Up or Down for Hayden?

As a general point, this citizen does not believe that a nominee for Director of Central Intelligence should automatically be blocked as a result of his current military status. I do feel though that if confirmed said nominee must immediately resign his post with the U.S. Air Force and don a more traditional suit. The reasoning for this is simple, we can not afford to have someone taking orders from the Pentagon (who takes orders from White House) running our foreign intelligence service.

With that being said, from what I have seen of General  Michael Hayden I am impressed. It is obvious this is the kind of man who is up for the job of running the CIA not some political insider with loyalties to the current administration like Porter Goss. Apparently I am not the only one a little smitten with Hayden, William Arkin of the Washington Post had this to say about Hayden in a piece entitled Go, Mike Hayden!.

When Gen. Michael V. Hayden called the tenure of Porter Goss at the CIA “amateur hour on the top floor,” or when he criticized a Rumsfeld inspired ad hoc intelligence office set up in the aftermath of 9/11 to “find” Saddam Hussein links to al Qaeda and build the WMD case for Iraq, they were small but rare and delicious moments.

Hayden then went on to say that the CIA was bogged down dealing with day-to-day wartime support in Iraq and Afghanistan – the agency has built its largest overseas station in Baghdad since 2003 – saying that much of what the agency is doing could indeed be better done by the military.

The intelligence community, Hayden said, was too focused on the immediate and not enough looking to the future. It was an ever so subtle criticism of a core Bush administration position that Iraq and Afghanistan are THE fronts in the war on terrorism. We may have made them that, Hayden seemed to be saying, but throwing the preponderance of resources into these battles merely perpetuates a culture of satisfying immediate needs while neglecting a longer term and broader view of the challenges posed by radical Islam. Unstated but indisputable is the implication of this view: Our ongoing wars “against terror” in Iraq and Afghanistan are themselves triggers for global animosity and more terror.

Interesting huh? Let me say this, at this stage of the game I was not expecting this administration to put up anything short of another “Brownie,” the fact that they put up Hayden makes me wonder what they are smoking over there.

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