Sunday, June 30, 2013

Don't Believe the Hype: American "Allies" Have and STILL Steal U.S. Secrets

Allies (Including French and Germans) Have Spied on the U.S. for Decades...and Still Do...

According to the latest Snowden "bombshell," the US spied on the EU and our allies are outraged at the NSA operations targeting them. Before Americans get all up in arms about the U.S. spying on its allies, I'd like to explain something that most citizens do not understand. Every country in the world has intelligence services. Every single one. Every country with  an intelligence and with which U.S. has diplomatic relations sends their spies to operate inside the United States. Those countries that don't have diplomatic ties with the United States sneak their spies in via non-official cover means. Might be businesses. Some use STUDENTS. Every means possible.

Yes, this includes are our allies.

Is there anyone naïve enough to believe that our allies send their spies to the United States NOT to collect against the Unites States--the #1 superpower? With the most advanced military in the world? And a technology base ripe for a stealin'?

Wake the heck up please!

If you see a country from the EU or anywhere else in the world angry at the United States for NSA programs, it's because they're angry that we're so much better at it. Every foreign intelligence agency wants to level the playing field by exposing U.S. operations and neutralizing them, while at the same time their programs targeting the United States remain as aggressive as ever. But as long as a playing field even exists, if you live in the U.S. and depend on the Government for your safety and wellbeing (and you do whether you like it or not), the United States must maintain its advantage. With the money we pay in taxes, we should demand it.

Not convinced yet. Well, I can't talk about all the cases that I know about because some are classified, and unlike Snowden, I HONOR my non-disclosure agreements. But know that LOADS of information exists on so many countries it would make your eyes bulge into your lap. It would tick you off and make your eyes roll at these silly tissy fits they're having.

The links below represent the miniscule amount of information available in open sources. 

German Intelligence Targets U.S. Government Employees, Networks

They are the loudest bellyachers in this new round of charges against NSA spying programs. Did you know that the Germans STILL until today, still spy on the United States in the U.S. and around the world? Don't be fooled by the outrage. They target and attempt to recruit cleared U.S. employees around the globe. They target U.S. military bases. And In fact, they are probably trying to target one right now. They also conduct Internet surveillance on everybody including the U.S. Why don't you hear about it more often? Because they are our "friends" we handle spying issues in back channels and we don't publicize it. That is, in fact, how we handle most of our intelligence-related sanctions with most agencies, under mutual agreement to keep it hush hush. It's only because Snowden revealed this information in the press that they can bark about this issue without the United States digging up their dirt. Trust me, there's enough dirt to plant a corn crop the size of Iowa.

French Intelligence Regularly Steals U.S. Technology Secrets--#1 in Economic Espionage

It is FRANCE, not the United States who leads the WORLD in Industrial Espionage. They don't just target U.S. networks--they target our technology. The good stuff--satellite technology, aerospace, high-tech systems. Yeah. And they've been doing it for EONs. I started my career in the early 1990s and I heard about it then. It's not new. And the programs extend into today. So if the French even crack their mouths open to lodge complaints against the United States, every American should roll their eyes and say in a Southern twang, "Child, please!"

Israelis Recruit Government Employees, Tap into Telecommunications

Just read this...but Google for many others. They are supposed our "ace dawgs" yet they have been spying on the United States for YEARS...including recruiting and paying government employees and tapping U.S. phone lines. This is not a new story. Why is it that when the news media reported this stuff, we weren't equally in an uproar. Why weren't Americans saying, "End ties with Israeli intelligence!"

Could Americans REALLY have a double-standard that actually benefits...EVERYBODY ELSE??? They can spy on us, but we can't spy on them?

The #1 Cyber Threat to U.S. Government, Civilian Networks

Just guess who is the #1 cyber threat to U.S. Government, civilian, and business networks?

I'll give you a minute. Just Google "China U.S. Cyber Attacks" and see how many times they have disabled our networks versus how many times we lodge attacks against their networks. They recently stole plans to a U.S. weapons system--do you know the potential harm that could cause to our armed forces fighting for our freedom??? And if the recent attempt on the Australian spy agency wasn't a clue that they are pretty aggressive and ruthless, it should be. They got the blueprints to the Australians new intelligence headquarters through their hacking operations...conducted by the Chinese versions of Edward Snowden.

In short...Don't Believe the Hype

There are too many instances to enumerate here. I'm sure the FBI puts out an unclassified version of their counterintelligence report. If so, read a copy. Guarantee you, you will be STUNNED at the degree to which foreign countries operate against U.S. interests, even our friends. The United States won't fire back on these accounts because we're apparently not mud-slinging. Eventually relationships will normalize and we don't want our relations with our allies to devolve to the point of no-return.

If you notice, Snowden had no interest in giving context to our operations and divulging information about the defensive measures we have to use to keep our allies' intelligence services from targeting the United States. No interest whatsoever. You know why? Because that kind of information doesn't get you a book deal. That doesn't get you in a movie. That doesn't get you a brand new Twitter account with 12,000 stupid followers. And it certainly doesn't get you a top six spot on every news broadcast or give you front page headlines to feed your narcissistic lust for attention.

So many Americans have been utterly DUPED. And when they finally figure it out, they're gonna be as angry as those of us who saw through this ruse from the beginning.

The only difference between every other country and the U.S. is the right traitor hasn't betrayed them yet. Ours has...

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Thursday, June 27, 2013

SNEAK PEEK #2 - SON OF A ITCH (A J.J. McCall Novel -- Book 2)

Still plugging away at Son of a Itch, preparing for the August release. So many twists and turns, I'm
making myself dizzy.

Thought I'd share another preview of the Work In Progress. You can read the first preview and the set up for the story here.

