Able Danger Blog

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Friday, August 17, 2007

"One Analyst Who Got It - And Got It"

Interesting post by Stephen Charest at DailyKos from July 19th:

We think of intelligence analysts - in fact of any government flunkies - as faceless drones. But I knew Eileen Preisser when she was an officer in the US Air Force, working in the USAF Special Activities Agency, the Air Force's clandestine intell agency. Yes, Eileen could be a flake (think of the scientist in the film Independence Day). But then almost everyone I know who was or is in intell is a flake . It's a job requirement. No, she doesn't play well with others. But there's a reason: when she knows she's right, she will not back down. During her military career she brought an IG complaint against a colonel who demonstrated consistent sexual harassment against his female officers. Ultimately the colonel was relieved of command and encouraged to retire. Eileen, of course, was moved to another agency where, they thought, she wouldn't cause any trouble. Wrong. She was one of the first to state unequivocally that the Berlin Wall was coming down and that we were concentrating on the wrong enemy. Since at least 1989 she's been warning anyone who would listen (or couldn't get away from her) that the real danger to the US was and is from radical terrorist groups of all stripes. Of course, being a "flake," she is rarely listened to. And, being pretty damned smart, she is usually right.

Last I heard she'd been shuffled off to something called the "National Geospatial Intelligence Agency." I'll google them later. But I'll bet long odds it's another attempt to put her where she won't disturb anyone.

It won't work. Eileen is the kind of intell analyst we need right now: one who is capable of thinking not just outside the box but outside the four known dimensions; one who is unafraid to tell her story, and one who is not intimidated by the powers that be.

Wherever you are, Eileen, I remember you. And you were and are right.