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“I am hopeful that the new DNI will give counterintelligence the priority attention it deserves,” Miss Van Cleave told The Washington Times. “As a former four-star combatant commander, Admiral Dennis Blair [the new director of national intelligence] well understands the value of strategic clarity, which is what the NCIX job is all about.”

Despite the damaging spy cases, U.S. intelligence agencies have “no coherent game plan” for identifying and stopping foreign spy activities, she stated in the article in The Post.

Miss Van Cleave also said U.S. counterintelligence agencies failed to find out how Chinese spies obtained U.S. nuclear weapons secrets. “The Chinese stole the design secrets to all - repeat, all - U.S. nuclear weapons, enabling them to leapfrog generations of technology development and put our nuclear arsenal, the country’s last line of defense, at risk,” she said. “To this day, we don’t know quite when or how they did it, but we do know that Chinese intelligence operatives are still at work, systematically targeting not only America’s defense secrets but our industries’ valuable proprietary information.”

Mr. Brenner declined to comment on the criticism. He said he has no plans to leave the counterspy position as the result of the arrival of Mr. Blair under the new administration of President Obama.

Mr. Bowman spent 11 years as the national security general counsel at the FBI and was involved in the prosecutions of Soviet spy John A. Walker Jr., who passed naval codes, and Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard, a naval intelligence analyst, as an attorney for the Office of Naval Intelligence.

Mr. Bowman recently signed a Supreme Court brief opposing the holding of Ali Saleh al Marri, an al Qaeda suspect arrested in Illinois in 2001 who has been held without being charged in a military brig in South Carolina as an enemy combatant. Mr. Bowman told the Daily News that “coercive interrogations don’t work and fall outside the legal and moral obligations that this nation assumed in 1776.”

Mr. Bowman, a retired Navy captain, also has opposed detainee abuses at Guantanamo Bay prison, which Mr. Obama recently ordered closed.

Senate Judiciary Committee members criticized Mr. Bowman several years ago for his failure to authorize counterterrorist surveillance in the case of Zacarias Moussaoui, a suspected al Qaeda terrorist who was detected by the FBI taking flight lessons in Minnesota and who some officials suspect was supposed to have been one of the Sept. 11 hijackers but was arrested before he could take part.

Sen. Charles E. Grassley, Iowa Republican, said in a statement that he has heard conflicting reports on why Mr. Bowman and Mr. Hubbard left the NCIX. “This isn’t the first time Mr. Bowman has been at the center of controversy, so I hope the Inspector General will provide its report to Congress so that we can determine whether it contains any cause for concern about potential misconduct,” Mr. Grassley said.

The senator stated in a 2003 letter to FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III that giving Mr. Bowman the Presidential Rank Award sent the wrong message to the FBI because of problems related to the FBI’s mishandling of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act requests. The FBI’s FISA problems “are not Mr. Bowman’s fault, but many of them have occurred during Mr. Bowman’s tenure,” Mr. Grassley stated.