Covert Action is Not Best Practice for US Intelligence,
Says Veteran CIA Case Officer
by Iona Miller, 2013
Only through experience can one acquire a sense of the global landscape, international tensions, and the fluctuating position of US intelligence within that scenario. As time goes on, the needs and perception of our nation change, in our own eyes, and that of the world, at large. It is important for the US to respond in meaningful ways to valid outcry from the world to secure our position in a rapidly changing global culture. We must cast a fearless critical eye on the effects of our policies, not just our intentions in implementing them.
If hindsight is 20/20, foresight remains golden in international politics. Twenty-six year CIA veteran Case Officer, Leutrell “Mike” Osborne, Sr. continues to stand by his 2010 evaluation that the US needs “More Cloak and Less Dagger”:
“Osborne doesn’t mind admitting that transformational leaders need to listen to their Spirit and ethical conscience. He advocated against “dirty tricks” and for the moral/ethical approach during his tenure with CIA. CIA is somewhat infamous for an “ends justifies the means” attitude, but Osborne claims those ends simply aren’t met with “dirty tricks,” such as those chronicled in the book of “greatest hits”, CIA’s Family Jewels. So, we need to consider the real effects and rework our strategy.” 
It seems that in mid-2013 President Obama is rethinking precisely that strategy in regard to counter-terrorism, as described recently in USA Today:
President Obama outlined tighter rules for drone strikes and renewed efforts to close the Guantanamo Bay prison on Thursday, while calling on policymakers to rethink the nation’s battle against terrorism.The president discussed the war in Afghanistan, the attack on Benghazi and ongoing investigations of national security news leaks, and questioned the concept of the “global war on terror” that has prevailed since the strikes of Sept. 11, 2001.
“Our systematic effort to dismantle terrorist organizations must continue,” Obama said during a 59-minute speech at National Defense University in Washington, D.C. “But this war, like all wars, must end,” he added. “That’s what history advises. That’s what our democracy demands.” 
If, in fact, we de-escalate our “global warpath” we need to re-examine our intelligence methodology. Projecting our own shadows and misdeeds onto our neighbors is an individual and collective phenomenon. We need to take a fearless look at our national Shadow, those issues which tend to unfold in darkness away from public scrutiny. By doing so we shed light on the darkness and find healthier ways of expression and problem-solving.