CIA to make sweep­ing changes

Lesotho Times - - International -

have con­trib­uted to a storm of eco­nomic prob­lems, in­clud­ing re­ces­sion, soar­ing in­fla­tion and chronic short­ages of ba­sic goods.

“Maduro has a tragic des­tiny,” said Al­berto Bar­rera, a news­pa­per colum­nist and nov­el­ist. He ar­gued that Mr Maduro has to blame the United States and other enemies for the coun­try’s prob­lems be­cause to do oth­er­wise would recog­nise that Mr Chávez’s le­gacy is flawed.

“Maduro knows that he has to con­front a very big cri­sis, but to ac­cept and rec­og­nize the cri­sis is to rec­og­nize that Chávez and the rev- WASH­ING­TON — The United States’ Cen­tral In­tel­li­gence Agency (CIA) is launch­ing one of the big­gest re­or­gan­i­sa­tions in its his­tory, aimed in part at sharp­en­ing its fo­cus on cy­ber op­er­a­tions and in­cor­po­rat­ing dig­i­tal in­no­va­tions into in­tel­li­gence gath­er­ing, CIA direc­tor John Bren­nan said.

In a pre­sen­ta­tion to re­porters this week, Bren­nan said he also is cre­at­ing new units within the CIA, called “mission cen­tres”, in­tended to con­cen­trate the agency’s fo­cus on spe­cific chal­lenges or geo­graphic ar­eas, such as weapons pro­lif­er­a­tion or Africa.

On the cy­ber front, the CIA chief said he is es­tab­lish­ing a new “Di­rec­torate of Dig­i­tal In­no­va­tion” to lead the agency’s ef­forts to track and take ad­van­tage of ad­vances in cy­ber tech­nol­ogy.

US of­fi­cials said that Mr Bren­nan de­cided the agency had to in­crease the re­sources and em­pha­sis it de­voted to cy­berspace be­cause ad­vanced com­mu­ni­ca­tions tech­nol­ogy is rapidly be­com­ing per­va­sive.

His­tor­i­cally, elec­tronic eaves­drop­pers at the Na­tional Se­cu­rity Agency have been at the cut­ting edge of dig­i­tal in­no­va­tion within the US gov­ern­ment. But the CIA felt that it too had to re­or­gan­ise to keep up with the tech­no­log­i­cal “pace of change”, as one of­fi­cial put it.

Com­pe­ti­tion Mr Bren­nan said the new dig­i­tal di­rec­torate will have equal sta­tus within the agency with four other di­rec­torates which have ex­isted for years.

“Our abil­ity to carry out our re­spon­si­bil­i­ties for hu­man in­tel­li­gence and na­tional se­cu­rity re­spon­si­bil­i­ties has be­come more chal­leng­ing” in to­day’s dig­i­tal world, Bren­nan said.

“And so what we need to do as an agency is make sure we’re able to un­der­stand all of the as­pects of that dig­i­tal en­vi­ron­ment.”

Cre­ated in 1947, the CIA is di­vided into four ma­jor di­rec­torates. Two — the Di­rec­torate of Science and Tech­nol­ogy, which among other ac­tiv­i­ties in­vents spy gad­gets, and the Di­rec­torate of Sup­port, which han­dles ad­min­is­tra­tive and lo­gis­ti­cal tasks - will re­tain their names.

The Di­rec­torate of In­tel­li­gence will be re­named “Di­rec­torate of Anal­y­sis” to re­flect its olu­tion failed,” Mr Bar­rera added.

While Mr Maduro sticks to Mr Chávez’s le­gacy in eco­nomic mat­ters — in­clud­ing price con­trols and gov­ern­ment own­er­ship of ma­jor com­pa­nies that have stag­nated and been mis­man­aged — many Venezue­lans ar­gue that he may have sur­passed Mr Chávez in one area: his at­tacks on the po­lit­i­cal op­po­si­tion.

Af­ter dis­patch­ing troops dur­ing protests last year, Mr Maduro has jailed a suc­ces­sion of prom­i­nent politi­cians. Last month, the in­tel­li­gence po­lice raided the of­fice of func­tion as the home of agency ex­perts who col­late and an­a­lyse in­for­ma­tion from se­cret and open sources, Bren­nan said.

The Na­tional Clan­des­tine Ser­vice, home of front-line agency un­der­cover “case of­fi­cers”, who re­cruit spies and con­duct covert ac­tions, will be re­named Di­rec­torate of Op­er­a­tions, which is what it had been called for most of the agency’s his­tory.

The 10 new “mission cen­tres” will bring to­gether CIA of­fi­cers with ex­per­tise from across the agency’s range of dis­ci­plines to con­cen­trate on spe­cific in­tel­li­gence tar­get ar­eas or sub­ject mat­ter, Bren­nan said.

Com­pe­ti­tion be­tween spy agen­cies and be- An­to­nio Ledezma, the mayor of Cara­cas, and hauled him off to jail. He has been ac­cused of tak­ing part in one of the many coup plots Mr Maduro has al­leged.

Mr Ledezma now sits in the Ramo Verde mil­i­tary pri­son, along with Leopoldo López, the leader of a po­lit­i­cal party who cham­pi­oned last year’s protests, and Daniel Ce­bal­los, a for­mer mayor. An­other for­mer op­po­si­tion mayor, Enzo Scarano, was re­cently re­leased.

Mr Chávez also sought reg­u­larly to in­tim­i­date the op­po­si­tion, and he drove some op­pos­ing politi­cians into tween units within agen­cies has led to “stove pip­ing” of in­for­ma­tion that should have been widely shared and to crit­i­cal in­for­ma­tion fall­ing through bu­reau­cratic cracks, Bren­nan and other US in­tel­li­gence of­fi­cials said.

“I know there are seams right now, but what we’ve tried to do with th­ese mission cen­tres is cover the en­tire uni­verse, re­gion­ally and func­tion­ally, and so some­thing that’s go­ing on in the world falls into one of those buck­ets,” Bren­nan said.

The CIA cur­rently op­er­ates at least two such in­ter­dis­ci­pli­nary cen­tres, cov­er­ing counter-ter­ror­ism and counter-in­tel­li­gence.

— Reuters.

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