Ineffective supervisors, lack of language and other expertise, 10 seconds per cable, at war with NSA and FBI — the comatose CIA?
“I think that America confuses resources with capabilities, and we say that more is better, though that's not true — better is better,” Carle said. “But better requires a conceptual shift, and right now, we're plugging holes while the foundation is collapsing.”
ROBERT STEELE: I contributed to this article but my comments were deleted by the editors (the author tells me he was way over length). Here is what got cut, note that the third bit is the author citing the IG report, not me speaking, but it supports the point I have been making for a very long time: the clandestine service is DEAD.
“This is people going through the motions,” said former CIA officer Robert Steele. “These people are spinning a self-licking ice cream cone, and it’s all fabrication.”
“CIA is deaf, dumb, and blind in the Middle East,” continued Steele. “They don’t have clandestine human assets worthy of the name. 90 percent of what CIA claims to be clandestine intelligence is a handout from foreign intelligence services.”
In fact, an over-reliance on intel gathered by liaison services is a criticism raised in the OIG report. While it supposedly didn’t directly allow any terrorist attacks, it was deemed an unacceptable substitute for what the CIA could — and should — have been doing themselves.
My additional core point not selected for inclusion in the article was that the ineptitude of Bin Laden Station and the generally junior high level of play in relation to terrorism (I was one of the first case officers assigned the terrorist target full time in the 1980's) paled in relation to George Tenet's active complicity with Dick Cheney in allowing 9/11 to happen, to include collaborating with the FBI and General Keith Alexander to shut down ABLE DANGER and confiscate all the operational intelligence developed by ABLE DANGER. In other words, we knew 9/11 was coming, George Tenet and Colin Powell chose to support Dick Cheney in allowing it to happen in order to provide a pretext for war (see the book by this title by James Bamford). We don't just lack intelligence, we lack integrity across the board, and that is the larger challenge.