U.S. “Intelligence Community” Is Out of Control

REUTERS/Carlos Barria

David Krayden Ottawa Bureau Chief
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You can’t call it the “intelligence community” anymore.

It’s not a community; it’s a ghetto.  And intelligence just doesn’t apply to these folks.

What we are witnessing in the revelation of former National Security Advisor Mike Flynn’s conversation with the Russians is something that borders not just on disloyalty to the government of the day  —  but bloody treason.

Intelligence is simply out of control in America – and in more ways than one.  No country requires 16 different intelligence agencies.  Not only does it create an inevitable overlapping of information-gathering but the competition between the various networks searching for secrets will invariably lead to abuse in the manner they gather that information.  This is precisely why it has been dubbed the “intelligence community,” as much as a misnomer that nomenclature now appears.

There are so many players in this community that it has become far simpler to group everyone together in a suggestion that they all dwell and work in confident unison, in some little earnest village.   Are we talking military intelligence?  If so, is it the Army, Navy, Air Force or Marines?  Maybe it’s the CIA or the FBI that we refer to – two agencies that are often in locked not in partnership but in mortal conflict over control of that vital flow of information, which we have been reminded for years, is the key to power.

Which of these intelligence groups can readily obtain a court order for a wiretap or the many other forms of surreptitious recording that now exist in the digital world?  Are they even seeking that legal authority?

America now possesses either the most politically activist intelligence network in the democratic world or the sloppiest.  In the past three months, with a narrative that blames Russia for every cyber attack, with a carelessness that distributes information – true and false, good or bad – around Capitol Hill like it was Halloween candy, these celebrated spooks (as they’re known in military parlance) have deservedly earned a reputation as gloriously unenviable as the Keystone Cops.

Phony dossiers, ridiculous claims and now conversations perhaps illegally recorded and then leaked to the national media.

Clearly, the intelligence folks have gone the way of the Environmental Protection Agency employees who really believe it is their public duty to oppose the current administration and its policies.  But there is a fundamental difference between opposing the government because it is breaking the law and opposing it because you wanted the other party to win.

Clearly there has been some clandestine activity going on in the intelligence community and it hasn’t all been following suspected enemy agents.

There’s been a consistent and increasingly frequent conversation with the Democratic Party, who have been riding the Russian cyber war wave now for months.  How ironic that its torch-bearer in the last election was the worst excuse for cyber security that ever tried to insert herself into the presidency.

Did you notice how the Dems had their talking points all polished as soon as the Flynn story broke?  Like they expected it, maybe?  And why is the FBI releasing Trump’s tax records from the 1970s?  What are they, an archive agency now?

Which makes me think of the ultimate parody of intelligence, the classic ‘60s sitcom Get Smart, which featured the antics of the bumbling CONTROL spy, Agent 86 Maxwell Smart.

There’s an episode when Max and “the Chief” have to appear before a Senate finance committee to justify the agency’s budget.  After the chairman repeatedly gets an answer of “I don’t know” from Maxwell Smart, he asks him “What would you do if you were fired?”

Smart replies that he can’t be fired because “I know too much.”

Today’s political operatives appear to know — and want to know — far too much.

The public needs to know what in blazes the spies are up to these days.  Because they appear to have a political agenda on their minds.

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