Like most people I do follow the news and especially what is happening in the US of A, my late wife’s tribal lands as I refer to the place. She did not agree to such colonial talk, I assure you, but I am African when all is said and done. We had again a spate of terrorist attacks in the US the last few days, no one is surprised or should be surprised, my mate, Jacobus Kotze, in his book Terrorist Takedown, predicted such an attack to take place between 2 – 3 times a year, time will tell. Thus far he is right.
What was surprising to me was how Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton reacted. First by refusing, with Mr Obama in tow (expected nothing less, to be honest), to call the events a terrorist attack (God knows why not - since I don’t - bombs do not explode in any other way than terrorism), so, political correctness again and damn the innocents that are not surrounded by armed Secret Service agents. Then she talked of “tough vetting,” copying Donald Trump faithfully, and finally, the comment which made me stop writing GMJ 26, Code Name Halloween 38, “we need an intelligence surge.”
The last part made me laugh so much that I now have stomach cramps. Anyone reading the last 10 GMJ Books would have noted we often poke fun with the former secretary of state, yes, the one that caused Libya to become a haven for terrorists and survived sniper fire in Bosnia or some other place in her imagination. We say, and I will quote from Code Name Butterfly, a wonderful book on counter snipers and VIP Protection: “When a man sees his soul, he desires her, it is natural. And when she looks like Angelique physically, you show a natural desire at times, especially if she is close to you or in your arms, that can lead to red faces. Any man reading here will have much sympathy, I am sure. I found that thinking of the old liberal, Hillary Clinton (aka Hilarious in the GMJ Books) can instantly reduce such desires in most men. She is the only woman I can think of whose image alone is capable in making me calm down in ways not recommended on honeymoon, through the years, with Angelique as desirable as she is, old Hillary did tremendous duty, not always successfully so, I am glad to say. After our marriage when desire is expected and entirely welcomed, I completely banned the old liberal from my mind, she gives decent people like me heartburn. But in those days, well, I am a man and I show appreciation to my soul, so to speak.”
Of course, you have to read my books with a bit of humour too, the above is said tongue-in-cheek. Ironically, in real life, I met her and her husband in the late 1990s, enough said, Mr Clinton impressed me, she did not. Behind the GMJ Books are a lot of research. As I say in all of them, where the characters start talking history, our favourite topic, you can bet your last dollar that I can attest to what I am writing. Yes, as an example, the US Army did spent more money on air-conditioners in Iraq than NASA’s entire budget. Yes, the USAF pilots and US Navy aviators fly on average 4 hours a month, the Chinese pilots fly between 160-180 hours a month. Just last night, in the forthcoming GMJ, Code Name Halloween 38, I remarked that a Chinese fighter jock flies more in one month than his US counterpart in an entire year. This is utterly shocking statistics and they don’t have a 40% airframe availability either, we are now talking Fifth World Air Force statistics, sadly so. Why am I saying these things in my books? Simply as warnings, don’t believe the clamouring “OMG it is Patton or Montgomery brigade” – go and research what I say and you will shake your head in disbelief. Obviously, it is easy to write your own agenda into a book as much as the lying press or dishonest media, as Mr Trump calls them, do so all the time in their news articles, desperately trying to keep the status quo. I try to do the opposite, to use history as an example and warning to the future, it is more honest.
Frankly, Mrs Clinton has no understanding of intelligence gathering when she makes such comments. In the first place, and Mr Trump can take note too, you cannot conduct a proper vetting if that what you vet from, is unreliable. As an example, when you employ someone, you check his resume against his claims. In other words, if he says he obtained a degree at such and such university in such a year, you follow Mr Reagan’s doctrine of “Trust, but verify.” Yes, you check and you will find 70% of people lie in their resumes. I often warn in my books, I speak out of experience, I have many sources of information you don’t have, that the West’s Intelligence Agencies are hopeless in Africa. I use the less than elegant metaphor that they are being treated like mushrooms, kept in the dark and fed you know what. It is ten times worse in war-torn countries where verification is impossible, really, you cannot check because the central government collapsed. And it is known via intercepts that the ISIS / ISIL, whatever, terrorist group, is abusing this aspect by smuggling sleeper agents into Europe and no doubt the greatest evil of them all (from their viewpoint), the USA. Therefore, you are living in a dream world if you think you can vet such people, you cannot, and so it is. Vetting is not the answer. But I will tell you this, every single such attacker went to places where he should not have been (Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen), before the attack takes place, so it is nonsense to say it came as a surprise, it did not. His community and those close to him, should have known, ought to have known about his conversion to radicalism, and yet did not report him or if they did, the wonderfully incompetent FBI and DHS screwed up their "vetting." They are not nearly as good as the legends make them.
Then there is the “intelligence surge” comment. Right, let me explain, it takes years to establish reliable intelligence networks. America has almost none in the human sense, they screw up the entire Great Game (also discussed in GMJ Books) by arriving with aircraft loads of dollars, spending like crazy, to get intelligence on Al Qaeda. By doing that, they attracted every second shyster and his mate to feed them mushrooms by the tons. They also closed the doors for other less funded agencies (important because they could have verified what the Virginians, as we call the CIA, uncovered). It was an utter mess and still is and it did not work and it will not work. History will show you that the best traitors are those that do so for a cause, not money, money seldom motivated them and where it did, it usually ended in tragedy. So much so for the “surge” which is, by the way, a nice sounding reference to the “Iraqi Surge” of General Petraeus under George W Bush. That too is doubtful in accomplishment but anyway, another topic. There is no such thing as an “intelligence surge” and it is a typical liberal MBA type answer to every problem in life “we will throw money, no matter the results we get, if we spend x-billion the problem will go away.” Yet, 15 years later, the problem is worse, it is a silly way to do business, it is against what history taught us and frankly, an idiotic solution.
I quote below some news extractions I saw the last month – they are cross checked with other reports, I too don’t hold the media in great respect to accurately report what they hear, remember the agenda behind the story when you read anything:
“President George W. Bush’s hopes of building a viable nation in Afghanistan fell victim not to the ongoing Taliban insurgency but rather to endemic corruption that the U.S. fed, pumping tens of billions of dollars into a society with a government ill-equipped to handle it, according to a watchdog report released Wednesday. At its worst, American taxpayers’ money intended to rebuild the country went to corrupt government officials who siphoned it to criminals, drug traffickers and even the insurgents, concluded John F. Sopko, the special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction (SIGAR). Corruption also sapped Afghans’ confidence in their government, leading some to instead support the Taliban and further boosting the insurgents, Mr. Sopko said.” Washington Times 14 Sept 2016.
Yes, that is your legacy in spending wildly in Afghanistan, you achieved nothing and soon the Taliban will take over again. But let us look at what the satellite intercepts brought during the recent attacks in Europe, the one thing that US Intelligence Agencies are so proud about and first warned about in Code Name Odette, GMJ 8.
“Drawing from a growing bag of tricks, Islamic State accomplices located in Syria likely used phones and WhatsApp accounts belonging to Abaaoud and other attackers to mask the group’s travel to Europe, said a Western security official: “We relied too much on technology. And we lost track.” Washington Times report.
The problem here started long ago, in the 1990s under Bill Clinton. If your intelligence networks are not already established, you will be blind to all coming attacks and they will get through sometimes, you cannot rectify that overnight with a “surge” – that is foolishness. Go back to basics.
George M James is a pseudo name for the author and used for security reasons. He is an expert on counter terrorism and counter insurgency operations in sub Saharan Africa, a military and war historian and published author of 43 books. His late wife was an American Patriot that served with the U.S. Navy. His books are widely read among military veterans of many nations.