Turf II

"..a senior U.S. intelligence official with firsthand knowledge of events says Goss was dismissed as CIA director after the White House became convinced that strong disagreements with his immediate boss, John Negroponte, were beyond resolution. Those disputes involved changes that Goss feared would limit the agency’s scope and influence, undercutting its role in analyzing intelligence."  Chicago Tribune

"..the senior official, who spoke only on condition of anonymity, said the boiling point was reached earlier this month when it became clear to the White House that Goss and Negroponte were at loggerheads over Negroponte’s insistence that the CIA must dramatically change its focus and mission.

"The Negroponte appointment not only finished Goss but it hurt the agency," said a senior CIA analyst who recently retired after a distinguished 30-year career. "The agency will never be the same."

Negroponte, a career diplomat who is the first person to hold the newly created job of Director of National Intelligence, designed to serve as the intelligence community’s "czar," insisted that the CIA spin off many of its functions to his own office or other agencies and become primarily a "collector" of intelligence, mainly from human sources." Chicago Tribune


I know that some believe that this butt kicking contest in Washington is about corruption, whores at poker parties and "Dukey" Cunningham, but….  It isn’t.  This piece in the Chicago Tribune makes that clear.  When reading it, remember that the principal source is a very unhappy CIA person who clearly is yet incapable of comprehending (much less accepting) structural change on the scale that Negroponte is attempting. 

Pat Lang


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26 Responses to Turf II

  1. Paul says:

    You are absolutely correct…this is not about corruption or even incompetence. If it were, many more heads would role from ALL the agencies (to include DoD). That said, I think the concern about shifting of analytical resources and its effect within the CIA is valid. With the seperation of collection and analysis, one loses the synergy, the lack of which has always been a criticism of DoD collection.

  2. Sally says:

    The Chicago Tribune undoubtedly knows more about the inner workings of the CIA then the analyst with 30 years experience at the CIA. Everyone seems to be pushing the story aligned with their hopes and fears. Like most things this administration does, we may never know the true reason. So much seems to be done out of pure spite and hatefulness, even security issues.

  3. Michael Siger says:

    Pat, It seems to me there are two questons in all this babble about theintel community et.al. that need to be addressed
    1) Is any agency, DIA, CIA, DOD or whomever going to increase our countries sorry ability to collect humint around the world? As you have said many times, this is the most valuable intel and it is sorely lacking in our capabilities. This isssue is getting lost in these debates.
    2) Can or How can Gen. Hayden who created and defended the warentless wiretap program be allowed to run the CIA? This program, which we all know is illegal, ignores FISA etc. is indefensible.
    There is no real need to do warentless searches, unless your real agenda, with this program is to test the limits of the Constitution. I think Bush crowd has that agenda, using warentless wiretaps, torture, secret prisons, renditions, and the President’s letters attached to laws saying he won’t enforce them. The Administration has never publically explained why these extra constitutional acts are justified or necessary.
    And of course no one in Congress stands up to this attempt to hijack the Constitution. Hayden is complict in this hijacking.
    Michael Singer

  4. W. Patrick Lang says:

    As I understand it, enough analytic capablity is going to be left in CIA to enable the synergy that you write of.
    What is being moved out are the national level assets which will be combined with people from other agencies in “centers” under DNI.
    I should not be surprised but there seems to be little interest in the public or media in the managerial revolution that is taking place. Having been an executive in the community, it strikes me that those changes are the most important. pl

  5. W. Patrick Lang says:

    Do you suppose that someone outside the CIA might be a little more objective? pl

  6. W. Patrick Lang says:

    Received the following from a retired senior CIA employee.
    The Goss story involves several possibilities: he was, indeed, resisting change being directed by the DNI, and, he and some of his minions had, indeed, pushed morale and effectiveness at Langley off the bottom of the charts.
    But I am beginning to believe that the Cunningham scandal prompted the timing of last week’s firing. Justice is getting a very clear understanding of the scope of the corruption that undermined Goss’s HPSCI and then followed him to Langley. I think the administration, once it understood what Gonzalez had, pulled the plug. How often will the Bush administration throw someone under the train? Only Heckuva job Brownie comes the mind.
    Everybody is right and everybody is wrong about what happened last week.
    The only thing that is certain is that CIA is probably finished, and the story will continue to grow.

  7. Curious says:

    As I understand it, enough analytic capablity is going to be left in CIA to enable the synergy that you write of.
    Posted by: W. Patrick Lang | 11 May 2006 at 09:59 AM
    Without enough of their own people, CIA is just big NSA without the toys. (ie. another big building with bunch of desk jobs, who wouldn’t know the difference between fiction and situation on the ground) The point of CIA is being able to collect its own info, analyze and verify.
    synergy is just bunch of grad students reading each other papers.

