Former CIA agent -- and Military.com columnist -- Richard Coffman was high on Porter Goss, when the congressman was first tapped to take over the spy agency. Not any more."What promised to be a rebirth of a robust, aggressive CIA under Porter Goss leadership has quickly turned sour," he writes. "Morale in the Agencys Operations Directorate, which conducts the nations espionage and is on the front lines of the battle against terrorism is said to be at its lowest ebb since the directorship of Stansfield Turner in the late 70s."
Clandestine veterans believe changes are required and have been clamoring for a return to the basics of espionage unencumbered by excessive bureaucracy, intrusive lawyering and politicized oversight. Many have been looking forward to Porter Goss as the right director at the right time to strengthen human source collection across-the-board, even employing tough love to make it happen.But, turmoil at Langley has stopped promised reforms in their tracks. In an atmosphere of mutual distrust and animosity, Goss has yet to articulate the direction and substance of the moves he has in mind. In any event, his plans have been overshadowed by the lack of credibility and overbearing manner of his assistants.