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DCI Remarks at CIA Town Meeting

Transcript of DCI John Deutch's Remarks at CIA Town Meeting

May 11, 1995

Thank you all so much for that ver y warm welcome. I want to begin byrecognizing the enormous contribution made by Admiral Studeman during thistransition period. Bill Studeman will be at my side until a new DeputyDirector of Central Intelligence is named. I have known Bill for a long time.I served on his advisory committee when he was at the National Security Agency.Bill has my complete confidence, and he has my gratitude for helping me in thistransition period. I want everyone here to know how grateful I am to him --and how gr ateful this whole organization should be for the tremendousleadership he has shown during these last several months, and before.


I wanted to meet with some representatives of the Central Intelligence Agencyimmediately upon my coming here, so that I could share with you what some of myhopes are for what we can accomplish during my time as the Director of CentralIntelligence, and my time as the Director of CIA.

I laid out my philosophy and my priorities rather plainly in my congressionaltestimo ny, and I urge any of you who have any more interest in the details toread that testimony, rather than press accounts. That is important to me.

So let me spend a few moments on giving you key features of what I hope to doand where I'm coming from, and then I would like to take -- as long as you want-- some questions.

I want to begin by saying that I believe this nation needs intelligence, andthat this Agency has enormously talented and dedicated people who can provideboth the required colle ction and the analysis for the needs of this country.For me, it is not a debatable issue. It is important that this country -- inorder to protect its freedom -- has a modern, effective, and highly supportedIntelligence Community and a Central Intellig ence Agency. And that, for me,is not a debatable issue. It is not a debatable issue with anyone who I havespoken to, except for a few -- who you know as well as I do. But for me, it isa matter of primary importance for protecting our people and our country in thepost-Cold War era.

Second, I want you to know that as I have gone around, this view about theimportance of intelligence -- and the capability of this workforce -- is widelyshared. It is shared by the President of the United States, it is shared bythe leaders in Congress who I have been speaking to. In short, the leadershipof this country wants this Agency to succeed, although I know that itmay not always seem that way. But they want this Agency to succeed, and theyneed this Ag ency to protect our country.

I should say that I have been associated with the Central Intelligence Agencysince about 1976, when George Bush, then the Director of Central Intelligence,asked me to be a member of the Science and Technology Advisory Pa nel. Eversince that time, at all occasions, I have been impressed by the quality and thededication of the professionals here, in all the Directorates of this Agency.And ever since that time, I always harbored a secret desire to be the Directorof Cent ral Intelligence. Candidly, I am thrilled to have that opportunity. Iam thrilled to have the opportunity to make a difference to something which isimportant for the country. I also think that I have some characteristics thatwill help put this Agenc y back -- as it should be, without all of the carping-- more into the mainstream of what the important policy contributions are ofthe people here. And I intend to work for that end.

The third point I want to mention is that there will be some chang es --changes of the kind that always, I believe, accompany the arrival of a newDirector of Central Intelligence. Also, changes that I believe are necessaryto make the CIA more effective and more accountable. I want to elaborate alittle bit on these changes, because I know they are a matter of speculationand a matter of concern.

Let me first of all say what these changes will not be. The changesare not going to be revolutionary. They are not going to be draconian. Lotsof people are not goin g to lose their jobs. My old boss at the Department ofEnergy, my friend Jim Schlesinger, when he arrived here as Director of CentralIntelligence, had a very famous episode where people came in and he talked toeach one of them, and they left. That is not what is going to happen with meas the Director of Central Intelligence. We are not going to have draconian orrevolutionary change in either people or organization. The change will notonly be top-down. The change will take place with broad partic ipation of thepeople in this Agency, and it will build on the considerable excellent workthat is going on here. This is not going to be change which is going to comefrom directives out of my office. It is going to be change which takes placein an or derly way with the leadership and the people in this Agency.

The changes will also not occur overnight. To make an organization moreeffective -- to improve an organization -- measures have to be introduced in anorderly fashion. And it takes consid erable time for them to take place, andfor them to make a difference. So the changes are not draconian. They willinvolve broad participation by the people in this Agency -- the professionalsin this Agency -- and they will be evolutionary and occur ov er a period oftime.

