Jan 03 2010

Apparently J. Brennan & E. Holder Turned Down The Sensitivity Of Our National Security Network

One thing to know about our national security data collection and distribution systems is they are always on. The only way to stop dots from connecting is to filter what is distributed (can’t stop what is collected).

Prior to 9-11 the big filter (or blockade) was a FISA policy that no NSA generated lead could be used as evidence in probable cause for a warrant to the FIS Court to initiate surveillance of any kind in the US. It was this bizarre wall that President Bush demolished post 9-11, which a lot of ignorant liberals (Glenn Greenwald comes to mind) cluelessly raged against for years.

After the Bush change was in made, the NSA was allowed to tell the FBI it detected a US Army Major communicating with a radical Islamist cleric in Yemen, and then the FBI could begin investigating the US Army Major under the auspices of Joint Terrorism Task Forces. This is how US Army Major Nidal Hasan was detected communicating with the al Qaeda supporting Yemeni cleric al-Aulaqi in the waning days of the Bush administration.

My how things have changed since the liberal Obama administration has come to town.

I was watching the latest Obama Administration apologist (John Brennan) come out on the Sunday talk shows to address our abysmal failure in detecting and stopping the Flight 253 Christmas Day bomber, and I found myself doubting this man’s credibility. Don’t ask how, I just felt the man was blurting out bogus spin. I think what really triggered it was when Brennan made the following incoherent claims:

White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan said Sunday that he has worked for five administrations and that Obama is as determined as anyone to keep the nation safe.

Brennan calls Cheney’s comments disappointing and says they do not speak well of the former vice president.

It was quite clear Brennan did not respect or like the former Vice President. He was quite agitated on Meet The Press, claiming Cheney was either misrepresenting the facts or clueless. He seemed to be a very defensive and it was clearly personal with him. Instead of dealing with the concerns shared by many and expressed by the former VP, Brennan took a low brow swipe. Apparently he feels threatened.

And after some digging I understand why.

Brennan not only worked for 5 administrations – he was a key advisor to the Obama campaign. That was not conveyed by the news media or by Mr. Brennan. He is clearly partisan and was clearly trying to hide the fact he was. I was impressed how General Michael Hayden and Secretary Michael Chertoff came to his defense on Meet The Press. So much so I almost stopped digging.

But I do not think Hayden and Chertoff – who are out of office and out of the loop on the details – are aware of what Brennan may have done to our national security trip wires. Another concern about Brennan hit me when I noticed Brennan was standing behind the arrest (and subsequent lawyering up) of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab:

Top Obama counterterrorism adviser John Brennan says the Justice Department made the decision to handle the case of Detroit terror bomb suspect Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab in the criminal justice system.

Appearing on “Fox News Sunday,” Brennan was asked why the Obama administration did not choose to treat Abdulmutallab as an enemy combatant. “He was arrested on U.S. soil,” Brennan answered. “The Department of Justice makes that determination about what is the best tool to use.”

Pressed about reports Abdulmutallab stopped talking to investigators after he was given a lawyer and read his Miranda rights, Brennan said, “We have an array of tools that we will use” in the case. “[Abdulmutallab] was in fact talking to people who were detaining him…Just because somebody is going to be put into the criminal legal process doesn’t mean we don’t have other opportunities to get information from him.”

Brennan conceded that Abdulmutallab “doesn’t have to” give any information to FBI interrogators. But he said the administration still has some leverage over him. “He knows that there are certain things that are on the table, and if he wants to engage with us in a productive manner, there are ways that he can do that,” Brennan said. He did not elaborate on what those things “on the table” are.

The man was willing to die to ensure nearly 300 innocent Americans would die a horrible death. Brennan is a naive fool if he thinks he has any carrots or sticks he can get past Abdulmutallab’s lawyers that will move him to stop other attacks.

The man was in the heart of al Qaeda’s nest in Yemen and yet we are not treating him as an enemy combatant and using all means necessary to locate and stop this center of death and destruction. It is probably too late now, al Qaeda moved their people to new hidey holes already. But he should never have been given the right to remain silent.

So why do I think John Brennan and Eric Holder have been working to reduce the sensitivity of our national security sensor network and dot connecting efforts? We know Holder is a big opponent of the FISA-NSA changes made by Bush. On the other hand I initially thought Brennan was a huge supporter of the FISA changes, given all the wailing from the liberals like Greenwald.

But then I tripped across this interview from the 2008 presidential campaign days:

Q: You know that one big debate about FISA is the question of balancing security and privacy and civil liberties. Speaking as someone who has spent your life in counterterrorism, what do the terms “privacy” and “civil liberties” mean to you, and what is that balance?

To me, I think the government does have the right and the obligation to ensure the security and safety of its citizens. If there is probable cause, reasonable suspicion, about the involvement of a U.S. person in something, the government needs to have the ability to understand what the nature of that involvement is. The threshold for that type of government access can be high or can be low, and it [the probable cause threshold] needs to be somewhere in the middle.

