October 6, 1991
Compared to the toppling of Felix Dzerzhinsky's monumental statue outside the KGB building in Moscow last August, the CIA's humiliations during the Robert Gates hearings are more than bearable. They are well-deserved and potentially salutary. If the CIA is to transform itself into an intelligence agency relevant to a world in which the KBG is ostensibly coming in from the cold, the agency at Langley, Va., will have to rid itself of a lot of obsessions, habits, feuds and infighting.Americans were understandably transfixed during the past week's televised Senate hearings in which the CIA's dirty laundry was hung out to dry. It was ostensibly a battle between CIA analysts who accused Mr. Gates of slanting intelligence estimates -- a practice he once described as contrary to "the single deepest ethical and cultural principle of the CIA" -- and those who held he is well qualified to be Director of Central Intelligence.
April 3, 2014
The Senate Intelligence Committee voted today to declassify portions of its report on the CIA's use of "enhanced interrogation techniques" to extract information from terrorist detainees, but portions of the work that have been leaked appear to confirm Americans' worst fears about the secret program. Committee investigators found that the brutal treatment of prisoners was far more widespread than the agency has admitted and that CIA officials deliberately misled Congress about the effectiveness of methods that brought shame on the nation and amounted to little more than torture by another name.
May 26, 2012
The report from the State Department was brief: Thomas M. Jennings Jr., a federal worker from Burtonsville on a temporary assignment with NATO peacekeepers, had died in a car crash in Southern Bosnia. Fifteen years later, it turns out that was only part of the story. Unknown to neighbors and friends, Jennings was working for the CIA, the agency acknowledged last week. A veteran covert officer — he told acquaintances he worked for the State Department — he volunteered to go to Sarajevo after the Bosnian war as a U.S.-led force worked to maintain peace.
September 30, 2014
A biography of former Baltimore banker Ed Hale is set to detail his rise from a Sparrows Point upbringing to exploits in real estate, sports business and banking - working covertly for the CIA and surviving plane crashes along the way. Apprentice House, a student-run book publisher at Loyola University Maryland, is releasing "Hale Storm," by former Baltimore Sun columnist Kevin Cowherd , on Nov. 1. A preview of the book suggests Hale's story...
March 19, 2014
Thanks for publishing the report that CIA officer Jonathan Bank was suspended because of his "management style" in the Iran operations division ( "CIA official punished after probe finds he created hostile workplace," March 17). More interesting, Mr. Bank was previously the station chief in Islamabad, Pakistan and "was pulled out" as his name was leaked to the media. Most interesting, "U.S. officials think Pakistan's intelligence service leaked the name in a dispute over CIA drone attacks in the country's tribal belt.
April 30, 2013
Though he did not participate in torture, ex-CIA agent John Kiriakou was the first person to publicly acknowledge the Bush administration's inhumane abuse of detainees ("The truth about torture," April 23). Mr. Kiriakou's disclosures informed the public and encouraged debate that helped pull this country back from a very dark place. But in doing so he drew the ire of the government, which began to harass and intimidate him and his family under both the Bush and Obama administrations, looking for ways to prosecute him. Finally, when Mr. Kiriakou privately shared a colleague's name to a journalist for use as a source, the government seized the opportunity and threw the book at him. Mr. Kiriakou is now serving 30 months in prison.