Journal: Human Intelligence (HUMINT) Successes

08 Wild Cards, 09 Terrorism, 10 Security, 10 Transnational Crime, Government, HUMINT, IO Multinational, IO Secrets, IO Sense-Making, Law Enforcement, Military, Peace Intelligence
Marcus Aurelius Recommends

(1) If true, probably a good idea.

(2) Appears that indiscretions abound.

Miami Herald November 6, 2010

Spy Agencies Use Ex-Captives To Infiltrate Al Qaeda

By Paisley Dodds, Associated Press

LONDON — Months after he was released from Guantánamo Bay, Abdul Rahman was back in the company of terrorist leaders along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. But he was a double agent, providing Taliban and al Qaeda secrets to Pakistani intelligence, which then shared the tips with Western counterparts.

The ruse cost him his life, according to a former Pakistani military intelligence official, Mahmood Shah. The Taliban began to suspect him, and after multiple interrogations executed him.

The case of Rahman, which Shah recounted to The Associated Press, falls in line with a key aspect of the fight against terror — Western intelligence agencies, with help from Islamic allies, are placing moles and informants inside al Qaeda and the Taliban. The program seems to be bearing fruit, even as many infiltrators like Rahman are discovered and killed.

It was a tip from an al Qaeda militant-turned-informant that led international authorities to find explosives hidden in printer cartridges from Yemen to the United States a week ago, Yemeni security officials say. Officials say the explosives could have caused a blast as deadly as the Lockerbie bombing that killed 270 people.

Read rest of article….

Phi Beta Iota: Human Intelligence (HUMINT) done right, in the context of Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) done right, is the cheapest, fastest, and most effective means of creating intelligence (decision-support) at all levels from strategic to tactical.  After ten years of letting CIA get away with doing both badly, and ten years of the Pentagon’s recovering from treating its HUMINT and CI people like shit, it appears that adults are finally back in charge.  We continue to under-budget for operational HUMINT and OSINT, and we continue to grossly over-spend on contractor vapor-ware for technical capabilities that simply do not deliver 96% of what what we need, but that is a separate issue.  It is good to see HUMINT (not OSINT) making some progress.  However, the continued absence of a strategic analytic model and honest governance means that these capabilities are not being focused on transnational crime or on white collar crime, where the most significant gains in the public interest are to be achieved.

See Also:

2010: Human Intelligence (HUMINT) Trilogy Updated
2009 DoD OSINT Leadership and Staff Briefings
Graphic: OSINT and Full-Spectrum HUMINT (Updated)
Graphic: OSINT and Lack of Processing
Graphic: Four Quadrants J-2 High Cell SMS Low
Graphic: Human Intelligence (HUMINT) 101 (Wrong Way)
Graphic: Human Intelligence (HUMINT) 102 (Right Way)

Journal: Putin to Obama–Stay in Afghanistan + RECAP

02 China, 03 India, 04 Inter-State Conflict, 05 Civil War, 06 Russia, 07 Other Atrocities, 08 Wild Cards, 09 Terrorism, 10 Security, 10 Transnational Crime, 11 Society, Analysis, Budgets & Funding, Corporations, Government, History, Intelligence (government), Methods & Process, Military, Misinformation & Propaganda, Peace Intelligence, Power Behind-the-Scenes/Special Interests, Secrecy & Politics of Secrecy, Strategy
Chuck Spinney Sounds Off....

Mikhail  Gorbachev, who has been neutralized by the succession of Russian rulers, especially Putin) has just advised President Obama to get out of Afghanistan.  Jonathan Steele suggests here (also attached below) that Obama ought to heed that advice, because Obama is in a similar albeit somewhat worse position than Gorbachev was in 1985-6.

Analogies are dangerous, because they can capture your thinking and take you off the cliff.  But here goes.

If Steele’s analogy is accurate, it suggests some pregnant ramifications that are not addressed directly by Steele:  Russia (Putin and Medvedev) appear to be helping US/Nato in Afghanistan with training programs and by providing access routes for northern logistics lines of communication.  This cooperation serve both parties by improving relations in the short term, but it also helps US/Nato stay on its disastrous course in Afghanistan.  Are there other reasons why would Putin, an ardent nationalist, would what the US to remain stuck in Russia’s backyard?

