That made the agency's reliance on squeezing new information out of captured terrorist suspects all the more desperate, many say.
When interrogation subjects coughed up some seemingly vital new information about new plots or al Qaeda personalities, the CIA had few means to check it against reports supplied by spies under its control, either in the terrorist group or elsewhere. . .
The lack of spies on the ground startled CIA officer Sam Faddis when he slipped into northern Iraq a few months before the 2003 invasion.
Faddis was in charge of a CIA team that targeted an al Qaeda cell in Kurdistan. When he arrived to lead the operation, he discovered that the CIA had "not a single" spy in the area, despite years of targeting Saddam Hussein, and Iran, just across the border.
When his team eventually caught a few terrorist suspects and interrogated them, they didn't know what to believe. . .