Shillman Fellow and Director of Clarion Intelligence Network Ryan Mauro warns the US intel community to get its act together or we are in store for further disasters (watch video below).
While details are slowly forthcoming about the recent shooting attack at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi in Texas, preliminary reports show the attacker most likely was a radical Islamist. Social media accounts linked to the terrorist shooter showed posts of his support for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and original Osama in Laden network, al-Qaeda.
How could such a major intel flaw happen just a few months after the one that facilitated the deadly attack by a Saudi student at the Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida last December?
With the cracking of the Saudi student’s iPhones by federal authorities last week, we now know that the Saudi terrorist in Corpus Christi was radicalized in 2015 and specifically joined the Saudi military in order to carry out an attack on the United States. Yet he was allowed into the U.S. After the attack, all the other Saudi students at the naval station were vetted and 21 were deported.
A top Washington nonprofit watchdog group filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the super-secretive — some say super-politicized — Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) to obtain a legally mandated, unclassified report on Russia’s meddling in the elections held in other nations. (Judicial Watch v. Office of the Director of National Intelligence).
The lawsuit was filed at the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia after the ODNI failed to respond to an August 4 FOIA request seeking “the intelligence community assessment required by Section 502 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016.” The act was signed by President Barack Obama during the heated presidential race between now President Donald Trump and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Trump was the winner but he’s been singled out as being in cahoots with the Russian leader Vladimir Putin.
The complainant in the lawsuit is Judicial Watch, whose legal team points out that Section 502 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016 mandates: “Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Director of National Intelligence shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees an intelligence community assessment on the funding of political parties and nongovernmental organizations in former Soviet states and countries in Europe by the Russian Security Service since January 1, 2016.”
The Act also stipulates that the intelligence assessment be submitted as an unclassified document which under the law would be subject to FOIA disclosure to organizations and individuals who seek the document through the proper channels. According to officials at Judicial Watch, this legal action is the second lawsuit filed by the watchdog which seeks the unclassified reports produced by the 17 U.S. agencies — that makeup the U.S. intelligence community — addressing alleged Russian interference in the elections of foreign countries:
On March 8, 2017, Judicial Watch filed a FOIA lawsuit against the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) seeking an unclassified report assessing Russia’s interference in foreign elections (Judicial Watch v. Central Intelligence Agency (No. 1:17-cv-00414)). That lawsuit came after the CIA failed to respond to a December 14, 2016 FOIA request seeking the unclassified assessment of Russia’s meddling in foreign elections requested by Congressman Mike Turner (R-OH).
On December 13, 2016, The Wall Street Journal reported that since 2015, Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH), a member of the House Intelligence Committee, “has been pushing for the unclassified version of a report assessing Moscow’s interference in foreign elections, particularly across Europe.”
“What makes me angry as both a law enforcement commander and a U.S. citizen is the fact that this nation’s taxpaying citizens are paying billions of dollars for intelligence gathering and analysis by so-called professionals yet this vast intelligence network is too busy spying on its own citizens and ignores the enemies of the United States and their plans, plots and secrets. I believe the Obama/Clinton wing of the Deep State are to blame for the politicalization and weaponization of the CIA, NSA, FBI, ATF, DEA, and other agencies,” said former U.S. military intelligence operative and ex-police detective Michael Snopes.
The Wall Street Journal further reported:
The White House released a classified version of the assessment, but Mr. Turner has been pushing for the unclassified version to be released. Mr. Turner had sent the [Obama] White House a letter requesting the unclassified version of the report:
“The fact that the administration is picking and choosing the information it releases and who they release it to ought to give everybody concern that the administration is manipulating this,” he said.
“The report is critical for a better understanding of what Moscow is up to in elections overseas,” he also noted in his letter. Congressman Turner accused the Obama White House of cherry picking what is released.
In a yet another federal lawsuit, Judicial Watch is suing the ODNI to force the agency to conduct the required damage assessment related to Hillary Clinton’s mishandling of classified information during the years she served as Secretary of State and utilized an unsecured email system for government business despite laws or regulations governing the handling of classified information.
“The Obama administration’s politicized [and weaponized] intelligence community promoted the story of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians to influence the 2016 presidential election but refuses to release any concrete evidence,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.
“The Deep State intelligence establishment continues to be in a cover-up mode on Russia. This illegal secrecy seems designed to protect the Obama/Clinton administration and to undermine the Trump administration. President Trump may want to ask his appointees [FBI Director Christopher Wray and Attorney General Bill Bar] what they are hiding about Russia.”