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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Sept. 30, 2005 / 26 Elul, 5765

Goss is shoveling as fast as he can — but it may not be enough

By Jack Kelly

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The fifth of the labors of Hercules was to clean out, in a single day, the stables of King Augeas, who owned thousands of cattle, horses and sheep. I imagine there are days in which CIA Director J. Porter Goss thinks his task is comparable.

Goss has just completed a year in office, and is receiving very different reviews.

"Morale has declined for months as CIA chief Porter Goss has purged senior managers and critics have assailed the agency for fumbling intelligence on al Qaida and unconventional weapons in Iraq," wrote Mark Hosenball in the Oct. 3rd issue of Newsweek.

Goss "is still struggling to rebuild morale and assert leadership," agreed Douglas Jehl of the New York Times in a story Sept. 23rd.

But Peter Brookes of the Heritage Foundation thinks Goss "has made significant advances on several fronts, but especially in the Directorate of Analysis, where morale and product quality have skyrocketed."

Jehl and Hosenball based their negative reviews chiefly on the bellyaching of Robert Richer, briefly the number two man in the CIA's Operations directorate, who resigned a few weeks ago.

Richer told senators he had lost confidence in Goss. Brooks, himself a former CIA officer, thinks it more likely Goss had lost confidence in Richer.

"As mainstream media paint it, the clandestine service has suffered a mass exodus of senior officers since Goss' arrival," Brooks said. "In fact, the departure of senior spooks has been quite limited — and junior officers have been clamoring for more change."

Morale does stink among those who have gotten the axe, or fear the headsman is lurking in the hallway outside their offices.

But the stable has to be cleaned out. In August, Goss delivered to Capitol Hill a report by the CIA's inspector general on the agency's performance prior to 9/11. The report is classified, but those who have seen it say it is harshly critical of senior officials, especially in the Operations directorate were Richer served.

"According to the leaks, the report says there were systemic problems at the CIA before the attacks and that there was no strategic plan in place to deal with al Qaida," said Forbes magazine.

The IG report has posed a problem for Democrats, and for journalists like Hosenball and Jehl. They want to slam the Bush administration for keeping it secret. But if it were made public, the reputations of their favorite leakers would suffer.

Not only did the CIA miss the warning signs of 9/11, it (apparently) was badly mistaken about Saddam's weapons of mass destruction, and didn't have a clue about the Iraqi dictator's plans for protracted guerrilla war.

"The root cause of the intelligence community's failures during the past few years is that the people in charge were incompetent," said Herbert Meyer, who was an assistant to legendary CIA Director William Casey.

Dysfunction in the CIA isn't new. During the Cold War, the principal target was the Soviet Union. Yet the CIA badly underestimated the size of the Soviets' nuclear arsenal, and grotesquely overestimated the strength of its economy.

But dysfunction accelerated during the 1990s, when budget cuts and legal constraints imposed by the Clinton administration hampered collection of human intelligence.

When Robert Baer was the CIA station chief in Tajikstan in 1994, he asked Langley to send him some Dari and Pashtun speakers so he could debrief refugees streaming across the border from Afghanistan.

Baer was told no Dari or Pashtun linguists were available, but headquarters would send out a four person briefing team to explain the agency's new policy on sexual harassment.

Goss, an officer in the Operations directorate back in the days when gathering intelligence was considered more important than delivering lectures on sexual harassment, is doing what he can to get the agency back on track. He's cutting spending on expensive satellites to free up money for more human spies. And he's kicking operations officers out of desks in Langley and putting them back into the field.

Goss is shoveling as fast as he can. But it may not be enough. Hercules cleaned the Augean stables by diverting two rivers through them. I think a big change needs to be made in where and how the CIA recruits its personnel.

But I'll have to wait for another column to explain why. I've run out of space.

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JWR contributor Jack Kelly, a former Marine and Green Beret, was a deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force in the Reagan administration. Comment by clicking here.

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