The CIA's Hypocrisy on Secrets

Author Ted Gup says the agency's only secretive when it wants to be
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 9, 2013 12:43 PM CST
The CIA's Hypocrisy on Secrets
The CIA will tell you its 'secrets,' when it's advantageous for it.   (Shutterstock)

On Thursday, ex-CIA deputy director Jose Rodriguez publicly protested that agents had only used water bottles when waterboarding detainees, not the buckets shown in Zero Dark Thirty. Disclosures like that must chafe John Kiriakou, the ex-agent facing 30 months in prison for passing info to a reporter. "The contrast points to the real threat to secrecy," namely, the agency itself, author Ted Gup writes in the New York Times. "The CIA invokes secrecy to serve its interests, but abandons it to burnish its image and discredit critics."

At some point, the agency decided leaks were OK, depending on the leaker's rank and message. Former agents, once paragons of secrecy, now routinely cash in with book deals, speaking engagements, and jobs as TV pundits and Hollywood consultants. Take Rodriguez. In 2005, reporters weren't even allowed to say his name for fear of prosecution. Now, he's an author and speaker. "The agency has no apparent problem with that; after all, he is defending not only his own handiwork but also the agency’s," writes Gup. Click for Gup's full column. (More waterboarding stories.)

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