Mark Mazzetti

E - Q


Mazzetti, Mark. "Efforts by C.I.A. Fail in Somalia, Officials Charge." New York Times, 8 Jun. 2006. []

The CIA's "covert effort ... to finance Somali warlords has drawn sharp criticism" from U.S. government officials "who say the campaign has thwarted counterterrorism efforts inside Somalia and empowered the same Islamic groups it was intended to marginalize." The "activities in Somalia ... were reaffirmed during a National Security Council meeting about Somalia in March, according to people familiar with the meeting. During the March meeting,... a decision was made to make counterterrorism the top policy priority for Somalia."


Mazzetti, Mark. "Exit of Chief Viewed as Move to Recast C.I.A." New York Times, 7 May 2006, A1, A18.

According to intelligence officials on 6 May 2006, the choice of Gen. Michael V. Hayden as the new CIA director "is only a first step in a planned overhaul to permanently change the [agency's] mission and functions." Porter J. Goss "was seen as an obstacle" to DNI John D. Negroponte's effort "to focus the agency on its core mission of combating terrorism and stealing secrets abroad.... Mr. Goss was seen as trying to protect the C.I.A.'s longtime role as government's premier center for intelligence analysis, but under General Hayden ... much of that function is intended to move elsewhere.... Under General Hayden, the C.I.A. will maintain a large staff of intelligence analysts, the officials said. But their role is likely to be diminished, with the primary task of supporting the agency's spying operations, rather than producing broad intelligence assessments for policymakers."


Mazzetti, Mark. "Ex-Official Returns to Key Post at the C.I.A." New York Times, 15 Sep. 2007. []

The CIA announced on 14 September 2007 that Michael J. Sulick has been named to head the agency's clandestine service. Sulick retired from the number two position in the clandestine service in 2004 following a dispute with then-DCI Porter Goss's staff. In this position, "Sulick will have a role that extends beyond the agency to include broad oversight of human intelligence operations in other agencies, including the military and the Defense Intelligence Agency." See also, Walter Pincus, "CIA Veteran to Head Clandestine Service," Washington Post, 15 Sep. 2007, A2.

[CIA/00s/07 & Components/NCS]

Mazzetti, Mark. "Facing a Rift, U.S. Spy Chief to Step Down." New York Times, 20 May 2010. []

Adm. Dennis C. Blair, "whose often tumultuous tenure as DNI was marked by frequent clashes with White House officials and other spy chiefs in America's still fractured intelligence apparatus, announced [on 20 May 2010] that he was resigning." Blair's departure "had been rumored for months, but was made official when President Obama called him [on 20 May 2010] and asked him to step down." Greg Miller, "Dennis C. Blair to Resign as Director of National Intelligence," Washington Post, 21 May 2010, A1, adds that Blair's "departure is likely to renew debate over whether the DNI position ... is fundamentally flawed."


Mazzetti, Mark. "Military Role in U.S. Embassies Creates Strains, Report Says." New York Times, 20 Dec. 2006. []

A report by the Republican staff of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee has found that "[t]he expansion of the Pentagon's presence in American embassies is creating frictions and overlapping missions that could undermine efforts to combat Islamic radicalism.... As the Pentagon takes on new roles collecting intelligence, initiating information operations and conducting other 'self-assigned missions,' the report found that some embassies have effectively become command posts, with military personnel in those countries all but supplanting the role of ambassadors in conducting American foreign policy." The report, "Embassies as Command Posts in the Anti-Terror Campaign," dated 15 December 2006, is available at:

[MI/00s/06; Terrorism/00s/06]

Mazzetti, Mark. "New Data and New Methods Lead to Revised View on Iran." New York Times, 5 Dec. 2007. []

A National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) released on 3 December 2007 "concludes with 'high confidence' that Iran halted work on its nuclear weapons program in 2003." An NIE in 2005 had found that "Iran's leaders were working tirelessly to acquire a nuclear weapon."

[Analysis/Est/Iran; GenPostCW/00s/07; OtherCountries/Iran]

Mazzetti, Mark. "New Terror Strategy Shifts C.I.A. Focus Back to Spying." New York Times, 23 May 2013. []

"[U]nder a new plan outlined by the Obama administration on [23 May 2013], the [CIA's] Counterterrorism Center over time would cease to be the hub of America's targeted killing operations in Pakistan, Yemen and other places where presidents might choose to wage war in the future." CIA Director John O. Brennan "is trying to shift the C.I.A.'s focus back toward traditional spying and strategic analysis, but that is not an easy task.... Some American officials and outside experts believe it could take years for a spy agency that has evolved into a paramilitary service to rebalance its activities....

