Who Now Will Read to the President in the Morning?

Senate skids have been greased for John Negroponte to be confirmed as the first director of national intelligence. Never mind that he deliberately misled Congress about serious human rights abuses in Honduras where he was ambassador from 1981 to 1985. That dissembling enabled the White House to circumvent the congressional restrictions that would have denied … Continue reading “Who Now Will Read to the President in the Morning?”

Hail, Hail The Gang’s All Here

The nomination of John Negroponte to the new post of director of National Intelligence (DNI) caps a remarkable parade of Bush administration senior nominees. Among the most recent: Alberto Gonzales, confirmed as attorney general: the lawyer who advised the president he could ignore the US War Crimes Act and the Geneva Conventions on torture and … Continue reading “Hail, Hail The Gang’s All Here”

Rein in Cheney

Quick! Anyone! Who can put the brakes on Vice President Dick Cheney before we have another war on our hands? Current and former intelligence analysts are reacting with wonderment and apprehension to his remarks last week in an interview with Don Imus. Cheney made questionable claims about Iran’s nuclear program and resuscitated his spinning on … Continue reading “Rein in Cheney”

It’s Worse Than Illegal

The following remarks were delivered at a press conference for Veterans for Common Sense. My professional credentials are in intelligence, but I believe the nomination of Alberto Gonzales for attorney general is first and foremost a moral issue, so I will address it from a moral perspective. In a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee, … Continue reading “It’s Worse Than Illegal”

Laughing Dragon, Dancing Bear

While President George W. Bush, his neoconservative advisers, and centrist Democrats bask in the glow of America’s status as "the one remaining superpower in the world," signs are mounting that other major powers do not intend to hunker down and suspend their own efforts to shape history. The most striking result of Russian Defense Minister … Continue reading “Laughing Dragon, Dancing Bear”

All Mosquitoes, No Swamp

Yesterday’s conference on "Al-Qaeda 2.0: Transnational Terrorism After 9/11," sponsored by the New America Foundation and the New York University Center on Law & Security, was a gift to those wanting an update on informed opinion on the subject. The event also proved to be as highly instructive for what was not addressed as for … Continue reading “All Mosquitoes, No Swamp”

Not Enough Troops – or Truth

It’s not an if, it’s a when. Pentagon officials have indicated that they plan to send as many as 15,000 more troops to Iraq during the first four months of 2005, and President Bush continues to insist that "we will stay the course" until Iraq is stabilized. Where will the additional troops come from? The … Continue reading “Not Enough Troops – or Truth”

High Time for Bush to Tell the Truth

It’s not an "if." It’s a "when." Pentagon officials have indicated that they plan to send as many as 15,000 additional troops during the first four months of 2005, and the President George W. Bush continues to insist "we will stay the course" until Iraq is stabilized. (I do wish his advisers would provide a … Continue reading “High Time for Bush to Tell the Truth”

Gossing Over the Record

"Have they all drunk the Kool-Aid?" asked a former CIA colleague, referring to the stampede to appoint a new director and radically restructure the intelligence community. The Kool-Aid allusion was to the "groupthink" that led disciples of self-anointed "messiah" Jim Jones to mass suicide via poisoned Kool-Aid in 1978. Attorney General John Ashcroft warned on … Continue reading “Gossing Over the Record”

Swift Intelligent Smokescreen

What do the president’s nomination of Rep. Porter Goss (R-Fla.), to head the CIA and the seemingly contradictory proposal of Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), to dismember the CIA have in common with tales of Swift boats once in Vietnam? Answer: The proven potential of all three to grab the headlines and draw attention away from … Continue reading “Swift Intelligent Smokescreen”