Who’s on first. A clueless CIA

CIA’s bungled Italy job

Sloppy use of cell phones, other missteps help police unravel cleric’s 2003 abduction.

The trick is known to just about every two-bit crook in the cellular age: If you don’t want the cops to know where you are, take the battery out of your cell phone when it’s not in use.

Had that trick been taught at the CIA’s rural Virginia training school for covert operatives, the Bush administration might have avoided much of the current crisis in Europe over the practice the CIA calls "rendition"

But wait, the CIA was even more brain-dead than that.

The list of mistakes made here is long, but it begins with the operatives’ indiscriminate use of their cell phones, not only to communicate with one another but with colleagues in the U.S. Consulate in Milan, in northern Virginia where the CIA has its headquarters, and in some cases even with the folks back home.

There appears to have been little effort to maintain a "wall" between the abductors and the CIA’s facilities in Milan and Rome–a violation of the primary principle that "deep cover" operatives should never have contact with CIA officers posing as diplomats in U.S. embassies and consulates abroad.

Bumbling boys with expensive toys. And no clue. All of which would be comical until you realized they kidnapped someone and took him to Egypt where he was no doubt tortured. These inept thugs need to be indicted here in the US too, as do their higher-ups in the CIA, all the way to the bloodstained top. They are all criminals, period.

  • You hit it dead on the head on two counts.

    1) that the CIA personnel were so secure and sloppy in the Italy operation that they didn’t follow basic tradecraft. If you look at some of the stories around this thing, they were treating it like a vacation, running up hundreds of thousands in bills at luxury hotels, restaurants, and such.

    2) that Bush’s claims that somehow revealing the NSA spying thing was revealing “sources and methods.” Do you really think any terrorist capable of organizing a significant terror event, remaining hidden, doing recon, managing supplies, building a device, would not go the the detail level to assume that their communications might be tapped?


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