Washington Post

J - M


Washington Post. "[Editorial:] Jeremiah's Jeremiad." 15 Jun. 1998, A22.

[Excerpt] "Since the Cold War ended -- even before -- the CIA and associated agencies have been hit by one revelation after another of the intelligence community's breakdowns. This time the loss may have been modest, if you figure that, regardless of whether they were caught in the act, the Indians were going to test. But the potential gain, in terms of reform of intelligence practices and perceptions, could be considerable. Adm. Jeremiah also set a good example in conducting a quick but penetrating inquiry that goes to the heart of a vital intelligence matter."


Washington Post. "[Editorial:] Listening to the World." 31 Jan. 1997, A20.

[Text] "The latest strangeness at Langley is the CIA's reported decision to cut way back on the foreign broadcasts and press articles it translates and distributes not just to government analysts and policymakers but to academics, business types, journalists and interested others. This is said to be underway for budgetary considerations, though the sums involved -- reportedly in $18 million to $20 million range -- pale against the $39 billion widely estimated as the intelligence community's due.

"This premier global translation service has a certain Beltway flavor. Not everybody will leap to spend good money so that the foreign policy elite can catch speeches and newspaper stories from some countries others can't find on a map. But the service has provided much useful information over the years when it was hard to find out what was really going on in places of importance to this country. Since the beginning of World War II, the United States has mined the radios and press of countries of interest to American policy in order to learn what they say to and among themselves. In the Cold War the readership of this service was extended beyond official circles into the still- growing ranks of private citizens engaged in the world.

"The ending of the Cold War and the opening of cyberspace account for recent changes in the old 'Foreign Broadcast Information Service.' Its American-manned monitoring bureaus are being phased out; local employees now do the initial winnowing. Hard-copy dispatches have been replaced by Internet transmissions, which subscribers (including this newspaper) pay for. Some of its documents are now conveyed in the original, untranslated.

"Presumably the government is seeing to whether these changes provide the necessary grist for an intelligence collection and analysis operation undertaking to rely ever more fully on open sources. But it is quite clear that many of the unofficial consumers of the flow -- a shrinking flow and part of it not even translated -- are convinced they are being shortchanged. No one has come up with a good alternative for the legions of private citizens who want to know the international word. This is not a smart way to step out on the information highway."

Washington Post. "[Editorial:] The Mother Teresa Dodge." Washington Post National Weekly Edition, 17 Mar. 1997, 24.

Concerns CIA's agent "scrub": "The duty of intelligence recruiters is not to choose between virtuous informants and vicious ones.... The obligation is to distinguish among informants with varying elements of knowledge, reliability and national-interest suitability -- in short, to apply judgment."


Washington Post. "[Editorial:] Mr. Tenet's Exit." 4 Jun. 2004, A22. [http://www. washingtonpost.com]

"George J. Tenet ... made a relatively artful departure [on 3 June 2004] from the position of CIA director. For months, Mr. Tenet has faced mounting demands that he accept accountability for the agency's failures in assessing the threat of al Qaeda before Sept. 11, 2001, and in estimating Iraq's capacity in weapons of mass destruction.... Mr. Tenet partly preempted the brewing storm by announcing that he was resigning, and only for personal reasons. In a stroke, he deflected some of the heat from himself, the agency to which he has been so dedicated and President Bush....

"It's not that a shamed resignation was entirely called for. In the course of seven years at the head of the CIA ... Mr. Tenet did much to improve the agency and the overall capacity of U.S. intelligence.... Mr. Tenet recognized the threat posed by Osama bin Laden before Sept. 11, although the CIA, like the rest of the bureaucracy, did not respond with sufficient aggressiveness. Agency operatives played a major role in the successful campaign to overthrow the Taliban regime in Afghanistan and in the exposure of the rogue nuclear programs of Libya and Pakistan. Yet Mr. Tenet's agency mishandled Iraq in ways that undoubtedly will shadow his legacy and may undo some of his success."


Washington Post. "[Editorial:] Mr. Trulock's Resignation." 27 Aug. 1999, A28. [http://www. washingtonpost.com]

"[A]t least some of Mr. Trulock's concerns have considerable merit.... Chinese espionage does appear to have netted design information about American warheads. Far less clear, however, is how much design information really was compromised.... There is reason to wonder as well whether Mr. Trulock's confidence that the leak came from Los Alamos was reasonable or whether it led him to narrow his search for the spy and focus too quickly on former Los Alamos scientist Wen Ho Lee.... All of this makes it hard to take Mr. Trulock's as the last word in this affair.... At the same time, his contribution in insisting that lab security and Chinese nuclear spying were a problem requiring immediate attention cannot be dismissed."


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