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TITLE:AUTHOR:VOLUME:Approved for Release: 2014/07/29 000622792The Gates Hearings:Politicization and Soviet Analysis at CIA(b)(3)(c)38 ISSUE: Spring YEAR: 1994Approved for Release: 2014/07/29 000622792 d for Release. 2014/07/29 000622792'STUDIES ININTELLIGENCEA collection of articles on the historical, operational, doctrinal, and theoretical aspects of intelligence.All statements of fact, opinion or analysis expressed in Studies in Intelligence are those ofthe authors. They do not necessarily reflect official positions or views of the CentralIntelligence Agency or any other US Government entity, past or present. Nothing in thecontents should be construed as asserting or implying US Government endorsement of anarticle's factual statements and interpretations.Approved for Release: 2014/07/29 0006227920 Approved for Release: 2014/07/29 000622792Contentious confirmationThe Gates Hearings:Politicization and Soviet Analysis at CIA(b)(3)(c)Editor's Note: This article uses the testimony of wit-nesses at the DCI confirmation hearings of RobertGates in September and October 1991 to present thecontroversy over alleged politicization of Soviet analysisby the CIA in the 1980s. Though its original purposewas to provide a framework for public discussion of theissue, it is offered here as a stimulus to internal debateamong intelligence analysts.On 16 September 1991, Senator David Boren gaveledto order the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence(SSCI). In the witness chair for confirmation hearingswas Deputy National Security Adviser Robert Gates,recently nominated by President Bush to replace Will-iam Webster as Director of Central Intelligence. Thiswas Gates's second chance to head the agency in whichhe had spent most of his career. President Reagan hadnominated him in 1987, following the death of WilliamCasey, but Gates?then Casey's deputy?decided towithdraw when questions were raised about how muchhe knew of the Iran-contra affair, which was just begin-ning to break.In some ways, the timing of the second nomination wasno better than the first. Gates would still have to resolvethe Senate's lingering doubts about his Iran-contra role,but he would also need to confront new charges thatCIA had failed to anticipate the collapse of the foreigncountry he knew better than any other?the SovietUnion.At the heart of both issues was Gates's relationshipwith Casey. Gates, a CIA analyst with a Ph.D. inSoviet studies, had caught Casey's eye as a bright andambitious staff assistant early in the DCI's tenure. Hequickly became Casey's prot?, installed as head ofthe Directorate of Intelligence (DI) in 1982 beforereaching his 40th birthday, and elevated to the number-two position in the Agency in 1986. Casey was an7unrelenting cold warrior, and his outspoken anti-Sovietbeliefs and rhetoric were seen by many CIA officers asinappropriate in an agency that prided itself on rigorousobjectivity. Gates would find himself accused of impos-ing his and Casey's hardline view of the Soviet Unionon a more skeptical CIA analytic bureaucracy.Gates's views on the USSR were relevant to the confir-mation process in two ways. First, as the highest rank-ing analytic manager under Casey between 1982 and1986, Gates was the final reviewing authority on all CIAestimates and assessments of Soviet policies. Second,as a substantive specialist on the Soviet Union, he hadoften held forth publicly and testified before Congresson his view of the Soviet threat. In the first role, hisintegrity was the issue; in the second, his substantivejudgment.Gates's performance of the first role was more importantin determining whether he would be confirmed. TheSenators were probably willing to tolerate tardiness inrecognizing the end of Communism in the SovietUnion?Gates and the CIA had not been alone on thatscore. But integrity was essential to a DCI. If an intel-ligence agency could not be trusted to be objective, itwould surely be resisted or ignored by the rest of thegovernment. The SSCI would thus subject Gates'stewardship of CIA analysis in the early- and mid-1980sto close scrutiny.Intelligence and the USSRA primary role of intelligence is to help American for-eign policymakers make informed decisions. To thisend, the intelligence agencies daily inundate the policydepartments with what Gates has called a river of infor-mation and analysis. This flow includes materials asApproved for Release: 2014/07/29 000622792 Approved for Release: 2014/07/29 000622792diverse as biographic profiles of foreign leaders, interna-tional trade statistics, locations and physical characteris-tics of ballistic missiles, descriptions of narcoticstrafficking networks, and estimates of future conditionsin various countries.The potential value to the policy community of theseproducts turns on their accuracy, balance, and presumedimpartiality. CIA's status as an independent agency, freeof the bias that can taint intelligence produced by poli-cymaking departments, is supposed to guarantee that itsonly obligation is to the truth?and that it will, inGates's words, "tell it like it is, with the bark off."The trauma of being taken by surprise at Pearl Harborbrought CIA into being, but it was the persistence ofthe Soviet threat that sustained it until the 1990s. Dur-ing most of the 1980s, as throughout the Cold War, theAgency's most policy-relevant analytic work was onSoviet intentions and capabilities. For more than 40years, half of the Agency's resources were devoted tocollecting and analyzing intelligence on the USSR.At the beginning of the Casey-Gates years, the idea thatthe Soviet Union might soon be free of Communistrule?or collapse altogether?would have seemed likea fantasy, both to the American public and to the Intelli-gence Community. The unraveling of detente in the1970s had culminated in the USSR's 1979 invasion ofAfghanistan, and a national consensus had begun toform on the need for stepped-up defense spending.This issue was one of several that Ronald Reagan rodeinto the White House in 1980.During the first years of the Reagan administration,including most of the years Robert Gates served as Dep-uty Director for Intelligence (DDI), US-Soviet relationswere extremely tense. Reagan's "evil empire" rhetoricand the installation of short-range nuclear missiles inEurope led, as we later learned, to genuine Soviet fearof an American nuclear strike. On the Soviet side, old,ailing, and conservative leaders held sway from 1980until 1985, reducing the likelihood of any new thinkingin Moscow on how to reduce tensions with the West.In the face of this mutual hostility, President Reagancharged William Casey with revitalizing American intel-ligence and combating Soviet expansionism. Casey'sHearingspassionate pursuit of this second goal made many insid-ers wonder if he could provide policymakers with objec-tive intelligence on the Soviet Union. Harold Ford, aveteran