A Spys Journey: A CIA Memoir

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During his 35 years at the CIA, Paseman moved up through a dozen promotions, serving as station chief in Germany at the height of the Cold War and chief of the East Asia division at Langley Floyd L. Paseman retired from the Central Intelligence Agency in January following a thirty-five year career in operations. Pauline Blistine, Intelligence and National Security It is a must read for anyone interested in the intelligence service'.

Skip to main content Skip to navigation 'Despite frequent official disapproval, CIA staff have written more memouirs than members of any other secret intelligence agency in world history. Christopher Andrew, author of Defence of the Realm 'Moran interweaves colourful personalities, conflicting politics and inconsistent practices in narratives of what the US government has and has not permitted CIA authors to publish about their secret profession.

Malcolm Craig, Journal of American Studies February 'Moran's book is rich in historical facts and context, managing to tantalize readers with information'. Published by St. Martin's: Macmillan, August ISBN , 32 plates, pp. War of Numbers: An Intelligence Memoir. Hanover, NH: Steerforth, London: Harmondsworth, London: Bloomsbury, New York: Three Rivers Press, Barbara Bush: A Memoir. New York: Scribners, Carle, Glenn.

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The Interrogator: An Education. New York: Nation Book, Clarridge, Duane R. Colby, William and Forbath, Peter. Simon and Schuster: New York, London: Aurum Press, Cooper, Chester. Downes, Donald. London: Derek Verschoyle, Dulles, Allen. New York: Macmillan, Eveland, Wilbur Crane.

New York: Norton, Gates, Robert M. Even though the CIA had not predicted the ultimate dissolution of the Soviet Union, they had warned well and early about the likelihood of revolt and trouble in the Eastern European countries. And Bob Gates gained still more influence with the President. About the same time, an intelligence fiasco further diminished DCI Webster's standing with the administration.

He had proven to be a real pain to the Bush administration, and Bush consequently wanted him removed. The failure of the CIA to implement a covert action there to remove Noriega led Bush to finally order military action to accomplish the goal. The United States invaded Panama on December 20, , and secured the surrender of Noriega the following month. Operation Just Cause, as it was known, was the largest use of military force since the Vietnam War. By mid , the President was occupied by the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait - an event intelligence had warned was coming but which still surprised the administration diplomatically.

The fact was both human and technical intelligence confirmed Hussein had no intention of invading our closet Arab ally, Saudi Arabia, thus freeing the administration to concentrate on a response to the Kuwait invasion.

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The administration responded with a full-fledged war in the Middle East, Operation Desert Storm, launched in January No President has ever been served better by intelligence than was President Bush during the war that followed. Human intelligence, imagery, and signals intelligence - all served to provide immediate and up-to-date information desperately needed by - and used effectively by - U. This was to become the model for "support to the war-fighting Commanders-in Chiefs," a phrase which was to become the guiding principle for U. Intelligence for the next two presidents, Bill Clinton and George W.

It involved the total dedication of all intelligence resources - human intelligence, signals intelligence, imagery, and mazint the measurement of emanations such as telemetry - to provide all source collection and analysis directly to the battlefield commanders. But the Bush administration was to learn a lesson - there are limits to what intelligence of all sorts can do.

As we know, the second Bush administration made the same mistake in their mistaken pursuit of weapons of mass destruction during the Second Gulf War. One thing the first Bush president did was to ensure a trusted intelligence professional held the nation's highest intelligence office - the Director of Central Intelligence. The second Bush emulated his father and decided to leave the consummate intelligence professional, George Tenet, in the position following the election of In between, as we shall see, the two terms of the Clinton administration largely ignored both intelligence and the DCI.

The presidential campaign of had many unique aspects as regarded the candidates and intelligence briefings. President and candidate George Bush continued receiving the briefings he had been getting for 12 years. Given that he had also been the Director of Central Intelligence in , he knew and understood the importance of making the intelligence briefings available to all candidates.

Candidate Bill Clinton was offered and accepted intelligence briefings. In another unique growth in the process of acquainting the potential presidents and vice presidents with intelligence, for the first time the briefings of candidates Clinton and his running mate, Al Gore, included sessions with the outgoing chairmen of the two Congressional intelligence committees, Senator David Boren and Representative David McCurdy. If there is one word to describe the Clinton administration's attitude towards intelligence in its eight years, it is neglect. Along with the Clinton administration's obvious focus on the domestic economy - which won them the election - it was quickly clear that the administration in reality had little interest in intelligence as an adjunct to foreign policy.

In one of his first appointments, Clinton ousted one of the most experienced professional intelligence officers to hold the position of Director of Central Intelligence, Bob Gates.

