The warning, in line with those that have learn it, was primarily aimed toward entrance line company officers, the individuals concerned most instantly within the recruiting and vetting of sources. The cable reminded C.I.A. case officers to focus not simply on recruiting sources, but additionally on safety points together with vetting informants and evading adversarial intelligence providers.
Among the many causes for the cable, in line with individuals conversant in the doc, was to prod C.I.A. case officers to consider steps they’ll tackle their very own to do a greater job managing informants.
Former officers stated that there needs to be extra deal with safety and counterintelligence, amongst each senior leaders and frontline personnel, particularly with regards to recruiting informants, which C.I.A. officers name brokers.
“Nobody on the finish of the day is being held accountable when issues go south with an agent,” stated Douglas London, a former company operative. “Typically there are issues past our management however there are additionally events of sloppiness and neglect and folks in senior positions are by no means held accountable.”
Mr. London stated he was unaware of the cable. However his new guide, “The Recruiter: Spying and the Lost Art of American Intelligence,” argues that the C.I.A.’s shift towards covert motion and paramilitary operations undermined conventional espionage that depends on securely recruiting and dealing with brokers.
World broad messages to C.I.A. stations and bases that word troubling developments or issues, and even warnings about counterintelligence issues, will not be unheard-of, in line with former officers. Nonetheless, the memo outlining a particular variety of informants arrested or killed by adversarial powers is an uncommon degree of element, one which indicators the significance of the present issues. Former officers stated that counterintelligence officers usually wish to hold such particulars secret even from the broad C.I.A. work drive.
Requested concerning the memo, a C.I.A. spokeswoman declined to remark.
Sheetal T. Patel, who final yr grew to become the C.I.A.’s assistant director for counterintelligence and leads that mission heart, has not been reluctant to ship out broad warnings to the C.I.A. group of present and former officers.