Director of Central Intelligence
The Office of United States of America Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) was established by U.S. President Harry Truman on 23 January 1946 with Admiral Sidney Souers occupying the position. The term Director of Central Intelligence, as opposed to Director of the CIA, meant that the position had two functions: overall coordination of the United States Intelligence Community and the CIA proper.
Until April 2005, the DCI also headed the Central Intelligence Agency and was often referred to colloquially as the "CIA Director." After the September 11 on the United States and the subsequent investigation by the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States ("9/11 Commission") and the Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction a movement grew to re-organize the Intelligence Community.
That movement led to the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, which created on 21 April, 2005, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), in whose purview was the job portfolio that had been performed previously by the Director of Central Intelligence. The latter position then ceased to exist, while a new position, Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, was created.
Porter J. Goss was the 19th and final CIA Director to serve in the position of DCI. There have been concerns that creation of the ODNI hurt CIA morale. Former CIA Director Porter Goss, who had been a CIA officer, denied this has had a diminishing effect on morale, but promoted his mission to reform the CIA into the lean and agile counter-terrorism focused force he believes it should be.
List of Directors of Central Intelligence (in chronological order)
|RADM Sidney Souers||January 23, 1946 – June 10, 1946|
|LTG Hoyt Vandenberg||June 10 1946–May 1 1947|
|RADM Roscoe Hillenkoetter||May 1 1947–October 7, 1950|
|GEN Walter Bedell Smith||October 7 1950–February 9 1953|
|Allen W. Dulles||February 26, 1953–November 29, 1961|
|John R. McCone||November 29 1961–April 28 1965|
|VADM William Raborn||April 28 1965–June 30 1966|
|Richard Helms||June 30 1966–February 2 1973|
|James Schlesinger||February 2, 1973–July 2 1973|
|William E. Colby||September 4 1973–January 30 1976|
|George H. W. Bush||January 30 1976–January 20 1977|
|ADM Stansfield Turner||March 9 1977–January 20 1981|
|William J. Casey||January 28 1981–January 29 1987|
|William H. Webster||May 26 1987–August 31 1991|
|Robert M. Gates||November 6 1991–January 20 1993|
|R. James Woolsey||February 5 1993–January 10 1995|
|John M. Deutch||May 10 1995–December 15 1996|
|George J. Tenet||July 11 1997–July 11, 2004|
|Porter J. Goss||September 24, 2004–April 21, 2005|
|Position replaced by Director of the Central Intelligence Agency and Director of National Intelligence.|
Directors' Management Styles and Effect on Operations
Roscoe H. Hillenkoetter
Rear Admiral Roscoe H. Hillenkoetter was appointed as the first Director of Central Intelligence (i.e., full Director of Central Intelligence). During his tenure, a National Security Council Directive on Office of Special Projects, June 18, 1948 (NSC 10/2) further gave the CIA the authority to carry out covert operations "against hostile foreign states or groups or in support of friendly foreign states or groups but which are so planned and conducted that any US Government responsibility for them is not evident to unauthorized persons." Those operations, however, were initially conducted by other agencies such as the Office of Policy Coordination. See Clandestine HUMINT and Covert Action for details of the eventual merger of these operations with the CIA, as well as how the equivalent functions were done in other countries.
Walter Bedell Smith
Smith, Eisenhower's Chief of Staff in Europe, had a close professional relationship and much experience running a complex staff.
During the first years of its existence, other branches of government did not exercise much control over the Central Intelligence Agency; justified by the desire to match and defeat Soviet actions throughout the globe, a task many believed could be accomplished only through an approach similar to the Soviet intelligence agencies, under names including NKVD, MVD, NKGB, MGB, MVD, and KGB.
Until Smith demanded CIA direct control over clandestine human-source intelligence and covert action, which had, respectively, been under the control of the semi-autonomous Office of Special Operations and Office of Policy Coordination, covert actions may have been launched without top-level approval. OSO and OPC had been loosely attached to CIA, but could bypass the DCI and go to the Secretary of Defense or the Secretary of State.
