CIA Moves Further Away From Espionage to Focus on Killing People

Agency Scrambles to Escalate Yemen Attacks

If you’re a long-time CIA employee there’s a good chance your job has changed significantly over the past several decades. An agency once obsessed with information gathering, the focus is more and more on racking up a bodycount.

The CIA, of course, always had its assassins, but with so much emphasis on drone strikes across the world a large chunk of their resources and manpower are now committed to lobbing missiles at people, or picking new people to lob missiles at.

The latter is in such demand that its become an actual job. “Targeters” make up 20 percent of agency analysts, and those willing to make a life of painting bullseyes on people from half a world away have a full-fledged career track now.

And while “suspects” in Yemen are already getting killed with drones, officials continue to hype the “escalation” the CIA is planning in the months to come. More strikes and more “targeters.”

But as these escalations continue, the CIA’s role as a “spy agency” is in doubt and instead it has become another military branch with even less oversight than the traditional ones. Indeed, the CIA mostly refuses to comment on its killings, except on those rare occasions that the missile actually hits somebody of some meaning.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.