CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY

1998

Generally

Auster, Bruce B. "What's Really Gone Wrong with the CIA." U.S. News & World Report, 1 Jun. 1998, 27.

In a 5 May 1998 "classified internal briefing ... for the CIA's staff" by George J. Tenet, the DCI "outlined a new 'strategic direction' centered on the clandestine branch. Tenet pledged to hire new case officers and to outfit them with the latest equipment."

Farah, Douglas, and Laura Brooks. "Colombian Army's Third in Command Allegedly Led Two Lives; General Reportedly Served as a Key CIA Informant While Maintaining Ties to Death Squads Financed by Drug Traffickers." Washington Post, 11 Aug. 1998, A14.

"For years Colombian Gen. Ivan Ramirez Quintero was a key intelligence source for the United States. After training in Washington he was the first head of a military intelligence organization designed by U.S. experts to fight Marxist guerrillas and drug traffickers, and served as a liaison and paid informant for the Central Intelligence Agency, according to U.S. and Colombian intelligence sources. But during many of the years he was funneling information to the CIA,... Ramirez, now the army's third in command, maintained close ties to right-wing paramilitary groups who finance much of their activities through drug trafficking."

A follow-up story by Douglas Farah, "Colombian Official Denies CIA Link; Resigning General Says He Was Not a Paid Informant," Washington Post, 12 Aug. 1998, A20, notes that "[i]n a telephone call to The Washington Post, and in a radio interview broadcast in Bogota,... Ramirez described as 'defamatory' a Post story linking him to the paramilitary organizations while on the CIA's payroll in the late 1980s and early 1990s."

Gordon, John A. [GEN/USAF] "Speech to CIRA on Strategic Direction, 11 May 1998." CIRA Newsletter 23, no. 2 (Summer 1998): 3-7.

Speech by Deputy Director of Central Intelligence.

Goss, Porter J. "Millions of Pictures and No One to Look at Them." IntellectualCapital.com, 18 Jun. 1998. [http://www.intellectualcapital.com]

The HPSCI chairman argues that "[t]he fact is, we must have both tactical and strategic capabilities, but the high cost of fulfilling tactical requirements has, in a time of diminishing resources, dried up the resources dedicated to the strategic."

Gregg, Donald P. "An Interrupted Mission." Washington Post, 24 Jun. 1998, A17.

Clark comment: In a ceremony on 25 June 1998, DCI George Tenet presented the Director's Medal to John T. "Jack" Downey and Richard G. Fecteau. (Jonkers, AFIO Weekly Intelligence Notes, 28 Jun. 1998.) The two were shot down in 1952 while on a clandestine suppy mission from Korea into Manchuria. Fecteau was imprisoned for almost 20 years, Downey for over 20 years. In the listed article, the former Ambassador to Korea (1989-1993) focuses primarily on Downey (who Gregg knew in his early CIA days) as "a shining example of how to deal gracefully with those unexpected tragedies that fate may hold in store."

Loeb, Vernon. "Wanted: A Few Good Spies; After Dry Spell, CIA Hiring Again." Washington Post, 27 Nov. 1998, A1. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

The CIA "has launched its largest recruiting campaign ... in more than a decade." Recruiters say they are holding their own "against private sector competition for candidates with skills such as imagery analysis, engineering, computer science and language fluency in Farsi, Arabic, Korean, Chinese and Japanese." The CIA is focusing on "66 colleges and universities with which it either has -- or hopes to develop -- close recruiting ties. The list includes the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard, Cornell, Maryland, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Howard, Grambling, Brigham Young, Texas A&M, Texas, Michigan, Ohio State, Purdue, Stanford and Berkeley."

See also, Bruce B. Auster, "Spies Wanted: James Bond Need Not Apply," U.S. News & World Report, 15 Jun. 1998, 32.

Loeb, Vernon. "Where the CIA Wages Its New World War: Counterterrorist Center Makes Many Arrests, Pursues Bin Laden With Aid of FBI, NSA." Washington Post, 9 Sep. 1998, A17. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

"[T]he CIA's Counterterrorist Center created an unusual bin Laden 'station' in 1996 to target the Islamic extremist and disrupt his worldwide terrorist network, intelligence officials say. Since then, the Counterterrorist Center has assisted foreign intelligence and law enforcement in the arrest of 40 alleged terrorist operatives, including numerous bin Laden associates, the officials say. Twenty-one of those arrests have come since June, the officials said."

Maier, Timothy, and Sean Paige. "Does America Need the CIA?" Insight on the News, 17 Aug. 1998, 17-20.

