Thursday, April 07, 2005
The recently-released Silberman-Robb report slammed America's counterintelligence efforts as "fractured, myopic, and marginally effective." Ex-spook Paul Redmond, speaking last month at a conference of counterintelligence officials, said it's an "actuarial certainty" that US national-security agencies have been penetrated by foreign moles:
Because the US has reached such lone, superpower status, government officials say, at least 90 countries - in addition to Al Qaeda - are attempting to steal some of the nation's most sacred secrets.
It's not only foes, like members of terror groups or nations that are adversaries of the US, but friends as well. The top five countries trying to snoop on US plans and cutting-edge technology, according to an official who works closely with the FBI on this issue, are China, Russia, Israel, France, and North Korea. Others running close behind: Cuba, Pakistan, and India . . . .
The CIA, according to a recruiter at the conference, has already flagged about 40 applicants who they think may have tried to be double agents. This would fit Al Qaeda's pattern, according to Michael Scheuer, a former top CIA counterterrorism official. Al Qaeda operatives, he says, have already penetrated several security agencies in Middle Eastern countries . . . .
[Former DIA man Patrick] Lang tells the story of speaking on intelligence gathering at a recent conclave at Penn State. A South Korean in the audience, a member of that country's equivalent of the FBI, asked why the US is so bad at espionage.
Lang replied: "Well, we've got you here for two years, right? Wouldn't it be logical for us to put a couple of our guys next to you, recruit you, so that when you return home, you can provide us information from inside your government?"
The South Korean responded that would be perfectly appropriate: It's what other countries routinely do.
Lang says he paused a moment, smiled, then pointed out how uncomfortable the audience had become - most, he says, were squirming in their seats.