A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The CIA's Big Burn in Lebanon

We learned in recent months that the CIA had seen some of its local covert operatives rounded up in Lebanon following an apparent security breach caused by Hizbullah infiltration; las Friday Hizbullah's Al-Manar TV named some names, identifying at least 10 CIA agents oerating under diplomatic cover at the US Embassy. For the Al-Manar reports, see here; for secondary accounts, here and here and here.

One can assume that the Lebanese nationals whose cooperation was exposed are in deep trouble; the Americans under diplomatic cover whose cover was blown are professionally hampered. We may never know all the details, but it's certainly a setback. Even ads Iran is disassembling our stealthy remotely piloted vehicle, Hizbullah has disassembled CIA operations in Lebanon and had at least some of its tradecraft revealed.

I see nothng to be gained by restating the information already leaked; it's out there openly and there's little to add; those named are already gone. But in the shadowy world where such stuff takes place, the US has clearly suffered another setback..

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