Wednesday, December 29, 2004

The latest change at the CIA is the dismissal of the Deputy Director of the Analysis Branch. The New York Times reports that the deputy director for intelligence, Jami Miscik, is stepping down. Yet it als mentions the fact that a former CIA official mentioned that it was not her decision.

The analysis unit has taken a considerable amount of criticism in the wake of revelations about the questionable nature of the intelligence leading up to the Iraq War. There have been numerous resignations in recent months including the former head of the unit responsible for tracking Osama bin Laden who also wrote the book Imperial Hubris, Michael Scheuer.

The new Director of Central Intelligence, Porter J. Goss, was appointed by President Bush and has pledged to "reform" the agency. Critics are concerned that Goss' reform efforts are actually efforts to create the sort of locked-down, leak-proof operation that the White House has managed.

In the past year, leaks have been coming from, the CIA critical of the Bush administration. They emphasize the political pressure the analysis division was under to produce intelligence promoting the administration's argument for war despite protestations from members of the unit who believed the information to be questionable and possibly manufactured.

Goss released a memo not long after his appointment defininf his vision of the CIA:
I want everyone in our workforce to know - I seek to encourage and expect the best from everyone in CIA. Our country demands it, our President needs it, and this institution deserves it. I also intend to clarify beyond doubt the rules of the road. We support the Administration and its policies in our work. As Agency employees we do not identify with, support, or champion opposition to the Administration or its policies.
Whether this recent departure of another senior official is retribution or simply a chance to create an opportunity for placement of more officials sympathetic to the administration's outlook will be seen in the coming months.

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