Tag Archives: scandal

Edward Snowden Scandal Ended Year of Living Dangerously

EDITOR’S NOTE: Two years ago this week, I shared the piece below under a similar headline as above. In light of things such as the hacking of millions of personnel records held by the federal government’s Office of Personnel Management, I believe it’s worth sharing again with only minor revisions. Please read and share.

Click image above to order a copy of The Clapper Memo.

Click image above to order a copy of The Clapper Memo.

It’s been a year of living dangerously since Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. announced his plan to bring an end to the glut of national security leaks that had many questioning his performance as the nation’s top intelligence official. I use the word, dangerously, because his plan simply hasn’t worked.

Doubts about DNI Clapper’s performance have increased, some in Congress — including Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) — have called for his resignation or firing, and a scandal of epic proportions (a.k.a., “The Edward Snowden-National Security Agency-PRISM Scandal”) threatens to bring down the man atop the nation’s 17-agency Intelligence Community.

At the heart of the scandal, but not reported outside of these pages, is a question I raise after having conducted an exhaustive, four-year investigation into the use – and, in some cases, non-use – of polygraph and non-polygraph technologies by federal government agencies:

“How did Edward Snowden pass the polygraph exams required by his stints of employment as an intelligence professional?”

I made it clear in a headline published soon after the Snowden surfaced: Polygraph Exams Should Have Caught Edward Snowden. Of course, I should have added “If polygraph technology worked in the first place.” But I digress.

Screenshot of piece published June 18, 2013.

Screenshot of piece published June 18, 2013.

I questioned how Snowden, who had been employed by the Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Agency before landing at defense contractor Booz Allen Hamilton, could have passed the necessary polygraph exams.

I shared the opinion of an expert:

Because his level of access would have required it, according to a source of mine (name withheld) who boasts almost three decades of counterintelligence work, Snowden must have taken – and passed – several polygraph exams as a condition of his multiple stints of employment with three-letter intelligence agencies and at least one government contractor,

New Crime-Fiction Thriller Draws From Real-World Issues

Anyone who’s read Three Days In August and/or The Clapper Memo knows these nonfiction books of mine tackle real-world issues with fact after fact after fact. In a similar way, my first crime-fiction novel, The National Bet, draws from the same realities.

The New York Times newsroom in 1942. By Marjory Collins [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The New York Times newsroom in 1942. By Marjory Collins [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

As an example, I point you to the following paragraph that appears on page 52 of the paperback version of the book:

Members of the nation’s largest national news media outlets (a.k.a., “the mainstream media”) had apparently opted to stick to their decades-old practice of serving as propaganda organs for elected officials and special interest groups devoted to the government-knows-best ideology. As a result, only those who witnessed such events firsthand or paid attention to alternative news sources (a.k.a., “the new media”) were likely to know the true extent to which their elected officials and the MSM had failed them.

Fifteen pages later, the paragraph below appears:

Finally, members of the mainstream media began doing their jobs as journalists.
Newspapers began offering objective front-page reports, and news magazines began offering the kind of long-form stories that had almost disappeared from the journalism landscape. Most importantly, details about several scandals that had been overlooked during the previous six years— including, but not limited to, Benghazi, “Extortion 17,” and “Fast and Furious”—began to emerge.

If you want to find out what happens between these two excerpts, order a copy of The National Bet.

UPDATE 4/19/2015 at 1:30 p.m. Central: Check out the limited-time free-books offer here.

Click on image above to order Bob's books.

Click on image above to order Bob’s books.