Ishmael Jones (born 15 December 1960) is the pseudonym used by a former CIA officer. He resigned from the CIA and became a leading proponent of American intelligence reform, with special emphasis on the improvement of human source intelligence collection (Humint). He is a former deep cover case officer (or clandestine officer) for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). He is the author of the book The Human Factor: Inside the CIA's Dysfunctional Intelligence Culture and many articles on intelligence reform. He believes that improvement of American intelligence capabilities is necessary to protect Americans and American allies.
Active CIA career
In the late 1980s he joined the Central Intelligence Agency where he served as a deep cover officer focusing on human sources with access to intelligence on weapons of mass destruction and terrorism. Except for his initial training and service in the United States, his career was spent entirely in the field, and his assignments included more than 15 years of continuous overseas service in numerous exotic countries and several rogue nations. He resigned from the CIA in good standing in order to work toward intelligence reform.
Work toward intelligence reform
After resigning in good standing, Jones began to work for intelligence reform by meeting with members of Congress and their staffs, members of the executive branch, journalists, political operatives and political contributors, and writing articles and a book.
While many policy and opinion makers agree that the CIA's human source programs do not function effectively, Jones believes the problems are not to be found with the quality of employees in the CIA, who are overwhelmingly talented and intelligent. Rather, the problem lies within the structure of the organization itself, which encourages a bureaucracy featuring excessive layers of non-producing administrators and managers.
Jones recommends dramatic reductions in the layers of managers and administrators and restructuring of the CIA's chain of command to clarify precisely who is in charge of any given operation.
The Human Factor
In 2008, Jones published The Human Factor: Inside the CIA's Dysfunctional Intelligence Culture describing his work against weapons of mass destruction proliferators and terrorists, and offering solutions to intelligence reform in an appendix. While the topic of intelligence collection and intelligence reform are deadly serious, Jones's writing when dealing with situational espionage and government bureaucracy contains humor. "If the subject were not so deadly serious, The Human Factor would be one of the funniest books of the year," wrote David Forsmark in FrontPage Magazine.
In 2011, US district court judge Gerald Lee ruled that Jones had violated the law by not properly going through CIA's pre-publication review process. Jones claimed the process was deliberately stalled by the CIA. The ruling marked the first time a judge has used summary judgment to rule in favor of the CIA, as plaintiff, in a censorship case.
- Bill Gertz (December 4, 2008). "Obama Warned on CIA". Washington Times. Retrieved 2010-01-06.
- Jones, Ishmael (2008). The Human Factor: Inside the CIA's Dysfunctional Intelligence Culture. Encounter Books. ISBN 978-1-59403-223-3.
- Michael Ledeen (September 12, 2008). "Bonded to Dysfunction: Saving Intelligence". National Review. Archived from the original on 2009-05-31. Retrieved 2010-01-06.
- Ishmael Jones (June 12, 2009). "Dismantle the CIA's Station Chief System". National Review. Archived from the original on July 7, 2012. Retrieved 2010-01-06.
- Ishmael Jones (February 26, 2009). "Waste and Fraud at the Central Intelligence Agency". Citizens Against Government Waste. Archived from the original on May 31, 2009. Retrieved 2010-01-06.
- The Human Factor: Inside the CIA's Dysfunctional Intelligence Culture, Encounter Books, July 2008, ISBN 978-1-59403-223-3.
- David Forsmark (December 12, 2008). "The Human Factor". FrontPage Magazine. Retrieved 2010-01-06.[dead link]
- "CIA wins suit against ex-officer", Josh Gerstein, June 2011, Politico.com
- "Obama justice bashes CIA whistleblower", The Washington Times, 14 October 2011