Culture and Components

National Clandestine Service (NCS)

From 2010

Materials presented in chronological order.

Baer, Robert. "A Dagger to the CIA." GQ, Apr. 2010. [http://www.gq.com/news-politics/politics/201004/dagger-to-the-cia]

Clark comment: Baer's analysis of what went wrong for the CIA in Khost on 30 December 2009 says nothing that those who care to listen have not heard before from his and other voices. However, he says it plainer, in more detail, and with such certainty that it is difficult to ignore -- whether he is right or not. It is difficult -- nay, impossible -- for an outsider to differentiate between what could be sour grapes, on the one hand, or insightful commentary, on the other.

"It's impossible to pinpoint exactly when the [field] operatives' sun started to set, but many CIA insiders would point to John Deutch.... From the moment Deutch set foot in Langley, he made it plain that he hated the operatives.... What John Deutch set in motion was the deprofessionalization of the directorate of operations.... The idea that an officer would spend his entire career abroad learning the fundamentals of espionage is incomprehensible to the new CIA....

"If we take Khost as a metaphor for what has happened to the CIA, the deprofessionalization of spying, it's tempting to consider that the agency's time has passed.... [However, t]he United States still needs a civilian intelligence agency. (The military cannot be trusted to oversee all intelligence-gathering on its own.) But the CIA -- and especially the directorate of operations -- must be stripped down to its studs and rebuilt with a renewed sense of mission and purpose. It should start by getting the amateurs out of the field. And then it should impose professional standards of training and experience -- the kind it upheld with great success in the past."

Finn, Peter. "Retired CIA Veteran Will Return to Head Clandestine Service." Washington Post, 22 Jul. 2010, B3. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

CIA Director Leon E. Panetta announced on 21 July 2010 that John D. Bennett has been appointed head of the National Clandestine Service, succeeding Michael J. Sulick, who is retiring. "Bennett, a former Marine and a Harvard graduate, had retired in May after a nearly 30-year career at the CIA, but was coaxed back to take charge of the service." Among other posts, Bennett previously served as station chief in Pakistan and chief of the Special Activities Division.

Text of the D/CIA's announcement, "Director Leon E. Panetta Announces New National Clandestine Service Chief," 21 Jul. 2010, is available at: https://www.cia.gov/news-information/press-releases-statements/press-release-2010/director-announces-new-ncs-chief.html.

Wippl, Joseph W., with Donna D'Andrea. "The CMO in the CIA's National Clandestine Service." International Journal of Intelligence and CounterIntelligence 23, no. 3 (Fall 2010): 521-533.

The subject here is what used to be called Reports Officers, but renamed as Collection Management Officers (CMOs) and their CIA-unique role.

[Bennett, John D.] "Remarks by John Bennett, Director, National Clandestine Service, CIRA Luncheon, 9 February 2011." CIRA Newsletter 36, no. 1 (Spring 2011): 1-5.

The DNCS talks about the CIA's role in the war on terrorism, the Middle East, "the Khowst tragedy and the judgments that were made as to why it was handled the way it was," and "some of the initiatives to change or adapt the Clandestine Service to the mission we have today."

Green, J.J. "From the Cold War to 'Hot' Wars: A Spy Breaks His Silence." wtop.com, 29 Mar. 2012. [http://www.wtop.com]

This is a report on an interview with Justin Jackson, who as deputy director of the National Clandestine Service "is now the most senior African-American at the CIA."

Wippl, Joseph W. "The Qualities That Make a Great Case Officer." International Journal of Intelligence and CounterIntelligence 25, no. 3 (Fall 2012): 595-603.

"[C]ertain personal characteristics or attributes are more permanent or more basic in case officer hiring than defined skills such as language or technical savvy."

