Tuesday, July 31, 2018

OSINT NEWS- U.S., Russian and other foreign intelligence happenings!



     Welcome to OSINT NEWS, your portal to timely happenings within the U.S., Russian and foreign intelligence agencies. Subscribe HERE! to receive timely posts about the U.S., Russian and other foreign intelligence agency happenings.
     The "Spy Agency Happenings!" newsletter contains timely articles about important U.S. and foreign intelligence agency events. I search through over 150 U.S. and foreign newspapers and journals and hand-pick relevant items centered around a theme for each newsletter.

Questions? Contact me on the Secure Contact Form

Robert Morton, M.Ed., Ed.S. is a member of the Association Of Former Intelligence
Officers (AFIO) and writes about the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC) and foreign intelligence agencies. He authors the "Corey Pearson- CIA Spymaster in the Caribbean and Florida Keys" spy thriller series.



Trump Tower and high-rises used to launder Russian mafia money

In 1984, a Russian oligarch named David Bogatin bought 5 condos in Trump Tower for $6 million. Bogatin is heavily linked to the Russian mafia and In 1987 he pled guilty to evading millions of dollars in state fuel taxes in a huge gasoline bootlegging operations. The purchases of Trump's five condos was to launder money and they were seized by the government.


Putin rejoices as Trump undermines NATO and America's European allies, moral authority, rule of law, FBI, DOJ, State Dept, freedom of press and Intel Community. We must continue with Mueller's probe for America's sake. Please take Poll>>  http://osintdaily.blogspot.com/2017/02/poll-has-putin-and-fsb-spy-agency.html





Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Beware of Iran's terrorist proxy, Hezbollah

    
     What are the chances of terrorists detonating a radioactive dirty bomb inside America? In writing the "Penumbra Database" spy thriller, I conducted much research into this possibility. U.S. intelligence has focused upon al Qaeda and ISIS in Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq, but perhaps it’s time to focus more on Iran.


     Beyond the present focus on Iran's nuclear weapons ambitions, it remains the foremost sponsor of global terror and stands as the most formidable sponsor of terrorism by proxy in the world today. Even if the Trump administration gets Iran to cancel nuclear weapons research and development, it will continue to perfect a higher-grade nuclear fuel. The radioactive waste generated from a peaceful nuclear power plant may not be quite pure enough to spawn a nuclear detonation, but it could be used in a radioactive “dirty” bomb and detonated with conventional explosives. This is why  Iran's Terrorist Proxies are the real threat in her nuclear ambitions.

     The frightening equation is: spent plutonium from nuclear power plant + Iran’s historical use of Hezbollah as a terrorist proxy + Hezbollah’s documented global bombings and assassinations = increased chance of radioactive dirty bomb(s) detonated inside America. 

     Hezbollah has rented apartments and planned bombing attacks in New York City. This terrorist proxy of Iran controls southern Lebanon and threatens Israel with high-powered weaponry supplied by Iran. Iran, Hezbollah, al Qaeda and other terrorist cells have networks that have trained Iraqi insurgents in the tactics of suicide bombing and the building of roadside bombs that have killed U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the attacks upon American institutions in Lebanon. 

     The book "The Secret War with Iran: The 30-Year Clandestine Struggle Against the World‘s Most Dangerous Terrorist Power" describes how Iran's Ayatollah and the mullahs came to power and what they intend to do with their new-found supremacy. It delves into the relationship between Iran and Israel before and after the Khomeini revolution, and gives a firm understanding of current events as well as the animosity Iran feels towards Israel and the U.S. for supporting the Shah. The rise of the Iranian monarchy and Khomeini's coming to power shows how American Intelligence failed to grasp what was going on in Iran.

   The determination and ruthlessness of Iran's war of terror against the West is a historical fact and a dirty, radioactive bomb created from "stolen" Iranian plutonium detonated inside America, or Israel, is not a far-fetched possibility. Iran and Hezbollah have outsmarted and dealt telling blows to Israel and the U.S. We must not forget their bombings of the American Embassy in Beirut in April 18, 1983, the Marine contingent at the Beirut Airport on October 23, 1983, the Israel intelligence service facility at Tyre in Southern Lebanon in November 1982, and the US. Army installation at Khobar in Saudi Arabia. These attacks were devastating tactical and strategic successes.

