Hen­ley passed over

The Washington Times Weekly - - National -

U.S. intelligence an­a­lyst Lon­nie Hen­ley has been passed over for pro­mo­tion to the po­si­tion of na­tional intelligence of­fi­cer (NIO) for East Asia. The po­si­tion of top U.S. gov­ern­ment Asia and China an­a­lyst has gone to for­mer CIA China an­a­lyst Paul Heer, who was ap­pointed to the post by Di­rec­tor of Na­tional Intelligence Michael McCon­nell.

The in­flu­en­tial post is con­sid­ered a key slot be­cause the of­fi­cial in charge can ex­er­cise wide­spread in­flu­ence over all analy­ses and re­search re­lated to China.

China’s rise con­tin­ues to be a sub­ject of de­bate among intelligence of­fi­cials and aca­demics who dis­agree on whether Bei­jing poses a cur­rent or fu­ture threat to the United States.

Mr. Hen­ley and Mr. Heer both are con­sid­ered to hold be­nign views of China, ac­cord­ing to intelligence of­fi­cials familiar with their work.

Mr. Hen­ley is familiar to read­ers of this col­umn for the rep­ri­mand charg­ing him with “poor judg­ment” for sup­port­ing for­mer De­fense Intelligence Agency an­a­lyst Ron Mon­ta­perto, who was con­victed last year of im­prop­erly stor­ing clas­si­fied in­for­ma­tion and for pass­ing top-se­cret intelligence to two Chi­nese mil­i­tary of­fi­cers.

Mr. Hen­ley wrote a let­ter to the judge in the Mon­ta­perto case urg­ing a le­nient sen­tence and also wrote an e-mail that was crit­i­cal of the FBI for in­ves­ti­gat­ing Mon­ta­perto.

He is re­main­ing as deputy NIO for East Asia.

Mr. Hen­ley was fa­vored for the top NIO post by Na­tional Intelligence Coun­cil Chair­man Thomas Fin­gar, who of­fi­cials say shares the views of Mr. Hen­ley and Mon­ta­perto on China.

Bill Gertz cov­ers the Pen­tagon. He can be reached at 202/6363274 or at bgertz@wash­ing­ton­times.com.

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