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SpyTalk: April 4, 2010 - April 10, 2010

CIA operative's memoir is a spy mystery

The paperback edition of “The Human Factor: Inside the CIA’s Dysfunctional Culture,” by the pseudonymous former “deep cover CIA officer” Ishmael Jones, arrived in my mailbox this week. A red medallion on the back cover fairly screams, “Unauthorized By The...

By Jeff Stein  | April 9, 2010; 1:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Intelligence  
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CIA security investigator -- solitary, unglamorous work

The sentencing of a fired CIA investigator Monday for fabricating security-clearance reports reveals how difficult the job is for young people who expect it to be exciting or glamorous, seasoned investigators say. Kerry Gerdes, 27, of Royal Oak, Mich., was...

By Jeff Stein  | April 9, 2010; 8:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Intelligence  
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Pentagon should quickly come clean on killings

“Once the first civilian was killed it was too late, period. Whoever killed the first civilian, that was the end of the situation. It went out of control.” This is not an Army helicopter crew member explaining what happened in...

By Jeff Stein  | April 7, 2010; 8:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Military  | Tags:  wikileaks  
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Donovan McNabb for intelligence chief?

Director of National Intelligence Dennis C. Blair briefly hushed an audience of intelligence professionals and journalists Tuesday when he announced “some breaking news: There is going to be a new DNI very soon.” Dead silence. Then came the punch line:...

By Jeff Stein  | April 6, 2010; 6:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Intelligence  
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A case of retaliation at CIA

Even spies get caught up in the struggle for promotions, demotions, pay raises and dismissals, just like their brethren in other federal agencies. The difference in the CIA is that personnel decisions are wrapped in secrecy, making it as difficult...

By Jeff Stein  | April 6, 2010; 11:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Intelligence  
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Italian prosecutor is tracking convicted CIA agents

The Italian prosecutor who won convictions against nearly two dozen CIA operatives for kidnapping last year is tracking their movements via cell phone and credit card records. Armando Spataro, the chief prosecutor in Milan, said he regularly signs subpoenas, which...

By Jeff Stein  | April 5, 2010; 11:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Intelligence  
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Untold millions spent on intelligence deception ops

I’ve been reading a fascinating new book about British intelligence’s deception operations against the Axis powers and wondering whether anything so effective could be applied against al-Qaeda and other Muslim extremists. Even putting aside the obvious joke that we’ve spent...

By Jeff Stein  | April 5, 2010; 8:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Intelligence  
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