Analysis: CIA loyal only to itself, says former agent

Judging from emails we have received, several intelNews readers have noticed the absence from this website of any mention of the recent imbroglio between Nancy Pelosi and the CIA. There are several important reasons for the absence of this story (not least is this site’s focus on under-reported intelligence news), but the most crucial is its “news unworthiness” –for lack of a better term. All parties involved in the dispute appear to be primarily jockeying for political currency, which, in the opinion of this writer, makes for a sad spectacle. A few days ago, however, there surfaced an interesting editorial on the subject by Ishmael Jones. This is the pseudonym of a longtime CIA agent, who resigned from the Agency in good standing and now routinely publishes professional memoirs and critical position papers on intelligence reform. Jones’ editorial was published on the blog of The National Review, an openly partisan publication. But his brief analysis is heavily critical of both Pelosi and the CIA, whom it accused of routinely “mumbl[ing and] dissemble[ing]” information in Congressional briefings. Jones also dismissed the usual accusations that the CIA favors a particular political agenda, by suggesting that “[i]n reality the CIA is loyal only to itself”, and adding that the Agency “may not be able to conduct efficient intelligence operations, but it knows how to survive”. Speaking to Jeff Stein’s SpyTalk blog, Jones also dispelled the standard outside viewpoint that top CIA officials were somehow disturbed by the torture revelations. The Agency veteran said that the torture controversy actually “served the CIA bureaucracy” by making it “look […] both busy and aggressive”. The CIA’s “greatest fear is that the taxpayer might figure out how little it actually is doing”, concluded Jones.

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Expert news and commentary on intelligence, espionage, spies and spying, by Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis and Ian Allen.

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