Able Danger Blog

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Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt

Not to diminish the potential problems of overreach and mission creep, but as I have said before, if William Arkin had heard about Able Danger before 9/11 he would have been against it. In fact, it sounds like he still is today.

From Arkin's latest blog post:

But as I said yesterday, despite its name, CIFA is also a law enforcement organization, the super "defense criminal investigative" Czar, a new all-seeing, all-knowing entity that is constantly on the lookout for terrorists. The motto on the report's cover -- "Protecting the Homeland" -- is chilling to me because of the confusion with regard to the very definition of counter-intelligence. I'm not saying government lawyers aren't doing their jobs, or that CIFA isn't filled with patriotic and conscientious staffers who want no part of spying on Americans.

The problem is that there is good reason for a wall between law enforcement and intelligence, one that has been increasingly eroded since 9/11, and one that is falling in the military as well. I'm working on an NBC Nightly News piece that is scheduled to air later this week that shows how CIFA and the military "force protectors" are already poking their noses into places they shouldn't be.

UPDATE: I was going to send him a trackback ping, but he has disabled trackback now. I guess he wasn't happy with the earlier results. To be fair, he might just have been getting a lot of trackback spam. He still allows comments - so I was going to post one - but I saw that someone had already left this one, which says it all:

Mr. Arkin apparently knows little of counterintelligence let alone how it works to protect US national interests. Furthermore, whatever beef he has with the whole MI community and what he thinks is their foray into domestic law enforcement is clearly influenced by some leftist ideology that smacks of incredible ignorance on intelligence matters. Not only does he routinely quote information from joint pubs or DoD unclassified directives out of context but sadly the average lay reader might actually believe this guy might know what he's talking about. Fellow Americans, if you have questions about CI and so called domestic spying, just ask any true CI professional in any of the military services and they'll quickly advise you of just how much protections US persons have against domestic intelligence collection abuses. Don't believe the hype America from uninformed journalists who don't know diddly and seem to enjoy spreading fear about our military intelligence professionals and their mission. As an American and counterintelligence professional who also values privacy, civil liberties, etc......I can appreciate the safeguards in our directives and can assure anyone that 'we' are doing the right thing mindful of the law and respectful of American's rights. Anything published by a journalist like Mr. Arkin regarding 'abuse' and 'domestic spying' is total BS from a guy that makes a living creating hype where there is none. I trust Americans know better and when in doubt will do their own research rather than avail themselves of an idiot's rants and raves based on poor research and even worse writing.

Semper Fi,
Gunnery Sergeant of Marines
and Counterintelligence professional