In this scene, the Russians have planted a listening device in the White House Situation Room and hit a major roadblock in the investigation--Secret Service Special Agent Kendel Phillips. She and Six have a history that just might bungle the investigation if J.J. doesn't do some fancy footwork.

_______________

Moments later, a stylish woman clad in a sophisticated navy suit and rimless eyeglasses, about J.J.’s height sauntered up the hall. The tight bun in her hair gave her a stuffy but elegant appearance. The closer she got to the group, the more her eyes narrowed. She barely glanced at J.J. before locking a searing gaze on Six. In her heart of hearts, she knew things were about to get ugly. And fast.

“Agent McCall. Six,” she said tersely without ever shifting her glare from him. “What brings you here…today of all days? This couldn’t wait?”

Six looked down at the vintage Omega, the gold beaming from his wrist, and backed out of arm’s reach. “I…I uhh, didn’t realize the date.”

Kendel tightened her lips. “Wouldn’t be the first time, would it Z?”

Tony leaned over to J.J. and whispered, “Z?”

“Zero,” she spoke through clenched teeth. “It was Zoro before the break-up.”

“I'm sorry, for the hundredth time, I'm sorry,” Six interrupted, his face contorted in genuine angst. “But, no, we couldn’t wait.”

After noticing Six’s flustered demeanor, J.J. glanced down at the date on her own watch—October 20th. She closed her eyes briefly and shook her head. In a flash, a colossal white elephant soaked up all the oxygen in the room…and it was dressed in a strapless Vera Wang with a lace veil.

 “I think you’re the only one I’ve not met.” She turned to Tony flashing a fake smile. “I’m Kendel Phillips. You are?”

“Antonio Donato.” He extended his hand. “But Tony’s fine.”

Yes he is,” she mumbled in a voice inaudible to just about everyone except the girlfriend.

 J.J. cut her eyes at Kendel before catching the grunt that nearly seeped from her mouth. 

“Uhhh…thank you Agent Donato. Shall we step into my office,” she said leading them back through the corridor. They passed a few offices on the left and right until arriving at the Secret Service section in the rear.

She led them into a small conference room, where each took seats and waited for the bustle to calm.  Then she leaned back in her seat and defensively folded her arms over her chest. “So,” she said scanning each face at the table before returning her gaze to J.J. “This must be a serious matter for Six to risk his life coming here. What’s going on?”

J.J.’s gaze darted to Tony and back at Kendel. “Well, one of the Gs tracked a Russian intelligence officer conducting an op at the Ellipse a few days ago. Long story short, Russian intelligence has installed a listening device in the White House.”

Kendel let out a sharp breath, sat forward in her seat, and shook her head, incredulous at the notion. “You mean you suspect.”

“No, it’s here,” J.J. said.

“Impossible!” she yelled, appearing insulted, yet unsure. “My security team conducts weekly sweeps.”

A crawling sensation started in her hand, seeping up through her arm and shoulder. She twitched and bit her lips to maintain her composure. Kendel was lying—J.J. didn’t know about what and didn’t have time to drill deeper in that moment. She resolved to make a mental note of it. Her most pressing challenge was to get Kendel’s cooperation and doing so without applying excessive pressure now appeared unavoidable.

Six said, “Well there must be a problem with your sweeps. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be here. We all heard it.”

“You all heard it, where?”

“In the Sit Room,” Tony answered.

Kendel stood to her feet and slammed her palm against the desk. “We’ve got over 50 officers on this property every day and an upgraded security system in the Sit Room. There’s no way in hell a Russian installed a bug in the Sit Room.”

J.J. waited for a reaction, but none came. “It’s funny, you know, how you phrased it,” J.J. said, “because we don’t believe a Russian did.”

Tony continued. “Based on the evidence we’ve collected so far, Director Freeman’s authorized our investigation. We have the authority to conduct our own sweeps right now, but we’d appreciate and frankly expect full cooperation from your office.”

“I’m sure you do,” Kendel said as she returned to her seat. “But if anyone’s going to conduct a sweep in the Sit Room, it’ll be Secret Service.” She bent forward and, with her index finger, pointed to the name plate on her desk that read Chief of White House Security. “In case you hadn’t noticed, this is my house.”

J.J. jerked her head backward, looked down at her watch, and started bark out a reply but choked down her initial response.  She only had a couple of hours left to gather the evidence she needed to justify the full investigation. Her patience was wearing thin and her time short. While her second-thought told her she could catch more bees with honey, a voice that vaguely sounded like her mother’s said, Sometimes you’ve got to be a bitch to check one.”  

She leaned forward, rested her elbows against her knees, and oozed a forced calmness as she retorted, “I don’t mean any disrespect, Kendel, and this situation must be difficult for you. After all, Six is, well…Six. But, I must remind you that Tony and I are FBI Special Agents conducting an espionage investigation on U.S. soil.”

“And?” Kendel snapped with a slight roll of the eye.

J.J. suppressed the “Oh no you didn’t” locked in her throat and snapped, “Well, according to the United States Congress, when a case involves Russian intelligence and espionage on American soil, my house is bigger than your house—and it includes the Situation Room.”

Kendel froze, clearly taken aback by J.J.’s brashness.

“Now I can have my director call your director,” J.J. continued, “or you can put on your big girl panties, lose the attitude, and escort us to the Sit Room. Then you can report to the President that because of your professionalism, Boris won’t be able to listen in the next time he and the National Security Council are deciding what not to discuss with the Russian National Security Chief during an upcoming visit,” J.J. cocked her head to the side. “And since this is your room in my house, I’ll allow you to decide where we go from here.”
J.J. had crossed a major line of engagement and prayed her bluff would work. If Kendel picked up the phone and called FBI Headquarters to kick up a stink with Director Freeman—all their effort would be for naught. Freeman would put the kybosh on the entire operation and she’d go back to leading her analytical working group until she decided to resign.
 _________________________

Why is J.J. going to quit? And why did Kendal lie??? 

