Intelligence Community Chiefs Push Back Against White House

by | Oct 31, 2013

It appears to me that James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), and Michael Hayden, former Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) and NSA director, have decided that the Obama White House has been trying to “stake them out” as sacrificial goats in the kerfluffle over NSA intercepts in Europe.

The Obama Administration has been trying to claim that such intercepts are a new development brought on by technological advances in the last decade. They are also trying to imply that NSA and the Intelligence Community (IC) generally have been “off the reservation” and conducting intercept operations that Barack Obama (the commander in chief of the IC) did not know of.

Yesterday, Clapper made it clear in public testimony before a House committee that such operations have been conducted for many decades. I suspect that Eisenhower was probably president when they began. The technology required is not terrribly complex and de-cryption software for things like GSM circuits has steadily advanced and is easily available to many different countries. Clapper also insisted that the very countries who are complaining of our actions have cooperated with the US in collecting the same kind of data against their own citizens and those of other countries.

Clapper was asked if foreign countries including those complaining now have conducted operations against the United States. His answer was “absolutely.” My personal experience supports this.

Clapper also insisted that such operations are a normal feature of intelligence operations and that the White House surely knew what NSA was doing and had been doing over a long period of time.

Today on “Morning Joe,” Michael Hayden managed to get past Mika B’s attempts to defend Obama to support Clapper’s statements that such operations are a necessary and frequent part of the information gathering process of mature states.

I support and salute both Clapper and Hayden for their honest answers and statements. They are doing their duty. It will be interesting to see if other IC chiefs like Brennan, Flynn and Alexander will also answer the call of duty.

Colonel W. Patrick Lang is a retired senior officer of U.S. Military Intelligence and U.S. Army Special Forces (The Green Berets).

Used with permission.


  • Col. W. Patrick Lang

    Colonel W. Patrick Lang is a retired senior officer of U.S. Military Intelligence and U.S. Army Special Forces (The Green Berets). He served in the Department of Defense both as a serving officer and then as a member of the Defense Senior Executive Service for many years. He is a highly decorated veteran of several of America’s overseas conflicts including the war in Vietnam. He was trained and educated as a specialist in the Middle East by the U.S. Army and served in that region for many years.