Commentary and information about public safety and security, intelligence and counterintelligence, open government and secrecy, and other issues in northern Idaho and eastern Washington.

Location: Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, United States

Raised in Palouse, WA. Graduated from Washington State University. US Army (Counterintelligence). US Secret Service (Technical Security Division) in Fantasyland-on-the-Potomac and Los Angeles. Now living in north Idaho.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Americans Who Spy

What motivates Americans who spy against the United States? What causes someone to provide information to his country's adversaries?

There is no one answer, because each agent's motivations are uniquely his or hers. There may be generalized categories of motivations such as ideology, money, duress, etc.

From time to time the Defense Personnel Security Research Center (PERSEREC) examines the cases of espionage committed by Americans and tries to better identify what motivates them to espionage. In March 2008 PERSEREC published the latest in its series of reports, this one titled Changes in Espionage By Americans, 1947-2007.

The PERSEREC reports are worth reading because they do reveal changing motivations. While we think of espionage as a crime against the nation, it is also a highly personal and unique crime. The observations about spies against the country may be equally valid about spies against a company.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Toilet Not Included

In early March 2008 the Coeur d'Alene Police Department announced publicly it wanted to build a public safety substation in Coeur d'Alene City Park. Instead of searching out and examining the underlying facts, our local newspaper, the Coeur d'Alene Press, dutifully reported the proposal and editorially cheered the idea. Among the substation's selling points: No toilets, no running water.

In a series of five posts on OpenCdA.com, Whitecaps digs deeper into the story. Here are links to each of the five posts:

Part 1 - Origin of a bad idea

Part 2 - How the City's public administrators tried and failed to justify an urgent need for the building

Part 3 - Who wins and who loses with this project?

Part 4 - Financial planning? Who needs responsible financial planning when you've got the LCDC Bucket-O-Cash at your disposal?

Part 5 - How the City could have met the project's objectives at far less cost and far more benefit to the taxpayers and participating agencies

The Mayor, the Coeur d'Alene City Council, and the Lake City Development Corporation Board of Commissioners badly let down Kootenai County taxpayers by agreeing to fund this wasteful project which need was never appropriately established.

All of us in Kootenai County whose property tax money helps enrich the LCDC need to pay closer attention to what the Coeur d'Alene Mayor and City Council and the LCDC are doing with our money. We need to be very afraid when any of them use the adverb "only" before a dollar sign. The numbers following the dollar sign come out of our pockets.

We need to demand that our local governments do much better strategic and financial planning so that our tax money is spent prudently on projects, goods, and services that benefit everyone, not just a few.