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The selection of R. James Woolsey as the new Director of Central Intelligence made sense in that he was an experienced Washington insider who knew the ways of congress. What he did not have, however, was the ear of the President. Breaking with a long tradition, the President Clinton seldom saw the DCI reportedly twice in two years , and only had the gist of the PDB briefed to him by his National Security Advisor, Sandy Berger - who had little intelligence experience.

And, what he also did not have by the end of his eight-year presidency was a robust, effective intelligence community. The CIA saw its elite clandestine service, the Directorate of Operations, decimated both in personnel and budget. It is estimated the Clinton administration diverted nearly 80 billion dollars a year away from Defense to its domestic agenda. And the CIA took massive hits from its portion of the Defense budget.

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Meanwhile, under directed personnel cuts, the CIA shut down a good share of its overseas operations, and our number of human spies human intelligence or Humint was decimated, with severe consequences to follow. As almost all presidents do, Clinton directed a review of intelligence priorities and intelligence reform. There is nothing particularly bad about this; it is a well-established historical event. Harry Truman directed one via the Hoover Commission in Eisenhower did so with a second Hoover Commission in Nixon appointed the Packard Commission to review intelligence performance.

Jimmy Carter opted for "Zero-Based Budgeting" to reform intelligence. Ronald Reagan set up the Grace Commission to recommend restructuring. The administration set up a "Tier" system to do this. Issues were divided into two sets - "hard targets" and "transnational issues" such as Cuba, Iran, Iraq, China, North Korea, Libya, and weapons proliferation, narcotics, terrorism, and international crime and "global coverage" everything else.

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Further, within these two sets was a "Tier" system ranking things from 1 top priority to 4 bottom. In other words, the intelligence community was of necessity to ignore the bottom tier of requirements known as Tier 4 countries , which it could not fund under the cuts it took. It was inevitable that some significant events were going to be missed, and the intelligence community would then be blamed for intelligence failures. The best example, and there were significant others, was in when the intelligence community missed predicting nuclear tests by both India and Pakistan.

Meanwhile, in what was to become the Clinton administration's biggest and costliest overseas military deployment, Bosnia missed the cut as well. Simply put, resources were focused elsewhere under the Tier system. Although he tried to make it work, finally in frustration, Woolsey turned in his resignation after having served just less than two years. Never without a quip, Woolsey was later to joke that, when an East German landed a small plane on the White House lawn, people "thought it was me trying to get an appointment to see the President. After considerable arm-twisting, Clinton finally secured the agreement of Deputy Secretary of Defense John Deutch to reluctantly take the job.

Deutch lasted only one and one-half years before he resigned. The next DCI-nominee, Clinton's National Security Advisor Anthony Lake, withdrew his nomination after an acrimonious series of events clearly indicated his confirmation hearings were going to be contentious. Finally, six months later, Clinton turned to Deputy Director George Tenet, a savvy professional with great contacts in congress, who won easy confirmation in July Clinton's lack of understanding about the cohesiveness of the intelligence community, and of the principled stands analysts and others are often called upon to take, is reflected in his desire at the end of his administration to pardon the convicted Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard.

In , Pollard had been arrested and convicted of spying for the Israelis and received a life sentence. Over the years, the Israeli government had lobbied hard to get Pollard pardoned, to remove the blight of their operation against the United States. With Clinton, they almost succeeded. Word reached the senior levels of the U. S intelligence community that Clinton was seriously considering a pardon of Pollard as one of his final acts.

Sources claim that the DCI at that time, George Tenet, made it known to the President such an act would have serious repercussions. Rumor is that Tenet even threatened to resign should the President pardon Pollard, although I have no evidence that this was the case. Knowing Tenet, however, I would certainly not be surprised at such a principled stand.

President George W. Bush of course took office in one of the disputed elections in U. But it was clear even before the election the new president was going to be very interested in intelligence. The candidate Bush made it clear he valued the personal intelligence briefings very much. As of this writing it is too early to make any lasting observations about this President and intelligence.

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There have already been, however, two seminal events regarding intelligence - the tragedy of September 11, , and the Second Gulf War. Regarding the Second Gulf War, the failure of UN and administration weapons inspectors to find Iraqi weapons of mass destruction WMD has been embarrassing to an administration that used those weapons' very presence as the main justification for going to war unilaterally and without provocation.

Press releases as I was finishing this book in January indicated that there was yet another move afoot to blame the intelligence agencies for the failure to locate the WMD. I suspect that, as with other so-called "intelligence failures," it will be found that intelligence performed its duty well, but what they found and reported was not in line with what an administration in power desired. Unfortunately, history is replete with similar examples.

