Monday, May 08, 2006

The "Right Man for What?"

Bush picks Hayden as CIA chief - Yahoo! News:


Bush's national security adviser
Stephen Hadley said there was no reason for Hayden to resign his military commission, pointing out that several military men had led the CIA.


But Rick Russell, a former CIA analyst who teaches strategic studies at National Defense University, said a military man in the top CIA job sent the wrong message.

'One of the big reasons for the creation of a director of national intelligence has been to exert more civilian leadership over the intelligence community,' he said. 'And yet you put an active duty officer in charge of the gem of civilian intelligence. That cuts at cross-purposes, frankly.'

Senators have said they would use Hayden's Senate confirmation hearings to learn more about the program of warrantless eavesdropping on Americans' international phone calls and e-mails in pursuit of terrorism suspects.

Bush defends it as essential to fighting terrorism.

Some Congress members have said a general heading the CIA could give the Pentagon too much sway over U.S. intelligence gathering. Others have said he is too close to the White House and lacks experience building a clandestine service.

The CIA is in charge of gathering human intelligence and Hayden, the former head of the National Security Agency, has most of his background in technological intelligence gathering.

As head of the NSA, he was in charge of eavesdropping operations. Bush has said Hayden was the one who proposed the domestic eavesdropping program after the September 11 attacks."

In other words, he's the right man to lead the CIA in a direction it's not intended to go. Or perhaps, he's the right man to drive out the few remaining people who understand the difference between "intelligence gathering" and data collection.

Hm. I wonder how long it will take for the CIA to drop this fellow into a "honey trap?" I mean, if one were a suspicious person, one might speculate that it's odd that the cavortings of the previous CIA director, Porter Goss, would become so suddenly and embarrassingly public.

Or am I the only one who has dark suspcions that the CIA may well be involved in a clandestine struggle for survival as an agency, (first, of course) and in a struggle to preserve the semi-democratic traditions of the CIA and it's support of our Constitution and freedoms?

Of course, such speculation is just that; nor will I bother to ask for a non-confirmation. But I await developments with interest.

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