All, I repeat, ALL nukes stolen

Discussion in 'The Fire For Effect and Totally Politically Incorr' started by Marlin T, Apr 18, 2009.

  1. Marlin T

    Marlin T Well-Known Member

    Jul 8, 2005
    New Mexico
    April 17, 2009
    Cybersecurity and Counterintelligence

    By Douglas Farah

    The Obama administration is about to unveil its
    cybersecurity review, and the turf battles are brewing. What is seldom mentioned in the debate is that this is perhaps one of the most important issues the Obama administration will face.

    The cypersecurity issue is an important part of the broader counter-intelligence effort, an effort that was woefully inadequate in past administrations, and one that is
    costing our nation dearly. As noted in the article above, the Chinese have stolen every single advanced weapons system design we have made in recent years, through human intel operations and electronically.

    As the
    Wall Street Journal recently reported, our entire electrical grid has been mapped for foreign powers. Not just for the fun of it, and not to steal vital state secrets that will benefit them right away.

    Rather, it is an embedded program that could remain passive for years, but could be activated in a second if to disrupt the entire electrical supply should they feel the need to. It is not a targeted effort at some parts of the country, but rather an ambitious effort to map the entire grid. Talk about thinking big!

    We are only beginning to understand how penetrated our systems are, and the need to push back are figure out what the other guys are doing, why, and how to disrupt it. My
    full blog is here.

    April 17, 2009 11:40 AM Link Print


    Foreign Spies Are Serious. Are We?

    By Michelle Van Cleave
    Sunday, February 8, 2009

    Back in 2002, I got an unexpected phone call from the White House. "Would you be interested in serving as the head of U.S. counterintelligence?" they asked.

    The Obama administration may already have placed such a call and picked someone to handle my old job: identifying and stopping other nations' spies. But my successor will have his or her work cut out for them.

    In 2003, when I began my three years as the first congressionally mandated national counterintelligence executive (known by the unpronounceable acronym NCIX), Washington seemed ready to transform the fight against foreign espionage into a focused, coherent enterprise. But today, this vital national security mission is on life support.

    Think this isn't a big deal? Think again. Most Americans would be astonished to learn how successful foreign intelligence services have been at stealing our national security secrets and threatening our vital interests.

    The Chinese stole the design secrets to all -- repeat, all -- U.S. nuclear weapons, enabling them to leapfrog generations of technology development and put our nuclear arsenal, the country's last line of defense, at risk. To this day, we don't know quite when or how they did it, but we do know that Chinese intelligence operatives are still at work, systematically targeting not only America's defense secrets but our industries' valuable proprietary information.

    The Soviets, of course, were especially aggressive at spying -- a tradition that has roared back to life in Vladimir Putin's Russia. It was bad enough that the KGB learned so much about U.S. vulnerabilities, but scores of hostile intelligence services and terrorist groups have also been schooled in the tradecraft that the Soviets perfected.

    If left unanswered, these growing foreign intelligence threats could endanger U.S. operations, military and intelligence personnel and even Americans at home. But across the government, our counterintelligence capabilities are in decay. The struggle against foreign intelligence threats has a national leadership in name only. Nor is it driven by any overall strategy, which means that integrating the efforts of the 16 agencies that make up the U.S. intelligence community has taken a back seat to individual agencies' priorities. Meanwhile, we are losing talent at an alarming pace. Take it from me: This is as unnecessary as it is dangerous.

    Given the stakes, it may seem strange that, until very recently, there was no such job as "head of U.S. counterintelligence" -- no one person responsible for identifying foreign intelligence threats to U.S. national security or economic well-being and figuring out what to do about them. Instead, counterintelligence responsibilities were divided among the FBI, the CIA and the three military services, with no central leadership or overarching structure to unite them. That created inherent seams that adversaries could -- and did -- exploit.

    Then came the 1994 arrest of Aldrich Ames, a CIA counterintelligence chief who turned out to have been spying for the Soviets for nine long years. Through "dead drops" in Washington and meetings with his handlers abroad, Ames handed over comprehensive blueprints of U.S. collection operations against the Russians, including the identities of the very clandestine agents he was sworn to protect. At least nine people lost their lives because of Ames.

    His treachery sparked a searching reexamination: What was wrong with U.S. counterintelligence? That anguished question became even more urgent with the February 2001 arrest of Robert Hanssen, an FBI special agent who had been working for the Russians for more than two decades -- to devastating effect. Hanssen handed over more than 6,000 pages of classified documents on some of our most sensitive national security programs, including details on U.S. nuclear-war defenses. He also revealed the identities of Russian agents working for the United States, two of whom were tried and executed.

