Archive for the ‘CIA’ Category

Has the Iranian disinformation campaign kicked-off?

So the Iranian spy-guy and former $5 million man turns out to be a radiation safety specialist who asserts there is no Iranian nuclear weapons program. Little ventured, little lost.

If he says Iran has no nuclear weapons program, we’d have to know how he knows. Conversely, if he said there is a nuclear weapons program, the guy’s informational bona fides would have to be vetted.  Chances are excellent he couldn’t do either one and was let go.

It seems clear that the people of Iran would benefit greatly if their leaders allowed for intrusive nuclear inspections, provided no clandestine nuclear programs exits.

Still, as David Kay points out, even intrusive inspections and verification efforts are incapable of keeping a determined (and already nearly nuclear) nation like Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

The Iranian “scientist,” (yes, those are irony quotes) Shahram Amiri,who appears to have been on U.S. soil for some time is alleged to have been paid $5 million by the CIA for his efforts.  I’d say money well spent, especially since Amiri will be unable to access his cash.

Shahram Amiri departed the U.S. and arrived in Iran the other morning.  We likely won’t hear from him again for a while unless its useful to Iran from a propaganda point of view.  No doubt they’re actively plotting their ‘splainin’ activities as we speak.

The State Department’s presentation that he was here to study, however, doesn’t pass the smell test.  Otherwise, you’d think we’d have a boatload of ‘students’ from Syria, Iran, North Korea, and Myanmar here in the states studying all things nuclear.

The CIA was way out in front of this guy when this was put together:

Director of National Intelligence and former PACOM commander Denny Blair never had a chance says Edward N. Luttwak writing at the Daily Beast.  The culmination was Blair’s recent resignation as DNI.

How is it possible Blair never have a chance?  Because of his world view: the DNI came from a military tradition of responsibility and authority and of removing the inept (generally).

Meanwhile, the ‘winner’ of this bureaucratic bloodbath was CIA Director Leon Panetta, who ruled the day by…doing nothing to improve America’s intelligence capabilities.  Of course the outcomes have extra-bureaucratic implications for the country and our allies.

Every time I read of an intel failure I always think ‘where is the outrage?’ (think of the flip-flopping NIEs regarding Iran’s nuclear program, WMDs in Iraq, 9/11, Pakistan going nuclear, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the collapse of the Soviet Union, etc.) but the IC seems to just grow and grow at least in terms of funding and people if not in terms of effectiveness or capability.

Luttwak points out ongoing IC problems: little field experience; dysfunctional careerism; little to no language skills.  When we faced the Soviet Union we had Soviet studies programs which cranked out guys like Robert Gates and…Denny Blair, in addition to more robust Russian languages programs.

Now, almost ten years into the global war on terror, where do we stand regarding those areas of study regarding our ‘new’ adversaries?