Read this article over the weekend in the WSJ: the story on the Station Chief who was KIA’d with six other officers in 2009, in Khost, Afghanistan – I first learned about OBL from the operation this woman ran out of an office in Alexandria, in 1997 - S.L.
For CIA family, a deadly suicide bombing leads to painful divisions
By Ian Shapira, Published: January 28
The call from the Central Intelligence Agency came on a December afternoon in 2009 while Gary Anderson was skiing with his three children. It’s about your wife, the agency man said.
Standing inside Eagle Rock ski lodge in Pennsylvania, Anderson pleaded for details. The CIA official said simply: Where are you?
We’ll meet you.
* * *
A Jordanian double agent’s suicide bombing of the CIA base received days of media coverage. The CIA had been tricked into welcoming one of al-Qaeda’s own onto the agency’s base, enabling him to detonate a vest laden with explosives. On television, pundits and agency retirees called the incident a catastrophe, Langley’s “Pearl Harbor.” Initially, commentators did not utter Matthews’s name, but they did describe the Khost base chief as a “mother of three.” Anderson felt that his wife, however anonymously, was bearing all the blame.
Five months after her burial at Arlington National Cemetery, Matthews’s name became public at a CIA ceremony honoring fallen employees.
. . . underneath, Anderson, 50, is seething. He’s angry with the teachings in the Koran that he believes incited the suicide bomber to kill Americans; he’s upset with the CIA for failing to realize that a prized informant was a double agent willing to blow himself up; and he’s hurt by the legion of critics, including Matthews’s uncle, who have questioned her qualifications for the job she was doing.
“The suicide bomber was a bad guy, but at the time, nobody could clearly see it,” Anderson said. “I think the agency prepared my wife to be a chief of the Khost base, but not in terms of preparing for this asset. This guy wasn’t vetted.” And the mother of his three children is dead because of it.
Read the whole thing HERE
Tragic for sure. Once again, Langley HAS to take the blame for this, not her - but they won't; she is their scapegoat.
The Head Shed HAD to have been involved. There were simply too many basic principles of tradecraft violated here – there is no way any single operator could be this stupid. The way I heard it, the brass at Langley were drooling at the bit; they TOLD her to bring him in for a love-in. A private in the 82d wouldn’t have done it like this.
The word on the street is that this thing was absolutely controlled from the highest levels. My source left the ‘CYA’ for this very reason; nothing happens in the field unless approved by Langley. It is THAT simple. They are the masters of CYA and shifting blame to operators when things go bad.
That is why I was never tempted to throw my hat into that ring.
CAG – the same thing. In SF we always knew we had more personal freedom than anybody else in the machine. That’s why I stayed SF; was never tempted to go CAG or The Company . We knew it was different for the National Level guys – they were under the microscope. We had 100% freedom of movement, 100% ability to make our own decisions on the tactical level. We could literally get away with murder.
An episode like this NEVER would have happened on my watch. Never in a million years.