Marcus Aurelius: NSA Declassifies Top Secret Umbra Report on Berlin Tunnel

Director of National Intelligence et al (IC), Intelligence (government), IO Impotency
Marcus Aurelius

Certainly worth a read. As time goes by, but only retrospectively, long after everyone has retired or died, accountability in terms of cost versus gain will eventually come to the fore.


Phi Beta Iota:  There are two forms of accountability, neither of which is achievable today.  The first is as mentioned above, cost-benefit analysis.  General Tony Zinni has nailed it with his assessment that today’s $80 billion a year community produces “at best” 4% of what a major commander needs —  General Mike Flynn documented results even worse than that for Afghanistan.  The other form of accountability has to do with laxity in counterintelligence and operations security.  NSA biggest dirty secret for the past 50 years is that the Soviets captured core crypto machines in Viet-Nam, and then got the key cards from penetrations of the US Navy.  The raw fact is that secrecy is used to hide fraud, waste, and abuse 90% of the time.  Best quote on the latter point:

“Everybody who’s a real practioner, and I’m sure you’re not all naive in this regard, realizes that there are two uses to which security classification is put: the legitmate desire to protect secrets, and the protection of bureaucratic turf. As a practitioner of the real world, it’s about 90 bureaucratic turf, 10 legitimate protection of secrets as far as I am concerned.”

Rodley B. McDaniel, then Executive Secretary of the National Security Council, on page 68
C3i: Issues of Command and Control (NDU Press, 1991)