I said to you what the change will not involve. What will the change involve?The change will involve the reassignment of much of the top management of theAgency. The replacements will come both from inside the Agency and fromo utside the Agency. But in quantitative terms, these reassignments will not bevery extensive, and indeed most of them would occur just with the normalpassage of time, not with the arrival of a new DCI.

Let me say something about the Directorate of O perations, a very crucial partof our country's efforts to defend itself and a very crucial part of the CIA.In the case of the Directorate of Operations, I plan to ask a small group ofindividuals -- knowledgeable about national security, knowledgeable a bout theAgency, and knowledgeable about the Directorate of Operations -- a smalloutside group to give me advice on a slate of candidates who would be suitableto be the new Deputy Director for Operations. That process will take sometime. During that time, I intend to rely on Jack Devine as the Acting DeputyDirector for Operations, and work very closely with every individual in the DOat a time when I know there is a lot of lack of knowledge -- and a lot ofunjust criticism -- about what that group h as done.

We also will be examining new ways to accomplish important intelligencemissions. I do intend to put into place, in collaboration with Bill Perry, anexamination of a central, new agency for managing imagery exploitation anddistribution. I do intend to put into place a new system for the management ofboth our military and our intelligence satellite acquisition systems, because Ibelieve there are economies and efficiencies that are important to achievethere. But that process of change -- thinking about a new imagery agency orthinking about a new way to manage our satellite acquisition systems andoperating systems -- should be an exciting event, an exciting event for all ofthose who are involved.

There will be an emphasis on a wo rkplace ethic that stresses advancement basedon performance, and a workplace that is fair and encourages diversity. This isan important matter for me personally, It has been an important matter for mein my management responsibilities at the Departmen t of Defense. I do thatbecause I believe that we cannot afford to fail to take advantage of all of thetalents of each individual in this organization. We can't waste the talents ofany individual. We will have a personnel system and a workplace ethic thatencourages the full, full advancement of every individual dependent upon theirperformance.

And accountability will be key. I was very pleased yesterday when [ExecutiveDirector] Leo Hazlewood showed me the Vision, Mission, and Values ofthis A gency summarized on one page. As I read that page, I thought, here is adocument that I can sign up to on my first day. It says a lot of importantthings about this Agency, and I support it. And I think it is very important,and to your credit, that yo u have such a Vision, Mission, and Valuesstatement for the Agency.

Let me say a few words about how I propose to deal with the rest of thegovernment, with the press, and with the people of this country. First, Ipersonally have excellent relations with the President of the United States,with the Vice President, with the Secretary of State, and with the DeputySecretary of State. I have intimate relations with the Secretary of Defense,very close relations with General Shalikashvili, enormously cl ose relationswith the Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General, and the head of theNational Security Council. I expect these relationships to remain strong, andI will devote a large part of my personal time to maintaining thoserelationships with the leaders of the country, in assuring that the productsthat you work on have the maximum hearing -- and the maximum effect andinfluence -- in the policymaking process.

When we are wrong, I will say we are wrong. When we are unfairly criticized,I will say so as well. And no one will pick on us without a strong responsefrom me. CIA's reputation is going to be established through sustained andeffective performance, and I am going to do everything I can to assure thatthis Agency is the stronges t and best intelligence service in the world --which it is now -- and stronger and better than it has ever been in its past.And try and make a difference here which all of us can be proud of. Thank youvery much for your welcome here today. Thank you very much for your attention,and I would be glad to take any questions you may have. Thank you.((applause))

Q &A Session...

Q: In your response to questions during your confirmation hearings, youimplied that you would make changes at CIA that would lead to the increasedpresence of minorities and women in the management of the Agency. However, Iam informed that the people who will accompany you from the Pentagon are allwhite males, with the exception of your driver. The question is, whatconcrete, strategic plan do you have for dismantling the glass ceiling whichexists at CIA, and will that plan be included in your report to Congress onyour first 30 days?

