Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Words Of Caution To The Intelligence Community and to Management - Douglas Castle

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Words Of Caution To The Intelligence Community and to Management - Douglas Castle

Dear Friends, Colleagues and all Others who Honor me by Their Reading:

Trust is a touchy and tricky issue.

Some months ago, several CIA employees and operatives were massacred at an overseas station by a fellow whom they truly believed was acting as their double agent - a "converted" and "reprogrammed" former terrorist operative, who was given the opportunity to work for the CIA by gathering intelligence from his old contacts and reporting back to the CIA. This particular individual should not have been in a position of trust, was not "reformed" (this word is almost a self-parody), was embittered and probably divulged CIA secrets to the persons upon whom he was supposed to be spying. The coupe de gras, of course, was his ultimate murder of his CIA colleagues.

Perhaps he was not converted, reprogrammed or even refocused. He was the most dangerous person to have in your inner circle - the "presumed" convert. This tragedy or poorly-gauged loyalties and misplaced trust is far more common than one would think. In the U.S., we had a massacre of soldiers at Fort Hood by one of their comrades who was an ardent, vocal protester against U.S. Military policy in the middleast, Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran.

Place your trust in only a  few very carefully-screened individuals. Test them on small missions and observe their conduct and results. Test them repeatedly and frequently. Take their every utterance (even offhanded, or said in the spirit of jest) carefully. Take their histories and childhood experiences, training and educations into account.

The most dangerous enemy is 1) very intelligent, 2) finds his/her way into our trusted inner circle (some people are amazingly good actors, and possess a natural talent to infiltrate and engender rapport), and 3) has a destructive agenda.

The enemy whom we do not recognize as an enemy is highly dangerous.

The enemy whom we have come to believe is a friend is deadly.

People who are intently devoted to an idea or ideology, or people whom have lost a loved one at the hands of the minions of an agency are not easily converted or reformed. They are deeply programmed, and this programming is further seasoned with an unresolved desire for vengeance (typically Human) which often is more deeply entrenched by the passage of time and a feeling of impotence or helplessness to serve a childhood master, to honor a martyred friend, or to avenge the death of a family member.

A "manufactured" ally --- an "ally" who is seemingly deafeated by emotional or physical torture, and then seemingly "rebuilt" to work for those whom have done him or her serious damage, can be the most crippling force to be unleashed close to home.

The Stockholm Syndrome is not as powerful or as permanent as people would think; however never, ever underestimate the bitterness, determination and lethal motivation of a person who feels that he or she was punished unjustly or unfairly, and never, ever underestimate the persistence of deeply ingrained memories of loss or pain. Hatred can be deeply concealed.

As any well-seasoned sadistic torturer ultimately learns, a victim will sometimes say anything that he or she believes that the captors want to hear in order to simply stop the pain. 


Douglas Castle 

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