The Central Intelligence Agency admitted Monday in published comments that a $3 billion intelligence program that was implemented after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States was a big flop.
The program put intelligence agents in business dress and placed them in various corporate and company positions around the world. At one point, hundreds of agents worked fake jobs in front companies, especially in Iran, United Press International reported.
But the operation — called the Global Deployment Initiative — did not bring in much usable intelligence. It was plagued by a bloated bureaucracy and financial difficulties.
Former operative workers said part of the problem was that agents didn't have the necessary language skills. Another challenge, they said, in the UPI report: Most of the agents in the operation didn't have much experience.
And one more problem was that operatives were stationed "a zillion miles from where their targets were located," said Joseph Wippl, the former head of the CIA's Europe Division, in UPI. Another agent said some of those operatives were in fact put in "really, really dangerous places," UPI reported.
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