Commentary Magazine


Mole Hunt

Two weeks ago, I called attention to CIA worries over the possibility of an al-Qaeda mole inside the agency. We still do not know if al Qaeda has any agents inside the CIA or other components of the U.S. intelligence community. But what about Hizballah?

The stunning case of Nada Nadim Prouty, the Lebanese woman who entered the U.S. via a fraudulent marriage, ended up with sensitive jobs in both the FBI and CIA, and has just now pleaded guilty to a series of criminal charges, raises all sorts of questions about internal security at our premier domestic and foreign intelligence agencies. Slate‘s Bonnie Goldstein has the best short roundup of the case, complete with links to all the public documents available so far.

We still need to know much more about this affair. One thing is clear: the demand for fluent Arabic speakers evidently collided with security procedures, and the latter gave way. If there is one such case, there might be two or more. Both the FBI and the CIA have been chronically weak in the area of counterintelligence. Even as a Lebanese immigrant who came to the U.S. via a fraudulent marriage, entered their ranks, and was promoted to sensitive jobs, they seem to have focused their limited resources on the hunt for Israeli spies. The quest for a second Jonathan Pollard seems to be the genesis of the breathtakingly shaky AIPAC case.

The more dots Connecting the Dots connects about the CIA and the FBI, the more evident it becomes that these agencies remain unable to connect the dots.

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