So why don't other countries have a problem finding credible covers for their intelligence employees? Because they don't collect information this way -- no one does. And it's hard to believe that America will. The U.S. already has assets who are not agency employees operating inside the places where intelligence and information is needed. Why is it, for example, that every Chinese or Russian student at a university overseas can feed information to their country's intelligence service without being an actual agency employee? You don't need any special knowledge or training to simply pass off intelligence.
Nor is there any evidence that the inflation of the spook ranks will mean a decrease in the use of private contractors for black ops or other purposes. In fact, the opposite is true. In July, the DIA awarded a five-year contract worth up to $5.6 billion to multiple firms for worldwide intelligence work.
Here's why this whole thing reeks of cover-for-action, or pretexting: The collection of information isn't a problem in the intelligence community, although the inability to understand collected information and act on it often has been. Political subversion, however, which can constitute up to 90 percent of intelligence activity (as with the KGB during the Soviet era), requires ever-increasing manpower and oversight.
Governments don't just overthrow themselves, as we've seen most recently in Syria. Often, behind every local group trying to oust an administration or a despot lurks an intelligence agency or tools thereof. Why is it, for example, that former Major General Paul E. Vallely of the U.S. Army has openly lobbied Western interests on behalf of Iran's Marxist-Islamist Mujahadeen-e-Khalq (MEK)? Still considered a terrorist organization by Canada, the MEK was bombed by U.S and coalition forces in 2003 because of its support of Saddam Hussein, but it has been lobbied off the terrorist list in America and Europe. Why so many discreet visits to the MEK's enclave in Paris if it isn't seen as a useful tool in Iranian regime change?
We can't have a retired major general doing all the work, can we? It appears that the cavalry may be coming -- ready to shake and stir.