Wednesday, January 05, 2005

C.I.A. Chief Names Deputy and Ends Meetings

The New York Times
January 5, 2005

C.I.A. Chief Names Deputy and Ends Meetings

WASHINGTON, Jan. 4 - In the latest changes at the Central Intelligence Agency, Porter J. Goss, the new chief, has named a new deputy director for intelligence and has abolished a daily 5 p.m. meeting that had been used since the Sept. 11 attacks to coordinate counterterrorism operations around the world, intelligence officials said on Tuesday.

The moves reflect the new stamp Mr. Goss has sought to impose on an agency of which he has been sharply critical. The new deputy director, John Kringen, will take charge of the agency's analytical branch, succeeding Jami Miscik, whose departure next month will complete a changing of the guard at the highest ranks of the agency, with the replacement of nearly the entire top-level team that served under George J. Tenet, Mr. Goss's predecessor.

As part of the reorganization, administration officials said, Mr. Goss also plans to install as the agency's new chief spokeswoman Jennifer Millerwise, who was a spokeswoman for Vice President Dick Cheney. Ms. Millerwise also served as a spokeswoman for Mr. Goss when he was a Republican congressman from Florida, and she would be the latest in a series of former Republican aides to be installed by Mr. Goss in senior positions at the C.I.A.

Under Mr. Tenet, the C.I.A.'s most senior officials along with representatives of the F.B.I. and other agencies convened each day at 5 p.m. for a counterterrorism meeting that participants have described as the most important session held each day in Washington. The C.I.A. has played the leading role in the clandestine effort against terrorism, and Mr. Tenet's admirers have said the meeting served a vital coordinating function.

In acknowledging that the meeting was no longer taking place, an intelligence official sought to minimize the significance of the move. The official said Mr. Goss was still presiding over frequent sessions on counterterrorism but had directed that the meetings be smaller, have a more tactical focus and be scheduled earlier in the day. The new meetings are being convened at least three days a week, the official said.

The move appears to reflect what Mr. Goss has publicly said was his concern that the C.I.A. under Mr. Tenet may have devoted too much time and resources to terrorism at the expense of other issues. A report issued last spring by the House Intelligence Committee, at a time when Mr. Goss was the panel's chairman, cautioned that "the Central Intelligence Agency must continue to be much more than just the 'Central Counterterrorism Agency' if America is to be truly secure, prosperous and free."

Mr. Kringen, who will take over in February as the new analytical chief, is a veteran C.I.A. analyst who has spent more than two decades at the agency, most recently as head of its Crime and Narcotics Center, intelligence officials said. Ms. Miscik, who had been in the post since 2002, was told shortly before Christmas that Mr. Goss wanted her to step down, former intelligence officials have said.