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Thursday, February 7, 2013

Decades’ old CIA breakdown needs intelligent, independent, experienced leadership ─ Goodman

drone wars
killling by remote

 An agency blinded by ideology, politics; rogue empire, old ruins
Editing, excerpting, brief comment by 
Carolyn Bennett

Sixty-five years ago U.S. President Harry S. Truman created the CIA to produce intelligence free from bias of the policy process ─ particularly the military process. As he searches for a successor, Melvin A. Goodman wrote late last year, “President Barack Obama should keep this in mind.”

Experienced civilian leaders could demand reform. The former Central Intelligence Agency analyst said President Obama has an opportunity to name a director who will ─
[r]e-establish the CIA’s commitment to objective and balanced intelligence and rebuild the Office of the Inspector General, which has been severely weakened by the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations.


“The role of strategic intelligence has deteriorated during the past decade with major failures including the lack of premonitory [early-warning] intelligence for the terror attacks of 9/11 and for the Arab Spring, as well as the false intelligence to justify the Iraq War in 2003,”  Goodman said. “There were major operational failures in Afghanistan in 2009, when eight CIA officers were killed, and in Libya, where the U.S. ambassador lost his life.”

Moral Bankruptcy

he politicized intelligence for the Iraq War, as well as CIA secret prisons and use of torture, revealed moral bankruptcy at the CIA …

“The CIA’s Inspector General has not investigated any of these failures since its examination of the 9/11 failure.

Incest, entrenchment, nepotism blinds
Civilian leadership, Independent analysis needed

Agency careerists, like the current acting director of the CIA, Goodman says, lack the stature for the job and military officers lack the background and often the intellect.

xperienced civilian leaders could demand a reform process to correct the flawed processes of the analytical and operational directorates and assure that the CIA strengthens independent analysis for the strategic needs of high-level decision-makers.

Decades' old BREAKDOWN
A new director, Goodman said, “must make sure that the CIA [has an Inspector General with the character of] a junkyard dog [aggressive, no-nonsense] as that statutory position requires.” 

Goodman says the CIA needs leaders “who understand the role of strategic intelligence.” His choices for the job (though not without linkage to established, entrenched, recycled Washington) are these men:

Former U.S. Senator from Nebraska (1997-2009), Charles Timothy (Chuck) Hagel (b. 1946)

Former U.S. Senator from Nebraska (1989-2001) and 35th Governor of that state (1983-1987), Joseph Robert (Bob) Kerrey (b. 1943)

Former U.S. Senator from New Jersey (1979-1997) and former candidate for U.S. presidency (2000), William Warren (Bill) Bradley (b. 1943)

Retired U. S. ambassador, formerly posted as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations (1989-1992), Senior Vice President for International Relations at Boeing (ending in 2006), Thomas Reeve (Tom) Pickering (b. 1931)

Current U.S. diplomat, former U. S. Ambassador to Russia (2005-2008) then acting U. S. Secretary of State (January 2009 HR Clinton stand-in), current Deputy Secretary of State, William Joseph Burns (b.1956)


Is it possible to move beyond old ruins?

hough the men suggested by Mel Goodman might be wonderful to head the Central Intelligence Agency, I expect there are even better suited, more qualified potential candidates [not Brennan] for the positions of Chief and Inspector General who do not rise from the pit of Washington’s ruined: the entrenched, the recycled, descendant old sons of nepotism.

Today’s News from Senate Committee Hearing: “[Obama-nominee] John Brennan CIA confirmation hearing interrupted by protesters” – Guardian UK Live
President Obama's
man for CIA chief

• Brennan grilled by Senate intelligence committee

• Floor cleared as anti-drone protesters interrupt session

Sources and note

“Restore Reliability and Accountability” (New York Times, December 3, 2012 Article by Melvin A. Goodman), http://www.ciponline.org/research/entry/restore-reliability-and-accountability; http://www.ciponline.org/research/entry/restore-reliability-and-accountability

Mel Goodman

Melvin A. Goodman is Director of the National Security Project at the Center for International Policy in Washington, D.C., and adjunct professor of government at Johns Hopkins University.

Earlier he was a Soviet analyst at the CIA and the U.S. Department of State for 24 years; and a professor of international relations at the National War College for 18 years. He served in the U.S. Army in Athens, Greece (three years); and was intelligence adviser to the SALT delegation (1971–1972).

In addition to articles in a variety of news source, Goodman is author of Failure of Intelligence: The Decline and Fall of the CIA; National Insecurity: The Cost of American Militarism; Gorbachev’s Retreat: The Third World; The Wars of Eduard Shevardnadze; The Phantom Defense: America’s Pursuit of the Star Wars Illusion; and Bush League Diplomacy: How the Neoconservatives are Putting the World at Risk


Center for International Policy

Founded by former diplomats and peace activists (1975) in the wake of the Vietnam War, the Center for International Policy, according to its website, is a nonprofit research that “advocates a U.S. foreign policy that promotes international cooperation, demilitarization and respect for human rights.”

The Center’s advocacy and policy research promotes transparency and accountability in U.S. foreign policy; and provides policy recommendations and analysis to decision makers in government, the private sector and civil society.

“Washington insiders with an outsider’s agenda,” they call themselves, a group of former senior government officials, journalists, academics and activists with programs focusing “on long-term policy questions ─ examining policy implications of important issues such as the drug war, military budget, global financial integrity, climate change ─ while quickly responding to breaking news.”

Programs have grown and expanded: In the late 1970s, the Indochina program promoted the normalization of relations between the United States and Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia; in the 1980s, CIP turned its focus to Central America; in the 1990s, the focus expanded to reform of the U.S. intelligence agencies. Then to wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and illicit financial flows; continually programs focused on issues and events’ impact on human rights and national security; and the role of money, money defining policy: in Washington, Latin America, the Middle East, Asia and Africa. http://www.ciponline.org/about-us

President Barack Obama chooses soiled for CIA chief
“John Brennan CIA confirmation hearing interrupted by protesters” – live, February 7, 2013, http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/feb/07/john-brennan-senate-hearing-cia-nomination-live-blog


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