Our 'intelligence' agencies are acting kinda dumb lately
Perhaps one of the most disappointing revelations about the current intelligence community (I.C.) kerfuffle is the remarkable lack of intelligence in the higher echelons of the intelligence community. These people have attended charm schools where they have been told they are the crème de la crème. They believe this. They should not. If you overestimate your abilities and underestimate those of your opponent, you will be in for some surprises. The supposedly dimwitted Donald Trump has run rings around these geniuses in the government and media.
One of their biggest mistakes was to rely on the Steele "dossier." Perhaps as an inside joke, it was classified "Confidential/Sensitive Source." If one hundred veteran intelligence officers who have seen more than ten thousand classified documents each were polled and asked if they had ever seen such a classification, they would all answer no. That would be over one million documents. There is no such animal.
Also, this "dossier" suggests that one of its sources is within Putin's inner circle. If the Russians did not believe that this was a joke, Putin would be short one close confidant.
The I.C. is behind the times. The internet gives thousands of people with expertise in various areas access to the documents used to make bogus charges. Dan Rather discovered this when he attempted to pass off bogus letters about George W. Bush's military service.
One of the reasons the Russians knew that it was a joke is because they have read the creator's email. The leadership of the intelligence community should know how vulnerable electronic communications are. Even burner phones are not 100% secure. Yet they continually used email to communicate with each other concerning illegal activities. Foreign intelligence services spend billions of dollars collecting intelligence on electronic communications. If the intelligence community refuses to provide congressional committees with these communications, perhaps the chairmen of these committees should request copies from the Russians, Israelis, or North Koreans. They could also check with Kane Gamble, an autistic 15-year-old who redirected James Clapper's phone calls to the Free Palestine Movement. He also hacked several others in the I.C.
Congressional committees have been waiting for several months for the I.C. to release over a million documents. They could release those document in less than 16 days if they used the same technique used with the Weiner emails. Six hundred fifty thousand emails were cleared in eight days. Although President Trump claimed, "You can't review 650,000 new emails in eight days," the FBI proved him wrong.
These leaders also appear totally clueless when it comes to the political beliefs of their coworkers and subordinates. Robert Mueller had no idea that Peter Strzok was extremely hostile toward Trump. When Strzok proved to be an embarrassment, he was quietly removed from the team. Is it an accident that Mueller's entire team is composed of Clinton supporters? James Comey claimed, "I never heard anyone on our team – not one – take a position that seemed driven by their personal political motivations. And more than that: I never heard an argument or observation I thought came from a political bias. Never."
Christopher Wray was asked by Senator Heinrich, "So you haven't seen any evidence of some sort of inherent political bias in the agency?" Wray replied, "No." If these leaders are not lying, they have no business in the I.C. or any other field that requires intelligence.
James Comey wrote a book about his experiences in the FBI. It is unnecessary to point out just how stupid that move was. Needless to say, he will regret this move, which is probably the stupidest thing he has ever done. Because of the depths of the corruption in the I.C., Comey had to be less than forthcoming and lacked candor in his report. In the plain English that President Trump speaks and most American understand: he lied. These lies will come back to bite him.
John Dietrich is a freelance writer and the author of The Morgenthau Plan: Soviet Influence on American Postwar Policy (Algora Publishing). He has a Master of Arts degree in international relations from St. Mary's University. He is retired from the Defense Intelligence Agency and the Department of Homeland Security.