I had a conversation recently with a friend about Robert Grenier who served 27 years in the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) as an field agent. He formerly working as a station chief in Islamabad, a CIA representative to the White House, and most recently the head of the Counter-terrorism Center.
Grenier spoke once in 2012 at the University of Delaware – Mitchell Hall as part of the Global Agenda speaker series “Spies, Lies and Sneaky Guys: Espionage and Intelligence in the Digital Age.”
In a frank discussion afterward admits: “the roles officers of the Clandestine Service have to undertake involve lying and cheating as well as misrepresenting oneself, essentially “everything your parents told you not to do.”
While he acknowledged these qualities could place the officers in the role of “sneaky guys,” he said most officers take morality very seriously and said the job requirements often help the officers be more moral since they are ultimately utilized to protect American citizens.
“There is a seduction in the work,” Grenier said.
Robert L. Grenieris a longtime CIA officer who served as the CIA’s top counter-terrorism official (2004-2006) and was fired from that position by CIA director Porter Goss. Later, Grenier joined Kroll, Inc., as Managing Director. In 2009 he was appointed Chairman of ERG Partners, an independent financial and strategic advisory firm focusing on the security and intelligence sectors, made up of former CIA and military intelligence officials and ex military types. Grenier is thought to employ his spy skill for private gain to make money. He maintains the business is legitimate…
In 2001, Grenier was the CIA station chief in Islamabad, Pakistan, where he helped plan covert operations in support of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan.
In the summer of 2002 he was promoted to the chief of the Iraq Issues Group, where he helped coordinate “covert operations” in support of the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
“Grenier served as Director, CIA’s Counter-terrorist Center for about a year, but was “fired” from that position on 6 February 2006 by CIA director Porter Goss”, according to Philip Crow of Charlotte, N.C.
The London Sunday Times reported that Grenier lost his job with the CIA “because he opposed detaining Al-Qaeda suspects in secret prisons abroad, sending them to other countries for interrogation and using forms of torture such as ‘water boarding’. He was intimately familiar with details of torture and abuse and only spoke out after pictures and allegations surfaced…
Grenier was featured on the University of Delaware school website and discussing topics related to human intelligence in the digital age.
“The CIA is thought to recruit from the university of Delaware…”, says Andy Espinoza of Charlotte, who once applied for the CIA but was rejected despite maintaining a 3.0 average.
The CIA public affairs department declined to comment on the reasons why Grenier was fired by former CIA Director Porter Goss and if they actively recruit from the University of Delaware.