  8. Paul says:

    Part of the issue may be that analysis was broken out between DI and the three DO centers: CPD, CTC and WINPAC. Other analysis remained with the DI geographic elements. The three centers served to fuse analysis and collection for high priority functional areas. They also served as budget magnets – their movement outside (even if only partial) will have a corresponding effect on the operating budget.

  9. jonst says:

    It most likely is as you note PL….but those damn coincidents keep piling up.
    Don’t they?

  10. Sally says:

    Col Lang, I fear objectivity has been lost regarding the CIA and so many other things and admit to being guilty of becoming less and less objective, too. I do dislike so often seeing the CIA as a whole being blamed for the failures of Tenet and a few. I equate Negroponte’s empire with Homeland Security and see the “new” CIA going the way of FEMA. This leaves me with little confidence we are more secure at home or abroad. Books will be written about all this and I hope they have a happy ending.

  11. canuck says:

    Bush Takes on The Firm
    Killing the CIA
    By Sidney Blumenthal
    In Goss, Bush found the perfect hatchet man to take vengeance on a despised agency. Now Goss is gone, scandal looms — and the CIA is ruined.
    more at Spiegel
    Blumenthal believes the CIA will further deteriorate. Colonel, please give us your analysis of this article.

  12. jonst says:

    This article, like many others , focuses on the poker, cigar, bribes stuff. It does not mention what kind of contracts were cemented here. See the business Wilkes was in. Data mining. Data accumulation. Etc. Their outsourcing their efforts.

  13. john pfeifler says:

    If I get you correctly, the turf war between Secretary Rumsfeld and Director Negroponte is/was a turf war between the DNI and Director Goss. Quite frankly, that makes more sense. The Intelligence Reform Act seemed to have as its primary purpose the breaking up of the CIA. Yes, several initial versions tried to wrest some control over intelligence assets from DoD with only limited success. Therefore, the DNI is trying to consolidate control over the 20-25% of the intelligence community he can get his fingers on best. DoD looks to be a long-term project for the DNI.
    Not to sell intelligence management short, I hope to see the overdependence on techno-wiz ameliorated. From my limited experience, we are seeing the result of putting too much money in hardware, office furniture, and new organizational structures, and too little in people ware–linguists and analysts. Once the DNI, DCI, and SecDef get done rearranging the line and block chart perhaps this president or the next one will be better able to politicize the intelligence during the next crisis.
    A part of me remains optimistic that good hardworking people will somehow put Humpty Dumpty back together again. Maybe not during this administration, but as soon as the NSC cares more about the U.S. than their own little kingdoms.

  14. W. Patrick Lang says:

    I think that the notion of seeing the DNI’s campaign as requiring phases is a good one.
    “Form dictates function.” If you have a bad organizational structure for the community you are going to have bad intelligence. pl

  15. W. Patrick Lang says:

    CIA as it was is gone. CIA is now the national espionage agency. think about whether or not you are really unhappy with that outcome so long as the capabilities which it formerly had are preserved in the new community structure. pl

  16. Curious says:

    Not to sell intelligence management short, I hope to see the overdependence on techno-wiz ameliorated. From my limited experience, we are seeing the result of putting too much money in hardware, office furniture, and new organizational structures, and too little in people ware–linguists and analysts. Once the DNI, DCI, and SecDef get done rearranging the line and block chart perhaps this president or the next one will be better able to politicize the intelligence during the next crisis.
    Posted by: john pfeifler | 11 May 2006 at 03:53 PM
    not likely, by now all those little dot.com companies have gained strong lobbying power. Everything will look like DHS, in term of contracts. Absolutely corrupt, full of gizmos that don’t work.
    who can check? all these are new institutions without budget control. Everything is secret. Ya think NSA spy sattelite and DoD weather satts are white elephants in space, just wait until DNI start purchasing computer gear. Who can check? Just like in Homeland security, nobody can check.
    ka-ching… pass me the hooker and limo’s ya got contract.
    CIA on the otherhand is a pretty established insitutions with all sort of feedback control.
    If anybody ask me, the hooker story needs to be investigated. (who start the story, why the CIA is defending itself, and who profit from ruining CIA image.) THAT’s the real juicy part I want to know.
    (It’ll be as interesting as knowing … who plant the “shock and awe” story in NYTimes.)

  17. ckrantz says:

    How do you see negroponte’s independence when it comes to the administration. Or to put it another way. How likely is it that the new organization will drink kool-aid again when the next or the current administration set a goal or policy that clashes with reality?

