February 1st, 2010
05:00 PM ET

Should CIA operatives be allowed to moonlight for private companies?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Turns out some CIA operatives are doing double duty - by working for private companies on the side. This while the country is involved in two ongoing wars in the Middle east and continues to face threats to national security at home.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/02/01/art.cia.jpg caption="CIA Headquarters in Langley, Virginia"]

It's no wonder they didn't have the time to connect the dots ahead of the botched Christmas Day bombing.

Politico reports that in some cases the CIA moonlighting policy has allowed hedge funds and financial firms to hire active-duty CIA officers to do something called "deception detection"... Teaching companies to figure out when executives my be lying based on their behavior and what they say.

Defenders of the policy say it's a key way to prevent "brain-drain"... in the past, there has been an exodus of highly trained intelligence officers to the private sector - where they make lots more money. This way they can earn more on the side while still working for the government.

One official insists the policy doesn't interfere with the CIA's work on critical national security investigations... the officers who want to moonlight must submit a detailed explanation of what they'll be doing and get permission from their bosses.

But there are a lot of unanswered questions here... including how many officers do this, how long it's been going on and what types of other jobs they're been allowed to take.

Government employees are generally allowed to moonlight in the private sector - as long as there's no conflict of interest and they get written approval.

Here’s my question to you: In light of recent national intelligence failures, should CIA operatives be allowed to moonlight for private companies?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Edward writes:
Let me get this straight: You say there are people in this country that can find TWO jobs? Many Americans would be happy to just find one job.

Mike from New Orleans writes:
I am a federal employee in a non-sensitive position. I'm not allowed to moonlight. These moonlighting CIA operatives are also selling the skills they acquired from the government's investment in training. If the CIA job isn't good enough, I hear WalMart is hiring.

Mical writes:
Jack, I don't have a problem with them working in advisory positions but when our security suffers then the "moonlighting" policy needs review.

Joey from Ellenton, Florida writes:
Well, first: they seem to be having enough trouble doing their government jobs, so: no. Next: there is a danger of conflict of interest, so no again. Generally, Jack, I would have to say no, definitely not, absolutely not, no way, no how, not a chance, by no means, under no circumstances, no way. I hope I have been clear.

Ken from Maryland writes:
If by "moonlighting" you mean a job worked AFTER their normal work hours, then I don't see how preventing it would have helped with intelligence issues. They're still putting in their 8 hours. Not moonlighting won't help that any. As long as there's no conflict of interest, I don't see a problem.

F. from Manchester, New Hampshire writes:
This makes the CIA even creepier than before. It's bad enough that corporations are allowed to buy members of Congress, it's totally wrong that they're buying out the spy network, too.

Bea writes:
No, Jack. CIA should do one job only and that’s CIAing.

David from Las Vegas writes:
Jack, If I tell you, I'll have to kill you!

Filed under: CIA
soundoff (109 Responses)
  1. Melissa

    No, its a conflict of interest.

    February 1, 2010 at 2:54 pm |
  2. Raul DJ

    In no way should they be able to moonlight for a private company. They have too much access to national security info and can pose a threat to the US is the private companies offer them lucrative contracts for any info they have access to.
    Tampa Fl

    February 1, 2010 at 3:03 pm |
  3. Brian Delray Beach, FL

    What a great idea Jack. Now that Corporations can finance the political system and with aggressive marketing campaigns choose our leaders we can also re-introduce water boarding to find out which detergent gets clothes whiter than white.

    February 1, 2010 at 3:04 pm |
  4. Ken Patterson

    NO CIA agents are in possession of sensitive often highly classified information and whith the right montivation $$$ they may be disclose info that would jepordize the safety of Americans in the and out of the USA.

    February 1, 2010 at 3:11 pm |
  5. Dave, Brooklyn, NY

    Duh, NO! Can you spell C-O-N-F-L-C-T-O-F-I-N-T-E-R-E-S-T?

    February 1, 2010 at 3:14 pm |
  6. Maria

    Oh, good grief no! I know that some cops moonlight as security guards...but this isn't close to the same. Until and if our "intelligence" agencies get their act together seamlessly, no one should be allowed to moonlight...esp. if they have access to anything remotely related to homeland security.



    February 1, 2010 at 3:19 pm |
  7. David Bebeau,Springfield Missouri

    Absolutely ""NOT""............and that should be stated when they are hired right up front.

