View Full Version : A change of scene: CIA officer becomes a cop in Savannah

04-30-2018, 06:17 PM
Patrick Skinner is now a patrol cop in his home town and The New Yorker has a 'long read' entitled 'The Spy Who Came Home'. There is a lot within, such as the debacle @ Khost's CIA station and many of the lessons he has learnt.

He Tweeted:
Easily the most terrifying thing I’ve ever done. But I wanted to highlight local policing done with a great group of colleagues. But yeah, this is terrifying.



11-08-2018, 05:33 PM
Via CTC's latest edition of 'The Sentinel' a Q&A with Officer Skinner. It opens with:
CTC: Earlier this year, The New Yorker ran a profile of you entitled “The Spy Who Came Home,”1 (https://ctc.usma.edu/view-ct-foxhole-patrick-skinner-police-officer-savannah-georgia-former-cia-case-officer-afghanistan-iraq#reference1) which outlined how you went from working for the CIA on counterterrorism in the decade after 9/11 to becoming a beat cop in Savannah, Georgia. The article described how you applied lessons learned working in intelligence and counterterrorism to local policing. It would be great if you could speak to that, but we’d also like to focus on the other side of the equation and discuss insights you may have gained from police work at the community level that may be applicable to counterterrorism and counterinsurgency. Skinner: The response to that New Yorker profile, from my fellow beat cops and people in other agencies and departments, continues to be amazing. I perhaps have an odd view point, as a [former CIA] case officer having seen places where the badge means nothing while the gun means everything. Yet, now I still see such places, but instead of a failed state—whatever that means—it’s a few houses in a block or two in an American city.

I do rather like this phrase:
It’s frustrating but I keep harping on this: these issues, the persistent challenges of CT and law enforcement, they resist grand gestures. They require the opposite of grand gestures. They require countless small gestures.

11-09-2018, 04:43 PM
From the New Yorker article -

Espionage hinges on human relationships. “The best assets I ever ran weren’t in it for money,” Skinner said. “They had this urge to be part of something bigger. It wasn’t patriotism—they just wanted to be part of a high-functioning team.” But most assets could be trusted only in a very narrow context, and locals routinely sought American firepower to back them in personal or tribal disputes. “They might tell you it’s to help their country—they know we love to hear that—when it’s actually revenge,” Skinner said.

Hmm. Tangential reading, for anyone who missed it.