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CIA chief steps down less than 2 years on job

Written by: Staff

Washington, May 6: Central Intelligenc Agency (CIA) Director Porter Goss has resigned after less than two years on the job, sending shock waves across the nation.

Announcing Mr Goss's resignation at the Oval office, President George W Bush said last night that ''Porter's tenure at the CIA was one of transition, where he's helped this agency become integrated into the intelligence community, and that was a tough job.'' President Bush said, ''Porter Goss brought integrity and professionalism to the post, and thanked him for his candid advice during his tenure, which he described as a time of change for the intelligence agency.'' ''Mr Goss got a five-year plan to increase the number of analysts and operatives, which is going to help make this country a safer place and help us win the war on terror,'' Mr Bush said.

However, the outgoing CIA chief did not give a reason for his departure, but said it had been a privilege to serve the White House and the American people and expressed confidence, he was leaving the agency in good condition.

''I believe the agency is on a very even keel, sailing well, I honestly believe that we have improved dramatically,'' Mr Goss told President Bush.

Mr Goss, 67, a former Republican congressman from Florida, became CIA chief on April 21, 2005. Mr Goss' deputy, who may take over in the interim, is Vice Admiral Albert M Calland.

The unexpected resignation was the latest, in an administration shake-up during Mr Bush's second term. Mr Goss thanked Mr Bush for ''the trust and confidence'' placed in him and said he thought the agency is performing admirably.

Mr Goss, served as congressman for nearly 16 years and headed the House Intelligence Committee from 1997 to 2004. He also served as a clandestine CIA agent for 10 years during the Cold War.

CNN quoted former CIA director Stansfield Turner to say that Mr Goss may have resigned because he was passed over for the new position of director of national intelligence, which went to John Negroponte.

The Washington Post also said there had been reports of tension between the CIA director and veteran diplomat John D Negroponte, who was named last year to the new position of director of national intelligence, vaulting over the CIA chief as the nation's top intelligence official.

One sore point within the CIA, critics have said, was that Mr Goss brought in several politically partisan aides from his congressional staff to serve in top positions at the CIA. Some career officers regarded these aides as disdainful of the agency.

The CIA has come under criticism in recent years for questionable pre-war intelligence on Iraq, as well as its failure to share information with other branches of the US intelligence community before the terrorist attacks of September 2001.


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