Adonis Diaries

Archive for August 2010

Cloudier than ever: Intelligence agencies in the USA. Part 2

In the previous post I described the various intelligence services clouding decision-making and becoming worse in efficiency since the 9/11 attack on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon.

Additional 263 new secret service agencies were created since 2002 to the over one thousand services in existence, not counting the 2,000 private secret organizations supporting the intelligence endeavors.

It turned out that no coordination was instituted, which was the purpose of creating the 263 new agencies:  multiplied redundancy, confusion, rivalry among the agencies, and the siphoning of over 400 additional billions from 2002 to 2009 were the end results, so far.

The Congress still add 20 billion dollars each year for this behemoth of labyrinthine structure.  Cloudiness in responsibilities, unidentified delimitation in authority among the agencies, redundancy in gathering intelligence, and the impossible task of analyzing trillion of pieces of information are the norm.

The Washington Post undertook an investigation into the US intelligence agencies that lasted two years.  Twenty journalists were mobilized along with Dana Priest, twice awarded the Pulitzer on her investigative reporting in the secret prisons of the CIA and in the military hospital of Walter Reed where most of the injured soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan are receiving below standard health treatment.

The other renown journalist is William Arkin who served in the military intelligence for four years and is currently working with NGO, Human Rights Watch, and Greenpeace.

The ex-director of national intelligence, Dennis Blair, declared: “We thought that if it was worth undertaking it then, it must be worth overdoing it.

The Pentagon Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) increased from 7,500 employees to over 16,500 since 2002.  The budget of the National Security Agency (NSA) doubled.  The number of special units in the FBI jumped from 35 to 106 units.

Robert Gates, Defense minister who administer two third of all the secret agencies declared: “Things have developed so strangely that it is a real challenge to having any kind of idea of how security is functioning. Isn’t this formidable machine just too big for our needs?

Two of the highest officials of the “Super-Users” of the Pentagon’s programs admitted: “I cannot live long enough to nail down what’s going on.”

On his first briefing, one of the highest official was introduced into a tiny room to visualize the maze of a Powerpoint structure of the various agencies; he was not permitted to take notes.  General John Vines said: “The complexity of the (intelligence) system defies any description.”  CIA director, Leon Panetta is terribly worried: “The expenses are so huge that we will end up hitting a wall.”

In most agencies there is at least a room, some of them 4 times the size of a football field, called “Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF)” that only top security people work in; they are the lowest paid and most valued employees: the “Analysts“.

The analysts are recruited from universities as they graduate; they have poor general knowledge, lack language proficiency in more than one, and are supposed to analyzing important intelligence pieces of people, culture, and languages they are not familiar with.

There are special officers in charge of the famous “Special Access Program (SAP)”.  James Clapper declared: “Maybe God can dispose of an overall visibility on the collection of the SAP.”  It is a recurring behavior for high officials using secret intelligence pieces to sidetrack rival officials. For example, an officer is ordered not to divulge certain intelligence to his superior, a 4-stars General.

A few of the created agencies are described.

1. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) started its activities in january 2003 and is directed by the minister of internal security. Originally, this agency was to coordinate and develop a global national strategy to combatting “terrorism”.

2. Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) was created in 2004 with mission of figuring out how to putting order among the 16 agencies specially designed to intelligence gathering (good luck).  Congress didn’t vote on attaching any judiciary or budget to the ODNI.  Consequently, he cannot have any power on the other secret agencies that he was meant to control.  Before Negroponte assumed his activities, the ministry of Defense transferred billions of dollars from one budget into another and the CIA increased the level of security access to preventing this agency from accessing “sensitive” intelligence. When the ODNI started its activities in the spring of 2005, it had 11 employees. A year later, this agency occupied two floors of a building.  By 2008, it settled on the humongous Headquarter of Liberty Crossing.

3. National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) was created in August 2004 and depending on the Bureau of ODNI.

4. US Secret Services (USSS) depends on the minister of internal security with two main missions: fighting financial frauds and assuring the security of the President and the high dignitaries.

The USA has 860,000 people carrying top-secret clarification to access secret service agencies.

The US has 1,271 secret agencies and about 2,000 private societies working on secret programs for gathering and analyzing pieces of intelligence.

The bouquet that clouds everything are the 50,000 published reports per year, on daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly basis by the various secret agencies.  How many top people in the hierarchy should be hired to exhaust reading all these “serious” reports?