    February 1, 2010 at 3:20 pm |
  8. Russ in PA

    Why not just close the CIA, and let them all look for work elsewhere? In fact, why not close down some other departments at the same time, like Education and DHS? You telling me that any of those departments earn their keep? I don't think so...

    February 1, 2010 at 3:26 pm |
  9. David in Raleigh, NC

    No, CIA operatives should be focused on defending the nation without any conflict of interest.

    February 1, 2010 at 3:27 pm |
  10. Jeff in E. Lyme, CT

    Absolutely not! The whole reason people didn't trust the GW Bush administration and the so-called "Patriot Act", and why many of us are still calling for their heads was because due to their obvious corrupt nature, we assumed...I'm guessing correctly........that they used the information they gathered not to protect the United States, but for personal profit. A highly trained (on the Nation's nickel) CIA agent should not be allowed to help with corporate espionage.

    February 1, 2010 at 3:28 pm |
  11. Michael Alexandria, VA

    Being an operative is a 24/7 kind of commitment. No moonlighting allowed.

    February 1, 2010 at 3:31 pm |
  12. Ed from MD

    If they're worth their weight who could stop them?

    February 1, 2010 at 3:41 pm |
  13. Kathy in in Tulsa Okla.

    No, because they are apparently too tired to perform their regular job duties.

    February 1, 2010 at 4:15 pm |
  14. Richard, Syracuse

    Not just NO but HELL NO. The ONLY reason this should be allowed is if the individual is getting information necessary to our Intelligence Services and They are undercover.

    February 1, 2010 at 4:20 pm |
  15. Joe CE

    They should not be allowed to work in the private sector on anything remoted relaqted to intelligence gayjering – this includes industrial esponage.

    February 1, 2010 at 4:21 pm |
  16. The Broker.

    "Yes! But again it is up to you, to keep them in line. You have one humungous Archive Data base. It takes only a few button pushes. If you have all this info, and you keep it all to yourselves. Then why should you make billions through their info, they give to you every day?
    They call it: Comunications. Interactive! Otherwise why should the average public, try to get involved?"

    February 1, 2010 at 4:24 pm |
  17. BOB WHITE, Kansas

    Or to put it another way, 'should employees of international corporations be allowed to moonlight as CIA operatives?' NO!

    February 1, 2010 at 4:25 pm |
  18. Bizz, Quarryville, Pennsylvania

    Jack we need CIA operatives concentrating fulltime on finding terrorist cells before they can act. Just in this latest incident we came close to having a passenger plane with over 100 people on board being blown up. The same identical thing happened years ago and still we missed it this time around. Jack, working as CIA operative is a job for people who are smart and love their country and want to protect it. The financial firms and hedge funds companies that want top notch security should spend some of the bonus money and hire people who are retired or provide schooling for employees to work in security. The people who run these companies fly around in expensive private planes that don't have to worry about someone sitting themselves afire and blowing up the whole plane.

    February 1, 2010 at 4:28 pm |
  19. OBDAG in Appleton, WI

    In this case I would love to see a list of the private companies that are making enough money to be able to afford the cost of having CIA operatives work for them as moonlighting employees. I wouldn't be surprised if it turned out some of those private firms are getting stimulus funds from the government as well.. My thought is that the moonlighters already are getting a pretty good salary and really don't need extra income if they quit wasting money on luxury items. For example how many homes do a couple really need to have to survive?

    February 1, 2010 at 4:29 pm |
  20. Paul Round Rock, Texas

    No Jack. Maybe that is why we are now in such an economic mess. These individuals think they know it all and the rest of us are just in some kind of mistical daze. Keep them in the jobs they should be doing and keep them out of the private sector. As you said this is only one reason they can not connect the dots on any issue. As many of them as possible should be on the front line looking for Bin Laden in all the caves and villages of Afganistan and Pakistan maybe then he would be found. But it looks like they rather spy on our private companies and be safe in some training room and are only interested in salary and nothing else.

    February 1, 2010 at 4:34 pm |
  21. Jerry Johns Creek, GA

    A second job is a distinct distraction to getting the job done at the CIA that must be done. Most private sector managers are working well beyond the old traditional 40 hour week. If the CIA operatives have time available to work a second job perhaps there should be a reduction in force to stimulate more concentration on their primary responsibilities. Also, who is in charge of making the decision on potential conflict of interest with our national security and are they working a second job? This is a terrible policy and should be stopped immediately.

