CIA Contractor Denounces Frauds, Massive & Catastrophic Intel Failure. 7 Years later, No Answers…

“I cannot talk about the 2007 incident. It is classified. I risk incarceration. I have a family.”

Former CIA John Reidy

Robert Levinson — On December 12, 2013, the Associated Press reported that their investigations revealed that Levinson had been working for the CIA, contradicting the U.S.’s statement that he was not an employee of the government at the time of his capture.

In 2010, John Reidy submitted a complaint to the CIA’s internal watchdog, the Inspector General’s Office. One issue involved what Reidy alleged was fraud between elements within the CIA and contractors. Another issue involved what he called a “massive” and “catastrophic” intelligence failure due to a bungled foreign operation. Question: What failed CIA op is Reidy alleging to? Follow on Twitter: @INTEL_TODAY

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When he filed his concerns with the OIG, Reidy was hoping that attention would be given to his claims right away. However, seven years later, his case is still “gathering dust” at a CIA office.

“When he realized that no progress had taken place in several years, a frustrated Reidy forwarded his case — which includes copies of 80 emails and nearly 60 other documents — to Senator Chuck Grassley, chairman of the US Senate Committee on the Judiciary. He also reached out to the McClatchy news service with his concerns.” [IntelNews]

About John Reidy

Reidy is more straight arrow than troublemaker. A native of Worcester, Massachusetts, he was educated in Catholic schools, then attended St. Anselm College in New Hampshire and obtained a law degree from the University of San Francisco. Law degree in hand, he dreamed of joining the FBI.

After a stint in the Army, where he worked in a criminal investigations division, Reidy applied for jobs at both the FBI and the CIA. The CIA called more quickly, and Reidy joined in 2003, leaving six months later for a private contractor that dealt in security policy.

Reidy formed his own company in 2006, Form III Defense Solutions, and worked as a subcontractor, piggybacking on contracts won by bigger companies for intelligence collection, tactical targeting guidance and other matters, usually with the CIA. [Charlotte Observer]

About the “bungled foreign operation”

The issue involved what he called a “massive” and “catastrophic” intelligence failure due to a bungled foreign operation.

A resume he gave to McClatchy shows that from 2006 to 2009, Reidy developed an “Iran Study Guide” and worked on “humint” — or human intelligence.

Reidy said intelligence community secrecy rules bar him from naming the country where he handled a “complex agency operation,” but he does say he studied some Farsi language. He hasn’t done any classified work since 2012. [Charlotte Observer]

Which bungled foreign operation?

“There have been only two kinds of CIA secret operations: the ones that are widely known to have failed—usually because of almost unbelievably crude errors—and the ones that are not yet widely known to have failed.” [Edward Luttwak]

“Massive and catastrophic intelligence failures” are not really out of the ordinary at the CIA, as Luttwak once put it elegantly. So this bit of information is rather useless.

As a working hypothesis, let us assume for a moment — in the true spirit of “Gossip Intelligence” — that the country is IRAN and the year is 2007. Even so, these pieces of  information do not narrow the field very much… Let us try to guess anyway!

Operation Merlin — Operation Merlin was a United States covert operation under the Clinton Administration to provide Iran with a flawed design for a component of a nuclear weapon ostensibly in order to delay the alleged Iranian nuclear weapons program, or to frame Iran.

