11/15/2004

CIA Chief Seeks to Reassure Employees

So this adds up to four people quitting the agency within the last few days.

"Shake Up at CIA Headquarters Continues"
from the Washington Post.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A51301-2004Nov15.html

CIA Chief Seeks to Reassure Employees
Hours after the two top clandestine service officers at the CIA (news - web sites) resigned yesterday, Director Porter J. Goss asked employees to remain loyal to the agency and rebutted allegations that he had a partisan agenda.



"We provide the intelligence as we see it and let the facts alone speak to the policymakers," Goss wrote in an internal e-mail to CIA employees, according to two people who read it to The Washington Post. Goss told them to expect "a series of changes" in the days and weeks ahead, "in the organization, personnel" and mission of the agency.

The e-mail was the first communication from Goss to the wider CIA audience since controversies arose over senior aides he has appointed.

Goss has said he believes the CIA's clandestine service is dysfunctional and needs changes. His critics say the director, a former CIA case officer and Republican chairman of the House intelligence committee, is purging the agency of career officers whom he incorrectly perceives as critical of Bush administration policies.

Congress worried
Sen. John McCain (news, bio, voting record) (R-Ariz.) said yesterday that Goss and some White House officials were concerned that unauthorized disclosures of information by the CIA during the election campaign "were intended to damage the president," and he accused a "rogue" element within the agency of carrying them out.

Rep. Jane Harman (news, bio, voting record) (Calif.), ranking Democrat on the House intelligence committee, yesterday accused Goss's aides of having partisan motives. Targeting officials in the clandestine service, whose job is to manage CIA operations around the world, for leaks of a prewar National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq (news - web sites)'s weapons of mass destruction was "totally misguided," she said.

The two resignations yesterday, of Deputy Director of Operations Stephen R. Kappes and his deputy, Michael Sulick, will "undermine the morale of the workforce that had undergone a renaissance since the failures of 9/11," she said.

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