Among the revelations in the article, headlined “Review of Jet Bomb Plot Shows More Missed Clues,” is the fact that US intelligence authorities say they learned in early November from a communications intercept of Al Qaeda followers in Yemen that a man named “Umar Farouk” had volunteered for a coming operation.
[...]Among the new pieces of information contained in the article are the following:
• “Worried about possible terrorist attacks over the Christmas holiday,” Obama met December 22 with top officials of the CIA, FBI and Department of Homeland Security to review potential threats.Read below the fold...
Quite a list here of who he's meeting with and learning from, and those supposedly "sensible Republicans" are far outnumbered by the usual warmongering criminal ones -- but all is not lost: he's actually read 2 whole books by non-warmongers! (but not spoken to them or met with them or asked them for advice)
... Besides reaching out to Mr. Scowcroft, Mr. Obama has also called former Secretary of State George P. Shultz, a Reagan administration official who is known in some foreign policy circles as the father of the Bush doctrine because of his advocacy of preventive war. It is unclear what the two men talked about.Read below the fold...
Question for the group, asked in honest and open-minded interest:
What "good in the world" can the CIA claim? What, specifically, has it done that makes America safer, and/or the world a better place? Read below the fold...
Executive Order 12333 is a Reagan [genuflects]-era order written to make sure the next Ollie North never gets prosecuted, to permit assassinations (in the jargon, "targeted killings"), and to permit domestic surveillance by the NSA.
One wonders what expanded powers Our Betters could possibly need. But need them they do, or so they tell us:
[Mike McConnell,] the national intelligence director, has won White House approval to begin revising an executive order that lays out each spy agency's responsibilities and the government's protections against spying on Americans.
Unlike the surveillance law, the White House can change an executive order without congressional or judicial approval.
I think it's great that the administration is going to do this now, and I'm sure that the Regent [cough] lawyers down in the basement of Cheney's bunker have already formed a prayer group on it. And I absolutely trust the Bush administration to do the right thing on this. Wouldn't you?
[Reach me that bucket, wouldja hon?]
Some officials familiar with Intelligence Director Mike McConnell's plans, speaking only on condition of anonymity because the deliberations remain internal, said his intent is solely to update the policy to reflect changes in the intelligence community since Sept. 11, 2001, including the creation of his own office.
But other officials, who also spoke on condition they not be identified, said opening the order to changes could lead well beyond that. They said the exercise could threaten civil liberties protections approved by President Reagan following intelligence abuses in the 1970s, and that intelligence agencies will be tempted to expand their powers.
In a recent interview, Vice Adm. Robert Murrett, director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, characterized the effort as an "overhaul" aimed at helping all 16 spy agencies work more closely together. He said the discussions about the order — known by its number, 12333 — are still in the early stages.
McConnell himself has said the authorities of his office need to be adjusted. "We don't have it right yet," he told an audience in April.
Well, gosh. How about we good citizens help McConnell out? Here's a copy of the order. And after careful, thoughtful, prayerful considerations, I've come up with the following changes to the Preamble: Read below the fold...
I'm sure that billions in secret, oversight-free intel contracts couldn't possibly be going to politically wired Republicans
I mean, that would just be science fiction stuff. Never happen. But hey, it could happen. And it would be irreponsible not to speculate (Hi, Nooners!):
Concerned about the growing dependence of the nation’s spy agencies on private contractors, top intelligence officials have spent months determining just how many contractors work at the C.I.A., D.I.A., F.B.I., N.S.A. and the rest of the spook alphabet soup.
Now they have an answer. But they cannot reveal it, they say, because America’s enemies might be listening.Read below the fold...
BEIJING, Dec. 13 (Xinhuanet) -- The sudden disappearance of a number of key witnesses in the Alexander Litvinenko investigation will make it even harder for British detectives, whose inquiry has now spread across five countries, The Times reported Wednesday. Read below the fold...
Donâ€™t worry youâ€™re covered. The Minority Report is here.
Seriously. Iâ€™d love to see old George Stephanopoulos (his name is in the spell check) ask a candidate â€“ what is your position on the great grandson of CARNIVORE determining who gets rounded up? First carnivore, then TIA, now Tangram â€“ the Air Forceâ€™s new strategic data mining program. Read below the fold...
I'm on the road this week, forgive the light posting. But just to inflame some readers: what do you think? Are women smarter than men? Would you hate me if I said, "yes" most of the time? In all seriousness, I've never seen a poll unlike this one. For some reason, women seem to dislike war and pillage more than men. Why is that?
70 percent of women and 58 percent of men now oppose the war in Iraq.
That's outside the moe. Tell me why you think this should be. Read below the fold...
So when I read about stuff like this, all I want to do is laugh/cry at the idea that I'm supposed to be paranoid and afraid. Really, this is our money they're spending, and when they're not sifting through 50,000 of today's phone calls about what to order on the pizza and how Aunt Millie's corns are bothering her again, they're off chasing cheap women in grungy brothels in Central America? I'm supposed to be impressed? Read below the fold...