- By George I. Seffers
- Feb 18, 2001
Former President Clinton might have found it in his heart to pardon
John Deutch, the former director of the CIA who was under investigation
for storing classified documents on his less-than-secure personal computer,
but Deutch's colleagues may not be so forgiving. Deutch's predecessor, George
Tenet, was asked during a Feb. 7 Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
hearing whether he would reinstate Deutch's security clearance in the wake
of the pardon. He responded without elaboration: "No."
Smoke and Mirrors
Tenet remarked during the same hearing that terrorist Osama bin Laden
and Cuba's Fidel Castro pose serious cyber-threats to the United States.
Because Cuba has so few Internet connections, Tenet's comments have been
met with some skepticism. Those willing to give the CIA the benefit of the
doubt assume that the defense and intelligence communities are engaging
in some scare-mongering to justify a defense buildup; others simply wonder
if the CIA's vision is clouded by cigar smoke.
From the Hip
Gen. William Kernan, commander of the Joint Forces Command, is a combat
veteran of Vietnam, Grenada and Panama who has earned a Purple Heart. But
he barely dodged another bullet during an Association of the United States
Army breakfast Feb. 8. Kernan told the audience that the U.S. military has
to build technological bridges to our allies because "we're not going to
slow down" on technology advances. He also said that when Congress called
for a massive exercise in California and Nevada in 2002, it didn't provide
any money to pay for the 20,000 soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines who
When asked whether he felt betrayed by President Bush for promising
during the campaign to provide the military with immediate budgetary relief
and then appearing to rethink that promise once in office, Kernan responded:
"I feel like a pop-up target at a live-fire range." He then expressed complete
confidence that Dubya will be a strong supporter of the military, proving
once again that you survive neither combat in the jungle nor life in Washington
by being dumb.
Air Force officials intend in March to unveil their new portal, informally
dubbed My.AirForce. The early version will be available to 100,000 select
Air Force users and is designed to elicit feedback for improvements that
might be incorporated into a later version, set for release in June.
Officials predict that more than a million people will use the portal
daily. The idea is to offer instant access to the information people need
for their jobs, whether on the battlefield or in the office.
You know that the Pentagon's propensity for applying acronyms to every
program has gone too far when the contracting organization and the companies
competing for the program can't remember what the acronym stands for. For
the record, DSTS-G is an acronym that includes another acronym: Defense
Information Systems Network (DISN) equals D, and Satellite Transmission
Services- Global makes the STS-G.
The $2 billion program will provide a commercial-based, private satellite
network to support the department's general-purpose service requirements
and is the largest small-business set-aside contract in the Defense Department's
history. But those who should know better you know who you are often
mangle the contorted formal name. Any chance the Pentagon could be declared
a Work Area of Acronym Restrictions Zone?
Intercept something? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.