Under CIA Chief Gina Haspel, an Intelligence Service Returns to the Shadows
Isn't that where it was supposed to be?
[WSJ] At a gala dinner in February to raise funds for the families of Central Intelligence Agency officers killed in the line of duty, CIA Director Gina Haspel surprised her audience by delving into details of spycraft the agency has used to run agents on the streets of Moscow. But the crowd’s astonishment at the unusual revelation quickly evaporated when the spy chief confided that the material came from a journalist’s book.
After a year atop the CIA, Ms. Haspel is giving away few secrets. With a 35-year career in clandestine operations and a U.S. president who pounces when his spy chiefs contradict him publicly, she and her agency have adopted their lowest public profile in decades.
“She’s gone to ground,” said Mark Lowenthal, a former CIA official and staff director of the House Intelligence Committee. “It’s not going to be any good for her to be out there attracting lightning bolts.”
Interviews with nearly 20 current and former U.S. intelligence officials reveal a portrait of a CIA director who has been warmly received by the workforce she has spent her life among.
The CIA’s first female director since its 1947 founding, she has put in place her own leadership team—which also includes many women—and so far has avoided having President Trump’s political allies embedded in the agency’s senior ranks.
But if Ms. Haspel’s primary mission is overseeing a global spy agency charged with addressing threats ranging from terrorism to climate change, it sometimes seems her second priority is protecting the agency she has devoted her life to from the domestic threat of a toxic U.S. political culture.
“I think that she’s adopting a strategy much like [FBI Director] Chris Wray of keeping a lower profile, avoiding situations where she’s put in the position of publicly contradicting the president,” said Rep. Adam Schiff (D., Calif.), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, which oversees the CIA.
Posted by: Fred 2019-05-27