Officials say Iraq pullout hurt US spying

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Associated Press

Posted on June 26, 2014 at 2:34 AM

Updated Thursday, Jun 26 at 4:33 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — Current and former officials say CIA officers in Iraq have been hunkered down in their heavily fortified Baghdad compound since U.S. troops left the country in 2011.

They say that's a big reason the U.S. was caught flat-footed by the recent offensive by a Sunni-backed, al-Qaida-inspired group that has seized a large swath of Iraq.

As one former CIA officer puts it, "The U.S. taxpayer is not getting their money's worth."

CIA spokesman Dean Boyd says it's offensive to suggest that CIA officers "are sitting behind desks ... or otherwise taking it easy back at the embassy."

Boyd says the intelligence community provided plenty of warning to the Obama administration that the insurgent Islamic State in Iraq and Levant could make a move on Iraqi cities.

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