Stratfor Thinks the CIA Is Incompetent, Yet They Can Lock You Up Forever?

An Exclusive Wikileaks GI File leak : A serious provision contained within the National Defence Authorization Act allows the US Governement to lock up someone forever without trial. Intelligence Agency Stratfor finds its friends (CIA, military, etc…) are too inexperienced, turning this precaution into a threat.

It’s a scary thought when the US Global Intelligence agency Stratfor tells us that the same groups of people (military, CIA, etc) who have the ability to lock a person up forever are inexperienced and cannot even interrogate prisoners properly. One stratfor employee said there have been over 350 military/intelligence deaths in Iraq, not because of surprise attacks or unavoidable scenarios, but because they don’t have the training or knowledge to do basic things like check suspected terrorists for bombs (something they make every law abiding American do at Airports).

These CIA operatives/analysts are failing to protect their own lives, which is a basic human instinct, so how can we trust they are going to follow proper procedure in actually finding terrorists and being able to competently find evidence to be used against them? Of course, without a trial, it doesn’t matter how the evidence was obtained or how valid it may be. With NDAA the accused has no ability to defend themselves. Even if a lawyer was able to represent an accused client, this information would have been held from them.

It may be noted this email exchange is talking about analysts versus operations agents, analysts are usually people who sit behind desks, and operations people are usually your “James Bond” people (to romanticize it a bit), however, it should not take away from the general message of this exchange which is: The United States intelligence community is understaffed by people who don’t have enough experience. These are the same people who can make the call to have someone locked away forever, without a trial. That’s scary.

The Email Exchange

Date 2010-01-05 03:48:06
From [email protected]
To [email protected]
[email protected]

leaving the middle and upper management in the hands of people trained in
the 1990s–a very different world and very different training missions.

That really seems to me as an intrinsic problem… not just for the
intelligence community, but also for the State, the military, etc.

—– Original Message —–
From: “George Friedman”
To: “Analyst List”
Cc: [email protected]
Sent: Monday, January 4, 2010 8:45:44 PM GMT -06:00 US/Canada Central
Subject: Re: Insight – CIA Killings ** pls do not forward **

There is a good and a bad reason for doing this. The bad reason is that
you either don’t understand the difference or you don’t have enough
trained staff. That’s DIA’s problem–both of them.

But there is no inherent reason why an analyst can’t learn the operators
craft and vice versa. Granted there are profound issues of personality
type, but there are those who can bridge that. However, to bridge that
requires time, training, mentoring and maturing. It also requires time in
both roles for the person to learn where analysis stops and operations.
And it requires training by people who understand and accept both sides.

This is very hard to do in a war where many of the senior people have
left. Over the past ten years a stunning number of people in the IC have
retired, leaving the middle and upper management in the hands of people
trained in the 1990s–a very different world and very different training
missions. Their numbers and skill are missing and limits their mentoring
ability. People are happy if they get baseline capable analysts and
operators, let alone cross-breeding them.

Reva Bhalla wrote:

i had heard a while back how in Iraq especially they would allow a lot
more analysts in DIA and other agencies to interact more directly with
sources… sounds like a trend that grew out of limited resources
On Jan 4, 2010, at 8:34 PM, Fred Burton wrote:

The spooks told me tonight that DOD have lost 350 soldiers in similar
events but it has never made the press.


From: [email protected] [mailto:[email protected]] On
Behalf Of George Friedman
Sent: Monday, January 04, 2010 8:31 PM
To: Analysts
Subject: Re: Insight – CIA Killings ** pls do not forward **
At the age of 25 or so an analyst or an ops officer are about equally
skilled in the field. The training prepares you to start learning. The
problem is that they haven’t got enough experience out there. Twenty
years in do as opposed to di makes a big difference. In my view
getting trained at the farm and spending a year in camaroon prepares
you for squat. The problem isn’t the directorate but that both
directirates have kids playing way abobe their pay grade.
Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T


From: “Fred Burton”
Date: Mon, 4 Jan 2010 20:28:29 -0600
To: ‘Analyst List’
Subject: RE: Insight – CIA Killings ** pls do not forward **
An OPS officer is in the field from the DO, the clandestine service.
He/she is specifically trained in HUMINT collection, asset
development and asset operation. They run the assets and work out the
commo bwt the source and OPS officer. Ops officers are also called
case officers.

An analyst (the DI) reads the reports collected by the OPS officer and
very rarely meets w/a HUMINT source, unless its an intelligence
liaison source.

Training and skillset are apples and oranges.


From: [email protected] [mailto:[email protected]] On
Behalf Of Sean Noonan
Sent: Monday, January 04, 2010 8:18 PM
To: Analyst List
Subject: Re: Insight – CIA Killings ** pls do not forward **
Fred, can you clarify what exactly a “analyst vice clandestine
operational officer” position is?