intelligence officer, testified at the Gates hear-ings that "the seventh flOor [the Agency's executivesuite] had this great vision of 'the Russians are coming'everywhere in the world." Reports began to circulatearound CIA that Casey was "appalled" by the product ofCIA analysts and that he was rejecting what he feltwere overly "soft" national estimates of Soviet activi-ties and intentions. Commenting on a draft assessmentthat minimized the Soviet role in international terror-ism, according to journalist Bob Woodward, Caseysaid, "read Claire Sterling's book [The Terror Network]and forget this mush."Casey seemed especially convinced of Soviet aggressiveintentions in the Third World. As Ford put it, "TheDirector had a thing about that, and he would oftencome to Congress with all kinds of big charts with redsplotches" scattered throughout Asia, Africa, and LatinAmerica. In 1985, the National Intelligence Officer(N10) for Latin America resigned, claiming that Caseyhad pressed for an estimate exaggerating the implica-tions of Mexico's normally turbulent politics and por-traying that country as ripe for instability and spreadingSoviet influence.Casey's defenders conceded that he had strong opinionsbut denied that he imposed them on CIA analysts. "Mr.Casey was indeed impatient with analysts who cleavedto a narrow interpretation of events, and he could beintimidating," admitted Graham Fuller, a former MOfor the Middle East. "But he was willing to take aswell as to give, if he had any respect for the interlocu-tor.... Casey respected the judgment of those who seri-ously defended their views." In one episode carefullynoted in intelligence circles, Casey sent back an esti-mate reporting that the Nicaraguan contras?whom hesupported wholeheartedly?had no domestic politicalbase, only to release it when analysts reaffirmed theirarguments.It was Robert Gates, however, who was directly respon-sible for overseeing CIA's analytic output. Gatesshared Casey's basic predisposition towards the USSR.8Approved for Release: 2014/07/29 000622792 5Approved for Release: 2014/07/29 000622792HearingsThe similarity of their views, presumably, was one rea-son Casey had been drawn to Gates in the first place. Atthe hearings, Graham Fuller, who worked closely withGates, offered this judgment: "Gates did share a hard-line view, but a very well-informed view of the SovietUnion, independent of Casey." He added, "The interna-tional situation at that time, I would argue, justified afairly hard-line view in any case." CIA's top Sovietanalytic manager, Douglas MacEachin, agreed, addingthat Gates "had a strong personality, he held positionsvery strongly, he challenged positions very heavily, andhis views of the Soviet threat roughly coincided with theviews of most of the people senior [to him].""Reading" the Gorbachev RevolutionIn 1985, Mikhail Gorbachev became head of the SovietCommunist Party, but several more years went bybefore the US analytic community became persuadedof the seriousness of his efforts to restructure the Sovietsystem. In 1986, Senator Bill Bradley asked Gates, thenCasey's deputy, whether there might come a time whenthe Soviet Union might be open to "fundamentalchange." The idea seemed so far-fetched to Gates thathe told Bradley, "Quite frankly, and without any hintthat such fundamental change is going on, my resourcesdo not permit me the luxury of sort of just idly speculat-ing on what a different kind of Soviet Union might looklike."In 1991, intelligence critics in Congress, including Bra-dley, judged that a little "idle speculation" five yearsbefore might have helped policymakers to understandbetter what had happened later. The surprising politicaland economic collapse of the "main enemy" had leftmany policymakers wondering why they could notremember any advance warning of the collapse inAgency publications. Charging that it had botched itscentral mission, Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihandeclared that "the CIA's useful life is at an end."Agency insiders knew that this criticism was overdrawnand that it misrepresented the value of a great deal ofsound intelligence analysis. Even some Senatorssprang to the CIA's defense. During the Gates hear-ings, for example, Senator John Glenn said the Agencyhas been "faulted perhaps too much in past years fornot foreseeing some things that would have required aninfallible crystal ball."9Though criticism of the Agency for perceived analyticmisjudgments was common, until the Gates hearingsthe Senate had not heard plausible allegations of sys-tematic distortion of analysis by Agency managers.Public discussion of this issue had been limited to dissi-dents like the NIO for Latin America, in connectionwith the Mexican estimate, and journalists like BobWoodward. In his book on Casey, Veil: The SecretWars of the CIA, Woodward left the firm (but undocu-mented) impression that the DCI's anti-Soviet views hada strong impact on the analytic process, and sometimeson the analytic product.Now, in September 1991, several former Agency ana-lysts were coming forward to allege that the CIA'sSoviet analysis had indeed been "politicized"or slantedto match the views of Casey and the President. If theseallegations were true, a proper analysis of the SovietUnion's mounting difficulties might not have been pos-sible in the Agency's bureaucratic climate beforeCasey's death in 1987. Was the CIA guilty of suppress-ing intelligence on the Soviet Union?Analysis Under FireThe DI, one of four major subdivisions of the CIA, ischarged with analyzing raw intelligence informationand passing its conclusions to foreign policymakers inthe form of written reports and oral briefings. TheDirectorate's product?intelligence analysis?is shapedby hundreds of mostly young foreign area specialistsrecruited from the best American universities. DI ana-lysts are selected primarily for their ability to think logi-cally and to express themselves clearly and concisely.A premium is also placed on collegiality, for all differ-ences among analysts have to be negotiated and ,resolved in order to arrive at findings that the entireAgency can stand behind. The result is occasional fric-tion and considerable intellectual give and take.The DI was preoccupied by the aftereffects of a majorreorganization when Gates took over in late 1981.Offices that had previously been devoted to single-disci-pline political, economic, and military research hadrecently been rearranged into several geographicoffices, mixing skills in order to encourage multidisci-plinary analysis. Thus, political analysts sometimesApproved for Release: 2014/07/29 000622792 Approved for Release: 2014/07/29 000622792found themselves working for economists or militaryspecialists, and vice versa. As Gates later noted,"There was predictable great disruption and a lot ofunhappiness on the part of a lot of analysts who foundtheir familiar worlds and surroundings turned upsidedown."The new Office of