posted on Nov, 15 2004 @ 12:12 PM
Top spies threaten to leave the fold over CIA reform
From Roland Watson in Washington
THE CIA’s top spies are on the brink of revolt seven weeks after the arrival of President Bush’s new Director.
Porter Goss and his newly imported aides have had a series of bruising showdowns with established CIA figures that have left the agency in turmoil.
John McLaughlin, the agency’s deputy director, a 32-year CIA veteran, announced at the weekend that he was quitting. Stephen Kappes, the deputy
director of operations, is expected to announce his resignation today.
Morale is said to be worse than at any time in the past 25 years and former CIA officials are giving warning that the bad blood at the agency’s
Langley headquarters in Virginia could cause the organisation to take its eye off the ball at a critical time. The CIA is at the forefront of American
efforts to end the Iraqi insurgency, tracking al-Qaeda threats around the world and helping to prevent the return of the Taleban in Afghanistan.
Even before arriving at the CIA, Mr Goss had pronounced it to be dysfunctional. He promised to shake up an organisation widely blamed for being wrong
about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction and failing to forsee the September 11 attacks.
His predecessor, George Tenet, who famously told Mr Bush that the presence of WMD in Iraq was a “slam-dunk case”, left in the summer.
Mr Goss has met fierce resistance, however. A former chairman of the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee and a former CIA case officer, he
brought four senior aides from Capitol Hill with him. Patrick Murray, his chief of staff, in particular ruffled feathers with an abrasive approach to
The CIA is one of the most effective leakers of information, even by Washington standards, and the weekend newspapers have been amply supplied with
the grievances of officials with the new regime.
Mr Goss’s initial attempt to bring Michael Kostiw, an Intelligence Committee aide, with him from Capitol Hill fell apart when it was leaked that Mr
Kostiw had been forced to leave the CIA 20 years ago after being arrested for stealing a packet of bacon.
Tensions appear to be worse at the CIA’s directorate of operations, the career spies who form the most powerful and secretive body within the agency.
Reforming the directorate without provoking a rebellion would test anyone, but Mr Goss appears to have got off on the wrong track by isolating
himself, failing to forge alliances with career officers or to give a clear indication of what he has in mind. The tension is exacerbated by the
considerable uncertainty about CIA reform, which is being debated by Congress. The CIA also resents the way that it was blamed for the Iraq WMD
debacle. Intelligence officials say that neo-conservatives were at fault for hardening intelligence.
As you can see,there apear to be things happening in the CIA,and it may have something to do with the gathering of intelligence being given to the
[edit on 15-11-2004 by robin1976]