    February 1, 2010 at 4:34 pm |
  22. Jack - Lancaster, Ohio


    I really like the part of gettng "permission" from their bosses to moonlight. This group like all government personnel know that it is easier to get forgiveness than it is to get permission so they "go for it".
    This is yet another scenario of dynamic and authorized corruption which is leading the general collapse. Enjoy people! you are witnessing one of the events history has to offer the failing of a superpower...a legend of the fall.

    February 1, 2010 at 4:39 pm |
  23. Emily, Summit, NJ

    No. Pure and simple,

    February 1, 2010 at 4:40 pm |
  24. john ..... marlton, nj

    I guess you would first need to define what an 'operative' is. You do realize that not everyone at langley is a 'secret agent spy'. Next, you speak of deception detection a/k/a lying, fibing, not telling the truth or what we know as campaigning. Are the operatives teaching companies about the methodologies and use of lie-detectors? Next, who do you mean when you say 'companies'. Do you mean teaching executives to catch other executives lying, or teaching the human resource office how to get around using lie-detectors.
    Lastly, whether or not moonlighting had any impact on the Christmas Day thing is downright stupid and ridiculous. ...... In respect to the terrible loss of agents last month in Afghanistain when a 'double agent' turned out to be a triple agent 'suicide bomber' brings to question whether any of this deception detection crap really works.

    February 1, 2010 at 4:44 pm |
  25. Mark

    They might as well, our sissy pants government isn't going to let them do any "real" spy work anyway. Maybe they can actually keep us safe working for someone who isn't looking to prosecute them every time they curse at a terror suspect.

    Oklahoma City

    February 1, 2010 at 4:46 pm |
  26. Bud Rupert, Reston, VA

    We don't have all the details Jack but at first glance I would say that government employees that are involved in intelligence work – be it the CIA, FBI, DIA, DHS or any of the Joint service activities should not be allowed to work for, consult with or engage, in any way, with the private sector work enviornment.

    The risks are just too high for information leaks and worse.

    February 1, 2010 at 4:48 pm |
  27. Ron in Ohio

    I would start with Speaker Pelosi's plane trips to California. I think Obama could cut down on his trips to foreign countries, he is now planning a trip to Indonesia and Australia, expenses we can do without! He should insist the House and Senate members fly coach, not first class. He needs to look in his own house and back yard for big cuts.

    February 1, 2010 at 4:49 pm |
  28. Agnes from Scottsdale, AZ

    Jack: CIA operatives should not be moonlighting. If it's a matter of income, almost any government employee would earn more in the private sector (compared to large city government jobs). The question then is, what are they doing this for? Chances they did not just start this in the past 12 months. Maybe there's a new plot to investigate?

    February 1, 2010 at 4:51 pm |
  29. Kyle, Irvine, CA

    I can understand CIA Operatives wanting to earn a little more money on the side. This probably started prior to September 11th, 2001. And we wonder why we missed the warning signs of 9/11 and the attempted attack on Christmas Day. It always takes a massacre of some kind for our government to open it's eyes and do something!

    February 1, 2010 at 4:52 pm |
  30. Paul New Port Richey, Fl

    Why not? They have no backing and are called liars.

    February 1, 2010 at 4:54 pm |
  31. Greg in Cabot, AR

    let me get this straight Jack, Government employees that don't have to ever worry about being downsized in this economy can have TWO jobs when I can't find ONE?

    I am college educated Viet Nam veteran and have been looking for a job for the past five months with no luck.

    And PLEASE don't tell me that my tax dollars were used to train these CIA operatives just to prep them for a high paying job in the civilian sector so they can compete with me for a job.

    February 1, 2010 at 4:54 pm |
  32. Ken from Maryland

    If by "moonlighting" you mean a job worked AFTER their normal work hours, then I don't see how preventing it would have helped with intelligence issues. They're still putting in their 8 hours. Not moonlighting won't help that any.

    As long as there's no conflict of interest, I don't see a problem.

    February 1, 2010 at 4:56 pm |
  33. Anthony

    It shoul dmost definitely be a requirement that people holding a job in the FBI or CIA remain loyal to that job, and that job only. Imagine the President or the Secretary of State moonlighting. Boo.

