Culture and Components

National Clandestine Service (NCS)

2005 - 2009


Materials presented in chronological order.

Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Public Affairs Office. "Establishment of the National Clandestine Service (NCS)." ODNI News Release No. 3-05. Washington, DC: 13 Oct. 2005. [http://www.dni.gov/]

On 13 October 2005, the DNI and the DCIA "announced the President's approval of the establishment of the National Clandestine Service (NCS) within the CIA. The new Director of the NCS will report directly to the Director of the CIA and will work with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to implement all of the DNI's statutory authorities.... The NCS will serve as the national authority for the integration, coordination, deconfliction, and evaluation of human intelligence operations across the entire Intelligence Community, under authorities delegated to the Director of the CIA who serves as the National HUMINT Manager."

Jehl, Douglas. "Little Authority for New Intelligence Post." New York Times, 14 Oct. 2005. [http://www.nytimes.com]

Two senior intelligence officials said on 13 October 2005 that the director of the National Clandestine Service (NCS), the new CIA office "will wield only limited authority, leaving the Defense Department and the F.B.I. free to carry out an increasing array of human intelligence missions without central operational control." The NCS director "will instead be responsible primarily for setting standards and rules designed to minimize conflicts between the agencies, whose human spying operations in the United States and abroad have been expanding rapidly and are expected to continue to do so."

Pincus, Walter. "CIA Spies Get a New Home Base: Agency Will Set Up the National Clandestine Service." Washington Post, 14 Oct. 2005, A6. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

On 13 October 2005, intelligence officials announced establishment of the National Clandestine Service (NCS) at the CIA, replacing the Directorate of Operations. The announcement gives the CIA Director "another title, national humint manager." The NCS director "will report to Goss, but the new agency's work will be overseen" by the DNI's staff. However, officials said the DNI's office "will not get involved in setting targets or running or approving specific covert operations. The DNI's role is 'to set policy,' one official said....

"The director of the NCS will have two deputies, one to run CIA clandestine operations and the other to coordinate activities of other overseas operators. The second deputy will also set standards for training by all agencies involved in intelligence, including tradecraft and the vetting or validation of foreign agents or sources being recruited."

Shrader, Katherine. "CIA Manager to Head Clandestine Service." Associated Press, 14 Oct. 2005. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

The director of the National Clandestine Service will be "[a] top CIA manager who remains undercover.... Publicly, he is referred to simply as 'Jose.'" He has been head of the CIA's Directorate of Operations.

Sallinger, Rick. "CIA Expected To Move A Division To Denver." CBS4 (Denver), 3 Jan. 2006. [http://www.cbs4denver.com]

The CIA is expected to move its National Resources Division (NRD) "to Colorado within the next year." The NRD "is involved in recruiting businessmen and foreign nationals to provide information to the U.S. government."

Gertz, Bill. "Intelligence Intransigence." Washington Times, 5 Feb. 2006. [http://www.washingtontimes.com]

Intelligence officials say that there "has been opposition to restructuring and reform from bureaucrats within the DNI, CIA and FBI."

The officials said that the CIA "needs more qualified overseas intelligence officers to conduct the core mission: penetrate foreign targets such as China, Iran, North Korea and Syria." CIA Director Porter J. Goss "has focused his reform efforts on the CIA's espionage branch known as the Directorate of Operations, which was renamed the National Clandestine Service and now includes the Defense HUMINT Service and representatives of the FBI's new National Security Branch. According to intelligence officials, CIA-reform efforts have been opposed by career officers who regard the changes as political interference....

"Other officials said the CIA's espionage branch continues to be hobbled by too few trained and experienced case officers. The total number of deployed intelligence officers ... is fewer than 1,000. During the 1980s, the CIA had as many as 8,000 case officers around the world.... Also, of the deployed officers, some 200 of them have been working in Iraq for the past year or more to set up an Iraqi intelligence service, although critics of the effort said that it isn't clear that Iraq needs the service, or one modeled on the CIA.... The shortage of overseas case officers has created an overreliance on setting up liaison ties to foreign services, and in many nations, including those in South America, the CIA station is limited to one officer who relies on information from foreign intelligence."

Robinson, Linda, and Kevin Whitelaw. "Seeking Spies: Why the CIA Is Having Such a Hard Time Keeping Its Best." U.S. News and World Report, 13 Feb. 2006, 35-41.

