CIA Director Brennan wants to make his mark on the spy agency by shifting around the lines of authority to merge analysts and operatives into specialized “mission centers,” but the disadvantages may outweigh the advantages, according to ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
From the Archive: Almost 20 years ago – even before the Iraq WMD fiasco – as the CIA was celebrating its half-century anniversary, the impact of a Reagan-era “reorganization” was being felt in the “politicization” of intelligence, Robert Parry wrote in 1997. Now, a new reorganization could make matters worse.
Official Washington’s influential neocons love former CIA Director (and retired Gen.) David Petraeus so much that his hand-slap punishment for exposing secrets, including agent identities, was applauded by many despite the double standard of harsh penalties for others, as ex-CIA analyst Melvin A. Goodman notes.
The original idea of the CIA was to have independent-minded experts assessing both short- and longer-term threats to U.S. national security. Mixing with operations and politics was always a danger, which is now highlighted by CIA Director Brennan’s reorganization, opposed by a group of U.S. intelligence veterans.
From the Archive: Ignoring the CIA’s original purpose – to coordinate intelligence and provide unbiased analyses to U.S. presidents to avert another Pearl Harbor – CIA Director Brennan is pressing ahead with a plan to merge operations with analysis, a scheme that ex-CIA analyst Melvin A. Goodman panned last year.
Exclusive: While lesser Americans face years in jail for leaking secrets – even to inform fellow citizens of government abuses – retired Gen. David Petraeus gets a misdemeanor wrist-slap for exposing covert officers and lying about it, says ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern, who was jailed just for trying to ask Petraeus a question.
Prior to the U.S. intelligence community’s 2007 assessment that Iran was not working on a nuclear weapons program, there was a scramble among U.S. and Israeli officials to show that it was. The CIA’s Operation Merlin also revealed that U.S. officials were not above planting false evidence, writes Norman Solomon.