    February 1, 2010 at 4:58 pm |
  34. richp the poconos

    Send every GS10 and above home for one week unpaid every month. There is no reason that govt employees should be immune from job loss. In fact they should be the first to go when the economy tanks.

    February 1, 2010 at 4:58 pm |
  35. Wilhelm von Nord Bach

    no they shouldn't, Jack.

    the operative phrase here is "conflict of interest". the agents can submit all the "explanations" and get all the "permission" they want BUT IF they are making big bucks with that side job, just WHO are they going to be loyal to IF a conflict does happen?

    this is a similar situation to senior Pentagon military officers who are about to retire selecting defense contracts. many are looking for that defense industry "executive position" once they leave the military and want to please a potential employer. it's one big reason there is such waste in military procurement.

    February 1, 2010 at 5:00 pm |
  36. Joey from Ellenton, Fla

    Well, first: they seem to be having enough trouble doing their Government jobs, so: no. Next: there is a danger of conflict of interest, so no again. Generally Jack, i would have to say no, definitely not, absolutely not, no way, no how, not a chance, by no means, under no circumstances, no shocking way. I hope i have been clear.

    February 1, 2010 at 5:01 pm |
  37. Dave , Munhall , Pa.

    No, if these people want to work in the private sector then they should quit the agency and go there but only on a couple of conditions. The first is if they were trained by the agency they should have to pay back the amount that it cost the agency to train them another is that any methods that the agency used that is classified may not be used outside the agency. The people coming into the agency should have to sign a long term agreement to work in the area they are seeking work. Also these type of people are necessary for our country to have lets raise their pay substainally and maybe cut the pay of all of those useless congressmen / women and senators!!!!!!!

    February 1, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  38. Greg in PA

    Hey Jack times are tough! Not all us make make high 7 figure salaries like you and Wolf do, give me a break, or a free loan for that matter..................

    February 1, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  39. marion/Birmingham,al

    Just as long as James Bond does not I really care less, But what is one to do during down time?

    February 1, 2010 at 5:05 pm |
  40. Layne Alleman

    Jack, The key phrase in your question is "conflict of interest". This is the muddy water that anyone doing this is up to their eyeballs in. If they're working for "private" firms, then whose interests are they protecting, U.S.A.'s or the "private firms"? I believe these people are supposed to take an allegiance oath before working for these government agencies, something along the lines of; "working to protect America from foreign and domestic problems", not U.S. and foreign CORPORATE interests. They are not the same thing, no matter who tells us otherwise. Layne A. Antioch, Il.

    February 1, 2010 at 5:05 pm |
  41. M.K.

    Absolutely not, nada, nyet, I do not know what CiA employees make, but I am sure it is more than the average person, if he or she is lucky enough to have a job.

    February 1, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  42. Tom in Desoto, Tx

    Seems to me it would be safer to pay them more rather than possibly comprimise the agency. Some have already moonlighted, for Russia.

    February 1, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  43. Andy in Vancouver, BC

    Wait, I thought the private sector, not the government, was the solution for all of our problems – are you telling me the Republicans and tea-baggers could be wrong? Say it ain't so

    February 1, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  44. Adam


    February 1, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  45. Dennis North Carolina


    February 1, 2010 at 5:24 pm |

    Sure why not? If you knew what the gov't paid the operatives to begin with, you would know why they moonlight to begin with.
    Most of the public think that all gov't employees are well paid.
    Think again. We are not even close to the private sector in those regards. Sure there are alot of fat cats in our Gov't, mostly the poiticians who create thier own raises and percs, but for the most part we are underpaid.
    Truck driver hauling nuclear weapons across our country roads, I believe is making somewhere around a GS-7, equivelent to about $33,000 a year. What do you think he would like to do while moonlighting.

    February 1, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  47. Terry C. in Illinois

    No, its a huge conflict of interest !!!

    February 1, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  48. Stan Ward

    No Jack. Employees know in advance what the salary schedules is like and, like the rest of us should adjust their lifestyles accordingly. Public service requires a modicum of sacrifice-something politicians can't seem to get. You corrrectly called it that they may take their eye on the ball. Can't serve two masters.

    Stan, expat in Budapest

    February 1, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  49. Sabrina

    One word, NO!!!!

    February 1, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  50. Doug - Dallas, TX

    If this doesn't deserve a DUH, then nothing does!! If the people who work for the CIA don't have enough to keep them busy, then we should send them overseas so they can do field work. Until they eliminate Bin Laden and his terrorists, they will always have plenty to do. And we wonder why these terrorists continue to exist??

