Robert "Bob" Baer

(Excerpts from Wikipedia)

Robert Booker "Bob" Baer (born July 1, 1952) is an American author and a former CIA case officer who was primarily assigned to the Middle East.[1] He is currently TIME.com's intelligence columnist[1] and has contributed to Vanity Fair, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post.[2] Baer is a frequent commentator and author about issues related to international relations, espionage and U.S. foreign policy.

Baer has publicly acknowledged that he worked field assignments in Madras and New Delhi, India, Beirut, Lebanon, Dushanbe, Tajikistan, Morocco, and Salah al-Din in Iraqi Kurdistan during his twenty-one years with the CIA. During the mid-1990s, Baer was sent to Iraq with the mission of organizing opposition to Iraqi president Saddam Hussein but was recalled and investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for allegedly conspiring to assassinate the Iraqi leader.[3][4] While in Salah al-Din, Baer unsuccessfully urged the Clinton administration to back an internal Iraqi attempt to overthrow Hussein (organized by a group of Sunni military officers, the Iraqi National Congress' Ahmad Chalabi, and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan's Jalal Talabani) in March 1995 with covert CIA assistance. Baer quit the Agency in 1997 and received the CIA's Career Intelligence Medal on March 11, 1998.

Baer wrote the book See No Evil documenting his experiences while working for the Agency. The C.I. Desk: FBI and CIA Counterintelligence As Seen From My Cubicle, by Christopher Lynch (Dog Ear Publishing), describes parts of the contentious CIA pre-publication review process for Baer's first book. In a blurb for See No Evil Seymour Hersh said Baer "was considered perhaps the best on-the-ground field officer in the Middle East." In the book, Baer offers an analysis of the Middle East through the lens of his experiences as a CIA operative.