A new CIA inspector general report says the CIA has been using “dumb, ineffective and dangerous” instruments for decades.
The report is the latest sign that the agency’s use of “measurements” in the wake of 9/11 was a problem.
The CIA inspector-general found that the intelligence community’s use for measuring the height of buildings has been “an integral part of its activities” and that the Agency had “taken many steps” to correct that practice.
The agency also has been criticized for its use of measurement devices for measuring instruments and for its handling of information about its use in investigations of terrorism.
The inspector-General’s report does not detail exactly what instruments the CIA was using in the 1980s and 1990s, but the inspector-general found that at least one “measuring device” used in the late 1980s was the “Hemisphere-2” measuring device, which measures the diameter of the earth.
The Hemisphere-3 was a “measured globe,” the inspector general said, which measured the height, the diameter and the thickness of a single mountain.
The Inspector General said the CIA “did not have the capability to test or certify these devices in the field” and instead used “means-testing techniques” that “were not suitable for measurement.”
“The Agency has not been able to demonstrate that these devices are reliable,” the Inspector General’s report said.
The IG also found that in the mid-1990s, the CIA used a “micro-measuring instrument” to measure the diameter or length of a “metric ball” that was attached to a wall and had to be measured by hand.
The micro-measurement device was not validated by the agency, the report said, but it did measure the ball’s diameter “about 0.6 inches in diameter, which is within the range of acceptable standards.”
The IG said it was not clear if the CIA had a policy about using measuring devices for the purpose of determining the size of a building or if it had a specific policy about measuring a “ball.”
The inspector general did not say what the policy might have been for measuring a ball or whether it was related to the CIA’s “satellite” programs, which were designed to detect objects orbiting Earth.
“I believe there is no policy or guidance that would prohibit the Agency from using these instruments for this purpose,” the IG wrote.
The use of measuring devices in other investigations was not included in the IG’s report.
“In a variety of circumstances, including when conducting the National Security Intelligence Program, the Agency has employed measures that could be described as ‘measure-able’ devices to evaluate intelligence sources and methods,” the report read.
“For example, the Intelligence Community has developed and used a variety