Controversial but Necessary

A recently released Air Force Office of Special Investigations report found that the use of Air Force Academy cadets as confidential informants was a “controversial” but “necessary” investigative tool. The report noted that a “lack of specific training given to agents new” was an area “needing attention.” It added, that “this lack of training and solid knowledge of the cadet wing,” did “put new agents at a decided disadvantage when dealing with cadets.” The issue first came to light after the Colorado Springs Gazette posted an article claiming USAFA recruited cadets to spy on each other. The Gazette article cited several former informants who claimed the program directly contradicted the Academy’s honor code policy. The report acknowledges this “apparent conflict with a cadet CI’s need to possibly lie or deceive people to do his or her CI job” was the “most controversial,” but said the “recognition of a higher good” was the “best possible resolution to this controversy.” Academy Superintendent Lt. Gen. Michelle Johnson said she was “pleased with the thorough and extensive review of the OSI confidential information program and concur with the report’s recommendations.” She added that “any future use of cadets as CIs will only occur with my approval and strict oversight.” (See also Academy Snitches.) (USAFA release)