CIA manager to head Clandestine Service
By KATHERINE SHRADER, Associated Press Writer
Last Updated 1:51 pm PDT Thursday, October 13, 2005
WASHINGTON (AP) - A top CIA manager who remains undercover will soon oversee traditional human spying activities for the entire intelligence community, a position created in the post-Sept. 11 intelligence overhaul.
Publicly, he is referred to simply as "Jose." His posting as director of the new National Clandestine Service ends weeks of debate over whether the CIA would retain its primacy over the government's traditional human spywork, as an increasing number of U.S. national security agencies take on these types of assignments.Jose will now broadly coordinate operations for the CIA, FBI, Defense Department and other agencies involved in human intelligence, or the information gathered by people, rather than by technical means."
This is another positive step in building an intelligence community that is more unified, coordinated and effective," National Intelligence Director John Negroponte said in a statement Thursday about the new service.
Forming a National Clandestine Service was one of more than 70 recommendations from President Bush's commission on weapons of mass destruction, which released a bruising report in March about the current capabilities of the 15 agencies that make up the U.S. intelligence community.The report concluded that the "toughest targets remain largely impenetrable" to human spying operations.
CIA Director Porter Goss drafted a plan that would place the National Clandestine Service under his chain of command. The plan's acceptance is viewed as a victory for the CIA.
Intelligence veterans have said for months that any arrangement that somehow undermined the CIA's role as the top producer of human intelligence would hurt the agency's clout and deepen problems with agency morale.
In a statement, Goss said the decision represents "an expression of confidence in the CIA" from Bush and Negroponte. "No agency has greater skill and experience in this difficult, complex, and utterly vital discipline of intelligence," Goss said.
With Thursday's announcement, Jose is promoted from his current position as chief of the CIA's most well-known division, its clandestine service, formally called the Directorate of Operations. He will have two deputies: one that oversees the daily activities of that CIA directorate and another that coordinates the work of the entire intelligence community.
According to a CIA fact sheet, the goal is to create standards for training, conduct and intelligence-gathering techniques that will apply across the various intelligence agencies.The new service will also be responsible for ensuring intelligence operations don't conflict with each other. On the ground level, for instance, that may mean ensuring procedures are followed to prevent the FBI and CIA from recruiting the same source.