     Hezbollah drove the U.S. from Lebanon and put Israel’s Mossad into a process of denial which led to their un-preparedness and failures of the 2006 War. America must acknowledge Hezbollah's terror successes and respect their operatives, like Imad Mougniyeh, who was behind most of the spectacular operations that killed more Americans than any terror force before 9/11.

     We must refrain from accepting false premises to appease our Western minds, like believing Shiite and Sunnite enmity will make Hezbollah ineffective. The Shiite followers  of Mougniyeh and the Sunni operatives of al Qaeda both despise America and the West and are capable of working together to detonate a radioactive dirty bomb inside America's heartland, enriched with "stolen" Iranian plutonium. 

     Connect the dots: Hezbollah rose to power in Lebanon whilehttps://ad.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/show?id=gvyxLwk1e8o&bids=239662.9781416564904&type=2&subid=0 an Israeli traitor supplied Iran with the basics for its chemical WMD... Iran dealt with the Russians to acquire the technology for a nuclear weapon... that technology found its way elsewhere via Pakistani nuclear scientist Abdul Kadeer Khan. Meanwhile, Iran fools the IAEA and the world while it continues to progress towards possessing nuclear weapons.

     Meanwhile, Iran and Syria have rearmed Hezbollah and taught Hamas in Gaza sophisticated war tactics in anticipation of their next round with Israel, and Iran continues to support terrorist forces in Iraq through the patronage of the Iranian revolutionary guards.

     U.S. and Israeli intelligence services have tried to outpace Iran and its terrorist proxies- Israel’s stealth attack on Syria’s nuclear facility (much to Iran’s chagrin), the July 2008 assassination of Imad Moughniyeh Askari, and the 'mishap' at the VX gas facility at al-Safir are a few examples. 

    Still, Hezbollah remains a sophisticated adversary and the failures of the 2006 war have bolstered Iranian-Syrian allegiances. Iran has become an even more aggressive exporter of its own revolution and is determined to acquire nuclear weapons and to supply Hezbollah proxies with enriched plutonium to detonate radioactive “dirty“ bombs inside Israel, or  America.  

Robert Morton, Ed., Ed.S. is a member of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers  (AFIO) and author of the "Corey Pearson- CIA Spymaster in the Caribbean and Florida Keys" spy series. 

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Welcome to OSINT NEWS- the latest in U.S., Russian and foreign spy agency happenings!



     Welcome to OSINT NEWS, your portal to timely happenings within the U.S., Russian and foreign intelligence agencies. Subscribe HERE! to receive timely posts about the U.S., Russian and other foreign intelligence agency happenings.
     The "Spy Agency Happenings!" newsletter contains timely articles about important U.S. and foreign intelligence agency events. I search through over 150 U.S. and foreign newspapers and journals and hand-pick relevant items centered around a theme for each newsletter.

Questions? Contact me on the Secure Contact Form

Robert Morton, M.Ed., Ed.S. is a member of the Association Of Former Intelligence
Officers (AFIO) and writes about the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC) and foreign intelligence agencies. He authors the "Corey Pearson- CIA Spymaster in the Caribbean and Florida Keys" spy thriller series.

CIA "Torture" shouldn't be an issue in Gina Haskel confirmation


     Gina Haspel's selection for possible CIA director has brought back the "torture program" issue and I have some thoughts on it. In 2012, the Senate Intelligence Committee approved a report on the CIA's post-9/11 interrogation program. Despite the news media hype and grandstanding machinations by politicians, no new surprises or revelations existed within the document.
     After conducting OSINT research and interviewing a few professionals in the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC), I couldn't uncover any startling new details about the CIA's detention and interrogation program, nor could I find evidence that the CIA lied to the Senate Intelligence Committee about it.
     From the start, our senators were fully aware of the intelligence operations undertaken after 9/11. Senate Intelligence Chair Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) knew that the CIA created clandestine 'black sites' and used 'enhanced-interrogation techniques' in each of them, even though she speaks negatively of them now.
     I wanted to hear the facts about the EIT program, so I planned a trip to hear Jose A. Rodriguez, Jr. talk at an Association Of Former Intelligence Officer’s (AFIO) luncheon. Unfortunately, I couldn't make the meeting. However, I learned much about the presenter, Rodriguez, who is a former CIA National Clandestine Service Director and was the person who, after 9-11, was appointed to lead the U.S. counterterrorism operations and oversee the highly controversial enhanced interrogation technique (EIT) program.
     At the time, America was expecting another imminent terrorist attack and the program was consensually agreed upon by politicians on both sides of the aisle. They felt our intelligence agencies needed to obtain vital and timely information from terrorists who were bent on killing as many Americans as possible.


