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About R J Hillhouse

  • Dr. Hillhouse has run Cuban rum between East and West Berlin, smuggled jewels from the Soviet Union and slipped through some of the world’s tightest borders. From Uzbekistan to Romania, she's been followed, held at gunpoint and interrogated. Foreign governments and others have pitched her for recruitment as a spy. (They failed.)

    A former professor and Fulbright fellow, Dr. Hillhouse earned her Ph.D. in political science at the University of Michigan. Her latest novel, OUTSOURCED (Forge Books) is about the turf wars between the Pentagon and the CIA and the privatization of national security.

    Dr. Hillhouse is an expert on national security outsourcing. Her controversial work has twice elicited a formal response by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence--the only times that office has ever publicly responded to the writings of a private citizen.

    She is a regular media guest and available for interviews.

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  • "This gripping blog is filled with compelling posts on private intel corporations, mercenaries, the CIA, and the War on Terror."
    --TypePad.com

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OUTSOURCED.

« Is a $60 Billion Intelligence Community Budget Reasonable? | Main | Tide Change in Langley's Blue-Green Sea? »

June 08, 2007

Comments

The Greaseman

More and more frequently heard in the corridors of Hqs: "Have you seen the latest on "The Spy Who Billed Me?' Go ahead and admit it: We love this stuff, green or blue. Since it's obvious that Dr. Hillhouse knows that we're reading her blog, why don't we just be bold and bulky and write a few comments? Her book comes out on Tuesday, and I've already got mine reserved. Anyone want to meet me at the Tysons Gordon Biersch after work, knock back a couple of bone drys, and see who she's fictionalized?

R J Hillhouse

Hi Greaseman,

Thanks for de-cloaking and your timing is good. I'm in the middle of a discussion at the moment with my publicists trying to decide if it's worth doing a book gig in DC in July, along with a signing at the Pentagon Mall bookstore and the Tysons Corner Borders. Would it draw a crowd? And, more importantly, anyone for a drink at that Gordon Biersch if I'm in town??

Suzanne

Dr. Hillhouse:

Congratulations (I think) for all the attention you are getting from the various agencies.

One would think that, being so cutting edge technologically advanced, those folks would know about finger quote site meters end finger quote.

Erik Rader

Dr. Hillhouse,

Regarding those anonymous hits, depending on which visit tracking software you're using, various government agencies will not show up, or if they do, they'll show up as unknown.

I use SiteMeter on my blog, and for quite some time, anyone who visited from my work (NAWCWD China Lake) would show up only as a partial IP address, with none of the regular details. Then, for about 8 months, it wouldn't show up at all. Now, it shows up in total.

It seems to depend on if the agency blocks certain websites that collect data.

Oh, and great work bringing this mishandled exposure to light. ODNI is acting like a bunch of bureaucrats rather than real "spies" willing to take one for the team in the name of national security.

R J Hillhouse

Hi Erik,

Keep in mind, I not only have a long history of studying my own data through various analytical services, but I also have had access to the internal web traffic data of one of the CIA's major industrial contractors (whoops! It was another point and click security breach. I blogged about it at the time, but don't have time right now to search for the link.) and was able to review patterns there as well.

RJH

Uncle $cam

And on a similar note..

This CIA Mission -- Better Contract-Workforce Management -- Isn't Classified

By Stephen Barr
Monday, June 11, 2007; Page D01

The CIA is taking on a project that many federal agencies avoid: sorting out which jobs must be performed by government employees and which jobs are appropriate for contract workers.

Based on the findings of an internal task force, the CIA plans to shrink its contract workforce, tighten up contracting procedures and pay more attention to how it manages contract employees. Officials hope to wrap up their plan by July 1.

It is a sensitive, perhaps awkward, undertaking inside the CIA.

In a message last month to CIA employees about the contractor workforce, Gen. Michael V. Hayden, the CIA director, said contractors play a vital role at the agency. "We do not simply appreciate their skill and expertise -- we rely on it," he wrote.

Michael J. Morell, the CIA associate deputy director, stressed in an interview last week that "in no way is this something negative about contractors." The contract staff is just as passionate about the CIA's mission as the career cadre, he said.

Richard Cooper

So this is where all the bodies are buried! I'll bet the black helicopters are circling as we speak. Keep up the great blog. (Will you be at TFest next month?)

The Greaseman

Don't know about the Pentagon, but there will probably be a few people at Tyson's if the book is anything like the blog. Will it be on sale at the EAA bookstore in Hqs?

R J Hillhouse

Hi Richard,

Yup, I'll be at Thrillerfest next month, July 12-15 in NYC. It's always a blast and I recommend it to anyone who wants a chance to hang out with some of the top thriller authors.

I'm doing a panel on Friday, July 13, at 2 pm--something spy related. These are always fun.

Richard Cooper

Excellent - can't wait to be there myself as a fan. Spy stuff… yeah baby! It will be too hot and humid for trenchcoats, I'm afraid.

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Acknowledgements

  • A tip of the hat to investigative journalist Tim Shorrock who inspired the name of this blog with his path-breaking 2005 article, "The Spy Who Billed Me."

    Shorrock has a dedicated web page on outsourcing in intel. It links to many of his articles which are must-reads for anyone interested in the privatization of intelligence.