Another top-level departure from the CIA

Head of analytic division quits, shake-up continues

December 29, 2004|By Greg Miller | Greg Miller,LOS ANGELES TIMES

WASHINGTON - The head of the CIA's analytic division told her staff yesterday that she is resigning, becoming the latest high-level departure in a continuing shake-up of the agency's senior ranks by new director Porter J. Goss.

Jami A. Miscik told colleagues that her last day as deputy director of intelligence would be Feb. 4, according to an internal CIA e-mail obtained by the Los Angeles Times in which she also indicated that she had been forced out.

"Every [CIA director] has a desire to have his own team in place to implement his vision and to offer him counsel," Miscik said in the e-mail. "This is a natural evolution of the leadership of our intelligence profession."

Miscik, 46, had served in the job since May 2002 and has been the target of criticism because her department was largely responsible for erroneous prewar assessments that Iraq had stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons. The assessments provided much of the basis for the Bush administration's case for war.

But Miscik also has been praised for owning up to problems in the agency's analysis branch and for pushing for broad changes over the past year designed to fix problems that troubled the agency in its work on Iraq.

Though CIA analysts made numerous errors on Iraq, the main prewar assessment on the country's alleged banned weapons supplies was done by the National Intelligence Council, which drew upon input from many U.S. intelligence agencies.

A CIA spokesman declined to comment, saying the agency does not discuss personnel matters. But former CIA officials familiar with the matter said Miscik was pushed out by Goss shortly before Christmas.

One former official said the request to step down was not delivered by Goss but by the agency's executive director.

"It's understandable that a new CIA director would want to have his own team," the former official said. "But it's unfortunate they're losing somebody like Jami, who in most circumstances would be exactly the kind of person you would want to have to solve problems."

The Los Angeles Times is a Tribune Publishing newspaper.

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