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12 May 2013

CIA Disclosed


2013-0477.htm   Gina Cheri Haspel, ex-Acting CIA Covert Head     May 9, 2013
2013-0476.htm   Francis "Frank" Archibald, Jr. CIA Covert Head   May 9, 2013

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CIA selects new head of clandestine service, passing over female officer

By Greg Miller, Published: May 7

A CIA officer who was the first woman to lead the agency’s clandestine service, but was also directly involved in its controversial interrogation program, will not get to keep that job as part of a management shake-up announced Tuesday by CIA Director John O. Brennan.

The officer, who is undercover, served as director of the National Clandestine Service on an interim basis over the past two months, and many considered her a front-runner to keep the post, which involves overseeing the CIA’s spying operations worldwide.

But she faced opposition because of her extensive role in an interrogation program that critics have said relied on torture to get information from al-Qaeda captives after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. She had run a secret prison in Thailand where two detainees were subjected to waterboarding and other harsh techniques. She later helped order the destruction of videotapes of those interrogation sessions.

Instead, Brennan has given the job to a 57-year-old longtime officer who served tours in Pakistan and Africa and was recently in charge of the agency’s Latin America division, according to public records and former officials. He is also undercover, U.S. officials said.

The CIA confirmed the appointment in a statement Tuesday but disputed that the female officer’s ties to the interrogation program were a factor.

“The assertion she was not chosen because of her affiliation with the CT mission is absolutely not true,” said CIA spokeswoman Jennifer Youngblood, using an abbreviation for counterterrorism.

Youngblood described the new head of the spy service as a “talented and effective intelligence officer” who “is known for his collaborative and inclusive leadership style.” She noted that women will fill two other senior CIA jobs.

The moves mark the resolution of an early quandary for Brennan, who faced a bruising confirmation fight over his own ties to the interrogation program. He had taken the unusual step of forming a panel of retired CIA officers to evaluate candidates for the clandestine service position.

The female officer, who is in her 50s, had support within the agency and had served as deputy director of the clandestine service. But her background posed political problems at a time when the controversy over the agency’s treatment of detainees has reemerged.

The CIA is assembling what former officials have described as a defiant response to a 6,000-page report recently completed by the Senate Intelligence Committee that sharply criticizes the interrogation program as well as the agency’s claims about its results.

The report contains many references to the female officer’s role.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), chairman of the panel, had called Brennan to express concern that someone so closely linked to the program might lead the agency’s spying service.

After running the “black site” in Thailand, the female officer returned to headquarters for a senior job at the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center. Former colleagues said she lobbied for several years to have the videotapes taken in Thailand destroyed.

The 2005 destruction of the tapes, which went against White House lawyers’ warnings, prompted a criminal investigation, but no charges were filed.

To help navigate the clandestine service decision, Brennan assembled a group of advisers that included former senior CIA officials John McLaughlin, Stephen Kappes and Mary Margaret Graham. McLaughlin declined to discuss the group’s deliberations, but said in an e-mail that the interim spy chief and her successor “are very fine officers with wide-ranging and successful experience both substantively and in terms of developing and leading people.”

He added that “past counterterrorism policy simply did not come up and was not a factor.”

The new spy chief is a Marine Corps veteran who initially joined the CIA’s paramilitary branch but spent most of his career in traditional espionage assignments. He assumes control at a time when Brennan has signaled concern that intelligence collection has been hampered by the agency’s emphasis on drone strikes.

The names of both officers are widely known in the intelligence community, but the agency requested that they not be identified because they are undercover. The female officer is expected to resume her prior role as deputy of the clandestine service.

Brennan’s decision was complicated by the agency’s history of gender imbalance in its upper ranks. No woman has ever served as director or deputy director of the CIA, and none had been head of the clandestine service until the female officer was elevated to that role on an interim basis when her predecessor retired.

A former senior CIA official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that women at the agency “will be outraged” that the female officer was denied the job. “She is very popular. She is an excellent officer and very good administrator.”

The CIA’s statement identified the two women chosen for senior posts as Meroe Park, who was named executive director, and Deb Bonk, who will serve as Brennan’s chief of staff. “Women will hold fully half of the positions” on Brennan’s leadership team, Youngblood said.