Russia needs help in staunching spillover of Sunni radicalism into its Moslem areas and its Central Asian sphere of influence (a variation of the original reason USSR invaded Afghanistan in 1979).  The US war on the Taliban serves that interest. So from Putin’s point of view, keeping US/Nato bogged down in Afghanistan serves Russian national interests for free.

Putin, a former member of the KGB and an ardent nationalist, certainly knows the US fomented Sunni extremism in Afghanistan to sucker the Soviets into invading Afghanistan with the aimed of bogging the USSR down in its own VietNam-like quagmire (a policy proudly acknowledged by President Carter’s National Security Advisor,Zbigniew Brzezinski in his notorious interview in Le Nouvel Observateur, January 1998). Putin must also know that the US/Nato engagement in Afghanistan, is (1) a huge resource drain that is weakening US economically and militarily, as well as  (2) weakening the bonds giving the US political control over its Nato allies.  From his point of view, these two outcomes would certainly improve Russia’s relative power with respect to Europeans (especially Germany) and in the world, at the expense of the US.  Moreover, in Putin’s eyes, these outcomes might seem to be justified as payback to the US.  After all, did not the US unleash the Islamic radicalism with its efforts to maneuver the USSR into Afghanistan in 1979 and did not the US humiliate Russia by the exploiting Russia’s economic misery and military weaknesses, after Gorbachev had done the the US and the West a huge favor by precipitating collapse of the Soviet Union and ending the Cold War without bloodshed?

So, who should Obama and his advisors listen to?  Putin the nationalist and go for a short term political gain at expense of remaining stuck in the quagmire that serves Russia’s interests, or Gobachev the statesman who advises Obama to bite the bullet and absorb short-term political pain to gain long term benefits of exiting a quagmire that is weakening the US economically and militarily?

Of course the war advocate could counter by saying this is based on an analogy run amok.  We are not making the gross mistakes the Soviets made in Afghanistan, and besides, it is cutting and running that weakens us.  After all, Gobachev is just an old man who refuses to see that his time has past and is struggling futilely to remain relevant.

Russia’s Afghan agenda | Jonathan Steele 10/27/10 10:00 PM Jonathan Steele

Gorbachev has valuable advice for the US on the war in Afghanistan that Putin would rather he keep to himself

The surprise in this week’s reports that Russia is planning to help Nato in Afghanistan by training Afghan helicopter pilots is that people are surprised. Memories are short, it seems, for the shift in Moscow’s line came as early as July last year during Barack Obama’s first summit in the Kremlin.

Designed to press the “reset” button after east-west tempers flared over the war in Georgia, the meeting ended with several agreements, the most dramatic of which was Russia’s nod for the US to send military supplies across Russian territory to its forces in Afghanistan. Dmitry Medvedev and Vladimir Putin wanted to give Obama a reward for taking a calmer view of Russia than George Bush, in particular for accepting Georgia’s share of blame in the South Ossetian crisis and for cancelling the most provocative aspects of Bush’s missile defence scheme which Moscow viewed as a threat.

Read rest of Jonathan Steele’s article….

See Also (RECAP)

Continue reading “Journal: Putin to Obama–Stay in Afghanistan + RECAP”

NIGHTWATCH Extract: Somalia Anti-Piracy Update

08 Wild Cards, 10 Security, 10 Transnational Crime, Cultural Intelligence, Law Enforcement, Military, Peace Intelligence

Somalia anti-piracy patrol: Update. The Danish navy says it sank a Somali pirate boat in the Gulf of Aden. Spokesman Kenneth Nielsen said Wednesday that the command and control ship HDMS Esbern Snare intercepted a suspicious boat Tuesday, confiscated weapons and fuel, and detained six pirates. The Danes then used explosives to mine and sink the boat. The suspected pirates were later released since officials said no crime had been committed.

Earlier Wednesday, the European Union’s anti-piracy force said pirates attacked but failed to hijack a French-flagged ship off the coast of Tanzania. The Danish navy ship is part of NATO’s anti-piracy operation in the region.

