Originally created 06/26/04

Hidden from view, CIA analyst "Anonymous" sells books



WASHINGTON -- A CIA employee is making a stir, but, as might be expected in the spy world, the public doesn't know his name. He's "Anonymous."

In a book to be released next month, "Imperial Hubris: Why the West is Losing the War on Terror," an unidentified 23-year veteran of the CIA offers a stinging critique of the war on terror.

Seeing flaws in U.S. intelligence and policy, he believes a growing segment of the Islamic world disapproves of American actions and radical leaders capitalize on that animosity by making a case that Islam is under attack by the United States.

In short, Anonymous says, the U.S. is losing the war on terror.

Although he says his responsibilities have decreased in the past five years, Anonymous tells reporters he does not have an ax to grind. Outside his family, children and country, "the thing I am most proud of is to be a member of the American intelligence community," he says.

A CIA spokesman declined to comment on the book or its author.

While Anonymous grants interviews, he speaks on camera only with his features darkened by lights or otherwise disguised because, he says, that was part of an agreement he made to gain permission to print the book.

His arrangement has resulted in odd TV moments: "Just in: Anonymous speaks," one cable network said introducing a segment with him.

Anonymous said he's been approved to identify himself as an intelligence veteran who worked closely with the unit focusing on Osama bin Laden at CIA headquarters. He's been called as a secret witness before a joint congressional inquiry and the independent commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks.

Why write a book? "I thought it was very clear that the American people and certainly our elected officials did not have a good handle on the nature of the threat," a failure of senior career intelligence officials, he said in an interview.

"I also meant to draw attention to the fact that we have not yet recognized that our enemy really doesn't care about our way of life, or our democracy, or our values."

Before his book goes on sale it is a hit: The 352-page tome was the 13th most sought after book on Amazon.com Friday afternoon.