CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY

2015

January - February

Materials presented chronologically.

Hosenball, Mark. "CIA Says Its Inspector General Is Resigning at End of Month." Reuters via http://newsdaily.com, 5 Jan. 2015.

In a statement on 5 January 2015, the CIA said "CIA inspector general David Buckley ... is resigning effective Jan. 31" Buckley "has served as the agency's internal watchdog for more than four years." He is leaving "to 'pursue an opportunity in the private sector.'" See also, Dustin Volz, "The CIA's Watchdog Is Resigning After Revealing That Spies Hacked the Senate," National Journal, 5 Jan. 2015.

Koran, Laura. "Sanctions Guru Tapped for CIA Job." CNN, 9 Jan. 2015. [http://www.cnn.com]

President Barack Obama announced on 9 January 2015 "that he will appoint David Cohen, the man behind the administration's international sanctions policy, as Deputy Director of the CIA." Cohen is Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence in the Treasury Department. See also, Greg Miller and Karen DeYoung, "David Cohen, Architect of Sanctions on Iran and Russia, Picked as CIA Deputy Director," Washington Post, 9 Jan. 2015.

[Brennan, John.] "[Press Release:] Message from the Director: New Associate Director for Military Affairs." Washington, DC: U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, 7 Jan. 2015. [https://www.cia.gov/news-information/press-releases-statements/2015-press-releases-statements/selection-of-lt-gen-mulholland-as-associate-director-military-affairs.html]

Lt. Gen. John F. Mulholland Jr. is the CIA's new Associate Director for Military Affairs. Mulholland "previously served as Deputy Commander of the United States Special Operations Command."

Miller, Greg. "CIA Finds No Wrongdoing in Agency's Search of Computers Used by Senate Investigators." Washington Post, 14 Jan. 2015. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

A CIA review group, led by former U.S. senator Evan Bayh (D-IN), "concluded in a report released [on 14 January 2015] that agency employees should not be punished for their roles in secretly searching computers used by Senate investigators." The agency panel "found that the agency employees' actions were 'reasonable in light of their responsibilities to manage an unprecedented computer system' set up for Senate aides involved in a multiyear probe of the CIA's treatment of terrorism suspects." The report "cited a lack of clear ground rules between the CIA and the Senate, and it faulted CIA workers for missteps including reading e-mails of congressional investigators."

Associated Press. "CIA Asset 'Merlin' Testifies About Mission at CIA Leak Trial." Washington Post, 16 Jan. 2015. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

"Jurors on [16 January 2015] at the leak trial of ex-CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling heard" a Russian emigre and nuclear engineer nicknamed "Merlin" "testify for nearly three hours about his life as a CIA asset and his key role in the classified operation to give deliberately flawed nuclear blueprints to Iran. Prosecutors say Sterling,... who was Merlin's handler in 2000, illegally leaked details of the operation to New York Times journalist James Risen to get back at the agency for perceived mistreatment. Sterling denies that he leaked anything to Risen."

Harris, Shane. "Exclusive: CIA's Top Spy Steps Down." The Daily Beast, 23 Jan. 2015. [http://www.thedailybeast.com]

NCS Director Frank Archibald "has announced that he plans to retire. CIA spokesman Dean Boyd confirmed that the director [had] announced his retirement."

Zapotosky, Matt. "Former CIA Officer Convicted in Leak Case." Washington Post, 26 Jan. 2015. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

On 26 January 2015, former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling was convicted in U.S District Court "of nine counts of unauthorized disclosure of national defense information and other related charges" relating to his giving classified information to New York Times reporter James Risen. See also, Matt Apuzzo, "C.I.A. Officer Is Found Guilty in Leak Tied to Times Reporter," New York Times, 26 Jan. 2015.

Miller, Greg. "CIA Promotes Top Paramilitary Officer to Lead Spying Branch." Washington Post, 29 Jan. 2015. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

On 29 January 2015, "[t]he CIA's top paramilitary officer was named head" of the National Clandestine Service. This move "may signal a broader organizational shake-up by Director John Brennan in the coming months.... The CIA did not reveal the identity of its new espionage chief.... But the officer's first name and middle initial -- Greg V. -- have appeared in numerous books cleared by agency censors."

