By Al Kamen
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, January 13, 2011; 9:07 PM
ALoop Fan alerted us to a strange job-recruitment ad now airing on WTOP radio here and on stations in other cities. Seems the CIA is looking for more spies, talking about how "no one will ever know what you do."
The agency's Web site has some generic video ads recruiting Iranian Americans, Arab Americans and other ethnic groups. All very cheery and peppy.
We asked our colleague Jeff Stein, who writes the popular SpyTalk blog, if he could run down this covert-specific ad. An agency spokesman confirmed there is such an ad, saying, "It makes sense for any organization, including the CIA, to make known its job opportunities, especially when we're focused on growing the diversity and foreign-language capabilities of our workforce."
It goes like this:
A phone rings twice. It stops.
"Understood," a man says, and then he hangs up.
"My working hours can change instantly," the man continues. "The mission is a constant, but every day is different."
Cue the rising violins.
"What I do is important," he says, "yet no one will ever know. But an entire nation will be grateful."
Dramatic pause. Cue the cellos and timpanis, then silence.
"Don't just watch the news," he says. "Live it, 24-7."
A woman comes on to widen the pitch:
"Be a part of history in the making. Become a National Clandestine Service officer, in a Washington, D.C.-area career at the Central Intelligence Agency." (Surely there are overseas options.)
"This is no ordinary assignment," the woman continues. "You can make a difference for the nation." History tells us sometimes a positive difference, sometimes not so much.
Then the small print: "You must have U.S. citizenship and the ability to successfully complete medical examinations and security procedures, including a polygraph interview. For additional information, and to apply, visit CIA.gov.
"That's CIA.gov," it repeats, in case your memory's not so good, or you write slowly. "The work of a nation. The center of intelligence. An equal -opportunity employer."
Cut.More staplers needed
As the partially new team at the White House sorts out the starting lineup, office space seems to be at a premium. We are told that David Lane - whom the new chief of staff, Bill Daley, is bringing in - is going to have more clout than the traditional chief of staff to the chief of staff (COSCOS).
Lane's berth may be more like that of a counselor or a deputy chief of staff, which would mean he should get an office, not just a desk out in the Daley reception area. But if there are going to be two - or even more - deputy chiefs, there may not be enough offices in that area to go around. Unless they kick out Joe Biden, which would be unkind - or some newly minted deputies keep their old offices.
Or, there's the Radd Maneuver, named for Clinton administration COSCOS Victoria Radd, who proposed putting up walls in the reception area in 1997 so she could have an office, complete with south-facing window.
Daley's staff meetings, meanwhile, are said to be tightly run - no meandering around the room with everyone giving a little spiel. Daley calls on a few folks and it's over.A wall-decor update
The Hillary Clinton Plaque - the one that implores "all who pass through these portals" to remember the then-first lady's "invaluable contribution to worldwide development" - is back at the Agency for International Development.
Workers reinstalled the 800-pound bronze homage to Clinton over the holidays. It was originally bolted in 1999 to the agency's lobby wall in the Ronald Reagan International Trade Center at a cost of more than $50,000.
The George W. Bush team first covered up the plaque, six feet wide by about nine feet tall, and then, in mid-2005, ripped it off the wall and sent it to a government warehouse, replacing it with a memorial to AID employees killed in the line of duty. These changes cost more than $100,000.
After the election, AID officials made plans to bring it back. But Clinton said no public money was to be used and the $30,000 or so needed to remount the plaque had to be raised from private donations. It's not in a prominent spot - there's just so much wall space in the lobby, after all - but there it is, tucked over your left shoulder as you walk in.
And there it will stay - for at least another two years.Oh, that Julie Myers . . .
Speaking of odd plaques, there's one at Immigration and Customs Enforcement headquarters that reads "Julie Myers Conference Room." Myers, former head of the agency as an assistant secretary in the Department of Homeland Security, is probably best known for that embarrassing incident involving a Halloween-party contest at which the award for best costume was given to a staffer in dark makeup and prison garb. Then the photos mysteriously disappeared for a time.
Her plaque is decidedly more modest than Clinton's - about seven inches tall by 20 inches long. It cost only $400 in office funds and went up shortly after she left. Career employees, doubtless grateful for her successful efforts to ensure they were included in the agency's move to much-improved new offices near the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, put up the plaque after she left. (Her predecessor at ICE had a similar plaque in the old building.)
Obama folks say they're too busy setting records for "overall removals of illegal aliens, half of which were convicted criminals" to bother removing the plaque.Another job opening
David Kris, the highly regarded assistant attorney general for national security for the past two years, is going private-sector. Kris, who worked in the criminal division and as associate deputy attorney general from 1992 to 2003, is leaving in March to become general counsel of a company named Intellectual Ventures out in Washington state.
Contenders to replace him include Lisa Monaco, the current principal associate deputy attorney general (or PADAG); Matt Olsen, the current general counsel for the National Security Agency; and Preet Bharara, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York.