In 1952, Smith got Presidential backing to merge OPC and OSO into what was then, euphemistically, called the Division of Plans. Frank Wisner, the head of OPC, became the first Deputy Director for Plans, with Richard Helms as his chief of operations.
The rapid expansion of the CIA, and a developed sense of independence under the Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) Allen Dulles added to US intelligence not having a great deal of independent review. After the Bay of Pigs in 1961, President John F. Kennedy exercised greater supervision, although the agency stepped up its activity in Southeast Asia under Lyndon B. Johnson, replacing Dulles, an OSS veteran, with a Republican with a general engineering background. Dulles' autobiography, is more noteworthy as a way of understanding the mindset of key people in the field than it is a detailed description of the CIA.
McCone, despite a lack of intelligence background, is often considered one of the most competent DCIs and excellent managers. He directed the IC during the Cuban Missile Crisis. McCone resigned from his position of DCI in April 1965, believing himself to be unappreciated by President Johnson. Upon his resignation, McCone submitted a final policy memorandum to Johnson arguing that Johnson's expansion of the war in Vietnam would arouse national and world discontent over the war before it brought down the North Vietnamese regime.
Raborn, a distinguished naval officer who directed the creation of ballistic missile submarines, had a short and unhappy tenure as DCI. His background included no foreign relations experience, and intelligence only as it pertained to naval operations. the CIA's own historians said "Raborn did not 'take' to the DCI job". Raborn resigned on June 30, 1966, having served for only fourteen months as DCI; he was replaced by his deputy Richard Helms.
Richard M. Helms
Helms was an OSS and CIA veteran, and the first DCI to have served at a lower level in the CIA. Helms became Director of the Office of Special Operations, a pre-CIA espionage organization, after Second World War OSS service. He became Director of Plans, or head of the CIA field operations directorate, after the CIA's disastrous role in the attempted invasion of Cuba in 1961. After falling out with the Kennedys, he was sent off to Vietnam where he oversaw the coup to overthrow President Ngo Dinh Diem. Following the assassination of John F. Kennedy, Helms was made Deputy Director under Admiral William Raborn. A year later, in 1966, he was appointed Director. In 1967, an investigative report by Ramparts magazine uncovered a large part of the CIA covert political action capability.
Helms had a rapport with President Lyndon Johnson, but his position changed with the arrival of President Richard Nixon and Nixon's Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs Henry Kissinger. After the debacle of Watergate, from which Helms succeeded in distancing the CIA as far as possible, the Agency came under much tighter Congressional control. Nixon, however, considered Helms to be disloyal, and fired him as DCI in 1973. Helms was the only DCI convicted for irregularities in office; his autobiography describes his reactions to the charges
In the early 1970s, partially as a result of the Watergate break-ins under President Richard M. Nixon, the United States Congress took a more active role in intelligence agencies, as did independent commissions such as the 1975 United States President's Commission on CIA activities within the United States, also called the Rockefeller Commission after its chairman. Revelations about past CIA activities, such as assassinations and attempted assassinations of foreign leaders, illegal domestic spying on U.S. citizens, drew considerable Congressional oversight that had not been previousy exercised. It was determined, by several investigating committees, that the CIA had given inappropriate assistance to persons affiliated with the White House and the 1972 Nixon reelection campaign.
James R. Schlesinger
Schlesinger's short tenure was due to his being appointed Secretary of Defense. On 2 February 1973 he became Director of Central Intelligence, after Richard Helms, the previous director, had been fired for his refusal to block the Watergate investigation. Schlesinger's first words upon becoming DCI were, reportedly, "I'm here to make sure you don't screw Richard Nixon." Although his CIA service was short, barely six months, it was stormy as he again undertook comprehensive organizational and personnel changes. He became so unpopular at CIA Headquarters in Langley, Virginia that a security camera had to be installed opposite his official portrait because of fears that it would be vandalized. By this time he had a reputation as a tough, forthright, and outspoken administrator.
He commissioned reports — known as the "Family Jewels" — on illegal activities by the Agency.
