04 December, 2010

I Am Joe's Total Lack Of Surprise

I am sorry, dear readers. I know I haven't been a very good blogger to you. I've been gone for so long, I'd be surprised if there's anyone still looking at this. (Who am I kidding? I was surprised when I first learned that anyone was reading this thing to begin with!) For the 1.25 readers I still have, I humbly and profusely apologize.

And now that that is done with, pardon me whilst I blow my chance to work for the State Department, for I'm citing WikiLeaks documents in public fora.

In multiple places throughout the documents, there are references to members of the State Department, under direction of SecState, to obtain various confidential and specifically identifying features of diplomats: i.e., credit-card information, frequent-flier numbers, other personal identification features, biometric data, et cetera; none of which can be obtained by overt intelligence gathering and other publicly available sources.

Yet whoever actually wrote these orders forgot one fairly significant thing: Executive Order 12333 (PDF warning, 16 page document). In it, Section 1.8 (Page 10 of the PDF) identifies the duties of the Department of State in re: collection of intelligence:

(a) Collect (overtly or through publicly available sources) information relevant to United States foreign policy and national security concerns;

Again, it is stated, in Section 1.7(i) on the same page, that the duty of the Department of State is to collect intelligence "overtly or through publicly available sources".

Riddle me this: What fool would allow his credit card information, personal contact book, frequent-flier account number, biometric information, online handles, or any other information requested by the Department of State in these leaked documents, to be disseminated through publicly available sources? Even a diplomat? Even John Boehner? Even Sarah Palin?

These directives are in contradiction with E.O. 12333. I'll expect to see their resignations on the President's desk this weekend. Which, the way this Administration is going these days, will become a moot point sometime in January 2013.

I don't want to say that, but my early book for the 2012 race has the President as a 10-1 underdog in the General if he's primaried, 3-1 dog if he's not.