    How could such spies have operated unseen at the very heart of our national security enterprise for so long and with such success?

    The answer was staring us in the face: We had no coherent game plan for identifying, assessing and stopping such threats. As the new head of U.S. counterintelligence, it would be my job to develop and execute the nation's first strategy for finding and neutralizing foreign spies.

    This, I knew, would not be easy. I had worked on espionage issues for two presidents and the Senate Judiciary Committee. I knew that counterintelligence was little understood within the national security community, where it was largely overshadowed by the far more familiar world of intelligence gathering.

    I also knew that the United States is a spy's paradise. Our free and open society is tailor-made for clandestine operations. And most of the golden eggs worth collecting are found within our borders: military plans and diplomatic strategies, weapons designs, nuclear secrets, even proprietary R&D from companies such as Bell Labs or Dupont.

    And business is booming. Today, most of the world's governments (even friendly ones) and roughly 35 suspected terrorist organizations run intelligence operations against the United States. The Russians, for example, still have as many spies here as they did at the height of the Cold War. That's daunting enough. But the counterintelligence challenge isn't just one of sheer numbers. The scope of these activities is an even bigger problem.

    Historically, embassies and other diplomatic establishments within the United States have served as ready-made safe houses for foreign spies masquerading as diplomats, which is why the 20,000-strong diplomatic community has traditionally commanded the lion's share of counterintelligence attention. But in America today, there are thousands of foreign-owned commercial establishments, hundreds of thousands of exchange students and visiting academicians, and countless routine trade and financial interactions. Hidden beneath these open and legitimate activities can be darker purposes. With our open, rich society as cover, intelligence officers and their agents can move about freely, develop contacts and operate in the shadows -- a point no more lost on foreign spies than it was on the 19 hijackers that September morning in 2001.

    As a result, foreign powers are running intelligence operations throughout the United States with unprecedented independence from the safe havens of their diplomatic establishments, leaving our counterintelligence efforts in the dust.

    In the past, America's default strategy has been to wait to engage the adversary in our own backyard, rather than in his. Ninety percent of our counterintelligence resources are concentrated within the United States. We're playing goal-line defense rather than looking for opportunities to get ahead of the game.

    The new national strategy approved by President Bush was a sharp departure from the past. It declared that we would no longer cede the initiative to foreign intelligence services working on U.S. soil. Following the age-old wisdom that the best defense is a good offense, the new strategy directed the intelligence community to marshal its resources and go after the most worrisome foreign intelligence services. Our goal was to methodically disrupt their ability to work against the United States, starting by focusing on targets abroad.

    But when each of the counterintelligence organizations across the sprawling intelligence community was asked to map out its programs and resource allocations to see whether they squared with these new goals, something miraculous occurred: Somehow, all of those existing plans, programs and budgets just happened to perfectly match the new national priorities. No real changes were needed -- no new starts, no hard choices. It was unbelievable -- literally.

    This is where the 2003 law that created my job fell short. As the quarterback of our counterintelligence efforts, I was responsible for providing strategic direction and evaluating how well various agencies were performing. But I had no power to move funds around or establish new programs. The law created a national executive but not the means of execution.

    Things got even more confused after 2005, with the creation of the nation's first director of national intelligence (DNI), an idea that arose from the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission. When my office was placed under that of the DNI, I hoped that working for the new overall leader of the intelligence community would give us more clout, especially the ability to give marching orders and fix budgets.

    No such luck. In setting up his new office, the first DNI, the veteran diplomat John Negroponte, delegated the authority for much of our work to his own newly created deputies. True, I was named the "mission manager" for counterintelligence and made Negroponte's principal adviser on the problem. But an adviser is not a leader.

    With no central leadership of the fight against foreign intelligence threats, the FBI, the CIA and the military services tend to go their separate ways. And my position and staff became just another layer of the weighty bureaucracy of the office of the DNI.

    Seven years after we created my old office, there is no central clearing-house to support operations against the spies who are working against us around the globe or to formulate policy options for President Obama and his top aides. And we still know surprisingly little about hostile intelligence services relative to the amount of harm they can do.

    How important is all of this, really? Cynics will scoff and say, "There will always be spies." But I have read the file drawers full of damage assessments; I have catalogued the enormous losses in lives, treasure and crucial secrets that foreign intelligence work has caused. The memory of what's in those files -- and the thought of the people and the operations still in harm's way -- can keep me awake at night.

