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Re: CIA Clandestine Operations director

Miles Seeley, a CIA veteran, says: "It sounds, from Justin Carrenos explanation, that the Agency is reverting to the old ways of recruiting and training. Only the names of the programs have changed. When I was recruited, I was put into the Junior Officer Trainee branch, which required prior military service and a year of clandestine operations training. This seems to equate to the PT program now.

There were no designations like OO, CMO, and so forth. We were all just called Case Officers. Analysts and Headquarters types did not receive the same training. We were not paid extra for language proficiency but were expected to be reasonably fluent in at least one other language. When I joined in 1951, there was already a backlash against recruiting from primarily Ivy League universities, and diversity in schools and backgrounds was preferred.

All of this was changed by a series of Directors who thought technology was the future, since satellites and U-2s were giving good photographic results. Of course this backfired, leaving the Agency short of Case Officers who could go out and get what is now called Human Intelligence (HUMINT). So the pendulum has now swung back again.

The "outing" of Ambasador Wilson's wife as a clandestine operator under Non0fficial Cover (NOC) has put the spotlight on that small group of case officers. I served under various covers, including NOC. When you are under NOC you have zero protection from the US Government, and if compromised, you are on your own. That adds some element of danger to your life.

Perhaps, given the above, you can understand why I am outraged by the "outing" by a leak (apparently from the White House) to Robert Novak, who used it in a column. Whatever the motives of the leakers and of Novak, it seems to me the actions were against the law and morally indefensible. I hope they all are exposed, tried, and end up in jail....but I have little hope, in this politicized time, that it will happen. Had it happened during Dick Helms' tenure as DCI, he would have defended his people and gone after the perpetrators of the leak with full force."

I wonder if WAISer James Woolsey has any thoughts on this.

Ronald Hilton - 11.04.03