Sentinel Down

And yet again, after leaving behind a cutting edge stealth helicopter during the bin Laden raid, the U.S. conducts another, involuntary, state-of-the-art military technology transfer to the enemy.

Iran’s capture of US drone shines light on spy mission, but may reveal little

The Iranian capture of a high-tech, stealth U.S. drone shines a light on the American spying mission there, but probably doesn’t tell Tehran much that it didn’t already know, a senior U.S. official said.

The RQ-170 Sentinel was providing surveillance over Iran and didn’t just accidentally wander away from the Afghanistan border region, as first suggested. The official said Wednesday that the Iranians will no doubt be able to tell where the aircraft flew. A bigger U.S. concern, the official said, was that the Iranians are likely to share or sell whatever they have recovered of the aircraft to the Chinese, Russians or others. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the mission.

Experts and officials acknowledge that there is no self-destruct mechanism on the Sentinels — which are used both by the military and the CIA for classified surveillance and intelligence gathering missions.

. . .

U.S. officials said that while they have enough information to confirm that Iran does have the wreckage, they said they are not sure what the Iranians will be able to glean technologically from what they found. It is unlikely that Iran would be able to recover any surveillance data from the aircraft.

See also:
US admits downed drone spied on Iran
Iran says US spy drone was flying deep inside its airspace when it was downed
Malfunction likely put U.S. drone in Iranian hands
Iran Probably Did Capture a Secret U.S. Drone
U.S. Military Sources: Iran Has Missing U.S. Drone
Drone that crashed in Iran may give away U.S. secrets
China, Russia want to inspect downed U.S. drone
Sentinel unmanned drone lost in Iran among US most valuable warfare assets
Drone belonged to CIA, officials say
Downed drone was on CIA mission
Officials: Drone downed in Iran on CIA mission
Drone Lost in Iran Was Joint CIA-Military Reconnaissance Plane
Iran’s downing of U.S. drone rattles Washington
US ‘concerned’ over drone lost near Iran border
Experts: Iran capture of stealth drone no worry
US considered missions to destroy RQ-170 Sentinel drone lost in Iran
Spy drone may provide little help to Iran
U.S. debated sending commandos into Iran to recover drone
U.S. Made Covert Plan to Retrieve Iran Drone
Iran: The Stealth War Continues
Drone Drama Proves Iran Is Ready to Rumble
Stealth drone highlights tougher U.S. strategy on Iran
U.S. drones have been spying on Iran for years

The good news is that we seem to be paying close attention to what Iran is up to, have been for years, and can penetrate Iranian airspace with near impunity. These past and, hopefully, ongoing intelligence gathering and surveillance activities should help provide a detailed blueprint for when push comes to shove and Iran has to be dealt with militarily, which is sure to eventually become a necessity.

/that said, it’s a total unforced strategic error to just let Iran have this advanced technology drone, to share with or sell to other potential enemies of the United States, would it have killed us, if we didn’t want to risk lives to recover the Sentinel, to at least launch an airstrike package to obliterate the wreckage?

Secret Code For Kindergartners

How dumb is this?

‘Pizza’ Party Codeword May Have Doomed CIA Spies

All the CIA’s Lebanon spies wanted was a slice. What they got, allegedly, was a big intelligence failure.

Hezbollah may have just rolled up the CIA’s network of spies devoted to cracking the secrets of the Lebanese Shiite extremist group. If so, it’s because of one of the stupidest, least secure code words in history.

According to ABC News, Hezbollah operatives figured out that CIA informants who had infiltrated the Iranian proxy group were meeting with their agency handlers at a Beirut Pizza Hut. How could Hezbollah deduce that location? “The CIA used the codeword ‘PIZZA’ when discussing where to meet with the agents,” ABC reports.

