Surveillance actions deserve examination

Freedom Newspapers It was bad enough when the New York Times revealed that since early 2002, under an executive order from President Bush, the National Security Agency has been conducting surveillance inside the United States, almost certainly on U.S. citizens, without any sort of warrant approved by any sort of court. It was doubly disturbing […]

Leaving Iraq would translate to defeat

By Mona Charen: Syndicated Columnist True to their heritage in foreign policy, 40 out of 45 Democratic senators voted this month to demand a timetable for withdrawal of American forces from Iraq. As in every conflict since Vietnam, Democrats are hoping not to succeed but to skedaddle. Imagine if the Democrats held a majority in […]

10/9 Letters to the editor

‘No’ men no more patriotic than ‘yes’ men Space limitations needed to rebut the letter by Kirby Rowan prohibit an extensive analysis. But it does need to be rebutted! Briefly stated, to agree with this president on every issue (as a “yes” man) may not be the definition of patriotism, but disagreement with him on […]

Intelligence failure not fully explained by 9/11 report

Freedom Newspaper There is probably still more that we don’t know than we do about the likelihood that a military intelligence unit identified 9/11 highjacker Mohammed Atta a year or so before the World Trade Center was attacked. but didn’t pass on the information to the FBI. What we think we know now is likely […]

Over-caution can be bad as recklessness

By Walter Williams: Syndicated Columnist We’re not omniscient. That means making errors is unavoidable. Understanding the nature of errors is vital to our well-being. Let’s look at it. There are two types of errors, nicely named the type I error and the type II error. The type I error is when we reject a true […]

Winning war on terror could mean fighting dirty

Freedom Newspapers We need more aggressive, less risk-averse spy agencies. This was the mantra we heard in the wake of our being blindsided by Osama bin Laden on Sept. 11, 2001. The CIA’s emphasis on high-tech, spy-in-the-sky gadgetry has led to a withering of the nation’s human intelligence capabilities, critics (ourselves included) said. We must […]

U.S. should take second look at foreign policy

Freedom Newspapers Beyond the shock, the anger and the mourning, beyond the sadness and sorrow over the dead and wounded is the anguish over the still unanswered questions. But first the shock. Laguna Niguel resident Sir Eldon Griffiths, a former member of the British parliament and former chairman of the World Affairs Councils of America, […]

Reform more important than government power

Freedom Newspapers As President Bush would have it, the choice is simple. Either Congress renews the USA Patriot Act intact, with all the new powers for government now scheduled to “sunset” at the end of year and a few new ones to boot, or America will be fighting terrorism with one hand tied behind its […]

Press misses point about intelligence

By Mona Charen The President’s Commission on (deep breath) Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction has issued its report. True to predictions, it indicts the CIA and other intelligence agencies for giving the president and Congress information that was “dead wrong” and accompanying this intelligence with a promise that the […]

Conflict issue of discretion, not truth

By Walter Williams Larry Summers, Harvard’s president, remains under siege for remarks made in his Jan. 14 address to the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). Summers suggested there might be three major reasons why women are underrepresented in the higher reaches of science and ranked them in order of importance. First is what Summers […]

Hopefully new director not another yesman

CNJ staff Whether it was a good idea to create the post of director of national intelligence — we were dubious from the start — in John Negroponte, currently ambassador to Iraq, President Bush has named a veteran diplomat and troubleshooter whom most observers give high marks for competence. Whether he will be the kind […]

Lety’s noit rush into intelligence reform bill

Freedom Newspapers The failure to approve an intelligence reform bill in the House of Representatives over the weekend is not necessarily a tragedy. The 9/11 commission, whose recommendations were the basis of a bill passed by the Senate, does not have a monopoly on wisdom when it comes to reforming the “intelligence community,” as the […]

Turmoil within CIA not helped by partisanship

Freedom Editorial You almost need a secret decoder ring to try to figure out what is really going on in the Central Intelligence Agency, which is both highly secretive and resistant to understanding by outsiders and yet fond of publicity and adept (at many levels) in the dark art of the leak. A number of […]

President lost in space-time continuum

By Leonard Pitts Jr. Evidently, there are two Iraqs. One exists here on our Earth, the other occupies a parallel space-time continuum perceivable only by a select few individuals, one of whom is the president of the United States. If you’ve got a better theory, I’m open to it. All I know is that in […]

Congress should be patient when reforming security

Freedom Editorial So we now have another proposal for reforming the sprawling 15-agency “intelligence community” that missed the signs that 9/11 was in the works and didn’t exactly get it right about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. It’s a welcome addition to the ongoing debate, but the very extensiveness of the proposal, coming on […]

We’re looking for substance from the GOP

Freedom Newspapers Modern political conventions have become four-day infomercials about the candidates being nominated. Still, people can glean something if they listen closely. At the Democratic convention a month ago, vice presidential nominee John Edwards continued his “two Americas” rhetoric borrowed from a 1930s radical labor movement. And Sen. John Kerry emphasized his now-controversial four […]

Edmonds’ case may help new intelligence chief

Freedom Newspapers The story of Sibel Edmonds is one that should not be overlooked amid the news flurry of naming a new CIA chief, the 9/11 Commission report and other ideas to remake the U.S. intelligence community. Edmonds is a former FBI translator who handled wiretaps and documents in various Middle Eastern languages. She complained […]

Can Goss bring ‘out of the box’ thinking to CIA?

Florida Republican Rep. Porter Goss is “the wrong sort, with the wrong resume” to head the CIA, Michael Ledeen said. The resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute (with whom we have been known to disagree on policy matters) explained that the CIA needs drastic change just now, and as a former CIA operative and […]

Report captures the ‘big picture’ of terrorism

Freedom Editorial The airport security photographs and the 9/11 Commission’s report, both made public Thursday, were a chilling reminder to Americans of the terrorist assault on our country. In the Dulles airport video (made available to news organizations by lawyers representing 9/11 victims’ families), terrorists were shown being inspected at security checkpoints in the terminal, […]

Time to reform, improve U.S. intelligence

Freedom Editorial The resignation of CIA director George Tenet, combined with the recent critical report by the Senate Intelligence Committee on pre-Iraq war intelligence and the still-evolving work of the 9/11 commission, may have created what some observers view as a “perfect storm.” It could lead to a serious overhaul of this country’s intelligence agencies. […]