William E. Colby
Colby was another intelligence professional who was promoted to the top job. His autobiography was entitled "Honorable Men", and he believed that a nation had to believe such people made up its intelligence service. In December 1974, Investigative journalist Seymour Hersh broke the news of the "Family Jewels" in a front-page article in The New York Times, revealing that the CIA had assassinated foreign leaders, and had conducted surveillance on some seven thousand American citizens involved in the antiwar movement (Operation CHAOS).
Congress responded to the "Family Jewels" in 1975, investigating the CIA in the Senate via the Church Committee, chaired by Senator Frank Church (D-Idaho), and in the House of Representatives via the Pike Committee, chaired by Congressman Otis Pike (D-NY). President Gerald Ford created the aforementioned Rockefeller Commission, and issued an Executive Order prohibiting the assassination of foreign leaders.
Colby's tenure as DCI congressional investigations into alleged U.S. intelligence malfeasance over the preceding twenty-five years. Colby cooperated, not out of a desire for major reforms, but in the belief that the actual scope of such misdeeds was not great enough to cause lasting damage to the CIA's reputation. He believed that cooperating with Congress was the only way to save the Agency from dissolution. Colby also believed that the CIA had a moral obligation to cooperate with the Congress and demonstrate that the CIA was accountable to the Constitution. This caused a major rift within the CIA ranks, with many old-line officers such as former DCI Richard Helms believing that the CIA should have resisted congressional intrusion.
Colby's time as DCI was also eventful on the world stage. Shortly after he assumed leadership, the Yom Kippur War broke out, an event that surprised not only the American intelligence agencies but also the Israelis. This intelligence surprise reportedly affected Colby's credibility with the Nixon Administration. Meanwhile, after many years of involvement, South Vietnam fell to Communist forces in April 1975, a particularly difficult blow for Colby, who had dedicated so much of his life and career to the American effort there. Events in the arms control field, Angola, the Middle East, and elsewhere also demanded attention.
George H. W. Bush
Bush's confirmation as Director of Central Intelligence was opposed by many pundits and politicians still reeling from the Watergate scandal (when Bush was head of the Republican National Committee, and a steadfast defender of Nixon) and the Church Committee investigating whether CIA-ordered foreign assassinations were being directed towards domestic officials, including President Kennedy. Many arguments against Bush's initial confirmation were that he was too partisan for the office. The Washington Post, George Will, and Senator Frank Church were some notable figures opposed to Bush's nomination. After a pledge by Bush not to run for either president or vice president in 1976, opposition to his nomination died down.
Bush served in this role for 355 days, from January 30, 1976 to January 20, 1977. The CIA had been rocked by a series of revelations, including disclosures based on investigations by the Senate's Church Committee, about the CIA's illegal and unauthorized activities, and Bush was credited with helping to restore the agency's morale. On February 18, 1976, President Ford issued Executive Order 11905, which established policy guidelines and restrictions for individual intelligence agencies, and clarified intelligence authorities and responsibilities. Bush was given 90 days to implement the new order, which called for a major reorganization of the Intelligence Community and firmly stated that intelligence activities could not be directed against U.S. citizens. In his capacity as DCI, Bush gave national security briefings to Jimmy Carter both as a Presidential candidate and as President-elect, and discussed the possibility of remaining in that position in a Carter administration.
An Annapolis classmate of Jimmy Carter, Turner enjoyed White House confidence, but his emphasis on technical collection methods such as SIGINT and IMINT, and his apparent dislike for, and firing of, HUMINT specialists made him extremely unpopular. Under Turner's direction, the CIA emphasized IMINT and SIGINT more than HUMINT. Turner eliminated over 800 operational positions in what was called the 'halloween massacre'. This organizational direction is notable because his successor William Casey was seen to have a completely opposite approach, focusing much of his attention on HUMINT. Turner gave notable testimony to Congress revealing much of the extent of the MKULTRA program, which the CIA ran from the early 1950s to late 1960s. Reform and simplification of the intelligence community's multilayered secrecy system was one of Turner's significant initiatives, but produced no results by the time he left office. He also wrote a book on his experience at CIA.
