Intelligence Gathering/Reporting: Whys and Hows
Writers of the Constitution had no idea of what intelligence gathering was besides simply asking questions and getting answers. There was no reason for that and therefore no intelligence guidelines included in the Constitution. Subsequently every Administration has constantly been implementing and revising Intelligence operational guidelines. Unfortunately for Americans those processes from their inception have all been politically driven.
Through U.S. history anytime the country has faced foreign policy issues that sometimes have resulted in military action, Administrations have used those to justify intensification of intelligence operations. And when dealing with foreign governments, Americans have given administrations blanket authority to do anything deemed necessary to keep us safe. U.S. politicians and intelligence political appointees have weaponized intelligence operations that have emboldened most of if not all past administrations. That did not start with Trump or Obama. That process was long in place under Bush 43, Clinton, Bush 41 (former CIA Director), Reagan, Carter, Ford, Nixon, Johnson, JFK, and even Eisenhower. It’s simple: the most powerful person in the U.S. is the President. And Presidents can classify and de-classify documents and information at their whim whenever they so choose. Many presidents have used that power to fuel political advantage for themselves and their political parties, and to attack political foes. That is why we are having this conversation today.
Let’s “assume” this type of operation has been in full swing for decades. It is blatantly obvious through the bevy of 24/7 instant news in the last decade. Take as an example the Obama Administration. Former Attorney General Eric Holder oversaw and approved the gun running operation from the southern border into Mexico: “Fast and Furious.” After the murders of several Border Patrol officers this operation became public. Holder testified under oath before Congress. He was caught lying and was charged by Congress for Criminal Perjury. The D.C. Federal Attorney — and Obama appointee — refused to prosecute Holder. Why? For both political and intelligence department corruption.
When Holder resigned, the A.G. for the eastern district of New York — Loretta Lynch — was appointed as his replacement by Obama. Her work record is rife with acts of obstruction and borderline illegalities. While HRC was under investigation and Bill was at least a witness in that same case, Lynch had the famous tarmac meeting with Bill: highly irregular, unethical, and a travesty of justice. She also (according to FBI Director Comey) instructed the HRC “investigation” to instead be officially termed a “matter.” Quoting Comey, “The FBI does not conduct ‘matters.’ The FBI investigates crimes.”
Obama himself made numerous attempts to impact federal legal matters, many of which impacted intelligence operations. He authorized that Mexican gun running operation. He was famously caught on an unexpected open microphone sending word to Vladimir Putin that he (Obama) would be in a better place to do more with Russia after his re-election in 2012. He scoffed at Trump’s assertion of Russian tampering of U.S. elections. We later learned that Obama had known for several years of real Russian attempted election interference but had done nothing about it or even investigated it.
Then there’s Hillary.
Clinton Campaign “Email-Gate” Will Not (and Should Not) Go Away
President Trump the morning of January 2, 2018, tweeted this about former Hillary Clinton top aid Huma Abedin:
“Crooked Hillary Clinton’s top aid, Huma Abedin, has been accused of disregarding basic security protocols. She put Classified Passwords into the hands of foreign agents. Remember sailors pictures on submarine? Jail! Deep State Justice Dept must finally act? Also on Comey & others”
The U.S. State Department in a December 29th news dump, released a batch of emails from Huma Abedin’s account that were discovered by the FBI on a laptop belonging to her estranged husband, Anthony Weiner. At least four of the documents were marked “classified.” Abedin also forwarded sensitive State Department emails to her personal Yahoo email account before every Yahoo account was hacked, first reported by the Daily Caller. Abedin also sent passwords for her government laptop to her Yahoo account on Aug. 24, 2009. In 2013, Yahoo was hacked, and the company said in a statement that “all Yahoo user accounts were affected” by the theft. Former FBI Director James Comey, who led the Clinton email investigation, said during a congressional hearing earlier this year that he believed Abedin forwarded emails to Weiner for him to print out so that she could give them to Clinton.
The FBI “matter” of investigating the Hillary Campaign’s use of that infamous private server and subsequent illegal mishandling of classified documents and information and Comey’s exoneration of Hillary for any criminal liability made World news and still does. We will not here re-try her. (It is apparent that investigation is in process by the Trump Justice Department) Let’s just say that all of this ongoing unscrupulous if not criminal activity by dozens of those involved with the Intelligence Community have destroyed every semblance of impartiality and real justice by and for anyone in the U.S. — unless you are a “favorite” of many of those at the top of those Intel agencies appointed by past Presidents.
