Friday, May 19, 2006

Status Quo at the CIA?

One can only hope that General Michael Hayden's testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee (is there an oxymoron there?) does not indicate the approach he will take to his new position. Based on his seeming bipartisan support, it appears certain that the Senate will confirm him as the next CIA director.

As an interesting sidenote, the leftward portion of the blogosphere (see here for a good listing of local examples) immediately reacted against a military man being appointed to this position; however, this shows both the knee jerk reaction of many leftist bloggers against the military and also the informational disconnectedness that frequently appears between liberal spectators and those who actually play the game. One may recall that liberals also could not get their story straight on Tony Snow -- was he a Fox News shill, or had he been so critical of the President that he couldn't serve?

According to the Washington Post, Hayden told the committee, "It's time to move past what seems to me to be an endless picking apart of the archaeology of every past intelligence success or failure." But wouldn't those very failures, particularly in the lead up to the Iraq War, be the matters that most require consideration by the new director? Whatever the failures of previous CIA director Porter Goss -- and many believe that CIA insiders who wanted to maintain the status quo leaked him out of town -- he took the position with the conviction that the CIA was a moribund bureaucracy that no longer fulfilled its mandate to provide accurate and needed foreign intelligence. If Hayden wishes to reverse the mission of Goss, his nomination will be a mistake.

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