Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Many Mistakes Of The CIA

Memoirs, Mistakes Converge As CIA Promises Reform -- L.A. Times

Spies-turned-authors say the agency's admitted 'systemic failures' in an Afghanistan suicide attack prove their allegations of myriad problems. But one veteran is being sued over his unapproved book.

Reporting from Washington — When CIA Director Leon Panetta gathered reporters recently to discuss mistakes that allowed a suicide bomber to kill seven personnel in Afghanistan, he didn't mention a separate disclosure the agency made that day: that it had sued a retired officer who wrote an unapproved memoir.

To some CIA veterans, the developments are related in ways that do not reflect well on the agency. An internal investigation blamed the December attack by an Al Qaeda double agent on "systemic failures" in CIA training, management, information sharing and vetting of sources. Former agents have publicly pointed out some of those problems for years, without response by the CIA.

Read more ....

My Comment: I have been following the Agency since the 1980s, and I have never seen it so politicized and dysfunctional as it is now. The coup de grace for me occurred at the beginning of the Obama administration, when it was strongly hinted that CIA officers may be prosecuted for actions that occurred right after 9/11 (i.e. renditions, enhanced interrogation techniques, etc.). I wrote extensively at the time (and in this blog) that the possibility of CIA officers being litigated would only put a deep chill throughout the Agency and that no one in his or her right mind would then conduct themselves in any risky situation or operation.

Hence .... we now have the Agency that we have today. Bureaucratized, risk averse, and so heavily politicized that it now focuses primarily on the White House and Congress than on Al Qaeda, Osama Bin Laden, and future evolving threats.

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