    February 1, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  51. Brian

    The private sector seems to continually pull in the best and brightest from whichever industry it operates in. For retention purposes I think moonlighting strikes a healthy balance between the private and public sectors while minimizing officer attrition rate.

    Auburn, AL

    February 1, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  52. Pat - Mantua, NJ

    We are talking CRITICAL NATIONAL SECURITY investigations.
    They are government employees and should not be involved in the private sector. Companies can hire private detective agencies to do their dirty work.

    CIA agents are supposed to be undercover not openly exposed to private companies. How undercover can it be if their Human Resource Department is knowingly hiring CIA agents.

    February 1, 2010 at 5:46 pm |
  53. Mr. D

    Conflict of interest! How about the interests of the American public? This is another example of the government/business conundrum that is facing this country. Let's put the country first and individual financial pursuit second.

    February 1, 2010 at 5:46 pm |
  54. Darren

    Wouldn't that be like allowing police officers to moonlight as getaway drivers for bank robberies?

    February 1, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  55. Ryo

    These individuals' main priority and goal needs to be gathering intelligence to protect the country, not trying to make as much money as possible. Considering their recent luck with the Christmas Day bomber and other mistakes, I think they need to focus on their primary job first and foremost. Just an thought.

    February 1, 2010 at 5:51 pm |
  56. Denis Duffy

    We should not allow any government employee to moonlight in the private sector. Instead, Jack, we should rent or lease them to all comers.
    We know they aren't doing much good at the jobs we pay them for, so let's make a buck or two and help pay off the deficit.

    Pittsburgh, Pa.

    February 1, 2010 at 5:56 pm |
  57. Chad from Los Angeles

    Would CNN allow you to sell ideas and practices the company has taught you? This seems like a severe conflict of interest, especially with the CIA being the organization selling its strategies to the public.

    What's to stop our agents from selling secrets to other countries? This is a slippery slope disaster waiting to happen.

    February 1, 2010 at 6:00 pm |
  58. Jerry Jacksonville, Fl.

    I don't think so, they probably need to focus more on their job with the CIA and maybe just maybe they will uncover a terrorist before they blow up something.

    February 1, 2010 at 6:00 pm |
  59. Lynn, Columbia, Mo.

    Just goes to show that Federal employees don't get paid as much as the private sector. Maybe we should quit contracting out to private companies and hire more federal workers and pay them what they're worth. Also, anything they do on their own time is their business.

    February 1, 2010 at 6:00 pm |
  60. Ed from California

    I suprised that any are left, after the Rove/Cheney incident (Valerie Plame). A lot of people are taking second jobs just to make it by. Perhaps we need to give these people a raise, so they don't have to go take a second job.

    February 1, 2010 at 6:06 pm |
  61. Ed

    First, doesn't Blackwater make more money when we're at war? It may not be a good idea to have our CIA working for them. Second, George Tenet must have been moonlighting when he said it was a slam dunk that Iraq had WMD.


    February 1, 2010 at 6:07 pm |
  62. Scott Stodden

    Jack I thought that the CIA is there to protect and serve the President at all times so if that's true then how do they have time to work jobs on the side? I don't agree with this at all and it should be addressed by the people in charge!

    Scott Stodden (Freeport,Illinois)

    February 1, 2010 at 6:07 pm |
  63. Mari Fernandez, Utah

    No, Jack, they shouldn't.

    FYI to Ron in Ohio:

    Sir, the Speaker of the House started to fly on Military transport after September 11th 2001. Then Speaker Dennis Hastert (GOP) started flying on Military transport for SECURITY reasons. And now, the present Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, continues, again for security reasons!

    February 1, 2010 at 6:09 pm |
  64. Wm in PA

    Yes, of course CIA agents need to be able to moonlight in private business while serving actively as CIA agents. Hedge funds and financial firms hire active-duty CIA officers to do something called "deception detection"... Teaching companies to figure out when executives my be lying. Our CIA agents may be "DOUBLE" agents detecting lying business executives who now can spend freely to buy our legislators and judges. The CIA needs to be able to sift the corporate lies from . . . . .
    Well, maybe there is no need. Maybe all corporate persons and politicians speak non-truth for power and profit.

