Los Angeles Times October 31, 2010
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.
By Ken Dilanian
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.
Phi Beta Iota: Any journalist referring to clandestine case officers or operations officers as “agents” is not familiar with the foreign intelligence world. In that world, “agents” commit treason and are generally not US citizens, while case officers (C/O) or operations officers (O/O) spot, assess, recruit, handle, and where necessary, terminate (bonused dismissals) “agents.” Over 300 books have been written critical of US Government secret intelligence, and from those this inexperienced journalists got two right, picked a lightweight drop-out for the third, and overlooked all the others. This journalist also did not do their homework, or they would quickly have found “The Truth on Khost Kathy.”