Hmmmm....

Find out in Son of a Itch coming in August. In the meantime, pick up a copy of  Book 1, The Seven Year Itch! Now available on Nook and Kindle. I'll bet you can't identify the mole!

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Today in Skye's Spies: Militants Changing Tactics in Wake of Snowden Leak

Militants Changing Tactics in the Wake of the Snowden Leak

Today in Skye's Spies, according to a recent foreign press report, militants have begun shifting operational tactics in the wake of the Snowden leak. Intelligence officials say members of tracked militant groups are now avoiding the use of open communications while they seek more secure methods. While it may slow operational planning in the short-term as they find alternate, more encrypted means, the shift potentially leaves the United States more vulnerable to terrorist attacks in the future.

Well, I've been saying this all along. Disclosures like Snowden's not only inform the American public, but they inform our enemies. Of course the American public will be all in an uproar until the next big headline ticks them. In another month, most Americans will be saying "Snowden who?" But long after he's dropped to the fifth page, we will feel the effects of this narcissistic effort to grab a headline while playing out some spy movie fantasy on the world stage.

When U.S. security forces or the military are unable to avert the  next truck bomb that takes down a government building or avoid the militant storming of an overseas embassy or the boat bombing of one of our docked Navy ships, we will be reminded of Snowden again and again. And we will forever have to ask the question--if he did not disclose information on the NSA program would the U.S. Intelligence Community have been able to foil the attack. The answer might be yes...or it might be no. But the question will be asked.

In a discussion with a colleague a few days ago, he indicated that most people assume the government is listening anyway. True. Most do. And I don't think the news came as much of a shock or posed a problem for the reasonably minded. But for the militant plotting in Yemen, there was enough doubt that the U.S. could target their specific communications that they continued to use open methods, thinking "not MY phone, not right now." What Snowden has done is remove all doubt and our enemies would be fools not to change their communications methods. Will this mean that they will have to revert to less secure means, like personal meetings and couriers? In some cases, yes. In most cases they will find better encryption that's harder to crack and our intelligence agencies will have to expend millions of dollars in an effort to crack NEW codes, so they can hear, so they can keep this country safe and free. And, unfortunately, this will all take time, time our U.S. national security may not be able to afford.

And here's the kicker...if a terrorist attack occurs in the United States due to his leak, as far as he knows, HE'LL be safe and sound in Venezuela or Ecuador. That's got to be the biggest "F* YOU" the American people have ever received from one of its own.

In other Snowden news...

Snowden Hates Leakers...Four Years Ago

Betcha can't guess who said the following in the comment section in response to a 2009 article on the WikiLeakers posted on a technology website.
__________________________

[Direct quote from Huffington Post article.]

"meh. national security." responded a user.
"Um, YEEEEEEEEEEEES.that shit is classified for a reason," he said. "it's not because "oh we hope our citizens don't find out. it's because "this shit won't work if iran knows what we're doing."
"I am so angry right now. This is completely unbelievable," he said.
___________________________

Did you guess yet?

No, it wasn't me, Silly!

It was Edward Snowden, the "HERO" stuck in the transit area at a Moscow airport, the fugitive seeking asylum in Ecuador.

If this isn't RICH, I don't know what is.

This disclosure should tell you ONE thing about Mr. Snowden--He knew the disclosure of information on NSA programs would harm U.S. national security, he understood the long-term impact, he understood our enemies might shift tactics, and he turned it over to the press anyway.

Those are NOT the actions of a "Hero" they are the actions of a TRAITOR.

In the words of Ace Ventura--"Lay-HOO-say-ER." (That's "loser" in Ventura-nese).

And that's all I have to say about that!

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Sunday, June 23, 2013

#Blog Today in Skye's Spies: Justice Charges Signal Maximum Sentence for Snowden

Justice Charges Signal Maximum Sentence for Snowden

Today in Skye's Spies, practically every news outlet in the world is reporting that the Justice Department has officially (and FINALLY) filed espionage charges against Eric Snowden, the former NSA contractor who leaked classified documents to the press on a Top Secret program. The charges were filed in a sealed criminal complaint in the Eastern District of Virginia.

Justice's charges include unauthorized communication of national defense information and willful communication of classified communications intelligence information--both of which fall under the espionage act--and theft of government property. All three crimes carry a maximum 10-year prison penalty.

Finally...

I for one couldn't be more thrilled that plans for his extradition are moving forward. And I truly believe the arrogant and highly public way he's gone about leaking the information is JUST about to come back and bite him in his ass.

First, I think Snowden is going to be hard-pressed to find any country willing to expend political or economic capital to harbor him. You would risk the welfare of your own people to harbor a U.S. traitor? No. I don't think so. The United States expends $50 billion in foreign aid each year, dispersed to nearly every country in the world, including Hong Kong and China. I can't see the Chinese risking anything for him. The only way, I believe, they would accept him is if he committed the ultimate betrayal and provided them with information on NSA systems.

Even if Snowden's defense attempted to justify "political" reasons for seeking asylum, theft and unauthorized disclosure are criminal offenses. The charges are two-parts criminal, on part "political." I think the United States could make a strong argument.

[News Update: A Huffington Post report indicates Snowden left Hong Kong for Moscow. Apparently Hong Kong wanted to rid itself of the headache called Snowden and allowed him to board a flight to Russia. And so many thought he wasn't a traitor. Isn't that something? His plan is obviously to skip through countries with no extradition treaties until he lands in Venezuela, and he's apparently got some crafty help with the WikiLeaks support team. While this certainly complicates efforts to interdict him, nothing's impossible. It's just going to take a little longer and a little more planning. His days are numbered and the rest of my assessment holds true.] 