DCI: These are very good questions. First of all, I don 't believe itis the case that all of the new top management will be white males. That isnot my expectation. Second, I think that the record and the procedures thatwere used by Bill Perry and myself in the Department of Defense did make adifference. They were heavily weighted on the equal opportunity system that ispresent in the Department of Defense. I am not informed of how theseprocedures work in the Central Intelligence Agency presently, but we will havean orderly system for assuring that ev ery person is considered according totheir capability, according to their accomplishments, without any attention togender or race. That is very important to me. It is very important to thisAgency to have greater participation by women and minorities. I intend to worktoward that end, and I will report both to Congress but more importantly, Iwill report to the people of this Agency about the progress we are making inthis important matter.

Q: In the process of the evolutionary change that yo u see occurring as timegoes on, how does that fit in with what is going to happen with the AspinCommission? How do you see what you are planning folding into that?

DCI: First of all, let me say that Les Aspin is probably my oldestfrien d. We went to college together. I have known him for 35 years. He and Iwork very closely together. Of course, I worked for him as Under Secretarywhen he was Secretary of Defense. We had dinner together the night beforelast. I believe we will see coordinated effort between his Commission and ourefforts to do long-range planning here and planning for change. And there willbe no seam, in my view, between our efforts and the efforts of the Commission.I believe the Commission, and the President's Foreign Intelligence AdvisoryBoard, of which I have been a member in the past for President Bush, that thesetwo important institutions will be helpful to us. Those are importantorganizations to help us perform our mission. I don't regard them as apr oblem; I regard them as an opportunity -- as a help.

Q: Where do you stand on the issue of size -- for the Agency first and theIntelligence Community in general. Are we on the right path in terms ofdownsizing? Is it going to be accelerated? W here do we stand on that?

DCI: My own view -- and this is a view now which comes from beingDeputy Secretary of Defense, spending a great deal of time on the Hill -- Ibelieve that the Congress will allocate fewer resources generally to na tionalsecurity. That will be a judgment which they will make at the end of a longprocess, where lots of people will present lots of different views. Our job isto manage ourselves and do our mission within the resources that are presentedto us by Con gress. But I do not believe that there is likely to be any greatincrease in the budgets for national defense, national security, orintelligence. I do believe that whatever decline or constancy there is, itwill be less adverse for national intelligenc e than it is for defense or forforeign aid or for other important parts of our national security program. Idon't think there is a lot of money out there.

Q: Currently, all-source military intelligence analysis is being done atthe national leve l both in CIA and in DIA. Could you comment on theappropriateness of that? Do you think it is wasteful? Do you think it is astrength? What do you see for the future?

DCI: I don't know that I can give you a definitive answer. I havea lways thought that the military analysis which comes out of CIA is very, verygood and very, very helpful. For example, recently in the area of estimates onRussian naval capability. So I think that there is a lot to be said for anindependent military analysis capability here at CIA for some aspects ofmilitary capability around the world. I don't know how extensive it is. I dothink that there is a lot to be done on making sure that we have an ability foranalysis in the joint military arena. That, I think, is a very importantfeature that I intend to work very closely with the Joint Chiefs of Staff andthe unified and specified commands, to assure that they have an ability for ananalysis of intelligence in joint operations

Q: Have you dec ided what to do about the DI-DO partnership?

DCI: I know a little bit about the DI-DO partnership. I was veryimpressed, I might say favorably impressed, by seeing the way the Headquartersstaffs are aligned with each other, and mixed tog ether, right next to AdmiralStudeman's office on the seventh floor. I come from a world, a universityworld, where there is an enormous tendency to build stovepipes -- stovepipesbased on disciplines or based on schools. In my judgment, at a university andat other organizations where I have served, stovepipes are something thatshould be resisted. The full power and strength of an organization comes whenit learns to use all of its talents together. I know there is a long historyabout that. But th e more that we can encourage interaction between DDS&T,DDO, DDI, and DDA, the better off we will be. Obviously, we also have to workon the relationships with the Department of Defense and other agencies. So Iam a corporate person. I am not an in dividual division or sector person.

Q: Can you tell us something more about this group of outsiders that willmake recommendations to you about the Directorate of Operations and DOmanagement?