    So we have to choose. We can handle these threats piecemeal, or we can pull together a strategic program -- one team, one plan, one goal -- to reduce the overall danger. We can chase individual spies case by case, or we can target the services that send them here. The next devastating spy case is just around the bend. I fear that when it comes, we will all ask ourselves why we didn't stop it. I suspect I already know the answer.

    Michelle Van Cleave served as head of U.S. counterintelligence from July 2003 through March 2006. She is a senior research fellow at the National Defense University and a special adviser to the Project on National Security Reform.
  2. 4EvrLearning

    4EvrLearning New Member

    Feb 27, 2009
    Left Coast
    Daunting information....thanks for posting it, MarlinT. Now what? Our current ad'min can't even translate "reset button" correctly.......

  3. jacksonco

    jacksonco New Member

    Jul 11, 2007
    Jackson County West Virginia
    A lot of peopel dont realize it but if our entire electric grid was knocked off it is not just a matter of turning it back on. It could take a very long time to restore power to current levels perhaps months or even years.
  4. RunningOnMT

    RunningOnMT New Member

    Nov 19, 2008
    Akron, Ohio
    Not all of our secrets were stolen...some were given to the Chinese by the Clinton administration.

    Scientist: Clinton Administration Gave China Top Nuclear Secrets
    Christopher Ruddy
    March 11, 1999

    A scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has provided information that seriously contradicts Clinton administration claims that nuclear secrets obtained by China were solely the result of espionage during the late 1980's.
    In the wake of allegations that the Clinton administration has been slow to investigate the theft of nuclear secrets by China, Vice President Al Gore has sought to deflect criticism on to the Reagan and Bush administrations.

    "This happened in the previous administration, and the law enforcement agencies have pressed it, and pursued it aggressively with our full support," Gore told CNN.

    A nuclear weapons scientist, who has sought anonymity "to keep my position and keep supporting my family," has informed that the Clinton administration has, in fact, aggressively sought to provide China with some of the nation's most closely guarded nuclear weapons technology.

    "It seems like every day there are more and more Chinese at Livermore," he stated. The scientist said the administration had facilitated the transfer of laser technology employed in the process of making nuclear weapons-grade plutonium.

    "Early in the 1980's a process was developed at Lawrence Livermore for producing weapons-grade plutonium," the scientist explained, revealing for the first time details of a U.S. government project then considered the government's most important.

    Plutonium is a critical ingredient in a nuclear warhead, but for military applications, plutonium must be processed to change the isotope to weapons-grade. Weapons-grade plutonium is critical for developing nuclear weapons that are both highly reliable and produce a predictable yield when exploded.

    The New York Times reported last week that U.S. intelligence officials had evidence China had made significant advances in it nuclear weapons program. Specifically, China had designed and tested miniaturized nuclear warheads. Federal authorities have suspected the technology for the specialized weapons was the result of espionage at Los Alamos National Laboratory, the sister facility to Lawrence Livermore.

    Chinese success in developing such nuclear weapons, as well as large strategic warheads, while increasing their stockpile of approximately 500 warheads, has been dependent on China's ability to process plutonium.

    For decades, creating weapons-grade plutonium was an expensive and time-consuming process. A huge plutonium processing plant at Hanford, Washington completed this task for U.S. defense needs.

    According to the Livermore source, in the 1980's, at the height of the Cold War, the U.S. government had a "prime interest" to create a more efficient process to "separate or enrich fissile materials to enriched weapons-grade" plutonium.

    The development of this plutonium process paralleled Livermore's development of a laser technology to process uranium, needed for civilian nuclear power plants. This technology to process uranium, called AVLIS or the Atomic Vapor Laser Isotope Separation -- was turned over in 1995 to the United States Enrichment Corporation, a private company that uses the technology for the benefit of nuclear power plants.

    The plutonium project was, however, at the heart of Livermore's mission to develop America's strategic arsenal.

    "This was the highest funded project and the most secret project the government had. So secret in fact, a special security compound known as the 'super block' was created within the processing area, simply known as Building 332."

    The "super block" -- a series of buildings housing nuclear weapons design and development programs -- is one of the nation's most highly guarded complexes, with rings of barbed wire fence, and a complement of specially trained federal guards who have access to automatic weapons and an armored personnel carrier on premises. Deadly force is authorized against intruders.

