous,” Rumsfeld said. Because a spy creates enormous damage, the natural reaction is to install tighter control over information, according to counterintelligence specialists. That problem has added relevance today because of concern about security at the nation’s nuclear weapons laboratories.

    Department of Energy security specialists, in the wake of evidence that China has obtained secret information over the past 20 years, are now seeking to limit scientists’ traditionally wide access to classified data. One step being considered is limiting access on each particular part of a nuclear weapon on a need to know basis.
    For Rumsfeld, this type of compartmentalization “limited access absolutely to people with a need to know, and historically that meant only people dealing with that particular country.”

    “We ended up getting briefed two or three or four times on the same subject because from the first two or three we didn’t get the correct information, not because people were lying to us, but because they didn’t know,” Rumsfeld said. When the problem of missile and nuclear proliferation came along, it harmed overall intelligence because “what is happening in one country doesn’t end there,” he said. What one country does “will become of interest in another country in short order, particularly countries like Iran, Iraq, Libya and North Korea.” He expressed the belief that because “these
    countries are trading to the extent that they are . . . all across the globe in a totally different region,” the analyst would “see a quite different picture if you are into all the compartments rather than if you’re into only the compartments that relate to precisely to what you’re dealing with.”

    His solution, which he passed on to Tenet, was, “we need to find a way to do crosscutting, so a limited number of people are abLe to see what going on in all these countries involved in proliferation.” For Rumsfeld and some others, compartmentalization also creates insularity.

    At a recent talk on Capitol Hill, CIA official Robert Walpole illustrated the point. Walpole noted that the new intelligence estimate on foreign missile capability will include data collected from private U.S. missile corporations asked to analyze the potential growth in missile capability for countries such as Iraq, NorthKorea and Iran. But, Walpole warned, the analysis would be limited because there was not time to determine how much detailed, country–by–country intelligence information could be shared with the U.S. aerospace companies.