Soviet Analysis (SOVA) got off to aparticularly difficult beginning. A large number ofSoviet political, economic, and military analysts weremerged into what Douglas MacEachin called a "forcedculture." He recalled at the Gates confirmation hear-ings that "it was the only office in the DI which tookwhole pieces?the main core?out of the three [previ-ous] principal offices, and put them all together." Bythe time MacEachin was appointed director of SOVA in1984, the office was still in turmoil. "I knew I had a lotof hard work," he said. In a shortsighted attempt tofree up more space at the Headquarters building, SOVAwas physically moved to a distant building, with furthernegative consequences for management and morale.A Tough Speech"Four months after all this happened," Gates told theSSCI in September 1991, "I came along." The suddenascendancy of Gates, who had barely a year of experi-ence in line management at CIA, surprised and to someextent upset the conservative DI bureaucracy. Heimmediately heightened concerns with a speech to theentire Directorate, assembled in the Headquarters audi-torium, that senior DI analysts still talk about. In it, hesent out a clear signal that the status quo would nolonger do:I have seen analysis that was irrelevant or untimelyor unfocused, or all three; failure by analysts to fore-see important developments or events; closed-minded, smug, arrogant responses to legitimate ques-tions and constructive criticism; flabby, complacentthinking and questionable assumptions combinedwith an intolerance of others' views, both in and outof CIA...; poor, verbose writing; a pronounced ten-dency to confuse objectivity and independence withavoidance of issues germane to the United Statesand policymakers...; and analysis that too oftenproved inaccurate or too fuzzy to judge whether itwas even right or wrong.HearingsGates intended to strengthen a product that he thoughthad been defective for years. Long before he becameDDI, Gates had had problems with CIA's approach tothe Soviet Union. As early as 1973, when he was still ajunior analyst, he had written an article in Studies inIntelligence criticizing Soviet political analysis.Returning to the Agency after spending much of the1970s on the National Security Council staff, Gatescalled CIA's work in this area "flabby." He asserted atthe hearings that Soviet analysts had taken an overlycharitable view of Soviet foreign policy goals, thusmissing the likelihood and significance of several previ-ous Soviet inroads into the Third World?in Angola in1975, Ethiopia in 1977, Afghanistan in 1979, and inCentral America throughout the 1970s. "The need formore rigorous work was evident," he asserted. "Sur-veys of users of intelligence suggested it was our weak-est area."Gates told the Directorate that Casey, too, was "deeplyconcerned about the quality of the Directorate's work,"and that he, Gates, had a mandate to bring accountabil-ity to analysis and "to implement far-reaching changesin the way we went about our business." He concededlater that some analysts and managers had beenoffended by the speech, arguing that they resented the"obvious intent to diminish their autonomy" and"greatly disliked the idea of accountability."Rigorous ReviewThe means by which Gates intended to increaseaccountability was the so-called analytic review process.All major research papers written by DI analysts had tobe reviewed in draft by the branch chief, division chief,and office director. Papers tended to get the closestscrutiny at the branch level, but more senior managerscould and did have an impact on them ranging fromsimple style editing to major revisions to "killing" themoutright. Though analysts chafed under this frequentlylong and arduous procedure, DI management had notrouble justifying it; after all, the written intelligenceassessment was the DI's reason for being.10Approved for Release: 2014/07/29 000622792 Approved for Release: 2014/07/29 000622792HearingsGates underlined the purpose and importance of this rig-orous approach at the hearings:The much-maligned review process takes the analy-sis of a single individual, challenges assumptions,asks questions and hopefully scrubs out the biases ofthe analyst, as well as others at all levels, thus turn-ing the draft of an individual into the official view ofCIA or the Intelligence Community. The process canbe rough and tumble.Now Gates proposed to add another level to involvehimself directly in the review process. His predeces-sors had not personally approved papers unless theywere going to senior policymakers. Gates intended toread and approve every DI assessment in draft, and hepromised in his introductory speech to do so within 48hours. This was designed to reassure analysts whomight be appalled by the prospect of additional delayand to set an example for his managers, who had beenknown to allow papers to languish unread for weeks.It quickly became clear, moreover, that the DDI'sreview would not be pro forma. Papers began comingback from Gates's office with numerous handwrittennotes and questions in the margin. Sometimes, theywere accompanied by long memorandums setting forthhis detailed reactions and objections or questioning cer-tain lines of argument. Occasionally, he recommendedthat papers be completely reworked or dropped.After listening to the testimony of several former ana-lysts during the Gates confirmation hearings, SenatorWarren Rudman concluded that some of them felt"intellectually assaulted" by the DDI's blunt missives.Gates noted that he had been "very careful, and I won'tsay I was 100-percent successful, but I tried to be verycareful never to personalize my criticisms." He alsoclaimed that some analysts had seemed challenged byhis close attention to the product.Intellectual WarfareGates believed that he was bringing to the review pro-cess a much-needed "iterative dialogue" between himand the analyst. Many times, however, the hoped-for11dialogue did not take place, because analysts and man-agers seemed reluctant to press their case. At the hear-ings, Gates admitted that this had been so, and heconceded that his own style might have been partly toblame. "I am probably not the easiest person in theworld to work for," he said. "I am fairly demanding,and I'm probably, at times, more direct than I might bein terms of people's egos."Hurt feelings and damaged egos, in any case, seemed tobe occupational hazards in the highly charged anddemanding environment in which CIA analystsworked. Graham Fuller told the Senators that analysiswas "not a game for kids." He described an atmo-sphere that was "full of fireworks," in which "real hard-ball was played." Gates himself put it best in trying toexplain the turmoil: "These issues are important. Andpeople are going to argue, and they're going to fight,and they're going to debate. This is a turbulent busi-ness. This ain't beanbag." He added, "most analystsdo well in the give-and-take. But some do not."For