The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) recently sent a cable to its personnel throughout the world informing them that a large number of foreigners recruited as informants had been killed or captured, the New York Times reported Tuesday.
The cable detailed how many CIA agents had been killed by foreign agencies in recent years, according to the New York Times. It also reportedly covered the numerous problems that the CIA had been experiencing as of late when trying to recruit informants.
These issues ranged from miscalculating the capabilities of rival spy networks to inadequate spying techniques, according to the Times. CIA agents would reportedly hire informants without thoroughly investigating them to see how susceptible the latter were to opposing counterintelligence activities.
Case officers were also told in the cable to concentrate on security measures, such as conducting examinations of potential informants’ backgrounds, according to the NYT. The CIA reportedly still relies on informant networks for intelligence, and former CIA agents have said that case officers can receive promotions based on the amount of informants they recruit. (RELATED: CIA Director’s Team Showed Signs Of Mysterious ‘Havana Syndrome’ During Trip Abroad)
Former CIA employee Douglas London believes that the CIA needs greater accountability.
“No one at the end of the day is being held responsible when things go south with an agent,” London said. “Sometimes there are things beyond our control but there are also occasions of sloppiness and neglect and people in senior positions are never held responsible.
The CIA has centered their efforts mostly on Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria for the past twenty years, but have recently shifted their focus to gathering information on “adversarial powers,” according to the New York Times.
Andrea Mitchell, during an appearance on “Andrea Mitchell Reports,” said that she had talked to a senior official who said that the cable was “not alarming” and that it was “routine maintenance to talk to people in the agency around the world, to warn them of the risks, but acknowledging that obviously this happened, not denying that this memo exists.”