Bitter Ritter Fingers the CIA

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Hell hath no fury like a Marine spurned, and Scott Ritter is in no rush to forgive the CIA for shutting him out of its Baghdad covert operations. The former U.N. arms inspector at the center of last winter's confrontation with Iraq has written a tell-all book accusing the Clinton administration of compromising the U.N. arms inspection program. Few surprises there, but nobody was expecting Ritter to confirm that UNSCOM contained a number of CIA covert operatives -- one of the reasons cited by Baghdad for his own expulsion from Iraq.

"Ritter feels that he was first drawn into U.S. covert intelligence-gathering and then later frozen out," says TIME U.N. correspondent William Dowell. Among the reasons allegedly cited were his marriage to a Russian woman. "That's an insult to his pride as an intelligence professional," says Dowell, "and he's hitting back by accusing the CIA operatives dealing with Iraq of being more concerned with advancing their careers than with the real danger posed by Iraq's weapons." That'll teach those cloak-and-dagger boys to mess with a Marine.