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McCain Backs CIA Shake-up

By Walter Pincus
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, November 15, 2004; Page A02

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) yesterday supported CIA Director Porter J. Goss's shake-up of the intelligence agency, which he described as "dysfunctional" and not providing President Bush with the information needed to conduct the war on terrorism.

Reacting to stories about potential resignations of CIA officials in response to actions taken by Goss and his staff, McCain, appearing on ABC's "This Week With George Stephanopoulos," said, "A shake-up is absolutely necessary."

But Rep. Jane Harman (Calif.), the ranking Democrat on the House intelligence committee, which Goss formerly chaired, said the current uneasiness at the CIA has been caused by the "highly partisan inexperienced staff" that Goss brought to the agency. They have acted in a "heavy-handed or precipitous way," she said on CBS's "Face the Nation."

Harman said she agrees that some changes are needed but that Goss's staff had offended agency personnel and she feared the departure "of some talented people," including Stephen R. Kappes, head of the clandestine service who has delayed making a retirement decision until today.

McCain said that although the agency has "good and decent people" it had become dysfunctional and that "a shake-up is absolutely necessary."

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