CIA Executive Director Under Investigation for Bribery

ABC News is reporting that CIA Executive Director Kyle “Dusty” Foggo is under investigation in the bribery scandal that brought down Randy “Duke” Cunningham.

A stunning investigation of bribery and corruption in Congress has spread to the CIA, ABC News has learned. A stunning investigation of bribery and corruption in Congress has spread to the CIA, ABC News has learned. The CIA Inspector General has opened an investigation into the spy agency’s executive director, Kyle “Dusty” Foggo, and his connections to two defense contractors accused of bribing a member of Congress and Pentagon officials.

The CIA released an official statement on the matter to ABC News, saying: “It is standard practice for CIA’s Office of Inspector General — an aggressive, independent watchdog — to look into assertions that mention agency officers. That should in no way be seen as lending credibility to any allegation. “Mr. Foggo has overseen many contracts in his decades of public service. He reaffirms that they were properly awarded and administered.”

One hopes that this is indeed a routine investigation and Foggo is innocent of the allegations. Still, it doesn’t look good. Newsweek‘s Mark Hosenball and Jamie Reno, who apparently brok the story, have more.

As logistics chief at the CIA’s main base near Frankfurt, Germany, Kyle (Dusty) Foggo sat at the crossroads of agency operations. Operatives and VIPs passed through, and former top spies say Foggo was customarily on hand to greet them. After Porter Goss took over as CIA director, many agency veterans were astonished when the former House intel chair chose Foggo, a midranking bureaucrat, to become CIA executive director, the agency’s third-ranking official, responsible for day-to-day operations. Insiders attributed his rise to his mastery of office politics. But Foggo’s glad-handing has raised awkward questions. Federal prosecutors have accused (as an unindicted co-conspirator) one of Foggo’s closest friends, San Diego businessman Brent Wilkes, of participating in a scheme to bribe Randall (Duke) Cunningham, the GOP congressman from San Diego who resigned his seat after pleading guilty to federal corruption and tax charges.

Elevating a “midranking bureaucrat” (which I would take to mean a GS-12 or GS-13 or equivalent) to such a senior post is, to say the least, highly unusual.

Update (3/8): Commenter “Insider,” who via email says he is a retired CIA officer, reports that “Foggo was in fact an SIS Level 3 (the CIA equivalent of SES-3).” That’s the equivalent of a 3-star flag officer. And, no, hardly “midranking.”

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Scott_T says:

    Isn’t GS General Service (ie non-management) and GM General Management (ie management). Probably different for the CIA knowing my luck commenting on this.

    When I worked for the USACE GS-12 were Engineers designing Damns. GM-14(IIRC) were the Civilian equivalents running individual Divisions (Engineering, Planning, Construction) and the Army Colonel ran the entire Regional Office.

  2. James Joyner says:


    At least in my agency, GS/GM are virtually interchangable, with few GM’s. My Program Manager is a GS-15, for example.

  3. John Burgess says:

    Boy, I sure hope we aren’t indicting people based on their friendships. Even “closest friend”-ships. Even spouses of crooks don’t necessarily go to jail…

  4. DC Loser says:

    Inside the beltway, a midranking bureaucrat is basically anybody who isn’t an SES. GS/GM/GG-15s are not considered senior in the DC agencies. Most of them work in cubicles the size of phone booths.

  5. James Joyner says:

    DCL: Could be, although SES’s are pretty rare even in DC. At DISA, certainly, GS-15s (essentially, equivalent to an Army/Air Force/Marine colonel or Navy captain) are ridiculously prolific but there are very, very few SES’s (general/flag officer equivalent).

  6. Insider says:

    Foggo was in fact an SIS Level 3 (the CIA equivalent of SES-3)when he was selected to become the Executive Director. He was hardly mid-level. So-called “Agency veterans” are merely engaging in that favorite of all Agency retiree sports, dime dropping on the ignorant.