CIA, State Dept. hemorrhaging expertise

WMR has learned from knowledgeable intelligence sources that the Central Intelligence Agency and Department of State are losing valuable expertise as a result of a Trump administration-led purge of those with different views on the Middle East, Iran, North Korea, Latin America, and overall geopolitical issues.

The purge of talented Middle East hands at both Langley and Foggy Bottom has drastically curtailed the ability of the CIA and State to maintain unofficial contacts with Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas in the Gaza Strip, Shi’a militias in Iraq, Houthi militia leaders in Yemen, and the governments of Iran and Syria.

In what appears to be a wholesale sacking of any experienced Senior Intelligence Service and Foreign Service officers who do not buy into the Trump administration’s pro-Israeli line, some CIA and State officials are rushing to secure civilian employment, while they can still compete in a shrinking job market for experienced Arabists, Arabic and Farsi linguists, and Middle Eastern energy specialists.

One casualty was Norman T. Roule who served as the National Intelligence Manager for Iran (NIM-I) at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence from November 2008 until September 2017. In his position, Roule was instrumental in helping the Obama administration craft U.S. participation in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) dealing with Iran’s nuclear program. Trump pulled the United States out of the agreement in May 2017. Roule left the CIA four months later.

As NIM-I, Roule, who is now the CEO of Pharos Strategic Consulting, LLC, was the principal intelligence community official responsible for overseeing all aspects of national intelligence policy and activities related to Iran. He worked closely with Secretary of State John Kerry on the hammering out of the JCPOA with France, Germany, Britain, China, and Russia on one side and Iran on the other. Trump and his political allies recently suggested that Kerry be prosecuted under the arcane 1799 Logan Act for meeting, as a private citizen, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif on the sidelines of conferences in Oslo, Munich, and at the United Nations in New York.

Those heading for the exits suspect that John Bolton, Trump’s arch-neocon national security adviser, after having purged the ranks of the National Security Council of anyone who does not share his fervent pro-Israel line, turned his attention toward the CIA and State Department. CIA director Gina Haspel and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have been willing accomplices in the purge of talent from their respective organizations. Haspel is using the complete overhaul and renaming of the CIA’s National Clandestine Service (NCS)to purge many Arabists and other specialists from the ranks of the CIA’s chief espionage organization.

So far, Defense Secretary James Mattis has prevented Bolton from taking his scalpel to the Pentagon’s and Defense Intelligence Agency’s experienced hands on the Middle East and other world trouble spots. However, the minute Mattis is forced out by Trump, something that has been strongly rumored within the Pentagon as impending, its talent pool will become fair game for Bolton.

Previously published in the Wayne Madsen Report.

Copyright © 2018

Wayne Madsen is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist and nationally-distributed columnist. He is the editor and publisher of the Wayne Madsen Report (subscription required).

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