the analysts, even more was at stake than damageto their egps. To, get promoted, they had to produce suc-cessful written assessments. "We live in a publish orperish world, Mr. Chairman," MacEachin told theSSCI. "And when an analyst gets a paper rejected,that's a serious blow. They start to think about [their]careers."Listening to the testimony, Senator Slade Gorton pro-claimed this institutionalized intellectual warfare ahealthy thing. "Imagine!" he remarked, "Analysts atCIA differ from one another on the way in which theyapproach particular issues." He went on:They start from different philosophical bases, theyread facts differently, they weigh them differently,some are more willing than others to take leaps offaith, they argue with one another bitterly and deeplyon a number of issues, they are annoyed when theirviews on one level are not instantly and completelyheeded by others on some higher level. It soundsexactly like almost every other organization in Amer-ica. And it sounds to me like a damn good idea.Approved for Release: 2014/07/29 000622792 Approved for Release: 2014/07/29 000622792Bitter DebateCasey's reputed heavyhandedness and Gates's closescrutiny of the analysis aggravated a longstandingdebate within the DI about the nature and severity of theSoviet threat. In his testimony, MacEachin described adeep and bitter division in Soviet analytic ranks betweenwhat were derogatorily termed "knuckledraggers" and"Commie symps." The former saw Soviet foreign poli-cies as relentlessly aggressive and thought of themselvesas "hardnosed realists"; the latter believed the evidencepointed to Soviet "retrenchment and retreat" rather thanexpansion and portrayed themselves as "rational think-ers."The two groups, said MacEachiti, were particularlydivided "on the question of how much they saw Sovietforeign policy actions being driven by sort of old-lineideological concerns versus some sort of modern, practi-cal politics." Oversimplified, the "knuckledraggers"argued that the Soviet leadership was committed to apolicy of expansion and permanent hostility to theWest, while the "Commie symps" believed that the' USSR was motivated by "objective" national interests,and therefore behaved much like any other country.These terms of opprobrium reflected some mutual dis-dain, born of prolonged intellectual combat. Each fac-tion "tended to suspect the other's motives,"MacEachin recalled, "or to suspect the other's objectiv-ity." For 26 years, he testified with apparent exaspera-tion;he had had to listen to these "same approaches andcontests and clashes of egos." At one point, DDI Gatesrecalled telling MacEachin that he thought the atmo-sphere in SOVA was "poisonous."Within the DI, the main exemplars of the two competingschools of thought, many believed, were DDI Gatesand Melvin Goodman, who had been chief of SOVA'sThird World Division until 1985. The conflict betweenthe two, once friends and colleagues as junior Sovietanalysts in the 1960s, spilled out into the Gates confir-mation hearings as a blend of substantive disagreementand?on Goodman's part, at least?personal rivalry.Gates's Chief CriticHearingsAn articulate and outspoken Soviet foreign policy spe-cialist, Goodman had found himself increasingly atodds with Gates after the latter's promotion to DDI in1982. In 1985, Goodman was removed from his job ashead of Soviet Third World analysis?an action takenby SOYA Director MacEachin but one that Goodmanbelieves was ordered by Gates. A year later, he wasremoved from SOYA and assigned to the National WarCollege. He returned to the Agency briefly in 1989, buthe resigned the following year.Two of his colleagues testified at the hearings thatGoodman's uncompromising views and energetic intel-lectual leadership exerted a polarizing influence on ana-lytic debate in SOVA. Goodman's Third WorldDivision, MacEachin recalled, seemed to regard anyeffort by management to defend its own views as politi-cally motivated and "tended to see itself in a holy warwith the administration." Another Soviet senior analysttestified that the otherwise "very engaging" Goodmanshowed "a different side in dealing with substantiveconflict on the job." In explaining his reasons for send-ing Goodman to the National War College, MacEachintold the Senate that "Don Quixote had gone after onetoo many windmills."At the hearings, however, Goodman electrified theSSCI by charging Gates with using the review processto impose his own conclusions about Soviet intentions,regardless of their evidentiary base, against the betterjudgment of working-level analysts and managers. Heaccused Gates, in so doing, of "corrupting the processand ethics of intelligence" and defending Casey's worldview of the Soviet Union as "the source of all US prob-lems in the international arena." The result, he believed,was that "data... was suppressed, particularly withregard to Soviet retrenchment and retreat." At the Gatesconfirmation hearings, Goodman reviewed at lengthseveral specific cases in which he felt intelligence hadthus been politicized, including the DI's assessments ofSoviet inroads in Iran, of possible Soviet involvementin the attempted assassination of the Pope, and ofSoviet support to Nicaragua.12Approved for Release: 2014/07/29 000622792 Approved for Release: 2014/07/29 000622792HearingsArguing Soviet StrategyThe dispute that especially rankled Goodman involvedhis own 1982 draft estimate on Soviet activities in theThird World, which found "unmistakable signs" thatsuch activities were leveling off or declining in num-ber. Gates found the draft unpersuasive. Upon readingit, he sent Goodman a memo arguing that the estimateoverlooked the "creativity of the Soviet approach" andthe "ideological and political motives that have impelledthe Soviet Union to an activist role in the Third Worldnow for more than 60 years." He also said that Good-man's work had "missed a major historical and politicaldevelopment in failing to point out.. .just how surro-gates are used in the Third World. This is a fundamen-tal flaw in the draft, in my judgment."Angry but undeterred, Goodman continued to build hiscase. In 1985, he enlisted the aid of a noted scholar,who had developed a methodology for assessing Sovietinfluence-building efforts in Asia, Africa, and LatinAmerica. "I think methodology is very important in thisprocess," Goodman reflected during the Gates hearings.We looked at indicators of military aid, economicaid, Soviet advisers, ship days in out-of-area waters.And all of these indicators were either stagnant, somewere even dropping. We thought we had an impor-tant message ...We thought we had good evidence.But Goodman's evidence had little apparent impact onGates or upon the view of Soviet foreign policy Gatespresented in public. In 1986, Gates made a speech call-ing on Americans to realize "the strategic significanceof the Soviet offensive, that it is in reality awar... against Western influence." He listed three "ulti-mate targets" of Soviet strategy in the Third World:"Oil fields in the Middle East, which are the lifeline ofthe West, the Isthmus and Canal of Panama betweenNorth and South America, and the mineral wealth ofSouthern Africa." Though Gates labeled these views hisown, Goodman was appalled. "There was no evidence,no good evidence, that you could cite to support thesecharges," he exclaimed at the Gates confirmation hear-ings.13Goodman also argued that Gates's reaction was typicalin its excessive emphasis on Soviet ideology and that itfit a larger pattern. It was easy, he claimed, for Sovietanalysts at CIA to "give our best guess when the Sovietswere involved in one nefarious activity after another,but we couldn't even guess at all when it meant thatthere were signs that the Soviets maybe were being con-ciliatory or moderate in some fashion." Goodmanlamented the resultant loss of "all the analysis we werenever permitted to say.. .the intelligence that policymak-ers never got, trends that were never reported, [and] datathat was suppressed."Perceived PressureSome witnesses at the Gates confirmation hearingsattested to the high level of frustration in SOVA and theinclination of some analysts to distrust management'smotives. MacEachin recalled a "very strong feelingthat somehow we had to compensate for Casey'sviews." In testimony otherwise sympathetic to Gatesand Casey, Graham Fuller conceded that SOVA ana-lysts had become "shellshocked by Casey's interest inpursuing things that he thought were strategicallyimportant.... They were maybe tired of running aftersome of his particular private, or not so private, con-cerns."Even more disturbing was the possibility that perceivedpressure from the seventh floor might have causedsome SOVA officers to anticipate criticism and toadjust their behavior accordingly. MacEachin recalledthat a division chief once asked him, in a discussion ofthe analytic "line" to be taken on an assessment, "Howdo you want me to go on this?" MacEachin added. "Iwas fairly shocked about that." A SOVA branch chieftestified that his people "eventually understood whatwould and would not get through the front office, andthere developed...a self-censoring atmosphere." In histestimony, Goodman asked that the Senators try todevelop "an appreciation of the feeling of intimidationthat existed in that building."Approved for Release: 2014/07/29 000622792 Approved for Release: 2014/07/29 000622792Other CriticsTwo other former CIA analysts, Jennifer Glaudemansand Harold Ford, came forward to add weight to Good-man's charges. These officers differed widely in experi-ence. Glaudemans, a young Soviet specialist, becamean analyst in SOYA in 1985?her first permanentAgency position. At the hearings, she acknowledgedher junior standing and sometimes professed to bespeaking for "people down at my level, which was thebottom." Ford was a respected veteran of 40 years inthe intelligence business, much of it with the Agency'shighly regarded estimates staff.Neither Glaudemans nor Ford could offer direct evi-dence of improper behavior by Gates, and neither hadpersonally experienced poliiicization at the hands of theDDI. Ford even noted that Gates's working relationswith him had always been above reproach. Glaude-mans stated that she and her colleagues could "feel Mr.Gates's contempt" and "sense his party line." She pro-duced a memo from her division chief which suggestedways of "improving" the division's analysis, but thememo was neither particularly remarkable nor could itbe linked to Gates. She also noted that politicizationwas elusive, describing it as "like fog." Senator JohnDanforth appeared uncomfortable with her lack of spe-cifics, reminding the committee that she was relying pri-marily on her "general perception of what was going onin the office, sort of the feel of the place."Ford seemed to argue that where there was smoke,there had to have been fire. Too many people herespected, he said, had complained to him about theDDI's behavior over the years for something not to bewrong. He noted that roughly 16 to 18 Agency officershad offered him encouragement and support when theyheard he was going to testify against the Gates nomina-tion. As if anticipating the charge of basing his testi-mony on hearsay, Ford added:This is not a court of law. And the questions of hear-say and the evidence are a little different.... When...people are moved from position to position.. .andthey have told me so, and I have learned of it,because their views did not accord, to me that is evi-1dence. When people have come to me and told meand shown me papers that they have written withinthe DDI that were killed, that to me is evidence.HearingsAlleged PoliticizationAmong the most debated cases of alleged politicizationat the Gates hearings centered on a 1985 CIA assess-ment of the likelihood of Soviet complicity in theattempted assassination of Pope John Paul II in 1981.At the hearings, the Senators grappled with charges andcountercharges about the so-called Papal paper thathelped illuminate the arcane procedures and productionprocesses of intelligence analysis but left many of themas confused and divided about the presence of politici-zation at the end of the sessions as they were at thebeginning.There could be no confusion, however, about the viewof Casey and the Reagan administration on theattempted assassination. "Now everybody in Washing-ton, including Bill Casey, wanted to hang this on theSoviets," testified John McMahon, Casey's deputy from1982 until 1986. "There was a book written on theSoviet involvement and Casey was very persuaded.And so he kept beating back on the DDI saying, youknow, there has to be something to it."In 1983, the CIA had produced a report on the incidentthat seemed to rule out a Soviet role, but the lack of evi-dence available at the time made it unpersuasive evento intelligence managers, let alone the DCI. Inresponse to Casey's prodding, and with the receipt ofsome new evidence, Gates commissioned anotherassessment in 1985.The growing frustration and "shellshock" in SOYAover Casey's perceived interference with analysis guar-anteed a cynical reaction to the assignment. At theGates confirmation hearings, Goodman led the attackon this second Papal paper, Agca's Attempt To Kill thePope: The Case for Soviet Involvement. The essence ofhis charges was that Gates had orchestrated the writingof an assessment that knowingly misrepresented the evi-dence and thus confirmed Casey's suspicions.To support his case, Goodman pointed to several sup-posed irregularities in the writing of the report?that itwas prepared virtually in secret; that it was rushedthrough to publication before it could be properly coor-1 4Approved for Release: 2014/07/29 000622792 Approved for Release: 2014/07/29 000622792Hearingsdinated with other experts at the Agency; that Gateshad deleted a prefatory "scope note" pointing out to thereader that counterarguments to Soviet complicity