Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Dumb and Dumber: Ex-CIA Case Officer Kent Clizbe Trashes John Brennan

Kent Clizbe touts his CIA employment so that he can seem like an expert, but he doesn't really seem to be on the same page as the CIA at all. Perhaps he fast-roped from a Blackhawk and landed on his head.

Kent Clizbe, who claims he was a case officer in the CIA's Directorate of Operations, has written an article ridiculing John Brennan, the Deputy National Security Advisor for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, as a mere CIA analyst instead of a real spy. Clizbe doesn't even report the well-known fact that John Brennan was the CIA Chief of Station in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

According to the CIA (3-11-03):

Brennan joined the CIA in 1980 and has held a variety of senior positions in the Agency’s Directorate of Intelligence (DI) and the Directorate of Operations (DO). From 1984 to 1989, he served in several analytic assignments in the Office of Near Eastern and South Asian Analysis in the DI. Mr. Brennan was in charge of terrorism analysis in the DCI’s Counterterrorist Center (DO) between 1990 and 1992, including during Desert Shield and Desert Storm. He served as the CIA’s daily intelligence briefer at the White House in 1994 and 1995. Following that assignment, he worked as Executive Assistant to then-DDCI Tenet from 1995 to 1996, and then served as Chief of Station in a major Middle East capital from 1996 to 1999.

In "Failure of Understanding: Fire John Brennan" (2-11-11), Kent Clizbe writes disparagingly about John Brennan and CIA analysts:

...The big story is the Obama lackey we have not seen since the Maghreb Mutinies began, Obama’s Czar for Terrorism, and de facto intelligence chief, John Brennan.

Brennan has sought out TV cameras at every opportunity since January 2009. He popped up to talk about any issue dealing with intelligence, terrorism, Arabs, or Islam. He took it upon himself to declare the words “war on terrorism, jihad, global war” off limits. He trumpeted his “summer in Indonesia,” (like the President!), his semester abroad in Cairo, and his CIA station chief experience in “the region.”...

To understand the Brennan shadow play going on behind the scenes in Egypt, you first must understand the man—he is a CIA analyst. To understand the man, you must understand the culture of the bureaucracy that he ascended from—the CIA’s Directorate of Intelligence (DI), the nation’s intelligence analysis belly button—and the type of person that culture produces.

A CIA analyst’s life is like being in grad school, forever. Just like an academic, the analyst is evaluated on his record of “publications.” Just like an academic, the analyst spends his time researching, writing, defending his work to committees, and trying to get his writing published. The big difference is that a CIA analyst has more resources, classified intelligence reports from operators around the world that an academic does not have. Otherwise, a CIA analyst is a virtual clone of an academic.

Just as in academia, the point of the exercise (creating finished intelligence to guide U.S. policy makers) becomes lost in academic politics, backstabbing, ass kissing, and internecine scheming. Just as in academia, CIA analysts who want to move up yearn for a position closer to the seat of bureaucratic power.

An analyst’s most treasured professional accomplishment is to have a hand in the Presidential Daily Brief (PDB). An article published in the PDB can be the crowning achievement of an analyst’s career. Circling the flame of power, like calculating moths, they try to get closer. The ultimate career position for a CIA analyst is to be the President’s Briefer, the guy who carries the PDB in to the President every morning. If an analyst is allowed to do that only once in his lifetime, he can die happy, fulfilled. He’s been to the mountaintop.

The other point that you must understand about analysts is what they are not. CIA analysts, regardless of what you’ve read or seen in Tom Clancy movies, are not spies. They do not manage spies. They do not recruit spies. They do not handle spies. They are not covert operators. They do not uncover secrets. They do not fast-rope from Blackhawks.

They sit in cubicles and research and write. Then they argue among themselves about what each other has written. Then they brief others on their articles. Then they do that again. And again, and again, and again. Because of the dreary reality of their lives, the analysts are allowed large budgets for travel. They travel to the countries in their portfolio, on boondoggle familiarization trips—which are more like vacations.

Many CIA analysts join the Agency believing the Tom Clancy hype. Once they learn what their job is, they can become bitter. And they can succumb to envy—of the operators who do recruit spies, travel the world under cover, meet and befriend exotic people, and plan and execute clandestine operations. There is a definite culture of envy in the CIA’s DI.

Because of this envy, occasionally, when the CIA goes through one of its bouts of self-destructiveness, the director of the CIA appoints an analyst, to be the chief of an overseas operational station. And when a presidential administration is extremely anti-CIA, like the Clintons, it appoints an analyst to be in charge of the entire Directorate of Operations.

John Brennan is a CIA analyst. In his mind, he is the Tom Clancy hero—the analyst fast-roping into a crisis, sub-machine gun locked and loaded, ready to respond. But in reality, he is an academic with sharply honed in-fighting claws, ready to rip to shreds a rival’s analytical piece so that his will be published.

In fact, John Brennan has served as an analyst, as an administrator, and in the Directorate of Operations as an overseas case officer for the CIA. Brennan is an expert on the Middle East who speaks nearly fluent Arabic and was the CIA Chief of Station in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

The CIA site states that John Brennan served in the Directorate of Operations (the National Clandestine Service since 2005), and media sources report that Brennan held the important post of the CIA Chief of Station in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia.

I wonder why the ex-CIA operative Kent Clizbe is trying to discredit the accomplished scholar, spy, and expert on terrorism John Brennan?

I wonder why Kent Clizbe, who exhibits such contempt for CIA analysts and academics, is emailing college professors and telling them that they can get a multi-million dollar reward from a federal whistleblower program if they denounce the climate scientist Dr. Michael Mann for fraud. The Department of Justice doesn't have any problems with Michael Mann's scientific research.

I wonder why Kent Clizbe trashes climate scientists in his ignorant, crude articles? Doesn't Kent Clizbe know that his former employer, the CIA, has a Center for Climate Change and National Security and that it is headed by Larry Kobayashi?

I wonder why Kent Clizbe seems to have such a chip on his shoulder about the CIA. Perhaps Kent Clizbe attacks climate scientists as a way of getting back at the CIA.

I wonder why Kent Clizbe is acting like those Russian secret policemen who publish kompromat in the media in order to compromise the opponents of their political bosses.

Kent Clizbe is basically offering people money in exchange for denouncing Dr. Mann for fraud. He doesn't seem anything like a government investigator who is trying to get to the truth.

I wonder if Kent Clizbe is a secret operative for politicians or fossil fuel interests. In his letters to professors, Kent Clizbe only says he is "assisting interested parties." Clizbe gives the impression that he may be acting on behalf of a law enforcement investigation, but I don't think that this is the case.

Kent Clizbe touts his CIA employment so that he can pose as a government expert, but he doesn't really seem to be on the same page as the CIA at all. Perhaps he fast-roped from a Blackhawk and landed on his head.

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