Intelligence program in dire need of oversight committee

Freedom Newspapers An ancient Roman proverb asks, “Who watches the watchman?” We might update that to: “Who spies on the spies?” That is, who makes sure they’re doing the right thing and not abusing their budgets, authority and powers? The question arises after a recent three-part series in The Washington Post, “Top Secret America.” Some […]

Seniors prepare to embark on new journey

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Freedom New Mexico: Tony Bullocks Clovis High School seniors, from left, CJ Goodrich, 18, Tori Bailey, 17, and Carmella Caltagirone, 18, talk about their future plans Friday at the Java Loft. By Clarence Plank: Freedom New Mexico For Portales High School senior Katie Montiel, 18, the road to graduation has been a long journey. She […]

AFSOC officials proposing new squadron at Cannon

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Courtesy photo The MQ-1 Predator is currently assigned to Cannon Air Force Base. Air Force Special Operations Command officials are proposing to create a new intelligence squadron at Cannon Air Force Base later this year, according to AFSOC officials. Plans are developing to stand up a new squadron at Cannon similar to the 11th Intelligence […]

Surveillance act sets dangerous future precedent

Freedom New Mexico The Senate passed Wednesday the FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) Amendments Act of 2008 as a “compromise” between Democrats and Republicans, although it was by and large a victory for the Bush administration. President Bush signed it into law on Thursday. Twenty Democrats voted for the bill, including Sen. Barack Obama, who […]

America needs to eliminate its use of torture

Freedom New Mexico So it’s out in the open now. Central Intelligence Agency Director Gen. Michael Hayden admitted to the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday that the CIA used the coercive interrogation technique known as waterboarding, a form of simulated drowning, on three al-Qaida operatives in 2002 and 2003. The technique is widely viewed as […]

Iran report sign officials will hold back on attack

By Freedom New Mexico An obvious question arises in the wake of a new National Intelligence Estimate on Iran’s nuclear program. The report judges “with high confidence that in fall 2003, Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program.” If the 2005 NIE assessed “with high confidence that Iran currently is determined to develop nuclear weapons” was […]

New intelligence director has odd idea of privacy

By Freedom New Mexico The whole point of gathering intelligence is to learn what others don’t want you to know. Using satellites, computers and real-time analysis, it’s never been easier to track down the bad guys — along with U.S. citizens who presumably count themselves among the good guys. Presume no more, citizen. Your privacy […]

Last-minute surveillance law lacks restraint

By Freedom Newspapers The National Security Agency surveillance authorization law passed in the frantic final hours before Congress took its August recess turns out to be much more expansive in its grant of power to spy on Americans without warrants or judicial oversight than had been widely understood at the time of its passage. House […]

Military action not always best terror defense

By Freedom Newspapers Any discussion of a threat estimate from the vaunted U.S. intelligence community must begin with an acknowledgment that U.S. intelligence often, perhaps more often than not, has gotten things wrong. Even before the failure to “connect the dots” prior to 9/11 and the “slam dunk” on Saddam’s supposed WMDs, U.S. intelligence missed […]

Iraqi reports overshadowed

By Freedom Newspapers There’s a certain air of second-guessing from people who, quite frankly, are not in a strong position to be able to say “I told you so” in the 229-page report released Friday by the Senate Intelligence Committee on pre-Iraq war intelligence assessments made in January 2003. Only a few critics outside the […]