    The Livermore scientist states that within the secure compound, a special building was constructed for the development of this "new highly secret process" for plutonium.

    During the Reagan and Bush administrations, the compound's already intense security was beefed up because of the "global implications if this technology ever leaked out."

    Such technology could not only allow Third World countries like Iraq and Iran to overcome the significant obstacles in processing plutonium, it would allow existing nuclear club members like China to cheaply and quickly build a large nuclear stockpile.

    Ominously, the scientist stated that all persons who worked on the project "were warned of the world wide political instability that would occur if a foreign power was to get this secret."

    This concern for security for the weapons enriching laser process, however, quickly faded during the Clinton administration.

    During the Clinton administration's first year, China began making overtures to gain access to Livermore's weapons-grade enriching process.

    For years the work at Livermore had been a prime target for Chinese espionage. In 1988, the FBI's Chief of Counterintelligence, Harry Godfrey III, told the Los Angeles Times that China was "the most active foreign power" seeking America's military secrets. Godfrey said Livermore National Laboratory was among China's main targets.

    Concerns about China's intentions diminished after Clinton's inauguration, and China began more formal steps to gain access to Livermore.

    China's efforts culminated with a delegation of Chinese scientists who visited Livermore in the winter of 1994, and another visit by Department of Energy Secretary Hazel O'Leary at about the same time.

    O'Leary's Department and the University of California jointly administer Livermore, with the DOE in charge of ensuring control over nuclear secrets.

    "O'Leary's meeting was held in the California Room in Building 111. She arrived very late that day because of the flu or suspected food poisoning while in Silicon Valley that morning."

    After the meeting, the scientist recalled several Livermore scientists in a heated debate over whether "this type of information [relating to weapons enriching laser process] should be considered for technology transfer" to China.

    The deal with China for the technology transfer was consummated, the scientist said, sometime later that year after O'Leary's visit, when top DOE officials, Department of Commerce officials representing Ron Brown, White House representatives and Chinese government officials met in a guarded room at the Pleasanton Hilton nearby to Livermore.

    O'Leary, now in private business, did not respond to a call for comment.

    Lawrence Livermore officials voiced skepticism about the scientist's claims.

    Jeff Garberson, senior manager for external relations for Livermore, said that to the best of his knowledge he was unaware of any process developed at the laboratory using lasers in the plutonium process or for that matter any transfer of nuclear secrets to the Chinese.

    He said Chinese contact at Livermore has been "small." In recent years, he said the lab had stepped up non-proliferation programs with Russian scientists, and Chinese scientists had expressed interest in joining that program.

    He had no information about a secret meeting at the Pleasanton Hilton relating to these matters.

    Garberson said that the rules at Livermore "remain by law: no transfer of classified technology to Russia and China" is permitted, and said he was familiar enough with programs there to know that no technologies had been reclassified to allow for Commerce Department officials to sell the technology abroad.

    The Clinton administration had reset long-standing policies relating to technology transfers. By March of 1994, the administration had abolished the COCOM system that had safeguarded technology transfers from Western countries to East Bloc or communist nations.

    Later the White House took the key decision-making powers over technology transfers from the State and Defense Departments and gave them to the Commerce Department.

    These changes greatly expedited sales of U.S. technology, including supercomputers once prohibited for sale to communist countries and useful in developing nuclear weapons.

    Another oft cited example of the administration's method of reclassifying military secrets surfaced in a 1998 New York Times report by Jeff Gerth. Gerth revealed that in 1996, Loral, an American aerospace company, had, without a license, provided China with ballistic missile technology that enabled China to improve its rocket guidance systems.

    When the Justice Department began a grand jury probe of this apparent illegal transfer, President Clinton quickly reclassified the technology and approved its transfer, effectively undermining the Justice Department's case against Loral.

    Edward Teller, former director of Lawrence Livermore laboratory, told that while he regards the allegations surrounding technology transfers to China as serious, he said he was less concerned about espionage, and more concerned with the Clinton administration's failure to fund new weapons development programs during the past six years.
  5. Islandboy

    Islandboy New Member

    Feb 21, 2009
    Off the right coast
    Boy I'm glad my firearms are all hardware only.
    Good old mechanical engineering, no software, viruses etc.
  6. Trouble 45-70

    Trouble 45-70 New Member

    Apr 10, 2009
    NE Ar. W. of Black River
    Islandboy, just wait for the Congressionaly mandated biometric interface device to be installed between your finger and the trigger. I won't either, I guess we are both in deep dookey. Fix bayonets.