CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY

Directors of Central Intelligence

George J. Tenet as DCI

1990s 

Materials arranged chronologically.

Click for materials regarding Tenet's involvement in the Middle East peace talks in October 1998.

Click for materials, beginning in April 1999, dealing with former DCI John Deutch's security violations.

Congressional Quarterly Weekly Report. Editors. "Tenet Selects Deputy." 26 Jul. 1997, 1807.

The newly sworn in DCI announced on 21 July 1997 that the Clinton administration had nominated Air Force Lt. Gen. John A. Gordon to be DDCI. The SSCI approved Gordon's nomination on 8 October 1997. CQWR, 11 Oct. 1997, 2497. Gordon received full Senate confirmation on 27 October 1997. CQWR, 1 Nov. 1997, 2699.

Pincus, Walter. "[House] Panel Ties NSA Funds to Changes at Agency: Report Urges Strategic, Business Planning." Washington Post, 7 May 1998, A21.

HPSCI threatened on 6 May 1998 "to withhold funds from the $4 billion National Security Agency (NSA) unless the worldwide eavesdropping organization makes 'very large changes' in its 'culture and methods of operation.'". The committee also called on DCI George J. Tenet to take a more active role in managing the overall intelligence community budget of about $27 billion." The committee criticized the NRO "saying last year's hopes that the switch to smaller satellites and acquisition reforms would free some funds have 'not been fulfilled.'"

Pincus, Walter. "CIA Chief Cited Loss of Agency's Capabilities; Remarks Preceded Indian Bomb Tests." Washington Post, 25 May 1998, A4. "The CIA Did Espy Its Own Problems: Even Before the India Fiasco, Director Tenet Was Flagging the Agency's Shortcomings." Washington Post National Weekly Edition, 1 Jun. 1998, 26.

"One week before the Indian nuclear test caught the U.S. intelligence community by surprise, CIA Director George J. Tenet told his employees [in a speech at CIA Headquarters in which he laid out his 5 to 10-year strategic plan for the nation's intelligence agencies] he believed the agency's espionage capabilities had eroded since the Cold War and its analysts were depending too much on Pentagon spy satellites."

Gerth, Jeff. "New C.I.A. Chief Picks Veteran Staff." New York Times, 22 Jul. 1998, A12.

Pincus, Walter, and Barton Gellman. "Tenet Said He Might Quit Over Pollard Release." Washington Post, 11 Nov. 1998, A4. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

According to sources, "CIA Director George J. Tenet told President Clinton last month that he would find it difficult to remain as director were convicted Israeli spy Jonathan Jay Pollard released as part of a Middle East peace agreement." See also, James Risen and Steve Erlanger, "C.I.A. Chief Vowed to Quit if Clinton Freed Israeli Spy," New York Times, 11 Nov. 1998, A1-A12 (N).

Loeb, Vernon. "CIA Won't Disclose Total Intelligence Appropriation for Fiscal Year." Washington Post, 25 Dec. 1998, A10. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

DCI Tenet "has refused to disclose the budget request or final appropriation for intelligence activities in the current fiscal year [FY1999], prompting concern among anti-secrecy advocates that the nation's top intelligence officer is trying to reverse his own recent moves toward greater openness." This information was provided for FY 1997 and FY 1998.

The DCI said that "the CIA Act of 1949 expresses Congress's view 'that intelligence appropriations and expenditures ... be shielded from public view. Simply stated, the means of providing money to the CIA is itself an intelligence method.... Therefore I have determined that disclosure of the budget request would tend to reveal intelligence sources and methods that are protected from disclosure.'"

Clark comment: It is somewhat discouraging to those who us who teach that supposedly knowledgeable journalists continue to make the most basic of mistakes when reporting on intelligence matters. In this instance, Loeb refers to "CIA Director George J. Tenet," rather than to Tenet as DCI, a mistake carried forward into the article's headline. Either Loeb does not understand that Tenet is not "CIA Director" and certainly was not acting in his CIA capacity in this matter, or he simply assumes a lack of sophistication in his audience. Which ever of these two options is valid, it does not speak well for Loeb's abilities or sensibilities as a journalist.

Pincus, Walter. "Tenet Seeks Coordination of Intelligence Gathering: CIA Chief's Aides Detail Plan to Fight Factionalism." Washington Post, 12 Feb. 1999, A33. [http://www. washingtonpost.com]

At his confirmation hearing for the position of assistant director for administration at the CIA, James M. Simon Jr. said that DCI George J. Tenet "is using his position as titular head of the agencies that make up the U.S. intelligence community to bring new coordination to their collection, analysis and distribution of intelligence data by beefing up the quality of the Intelligence Community Management (ICM) staff."

Campbell, Matthew. "Reborn CIA Dusts off Cloak and Dagger." Sunday Times (London), 14 Mar. 1999. [http://www.the-times.co.uk]

"After years of bemoaning their absence of purpose in a post-Soviet world, the CIA's agents have found a friend in [DCI George] Tenet.... Because of his appreciation of traditional methods of spying, he has developed a warm relationship with them.... In a move that has raised eyebrows among some critics..., Tenet has been quietly resurrecting the so-called Directorate of Operations, the clandestine branch responsible for espionage and covert operations around the world."

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."

Raum, Tom. "CIA: 1998 Sudan Bombing Not Mistake." Associated Press, 19 Oct. 1999.

DCI George Tenet told a Georgetown University audience on 18 October 1999 that "[e]vidence that a U.S.-destroyed Sudanese pharmaceutical plant was manufacturing chemical-weapons components remains 'compelling,' despite growing international skepticism over the 1998 bombing.... 'We were not wrong,'" Tenet said. See also, Vernon Loeb, "Drug Plant Attack on Target, Says CIA Chief," Washington Post, 21 Oct. 1999, A27.

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