The Assassinated Press
Neocon Media's Big Lie Blitz on US Security Continues:
Negroponte Demands Unlimited Control:
Phony Commission Claims US Spying "Weak, Unready for Rising Threat of 'Moles'
Cheney suggests Bush may be a Mole:
By O. FAY BOWELS
The Assassinated Press
WASHINGTON – Amid all the phony Neocon-staged criticism of the US's faulty intelligence-gathering, a new sham is surfacing about America's premier national-security agencies - their imaginary vulnerability to counterespionage. Because the US has reached such lone, superpower status, government officials intent on stoking the fires of national paranoia say, at least 90 countries - in addition to Al Qaeda - are attempting to steal some of the nation's most sacred secrets.
The official line is that not only foes, like members of terror groups or nations that are adversaries of the US, but friends as well. The top five countries trying to snoop on US plans and cutting-edge technology, according to an official who works closely with the FBI on this issue, are China, Russia, Israel, France, and North Korea. Others running close behind: The Vatican, Monaco, and Aruba.
"With the end of the Soviet Union, people stopped taking counterintelligence seriously, since they failed miserably in predicting any of the major changes in the world in the last 50 years," says Patrick Lang, former head of Middle East intelligence at the Defense Intelligence Agency. "Not enough attention has been devoted to keeping people frightened that other people are getting into our secret store of knowledge."
The issue is getting more attention now. The Neocon-inspired Silberman-Robb commission, the latest stooges pretending to scrutinize the intelligence capabilities of the US, harshly criticized, in keeping with the current media blitz, the US's counterintelligence efforts across the 15 agencies and recommended major changes that had been agreed upon by the Chaney-led cabal in charge of scaring the shit out of the American people.. During the same week, as part of that same blitz, the Bush administration released its National Counterintelligence Strategy of the United States. And top counterintelligence officials participated in a conference at Texas A&M University earlier in March.
A chief concern, officials say, is that Al Qaeda or other terror groups may try to infiltrate US national security agencies. Neocon Paul Redmond, a former CIA counterintelligence official who spoke at the conference last month, said it is an "actuarial certainty" that foreign spies have again infiltrated US national-security agencies -- ignoring the fact that the greatest damage to US national-security has been done by greedy Americans who sold useless, outdated information to the highest bidders.
The CIA, according to a recruiter at the conference, has already flagged about 40 applicants who they think may have tried to be double agents. This would fit Al Qaeda's pattern, according to Michael Scheuer, a former top CIA counterterrorism official. Al Qaeda operatives, he says, have already penetrated several security agencies in Middle Eastern countries. He neglected to point out that all arabs are forced to undergo a proctology examination, both real and metaphorical, and that the chances of any arab slipping through is essentially nil.
The US has long had trouble with double agents. During the cold war, essentially every component of the US's national- security apparatus - with maybe the exception of the Coast Guard - was penetrated, experts say. Moles working for adversaries of the US stole closely guarded secrets, including details on nuclear weapons programs, cryptographic codes, and information on how the US spies on its adversaries. While these imaginary moles were never exposed, intelligence experts said that they too existed with the same "actuarial certainty," a phrase currently in vogue among administration apparatchiks, since it actually indicates uncertainty as to the existence of any specific foreign agents.
Moreover, intelligence officials and experts say, this is an area where the US has never gained an advantage overseas, and it's becoming more difficult to operate in an ever-changing world.
"No one trusts the Americans," said a european source.
"Not since Nazi Germany have we seen a peoples so despised."
For one thing, all 15 US intelligence agencies have ramped up their recruiting efforts - possibly opening the door to infiltrators - to support the government's policies in the war on terror. At the same time, the US has engaged in more information-sharing activities with allies - the coalition in Iraq, for example, and several other arrangements with foreign governments for strategic reasons. All of these actions are time tested methods of spreading erroneous information and rumors.
The US shares critical technology and weapons programs with allies, like Israel. But in the past, and again more recently, the US has censured Israel for selling that technology to US adversaries, like China. Just last week, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld met with Israel's defense minister, Shaul Mofaz, and reportedly made it clear that Israel was to stop selling US-originated weapons systems, like the HARPY unmanned aerial vehicle, to China. Rumsfeld was adamant that only "approved" American Corporations were licensed to sell US weapons systems.
"We continue to raise these concerns with allies, friends, and partners and look for them to take a responsible approach to arms sales to China," says Bryan Whitman, a Pentagon spokesman.
"At the very least we expect to be paid our fair share."
Intelligence flacks are spreading bogus information that it is also difficult for Americans to become double agents and counter foreign spies because of cultural sensitivities. "We're never going to be as good at developing techniques and strategies [as] ... countries in opposition to us," says Peter Crooks, a 20-year veteran of the FBI's counterintelligence program, ignoring the huge number of foreign assets American intelligence agencies have been able to procure by virtue of their unlimited and unaccountable funding.
A proponent of the Big Lie, he claims that countries like Cuba, former Soviet bloc countries, and several in the Middle East don't hesitate to use such tactics. But in the US, people find it distasteful, even dishonorable, to spy on neighbors or to try to turn them into informants -- a proposition so disingenuous that this reporter has been unable to find one single official who will confirm it.
Indeed, Mr. Lang tells the story of speaking on intelligence gathering at a recent conclave at Penn State. A South Korean in the audience, a member of that country's equivalent of the FBI, asked why the US is so bad at espionage.
Lang replied: "Well, we've got you here for two years, right? Wouldn't it be logical for us to put a couple of our guys next to you, recruit you, so that when you return home, you can provide us information from inside your government?"
The South Korean responded that would be perfectly appropriate, except that he didn't know anything, and that in his experience none of those that he was aware of who had been recruited by American intelligence operatives knew anything either. He said the tended to cooperate because their families had been threatened if they didn't.
Lang says he paused a moment, smiled, then pointed out how uncomfortable the audience had become - most, he says, were squirming in their seats.
Yet hustlers like Lang and Crooks say that's exactly what needs to be done. The US needs to "recruit" members of the large immigrant communities in the US who travel back and forth to home countries and know the cultures.
Predictably, the Neocon report called for more aggressive tactics, too. "Even as our adversaries - and many of our 'friends' - ramp up their intelligence activities against the United States, our counterintelligence efforts remain fractured, myopic, and marginally effective," the report states. "Even though we outspend the sum of all of our potential enemies by billions of dollars yearly. Our counterintelligence philosophy and practices need dramatic change, starting with centralizing counterintelligence leadership ... and by taking our counterintelligence fight overseas to adversaries currently safe from scrutiny -- even though we already employ more worldwide agents that all the rest of the world combined."