Lt. General Vernon A. Walters was a U.S. Army officer who served as the Deputy Director of Central Intelligence for a number of years. He was a decorated war hero, having served in Africa and Italy during World War II, and after a long military career, was appointed as the DDCI in 1972. Walters was a rare character of integrity in a field where immorality and elitism rule the show. During the Watergate episode, despite numerous requests from the White House and Congress to “cast a cloak of national security over the guilty parties”, Walters refused to involve the CIA, threatening to resign if pressed harder on the matter. (1) On February 25, 1976, Walters gave a speech before the U.S. Naval Academy History Club in Annapolis, Maryland. His speech, when viewed in light of modern activities by the U.S. intelligence community, shed a lot of light upon just how far the intelligence community has tumbled into a deep hole of unethical policies and secretive processes meant to protect the guilty.
Browsing National Security
There are a number of technologies being explored by the U.S. government for the sake of national security. One of the best documents to review those proposed technologies is the 2012 budget request from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. This document not only reveals technologies and activities given the highest priority by DHS, but it also hints at a focus on development of future technologies and gives a glimpse of the direction the government is headed in strengthening the nation’s borders and bolstering the nation’s security. It’s important to stay aware of these activities, because while the legitimate and appropriate use of such technologies would certainly lead to more secure borders and a safer nation, the inappropriate use of many of these same technologies could potentially conflict with the liberties of American citizens that are guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. The following are some of the more interesting technologies revealed in this budget request document from DHS.
Talk about a complicated love triangle and a media circus, as this one certainly takes some beating! First there’s Jill Kelley, the socialite who throws lavish parties with her husband for high level officers in the Middle East. Then, there’s Paula Broadwell, the woman in the center of David Petraeus scandal, who allegedly sent Mrs Kelley threatening emails warning her to “stay away from my guy”. On the surface, it certainly seems that 60-year-old David Petraeus had little choice but to quit his post as director of the CIA while apologizing for having an affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell. While the David Petraeus scandal has all the hallmarks of a gripping soap opera, there is something sinister about this messy love triangle that even the most imaginative of script writers could not have come up with on their own. Unlike similar scandals involving high ranking figures in Washington having sleazy affairs, the demise of the former CIA chief goes well beyond sex, and delves into the realm of harming national security.
Two of the greatest threats to national security are terrorism and the use of nuclear weapons. However, there is the potential for these two threats to combine. The global rise in terrorism coupled with the accessibility of nuclear materials gives way to this significant national threat. Nuclear Terrorism is not only a threat to U.S. national security, but to the national security of most nations across the globe. This new modern-day threat has government officials and the average citizens wondering how serious is the threat of nuclear terrorism? The legal definition of nuclear terrorism was defined by the 2005 United Nations International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism (Nuclear Terrorism Convention). This treaty lays out guidelines that broadly define nuclear terrorism and the legal ramifications for anyone who commits it.
The idea of artificial intelligence has been a science fiction concept in books and movies for many generations. Humans have always had the dream of developing computers and robots that could think, behave and respond to the world in the same way that humans do. As computer technology continues to advance and eventually shrink into the nano-scale while at the same time increasing in computational power, the idea of reproducing the complexities and abstract thought processes of a human mind slowly become more practical. My most accounts, the field of Artificial Intelligence research started at Dartmouth College in 1956, when computer experts of the time – men like John McCarthy and Herbert Simon and their students – produced computer programs that could perform mathematical and logical tasks that most people thought only humans were capable of. (1) By the 1960′s, computers and the idea of artificial intelligence soon entered into the realm of national security, since – as with most fields of technological research – both the United States and the Soviet union became concerned that the other side would establish an advantage over the other.
A recent senate report (1) found that over one million counterfeit and suspect parts were in the military supply chain. Over 70% of these substandard parts came directly from China. These compromised components are found in a host of crucial military weaponry. Failure of such parts can lead to system degradation and or failure. As a consequence, not only are the lives of military personnel being put at risk, but national security as well. This news has served to increase awareness of the prevalence of Chinese counterfeiting and its impact on national security. What most people do not know, however, is that there have been other reports about Chinese counterfeits in the military supply chain as well. Based on the results of the senate study, it would appear that little to nothing has been done about this problem. This is a multi-part article which will expose the problem of counterfeit parts in the military. To achieve this end, results of the most recent studies will be analyzed and revealed. The article will then will explain how suspect Chinese parts not only have the power to sabotage US security interests but to enable economic espionage as well.
As part of an unprecedented clampdown on security leaks instated by the Obama administration, John Kiriakou, a former CIA officer, has been charged under the Espionage Act for disclosing classified information to journalists. According to a report in The LA Times, 47-year-old Kiriakou, who worked for the CIA from 1990 to 2004, has been charged with two accounts of violating the Espionage Act. One count is for providing top secret information, including the activities and name of another CIA officer. A separate charge, is for giving the New York Times reporter, Scott Shane, classified information for a story Shane wrote in 2008, which identified Deuce Martinez, a CIA analyst, as playing a lead role in the interrogation of Abu Zubaydah, an Al Qaeda logistics chief. The New York Times reported that Abu Zubaydah had been subjected to enhanced interrogation techniques, including the infamous simulated drowning technique known as waterboarding. Last week, at a hearing in Alexandria, Va., a federal judge ordered that Kiriakou was released on a $250,000 unsecured bond. If convicted of these crimes, Kiriakou could face up decades in prison.
The Association of Old Crows (AOC), an international professional organisation that specialises in electronic warfare and tactical information operations, has publicised its caution that persistent sources of GPS interference could seriously affect the ability of the U.S. to both respond to crises of all levels, whether it be natural or manmade, and to operate critical infrastructure. The AOC’s warning was seemingly ignited following a testing of LightSquared’s wireless broadband service proposal carried out of November of last year, which found that although there was no significant interference to cellular phone voice and text capabilities, there was significant disruption of all general purpose approved Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers. Because GPS receivers are used throughout U.S. National infrastructures, in aviation flight safety systems, in emergency services and by private users, the AOC says that such interference could seriously impact the safety and security of the nation.
In the years since the September 11 terrorist attacks, Washington has built a vast, complex intelligence network, with a scope unmatched anywhere else in the world. More than a dozen Washington Post journalists spent nearly two years researching and producing “Top Secret America,” which chronicles the historic national security buildup that followed the 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Now, the conservative publication Canada Free Press is questioning the Post’s in-depth book and multimedia series. Canadian Free Press writer Cliff Kincaid blasts authors Dana Priest and William Arkin. Arkin has covered government secrecy and national security affairs for more than three decades. According to Kincaid, Arkin has “made it his mission to expose the means by which the United States defends itself, in order to disarm the nation in the face of threats from the old Soviet Union and international communism and now from global Islam.” In short, Kincaid is working to discredit the work of the authors and the Washington Post by labeling Arkin and Priest as Communist sympathizers.
On Thursday, September 1st, WikiLeaks published a public statement accusing the UK newspaper The Guardian of negligence in its handling of secret and unredacted US diplomatic cables stored at a Wikileaks server. Ironically, WikiLeaks is an organization that has been devoted to the releasing of classified or secret information from governments and private companies from around the world. Therefore, any statement by WikiLeaks lamenting the release of its own private, top-secret information comes across as somewhat hypocritical.