Secondly, the manner in which the charges were filed suggests the Justice Department plans to seek the maximum sentence on all charges--and the odds of successful prosecution are HIGHLY in their favor. First, Snowden has fully admitted to the crime to the WORLD, freely and without duress. He not only admitted it, he's proud of it and continues with each interview to engage in activity that only deepens the harm he's already done. Moreover, Snowden is completely unremorseful about the damage he's done to the United States, arrogantly so, even if he is regretful about the impact on his family and girlfriend.

So, in the event that he is extradited, how will he plea bargain? Not on the basis of remorse or regret. He's shown no signs of that.

The other bargaining chip the defense usually leverages is that, in exchange for keeping the Top Secret documents out of discovery (and the press), the defendant would agree to a lesser charge and shorter sentence. Well, Snowden has already given the documents to the press and the contents have been widely reported in the media. The Justice Department as NO FEAR of taking this case to court. The documents he's already disclosed and his own admissions are enough to get a successful conviction--and his lack of remorse will ensure that they seek the maximum penalty.

The most compelling support for my analysis comes from the fact that, having worked at the FBI, they usually collect as much evidence as possible to stack the charges. Based on current reports, they didn't do that in this case. I believe that's because they know they didn't need to. They didn't need to risk revealing any other classified documents in discovery because they knew these charges would stick without negotiation.

With a maximum sentence all three charges, he will serve as much time as any spy.

That means 30 years in prison for Mr. Snowden--unless he plea bargains a lesser charge/sentence and turns himself into authorities. I guess that means I have to redact my previous "worst spy ever" charges. The charges don't support that. He's just your run of the mill traitor.

Hmmm, I wonder if the NSA monitors prison communications. Naaah...poetic justice would be too much to ask.

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S.D. Skye Blog Interview (Reprisal)

I gripe about a lot of issues and share writing tips, but I don't really talk about myself much. So, I thought I would repost a few of my old blog tour interviews with my own blog readers--all both of you. LOL

So...here goes. This one is from Janna Shay's Blog.

It's one of my favs.

Interview with S.D. Skye

Please tell us a little something about you.

Where should I begin? I’m a very complex and interesting person [laugh here]. I’m a single mom of one wonderful little boy…well, he’s wonderful when he’s not asserting his independence and getting on my nerves…but I digress. I live outside of the DC area where I’ve worked for the past 25 years (I’m 29 by the way. Child labor laws didn’t apply to me). 

I’ve worked in the U.S. Intelligence Community for the past 22 years, my first stop being the FBI. After two years of maintaining the FBI Stolen Art File, I switched to counterintelligence—or spy catching. I like to think I was the FBI’s good luck charm because a year after I started there, we caught some of the biggest American traitors in U.S. history. Starting with former CIA case officer Aldrich Ames and ending with a former special agent in the Russian program (in which I worked), Robert Hanssen. It was an incredible time, working inside and learning the world of counterintelligence and counterespionage.

I suppose I thought my career wasn’t exciting enough so I left the FBI and worked as a Senior Intelligence Officer on the Joint Staff during the start of the Iraq War. I reported on the insurgency and worked very closely with General Petraeus’s intelligence advisor. Supporting the U.S. Military was some of the most rewarding work I’ve ever done, but working in the Pentagon environment will burn you out quickly. Five years later, I started working as in intelligence analyst consultant and/or intelligence editor for military counterintelligence then U.S. Coast Guard Intelligence then the Director of National Intelligence. Whew!

Now, I work for a government contracting firm where I finally get to make good use of the MBA I thought I’d wasted good money on.

Wow, you’ve had an impressive list of jobs. They all sound so interesting, yet dangerous. What motivated you to become a published author?

Although I’ve been writing in my job for my entire career, I’ve known since I was a kid that I was meant to do more with my writing than write journals (which I still do today). I always had this sense that I had this talent that was untapped and that I needed to find the courage to explore it. When I hit the big 4-0 (ignore that lie in the previous section), I had the moment where I asked “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I knew I wanted to be a writer and I wanted to write a book, but I kept doubting myself because I didn’t have a degree in English. And I decided if one person read my work and enjoyed it that I would have given life to this gift, this yearning I had to do more than intelligence work. So, I bit the bullet and wrote my first romantic comedy (intentionally steering clear of intelligence related stuff). That book and its sequel were picked up by a big six publisher.

It’s fortunate for us that you decided to follow your dream. What is the most difficult part of writing for you?

Quieting my mind so ideas can come through. I have so much going on in my life on any given day that it’s often hard to allow the creativity to pour through. And then when it does, it’s as if I’ve broken a dam. So many incredible ideas and not enough “me” to write them. If I could clone myself a couple of times, I might have time to write all my ideas in this lifetime.

Hopefully life will slow down for you, so you can pen all those incredible ideas for us. Pick a character from your book and describe one of her strengths and one of her weaknesses?

J.J. McCall, the main character, is very loosely based on an agent I worked with. Although I knew her professionally, I had no clue about her personal life, so J.J. really kind of materialized in my mind. One of her key strengths is her loyalty. It gives her a level of respect and honorability that sets her above everyone else around her. But this same quality is also part of her downfall, because she feels so responsible and obligated to those around her that she’s stressed to the point of developing a problem with alcohol, one in which she’s in denial about.

J.J. McCall sounds like such an interesting character. What is your favorite part of your book?

In our lives, people may do hurtful things to us but we don’t often get the chance for retribution. Well, J.J. gets the opportunity to really stick it to someone who has belittled her and treated her poorly for years. And what I love about it, is her imperfect reaction to the opportunity. The confrontation shows a lot about J.J.’s character—the good and the bad. 

You’ve aroused our interest. Our readers are going to have to read The Seven Year Itch to find out what happens. We would like to know a little more about you. Describe your typical day.

