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December 13, 2011

The no nonsense guide to the CIA in Lebanon!

December 13, 2011

December 13, 2011


The CIA in Lebanon has been receiving serious blows by Hezbollah for months now. The blows started by Hezbollah's public disclosure of arresting CIA agents within the organisation. The U.S. acknowledged in media reports that its networks in Lebanon have been seriously crippled by the Lebanese Hezbollah who managed to infiltrate the network through double agents. On Friday night, Hezbollah published a full account of the CIA activity in Lebanon, along with the names of four agents. Below are the details of the CIA activity in Lebanon, as published by almanar TV report:

The head of the CIA Beirut station is Daniel Patrick Mcfeely (born, 29-06-1966); his predecessor is Louis Kahi (mission ended in 2009). The station is based in an independent building inside the U.S. embassy compound in Awkar, and the CIA officer team is composed of ten personnel, both sexes, all of which enjoy a diplomat status (protected by international law). Hezbollah also names three officers:

1. Rosendo Cedano (Latino name. The CIA prefers Latinos as they have the Middle Eastern look and could blend in easily).
2. Chuck Lisenbee. (This guy is from Asheville, North Carolina. He graduated from Roberson High School, famous for graduating the U.S. admiral Robert Cox, in addition to other athletes and basketball players. He has a Facebook profile, on which he like the Lebanese Restaurant Munir in Brumana, Lebanon, and where he changed his profile picture five times recently).
3. Sarah Getter. (I found a profile on Facebook and my space, but I think it is for someone else with the same name)

All of these officers serve for a term of three years in Beirut; the long term officers who spend long fixed tenures are ten. But other officers spend lesser time, and are dispatched in "missions", sometimes for weeks or months.
The two CIA station heads named by Hezbollah are:

1. Louis Kahi (-2009). Louis has a public shipment order online, from an address in Baltimore to the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, through Napoli port.
2. Daniel Patrick McFeely (2009 onwards). This officer's name is very common on the Internet, there were about three people with public profiles with that name (one of them is an ex U.S. military officer and a contractor, might be him).
Here is a photo of Dan McFeely (centre), his wife and George Boustani.

(McFeely's photo, with his wife Andrea and George Bustani, was taken from the Daily Star event's archive of an American Ambassador event for 250 Alumni of US exchange programs).

(Photo: CIA officers meeting at a public restaurant, on the phone)
The CIA Lebanese network: the Local agents

The CIA ten officers established throughout the past decades a very wide network of local agents whose numbers reached one thousand (a large number in a country whose populations stands at 4 million). The network included the different strata of society, like Government officials, members of the security services and the army, members of political parties, individuals working in the health sector, NGOs, politicians, journalists, Banking sector employees, academics, public personalities ...etc. They also recruited agents in Hezbollah and other movements resisting Israeli occupation.

Recruitment Process

After recruiting an agent, the CIA officers invite him to the U.S. embassy's compound in Awkar where they escort him to the agency's building. At the building, or "stations, as the CIA calls it, the agent goes through extensive debriefing during which they evaluate his/her potential. They prepare a detailed file, and then they look at the agent's capabilities and information capacity or potential. This evaluation relies on his social network and acquaintances, as well as the extent of his knowledge of his professional and residential environment. Following this debriefing and evaluation, they start "handling" the agent outside the embassy according to a schedule of meetings with the handler. The frequency of these meetings, weekly or biweekly or monthly, depends on the agent's "productivity" and information (already evaluated during the initial phase).
The meetings between CIA officers and their agents are held in public places, usually American chains like Starbucks, McDonald's and Pizza Hut. Sometimes, the meeting takes place in the CIA handlers U.S. embassy car. The officers drives around public places until the meeting is over. (I have seen U.S. embassy cars in Beirut, the windows are black screens, you cannot see whose inside. The only security issue lie in the pick up and drop out stops).



Corruption

During interrogation with The CIA's local agent, it turned out that their handlers asked them to sign receipts of payments much more than they've received. They were also routinely asked to sign blank payment receipts, which gives the CIA officer the option of adding a number of his choice. It seems they made an awful lot of money.

The type of information

What kind of information was the CIA looking for? Every piece of information on Hezbollah they could their hands on. The names of members, their phone numbers, any news on their financial problems, their addresses, the schools which their children attend, the names of Hezbollah officials in villages and towns, and the weapons that they carry around. The CIA also collected information on rocket storage facilities, and also on known cadres who are chased by the Israelis for assassination.

The CIA as a consultancy for Israel

The most important bit of the disclosure is the fact that the CIA was Israel's consultancy in Lebanon. They were collecting information on behalf of the Israelis. During the July 2006 bloody Israeli war on Lebanon, the CIA used the U.S. embassy and its Lebanon network to monitor Hezbollah's movements. They were giving the Israelis all the on-the-ground information available to the CIA. Some of this information led to targeting civilian buildings and other installations by Israeli aircraft. The CIA also requested detailed information on all Hezbollah's institutions including their health, social and financial establishments.
The CIA has also linked some of its sources/agents to the Israel's Mossad agency to fully serve Israel's security agenda.
(The CIA headquarters in Langley)

(Please read the following two episodes of our series on the CIA in Lebanon, Part II, Part III, Part IV)

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