How to spot a covert operation
A spy who used a computer-assisted “sophisticated deception” program to plant false information on the web to gain access to a secret government database was caught with a “sudden spike” of information in April 2016, according to a former CIA officer.
In an interview with Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren, retired Gen. William McRaven told Van Suster about his own experience, after working in a covert operations unit for the CIA.
McRaven, who has since retired, told Van Ouren that his former CIA unit, the “Stingray” team, was responsible for gathering and storing information about people who had access to the NSA’s data.
The NSA and the FBI both confirmed that McRaven was the former unit’s commander.
The intelligence gathering was a part of the operation codenamed “The Snitch” to catch spies.
The Snitch team collected information about a target from online conversations and then used a “computer-assisted deception” (CAD) system to change a target’s information to make it appear to be authentic.
McRay said the team would gather the target’s identity from social media postings and emails, then create a fake profile to gain a target-identification record.
When the operation was in its infancy, McRaven said, it was used only on an isolated number of people.
“That is, it’s not being used on the majority of people that we are trying to catch,” McRaven recalled.
“We’re not using it to find people in the broader population, but the people that are at the top of the food chain, who are most likely to have access to this kind of information.”
McRaven said the operation had a relatively low success rate, but that in hindsight, “it’s hard to see how this operation could have failed.”
The NSA did not respond to Fox News questions about McRaven’s account of the sting.
A former U.S. intelligence official who served in the same covert operations branch said McRaven did not get his job back.
The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly, said McReynolds superiors made him sign an agreement that prohibited him from talking about the operation publicly.
“I don’t know what happened to him, but I don’t think he’s allowed to talk about it,” the former official said.
“It was clear from his own words and actions that he was very reluctant to do the job he was hired to do.”
McReynonds former CIA superiors made clear that McReys career was on the line if he did not cooperate with an investigation into the operation.
In an internal memo, former chief of staff Richard Helms said that Mc Reynolds “had to be brought to heel” if he was to be punished for the operation, according for Fox News.
“It was apparent that he had no interest in cooperating and was willing to go to extreme lengths to avoid being found out,” Helms wrote.
In a 2014 report, the inspector general for the Intelligence Community, an agency of the federal government that oversees the CIA, found that McRays “was not sufficiently motivated to implement the mission in the time available and that he did more harm than good to the nation’s national security by continuing to fail to implement and execute the mission.”
McRays superiors at the time also complained that Mcreynolds was “unresponsive and uncooperative,” and that “his refusal to cooperate with the Inspector General’s review led to a series of deficiencies.”
The report found that the CIA’s failure to keep McRaeys in line “resulted in a severe, negative impact on the agency’s ability to carry out its mission.”
After the inspector General’s report, McRey’s supervisors gave him an opportunity to improve his performance.
He signed an agreement allowing him to discuss his role in the operation with the public and the inspector-general.
But McRaven later told the House Intelligence Committee that he and his team had no plans to tell the public about the Snitch operation.
McRaven’s superiors also questioned whether the agency had done enough to secure the information they gathered.
The former CIA official said McRails supervisors made it clear to him that the operation could be easily reversed if he made mistakes.
“They said that you’re not going to be fired, and I said, ‘No, I’m not,'” McRaven explained.
“And they said, well, then you’re going to have to start over.'”
The former official also said Mc Ravens supervisors said that they did not want him to leave the agency to be a public figure again.
“If they’re telling you you’re no longer a CIA officer, then it’s going to come back to haunt you,” the official said, adding that it was clear that he would not be allowed to return to the CIA for a job.
“And that’s when they went to his bosses, and they told them that he’d be fired