It has been a year. Has anything changed?
The C.I.A. and its human spying operations are expected to benefit from changes in next year’s intelligence budget, under classified plans being drawn up by the House and Senate Intelligence Committees, including a version approved by the Senate panel Thursday. Congressional officials said Thursday that John D. Negroponte, the director of national intelligence, had signaled for the first time that the Bush administration would support big cuts in a multibillion-dollar satellite program in part to free up money for more human spying.
Current and former intelligence officials say considerable turmoil remains within the agency, particularly within the directorate of operations, which is responsible for human spying around the world. The directorate’s No. 2 official, Robert Richer, has become the most recent high-ranking official to announce his departure, and he has told officials at the White House and in the C.I.A. that he had lost confidence in Mr. Goss.
Mr. Goss’s task was bound to be complicated, partly because the agency was reduced in power and stature by the reorganization of intelligence after its failures on terrorism and Iraq.
In an interview, Representative Jane Harman of California, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said she believed that Mr. Goss was doing better than early on, when the No. 1 and No. 2 officials within the operations directorate quit after clashes with members of Mr. Goss’s personal staff.
“Anyone who came in when he did would have had a steep hill to climb, in part because change can be difficult,” Ms. Harman said.
The problem with this type of change is that we won’t kow for years if it was change for the better.