Observing and Reporting: Pieces of a Puzzle

Posted on June 27, 2013. Filed under: Blogroll, General, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , |


    With Ed Snowden’s release of crucial information to the public, which has now setback the Intelligence gathering community for a number of months we have to look at the how and why this was done. Intelligence gathering consists of putting the pieces of a large puzzle together. Ed Snowden who as a contractor was able to get access to information and critical files was a brainless idiot for doing it. Perhaps he perceived himself as a hero; but in truth Snowden at the time of this writing who is holed up in a Moscow Airport is nothing more than a yellow coward and traitor whose 15 minutes of fame is soon to be expiring.

    The damage aside, what was being done was focusing on certain patterns. Clearly Snowden had no business in the Intelligence Community at all. The most importing thing to remember is that if you keep it out of the news, it never happened. How many attacks were prevented is an actual guess. That is why the United States has to do what it does; so that we do not have another “NINE-ELEVEN”. I ponder if Snowden is prepared to have the blood of the next terrorist attack victims on his hands? His mindset of being a hero falls far short and as for Mr. Julian Assange who is bird-in-feather with Snowden and whose organization seems bent on releasing more information that for the moment should never see the light of day; I wonder how Ecuador would react if there was a terrorist attack on their soil and that Snowden and Assange could be implicated for being responsible for crucial information not being linked together to stop it?

    Sometimes when observing and reporting, when it is done and how the information was obtained may outweigh the privacy of citizens. Now that the argument for stricter controls on intelligence gathering is made; we are risking putting restraints on the very group of organizations involved in solving a puzzle. It could be a phone number getting an abnormally high number of calls from cell phones belonging to or linked to terrorist cells operating in the Middle East. The person could be identified, watched and monitored. Are they going to areas that could be considered a high value target? Nothing worse than having a large gathering for the 4th of July and in the middle of the grand finally while the celebrants are distracted by the colorful explosions above and the music surrounding them; they are stuck from ground level by massive and well placed suicide bombers or other means of explosive placement that would be devastating.

    I would hope that the use of outside contractors be eliminated, even if it means it may cost more to do business; one could hope a more vetted and well trained individual would be a better fit than that twit Ed Snowden. I am concerned about the men and women in uniform who depend on intelligence to give them some sense on what to prepare for and yes look for out in the field. Intelligence is tedious and even with massive computer farms the size of a Nimitz Class Aircraft carrier; it still requires a human to discern and make that match that a computer program would overlook. As the old saying goes, “Stupid stuff in can mean stupid stuff out,” of a computer system. Snowden would have never even cut it as a Security Officer or even a Police Officer and I doubt he would have passed a psychological evaluation for a Police Officer in the first place; and that I think would and should have been conducted. A normal background check for work in the Intelligence field just does not cut it.

    Information gathering can take many forms, and while Ed Snowden is now the temporary guest of “NYET” Putin, (sorry but I just cannot give Putin his due so instead of President he gets the title of “NYET”) who has decided that Ecuador can prepare the paperwork for Snowden’s eventual travel to Ecuador via Cuba we have to depend on the more riskier “Boots on Ground” option of putting operatives into areas where there is a likelihood of getting crucial information that could stop terrorist attacks. While we have lost the element of surprise and efficiency of gathering certain data; we have to hope that any operatives that were deeply embedded in a cell of a terrorist group have not been compromised. I am sure “NYET” Putin would be keen to know if he has any leakers in his inner circle so while Snowden sits in no man land of the airport entry area I wonder how the copying of the computers are going? Snowden reportedly took three laptops with him and likely had other data holding devices such as DVD or even backup drives so there is no telling exactly how many intelligence gathering operations have been compromised.

    I would make this breach the equivalent of a major company who has employee’s use laptops for convenience. What if the employee’s leave the key to the laptop dock lock in place and an unscrupulous employee takes those laptops and does a bit of industrial espionage to get information for another company that helps an opposing company make a breakthrough. In the end it would be the word of one company over another when the challenge to a patent was being made. In this case of data loss and breach of security for the United States, it is like leaving the key to your house in the door or in the ignition to the car.

    Of course while Snowden was in Hong Kong, we can only guess how much data was “borrowed” there. While many countries in the world have a dim view of the United States at the moment and laughing too; we of course know that secrets can be fleeting. If you are planning on visiting Hong Kong and may be carrying sensitive company information one should likely consider Hong Kong a place for the Chinese to siphon any information they can lay their hands on in order to succeed at the next endeavor. So be wary and cautious; since it is likely little would be done there to help you.

    The next interesting point is how the United States would respond to a major incident in any country that has allowed Snowden to pass through. The mess with the Boston Marathon Bombing and the lack of communication screwed up the observation and reporting on the two suspects in the bombing, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and Tamerlan Tsarnaev which had there been better communications and organized sharing it might not have happened. However now with the traitor, Snowden now ensconced in a Moscow Airport with the apparent approval of “NYET” Putin we have lost an important pathway for information sharing.

    Should there be a bombing in Russia with perhaps a suspect from the United States will we cooperate with any information that they will need? More than likely yes we will. Why, it is because we are Americans and will do what we can even if it is a sworn enemy. Remember to report anything out of place, or suspicious. It may result in the inconvenience of some; but in those few cases that it could be real someone’s observations can save a life.

Stephen E Sauls

Chamblee, GA USA




    

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