From the Editors’ Desk: Full Speed Ahead

 

The admiral in charge of Navy intelligence has not been allowed to see military secrets for years, reports the Washington Post:

For more than two years, the Navy’s intelligence chief has been stuck with a major handicap: He’s not allowed to know any secrets.

Vice Adm. Ted “Twig” Branch has been barred from reading, seeing or hearing classified information since November 2013, when the Navy learned from the Justice Department that his name had surfaced in a giant corruption investigation involving a foreign defense contractor and scores of Navy personnel.

Worried that Branch was on the verge of being indicted, Navy leaders suspended his access to classified materials. They did the same to one of his deputies, Rear Adm. Bruce F. Loveless, the Navy’s director of intelligence operations.

More than 800 days later, neither Branch nor Loveless has been charged. But neither has been cleared, either. Their access to classified information remains blocked.

Although the Navy transferred Loveless to a slightly less sensitive post, it kept Branch in charge of its intelligence division. That has resulted in an awkward arrangement, akin to sending a warship into battle with its skipper stuck onshore.

Branch can’t meet with other senior U.S. intelligence leaders to discuss sensitive operations, or hear updates from his staff about secret missions or projects. It can be a chore just to set foot in colleagues’ offices; in keeping with regulations, they must conduct a sweep beforehand to make sure any classified documents are locked up.

Some critics have questioned how smart it is for the Navy to retain an intelligence chief with such limitations, for so long, especially at a time when the Pentagon is confronted by crises in the Middle East, the South China Sea, the Korean Peninsula and other hotspots.

“I have never heard of anything as asinine, bizarre or stupid in all my years,” Norman Polmar, a naval analyst and historian, said …

Your thoughts?

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  1. Spin Coolidge
    Spin
    @Spin

    Sounds like the Navy to me…

    • #1
  2. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Ricochet Editor's Desk: “I have never heard of anything as asinine, bizarre or stupid in all my years,” Norman Polmar, a naval analyst and historian, said …

    I’m certain it won’t take long to top this, Mr. Polmar, especially if Hillary is elected.

    • #2
  3. Derek Simmons Member
    Derek Simmons
    @

    Being an old Navy guy (as opposed to an ‘Old Navy’ guy) this story almost makes me want to indulge in the canard that
    Military Intelligence is an oxymoron.
    Military Intelligence is a contradiction in terms.
    Military Intelligence are two mutually exclusive words.
    Military Intelligence are two terms that do not go together.
    Okay: I will indulge: THIS IS DUMB!

    • #3
  4. PHCheese Inactive
    PHCheese
    @PHCheese

    Shiver my timbers!

    • #4
  5. The King Prawn Inactive
    The King Prawn
    @TheKingPrawn

    My guess? His department is running a lot smoother of late.

    • #5
  6. Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed.
    @Claire

    This story doesn’t improve:

    The company’s chief executive, Leonard Glenn Francis, was lured to the United States in a sting operation and was arrested at a San Diego hotel. A large and charismatic man known as “Fat Leonard,” he was charged with running a bribery scheme and defrauding the Navy of more than $20 million.

    In exchange, prosecutors said, some Navy officials provided Francis with classified information and steered Navy vessels to ports he controlled so he could overcharge the U.S. government for fuel, food, water and other supplies. …

    “This remains an active, ongoing investigation that covers conduct that spans more than a decade and involves a massive amount of evidence, multiple countries, tens of millions of dollars in fraud, and millions of dollars in bribes and gifts to scores of U.S. Navy officials,” Laura Duffy, the U.S. attorney in San Diego, said in a statement. …

    “I do not have the words to express the depth of the betrayal,” Yuen testified. “No amount of money is worth betraying our nation, our Navy or our shipmates.”

    Has anyone here been following this story? It takes a lot to shock me these days, but this is appalling.

    • #6
  7. Mike Hubbard Member
    Mike Hubbard
    @MikeHubbard

    Derek Simmons:Being an old Navy guy (as opposed to an ‘Old Navy’ guy) this story almost makes me want to indulge in the canard that
    Military Intelligence is an oxymoron.
    Military Intelligence is a contradiction in terms.
    Military Intelligence are two mutually exclusive words.
    Military Intelligence are two terms that do not go together.
    Okay: I will indulge: THIS IS DUMB!

    In the book Skunk Works, the amazing Kelly Johnson had a list of 14 commandments.  The unofficial fifteenth rule: Never do business with the navy!  (Exclamation point in original.)  The chapter on Lockheed’s attempt to build a ship made it pretty clear that, as ridiculous and counterproductive as the Air Force bureaucracy was, it was a model of efficiency compared to the Navy.

    • #7
  8. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Mike Hubbard: The chapter on Lockheed’s attempt to build a ship made it pretty clear that, as ridiculous and counterproductive as the Air Force bureaucracy was, it was a model of efficiency compared to the Navy.

    The Navy has more than a hundred years more experience. The Air Force can’t even hope to get to that level of efficiency  in the near future.

    • #8
  9. Fricosis Guy Listener
    Fricosis Guy
    @FricosisGuy

    Hillary Clinton, we’ve found your CIA Director nominee!

    • #9
  10. barbara lydick Inactive
    barbara lydick
    @barbaralydick

    For some reason this came to mind:

    http://www.allthelyrics.com/lyrics/gilbert_and_sullivan/when_i_was_a_lad-lyrics-446448.html#ixzz3yYUHRLfK

    Now landsmen all, whoever you may be,
    If you want to rise to the top of the tree,
    If your soul isn’t fettered to an office stool,
    Be careful to be guided by this golden rule.

    Chorus.
    Be careful to be guided by this golden rule.

    Sir Joseph.
    Stick close to your desks and never go to sea,
    And you all may be rulers of the Queen’s Navee!

    • #10
  11. ToryWarWriter Thatcher
    ToryWarWriter
    @ToryWarWriter

    It shows just how unserious people are about the state of national security.  Its going to be a shame that a whole lot of people will have to die first before that changes.

    • #11
  12. KiminWI Inactive
    KiminWI
    @KiminWI

    What’s wrong with this dude! Doesn’t he have a server at home?

    • #12
  13. Johnny Dubya Inactive
    Johnny Dubya
    @JohnnyDubya

    This reminds me of NYC’s policy of removing from the classroom teachers who are charged with inappropriate behavior and keeping them on the payroll, requiring them to show up to “rubber rooms” and do nothing each day.

    • #13
  14. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Ricochet Editor's Desk: “I have never heard of anything as asinine, bizarre or stupid in all my years,” Norman Polmar, a naval analyst and historian, said …

    Yeah, that about sums it up.

    I pity the Republicans who step into Washington after Obama is gone. They will find all kinds of situations like this.

    • #14
  15. Boss Mongo Member
    Boss Mongo
    @BossMongo

    MarciN:

    Ricochet Editor’s Desk: “I have never heard of anything as asinine, bizarre or stupid in all my years,” Norman Polmar, a naval analyst and historian, said …

    Yeah, that about sums it up.

    I pity the Republicans who step into Washington after Obama is gone. They will find all kinds of situations like this.

    And make no mistake, they’ll get the blame.

    • #15

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