The reason I keep Virginia Hall in mind when raising my daughter is that I, for one, want my daughter to become a strong independent woman that, like Virginia, decided she wanted to do something and she did it as good as, if not better, than her male counterparts. She wasn’t arrogant, definitely confident, but not arrogant.
In his new book Baer draws from his own decades old stack of notes on 3x5 cards (his own case file, as it were) to tease out a narrative around the life and “works” of Imad Mughniyeh aka Hajj Radwan. Mughniyeh was a mysterious member of Hezbollah and agent of the Iranian government. That description isn’t really explaining enough about him, but needless to say he is believed to the driving force behind the many Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad Organization bombings and kidnappings carried out from the 1980s until his death by car bomb in Damascus, Syria in 2008.
The Congressional Gold Medal is one of the two highest civilian awards in the United States. It is awarded through an Act of Congress to individuals “who have performed an achievement that has an impact on American history and culture that is likely to be recognized as a major achievement in the recipient’s field long after the achievement”. The first of these medals was awarded to then General George Washington in 1776 by the Continental Congress.
I think most within the CIA would be the first to point out that executing any Covert Action program that includes the arming and training of a foreign fighting force is a sketchy endeavor. Its also at the core of what the Agency was enacted to do, and takes its queues from its predecessor, in the OSS arming and training of resistance fighters during WWII. In short, this is not a new problem.
In order to effectively assess the causes of a tragedy like Benghazi, one needs to have deep domain expertise in both Military and Intelligence Community Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), relationships, decision processes, and/or be a skilled investigative reporter with access to real sources in those arenas. To approach this from any other angle is to do a disservice to those who died, and those who had to make tough decisions on the spot. To my understanding, while the authors have experience in the SOF community, it is very apparent that their interaction with the IC at significant levels is lacking.
Across the lobby, on the north wall, is another memorial, and Book of Honor. This one is flanked by both the American flag and the Agency flag. Above the cased book is another inscription, "IN HONOR OF THOSE MEMBERS OF THE CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES IN THE SERVICE OF THEIR COUNTRY ,"
In the wake of all the Snowden reporting, stories about the White House naming of the Kabul Chief of Station and other recent articles, many of us active or former intelligence folks have become increasingly annoyed by sloppy reporting and vocabulary by the press. So herewith follows a simple primer on the vocabulary of the intelligence world.
The main purpose of SAD is as a service provider to other Divisions who hold Presidential Covert Action Authorities. Essentially SAD develops and maintains capabilities, whether those capabilities are personnel, platforms, weapons systems, or non-lethal aid. SAD does NOT operate on its own agenda and it is highly scrutinized by the Executive and Legislative parts of our government.
I have realized from reading news stories, blog posts, wiki sites, and the often hilarious (and pathetically inaccurate) tweets, that the Special Activities Division (SAD) is the most misunderstood division of the Central Intelligence Agency.
Given my nationality and experience, I can only speak about the American people and American military. In my opinion, we as Americans, have become so uptight that NO ONE can joke or have an opinion about anything without being ruthlessly attacked.