WASHINGTON, Sept. 28— In an Administration that prides itself on singing from the same songbook, there is one voice these days that keeps hitting a discordant note: John M. Deutch, the Director of Central Intelligence.

At a Senate hearing last week, Mr. Deutch listed five reasons why Saddam Hussein had emerged stronger from his recent confrontation with the United States, even though President Clinton and his policy makers were saying that he was weaker. Mr. Deutch called it a ''little bit shocking'' that the allies had not supported American military action against the Iraqi leader, even though the President and his aides insisted that allied support was substantial.

In a speech two weeks earlier, Mr. Deutch said the United States ''stood for a change in the regime in Iraq'' even though Secretary of Defense William J. Perry and Secretary of State Warren Christopher said the goal was to prevent Mr. Hussein from threatening his neighbors.

And at a Senate hearing the same day, Mr. Deutch said that Mr. Hussein's recent aggression proved the need to ''make sure that the people of Iraq get a democratic government,'' when transforming Iraq into a democracy has never been a goal of the Bush or Clinton Administrations.

In this overheated political atmosphere, where avoiding conflict with one's colleagues and shunning the spotlight are two of the cardinal rules of getting your President re-elected, the spymaster's blunt speaking is clearly out of sync, or at least out of season.

''He said what he said and he isn't backing away from it,'' said Dennis Boxx, Mr. Deutch's spokesman. ''He does tell it like it is.''

But the national security adviser, Anthony Lake, is said to have been none too pleased about the remarks about Mr. Hussein's increased strength, and even White House spokesman Michael D. McCurry acknowledged: ''There was a little talking past each other. Deutch is, you know, kind of candid and analytical and brash.''

To his supporters, the 58-year-old intelligence chief is brilliant, energetic and outspoken, a bull-in-a-china shop bureaucrat who is not afraid to air his agency's views regardless of policy and to make tough decisions in the hostile world of intelligence.

To his detractors, Mr. Deutch is full of himself, short-tempered and erratic, a political animal who craves the job of Secretary of Defense and who deserves the nickname he was given as a chemistry professor at M.I.T.: ''Shoot-ready-aim.'' In some quarters in the Pentagon and State Department, he is described as ''the unguided missile.''

''You have to take him as you find him,'' said Senator William Cohen, the Maine Republican and former vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. ''He's someone who's aggressive and takes charge. I think he means well.

''For most people in public service the goal of enhancing one's reputation is primary in mind. Does he want to be Secretary of Defense? I assume he wants to be.''

In his 16 months in the job, Mr. Deutch has begun to rival Ronald Reagan's spy chief, William J. Casey, as the most powerful director of Central Intelligence ever.

Mr. Deutch has worked hard to impose personal control over the entire intelligence community, which consists of the Central Intelligence Agency and more than two dozen other sometimes overlapping and feuding organizations.

To that end, he has turned over the administration of the C.I.A. to a 41-year-old deputy, Nora Slatkin; made it a priority to tailor intelligence to the needs of the military over the civilians, and severely restricted access to sensitive intelligence information throughout the Government.

He is unafraid to blame his colleagues when things go wrong. He bluntly told the Senate Intelligence Committee earlier this month that Mr. Christopher should have informed Congress of the decision to allow Croatia to send arms from Iran to the Bosnians in violation of a United Nations embargo; he also said that the recent bombing of an apartment building housing American military personnel in Saudi Arabia was a military, not an intelligence, problem.

At times Mr. Deutch has also taken a cut-and-run approach to the job.

The covert program to help overthrow Mr. Hussein is one example.

Last fall, based on the analysis that Mr. Hussein was weaker than he had been since the end of the Gulf war in 1991, Mr. Deutch pushed for the restructuring of a secret operation to oust the Iraqi leader, senior Administration officials said.

But last July, after it became apparent that the operation had been penetrated by Iraqi authorities, he suggested to policymakers that they abandon it, at least temporarily. The officials said Mr. Deutch argued that a pending plan to allow Iraq to sell oil for food -- a plan that would strengthen Mr. Hussein -- hampered the operation's success, as did the lack of a political initiative acceptable to the region and the failure to identify an alternative to Mr. Hussein.

In a meeting of Mr. Clinton's top national security advisers in early August, the decision was made to continue the program, the officials said.

Since Mr. Hussein's incursions into northern Iraq, Mr. Deutch has managed to pull out his own agents, leaving behind hundreds of Iraqis active in the opposition.

Speculation that Mr. Perry may step down should Mr. Clinton be re-elected has ignited rumors that Mr. Deutch is first in line for the Pentagon job.

It is no secret that Mr. Deutch initially turned down the intelligence position, and was rewarded for taking it by getting cabinet rank.

It is also no secret that he loved being Deputy Secretary of the Pentagon before he took the C.I.A. job, and that he has suggested in informal settings that he dislikes his current job.

Mr. Deutch is extremely touchy when the issue of Secretary of Defense comes up. In a recent interview in which the subject was Madeleine K. Albright, the United States delegate to the United Nations, and her prospects to become Secretary of State, Mr. Deutch gushed about a woman he considers a close friend. ''I think she'd be tremendous in any position in Government,'' he said.

But asked about the possible team of Secretary of State Albright and Secretary of Defense Deutch, his mood darkened. ''That's not a question I'm prepared to listen to,'' he said. ''You're out of bounds. I'm going to end this conversation right now, Madam.''

Mr. Boxx, Mr. Deutch's spokesman, said: ''He's so tired of hearing about it. Everyone has speculated about it since the day he came in the door. I go over to the Pentagon and people ask me if I'm over there measuring for office space.''

Mr. Deutch's prospects do not seem to have been tarnished by his recent public pronouncements.

Clearly, the White House, which does not vet the testimony of the C.I.A. chief, was annoyed by his outspokenness before the Senate Intelligence Committee last week.

In that testimony, he said several times that Mr. Hussein was stronger than he had been. The reasons, he said, were the failure of sanctions to oust him from power; the threat he still poses to his neighbors; the perceived weakening of the coalition in the face of Iraqi aggression; the willingness of Turkey to deal more directly with Mr. Hussein; the pending oil-for-food plan.

Mr. McCurry said he tracked down Mr. Deutch for an explanation and was given assurances that he had not said the Iraqi leader had gained militarily.

Mr. McCurry also played down the significance of Mr. Deutch's other pronouncements on Iraq.

The comment on the need to replace Mr. Hussein? ''That's a deduction from our stated policy,'' Mr. McCurry said.

The need to democratize Iraq? ''On the general theory of nirvana, in the next millenium, democracy in Iraq, Iran and North Korea is our goal.''