Bush Approves Tough New Plan to Battle Spies; 'Substantial Changes' Sought
Byline: Bill Gertz, THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Nearly 80 Americans have been caught spying since 1985, and the Bush administration has launched a more aggressive anti-spying effort to better combat foreign intelligence activities, according to a new strategy report made public yesterday.
The National Counterintelligence Strategy was approved March 1 by President Bush, marking the first time that the U.S. government has sought to formulate a comprehensive counterspy program, said Michelle Van Cleave, head of the office of the national counterintelligence executive, a White House-level intelligence post.
The strategy calls for "specific counterintelligence policies for attacking foreign intelligence services systematically via strategic counterintelligence operations," stated the report, which was released yesterday.
The new strategy "will require substantial changes in the conduct of U.S. counterintelligence," Miss Van Cleave said.
"These changes include a renewed intelligence focus on hostile services and intelligence capabilities, including those of terrorist groups, and proactive efforts to defeat them," she said.
The strategy will call for the FBI, CIA and other intelligence components to "identify, assess, neutralize and exploit foreign intelligence activities before they can do harm to the United States."
The 22-page report said the Americans arrested for passing classified data to foreign governments caused strategic damage that, in a time of war, could have been worse.
The spies included the 1980s spy ring headed by John A. Walker Jr., which supplied U. …