They call this intelligence?

So I’m about to go back to work on my thesis (something of a perpetual state for me these days) but I figure I’ll check Drudge before I get back to work (also something of a perpetual state).  And what’s the headline in blazing red?

ABCNEWS: CIA AGENT ACCUSED OF RAPES, VIDEOTAPES

Apparently, the station cheif in Algiers is accused of raping two Muslim Algerian women.  Winning hearts and minds, indeed.  I just can’t figure out why the Agency is so completely and utterly fucked up.  How does this happen?  And why didn’t someone inside get to this earlier?  I think that ABC sort of buries one of the most important quotes in the story:

“This will be seen as the typical ugly American,” said former CIA officer Bob Baer, reacting to the ABC News report. “My question is how the CIA would not have picked up on this in their own regular reviews of CIA officers overseas,” Baer said.

“From a national security standpoint,” said Baer, the alleged rapes would be “not only wrong but could open him up to potential blackmail and that’s something the CIA should have picked up on,” said Baer. “This is indicative of personnel problems of all sorts that run through the agency,” he said.

The agency seems to be full of problems, personnel and otherwise.  This newest, exceedingly disgusting debacle just reminds us.

Update: Abu Muqawama sums it up better than anyone:

Do you think “CIA Agent Drugs, Rapes Arab Women” is a story that will get much play in the Arabic-speakng world and further harm our image in the Middle East? Nah, me neither. We can probably let this one slide as I don’t see any way in which this will be reported on Arabic-language satellite networks or in the newspapers tomorrow.

Oy.

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