CIA manager who had been removed from his job is back

AP News
|
Posted: Apr 28, 2015 10:46 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — A top CIA manager who had been removed from his job last year for abusive management has been named to a senior role in the agency department that conducts drone strikes.

Jonathan Bank, 47, has been installed as deputy chief for counterintelligence at the Counter Terrorism Center, or CTC, which conducts the agency's operations against al-Qaida, the Islamic State and other groups. He supervises a team charged with protecting CTC operations by ferreting out spies, double agents, bad tradecraft and other security risks

Bank was ousted as the head of the agency's Iran operations division at headquarters a year ago after an internal investigation found he had created an abusive and hostile work environment that put the crucial office in disarray.

Several key employees had requested transfers, according to current and former U.S. officials who refused to be identified speaking about a sensitive personnel matter. In a move officials said was without precedent, Bank was sent home from CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, and transferred to a liaison job at the Pentagon. He was barred from CIA management for a year.

But Bank has emerged, current and former U.S. officials say, after a bureaucratic reorganization by CIA director John Brennan. As part of the changes, the Counter Terrorism Center got new leadership. The old chief, Michael D'Andrea — a legendary figure who worked so many hours he frequently slept in his office — was transferred.

Uneven management has been a persistent challenge at the CIA, particularly in the operations division, where internal surveys have shown that bad managers are the top reason officers cite in resigning the agency. Brennan's reorganization includes new leadership training, but one of the complaints has long been that senior CIA leaders are not held truly accountable for misconduct.

Bank's name has been public since 2010, when he had to be evacuated as Pakistan station chief after he was named in a lawsuit accusing him of wrongdoing in connection with U.S. drone strikes. Earlier this month, a Pakistani judge ordered Bank and former CIA general counsel John Rizzo to face murder charges in that country over a drone attack.

Bank also served at CIA stations in the Balkans, Moscow and Baghdad, former agency officials said. He was a top assistant to James Pavitt, who from 1999 to 2004 headed the CIA's espionage arm, the Directorate of Operations.

When he was removed from his Iran job, he also lost a chance for a posting in London, current and former officials said.