One out of three intelligence workers is a contractor
Following reports the CIA hired private parties to be assassins, former U.S. intelligence officials estimate one out of three intelligence workers is on contract.
Such former bosses as Michael Hayden, who headed the CIA from 2005-2009 and the National Security Agency from 1999-2005, Michael Chertoff, who ran the Department of Homeland Security, and Jack Devine, a 32-year CIA veteran and former director of operations, won’t talk about specifics.
The New York Times was first to report that the CIA spent millions of dollars to hire private security employees who worked for controversial Blackwater USA (now Xe Services) to find and kill al-Qaida operatives in 2006. Despite the millions spent, not a single terrorist, insurgent or Jihadist was killed as a result of the program.
CIA Director Panetta’s revelation has caused an uproar.
The CIA gets more than 130,000 annual applications. Why is it still hiring so many contractors, some of whom have gone off the reservation on renditions, detentions and interrogations?
When the government hires private contractors for intelligence gathering and analysis, is the government legally responsible if they run amok, exceeding their authority, committing crimes, providing false evidence or violating international laws?
Aren’t we risking alienating allies by paying private contractors under secret contracts to kill foreigners?
The CIA has also been wrong about the intelligence it needed. Thus it missed the 9/11 plot, the Indian underground nuclear testing, the 1983 attack in Lebanon that killed 250 Marines, the Soviet breakup, North Korea’s first missile tests, the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center. The list is depressingly long.
[From an Opinion by Ann McFeatters, Scripps Howard News Service]