End of the innocence: The Spy Factory

Watched a Cutting Edge prog last night on the NSA.

It did seem more like an advert for James Bramfield whose excellent hiostry on the NSA ‘Body of Secrets’ graces my bookshelves.

One of the interesting points was the SigInt (Signals Intelligence for the noncognesti) that the NSA had on Bin Laden and AQ way back in the 90’s and how it was not shared with the CIA. And how they also had signint regarding the 9/11 hijackers but again did not share with the rest of the US intel community.

The question kept being asked ‘why did they not share’, This is the wrong question the question should have been ‘why did they not trust their collegues in the rest of the intel community?” And I think the reason was that the NSA belvied the CIA and FBI to be riddled with leaks and were afraid that if this info was leaked or ‘presented’ to the public the NSA’s abilities would be quite publically paraded.

What was also interesting was the fallout form 9/11 and how the NSA benefited. One of the interviewees made it clear that the NSA have hired alot of people who are not capable translators but that the NSA needed the bums on seats. Another thing was the sifitng through of american telcoms SigInt and how some employees were uncomfortable doing so as the peopel being listended to were American. I found this attitude really twee esp as one of the interviewees said that she felt she should be looking for terrorists..err so Americans can’t be terrorists?

One hopes that with a new guy in the whitehouse there is a bit more joined up thinking with regards to SigInt and HumInt in the USA.the threats to the US and it’s allies are only going to increase as the recession bites hard in some regions and the hatemongers turn more people against the West and its interests. it’s Big boys rules in this game and the US needs to undertsand that.

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7 Responses to “End of the innocence: The Spy Factory”

  1. havock21 Says:

    here is a thought, I might be drawing a LOOONG BOW on this, but given consolidation should be looked at……NSA/CIA into ONE.

    so the Q is, jsu how would you go about it?

  2. chazfh Says:

    H it’s not too hard in reality, esp if you consider that the NSA’s primary role is SigInt, it would remove a certain amount of duplication and improve inteligence sharing.

    The question is who would wear the trousers?! Seriously though you’d have to creaste a new dept to tack onto the intel and operations so that both humint and Sigint got a equal billing..

    However just look at GCHQ in pommie land. It is an independent intel service from Five and Six. Also could you imagine DSD merging with ASIS? Ignoring it’s military role for a mo.

  3. havock21 Says:

    Yeah, when i penned it, I was thinking of DSD and Asio and the ensuing shit storm if you did. Its possibly a cultural change issue more so than anything, it would need a great boss, with big brass balls and the PM’s serious backing. The fall out would be huge, but the efficiencies and cost saving would be immense, not to mention the possibility of streamlining the bloody process for timely intel.

  4. Lermontov Says:

    Interesting post Chaz. The liason between the three services is reasonably poor. What can we hope for between completely diff agencies.

  5. Dr Yobbo Says:

    The liaison between these sorts of bodies is always wraught with egos and patch protection isn’t it? I remember reading a history of ASIO years back for a uni course and the point of the exercise always seemed to be getting one up on the sister organisations – whether domestic or int’l – more than actually getting the job done in an integrated fashion. Same O/S I gather (though to be fair this is mostly inferred from reading John le Carre novels)

  6. LERMONTOV Says:

    Oh, is Bramfield’s book worth grabbing? Saw yr comment at Blunty too! Fecker!!

  7. chazfh Says:

    Dr Y: back in the mother country traditonally five see’s six as a group of hooray henry’s who think they’re james bond. And six see’s five as only being one step better than the plods.

    Lerm: body of secrets is very good esp the bit about hjow the isrealis sank the Liberty. As to my comment on blunty,all i can say was that i was inspired!!

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