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Ousted CIA Heads New Gig

Aaron Stipkovich
Publisher

Suspended in 2014 as head of Iran ops for creating "an abusive and hostile work environmet



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Removed from CIAs Iran bureau, now running drone program

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Removed from CIAs Iran bureau, now running drone program

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[Comments] A top manager at the Central Intelligence Agency who had been removed from his position for abusive behavior has been relocated to a senior position in the drone strike program, the Associated Press reports.

Jonathan Bank, 47, was suspended in 2014 from his position as the head of Iran operations for creating "an abusive and hostile work environment," the Los Angeles Times reported last March. According to agency officials who wished to remain anonymous, several employees in the division had requested transfers to escape it.

"Iran is one of our most important targets, and the place was not functioning," a former CIA official told the Times.

Removing someone as high up in the ranks as Bank was almost unprecedented at the time, but reflected concerns brought to light in an internal CIA survey, obtained by the Times, that poor managers who faced no consequences were a main reason people chose to leave the Agency.

See: CIA Iran Chief Suspended: Jonathan Bank suspended over workplace issues
But Bank is back now, as the deputy chief for counterintelligence at the Counter Terrorism Center (CTC) which directs operations against groups like Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State. He had been banned from a CIA management position for a year, during which time he was given a liaison position at the Pentagon.

In a bureaucratic shuffle by CIA Director John Brennan the CTC got a new leadership structure and the old head -- Michael D'Andrea -- was transferred.

Technically, Bank is an undercover agent, but his name became public after an incident in 2010 while he was the station chief in Pakistan. He was named publicly in a $500 million lawsuit over US drone strikes and had to be evacuated.

Bank had also worked at stations in the Balkans, Moscow and Baghdad, and as an assistant to James Pavitt head of the Directorate of Operations from 1999-2004.


Aaron Stipkovich

Aaron Stipkovich, Publisher: With an education in information, technology, business and related disciplines, Aaron entered business on radio. Beginning as a disc jockey in Southern California, a nationally syndicated talk show host position soon followed. During the transition from regional to national, he launched a national print magazine in several countries, and was distributed by Time Inc. Having a handful of humble business media entities, a decade or so later he has divested himself from most of his companies... (more...)