CIA Agents Who Bungle Missions Get Promoted
Some involved in high-profile mistakes now in key positions
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 9, 2011 3:42 PM CST
A March 30, 2010, file photo of Khaled el-Masri, who was wrongly detained by the CIA.   (AP Photo/dapd, Felix Kaestle, File)

(Newser) – An AP investigation finds that CIA officers involved in high-profile gaffes—including the 5-month detention and interrogation of the wrong man and the freezing to death of another detainee—keep getting promoted into senior positions. The upshot is that as the Obama administration tries to distance itself from the agency's worst abuses, some of the very people responsible are still making key decisions.

The investigation sheds light on "a disciplinary system that takes years to make decisions, hands down reprimands inconsistently and is viewed inside the agency as prone to favoritism and manipulation," write the AP's Adam Goldman and Matt Apuzzo. In another example, a CIA interrogator who staged a mock execution, a practice against Justice Department rules, received only a reprimand. Ditto for the officer in charge when a shackled and hooded detainee died on his watch, even though it was ruled a homicide. Click to read the full investigation.