Roger L. Simon

The Spook 86 Who Came In From the Cold

Channeling the novel that made LeCarré’s rep, the (must be) pseudonymous Spook 86 (a man with what appears to be considerably more intell background than Valerie Plame) has started to blog at In From the Cold. This blog is naturally interested (with the usual caveat about anonymity). Top of In From the Cold this morning: Joe Wilson, Meet Russell Tice. But there are several more interesting (scroll down).

You don’t have to be a political operative to figure out that Democrats will earmark NSA “whistle-blower” Russell Tice as this year’s answer to Joe Wilson, and use his allegations to tar the Bush Administration. And so far, Mr. Tice seems quite willing to go along for the ride.

Mr. Tice is the former NSA employee who went public with information on the agency’s domestic surveillance program. He has admitted that he was “one of the sources” for the NYT article that first exposed the program last month. Since then, he has claimed “whistle-blower” status, and is prepared to testify before Congress. Tice told ABC News that he believes some of the NSA’s Special Access Programs (SAPs) were operated in ways that violate the law. However, he did not specify how the agency may have crossed the line.

Tice also believes that he isn’t in legal jeopary, as long as he doesn’t divulge classified information. That’s a little like dropping a match in a gas can and hoping it doesn’t explode. Given the nature of his work at the NSA, any testimony that Tice gives to Congress will quickly enter the classified realm, and probably result in the disclosure of extraordinarily sensitive information.

UPDATE: This post downplays the likelihood of an Israeli attack on Iran. Interesting.