European Union’s anti-piracy force says the pirates are holding 19 ships and more than 420 hostages.

NIGHTWATCH Comment: After several years of trying, the some 40 ships on anti-piracy patrols have made scant progress against the pirates but have maintained skills.


Secrecy News Headlines

10 Security, 10 Transnational Crime, Corruption, Government, IO Multinational, Law Enforcement, Methods & Process




Phi Beta Iota: As long as the IC persists in sticking with the TS/SCI “all or nothing” approach to information, it will continue to fail in serving the  needs of virtually all of the current and all of the unrecognized but potentially legitimate customers for its proven sources and methods.  The Open Source Agency under diplomatic auspices, that includes both the 50 community intelligence networks managed by the National Guard as well as the Multinational Decision Support Centre with regional multinational Stations, are necessary first steps if intelligence is to be useful into the future.

Regarding the polygraph, it works and has been hugely successful within the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) and within the Government of Guatemala itself, with two major caveats: 1) polygraph results must be reported directly to the leadership by the polygraphers, we have seen polygraphs manipulated or fabricated by security managers intent on achieving specific personnel or political or budget goals; and 2)  out of area polygraphers are essential–in Central America, and we suspect in the Southwest border region as well, most local polygraphers have been employed by and well compensated by and are deathly afraid of, the narco-traffickers who know how to use the polygraph to keep their own ranks free of penetrations and betrayal from within.  A global cadre of polygraphers under deep cover is needed.

NIGHTWATCH Extract: Mexican Cartels Threaten Massacres

07 Other Atrocities, 08 Wild Cards, 10 Security, 10 Transnational Crime, Government, Law Enforcement, Military, Officers Call

Mexico: For the record. Suspected members of the Sinaloa drug trafficking cartel warned that they would kill 135 people after security forces seized 134 tons of marijuana last week in Tijuana, Baja California state, Milenio reported today, 25 October. The warning was made over a police radio frequency late on 24 October reportedly minutes after gunmen killed 13 patients at a drug rehabilitation center in Tijuana.


Phi Beta Iota: This kind of indiscriminate mass murder in retaliation for what are relatively minor interdictions suggests that on the one hand, both the US and Mexican government have not only lost all control of the territory for which they are responsible for providing good order and public safety and security; but also that neither government has an effective intelligence capability to guide operations in detail.  We are reminded of how long it took to hunt down one man in Colombia, Pablo Escobar.   A MAJOR obstacle is the recalcitrance of the US secret intelligence community with $75 billion or more being applied to produce “at best” 4% of what is needed, to reinvent itself and engage in M4IS2: multinational, multiagency, multidisciplinary, multidomain information-sharing and sense-making.  The El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC) is a massive failure precisely because it embodies all of the handicaps of the past and none of the advantages of the present.

See Also:

Review: Killing Pablo–The Hunt for the World’s Greatest Outlaw

America’s Next War: Southwest Border–Both Sides

03 Economy, 07 Other Atrocities, 08 Immigration, 08 Wild Cards, 09 Justice, 10 Security, 10 Transnational Crime, 11 Society, Government, Law Enforcement, Peace Intelligence

Phi Beta Iota: Most of the weapons being used by the cartels do NOT come from US gun shops.  They come from the Latin American militaries who have received large shipments of “older” weapons and ammunition from the US, and then turned around and sold them to the cartels.  Just as the US is indirectly funding the Taliban in Afghanistan, it is indirectly enabling the cartels with weapons.  Furthermore, to imagine that with the money they have the cartels cannot “order in” anything they wish from the Chinese, Israeli, or Russian arsenals, is naive in the extreme.  As many or more are dying violent deaths every day in this region as in Iraq or Afghanistan.  In our view, the current era of politicians (1981-date) is going to be held accountable for four major strategic blunders, all of them deliberate:

1.  Elective invasions and occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq on top of irresponsible military cuts and acquisition pathologies

2.  Willful acceptance from Bush Senior onwards of the willful destruction of the US economy for the benefit of a few led by Goldman Sachs, Citi-Bank, and Morgan

3.  Ignoring the depth and extent of the Southwest Border instability and threat to local communities

4.  Ignoring the imminent clean water crisis across the entire region as well as across America

On The Southwest Border (Photo Essay) (Latin America News Dispatch)

Posted by Molly OToole on Sep 15th, 2010

These photographs were taken on an 852-mile, 72-hour trip across the Southwest border, from San Diego, California to Arizona and back. Many citizens from the United States and Mexico have never seen the line that divides and defines their countries, marked by walls, barbed wire fences, U.S. Border Patrol checks and, increasingly, controversy.

