CIA officers rape women, steal money, pamper mistresses
Longtime CIA case officer Andrew Warren is being investigated for apparently raping two women in Algeria where he was stationed. Warren (Wikipedia article) had a reputation for taking potential recruits to strip clubs and brothels. As the Washington Post reports:
As CIA case officers attempt to recruit a foreign spy, they often offer personal inducements, ranging from cash to medical care. In some cases, a potential recruit may be taken to a strip club or even to a prostitute if it is deemed critical to cementing the relationship, longtime officers say. But for Warren, “it was a lifestyle thing,” costing the agency thousands of dollars, said one former co-worker who describes himself as a friend.
Several of his colleagues (i.e. multiple people) said they were not surprised by the sexual assault allegations. And this guy was still in a position of trust and responsibility why? Though the matter has attracted the attention of Congress, and resulted in a joint statement by the chairperson and the ranking member of the Senate committee that oversees the CIA, charges have not been filed against Warren.
Happily, not all of the corrupt CIA employees have been so lucky. Steve Levan, a 16-year veteran who worked for the No. 2 man in the agency, recently pleaded guilty to misusing agency credit cards which were supposed to be used by undercover agents—to the tune of $115,000, much of which he spent on his mistress. His attorney filed a motion saying that the judge should consider Mr. Levan’s allegedly strong record of service at the CIA—a record which hasn’t been released. In other words, the mere fact that he worked for the CIA means that he should be held to an easier standard than common folks.
Then there’s Kyle “Dusty” Foggo (Wikipedia article), the agency’s former No. 3 officer, who was indicted on corruption charges two years ago. He helped a high school friend of his, Brent Wilkes, score CIA contracts. Oh, and he also used the agency to provide for his own mistress. The Post reports:
After … his mistress was turned down for a job in the general counsel’s office, Foggo, who was the CIA’s executive director, called an associate general counsel into his office and “grew increasingly loud in tone and condescending,” according to a memo the counsel placed in her files. “[S]peaking in the third person, [Foggo] said, among other things, that when the EXDIR has an interest in a candidate for employment that I had better respect the EXDIR’s interest.”
The mistress was subsequently hired after an accelerated security check, because her paperwork was tagged “ExDir interest.” When her failure to perform required duties provoked her supervisor’s complaints, Foggo arranged for the supervisor—a 20-year veteran who had won many performance awards—to be ousted and moved to the Defense Department. The supervisor alleged in a court affidavit that her ouster was retaliatory.
The matter of his mistress was not a one-time mistake on Foggo’s part. A 1989 performance review stated that he “takes a very liberal and self-serving position regarding the interpretation of Agency rules and regulations” and warned that “he is likely to remain a potential threat to security through his poor judgment.” After the September 11th attacks, he used his position as the agency’s top administrator—hand-picked by the director—to steer CIA contracts to a friend of his, who repaid him with, among other things, a $30,000 vacation in Hawai’i. As the U.S. Attorney said at his sentencing hearing, “A man who exploits a national crisis should be humble enough to not call himself a patriot.”
But Foggo does claim to be a patriot: in a court filing, his attorneys claimed that he has “committed his life to public service” and that his dedication and skills justified his promotions, the record of misconduct in his personnel file notwithstanding. They declined to elaborate. Again, the mere act of working for the CIA should get him a lighter penalty, nevermind the fact that he used his position to enrich and benefit himself, not the people.
One former intelligence officer, a 26-year veteran of the CIA, writes that
This affair demonstrates what officers in the closed society of the CIA have known for years: that senior management uses a double standard that allows members of the agency’s “good ol’ boy” network to do whatever they wish.
Mr. Foggo’s offenses included breaches of agency regulations that, for others, have raised questions of loyalty and sometimes resulted in dismissal. Yet, Mr. Foggo simply got a wink and a nod from superiors who continued to protect him. This sort of cronyism continues to harm agency morale.
As Mr. Foggo’s defenders have done, these senior officials also would undoubtedly like to portray themselves as great “patriots.” But Samuel Johnson said it best when he noted that “patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.”
John Radsan, a former CIA assistant general counsel, agrees. He says that the internal guidelines and structures that are supposed to guard against corruption and misconduct are really a self-regulating system with few incentives for reporting bad behavior. That’s why we end up with a swell fellow like Kyle Foggo atop the CIA.
The CIA’s response to these many scandals is to point out that they have lots of employees and not all of them lie, cheat, and steal and, really, only a very tiny minority of them go around raping women. So it’s all really okay, thank you for your interest—and go screw yourself while we patriots keep saving America.
Charges may still be filed against Andrew Warren. If convicted, he’ll probably resort to the last refuge in order to save the only thing he cares about: himself.
See also this blog post, about FBI agents who fleeced taxpayers for $7.8 million