Julie Tate contributed to this report.

Cia: No Woman No Cry

Spy Agency Chooses a Safe Male to Run Clandestine Service

Jeff Stein


I can only imagine the wry smile on G's face when she got the news: You gotta take a bullet for the team.

It was a moment John Le Carré might have scripted.

The CIA denies that "G"-- whose name the agency insists keeping under wraps even though it's "widely known in intelligence, diplomatic and journalistic circles," as the AP put it -- was denied the job of running CIA's corps of spies because she ran a secret interrogation center where at least two accused terrorists were waterboarded multiple times over and lobbied hard to destroy the videotapes.

The coup de grace came when Dianne Feinstein, chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, made clear her desire that the job go to someone else. Certainly the White House was not displeased, either.

And so the new head of the CIA's National Clandestine Service is "a 57-year-old longtime officer who served tours in Pakistan and Africa and was recently in charge of the agency’s Latin America division, according to public records and former officials," The Washington Post reported.

He was identified in a tweet Wednesday by John Dinges, author of The Condor Years: How Pinochet and Chile Brought Terrorism to Three Continents, as Francis (Frank) Archibald, "a former chief of the Latin America division and paramilitary specialist."

Most likely Archibald was chosen because there's not a whiff of scandal in his background, as far as we know. "Bland" is a word that comes to mind.

The irony here is that three of the four people directly involved in the decision to pass over Gina were hip deep in renditions and harsh interrogations themselves yet remain in good odor: CIA

Frank Archibald, a former Pakistan station chief, most recently Latin America chief, gets the job.

Director John Brennan and two members of his selection advisory panel, Stephen Kappes and John McLaughlin.

Brennan was the agency's deputy executive director at the outset of the controversial programs.

Kappes, a much-lauded former CIA official, was assistant deputy director for operations when the renditions and enhanced interrogations programs were implemented after 9/11. According to CIA sources I talked to in 2009, he "helped tailor the agency's paper trail regarding the death of a detainee at a secret CIA interrogation facility in Afghanistan, known internally as the Salt Pit."

Moreover, when Obama's intelligence transition team visited Langley in 2009, according to an authoritative story in The Washington Post, it got a pitch from Kappes and other CIA officials to "retain the option of reestablishing secret prisons and using aggressive interrogation methods."

"It was one of the most deeply disturbing experiences I have had," said David Boren, the moderate Oklahoma Democrat and former Senate Intelligence committee chair who led the transition team.

"The main thing that people misunderstand about the program is, it was intended to encourage compliance," John McLaughlin, deputy director of the CIA during the the waterboarding era, told TIME. "It wasn't set out to torture people. It was never conceived of as a torture program."

Good to know. And G's got to be smiling at that, too, as she packs her things in a cardboard box and heads for the elevators.

New Head of C.I.A.’s Clandestine Service Is Picked, as Acting Chief Is Passed Over


Published: May 7, 2013

WASHINGTON — John O. Brennan, the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, has replaced the acting head of the agency’s clandestine service, a woman who was at the center of the agency’s detention and interrogation program and played a central role in the destruction of interrogation videotapes, American officials said on Tuesday. ...

The female officer had helped develop the C.I.A.'s detention program in the years after the Sept. 11 attacks and was briefly in charge of the agency’s secret prison in Thailand.

In late 2005, she played a role in a decision to destroy videotapes documenting the interrogation of the Qaeda operativesAbu ZubaydahandAbd al-Rahim al-Nashiriat the Thailand facility. Jose A. Rodriguez Jr., then the head of the agency’s clandestine service, ordered the destruction.

The female officer was Mr. Rodriguez’s chief of staff at the time, and according to several former C.I.A. officials was a strong advocate for destroying the tapes, which were in a safe at the agency’s station in Bangkok.

The Justice Department investigated after the tapes’ destruction came to light in late 2007, but no C.I.A. officers were criminally charged. After her time as Mr. Rodriguez’s chief of staff, the officer was the C.I.A.'s station chief in London and New York before becoming acting head of the clandestine service.

