Ishmael Jones (born 15 December 1961) 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.
Early years[edit | edit source]
Jones was born in the United States and raised in the Middle East, East Asia, and East Africa. He attended universities in the US and served as an officer in the US Marine Corps.
Active CIA career[edit | edit source]
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[edit | edit source]
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.
He also recommends the introduction of a whistleblower system in which any CIA employee with information on fraud can contact a cleared FBI agent.
The Human Factor[edit | edit source]
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 bureauracy contains humor. "If the subject were not so deadly serious, The Human Factor would be one of the funniest books of the year." 
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 defense 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.
References[edit | edit source]
- Bill Gertz (December 4, 2008). "Obama Warned on CIA". Washington Times. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2008/dec/04/inside-the-ring-70978545/. 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. http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=YjIxMTdiNDU4MDI0N2VlMWQ5M2E1MDgzMTM4MDc2MjI=. Retrieved 2010-01-06.
- Ishmael Jones (June 12, 2009). "Dismantle the CIA’s Station Chief System". National Review. http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=YmY4ODcwZTk2MjkyNDkyOGUxNTNhNjZlYjE4NDc5MzU=. Retrieved 2010-01-06.
- Ishmael Jones (February 26, 2009). "Waste and Fraud at the Central Intelligence Agency". Citizens Against Government Waste. http://www.cagw.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=11898&security=1&news_iv_ctrl=1165. Retrieved 2010-01-06. [dead link]
- 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. http://126.96.36.199/readArticle.aspx?ARTID=33386. Retrieved 2010-01-06. [dead link]
- CIA wins suit against ex-officer, Josh Gerstein, 2011 June, politico
- , The Washington Times, October 2011
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Articles by Ishmael Jones
- Ishmael Jones' Intelligence Reform site
- "Ishmael Jones: On the CIA Lawsuit" by Ishmael Jones, Powerline, October 20, 2010.
- "Bureaucracy Kills" by Michael Ross and Ishmael Jones, National Post, January 11, 2010.
- "Intelligence Reform is the President's Urgent Challenge" by Ishmael Jones, Washington Times, January 7, 2010.
- "Flight 253" by Ishmael Jones, National Review, December 30, 2009.
- "Abu Omar rendition" by Ishmael Jones, National Review, November 5, 2009.
- "Reforming the CIA (High Value Interrogation Group)" by Ishmael Jones, National Review, August 25, 2009.
- "Where are the Responsible Individuals" by Ishmael Jones, National Review, June 15, 2009.
- "Dismantle the CIA’s Station Chief System" by Ishmael Jones, National Review, June 12, 2009.
- "CIA Dysfunction Bite Pelosi" by Ishmael Jones, National Review, May 18, 2009.
- "Human Rights and Wrongs" by Ishmael Jones, National Review, May 13, 2009.
- "Waste and Fraud at the Central Intelligence Agency" by Ishmael Jones, Citizens Against Government Waste, February 26, 2009.
- "What the CIA’s Censors Can Teach Us About Plans to Muzzle Talk Radio" by Ishmael Jones, The American Thinker, January 29, 2009.
- "Jones: Where Loyalty is Vital" by Ishmael Jones, The Washington Times, January 8, 2009.
- "President-Elect Obama’s First CIA Briefing” by Ishmael Jones, The American Thinker, November 7, 2008.
- "The CIA: Billions of Dollars, No Accountability” by Ishmael Jones, WorldNetDaily, October 1, 2008.
- "Interview with an ex-spy" by Greg Levey, The New Yorker, October 26, 2010.
- "Interview - Ishmael Jones" by Takashi Arimoto, Sankei Shimbun, February 11, 2009.
- "Interview - Ishmael Jones” by Editors, Foreword Magazine, 2008.
- "Interview with Ishmael Jones" by DRZZ editors, DRZZ, January 13, 2009.
Articles about Ishmael Jones
- "Memoirs, mistakes converge as CIA promises reform" by Ken Dilanian, Los Angeles Times, October 30, 2010.
- "The Future of Capitalism – The Human Factor" by Ira Stoll, The Future of Capitalism, October 19, 2010.
- "CIA sues ex-Agent" by Jeff Stein, Washington Post, October 19, 2010.
- "CIA sues ex-agent for book’s breach of ‘secrecy’" by Bill Gertz, Washington Times, October 18, 2010.
- Drudgereport, 19 October 2010.
- "Unlearning the CIA" by Christopher Ketchum, CounterPunch, October 23, 2009.
- "Attack on CIA Base" by Marc Ambinder, The Atlantic, December 30, 2009.
- "Gutting the CIA" by Jack Kelly, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, August 30, 2009.
- "Reforming the CIA" by Marc Ambinder, The Atlantic, February 5, 2009.
- "Panetta a Brave Choice, Says Former CIA Agent" by Kathryn Jean Lopez, National Review, January 6, 2009.
- "Panetta Faces Steep Challenges at CIA" by Ken Timmerman, Newsmax, January 5, 2009.
- "Obama Warned on CIA” by Bill Gertz, Washington Times, December 4, 2008.
- "The Human Factor” by Karl Helicher, Foreword Magazine, 2008.
- "Bonded to Dysfunction” by Michael Ledeen, National Review, September 12, 2008.
- "Tripping Over CIA’s Hurdles" by John Weisman, The Washington Times, September 7, 2008.
- "No Intelligence: How Good is the Information Provided by the CIA on Iran?” by Michael Ross, Maclean’s, August 6, 2008.
- "CIA Veteran Rips Agency, Tests Limits of Right to Publish Without Permission” by Jeff Stein, Congressional Quarterly, August 2, 2008.