The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Wednesday, June 08, 2005
 

CIA prefers ignorance


Espionage is a risky business. But, it seems, the CIA is taking no risks when it comes to recruiting agents. No Arabs, for instance, need apply.

You might suggest that, what with the risk of Islamic terrorism, mostly organised by Arabs, this was a rather short-sighted policy.

You might aver that Western intelligence has a pitiful shortage of Arabic speakers. (Not to mention Persian and Pushtu speakers.)

You might warn that no European, even a fluent Arabic speaker, will pass as Arab under the scrutiny of an Al Qaeda-affiliated terrorist group.

But the same CIA that gave you George Tenet's slam dunk (not to mention the Bay of Pigs) says that the boxes it has to tick must be ticked regardless.

So it's only crew-cut blue-eyed Ivy League men for the Agency. (Plus - affirmative action oblige - a few gentlemen of color equally out of their depth in an Arab souk, let alone an Afghan cave.)


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