Connecting the Dots

I actually sympathize with the Obama Administration about this:

In 2013, hundreds of CIA officers — many working nonstop for weeks — scrambled to contain a disaster of global proportions: a compromise of the agency’s internet-based covert communications system used to interact with its informants in dark corners around the world. Teams of CIA experts worked feverishly to take down and reconfigure the websites secretly used for these communications; others managed operations to quickly spirit assets to safety and oversaw other forms of triage.

“When this was going on, it was all that mattered,” said one former intelligence community official. The situation was “catastrophic,” said another former senior intelligence official.

From around 2009 to 2013, the U.S. intelligence community experienced crippling intelligence failures related to the secret internet-based communications system, a key means for remote messaging between CIA officers and their sources on the ground worldwide. The previously unreported global problem originated in Iran and spiderwebbed to other countries, and was left unrepaired — despite warnings about what was happening — until more than two dozen sources died in China in 2011 and 2012 as a result, according to 11 former intelligence and national security officials.

Read the whole thing. It was really a terrible breach and it took place in 2009 when the Obama Administration was just getting its footing. I doubt they could have done much to prevent it. Or it might have taken place in 2008 while it was still the Bush Administration’s watch.

However, I am having a bit of difficulty in connecting the dots. Revelation of a hidden Iranian enrichment facility—CIA security breach—multiple informants killed—Stuxnet—IAEA report on Iran’s pre- and post-2003 development activities—Obama Administration starts negotiating treaty with Iran—Joint Plan of Action commences—Obama Administration maintains staunch defense of agreement. Those are just some of the highlights. Something does not compute.

12 comments… add one
  • Andy Link

    Well, I take some small comfort this wasn’t leaked until after it was dealt with.

  • Gray Shambler Link


  • Gray Shambler Link

    That was a test, if it were a real emergency, you would not have been notified.

  • Gray Shambler Link

    Now, that’s a lot of unknowns, but I’ve always wondered about Obama’s interest in Iran and the fact that his surrogate mother, Valerie Jarrett, who was born there.

  • Guarneri Link

    Yeah, does not compute…

    Anyway, I tend to quickly get bored and move on from topics on blogs. But in a recent exchange in which I clearly was in the minority the issue of signing an EO re: citizenship was bandied about. I pointed out that Jonathon Turley was not so sure. And then I saw this:

    This is precisely the argument Turley was making, and if the topic is of interest to anyone worth the read. The punchline: not clearly settled law.

  • Simply put, the president does have the ability through executive action to direct federal agencies to act in accordance with the original meaning and intent of the citizenship clause, and to direct those agencies to issue passports, Social Security numbers, etc., only to those individuals whose status as citizens meet the requirements of the law.

    is the observation I was making. States wouldn’t have to follow that directive but federal agencies would.

  • Guarneri Link

    As it appears to be a constitutional issue, and me just being an amateur lawyer, I wonder if the issue of state non-compliance could be brought to a head through an EO and the inevitable ensuing lawsuit.

    A simple EO would be the same mistake Obama repeatedly made.

  • Guarneri Link


    In any event, all I was trying to say back in that thread was that there was some serious legal heft in the form of Turley behind the notion that things were not so clear. Most people seemed to just adopt the legal reasoning that supported their political worldview. Along that vein, I decided, for sport, to tweak some noses at OTB on the immigration and wages issue. I’m now being informed that immigrants have no effect on wages. You gotta love it.

  • steve Link

    Whether it is constitutional depends solely upon whatever the 9 members of SCOTUS decide. It doesn’t really matter what the Constitution says. Trump’s best course is to issue an EO, preferably a day or two before the election, to rally the base. They will love it. Let it get challenged in court. My guess is that SCOTUS upholds it because that will help their team.

    The better question is what happens when a Democrat wins? (Surely winning the popular vote will eventually result in an electoral win.) When we get a new EO, would that be retroactive? What happens if we keep going back and forth on this, sort of like some of the abortion laws?


  • Ben Wolf Link


    The factor that’s throwing your calculations off is Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

  • Andy Link

    “Simply put, the president does have the ability through executive action to direct federal agencies to act in accordance with the original meaning and intent of the citizenship clause”

    Except the original meaning and intent of the citizenship clause is the understanding and interpretation we’ve used for the last 150 years.

    As I noted in the last thread, an originalist view of this amendment supports birthright citizenship.

  • Andy Link

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