CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY

1997

Agent "Scrub"

 

Materials arranged chronologically.

Smith, R. Jeffrey. "CIA Drops Over 1,000 Informants." Washington Post, 2 Mar. 1997, A1, A19. "Scrubbing Up at the CIA: More Than a Thousand Secret Informants Have Been Pared from the Agency's Worldwide Payroll." Washington Post National Weekly Edition, 10 Mar. 1997, 34.

The numbers "scrubbed" included more than 100 informants "who, the agency's officers concluded, were implicated in major crimes abroad...-- and who also were judged to have provided inadequate intelligence to remain on the payroll." The total number let go were nearly one-third of the informants employed by the CIA at the time.

Weiner, Tim. "C.I.A. Breaks Links to Agents Abroad." New York Times, 3 Mar. 1997, A1, A12 (N).

The CIA has "scrubbed" its stable of foreign agents "of people whose crimes outweighed their usefulness" and of those whose information was not of sufficient quality to justify retaining them after the Cold War. The number of agents let go may be as high as 1,000, which is "somewhere between one-quarter and one-third of all the agents on the C.I.A.'s payroll in 1995." See also the New York Times editorial, "The C.I.A. Cleanses Itself," 4 Mar. 1997, A14.

Washington Post. "[Editorial:] The Mother Teresa Dodge." Washington Post National Weekly Edition, 17 Mar. 1997, 24.

Concerns CIA's agent "scrub": "The duty of intelligence recruiters is not to choose between virtuous informants and vicious ones.... The obligation is to distinguish among informants with varying elements of knowledge, reliability and national-interest suitability -- in short, to apply judgment."

Return to CIA 1997 Table of Contents