C.I.A. ‘s Chief Analyst Fired
The head of the Central Intelligence Agency’s analytical branch is being forced to step down, former intelligence officials say, opening a major new chapter in a shakeup under Porter J. Goss, the agency’s chief. The official, Jami Miscik, the agency’s deputy director for intelligence, told her subordinates on Tuesday afternoon of her plan to step down on Feb. 4. A former intelligence official said that Ms. Miscik was told before Christmas that Mr. Goss wanted to make a change and that “the decision to depart was not hers.”
Ms. Miscik has headed analysis at the agency since 2002, a period in which prewar assessments of Iraq and its illicit weapons, which drew heavily on C.I.A. analysis, proved to be mistaken. Even before taking charge of the C.I.A., Mr. Goss, who was a congressman, and his closest associates had been openly critical of the directorate of intelligence, saying it suffered from poor leadership and was devoting too much effort to monitoring day-to-day developments rather than broad trends.
Ms. Miscik’s departure is the latest in a series of high-level ousters that have prompted unease within the C.I.A. since Mr. Goss took over as director of central intelligence in September. Of the officials who worked as top deputies to Mr. Goss’s predecessor, George J. Tenet, at least a half-dozen have been fired or have retired abruptly, including the agency’s No. 2 and No. 3 officials. Much of the top tier of the agency’s clandestine service is also gone.
I missed this move when it occured Monday. I’m insufficiently attuned to the inner workings of the Intelligence Community to know whether Miscik was doing a good job. The huge analytical mistakes that marked the early stages of the Iraq War occured on her watch but it’s difficult to say whether that’s her fault.
If nothing else, though, this will consolidate responsibility with Goss. Given that the entire leadership team will be of his choosing, the buck will definitely stop at his desk.