This is not an unsympathetic look at the difficulties facing the politically and institutionally diminished CIA (my characterization, not the authors, but one to which their presentation certainly points) and its Directorate of Operations (now the National Clandestine Service). But it is, nonetheless, basically a downbeat assessment. By downbeat I mean that the challenges so clearly delineated by this lengthy article are of sufficient magnitude that the authors', "If the D.O. can somehow manage to....," essentially tells the story. Includes side-bar, L.R., "No NOC-NOC Jokes," p. 40.

Shrader, Katherine. "Longtime CIA Spy Unmasks for Retirement." Associated Press, 8 Aug. 2007. [http://www.ap.com]

NCS head Jose Rodriguez "had his cover lifted about a month ago. CIA spokesman Mark Mansfield said the driving factor was his interest in publicly participating in minority recruitment events. He's also retiring later this year after more than three decades with the agency.... Rodriguez has not set a firm date for his retirement, and a replacement has not yet been announced."

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

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.

Waterman, Shaun. "New CIA Head Spy Will Get New Powers Over Other Agencies." United Press International, 17 Sep. 2007. [http://www.upi.com]

Michael Sulick, the new head of the National Clandestine Service, "is in charge of setting standards and practices for the recruitment and vetting of human sources for all the U.S. intelligence agencies. And he will have a new role in the development of human source rules by domestic law enforcement agencies like the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security."

In March 2007, CIA Director Gen. Michael Hayden "established a Board of Governors for human intelligence, made up of senior officials from 21 U.S. agencies and departments, including those that 'use clandestine methods or tradecraft to pursue law enforcement ... missions.'" The Board "will oversee ... a new multiagency center established by the clandestine service's deputy director for cross-agency human intelligence, Maj. Gen. Michael Ennis.... By July, at the board's second meeting,... membership had grown to 31, including the departments of Justice, State, Commerce, Homeland Security, Energy and Defense, and the FBI."

Mazzetti, Mark. "C.I.A. Official in Inquiry Called a 'Hero.'" New York Times, 10 Dec. 2007. [http://www.nytimes.com]

"At a conference in El Paso in mid-August," HPSCI chairman Rep. Silvestre Reyes (D-TX) "heaped praise" on Jose A. Rodriguez Jr,. who recently stepped down as head of the CIA's National Clandestine Service. Now, Rodriguez’s "role in the destruction of hundreds of hours of videotape of harsh interrogations of two operatives of Al Qaeda is at the center of an inquiry" by Reyes's committee. A separate Justice Department inquiry "could lead to a full criminal investigation into the matter." Thus, "the man who spent a career in the shadows has been thrust uneasily into the spotlight."

Miller, Greg. "CIA's Ambitious Post-9/11 Spy Plan Crumbles." Los Angeles Times, 17 Feb. 2008. [http://www.latimes.com]

"The CIA set up a network of front companies in Europe and elsewhere after the Sept. 11 attacks as part of a constellation of 'black stations' for a new generation of spies, according to current and former agency officials. But after spending hundreds of millions of dollars setting up as many as 12 of the companies, the agency shut down all but two after concluding they were ill-conceived and poorly positioned for gathering intelligence on the CIA's principal targets: terrorist groups and unconventional weapons proliferation networks."

Stein, Jeff. "CIA's Loss of Top Spies 'Catastrophic,' Says Agency Veteran." Congressional Quarterly, 17 Oct. 2008. [http://www.cqpolitics.com]

CIA retiree Sam Faddis says that "[s]cores more like him,... spies with years of working the back alleys of the world, have walked away from the CIA's Operations Directorate [National Clandestine Service] at the top of their careers, at a time when the agency needs their skills the most." Others agree and blame the Agency culture for the departure of senior, experienced personnel. However, CIA spokesman Paul Gimigliano "flatly denies there's a hemorrhage of senior personnel," putting departures of GS-15s in the National Clandestine Service "in the neighborhood of 7 percent."

Rosenfeld, Neill S. "The Spy Who Loved Hamlet." Salute to Scholars (Winter 2009). [http://web.cuny.edu/news/salute-to-scholars/winter09/the-spy-who-loved-hamlet.html]

Michael Sulick's 1977 dissertation at CUNY's Graduate Center "compared translations of Hamlet into French and Russian."

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