WASHINGTON: The CIA announced Wednesday it was appointing an experienced spy as the new head of its vast intelligence network, the National Clandestine Service.
John Bennett, who joined the Central Intelligence Agency in 1981 after service in the US Marine Corps, will replace retiring NCS chief Michael Sulick.
Bennett, a former chief of the covert paramilitary Special Activities Division and ex-deputy chief of the Africa Division, has spent most of his career working abroad for the CIA, including four tours as station chief.
He \"has been at the forefront of the fight against Al-Qaeda and its violent allies,\" CIA Director Leon Panetta said, pointing to his \"impeccable credentials at the very core of intelligence operations -- espionage, covert action and liaison.\"
Panetta praised Sulick, who retired in September 2004 after clashing with then-director Porter Goss but was coaxed into returning to the CIA in 2007.
BDST: 0943 HRS, July 22, 2010