Sometimes the best perspective comes from someone who has been there. There are a lot of diverse opinions on the information recently leaked by Wikileaks about CIA techniques. Some media have focused on the invasion into the privacy of Americans, and other media has focused on the damage the leaks do to American national security.
On Thursday, Fred Fleitz, a former CIA analyst, posted an article with his observations about the leaks. The article is posted at the Center for Security Policy website.
These are the points he makes in the article:
- Why did CIA have a cyber warfare office at all? I noted in this December 2016 NRO article that there are cyber warfare offices in four separate intelligence agencies. I suspect this is because different intelligence agencies all wanted to cash in on funding opportunities on a high profile topic. Such overlap is getting worse and make U.S. intelligence more bureaucratic and less efficient.
- The new leaker was probably hired as a result of CIA Director Brennan’s decision to lower standards for CIA hiring because he wanted to create a more diverse CIA workforce and Brennan rushed to staff his new cyber office. I wrote about this in Investor’s Business Daily in 2015. It also reportedly has been difficult for the U.S. government to find personnel to staff cyber offices who can meet the Agency’s usual security requirements. This probably is why Edward Snowden was hired despite his lack of a college degree and how he was able to increase his access to classified material and move between intelligence agencies despite his poor performance.
- Did CIA learn nothing from the Snowden leaks on the urgency to compartment information on sensitive intelligence sources and methods? How could another disgruntled intelligence officer have been able to access and leak such a huge number of such documents?
This is another area where President Trump needs to drain the swamp and create a more efficient and secure place to keep America‘s secret operations. We will always have a need for the CIA, but we definitely need to be more careful in hiring practices and access to information.