Bleeding Our Intelligence

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Intelligence is the life blood of the fight against terror. You save it. You guard it. You don’t spill it.

President Barack Obama has done the opposite.  In his desire to establish credentials as the killer of Osama bin Laden, in his desire to get re-elected, Obama has badly hurt  America’s ability to acquire data on terrorists.

The Obama Administration outed a sensitive Saudi-British penetration of  Al-qaeda which revealed ongoing plans to use more “underwear bombers” against the West. The Obama leak was designed to make Obama look good, but it destroyed a highly valuable penetration of Al-Qaeda.

Similarly, Obama’s team outed what appears to be an Israeli-led effort to stop Iran’s nuclear bomb program by using sophisticated computer viruses. Obama and Co. wanted part of the credit, and so the story came out with nice pat on the back for Obama.

This is part of a pattern for this administration. It invited film crews to the White House to film the made-for-TV movie about Obama VS. Osama. Sensitive information about US procedures leaked out.

Intelligence and intelligence sources come in many forms. Police know this. They jealously guard their undercover efforts and their data. With terror it is even more important, because the real purpose of counter-terror operations is preventing the terror act, not winning a conviction in court.

Israeli officials often decide not to try for a conviction against terrorists in open court, always preferring to stop the terror attack before it can materialize, especially in the case of a “ticking bomb”—a terror assault that is already in the pipeline. The cardinal rule is always the same:

ONE NEVER  THROWS AWAY  COUNTER-TERROR INTELLIGENCE.

This means technological or signal intelligence—such as wiretaps or monitored bank records or radiation or heat traces, and it also means human intelligence such as penetrating a terror organization or getting information from terrorists who are captured.

Since 2002, Western counter-terror intelligence brought us slowly but surely to Osama Bin-Laden, but more importantly, it saved thousands of American and British lives by alerting us to plots for huge terror attacks in London, Miami and Los Angeles, among many others.

The intelligence saved thousands of lives, but  President Obama and his team have taken a cavalier and almost arrogant approach to counter-terror intelligence, and they spill it  when it is politically convenient.

Obama campaigned against the US base in Guantanamo where we got information to stop a multiple hijack assault on Los Angeles and another  plot against London and Heathrow Airport. Thousands of lives were saved.

Instead of praising the CIA interrogators Obama and Attorney  General Eric Holder said in early 2009 that they might prosecute them. At around the same time,  Obama-Holder also gave away details of interrogations procedures, so terrorists can now know in advance what awaits them.

Thanks to Obama and Holder,  Al-Qaeda and other terror groups know just how to prepare for interrogation because Obama and Holder broadcast the interrogation manual.

This is a consistent policy of the Obama Administration that often treats counter-terror warriors and the worst terrorists the same: as mere criminals. It was not a fluke when Holder authorized reading “the Underwear Bomber” his “Miranda Rights,” and it was not a fluke when Holder wanted to give terrorists civilian trials.

The Washington Post reports that the Obama Administration is resurrecting the Clinton Administration’s view that the FBI should lead the  Department’s many rules and FBI-CIA jurisdictional battles helped pave the way for 9-11.

Are Obama and Co. heading us in the same direction?

Clinton’s Justice Department and other parts of Clinton’s administration made so many rules about FBI and CIA sharing data, so many rules about “profiling,” so many rules about how and where to acquire intelligence agents  (“the Deutch Rules”) that 9-11 gestated and matured on their watch.

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  • RonaldCarnine

    The Obama administration has done so many stupid things it is hard to list them in their order of importance. But if I were to list the first five, I would list the cuts to the American military and the exposure of intelligence sources right up toward the top. As the author states, "its time to stop bragging about intelligence successes and it is time to start acting intelligently". As an retired law enforcement officer one of the greatest weapons against criminal activity is information that is collected from informants. One of the most important activities is to make sure those informants are protected. You never, never ever burn an informant. That is one of the cardinal sins of an investigator. If you burn them, not only might you get them killed but you also will make others think twice about giving you information. The White House is so obsessed with looking good to the public and picking up a few more votes that nothing is sacred. If I were an informant, I wouldn't give those folks one ounce of information. They are not trustworthy.

  • Ronald Johnston

    osama obama is the biggest terrorist of them all!!!! He has to be an enemy plant in our highest office!!!!

  • Schlomotion

    This article rings hollow. One can still make a buck peddling Security Explotation literature and wait in the sidelines for the re-establishment of the Neoconservative coup. However, this article reads like the ones from the Cold War, claiming that the President has given a windfall to Comintern because he allegedly bragged about what everybody already knew, that Israel launched a second cyberattack on Iran. Why not talk about the fact that after this cyberattack, Michael Chertoff and Paul Wolfowitz tried to shake down the NSA for its security profile in anticipation of a "retaliatory attack?" And what about the environment created by the Israeli cyberattack, which has emboldened the Russian Mafia to lay an attack on 60 banks? Is that security progress?