John Mintz


Mintz, John. "At Homeland Security, Doubts Arise Over Intelligence." Washington Post, 21 Jul. 2003, A12. []

According to some members of Congress and independent national security experts, DHS's intelligence unit "is understaffed, unorganized and weak-willed in bureaucratic struggles with other government agencies,... In passing the law establishing the department..., Congress intended Homeland Security to be the focal point for handling intelligence to protect America from terrorists." However, the Bush administration decided "that the agency should not have the standing of the CIA or FBI in analyzing intelligence about terror threats. [DHS] officials acknowledged growing pains in their intelligence wing.... They also point out that the head of their intelligence section, retired Marine Lt. Gen. Frank Libutti, was sworn in only on June 26[, 2003]."


Mintz, John. "DHS Blamed for Failure To Combine Watch Lists." Washington Post, 2 Oct. 2004, []

According to a report released on 1 October 2004 by DHS Inspector General Clark Kent Ervin, the "effort to consolidate federal agencies' 12 terrorist watch lists into one has all but failed, partly because the [DHS] has abandoned its responsibility to take the lead on the project."


Mintz, John. "Homeland Security Employs Imagination: Outsiders Help Devise Possible Terrorism Plots." Washington Post, 18 Jun. 2004, A27. []

The DHS, given the difficult task of trying to divine al Qaeda's future methods of attack on the United States, is seeking advice from some unexpected sources these days: futurists, philosophers, software programmers, a pop musician and a thriller writer. Picking the brains of people with offbeat specialties and life experiences is the latest tactic in the government's efforts to get inside the heads of worldwide terrorists. Homeland Security's Analytic Red Cell office employs a tactic that has been used for decades by U.S. intelligence agencies, the Pentagon and large corporations -- gathering together people from outside their insular bureaucracies to arrive at fresh insights."


Mintz, John. "Lockheed Martin Works to Save Its Older Spies in the Skies." Washington Post, 29 Nov. 1995, D1.


Mintz, John. "The Mystery Plane: If Anyone's Seen It, No One Is Talking." Washington Post National Weekly Edition, 21-27 Dec. 1992, 31.

Is/has the United States developing/developed a follow-on spy plane to the SR-71? Good question, but no clear answer. Quoted for various views are Jane's Defence Weekly, Sen. John Glenn, and the Federation of American Scientists.


Mintz, John. "Nominee Criticized Over Post-9/11 Policies." Washington Post, 12 Jan. 2005, A10. []

Michael Chertoff, President Bush's nominee to be DHS secretary, "is widely hailed for his intellectual heft and tireless work habits as a federal prosecutor and judge. But he also faces criticism as an architect of some of the most controversial elements of the Bush administration's domestic war on terrorism" that followed the 9/11 attacks.


Mintz, John. "Panel Cites U.S. Failures on Security for Embassies." Washington Post, 8 Jan. 1999, A1. []

The Accountability Review Board, chaired by Adm. William J. Crowe, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, "appointed to investigate why two U.S. embassies in Africa [Nairobi and Dar es Salaam] were vulnerable to terrorist bombings issued a scathing report [on 7 January 1999], criticizing 'the collective failure of the U.S. government over the past decade' to prepare for terrorist attacks and to adequately fund security improvements at American embassies."

The panel, "recommended that the U.S. government spend $1.4 billion a year over 10 years to improve security at U.S. diplomatic missions. That is in addition to the $1.4 billion hurriedly added to the State Department's security budget ... after the August bombings. Among its other proposals were a recommendation to bring all overseas U.S. facilities up to the standards recommended in a similar report drawn up in 1985 by a panel headed by former CIA deputy director Bobby Ray Inman. Since then, about 15 embassies have been upgraded to Inman's standards -- including being set back from public streets and built with sturdy design techniques."


Mintz, John. "Panel Faults Space Aid to China." Washington Post, 31 Dec. 1998, A1. []

The House select committee's report "is the most comprehensive review so far" of evidence that aerospace companies Hughes and Loral "shared sensitive U.S. technologies as they pursued commercial relations in China.... In a rare show of bipartisanship on what for months has been a divisive issue, the special panel ... voted 9-0 yesterday to endorse the secret ... study and send it to congressional leaders and the Clinton administration. The panel is expected to release a shorter, unclassified version of its findings within a few months, after it is reviewed by government agencies."


Mintz, John. "Top Homeland Security Official Resigns Position." Washington Post, 1 Jul. 2003, A6. []

DHS Assistant Secretary Paul Redmond resigned on 30 June 2003, "citing health reasons." On 5 June 2003, Redmond "angered many House members at a hearing [before the House Select Committee on Homeland Security] when he testified that his newly established office has not hired enough analysts or set up enough secure communications lines to receive classified FBI and CIA data for analysis purposes. A department spokesman said Redmond's resignation was 'totally unrelated' to his ... testimony."


Mintz, John. "Unseen Perils in a Russian Squall." Washington Post, 3 Jan. 2001. "A Squall that Spawned an International Storm." Washington Post National Weekly Edition, 8-14 Jan. 2001, 17-18.

"[S]ources knowledgeable about U.S. intelligence said Pope fell afoul of an intelligence operation in which he was not involved: an effort by the Canadian government to buy a handful of Russia's advanced Shkval (or Squall) torpedoes from a defense plant in the former Soviet republic of Kyrgyzstan.... [Pope] had been researching the Squall for years and was in the process of buying technical information about it. But he thought his purchase had been approved by the Russian government, and he was completely unaware of the simultaneous Canadian operation, the intelligence sources said."


Mintz, John. "U.S. Probes Company's Covert Operations." Washington Post, 30 Dec. 1998, A1. []

Federal agents raided the Alexandria office of Vector Microwave Research Corp. on 20 November 1997. "Vector was a leading entrepreneur in a classified or 'black' specialty with high stakes and few rules: covertly acquiring foreign missiles, radar, artillery and other weapons for U.S. intelligence agencies." Although no charges have been filed, "investigators are trying to determine at whose behest the firm bid for a batch of North Korean missiles" and whether the company "provided China sensitive technical specifications on the U.S. Stinger antiaircraft missile."


Mintz, John, and Mike Allen. “House Passes Homeland Security Bill.” Washington Post, 14 Nov. 2002, A1. []

The reorganization that will accompany the establishment of the new Department of Homeland Security will be "the largest in government since the creation of the Defense Department in 1947."


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