Cultural Revolutions

Going Through Changes

The CIA underwent several changes at the close of 2004, and the resignations of a number of high-ranking CIA officers in November, as well as the content of a memo by new CIA Director Porter Goss to agency employees, appear to confirm a claim by Newsday that the White House was planning a purge at the agency, targeting critics of the Iraq war.

The purge began with the resignations of clandestine service chief Stephen Kappes and his deputy, Michael Sulick, followed by Deputy CIA Director John McLaughlin.  CIA staffers are reportedly bracing themselves for more resignations, disturbed by the high-handed behavior of Goss and his entourage.  Newsday’s source, identified as “a former senior CIA official who maintains close ties to both the agency and the White House,” claimed that the purge would be a direct response by the Bush administration to perceived disloyalty: “Goss was given instructions . . . to get rid of those . . . [CIA] leakers and liberal Democrats.”

Goss, a Bush loyalist who headed a congressional intelligence-oversight committee and replaced George Tenet as CIA director, has been a fierce critic of the agency.  Two other events appear to support the Newsday report: the resignation of Michael Scheuer, a 22-year agency veteran who once headed the task force assigned to track Osama bin Laden and the author of Imperial Hubris: Why the West...

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