Nada Bakos, a former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) analyst on the team charged with analyzing the relationship between Iraq-AQ-9/11. During the war, Ms. Bakos became the Chief Targeting officer following Zarqawi. After 20 years in the intelligence field and corporate world, Ms. Bakos is currently focused on national security issues and regional stability around the world. As an analyst at the CIA, Nada wrote and contributed to key intelligence reports from the front lines in Iraq, reports delivered to the White House, Congressional leaders and Department of Defense.

I’m guessing we know some of the same people with regards to your work with Zarqawi. Welcome Nada, it’s great to have you.

-Brandon, Editor-in-Chief


The Central Intelligence Agency is, by the very nature of its mission, an opaque and intentionally misunderstood organization. To an outsider, of which I am now one, the Agency’s silence is both perplexing and infuriating.

As a former officer, I can tell you that its by design, and CIA employees labor silently, and often thanklessly, largely on behalf of the President of the United States and his senior staff. As a result of it, few will ever know the critical role that women, especially, have played in America’s CIA-led response to the attacks in 2001.

There are 87 stars on the Memorial Wall at CIA headquarters, each representing an officer who has fallen in the line of duty. To see the Memorial Wall is a sobering event; to see a new star being carved into the Wall is both moving and painful. Some of these stars represent women who have sacrificed their life for a mission equally alongside men doing the same jobs.

My career began as an analyst in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of 11 September and later transitioned to the National Clandestine Service, where the spies work. As an analyst, I had the rare opportunity to work with some unbelievably smart and perceptive people, men and women who can discern pertinent pieces of information in volumes of data and make sense of them in a clear and concise manner, working at speeds and under pressures that few others likely experience.