During Turner's term as head of the CIA, he became outraged when former agent Frank Snepp published a book called Decent Interval which exposed incompetence among senior American government personnel during the fall of Saigon. accused Snepp of breaking the secrecy agreement required of all CIA agents, and then later was forced to admit under cross-examination that he had never read the agreement signed by Snepp. Regardless, the CIA ultimately won its case against Snepp at the U.S. Supreme Court. The Court forced Snepp to turn over all his profits from Decent Interval and to seek preclearance of any future writings about intelligence work for the rest of his life. The ultimate irony was that the CIA would later rely on the Snepp legal precedent in forcing Turner to seek preclearance of his own memoirs, which were highly critical of President Ronald Reagan's policies. Turner, who was not a lawyer, did not understand the concept of precedent, and did not grasp the broader implications of pushing the U.S. Department of Justice to take an aggressive stance against Snepp.
William J. Casey
During his tenure at the CIA, Casey played a large part in the shaping of Reagan's foreign policy, particularly its approach to Soviet international activity. Based on a book, The Terror Network, Casey believed that the Soviet Union was the source of most terrorist activity in the world, in spite of C.I.A. analysts providing evidence that this was in fact black propaganda by the CIA itself. Casey obtained a report from a professor that agreed with his view, which convinced Ronald Reagan that there was a threat.
Casey oversaw the re-expansion of the Intelligence Community, in particular the CIA, to funding and human resource levels greater than those before resource cuts during the Carter Administration. During his tenure restrictions were lifted on the use of the CIA to directly, covertly influence the internal and foreign affairs of countries relevant to American policy.
This period of the Cold War saw an increase of the Agency's anti-Soviet activities around the world. Notably he oversaw covert assistance to the mujahadeen resistance in Afghanistan, with a budget of over $1 billion by working closely with Akhtar Abdur Rahman (the Director General of ISI in Pakistan).
Casey was also the principal architect of the arms-for-hostages deal that became known as the Iran-Contra affair. Hours before Casey was scheduled to testify before Congress about his knowledge of Iran-Contra, was hospitalized. In his 1987 book, Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward, who had interviewed Casey on numerous occasions, said that he had gained entry to Casey's hospital room for a final, four-minute long encounter — a claim that was met with disbelief in many quarters, and adamant denial by Casey's wife, Sofia. According to Woodward, when he asked Casey if he knew about the diversion of funds to the Nicaraguan Contras, "His head jerked up hard. He stared, and finally nodded yes."
William H. Webster
Webster came from a legal background, including serving as a judge and the director of the FBI. He was expected, with this background, to clean up legal irregularities at CIA. Repercussions from the Iran-Contra arms smuggling scandal included the creation of the Intelligence Authorization Act in 1991. It defined covert operations as secret missions in geopolitical areas where the U.S. is neither openly nor apparently engaged. This also required an authorizing chain of command, including an official, presidential finding report and the informing of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees, which, in emergencies, requires only "timely notification".
Robert M. Gates
Gates was nominated (for the second time) for the position of Director of Central Intelligence by President George H. W. Bush on May 14, 1991, confirmed by the Senate on November 5, and sworn in on November 6, becoming the only career officer in the CIA's history (as of 2005) to rise from entry-level employee to Director.
The final report of the Independent Counsel for Iran/Contra Matters, issued on August 4, 1993, said that Gates "was close to many figures who played significant roles in the Iran/contra affair and was in a position to have known of their activities. The evidence developed by Independent Counsel did not warrant indictment..."
R. James Woolsey
As Director of Central Intelligence, Woolsey is notable for having a very limited relationship with President Bill Clinton. According to journalist Richard Miniter:
Never once in his two-year tenure did CIA director James Woolsey ever have a one-on-one meeting with Clinton. Even semiprivate meetings were rare. They only happened twice. Woolsey told me: "It wasn't that I had a bad relationship with the president. It just didn't exist."
David Halberstam notes in War in a Time of Peace that Clinton chose Woolsey for CIA director because the Clinton campaign had courted neoconservatives leading up to the 1992 election, promising to be tougher on Taiwan, Bosnia, and human rights in China, and it was decided that they ought to give at least one neoconservative a job in the administration.
