SHAKEUP AT CIA
The support directorate is facing sharp cuts in funding and personnel that are causing concerns among some in the agency.
According to agency sources, Mr. Petraeus, a retired Army four-star general, took the action last month and replaced John Pereira by moving him to a new training position called chief of corporate learning.
His replacement is agency veteran Sue Gordon, who has upset some people in the support directorate and security office who view her as having little experience in the very secret world of CIA security affairs.
The shake-up followed internal reviews that showed the support directorate — built up over the past decade to bolster CIA and military activities in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere — was a cash cow and that its funding and personnel could be cut as part of overall government budget trimming efforts, the sources said.
“She is wearing four stars now and apparently there is panic at the DS,” one official said of the support directorate.
CIA spokesman Preston Golson said criticism by unidentified sources is deplorable.
“The former head of support is a decorated officer who Director Petraeus has trusted with one of his highest priorities for the workforce — he is Chief of Corporate Learning,” he told Inside the Ring. “The claim that he was pushed out for mismanagement is just not true. Under his leadership, the Directorate of Support has led the charge in getting our people to difficult places around the world to defend our nation.”
Regarding Mrs. Gordon, Mr. Golson said she is “an accomplished officer with over two decades of experience leading in all four agency directorates. She is an innovative and dynamic leader, and unattributed claims to the contrary are ridiculous.”
Regarding cuts, he said: “As any American taxpayer should rightly expect, the agency is always working to increase efficiencies and savings, while completing the mission expected of us.”
Meanwhile, the sources said Mr. Petraeus was upset by several senior agency officials who did not properly keep him informed about the recent controversy over the CIA intelligence liaison with the New York Police Department (NYPD).
The agency sent one of its officers to New York in 2002 to help set up the department’s highly effective domestic intelligence unit. The senior CIA officials who were taken to task by Mr. Petraeus were described as “mandarins” — longtime senior managers — and were said to have run afoul of the director by trying to “slow roll” him regarding details of the NYPD liaison.
The Associated Press reported last week that the CIA inspector general found no wrongdoing by the agency in its intelligence work with the NYPD. However, the lack of a legal review and lack of documentation outlining the cooperation raised questions about CIA domestic spying.
The CIA for decades has operated a station in New York that is focused on the United Nations. The CIA is limited from spying in the United States and originally was created as a strictly foreign spy service.
Critics, however, said the agency has become overly bureaucratic and that most of its intelligence work is conducted inside the United States, often against foreign visitors and officials.
PRESIDENT QUESTIONED ON SPACE CODE
Four senior Republicans in the House and Senate have written to President Obama questioning whether the administration’s push to reach a European-based code of conduct for space is an attempt to circumvent Congress’ treaty-making power.
“Such an international agreement could establish the foundation for a future arms control regime that binds the United States without the approval of Congress,” the two senators and two House members stated in their Jan. 18 letter.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announced last week that the administration would seek to conclude a space code of conduct that would attempt to build cooperation and transparency among spacefaring nations. She said the European Union draft code of conduct would form the starting point for an agreement.
“Becoming a signatory on this type of code of conduct without congressional approval appears intended to implement international policy with which the Congress has not expressed concurrence or approval,” the lawmakers said.
“It appears that the Department of Defense and possibly the intelligence community would have to issue department implementation regulations that would impact both our national and economic security.”
State Department officials have said the code would be a nonbinding agreement.
But the lawmakers said that, while the agreement is nonbinding, regulations imposed by the Pentagon would be legally binding.
The congressmen said they are worried that a space-conduct agreement would prevent the U.S. military from defending U.S. interests in space, which has grown more hostile since China’s 2007 test of an anti-satellite missile destroyed a weather satellite in orbit.
Even if the code is not legally binding, “we are deeply concerned about the unknown consequences such limitations would have on future military or intelligence programs, given that the draft code appears to be of unlimited duration,” the congressmen said.
“Of course, no one can know today what programs the United States may need to undertake in outer space in the future for its military and intelligence national security requirements.”
Congress has not been briefed on the administration’s analysis of the impact of the code of conduct for space, they stated.
The letter was signed by Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl, Arizona Republican, and Sen. Jeff Sessions, Alabama Republican and ranking member of the Senate Armed Services subcommittee on strategic forces.
Rep. Michael R. Turner, Ohio Republican and chairman of the House Armed Services subcommittee on strategic forces, and Rep. Joseph J. Heck, Nevada Republican and chairman of the House intelligence subcommittee on technical and tactical intelligence, also signed the letter.
U.S. officials said there are continuing signs of tension along the border between China and North Korea, although cross-border trade is resuming after the death of Kim Jong-il last month.
Internet reports from the region indicate that the Chinese military added up to 30,000 troops to the large numbers already deployed to the region. Beijing fears a collapse of the Pyongyang regime could send thousands of refugees into northern China and destabilize the region.
The official state-run Chinese news media have said the border is normal with goods and people moving back and forth.
However several Internet reports suggest otherwise. They discussed recent troops movements by the Chinese military in the region, along with flights this month by large numbers of Chinese J-11 fighters near Hunchun, a city near the border province of Jilin.
Additionally, photographs posted online of Chinese troop convoys moving in the Shenyang and Jinan military regions also are signs of heightened tensions.
Border security remains tight, and Chinese security forces banned activities near the frozen Tumen River after Kim’s death Dec. 17.
One report said Chinese security officials are on alert at several villages near the border where armed North Koreans reportedly fled to Tumen, a town on China’s far northeast border with North Korea.
North Korea also apparently took steps to disrupt mobile phone service as part of the stepped-up security.
Japan’s Asahi Shimbun newspaper on Jan. 22 quoted a Chinese military source as saying, “Our military’s mobility is being enhanced. If a contingency erupts in the North, we can enter Pyongyang in about two hours.”
The newspaper reported that China’s Academy of Military Science, a school used as a strategic planning office, produced a secret report in 2010 that defined the Korean Peninsula as a key element of Chinese national security because of the refugee worries. The report called for increased intelligence collection on North Korea.