Fred Burton wrote:


When balls are dropped in this business, they are usually fatal.

The call from an operational asset for an emergency meeting should
have sent off the alarm bells.

The only rational explanation is the call went to the Jordanian GID
handler first, than the Jordanian spook caused the CIA meeting.
Very Arab like. (lesson learned: Never, ever let an operational
asset control the meeting site, especially in Injun Country.)

Obviously, the double agent told his terrorist handlers that he
would not be checked for bombs or weapons. This operation has been
in the works for a long time.

My hats off to aQ. Job well done.


From: [email protected] [mailto:[email protected]] On
Behalf Of Reva Bhalla
Sent: Monday, January 04, 2010 8:04 PM
To: Analyst List
Subject: Re: Insight – CIA Killings ** pls do not forward **
wow, there are all kinds of lessons built into this
On Jan 4, 2010, at 8:02 PM, Fred Burton wrote:

Politics and CIA political correctness.

Since 9-11, analysts (like John Brennan, who was COS Riyadh w/zero
ops training) are placed in operational management jobs.

This analyst believed their source. First mistake in agent
handling. Source was running the analyst. Lesson learned.

Inexperience field personnel pushed out due to the scope of duties
that surpass CIA’s bandwidth.


From: [email protected] [mailto:[email protected]] On
Behalf Of Reva Bhalla
Sent: Monday, January 04, 2010 7:58 PM
To: Analyst List
Subject: Re: Insight – CIA Killings ** pls do not forward **
why was an analyst handling the source?
On Jan 4, 2010, at 7:56 PM, Fred Burton wrote:

** Note — This cannot be sourced to the CIA. Pls do not
forward **

According to a CIA source, there are several factors that caused
the catastrophic incident. Preliminary assessment follows:

1) Inexperienced analyst vice clandestine operational officer
brought the asset into the secure setting.

2) The gathering of approx. 13 CIA staff should never have

3) Failure to screen the source for weapons or bombs. Asset
handling 101.

4) COS Amman and COS Afghanistan have been recalled for

5) Jordanian spooks arrived Langley today.

Sean Noonan
Research Intern
Strategic Forecasting, Inc.

George Friedman
Founder and CEO
700 Lavaca Street
Suite 900
Austin, Texas 78701
Phone 512-744-4319
Fax 512-744-4334

From The Wikileaks GI Files courtesy of Wikileaks
DocumentID: 1094236
Document Link:

Section of NDAA

Subtitle D—Counterterrorism, Section 1021 (a), it states, “In General – Congress affirms that the authority of the President to use all necessary and appropriate force pursuant to the Authorization for Use of Military Force includes the authority for the Armed Forces of the United States to detain covered persons (as defined in subsection (b)) pending disposition under the law of war.
(b) Covered Persons – A covered person under this section is any person as follows:
(1) A person who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored those responsible for those attacks.
(2) A person who was a part of or substantially supported al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners, including any person who has committed a belligerent act or has directly supported such hostilities in aid of such enemy forces.”


  1. Gene Poole

    I’ve been curious about this, with the NDAA being passed, and apparently the US Government having the ability to detain anybody, in any country, anywhere, for any reason whatsoever and hold them indefinitely without a trial. How does that measure up against habeas corpus? Is it just read that anyone involved in the indefinite detention already has lawful authority to do so, because of the NDAA? Seems a little circular if so.

    1. Caleb

      It… doesn’t. What it comes down to is an end run around the constitution, if these cases of indefinite detention were brought to trial, the supreme court would find the whole thing unconstitutional, however, in order to bring them to trial, you have to prove damages. To prove that, you’d need a prisoner who has been detained without trial to get a lawyer (which will be denied), and, failing that, prove at minimum that said prisoner exists, and is being deprived of due process. However, since the existence of said prisoner is classified, one can’t get information necessary to bring a lawsuit. It’s the same argument that has allowed warrantless wiretapping for years. To sue the government for wiretapping, the government has to admit they were wiretapping you, and the government says they won’t release that information without a court order.

      Circular logic at it’s best.

  2. Aelius Blythe

    Wow. As if NDAA wasn’t bad enough!

    Though…. I’m not sure if having an incompetent bunch deciding whether to indefinitely detain people it’s better or worse than having a competent bunch deciding whether to indefinitely detain people. Hard to choose the best option there.

    1. Scary Devil Monastery

      My take on that scenario? In the choice between two dictators, always choose the competent one.

      Rome under Julius Caesar was a good place to be, even if you hated him. Rome under Nero, not so much.

      A competent dictator acts against his enemies. The incompetent acts against everyone – and screws the country over doing it.

  3. Scary Devil Monastery

    At risk of double-posting…always choose the competent dictator. That person will target his enemies.

    The incompetent dictator targets everyone.

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