Top Spy: Small Hacks Are Bigger Threat Than ‘Cyber Armageddon’

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Media Outlet: The Daily Beast

On January 5, 2010, the chief of the CIA’s secretive paramilitary operations division accused one of the agency’s elite undercover operatives of financial shenanigans and getting too friendly with a female colleague. The operative, who uses the alias Mack L. Charles, said the allegations are not only false but part of a larger smear campaign to tarnish his stellar CIA career, run him out of the agency, and keep him from marrying the woman he loves. And now he’s suing the CIA, demanding a jaw-dropping $25 million in damages, and accusing one of his bosses of launching a conspiracy against him, all while she abused alcohol and helped run a failed multibillion-dollar intelligence program rife with fraud, waste, and abuse. It’s a legal fight that threatens to expose some of agency’s dirty laundry, involving tales of internal rivalries and bureaucratic backstabbing rarely seen in public.


Shane Harris is a fellow with the International Security program at New America and a member of its Future of War team. He is a senior correspondent at The Daily Beast, and the author of @War: The Rise of the Military-Internet Complex.