"Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please." (Mark Twain)
Monday, October 25, 2004
That, of course, is exactly why incoming CIA director Porter Goss was so careful to insist when he was appointed by the Naked Emperor that he would not politicize America's intelligence community. You remember that, right? You don't? Well, that's okay, because it seems that he doesn't remember it, either:
Initial moves by Porter Goss as CIA director appear to herald a postelection purge at the troubled spy agency, according to current and former top US intelligence officials.
Goss, a former Republican congressman, has put at least four former Capitol Hill Republican staffers into top positions in his CIA office and has given them broad authority to make personnel and restructuring decisions, the current and former intelligence officials said.
One of the aides, whose identity Knight Ridder is not disclosing because he served the agency under cover, has been ''going around telling people they are to fire 80 to 90 people" in the Directorate of Operations, the CIA's covert arm, according to a former official.
Several knowledgeable current and former officials who maintain close ties to the agency repeated his account.
Tensions between an incoming CIA director and the agency's veterans, particularly in the Directorate of Operations, are common, as they are in any large institution resistant to change.
Most observers agree that the CIA, with the rest of the US intelligence community, needs reform. A Senate Intelligence Committee report issued in July found the CIA's prewar assessment that Iraq had hidden weapons of mass destruction programs was exaggerated, lacked evidence, and was driven by ''group-think."
The Directorate of Operations, which oversees clandestine intelligence collection, has been criticized in particular for failing to recruit human spies in Iraq who might have given an accurate picture of Saddam Hussein's regime and programs of weapons of mass destruction.
Goss, who was sworn in Sept. 24 to replace George Tenet, pledged during his confirmation hearings that he would be a nonpartisan CIA director.
(Link via Cosmic Iguana.)