See also:
Exclusive: CIA Spies Caught, Fear Execution in Middle East
CIA in Lebanon damaged by capture of spies by Hezbollah
The Pizza Hut Connection: CIA Exposes Own Spies in Iran and Lebanon
CIA’s ‘pizza’ blunders leave informants facing execution
Iran and Hezbollah Caught All the CIA Spies at Pizza Hut
Iran and Hezbollah Caught CIA Spies at a Pizza Hut in Beirut
American ‘Pizza Hut’ Spies Captured in Lebanon
CIA informants in Iran, Lebanon outed over ‘pizza code-word’ blunders
Hezbollah unraveling CIA spy network in Lebanon
CIA spy ring busted in Iran and Lebanon
Reports: U.S. Operatives Caught In Lebanon, Iran
White House: No Comment on Spies Outed in Iran, Lebanon
Hezbollah uncovers CIA informants
CIA spies captured in Lebanon
‘CIA spies busted in Iran, Lebanon’

What were they thinking? It’s unfortunate that people working for us have or are about to lose their lives over something this stupid and easily avoidable. Not only is it extremely damaging to our intelligence gathering efforts, but it’s also going to have a chilling effect on future recruitment efforts. Seriously, who wants to work for amateurs, especially if your life depends on it?

/taking the intelligence out of Central Intelligence Agency

A Terrorist Trifecta

Mr. Predator and Mr. Hellfire team up to force the two vehicle al Qaeda drive to go three and out.

Most Successful Drone Strike Ever: Were Three Al Qaeda Leaders Killed?

The CIA drone strike that killed Al Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki and chief propagandist Samir Khan may also have taken out the terror organization’s top bombmaker.

Reports say that Ibrahim al-Asiri, who is believed to have constructed both the “underwear” bomb used in the attempted bombing of Northwest flight 253 and the bombs in last year’s parcel bomb plot, may have been with Awlaki and Khan when missiles from a U.S. drone struck their vehicle in Yemen Friday.

See also:
U.S. –born ‘Terrorist No. 1’ Anwar al Awlaki killed in Yemen in major blow to Al Qaeda
Anwar al-Awlaki, al-Qaida cleric and top US target, killed in Yemen
Al-Qaeda terror chief Anwar al-Awlaki killed in Yemen
Al Qaeda’s Anwar al-Awlaki Killed in CIA Drone Strike
American Jihadi Samir Khan Killed With Awlaki
A ‘proud traitor’: Samir Khan reported dead alongside Aulaqi
25-year-old American is killed with mentor Anwar al-Aulaqi in drone strike
Samir Khan named as second US citizen to die in drone strike
Top al Qaeda bombmaker dead in drone strike
Al-Awlaki drone ‘killed bomb-maker’
AQAP bomb maker Asiri thought killed in Yemen Predator strike
U.S. Drone Strike on al-Awlaki Likely Kills al-Qaeda Bomb-maker in Yemen
Anwar al-Awlaki
Samir Khan
Ibrahim al-Asiri

Unfortunately, al-Awlaki and Khan nave already published and recorded more than enough internet material to posthumously radicalize Muslims from here to eternity. Killing them was a good thing, but the damage is already done and their deaths won’t make the recruitment problem go away.

/on the other hand, al-Asiri, the bombmaker, is going to be hard for al Qaeda to replace, he was good, especially at designing nonmetallic explosive devices

Our Friends The Pakistanis

Is this the thanks we get for our billions of dollars in annual aid?

Report: Pakistan gave China access to ‘stealth’ chopper in bin Laden raid

Pakistan gave China access to the previously unknown “stealth” helicopter that crashed during the commando raid that killed Osama bin Laden in May despite explicit requests from the CIA not to, the Financial Times reported on Sunday.

. . .

“The US now has information that Pakistan, particularly the ISI, gave access to the Chinese military to the downed helicopter in Abbottabad,” the paper quoted a person “in intelligence circles” as saying.

Pakistan, which enjoys a close relationship with China, allowed Chinese intelligence officials to take pictures of the crashed chopper as well as take samples of its special “skin” that allowed the American raid to evade Pakistani radar, the newspaper reported.

See also:
Pakistan lets China see US helicopter
Pakistan let China see ‘stealth’ chopper from bin Laden raid: FT
Report: Pakistan Gave China Access To US Chopper
Pakistan let China see crashed US “stealth” copter – report
UPDATE 1-Pakistan let China see crashed US “stealth” copter-FT
Pakistan let China see “stealth” chopper from bin Laden raid
Can We Please Have Our Wreckage Back?

Well, kiss that technology goodbye, and China didn’t even have to steal it, Pakistan handed it to them.

/tell me again why we give Pakistan billions of dollars and pretend they’re our ally?

Hackers With A Death Wish

It’s probably not a good idea to taunt the folks who tracked down Osama bin Laden and specialize in covert, extrajudicial killings.

