Walter Pincus

U - Z


Pincus, Walter. "Untangling the Spy Network's Webs: Rep. Combest Wants CIA Clandestine Operations Separate and NRO Split." Washington Post, 5 Mar. 1996, A13.

"One difference between the DO of today and the proposed clandestine service is that a new emphasis would be placed on creating two types of clandestine officers: those who want to go on to management and those who want to remain as operators overseas. In that sense it would be more like the British MI6, which is much smaller than CIA's Directorate of Operations."

[Reform/90s; Reform/CIA]

Pincus, Walter. "U.S.-British Differences Show Iraq Intelligence Gap." Washington Post, 30 Sep. 2003, A12. []

"In the buildup to the Iraq war..., the intelligence agencies of Britain and the United States raised questions about each other's most dramatic claims concerning Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction, according to newly released British documents and recent interviews with U.S. congressional and administration officials.

"Documents published by British government investigators show that in September 2002, British intelligence played down as not conclusive evidence that Iraq's attempted purchases of specialized aluminum tubes signaled an intention to use them to produce nuclear weapons.... In turn, U.S. intelligence officials in September 2002 questioned the reliability of intelligence on Iraq's alleged effort to purchase uranium in Africa and Hussein's capability to deploy chemical weapons within 45 minutes."


Pincus, Walter. "U.S. Cracking Down on Chinese Designs on Nuclear Data." Washington Post, 17 Feb. 1999, A7. []

Following the acquisition four years ago of a top-secret Chinese nuclear weapons document from the late 1980s, which showed designs similar to those of the U.S. Trident missile warhead, a major "FBI counterespionage investigation that continues today" was launched. In addition, the Clinton administration a year ago instituted "stepped up counterintelligence at nuclear laboratories" run by the Energy Department.


Pincus, Walter. "U.S. Gains Intelligence in China Launches." Washington Post, 13 Jun. 1998, A18. []

"When Chinese officials, trying to explain in 1996 why one of their satellite-bearing rockets had blown up, gave an American review panel a report detailing what had gone wrong, it was the first time they had revealed to outsiders the inner workings of their Long March missiles. The Chinese report, said John Pike of the Federation of American Scientists, contained 'material a spy could only dream of.'"


Pincus, Walter. "U.S. Near Decision on Indicting Lee in Los Alamos Case." Washington Post, 5 Nov. 1999, A8. []

According to senior administration officials, the Justice Department "is in the final stages of determining what classified information could be presented in court against Wen Ho Lee, clearing the way for a possible indictment of the former nuclear weapons scientist as early as next week."


Pincus, Walter. "U.S. Preparedness Faulted: Weapons of Mass Destruction Concern Panel." Washington Post, 9 Jul. 1999, A2. []

A report from a bipartisan commission headed by former DCI John M. Deutch, the Commission to Assess the Organization of the Federal Government to Combat the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction, calls "the U.S. government unprepared to prevent or cope with a chemical, biological or nuclear attack." The commission recommends "the appointment of a national director to coordinate the nation's defense against weapons of mass destruction.... The new national director for combating proliferation would sit on the National Security Council and chair a group of senior officials who would coordinate policy. Such a structure might not 'solve' the problem, the report says, but it would at least provide a comprehensive and thorough approach."

[GenPostCW/90s/Gen; GenPostwar/Issues/Proliferation]

Pincus, Walter. "U.S. Strike Kills Six in al Qaeda." Washington Post, 5 Nov. 2002, A1. [http://

"A missile fired by a U.S. Predator drone over Yemen killed six suspected al Qaeda terrorists in a vehicle about 100 miles east of the nation's capital..., sources familiar with the action said" on 4 November 2002. "A senior administration official said Yemeni defense officials had identified one of the men killed as Abu Ali al-Harithi,.. one of the suspected planners of the October 2000 attack on the USS Cole." See also, James Risen and Judith Miller, "U.S. Is Reported to Kill Al Qaeda Leader in Yemen," New York Times, 5 Nov. 2002.


Pincus, Walter. "U.S. Won't Hand Over E. German Spy Files: CIA Obtained Data Sometime After '89." Washington Post, 20 Jan. 1999, A17. []

"[I]nformed government sources" say that the "United States has no plans to hand over to the German government" the files from East Germany's foreign spy operations, "which the CIA obtained in a clandestine operation sometime after 1989." These statements were in response to earlier reports that an agreement had been reached for the return of the files. See also, Roger Boyes, "U.S. Denies Deal to Hand Over Stasi Spy Files," Times (London). 21 Jan. 1999.


Pincus, Walter. "What about 'Bob'? The Anonymous CIA Officer Is in the Middle of the Senate Investigation into Campaign Finance." Washington Post National Weekly Edition, 20 Oct. 1997, 14.

"The line between giving CIA sources assistance with government officials and inappropriate lobbying on their behalf is being examined in the investigation by CIA Inspector General Frederick P. Hitz, In addition, Hitz is looking at what type of reporting to superiors should be required when mid-level officers are contacted by political figures, such as [Democratic National Committee Chairman Donald L.] Fowler."


Pincus, Walter. "White House Canvassing on Release of Pollard." Washington Post, 3 Dec. 1998, A37. []

According to White House spokesman David Leavy on 2 December 1998, "[t]he White House has asked senior administration officials to recommend by [11 January 1999] whether convicted Israeli spy Jonathan Jay Pollard should be granted clemency and to supply any information that might have a bearing on the case." See also, Bill Gertz, "Clinton to Rule on Pollard in January," Washington Times National Weekly Edition, 30 Nov.-6 Dec. 1998, 15.


Pincus, Walter. "Who Stalled the Intelligence Bill?" Washington Post, 8 Mar. 2007, A21. []

On 6 March 2007, "[f]or what could become the third year in a row," the U.S. Senate failed to "pass an Intelligence Authorization Bill," because of "the objection of a lone Republican senator whose name is being protected by his colleagues.... Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, was named by Congressional Quarterly [on 7 March 2007] as the member who put the bill on hold.... [S]ources said that they believe the hold is due to White House objections to specific provisions, including public disclosure of the national intelligence budget; a requirement for a report on secret CIA prisons; and response to information requests by the committee chairman and vice chairman within 30 days."

[GenPostCW/00s/07; GenPostwar/Budget/07]

Pincus, Walter. "Woolsey's Departure Is Symptomatic of a Troubled Legacy." Washington Post National Weekly Edition, 2-8 Jan. 1995, 31-32.

During the 1980s, the CIA had both "impressive successes and spectacular failures," with the latter squandering much of the former. "This mixed record has its roots in the CIA's dramatic buildup during the Reagan administration, and its failure to deal with many difficulties that accompanied that growth."

Clark comment: Pincus has been covering the CIA for the Washington Post for enough years that he makes some excellent points in this article. I wish, however, that he did not so blithely treat as proven that Bill Casey was the driving force behind Iran-Contra, and that the Agency's connection to the affair ("slim" though it may have been) resulted from Casey's bad example and his successors' failures to enforce "accountability."


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