I’m usually up at 4-5 am. I write for a couple of hours before I’m forced to begin my day. I get Junior up about 6 and for the next hour and a half bark orders like a crazed Marine from Full Metal Jacket. While I could foster a more calm and nurturing environment for our morning routine…we mother’s do what we must.

After he’s off to school, I’m off to work where I get to tap into my inner road rager in rush hour traffic until I get to my job where I serve as a Senior Technical Writer and Technical Editor. I repeat the road rager thing 8-10 hours later until I get home at which time I help Junior with his homework and get him ready for bed by 9.

Then it’s two more hours of writing until I fall asleep.

On the weekends, I’m a total hermit and usually write all day long when my son goes to his dad’s house for weekend visits. When the house is quiet, it’s really my favorite time of the week. Some days I may write for 12 hours and not feel as if I’ve written for five minutes. That’s how I know I love what I’m doing. 

You have a very full schedule. If you found some time to get away and spend a week anywhere, where would you go and what would you do during that week?

I would love to go Bora Bora or the Maldives. Get one of those huts on the water and just relax my mind, drink cocktails with umbrellas in them, and write whatever comes to me. And I’d love to have one of those old Olivetti typewriters and stacks of paper filled with brilliance next to it. Dare to dream.

Sounds wonderful. You’ll have to let us know if you get there. What genre do you like to read and who are some of your favorite authors?

I read everything from Jane Austen to Stephen King. Recently I’ve been in a non-fiction phase. I’m energized by stories of people who have overcome obstacles to achieve their dreams. Such stories remind me that anything is possible through hard work and perseverance.

You have very a eclectic taste in literature. It sounds like you love reading. If you could have any wish granted, what would it be?

Honestly, my mom passed away last March. I found out she had cancer only six weeks before she died. I spoke to her the day she died, but I wasn’t there with her because she was scheduled for surgery a few days later, so I had planned to travel there for the surgery. We all thought she had more time. But if I had one wish, I would have been there that day, held her, and let her know how much I loved her. But I’m comforted by the fact that I know in my heart that she knew.

So sorry to hear about your loss. Even though you couldn’t be with her that day, I’m sure she knows how much you love her. What are you currently working on and when can we expect your next book?

Right now, I’m hard at work on the next books in the series. Each book will feature a new and different case, but the romantic entanglements won’t be resolved until the very last book. In book two, Son of a Itch, Russian intelligence plants a bug in the White House Situation Room and J.J. investigates to find out whodunit.

Fun Facts

Favorite food . . . . Anything Italian                                                                                      
Person you’d most like to meet . . . . Oprah…just to pick her brain.                              
Favorite type of movie . . . . Chick Flicks                                                                                    
Pet Peeve . . . . Dishonesty—why bother? That might be why J.J. is a lie detector.      
Favorite pastime . . . . NFL Football go Redskins and RGIII                                
Something you like about yourself . . . . I’m funny, a trait my mom helped me  develop because she was one of the funniest people I’ve ever known.                        
Favorite type of music . . . . The good kind. I listen to everything from Creed to Hip  Hop to Bach. As a musician (former tuba player), I like to think I have an ear for the good  stuff. 

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 Check out my new release: The Seven Year Itch (A J.J. McCall Novel).  
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Friday, June 21, 2013

Today in Skye's Spies: Most Americans Want Snowden Jailed, FBI Drones Fly in CONUS

Most Americans Want Snowden Jailed

Hallelujah. There is intelligence on this planet (no pun intended)!

After bitterly preaching the traitorous nature of Eric Snowden's activities for the last week or so and praying for his immediate capture, a poll in a Business Insider article says that 54 percent of Americans feel the same. The number is higher among older Americans...and surprisingly Democrats. And I'm totally okay with that.

I don't want to keep giving a voice to his story, so I'm backing off of it (except for positive developments such as this one). But I will say one thing--this will blow over in time--a month, several months--the Press will find another story to latch on to and report to death. And because Americans are so inundated with the volume of press coverage, the story is already losing the wind in its sails. The beauty of living in America is that even when the story dies down--the hunt for Snowden will not. Ever. He won't get away with it. He will get caught. And hopefully he'll go to Supermax and keep the other traitors company. Perhaps he and Hanssen and snuggle up together and look back on the days when they screwed over their country.

Should make for an interesting discussion.

FBI Drones Fly in CONUS

According to a story in CNN, the FBI has been flying drones inside the United States in operations in which it wants to avoid risking the lives of agents or target bad guys more surreptitiously. They've used them a little more than a dozen times, including hostage and barricade situations such as the one in which the little boy was abducted and taken into the underground bunker.

Isn't the FBI just awful? Saving lives and keeping agents out of harms way in dangerous operations. Let's string 'em up. O_o

My first reaction to that was, AND?

If CNN wanted to get a bigger reaction they should've reported this BEFORE Snowden came out with the NSA information.

Now, the press is coming off like that pain-in-the-ass baby sister who caught you smoking behind the house and is now trying pile up the charges...only the successive charges have increasingly less impact. It's like "John smoked a cigarette behind the house! And took a cookie from the jar without asking...and didn't put his underwear in the hamper!"

If I remember my economics, it's similar to the law of diminishing return. At some point the news becomes so saturated with the same kinds of stories, over and over again, that they lose their impact.

Yeah...the FBI flies drones in certain cases inside the United States.

Don't like it? I don't begrudge your right to not wish to keep this country safe.

Get a passport.

Find an island.

Ciao, Bella!

And lastly...

Spy Thriller Author Vince Flynn Dies at 47


Prostate cancer. Can you believe it?

All the men who read this blog--the both of you--don't forget to go get your check ups. No one should die from prostate cancer so young in this day and age. It's preventable, it's treatable--if you catch it early!