None of the political favoritism disparity between political elites and common everyday Americans is more obvious than what is front-and-center in today’s news about this. Kristian Saucier was ordered by a judge to serve six months of home confinement with electronic monitoring during a three-year period of supervised release after the prison time. He pleaded guilty to unauthorized detention of defense information and had faced five to six years in prison under federal sentencing guidelines. Saucier admitted to taking six photos of classified areas inside the USS Alexandria in 2009 when he was a 22-year-old machinist mate on the submarine. The photos showed the nuclear reactor compartment, the auxiliary steam propulsion panel and the maneuvering compartment, prosecutors said.
Here’s the rub: his crimes for which he served jail time and still wears an electronic ankle bracelet while in house arrest violated the exact same federal laws as did Hillary Clinton and members of her campaign. Yet James Comey exonerated her giving several excuses that had no legal basis. How so? Political favoritism and obligation. Saucier was just a sailor and had no political clout.
How Can we Fix the Intelligence Community?
- Let all the current investigations of perpetrators play out, BUT make certain ALL are investigated and violators prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law;
- Pass Congressional laws revamping the accountability process of all in the Intelligence Community making similar actions as have been revealed and then confirmed by hard evidence felony actions punishable by imprisonment;
- Terminate the employment of EVERY Intelligence Agency Head and those at least two levels deep. Yes, this is severe. But doing this will accomplish two critical pieces to creating an Intelligence Community without political obligations: eliminate those department heads who are “in the tank” for certain political persuasions that have for several decades used Intelligence matters for personal and political purposes rather than meting out “justice for all.” It will also thunder through the Intelligence Community that political hacking and partisanship have been eliminated and will no longer be tolerated in the FBI, CIA, NSA, and other Agencies;
- Conducting #3 and having President Trump in person explain to a mass convocation of the Intelligence Community “working class” that Americans (and the President) are proud of those everyday Intelligence workers who give their lives to make and keep America safe. And because of that trust it is necessary to go back to basics, rid the process of personal and political agendas, and return Intelligence to Lady Liberty and that no longer will anyone put a hand on her scale to tip it for ANY reason;
- Privatize the FBI, CIA, NSA, DNI, and the other agencies. Why? There is very little the federal government performs in operations better or even as well as when performed by the private sector. Private enterprise does the same work always with a higher level of commitment, work ethic, expertise, impartiality, and much more economically. Why would the private sector not accomplish the same things for national Intelligence?
No doubt doing this would create massive political outcry — primarily from all those who have in the past and/or in the future take advantage of political partisanship for their personal and/or political advantage. Certainly there will be speed-bumps, glitches, mistakes, and constant revisions in law and operating regulations and procedures. But those are the things those in the private sector are far better qualified and prepared to conduct than are politicians and political appointees. The largest reason to tackle this issue this way is for the purpose of accountability. Think about this: in the present Intelligence environment, for more than 1 year the President has been hounded by the allegations of Russian collusion with not a shred of evidence after hundreds of investigators and committees have spent millions of taxpayer dollars to conduct. And it continues. Yet even though we are certain there are illegalities, conflicts of interest, political bias, and favoritism in these various investigations, even the President cannot for political purposes force the release of the information both good and bad uncovered in these investigations. He every day is forced by the political partisans to fend off wild claims fueled by a wild Mainstream Media who spin 24/7 news lies based on faceless and unnamed anonymous sources of everything from Russian collusion to sexual harassment and even rape by President Trump, none of which has any realistic basis. There’s no way to make it stop other than to simply MAKE IT STOP by “killing” the existing Intelligence Community structure.
Do you realize that the various committees in Congress charged Constitutionally to hold the FBI, CIA, DNI, NSA and other agencies accountable cannot even by subpoena compel these agency heads to provide specific evidence — documents and/or testimony — all of which would shed light on all these crazy happenings? What is the only thing (other than 3rd world throwing perpetrators in jail with no due process) that can clear the slate and re-create a REAL Intelligence Community happen.
It’s no difference than what millions do in their backyards every year: prune the bushes and trees so that in the Spring they will come back bigger, fuller, healthier, and much stronger.
You know the only people that can make this happen? Congress.
Let’s hold our breath waiting for them to take this idea and make it happen.
Ha! Oh well….forget what I wrote here. Congress won’t do ANYTHING!