Jan 05 2010

Surreal – Democrats Cut National Counterterrorism Center Budget

Published by at 2:04 pm under Bin Laden/GWOT,Flight 253 Attempted Bombing

Want to know how the liberals in DC felt about terrorism and connecting dots? Just follow the money – or the money the Democrats cut from the National Counterterrorism Center:

The highly touted intelligence fusion center at the heart of the nation’s counterterrorism establishment was preparing for deep budget cuts across 2010, senior intelligence officials said. According to one official, who asked not to be identified because intelligence budget matters are classified, the administration and Congress slashed the budget for the National Counterterrorism Center by at least $25 million. Those affected, the official said, included employees responsible for maintaining the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment (TIDE) system, which contains the list of about 550,000 known or suspected terrorists.

Both the Director of National Intelligence, Adm. Dennis Blair, and the head of the NCTC, Mike Leiter, pressed to have the funding restored well before the Christmas Day attack exposed potential problems.

So who would authorize such a dangerous change in national security priorities? President Obama and his national security advisor John Brennan, of course. No word on how much of the remaining funds were diverted to Global Warming and H1N1 (as dictated by the recent National Intelligence Strategy produced by Team Obama).

Sort of puts the lie to the claims the current administration is doing all it can to defend this nation and its people. BTW, those cuts should have gone into effect on October 1, 2009.

There is also this reporting out on how thin the staffing is at NCTC:

President Obama is scheduled to meet on Tuesday afternoon with 20 of his security advisers to receive the results of two inquiries into how Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab snuck a bomb onto Northwest Airlines Flight 253 on Christmas Day

According to NCTC veterans, the NCTC’s Middle East Branch consists of eight to nine analysts at any given time. Those analysts are responsible for integrating and analyzing millions of pieces of fragmentary data relevant to terrorism in the Middle East provided by partner intelligence agencies like the CIA and the National Security Agency.

An individual familiar with NCTC’s current operations did not dispute the number of Middle East Branch analysts. But the individual said focusing on the number was misleading, because NCTC can shift analysts around from across the center to surge attention and resources to deal with an emerging problem.

To that last excuse – you have to detect the emergency in order to move the resource -Doh!

But several NCTC veterans, none of whom would agree to be identified because of their ongoing involvement with the intelligence community, discussed chronic shortfalls of manpower at the agency. One NCTC veteran described an single analyst — “yes, singular,” a different former NCTC analyst emphasized — who until recently was responsible for analysis of terrorism on the entire Arabian Peninsula, apparently during the time when al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has emerged as what Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Monday termed a “global threat.”

It is an abysmal report. How could this over taxed team be cut further?

9 responses so far

9 Responses to “Surreal – Democrats Cut National Counterterrorism Center Budget”

  1. crosspatch says:

    In the meantime, TSA detains Micheal Yon on his way back from Afghanistan for refusing to answer questions that have nothing to do with security such as “How much money do you make?”. AFTER he has already arrived in the country.

    Unbelievable.

  2. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by AJ Strata, Doug Kirks. Doug Kirks said: RT @AJStrata: new: Surreal Democrats Cut National Counter Terrorism Center Budget http://strata-sphere.com/blog/index.php/archives/12180 [...]

  3. mbabbitt says:

    You read this and shake your head, and you have to wonder: “Is this just another sign of our cultural suicide spin?” Why would you not defend yourself? and your family? We simply don’t seem to have the will to defend ourselves. Are we that complacent and self-satisfied that we end up just taking for granted our safety and looking to other things to be scared of — like George W. Bush or Global Warming alarminsm.? I just don’t get it. It seems a no brainer. But look at Europe, same thing going on in how they deal with Islamic intolerance. It sort of ties together with Greenism, the religion that sees human beings as being intrinsically evil and in need of reduction. Perhaps when you live by the feelings and wishes of an envisioned Avatar utopianism, you end up dead in the real world.

  4. Neo says:

    What is clear here is that we are now reverting to a decentralized form of in-flight defense with every member of crew and passengers (including foreign nationals) now have to fend for themselves while in the air.

    So why do we need a centralized health care system ?

  5. colin says:

    Not only are they cutting NCTC’s budget, AJ, but Mike Leiter sounds like a first-class delusional fool, just like Brennan (from the Weekly Standard):

    Also of interest in Baker’s article is an exchange between Michael Leiter, head of the NCTC, and the President-elect one week after his election. Leiter, who oversees the National Counterterrorism Center, is quoted as expressing concern about America’s global image:

    “Mr. President-elect, we are doing things very well, but we’re losing the messaging war,” Michael Leiter, the director of the National Counterterrorism Center, told him a week after the election, according to an official informed about the session. A significant share of the global population thought America was at war with the rest of the world, Leiter maintained. “You have an opportunity to change that message, to change how the struggle is perceived,” he said.”

    Perhaps Leiter, whose organization appears to have dropped the ball in connecting various intelligence reports about the underwear bomber and ensuring that he was put on a TSA watch list, might want to spend more of his time tracking down terrorists and less worrying about global public opinion.

    But this is likely too much to ask when the President Leiter reports to seems to believe that by giving a few speeches and presenting a different (non-Bush) face to the world, the terrorist threat will be diminished. Just as they are beginning to realize their engagement strategy with Iran, North Korea, and other rogue regimes has yielded little progress, hopefully the failed Christmas Day attack will cause the Obama administration to realize that their terrorist engagement strategy is fatally flawed as well.

    No wonder my old boss liked Leiter so much! They were both a couple of lefty fools with inflated senses of importance.

    NCTC’s still an essential outfit, and needs more funding, if possible, not less, but until we can get some management personnel back into the CT arena who take the threat seriously, our institutions are going to be crippled by what comes down from the top.

    It’s scary to think the only thing keeping this country safe right now seems to be Obama’s unnatural lucky streak!

  6. kathie says:

    Even after receiving intel briefings, the new President still believes that Bush was a Nazi in cowboy boots making terrorists of common, everyday, family loving Muslims around the globe. Obama believes that everyday Muslims believe that America is at war with them and that we want to kill anybody who believes in Islam. I know Obama campaigned on the notion, but did he really believe it? It appears that he did. What an idiot!

  7. kathie says:

    Yep AJ, Obama let algore talk him into the necessity of spying on icebergs.

  8. kathie says:

    A CIA role worthy of its middle name: Intelligence(Hint..think Al Gore)
    01/05/2010 8:51:06 PM PST · by winoneforthegipper
    Idaho Mountain Express ^ | 01/05/09
    President Obama has taken the shackles off one Central Intelligence Agency project that could benefit humankind far more than any surreptitious spy or paramilitary operations. The CIA has been ordered to resume using its incredibly powerful spy satellites to collect imagery of evidence of global warming.