- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 13, 2010

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Several major errors were committed by the CIA at its secret key base in eastern Afghanistan, in which a believed informant’s suicide bomb killed several top CIA operatives.

First, you never invite a foreign informant to such a highly secretive location.

Second, if he is going to be invited, you thoroughly check his background to make sure he is legitimate and can be trusted. Even if he is legitimate, after he is invited, the location wouldn’t be a secret anymore, which would be self-defeating. So the supposed informant should have been interviewed at another, less secret location.

Third, thoroughly check the visitor for explosives and weapons before he enters the base.

Finally, only have him interviewed by two CIA operatives at the most so if he does do something dangerous, that limits the number of casualties. (More than a dozen U.S. personnel apparently were around the bomber at the time of the blast.)

The deaths of the seven Americans and one Jordanian intelligence officer were unnecessary. If basic precautionary security procedures had been followed, there would have been no casualties.

KENNETH L. ZIMMERMAN

Huntington Beach, Calif.

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