Dádìsì Speaks

Hank Crumpton: Life as a spy

In Culture, Politics on 13/05/2012 at 19:35

Former CIA officer Hank Crumpton

Former CIA officer Hank Crumpton takes 60 Minutes on a tour through the murky world of the Clandestine Service and explains how the CIA toppled the Taliban after 9/11. Lara Logan reports.

(CBS News) There are more foreign spies on U.S. soil now than at the peak of the Cold War, according to Hank Crumpton, former head of the CIA’s National Resources Division, a highly sensitive operation charged with collecting foreign intelligence here in the U.S. Crumpton also led the covert response to 9/11 in Afghanistan, where the CIA helped topple the Taliban. Lara Logan interviews Crumpton about his 24 years as a legendary spy.


The following script is from “Hank” which originally aired on May 13, 2012. Lara Logan is the correspondent. Howard Rosenberg, producer.

In the netherworld of espionage, Henry Crumpton is legendary. He was deputy director of the CIA’S Counter-Terrorism Center and chief of one of the agency’s most secret divisions.

He is known to U.S. presidents, African rebels and Afghan tribal leaders by just one name: “Hank.”

In interviews with Lara Logan, Hank Crumpton guided 60 Minutes on a tour through the shadowy world of clandestine operations. Among the many things she learned is that Crumpton has a unique perspective on the war in Afghanistan because it was “Hank” who was in charge of the covert U.S. response to 9/11.

Lara Logan: What do you make of where Afghanistan is right now?

Hank Crumpton: It reminds me of a Greek tragedy. You’ve got so many mistakes, many of them inadvertent, like the burning of the Koran on the U.S. side. And you’ve got a feckless, corrupt government on the Afghan side. I am really more pessimistic now than I’ve been in a long time.

Hank Crumpton, now 55, spent 24 years in the murky world of the CIA Clandestine Service, including a year on loan to the FBI and a decade at CIA stations across Africa. We first met Hank Crumpton three years ago. That’s when he agreed to return to Afghanistan with us and tell 60 Minutes about the capstone to his career as a spy, how the CIA forged a secret alliance with afghan tribal leaders, and how fewer than 500 Americans — 110 CIA officers backed by teams of U.S. Special Operations Forces — toppled the Taliban after 9/11. (cont … 60 Minutes)

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