DCI: I just would tell you that what I have done is I have spoken toJack Devine, and I have spoken to Bill Studeman. I have thought a little aboutthis, and what I intend to do is add four or five people who have a knownknowledge and history, and ask them to give me some advice about the k ind, aslate of candidates -- not to make a selection, but through their knowledge andexperience and in talking with members of the DO and other people in theAgency, to come back and give me a sense of who are the five or six individualswho should be c onsidered for the top leadership position. It gives me anopportunity to have a broader set of people informing me on the kind of personwho would be useful at this time. And frankly speaking, it also gives me sometime to learn about the DO -- an area which I am not as knowledgeable about asthe NRO or DS&T or other places that I have followed for a long period oftime. Hopefully, we will be able to announce those individuals after I havespoken to them. I have not spoken to them yet because I wa s just confirmed andsworn in yesterday at noon. I haven't spoken to all of the individuals, but Isuspect that by early next week those names will be known.

Q: You mentioned your excellent relationship with the President and otherpolicymakers. What is your strategy for reaching out to Congress and thepress?

DCI: I am not sure that I have a strategy that would dignify whateverthoughts I have on it beyond...too much. My relationships in Congress, Ithink, are fairly good. I c ertainly was well treated by them in thisconfirmation process, and I was actually quite heartened by the amount ofsupport that they exhibited -- as I said earlier, both for the IntelligenceCommunity and for me personally. Frankly, I don't perceive Con gress as being amajor question. With respect to the press, here we will go a step at a time.I am not particularly interested in being enormously visible as Director ofCentral Intelligence to the press. I do think it is important -- here again asa lo ng-term matter -- for the Intelligence Community and CIA to develop anappropriate openness for dealing with the public and with the press. I willtry and do so. One individual who I am bringing with me is Dennis Boxx to headthe public affairs function here. Dennis has a very good reputation with thepress, and he certainly will help guide me with a sure hand in this process ofsensible openness. But I don't intend to do a lot of public stuff myself.

Q: Do you expect that the next DDO will co me from inside or outside theCIA?

DCI: I don't have a firm rule on it, but I would be very astonished ifit did not come from within CIA.

Q: With respect to your comments about not being particularly fond ofstovepipes and noting your plans with respect to imagery exploitation -- whichstarts to sound like an imagery stovepipe -- how do you see data fusion takingplace where data collected by a number of different kinds of "INTs" goes intofinished intelligence? And what is the r ole of CIA in three or four yearsafter your changes here, in fitting into that?

DCI: Good question, and there is obviously a balance to be struckthere. I would argue that moving to a national imagery agency is going frommany stovepipes to one stovepipe. ((laughter)) There is a balance to bestruck there. This is not a directive that is going to go out and say, "Let'shave a national imagery agency." In the past, I think it has been suggested byactually DCI panels to have a nationa l imagery agency. There will be a designproblem here about how to do it best -- how to do it in a way that makes goodsense and better leads to collection, exploitation, and distribution ofimagery. One of the key questions is the fusion of imagery wit h SIGINT orhuman data: At what level does that take place? That is an open question,part of design. That question would exist even more sharply if we didn't moveto a national imagery agency. I come from a place which really thinks that atleast for the military customer, that really has to be done in the theater orby the unified and specified commander. For the national customer, I think wehave a system that works pretty well now for the fusion of all that informationand the production of finis hed intelligence. That is part of what I referredto in my opening comments as change coming with participation of people who areexpert at this, both in the Department of Defense and here -- people who wouldsay, "What is the most sensible way to bring some much needed coordination tothe imagery and mapmaking functions of our system?" But we have to design it.It doesn't spring forward perfectly without looking at some of these issues,like the one you raised.

Q: What role do you envisage for the National Intelligence Council? Andwhat are your general views on the CIA's relationship with academia?

DCI: I think the National Intelligence Council is doing a super job. Ithink that [NIC Chairman] Christine Williams has done fabu lously. Joe Nye, whois another close personal friend of mine, has moved it in a very gooddirection. I think the quality of the product that is coming out of theNational Intelligence Council, these presidential summaries, are much betterwritten, much more effective, and have a much bigger impact on highpolicymakers who only have the time to read three or four pages. I think thebreadth of coverage, not only in the standard political/military areas butmoving occasionally into the economic, environ mental, population, etc., is avery good trend. All in all, I would say the NIC is a system which works andwhich has made very impressive progress over the past several years.

Q: As modern technology increases our ability to communicate around t heworld, what steps do you envision taking to allow us in the IntelligenceCommunity to share information better with our colleagues at NSA, DIA, andother organizations?

