David Ignatius

I - Z


Ignatius, David. "Is the CIA's New Mission Impossible?" Washington Post National Weekly Edition, 13-19 Mar. 1995, 23-24.

According to the reporter, "the CIA in the aftermath of the Ames affair is not a happy shop. Morale is low; gifted young officers are leaving; many who remain are embittered.... There's a surprising consensus about how the agency should try to rebuild.... Everyone seems to agree that the DO [Directorate of Operations] must become smaller, more focused in selecting its targets and tougher about maintaining quality control. These reforms are easy to enumerate. But in a closed, clandestine bureaucracy, they are very hard to put in practice."

Clark comment: Ignatius also cites some examples of "disillusionment among young DO officers." It may be me, but all of the examples given sounded so whiny that my reaction was "good riddance" that these people had resigned.


Ignatius, David. "James Clapper, on Top of the Secret Empire." Washington Post, 23 Oct. 2013. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

"[T]here are welcome signs that this jury-rigged [DNI] structure may finally be starting to work.... [DNI James] Clapper has recently taken steps that forced the [NSA] to accept greater transparency and stopped the military agencies from wasteful spending on duplicative satellite imagery. Clapper is using management powers that were muddled under the confusing 2004 law.... The intelligence community is still way too big and turf-conscious, and it combines the worst features of bureaucracy and secrecy. . But at least someone is trying to manage this secret empire."


Ignatius, David. "The Langley Lobotomy." Washington Post, 30 Nov. 2004, A19. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

"Driving past the ... CIA headquarters..., you can't help wondering how ... America's spy service has become the favorite whipping boy of the right wing. It's crazy for a nation at war to be purging its spies. But that's what has been happening in the weeks since former representative Porter Goss (R-Fla.) and a phalanx of conservative congressional aides took over at the CIA. What makes the putsch genuinely scary is that it seems to be driven by an animus toward the CIA that could do real damage to the nation's security."


Ignatius, David. "Leon Panetta Gets the CIA Back on Its Feet." Washington Post, 25 Apr. 2010, A19. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

This is a highly laudatory article about CIA Director Leon Panetta's 14 months in the job.

[CIA/DCIAs/ Panetta]

Ignatius, David. "New Guy At the CIA." Washington Post, 22 Aug. 1999, B7. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

"So how's ... [DCI] George Tenet, doing? He's just finished two years on the job, and it's a good time for a fitness report.... On paper, Tenet's record looks pretty good so far.... [He] gets generally good marks from Congress.... Tenet's biggest challenge will be to focus the agency's energies on the hard targets.... Being CIA director may be the best job in Washington, but it's also the hardest. To do it right, Tenet will need to make more friends, yes -- and also a lot more enemies."

In an Op-Ed piece, Patrick Eddington, Washington Post, 27 Aug. 1999, A29, takes issue with "David Ignatius's benign view of George Tenet's tenure" as DCI, concluding that "Tenet's record to date is, at best, mixed."


Ignatius, David. "Openness Is the Secret to Democracy." Washington Post National Weekly Edition, 30 Sep.-6 Oct. 1991, 24-25.

"[I]ntelligence collection ... needs to be strengthened, not cut. What may need abolishing is the covert action role that was awkwardly grafted onto the CIA's basic spying mission when the agency was created.... 'A lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA,' agrees [Allen] Weinstein [of the Center for Democracy]. The biggest difference is that when such activities are done overtly, the flap potential is close to zero. Openness is its own protection.... The sugar daddy of overt operations has been the National Endowment for Democracy.... Through the late 1980s, it did openly what had once been unspeakably covert -- dispensing money to anti-Communist forces behind the Iron Curtain.... Covert funding for these groups would have been the kiss of death, if discovered. Overt funding, it would seem, has been a kiss of life."

