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It's All About Rewarding Success
CIA acquires new US clandestine leadership role
By David Morgan
Thursday, October 13, 2005; 12:08 PM
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The CIA will lead a new clandestine service designed to coordinate all traditional U.S. spying activities overseas, including those of the FBI and Pentagon, top intelligence officials said on Thursday.
As part of an ambitious strategy to rebuild U.S. human intelligence after debilitating lapses over Iraq and the September 11, 2001, attacks, the new National Clandestine Service, or NCS, will operate out of the spy agency under a director reporting to CIA Director Porter Goss.
The new service will act as the national authority for the integration and coordination of human intelligence operations, which involve spying by people rather than satellites and other sophisticated technology.
Intelligence experts view the service, which won President George W. Bush's approval in recent days, as an effort to restore some of the stature which the CIA lost when congressionally mandated reforms largely stripped the agency of its community role last year by establishing the position of director of national intelligence, held by John Negroponte.
"I am confident that with the creation of the NCS, the U.S. government will have a more cohesive and truly national human intelligence capability," Negroponte said in a statement announcing the service.
"This is another positive step in building an intelligence community that is more unified, coordinated, and effective, and is better positioned to meet the increasingly complex intelligence challenges of the future," he said.
With the new clandestine service based at his agency, Goss will have a dual role as CIA director and "National HUMINT Manager." HUMINT is bureaucratic parlance for human intelligence.
Goss is also leading an effort within the CIA to expand the agency's global operations and build its ability to act alone in countries where U.S. spies up to now have been more likely to act in concert with foreign intelligence services.
The CIA, which orchestrated America's Cold War espionage activities against the Soviet Union, forfeited its leadership role in the intelligence community as a result of the reforms crafted to address weaknesses exposed by the September 11 attacks.
Still reeling from criticism over intelligence lapses, the agency has lost some of its most senior clandestine officers in recent months.
The announcement of the new clandestine service comes just weeks after the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence said the CIA was failing to lead U.S. human intelligence efforts and suggested Negroponte take a stronger management role.
The CIA reached separate agreements earlier this year for coordinating foreign intelligence activities with the FBI and the Pentagon. Both have stepped up their intelligence activities overseas since the September 11 attacks prompted the Bush administration's war on terrorism.