hadnot been included; that its contents were misrepresentedto consumers in a covering memo from Gates as "themost balanced and comprehensive work on the sub-ject"; and that Gates had tampered with the paper'sexecutive summary to leave a stronger impression ofSoviet involvement than the body of the paper couldsupport.Process aside, the thrust of the paper struck Goodman asanalytically illegitimate. He charged that Casey haddirected Gates to "write the case for Soviet involve-ment." Thus, the paper, by focusing only on how theSoviets could have been behind the attempted assassina-tion, failed to consider the case that they were not.How, Goodman argued, could such a paper be consid-ered "balanced and comprehensive?" The final prod-uct, he claimed, put excessive credence in a "flimsy"-(b)(3)(n)s a resu t, t e assessment was terrible. Thescenario was farfetched. The analysis was tendentious."source pointin to Soviet com elicitA PostmortemGoodman placed particular emphasis on the findings ofan internal CIA postmortem, prepared by senior ana-lytic managers several months after publication of thePapal paper. Relying primarily on interviews with ana-lysts and managers, it had noted a widespread percep-tion that the paper had an "unusual thrust for anintelligence assessment" and that it had "stacked thedeck" by considering only the Soviet role. The reportalso pointed to an "inconsistency between the key judg-ments and the text" and observed that, in the haste topublish the paper, "the coordination process was essen-tially circumvented."But was the paper politicized, or was it merely flawed?According to the author and managers of the paper, itwas neither. They came forward at the Gates hearingsto say that the circumstances of its publication, whileunusual, were perfectly proper. Gates had apparentlytaken pains to disassociate himself from Casey'sviews. "All of us knew that Mr. Casey was strongly15inclined to believe that the Soviets had played a role,"testified Lance Haus, the project manager for the Papalpaper. "Mr. Gates repeated that he was agnostic aboutthe issue.... At no point did [he] specify or suggest whatour findings should be.... None of us felt any pressureto have the report say one thing or another."The postmortem agreed. It noted that "there appears tohave been a conscious effort on the part of upper man-agement?the DDI, at least?to keep hands off the DIproduct in order to avoid the appearance of manipulat-ing the analytic process."Haus also defended the way the paper had been man-aged and reviewed. Though it was prepared on whateveryone acknowledged to be a "close-hold" basis, ithad been "fully coordinated" and "cleared by virtuallyeveryone who knew anything about the case." Conced-ing that a-(b)(3)(n) source had been a "keyelement in our conclusions," Haus nevertheless insistedthat "if [the DO] had serious doubts about the source,they never voiced them to us." He proclaimed the paper"balanced and sound" and "true to the information andconvincing in its argument." On the key question ofthe DDI's review of the draft, he declared Gates blame-less.Mr. Gates did not drop any scope note.... I elimi-nated it after consultation with [the coauthor]. Ithought it was wishy-washy and redundant. Thoughhe reviewed them, Mr. Gates did not draft or redraftthe key judgments?I did, with help from [the coau-thor]. Finally, Mr. Gates did not draft the transmittalnotes, although he certainly reviewed them. Again,I did. This was standard procedure.Several senior intelligence managers defended thePapal paper's exclusive emphasis on the Soviet role andfailure to include alternate possibilities. Acting DCIRichard Kerr, a close associate of Gates for many years,called it a process of "hypothesis testing." "We do thison a regular basis," he told the Senate. "We set up ascenario and pursue that, to see if, in fact, the evidencewould support it." Adding weight to Kerr's explana-tion was the fact that Soviet complicity was the onlyApproved for Release: 2014/07/29 000622792 Approved for Release: 2014/07/29 000622792issue surrounding the assassination attempt that inter-ested US policymakers. Kay Oliver, a SOVA analystwho drafted a contribution to the Papal paper, reasoned:"If the Soviets were not involved, it did not matter agreat deal to US policy whether the Gray Wolves,Mafia elements, or Agca alone was responsible for thecrime."With all the key participants in the drafting of the Papalpaper in essential agreement about the facts of the case,Goodman's argument stood undermined by his ownnoninvolvement with the paper and reliance on hearsayin his testimony. MacEachin also criticized his formercolleague for his tendency to make sweeping charges?to say, for example, "Bob Gates rewrote the key judg-ments," rather than "I've heard reports" that this hap-pened.When some of the verifiable charges made by Good-man turned out not to be exactly true?for example, thecovering memo to readers did not call the paper the"most balanced and comprehensive work on the sub-ject," but merely a "comprehensive examination"?thetide began to turn against this challenge to the Gatesnomination. Senator Rudman, outraged by what he con-sidered Goodman's inability to substantiate many of hischarges, called his testimony "an attempted assassina-tion of [Gates's] character" and "McCarthyism, pureand simple."Some IrregularitiesYet the postmortem did seem to have revealed irregular-ities in the preparation of the Papal paper. A panel ofsenior managers had been able to find "no one at theworking level in either the DI or the DO?other than theprimary authors of the paper?who agreed with thethrust of the assessment." The same group "could findno compelling reasons to rush this paper to completionwithout benefit of all expert views."And Gates himself implicitly agreed that the paper wasunbalanced. "In retrospect," he conceded, "the covernote probably should have indicated what in fact wasthe primary deficiency of the paper, and that was that itdid not thoroughly examine all of the alternatives thatwere available... .And as DDI. ..I would have to takeresponsibility for that."HearingsBut irregularities did not necessarily add up to politici-zation. And the complicated discussion revealed thatpoliticization was indeed, as Glaudemans had admitted,an elusive concept. The Papal postmortem admitted that"despite the DDI's best efforts," there was a widespreadperception that the paper had "upper-level direction."But it concluded that the behavior of managers belowthe top level had to be looked at as well. It suggestedthat there may have been "not so much DCI or DDIdirection as... an effort on the part of some managers atthe next one or two levels down to be responsive to per-ceived DCI and DDI desires."CounterattackOn 3 October 1991, Gates returned to the SSCI to try torescue his nomination. Earlier regarded as a shoo-infor confirmation following what The Washington Postdescribed as a "bloodless" first