Monday, August 06, 2007

Post #501: Outsourcing Intelligence



Harriet Hands George the Osama Memo - Logo by Tengrain of Mock Paper Scissors


Today is the six year anniversary of the Presidential Daily Briefing entitled "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US."

This July 31st article in Alternet both confirms the date of the PDB, and walks us through the outsourcing of the most sensitive national security document: the President's Daily Brief.

We all know about Blackwater USA, which bills itself as "the most comprehensive professional military, law enforcement, security, peacekeeping, and stability operations company in the world." That's a fancy way of saying they are paid mercenaries. Founded in 1997 by an ex-Navy Seal, Blackwater was awarded a $21 million no-bid contract in August, 2003, to supply security guards and two helicopters for Paul Bremer, the head of the U.S. occupation in Iraq. The company also provides security for food shipments in the Fallujah area.

But what is not generally known is that the secret side of the Iraq War and the larger "war on terror" is also conducted by private corporations, fielding private spies. The reach of these corporations has extended into the Oval Office. Corporations are heavily involved in creating the analytical products that underlie the nation's most important and most sensitive national security document, the President's Daily Brief (PDB).

A question was raised in the comments to my post about King Dick, Granny asked "Who is pulling Dick Cheney's strings?" The answer becomes clear when we learn that 70 percent of the intelligence budget goes to private contractors.

And this is true of every branch of our Intelligence Network. Between 50-60% of the CIA's National Clandestine Service, which is responsible for the gathering of human intelligence, comes from employees of for-profit corporations.
Corporate intelligence professionals from companies such as Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Booz Allen Hamilton, SAIC and others are thoroughly integrated into analytical divisions throughout the intelligence community, including the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. It is the ODNI that produces the final document of the President's Daily Brief.

It was the PDB that warned on August 6, 2001, "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US." Of course, the PDB has all kinds of corporate logos printed all over it, and the Alternet article indicates that it is almost impossible to tell if the work is the government's, or the corporate intelligence-gathering.
Concerned members of the intelligence community have told me that if a corporation wanted to insert items favorable to itself or its clients into the PDB to influence the US national security agenda, at this time it would be virtually undetectable. These companies have analysts and often intelligence collectors spread throughout the system and have the access to introduce intelligence into the system.

So when we have our most sensitive security analysis being done by people with allegiance to a private company, with private agendas, it tends to color that analysis. There is nothing fair, or balanced in any of this. It is all about who is going to turn a profit this year. Bush's allegiance is not to the citizens of the United States of America; it is to those various CEOs who drive the conversation. Cheney belongs to Halliburton.

And what do we expect of this Administration? Yesterday, August 5th, Mr. Bush signed into law a bill that broadly expanded the government’s authority to eavesdrop on the international telephone calls and e-mail messages of American citizens without warrants. I speak to people in foreign countries daily - I wonder how many of my conversations will be monitored? Free travel advice, get your fiber optics monitoring systems while they're hot!

Can this be fixed? Yes. It would take the Director of National Intelligence to develop a spine, acknowledge the problem, and mustering the political will and leadership to work toward a solution. It would take Congress to step in and Impeach those in charge who have consistently broken the laws of our nation. Speak up, people. Speak up.

10 comments:

Mentarch said...

As I wrote before ( http://pov-mentarch1.blogspot.com/2007/06/how-ignorance-fear-and-incompetence.html ): "(...) when you are the Constitutional Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. military, why run the risk of bearing all the responsibility for your incompetence? Solution: appoint yourself a War Tzar, who will probably award numerous lucrative no-bid contracts to mercenary companies and intelligence private firms - with zero public accountability given, and none required. Result: Presidential ass covered.

Sounds to me like this is the way of the future in the waging of war ..."

Zero public accountability given, and none required ... that is the key aspect of this.

Meanwhile, private companies can do whatever they want (the ends always justify the means ... and the bottom line) while being awarded lucrative (secret) contracts.

One more way of taking away the government and its apparels from the People ...

Coffee Messiah said...

No oversite, no accountability, no spine = remove from office straight away!

robin andrea said...

I have been speaking up, in fact, I'm screaming so loud at this point, but still not being heard. It's beyond the point for words, we need pitchforks and torches. Time to storm the buildings. Enough.

Granny said...

Diva, have you ever read any Taylor Caldwell?

I haven't in years but I remember her talking about a small, international group of people running the whole world.

Fiction? I used to think so.

I'm at a loss. I can envision my co-writer and myself, her with her walker, storming the buildings as Robin Andrea suggested but I think we'd we quickly outgunned.

Thanks for your comment today and the mention here.

Ann

Is America Burning

Peacechick Mary said...

We know Bush got the warning. We know Cheney and Rice saw it too. My question is, what concern did they show? Anything?

American Scot said...

PNAC. That is all that needs to be said...

enigma4ever said...

great post....well written..and all of us will never KNOW the TRUTH...except what we know in our hearts....sick of all of it...

( and yeah, Granny- I can't read Taylor Caldwell anymore.....or movies with Evil Leader Plotlines..)

Anon-Paranoid said...

Too bad they don't read the Blogs, but than maybe not so bad.

Soon they will pass a law shutting down what we blog about to quiet us and it may be sooner than we think.

I have many times as I'm sure you all have to, seen hits from unknown country, origin, isp, location etc...etc...

Those I believe are the government checking to see what we are blogging about and who we are.

But than I am Anon Paranoid and why believe someone who's paranoid anyway?

So much for what we once called a Democracy for our country. It is long dead since the Fascist Republican Nazi's took power six years ago and now we find that even the Democrats are enablers of this Fascist Regime.

So much for freedom huh.

God Bless.

WeezieLou said...

so....the PDB is no more than an advertizing gimmick.

my god, it's time for charging the barricades!

DivaJood said...

Mentarch, by the time this administration declares Martial Law and an end to elections, it will all be too late. Maybe I'll be living in Canada by then.

Coffee, no spine is right.

Robin, I feel you are right.

Granny, I think we've all been outgunned, really. Can't read Taylor Caldwell any more. Now I'm depressed again.

Peacechick, no concern because it was part of the plan. See American Scot's comment.

Scot, aye. PNAC and the plan to "democratize" the world.

E4E, thank you. I'm getting so heartsick, I don't know what to think any longer. I feel since ours is a "virtual" world, we can't muster up any real power.

Anon-P, yes, I've had those anonymous hits. I've had hits from gov.org sites. I also had lunch today with a woman who is Iranian, she's in the travel business, and a really great person - works for one of the hotels I send clients to - but she's Iranian. You think the goverment ignores who we talk to? Nope.

WeezieLou, yes, it is nothing more than an advertising gimmick for Big Corporate America. I wonder if Starbucks or McDonald's buys any pages?