Miller, Greg, and Julie Tate. "CIA Director Faces a Quandary Over Clandestine Service Appointment." Washington Post, 26 Mar. 2013. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

This article discusses CIA Director John Brennan's dilemma on whether to promote the acting director of the National Clandestine Service to the top job. The acting director "is a veteran officer with broad support inside the agency. But she also helped run the CIA's detention and interrogation program after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and signed off on the 2005 decision to destroy videotapes of prisoners being subjected to treatment critics have called torture." Brennan is using "a group of three former CIA officials to evaluate the candidates.... The group's members were identified as former senior officials John McLaughlin, Stephen Kappes and Mary Margaret Graham."

See also, Mark Mazzetti, "Officer Tied to Tapes' Destruction Moves Up C.I.A. Ladder," New York Times, 27 Mar. 2013.

Miller, Greg. "CIA Selects New Head of Clandestine Service, Passing over Female Officer." Washington Post, 7 May 2013. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

On 7 May 2013, CIA Director John O. Brennan announced that "a 57-year-old longtime officer who served tours in Pakistan and Africa and was recently in charge of the agency's Latin America division" had been named to lead the National Clandestine Service. The interim head, "the first woman to lead the agency's clandestine service," was not selected for the job, and "is expected to resume her prior role as [NCS} deputy." CIA spokeswoman Jennifer Youngblood "noted that women will fill two other senior CIA jobs": Meroe Park was named executive director and Deb Bonk will serve as Brennan's chief of staff."

Jeff Stein, "Nice Invisibilty Cloak!" Newsweek, 11 Oct. 2013, reports the naming in May 2013 of Frank Archibald as NCS director.

Dilanian, Ken. "CIA's Anti-Terrorism Effort Called 'Colossal Flop.'" Los Angeles Times, 8 Dec. 2013. [http://www.latimes.com]

According to current and former U.S. officials, "CIA officers given 'non-official cover,' often posing as business executives, tried to collect intelligence on terrorists. The NOC program reportedly has had few successes.... Along with other parts of the CIA, the budget of the so-called Global Deployment Initiative, which covers the NOC program, is now being cut."

Dilanian, Ken. "CIA Suspends Chief of Iran Operations over Workplace Issues." Los Angeles Times, 16 Mar. 2014. [http://www.latimes.com]

According to current and former officials, Jonathan Bank, the CIA's chief of Iran operations, "was placed on paid administrative leave and sent home from agency headquarters after an internal investigation found he had created an abusive and hostile work environment that put a crucial division in disarray."

Stein, Jeff. "CIA Vaults a Woman into Top Spy Ranks." Newsweek, 7 Aug. 2014. [http://www.newsweek.com]

A woman, "whom Newsweek is not naming because she remains under cover," has been promoted to be deputy chief of the National Clandestine Service (NCS) by the current NCS head, Frank Archibald.

Wippl, Joseph W., and Donna D'Andrea. "The Qualities That Make a Great Collection Management Officer." International Journal of Intelligence and CounterIntelligence 27, no. 4 (Winter 2014): 806-814.

Harris, Shane. "Exclusive: CIA's Top Spy Steps Down." The Daily Beast, 23 Jan. 2015. [http://www.thedailybeast.com]

NCS Director Frank Archibald "has announced that he plans to retire. CIA spokesman Dean Boyd confirmed that the director [had] announced his retirement."

Miller, Greg. "CIA Promotes Top Paramilitary Officer to Lead Spying Branch." Washington Post, 29 Jan. 2015. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

On 29 January 2015, "[t]he CIA's top paramilitary officer was named head" of the National Clandestine Service. This move "may signal a broader organizational shake-up by Director John Brennan in the coming months.... The CIA did not reveal the identity of its new espionage chief.... But the officer's first name and middle initial -- Greg V. -- have appeared in numerous books cleared by agency censors."

Dilanian, Ken. "CIA Manager Who Had Been Removed From His Job Is Back." Associated Press, 28 Apr. 2015. [http://abcnews.go.com]

Jonathan Bank, "removed from his job last year for abusive management," has been named "deputy chief for counterintelligence at the Counter Terrorism Center" (CTC). See Dilanian, "CIA Suspends Chief of Iran Operations over Workplace Issues," Los Angeles Times, 16 Mar. 2014.

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