Amidst all of the hubbub and furor regarding the ongoing National Security Agency domestic surveillance and data collection scandal, a recent Bloomberg article captured my attention this morning for several reasons — not the least of which is how it parallels much of what I reveal in my new latest book, THE CLAPPER MEMO.
Aside from the attention-grabbing words of the headline, Background Checks Faked With Lax Oversight, Watchdog Says, six words in a paragraph halfway into the article piqued my interest. Here’s the paragraph:
The disclosure of secret documents describing two U.S. surveillance programs by Edward Snowden, a former National Security Agency contractor who had worked for Booz Allen Hamilton Holding Corp. (BAH) and had a top-secret clearance, has called attention to the government’s process of vetting people who handle sensitive information.
Can you guess which words caught my eye? Here they are:
…the government’s process of vetting people…
As part of an exhaustive four-year investigation that resulted in the recent publication of THE CLAPPER MEMO, I dug deep into the government’s process of vetting people. In particular, I dug deep into the process used by two governments — the United States and Afghanistan — to vet Afghan recruits seeking employment with the uniform-wearing military, police and security agencies of the Afghan government.
Why was I so interested in learning about the process? Because, since 2007, hundreds of American and Coalition Forces personnel had been killed or wounded by their so-called Afghan “allies” serving alongside them during events interchangeably known as “Green-on-Blue” or “Insider” attacks.
For eight months during 2012, I was told by International Security Assistance Force public affairs officers in Afghanistan that the vetting process was “an Afghan-owned and Afghan-led process.” Only after I came across a news item informing me otherwise — which, by the way, an ISAF PAO had no choice but to confirm — did I learn U.S. Special Operations Forces were not only very involved in the process of vetting Afghan recruits, but they had grown very frustrated with that process.
By the time I completed my investigation this spring, I had irrefutable proof that the vetting process was largely a farce and that much of the blame for it could be tied directly to a technological “turf war” that has been raging silently in this country and around the world for more than 40 years.
In THE CLAPPER MEMO, I take readers to the front lines of this turf war and expose the people involved and the actions they’ve taken to harm our nation’s defense and intelligence capabilities. Plus, I interview people who’ve had their “boots on the ground” in places like Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait, Mexico and Qatar. And I share never-before-published documents obtained from individuals who were in charge of the interrogation element at Guantanamo Bay during the early days of the so-called “Global War on Terror.”
Though it has yet to gain the kind of attention Edward Snowden and the NSA scandal has, THE CLAPPER MEMO has received attention in the form of glowing endorsements from several high-level individuals who appreciate its implications — perhaps more than “the average Joe” might.