The Humanity of Espionage

The Intelligence Studies Program of The Catholic University of America and the Institute for Human Ecology cosponsored a symposium entitled “The Humanity of Espionage.”

Espionage is the collection of national security intelligence through human means. One person, the spy–typically a foreign national with access to information–passes it to another person, called a handler or case officer. At the heart of this activity is the relationship between the spy and his handler. This panel of former CIA case officers explore the nature of that relationship through exploration of a variety of questions:

  • What does it mean to persuade another human being to break the trust he has with his own country and work for the benefit of the United States?
  • What obligations does the U.S. government have in such situations?
  • What is the personal connection between spy and case officer–is it totally cynical, or is there an authentic relationship?
  • How do we mitigate the risk to human dignity in the conduct of this intelligence activity?

Join moderator Nicholas Dujmovic (assistant professor and director of the University’s Intelligence Studies and 26-year veteran of CIA, having served as an analyst, manager, editor of the President’s Daily Brief, and CIA staff historian) and the following panelists for a great discussion:

John Bennett is a former Director of the National Clandestine Service at the Central Intelligence Agency. He retired from CIA in 2013 after 33 years as an operations officer and manager. Mr. Bennett served 18 years overseas, mostly in Africa, including four tours as a Chief of Station. He engaged in Cold War programs directed against the Soviets in Africa and managed counter-terrorism operations in East Africa and Southwest Asia. Mr. Bennett has a Bachelors Degree from Harvard and a Masters Degree from Georgetown University. Prior to joining CIA he served for five years as an infantry officer in the United States Marine Corps.

Juan Cruz is a former career CIA operations and case officer. He served as chief of station in four different overseas locations and later was in charge of the Agency’s Latin America division. He has experience in counterinsurgency, counterproliferation, covert action, and covert influence operations. Mr. Cruz graduated from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and has a master’s degree from Johns Hopkins. He has done graduate work at the Pontificia Universidade Catolica of Rio de Janeiro. Most recently he served on the National Security Council as Special Adviser to the President and Senior Director for the Western Hemisphere. He is originally from Puerto Rico and speaks Spanish and Portuguese.

Gil Kindelan is a retired case officer with 34 years of government service in the US Army and the CIA. He served overseas for 17 years of his career in Asia, Eastern Europe during the Cold War, Western Europe and the Middle East as a case officer, deputy chief of station and chief of station. At CIA Headquarters, he served at various levels of management including chef of staff in the Counterterrorism Center. Since retiring he works part-time as a consultant. He has a masters degree in journalism and has worked as broadcast newsman and director of an educational TV news program.

Scotty Skotzko served 40 years as a CIA operations officer with eight overseas postings in the Balkans, South Asia and Africa, senior management positions in several Headquarters components, and deployments in support of U.S. military operations in Somalia, Kosovo, Iraq, Qatar and Afghanistan. His experience includes interagency intelligence collaboration, cooperation with foreign governments, and researching lessons-learned case studies of security issues. He is a graduate of Franklin and Marshall College and the Columbia University School of International Affairs.