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updated 12/29/2004 8:40:47 AM ET 2004-12-29T13:40:47

The top analyst at the CIA is resigning next year, joining more than a dozen agency officials who have stepped down since Porter Goss became the Director of Central Intelligence, NBC News has learned.

Jami Miscik, deputy director for intelligence (DDI), told her workforce Tuesday she will be stepping down in February, an official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The official refused to comment on whether she resigned voluntarily or was asked to step down.

No replacement has been named yet.

'Not exactly her decision'
Although her resignation did not come as a surprise, a source close to Miscik told NBC News, on condition of anonymity, that “it is not exactly her decision,” implying that Goss asked her to leave as part of his house-cleaning of senior staff from the George Tenet era.

The New York Times said Miscik, in a message to subordinates, described her resignation as part of a “natural evolution” and that every intelligence chief “has a desire to have his own team in place to implement his vision and to offer him counsel.”

Miscik is a 21-year veteran of the agency, having joined it immediately after earning her master's degree at the University of Denver. 

She has served as the DDI since 2002, and was the directorate's second-in-command from 2000 to 2002.

As DDI, Miscik was responsible for the preparation of the president’s daily intelligence briefing, and oversaw the 1,000-person analytical staff, one of three directorates in the agency. 

The others are the Directorate of Operations, the agency's clandestine service, and the Directorate of Science and Technology.  Since Tenet resigned, two deputy directors of operations have stepped down.

Altogether, more than a dozen officials have resigned since Goss, a former congressman who chaired the House Intelligence Committee, became CIA director in September. Goss has appointed his former House aides to top positions.

Accusations of politicizing the CIA
The changes have raised concerns among some lawmakers and others that Goss was purging intelligence professionals and replacing them with political appointees.

But Goss’ supporters say he is bringing needed changes to an agency that has been widely criticized for failing to prevent the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks and for its faulty intelligence on Saddam Hussein’s weapons programs in Iraq.

Among the officials who have stepped down is John McLaughlin, who served as acting director following the resignation of George Tenet. McLaughlin retired, citing personal reasons.

In addition to the shake-up at the CIA, U.S. intelligence operations are being overhauled as a result of a new law creating a national intelligence center and a powerful new position of national intelligence director to oversee 15 agencies.

Robert Windrem is an investigative producer for NBC News. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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