    February 1, 2010 at 6:09 pm |
  65. Bea Ledbetter, the valley

    No, Jack.

    No more than Jethro Bodine should have been allowed to be a
    "double-not" spy.

    CIA should do one job only and thats CIAing.

    the valley proper.

    February 1, 2010 at 6:09 pm |
  66. Paulette in Dallas,PA

    Not a good idea. Too many opportunities for the operative to be bribed to disclose sensitive information that may be of use to the company. We separate state from religion,let's separate business from intelligence.

    February 1, 2010 at 6:10 pm |
  67. William Courtland

    I can accept this so long as the mission briefed in the docket is considered to be in line with upholding or keeping the peace, detectives of the State employed over the Secret Service who police currency: while the CIA are investigating fraud in international corporate crime: where the United States government does not have the total control of a companies tax records.

    Yet This idea of the CIA, should be Corporate investigations agency and be in partnership with other nations in an acceptable notion of commitment under the world bank.

    I accept: so long as it is promoted to uphold the law and no harm is done in the process.

    February 1, 2010 at 6:10 pm |
  68. Antonio from Washington D.C.

    As long as it's not hurting anybody, go right ahead!

    February 1, 2010 at 6:12 pm |
  69. Mike in New Orleans

    I am a federal employee in a non-sensitive position. I'm not allowed to moonlight. These moonlighting CIA operatives are also selling the skills they acquired from the government's investment in training.
    If the CIA job isn't good enough, I hear WalMart is hiring.

    February 1, 2010 at 6:12 pm |
  70. Don from Belleville, Canada

    Definitely not. It is a conflict of interest, much like a lawyer acting for both seller and purchaser on a real estate deal. The brain drain argument is insulting. The C.I.A. is a career and moonlighting should be outlawed. Working a second job diminishes the quality of the first career.

    February 1, 2010 at 6:13 pm |
  71. Mical

    I don't have a problem w/them working in advisory positions but when our security suffers then the "moonlighting" policy needs review.

    February 1, 2010 at 6:13 pm |
  72. Patrick McCormick

    No!, No!, No! and most definately NO! Conflict of interest mean anything anymore?

    February 1, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
  73. ROCKY IN L.A.

    I had no idea that CIA operatives were paid so little that they need a second job.

    February 1, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
  74. Javier

    Given the governments record with the use of the private sector and contractors for defense and intelligence(Blackwater anyone?), it would be extremely unwise for this policy to continue.

    February 1, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  75. Roger Sargent Albion Pa

    Hmmmm, interesting. I guess that explains all those cameras I saw in McDonalds yesterday and that well dressed man wearing sunglasses in the back flipping burgers.

    February 1, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  76. Peter

    (St. Louis, MO)

    Depends on the nature of the officer's mission. If they are engaged in intelligence analysis, I would say no – in collection operations, however, connections to the private sector could be critical to developing an appropriate network of possible intelligence sources.

    We know very little about the intelligence community by neccesity and design. The moonlighting policy may very well have application we are not and should not be privvy to.

    February 1, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  77. Sue From Idaho

    No, where are they going to go if they quit their jobs, let em go!!!

    February 1, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  78. Bill - upper NY state

    Jack, I'm pretty sure I saw one of those moonlighting CIA operatives. He was a greeter at WalMart. Good pay if you qualify.

    February 1, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  79. Greg, Ontario

    Sure! Have you ever met a government employee that really new what he was doing? If the companies want to waste their money hey it's a free country. Americas biggest claim to fame has always been it's ability to waste money so why should things change now?

    February 1, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  80. Lance, Ridgecrest, Ca

    Jack, yes, as long as there is no conflict of interest. Why should we penalize our federal workers by restricting their opportunities, particularly when federal employees are nortoriously underpaid when compared to their civilian counterparts. Want to keep them from pursuing a second job, pay them what they are worth.

    February 1, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  81. Peter Peterson

    No employee of the federal government that holds a security clearance to sensitive information belonging to the United States should be able to moonlight in the private sector. If employees of the CIA need more salary, how much does the safety of the United States cost? $5k more a year? $10k a year? I understand federal funds are tight, but you don't skimp here.

    February 1, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  82. Mike Page in South San Francisco, CA

    It sometimes seems that these guys can't find their ass with both hands, If they have the time to moonlight, they should instead put that time and energy to better serving the country they are sworn to serve and protect.
    No wonder 9/11 happened.

