Skip to comments.The Incredible Shrinking CIA (Negroponte diluting the CIA)
Posted on 05/05/2006 11:24:54 AM PDT by slowhand520
The Incredible Shrinking CIA
Recent moves by Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte have continued to chip away at the spy agency's role
By TIMOTHY J. BURGER SUBSCRIBE TO TIMEPRINTE-MAILMORE BY AUTHORBackground: The Spy Chief's First Year
Posted Friday, May. 05, 2006 Vignette StoryServer 5.0 Fri May 05 14:18:53 2006 It's more than a bureaucratic battle. Ever since John Negroponte was appointed Director of National Intelligence a year ago and given the task of coordinating the nation's myriad spy agencies, he has been diluting the power and prestige of the best known of them all, the Central Intelligence Agency. From day one, he supplanted the CIA Director as the President's principal intelligence adviser, in charge of George W. Bush's daily briefing. Other changes followed, all originating in the law that created the DNI and all traumatic for CIA fans. But now, in a little noticed move, Negroponte is signaling that he is moving still more responsibility from the CIA to his own office, including control over the analysis of terrorist groups and threats.
In a recent speech in San Antonio, Negroponte's top deputy, Michael Hayden,declared that an office largely under Negroponte's control the National Counterterrorism Center, or NCTC was now in charge of dictating the role other agencies will play in terror analysis. Using a sports metaphor, Hayden said too many agencies were in the analysis business and that the NCTC, like a team captain, " will make these calls for the entire IC [intelligence community]." This may seem like bureaucratic minutiae, but it reflects an important struggle over a key aspect of American intelligence. Even though some diminishment of the CIA was all but guaranteed by the passage of the DNI law 18 months ago, each new detail of the Negroponte's implementation has been watched for how much it may curtail the power of the once-supreme CIA.
In the speech, Hayden also said Negroponte's office would be in charge of "liaison" relationships with foreign intelligence services long the treasured turf of the CIA which have historically produced much of the most important intelligence, according to a former senior CIA official. Negroponte, Hayden said, "is aggressively overseeing our relationships with foreign intelligence services to help detect and prevent attacks against ourselves and our friends and allies.... As the head of our intelligence community, he routinely meets with foreign intelligence leaders, and he has visited many of our major allies" an activity that comes easily to Negroponte as a career diplomat and ambassador.
CIA supporters are upset about what they see as the neutering of an agency that helped win the Cold War and worry that it will undermine its human spy responsibilities, of which the CIA is still in charge. "It's a huge thing going on. It's a huge drama and nobody's picking up on it," the former CIA official said of the DNI's realignment of CIA responsibilities. "CIA feels quite friendless right now. We're seeing more pieces of it just keep being moved to the door." A senior U.S. official sympathetic to the CIA warns that "if the DNI's not careful, the Agency and what it does will be different, and maybe thats what everybody wants. Thats OK, but maybe the Agency wont be able to do what everybody wants."
For their part, officials in Negroponte's office have insisted they're not gutting CIA's role, but are instead making the overall intelligence community, with between 80,000 and 100,000 employees at 16 agencies, more efficient. But there's no question that analytic talent is being sapped for DNI-run entities such as the NCTC, with a planned staff (including analysts and others) somewhere over 400. Negroponte's analysis chief, Tom Fingar, tells TIME HE he already has some 350 to 450 billets at the National Intelligence Council. The DNI has already taken some 90 analysts from the CIA. Now, he is siphoning off over two dozen more for NCTC from the CIA, one source tells TIME.
While the CIA is watching substantial duties and numbers of its analysts get shifted to offices under the DNI, the Pentagon has in some cases been better able to stave off such transfers. This suggests at least a partial victory for Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who originally was reluctant to back the creation of Negroponte's office. Officials tell TIME that the Pentagon's Defense Intelligence Agency has handed over far fewer analysts in response to Negroponte's call. The DIA director, Lt. Gen. Michael Maples, has insisted that because "we're at war," he can spare very few billets, one senior U.S. official said. A DIA spokesman says Maples has no such view and that "we're progressing fine from our end in meeting NCTC's support."
Will these changes improve U.S. intelligence? The great hope behind the creation of Negroponte's office was that it would streamline intelligence gathering and sharing and make it easier for the President to make smart decisions. That may yet come to pass. But many current and former national security officials warn that if the evolution is not handled smoothly, the changes could diminish and possibly destroy both the nation's proudest intelligence shop, the CIA, and it's newest, the DNI. Indeed, one knowledgeable expert says DNI officials are already concerned that Fingar, Negroponte's top analysis deputy, risks having his influence over terrorism intelligence diminished because the DNI law says the NCTC chief, former Navy Admiral Scott Redd, does not report directly to Fingar, but to Negroponte or, on certain sensitive matters, to President Bush. A DNI spokesman denies this is a problem.
