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  • 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.

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« Pakistan Security Reveals ISI Toileting Secrets | Main | Hollywood and bin Laden »

August 11, 2011



Petrodollars vs A-Bombs!


One thing that you can be sure of: the ISI knew everything that went in and out of the compound, and nothing that went in or out did so without their approval. That's just the way it works in these situations. No intelligence service is going to keep anyone on ice on their turf for any amount of money unless they have full visibility and control into what is going on. That's just the way it works.

Jack Parsons

Saying "The ISI" and "The Saudis" does not reflect reality. There are factions everywhere, driven somewhat by ideologues and controlled by power-seekers who hope to ride the ideologues.

Some of the ISI has strong nationalist sympathies: after Partition, they were suddenly a nation that was, well, Not India. Their sympathies are to Pakistan as a nation-state; being screwed with by the US, a failed state (Afghanistan) next door and a half-failed state (the Autonomous regions) in between deeply bugs the hell out of them.

Some of the ISI are on the Islam side rather than the nationalist side, and have helped the hill tribes and Taliban in various ways for a long time.

The same is true of the Saudis. The Kingdom has been taken over by Wahabis, the Muslim version of our extreme fundies. A lot of Saudi power-seekers pay the Taliban etc. to satisfy the Wahabis, but also to keep the Taliban away from Saudi Arabia. There has to be a lot of Muslims who are irritated by this but who have no choice but to hide it.

And between the Saudis and the Pakistanis there has to be (I'm guessing) a massive case of "Arabs are real Muslims, and you Southwest Asians can tag along".

People are people, and while this international game-playing is done by rational sociopaths, these psychological forces manifest in a lot of ways.


I wish people would stop calling UAV's "drones". Drones are UAV's that are flown to be shot down by fighter aircraft. ie: target practice. I know the Air Force has never used a Predator for target practice.

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being able to tear myself away to try and get ready for work. I couldn't even fathom what was happening or why. All I knew was that a plane flew into the tower. asf er

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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.