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 by Congress to increase the number of officers working 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 form within proved absurd. Jones resigned from the CIA to make a public case for reform through the writhing of this book.
Effective American Organizations feature clear mission, transparency 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 liver of our allies are in jeopardy.
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About the Author
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.
Table of Contents
Preface to the Paperback Edition xi
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
7 Morning in Eastern Europe 119
8 Physicists Who Knew Sin 144
9 Always Be Closing 164
10 Restless 186
11 Hazardous Microbes 221
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
Appendix: Solutions for Reform of the Clandestine Service 355
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is the ultimate adventure story of a deep-cover spy, operating throughout the Middle East, Asia, and Europe, tracking weapons scientists and terrorists. It is full of dry humor, and never slows down. But the real purpose appears to be to draw the reader¿s attention to the weakness in American national security caused by poor or false human intelligence. By not pontificating, the book is exciting and gets its point across. It¿s a book about intelligence reform disguised as a spy story. Deep cover spy Ishmael recounts details about inept CIA training and torture courses, dodging co-workers trying to sabotage his work, falling prey to a dead-baby con scheme in Bombay, and the hilarious saga of his friend, the world¿s worst spy. I read an advance copy that should be the same as the final - and believe some of its revelations are explosive: the inability to place spies in foreign countries, the CIA¿s growth within the USA, disappearing money, work avoidance schemes, and great gaps in intelligence. A few paragraphs on the Plame incident are enlightening. The Twins, a pair of CIA professors, pop up to intrude upon intelligence operations a hunt for CIA pornography users decimates deep-cover spies overseas. CIA employees hire their spouses as managers in a confusion of nepotism. And bloody Iraq, a place of such absurd violence that ordinary CIA risk aversion is temporarily on hold. The CIA¿s just a big couch potato, a failure at providing intelligence but an expert at feeding itself and growing ever larger. The consequences of this nonpartisan book could be far-reaching and CIA reform should be on the top of the Obama, 'Hillary' or McCain agendas. CIA reform may well be the most important thing Americans can do as a nation to protect themselves. The author¿s decision to donate his book profits gives his case even greater strength.
What exactly is this bloated bureaucracy doing? Ishmael Jones answers this question. When an insider complains about hordes of excess agents inside the U.S. looking for easy work and swarming targets, our intelligence apparatus is in serious trouble. These hordes include retiree contractors and highly-paid married couples. Specifically, Jones writes, I'd made the case look easy. Once it looked easy, it attracted the attention of hordes of HQs headquarters people vying for a chance to take it. The first priority was to make as many people as possible look as busy as possible. This book is a strong case for fixing an intelligence bureaucracy that is so bloated , corrupt, and convoluted that it can no longer do its duty. Heed his sage advice in the Appendix.