January - April 2004

Materials presented in chronological order.

Priest, Dana. "The CIA's 'Anonymous' No. 2: Low-Profile Deputy Director Leads Agency's Analytical Side." Washington Post, 9 Jan. 2004, A15. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

Interview with DDCI John E. McLaughlin who terms himself "'the most anonymous' senior official in Washington."

Dickerson, John, and Viveca Novak. "Grand Jury Hears Plame Case." Time, 26 Jan. 2004. [http://www.time.com]

On 21 January 2004, a grand jury in Washington, DC, began hearing testimony "in the investigation into whether the identity of CIA operative Valerie Plame was improperly leaked" to columnist Robert Novak and other journalists.

Wong, Edward. "New Iraq Agency to Hunt Rebels." New York Times, 31 Jan. 2004. [http://www.nytimes.com]

Iraqi and American officials said on 30 January 2004 that "[t]he Iraqi authorities, with the help of American intelligence agencies, are creating an intelligence service that will focus on rooting out guerrilla fighters," especially those from outside Iraq. "The service will employ some former agents of Saddam Hussein's security apparatus and will probably receive financing from the American government, the officials said." The CIA "is taking the lead in helping put together the new service, American officials said."

Pincus, Walter. "CIA Alters Policy After Iraq Lapses: Analysts to Receive Details About Sources." Washington Post, 12 Feb. 2004, A1. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

According to officials on 11 February 2004, "[t]he CIA is making changes in how it handles intelligence after identifying specific problems in its disputed prewar assessment that Iraq's Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction." DCI George J. Tenet "has ordered an end to the long-standing practice of withholding from analysts details about the clandestine agents who provide the information that analysts must evaluate."

In a speech on 11 February 2004 to the agency's analysts, DDI Jami A. Miscik said that "[t]he changes were ordered after an internal CIA review revealed several occasions when CIA analysts mistakenly believed that Iraq weapons data had been confirmed by multiple sources, when in fact it had come from a single source.... 'Analysts can no longer be put in a position of making a judgment on a critical issue without a full and comprehensive understanding of the source's access to the information on which they are reporting,' Miscik said, according to a text of her speech given to The Post."

Washington Post. "[Editorial:] Indefensible Secrecy." 17 Feb. 2004, A18. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

The CIA last week "managed to convince a federal court in Washington that if the public learned the total amount the United States spent on intelligence in fiscal 2002, intelligence sources and methods could be compromised.... We don't buy it."

Sanger, David E., and Eric Schmitt. "New U.S. Effort Steps Up Hunt for bin Laden." New York Times, 29 Feb. 2004. [http://www.nytimes.com]

According to senior administration and military officials, "President Bush has approved a plan to intensify the effort to capture or kill Osama bin Laden,... The plan will apply both new forces and new tactics to the task.... The group at the center of the effort is Task Force 121, the covert commando team of Special Operations forces and Central Intelligence officers."

Hitz, Frederick P., and Brian J. Weiss. "Helping the CIA and FBI Connect the Dots in the War on Terrorism." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 17, no. 1 (Spring 2004): 1-41.

"For cooperation to succeed,... both law enforcement and intelligence agencies must become more open and more flexible, and understand that, in an age of abundant information, their value is not the information they hold, but their analysis and use of that information.... [T]he U.S. needs to organize itself, not against a specific threat, but on a reasonable division of labor."

Priest, Dana. "Violence, Turnover Blunt CIA Effort in Iraq." Washington Post, 4 Mar. 2004, A1. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

The CIA station in Iraq "has grown to more than 300 full-time case officers and close to 500 personnel in total, including contractors and people on temporary assignment.... Despite the size of the contingent, the agency's efforts to penetrate Iraq's ethnic factions and gain intelligence about the insurgency have been hampered by continued violence, the use of temporary and short-term personnel, and the pressing demands of military commanders for tactical intelligence they can use in daily confrontations with armed insurgents."

Ignatius, David. "The CIA's Dissidents." Washington Post, 6 Apr. 2004, A21. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

The author comments on a CIA-sponsored conference in Rome, which he attended as an invited journalist. The conference, "New Frontiers of Intelligence Analysis," was arranged by a small CIA group called the Global Futures Partnership. The members of the group "see their role as in-house dissidents and agents of change, and the very fact that they are in business suggests that top CIA officials know they have a problem and want to fix it."

Barr, Stephen. "Pay-Personnel System Another Frontier for CIA." Washington Post, 4 Apr. 2004, C2. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

According to Bob Rebelo, CIA chief of human resources, the CIA on 1 May 2004 will roll out a uniform performance appraisal system as the first step in creating a pay for performance compensation system "that rewards expertise and mastery of new skills."

Duffy, Michael. "How To Fix Our Intelligence." Time, 18 Apr. 2004. [http://www.time.com]

Most of the members of the 9/11 commission have "come to think that a thorough overhaul of the way the nation organizes, collects and distributes intelligence [is] necessary.... Perhaps because it was the most dysfunctional agency of all, the FBI has done the most to try to heal itself since 9/11.... Under Director Robert Mueller,... the bureau has made counterterrorism one of its top three priorities." Acording to FBI experts, "Mueller has the right idea but ... the layers of agents and bureaucracy beneath him are reluctant to follow his direction.... Despite Mueller's focus on terrorism, agents are sometimes pulled away to handle traditional criminal cases. A long-awaited and badly needed computer overhaul is overbudget and behind schedule....

"The commission [has] found that the CIA shares some of the FBI's recessive genes." For example, "Tenet told his top managers in 1998 that the CIA was 'at war' with bin Laden, but the word never really filtered down through the agency, much less to other arms of the intelligence community....

"[S]ome changes are certain, particularly at the FBI." Legislation is being prepared in the House "that would create ... a 'service within the service' at the FBI to focus on intelligence gathering, not law enforcement." In addition, "support is growing on the Hill for a plan drafted by two-time National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft that would create a new intelligence czar with budget and program authority over the CIA and nearly a score of other intelligence units now under the Pentagon's control."

Wilson, Joseph C., IV. The Politics of Truth: Inside the Lies that Led to War and Betrayed My Wife's C.I.A. Identity -- A Diplomat's Memoir. New York: Carroll & Graf, 2004.

Reports about Ambassador Wilson's book include: David Johnston and Richard W. Stevenson, "Former Envoy Talks in Book About Source of C.I.A. Leak," New York Times, 30 Apr. 2004; and Susan Schmidt, "Book Names Iraqi in Alleged '99 Bid to Buy Uranium," Washington Post, 30 Apr. 2004, A16.

Thomas, Washington Post, 16 May 2004, comments that the first 300 pages of this book are "a worthy, occasionally entertaining, if overlong, chronicle of diplomatic service that would never have been widely published but for Wilson's involvement" in his wife's outing as a CIA operative. The section of the book that deals with the flap, the last 130 pages, "is repetitive and self-dramatizing" and "does not reveal much in the way of 'news.'" See also, Valerie Plame Wilson, Fair Game: My Life as a Spy, My Betrayal by the White House (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2007).

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