Obviously, redundancy is the norm in these reports and the interesting information are mostly ignored by boredom, exhaustion, and self-sufficiency.

Secrets are not sacrosanct.  We prefer to keep them; that is true”; a sentence from John Le Carre in “A little town in Germany”

Joanna and Yuhanna planned for months their original and friendly wedding.  They decided on the minute details when they were planning the wedding in London.  The basic foundations were solid and the minor transformations, when the ideas were transplanted to Lebanon, did not affect the major directions and creative execution of this major project that is nerve-wracking at all levels.   People loved this wonderful couple; the couple is very much in love, valiant, patient, and ground breakers in how wedding should be experienced and happiness shared..  It was a wedding of passion for details,  consuming enormous amount of manpower and time; but as Joanna explained it: “hand making a thousand origami swans is … something interesting (I forgot the exact meaning or end result of this endeavor)”  I also forgot the Japanese artist or wise man who encouraged hand making paper swans that swallowed an entire week of three individuals; mainly, the three other sisters.

Only three of the maids of honor had wind of the marriage decision.  Thus, when the family received by mail six tiny bottles with a tiny rolls inside, they had no idea what these gifts were about.  Strong with a magnifying glass we managed to decipher the secret scroll.  Mother Raymonde refused to believe what was written in the local Lebanese/Arabic on the ground that Joanna never keeps her out of secrets.  The father Victor understood the “fair-part” to wedding ceremony and not just another official second “fiancaille” in Lebanon. Grandmother Julia was relieved that Joanna has finally set a date for a wedding:  She likes Yuhanna very much and was pleased that he joined Joanna in London last year.

Joanna and Yuhanna reserved at couple of hours each day for rehearsal.  They exercised for the “inaugural” dance and for the instrumental music.  Basically, Joanna trained Yuhanna to safely nail down how to handle her dangerous sideways inclines.  Joanna was to play on her flute “traversiere” and Yuhanna on his trombone.  They performed well during the ceremony before opening the dance floor to our wild hopping around.

The mother, Raymonde, got on to sewing and altering the dresses of six girls (the maids of honors), and not of the accommodating kinds of girls in matter of fashion.  She spent enormous time to sewing the bride’s head shawl and then traveling several days to selecting her own gown.  Buying the right shoes for all these girls was a major headache.  Joanna had already purchased her wedding gown in London and her shoes were ordered from Australia; go figure! Men dressing up was not relatively that hard; at least not for William who came in shorts.

Joanna and Yuhanna attempted for three days trying their hands to assigning seats for the guests on a sheet of paper large.  Then, the father, Victor, had a look at the seating positions and discovered that he was turning his back to the assembly and the dance floor.  He got in such a rage that he envied me for being single and having no children that disrespect the position of the father.   Victor was then assigned to doing this dirty job that was boring the couple so terribly.  Victor ended up with the most frustrating job ever designed on mankind for just the proper seating of 200 guests.  People who were supposed to join the ceremony cancelled and repositioning had to be redone.  People who reclined coming called up to be included among the favored.  The sheet was to be re-edited with eraser and pencil.    Yuhanna was patiently updating on his computer the new modifications and proved to out perform Victor in patience.   Yuhanna was the Prophet Job of the project. The hardest task turned out that half the guests are not on talking terms with the other half.  This serious animosity among our citizens within a town is never that fundamental but inherited from previous generations; the reasons why the grandfathers and grandmothers of families hated one another have been forgotten or verbally altered to the worst since there are no written records.  There are rare cases of fresh animosities such as failure to paying the proper amount of money for work done or the particular furnitures inherited or municipal election divergences, or not keeping traditional status in the hierarchy by “modern” youth, or not visiting the elders while in visit to Lebanon or … No, the differences are not mainly of the social and political caste system of 19 religious sects but of centuries of close cohabitation within isolated communities lacking of modern communication and ease of traveling.

There will be a follow up on the morning of the wedding day, and the church ceremony and the party afterward.  Suffice to say that every guest declared “This is the best wedding I assisted to from alpha to omega.”  During the party Yuhanna said to Joanna: “Why have you made me wait four years?”.  I think the wait was worth it, every second of it and for both parties.

