CIA places Iran operations division chief on administrative leave

The chief of Iran operations at the United States Central Intelligence Agency has been placed on paid administrative leave, allegedly for creating a hostile work environment that ended up impeding the Agency’s output. According to The Los Angeles Times, many members of the CIA’s Iran operations division had launched an “open rebellion” against their 46-year-old chief, which the paper identified by name. In an article published on Saturday, The Times stated that the veteran intelligence officer, who has now been removed from the CIA’s headquarters in Langley, Virginia, had previously served at CIA stations in Iraq, Russia and the Balkans. The paper added that, in 2010, the CIA had to pull out the officer from Pakistan, after he was publicly named as the Agency’s station chief in Islamabad. Some American officials have identified Pakistan’s intelligence services as the source of the leak that led to the officer’s public exposure, which was allegedly intended as retribution to a series of previous drone attacks by the CIA on Pakistani soil. The Times quoted “three former officials” who accused the chief of the Iran division of exercising a divisive and abusive management style, which led many of the division’s senior employees to request to be transferred elsewhere in the CIA. One unnamed source told the paper that, as a result of the division chief’s treatment and the open rebellion by his staff, the Iran office “was not functioning”. The veteran officer was “sent home” two weeks ago, after an internal investigation by the Office of the CIA Inspector General found that he had essentially lost the trust and respect of the division’s staff. The latter were then called into a meeting at the Agency’s headquarters and informed about the result of the investigation and subsequent action. Management and human resource problems are hardly rarities at the CIA. However, The Times quotes former CIA officials as saying that they could not recall a case when a senior manager at the Agency was suspended over workplace issues. The paper said it contacted the suspended officer via email, but received no response. It also contacted the CIA’s chief spokesman, Dean Boyd, who said he was unable to commend on a personnel issue.

One Response to CIA places Iran operations division chief on administrative leave

  1. Peter Wallerberger says:

    Quite apart from senior CIA officials claiming no knowledge of other similar cases whereby a senior manager at the Agency was “suspended over workplace issues” -( this really demonstrates the true meaning of ‘selective memory’ !!)

    The Agency is to be commended ; not castigated, for their actions. There is no place in this day and age for such management style. It is this type of management that results in employee dissatisfaction and creates a rabid internal enviroment of fear and loathing and loss of confidence and employee self esteem especially amongst younger employees. Most damaging of all is where there is a loss of Trust. Without Trust, an intelligence organisation cannot function. Infact the enviroment described by the report is clearly one that goes some way to explaining how employees can find themselves alienated from the Agency .As such they are in some cases often vunerable & easy targets for foreign intelligence approaches, Leaking information, Whistleblowing and the like without the normal rational feelings of guilt etc (Mr Snowden “excepted” )..

    This event will achieve many things. It clearly demonstrates that the Agency is actually listening to it’s employees and supporting them. It shows the Agency is now prepared to act in a meaningful way and as such the confidence and most importantly – Trust and Moral of employees will undoubtably increase exproportionately.

    Such Agency moves are not just internal matters. Such moves boost confidence in the Agency as Friends and Allies from other countrys constantly need to be reassured on a regular basis that both the CIA and the NSA are capable of managing and competant in doing so especially given the damage inflicted by former employees the fallout of which is still extent across the Western World,

    As for the disgraced former Station Chief – well , I’ve no doubt his years of experience will better serve him in an external consultancy role.

    In the interim It’s my guess he will be a very convenient ‘fall guy’ for the many political issues that are proveing to be a political nightmare for the Agency at this point in time and I guess that’s just ‘par for the course’ .

    I’m just alittle surprised that this issue got to the stage where the staff of the station literally got to the stage of open rebellion before any action was taken by the Agency. Time for the Agency to act more timely both at home and abroad perhaps ?

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