The CIA Is Not the Post Office

In his 1997 memoir A Spy for All Seasons, legendary CIA operations officers Duane "Dewey" Clarridge, implicated in the Iran/Contra scandal and pardoned by President George H.W. Bush, commented on the situation of the CIA during the Clinton administration, the last time the agency was under attack by the U.S. government.  Clarridge wrote his memoir in part to pay his legal fees.

He said that Bill Clinton, disinterested in foreign intelligence, was "disinclined to support his 'centurions' of the Clandestine Services....The lack of presidential support was magnified with the appointment of John Deutch as DCI.  Like William Webster before him, Deutch demonstrated no real interest in supporting the CIA and the Clandestine Services in particular.  To the contrary, the more he attacked the Clandestine Services, the more the media and some in Congress applauded...."

Under the Clinton administration, Clarridge wrote, "the Clandestine Services (Directorate of Operations) is being destroyed in detail rather than in whole and continues a steady decline into something resembling the style, work ethic and morale of the post office.  The morale of the Clandestine Services is at rock bottom.  Few serious operations are being undertaken; why take the risk of being accused in hindsight of wrongdoing by the next owners of the Agency?   Lawyers abound, looking over everyone's shoulder, a sure inhibition to initiative, needless to say risk taking."

Clarridge's 1996 list of reasons for maintaining a strong CIA in the post-Cold War era included, "proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems; ethnic and religious mayhem and strife; stability issues in the former colonies of the Soviet empire and Russia itself; terrorism; plans and policies of radical states such as Libya, Iran, North Korea, and Iraq; economic intelligence; narcotics/crime/human rights; counterintelligence; and the maintenance of a covert action capability."

Of course he was right.  Are we really going to turn the CIA into the post office again?

Interestingly Deutch, who pleaded guilty to misuse of classified CIA documents (17,000 of them) and was pardoned by Clinton, was appointed to a spy satellite advisory panel by Obama in February 2009.  Wonder whether he has his clearances back?
In his 1997 memoir A Spy for All Seasons, legendary CIA operations officers Duane "Dewey" Clarridge, implicated in the Iran/Contra scandal and pardoned by President George H.W. Bush, commented on the situation of the CIA during the Clinton administration, the last time the agency was under attack by the U.S. government.  Clarridge wrote his memoir in part to pay his legal fees.

He said that Bill Clinton, disinterested in foreign intelligence, was "disinclined to support his 'centurions' of the Clandestine Services....The lack of presidential support was magnified with the appointment of John Deutch as DCI.  Like William Webster before him, Deutch demonstrated no real interest in supporting the CIA and the Clandestine Services in particular.  To the contrary, the more he attacked the Clandestine Services, the more the media and some in Congress applauded...."

Under the Clinton administration, Clarridge wrote, "the Clandestine Services (Directorate of Operations) is being destroyed in detail rather than in whole and continues a steady decline into something resembling the style, work ethic and morale of the post office.  The morale of the Clandestine Services is at rock bottom.  Few serious operations are being undertaken; why take the risk of being accused in hindsight of wrongdoing by the next owners of the Agency?   Lawyers abound, looking over everyone's shoulder, a sure inhibition to initiative, needless to say risk taking."

Clarridge's 1996 list of reasons for maintaining a strong CIA in the post-Cold War era included, "proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems; ethnic and religious mayhem and strife; stability issues in the former colonies of the Soviet empire and Russia itself; terrorism; plans and policies of radical states such as Libya, Iran, North Korea, and Iraq; economic intelligence; narcotics/crime/human rights; counterintelligence; and the maintenance of a covert action capability."

Of course he was right.  Are we really going to turn the CIA into the post office again?

Interestingly Deutch, who pleaded guilty to misuse of classified CIA documents (17,000 of them) and was pardoned by Clinton, was appointed to a spy satellite advisory panel by Obama in February 2009.  Wonder whether he has his clearances back?