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CIA In State Of Collapse

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posted on Oct, 1 2005 @ 08:12 AM
As CIA Director Porter Goss tries to rebuild the agency's global operations, he faces a shortage of experienced spies created by a post-September 11 stampede to the private sector, current and former intelligence officials say.
Goss, who a year ago inherited a CIA wracked by criticism of intelligence failures over Iraq and the September 11, 2001, attacks, has come under fire from critics about the publicized departures of several high-level clandestine officers.

Reform advocates see the loss of senior officials as a natural consequence of changes intended to root out an old guard blamed for lapses that prompted Congress to put the CIA under a new director of national intelligence, John Negroponte.

"The CIA and the intelligence community failed this country pretty badly. That's why there's new leadership at the CIA. Change is not easy," said Rep. Peter Hoekstra of Michigan, the Republican chairman of the House of Representatives intelligence committee.

But current and former officials say Goss does face problems stemming from the agency's reliance on a robust private contracting market for skilled intelligence and security workers that has grown more lucrative since the September 11, 2001, attacks and the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

"Goss realizes he has a major problem in the (clandestine service) because he's having major bailouts among the old guard and also retention problems all the way down the ranks," said a former clandestine officer.

Experienced spies have been surrendering their blue staff badges and leaving the CIA in droves, often to return the next day as better paid, green-badged private contractors, current and former officials say.

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