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IP: Fwd: [Spooks] CIA needs spies. Care to join?

From: [email protected]
Subject: IP: Fwd: [Spooks] CIA needs spies. Care to join?
Date: Tue, 6 Oct 1998 19:10:31 EDT
To: [email protected]

Subject:        [Spooks] CIA needs spies. Care to join?
Date:            Mon, 05 Oct 1998 22:48:59 -0500
From:           Bob Margolis <[email protected]>
To:               Spooks <[email protected]>

>From the Christian Science Monitor--OCT 5


Bob Margolis


Help Wanted  
   The blonde - a cross between TV's ``La Femme Nikita'' and a  
Washington lawyer - grins knowingly out of the glossy pages of an 
international news magazine. 
   ``Do you have what it takes?'' asks the bold advertising line just  
over her shoulder, paid for by the Directorate of Operations (DO), the 
clandestine service of the Central Intelligence Agency. 
   ``Did you see that one?'' CIA Director George Tenet asks  
enthusiastically of the ad. ``We worked on another one that says, 'If 
you ever liked taking apart your radio and putting it back together, 
we might have a job for you.''' 
   Blame the tight labor market, budget cuts, or low morale fueled by  
post-cold-war mission confusion, but the ad in London's The Economist 
illustrates an acute problem the CIA no longer wants to keep secret: 
It's fast running out of spies. 
   To counter the flight of experienced operatives trained in  
skullduggery, the agency has embarked on the most aggressive 
recruiting drive in its five-decade history. If it can't bolster the 
number of case officers, experts say, the CIA runs the risk of being 
caught flat-footed, as with India's nuclear tests this spring, which 
caught the agency - and thus the United States - unawares. 
   ``We anticipate the current program will rebuild the  
operations-officer cadre by more than 30 percent over the next seven 
years,'' says CIA spokeswoman Anya Guilsher. Augmenting a national 
media campaign is the college-campus recruitment program that has been 
under way for years. 
   But while the agency used to actively recruit at 120 colleges, it  
is now concentrating its efforts at half that number, pinpointing 
universities with strong computer and technical programs and those 
with large numbers of minorities. 
   In addition to the fresh crop of college graduates, the worldly  
wise are also encouraged to apply. 
   ``We are also looking for people with international experience,  
languages, business experience. You are not necessarily going to get 
someone like that right out of college,'' says Ms. Guilsher. Congress 
is pumping a classified amount of money into the recruitment effort. 
   The DO began experiencing sharp losses in personnel nearly seven  
years ago, after the fall of the Soviet Union. By last year, the 
number of people leaving the agency exceeded fresh recruits by 3 or 4 
to 1. 
   Insiders cite a number of reasons for the departures, including  
overall mission drift and the way the CIA has handled spy scandals, 
including mole Aldrich Ames, who funneled secrets to Moscow from 1985 
until his arrest in 1994. 
   Such demoralizing headlines underscore the agency's need for fresh  
recruits as Tenet seeks to reform the CIA. The current hiring drive 
was already in the planning stages when the CIA's failure to detect 
India's nuclear tests last spring solidified recruiting resolve from 
Capitol Hill to the CIA's suburban headquarters in McLean, Va. 
   ``If you had the right number of people in the field doing the  
right thing, the failure wouldn't have occurred,'' says a 
congressional source familiar with agency operations. 
   Intelligence observers estimate total agency employees at just over  
16,000. One estimate places the total number of case workers in the 
field at less than 1,000. ``My guess is most Americans would overguess 
by 10- to 20-fold the numbers out there spying [for the CIA],'' the 
source says. 
   It'S not just the manner in which the recruitment calls are sounded  
that is changing. 
   The agency is also overhauling the way it handles would-be spies.  
In the past, applicants could expect to wait more than a year and a 
half as their application crawled through the hiring bureaucracy. 
   In today's tight labor market, many applicants were simply walking  
away, signing on to higher-paying jobs in the private sector. 
   Today, a CIA contact is assigned to answer applicants' questions,  
and the agency claims the hiring period has been compressed to six to 
eight months. ``We're overhauling our entire recruitment system,'' 
says Tenet. 
   Still, the agency is constricted by government pay scales -  
starting pay for a professional trainee is $30,000, about $5,000 less 
than what the average college graduate received this year. 
   What a CIA job can provide is the cachet of being a CIA agent - the  
lure of being in the know on world affairs. The agency also recruits 
using a rarely discussed theme these days: patriotism. 
   ``Patriotism is not a word used much anymore ... but there are  
still people who learn about the CIA's mission and understand that it 
really does have an important purpose and function and want to work in 
the agency,'' says Ronald Kessler, author of ``Inside the CIA.'' 
   Once in, today's trainees receive a more intensive, highly  
technical education than in the past. ``You can't collect 
[intelligence] in rocket science if you don't know about rocket 
science,'' says a congressional source. Today, a case officer in the 
field receives an average of one to three years of training. 
   Part of the need for greater numbers is sparked by the reopening of  
an undisclosed number of stations in former East Bloc countries, which 
were closed in the early 1990s. 
   The CIA says the reopenings are not necessarily to spy on former  
cold-war adversaries, but rather to monitor a region now transformed 
into a crossroads for weapons for hire.

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