A major story from Yahoo News discloses the existence of a broad covert action finding directing the CIA to engage Iran, Russia and others in cyberspace. Here’s what you need to know.
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The CIA was obligated to report to the Justice Department information regarding the Ukraine call, but the process by which the initial report was made in this case appears in several aspects to be at variance from the standard recommended process.
I recently was a guest lecturer on covert action in a law school seminar. For anyone interested, my instructional approach (fictional scenario, issues for consideration, operational proposals) is available here —feel free to use it (or, better yet, improve on it). In this post I offer a few practitioner-focused thoughts on the “why,” “what” and “how” that informed my planning for this class. I hope this background description and approach are useful to others teaching about covert action.
Just before John Brennan ended his term as director of the CIA in 2017, his agency issued a new set of guidelines under Executive Order (EO) 12333, the general charter that governs the intelligence community. Entitled “Central Intelligence Agency Intelligence Activities: Procedures Approved by the Attorney General Pursuant to Executive Order 12333,” the guidelines received little attention.
In 1975, Philip Agee, a former CIA case officer who claimed he had become disillusioned with the CIA’s support for right-wing dictators in Central and South America, published “Inside the Company,” a tell-all memoir of his service, which included an appendix naming 250 alleged CIA officers, agents and informants. Agee also founded a magazine called “CounterSpy,” which advocated outing clandestine CIA officers.
Earlier this week, CIA Director Gina Haspel, FBI Director Christopher Wray, NSA Director Paul Nakasone, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency Director Robert Cardillo, Defense Intelligence Agency Director Robert Ashley and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats testified in an open hearing to the Senate intelligence committee about global threats to U.S. national security.
The Intelligence Studies Essay: "After you, Alphonse," or Why Two Different Intelligence Agencies Now Attend National Security Council Meetings, Whether It Matters, and How to Mitigate the Potential Hazards
Steve Slick is a clinical professor at the LBJ School of Public Affairs and directs the Intelligence Studies Project at the University of Texas-Austin. He was a member of CIA’s clandestine service, and served as a special assistant to President George W. Bush and the NSC’s Senior Director for Intelligence Programs and Reform. This essay was reviewed and approved by the CIA’s Publications Review Board.