CIA Web site hacked; group LulzSec takes credit

The hacker group LulzSec claimed credit Wednesday for taking down the CIA’s Web site for a couple of hours, the latest in a string of embarrassing Web site disruptions the group has pulled off — apparently more to poke fun and highlight vulnerabilities than to cause real damage.

At 5:48 p.m., LulzSec, which dubs itself “the world’s leaders in high-quality entertainment at your expense,” posted an alert on Twitter: “Tango down — cia.gov — for the lulz.”

The site was back up by 8 p.m.

See also:
Hacker Group Goes After CIA SiteLulzSec’s CIA hack just one of many high-profile hackings
LulzSec Speeds Up Cyber Attacks, Now Claims CIA Website Hack
Hackers say they hit CIA website
Hackers Claim CIA Website Breach
Hackers breach into CIA website
LulzSec claims responsibility for CIA.gov outage
Hackers claim hit on CIA website
Group claims to have hacked CIA website
Senate website, CIA.gov reportedly hacked. LulzSec claims responsibility. [Updated]
Lulzsec Claims Responsibility For Hacking CIA And Senate Websites
CIA website hacked; group claims ‘credit’
Central Intelligence Agency

Apparently, LulzSec stages these attacks for giggles, laughs, and bragging rights, which is all fun and games until they bite off more than they can chew by hitting an entity with unlimited resources and more hacking talent than they have, and then suddenly it won’t be so funny anymore. Maybe LulzSec already has and they just don’t know it yet.

/as Jim Croce warned, you don’t tug on Superman’s cape, you don’t spit into the wind . . .

With Friends Like Pakistan

Who needs enemies?

Pakistan wants to cut CIA drone strikes, personnel

The Pakistani government would like the CIA’s aggressive drone campaign “suspended” and only resumed under “new rules” and “formalized terms,” according to a Pakistani military official familiar with discussions between the two nations.

Only then, in the instances where there was “compelling evidence” that a militant “high value target” had been located and that the operation was jointly coordinated between Pakistan and the United States, would the Pakistani government sanction a drone strike in the future, the official said.

See also:
Pakistan threatens to impose new restrictions on CIA activities
Pakistan Tells U.S. to Halt Drones
Cut CIA ops, halt drone raids: Pak to US
In growing rift, Pakistan demands end to U.S. drone attacks
Can Pakistan force US to back off special ops and drone attacks?
U.S. Missiles Strike in Northern Pakistan as Relations Sour Over CIA Role
Pakistan, US tussle over drone attacks strategy
US-Pak ties facing biggest crisis since 9/11
US kills 6 suspected militants despite Pakistan’s demand for end to drone attacks
US concern over Pakistan-based militants’ ‘expansion’
Pakistani premier slams US strikes
Despite US-Pakistan Tensions Aired at CIA HQ, CIA Drone Strike Will Continue, Officials Say
CIA vows to tell more about its agents in Pakistan
Pakistan and Afghanistan: A New Strategy?
Is Pakistan Our Ally?
Should U.S. Cut All Aid to Pakistan?

The vast majority of our Taliban problem emanates from sanctuaries in Northern Pakistan. Not only does the Pakistani government do nothing worthwhile to stop or control the Taliban menace based on their soil, it’s a certainty that significant elements of the Pakistani government and intelligence services are infiltrated by and give support and succor to the Taliban.

Not allowed to operate overt ground forces inside Pakistan, U.S. drone strikes and covert CIA activity are the only tactics that are even somewhat effective at eliminating Taliban leaders and operatives. Forcing the CIA to curtail the drone strikes or give advance notice of the strikes to Pakistan, thus almost surely tipping off the Taliban, would be another crippling blow to our already faltering efforts in Afghanistan, nonsensical as they might be.

/if Obama has any balls, he’ll tell the Pakistanis to [expletive deleted] off, keep the covert CIA drone program operating as is and, if Pakistan keeps bitching about it, threaten them with the sledgehammer of cutting off U.S. aid

End Times, Iranian Style

It doesn’t matter whether it’s true or not, what matters is that the leadership of the Iranian regime believes it and believes they are presently involved in playing an integral part in bringing about the end of the world.