     Rodriguez was a good choice. He served the United States for twenty-five years as an undercover officer before bringing his wealth of field knowledge to the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center (CTC). He was one of America’s top undercover operatives and was hired to, basically, use “hard measures” to thwart terrorist’s plans that targeted the U.S.  
     I read the transcript of Rodriguez’s AFIO luncheon lecture. He discussed how the CIA’s undercover operations and tactics were implemented during the George W. Bush presidency, how they were approved at the highest levels of the U.S. government, how they were certified as legal by the Department of Justice, and why they were supported by bipartisan leadership in the congressional intelligence oversight committee.
      In April, Gina Haspel will be grilled by Republican senator Rand Paul and others during her confirmation hearing because of her involvement in that program. Rodriguez and the CIA will, no doubt, come under relentless criticism and smear campaign rhetoric.
     I urge Rand Paul and others to not forget the stark realities of 9/11. America’s psyche was devastated and the nation demanded further action and stronger responses. “Touchy-feely" hand-holding, "tell-me-all, I'm your friend" sessions with terrorist detainees would not have been an appropriate response to the deaths of thousands of fellow citizens trapped in the twin-towers, helplessly pinned inside the Pentagon or held hostage on board the commercial airliner that crashed in a rural Pa. countryside. Grieving and anxiety-ridden Americans feared that another terrorist attack was in the making.
     Time moved on and as the shock of 9/11 faded, the support that the CIA enjoyed and deserved gave way to shortsighted and potentially dangerous political correctness. The tools to which effective counterintelligence and counterterrorism relied upon had been neutralized by lack of funding and ineffective legislation. CIA and FBI counterintelligence agents were hamstrung, spread thin, overworked and subject to ridicule and prosecution for their involvement in the interrogation program.
     In his book “Hard Measures,” Rodriguez reflects on the justification for the techniques used and why they were necessary, why they worked and how, ultimately, they saved American lives and contributed to the capture of the world’s most-wanted terror operatives, including Osama bin Laden. 
     On April 29, 2012, I watched the “60 Minutes” program that grilled Jose Rodriguez about the EIT program. It was an unbalanced 'script' skewed heavily by its critics and included grandstanding politicians who claimed to be "experts" and stood on the sidelines to lob stones at CIA officials, like Rodriguez, who were in the 9/11 trenches making tough, real-time national security decisions.  
     Jose Rodriguez showed no regrets about the CIA using "enhanced interrogation techniques." His interviewer, Leslie Stahl, exhibited intimidating body language, including raised eyebrows, and it was obvious that she considered EIT’s an unnecessary evil and unbecoming of the U.S.
     Rodriguez countered by emphasizing that the program’s EIT methods proved effective in getting information from high-level detainees like Khalid Sheik Mohammed and Abu Zubaydah, who gave their best information only after the harsh treatment.
     During the upcoming confirmation hearings to decide if Gina Haskel should become CIA director, I urge the committee members to remember how tumultuous the times were when she was ordered to oversee the CIA “black site” prison in Thailand.
     Such torture programs are unlikely to return, and many CIA agents never favored them to begin with. I attended an AFIO luncheon last year in San Francisco and heard a talk by General Michael Hayden, the former director of the CIA and NSA. He stated firmly, “Over my dead body will the torture program ever be reinstated.”
     I think CIA Deputy Director Gina Haskel feels the same way.  

Robert Morton is a member of the Association Of Former Intelligence Officers and author of the "Corey Pearson- CIA Spymaster in the Caribbean and Florida Keys" spy series. 

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

President Trump's National Security Strategy December 2017

     

     President Trump's National Security Strategy of the United States of America December 2017 document has been released. Many in the Intelligence Community and national security experts alike view it as a fairly middle-of-the-road approach to global security. For all of Trump’s promises to blow up the international system and get America “winning” again, there’s not much in it that varies from what previous presidents wanted. The introduction by President Trump appears to be a summary of his Twitter tweets. 
     In general, the document states that America will partner with governments to end long-running, violent conflicts and encourage them to be more accountable and responsive to their citizens. The U.S. will continue to respond to humanitarian needs and work with governments to address the root causes of human suffering. We will also sanction government officials and institutions that prey on their citizens and commit atrocities. Does that mean Russia, too? 


