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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."

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July 22, 2007



I've noticed that starting around 2005, a replacement metric for the seven year rule surfaced to test the waters. Rumor has it that one of the smarter PAO types was lying on the beach and idly started counting their toes. All of a sudden, a light bulb clicked on, and the PAO realized that the seven years would be up some day.

The new mantra is "five more years". Nice ring, and it has the practical advantage of always being on the other side of the next election.


Speaking of the 18 month rule, a new term has been coined: the "blue handcuffs", or "blue cuffs" for short. I guess this is as opposed to the "golden handshake" signing bonus that the most sought after staffers get when they decide which contrator they're going to go with.


All I know is that in May, just before the blue cuffs were snapped on, the answer to "What Color Is Your Parachute" was green. It looked like the 82nd Airborne at Normandy.

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  • 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.