week, Gates was nowbeing encouraged publicly by Chairman McCurdy of theHouse Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence toresign if he could not "with absolute certainty disprovethe charges," a task McCurdy judged was "almostimpossible, because it now gets down to his wordagainst that of the analysts...." First-week praise forGates from such high-ranking former intelligence offi-cials as Admiral Inman and John McMahon, both dep-uty DCIs under Casey, and his own deft handling ofquestions on Iran-contra were not by themselves goingto put him over the top.Gates began by noting that it was "discouraging to seethat the old battles, the old problems, the strong feel-ings about management's role in the analytic pro-cess...have not diminished in intensity even in theyears since I left the Agency." He denied that he or theDI had ever provided "intelligence to please" anddefended the integrity of the analytic process. To allegethat politicization had polluted analysis over so manyyears, as Goodman and others had, implied that "hun-dreds of analysts and managers in CIA either acquiescedin it, ignored it, somehow missed it, or joined it. Andthat's ridiculous." The "much-maligned" review pro-cess, he added, "wasn't easy, but it was far fromclosed. It was rigorous, but it was fair. People whowanted to be heard were heard. I was demanding and16Approved for Release: 2014/07/29 000622792 Approved for Release: 2014/07/29 C00622792Hearingsblunt, probably sometimes too much so, [but] I neverdistorted intelligence to support policy or to please apolicymaker."Gates was at pains to leave some daylight between hisviews and Casey's. There were a number of occasions,"he reminded his questioners, "when we would pull Mr.Casey back some." The bottom line, he asserted in anexchange with Senator Hollings, is that "we were notdoing Bill Casey's bidding, and we were not doing theReagan administration's bidding... .We were nobody'stoady and nobody's patsy in the 1980s, and the analystsput out a heck of a lot of good analysis."Gates marshalled several examples of analytic mes-sages he had sent to senior policymakers that hadundoubtedly been unpopular. "We published paperssaying that... the rate of growth in Soviet defense spend-ing was going down," he noted. "If you think it was funto publish that when [Secretary of Defense] Cap Wein-berger was sitting over in the Pentagon, I think you'llappreciate the situation." And he recalled that theAdministration "was absolutely dead certain that theycould stop the Soviets from building [a] gas pipeline"in Europe, but we said "that they were going to buildthe pipeline. And there was nothing they could doabout it." Gates concluded that "there [were] a numberof occasions where we did work on the Soviet Unionthat I think made a lot of problems for the Administra-tion."A Persistent PerceptionGates did agree that the perception of politicization hadnagged the CIA's Soviet analysis for years and?morebroadly?had "dogged American intelligence fordecades." Though Agency Inspector General reportsand other studies had "searched in vain for evidence ofslanting in our products," the issue, he said, "came uprepeatedly in my meetings with analysts and in trainingcourses":I'd ask analysts, when I would go down into theirwork spaces to talk with them, if their work hadbeen distorted. Ironically, many felt this happenedmore often at the branch- and division-chief level,where their drafts were first reviewed, than higher up.But the answer was virtually always no. But they'17had heard that had happened for sure in the nextbranch over. And so I'd go over there, and I'd getthe same answer.To Gates, the real problem was that some analysts con-fused losing an honest substantive debate with politici-zation:When major changes in draft analysis come out ofthe review process, it is understandable that analystswould be more inclined to blame them on an exter-nal source, such as political pressure, than on weak-nesses in their own analysis and expositionr Noanalyst who considers himself or herself to be thebest informed person on a subject likes to be chal-lenged. Analysts like to write on subjects they like inthe ways they like. And to be told that your specificsubject, or the way you present it, is irrelevant to pol-icymakers, or is not persuasive, is hard to swallow.MacEachin agreed with Gates, pointing out that ana-lysts have to expect challenge as a normal part of thejob and be prepared for it. In his testimony, he did not"find it remarkable that when you go to your boss with ajudgment that contradicts the boss's view or which getsyour boss crossways with his boss, that you really haveto have your act together. You have to have your evi-dence lined up and you have to have your analysis insharp order." Another senior Agency official, the NIOfor Strategic Programs, Lawrence Gershwin, alsoagreed: "Analysts all grouse about having to respondto the comments of reviewers...including those up thechain," Gershwin said. "But we must all recognize theneed to provide a convincing argument to justify ourjudgments. These judgments are important."While Soviet intelligence managers lamented the ten=sion that attended internal debate over the SovietUnion, many of them drew the line at what Kay Oliver,echoing Senator Rudman, called "character assassina-tion" of Gates. Oliver noted:Nothing is more poisonous to the atmosphere atCIA, more destructive to the process of debatingissues on the merits, than accusing colleagues of con-spiring in or being duped into "politicizing" intelli-Approved for Release: 2014/07/29 000622792 Approved for Release: 2014/07/29 000622792gence. It is imperative that substantive discussionscan take place with an understanding that honest peo-ple can disagree, and a realization that few of us thisside of heaven have a monopoly on truth.MacEachin agreed. "Far more often than we'd like,"he reminded the Senators, "the evidence is quite legiti-mately subject to different interpretations." In a veiledreference to Goodman's testimony, he said: "I don'tbelieve it is professional to try to hide behind somekind of attribution of base motives."Avoiding the Seamy SideInstead of politicization, Gates's defenders saw at workthe old fundamental dispute betWeen schools of thoughton Soviet analysis. According to Kay Oliver, theapproach followed by Goodman and his supporters hadbeen fundamentally flawed and unbalanced. She testi-fied that while Soviet foreign policy objectives werebeing pursued on two levels, many analysts in SOVAhad paid attention to only one of them:For many years, analysis of the Soviet foreign policyshop at CIA... focused almost exclusively on Sovietrelations with other countries at the level of diplo-matic and military support, and treated dismiss-ively...behavior orchestrated by the CentralCommittee.., and the KGB. These institutions...attempted to influence foreign developments throughespionage, propaganda.. .active