Iran’s End Times Documentary

The Iranian government has produced a bone-chilling documentary that claims that Ayatollah Khamenei, President Ahmadinejad, and Hassan Nasrallah are talked about in Islamic prophecy as leaders who will wage war to bring about the arrival of the Hidden Imam, which the film says is “very close” to happening.

Reza Kahlili, a former member of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards who spied for the CIA and authored A Time to Betray last year, procured the entire film and says it was created by close associates of Ahmadinejad and was shown to top clerics two weeks ago. His chief of staff, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, is said to have played a role in its creation. Kahlili allowed FrontPage to view a shortened version of the film over the weekend, which he says the Iranian regime intends to distribute to mosques and Islamic centers throughout the region with an Arabic translation and is currently being shown to members of the Revolutionary Guards and Basiji.

The purpose of the film is to make the case that Iran is prophetically destined to lead the war against Islam’s enemies, which is as a prelude to the appearance of the Hidden Imam, also called the Mahdi, who brings the final victory for Islam and reigns over the whole world. It uses current events to argue that “the final chapter has begun” and the Mahdi’s arrival is imminent. Most disturbingly, it teaches that Khamenei, Ahmadinejad and Nasrallah are the individuals prophesied to make this happen.

See also:
Iran film says Muslim messiah is near
Iranian Video Says Mahdi is ‘Near’
The Coming, and Why the Left Doesn’t Understand Iran
Iran Film: Iran Plans to Conquer Israel, World
Iran Video Says Mahdi Is Near – Judgement Day and Destruction of Israel Predicted
Appearing Soon: the Twelfth Imam
Iranian Propaganda Film Claims Jerusalem Is About to Be Conquered
“The Last Messiah”
Muhammad al-Mahdi

This is just what the Muslim world needs, even more radical Islamic incitement, this time with an end of days flair. Kill more infidels faster to achieve eternal salvation!

/this falls under the category of know your enemy and if Ahmadinejad, Khamenei, and Nasrallah truly believe that they’re destined to to bring about the end of the world in their lifetimes, the West in in for some serious trouble, heed the warning

Our Friends The Pakistanis

Once again, Pakistan proves that they are far from being a trustworthy ally.

CIA chief in Pakistan flees after suspected ISI exposure

The Islamabad station chief of the Central Intelligence Agency hastily departed from Pakistan on Thursday after his cover was blown through a suspected deliberate leak by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence.

Jonathan Banks was identified as the head of the CIA’s Pakistan office, in a lawsuit filed against the United States’ secretive spy agency by a resident of North Waziristan. The resident, Kareem Khan, was said to have filed the case against the CIA and Mr. Banks for their role in organising drone strikes that killed his son and brother.

The legal case brought by Mr. Khan called for murder charges to be brought against Mr. Banks and the CIA, and also reportedly said they should be executed for their crimes. Mr. Khan’s lawyer was quoted by the Guardian saying he had obtained Mr. Banks’ name from Pakistani journalists.

While Pakistan was quick to deny any involvement in leaking Mr. Banks’ name, U.S. officials were quoted as saying that since he had been identified publicly Mr. Banks “had received a number of death threats,” and they “strongly suspected” that the ISI had a hand in the leak.

See also:
CIA’s Pakistan chief removed
CIA Station Chief, His Cover Blown, Departs Pakistan
Cover Blown: CIA Station Chief in Pakistan Removed From Country
Pakistan Denies Outing US Spy
CIA Withdraws Pakistan Mission Chief
Pakistani spy agency denies it unmasked CIA chief
CIA Pulls Chief Spy From Pakistan
Top U.S. spy pulled from Pakistan after terror threats

Pakistan denies involvement in the leak? Oh, I see, it must have just been a lucky guess that just happened to correctly name the CIA station chief in Islamabad. Seriously, this is the thanks we get for pouring billions of dollars in annual aid down this rat hole? I’ve asked it before and I’ll ask it again, which side is Pakistan really on?

/they’re either with us or against us and, as far as I can tell, Pakistan is against us

Who’s Killing Iran’s Nuclear Scientists?

Is it the CIA, MI6, Mossad, Iran itself? Who knows? It really doesn’t matter, as long as they keep turning up dead it’s all good.

Bomb Attack Killed Distinguished Iranian University Professor

Two separate terrorist attacks on Iranian professors in Tehran today killed a distinguished university professor and injured another academician, IRNA reported.

