Analysis: CIA “cronyism, favoritism” prompts resignations

Art Brown

Art Brown

By IAN ALLEN| intelNews.org |
Rumors emerged last week that the leading candidate to head the CIA’s station in Kabul, Afghanistan, has no experience in the Middle East or south Asia, and speaks no local languages. This is despite a bitter bureaucratic turf battle between the CIA leadership and the office the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) to find the best-suited person for the job. Why is it still so hard, after nearly eight years in Afghanistan, for the CIA to find qualified senior managers? Jeff Stein of SpyTalk says it’s because skilled staff are demoralized and frustrated by the Agency’s chronic inefficiencies. He quotes an anonymous former senior counterterrorism officer who claims that escalating “cronyism and favoritism” are coupled by the lack of any serious “effort to address […] massive senior leadership problems”. Read more of this post

Former agent reveals aspects of CIA’s bin Laden hunt

Osama bin Laden

Osama bin Laden

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
Arthur “Art” Keller, a retired CIA agent who spent several years looking for Osama bin Laden in the Afghan-Pakistani border areas has given a rare interview to The London Times. Until his recent retirement, Keller participated in the 50- to 100-strong covert CIA force in the region, whose primary task since 9/11 has been to capture or kill senior al-Qaeda commanders. He told the paper that the failure to find bin Laden has led the agency to start bringing back retired members of “The Cadre”, a close-knit group of Pashto- and Dari-speaking CIA agents, who spent many years in Afghanistan in the 1980s, during America’s proxy war with the Soviet Union. Read more of this post