Foreign relations jeopardized

Monday, November 19, 2012
Russ Jones (

With the high-profile resignation of General David Petraeus and the new allegations concerning a U.S. commander in Afghanistan, some are wondering what the future looks like for the CIA.

The nation's top spy shop was already under scrutiny for unanswered questions surrounding the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on the American consulate in Benghazi. But when news broke about a complex sex scandal, some experts began expressing concerns about deeper issues within the CIA.

Davidson, MichaelMichael Davidson, who retired from government service in 1995 after having achieved senior intelligence service rank, says the sex scandal and the politicization of the Benghazi attack is a bad combination.

"It affects our ability to liaise with foreign intelligence services if those services see that sensitive information can be released for political purposes," he explains.

"It also affects our ability to recruit foreign assets who might come to fear that their identities would be revealed if it turned out to be convenient for the politicians."

Davidson, who is co-founder of the Spymasters Literary Guild and author of Harry's Rules, believes that while the recent actions debilitated the intelligence agency, they do not not compare to the effect of the events following the killing of Osama bin Laden.

"When the administration chose to release very sensitive information concerning the Stuxnet virus and the way SEAL Team 6 operates, and even the identity of SEAL Team 6 to score political points -- and now when we have a situation like Benghazi, which the Petraeus episode is serving to obscure, unfortunately we have the administration hiding behind classification," the author submits. "I'm not sure you can have it both ways."

Deputy Director Michael Morell has taken over as acting director of the CIA and a potential permanent replacement of General Petraeus.

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