14 April 2006

The moral worth of world opinion


Well documented case study of how FIFA is disturbed by soccer related problems only when they are caused by Israel. Bombing soccer fields, torturing soccer players for losing, illegal boycotts, using soccer fields as terrorist training grounds or public execution venues, etc. — no problem. Israel destroying a soccer field used terrorists to launch rockets without injuring anyone — Pure Evil.

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Fighting the last clandestine war

[source, source]

The Chicago Tribune’s John Crewdson has written a disturbing report regarding what seems to be the incredible lack of secrecy concerning a relatively large number of clandestine CIA operatives.

The Trib’s piece does not show the CIA in a flattering light, to say the least. In fact, if accurate, this story presents an unacceptable portrait of the agency.

When the Tribune searched a commercial online data service, the result was a virtual directory of more than 2,600 CIA employees, 50 internal agency telephone numbers and the locations of some two dozen secret CIA facilities around the United States.


Not all of the 2,653 employees whose names were produced by the Tribune search are supposed to be working under cover. More than 160 are intelligence analysts, an occupation that is not considered a covert position, and senior CIA executives such as Tenet are included on the list.

But an undisclosed number of those on the list—the CIA would not say how many—are covert employees, and some are known to hold jobs that could make them terrorist targets.


Asked how so many personal details of CIA employees had found their way into the public domain, the senior U.S. intelligence official replied that “I don’t have a great explanation, quite frankly.”

The official noted, however, that the CIA’s credo has always been that “individuals are the first person responsible for their cover. If they can’t keep their cover, then it’s hard for anyone else to keep it. If someone filled out a credit report and put that down, that’s just stupid.”

One senior U.S. official used a barnyard epithet to describe the agency’s traditional system of providing many of its foreign operatives with easily decipherable covers that include little more than a post office box for an address and a non-existent company as an employer.

Why should we expect the CIA to be any more competent at cover than anything else?

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