As a c/o, if you head out on your SDR and detect you have surveillance, you are not likely to make your original meeting, but instead, will change your plans. What you hope you don’t do is let surveillance know that you have detected them, thereby betraying that you are surveillance aware, and thus a likely intelligence officer. You want to lull them into a sense of complacency.
So, after grabbing supplies, some light disguise materials, and a pile of cash, I headed out on an extensive surveillance detection route (SDR). The details are irrelevant, but, with the traffic in that city and tools and training I had, I was 100% certain I was black (surveillance free).
But why limit yourself to just a PMOO position? I can think of a number of other jobs I’d rather have within the Agency, right off the top of my head. The last 16 years haven’t seen PMOOs working too many other places (at least on PM tours) than war zones or conflict zones. I know it happens, but why further restrict an already small target?
The first time I ever heard about SAD or PMOO’s was because of the tragic death of SAD PMOO Mike Spann on 25 November 2001. The idea that the Agency had sent officers into Afghanistan before the Department of Defense was a revelation to me personally. I just hadn’t ever thought about it before.
To the non-practitioners of our line of work, particularly those who like to read the more salacious authors of the genre, termination of an asset carries a particularly nefarious connotation. It is assumed to mean the actual killing and/or some other means of disposing of an asset. We all know that this is one of those instances where a word is just a word, nothing more.
I’m all about information. With a career in the investigations and intelligence world that should not come as a surprise to anyone reading articles on Inglorious Amateurs. One caveat is that I really dislike ambiguity, hedging, conjecture and embellishing with my information. Simple enough, right?
An ongoing goal here at the Inglorious Amateurs will always be to honor the memory of those who have given their lives in the performance of their duties serving the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). This month, we remember and honor the 7 Americans who were killed at Camp Chapman 5 years ago on December 30th: Jennifer Lynne Matthews, CIA Officer Scott Michael Roberson, CIA Officer Darren LaBonte, CIA Officer Elizabeth Hanson, CIA Officer Harold Brown, CIA Officer Dane Clark Paresi, CIA security contractor Jeremy Wise, CIA security contractor
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 ,"
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.
I was going to try and respond to the recent Associated Press / Washington Post article (authored by Adam Goldman and Matt Apuzzo) related to Robert Levinson and my views on news organizations breaking stories related to American citizens who are being held in captivity with as little condescension as I could possibly muster.
It might seem odd that someone who worked at the CIA would offer up an opinion piece not related to Osama Bin Laden, on this, the 2nd anniversary of his ending. I actually think that now is the perfect day to talk about more important issues. I can think of no more important issue than the repatriation of captive American citizens abroad. The Bin Laden objective is complete….Levinson's return isn’t.
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