November 14, 2004

NO MORE SECOND CHANCES:

New Chief Sets Off Turmoil Within the C.I.A. (DOUGLAS JEHL, 11/14/04, NY Times)

Deep, unresolved tensions between new leaders and senior career officers at the Central Intelligence Agency threaten to set off a rebellion within the agency's clandestine service, according to current and former intelligence officials.

The tensions pit the new intelligence chief, Porter J. Goss, against the C.I.A.'s directorate of operations, the most powerful and secretive part of the agency. Winning allegiance from the career spies within the clandestine service is widely regarded as essential to the success of any intelligence chief.

For now, former intelligence officials say, many career C.I.A. officers do not know whether to regard Mr. Goss as someone dispatched by the White House to punish the agency for past failures, or to rebuild its capabilities to make it stronger.


You shouldn't be allowed to say you work in intelligence if you can't figure out that's redundant.

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 14, 2004 8:39 AM
Comments

"The tensions pit the new intelligence chief, Porter J. Goss, against the C.I.A.'s directorate of operations, the most powerful and secretive part of the agency. Winning allegiance from the career spies within the clandestine service is widely regarded as essential to the success of any intelligence chief."

Wow, and I always thought their super-secret mission was to figure out who the bad guys are, and to pledge allegiance to our flag.

Posted by: Fred Jacobsen (San Fran) at November 14, 2004 8:56 AM

Clinton had a long time to fill the CIA with his kind of people. You know the touchy feelie kind. If Bush picked the right person for this job as he has for his other important appointments, those who are unsure will find themselves in another line of work.

How long will it take to cleanse the government of the stain of the Clinton years. What would have happened to us if Bush wasn't there to do that job while destroying terrorism, reassuring the financial world, walking a fine line with the far right while letting the left know their days are numbered?

Talk about the right man at the right time.

Posted by: erp at November 14, 2004 9:43 AM

erp:

It's the careerists, not the political appointees who are the problem.

Posted by: oj at November 14, 2004 9:54 AM

Close it down, bulldoze the place, kill the agents hanging their bodies on stakes for all to see, and then start over.

Posted by: Bart at November 14, 2004 10:36 AM

Bart: Seems like a reasoned response to the situation............

Posted by: ed at November 14, 2004 11:26 AM

It's a failure on all counts and requires a classical Roman Scipio Africanus-style response.

Posted by: Bart at November 14, 2004 11:39 AM

It has very little to do with Clinton. The CIA has always been the wets in the only battle it cares about -- with State and the Pentagon over money, power and prestige.

Posted by: David Cohen at November 14, 2004 3:33 PM

It goes back all the way to the OSS, which was nicknamed the "Oh So Social" because it drew so many of its personnel from the upper crust and the Ivy League, which saw intelligence/covert-action work as the most glamorous part of the war. Postwar, the CIA became almost literally an Ivy League preserve, and as those schools swung further to the left, the knock-on effect resonated in Langley.

Posted by: Joe at November 14, 2004 4:32 PM

Truman supposedly agonized over the creation of the CIA. Unlike other gov offfices the CIA had no provisions in the charter to ever dismanlte it. Mr. Goss has his work cut out for him and from the sound of things he's doing his job.

Posted by: at November 14, 2004 5:25 PM
"whether to regard Mr. Goss as someone dispatched by the White House to punish the agency for past failures, or to rebuild its capabilities to make it stronger,"

Yes

Posted by: Uncle Bill at November 15, 2004 10:15 AM
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