Is mismanagement driving away some of the CIA’s best talent?

CIA headquartersBy IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
Poor management practices and a culture that tolerates blunders by senior officials are generating cynicism and disillusionment among employees at the United States Central Intelligence Agency, according to an internal study. Completed in 2010 by the CIA’s Office of the Inspector General, the study was released in heavily redacted form last week, in response to a Freedom of Information Act request. The Los Angeles Times, which filed the request in 2011, said the report identifies mismanagement and unaccountability among senior leadership as major factors contributing to the CIA’s “retention challenges”. It cites a 2009 Agency-wide anonymous survey, which found that around 12% of the CIA’s workforce was considering resigning. Over half of those said they wanted to leave because of “poor management and a lack of accountability for poor management” among senior-level staff. This feeling is stronger among younger recruits, “who have exhibited high resignation rates in current years”, according to the report. Operations officers at the National Clandestine Service —the CIA’s covert-action arm— are also more disturbed than other Agency employees by perceived mismanagement. The report also notes that the CIA has failed to introduce mechanisms for encouraging accountability, in response to growing concerns by lower-level staff. The Times said it spoke to “more than 20 former [CIA] officers”, who said the 2010 report echoed “longstanding concerns about the CIA’s culture”. Read more of this post

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News you may have missed #654

Aleksandr ShlyakhturovBy IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
►►Anonymous hacks intel analysis firm StratFor. The loose-knit hacking movement Anonymous claimed Sunday via Twitter that it had stolen thousands of credit card numbers and other personal information belonging to clients of intelligence analysis firm Stratfor. The company had apparently failed to encrypt its customers’ credit card account information. The hackers announced their intention to use the credit cards for charitable donations.
►►CIA Inspector General clears assistance with NYPD. Back in August, The CIA denied allegations by the Associated Press that it helped the New York Police Department conduct covert surveillance on New York Muslims. The agency said the report “mischaracterized the nature and scope” of the CIA’s support for the NYPD. Now a report by the office of the CIA Inspector General, the CIA’s internal watchdog, has concluded that there was “no evidence that any part of the agency’s support to the NYPD constituted ‘domestic spying’”. The Associated Press notes that it is not clear if this report opens the door for other municipal police departments nationwide to work closely with the CIA in the war on terrorism.
►►Russia replaces head of military spy agency. After denying initial rumors, Russia’s Defense Ministry said on Monday that “Major General Igor Sergun has been appointed head of the GRU [Russia’s Main Intelligence Directorate] through a Kremlin decree”. Sergun replaces Aleksandr Shlyakhturov, who had spearheaded a shake-up of the service since his appointment in 2009. The state RIA Novosti news agency quoted a ministry spokesman suggesting that Shlyakhturov had reached retirement age. No other reason was given for the move. Incidentally, if you are wondering how spies are faring in Dmitri Medvedev’s and Vladimir Putin’s administration, read this enlightening analysis by Mark Galeotti, Professor of Global Affairs at New York University.

News you may have missed #412

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CIA censored me to avoid embarrassment, says ex-οfficer

V.L. Montesinos

V.L. Montesinos

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
More than a month after Secrecy News reported the legal victory of a former CIA agent, who managed to have a censored report he wrote about the CIA’s dirty dealings in Peru declassified, a US news outlet has finally given some attention to the story. On August 4 (see previous intelNews reporting), Secrecy News revealed that a memorandum drafted in 2001 by CIA officer Franz Boening, detailing assistance illegally provided by the CIA to the then chief of Peruvian intelligence, had finally been declassified following an eight-year court battle. In the censored memorandum, Boening argued that the Agency violated US law by providing material and political assistance to Vladimiro Lenin Montesinos Torres, a graduate of the US Army’s School of the Americas and longtime CIA operative, who headed Peru’s Servicio de Inteligencia Nacional (SIN) under the corrupt administration of President Alberto Fujimori. Fujimori is now in prison, as is Montesinos himself. Read more of this post

CIA whistleblower’s memo on Peru declassified after eight years

V.L. Montesinos

V.L. Montesinos

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
A memorandum drafted in 2001 by a CIA officer, detailing assistance illegally provided by the CIA to the former chief of Peruvian intelligence, has been declassified following an eight-year court battle. In the memorandum, CIA employee Franz Boening argued that the Agency violated US law by providing material and political assistance to Vladimiro Ilich Montesinos Torres, a graduate of the US Army’s School of the Americas and longtime CIA operative, who headed Peru’s Servicio de Inteligencia Nacional (SIN) under the corrupt administration of President Alberto Fujimori. Fujimori is now in prison, as is Montesinos himself. But in 2001, the CIA Inspector General, to whom Boening’s memorandum was addressed, took no action in response to the officer’s allegations. What is more, the CIA proceeded to classify Boening’s memorandum, claiming that its disclosure “reasonably could be expected to cause damage to national security”. Read more of this post

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