In most careers mistakes are rarely rewarded with promotions and commendations – but, that is not the case in the CIA.

In December of 2003 the CIA snagged Khaled el-Masri, a German citizen, and held him for five months in secret. Few people knew where he was or why he was there. It was later learned he was being held and interrogated in a secret prison in Afghanistan.

Unfortunately, the CIA caught the wrong man.

The mistake was huge, the intelligence error and diplomatic debacle that followed was highly embarrassing for the United States.

Strangely however, the analyst responsible for the mistake was not fired. She was not punished. She wasn’t even reprimanded. In fact, she was promoted.

Following a grave mistake, the analyst was awarded the prestigious opportunity to lead President Barack Obama’s CIA Counterterrorism Center aimed at interfering with al-Qaeda operations.