Meisler, Stanley. "CIA Agents Live -- and Die -- Anonymously; Safety: Their Identities Are Guarded by Headquarters, Even When They Are an Open Secret." Los Angeles Times, 13 Aug. 1998. [http://www.latimes.com]

The CIA's "obsession with secrecy -- refusing to identify some officers even after death -- has powered" the agency's "persistent refusal ... to comment on news reports from Nairobi, Kenya, that one of the 12 Americans killed in the terrorist bombing there was a CIA agent."

Clark comment: There are two things wrong with this short passage -- things that indicate this particular journalist understands his subject matter even less than many others who try to write on the CIA: One, it is not an obsession to attempt to protect the very work that places CIA officers -- and I do not mean to the exclusion of others from other U.S. government agencies -- in the places where bad things can happen to them, whether or not they are the targets. Two, CIA American employees -- overseas or elsewhere -- are not "agents."

Pincus, Walter. "CIA's Espionage Capability Found Lacking: Recent Confrontation With Iraq Shows Need to Rebuild, Head of House Panel Says." Washington Post, 10 May 1998, A4. [http://washingtonpost.com/]

Pincus, Walter, and Vernon Loeb. "CIA Blocked Two Attacks Last Year." Washington Post, 11 Aug. 1998, A16. "The CIA's Track Record on Terrorism: At Least Two Plots Were Foiled Last Year, But the Two Embassies Hit Were 'Low-Risk.'" Washington Post National Weekly Edition, 17 Aug. 1998, 20.

"CIA operatives foiled two attacks on U.S. embassies last year [1997] in advanced stages of planning and disrupted three other incipient plots after infiltrating terrorist cells and by monitoring and intercepting electronic communications."

Risen, James. "Getting Back to Basics: C.I.A. Is Hiring More Spies." New York Times, 27 Jun. 1998, A9.

Risen, James. "Gore Rejected C.I.A. Evidence of Russian Corruption." New York Times, 23 Nov. 1998, A8.

"[S]everal intelligence officials familiar with the incident" report that "evidence of the personal corruption of [Russian] Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin" sent to the White House by the CIA was "rejected" by Vice President Al Gore, "and sent back to the CIA with a barnyard epithet scrawled across its cover.... As a result, CIA analysts say they are now censoring themselves.... [A]dministration officials contend that the CIA reports never contained enough evidence to prompt them to distance themselves from Chernomyrdin, Chubais or other senior Russian officials who had become important counterparts in diplomatic and economic relations."

A follow-on report by the Associated Press, "CIA Denies Watering Down Reports," 23 Nov. 1998, quotes "administration and intelligence officials" for the view that "U.S. intelligence pulls no punches in its secret reports to the White House despite a flap three years ago over a highly critical agency assessment of Vice President Al Gore's chief Russian negotiating partner.... 'The notion that we pull any of our punches is simply wrong. We call them as we see them,' said CIA spokesman Bill Harlow. 'The vice president is one of our most ardent consumers of intelligence. He asks a lot of questions and he demonstrates an in-depth interest in a variety of subjects.'"

Robinson, Clarence A., Jr. "Intelligence Agency Adjusts as Mission Possible Unfolds." Signal, Oct. 1998, 17-19. [http://www.us.net/signal/Archive/Oct98/intel-oct.htmlß]

The CIA's advanced analytic tools office was created in the Directorate of Science and Technology in 1997. The head of the 100-person office is Susan M. Gordon. She describes the office's mission as "bringing the power of information technology advances to bear on its basic analytical functions. The use of advanced analytical tools dovetails with a new strategic agency direction. This imperative calls for much closer ties with customers, accelerating information gathering and processing, handling larger volumes of data more efficiently and expediting product delivery."

Weiner, Tim. "Panel Says C.I.A.'s Secrecy Threatens to Make History a Lie." New York Times, 9 Apr. 1998, A19.

A report by the State Department's historians' committee will warn that continued publication of the official record of U.S. foreign policy "is imperiled" by the CIA's failure to release documents on its Cold War covert operations.

Woodward, Bob. "CIA Paid Afghans To Track Bin Laden: Team of 15 Recruits Operated Since 1998." Washington Post, 23 Dec. 2001, A1. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

"For four years prior to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the CIA paid a team of about 15 recruited Afghan agents to regularly track Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan, according to well-placed sources. The team had mixed results, ranging from excellent to total failure. Once every month or so, the team pinpointed bin Laden's presence in a specific building, compound or training camp, and that location was then confirmed by the CIA through communications intelligence or satellite overhead photography.... The creation of the tracking team was part of a covert CIA operation to capture or kill bin Laden launched first by the Clinton administration and continued under President Bush."

 

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