Goldman, Adam, and Ellen Nakashima. "CIA and Mossad Killed Senior Hezbollah Figure in Car Bombing." Washington Post, 30 Jan. 2015. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

"[F]ive former U.S. intelligence officials" have confirmed "U.S. involvement in the killing" of "Imad Mughniyah, Hezbollah's international operations chief," in Damascus on 12 February 2008. "The United States helped build the bomb," a CIA team tracked Mughniyah's movements, and Mossad agents triggered the device remotely from Tel Aviv. "The authority to kill Mughniyah required a presidential finding by President George W. Bush.... In the leadup to the operation, U.S. intelligence officials had assured lawmakers in a classified briefing that there would be no collateral damage, former officials said."

Miller, Greg, and Hugh Naylor. "CIA Scales Back Presence and Operations in Yemen, Home of Potent al-Qaeda Affiliate.'" Washington Post, 11 Feb. 2015. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

According to current and former U.S. officials, the CIA "has pulled dozens of operatives, analysts and other staffers from Yemen as part of a broader extraction of roughly 200 Americans.... Among those removed were senior officers who worked closely with Yemen's intelligence and security services to target al-Qaeda operatives.... U.S. officials emphasized that not all CIA personnel were withdrawn..., saying that the agency would try to salvage an intelligence network that it had assembled in cooperation with Yemen, Saudi Arabia and other allies over the past five years."

Rosenberg, Matthew, and Eric Schmitt. "U.S. Is Escalating a Secretive War in Afghanistan." New York Times, 12 Feb. 2015. [http://www.nytimes.com]

In October 2014, a raid on a village by Afghan intelligence commandos and American Special Operations forces netted "a laptop computer and files detailing [al-]Qaeda operations on both sides of the [Afghanistan-Pakistan] border.... In the months since, the trove of intelligence has helped fuel a significant increase in night raids by American Special Operations forces and Afghan intelligence commandos.... American and Afghan officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity..., said that American forces were playing direct combat roles in many of the raids and were not simply going along as advisers....

"The raids appear to have ... hit both [al-]Qaeda and Taliban operatives.... Afghan and American officials said the raids over the past few months had been carried out by the elite commandos of the National Directorate of Security, Afghanistan's main spy agency, and members of a mix of American military Special Operations units, such as Navy SEALs and Army Rangers, and paramilitary officers from the C.I.A."

Chivers, C. J., and Eric Schmitt. "C.I.A. Is Said to Have Bought and Destroyed Iraqi Chemical Weapons." New York Times, 16 Feb. 2050, A4. [http://www.nytimes.com]

According to current and former U.S. officials, the CIA, "working with American troops during the occupation of Iraq, repeatedly purchased nerve-agent rockets from a secretive Iraqi seller.... The extraordinary arms purchase plan, known as Operation Avarice, began in 2005 and continued into 2006.... It led to the United States' acquiring and destroying at least 400 Borak rockets.... The effort was run out of the C.I.A. station in Baghdad in collaboration with the Army's 203rd Military Intelligence Battalion and teams of chemical-defense and explosive ordnance disposal troops, officials and veterans of the units said." Some of the rockets "contained the nerve agent sarin."

Miller, Greg. "CIA Looks to Expand Its Cyber Espionage Capabilities." Washington Post, 23 Feb. 2015. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

According to current and former U.S. officials, "CIA Director John O. Brennan is planning a major expansion of the agency's cyber espionage capabilities.... The expanded emphasis on cyber is part of a broader restructuring envisioned by Brennan that is expected to break down long-standing boundaries between its operations and analysis directorates, creating hybrid 'centers' that combine those and other disciplines. Brennan ... recently met with senior members of the House and Senate intelligence committees to outline the proposed changes....

"Although limited compared to the larger NSA, the CIA has substantial cyber capabilities. Its Information Operations Center, which handles assignments such as extracting information from stolen laptops and planting surveillance devices, is now second only to the CTC [Counterterrorism Center] in size, former officials said."

Return to CIA 2010s Table of Contents