John M. Deutch
In 1995, President Bill Clinton appointed him Director of Central Intelligence (cabinet rank in the Clinton administration). However, Deutch was initially reluctant to accept the appointment. As head of the CIA, Deutch continued the policy of his predecessor R. James Woolsey to declassify records pertaining to U.S. covert operations during the Cold War. He put restraints on what he considered to be politically incorrect agent recruitment and sought to encourage more diversity at the Agency in order to include more women and minorities in its ranks.
Soon after Deutch's departure from the CIA in 1996 it was revealed that classified materials were being kept on several of Deutch's laptop computers designated as unclassified. In January of 1997, the CIA began a formal security investigation of the matter. Senior management at CIA declined to fully pursue the security breach. Over two years after his departure, the matter was referred to the Department of Justice, where Attorney General Janet Reno declined prosecution. She did, however, recommend an investigation to determine whether Deutch should retain his security clearance. President Clinton pardoned Deutch on his last day in office.
George J. Tenet
Tenet was appointed Deputy Director of Central Intelligence in July 1995. After John Deutch's abrupt resignation in December 1996, Tenet served as acting director until he was officially appointed the position on July 11, 1997, after a unanimous confirmation vote in the Senate. This was followed by the withdrawal of Anthony Lake, whose nomination had been blocked by Republicans in Congress. While the Director of Central Intelligence has typically been replaced by an incoming administration ever since Jimmy Carter replaced DCI George H. W. Bush, Tenet served through the end of the Clinton administration and well into the term of George W. Bush.
Tenet embarked on a mission to regenerate the CIA, which had fallen on hard times since the end of the Cold War. The number of agents recruited each year had fallen to an all-time low, a 25-percent decline from the Cold War peak. Tenet appealed to the original mission of the agency, which had been to "prevent another Pearl Harbor". The trick was to see where danger might come from in the post-Cold War world. Tenet focused on potential problems such as "the transformation of Russia and China", "rogue states" like North Korea, Iran and Iraq, and terrorism. He believed insufficient attention was paid, before 9-11, to terror. As Tenet put it in his book,
How could [an intelligence] community without a strategic plan tell the president of the United States just four days after 9/11 how to attack the Afghan sanctuary and operate against al-Qaeda in ninety-two countries around the world?
On September 15, 2001. Tenet presented a blueprint for what became known as the War on terror. He proposed firstly to send CIA teams into Afghanistan to collect intelligence on, and mount covert operations against, al-Qaeda and the Taliban. The teams would act jointly with military special operations units. "President Bush later praised this proposal, saying it had been a turning point in his thinking."
After the September 11 attacks, many observers criticized the [United States intelligence community]] for numerous "intelligence failures" as one of the major reasons why the attacks were not prevented. In August 2007, a secret report written by the CIA inspector general was made public (originally written in 2005 but kept secret). The 19-page summary states that Tenet knew the dangers of Al Qaeda well before September 2001, but that the leadership of the CIA did not do enough to prevent any attacks. Tenet reacted to the publication of this report by calling it "flat wrong".
Bob Woodward, in his book Plan of Attack, wrote that Tenet privately lent his personal authority to the intelligence reports about weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) in Iraq. The search following the 2003 invasion of Iraq by U.S., British and international forces yielded no stockpiles of WMDs, however. Tenet and his Director of Operations resigned at approximately the same time, and it was suggested this was in penance over the WMD issue in Iraq.
Porter J. Goss
In his junior year at Yale, Goss was recruited by the CIA. Between 1960 and 1971, he worked for the Directorate of Operations, the clandestine services of the CIA. There he first worked in Latin America and the Caribbean and later in Europe. The full details are not known due to the classified nature of the CIA, but Goss has said that he had worked in Latin America. Goss, who has said that he has recruited and trained foreign agents, worked in Miami for much of the time.
