The bombing in Khost is a much more tragic case of good intentions gone awry. The question to ask is why the suicide bomber was allowed into the agency's base in eastern Afghanistan. Agency officers traditionally meet their sources at clandestine locations -- "safe houses," as they're known, and car pickups -- outside an embassy or military base. The reason is security: The agent shouldn't see many CIA faces, and vice versa.This is actually wrong. Yeah, security is the reason, but it's about security of the asset, not the officer(s) working him: it's generally a bad idea to trot a source in the front door of a U.S. intelligence facility if you want him to A) continue to have access to useful information and B) continue to not be dead.
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
So why not me too? But instead of offering anything substantive, I'll just criticize someone else. Here's David Ignatius (in a column originally titled "A Breakdown in CIA Tradecraft," as if Ignatius knows a whole lot about tradecraft):