[CA/90s; Reform/CIA]

Ignatius, David. "Repairing America's Spy Shop." Washington Post, 6 Apr. 2008, B7. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

"The CIA today is ... caught in a reorganization of intelligence that has brought more confusion than clarity, added more bureaucracy than efficiency and increased the bloat of the intelligence community.... It's too late, unfortunately, to undo the reorganization that created the DNI. So let those three initials cloak a new, elite corps of analysts drawn from the CIA cadre; let's give the science and technology division to the DNI, too.... Meanwhile, let's float the clandestine service free from its ... CIA anchor and let it find a new home -- somewhere distant from Langley, where the old ghosts and myths are far away."

[CIA/00s/08; Reform/00s/08]

Ignatius, David. "Secret Strategies...." Washington Post, 12 Nov. 2004, A25. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

"One of the more improbable chapters in the life of Yasser Arafat was his wink-and-nod understanding with the CIA. In secret, Arafat for the past 30 years allowed his top intelligence officers to maintain regular contact with the agency."


Ignatius, David. "Spy World Success Story." Washington Post, 2 May 2004, A7. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

The writer calls INR "one of Washington's hidden jewels.... [T]he bureau has what many regard as the best track record in the government in assessing intelligence issues for policymakers.... The reason INR has been so effective, State Department officials say, is that it has maintained a culture that supports dissent -- and demands expertise."


Ignatius, David. "A Surprise for Langley." Washington Post, 7 Jan. 2009, A15. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

Complementing Leon Panetta's nomination to head the CIA "is the choice of Dennis Blair to succeed [Mike] McConnell as DNI.... Obama's advisers say [Blair] will bring a 'light touch' to his new job of coordinating the intelligence community. They insist he won't try to duplicate CIA management functions, as McConnell was sometimes accused of doing. Blair's mission, according to Obama's advisers, will be to streamline the 2004 intelligence reorganization that created the DNI structure to oversee the nation's 16 intelligence agencies.... Blair is likely to move quickly to reduce the number of personnel and contractors in the DNI bureaucracy, and to make other changes that signal he wants a leaner and more disciplined organization."

[CIA/00s/09; DNI/09]

Ignatius, David. "Techno-Spooks." Washington Post, 17 Oct. 1999, B9. [http://www. washingtonpost.com]

The National Reconnaissance Office has "set up a public Web site to announce a program called the 'Director's Innovation Initiative,' which will provide $350,000 'seed funding' grants for outside projects that may lead to 'revolutionary concepts and ideas.' The goal of this internal venture-capital fund, the NRO posting explains, is to 'provide a risk-tolerant environment to invest in cutting-edge technologies and high-payoff concepts' and to 'push the boundaries of technology' to improve the NRO's satellite reconnaissance capabilities."


Ignatius, David. "War in the Shadows." Washington Post, 14 Oct. 2001, B7. [http://www. washingtonpost.com]

"[T]he CIA is trying to build a global 'intelligence coalition' similar to the overt military and diplomatic alliance the Bush administration has gathered since Sept. 11. The aim of this coalition is to penetrate the terrorist network, disrupt its operations and, in the sort of language favored by President Bush, 'take it down.'"

[CIA/00s/01; Terrorism/01/WTC]

Ignatius, David. "Where to Hide All Those Spies?" Washington Post, 12 Dec. 1999, B9. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

Interview with DDO James L. Pavitt on 6 December 1999. "Congress has given Pavitt and his colleagues more money to hire new spies.... But where should the CIA hide all these spies?... Should they be under 'official cover' -- posted abroad to U.S. embassies, trade missions and international organizations, where they'll have the protection of diplomatic immunity if they get caught spying? Or should more spies operate under 'non-official cover' -- as 'NOCs,' in the jargon of intelligence?"


Ignatius, David. "When Does Blowing Secrets Cross the Line?" Washington Post National Weekly Edition, 10 Jul. 2000, 27.

Discusses the implications of Washington Times reporter Bill Gertz' ability to get "scoops" based on classified intelligence reports.


Ignatius, David. "Where We Can't Snoop." Washington Post, 17 Apr. 2000, A21. Washington Post National Weekly Edition, 24 Apr. 2000, 27.

The author notes that "[t]he NSA ops center is ... ground zero for global paranoia about privacy." However, "[r]ather than the omnipotent agency its critics imagine, [the NSA] seems these days to be struggling to keep its head above water."



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