2010 National Drug Threat Assessment: Southwest Border Smuggling and Violence

GAO: Border fence lagging, over budget, Home Security mismanaged project, report says (Washington Times, 24 October 2010)

Napolitano visits San Diego, says border is more secure from cartels (Los Angeles Times,October 18, 2010)

Time for U.S. to get serious about cartel threat (MySanAntonio, 16 October 2010)

Cartel Threat Grows, Illegal Numbers Drop (Homeland Security Today, 6 October 2010)

Pirate Lake: Mexican Bandits Terrorizing American Boaters on the Border (FOX.News, 4 October 2010)

Governor Perry Releases Statement on Border Violence ( Texas, 2 October 2010)

SECURE BORDER INITIATIVE DHS Needs to Address Testing and Performance Limitations That Place Key Technology Program at Risk (GAO-10-158 January 2010)

Secure Border Initiative: SBInet Expenditure Plan Needs to Better Support Oversight and Accountability (GAO-07-309 February 15, 2007)

See Also:

Continue reading “America’s Next War: Southwest Border–Both Sides”

Reference: How Goldman Sachs Looted America

03 Economy, 07 Other Atrocities, 09 Justice, 10 Transnational Crime, Analysis, Articles & Chapters, Blog Wisdom, Budgets & Funding, Commerce, Commercial Intelligence, Corruption, Cultural Intelligence, Government, Journalism/Free-Press/Censorship, Law Enforcement, Money, Banks & Concentrated Wealth, Secrecy & Politics of Secrecy
Amazon Page

Exclusive Excerpt: America on Sale, From Matt Taibbi’s ‘Griftopia’

Matt Taibbi’s unsparing and authoritative reporting on the financial crisis has produced a series of memorable Rolling Stone features. He showed us how Goldman Sachs, that “great vampire squid,” played a central role in creating not only the housing bubble but four other big speculative booms that filled its coffers while wrecking the American economy. He explained how Wall Street banks cooked up schemes that helped decimate municipal budgets and cost countless jobs, and how Wall Street lobbying led to a financial reform bill that won’t prevent another meltdown. Taibbi builds on that eye-opening work in his new book, Griftopia: Bubble Machines, Vampire Squids, and the Long Con That Is Breaking America , due out from Spiegel & Grau on November 2. In this exclusive excerpt, he describes how our cash-strapped country is auctioning off its highways, ports and even parking meters at fire sale prices — and finding eager buyers in the unregulated sovereign wealth funds of oil-rich Middle Eastern countries.

Read the exclusive Griftopia excerpt.

Journal: The Death of Responsible Government

03 Economy, 07 Other Atrocities, 10 Transnational Crime, Civil Society, Collective Intelligence, Commerce, Commercial Intelligence, Corruption, Cultural Intelligence, Government, Law Enforcement
Chuck Spinney Recommends

October 23, 2010

What Happened to Change We Can Believe In?


The New York Times

Phi Beta Iota: Extracts are provided.  This is an important document that confirms the total abdication by Congress and the Executive of their Constitutional duties with respect to the public interest.  The USA is owned and operated by Wall Street for its benefit, and We the People have been completely disenfranchised at the same time that the Commonwealth has been looted.


No matter how much Obama talks about his “tough” new financial regulatory reforms or offers rote condemnations of Wall Street greed, few believe there’s been real change. That’s not just because so many have lost their jobs, their savings and their homes. It’s also because so many know that the loftiest perpetrators of this national devastation got get-out-of-jail-free cards, that too-big-to-fail banks have grown bigger and that the rich are still the only Americans getting richer.