You don’t want to just troll and with a large net just pull up everything. There are technologies available to pulse the data set and pull back only that which has some type of correlation to your predicate  [the probable cause threshold].

I would argue the government needs to have access to only those nuggets of information that have some kind of predicate. That way the government can touch it and pull back only that which is related. It’s like a magnet, set to a certain calibration. That’s what I think we need to go to.

In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, the threshold, quite frankly, was low, because we didn’t know the nature of the threat we faced here in the U.S.

I have been wondering for weeks why the terrorism task force investigations into Major Nidal were suspiciously closed down (allowing him to continue on to his jihadist massacre) and why so many dots went unconnected in systems which were clearly more sensitive since 9-11. Now I have my answer, Team Obama raised the bar. They adjusted the threshold which would trigger alarm bells. They filtered the data based on some crazy assumption that some leads are not worthy.

What happens when the sensors are set to trip easily? We saw a lot of people checked and cleared. We have known this for years. It is not a problem except in requires more people to chase down the leads. But it means we let very little through.

This is how Brennan completed his thought during that faithful interview:

[Post 9-11] Every effort was made by the government to try to get as much understanding and visibility into what else might be out there that’s going to hurt us again. Now that a number of years have passed, we need to make sure the calibration is important.

I would say we have found, if not the reason, one of the main reasons why our security detection systems have been failing so much in 2009. Holder and Brennan were very opposed to the Bush administration’s hair trigger concern over terrorist attacks (of course 3,000 murdered Americans can adjust your focus). They wanted to dial us back to more of a pre 9-11 position.

This correlates well with the latest National Intelligence Strategy, which was polluted with things like Global Warming and H1N1. It explains this comment from a career State Department source:

This employee says that despite statements from the Obama Administration, such information was flagged and given higher priority during the Bush Administration, but that since the changeover “we are encouraged to not create the appearance that we are profiling or targeting Muslims. I think career employees were uncomfortable with the Bush procedures and policies and were relieved to not have to live under them any longer.”

It correlates well with all the other drastic changes to our security system that was doing what it took to protect America by identifying and acting on threats. It correlates well to why the system failed so badly on Christmas Day, and before then.

We need to know what these people changed when they came in office, and when they changed them. But it is safe to say they turned down the sensitivity on our security networks, which would explain why dots failed to get connected. And it would explain why Brennan was out on the shows trying to do so much damage control. If he fails I suspect our young President will throw him and others to the wolves.

Update: BTW, Brennan was also the guy briefed at the White House in October on the type of bomb used on Flight 253. He seems to be at the nexus of the missed dots.

37 responses so far

37 Responses to “Apparently J. Brennan & E. Holder Turned Down The Sensitivity Of Our National Security Network”

  1. […] The Strata-Sphere – Apparently J. Brennan & E. Holder Turned Down The Sensitivity Of Our National Security Network […]

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Suhr Mesa, AJ Strata and topsy_top20k, topsy_top20k_en. topsy_top20k_en said: new: J. Brennan & E. Holder Turned Down Sensitivity On Our National Security Network http://strata-sphere.com/blog/index.php/archives/12153 […]

  3. kathie says:

    I think Cheney was saying that Obama was looking at terrorism through a social lens, that lens takes into account how minorities feel about us, how religious groups around the world feel about us, how less fortunate countries (economically and militarily) feel about us, how our judicial system will treat jehadi’s we pick up and how they feel about us.

    Bush, not so much. We pick jehadi’s up and interrogate them, or we kill them before they get us. Interrogation was the primary source of finding out who was in the pipe line, where the pipe line was and when it was coming. Out of necessity Bush was a hard ass, he lost 3000 citizens on his watch and was determined to not loose any more. Bush implored everybody to work with the same mind set. The calculation was, do people like us or do we save American lives. Bush went with save American lives. He called it a war because he could use interrogation techniques that couldn’t be used in a criminal court option. The talking points about the shoe bombed who was caught on Dec of 2001 is just plain dumb. We had no military tribunals in 2001, other options exist now for a reason, the executive and congress worked to make those options available to next Presidents.

    I agree with you AJ, Obama has set the bar for intelligence gathered at a place where we will catch very few would be terrorists. Thirteen service men and woman were killed on American soil and MSM hardly blinked. Had that happened in one place in Iraq, in one day, just think of the fire storm that would have been front page reading for a month. Bush would have been taken to the wood shed, and Obama gave a shout out. Unbelievable!

    Obama is going to have to decide if we are fighting a war or engaging in a social exercise. Will it take another 911 to convince him, or maybe something worse?

  4. SallyVee says:

    Excellent profiling, AJ.

    Honestly I think Nerobama is dialing down everything in a laughable (except the joke’s on us) attempt to quiet and calm any events that could impede his march toward Frenchifying these United States. There is nothing that interests him beyond plundering the national cash register and creating a super-glued mass of reliable dependents… AKA Democrat voters.