     Economically, America's worldwide goals will be to expand trade and commercial ties to create jobs and build wealth for Americans and Africans. Interestingly, Africa was solely named here. A good choice, since jihadi terrorists are setting up shop all over that continent. Economic integration among African states will be a priority and we will form partnerships to promote prosperity and offer them American goods and services as an alternative to China's extractive economic tactics in Africa.  
     Regarding the military and global security, the document states the U.S. will continue to work with partner nations in improving their security services to counter terrorism, human trafficking, and the illegal trade in arms and natural resources. The last sentence in the document's conclusion stated that America will work with partners to defeat terrorist organizations and others who threaten U.S. citizens and he homeland.

Robert Morton is a member of the Association Of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO) and is author of the Corey Pearson- CIA Spymaster in the Caribbean and Florida Keys spy series. 

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Dick Cheney and Donald Trump politicized the CIA


     After reading Susan Hasler's book "A Novel Of The CIA," I thought about Trump's belittling of the CIA and NSA and how these agencies have become political pawns. Everything in her book is relevant to what's happening today under the Trump administration. 
     Hasler describes the world of CIA analysts: they work deep within the bowels of the CIA and sift through mounds of incoming intelligence from various collection sources: overseas case officers and their recruited spies, spy satellites and all types of electronic eavesdroppers, OSINT research of foreign press, the diplomatic service and military attaches…the list is endless. 
     The pile of raw data keeps piling up, minute-by-minute, hour-by-hour. By the day’s end, thousands of reports lay on their desks. They analyze the origins of them all, including the reliability of each source and how productive it has been in the past. Each report is rated as to its urgency and the extent to which it is to be distributed (who sees it) is determined. 
     She describes how dedicated analysts weigh all the incoming evidence into a cohesive whole and avoid “choosiness,” or cherry-picking some bits of information while ignoring others. Unfortunately, “hired pens” exist who pick and choose only what the policymakers want to hear. 
     When Dick Cheney made dozens of unprecedented visits to the CIA HQ at Langley, he pressured the CIA’s managerial staff to ensure such “hired pens” select from their intelligence piles only that evidence which suggests Iraq could have been involved in the attack.
      Cooking the intelligence to suit the policy-maker’s liking and playing fast and loose with the professional intelligence collection and analysis process is what happened during the Bush administration.
     After the 9/11 attack, hundreds of CIA analysts focused on finding out who the al-Qaeda leadership were, where they were at, and the best way to hunt them down and kill them. Their manhunt was immediately terminated. Pressured by their managers after another Dick Cheney visit, they were directed to refocus back on Iraq and Saddam Hussein.
     The CIA management pulled the analysts who were the most knowledgeable on Iraq away from hunting down bin Laden and al-Qaeda and reassigned them to refocus on Iraq. The managers told them, through heavy sighs, that Vice-President Cheney was taking them to task for not doing the job properly on Iraq. The VP was upset that the CIA is was not doing its homework on Iraq.
     Even though Baghdad didn’t fly airliners into the twin towers, the overworked, understaffed, and overextended lowly analysts within the bowels of the CIA sifted through the rising piles of incoming intelligence on their desks, searching not for the whereabouts of bin Laden and al Qaeda or Saudi Arabia connections to the twin towers attack, but for Iraqi ties.
     Vice-President Dick Cheney wanted a complete and thorough assessment of all possible Iraqi connections to 9/11 on his desk in two days. As the actual schemers who killed 2,996 people and wounded 6,000 were retreating deep underground, the lowly CIA analysts fretted over the possibility that bin Laden and al-Qaeda may be planning a follow-up attack. They knew that Iraq wasn’t behind the strikes but were forced to refocus on preparing a fabrication for Cheney and other policymakers to regurgitate on CNN, MSNBC, Meet the Press and, of course, a sympathetic Fox News.
     Despite a herculean effort, a case to be made against Iraq involved in 9/11 couldn’t be made. A great read. 

Robert Morton, M.Ed., Ed.S. is a member of the Association Of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO) and writes the "Corey Pearson- CIA Spymaster in the Caribbean and Florida Keys" spy series.