CIA authors ‘secret key’ unlocks CIA redactions

by Doug Hagmann

“I was in the belly of the beast. I began to see the lengths to which the CIA will go to conceal unconstitutional operations, hide information from Congress and silence anyone inside who challenges it.” Those are the words of Kevin M. Shipp, a former category 1, highly decorated CIA agent who held positions as an agent on the protective detail of the director and deputy director of the CIA, a manager of ongoing operations, an internal Security Officer, a counterintelligence investigator tasked to ferret moles out of the CIA, a Counter Terrorism Center (CTC) officer, a protective operations team leader and a polygraph examiner.

While working to identify moles inside the agency in the wake of the 1994 Aldrich Ames spy scandal, Mr. Shipp uncovered a significant global vulnerability that if left uncorrected, allowed the personal identities of CIA agents working undercover to be disclosed to our enemies. Every day, every hour that this vulnerability was allowed to remain, the lives of countless undercover agents were in real jeopardy. “The more I looked into this, the worse it became.”

Upon concluding his lengthy investigation, he submitted an extremely detailed report of his findings to the top channels of the CIA. In fact, he submitted his explosive findings three times, only to learn that each time the report was “lost” or destroyed, with no record of it existing anywhere within the internal system. It was then he realized that something was terribly wrong. The third time he submitted his findings, he hand carried the report to the highest levels of the CIA. Yet, the hole remained unplugged and the lives of his fellow agents working undercover remained at risk.


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