Hay­den Works to Ab­sorb New Hires at CIA

Af­ter Al­most a Year as Di­rec­tor, He Calls Huge Per­son­nel Surge His ‘Big­gest Chal­lenge’

The Washington Post Sunday - - National News - By Wal­ter Pin­cus

CIA Di­rec­tor Michael V. Hay­den, af­ter nearly a year as head of the na­tion’s pre­mier intelligence agency, says his big­gest chal­lenge is ab­sorb­ing all the newly hired an­a­lysts and the case of­fi­cers who have been hired since the at­tacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Ap­pear­ing on C- SPAN’s “ Q& A” to be broad­cast tonight, Hay­den em­pha­sized the huge num­ber of new hires gen­er­ated by in­creased fund­ing and turnover of CIA per­son­nel. Al­though the em­ploy­ment fig­ure is clas­si­fied, se­nior intelligence of­fi­cials say the num­ber is about 15,000.

“ Fifty per­cent of the agency has been hired since 9/ 11,” Hay­den said, adding: “ One- fifth of our an­a­lysts have been hired in the last 12 months.”

The move­ment can be traced to sev­eral causes. The 18- month ten­ure of for­mer CIA di­rec­tor Porter J. Goss led to a large num­ber of res­ig­na­tions, par­tic­u­larly in the mid­dle and up­per man­age­ment ranks.

An­other drain took place as trained agency an­a­lysts and op­er­a­tives, pos­sess­ing valu­able se­cu­rity clear­ances, re­signed to ac­cept higher- pay­ing jobs of­fered by com­pa­nies who had won con­tracts to per­form intelligence ac­tiv­i­ties for the gov­ern­ment.

The cre­ation of new intelligence agen­cies within the gov­ern­ment also drew CIA per­son­nel, start­ing with the es­tab­lish­ment of the Na­tional Coun­tert­er­ror­ism Cen­ter and the De­part­ment of Home­land Se­cu­rity, ex­pan­sion of intelligence anal­y­sis at the FBI and De­fense De­part­ment, and fi­nally, the cre­ation in 2005 of the Of­fice of the Di­rec­tor of Na­tional Intelligence.

“ Right now, my big­gest chal­lenge is ab­sorb­ing the growth we’ve had inside the agency and putting th­ese new re­sources to work in an ef­fi­cient and ef­fec­tive way,” Hay­den said.

Asked about CIA’s in­cor­rect pre­war as­sess­ment about Sad­dam Hus­sein and his al­leged pos­ses­sion of weapons of mass de­struc­tion, Hay­den pre­sented what he de­scribed as a new les­son that was re­cently drawn from re­view­ing the sit­u­a­tion.

“ By and large, the as­sess­ment was done by our best WMD peo­ple, the peo­ple who han­dled weap- ons of mass de­struc­tion,” he said. Those peo­ple fo­cused on an ini­tial as­sump­tion that the Iraqi leader had had th­ese weapons, had lied about them and had used them, Hay­den said.

When the prob­lem was ex­am­ined in 2002 for a new Na­tional Intelligence Es­ti­mate, Hay­den said those look­ing back found that the first draft was “ crafted by peo­ple who fo­cused on weapons of mass de­struc­tion . . . not by our peo­ple who fo­cused on Iraq as Iraq.” One les­son learned, he said, was “ when we do th­ese kinds of things in the fu­ture, you have got to fold both of those things in to­gether. . . . What does the ac­qui­si­tion of that du­aluse chem­i­cal mean? You have to lash up the peo­ple who know how the Iraqi gov­ern­ment makes de­ci­sions and who re­ally makes de­ci­sions.”

BY CHARLES DHARAPAK — AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

CIA Di­rec­tor Michael V. Hay­den, who will ap­pear on C-SPAN’s “Q&A” tonight, says: “One-fifth of our an­a­lysts have been hired in the last 12 months.”

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