How to identify CIA limited hangout op? The operations of secret intelligence agencies aiming at the manipulation of public opinion generally involve a combination of cynical deception with the pathetic gullibility of the targeted populations. There is ample reason to believe that the case of Edward Joseph Snowden ffits into this pattern. We are likely dealing here with a limited hangout operation, in which carefully selected and falsified documents and other materials are deliberately revealed by an insider, who pretends to be a fugitive rebelling against the excesses of some oppressive or dangerous government agency. But the revelations turn out to have been prepared with a view to shaping the public consciousness in a way which is advantageous to the intelligence agency involved. At the same time, gullible young people can be duped into supporting a personality cult of the leaker, more commonly referred to as a "whistle-blower". A further variation on the theme on the theme can be the attempt of the sponsoring intelligence agency to introduce their chosen conduit, now posing as a defector, into the intelligence apparatus of a targeted foreign government. In this case, the leaker or whistle-blower attains the status of a triple agent. Any attempt to educate public opinion about the dynamics of limited hangout operations inevitably collides with the residue left in the minds of millions by recent successful examples of this technique. It will be hard for many to understand Snowden, precisely because they will insist on seeing him as the latest courageous example in a line of development, which includes Daniel Ellsberg and Julian Assange, both still viewed by large swaths of naive opinion as authentic challengers of oppressive government. This is because the landmark limited hangout operation at the beginning of the current post-Cold War era was that of Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon papers, which laid the groundwork for the CIA's Watergate attack on the Nixon administration, and more broadly, on the office of the presidency itself. More recently, we have had the case of Assange and Wikileaks. Using these two cases primarily, we can develop a simple typology of the limited hangout operation which can be of significant value to those striving to avoid the role of useful idiots amidst the current cascade of whistle blowers and limited hangout artists. In this analysis, we should also recall that limited hangouts have been around for a very long time. In 1620, Fra Paolo Sarpi, the dominant figure of the Venetian intelligence establishment of his time, advised the Venetian senate that the best way to defeat anti-Venitian propaganda was indirectly was indirectly.