Reprinted from NewsMax.com
CIA Brings Back Spy Chief
Monday, September 17, 2007 10:05 AM
By: Kenneth R. Timmerman
Central Intelligence Agency announced on Friday that it was calling
back from retirement a controversial former operations officer to head
the National Clandestine Service, three years after he left the Agency
to protest reforms being put in place by then CIA director Porter Goss.
Michael J. Sulick was associate
deputy director for operations at the time he resigned in November 2004
along with his boss, Stephen R. Kappes.
The Wall Street Journal called their
bitter fight with Porter Goss and his aides over Agency reform “an
insurgency,” although both Kappes and Sulick were praised by Rep. Jane
Harmon, the ranking Democrat on the House intelligence committee, who
became a fierce critic of Goss and his reforms.
Sulick’s return was praised by John
McLaughlin, who as acting CIA director in July 2004 was involved in his
earlier appointment, prior to the clash with Goss.
“Mike Sulick’s return is a big plus
for the agency,” McLaughlin told Newsmax. “He is open to new ideas, but
espionage in the classic sense has been around since Biblical times and
- while novelty is always welcome - there's a lot to be said for the
proven experience that Mike Sulick brings to the table. “
The National Clandestine Service,
formerly known as the Directorate of Operations, is the Agency’s elite
corps of spies.
When Goss took over the Agency in
September 2004, he sought to revitalize the clandestine service and
weed out “dead wood” operators who were the product of an “old boys
network” that failed to recruit spies in difficult overseas
But he ran into fierce opposition
from Kappes, Sulick and other products of the CIA “old guard,” who
objected to Goss’s efforts to reform the operations directorate and
bring it under his control.
As I will reveal in my upcoming book,
Traitors, Saboteurs, and the Party of Surrender, Kappes had been
implicated in a serious security breach at a CIA station overseas, but
was never disciplined by the Agency.
Furthermore, both he and Sulick were
engaged in activities to lobby members of Congress in their own
districts that violated U.S. law. When Goss tried to discipline them,
the two men resigned in protest.
Sulick’s message sends a “terrible
message” to CIA officers who are trying to do their job and stay out of
politics, and suggests that the CIA bench is so thin they have no other
candidates for the critical job as head of the clandestine service,
former agency officers said.
Goss was trying to change the
“culture” of the DO, where clandestine officers were promoted for the
number of foreign sources they recruited, not the quality of their
Sulick and Kappes earned a reputation
as political infighters, who fiercely opposed the policies of the Bush
administration in the war on Terror and the war in Iraq.
“Sulick’s appointment is an
unbelievable slap at the president,” a Congressional source told
Newsmax over the weekend.
Gen. Michael V. Hayden replaced Goss
as CIA director last year under circumstances never before made public
that I reveal in my new book.
Gen. Hayden’s first move was to bring
back Sulick’s old boss, Stephen Kappes, as deputy director of the
Agency, a move that Goss supporters in Congress viewed as a “disaster.”
Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R, MI), then
chairman of the House intelligence panel, said that Kappes was guilty
of “gross insubordination,” and complained that neither Hayden nor the
White House had consulted him before naming Kappes to the number two
slot at CIA.
“You would think that on the No. 2
person they might have just said, 'Hey, what do you think of this guy,'
but they never did,” Hoekstra said.
Other Congressional sources told me
that Kappes “would never make it through a confirmation hearing”
because of operational lapses while he was in the directorate of
operations that I describe in Shadow
But in an effort to placate the old
guard and end the CIA “insurrection” against the Bush administration,
Gen. Hayden agreed to bring in Kappes last year as his deputy, a
position that no longer requires Senate confirmation under the new
rules of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004.
The 2004 legislation enacted many of
the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission, including the creation of a
National Director of Intelligence, a position now held by Admiral Mike
But Richard Haver, who helped
restructure the Pentagon’s massive intelligence operations under the
direction of former Defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld, told me that the
2004 legislation was just about “rearranging the deck chairs,” not real
“Real reform requires too much work,”
and depends more on leadership than organization boxes, he said.
After leaving the Agency in November
2004, Kappes went to work for ArmorGroup in London, eventually becoming
the security firm’s Chief Operating Officer.
ArmorGroup is one of the largest
private contractors today working in Iraq, and recently came under
scrutiny for lobbying practices against a competitor for a half-billion
dollar Pentagon contract in Iraq.
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