Are you familiar with the isthmuses of Dardanelles and the Bosphorus that crosses Istanbul (the capital of Turkey)?  The Bosphorus isthmus and lately the Danube River are the unique water entrances to the dying and heavily polluted Black Sea. The water is low on salt because rivers are its sources such as the Dniester and the Danube. Oxygen in the water is depleting and algae are increasing.  Eight States have strategic and economic ports on this sea.  On the south side, Turkey has 4 ports (Zonguldak, Sinope, Samsun, and Trabzon). On the east side, Georgia has two ports: Batumi and Poti.  Abkhazia has the port of Sukhumi.  On the north side, Russia has three official ports of Adler, Sochi, and Novorosiisk and two Ukrainian ports that it manages as military bases and for trades such as Sebastopol and Odessa.  On the west side, Roumania has the port of Tulcea and Bulgaria has Varna.  The Danube River flows in the delta of Tulcea; major navigation works are done on the Danube that will link the Black Sea to six European States of Roumania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Slovakia, Austria, and Germany. More than 80% of merchant ships and military navies that enter or exit the Bosphorus are for Russia trades.

This quick background overview hides serious strategic interests among the Caucasus States, Turkey, Russia, and Europe.  The coast of over 600 kilometers from Sinope to Trabzon and all the way to Poti in Georgia is mostly transformed by concrete constructions. A highway deprives the coastal towns and cities  access to the shores of the Black Sea.  The people around Sinope have mobilized to prevent a nuclear power project.

The port of Samsun and its regions are mostly populated by Tcherkess.  They were deported and fled from the area stretching from Novorossiisk to Sochi by Imperial Russia after they were defeated in 1864 at the battle of Kbaada.  That location is currently named Krasnaia Poliana where 2014 winter Olympic games are planned.  So many Tcherkess died during the crossing toward the Ottoman Empire and were thrown overboard ships that they refuse to eat fish or even doing any fishing.

The port of Trabzon or Trebizonde was populated by Greeks who were transferred by the Lausanne treaty after Ataturk defeated the Greek army in Turkey around 1923. Currently, Trabzon is witnessing resurgence in the application of Islamic laws; people converge to the port for alcohol consumption where bars cater to Russians.  Trabzon ferries mostly to Sochi and the Georgian ports.  There are no trade or communication between russia and Georgia since the 2008 war.

Batumi is run KazTransOil for a concession of 49 years; this port receives 7 million tons of oil ferried from Azerbaijan, Kazakhestan, and Turkmenistan.  The Turks patronize Batumi casinos.

Poti port is run by Ras Al-Khaima emirate for a 49 year-concession. Poti is becoming the main maritime entrance to the Caucasus States and Central Asia.

Sebastopol is a Ukrainian port run by Russia; it is he headquarter for Russian Black Sea fleet of 28,000 Russian marines.

Odessa is also in Ukraine but managed by Russia.  The delta where the Danube ends is rich in oil and gas reserves.

I got wed. Now, what I do next?

Note: This article is a shortened version of a previous post, focusing on what to do next after the wedding…

Millions of couples get wed every day.

The vast majority never experienced intercourse, at least one party in the union.  It is no surprise that most of the couples have not met before the wedding, at best they have seen a puny picture of the member, supposed to living with for the rest of their life.

Many couples love the companionship.  The sexual part, and principally the intercourse phase, is the least interesting exercise in their mind, at least for one member of the couple.

It is wise that rarely any one in the couple bring up the truth that the sexual part is in second or third order of priority:  The wrong interpretation is invariably a bad one, of the most dangerous kind.  For example, “Am I that disgusting? Am I ugly?  Do I smell terrible?”

Well, you got wed and now you are wondering “what should I do next to make this courageous decision a success story?”

First principle, and maybe the only one of value for sexual intercourse, is that male partner is the passive part:  The woman should be the active and guiding partner.

Many males wait years before they comprehend that a successful, rewarding, and pleasuring intercourse is to sit back and let the woman do the job right.

Many women know that they are the one getting the most pleasure of that exercise, but they postpone indefinitely getting the courage of teaching their husband to take the proper course of action.

Before you resume the rest of this post, I suggest to the brides to imagine (visualize) the kinds of story they should undertake as they got the principle down.

Now that you have your own story of the proper way to enticing your man to perform intercourse in a very relaxed manner, you may continue reading.