He served in Congress for 16 years until his appointment as Director of the CIA. While in the House, Goss consistently and emphatically defended the CIA and supported strong budget increases for the Agency, even during a time of tight budgets and slashes to other parts of the intelligence budgets. In mid-2004, Goss took a very strong position, during what had already been announced as his last congressional term, urging specific reforms and corrections in the way the CIA carried out its activities, lest it become "just another government bureaucracy."
After growing pressure, Congress established the Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities before and after the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001, a joint inquiry of the two intelligence committees, led by Graham and Goss. Goss and Graham made it clear that their goal was not to identify specific wrongdoing: Graham said the inquiry would not play "the blame game about what went wrong from an intelligence perspective,", and Goss said, "This is not a who-shall-we-hang type of investigation. It is about where are the gaps in America's defense and what do we do about it type of investigation." The inquiry's final report was released in December 2002 and focused entirely on the CIA and FBI's activities, including no information on the White House's activities. Ray McGovern, a 27-year veteran of the CIA and a frequent commentator on intelligence issues, believed the report showed that Goss gave "clear priority to providing political protection for the president" when conducting the inquiry. Goss chiefly blamed President Bill Clinton for the recent CIA failures. He confided in a reporter: "The one thing I lose sleep about is thinking what could I have done better, how could I have gotten more attention on this problem sooner." When asked whether he ever brought up his concerns with the administration, Goss claimed he had met three times with Clinton to discuss "certain problems". The upshot? "He was patient and we had an interesting conversation but it was quite clear he didn’t value the intelligence community to the degree President Bush does."
Goss was nominated to become the new director on August 10, 2004. The appointment was challenged by some prominent Democrats). Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV (D-West Virginia), vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, expressed concerns that Goss was too politically partisan, given his public remarks against Democrats while serving as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. Another Democratic member of the committee, Ron Wyden (D-Oregon), expressed concerns that given Goss's history within and ties to the CIA, he would be too disinclined to push for institutional change. In an interview carried out by Michael Moore's production company on March 3, 2004, Goss described himself as "probably not qualified" for a job within the CIA, because the language skills the Agency now seeks are not languages he speaks and because the people applying today for positions within the CIA's four directorates have such keen technical and analytic skills, which he did not have when he applied to the Agency in the early 60s.
He brought with him five personal staff that were to implement change that became unpopular with CIA professionals. Stephen Kappes — the Director of Operations — and his subordinates including Michael Sulick, Kappes' then-deputy. Although Kappes came back to a responsible position, it has been reported that he quit the Agency rather than carry out a request by Goss to reassign Michael Sulick. Following Goss's departure, both Kappes and Sulick have returned to positions of higher authority in the U.S. Intelligence Community. Kappas is the Deputy Director of the CIA and Sulick was appointed Director of the National Clandestine Service on September 14, 2007.
Speculations on the reason for his departure include a desire to have military agency heads, or, perhaps more likely,
For many analysts, Goss' departure was inevitable, given the widespread perception that the White House had lost confidence in his ability to reorganise the CIA. Goss' departure appears to have been due, at least in part, to his repeated clashes with John Negroponte who was appointed in 2005 as the US Director of National Intelligence, a new post created to co-ordinate all 16 of the US intelligence agencies in the aftermath of the Al-Qaeda attacks. 
A claim that the black sites existed was made by The Washington Post in November 2005 and before by human rights NGOs. US President George W. Bush acknowledged the existence of secret prisons operated by the CIA during a speech on September 6, 2006.
Michael Hayden followed Goss as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, as distinct from the Director of Central Intelligence. The overall responsibility for intelligence community coordination now rests with the Director of National Intelligence, first John Michael McConnell; the position of Director of Central Intelligence has been abolished.
On 27 June 2007 the CIA released two collections of previously classified documents which outlined various activities of doubtful legality.
The first collection, the "Family Jewels," consists of almost 700 pages of responses from CIA employees to a 1973 directive from Director of Central Intelligence James Schlesinger requesting information about activities inconsistent with the Agency's charter.
The second collection, the CAESAR-POLO-ESAU papers, consists of 147 documents and 11,000 pages of research from 1953 to 1973 relating to Soviet and Chinese leadership hierarchies, and Sino-Soviet relations.
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