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Covert Affairs - By Jeff Stein | Foreign Policy


Stashed in: Petraeus, Virginia

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"Then there was the female NOC officer who slept with all of her Brazilian agents to get information on their rocket program and nuclear weapons program," this former operative continued. NOCs -- an acronym for non-official cover, are CIA spies who work outside a U.S. embassy, without benefit diplomatic protection.

"The sex with agents was overlooked because she produced good intelligence. So they promoted her to be the first NOC officer in Moscow. Where she promptly fell in love with an FSB officer named Yuri and moved into his apartment. They never did get back her commo [communications] gear. Then they sent another female NOC officer to Moscow, and didn't tell her about the ‘fate' of the first NOC.  When she found out, she quit the agency and was never heard from again."

Such stories, whispered with glee at agency watering holes along Route 123 in McLean, Va., always seem to be mostly true, but who knows?

Several CIA sources were curious about why Petraeus was forced to resign, rather than just admit to an affair, separate from his wife, and move on.

But those who know him called it "an honor thing" that "violated his personal code."

In any event, these days the CIA's director, like other agency employees, has to submit at some point to a polygraph exam on "lifestyle" questions, which certainly would have prompted a confession to the affair. 

"There's no way he'd make it through without talking about that," said former agency official Charles Faddis. "That's gonna blip."

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