DCI: I am not informed really on the kinds of systems that are in p lacenow for rapid, secure communication within the Community. It is obviously abig deal and a very expensive deal. I have become progressively concerned withthe vulnerability of attack of computer networks, as everybody is -- kind ofdefensive inform ation warfare. But clearly, in order to be efficient intoday's world, both in exploitation and in distribution, we have got to do alot better at the modern, efficient, and rapid distribution of high data-ratesystems. I guess we have made progress on it, but I don't know what hashappened here in the Agency. I should say in that regard, exploitation ofopen-source material is another important challenge for us, and one that needsto be followed and pursued in order to weave in -- in a constructive w ay --with the clandestine collection that this Agency does. These are importantquestions that I am just not informed about.

Q: The press made quite a bit out of your response to Senator Specter'srather lengthy question regarding moving terrori sm, narcotics, and crimeelsewhere. Could we ask you, without a long lead-in, what are your thoughts onthat subject?

DCI: Well, when you get a question like that, I think the importantanswer is to say that your mind is not closed, which is what I think I said tohim. I do think it is important -- and I spoke about this to the AttorneyGeneral yesterday when she was swearing me in -- that is we really ought tosay, "What is the best way to get this job done?," and pull back from issues of, "Where should we put it organizationally?" It is very important for thecountry for us to get our hands on this and change it from a discussion about,"Who is in charge?", into, "How do we best get the job done?" If you do that,I think there is a unique role for foreign intelligence as we know it, which isgoing to do very well. So I think the question is, "What is the best way toget these jobs done?", and then the role of the Intelligence Community, Ithink, is going to be to follow from that a nd remain very sturdy and veryimportant. I don't think it is only a law enforcement problem, if that is thequestion.

Q: Based on your familiarity with the Directorate of Intelligence productsas a key consumer, do you believe there is any need to revise any of ourproducts?

DCI: I am only knowledgeable about a sliver of it, and I probablyhaven't spent as much time reading it as I should. I just don't know that Icould give you an informed answer to that question. [Deputy Dire ctor forIntelligence] Doug MacEachin has done a terrific job in making intelligencemeaningful for at least the Deputy Secretary of Defense and for otherleadership, but I have not done a good survey of the products, nor have I askeda broad range of con sumers what they think about the products. I can only saythat personally, I have been impressed with what I have gotten from theDirectorate of Intelligence, but it doesn't come from reading a big fraction ofthe product. It comes from directing our ac tion.

Q: What words of wisdom do you have for the most junior employees of theorganization, the people who have come in during the last few years and areperhaps wondering whether they have a long-term future with thisorganization?

DC I: Of course, that is very much on my mind. I do think that you haveto look at every organization, especially at a time of downsizing, and ask,"How are you bringing in a new generation?", and how are your personnelprocedures, your professional de velopment, doing at bringing in new individualsand getting them to be part of the system, because the organization cannotsurvive with the practices and the procedures of the past? No organizationcan. And I must admit that what I have heard has led me to believe that weneed to devote attention to the process of bringing in new people and theirprofessional development in the Agency. A similar problem was certainlypresent among the civilian part of the Department of Defense and the Office ofthe Sec retary of Defense. In a time of downsizing, it is hard to accomplishall of your personnel goals. But we should be well aware that thisinstitution will suffer desperately if we don't make the changes now that allowus and assure us that we will attrac t and retain the very best people forcareers in intelligence. This is a subject which will get a good deal ofattention from me -- the entire process of attracting, vetting, training, anddeveloping young people from a broad range of America into the ca reer servicehere. It is something very important to pay attention to.

Q: Where do you stand on the Agency's role in terms of supporting US commercial interests?

DCI: I don't believe that this Agency should support commercialenti ties in the United States. I believe the Agency has an important role inwhat I would call economic intelligence, an important role in providing theprincipal policymakers in this country a view of where economies are going.There is an important role, a counterintelligence role, of helping Americanbusiness know when they are being compromised. But in terms of giving specificassistance to individual US firms, I think that would be a mistake for theforeign intelligence system of this country to do and should be avoided.


Thank you all very much. ((applause))

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