OUR INTELLIGENCE AGENCY
needs to get back to the basics. The "good old days" — back when the CIA was laughed at by the Brits (who hadn't discovered Philby, et al.
) and the CIA scored coup
on the KGB on a regular, if very unreported, basis.
We need to go back to the days when being an enemy of the United States meant one lay low, very low, because if one appeared in the headlines and pulled feathers from the eagle's tail, one had a good chance of making the obituary page.
This would involve a change of government attitude from "let's all be friends, even the ones pissing on our flag" to "let them hate us, as long as they fear us."
The following is excerpted from an article in the electronic edition of the Washington Times.
Story at: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/nov/21/american-spies-outed-cia-suffers-lebanon/
WASHINGTON — The CIA’s operations in Lebanon have been badly damaged after Hezbollah( LJ Cut - click to readCollapse )
identified and captured a number of U.S. spies recently, current and former U.S. officials told the Associated Press. The intelligence debacle is particularly troubling because the CIA saw it coming.
Hezbollah’s longtime leader, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, boasted on television in June that he had rooted out at least two CIA spies who had infiltrated the ranks of Hezbollah, which the U.S. considers a terrorist group closely allied with Iran. Though the U.S. Embassy in Lebanon officially denied the accusation, current and former officials concede
that it happened and the damage has spread even further.
The Lebanon crisis is the latest mishap involving CIA counterintelligence, the undermining or manipulating of the enemy’s ability to gather information. Former CIA officials have said that once-essential skill has been eroded as the agency shifted from outmaneuvering rival spy agencies to fighting terrorists. In the rush for immediate results, former officers say, tradecraft has suffered.
Backed by Iran, Hezbollah has built a professional counterintelligence apparatus that Nasrallah — whom the U.S. government designated an international terrorist a decade ago — proudly describes as the “spy combat unit.” U.S.
intelligence officials believe the unit, which is considered formidable and ruthless, went operational in about 2004.
Nasrallah’s televised announcement in June was followed by finger-pointing among departments inside the CIA as the spy agency tried figure out what went wrong and contain the damage.
The fate of these CIA assets is unknown. Hezbollah treats spies differently, said Matthew Levitt, a counterterrorism and intelligence expert at the Washington Institute for Near East Studies who’s writing a book about the terrorist
“It all depends on who these guys were and what they have to say,” Levitt said. “Hezbollah has disappeared people before. Others they have kept around.”Who’s responsible for the mess in Lebanon? It’s not clear. The chief of Hezbollah operations at CIA headquarters continues to run the unit that also focuses on Iranians and Palestinians.