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Mid-Hearing Assessment of Hayden Confirmation (Update)

No way I can blog this full-time, but am catching bits and pieces on the radio. Some good, hard questions, very good and solid answers.

I am particularly fond of the statement reference the “80-90” people briefed at the start of the terrorism surveillance project; NOT a small cabal of untouchables a’la Graham and crew on 24. 80-90 people who, despite best intentions, wispered a thing or two to 2-3 others in the building and possibly around the community. Hundreds of people who know the rules and know the stakes and who could have marched en masse to The Hill to complain . . . yet silence. Makes you wonder.

Good exchange with unknown Senator about Trailblazer, which by all public accounts is an abject failure. A discrepancy between recalled and actual testimony it seems. He gave the right answer this A.M. though, whatever he said last year.

PM Update:

Mentioning the reduction (evaluation and reduction?) of ORCON is an important step. BIG, important step. Mentioned in the same breath as improving information sharing, which I’ve heard for ages, but have yet to see institutionalized (you always help out your friends).

Bringing CIA IT into the information age – or “first decade of the 21st century” as he put it – will be welcome. Make that happen for everyone else and you’ll be in line for sainthood. Google “CIA”, “Kent,” “Berkowitz” and “IT” and read about how bad it was not that long ago.

Re-investing and invigorating S&T will be welcomed by a lot of folks.

Oh, SNAP! Telling Dems who have been briefed to stop having Cassablanca moments and stop playing politics: you’ve been briefed, speak up or shut up.

All-in-all: More than what I expected. Now for the follow-through.

Michael Tanji

Michael Tanji

Michael Tanji spent nearly 20 years in the US intelligence community. Trained in both SIGINT and HUMINT disciplines he has worked at the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, and the National Reconnaissance Office. At various points in his career he served as an expert in information warfare, computer network operations, computer forensics, and indications and warning. A veteran of the US Army, Michael has served in both strategic and tactical assignments in the Pacific Theater, the Balkans, and the Middle East.