CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY

2015

March - August

Materials presented chronologically.

Mazzetti, Mark. "C.I.A. to Be Overhauled to Fight Modern Threats." New York Times, 7 Mar. 2015, A15. [http://www.nytimes.com]

In a briefing with reporters on 4 March 2015, DCIA John O. Brennan discussed a restructuring of the CIA that "would partly abandon the agency's current structure that keeps spies and analysts separate as they target specific regions or countries. Instead, C.I.A. officers will be assigned to 10 new mission centers focused on terrorism, weapons proliferation, the Middle East and other areas with responsibility for espionage operations, intelligence analysis and covert actions.... Brennan said he was also adding a new directorate at the agency responsible for all of the C.I.A.'s digital operations -- from cyberespionage to data warehousing and analysis."

See also, Greg Miller, "CIA Plans Major Reorganization and a Focus on Digital Espionage," Washington Post, 6 Mar. 2015.

The "Unclassified Version of March 6, 2015 Message to the Workforce from CIA Director John Brennan: Our Agency's Blueprint for the Future" is available at: https://www.cia.gov/news-information/press-releases-statements/2015-press-releases-statements/message-to-workforce-agencys-blueprint-for-the-future.html.

Pace, Julie, and Ken Dilanian. "US Counterterrorism Strategy in Yemen Collapses Amid Chaos." Washington Post, 24 Mar. 2015. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

According to U.S. and Yemeni officials, "the U.S. counterterrorism strategy in Yemen has all but collapsed as the country descends into chaos.... Operations against militants have been scaled back dramatically amid the fall of the American-backed government and the evacuation of U.S. personnel.... CIA drone strikes will continue, the officials said, but there will be fewer of them. The agency's ability to collect intelligence on the ground in Yemen, while not completely gone, is much diminished."

Miller, Greg. "CIA Official Who Directed Hunt for bin Laden Is Being Removed from Post." Washington Post, 25 Mar. 2015. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

According to officials, "[t]he head of the CIAs Counterterrorism Center, who presided over the agency's drone campaign and directed the hunt for Osama bin Laden, is being removed from his post.... The move, part of a major reorganization under CIA Director John Brennan, ends a nine-year tenure." Officials said that he "is expected to remain at the CIA in a new assignment which has yet to be determined and that he is being replaced by an agency veteran who has held a series of high-level positions, including running the CIA's operations in Afghanistan."

Shane, Scott. "Agents Enjoy Status, but Intelligence Analysts Gain Attentions." New York Times, 27 Mar. 2015, A17. [http://www.nytimes.com]

As the CIA and FBI "confront an evolving terrorist threat, cyberattacks and other challenges, both are reorganizing in ways intended to empower analysts. That involves the delicate job of meshing the very different cultures of the streetwise agent and the brainy analyst.... The biggest challenge remains at the F.B.I., a traditional law enforcement organization that has struggled since the 2001 terrorist attacks to remake itself as an intelligence agency." A report by the FBI 9/11 Review Commission "found that the bureau 'still does not sufficiently recognize them as a professionalized work force with distinct requirements for investment in training and education.'...

"At the C.I.A., where analysts have had a central role since its founding, they long worked largely apart from the 'operators,' who work in the field overseas recruiting agents. This month, John O. Brennan, the C.I.A. director, announced that analysts and operators would be combined in 10 new 'mission centers,' following the model of the agency's Counterterrorism Center. That may give the analysts greater day-to-day influence on operations. The latest moves continue the steady enhancement of the role of intelligence analysts."

Miller, Greg. "Hostages' Deaths Raise Wider Questions about Drone Strikes' Civilian Toll." Washington Post, 23 Apr. 2015. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

"[C]urrent and former U.S. counterterrorism officials said that [the 23 April 2015] disclosures" of the deaths of two Western hostages held by al-Qaeda "undercut years of U.S. claims about the accuracy of the drone program and provided new ammunition for skeptics of administration policies that are supposed to require 'near certainty' that no civilians will be harmed."

Ryan, Missy. "U.S. Operation Killed al-Qaeda Hostages, Including American." Washington Post, 23 Apr. 2015. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

On 23 April 2015, a White House statement said "[a] U.S. operation along Pakistan's border with Afghanistan inadvertently killed two hostages earlier this year.... The American hostage, Warren Weinstein, had been held since 2011.... Italian aid worker Giovanni Lo Porto, had been in al-Qaeda captivity since 2012." The statement "did not provide details on the operation but news reports described it as a drone strike. The operation also killed Ahmed Farouq, a U.S. citizen and an al-Qaeda leader, the White House said.... In addition, the statement said, U.S. officials believe that another operation killed Adam Gadahn, a prominent al-Qaeda figure, also in January."

