Time: Tue Oct 21 06:01:40 1997
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Date: Tue, 21 Oct 1997 05:53:03 -0700
To: (Recipient list suppressed)
From: Paul Andrew Mitchell [address in tool bar]
Subject: SLS: Top C.I.A. Official Leaving (NYT)  (fwd)

>The New York Times
>October 21, 1997
>Top C.I.A. Official Leaving
>WASHINGTON -- The director of the CIA's Nonproliferation Center, who
>provided Congress with detailed briefings on some of the most
>diplomatically sensitive instances of illicit technology sales to Iran
>from Russia and China, is taking early retirement. 
>The official, Gordon Oehler, 55, said in a telephone interview that he
>was leaving his job of his own volition after 25 years in the CIA and
>more than five years as director of the center. The center coordinates
>all intelligence from various government agencies about the dangers of
>nuclear weapons and missile development throughout the world. 
>Oehler said he was tired of being a target for criticism in a stressful 
>job. "I've had a lot of heat on a lot of issues for a lot of years," he 
>said. "When you're the single spokesman for the intelligence community 
>you get shot at from a lot of directions, and you get tired of it." 
>Rep. Curt Weldon, R-Pa., who serves on the House Committee on National
>Security, said he believed the retirement had been forced. Weldon said
>he planned to "lead the charge" to investigate the circumstances of
>Oehler's departure and the "politicization of intelligence." 
>He asserted that Oehler was being punished for giving "honest and
>forthcoming briefings" to Congress about Russian and Chinese exports of 
>dangerous materiel, technology and missiles to countries like Iran and 
>"This is a watershed event and I'm going to make this a test case,"
>Weldon said. "It's a pattern of this administration. When it gets
>information that runs counter to the policy, they try to destroy the
>person that brings the message." 
>Weldon spoke earlier Monday with Oehler about his reasons for retiring
>and said, "Well, he's got to be careful of what he says." 
>Oehler said that his recent return from a long vacation had "confirmed
>for me it was time to go." He said Weldon was incorrect, adding: "This
>is not a forced retirement, but a decision of mine. I've never been told 
>to move or retire." When Weldon asked him what could be done to reverse 
>the situation, Oehler said he answered, "It's already in train." 
>Senior administration officials declined to comment publicly on the
>resignation, but one said Oehler had a tendency to provide his own
>opinions as if they were those of the agency. Weldon called the
>accusation unfounded and said that to his recollection Oehler had never 
>provided his own opinion even when directly asked in secret testimony. 
>Joseph Cirincione, a senior associate at the Henry Stimson Center, which 
>studies arms-control issues, said of Oehler: "Here's a man operating 
>within the rules, sharing information with Congress and policy experts. 
>And some of the news was uncomfortable, and came at a delicate time. But 
>he never pulled his punches because the news was uncomfortable, and 
>apparently this administration didn't like it. I don't know how else to 
>read it." 
>Henry Sokolski, executive director of the Nonproliferation Policy
>Education Center and a Pentagon official under former President George
>Bush, said of Oehler: "The significance of his retirement is great. This 
>man, in an agency known for its bending of truths, was an honest broker. 
>To find integrity in public service is a rare, cherished and precious 
>thing. And when it goes, it brings down morale, it's got to. Whether his 
>retirement was forced or not I don't know, and we'll never know, but 
>he's not being celebrated in his departure, that we know, and that is 
>He added, "That a man of integrity should feel such stress in being shot 
>at for his honesty is an indictment of what we claim to be doing in the 
>name of nonproliferation."
>Copyright 1997 The New York Times Company

Paul Andrew Mitchell, Sui Juris      : Counselor at Law, federal witness 01
B.A.: Political Science, UCLA;   M.S.: Public Administration, U.C.Irvine 02
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