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11/19/2004

James L. Pavitt

Bill Geertz, in the Washington Times piece cited below, speculates:

Opposition to the internal reorganization appears to be led by James L. Pavitt, the top clandestine service officer who recently left the agency.

Mr. Pavitt told The Washington Post last month that he hoped the new leadership did not carry out "a wholesale change that would do damage to a strategic effort that has produced excellent work on terrorism and a variety of other important issues."
The Washington Post ran a story on Pavitt two weeks ago. Pavitt is upset at administration efforts to blame the CIA for administration failures. On October 27, he claimed the CIA's use of extraordinary renditions was approved by the National Security Council and Congressional overseers. He was one of the four former deputy directors of operations that approached Goss to offer advice on finessing a reform agenda.
Within the past month, four former deputy directors of operations have tried to offer CIA Director Porter J. Goss advice about changing the clandestine service without setting off a rebellion, but Goss has declined to speak to any of them, said former CIA officials aware of the communications.
He has accepted, like Richard Clarke, responsibility for the intelligence failures that led to 9/11:
James L. Pavitt, who retired in August as the C.I.A.'s deputy director of operations, also said he had not seen the report and had not been asked to respond to it. Mr. Pavitt said in an e-mail message: "We failed to stop the 11 September attacks. It surely was not for lack of effort, lack of focus or lack of courage.''

"Given what we now know, in all the hindsight of the year 2004, I still do not believe we could have stopped the attacks,'' Mr. Pavitt added. "If there is to be blame, it belongs with me, not with the remarkable folks who worked the counterterrorism issue day in and day out."
Pavitt appears to be a mixed bag, but I doubt he is masterminding the CIA's angry response to Goss.

 

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