  18. Curious says:

    okay here is my prediction. If the US news article is indeed CIA job to defend itself. More likely we are gonig to see a lot more leak during Hayden hearing next week.
    People who doesn’t want hyden be in such position WILL make sure hayden burns. (Rove is outside the critical info loop, so Bush practically doesn’t have a brain. he is too stupid to calculate next political move.)
    Everytime Hayden lies, Some gruesome information will pop in the media.
    this ought to be fun.
    CIA vs. DNI media battle.

  19. Publius says:

    Happened across your blog a couple of months ago, Colonel, and I like it very much. Not surprising, inasmuch as I am retired from your branch, albeit with not nearly so much success. I am a veteran of the CI/HUMINT wars (was a member of a certain career program—initials “GS”—of which you may have heard).
    WRT to this current CIA issue, all I have to say is that radical surgery is long overdue. CIA—along with other agencies tasked with the CI/HUMINT mission—has never lived up to the hype and has long been hamstrung by its own internal weaknesses. HUMINT failures typically begin in-house and can often be traced to institutional biases and personal preferences of various senior civilians and generals. In addition to funding and other shortfalls, this translates into poor recruiting, personnel management and retention practices. Bottom line is that if we somehow get a better clandestine collection capability, Goss and his minions will have inadvertently (and unwillingly) rendered a valuable service to the nation.
    You may disagree, but it’s long been my belief that US intelligence has long been its own worst enemy when it comes to clandestine work. I hold no brief for CIA or any of the other agencies and I like to think that some very talented individuals who can be found throughout the community might someday be nurtured and led by qualified people. I accordingly shed no tears for Goss or CIA, and I pray that some of this will actually make a difference. Unfortunately, cynic that I am, I do not believe any of the current cast of characters will make that difference.
    We should always remember Petronius Arbiter.

  20. W. Patrick Lang says:

    Welcome aboard.

  21. http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/nation/20060512-0906-foggo.html
    By Jerry Kammer and Marcus Stern
    9:06 a.m. May 12, 2006
    VIENNA, Va.– Federal agents Friday morning raided the home of Kyle “Dusty” Foggo, who stepped down this week from the No. 3 post at the CIA amid accusations of improper ties to a defense contractor named as a co-conspirator in the bribery case of former Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham.

  22. Norbert Schulz says:

    Question: I today found a news report on crictique about INR intelligence assessment, and that it would resist ‘reform’.
    Quote: “You have to wonder if this is an invitation to the secretary of state to purge INR,” said John Prados, a senior fellow with the National Security Archive at George Washington University.”
    Makes me wonder, too: Is there a push to centralise the entire intel business under a (politicised) entitiy, say the DNI, to prevent such persistent dissent from CIA and INR as to observe before the Iraq war? To get the perfect sync with the politicos?

  23. W. Patrick Lang says:

    There were analysts at CIA who resisted the baloney before the war but the leaders did not, therefore CIA did not.
    At INR the leaders from the secretary down to the leaders in INR backed the analysts against people like Bolton. Leadership counts.
    To have good intelligence:
    1- Get the organization right.
    2- Have leaders with integrity.
    Too many of you want to explain history on the basis of conspiracy. pl

  24. Norbert Schulz says:

    You’re probably correct, about the conspiracy theory part. There are many streams flowing in DC, some against each other, some in synergy. I am aware of that. I don’t think that it’s the neo-cons doing all that.
    It’s manyfold. Some silly ideas are just will come back again and again. Other efforts, for they own reasons, may work in synergy with what neo-cons want or have wanted for long. And then, things at times develop a life of their own, and end up not where they were planned to end. But all this is extremely difficult to see from the outside, much less for ordinary citizens.
    Then, it’s about what comes out in the end, too. Just as the CIA is finlandised now, the INR, in case is being ‘reformed’ just as harshly, will join the club. Whatever the intent, they will have been silenced.
    As for the Cheney wing and the neo-cons I have found them to be very clear and outspoken about their plans, the spin to sell their policies left aside. Actually, I find it impressive how consequent they stick to their playbook over Iran, how imprudent their path however is. And quite undeterred by Iraq — only much less rummy-ramblous now, and rice-ious instead. True leadership – they mean it when they say it. Like Captain Ahab.

  25. Norbert Schulz says:

    I guess the key problem conspiracy theories is the temptation to see correlation to imply causation.
    From lack of access to information, the temptation to assign unproportional influence to the few actors that are clearly identifiable is strong.

  26. Hannah K. O'Luthon says:

    @ Norbert Schulz
    Very well stated, and of course it applies in spades to the two conspiracy theories that have directed U.S. foreign policy for
    the last 60 years: the “International Communist Conspiracy” and “Al Qaeda”. The
    former had the virtue of having
    an identifiable set of bureaucratic organs and protagonists (frequently in
    conflict among themselves). The latter seems to have all the substance, iniquity and independendce of Orwell’s Emmanuel Goldstein.

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