We need to recognize that perhaps a number of officers should spend their careers in only one or two countries, becoming the experts they need to be. We got so worried about the possibility that our officers would go native that it is nearly impossible to find officers who stay more than three years in any one country. We used to have numerous officers who made their entire career serving in only one geographical component.

That practice fell to the broadening experience that came to be one of the precepts toward promotions. The other problem greatly affecting our ability to run operations, recruit spies, and produce good intelligence relates to the badly conceived plan relating to a program called the Capital Working Fund. The program began around or The idea of it was that activities had to pay for themselves and that everyone had to manage their own support budget. It has been a disaster, and has left the Agency in general, and the Directorate of Operations in particular, without the mechanisms it needs to focus on spying.

Instead, our operating divisions spend the time of our operations personnel trying to get supplies, air tickets, and other necessities instead of doing what they were hired to do. The scheme, unfortunately, came from the administrative top.


The result was the dismemberment of the very services we had come to rely on to support the difficult activity of spying. In the meantime, the support mechanism was sold off. We no longer have our own airline; people thousands of miles away that never heard of spying and have no idea of the risks involved handle our health coverage; and, what was once the greatest retirement system in the world was handed over to the Office of Personnel Management.

You can no longer get anyone to personally answer a telephone on any question regarding retirement pay or medical claims. It is essential that we recognize that spying is not a quantifiable activity with a product that comes off the assembly line like a television set.

There are some times we spend a huge amount of time, and yes, dollars, attempting to secure a spy in a needed location, and fail. We still have to pay for that. It is an imprecise art form that does not allow us to always look at the bottom line. It has led to us not having enough spies where we need them most. Further, the Agency developed way too many superstructures over the past decade. Senior positions that are needed in the field have been taken for headquarters positions. And I cannot help but note this goes all the way to the ridiculous-a case officer was and is assigned to liaise with television and Hollywood.

It would seem to me that he would be more productive spying in the back alleys of Algeria. I am not in the minority feeling this way. During the year before the publication of this book, a whole series of articles were published delineating virtually the same observations. I believe in the CIA. I believe it has the greatest work force in the world, and it continues to hire and attract the very best and brightest.

I believe its future is secure, and it will continue to gather and collect the best intelligence it can under the circumstances. But I believe in order for this to happen, the CIA needs to go back to the basics of spying and quit trying to look like a private business conducting its work for profit. And, sadly and lastly, the Agency has lost its way in recognizing its people. Awards and recognition used to be significant individual affairs. Now, they are done in large groups to make it easier. Formerly, when any DO officer retired, he was given an individual ceremony, with a senior officer no lower than the associate deputy director of operations presenting the award.

When I was called regarding the ceremony and received the paperwork, I discovered that I was one of many who would be getting awards that day. It was to be a massive ceremony in the CIA auditorium, where all awardees simply walk up to the stage when their name is called and walk off. In reality, I was quite disappointed by this. I had nearly 35 years of service, had risked my life for my country and the Agency, had been in the Senior Intelligence Service ranks for over a decade, and had served in many senior assignments. It seems to me that it merited at least a private meeting with one of the Agency senior officials for my family and me.

We used to move heaven and earth to see that each of our people retiring had what Andy Warhol called their 15 minutes of fame. I called in and asked for my award to be mailed to me instead. I am not bitter about this, simply disappointed. We ought to do better than put an assembly line together for recognition. The Agency had consistent and good leadership at the top for the past nine years. The leadership began tackling the problems I mentioned above as early as , and the expansion of our human intelligence system is well underway, although we cannot expect it to be a quick fix.

The Agency's analytical capability is second to none. The establishment of the Kent School of Analysis put the emphasis back on quality analytical work and the development of a professional cadre for the future.

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  6. The Agency continues to recruit the best and brightest from America's youth. It is extremely gratifying to refer numerous colleagues who are honor roll graduates to the Agency for employment consideration. It is this quality of new employees that will guarantee the continued excellence of the CIA.

    The Agency continues to have the support of not only the political leadership on both sides of the aisles of Congress, but also of the American people.

    A Spys Journey: A CIA Memoir A Spys Journey: A CIA Memoir
    A Spys Journey: A CIA Memoir A Spys Journey: A CIA Memoir
    A Spys Journey: A CIA Memoir A Spys Journey: A CIA Memoir
    A Spys Journey: A CIA Memoir A Spys Journey: A CIA Memoir
    A Spys Journey: A CIA Memoir A Spys Journey: A CIA Memoir
    A Spys Journey: A CIA Memoir A Spys Journey: A CIA Memoir
    A Spys Journey: A CIA Memoir A Spys Journey: A CIA Memoir
    A Spys Journey: A CIA Memoir A Spys Journey: A CIA Memoir

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