Tuesday, May 09, 2006

CIA Director Designee Hayden Faces Uphill Battle

Things do not look good for any nominee that doesn't have full support of the majority party. In a position similar to Harriet Myers, Gen. Hayden is the nominee that faces a stiff struggle, this time.

There are two ways of looking at this.

One, the General can bring this agency back, using discipline and cleaning the hacks out. The CIA is no place for partisan bickering, agents and other employees need to leave politics out of the equation. The leaks for political purposes have severely compromised the effectiveness of this agency, at a time when we can least afford it.

The other is, there will be some people ( I, being one of them) that question the prudence of having a military man leading a civilian agency. There is something very big brotherish about this. It's not the person that I am concerned about, as I do not know much about Gen, Hayden, up to this point. But the precedent, is highly questionable, in my opinion.

5 comments:

A.C. said...

I share your concern, but there seems to be some confusion on this. A lot of military bloggers are pointing out the number of past generals/admirals who've led the CIA. Also, since there is no DCI anymore, and the DNI IS a civilian (Negroponte), that seems to take the sting off.

My initial reaction to this selection was more shock that Bush would pick the very man involved in the NSA brouhaha, knowing it would open that same can of worms again. As I said over at my place, they must desire the debate.

I think Hayden might do ok if the job is to focus the CIA on collecting intel and letting Negroponte's group do the analyzing.
That would seemingly take the politics out of the agency. Hopefully.

LASunsett said...

A lot of military bloggers are pointing out the number of past generals/admirals who've led the CIA.

But, isn't this guy active duty?

Who knows? You may be right. The fact that he'll report to Negroponte, may soften it some. There are certainly advantages and disadvantages, to this. I guess it depends on how much weight you give to each.

But, I really don't know what to think, for sure. At least at this point. I don't.

All_I_Can_Stands said...

I think a weak leader is more dangerous than putting a military man in this position. When Porter Goss was appointed we all thought he had what it took to clean house. He didn't.

Mustang said...

Part of the problem with the CIA is that it has become a massive bureaucracy; what we need are "silent warriors," the way it was in the OSS and early days of the CIA. The present organization might have been too much for Porter Goss.

AC is correct; we have had military DCI's before; they just didn't wear their uniform even though they were still on active duty. One of the more famous DCI's was General "Beetle" Smith, Eisenhower's deputy during WWII. Of course, Smith was retired when he assumed the post, but he was still drawing his retirement pay in addition to his salary as DCI.

I don't know much about Hayden either, but I much prefer putting him in that position than, say, John Kerry.

LASunsett said...

Mustang,

I don't know much about Hayden either, but I much prefer putting him in that position than, say, John Kerry.

I wouldn't want John Kerry to be my township trustee, much less anything of any real importance.