RIP, Vince. Your genius will be missed!


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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Best Review Ever...So Far!

A reader whom I didn't know until he friended me on Facebook tagged me to this  review of The Seven Year Itch. Of course I did cartwheels. It's always the best feeling in the WORLD...when a reader really "GETS" the story you were trying to tell and the way you tried to tell it. 

 If you like a mole hunt, you might enjoy too!

 This Itch is Crazy!!!

Image
What do you do after you read an excellently written, intricately woven novel that entertains you on a level you didn’t know existed? You tell everybody about that novel because it would be wrong to keep that type of treasure all to yourself. “The Seven Year Itch” by S.D. Skye, chronicles the adventures of a F.B.I. Agent named J.J. McCall. Her super power (or super weakness) is the ability to detect lies by an itching sensation in her skin. The bigger the lie, the harder the itch. Her power is helpful for her line of work: counter intelligence. However, her power may be her biggest weakness. She’s lost love because of the itch. Nevertheless, I found J.J.’s trait fascinating and read with excitement as she conversed with other characters. If J.J. itched…uh-oh!!!

In “The Seven Year Itch” McCall hunts a treacherous traitor who’s selling secrets and compromising sources. You travel at high speeds through the streets of Washington D.C., and you sit at the edge of your seat as Skye hits you with twists and turns. Who’s the traitor? I thought I had everything figured out and then Skye threw in a large monkey wrench that sent me reeling. After that, I couldn’t stop reading. I had to know if my suspicions were true. It blew my mind when I found out who the traitor was. Few books actually raise heart rates. “The Seven Year Itch” is one of those books.

I couldn’t keep this great treasure to myself. If you like thrill rides with truly interesting characters, then “The Itch” is for you. I cannot wait to read the follow-up: “Son of a Itch.” I am now a huge fan of S.D. Skye.

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Monday, June 17, 2013

Today in Skye's Spies: Snowden Doc Expose GCHQ Operations,Officially Worst Traitor in U.S. History

Today in Skye's Spies, new Snowden documents released indicated that GCHQ, the UK NSA, spied on the phones of foreign diplomats during an international conference.

In my not-so-humble opinion. He has officially become the single-most damaging traitor in U.S. history. Not hero--traitor. And I've seen traitors up close and way too personal--including former FBI Agent Robert Hanssen. I've seen the damage up close. This compromise, this breach, is so much worse than anything Hanssen or even Ames did for that matter, it's not even funny. What's sad is that  Snowden doesn't even realize the implications of his actions yet. He has royally screwed his country (and our allies) for decades to come.

The depth of his ignorance and stupidity is absolutely astounding on so many levels. He appointed himself judge and jury over not only the U.S. Intelligence Community but the world intelligence program. And what's so incredibly frustrating and sad is that his view was so incredibly limited that he has no idea what impact is actions have had or how badly they've damaged this and our allies' security. What he did is akin to trying a case based solely on information from the prosecutor. No defense. If only he could be so fortunate as to receive the same treatment in court that he dished out to the IC.

Understand that the intelligence community operates under what is called the "Intelligence Cycle" and the NSA's part in the cycle is very small in the grand scheme of things.


NSA is largely limited to two areas of this cycle--collection and some very limited analysis. NSA's information is disseminated to other agencies and collated with that information to provide a big picture view. It's only when NSA's information is combined with HUMINT and other intelligence that we get a true perspective of it's overall importance to national security, it's usefulness, how it fits into a larger puzzle--or how it has saved lives or helped detect criminal and terrorist activity.

Remember when you were a kid and you used the cardboard tube of a paper towel as a telescope? The roll didn't have a lens to enhance your view--in fact, it limited the scope of it, made your view very narrow. Snowden indicted the entire intelligence community based on the very narrow view of  what he could see through the paper towel tube. And the biggest problem is that Snowden isn't knowledgeable or informed enough to know he was looking through a paper towel tube. He thinks he was looking at the world and he was looking at a tiny patch of grass.

What he's done will certainly increase the level of distrust between agencies, foreign and domestic, and cause our foreign partners to think twice before sharing intelligence. It may cost thousands of contractors their jobs if the Senate persists on the knee-jerk reaction and limit contractor access to NSA data--the course they are certainly headed on now. We may never know the true impact on our intelligence operations. For all we know, sometime in the very near future tens, hundreds, maybe thousands of Americans may die in terrorist attacks we will be unable to prevent because one of our enemies changed their method of operation after the disclosure of the NSA operation.

He has aided and abetted our enemies and gravely damaged U.S. operations. He has damaged the operations of our allies. His interviews with the press indicate he has shared intelligence with the Chinese in order to ingratiate himself to them--so that he can get asylum there. He may (probably will) cost thousands of Americans their jobs.

When I look at what spies like Aldrich Ames and Robert Hanssen did, spying for the Russians pales in comparison because their cases had an impact, although significant, on a very narrow range of issues.

The impact of his disclosure is so broad it is actually frightening. And people hail  him as a hero.

Where I come from, that does not spell H-E-R-O. That spells one of the worst T-R-A-I-T-O-R-S in U.S. history. And what he also doesn't realize is that with every article the Guardian prints they are just tacking on the violation counts and adding years to his prison sentence. He deserves EVERY SECOND and then some.

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Friday, June 14, 2013

Today in Skye's Spies: Convicted Spy Talks Snowden, Senate to Limit Contractor NSA Access

Convicted Spy Boyce Talks Snowden

Today in Skye's Spies, CNN interviewed convicted spy Christopher Boyce, the subject in the movie The Falcon and the Snowman (which I've seen several times), who was an NSA contractor convicted of providing classified information to the Soviets in the 1980s. He broke out of jail and went on the run for 19 months. While he was out, he robbed a couple of banks and looked over his shoulder every second until he got caught. In this interview, Boyce discusses his life on the run and what's in store for Snowden who as Boyce so eloquently put, is on the run from the best secret service in the world. A lot of countries might beg to differ but I'm going to go with it.

