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Democrat warns on CIA changes

Senator criticizes Goss note to staff

WASHINGTON -- A Democratic senator warned CIA director Porter Goss yesterday that his efforts to make major changes could have ''a significant and negative effect on the agency."

In a letter to Goss, Senator Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of Calif., also said she feared the ''politicization of our intelligence services" because of an e-mail Goss sent this week to agency employees telling them to focus on serving the Bush administration.

Goss took office in September and named some of his former congressional staff members to high-level positions at the agency.

Several senior CIA officials have resigned in recent weeks, an apparent sign of friction between them and Goss' aides.

The changes have raised concerns that agency turmoil could disrupt intelligence efforts at a time of war. But Goss' supporters say he is trying to make urgently needed reforms. Intelligence agencies have been sharply criticized for failing to stop the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and providing inaccurate intelligence on Iraq's weapons programs.

Feinstein said Goss has the responsibility to minimize the difficulties of an overhaul.

In the e-mail, Goss said, ''We do not identify with, support, or champion opposition to the administration or its policies. We provide the intelligence as we see it -- and let the facts alone speak to the policy maker."

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