Seven Degrees from Normal

Two people, eighteen years of marriage, seven college degrees.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

I feel safer

Don't you?

Deputy Chief Resigns From CIA
Agency Is Said to Be in Turmoil Under New Director Goss
By Dana Priest and Walter Pincus
Washington Post Staff Writers
Saturday, November 13, 2004; Page A01

The deputy director of the CIA resigned yesterday after a series of confrontations over the past week between senior operations officials and CIA Director Porter J. Goss's new chief of staff that have left the agency in turmoil, according to several current and former CIA officials.

John E. McLaughlin, a 32-year CIA veteran who was acting director for two months this summer until Goss took over, resigned after warning Goss that his top aide, former Capitol Hill staff member Patrick Murray, was treating senior officials disrespectfully and risked widespread resignations, the officials said.

Yesterday, the agency official who oversees foreign operations, Deputy Director of Operations Stephen R. Kappes, tendered his resignation after a confrontation with Murray. Goss and the White House pleaded with Kappes to reconsider and he agreed to delay his decision until Monday, the officials said.

Several other senior clandestine service officers are threatening to leave, current and former agency officials said.

The disruption comes as the CIA is trying to stay abreast of a worldwide terrorist threat from al Qaeda, a growing insurgency in Iraq, the return of the Taliban in Afghanistan and congressional proposals to reorganize the intelligence agencies. The agency also has been criticized for not preventing the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and not accurately assessing Saddam Hussein's ability to produce weapons of mass destruction.

"It's the worst roiling I've ever heard of," said one former senior official with knowledge of the events. "There's confusion throughout the ranks and an extraordinary loss of morale and incentive."


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