"[A]dministration officials said ... that some drone operations would shift to the Pentagon, particularly those in Yemen, where the Pentagon's Joint Special Operations Command is already running a parallel drone program. And, they said, the 'preference' for the future is for all drone operations to be run by the Defense Department.... While C.I.A. officers and analysts will continue to play a role in any drone operations run by the Pentagon, the White House plan is for the Defense Department to assume control over all drone operations in less than two years."

[CIA/10s/13; MI/Recon/10s/13; Terrorism/10s/13]

Mazzetti, Mark. "Obama Faults Spy Agencies' Performance in Gauging Mideast Unrest, Officials Say." New York Times, 4 Feb. 2011. []

According to current and former U.S. officials, "President Obama has criticized American spy agencies over their performance in predicting and analyzing the spreading unrest in the Middle East.... The president was specifically critical of intelligence agencies for misjudging how quickly the unrest in Tunisia would lead to the downfall of the country's authoritarian government."


Mazzetti, Mark. "Officer Failed to Warn C.I.A. Before Attack." New York Times, 19 Oct. 2010. []

According to CIA Director Leon E. Panetta on 19 October 2010, an investigation conducted by the agency's counterintelligence division found that "[t]hree weeks before a Jordanian double agent set off a bomb at a remote [CIA] base in eastern Afghanistan last December, a C.I.A. officer in Jordan received warnings that the man might be working for Al Qaeda.... But the C.I.A. officer did not tell his bosses of suspicions -- brought to the Americans by a Jordanian intelligence officer -- that the man might be planning to lure Americans into a trap."

The investigation also "chronicled major security lapses at the base in Afghanistan, a lack of war zone experience among the agency's personnel at the base, insufficient vetting of the alleged defector and a murky chain of command with different branches of the intelligence agency competing for control over the operation.... Panetta said that the report did not recommend holding a single person or group of individuals directly accountable for 'systemic failures.'"

Joby Warrick, "'Systemic Failures' Led to Attack, CIA Says," Washington Post, 19 Oct. 2010, notes that Panetta also said that "[a] separate independent review by former U.S. diplomat Thomas Pickering and former Department of Homeland Security intelligence chief Charles E. Allen concurred with the agency's findings." Panetta's predecessor Michael V. Hayden "said he concurs with the agency's findings and approach."


Mazzetti, Mark. "Pentagon Is Expected to Close Intelligence Unit." New York Times, 2 Apr. 2008. []

The Pentagon is expected to close the controversial Counterintelligence Field Activity office. According to government officials, the move "is part of a broad effort under Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates to review, overhaul and, in some cases, dismantle an intelligence architecture built by his predecessor." The unit "came under fierce criticism in 2005 after it was disclosed" that its Talon database "included information about antiwar protests planned at churches, schools and Quaker meeting halls." See also, Joby Warrick, "Intelligence-Gathering Program May Be Halted." Washington Post, 2 Apr. 2008, A8.


Mazzetti, Mark. "Pentagon Sees Move in Somalia as Blueprint." New York Times, 13 Jan. 2007. []

"Military operations in Somalia" carried out by the Pentagon's Joint Special Operations Command, "and the use of the Ethiopian Army as a surrogate force to root out operatives for Al Qaeda in the country, are a blueprint that Pentagon strategists say they hope to use more frequently in counterterrorism missions around the globe."


Mazzetti, Mark. "Private Spies Aid F.B.I. in Afghan Investigation." New York Times, 28 Feb. 2011. []

According to U.S officials and private contractors, after the Pentagon ended "its relationship with a private spy network operating in Afghanistan and Pakistan" and managed by Duane R. Clarridge, a former top CIA official, the FBI "began tapping the same group to help investigate the killing of 10 medical aid workers in northern Afghanistan." The network has provided FBI agents in Kabul "with intelligence reports about militants who may have been involved in the attack." Clarridge's "network is made up of former C.I.A. and special forces operatives, as well as dozens of Afghan and Pakistani locals."

[FBI/2010s; MI/Ops/Afgh/2011]

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