The second part in this series showed clearly that the US Intel community has been overrun by untrainable and undependable people.
The more facts that come out, the worse the situation looks. We trust these people to dissect and analyze critical pieces of information and based on their experience advise the President of the United States whether or not diplomacy, spying, and covert action, sanctions, or even military engagement is warranted.
So, the big question in part 2 became, how do you induct over 3 million new employees with no previous experience into what is supposed to be one of the most complicated professions on the planet? Can this be done in less than 5 years? The answer is you can't.
Most of the Intel the US is using right now comes from private sector sources. Over 80% of the current NSA budget goes to subcontractors that can hire and layoff on a per-project basis. There is no loyalty to employees or government service. Loyalties are bought and sold by the highest bidders as part of the daily grind to just make a living.
One day Jimmy the 1styear apprentice Intel guy might work for the US government. Two weeks later he might work for the Ukrainian lobby doing Oppo-research. Three weeks later he might work for a company that has both for clients. He takes all the software packages with him as well as insight into the data he's gained or if it's OSINT, the data itself can change hands if it does so before being labeled "secret."- The Unthinkable Consequences of Outsourcing US Intel
Since 2015, I've watched the Intel industry go through radical changes in a very short time. This started long before I interviewed Michael Jasinski (MJ), the Assistant Professor Department of Political Science University of WisconsinOshkosh about this.
The following is professor Jasinski's remarks from the 2017 article and following that the interview we did the other day. In literally 2 years the Intel community hiring standards have gone from university researchers with at least some experience and education in the field down to Jimmy who used to work at Walmart and is now an intern at the CIA, FBI, DIA, DOD or fill in another agency of your choice.
Professor Jasinski had oversight over researchers that were later hired by US Intel agencies following 9/11 and provided evaluations of them prior to their employment.
MJ-"Considering how the intelligence community is depicted in the media or in the movies (and clearly CIA "outreach" plays a role here), you'd think Jedi Knights. The Justice League. Gandalf. But if you ever had personal contact with the "three-letter agencies" for any period of time, you'd think different. My most recent experience with the "intelligence" community was at MIIS, post-9/11 when the agencies were coming there to hire, and they were hiring big. They hired many of my research assistantsI was doing what might be termed "open-source intelligence" on WMD proliferationand in the process, they'd ask me, their immediate supervisor, for my opinion. So I'd tell them point-blank: can't read, can't write, can't analyze. I don't care what their CV says, the only language they can function in at any level in English. No matter, they'd get hired anyway. Drug convictions? No matter, they'd get hired anyway (at least at the time, the CIA would hire you if you didn't have any drug convictions within the last 3 years). Scary political views they wore on their sleeve? No matter, they'd get hired anyway. All of my good assistants went to work for the UN, IAEA, major NGOs. The dregs went to "intelligence." So now when I see a) the "Russian interference" stories and b) the inability to safeguard, and presumably use responsibly, your own cyber-warfare arsenal, I can't say I'm exactly surprised. But there are no shortcuts in this kind of work. If you rapidly expand at the cost of dramatically lowering standards, you (and the country) are going to pay a price. We're paying it right now."- The Private Contractors Using Vault 7 Tools for US Gov: US Intel Needs a Ground-Up Rebuild Part 1
GE- Professor Jasinski, how do you feel about the idea of can't read, can't write the language analyst types gaining NSA size tools and being sent to spy into Russian infrastructure as bounty hunters looking for threats?
MJ-It's not unlike giving a monkey a live hand grenade, except that the monkey in question would not run the risk of causing major power war. I hope these reports are, essentially, disinformation, because NYT would never publish anything the intel community doesn't want to see published. At the same time, it may well be Venezuela was thusly targeted, and the recent Latin American power outages could be the collateral damage. If that's the case, one can imagine the potential scope for trouble. And wouldn't it be something if a cyber-attack on Russia turned resulted in a major EU or Chinese power outage?
GE-How would you feel about these same analysts gaining manager positions in the agencies and as the private contractor counterparts?
MJ- If in supervisory positions, they will succumb to the First Law of Bureaucracy which is to protect and expand turf, which in practical terms means more and more cyber-ops which are probably already being touted as the new "smart bombs"-- a perfect solution to every national security problem, real or imagined. There will be lobbying, policy papers, entire think tanks funded by agencies led by people interested in not only expanding cyber ops but specifically expanding their own agency's responsibility for cyber ops and in order to do that, you have to have some "track record" of running cyber ops. So you can imagine the potential for rapid escalation.
GE-If this type of activity occurred in say Russia's nuclear sector where bounty hunter hackers with rancid political views gained access, how bad could this be?
MJ-If you are paranoia-minded (and since I'm from Eastern Europe, I am), the Chernobyl HBO series may serve as an "informational preparation of the battlefield." If a Russian nuclear power plant is hacked and results in an incident, any incident (it doesn't need to be as extreme as the what happened at Chernobyl), it damages Russia's power grid, the credibility of the Russian government and the Russian state (all kinds of "collapse of USSR" parallels would be drawn), and also the attractiveness of Russian nuclear power exports to third countries. Three major US foreign policy aims for the price of one! And all of it can be plausibly blamed on Russian nuclear butterfingers.
(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).