At the Watchers’ Council:
The Council has spoken, the votes have been cast, and the results are in for this week’s Watcher’s Council match up.
“It is essential to seek out enemy agents who have come to conduct espionage against you and to bribe them to serve you. Give them instructions and care for them. Thus doubled agents are recruited and used.” – Sun Tzu
Once you’ve lived the inside-out world of espionage, you never shed it. It’s a mentality, a double standard of existence. – John Le Carre
“Espionage is the world’s second oldest profession.” -Vejas Gabriel Liulevicius
My notion of the KGB came from romantic spy stories. I was a pure and utterly successful product of Soviet patriotic education. – Vladimir Putin
This week’s winning essay,The Noisy Room’s
In From The Cold And Out Again… How The CIA Was Duped And Their Double Agent Failure is an incisive commentary and examination of a recent piece by Bill Gertz at the Washington Free Beacon. Here’s a slice:
Bill Gertz at the Washington Free Beacon has written a fascinating piece on the CIA being fooled by scores of double agents who pledged their loyalty to the agency, but instead reported back to the communists during the Cold War right on up into the present day. As I have said for years… the Cold War never ended, it shifted. Now Benjamin B. Fischer, the CIA’s former chief historian, analyst and operations officer, is verifying what I have long said. That is cold comfort, I assure you.
The duping of the CIA included at least 100 fake recruits in East Germany, Cuba and Russia. For decades, these double agents supplied false intelligence to senior U.S. policymakers that ranged all the way to the presidency. And it’s still happening. Fischer writes, “During the Cold War, the Central Intelligence Agency bucked the law of averages by recruiting double agents on an industrial scale; it was hoodwinked not a few but many times.” Is anyone surprised by this? Trevor Loudon and I have both said for years that the agencies and our governmental leaders couldn’t pass a background check to clean a toilet. It was true then and it is true today. These double agents weren’t thoroughly vetted. They were hurriedly turned and because of sloppiness, we invited the enemy into the midst of our intelligence agencies. It’s mind boggling. In an article last week, Fischer stated, “The result was a massive but largely ignored intelligence failure.” How’s that for national security? Feeling warm and fuzzy yet?
Fischer wrote in the International Journal of Intelligence that this wreaked havoc within the agency. I’ll bet. What’s worse is that the CIA dismissed the infiltration by communists and the disinformation as insignificant. No one, including congressional oversight committees, pushed for reform in the agency when this was uncovered either. Their vetting processes still suck and they aren’t listening to the likes of Fischer. The man was a career CIA officer. He joined in 1973 and worked in the Soviet affairs division during the Cold War. He sued the CIA in 1996, charging he was mistreated for criticizing the agency for mishandling the 1994 case of CIA officer Aldrich Ames, a counterintelligence official, who was unmasked as a long time KGB plant. It was a case of blaming the messenger instead of the spy. This was during the Clinton Administration, so it does not come as a surprise.
From Bill Gertz:
Critics have charged the agency with harboring an aversion to counterintelligence — the practice of countering foreign spies and the vetting of the legitimacy of both agents and career officers. Beginning in the 1970s, many in the CIA criticized counter-spying, which often involved questioning the loyalties of intelligence personnel, as “sickthink.”
The agency’s ability to discern false agents turned deadly in 2009 when a Jordanian recruit pretending to work for [the] CIA killed a group of seven CIA officers and contractors in a suicide bombing at a camp in Afghanistan.
Double agents are foreign nationals recruited by a spy service that are secretly loyal to another spy agency. They are used to feed[ing] false disinformation for intelligence and policy purposes and to extract secrets while pretending to be loyal agents.
Double agents are different than foreign penetration agents, or moles, who spy from within agencies while posing as career intelligence officers.
Lord only knows how many moles we have within our agencies.
Predictably, the first major double agent failure was in Cuba. The Cubans are notorious for using a variety of traps for agents from honey traps to straight up blackmail. Cuban intelligence officer Florentino Aspillaga revealed a massive failure when he defected to the CIA in 1987. No less than four dozen recruits over 40 years had been secretly working for communist Cuba while on the dole of the CIA. They easily supplied disinformation to the CIA, endangering agents and scuttled operations left and right. This is the same government – Castro’s government – that Obama just reinstated relations with. Now, instead of being made fools by the communists, we just crawl into bed with them. It’s the other definition of coming in from the cold. Then came the revelation on Cuban state television which confirmed the existence of 27 fake CIA agents. You would think that would have set off alarms in the agency and caused them to adjust their vetting procedures. But you’d be wrong. Instead, the intelligence failure was covered up by congressional intelligence committees. You see, the enemies within go way back. We willingly let the enemy in our doors and let them set up shop in our intelligence agencies and abroad. Is it any wonder we now have a Marxist in power who colludes with communist dictators and tyrants, as well as Islamists?
