The Human Factor: Inside the CIA's Dysfunctional Intelligence Culture

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Encounter Books, 2010 - Political Science - 383 pages
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American Presidents make decisions on war unaware that the human source intelligence provided by the CIA is often false or nonexistent. From Harry Truman during the Korean War to George Bush during the War on Terror, modern Presidents have faced their darkest moments as a result of poor intelligence. The CIA has assured Congress and the President that intelligence programs in hostile areas of the world are thriving, when they simply do not exist.

The CIA is a broken, Soviet-style bureaucracy with its own agenda: to consume federal funds, to expand within the United States, to feign activity, and to enrich current and former employees. After 9/11, billions of dollars directed by Congress to increase the number of officers working under deep cover on foreign streets have disappeared without the CIA fielding a single additional, productive officer overseas.

The Human Factor makes the case for intelligence reform, showing the career of an accomplished deep cover CIA case officer who struggled not with finding human sources of secret information in rogue nations, but with the CIA's bloated, dysfunctional, even cancerous bureaucracy. After initial training in the US, Ishmael Jones spent his career in multiple, consecutive overseas assignments, as a deep cover officer without benefit of diplomatic immunity. In dingy hotel rooms, Jones met alone with weapons scientists, money launderers, and terrorists. He pushed intelligence missions forward while escaping purges within the Agency, active thwarting of operations by bureaucrats, and the ever-present threat of arrest by hostile foreign intelligence services. Jones became convinced that the CIA's failure to fulfill its purpose endangers Americans. Attempting reform from within proved absurd. Jones resigned from the CIA to make a public case for reform through the writing of this book.

Effective American organizations feature clear missions, streamlined management, transparency, and accountability. The CIA has none of these. While it has always hired good people, it wastes and even perverts employees. The CIA is not doing its job and must be fixed. Until it is, our lives and the lives of our allies are in jeopardy.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - nmele - LibraryThing

Ishmael Jones operated under non-diplomatic cover for many years before leaving the CIA. His indictment of the agency for mission creep and bureaucratic turf wars and culture rings true with other ... Read full review

The Human Factor: Inside the CIA's Dysfunctional Intelligence Culture

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

What's wrong with the CIA? A number of authors have tackled this question lately, and the pseudonymous Jones brings what could be a unique vantage point: a career operative, Jones claims he was ... Read full review

Contents

Prologue
3
part one
11
1 Daring Greatly Perhaps
13
2 Training Days
21
3 American Apprenticeship
47
4 Perseverance and Soothing Language
62
5 Sent to Spy Out the Land
77
6 Trying to Hustle the East
93
12 Darkness and Brief Dawn
237
13 Trying
250
14 Grifters
270
15 The Way of the Weasel
280
16 Headquarters
299
17 Starting Over
307
18 Remington Raider
318
Epilogue
351

7 Morning in Eastern Europe
119
8 Physicists Who Knew Sin
144
9 Always Be Closing
164
10 Restless
186
11 Hazardous Microbes
221
part TWO
235
Appendix Solutions for reform of the clandestine service
355
Notes
364
Acknowledgments
370
Bibliography
371
Index
379
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

ISHMAEL JONES was born in the United States and raised in the Middle East, East Asia, and East Africa. He attended universities in the United States and served as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps. In the late 1980s he joined the Central Intelligence Agency, where he served as a deep-cover officer for eighteen years, focusing on human sources with access to intelligence on weapons of mass destruction and terrorism.

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