The wife told police that her husband had finished off nearly half a box of wine and that after she tossed the rest, he threw her down on the couch, the charging documents showed.
“I felt that [the husband] was the primary aggressor,” the officer wrote, adding the following sentence, which has since been redacted: “[The wife] did want it noted that [her husband] works undercover operations for the CIA, and that he has used his line of work to intimidate her in the past as well as tonight.” The husband was charged with assault and battery and intimidation of a witness, according to police documents.
He revealed the ulterior motive: A potential informant was meeting that day with a CIA colleague at the winery. The agency wanted to see how the informant would handle a surprising situation, the wife said she was told.The CIA needed her husband to observe the informant’s behavior. [My husband] didn’t tell me anything,” the woman said.His CIA job, she said, poisoned their five-year-old marriage.“[He] used me and our daughter I never felt safe, never knew who people were or why they were interested in us or why they were photographing us,” wrote the woman, who is in her 30s, in December.One retired CIA senior paramilitary officer, who served for more than two decades and lives in Virginia, said he was told several years ago that the divorce rate for the agency’s operations division was astonishingly high. Hayden became the CIA’s director in 2006, he and his wife, Jeanine, also heard stories about many marriages falling apart in the clandestine service. “But privacy laws prevented us from getting accurate information,” said Hayden, who served as CIA director until early 2009.
The officer, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to protect his family’s identity, said he asked the agency’s human resources office for the numbers in 2005 because he was managing a Middle East operations group and was worried about the post-Sept. When he learned how many marriages were imploding, he said, he urged his officers not to take back-to-back unaccompanied tours. “The real answer is we don’t know what is true about the divorce rate.” While plenty of CIA marriages last for decades, the agency acknowledges that its high-risk jobs “take a toll on relationships,” CIA spokesman Preston Golson said.
“If I was at a party, working on some guy, a ‘developmental,’ like an Arab target, I always made sure to step away so my wife could talk to him alone,” said the former officer. One night she and her husband got into such a vicious fight that the police were summoned to the house.
The CIA operative told police that his wife woke up in the middle of the night, complained about his drinking and “came at him” with a glass baby bottle in a “threatening manner,” according to the police charging documents.
The husband did not return phone calls seeking comment, but his account of their marital difficulties is contained in court documents.) The two met in late 2005 on an online dating site. “Then I had a million questions, but he wouldn’t say more.” They got married later that year in a destination wedding.
They shared mutual interests — traveling, learning languages, and dogs — and agreed to meet for lunch in Alexandria. On the flight back, she noticed that he was eyeing the movements of several young foreign-looking men. “I wondered, was our wedding a cover for an operation?
Divorces involving spies are often just as clandestine as their work.