Reprinted from NewsMax.com
Top Republican Rips CIA Spy Chief
Tuesday, September 25, 2007 9:01 PM
By: Kenneth R. Timmerman
Rep. Pete Hoekstra, R-Mich., the ranking
Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, had harsh words for the
new head of the National Clandestine Service, the CIA’s top spy, in an
exclusive interview with NewsMax.
Michael J. Sulick, whose appointment
was quietly announced 10 days ago, was called back to the agency after
three years in the private sector, where he had gone following a bitter
dispute with then-CIA Director Porter Goss and his top aides.
Both Sulick and his immediate boss,
Stephen Kappes, resigned in November 2004 after Goss' aides caught them
in an illegal intelligence operation aimed at countering and
undermining Bush administration policies with which they disagreed. I
detail this previously-undisclosed CIA covert operation in my new book,
"Shadow Warriors: Traitors, Saboteurs, and the Party of Surrender,"
which will be released in early November.
Kappes was called back last year by
Goss' successor, Gen. Michael V. Hayden, to become deputy director of
CIA. Now Hayden has called back Sulick as well.
"Sulick and Kappes were disloyal,"
Hoekstra told NewsMax in an exclusive interview.
"They were guilty of insubordination,
and never should have been brought back," the congressman said. "These
appointments are a slap at the president, and a slap in the face of
Porter Goss by those who didn’t want to follow the path of reforming
Sulick was "the wrong man in the
wrong place at the wrong time," he added.
Hoekstra realizes that his criticism
is not shared by the new Democratic chairman of the intelligence
committee, Rep. Sylvestre Reyes.
"Mike Sulick is a man of high
integrity, beloved by the workforce, and someone who understands the
unique challenges of human intelligence collection," Reyes told
NewsMax. "I look forward to working with him."
In announcing his appointment on
Friday, Sept. 14, CIA Director Hayden called Sulick "a seasoned
operations officer [who] earned a reputation for superior tradecraft
and sound judgment."
Hayden said that Sulick planned to
focus on "innovative operational platforms, information sharing –
within CIA and beyond – cover, technology, and liaison relationships."
He called him "a powerful addition to our agency leadership team."
Asked why President Bush would
reappoint Sulick and Kappes to top CIA positions after they had tried
to undermine Bush administration policies, a White House spokesperson
ducked the issue.
"The CIA has their own hiring
authority – so we are not involved in the hiring process with the
exception of the statutory political slots," Emily A. Lawrimore told
But a senior White House official
acknowledged that president Bush "was aware" of the appointments, and
that Sulick "is this administration’s pick" for the top spy job.
CIA spokesman Mark Mansfield also
praised Sulick, and insisted that his appointment had been fully vetted
within the administration.
"The CIA is part of the executive
branch,” Mansfield told NewsMax. "It would be wrong to assume the
administration did not know of this vital appointment in advance.
That’s not the way the relationship works."
Sulick’s appointment has caused some
Bush supporters to wonder if the president is really in control of his
Hoekstra believes the CIA has a long
way to go to reform its human intelligence capabilities.
"Sulick and Kappes represent the 'old
guard' of the Directorate of Operations, the culture where officers
advanced on the number of reports they filed, not the quality of their
information," Hoekstra told NewsMax.
"These were the guys who couldn’t
recruit sources, who wouldn’t talk to defectors, who wouldn’t
investigate Iraqi WMD in the past and refuse to investigate it now," he
Hoekstra is not alone in his
Duane (Dewey) Clarridge, an old
Middle East hand who was indicted because of his involvement in the
Iran-Contra affair and later pardoned by President George H.W. Bush,
frequently talks to agency insiders and former case officers.
"Kappes' philosophy is that liaison
[with foreign intelligence services] is the most important part of
intelligence, that we don’t do unilateral operations. This is pure
lunacy!" he told NewsMax.
The reliance on liaison operations
has led to spectacular intelligence failures, including several
surrounding the pre-war intelligence on Iraq’s WMD programs that I will
detail in "Shadow Warriors."
"This is how we get taken to the
cleaners," Clarridge said. "This is how we get fed lies by other
services for their own reasons."
Over-reliance on foreign intelligence
services "prevents you from recruiting your own sources, because you
get used to only taking intel that is offered to you by liaison
services," Clarridge added.
Hoekstra noted dryly that he was out
of the country – visiting Pakistan, Afghanistan, and making his ninth
trip to Iraq – when Hayden announced Sulick’s return to the agency.
"Hayden told us that Kappes' role [as
deputy CIA director] would be limited, and that he wouldn’t get
involved in HUMINT. I wouldn’t have expected Kappes to come back to the
agency to put Sulick back in."
Hoekstra is concerned that the
message sent by these appointments will demoralize some of the younger
case officers he met during his recent South Asian tour.
"What this does is say to the
bureaucracy that drove out Porter Goss, we will reward you who opposed
Hayden has stated repeatedly his
commitment to change the way the CIA does business. "Our enemies are
always learning and adapting. So is the CIA," he wrote in his strategic
blueprint for the agency.
Hoekstra’s criticism was not aimed at
Hayden’s intentions, but at the entrenched bureaucracy he feels has
been resistant to change and is stuck in a Cold War mentality.
At a meeting on Tuesday with bloggers
at the Heritage Foundation, Hoekstra expanded on his earlier remarks to
Kappes and Sulick "are the same kind
of people who were there with the Deutch doctrine" of the mid-1990s,
which limited the CIA from going out and recruiting people who had
criminal records or were suspected of human rights violations.
"And we wondered why there was nobody
sitting around the table with Saddam who was a paid informer of the
CIA," he said. “We wondered why we didn’t have anybody in the cave with
Bin Laden. In the 1990s, the message went out, don’t recruit people
with backgrounds that would embarrass the administration."
That "politically correct" culture
"has to change," he said.
Under Goss' leadership, the mandate
went out, "recruit the people you need who will keep America safe, to
prevent the next terrorist attack."
With the return of Sulick and Kappes,
Hoekstra fears that CIA case officers in the field "will start
self-selecting" in their agent recruitment and their reporting.
During his recent tour of agency hot
spots, Hoekstra heard first-hand from field operatives that they were
"lawyering up" in anticipation of a return to the bad old days of
"One of these days, it’s going to
catch up to them," he said. "That is no way to run the agency."
© 2007 NewsMax. All rights