The Human Factor by Ishmael Jones
Inside the CIA's Dysfunctional Intelligence Culture

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George W. Bush’s presidency was poisoned by a lack of human source intelligence on 9/11, Iraq and weapons of mass destruction. Carter was humiliated by the hostage crisis in Iran. The Bay of Pigs was President Kennedy’s greatest blunder. Vietnam ended the Johnson presidency and Korea ended Truman’s. In each case, American blood and treasure were spent; and in each case, a lack of reliable intelligence played a great role.
CIA officers are, needless to say, skilled and accomplished professionals. Unfortunately, the organization they inhabit is stifling, misguided, and careless. In the darkness of secrecy, with unlimited tax dollars and little or no accountability, the CIA bureaucracy has mutated into a leviathan that serves its own aims.

From 1989 to 2002, Ishmael Jones carried out continuous field assignments for the CIA, pursuing WMD targets in the Middle East and Europe and terrorist targets in the Iraq War. Appalled by the stifling layers of bureaucracy and unable to reform the agency from within, Jones resigned with an unblemished record and this astonishing story to tell.

The Human Factor is the story of a deep-cover agent facing both the day-to-day obstacles of survival and ludicrous challenges from his own agency’s impenetrable bureaucracy. If the CIA is to be fixed—and for our own security it must be—The Human Factor may constitute the first step in that direction.

About Ishmael Jones

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ISHMAEL JONES was born in the United States and raised in the Middle East, East Asia, and East Africa. He attended universities in the United States and served as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps. In the late 1980s he joined the Central Intelligence Agency, where he served as a deep-cover officer for eighteen years, focusing on human sources with access to intelligence on weapons of mass destruction and terrorism.
Published March 16, 2010 by Encounter Books. 393 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

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Publishers Weekly

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A number of authors have tackled this question lately, and the pseudonymous Jones brings what could be a unique vantage point: a career operative, Jones claims he was ""America's number one producer of intelligence reports on terrorism."" Unfortunately, the book is more memoir than expose, privil...

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ForeWord Reviews

The Central Intelligence Agency is a bloated, unresponsive bureaucracy that exists to serve itself and cannot fulfill its important intelligence-gathering role, which was the reason for its creation by President Harry Truman.

Jul 25 2008 | Read Full Review of The Human Factor: Inside the ...

Deep Politics Forum

Jones also discusses the tenure of CIA directors George Tenet ( Porter Goss (, the Valerie Plame ( and the post-9/11 intelligence “reforms” that aggravated the...

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