Failure — Operation Merlin backfired when the CIA’s Russian contact/messenger noticed flaws in the schematics and told the Iranian nuclear scientists. Instead of crippling Iran’s nuclear program, James Risen’s book alleges, Operation Merlin may have accelerated it by providing useful information

Timing — President Clinton approved the operation and that the Bush administration later endorsed the plan. In late 2010, former CIA officer Jeffrey Alexander Sterling was indicted for allegedly being the source of some of the information in Risen’s book, and was convicted of espionage in January 2015. He was convicted and sentenced to 3 12 years in prison

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Operation Olympic Games — Operation Olympic Games was a covert and still unacknowledged campaign of sabotage by means of cyber disruption, directed at Iranian nuclear facilities by the United States and likely Israel. As reported, it is one of the first known uses of offensive cyber weapons.[94] Started under the administration of George W. Bush in 2006, Olympic Games was accelerated under President Obama, who heeded Bush’s advice to continue cyber attacks on Iranian nuclear facility at Natanz. Bush believed that the strategy was the only way to prevent an Israeli conventional strike on Iranian nuclear facilities

A programming error in “the bug” caused it to spread to computers outside of Natanz. When an engineer “left Natanz and connected [his] computer to the Internet, the Americans and Israeli-made bug failed to recognize that its environment had changed.” The code replicated on the Internet and was subsequently exposed for public dissemination. IT security firms Symantec and Kaspersky Lab have since examined Stuxnet. It is unclear whether the Americans or Israelis introduced the programming error.

Robert Levinson — Robert Alan “Bob” Levinson (born March 10, 1948) is an American former Drug Enforcement Administration and Federal Bureau of Investigation agent believed to be currently held as a hostage by the government of Iran.

He disappeared on March 9, 2007, when visiting Iran’s Kish Island while supposedly researching a cigarette smuggling case. U.S. officials believed Levinson had been arrested by Iranian intelligence officials to be interrogated and used as a bargaining chip in negotiations with Washington.

But as every lead fizzled and Iran repeatedly denied any involvement in his disappearance, many in the U.S. government believed Levinson was probably dead. He was subsequently revealed to be alive.

On December 12, 2013, the Associated Press reported that their investigations revealed that Levinson had been working for the CIA, contradicting the U.S.’s statement that he was not an employee of the government at the time of his capture.

Iranian nuclear scientist Shahram Amiri — Dr. Amiri was  an expert in radioactive isotopes at Tehran’s Malek Ashtar University. The university is said to be affiliated to Iran’s ministry of defence.

He has been executed on Wednesday August 3 2016. He was buried in the western city of Kermanshah.

2009: Shahram Amiri went missing when he was on a pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia. Iran accused the US of abducting the scientist.

2010: ABC News reported in March 2010 that he had defected to the US as part of an intelligence coup.

2010: Several videos emerge. First, Amiri claims he has been kidnapped by U.S. spies and was pressured to cooperate with the CIA. Next, he claims that he is pursuing his studies. Finally, he claims to be on the run from the CIA.

2010: Amiri presented himself to the Iranian interest section at the Pakistani embassy in Washington and asked to return to Tehran.

2010: Before his return to Tehran — US secretary of state Hillary Clinton said “Mr Amiri has been in the United States of his own free will” and that “he’s free to go, he was free to come, these decisions are his alone to make”.

2010: mid-July — US newspaper reported that he was  paid $5m by the CIA for the intelligence he had shared on Iran’s nuclear activities.

2010: Hero’s welcome in Tehran

2010: details unknown but soon after, imprisoned and tortured in jail. according to “opposition websites”

2015: Clinton’s emails reveal Amiri was a paid informant. One email, written by a senior official prior to Amiri’s departure , summarized the situation:

“Our friend has to be given a way out. We should recognise his concerns and frame it in terms of a misunderstanding with no malevolent intent and that we will make sure there is no recurrence. Our person won’t be able to do anything anyway. If he has to leave, so be it.”

2016: Executed by hanging

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Preliminary conclusion

At this point — in the absence of hard facts and further information — I would guess that the case raised by Reidy may be related to the disappearance of Robert Levinson. This is obviously just a wild guess… Do you have an idea? Let us know what you think?

REFERENCES

A whistleblower plays by the rules at CIA, and finds ‘nothing gets done’ — Charlotte Observer

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CIA Contractor Denounces Frauds, Massive & Catastrophic Intel Failure. 7 Years later, No Answers…

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