During World War II, the underground movement in various countries was an integral part of winning the war. Many people lost their lives passing on information to the Allies. How would their overt operations been different if they had the technology of today? Those who now lay their lives on the line to fight for what they think is right may very well be playing roulette with a system in which they have no control…the world wide web.
Recently on my research into various topics, I ran into a fascinating article written by Zach Dorfman and Jenna McLaughlin, with a beginning title that caught my eye… “The CIA’s Communications Suffered a Catastrophic Compromise…”
Yes, it was a long…very long article…but I waded through it, finding out some horrific things that happened in recent years.
“From around 2009 to 2013, the U.S. intelligence community experienced crippling intelligence failures related to the secret internet-based communications system, a key means for remote messaging between CIA officers and their sources on the ground worldwide. The previously unreported global problem originated in Iran and spiderwebbed to other countries, and was left unrepaired — despite warnings about what was happening — until more than two dozen sources died in China in 2011 and 2012 as a result, according to 11 former intelligence and national security officials…”
We have read about “sources” that we have depended upon for information on the ground where we are fighting terrorism, but most people do not think of the fact that these very “human sources” are now lingering in prison or were executed because of their help in the fight. In some cases, because we have not tried to have them released and brought here for protection, they are a throw-away. How very sad…and yet we still rely upon these men (and women) to risk their lives. Sometimes, the article I just referred to, stated they are promised help that never was acted upon.
Some informants, who work with our military, simply take the danger because of the love of their family and country. One man (Agent 40) who helped fight ISIS realized the danger but continued regardless. The informant is on the ground and knows firsthand what is happening.
” Coalition spokesman Col. John Dorrian confirmed the international alliance receives its target lists from civilian informants, among other sources… Islamic State fighters in Iraq conducted a surprise inspection of Agent 40’s house and found his wife using a forbidden phone. They waited for him to return and then promptly arrested him, beat him, and shoved him in a cell with seven other men. After they went through the phone and saw the videos he took, they sentenced him to execution. As he sat there waiting to die, the building quaked, and one of the walls exploded into pieces from an airstrike on an adjacent building. Through the smoke, Agent 40 saw four Islamic State bodies sprawled on the ground. He and six fellow prisoners made their escape through the hole caused by the airstrike — he believes the eighth prisoner was killed…The informant fled Mosul to Qayyarah, and then to Shirqat, where he was eventually reunited with his family. To this day, he doesn’t know whether the airstrike was accidental or a deliberate attempt to free him. Still, Agent 40 was happy that the most absurd parts of the experience were over. He said he had found it ever more difficult to keep a straight face while attending mosque on Fridays, which the Islamic State mandated. When the militants called on God to defeat their enemies, Agent 40 made a different prayer. They told us to pray, ‘Please, God, destroy the Americans and the Peshmerga,’ he said. ‘I prayed: ‘Please, my God, don’t listen to them.’ (taken from FP News Igor Kossov)
Dorfman and McLaughlin continue about crippling intelligence failures :
“You establish these networks that are obviously critical to our ability to really understand what our adversaries are up to — there’s a pride in that — and when something that valuable starts to fall apart, the concern is, ‘Are we developing a house of cards?’” said one former senior official. “A lot of bells went off” during this time, said this person, because “whatever methods and procedures we were using were in jeopardy because of what the Chinese and Iranians had determined. You find that you’re blind.”
One of the people mentioned in the article was John Reidy:
“In 2008 — well before the Iranians had arrested any agents — a defense contractor named John Reidy, whose job it was to identify, contact and manage human sources for the CIA in Iran, had already sounded an alarm about a “massive intelligence failure” having to do with “communications” with sources… The “U.S. communications infrastructure was under siege,” he wrote. Reidy warned that the problem wasn’t limited to a single country — it extended to everywhere the CIA operates. Close to 70 percent of operations at the time were potentially compromised, he noted. In other words, an entire class of CIA agents — those using some iteration of the online system — was in danger. “CIA is aware of this,” he wrote. “The design and maintenance of the system is flawed.”… Reidy’s complaint wasn’t fully addressed for many years. But when the wide-scale arrest of sources in Iran happened, the CIA eventually launched an investigation. The deaths in China sent investigators into overdrive. Teams from the CIA, the FBI and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence scrambled to try to figure out what had happened — and how to stem the damage.”
For much more information, I highly recommend that you take some time to read all of this article. Whistleblowers who are not taken seriously will leave huge gaps in our intelligence. Each day or hour that ticks by will be an invitation for discovery and death for our agents and sources throughout the world. The internet has become the new technology from which to wage war…although it is done silently. One thing leads to another with global speed while the House of Cards is built higher.