CIA Spooks Expand Into Financial Services Work

The CIA already has its hands full with counterterrorism and at least two wars… so it seems like the perfect time to enter just one more quagmire. As if the ethics of the CIA haven’t been questioned quite enough of late, a recently-revealed policy allows operatives to work in the corporate world — including the moral bedrock of our nation that is the financial services sector — as consultants in skills such as “deception detection.”

One popular spook employer: Boston-based Business Intelligence Advisors or, as they are also known, the BIA. One satisfied customer? None other than Goldman Sachs.

According to Politico:

“… sources familiar with the CIA’s moonlighting policy defend it as a vital tool to prevent brain-drain at Langley, which has seen an exodus of highly trained, badly needed intelligence officers to the private sector, where they can easily double or even triple their government salaries. The policy gives agents a chance to earn more while still staying on the government payroll.

“A government official familiar with the policy insists it doesn’t impede the CIA’s work on critical national security investigations. This official said CIA officers who want to participate in it must first submit a detailed explanation of the type of work involved and get permission from higher-ups within the agency.”

Well that makes us feel a whole lot better. As long as completely opaque top secret documents stuffed with classified material indicate that the espionage-like corporate work is A-OK, we can all sleep soundly. The CIA has a still-recently sullied reputation for ambiguously interpreting international laws when operatives simply stick to their day jobs. It’s difficult to imagine the liberties they could be willing to take when, in the evening, they really let their hair down.

Poltico has the full hard-to-swallow details in its coverage of how CIA agents are moonlighting in the corporate world.