Iran Nuclear NewsNorth Korea and Iran win special notice at spy...

North Korea and Iran win special notice at spy center

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New York Times: The director of national intelligence, John D. Negroponte, has created new “mission managers” for Iran and North Korea, adding those two countries to a short list of top-priority challenges for American intelligence agencies.
New York Times

By DOUGLAS JEHL

WASHINGTON, Jan. 11 – The director of national intelligence, John D. Negroponte, has created new “mission managers” for Iran and North Korea, adding those two countries to a short list of top-priority challenges for American intelligence agencies.

Iran and North Korea join counterterrorism and nuclear counterproliferation as areas of focus for senior management posts that were recommended last year by a high-level presidential commission.

The new managers for Iran and North Korea will be responsible, among other things, for identifying and filling gaps in intelligence on those two countries, Mr. Negroponte’s office said Wednesday in announcing the appointments. Joseph DeTrani, who has served most recently as the American special envoy to the six-party talks on North Korea, has been given the rank of ambassador and is taking on the North Korea portfolio; S. Leslie Ireland, a career intelligence officer and Middle East specialist, is to become mission manager for Iran.

Ambassador DeTrani and Ms. Ireland are to provide strategic leadership over American intelligence agencies’ work on North Korea and Iran, whose nuclear-weapons programs remain a major concern of the Bush administration, in part because so little is known about them. In its report last year, the Robb-Silberman commission, an independent panel appointed by President Bush, described American intelligence on Iran and North Korea as woefully inadequate.

The other two mission managers appointed by Mr. Negroponte have already assumed their roles. They are Vice Adm. John Scott Redd, retired, director of the National Counterterrorism Center; and Kenneth Brill, the director of National Counterproliferation Center.

Admiral Redd served as executive director of the Robb-Silberman commission, which recommended the creation of the mission-manager posts. Mr. Negroponte has said that the mission managers have his full proxy, and should be expected to play the same role that he would if he could devote his full day to a single issue.

Ambassador DeTrani, who speaks Chinese and French, spent a number of years in East Asia and the Middle East during a career that included senior assignments at the Central Intelligence Agency, according to his official biography. At the C.I.A., his posts included director of European operations, director of the crime and narcotics center, and director of East Asia operations.

Ms. Ireland has served most recently as the executive assistant to Porter J. Goss, the C.I.A. director. According to her official biography, she is also a recipient of the Intelligence Commendation Medal. Over a 20-year career, she has also served as deputy chief for Arab-Israeli issues and special adviser for Iran collection issues, and as country director for Iran and Kuwait in the office of the Secretary of Defense.

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