Skip to comments.Pak tribesman killed 7 CIA agents and trust
Posted on 01/04/2010 4:54:28 AM PST by Protect the Bill of Rights
WASHINGTON: As names of the seven CIA operatives who died in the Taliban suicide bombing in Afghanistan last week trickle out into public domain espite official silence in Washington, there is another casualty from the episode - trust, never a reliable commodity in the first place in the espionage business.
Intelligence circles are now slowly piecing together what really happened in Forward Operating Base Chapman near the Pakistan border last Wednesday when a Taliban suicide bomber detonated a suicide vest killing eight people, including an Afghan security director and an American perimeter security guard who had escorted him inside unchecked, unscreened, and unfrisked.
According to intelligence accounts, the suicide bomber was a previously trusted Pakistani informant of the Waziri tribe who was often picked up from a border crossing by a trusted Afghan security director named Arghawan and driven to the base. Because he was a familiar figure brought in by a known person (some reports said he had visited the base multiple times), screening him was not on anyones radar particularly since he had been won over by trusting him and he had previously delivered valuable information enabling US agencies to conduct accurate drone strikes, which was the principal mandate of FOB Chapman.
But unbeknownst to the Americans, the Waziri tribesman had become a turncoat either out of personal choice or after he was caught by the Taliban and turned. He was strapped with a suicide vest and sent in to deliver some new information which was believed to be valuable judging by the fact that the CIA flew in a special debriefer from Kabul and more than a dozen operatives had gathered in the basement gym of FOB Chapman to hear him.
Instead, there was a suicide blast that killed eight people, including Arghawan, the female base chief and another woman operative, and five other men. At least half dozen other operatives were injured in an incident that has shaken the US intelligence community to its boots. If the attribution of the attack is correct, then it is the second time that a Pakistani tribesman would have directly attacked CIA personnel: In 1993, Mir Aimal Kansi tshot dead two CIA workers near its Langley headquarters to avenge the death of his father who was a CIA asset subsequently abandoned. He fled to Pakistan, was later captured and brought back to be executed in the US in 2002.
There has some talk of revenge and retribution but the collateral casualty in the attack is trust and experience. The nearly dozen CIA operatives who have been put out of commission by the attack constitute the best of CIA expertise on the region, its players and dynamics and they cannot be easily or quickly replaced. Some of them, including the female base chief, had worked on the subject for nearly a decade, including the hunt for bin Laden in the days before and after 9/11.
"This is a tremendous loss for the agency," Michael Scheuer, a former CIA analyst who led the bin Laden unit said of the episode in one television interview. "The agency is a relatively small organization, and its expertise in al-Qaida is even a smaller subset of that overall group." The US had struggled for years to find Pushtu and Dari speaking operatives who can work on the field.
The attack is also certain to force the CIA to reassess how it will recruit informants and what kind of scrutiny and security will be employed, particularly after the administration is under attack for being less than alert in the Detroit plane bombing and the Fort Hood massacre incidents. But subjecting sources to mistrust and excessive suspicion will also dry up information. One expert put the new development in the following perspective: During the Cold War, the worst a double agent could do was deliver false information; now they can detonate suicide vests.
Meanwhile, America continued to grieve the loss of its men and women spooks even as questions raged about the need and efficacy of the CIA being on the frontlines of a war when its principal function was to gather and assess intelligence. Although, the US government has declined to release the names of the killed, the families of the victims have been grieving publicly, as a result of which some of the names have been disclosed in local media.
Among the victims was Harold Brown, a Washington DC area resident who was father of three children, and whose mother believed he was a state department employee even as worked undercover in the front trenches of a nasty war. Another operative was an Ohio native named Scott Roberson who was expecting to become a father in February. A third victim was a former Navy Seal Jeremy Wise who was working as a security contractor.
The name of the female base chief, who was mother of three children, was not disclosed. At least five of the operatives who were on the rolls of the CIA will be memorialized with a star on the wall of the CIA headquarters in Langley shortly.
They already know the golden rule: The ACLU
This administration would publicly crucify any agent who steps out of line and probably turn them over to the ICC for prosecution and the agents know it.
That is why the administration would never know. In an event like this, the error is to do it and cover up afterward. The proper way is to have your paperwork in order first, then go ahead. The trick is to turn what some might consider an illegal act into the bureaucratic equivalent of arguing tactics.
Revenge should not only be served cold, but it should be on a soft bed of bureaucratic paper, and smothered in complexity sauce.
I’m with you ... infuriating, deadly and gut wrenching
lives these folks now live.
And with the insidiousness of the maze of agents, double
agents, the inter-agency fighting and oneupsmanship, loss
of presidential backing and insane rules of engagement,
the filthy muslims lying, if necessary, to achieve their
and the devastation of such a huge loss in their ranks
with such exclusive historic knowledge .. wouldn’t
surprise me to see some intel/military types become so
torqued they go rogue and take matters into their own
hands .. damn the repercussions.
And on and on ...
Penetration Even At The Pentagon: Muslim Spies Setting Muslim Policy
~ ~ ~
God bless and protect all our brave heroes ..
fighting the evil enemies from without and the evil
fools and ideologues within.
Except that the bomber in this case was a Jordanian double agent who was INVITED to the base. It was someone they were trying to flip. The fact that they let him in untouched was stupidity on their part. Who gets the payback for stupidity?
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