Among the chat group’s participants is Dennis Wilder, a CIA analyst who is currently the senior National Security Council staff director for Asia. Mr. Wilder in April posted an insider’s account of President Bush’s summit meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao. Acting National Intelligence Officer for East Asia Lonnie Henley also is a participant.
Another frequent contributor is Chris Clarke, currently the head of China affairs at the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research. Mr. Clarke has posted reports on Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and critical comments of U.S. government reporting from Beijing during the 1989 Tiananmen massacre.
One participant, Evan Rand Corp., recently was cautioned by other group members for posting a sensitive e-mail that appeared to be based on a CIA file.
Several former CIA China specialists have been known to post to the group from their contractor offices, often surrounded by classified documents on their desks.
According to one U.S. official, Mr. Swaine recently rejected a U.S. government request to provide information on former group member Ron Montaperto, who pleaded guilty to espionage-related charges in June.
“The Taliban and al Qaeda have been able to use the areas around particularly North Waziristan to regroup, and it is a problem,” Mr. Gates told reporters. “We are working together with Pakistan to address that problem.”
It was the first official confirmation that U.S. and allied forces are stepping up operations in the remote region of Pakistan, which is well known for being a hide-out for al Qaeda and Taliban forces that are using the rugged area for training.
Petraeus on the enemy
“The enemies of Iraq will shrink at no act, however barbaric,” he said. “They will do all that they can to shake the confidence of the people and to convince the world that this effort is doomed. We must not underestimate them.”