CIA is a corrupt bed of liberals that will do anything to get Bush. It's probably easier to make them small and insignificant than try to change their culture.
Read closely what Negroponte is doing is pulling the 'analytic' functions of the CIA out of it. These are where for decades the leftist defeatist have gathered and have provided endless attempts to submarine initiates against first the communist activities in the last decades of the Cold War and then any attempts against Islamic terrorists.This is the price a dysfunction organization that betrays rather than aids in the war on terrorism pays.
Of all tax funded U.S. agencies, by far, the CIA gives the least bang for the buck ... and given the lackluster performance of most U.S. government agencies that takes some real effort. The CIA should be shut down and a new agency to replace it started from scratch ...
Here's an interesting take for perspective..
Slowhand, I suspect the real reason behind his resignation is that his job has been so ill-defined since his appointment. He was unable to determine his actual level of authority which made his job nearly impossible. While many viewed him as "too political", he was trying to kick some serious butt over there. I am stunned by his resignation though. Who'd a'thunk it?
"Of all tax funded U.S. agencies, by far, the CIA gives the least bang for the buck ..."
I disagree entirely. If the Agency was permitted to do its job without all the politicizing and restraints, it would begin to perform in a way most of us would like it to perform. There seems to have been a concerted effort since the 70s to sabotage its abilities.
One has to wonder if these liaison relationships have been used by the anti-Bush cabal at CIA to undermine US national policy as part of the war on Bush. Were these channels used by anti-Bush forces in the case of the Niger Uranium forgeries?
CIA supporters are upset about what they see as the neutering of an agency that helped win the Cold War
CIA's record in the Cold War was decidedly mixed.
You make a very valid point. Bush seems to leave much to be desired sometimes, as far as providing clear management and leadership for his people is concerned.
Let's face it. The only way to reform a dysfunctional government bureaucracy is to dismantle it and reconstruct something else. This cuts the entrenched hanger's on out of the loop. That's exactly what is happening.
Great point. I agree. While the media is clamoring for some sort of scandal (to obviously hurt the president) it is the president that is dramatically altering the intelligence apparatus. President Bush has his faults but one thing he maintains is the "big picture". Something the media lacks
About Michael Hayden (omitted in the article)
"Gen. Michael V. Hayden is Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence, Washington, D.C. Appointed by President George W. Bush, he is the first person to serve in this position. General Hayden is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day activities of the national intelligence program. He is the highest-ranking military intelligence officer in the armed forces."
Looks like Hayden is taking over critical intelligence possibly because CIA is TOO CORRUPT!
IOW, the CIA was not being fixed fast enough and if they can't prosecute Mary McCarthy, then just pull the rug and give the key assets to another trusted professional.
"I look at it this way. The president has tried to change the status quo on social security, war, and Medicaid. I believe he wants to radically alter the U.S. intelligence apparatus. I believe this article points to a change from the CIA to the DNI..."
Perhaps. It would be the worse possible scenario for our country. The last thing we need is a centralized intelligence community. While it's important that the agencies share information with each other, I'd be totally opposed to the idea of all the collection and analysis being done in one large organization. What we have then is the ... KGB. It's essential that we keep these agencies in their own areas of responsibility - but make sure they communicate. Of course, you might be correct. Personally, the hair stood up on the back of my neck when they changed the Directorate of Operations to the "National Clandestine Service."
later read - thanks for the ping
Does that include passing classified information to the wife of a man who may have been the last western supporter of Pol Pot.
That was an unfortunate choice of screen name by the way.
I predict that 10 to 15 years from now, we will see a return to the status quo before the creation of the intelligency czar. Someone in government will win an award for suggesting that we eliminate the intelligence czar layer of bureaucracy and have the CIA Director fill that role.
Yeah. What do you do when an intelligence agency has been taken over by leakers, anti-administration employees who are sabotaging the President? When the agency leaks what they choose to carry out their own leftish agenda?
Just maybe you come up with another organization - not corrupted - and gradually take over the duties of the corrupt agency. We see Negropointe now the counsel to the President - therefore has control over what info is fed to the President.
We see the sole responsibility of the CIA diluted where there are several groups providing intelligence. Which takes the power away from the anti-administration hacks.
They should lose all their power if they are anti-war, anti-president.
Another possible reason for the change now. Put in the permanent director WHILE the GOP still controls Congress before the elections. After the elections, the dems might control the congress.
That is a blast from the far past.