ACCESSION NUMBER:365979 FILE ID:POL204 DATE:11/01/94 TITLE:CONGRESSIONAL REPORT, TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 1 (11/01/94) 1EXT:*94110104.POL CONGRESSIONAL REPORT, TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 1 (Panel report faults CIA on Ames case) (580) SENATE REPORT BLAMES WOOLSEY FOR INADEQUATE RESPONSE CIA Director R. James Woolsey's reprimands of 11 senior managers for their handling of the Aldrich H. Ames spy case were "seriously inadequate" for a "disaster of unprecedented proportions," the Senate Intelligence Committee says. In a November 1 report on the CIA's handling of the Ames case, the 17-member committee asserts there was "gross negligence -- both individually and institutionally" within the CIA's Operations Directorate that enabled Ames to remain undetected for so long. The report says the CIA could have caught him earlier if its managers had been paying adequate attention to signs, such as apparent alcohol abuse, that indicated he was unfit for his job. The report calls Woolsey's disciplinary actions against the 11 senior managers too mild, and it says "many professionals within the intelligence community" have contacted the committee to express the same view. It says the CIA inspector general had recommended that 23 current and former CIA employees be held accountable for the agency's failure to detect Ames' activities earlier. Woolsey chose to issue letters of reprimand to 11 employees -- seven of whom were retired -- but no one was fired, demoted, suspended or reassigned. "If there is not a higher standard of accountability established by (directors of central intelligence), then a repeat of the Ames tragedy becomes all the more likely," the report says. The report also asserts that congressional oversight committees were not notified "in any meaningful way" of the devastating loss of foreign agents in 1985-86 that Ames now admits he caused. By the fall of 1986, several months after Ames began working for the Kremlin, the CIA was aware that it was suffering a sudden and stunning loss of foreign agents that could not be explained by known espionage cases, the report says. "Within a matter of months, virtually its entire stable of Soviet agents had been imprisoned or executed," the report says. The report says those in charge of the CIA during the 1986-91 period -- before an intense and focused investigation got underway -- "must ultimately bear the responsibility" for the lack of an adequate response to the agent losses. It names former CIA directors William Casey, William Webster and Robert Gates, as well as former acting director Richard Kerr. Ames, who was arrested in February and sentenced in April to life in prison, has admitted that he sold U.S. national security secrets to Moscow for more than eight years, starting in 1985. He was a 31-year veteran of the spy agency. The report stops short of suggesting Woolsey should be removed from his post. But Senator Howard Metzenbaum, who has previously called for Woolsey's resignation because of his handling of the Ames case, wrote a separate note in the committee's report recommending that Woolsey should be replaced. Woolsey, speaking in Pittsburgh November 1, defended the agency's response to the Ames case. While no CIA employees were fired, he said, "there were four CIA employees, all retired, whose neglect was such that if they were employed, they would have been dismissed or told to retire." "I believe my decisions were fair and just. We should put cases and decisions behind us and move on to the challenges of managing 1ounter-intelligence," he said. He also noted that most of the Senate panel's recommendations for change have either been implemented or are being implemented. NNNN .