Professor Majid Shahriari lost his life after unknown assailants driving a motorcycle attacked his car when he was on his way to Shahid Beheshti University accompanied by his wife who is in good condition at a nearby hospital.

Another attack directed against professor Fereydoun Abbasi also occurred at about the same time by unknown assailants. Abbasi received some injuries after the attack but he is in stable condition.

Today’s incidents resemble a similar attack on Iranian nuclear scientist Masoud Alimohamadi last January in front of his home. He was killed by a booby-trapped motorcycle parked near place of resident.

See also:
A physicist killed, another injured in terrorist explosions in Tehran
Spokesman Blames West for Involvement in Assassination of Iranian Scientists
West behind recent terror acts in Tehran, Iran says
West behind latest attacks, Iran says
Iran Accuses Israel of Attacks on Scientists
‘Iran bomb attacks show enemy despair’
Iranian nuclear scientist ‘killed by Mossad or the CIA’
Iran blames British Secret Intelligence Service for attack on nuclear scientists
Report: Revolutionary Guards behind attack on nuke scientist
Is the Mossad Targeting Iran’s Nuclear Scientists?
Yossi Melman: Mossad, MI6, the CIA and the case of the assassinated scientist
Missing or killed Iran scientists

If you’re an Iranian nuclear scientist, you’ve got to be thinking long and hard about your safety right about now and possibly even defecting to the West. In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me if these Iranian scientists have been contacted by Western intelligence services and given the choice, work for us or else.

/assassination, doing the work that Stuxnet can’t

The Russians Are Not Amused

Remember Anna Chapman and the nine other Russian spies that were arrested last June? Well, it appears they were outed by a high ranking Russian intelligence officer who was also working for the United States. Needless to say, the Russians are not pleased about this huge embarrassment.

Russian Double Agent Betrayed Spy Ring in US

Russia’s spy scandal is flaring up again on the news that an intelligence service colonel betrayed the identities of 10 spies, then defected to the United States.

A high-ranking Russian double agent was behind last summer’s exposure and arrest of 10 Russian sleeper spies in the United States. The news was published in Kommersant newspaper Friday and later confirmed by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

Days before the arrests, a Colonel Shcherbakov, a branch leader of Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service, fled Moscow to join his daughter and son in the United States, according to the news report.

Gennady Gudkov, a deputy on the State Duma’s Security Committee, told Interfax that the colonel’s defection was a major blow to the “S” Directorate, which prepare deep cover agents for overseas work. He said internal alarm bells should have rung because the colonel’s daughter was a long-term resident in the United State and the Colonel declined a promotion last year, presumably to avoid taking a lie detector test.

Russia Hunts Double Agent Who Betrayed Spies, Newspaper Says

A Moscow newspaper reported on Thursday that the Kremlin has dispatched an assassin to hunt down a suspected double agent it blames for betraying the Russian spies arrested in June by the United States.

According to the report in Kommersant, an unnamed Kremlin official said that the former head of the Russian intelligence service’s “illegal” spying operations in the U.S., a Colonel Shcherbakov, had betrayed his colleagues and is now being actively sought out.

See also:
Spy Defection Roils Russian Intelligence Service
Mole in intelligence service betrayed Russian spies in US, says newspaper
Senior Russian official may have turned in spies to U.S., newspaper says
Russian official revealed spy ring
Dmitry Medvedev confirms traitor told US about Russian spy ring
Russian intelligence service identifies traitor in U.S. spy scandal
Anna’s Unfaithful Spy Boss
More Information Revealed On the Russian Spies In The US
Russian double agent helped US crack spy ring: lawmaker
Russian Newspaper Names Double Agent Responsible For Spy Ring Bust
Kremlin official issues death threat in Russian spy scandal. Is the KGB coming back?
Top Russian Spy Reportedly Defects After Betraying Anna Chapman, Other Agents in United States
Video: Top Russian Spy defects after betraying ring in the United States
Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR)
Sluzhba Vneshney Razvedki

Foreign Intelligence Service (Russia)

This is a major score for U.S. intelligence, high ranking defectors like this don’t come around very often. It’s a safe bet that the CIA got a lot more information out of Colonel Shcherbakov than just the names of the ten Russian agents.

/well played Colonel Shcherbakov, your new country thanks you, hopefully the CIA can keep you alive

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