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October 20, 2005
An Insider's Look At The DIA

After the DIA has decided to run a smear campaign on LTC Tony Shaffer and to destroy his credibility, apparently for his revelations about Able Danger, the credibility of the agency itself has come under serious question. A CQ reader wishing to remain anonymous but with personal knowledge of the situation the Defense Intelligence Agency sends this description of the senior leadership at the agency:

Deputy Director of DIA is Mark Ewing. He won't be in that position for very long, seeing as how he recently put in his paperwork to resign. This action comes after he had a spat with the outgoing director, Admiral Lowell Jacoby, the subject of which is not clear ... there is the recent revelation that Ewing may very well have pulled a three-monkeys trick (see/hear/speak no evil) when presented with the findings of Able Danger. As the senior leadership exodus at DIA continues (see below) Ewing would have been the last one standing and facing the music. He would like to flee the intelligence community completely but that is apparently not possible: through a curious set of administrative circumstances he has ample government service time under his belt, but cannot retire and collect his pension (details require a long explanation). If anyone needs to panic it is Ewing.

Vice Admiral Lowell Jacoby is the outgoing director of DIA. His previous assignment, in the late 2001 time-frame, was the J2 (the DOD's top officer for warning). Not many outside the business know this but his retirement timetable seemed to accelerate about the time ABLE DANGER hit the fan. This is a guy who never met a mission that he didn't want to kill or ignore if there was any chance that it would prevent him from achieving that next star on his collar. Jacoby is a naval officer but not a "ship-driver". If he were, you tell me, would you want serve on the ship being captained by a guy would didn't think it would be prudent to put the vessel in the water due to the risks involved in actually sailing? When he does go sailing he likes to make sure that there are plenty of familiar hands to help man the sails. Once he was firmly in the director's chair, he began a purge of the old executive corps at DIA, replacing most of them with friends from the office of naval intelligence. When he couldn't easily force incumbents out of their seats, he simply created new executive positions to put his pals into.

The head of HUMINT at DIA is a guy named Bill Huntington (he spoke during the DOD briefing on Able Danger). Technically he's the vice deputy director for HUMINT, but in all of these jobs the civilian deputy is the long-term head of office, while the military officer who is named the head of the office is the short-timer. Huntington is in the process of attempting to flee DIA for the DNI.

The deputy director of intelligence (head of the analysis office) is Earl Sheck. Sheck was one of the first cronies Jacoby brought over from ONI. As the keeper of the analytical resources at DIA, the odds that Sheck also knew something about Able Danger are pretty good. Able Danger was a SOCOM/LIWA show, but if they were using tools from Orion (also have contracts at DIA) and working CT issues, inevitably they would have talked to relevant offices in DIA, if nothing else than to bounce ideas off of each other or to request additional intel support. DIA's CT mission is run by the J2, but to think that Sheck would not be aware to some extent is inconceivable. Sheck is also rumored to have one foot out the door.

An intelligence agency, full of cronies who all botched their respective roles during the decades preceding and years after September 11th, thought they could handily weather the Able Danger storm. When it became clear that the ship was about to capsize, they all couldn't move fast enough for the life rafts. Not like they would have much to worry about given the tendency to not punish intelligence officers for negligence, but then the DIA isn't the CIA, and military officers (like Jacoby) have the UCMJ to worry about.

It sounds like a whole host of people want out of the DIA. Just as with the weird allegations used against Shaffer, this portrait -- if accurate -- begs the question of what the DIA dreads so much. Exposure and embarrassment? Or something worse?

Vi Adkins has a transcript of Curt Weldon's latest media appearance, an interview with Sean Hannity, at QTMonster.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at October 20, 2005 10:35 PM

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