Secrecy New Headlines–Over-Classification, Leaks, CIA Sues Author of The Human Factor



In a new article at, I [Steven Aftergood] take a critical look at the current policy landscape, including the newly enacted Reducing Over-classification Act and the pending Fundamental Classification Guidance Review.  See “Telling Secrets,” October 15.

See Also: Review: C3I–Issues of Command and Control with this quote:

“Everybody who’s a real practioner, and I’m sure you’re not all naive in this regard, realizes that there are two uses to which security classification is put: the legitimate desire to protect secrets, and the protection of bureaucratic turf. As a practitioner of the real world, it’s about 90 bureaucratic turf, 10 legitimate protection of secrets as far as I am concerned.”



A book called The Human Factor: Inside the CIA’s Dysfunctional Intelligence Culture was written by a former CIA clandestine services officer under the pen name Ishmael Jones.  It was published earlier this year, the government says, “in defiance of the CIA’s Publications Review Board’s disapproval and instructions not to publish.”  See “CIA sues ex-agent for book’s breach of ‘secrecy’” by Bill Gertz, Washington Times, October 19, 2010.

See Also:

CIA sues ex-agent for book’s breach of ‘secrecy’:   Author says he saw corruption

Phi Beta Iota: Although we gave this book a very strong positive review, we were not aware the author had failed to comply with the pre-publication review process.  As critical as we may be of CIA, we have always complied with our lifetime secrecy agreement with respect to publications about the core nature of intelligence and especially human intelligence.  Each of the following was cleared by CIA, and cleared in record time.

2000 ON INTELLIGENCE: Spies and Secrecy in an Open World

2002 THE NEW CRAFT OF INTELLIGENCE: Personal, Public, & Political

Human Intelligence: All Humans, All Minds, All the Time

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