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”

Not Scared Yet? Try Connecting These Dots

"Pre-election period … pre-election plot … pre-election threats": these rolled off National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice’s lips no less than seven times Sunday on CNN’s Late Edition as she discussed the likely timing of a terrorist attack. She stayed on message. Dr. Rice said the government had actually "picked up discussion" relating to "trying to … Continue reading “Not Scared Yet? Try Connecting These Dots”

The 9/11 Commission Chimera

There they go again, I thought to myself while listening Friday to 9/11 Commission Chair Gov. Tom Kean tell senators for the umpteenth time, "I do not find today anyone really in charge of the intelligence community." Kean’s colleagues have been singing from the same sheet of music. Jamie Gorelick: "The authorities to act cohesively … Continue reading “The 9/11 Commission Chimera”

What Price Unanimity?

The 567-page final report released Thursday by the 9/11 Commission provides a wealth of data – indeed, so much detail that it is easy to get lost in the trees and miss the forest. Comments by the ubiquitous commissioners over the weekend leave the impression either that they themselves have no window on the forest, … Continue reading “What Price Unanimity?”

Condoleezza Needs to Call Anonymous

In our various oral and written presentations on Iraq, my veteran intelligence officer colleagues and I took no delight in sharply criticizing what we perceived to be the corruption of intelligence analysis at CIA. Nothing would have pleased us more than to have been proven wrong. It turns out we did not know the half … Continue reading “Condoleezza Needs to Call Anonymous”

Porter Goss: Cheney Cat’s Paw

There is, thankfully, a remnant of CIA professionals who still put objective analysis above political correctness and career advancement. Just when they thought there were no indignities left for them to suffer, they are shuddering again at press reports that Rep. Porter Goss (R-Fla.) may soon be their new boss. That possibility conjures up a … Continue reading “Porter Goss: Cheney Cat’s Paw”