Wednesday, February 24, 2010
...why don't we ever read stories like this about the CIA?
You get the sense that we aren't doing it right.
Israel didn't have the New York Times around to "out" the guy.
They also don't prosecute their spies...so they tend to be trusted.
They also don't have Democrats.
All of that adds up to effective counterintelligence.
Because nobody from the CIA can go to a possible source like this. Can you imagine the opening line?
Hi, I'm from the CIA and would like to recruit you as an information source, provided of course you have never commited any crime. Oh, and I promise your identity will be kept secret from the bloodthirsty organization you work for, unless somebody leaks it to the New York Times, or the Post, or to Congress, or to...hey, where are you going?"
There's a lot of risk in publicizing intel successes. The only reason that story came out was the guy was writing a book that would mention it, so the story was blown anyway.
Him and his family will be spending the rest of their, probably very short, lives dodging assassins.
Valerie Plame is the exemplar of the modern CIA: a middle aged suburban matron whose "spy" career was largely spent driving through the front gates at Langley.
There may be a few brave field agents like Johnny Spann or that group that got themselves killed in Afghanistan last year, but most CIA employees would rather not leave Northern Virginia.
Then again, it could all be an elaborate ruse: the CIA carefully nurtures a public image of a bumbling, bureaucratic organization that can't assassinate its lunch, while going about its sinister work unimpeded.
Might this be part of the reason?
Most of the cubicle-dwellers in the CIA’s Directorate of Intelligence are academics who didn’t get tenure and chose the government’s health and pension benefits over the uncertainties of adjunct teaching.'
-- Roland Dobbins
They're called 'Laser guided munitions" for a reason...
Half the stuff that goes on in the Puzzle Palaces nobody will ever hear about. Sure, some does leak out, but the normal grunt work and endless hours of trivial analytical work will never see the light of day.
That's why the Plame and Ames cases get so much broadsheet - they're the abnormal in a pretty dark area...
I knew a whole lot of 96B's in the Army, and they are rather boring and geeky.... which explains a lot.