Here are a few quotes that I really found gripping...

"Ego played a great part in that -- having my own secrets, being in the know of something, getting (one) over on the bastards. It's an all-empowering feeling, in a somewhat demented way. But what you're really doing is just walking into a buzz-saw. It certainly was exciting. I'm sure Snowden feels a similar excitement. But that excitement, after a while, is not a good excitement -- it becomes terror."
 
I've been saying this all along, that he is narcissistic and living out some adolescent spy movie fantasy. He's out of touch with reality and for that I really do pity him. One day the magnitude will really hit him and he will regret addressing his beliefs and problems in this way.
 
 
"I think he's scared to death. I think that every single person he sees, he's wondering if that's the person that's coming for him. He's probably worried that there is a large group of people in Washington, D.C., trying to come up with some way of getting back at him, to get control of him, to lock him up for the rest of his life."
 
 
Heck yeah he's scared to death and he should be. But getting back at him? It's not about revenge. It's about prosecuting him because he BROKE THE LAW. He signed an agreement, he broke the law. He's going to jail for a good chunk of the rest of his life...when they catch him. And Americans are an impatiently patient people. Can we say Osama Bin Ladin? Eric Snowden will find NO REST, NO PEACE, until he gives himself up and returns to stand trial.
 
And the last one...
 
"I don't know if he has an arrangement with the Chinese government. If he doesn't, I would be worried that the Chinese may deport him to the United States to gain some concession in return. I'd be terrified of that, if I were him. Who would trust the Chinese government? He is utterly vulnerable and knows that there are a lot of people who really want to hurt him now. If I were him, I would at this point probably be having second thoughts. Asking myself "What did I do? What have I brought down upon my head? Did I really do this?"
 
 
If this idiot accepts asylum in China, he's the biggest fool on planet Earth...which is somewhat apparent from his actions already, but will be VERY apparent from that decision. The Chinese will milk him for everything  he's willing to give and he will be expendable. He's not Asian. They will have no loyalty to him whatsoever. He can't trust them. He will never be able to trust anyone again. He's living his hell right now.
 
He deserves it.
 
Anyway, Boyce has some pretty interesting revelations about his own treachery. Worth reading the article. 
 

Senate Seeks to Limit Contractor NSA Access

In other news, Senator Dianne Feinstein seeks to limit contractor access to NSA data. She reportedly made the promise after senators received a closed-door briefing about the NSA  program's usefulness.
 
In my humble opinion, this is nothing but a knee-jerk reaction that WILL NOT address the problem. Not at all. It's like putting a Band-Aid and Neosporin on a 10-inch machete wound in the back. The fact is MOST contractors were government employees at one time or another. That's how they got their initial clearances. As a contractor, you have to have the same exact background investigations, the same exact security screenings, and the same exact polygraph examinations. Look at Snowden. He was in the military and worked for CIA before becoming an NSA contractor. Becoming a contractor didn't cause the problem. He had some ideological beliefs, ego issues, narcissistic and schizophrenic tendencies if you ask me. All employees, contractor or government, would be vulnerable to these kinds of issues if not identified early on.  
 
No, the way to address the issue is to change the security screening process. Change the polygraph so that these kinds of issues are addressed in the questioning. If someone has an ideological issue with the way the government does business, then they shouldn't be working for the United States government. 
 
Find. Employment. Elsewhere.
 
Simple as that.
 
Change the screening process for ALL employees and you will get to the root of the problem rather than slap a Band-Aid on a flesh wound.
 
And that's all I have to say about that!
 
 
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Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/06/13/3449926/feinstein-will-seek-limits-on.html#storylink=cpy
 
 
 


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Today in Skye's Spies: NSA Leak Offered Asylum...Where?, New Zealand Innocent of NSA-Like Spying...Sort of

NSA Leak Offered Asylum...Where?

Today in Skye's Spies, a spokesperson for Vladimir Putin indicated that if the NSA leak Edward Snowden asked for asylym in Russia, the government would consider it.

Really?

If the U.S. didn't consider the cartoonish arrest of American Diplomat Eric Fogle as a harbinger of the deterioration of U.S.-Russian relations, then the SUGGESTION of harboring Snowden should be. The mere suggestion should signal the White House and policymakers that we need to re-draw our hardline stance with the "main adversary" because it is CLEAR beyond CLEAR that they never erased the one they drew during the Cold War.

We're still deep in the thick of it.

Except now perhaps we'll call it the Frostbite War. The gangrene from the excessive exposure to the Cold set in. Only Americans--including President Obama--had been so numb in our own wishful thinking that we couldn't even feel the decay. Now the stench is overpowering and we can more clearly see why the Russians had been turning up thier noses at us all along.  

What gets me is the absolute HYPOCRISY of the Russian government. Alexei Pushkov, the head of the State Duma's international affairs committee, said: "By promising asylum to Snowden, Moscow undertakes protection of those persecuted according to political motives. In the United States there will be hysteria. They only recognise their own right to do that."

Did he REALLY say..."Protection of those persecuted according to political motives?"

Ha! Tell that to Pussy Riot.

The Russian government is the LAST government in the WORLD who should judge any country of "persecuting according to political motives." If you look up the definition of the pot calling the kettle black, Pushkov's statement is the lone example provided right after the definition.

First of all, the Russians have been monitoring their citizens since Jesus was a carpenter. They weren't even secretive about it and the Russian people had NO VOICE. ZERO. Whatsoever. Moreover, if Snowden was Russian and an employee of FAPSI and he'd breached any Russian program in this manner...we'd be saying, "Poor Snowden, R.I.P." right after he dropped dead from the arsenic- or ricin-laced fishballs.