Mazzetti, Mark, and Matt Apuzzo. "Deep Support in Washington for C.I.A.'s Drone Missions." New York Times, 26 Apr. 2015, A1. [http://www.nytimes.com]

"[U]nwavering support from Capitol Hill is but one reason the C.I.A.'s killing missions are embedded in American warfare and unlikely to change significantly despite President Obama's announcement on [23 April 2015] that a drone strike accidentally killed two innocent hostages.... The program is under fire like never before, but the White House continues to champion it, and C.I.A. officers who built the program more than a decade ago ... have ascended to the agency's powerful senior ranks."

Dilanian, Ken. "CIA Manager Who Had Been Removed From His Job Is Back." Associated Press, 28 Apr. 2015. [http://abcnews.go.com]

Jonathan Bank, "removed from his job last year for abusive management," has been named "deputy chief for counterintelligence at the Counter Terrorism Center" (CTC). See Dilanian, "CIA Suspends Chief of Iran Operations over Workplace Issues," Los Angeles Times, 16 Mar. 2014.

Zapotosky, Matt. "Ex-CIA Officer Convicted in Leak Case Sentenced to 3 1/2 Years in Prison." Washington Post, 11 May 2015. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

On 11 May 2015, a U.S. District Judge sentenced Jeffrey Sterling to 3 1/2 years in prison for "leaking classified information to New York Times reporter James Risen." See also, Matt Apuzzo, "Ex-C.I.A. Officer Gets Prison Term for Leak to a Times Journalist," New York Times, 12 May 2015, A14.

Central Intelligence Agency. Office of the Inspector General. Report on Central Intelligence Agency Accountability Regarding Findings and Conclusions of the Report of the Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001. Washington, DC: CIA, Jun. 2005 (released 12 Jun. 2015). [http://www.foia.cia.gov/sites/default/files/DOC_0006184107.pdf]

The 12 June 2015 release also includes redacted versions of four additional documents relating to the OIG report.

Miller, Greg, and Karen DeYoung. "Secret CIA Effort in Syria Faces Large Funding Cut." Washington Post, 12 Jun. 2015. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

In a preliminary intelligence spending bill, HPSCI has voted to cut as much as 20 percent of the funds going into "a secret CIA operation to train and arm rebels in Syria." U.S. officials said the move "reflects rising skepticism of the effectiveness of the agency program and the Obama administration's strategy in the Middle East." The CIA program, set up in 2013 to bolster moderate forces, represents "the United States' most direct involvement on the ground in Syria's civil war" and is reported to have "a budget approaching $1 billion a year."

Miller, Greg, and Hugh Naylor. "Al-Qaeda Says No. 2 Leader Killed by U.S. Drone Strike in Yemen.'" Washington Post, 16 Jun. 2015. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) confirmed on 16 June 2015 that "a CIA drone strike killed its leader," Nasir al-Wuhayshi, on 9 June 2015. A senior al-Qaeda leader in Yemen "identified Wuhayshi's deputy, Qassim al-Raimi, as the group's new leader." In 2013 al-Wuhayshi "was named al-Qaeda's overall second-in-command and apparent heir to leader Ayman al-Zawahiri.... The strike aimed at Wuhayshi served as the latest reminder that the CIA and JSOC continue to operate armed drones over Yemen."

Miller, Greg. "CIA Didn't Know Strike Would Hit al-Qaeda Leader." Washington Post, 17 Jun. 2015. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

According to U.S. officials, "[t]he CIA did not know in advance that al-Qaeda's leader in Yemen was among the suspected militants targeted in a lethal drone strike last week.... The officials said that Nasir al-Wuhayshi ... was killed in a 'signature strike,' in which the CIA is permitted to fire based on patterns of suspected militant activity.... The reliance on signature strikes would help explain an increase in the pace of drone operations in Yemen over the past six months.... U.S. officials said the stepped-up use of signature strikes is part of a broader easing of constraints on the CIA and U.S. military drone campaigns there to help compensate for the loss of a critical ally."

Return to CIA 2010s Table of Contents