U.S. intelligence agencies recently fought off a move by Congress to require the CIA and other spy services to disclose more details about high-ranking employees who have been promoted or fired, despite pledges to be more open and accountable.
The disputed measure was designed to increase scrutiny of cases in which senior officers ascend to high-level positions despite problems ranging from abusive treatment of subordinates to involvement in botched operations overseas.
The CIA in particular has faced sharp criticism in recent years for promoting operatives who faced investigations by the agency’s internal watchdog or the Justice Department for their roles in the brutal interrogations of prisoners or badly mishandled operations to capture terrorism suspects.
Under a provision drafted by the Senate Intelligence Committee this year, intelligence agencies would have been required to regularly provide names of those being promoted to top positions and disclose any “significant and credible information to suggest that the individual is unfit or unqualified.”
But that language faced intense opposition from Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr., according to officials involved in the matter. As a result, the wording was watered down by Congress this month and now requires Clapper only to furnish “information the Director determines appropriate.”