- The Washington Times - Friday, February 11, 2000

Affirmative (covert) action at the CIA

No agency in the Clinton administration, it seems, is immune from forced "diversity" programs. Many in government view them as a way of promoting affirmative action covertly following the backlash against reverse discrimination.

Now the CIA is getting into the act. We obtained a copy of CIA Director George J. Tenet's diversity program for all U.S. spy agencies: "DCI Diversity Strategic Plan: A Functional Plan That Supports the DCI's Strategic Intent." DCI stands for director of central intelligence.

The October 1999 plan is seven pages and never mentions the word "merit" as a goal or condition for promotion.

Mr. Tenet stated in a cover letter to all intelligence officials that "This is not a matter of political correctness." Diversity, he said, is a "corporate imperative" for being better spies. "I challenge each and every one of you to join me in increasing and nurturing diversity within our ranks," he said.

Here are some of the management policies:

* "Provide mandatory diversity and [Equal Employment Opportunity] training for all selection board/panel members."

* "Improve the representation of women and minorities at all levels of the intelligence community to reflect the civilian labor force."

* "Promote and advance women and minorities at a rate at least consistent with their representation in the relevant labor force."

In a section on "management accountability," the plan states that goal 4.1 is: "Hold managers accountable for developing and implementing a strategy for executing goals and objectives of the Diversity Strategic Plan." It also states that under the plan it will be policy to "Recognize and reward managers and employees who demonstrate excellence in diversity management and education."

The language has raised fears among some intelligence officials that the statement is an implicit threat to punish managers who do not meet diversity quotas.

CIA spokesman Bill Harlow angrily denied the diversity plan is a stalking horse for quotas or political correctness. "It's important for intelligence agencies to have a diverse group of people working for us," he said. "We do, but we need to do it better."

Mr. Tenet is proud of the diversity effort and "it goes without saying we want excellent people," Mr. Harlow said.

CNO derby

Navy Secretary Richard Danzig has narrowed to three the number of four-star admirals competing to become the next chief of naval operations (CNO) this summer.

The names have been submitted to Defense Secretary William S. Cohen, who could make his choice any day now.

Sources say Adm. Tom Fargo, Pacific Fleet commander, has emerged as the leading candidate.

Of the other two, Adm. Vernon Clark, Atlantic Fleet commander, is now being eyed as the next head of Atlantic Command. The move would put him in contention as the Navy's best candidate for Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman. The Atlantic Command is one of 14 posts that qualify the holder to ascend to JCS chairman.

Adm. James Ellis, commander of NATO's southern flank, is also in the running for the CNO's job. The current CNO, Adm. Jay Johnson, retires this summer.

Sources say the list of three might expand. The White House was extremely impressed by Vice Adm. Robert Natter's work to settle the contentious Vieques bombing range debate. He spent the weekend at the White House before the deal with Puerto Rico was announced Jan. 31. Adm. Natter, deputy CNO for plans, policy and operations, then hurried to Capitol Hill to sell the arrangement, whereby the Navy will maintain limited training access to the island.

"He was the guy who made it happen," said a Navy source.

Both the Navy and Air Force believe they have a good shot at getting their candidate the JCS chairmanship, held by an Army general the past three tours.

Navy officials see Adm. Clark as their best candidate, followed by Adm. Dennis Blair, now Pacific Command honcho.

A new name mentioned as a possible replacement for Gen. Henry H. Shelton, current chairman whose term expires next year, is Gen. James Jones, the Marine Corps commandant who has a strong following in Congress.

Deutch fallout

The unanswered question about the security breach committed by former CIA Director John Deutch is what secrets did he leave on his home computer. CIA sources tell us the classified data included details on the CIA's global covert action programs political influence, paramilitary and financial activities that are not totally secret but "unacknowledged" by the U.S. government.

Mr. Deutch used his home computer to write presidential "findings," which state a covert action program is needed because "the president finds that… ."

The main CIA covert action program under way today is the not-so-secret effort to fund Iraqi opposition groups. The last major CIA-backed semimilitary operation in northern Iraq ended in disaster when Iraqi troops drove north and scattered opposition groups that had been trying to foment an uprising within the Iraqi military.

Color-coded parking

The Naval Academy in Annapolis has rescinded a policy that required medical clinic personnel to disclose their race before being issued a parking decal.

The original order had enraged some workers, who in turn received a toughly worded e-mail from a master-at-arms.

"I've received numerous telephone calls this morning from both military and civilian regarding the sheet which is to be filled out and turned in to me for you to receive your USNA parking decal," the master-at-arms (MA) said in an "all-hands" Jan. 21 message that we obtained.

"These telephone calls are complaints about the requested information on the sheet. For those of you who don't understand that when an order to complete a task has been given, it is to be done to the best of your ability unless it endangers your life, and to those of you who would like a full explanation on 'why,' here's your answer."

After explaining the race information was needed for statistics-keeping, the MA added, "So now that you understand 'why' all of the information is needed, please complete the form in its entirety and submit it as ordered. If you do not wish to submit the form and receive the USNA parking sticker, I will be knocking on your door!"

The Navy disavows the order.

"Any requirement for personal information, such as race and gender, has been rescinded," said Cmdr. Mike Brady, an academy spokesman.

Cmdr. Brady said the order was issued by "an individual on his own initiative who was well intentioned. That individual has since been counseled… . It wasn't command sanctioned. It was just a guy trying to do his job."

Reagan as commander in chief

While President Clinton is selling historians on his legacy even before he leaves office, Ronald Reagan has remained largely unseen by Americans the past decade.

But, 11 years after he left the presidency, Mr. Reagan's legacy is being discussed in an increasing number of articles and public forums. More and more historians are crediting his substantial military modernization in the 1980s with putting immense economic pressure on the Soviet Union, forcing it to adopt reforms that ultimately led to the empire's collapse.

Now there's a new take on Mr. Reagan's military legacy from no less than Mr. Clinton's secretary of defense.

"We have been enjoying the fruits of [a] peace dividend, but it has come at the cost of really relying upon what President Reagan did in the early '80s as far as the buildup," William S. Cohen told the Senate Armed Services Committee this week. "We've been living off that, and now we're at the point where we've got to replace it."

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