Do CIA agents actually go rogue?

Mudassir Ali
Feb 17, 2020 05:20 AM 0 Answers
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Mudassir Ali
- Feb 17, 2020 05:20 AM

It depends what you mean by “rogue.”

There have, of course, been CIA and intel officers who have been turned by other intel agencies and given info to the KGB, for example. Or CIA officers who have done criminal or illegal things–such as former the Aligers Station chief Andrew Waren who raped a woman while in country (Former U.S. Official Sentenced to 65 Months in Prison for Sexually Assaulting Woman on Embassy Property in Algeria). In doing so they were acting without authorization and/or against US law and CIA procedures/rules, so they were technically behaving in a rogue manner–and were eventually caught–but that’s not what people usually mean when they ask this question.

In the movie/TV sense–as Richard puts it–I guess it would be possible, but I can’t see any realistic or plausible scenario in which that would happen beyond an individual criminal act by one person. That’s not to say illegal things don’t happen or people behave improperly–as with any large organization anywhere in the world, you’d be deluding yourself if you think they don’t.

But not in the sense people typically mean by “rogue.” It’s hard to go into all of the structural and behavioral reasons why–and probably wouldn’t convince anyone who already thinks CIA officers/units go rogue often anyway. But, in my experience, the security and legal structures and the political oversight are designed to be adversarial and suspicious in order to root out potential misbehavior before it happens and punish those responsible if it does.

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