According to U.S. sources, in 2004, the CIA had lost its entire agent network in Iran when a CIA headquarters communications officer was about to send instructions to an agent via its Inmarsat transmitter/receivers. The CIA officer attempted to download data intended for a single operative, but accidentally hit a button that sent it to the entire U.S. spy network in Iran, these sources said.
This week, after years of rebuilding, another such catastrophe, with US listening equipment sold to the Lebanese government, eventually used by Lebanese Hizb'allah and other explanations:
Brian Ross, reports [link]:
"When you lose your entire station, either in Tehran or Beirut, that's a catastrophe," said Bob Baer, a legendary CIA agent whose Middle East exploits were fictionalized in the George Clooney film "Syriana." Baer said the disaster was due in part to a new generation of agents that has forgotten, or never learned, the traditional methods of intelligence gathering. "They don't understand tradecraft," Baer said. "And we have lost our touch in espionage."PIZZA party for Hezbollah?:
In Beirut, two Hezbollah double agents pretended to go to work for the CIA. Hezbollah then learned of the restaurant where multiple CIA officers were meeting with several agents, according to the four current and former officials briefed on the case. The CIA used the codeword "PIZZA" when discussing where to meet with the agents, according to U.S. officials. Two former officials describe the location as a Beirut Pizza Hut. A current US official denied that CIA officers met their agents at Pizza Hut. From there, Hezbollah's internal security arm identified at least a dozen informants, and the identities of several CIA case officers. Hezbollah then began to "roll up" much of the CIA's network against the terror group, the officials said.