If Democrats win control of the House or Senate in the November 6 elections, they will capture the chairmanships of one or both of the intelligence committees — the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI).
Consequently, reforming the FBI, CIA, DIA, NSA, and other parts of an Intelligence Community deeply corrupted by the Obama Administration will become much more difficult or impossible.
The Obama Administration was notorious for producing politically biased intelligence designed to advance their domestic and foreign policy agendas, regardless of the consequences for U.S. national security.
The grave danger of politically-driven intelligence should have become obvious to all in the summer of 2017 when North Korea demonstrated ICBMs capable of striking anywhere in the United States and tested an H-Bomb. This less than one year after President Obama and his Intelligence Community reassured Congress and the American people that North Korea was many years away from developing both threats.
Many are disappointed that the Trump Administration, HPSCI and SSCI, having inherited Obama’s highly politicized Intelligence Community, have apparently done little or nothing to reform its analytical ranks by recruiting new senior analysts.
Nearly two years after President Trump’s election — among the senior analytical ranks — it is still the Obama Administration’s Intelligence Community.
If people are policy, so too with intelligence.
The Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 — that mandated reforms recommended by the 9/11 Commission to avoid another massively destructive intelligence failure — requires the Intelligence Community to foster alternative views, including by B-Teams.
B-Teams comprise independent experts with access to classified data to provide alternative intelligence assessments.
B-Teams would be an excellent check on Intelligence Community bias. B-team analysis begun by President Gerald Ford as a corrective to CIA underestimating the Soviet threat helped President Reagan win the Cold War.
At minimum, the Trump Administration, HPSCI and SSCI, should be proliferating B-Teams to challenge dubious, deeply erroneous and in some cases preposterous intelligence assessments such as these:
Allegedly Russia “hacked” the 2016 elections to help Trump. Astonishing that President Trump’s own hand-picked leaders of the Intelligence Community have allowed to stand unchallenged this obviously politicized assessment by the Obama Administration’s Director of National Intelligence, General Clapper, and CIA Director Brennan — both Trump haters. Many former intelligence officers have already debunked this disinformation designed to undermine President Trump’s legitimacy. Why is Clapper-Brennan propaganda tolerated by the Trump Administration to continue as a legitimate official intelligence assessment?
Allegedly climate change is the greatest threat to U.S. and global security. President Trump has not allowed this fantasy to damage our economy and lead the U.S. toward global socialism by wisely ending the “war on coal” and withdrawing from the Paris Climate Accords. But Intelligence Community assessments continue to parrot Obama on climate change, serving as a rationale for misguided policies at the EPA, DOE, DOD, DHS, and throughout the U.S. government. Contrary to climate change true believers, there is no scientific consensus that climate change is “anthropogenic” (caused by Man) or a clear and present danger.
Allegedly Russia has reduced its tactical nuclear weapons from 20,000 to 1,000. The Obama Administration’s Intelligence Community concealed Russia’s violations of the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty and low-balled Russian cheating on tactical nuclear weapons to sell Congress the New START Treaty and advance a “world without nuclear weapons” led by U.S. unilateral nuclear disarmament. DIA and CIA continue shrinking Russia’s tactical nuclear arsenal through wishful thinking in President Trump’s Nuclear Posture Review.
Allegedly electromagnetic pulse (EMP) is a low-risk low-priority threat. The Obama Administration’s deeply erroneous Joint Atomic Energy Intelligence Committee (JAEIC) report on EMP continues to misguide policy at DHS, even though thoroughly discredited by the Congressional EMP Commission.
Allegedly Iran does not have nuclear weapons. A recent Institute for Science and International Security report, by two former UN nuclear inspectors, reviewing material stolen by Israel from Iran’s secret nuclear archives concludes:
“The United States incorrectly assessed with high confidence in a 2007 declassified National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) that ‘in fall 2003, Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program.’ Based on the information in the archives, Iran’s nuclear weapons program continued after 2003 …Moreover, the 2007 NIE also incorrectly asserted that Iran had not re-started its nuclear weapons program as of mid-2007, albeit with only moderate confidence. It should be noted that the term ‘moderate confidence’ demonstrates the limitations of intelligence information. However, there is no evidence that the program was ever fully halted, even up to today.”
Israeli intelligence officers and some U.S. former senior intelligence officials — including a former CIA Director, a former Chairman of the National Intelligence Council, and a former White House Science Advisor — have warned Iran probably already has nuclear weapons. (See “Underestimating Nuclear Missile Threats from North Korea and Iran” National Review, February 2016 by Ambassador James R. Woolsey, Ambassador Henry Cooper, Dr. William Graham, Fritz Ermarth, and Dr. Peter Vincent Pry.)
These are just a few of the dubious, deeply erroneous, and in some cases preposterous intelligence assessments produced by the Obama Administration’s Intelligence Community that deserve B-Team treatment.
Expect these and other far-left fantasies that are “the world according to Obama” to continue undermining U.S. national security if Democrats capture control of the Senate or House intelligence committees as a result of the November 6 elections.
Dr. Peter Vincent Pry is executive director of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security. He served on the Congressional EMP Commission as chief of staff, the Congressional Strategic Posture Commission, the House Armed Services Committee, and the CIA. He is author of “Blackout Wars.” For more of his reports, Go Here Now.