I can figure that most women think that a sexy attire, in the privacy of the house, is the first in the list of “must do”.

This line of thinking comes with years of training and ruining the family treasury for clothing.  Sexy wear is an excellent idea but it is mainly a prompt.

The groom and the bride have acquired particular idiosyncrasies as to the varieties of sexy cloth.  Once the man comprehends what garment is meant by “tonight there is intercourse“, then the way is clear.

The man knows the objective of the evening, he feels relaxed, and can think of ways to be romantic.  The main hurdle is crossed, once the prompt is clearly defined.

Next, olfactive or the sense of smell is the most powerful sense in the lymbic (primitive) brain system.

Thus, both parties have to have a bath and smelling fresh.  A joint bath is excellent; you rub one another body parts, get relaxed, laugh, and play like kids.

By the by, both parties learn the nice smells that they jointly love; the kind of soaps, the perfume… Once this phase is nailed down, things can progress smoothly.

While wearing the sexy gown and then taking a joint bath or shower, make sure the background music is devoid of any lyrics: You don’t want to clutter your thinking brain; focus on what excite the limbic system.

The sense of touch has a direct route to the lymbic system but it has lost its power for men.  Women are more endowed with the pleasure of touch:  they kept this sense alive from practicing it since childhood.  Men don’t get excited by touch; it is mainly to enhancing his mental imagination.

The only “touchy” part in a male is the closest region of his anus.

I get generous and add the genital parts, but this is a manner of increasing his ego.  I am convinced that when a female touch the genital parts of a man, it is the imaginative brain section that is excited. The man think: “Wow, she wants it!” and that is enough for assuring an erection.

Man has to touch his partner everywhere, and seriously learn the most efficient exciting parts in his partner:  He does not want to bore his partner with lousy time-waster when the partner is ready to enjoy.

I suggest to the women to use boldly the largest skin areas in the hands, feet, and thighs: Nail and finger touching is to be avoided because man is different from woman in that powerful section of the lymbic system.

The sense of touch is basically atrophied in man and it is fundamentally used to excite the imaginative sections in the brain.

Good luck in your journey of learning the body of your partner:  It might be the initial phase in appreciating companionship and privacy.

I rented the suit for a wedding

I attended a wedding once.  A nice guy from my relatives complemented me on my suit.  I said: “I rented my suit.”  The guy told his mother. I told the mother not to hurt the big ego of her son that I was joking:  His feelings might be terribly bruised.

The mother went ahead and told the “truth” to her dear son (as she has the custom?)  The guy reprimanded me and I said: “Listen, I can’t afford a hair cut; much less renting anything.”  

The mother told her son: “He is probably saying the truth this time around. He told me recently that he is very down and has no sources for any financial income.”

The son called me up (for the first time ever to bloat, maybe?) and he sounded perplexed.  He had a serious question to ask me: “If you were overseas, would you have minded begging on street corners to survive?”  Nonplussed, I replied:”This job would have enticed me greatly.  I was on the verge of taking this line of work on several occasions and I think I would have been good at it.”

The nice guy retorted: “Wouldn’t you feel ashamed, knowing that you earned a PhD?”  I simply said: “It is because I busted my ass for this higher degree and paid for it with mostly my own labor that I feel shame for nothing.  I don’t care that much what normal people think of me.”

I am still wondering why I was that stubborn and never desisted shooting for a PhD at an advanced age, when everyone was chasing after quick money.  

Universities insist on hiring PhD to teaching (apparently, the pool of these well-educated people are armies.)  Universities love to cram campuses of unidirectional educated zealots.  Most of these “professors” end up sneaking in as consultant and advisors to industrialists.  

The industrialist surreptitiously and quickly (by habit) drop professional reports they receive in the waste basket. I am not sure how many of industrialists change their mind and retrieve the precious report on boring afternoons.  

Industrialists love to patronize campuses to gaining cheap valiant images of barons of quality products (by hiring university graduates?)

I might be over exaggerating my cynicism. Scientists are aiming for any kinds of awards; a Nobel Price would be adequate.  Like those millions of people training to becoming professional athletes.  

Wouldn’t it be far easier and more rewarding financially to record your own song and commercialize it on the internet?  This is how you get money, and purchasing wireless communication band franchises.

Note:  This is a fictitious short story.




August 2010

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