October 6, 1991
Compared to the toppling of Felix Dzerzhinsky's monumental statue outside the KGB building in Moscow last August, the CIA's humiliations during the Robert Gates hearings are more than bearable. They are well-deserved and potentially salutary. If the CIA is to transform itself into an intelligence agency relevant to a world in which the KBG is ostensibly coming in from the cold, the agency at Langley, Va., will have to rid itself of a lot of obsessions, habits, feuds and infighting.Americans were understandably transfixed during the past week's televised Senate hearings in which the CIA's dirty laundry was hung out to dry. It was ostensibly a battle between CIA analysts who accused Mr. Gates of slanting intelligence estimates -- a practice he once described as contrary to "the single deepest ethical and cultural principle of the CIA" -- and those who held he is well qualified to be Director of Central Intelligence.
May 26, 2012
The report from the State Department was brief: Thomas M. Jennings Jr., a federal worker from Burtonsville on a temporary assignment with NATO peacekeepers, had died in a car crash in Southern Bosnia. Fifteen years later, it turns out that was only part of the story. Unknown to neighbors and friends, Jennings was working for the CIA, the agency acknowledged last week. A veteran covert officer — he told acquaintances he worked for the State Department — he volunteered to go to Sarajevo after the Bosnian war as a U.S.-led force worked to maintain peace.
April 30, 2013
Though he did not participate in torture, ex-CIA agent John Kiriakou was the first person to publicly acknowledge the Bush administration's inhumane abuse of detainees ("The truth about torture," April 23). Mr. Kiriakou's disclosures informed the public and encouraged debate that helped pull this country back from a very dark place. But in doing so he drew the ire of the government, which began to harass and intimidate him and his family under both the Bush and Obama administrations, looking for ways to prosecute him. Finally, when Mr. Kiriakou privately shared a colleague's name to a journalist for use as a source, the government seized the opportunity and threw the book at him. Mr. Kiriakou is now serving 30 months in prison.
May 8, 2013
Former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford has been elected to the House (or at least that's where we hear he's going). Welcome to your trends report for Monday, May 8, 2013. Sanford will head to Capitol Hill after facing off against Elizabeth Colbert Busch, sister of the late-night satirist Stephen Colbert. Republicans will hold 233 of the House's 435 seats when Sanford is sworn in, probably this week. Another trip to the House comes today, when former diplomat Gregory Hicks is scheduled to testify about the Benghazi attacks last year.
May 10, 1991
The reduction of U.S.-Soviet tensions after policy changes in Moscow has strong implications for American strategic arms spending. But it never meant less need for the intelligence community in general or the Central Intelligence Agency in particular. In a confused and fast-changing world, the U.S. requires better intelligence information and analysis than ever. Iraq's invasion of Kuwait showed that. So does the power struggle between the Russian and Soviet governments.William H. Webster, who is stepping down as director of central intelligence at the age of 67, took the job to rescue the CIA in 1987.
November 24, 1996
John M. Deutch, director of the Central Intelligence Agency, appeared Nov. 15 at a town meeting in Watts to discuss allegations that CIA-backed contra rebels sold crack cocaine in Los Angeles' black neighborhoods to fund their covert war in Nicaragua. Here is his opening statement: Thank you, Congresswoman [Juanita] Millender-McDonald, for holding this public meeting, for giving me the opportunity to talk with members of this community about charges that the CIA introduced crack cocaine into South Central Los Angeles in the mid-1980s.