Thursday, August 14, 2003
::: Finally ~ That Old Devil Dog Poindexter Resigns :::
::: Taking Just A Minute ::: Twist And Shout :::
My advice is watch the backdoor
Poindexter Resigns but Defends Programs
Anti-Terrorism, Data Scanning Efforts at Pentagon Called Victims of Ignorance
By Bradley Graham
The Washington Post
Wednesday 13 August 2003
John M. Poindexter took issue yesterday with critics of his Pentagon efforts to develop new data scanning systems and an online futures market for flushing out terrorists and predicting Middle East developments, saying the programs had fallen victim to ignorance, distortion and Washington's "highly-charged political environment."
In a letter of resignation ending a controversial 20-month Pentagon tenure, Poindexter pressed his case for employing new technologies to discern terrorists' plans in such everyday transactions as credit card purchases, travel reservations and e-mail. He said innovative approaches are needed to overcome the historic barriers among U.S. intelligence agencies and gain access to stores of information not available to the government.
The five-page letter, submitted yesterday and made available to The Washington Post, provided Poindexter's first opportunity to address critics after being ordered by Pentagon officials last autumn to avoid public comment because, he was told, he had become too much of a "lightning rod."
His departure was demanded by lawmakers who questioned his judgment as well as his regard for privacy issues, and who argued that Poindexter's history as a central participant in the Iran-contra affair of the 1980s made him a poor choice to manage such a politically sensitive project.
"I was not anxious to come back into government," Poindexter wrote his boss, Anthony Tether, director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), "but in discussions with you and others concluded that was probably the best way to explore research and development of information technologies and concepts to help solve the enormous problems of combating terrorism." He added that he had wanted to step down "for months now" but had stayed longer at Tether's request.
"I regret we have not been able to make our case clear and reassure the public that we do not intend to spy on them," he wrote, adding that he had "done all that I can do under the circumstances" and so would be leaving on Aug. 29.
The letter contained no acknowledgement of personal error. In the case of the futures trading plan, he said, an unauthorized decision by an outside contractor -- the small California firm Net Exchange -- to post "some extremely bad examples" on the program's Web site gave critics ammunition to distort the effort as a proposed market in terrorism. The examples included the possibility of betting on the assassination of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat or the overthrow of Jordan's monarchy.
Getting the DARPA job in January 2002 had been something of a comeback for Poindexter. He was national security adviser to President Ronald Reagan during the Iran-contra scandal, in which sales of arms to Iran were used to finance rebels fighting in Nicaragua at a time such assistance was banned by Congress.
Poindexter was convicted in 1990 on five felony counts, including lying to Congress, destroying documents and obstructing congressional inquiries into the affair. Although the conviction was overturned in 1991 -- on grounds that Poindexter had been granted immunity from prosecution as a result of his testimony before Congress -- it still troubled many in Congress.
So there .... Full Article
Hope this means D.A.R.P.A. is headed down the poop shute:
Read more on Poindexter.
And Theres This on Poindexter
Baby steps, but we are allowed a slight smile .... now ... back to the Troup Abuse, Pentagon Lies and Liars and our desire to see them ride off into the sunset.