Tuesday, April 07, 2009

CIA is hidebound....

From Christian Science Monitor:

The CIA's National Clandestine Service urgently needs reform.
By Joseph W. Augustyn
from the April 7, 2009 edition

Fairfax, Va. - A few years ago, as a case officer with what is now called the National Clandestine Service (NCS), I was involved in an operation that had the potential to yield valuable intelligence on a rogue state's financial stability and political intentions toward the United States.

To help me, I needed another Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officer with the background and expertise of a sophisticated international banker. Given the nature of the operation and the political and diplomatic risks involved if exposed, I also needed CIA headquarters approval.

I got neither.

Why? Because the type of operation I was proposing had not been done before, and the person I needed to help did not exist on the CIA payroll.

Let me be clear: What the NCS has accomplished post-9/11 has been remarkable. The clandestine service has helped keep America safe and continues to be the envy of every spy service in the world. What makes this achievement even more remarkable, however, is that the NCS has done this with a bureaucracy, an organizational structure, a personnel promotion system, and an approach to operational activity better suited to the 20th century. At some point, the NCS needs to change in the face of 21st-century challenges. That time has come.


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