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February 3rd, 2009
09:51 AM ET

The CIA scandals: how bad a blow?

Robert Baer
Time

The last thing the CIA needs right now is another scandal, let alone two.

Allegations that the CIA chief in Algiers (identified in the press, though not by the government, as Andrew Warren) drugged and raped two women is going to badly hurt. The accusations that Harold Nicholson, a former CIA operative in federal prison convicted of spying for the KGB, continued his work from behind bars isn't nearly as serious, but it won't exactly help the agency's reputation. Nicholson, who allegedly enlisted his son to collect his KGB "pension" and to pass on whatever secrets dad still knows, is pretty much stale history. But even so, the news is an unwanted reminder that the KGB was eating the CIA's lunch in the '90s — along with the National Security Agency's and the Department of Defense's. (See the top 10 Secret Service code names.)

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soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. Cynthia Robinson

    ALL I want is justice for the suspicious death of my son, Joshua, who was found dead in Amsler Park/McGregor, Texas, on February 16, 2006.
    I will never stop fighting for justice for my son, because I am 99% certain that the McGregor police murdered him by excessive force, police corruption, conspiracy to commit murder, and not to mention the blatant violations concerning his Civil Rights!
    http://www.realcrimes.com (Joshua Robinson)
    http://www.americaiswatching.org (Joshua Robinson) Attached documents, including a crime scene photo and statement that a McGregor patrol officer was the last person to see Joshua alive in Amsler Park @ 1AM!

    February 3, 2009 at 9:41 pm |
  2. Annie Kate

    The only time it seems we hear of the CIA is when they have a scandal....and that isn't often over the last few decades. I just wonder since the Cold War is supposedly over what they do these days. Is their concentration terrorism or a block of countries or what. Guess we won't know since those things they are able to keep quiet.

    February 3, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  3. Mary V., Salt Lake City, UT

    When President Obama chose Leon Paneta to lead the CIA, the media talking heads and pundits criticize the choice. But from what I read in this article the CIA badly needs new blood, from the outside!

    February 3, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  4. Nabil Harrag

    May be everyone should step back and relax!
    Have you bothered with getting the facts before blogging your time away and turning it into another civilizational conflict. For God's sake, the CIA is not composed of demi-gods (you believe in Hollywood dream box) but of plain men and women like you and me, with a number of plain stupid guys of the ordinary variety. Did you know that one of the women allegedly raped is married and was a long time friend of the Warren guy and doesn't even live in Algeria and she has nothing to do with Islam. What does she have to gain from such a scandal. Go the El Watan article to get some of the facts. By the way, this is an independent paper – and a much better paper than many American papers I used to read- contrary to what that other bad reporter is saying about Algerian newspapers. Of course, these pseud "reporters" report from Paris. Not from Algiers! They dream up their stories. I am an Algerian, currently living in Algeria and I have lived for over 20 years in the US. I have many dear American friends and I could be branded, I guess, an Americanophile. I could claim equal knowledge of America and Algeria. But..... I am always appalled by the wholesale reactions emerging from America regarding similar issues, and I dare say just offended but some remarks and language used to qualify my country or its political and social situation. Americans should wake up and realize that We are not just "an indigenous populace" as someone put it, but a very proud nation regardless of everything else. Why do you Americans always tend to politicize everything that has anything to do with an Islamic country? After all, this might just be the story of a powerful guy who can't keep his dick in his pants and who thought he could get away with it! Or it may be the story of loose broads looking for some fun! Why does it have to be a conflict between America and Islam? On the other hand, why some of you just want to hang the Warren guy with little knowledge of the case? You guys just blow my mind away. Let me tell you what the typical Algerian reaction would be: What the heck these women were doing boozing the night away with these bozos anyway? They got what was coming to them. Not that I share this opinion, but this what the average sensible Algerian Joe would think.

    Once again, Relax and cool it ..................The world would be a better place.

    February 3, 2009 at 1:05 pm |
  5. Heather,ca

    I just love how Nicholson made his son his debt collector. It doesnt help when the successes cant be made public because they are nation security issues and the only time the public does hear is because of a new scandal. Not easy.

    February 3, 2009 at 12:22 pm |