- The Washington Times - Friday, November 26, 2004

ASSOCIATED PRESS

The chiefs of the CIA’s Europe and Far East divisions are retiring, a federal official said, marking the latest high-level departures at the spy agency since Porter J. Goss took over as director at the end of September.

The names of the officials will not be released because they work undercover.

The two CIA officials were in the highest echelon of clandestine service, the directorate of operations, the New York Times reported in yesterday’s editions. The federal official confirmed the departures, on condition of anonymity.

The retirements come just 10 days after two other top officials — Deputy Director for Operations Stephen Kappes and his immediate deputy, Michael Sulick — told colleagues they were leaving the CIA.

It was not clear whether Mr. Kappes and Mr. Sulick resigned voluntarily or were asked to step down.

Earlier this month, the agency’s No. 2 official, John McLaughlin, retired, citing personal reasons.

The CIA has been heavily criticized for prewar intelligence lapses in Iraq and the September 11 attacks. Former officials have described intense friction within the agency with Mr. Goss now in charge.

Some said there were concerns that more officers at the CIA’s counterterrorist center and elsewhere might be asked to resign or told that they no longer have a future at the agency.

Mr. Goss, a former CIA officer and congressman who headed the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, made waves with the clandestine service even before President Bush nominated him to head the CIA.

Officials as senior as George J. Tenet, Mr. Goss’ predecessor at the CIA, fumed over assertions by Mr. Goss’ committee this summer that the clandestine service “needs fixing” and that the agency could become a “stilted bureaucracy incapable of even the slightest bit of success.”

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