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Posted at 5:17 PM ET, 09/23/2010

Gimigliano departs, CIA has a new top ‘voice’

By Jeff Stein

CIA spokesman Paul Gimigliano is turning over his megaphone to his deputy, he announced Thursday afternoon.

“I am delighted to report that Director [Leon] Panetta has asked George Little to head the Office of Public Affairs here at CIA,” the spokesman said in a farewell announcement to The Reporters Who Regularly Cover Spies.

“George is, of course, an exceptionally talented veteran of this unit, someone who has built an impressive reputation for candor and responsiveness,” Gimigliano maintained. “He’s been a superb deputy. I leave this operation, and the extraordinary colleagues who give it life each day, in the very best of hands.”

The lifetime Phillies fan then made a last stab at spinning the announcement with a characteristic comedic riff.

“To me, six years of dealing with the press seems like a very long time,” he said. “For those who dealt with me, it may have seemed even longer.

“The CIA is no stranger to controversy,” he added. “It comes with the mission — and this period was by no means a quiet one. But it was always a privilege to represent the tremendous men and women of this organization, who, in anonymity, do the difficult work of national security. “

Gimigliano, who previously worked in the agency’s intelligence directorate analyzing information gathered by secret agents and technical wizardry, said “the time to move has come.” He said he was going on to another assignment at the agency.

His successor has been an agency spokesman since 2007. For two years previous to that, Little worked at the National Counterterrorism Center, or NCTC. Little also holds a PhD in international relations from Georgetown University

“With George at the helm, apart from countless improvements, you shouldn’t notice any change at all,” Gimigliano cracked.

“Good luck and goodbye.”

By Jeff Stein  | September 23, 2010; 5:17 PM ET
Categories:  Backchannel chatter, Intelligence  
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