This is a thoughtful/interesting article about Patrick Skinner, age 47, a former Coast Guardsman, Capitol Police officer, Air Marshal, CIA intelligence officer who returned home to Savanna, Georgia to become a police officer. It has been passed along by our friend and colleague, Greg Gwash.

The article is about Skinner’s life experiences, he is an immensely interesting fellow. Its also about recruiting and running agents in a high threat environment (Kandahar, Afghanistan), the impact of our counterterrorism operations and community policing. For me, it raises some interesting/important points. Do our counterterror operations create more terrorist that they neutralize and do our police procedures, the mindset of our police and the militarization of police departments really serve the public’s interests.

The article also add new details for me in a case I cover in one of my modules on the use of double agents in counterterror operations: the investigation and recruitment of a young doctor from Jordan named Humam Khalil al-Balawi. The entire case is covered in detail in Joby Warrick’s book “The Triple Agent” (which I do not have but have just ordered) The end of this story, which the article describes in some detail, is the death of al-Balawi by suicide vest and the deaths of seven CIA officers and contractors whom he was meeting, plus an Afghan driver.

The article make a lot of good points, is not a short read, but worth the effort. Thanks Greg for sending it along.

Best regards,

The Spy Who Came Home _ The New Yorker
The New Yorker: The Spy Who Came Home