Officer Tied to Tapes’ Destruction Moves Up C.I.A. Ladder


Published: March 27, 2013

WASHINGTON — A C.I.A. officer directly involved in the 2005 decision to destroy interrogation videotapes and who once ran one of the agency’s secret prisons has ascended to the top position within the C.I.A.’s clandestine service, according to current and former intelligence officials.

The promotion of the officer, who spent years working inside the agency’s Counterterrorist Center and once was in charge of a so-called black site, played a role in developing the C.I.A.’s detention and interrogation program, was first reported by The Washington Post. Because the officer remains undercover, The New York Times is not disclosing her identity.

The officer served as the C.I.A. station chief in London and New York, and the branch of the agency she now leads — called the National Clandestine Service — is responsible for all C.I.A. espionage operations and covert action programs. The head of the clandestine service is one of the most coveted jobs in the C.I.A., and has never before been run by a woman.

The destruction of dozens of C.I.A. interrogation tapes, documenting the interrogations of Qaeda operatives Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri in a secret C.I.A. detention facility in Thailand, was one of the most controversial episodes of the past decade. The Justice Department undertook an investigation into the matter after the destruction of the tapes was disclosed in late 2007, but no C.I.A. officers were criminally charged.

The destruction was ordered by Jose A. Rodriguez Jr., who at the time was the head of the agency’s clandestine service. The officer was serving as Mr. Rodriguez’s chief of staff, and several former C.I.A. officers said she was a strong advocate for getting rid of the tapes, which had been sitting for years inside a safe in the agency’s station in Bangkok. “She and Jose were the two main drivers for years for getting the tapes destroyed,” said one former senior C.I.A. officer.

In his book, “Hard Measures: How Aggressive C.I.A. Actions After 9/11 Saved American Lives,” Mr. Rodriguez wrote that he had grown frustrated that the tapes might become public and expose the officers shown in them to jeopardy. The female officer held a meeting with agency lawyers, Mr. Rodriguez wrote, during which the officer was told that Mr. Rodriguez had authority to destroy the tapes. “My chief of staff drafted a cable approving the action that we had been trying to accomplish for so long,” Mr. Rodriguez wrote. “The cable left nothing to chance. It even told them how to get rid of the tapes.”

Former C.I.A. Operative Pleads Guilty in Leak of Colleague’s Name


Published: October 23, 2012

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Less than two months after the Justice Department announced that it would not charge Central Intelligence Agency officials who participated in the brutal interrogation of detainees during the Bush administration, prosecutors on Tuesday won the conviction of a former C.I.A. counterterrorism operative who told a reporter the name of a covert C.I.A. officer involved in the program.

John Kiriakou after pleading guilty in Virginia on Tuesday. Prosecutors will recommend a sentence of 30 months, rather than the decades he could have been facing.

The operative, John Kiriakou, who worked for the agency from 1990 to 2004, admitted that he had disclosed the name of the former colleague to a reporter, identified as Matthew Cole, formerly of ABC News. Mr. Kiriakou, who was a leader of the team that located and captured Abu Zubaydah, a suspected high-level facilitator for Al Qaeda, in Pakistan in 2002, pleaded guilty to violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act.

Mr. Kiriakou came to public attention in late 2007 when he gave an interview to ABC News portraying the suffocation technique called waterboarding as torture, but describing it as necessary. The interview prompted reporters investigating the program to reach out to him.

The plea was a victory for the Obama administration’s unprecedented crackdown on the unauthorized disclosure of government secrets. Mr. Kiriakou is one of six current or former officials to be charged with leaking under President Obama, twice the number of cases brought by all previous presidents combined.

On Tuesday, Mr. Kiriakou, 48, spoke calmly in court as he stood to face the judge, Leonie M. Brinkema. His lawyer, Robert Trout, stood beside him as the judge posed a series of questions to Mr. Kiriakou before asking him how he would plead.

“Guilty,” he said, nodding slightly.

As part of the deal, prosecutors recommended a sentence of 30 months in prison, rather than the decades he was potentially facing. They dropped several other charges, among them that he helped Scott Shane of The New York Times identify another colleague involved in interrogations, and that he lied to a C.I.A. publication board reviewing his memoir, “Reluctant Spy: My Secret Life in the C.I.A.’s War on Terror,” published in 2010.