Exclusive: CIA’s Top Spy Steps Down

The purge roles on:


The secretive head of the agency’s National Clandestine Service is retiring amid reports of infighting over a reorganization of the intelligence service.

As a practice, the CIA doesn’t identify the head of the clandestine service by name. But Frank Archibald was outed in a Twitter post in 2013, and details of his biography were known to some journalists. Archibald, who was 57 when he took the job that year, reportedly served tours in Pakistan and Africa and also headed the CIA’s Latin America division. The Associated Press reported that Archibald “once ran the covert action that helped remove Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic from power.”

Archibald’s retirement comes at a transitional moment for the CIA. The agency’s director, John Brennan, is considering major changes to the agency’s structure, including the possible creation of new intelligence centers and doing away with the traditional division of CIA into its analysis group and the clandestine service.

“This would be to their mind the greatest threat to their independence since they were created as the Directorate of Plans back in 1951,” one former official said.

The CIA has also seen some shakeups in the senior ranks of late. Earlier this month, President Obama tapped David Cohen to be the CIA’s new deputy director. Cohen, a senior Treasury Department official, has been the chief architect of the administration’s sanctions regime against Iran.

Also this month, Lt. Gen. John F. Mulholland Jr., who previously was deputy commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, became the CIA’s new associate director for military affairs. In recent years, the CIA and special operators have worked more closely together than ever, most famously in the successful raid that killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan 2011.

Full article: Exclusive: CIA’s Top Spy Steps Dow (The Daily Beast)

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