measures [and] clan-destine support for political violence.Oliver concluded that she had detected little enthusiasmin some quarters of SOVA for analysis of the "seamyside" of Soviet foreign behavior. Instead, "a certainintellectual fastidiousness was at work."The result, agreed Graham Fuller, was a "highly benign"and mistaken view in SOVA of Soviet goals in the ThirdWorld. Behind this view, he believed, was a lack ofappreciation for "ground truth" in areas where the Sovi-ets were active. "I personally felt that many [SOVA]analysts may perhaps have been experts on Soviet writ-ings on Third World issues, but few of them had gottentheir feet dirty, so to speak, in the dust of the ThirdWorld." These analysts, he asserted, failed to noticethat the Soviets "played hardball."HearingsPart of the problem, according to MacEachin, was theintellectual baggage Soviet analysts brought with themfrom graduate school. "We came off campus in the1960s, and the faculties were teaching [that] the worldwas a rational place and the Soviet Union was a ratio-nal actor and would do things in accordancewith ...political science. paradigms."Empiricism Versus ExperienceIn short, Gates's defenders argued that his critics wereturning an honest difference of interpretation overSoviet behavior and intentions into out-and-out distor-tion and intellectual dishonesty. The critics professednot to mind different interpretations as long as they weresupported by the available facts. As Jennifer Glaude-mans noted, "I was taught that there is a tremendousresponsibility in weighing evidence" and that "I had aduty to state when I didn't know certain things in myresearch."On the other hand, many experienced managersbelieved that a narrowly empirical approach often ledto mistakes. Graham Fuller called it one of the dilem-mas of intelligence work:Does absence of evidence mean that something isnot there or it has not happened? How much shouldwe rely on intuition, judgment, and experience inappraising the likelihood of events or motives or theissue of who benefits from an event? This dilemmacan never be solved. SOVA seems to have clung tothe idea that the sweeping force of "no evidence"means that we don't think it happened, which is thesafe and perhaps appropriate position for a junioranalyst. But is a more experienced analyst or man-ager wrong to examine other considerations even inthe absence of evidence that we may never collect?Analysts, Fuller added, sometimes hid behind a lack ofevidence to avoid coming to a conclusion. The prob-lem with this, he said, is that policymakers cannot wait:18Approved for Release: 2014/07/29 000622792 Approved for Release: 2014/07/29 C00622792HearingsAnalysts love to say it is "too early" to make a judg-ment. But the policymaker has to make a judgment,and right now, dammit! What are we analysts paidfor anyway? they will say. If the evidence was thatclear, of course, we wouldn't need anestimate... .But when we have only a tiny sliver ofevidence, is that all that we go on, or do we use ourintellects to try to glean the remaining 95 percent ofan unknown construct of which we have only onetiny part?Fuller's observations brought the discussion back to thefunction of the review process. The inexperience ofmost analysts, he seemed to be saying, needed to becompensated for by management. When analystsbecome overly empirical, Fuller argued, more seasonedofficers must weigh in:Is wisdom couched exclusively at the lower levels ofanalysis, with the "hard facts," or does it reside per-haps nearer the top with senior, experienced officialswho have seen much of the world and a lot of poli-tics...? In principle, good people are supposed to beat the top where they can exercise their own judg-ments about the true import of events. These seniorpeople may appreciate the analyst telling them aboutwhat happened, but they will not relinquish the rightto interpret events for themselves if they wish.Everyone agreed that managers had the right to ques-tion and even to overrule the conclusions of their ana-lysts. To some analysts, however, such "meddling" bymanagement seemed indistinguishable from politiciza-tion, and Fuller conceded this. He added, "That's theway the system is built. And it's very difficult todecide whether the top, senior people are being politicalor simply being wiser and more thoughtful about cer-tain problems that they deal with."Kay Oliver made the same point in a different way:Supervisors of analysis are not simply bureaucraticprocessors but substantive people, essentially senioranalysts themselves directing the work of other ana-lysts, many of them younger and less experienced. Toask these managers to stop using their thought pro-cesses, and to put in abeyance perspectives theyhave developed through long study... would be to rob19our assessments of valuable input.... There is inher-ent tension between the intellectual autonomy of theanalyst and the institutional responsibility for theproduct.Repairing the DamageThe Gates confirmation hearings concluded on 4 Octo-ber, but a vote was not taken until two weeks later.When the votes were finally tallied, it became clear thatGates's testimony had been more persuasive than thatof his critics, and his nomination was reported favor-ably to the Senate by an 11 to 4 margin. The full Senatelater confirmed his nomination.But the open wounds revealed during the hearings lin-gered in the memories of many intelligence insiders.Of those who had testified during the two weeks,MacEachin seemed the most deeply concerned about thepropensity of analysts and managers to go at eachother's throats. "This has been a very sad experiencefor me, Mr. Chairman, just going through this," hesaid. "Now I have to ask myself, what have we done toourselves? What have we allowed to happen to our-selves?" He continued:Have we created a situation in which each time asupervisor challenges someone's analysis, his conclu-sions, or his treatment of evidence, or his lack oftreatment of competing judgments that he or she hasto wonder whether a dossier is being started that willsomeday be pulled out of a drawer? Have we createda readily available devil theory that can be applied atwill?MacEachin exclaimed that it was time to end therecriminations:We have to say however it got there, let's stop nowtrying to blame who put it there. Let's have the man-agers stop talking about the whiny analysts and theanalysts stop talking about the bully managers.Let's get a standard of conduct in... the way we goabout our business, and let's have that professionalApproved for Release: 2014/07/29 000622792 Approved for Release: 2014/07/29 000622792ethic explicitly eschew the concept of wrongheaded-ness. Incompetence, stupidity, sloth, all those arelegitimate sins that you can complain about, just not to be there."As I said," he concluded, "this is the most troubling,the most disturbing, most serious issue for me."20HearingsApproved for Release: 2014/07/29 000622792