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Ex-CIA spy hunter drops intelligence post bid

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  • Bruce Tefft
    http://washingtontimes.com/national/20060330-111615-4175r.htm Ex-spy hunter drops intelligence post bid By Bill Gertz THE WASHINGTON TIMES March 31, 2006
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 1, 2006
      http://washingtontimes.com/national/20060330-111615-4175r.htm



      Ex-spy hunter drops intelligence post bid


      By Bill Gertz
      THE WASHINGTON TIMES
      March 31, 2006



      Former CIA spy hunter Paul Redmond, who helped catch notorious Moscow mole
      Aldrich Ames, has withdrawn from consideration to become the Bush
      administration's top counterspy, U.S. intelligence officials say.
      Mr. Redmond had been selected to be national counterintelligence
      executive, but backed out after the FBI held up his formal appointment by
      conducting a lengthy background investigation, said officials speaking on
      the condition of anonymity.
      Carl Kropf, a spokesman for the Office of the Director of National
      Intelligence (DNI), declined to comment.
      "The selection process for the national counterintelligence executive is
      under way," Mr. Kropf said. "Until a final selection is made, we decline to
      discuss the status of any individual currently under consideration for this
      important position."
      Mr. Redmond could not be reached for comment. In addition to uncovering
      Ames in 1993, Mr. Redmond conducted the damage assessment into the case of
      FBI counterintelligence agent Robert Hanssen, who spied for Moscow for 16
      years before his 2001 arrest.
      The national counterintelligence post and the deputy position in what is
      called NCIX remain vacant following the resignations of Michelle Van Cleave
      in January and Ken deGraffenreid a month earlier.
      The office was recently placed under DNI John D. Negroponte as part of
      intelligence reform efforts, setting off a dispute over the role of
      counterintelligence.
      President Bush signed an executive order in March 2005 calling for
      aggressive, offensive counterintelligence activities against foreign spies.
      However, intelligence officials under Mr. Negroponte, including DNI
      Mission Manager for Collection Mary Margaret Graham, are opposing the new
      policy and instead favor making counterintelligence a passive support
      function for U.S. spying.
      Counterspy posts at the CIA and FBI also remain vacant or held by acting
      officials at a time when foreign spying continues to plague the
      administration.
      FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III told a congressional committee
      earlier this week that Chinese spying is a "major threat" to the United
      States.
      A Pentagon report on the Iraq war made public March 24 highlighted
      Russian spying against the U.S. military and its military facility in Doha,
      Qatar. The report said documents obtained in Iraq showed that Russian
      intelligence passed U.S. war plans and other operational military data to
      Saddam Hussein's forces before the war.

      The disclosure so far has not led to an investigation.
      Asked about the Russian spying, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld
      told reporters Tuesday that he was not informed about it before its
      publication in the Iraq war report. "It certainly would be something that
      one would look into," he said.
      A spokesman for the U.S. Central Command said yesterday that there were
      no immediate plans to conduct an investigation into the documents related to
      the compromise at Doha.
      A Pentagon spokesman also had no immediate comment.
      The muted response to the Russian spying report contrasts sharply with
      other statements by Mr. Rumsfeld and CIA Director Porter J. Goss. Both have
      denounced intelligence disclosures to the press as undermining U.S. national
      security.



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