The terrorists who attacked the Benghazi consulate, killing US Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens and four others, apparently maintained web, cell and radio silence before they acted, giving the US no hint an attack was imminent.

“If people do not emit or discuss their behavior, it’s hard to find out what they are going to do,” Director of National Intelligence Jim Clapper said at the huge annual conference of intelligence professionals called Geoint. The U.S., he made clear, did not have tactical warning of the attacks. He noted that there were anti-American protests in 54 countries when the attacks occurred, clearly implying the intelligence community had its hands full that day. Keep reading →

You can smell the fear and worry here at the annual Geoint conference. The budget cuts that Director of National Intelligence Jim Clapper outlined yesterday may be as deep as $40 billion over the next 10 years, sources here say. The consensus number is closer to $25 billion, but more than three sources cited $40 billion.

How much of that comes from next year’s budget is, at this point, anyone’s guess. For purposes of scale, the intelligence community spent $80.1 billion in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30 last year. Clapper told the Geoint annual conference yesterday that the intelligence community faces “double digit cuts” over the next decade.

The magnitude of the intelligence cuts– however deep they really are — has executives grasping for information and reassurance where they can find it. One of the biggest targets in the intelligence world may be two companies — Digital Globe and GeoEye.

Commercial satellites capable of photographing objects a half-meter wide with stunning clarity from 423 miles above the Earth have become a routine part of the analysis picture for the 17 government agencies that make up the intelligence community.

But high resolution satellite images are also gaining wider application at a variety of other federal agencies, from the U.S. Geological Survey for precision mapping to the Federal Emergency Management Agency to assess disaster response strategies. Keep reading →

Herndon, VA-based GeoEye captures the damage, the reconstruction, and the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001 attack on the Pentagon in a series of images from its IKONOS and GeoEye 1 satellites traveling 423 miles above the earth’s surface at a speed of 17,000 miles an hour.

This photo gallery can be better viewed by clicking the gray square in the lower right corner of the picture framed below, which opens the gallery in a larger viewing window. Keep reading →