In East Germany, all the recruited CIA agents working there were found to be double agents working secretly for the Ministry of State Security spy service, also known as the Stasi. All. Of. Them. Noodle that for a moment. According to Stasi officers, they failed at placing agents in the CIA. But there wasn’t a single CIA op on their turf that they weren’t able to detect using double agents and counterespionage operations. Fischer said the controlled East German assets “rendered U.S. intelligence deaf, dumb and blind.”
Markus Wolf was an East German spymaster. He wrote in the late 1980’s: “We were in the enviable position of knowing that not a single CIA agent had worked in East Germany without having been turned into a double agent or working for us from the start.” Wolf brashly claimed that, “On our orders they were all delivering carefully selected information and disinformation to the Americans.” He tagged a CIA officer working in West Germany and then dispatched double agents for him to recruit. Nifty.
Much more at the link.
In our non-Council category, the winner was Powerline with Obama’s disgraceful Hanukkah party [Updated] submitted by Joshuapundit. What occurred, of course was a leftist revisionist version of Hanukkah which desecrated both the historical and the spiritual meaning of the holiday.But there are quislings and sell outs in every group, and just as in the days of the Maccabees, there were Jews willing to cooperate. מבושה הם צריכים למות
Here are this week’s full results. The Glittering Eye and the Right Planet were unable to vote this week and one member only was able to find time to pick a first choice in each category, but no one was subject to the usual 2/3 vote penalty for not voting :
- *First place with 2 2/3 votes!–The Noisy Room – In From The Cold And Out Again… How The CIA Was Duped And Their Double Agent Failure
- Second place *t* with 1 2/3 votes –Bookworm Room – Our Constitution: Now More Than Ever
- Second place *t* with 1 2/3 votes –Joshuapundit–Muslim Judge In Brooklyn Swears In Using Qu’ran – And Why It’s A Problem
- Third place *t* with 1 1/3 votes –Nice Deb – The State Department Touts “Pivotal Foreign Policy Moments”
- Third place *t* with 1 1/3 votes –The Independent Sentinel – Hillary’s Worst Scandal Isn’t Over Emails; It’s Why She MUST Go to JAIL!
- Fourth place with 1 vote –Maggie’s Notebook – ISIS Video: We Haunt Minds of Your Soldiers, Sow Fear in Their Hearts –– Send Them to Hell with 50 Cent Bullets
- Fifth place with 2/3 vote –The Right Planet – I’m Disappointed … Seriously
- Sixth place with 1/3 vote –The Razor – Why a Libertarian Supports Socialized Medicine
- First place with 2 votes!–Powerline – Obama’s disgraceful Hanukkah party [Updated]submitted by Joshuapundit
- Second place with 1 2/3 votes –The Other McCain – What ‘Rape Culture’ Really Means: Your Male Heterosexuality Is Problematic submitted by The Watcher
- Third place with 1 1/3 votes –Eugene Rogan/The Cairo Review – A Century After Sykes-Picot submitted by GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD
- Fourth place *t* with 1 vote –Daniel GreenField/ FrontPage mag –Muslim Immigration Is Exactly What ISIS Wants submitted by The Noisy Room
- Fourth place *t* with 1 vote –Gavin McInnes/Taki’s Magazine –Seeing the World Through Third World Eyes submitted by The Razor
- Fourth place *t* with 1 vote –Flopping Aces –Liberals: Schlonged is bad, but Teabagging OKsubmitted by VA Right!
- Fifth place *t* with 2/3 vote –Mike Biezen/Daily Wire–The Most Comprehensive Assault On ‘Global Warming’ Eversubmitted by Bookworm Room
- Fifth place *t* with 2/3 vote –Kenneth Lipp/The Daily Beast –The Lie That Turned Mothers Into Murderers submitted by Nice Deb
- Fifth place *t* with 2/3 vote –Michael Totten/The Tower – Samantha, Powerless: Obama’s Problem from Hell in Syria submitted by The Watcher
- Fifth place *t* with 2/3 vote –Joel Kotkin –Seeing the West as worse submitted by The Watcher
From myself and The Council, best wishes for a Happy 2016 To All Our Readers…See you next week!
Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum. and every Tuesday morning, when we reveal the weeks’ nominees for Weasel of the Week!
And remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council, and the results are posted on Friday morning.
It’s a weekly magazine of some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere, and you won’t want to miss it...or any of the other fantabulous Watcher’s Council content.