I sincerely hope they will think better of it. If they don't I hope Snowden does.

He claims he did nothing wrong. He claims he only wanted to inform the American people. He claims he didn't want to hide.

So now why is he on the run and hiding as if he did something wrong? Why would he run to a country he apparently thought operated under Chinese law?

Where I come from, if he runs like a traitor and cowers like a traitor...you know the rest.

New Zealand Innocent of NSA-Like Spying...Sort of

In a story I found somewhat amusing, without even reading the story, was that New Zealand reportedly said it does not have its own clandestine monitoring program that surveils it's citizens. Really? I mean talk about biting the hand that feeds you.

They're right though...they don't.

Why spend New Zealand tax dollars to support its own program when they can leverage the collection from other countries, like the U.S. and U.K. New Zealand is a member of the "FIVE EYES" crew. No, it's not a gang. It's the group of countries that has some of the most prolific intelligence sharing agreements in the world and includes the US, UK, Canada, Australia...and wait for it...New Zealand.

As small as the country is, I wouldn't pay for my own program if I had access to that kind of  FREE intel either. They only have to pay people to analyze it. Twenty-plus years in intelligence, I never heard ANYONE say, "Oh no! New Zealand won't accept this SIGINT reporting."

O.o

*shakes head*

Why our allies...and indeed even our own U.S. Congress and Senate are all trying to feign stupidity on these programs NOW is beyond me.

What I said about Snowden applies to the Government too. Heroes don't hide. The program saved lives and helped us stop our enemies from doing the country even more harm than the few attacks that have been successful. Get some freaking backbone and refocus the attention on the people who deserve it--terrorists, spies, and criminals.

And that's all I have to say about that.

 
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Sunday, June 9, 2013

Today in Skye's Spies: Clapper Snaps Back on NSA Press Attack, CIA/NSA Contractor Confesses NSA Leak

Clapper Snaps Back on NSA Press Attack

Today in Skye's Spies, the Director of National Intelligence James Clapper finally issued a response regarding the NSA-Gate, indicating that these "spying" programs are longstanding and not NEW (like I said three days ago)...and that the Press failed to give the public any CONTEXT in a rush to publish (uhhhh...as I also said three days ago--I was really good at my job, by the way. LOL). Although I will say that I don't believe it was merely a rush to publish, more like trying to stick another thumb in the eye of the Obama administration because they're still miffed about the leak probe.

While I'm glad that Clapper has stepped up, I disagree with declassifying ANYTHING to assuage any prickled feelings. The FBI and the Intelligence Community have jobs that they've done very well for decades without the American people having their noses stuck in every facet of what goes on behind the scenes. Quite frankly, 90% of the time, they'd be bored to tears. And the other 9 percent of the time, they'd be interested, and 1 percent of the time they'd be thankful as hell.

On the whole, the United States is a pretty safe country...now you know why.

But back to the leak situation...

NSA-CIA Contractor Confesses NSA Leak

In other news--*big sigh*--Edward Snowden, a CIA/NSA contractor formerly based in Hawaii, has revealed his identity  and confessed to leaking the secret documents regarding the classified NSA/FBI program. To show you how utterly STUPID and CLUELESS this "honorable" guy is, he left his home in beautiful Hawaii to hide in Hong Kong where the Guardian says he's been since May 20th. Told his supervisors that he needed to be away for a few weeks to receive treatment for epilepsy. Guardian says "Snowden is quoted as saying he chose that city because 'they have a spirited commitment to free speech and the right of political dissent', and because he believed it was among the spots on the globe that could and would resist the dictates of the U.S. government."

If the idiot had taken 10 minutes to do a Google search, he would've seen the United States has an extradition treaty with the Hong Kong. If the U.S. issues a warrant for his arrest, he will be standing trial faster than he can spell epilepsy. I can only hope a warrant is in the works. This guy has caused as much damage as any spy. He should be treated as such.

To further demonstrate his intellectual prowess, Snowden says, and I quote, "So while they may be intending to target someone associated with a foreign government, or someone that they suspect of terrorism, they're collecting your communications to do so."

Let's just pause and think about that for a second.

If the FBI is looking for information on foreign government and terrorist threats INSIDE the United States, exactly whose communications should they target and collect information from...again... to find a threat INSIDE the United States???

Hong Kong perhaps?

Bora Bora?

The indigenous region of the Australian Aborigines?

I mean really? And this guy served in the United State Army??? What was his rank, 2nd Class Moron?

At times like this, I wish the United States had a Putin-esque president, one that would call him a pig on national television and then snatch him up and jail him so fast he would've forgotten how to pronounce the word "epilepsy."

So what did the President have to say about this mess???

"It's important to recognize that you can't have 100 percent security and also then have 100 percent privacy and zero inconvenience," Obama said. "We're going to have to make some choices as a society. And what I can say is that in evaluating these programs, they make a difference in our capacity to anticipate and prevent possible terrorist activity."

I'm not always on one accord with the President's statements, but he's sure got this one right...

The American people are going to have to decide whether they want 100 percent privacy...or whether they want another 9-11. And yes, the decision is THAT simple. There are no gray areas.

This is a different world and we have to fight with the most effective tools we have. Communications surveillance is one of them.

The FBI doesn't care about your break up with your husband, the love letter to your 2nd other wife, the naked pics you sent to your boyfriend, or even that questionable picture on the nether regions of your hard drive with the sheep and the Hershey bar.

Nope.

If you're not talking to Abdul about going to training camp and committing Jihad -- or something in that neighborhood--then the government will not impede on your freedom to do ANYTHING.

Can't wait for a new headline...the one that says this jerk off Snowden is in PRISON!

And that's all I have to say about that.

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