    Mike Page in South San Francisco

    February 1, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  83. Edward Kuryluk

    Let me get this straight, you say there are people in this country that can find TWO jobs? Many Americans would be happy to just find one job.

    February 1, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  84. Flyingwolf, Manchester NH

    This makes the CIA even more creepy than before. It's bad enough that corporations are allowed to buy congresspeople, it's totally wrong that they're buying out the spy network, too.

    February 1, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  85. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    When you wrote your book Jack, were you negligent, derelict, and detached from CNN? This is what you are implying towards the folks at the CIA.

    These are fine people at the CIA, they're adults, they give their all when on the job. Quit stirring up trouble where it doesn't lay.

    February 1, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  86. Martin Dorgan

    If the government wants to allow current employees to work in the private sector, then they should give up their current job and then go work in the private sector. Otherwise let the private sector hire the unemployed to do the work they need done! Surely some in the private sector can accomplish this task without causing federal employees to impose on the less fortunate unemployed sector.


    February 1, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  87. Lyndsey

    I see absolutely no problem with CIA staff moonlighting in the private sector as long as they are completing their responsibilities and observing all of the policies of the CIA. If we can't pay them what they're worth on the job market then they should be allowed to moonlight. How else can we be expected to keep the talent? The fact that they're desired in the private sector is a vote of confidence in their abilities, and the work they're doing outside the agency might help them work through problems they're facing inside the agency by presenting new kinds of problem solving opportunities. Ideally we'd be able to pay them enough that this wouldn't be necessary, but tough times mean tough concessions sometimes.

    February 1, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  88. John J Procita

    Why not Jack? If President Obama can do TV basketball commentary while Mrs. Obama poses for magazine covers and makes personal appearances on the Food Channel, at probable costs for security to taxpayers, why shouldn't CIA or other any federal employees be treated differently?

    February 1, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  89. Ed

    No. What I can not understand is why any outside organization would want to hire them now. As CIA employees they have done a poor job .if I did my job the way they have done CIA work, I would be fired and not rehired by anyone for any sort of related work.

    February 1, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  90. Gail, Illinois

    If the budget contained raises, you would crab about that. Your job Jack is to be crabby but this is a NON subject. If moonlighting CIA employees are doing a good job for the CIA, there is no reason why they can't moonlight and positively adjust their salaries. After all, they aren't congressmen and don't get money from lobbiest. No, they just work for the government. Have you ever had a government job? They aren't the best paying jobs in America, in case you hadn't noticed.

    February 1, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  91. Moe Dallas TX

    They need to preform their day job in an acceptable manner, then worry about moonlighting..I'm sure they make more money than a Sargent in the war zone..

    February 1, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  92. Jim H

    Absolutely not, except as a cover for an agency operation. Remember William Casey, Reagan's CIA chief, who refused to put his assets into a blind trust, many suspected because he could use information collected by the CIA to make his investment decisions. There is an inherent conflict of interest. Further, there is a question of priority. Are the agents analysing information with an eye to the national interest or how it will affect the corporate employer. If the program is intended to keep the agents from leaving for the more lucrative job, the question is answered. Kill the progra, let the opportunists leave, and replace them with people who are dedicated to their country.

    February 1, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  93. el don Rodrigo

    Hey Jack,

    Back in the late Vietnam days a civilian airline operated by the CIA tried to run Air America. Heck maybe if they moonlight for a company that deals in Intelligence the CIA might get smarter and start up Air America for cheaper ticket prices.

    el don Rodrigo
    San Jose, CA

    February 1, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  94. Sara Tagert

    I don't see why a CIA agent can't have secondary employment like any other citizen. You can not blame the Christmas hijacking incident on agents holding second jobs – I would blame the inability to pay them overtime. If the government can't afford to keep them working enough hours to prevent terrorist acts why fault the individual? Fault the system. There are not enough agents to fill the gaps. Blame the economy, blame over-spending or both.

    Secondly, what is the problem with educating the public, whether the private citizen or the Fortune 500 company, to detect possible illegal activity? Maybe some financial crimes would be prevented, saving the taxpayer the cost of a prosecution, and allowing for more new agents to be hired!

    February 1, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  95. David Sisters OR

    Dang If I had known you could work for the GOV and moonlight, I would have. I worked on Nuclear Submarines, I could have gone to Russia after my shift here and made a little extra on swing.