This intractable status quo is being rubbed in our faces daily during the pre-election sprint by revelations of the latest banking industry outrage, its disregard for the rule of law as it cut every corner to process an avalanche of foreclosures. Clearly, these financial institutions have learned nothing in the few years since their contempt for fiscal and legal niceties led them to peddle these predatory mortgages (and the reckless financial “products” concocted from them) in the first place. And why should they have learned anything? They’ve often been rewarded, not punished, for bad behavior.


The much acclaimed new documentary about the global economic meltdown, “Inside Job,” has it right. As its narrator, Matt Damon, intones, our country has been robbed by insiders who “destroyed their own companies and plunged the world into crisis” — and then “walked away from the wreckage with their fortunes intact.” These insiders include Dick Fuld and four other executives at Lehman Brothers who “got to keep all the money” (more than $1 billion) after Lehman went bankrupt. And of course Robert Rubin, who encouraged Citigroup to step up its investment in high-risk bets like Countrywide’s mortgage-backed securities. Rubin, now back as a rainmaker on Wall Street, collected more than $115million in compensationduring roughly the same period Mozilo “earned” his half a billion. Citi, which required a $45 billiontaxpayers’ bailout, recently secured its own slap-on-the-wrist S.E.C. settlement — at $75 million, less than Rubin’s earnings and less than its 2003 penalty ($101 million) for its role in hiding Enron profits.

It should pain the White House that its departing economic guru, the Rubin protégé Lawrence Summers, is an even bigger heavy in “Inside Job” than in the hit movie of election season, “The Social Network.” Summers — like the former Goldman Sachs chief executive and Bush Treasury secretary Hank Paulson — is portrayed as just the latest in a procession of policy makers who keep rotating in and out of government and the financial industry, almost always to that industry’s advantage. As the star economist Nouriel Roubini tells the filmmaker, Charles Ferguson, the financial sector on Wall Street has “step by step captured the political system” on “the Democratic and the Republican side” alike. But it would be wrong to single out Summers or any individual official for the Obama administration’s image of being lax in pursuing finance’s bad actors. This tone is set at the top.

Asked in “Inside Job” why there’s been no systematic investigation of the 2008 crash, Roubini answers: “Because then you’d find the culprits.” With the aid of the “Manhattan Madam” (and current stunt New York gubernatorial candidate) Kristin Davis, the film also asks why federal prosecutors who were “perfectly happy to use Eliot Spitzer’s personal vices to force him to resign in 2008” have not used rampant sex-and-drug trade on Wall Street as a tool for flipping witnesses to pursue the culprits behind the financial crimes that devastated the nation.


Even as the G.O.P. benefits from unlimited corporate campaign money, it’s pulling off the remarkable feat of persuading a large swath of anxious voters that it will lead a populist charge against the rulers of our economic pyramid — the banks, energy companies, insurance giants and other special interests underwriting its own candidates. Should those forces prevail, an America that still hasn’t remotely recovered from the worst hard times in 70 years will end up handing over even more power to those who greased the skids.

We can blame much of this turn of events on the deep pockets of oil billionaires like the Koch brothers and on the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, which freed corporations to try to buy any election they choose. But the Obama White House is hardly innocent. Its failure to hold the bust’s malefactors accountable has helped turn what should have been a clear-cut choice on Nov. 2 into a blurry contest between the party of big corporations and the party of business as usual.

Read Full Article….

Phi Beta Iota: The Tea Party is an unwitting circus act fully funded and controlled by the New York mandarins.  The lack of responsible alternatives on the left or the right, combined with the naivete of the public in thinking that the Tea Party is anything other than a side show, could lead–we never thought we would say this–to a new Administration and Congress even more ineffective than the last two.  The further American governance moves from the truth, the deeper our grave.

See Also:

Election 2008 Chapter: Paradigms of Failure

Election 2008 Chapter: The Substance of Governance

Journal: Bank of America into Receivership?

