The head of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Counterterrorism Center (CTC) will step down from his post this summer, according to personnel familiar with the leadership of CTC. The news comes amid a tumultuous few days for the agency’s public profile.
In what must surely have been an annoying week, the agency has been featured prominently, and negatively, in the media. First, unspecified agency personnel left inert explosives on a school bus following a training exercise in northern Virginia. Despite the fact that the explosives were inert, and thus harmless, there is no doubt that heads were figuratively exploding across the region when the inert charges were found. Someone at the CIA is surely a tad red-faced over that one.
Next, former CIA case officer Doug Laux arrived on the media scene, making the rounds to talk about his new memoir, “Left of Boom.” Laux, who claimed to “love” working at the CIA, seems nevertheless genuinely disenchanted with his time at the agency. He also makes certain points about CIA activities in Afghanistan—for example, that the agency too often played it safe in its operations—that are clearly causing consternation within the CIA.
One need only read a CIA spokesperson’s response to Laux’s media tour to sample a taste of the annoyance seeping out from Langley: