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Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Political retaliation at the CIA

Their words. Via Agonist, edited for length, complete text here.

Shake-up at CIA riles spies By Richard Sale, UPI Intelligence Correspondent

Former senior CIA officials have charged that the recent shake-up at the agency is the result of a White House-orchestrated political retaliation against elements in the agency believed to be anti-President Bush, adding the changes are destabilizing the institution and weakening the U.S. intelligence product.


"(CIA Director Porter) Goss is trying to break the back of the agency," said former longtime CIA analyst Stan Bedlington.

A very senior former CIA official who has solid ties with Pentagon and White House neo-conservatives said the staff changes made by Goss and his staff mark the end of a "long, bitter secret struggle over U.S. policy in Iraq and on the war on terror. I mean it was a really poisonous relationship."

He added: "For myself, I think the appointment of Porter Goss a mistake -- he's too much of a political animal."

A former long-time agency Middle East operative said: "It's no secret that many of the agency personnel were pro-John Kerry for president. Leaks were made during the election campaign by the agency that were politically damaging to the president."

One long-time Directorate of Operations spy told UPI: "The White House is playing with fire. These guys in the DO aren't going to take this stuff lying down. Their job is destabilizing countries, and they can certainly destabilize Porter Goss.

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