    February 1, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  96. jim Blevins

    Someone making critical decisions that have great cost to the country getting outside income is vulnerable to corruption. It would be far to easy, without even a direct request, for a company to shade a CIA employee's judgement toward decisions favorable to the company's economic interest.

    Jim, Craig, CO

    February 1, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  97. Theresa

    Now Jack really–it's not that tough of an answer .A big fat NOOOOO! I have an idea–resign from your first post–then you can do whatever you want.Sounds good to me!

    February 1, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  98. CurtJ

    Remember the attempted coup of the Venezuelan government when George BushDaddy) and his cronies tried to set up a puppet government to wrest control of the Venezuelan oilfields over to the Neo Con owned multi-national oil and energy conglomerates? That was with the help of the CIA. People may say the CIA operatives were m,oonlighting, but Dick Cheney was making unprecedented daily visits to the CIA. And that was after Dick Cheney's Secret Energy Task Force Meeting with the oil and energy conglomerates CEO's.
    Treason that goes on daily in the United States government. And the Neo Con owned News Media is in Collusion. Which obviously means that you're included since your news conglomerate receives part of the billions each year from the United States government to shovel propaganda to the Americans to keep their minds off the faact that the Neo Con owned Conglomerates own the United States government and yank the puppet strings of the Conflict of Interest and Collusion challenged politicians and officials in all three branches of theU.S. government.

    February 1, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  99. Paul

    NO! It is obviously a conflict of interest. If any money is changing hands, the CIA officer is automatically putting all Americans at risk. Look at what happened with Blackwater, KBR, Halliburton etc. If these officers want to do private work after they retire, that's another issue. But to allow them to do any private work while they are an active CIA officer, in my opinion is the height of stupidity. It is an accident waiting to happen. If their moonlighting employee has something to cover up or that they'd rather the US government didn't know about, would the CIA officer be a whistle-blower? Unlikely, if they're getting any money whatsoever. I hope President Obama will encourage that this practice be stopped.

    February 1, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  100. vern-anaheim,ca

    jack,i don't believe CIA employees should be allowed to moonlight on other jobs because national security could be at stake

    February 1, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  101. Andre' W.

    Absolutely Not. It does not matter the circumstances..No!

    February 1, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  102. Erik K.

    There is no patriots left , money is everything and even cia sells out ideas for money . Shame , shame , shame .

    February 1, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
  103. honestjohn in Vermont

    Absolutely not. Follow the money. It is all about the money Jack and these "private companies" bill at very high rates and gouge and are on the gravy.

    February 1, 2010 at 6:35 pm |
  104. Ralph Spyer chicago Il

    they could work at a lost and found store and find the weapons in Iraq? Or they could be fortune teller and stop 9 / 11 if they just read their own reports. How much does the Government pay the C.I.A. ? They could sell weapons to Iraq and then with the money start a dirty little war in south America Oh they done that already.

    February 1, 2010 at 6:36 pm |
  105. gary saari

    Jack, get with the program. Do you think that the CIA has only been paying foreign leaders to "save our country" with our taxpayer money ? Do you think that they haven't been running drugs into our country to fund their "black operations?" Do you believe that guys like Howard Hunt and G. Gordon Liddy of Watergate fame are pillars of the community and would not use our taxpayer money to fund private citizens to spy on their neighbors? Get real. There are many people in our country who are on the CIA payroll. They just won't admit the fact for fear of retribution.

    February 1, 2010 at 6:36 pm |
  106. JENNA

    In light of recent national intelligence failures, should CIA operatives be allowed to moonlight for private companies?

    In two words – HELL NO!

    Roseville CA

    February 1, 2010 at 6:45 pm |
  107. Bruce - Delaware

    They already moonlight with the most massive international drug pushing operation on the planet.

    February 1, 2010 at 6:54 pm |
  108. Evian in Austin

    There are thousands of would be crotch bombers out there.. just because this want-to-be terrorist's father tipped someone off doesn't mean he SHOULD have been stopped.

    February 1, 2010 at 6:56 pm |
  109. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Teaching companies to figure out when executives my be lying based on their behavior and what they say.


    In light of this economic crisis...shouldn't they be focussing on one job since obviously they failed at their second job from last year's crisis!!

    Take care!

    February 1, 2010 at 6:57 pm |