7,119. 9/15/2007

“Although the officials who did not want to see the truth about Iraq were partially responsible for our prewar blindness, we also suffered from a shortfall of hands-on U.S. intelligence resources in Iraq. We have too few individuals within our intelligence operations who speak languages, understand cultures, and are able to contextualize what we are seeing and hearing. On its sixtieth anniversary in [September] 2007, the CIA released information indicating that less than 4 percent of its current case officers could speak with proficiency any of the languages of the Middle East and Central Asia. Only 8 percent of the new hires have the ethnic background and language skills demanded by counterterrorism work.” [The 15th of the month used for date sorting purposes only.]

 – Bob Graham with Jeff Nussbaum, Intelligence Matters, Page xvii

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