Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘US Secret Services

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

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.

After the 9/11 attack on the twin Towers and the Pentagon, Bush Jr. Administration decided to coordinate the functioning of the semi-autonomous agencies.  It turned out that no coordination was instituted but 263 new agencies were created to multiply redundancy, confusion, rivalry among the agencies, and the siphoning of over 400 additional billions from 2002 to 2009.  The Congress still add 20 billion dollars each year for this behemoth of labyrinthine structure.  Cloudiness in responsibilities, limits in any agency authority, and redundancy in gathering intelligence and analyzing trillion of pieces of information are the norm.

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.

First,  a few data before we embark on this interesting story.  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.

Second, a few information on the various agencies to set the background for the reported story.  You might think that you heard about the CIA and FBI and I will not bother you about further nasty details on both of these huge agencies.  Suffice to know that the FBI was created in 1908 and is part of the Justice department.  The CIA was created in 1947 and depends of No ministry (strange, isn’t it?)  Do you know that the Department of Defense manages two third of the secret agencies?  For example, Defense Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.  Let us focus on the newly created agencies.

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”.

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.

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

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.

(to be continued)


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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