Corruption and the intel community

Corruption within the Intelligence Community is not being dealt with effectively.

House intelligence chairman Adam Schiff has demanded that the director of National Intelligence, Dan Coats, and CIA director Gina Haspel keep him informed if Attorney General William Barr declassifies any documents pertaining to the Russia investigation over their objections.  Schiff is concerned that President Trump is "perniciously" seeking to "politicize the [Intelligence Community] and law enforcement, to delegitimize the well-founded investigation into the President, and to attack the President's political enemies."

Schiff wrote, "if it gets to a point they are asked to do things that are unlawful or jeopardize the men and women that work within the [Intelligence Community], they should speak out."

The leadership of the FBI has been thoroughly politicized and is to a great extent corrupt.  It is unnecessary to recount the times that John Brennan, James Clapper, James Comey, Peter Strzok, and numerous others have called the president a liar and even a traitor.  Yet the president is condemned for not having faith in his intelligence agencies.  Senator Charles Schumer warned the president, "Let me tell you: you take on the Intelligence Community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you."

Pre-dawn SWAT team raids on Roger Stone and Paul Manafort were meant to intimidate and were reminiscent of KGB tactics.  People considering a post in the Trump administration or a role in his re-election campaign should think seriously about these abuses of power.  Another favorite KGB tactic was the use of the "honey trap."  George Papadopoulos's experience with the well endowed "research assistant" Azra Turk was probably not an isolated incident of the FBI providing female companionship.

One tactic used to damage the president is the leaking of classified information.  Truepundit asserts that "Wray and Horowitz are protecting the agents who took bribes, as well as their media enablers."  No other conclusion can be drawn.  In spite of James Comey's claim,  "I hope people watching know how seriously we take leaks of classified information," leaking is endemic in the FBI.  The inspector general's report tells of 50 FBI agents in Washington, D.C. alone who "improperly received benefits from reporters."  Horowitz mentions "tickets to sporting events, golfing outings, drinks and meals, and admittance to nonpublic social events."  However, they may have received other benefits.  Horowitz may have been too polite to mention any more sensitive issues than tickets to sporting events.  James Wolfe was not a member of the FBI.  He was the Senate Intelligence Committee security director, but his case is illustrative.  Wolfe, a married man, was carrying on a relationship with 26-year-old Ali Watkins.  Watkins was an extremely talented individual.  She was awarded a Pulitzer Prize at age 23.

Widespread corruption makes an organization vulnerable to compromise.  If an agent of a foreign power were to approach an individual like James Wolfe and threaten to expose him, he would likely be willing to reveal classified information.  The alternative would be a loss of his career and a possible jail sentence.  A thorough investigation would and should jeopardize the men and women in the Intelligence Community who have violated their trust.

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.