"Highest levels of government" being briefed about suspected Hezbollah spy

As InstaGlenn might say: well, yeah.

“This is a failure of three systems,” [Richard] Clarke said. “It’s a failure of the FBI background system, including polygraphs. It’s a failure of the CIA hiring system, including polygraphs. And it’s a failure of the FBI’s computer system security, because she was able to obtain information that she shouldn’t have had access to about Hezbollah, which she probably passed on to Hezbollah, a terrorist group.”

How did they fail? Well, according to WaPo, the FBI’s Automated Case System which Prouty illegally accessed is an antiquated piece of crap that’s nowhere close to being upgraded. As for the vaunted CIA hiring system:

An FBI official said Prouty passed a polygraph test and that agents interviewed friends and relatives in the United States and Lebanon before she was hired, but that she wasn’t subjected to the more rigorous screening adopted after the 2001 terrorist attacks.

The CIA relied mainly on the FBI checks, another government official said.

Mind you, she was a member of their Clandestine Service responsible for covert ops in the Middle East.

Follow that last link to the Detroit Free Press article and note the timeline. Prouty illegally accessed the FBI system twice: once in 2003, a year after her sister and brother-in-law attended a fundraiser led by Hezbollah officials in Lebanon that triggered the feds’ suspicions — and once in 2000. The goal of the 2000 intrusion was to check the feds’ files on three people: her brother-in-law, her sister, and herself. Why was she so eager to know what the feds knew about her fully two years before her brother-in-law caught their attention? Well, probably because she was a spy from the beginning and knew what her in-laws were up to. Indeed, although she hasn’t been charged yet with passing information to anyone, Richard Clarke hears that the FBI and CIA are pursuing that angle as we speak. Isikoff and Hosenball are hearing the same thing and helpfully fill in a few of the remaining blanks, such as when the FBI finally put two and two together about her and Hezbollah — 2005, two years after her second tapping of their computers — and how she ended up getting a security clearance in 1999 when she’d been here less than a decade. The answer? The Bureau’s thirst for Arabic speakers.

Debbie Schlussel has some more interesting new background (e.g., Prouty isn’t a Muslim). Here’s a bit of video from this afternoon’s Big Story, too. It doesn’t break any new ground but I always enjoy Doug Kennedy’s “constipated Shatner” voiceovers. Plus, the line about her raising more red flags than communist China deserves to be preserved.