03 Economy, 07 Other Atrocities, 10 Transnational Crime, Commerce, Commercial Intelligence, Corporations, Corruption, Money, Banks & Concentrated Wealth

White Collar Crime Expert Calls For FDIC To Take Control Of Bank Of America

Full Story Online

Charging that the ongoing foreclosure fraud epidemic is the work of precisely the same unrepentant bank officers whose fraudulent mortgage schemes crashed the financial system in the first place, two leading critics of the financial industry are calling on the FDIC to put some of the nation’s biggest banks into receivership — starting with the Bank of America — and make them clean house.

William K. Black, a former regulator and white-collar crime expert who cracked down on massive fraud during the savings and loan scandal of the 1980s, and his fellow economics professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, L. Randall Wray, write in the Huffington Post that it’s time to “foreclose on the foreclosure fraudsters”. They write:

Read on….

Journal: Nine Under-Reported Stories on Bank Fraud

03 Economy, 07 Other Atrocities, 09 Justice, 10 Transnational Crime, Commerce, Commercial Intelligence, Corruption, Government, Law Enforcement, Media

Dan Froomkin

Dan Froomkin | HuffPost Reporting

Nine Stories The Press Is Underreporting — Fraud, Fraud And More Fraud

If it wasn’t already blindingly obvious that pervasive fraud was at the heart of the financial crisis and the ensuing foreclosure catastrophe, you would think that the latest news — that banks have routinely been lying their heads off in the rush to kick homeowners off the properties they fraudulently induced them to buy in the first place — would pretty much clinch it.

And yet the mainstream media still by and large hasn’t connected the dots.

What we are seeing all around us are the continued effects of a vast criminal enterprise that has never been brought to account, employing a process that, as University of Texas economist James Galbraith explains, involved the equivalent of counterfeiting, laundering and fencing.

So the person with the right expertise to lead us here is a criminologist — in particular William K. Black, one of the few effective regulators in recent history (during the savings and loan crisis of the late 1980s), a notorious knocker of heads and currently professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and author of the book, “The Best Way to Rob a Bank Is to Own One”.

I first interviewed Black in April, and recently checked back in and asked him about this ongoing problem of the mainstream media’s inability to properly cover this story. He responded with this breathless and breathtaking list of failings (slightly edited for publication):

WOW.   BRUTAL TRUTHS NOT NOT NOT BEING COVERED BY THE CORPORATE MEDIA.  Click to Read Original Nine. US Government passivity (one should say: collaboration in crime) is so deep as to be worthy of massive public outrage–if the story were known to the public….

Journal: Cyber-Peace and Cyber-Fraud

07 Other Atrocities, 09 Justice, 10 Transnational Crime, Commercial Intelligence, Cultural Intelligence, Cyberscams, malware, spam, Methods & Process

POLICE have served an intervention order via social networking site Facebook banning an accused cyber-stalker from bullying, threatening and harassing another user.

Tip of the Hat to Philip Golan at LinkedIn

Journal: Banks’ Foreclosure ‘Robo-Signers’ Were Hair Stylists, Teens, Walmart Workers–Lawsuit

03 Economy, 09 Justice, 10 Transnational Crime, Commerce, Corporations, Corruption, Money, Banks & Concentrated Wealth
Full Story Online

Banks’ Foreclosure ‘Robo-Signers’ Were Hair Stylists, Teens, Walmart Workers: Lawsuit

NEW YORK (AP, Michelle Conlin) — In an effort to rush through thousands of home foreclosures since 2007, financial institutions and their mortgage servicing departments hired hair stylists, Walmart floor workers and people who had worked on assembly lines and installed them in “foreclosure expert” jobs with no formal training, a Florida lawyer says.

In depositions released Tuesday, many of those workers testified that they barely knew what a mortgage was. Some couldn’t define the word “affidavit.” Others didn’t know what a complaint was, or even what was meant by personal property. Most troubling, several said they knew they were lying when they signed the foreclosure affidavits and that they agreed with the defense lawyers’ accusations about document fraud.

Read full story…

Phi Beta Iota: This just makes us sick–millions of lives–tens of millions of lives–destroyed by criminal misbehavior on  the part of banks, and the government was nowhere to be seen–certainly not looking out for the public interest.