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CIA's Bungled Italy Job
Chicago Tribune ^ | December 25, 2005 | John Crewdson

Posted on 12/26/2005 9:08:18 AM PST by shezza

CIA's BUNGLED ITALY JOB:
Sloppy use of cell phones, other missteps help police unravel cleric's 2003 abduction

By John Crewdson
Tribune senior correspondent
Published December 25, 2005

MILAN, Italy -- The trick is known to just about every two-bit crook in the cellular age: If you don't want the cops to know where you are, take the battery out of your cell phone when it's not in use.

Had that trick been taught at the CIA's rural Virginia training school for covert operatives, the Bush administration might have avoided much of the current crisis in Europe ....

(usual Trib copyright restrictions...click here to read article)

(Excerpt) Read more at chicagotribune.com ...


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: cellphone; cia; incompetence; italy; keystonecops; waronterror
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Textbook case of how NOT to run a covert operation. (Your tax dollars at work.)
1 posted on 12/26/2005 9:08:19 AM PST by shezza
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To: shezza

The CIA needs a total rebuilding, or closing down.


2 posted on 12/26/2005 9:16:39 AM PST by sgtbono2002
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To: shezza

Think the senior Bush would be amenable to coming back to run the CIA again until it can get cleared out of the incompetent and the untrustworthy?


3 posted on 12/26/2005 9:18:55 AM PST by atomicpossum (Replies should be as pedantic as possible. I love that so much.)
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To: shezza

If a trick is well-known, then it's probably obsolete. Removing the battery may be false security. The only counter-measures that are overly paranoid are those that make you look nervous or otherwise betray normalcy.

On the other hand, there's nothing like a cool head to accomplish when technology can't. Recall what 19 such heads did to us once.


4 posted on 12/26/2005 9:20:53 AM PST by SteveMcKing ("No empire collapses because of technical reasons. They collapse because they are unnatural.")
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To: atomicpossum

Did you read the linked article? Aaaack! The imbecilic mistakes -- made repeatedly -- make you wonder what sort of training these "spies" really do go through. Appalling, to say the least.


5 posted on 12/26/2005 9:22:07 AM PST by shezza (46 days)
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To: shezza

Common wisdom is that the CIA became a risk-adverse bureaucracy after the Church hearings and subsequent Congressional oversight. Seems like the common wisdom may be right, and the agency needs to go back to Spycraft 101. The leaks alone should prompt the Bush administration to clean house.


6 posted on 12/26/2005 9:24:11 AM PST by RedRover
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To: shezza
Yes, I read the article. If the Agency had gone out and hired 20 people at random and sent them, untrained, to go kidnap this person and deliver him to the destination, they could not have done a more incompetent job. This was PURE amateur hour.
7 posted on 12/26/2005 9:27:52 AM PST by atomicpossum (Replies should be as pedantic as possible. I love that so much.)
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To: RedRover
True. The CIA seems to have become an elitist club of cronies who take their politics and "status" much more seriously than their tradecraft abilities (or lack thereof). Homeland Security is a j-o-k-e until the Clean Sweep begins at home.
8 posted on 12/26/2005 9:28:58 AM PST by shezza (46 days)
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To: atomicpossum
This was PURE amateur hour.

Keystone Cops redux. Even more alarming is the fact that all these tools used by the Italians to track every movement of the CIA agents is now exposed and a lesson to our enemies of what not to do.

9 posted on 12/26/2005 9:31:19 AM PST by shezza (46 days)
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To: shezza

I'd like to read the article, but I'm not going to do a personal data dump to the Chicago Tribune.


10 posted on 12/26/2005 9:35:33 AM PST by Excuse_My_Bellicosity ("Sharpei diem - Seize the wrinkled dog.")
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To: shezza

Yep, Then you have Valerie Plame making political contributions listing "Brewster Jennings" while commuting to Langley each day.


11 posted on 12/26/2005 9:38:55 AM PST by Wristpin ("The Yankees have decided to buy every player in Baseball....")
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To: Excuse_My_Bellicosity

http://bugmenot.com/view.php?url=chicagotribune.com+


12 posted on 12/26/2005 9:45:44 AM PST by maggief
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To: maggief

Thanks!


13 posted on 12/26/2005 9:47:04 AM PST by Excuse_My_Bellicosity ("Sharpei diem - Seize the wrinkled dog.")
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To: Wristpin

Some of these geniuses even used their own names while checking into hotels for this secret operation, for crying out loud. I don't know how PlameGate is more of a threat to our national security than this debacle. Keep in mind, these doofuses (doofi?) are charged with keeping the American people safe from terrorism.


14 posted on 12/26/2005 9:49:18 AM PST by shezza (46 days)
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To: Excuse_My_Bellicosity

You've got FReepmail.


15 posted on 12/26/2005 9:49:58 AM PST by shezza (46 days)
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To: shezza

BUMP!


16 posted on 12/26/2005 9:58:15 AM PST by Publius6961 (The IQ of California voters is about 420........... .............cumulatively)
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To: shezza
Pretty crazy. When your employer issues cell-phones to people who live in a society conditioned to be phone-freaks, guess what they're going to do? They're going to use them to call each other 50 times a day. People call each other from 40 feet away to discuss where to go for lunch.

2-way radios carry their risks but I'm betting they don't have the trackability that cell-phones do. Gee, maybe this is why the Cold-War spies used archaic methods of hand signals, predetermined meeting points, memorizing information and burning note-papers, and staying OFF the phones.

17 posted on 12/26/2005 10:01:17 AM PST by Excuse_My_Bellicosity ("Sharpei diem - Seize the wrinkled dog.")
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To: shezza; Squantos; river rat

Just incredible. I am being completely honest when I say that any ten SEALs or SF enlisted men (chosen at random and given no extra training) would have done a better job of this.

For one thing, they would not have used cell phones at all. For another, they would not have driven the target onto a US military base, that is the LAST place they would take him. He'd more likely have been on a "fishing boat" (rented for cash) and taken offshore to a submarine.

All cash, of course, and no cell phones.


18 posted on 12/26/2005 10:03:59 AM PST by Travis McGee (--- www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com ---)
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To: Excuse_My_Bellicosity

Amen.


19 posted on 12/26/2005 10:04:40 AM PST by Travis McGee (--- www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com ---)
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To: Travis McGee

Well stated.....seems these days the NOC is not......too bad.


20 posted on 12/26/2005 10:06:33 AM PST by Squantos (Be polite. Be professional. But, have a plan to kill everyone you meet. )
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