    Now, how the madman thinks he will be able to avoid conflict in the world long enough to truly enjoy the fruits of this malevolent pursuit, I do not know. We keep looking for reason and logic where none exists.

  5. Terrye says:

    I think these people are incompetent and naive.

  6. crosspatch says:

    A commenter at Hot Air linked this video.

    It’s powerful.

  7. dhunter says:

    Excellent work AJ!
    Whats’ the chance this sees the light of day in the press or the GOP is able to force it there?
    Is there any chance of congressional investigations turning up any sort of heat on Pinnochio?

    Excellent link crosspatch!

  8. archtop says:

    # crosspatch on 03 Jan 2010 at 8:29 pm

    WOW! That video is very well done. And it hits all of the themes which I believe will be important this year. I wonder if someone could raise enough money to show it on CNN and FOXNews once a day until November 2…

  9. […] primarily his adept and knowledgeable discussions of national security and climate change.  Read this for a full explanation of how the Obama administration raised the standard of what would […]

  10. crosspatch says:

    Ok, boys and girls, here is the national primary schedule for 2010. You know what to do. Lets send some incumbents packing … federal, state, and local.

  11. Dc says:

    AJ, you are on it. The Obama admin ran on, and administrated the dumbing down and PC’ing of our intel network. Now he’s trying to blame others for it.

  12. crosspatch says:

    This administration is a lost cause, there is no sense criticizing it. They ran on a platform of destroying our anti-terrorism efforts and they are delivering on those promises. I don’t see what all the hoopla is about. They are doing exactly what they said they were going to do.

    The only thing we can do now is get an opposition Congress in place. While that might not stop Obama from making executive decisions within the various departments, we at least have the opportunity for holding their feet to the fire for their actions through Congressional hearings when they screw up. As it currently stands, there is no political consequence because Congress is not going to lift a finger and neither is the press.

  13. SallyVee says:

    Crosspatch, 100% correct. I’ve been saying it for months… Barry O told us exactly who he was and what he intended to do. I am no less appalled, but most of my rage passes right through his empty suit and lands on the chests of my fellow Americans. Now they act surprised? Five or six minutes of serious thought, pre-election, might have spared us the nightmare.

    Seriously, who in blazes votes for HOPE. Or CHANGE. Without any further explanation. You’ll notice the America Rising video linked above says exactly that.

  14. crosspatch says:

    Any Republican that didn’t vote this past election for the office of President is responsible for this and as far as I am concerned has blood on their hands as more people die over the next few years that might have otherwise.

  15. crosspatch says:

    Your tax dollars at work. NPR ridicules you and produces a degrading video called Learning To Speak Tea Bag.

    This is absolutely despicable that a government financed entity would directly mock a grass roots movement. We are the people who pay them. Who are they to mock us?

    I wish there was a way we could make NPR, during their next “beg-a-thon” pay US money for having to put up with this crap.

    Who are they to treat us like this?

  16. […] The very real problem is the fact that the minons of the far extreme left do not comprehend the seriousness of the problem, and their counterparts on the extreme far right cannot recognize the fact that not all […]

  17. […] The NY Times comes out with a lengthy article today to try and shore up John Brennan – President Obama’s national security chief. It was just yesterday where I discovered Brennan had hinted in an interview during the presidential campaign that if Obama was elected he planned to dial back the trip wire sensitivity on our national security: […]

  18. SallyVee says:

    The problem with NPR is… the EXCELLENT content in between all the blatant propaganda. Hate to say it but much of the NPR programming and the quieter, longer format makes it very difficult to listen to the bloviating, choir preaching and endless repetition that takes place on AM talk radio. Sometimes it’s unbearable, but usually — even if the guest is a lefty — it is possible to listen and learn.

    Same with PBS… this Christmas we would not have turned on our fabulous new flat screen TV had it not been for the spectacular concerts and other fare. And now Cranford is airing again on Masterpiece Theater. *sigh*

    We never donate but we consume, big time.

  19. crosspatch says:

    makes it very difficult to listen to the bloviating, choir preaching and endless repetition that takes place on AM talk radio.

    One simply needs a better choice of AM radio hosts 🙂

    I find Michael Medved and Hugh Hewitt to be examples of hosts I can listen to. Nobody in my area carries them so I listen on the Internet when I can. A station out of Texas repeats the show late at night so I get two chances.

    It also depends on your particular NPR station. Some are better than others.

  20. SallyVee says:

    I couldn’t get through a week without Medved (I’ve subscribed for years). And Hewitt is terrific. But neither host airs in my market either… starting to get the drift? It seems the majority of folks want more predictable content requiring less brain activity and bladder control. I understand that… it is often comforting to me to listen to Rush in the car. But I rarely learn a thing if I’ve spent more than 15 minutes reading online that day.