Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Killing C.I.A. Informants, China Crippled U.S. Spying Operations

The Chinese government systematically dismantled CIA spying operations in the country starting in 2010, killing or imprisoning more than a dozen sources over two years and crippling intelligence gathering there for years afterward.  Current and former American officials described the intelligence breach as one of the worst in decades.  It set off a scramble in Washington's intelligence and law enforcement agencies to contain the fallout, but investigators were bitterly divided over the cause.

Some were convinced that a mole within the CIA had betrayed the United States.  Others believed that the Chinese had hacked the covert system the CIA used to communicate with its foreign sources.  Years later, that debate remains unresolved.  But there was no disagreement about the damage.  From the final weeks of 2010 through the end of 2012, according to former American officials, the Chinese killed at least a dozen of the CIA's sources.

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