(National Sentinel)Â Intelligence:Â In yet another indication of the ineptitude and incompetence of the Obama administration – as well as its unwillingness to seriously confront a rising global power – CIA operations in China were severely disrupted beginning in 2010, with some informants actually being murdered by Beijing.
The New York Times reported Sunday that there was much disagreement over how CIA operations in China were compromised – some even suggesting that a mole within the agency was responsible. Also, the busted operations left many within the agency bitter and resentful as the U.S. intelligence community struggled mightily to contain the damage and fallout:
Current and former American officials described the intelligence breach as one of the worst in decades. It set off a scramble in Washingtonâ€™s intelligence and law enforcement agencies to contain the fallout, but investigators were bitterly divided over the cause. Some were convinced that a mole within the C.I.A. had betrayed the United States. Others believed that the Chinese had hacked the covert system the C.I.A. used to communicate with its foreign sources. Years later, that debate remains unresolved.
But there was no disagreement about the damage. From the final weeks of 2010 through the end of 2012, according to former American officials, the Chinese killed at least a dozen of the C.I.A.â€™s sources. According to three of the officials, one was shot in front of his colleagues in the courtyard of a government building â€” a message to others who might have been working for the C.I.A.
Still others were put in jail. All told, the Chinese killed or imprisoned 18 to 20 of the C.I.A.â€™s sources in China, according to two former senior American officials, effectively unraveling a network that had taken years to build.
While it has not been easy to assess the fallout from the compromise, the damage done is on part with that caused by turncoatsÂ Aldrich Ames and Robert Hanssen, formerly of the C.I.A. and the F.B.I., who divulged intelligence operations to RussiaÂ for years. Both men were responsible for the deaths of untold numbers of American intel operatives.
For years, China had been working toÂ uncover U.S. spying operations within its borders – operationsÂ on which the U.S. intelligence community placed a premium. At the same time, the U.S. spent years infiltrating China; what the government didÂ not do is protect its secrets. This was evidence in the well-publicized Chinese hack of the Office of Personnel Management records in 2015, which revealed the identities of more than 20 million current and former U.S. government officials – including, it is believed, deep-cover operatives.
Meanwhile, the spilling of intelligence secrets continues. When the Trump-hating establishment media isn’t leaking sensitive data in any attempt to demean, discredit, and delegitimize the president, CIA secrets are being spilled online, either via hacks or by insiders.
The Times noted further:
The first signs of trouble emerged in 2010. At the time, the quality of the C.I.A.â€™s information about the inner workings of the Chinese government was the best it had been for years, the result of recruiting sources deep inside the bureaucracy in Beijing, four former officials said. Some were Chinese nationals who the C.I.A. believed had become disillusioned with the Chinese governmentâ€™s corruption.
But by the end of the year, the flow of information began to dry up. By early 2011, senior agency officers realized they had a problem: Assets in China, one of their most precious resources, were disappearing.
The F.B.I. and the C.I.A. opened a joint investigation run by top counterintelligence officials at both agencies. Working out of a secret office in Northern Virginia, they began analyzing every operation being run in Beijing. One former senior American official said the investigation had been code-named Honey Badger.
As more and more sources vanished, the operation took on increased urgency. Nearly every employee at the American Embassy was scrutinized, no matter how high ranking. Some investigators believed the Chinese had cracked the encrypted method that the C.I.A. used to communicate with its assets. Others suspected a traitor in the C.I.A., a theory that agency officials were at first reluctant to embrace â€” and that some in both agencies still do not believe.
Their debates were punctuated with macabre phone calls â€” â€œWe lost another oneâ€ â€” and urgent questions from the Obama administration wondering why intelligence about the Chinese had slowed.
The intelligence community eventually honed in on a suspected mole – a former CIA operative who worked on intelligence regarding China.Â But it could not develop enough evidence to arrest him, and now he is living in an Asian country, officials told the paper.
BetweenÂ Obama’s inability to protect American assets in China, and his secretary of state Hillary Clinton’s willful misconduct in setting up a private email server that led to aÂ Â grotesque mishandling of classified information – which Obama knew about – it has become crystal clear that the former administration has put our country at unprecedented risk forÂ years, and in many casesÂ on purpose.