Monday, April 30, 2007

CIA / Military -- press says NO PROBLEM

Stuff the constitution! Separation of powers, HAH! Oversight? No way jose!

Hayden: Military roots don’t hurt CIA job

By Katherine Shrader - The Associated Press -- CORPORATE OWNED PRESS
Posted : Friday Apr 13, 2007 8:01:19 EDT

CIA Director Michael Hayden said his position as a four-star general does not hinder his ability to run the civilian spy agency despite concerns raised when he got the job last year.

In an hourlong interview to air Sunday on C-SPAN’s “Q&A” program, Hayden acknowledged there are a number of current and former military leaders now in the top jobs at spy agencies. But he said his nearly 40 years of Air Force service is not a factor as he leads the CIA.

He said he would not mute his views if they ran counter to people above him in the military.

“I’m not in any military chain of command,” Hayden said, according to a transcript provided in advance to The Associated Press. “I am an active-duty Air Force officer, but I don’t report to the chief of staff of the Air Force. I don’t report to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.”

Why are there so many senior intelligence officials with military backgrounds?

“They were the best athletes available in the draft at this particular point in time,” said Hayden, who often uses sports metaphors.

Of the five main agencies whose sole mission is intelligence, only the National Reconnaissance Office is currently run by a civilian.

National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell is a retired Navy vice admiral. The head of the National Counterterrorism Center, John Scott Redd, is a retired Navy vice admiral. If his nomination is approved by the Senate, retired Air Force Lt. Gen. James Clapper will be the defense undersecretary for intelligence.

Within days, the Senate could vote on a spending blueprint for spy agencies that includes a provision to ensure that future CIA directors and deputy directors are civilians. President Bush has threatened to veto the bill, objecting to that language and a dozen other provisions.

The bill also says any military officer running the CIA will not be subject to the defense secretary’s supervision and the CIA must reimburse the military for the individual’s salary.

The CIA was created after World War II to establish a civilian intelligence agency, partly in response to the military’s inability to predict Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor. The issue of civilian control continues to come up in debates.

Last year, lawmakers raised concerns about Hayden’s background when Bush asked him to take over the CIA. They questioned whether it was the right time for a uniformed officer to head the agency as the Pentagon assumed an increasingly dominant role in intelligence collection and analysis.

Some of the same voices chimed in again when McConnell was tapped to oversee all 16 spy agencies earlier this year.

Among them was Michigan Rep. Peter Hoekstra, the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee. He said he remains concerned that intelligence agencies have been overpopulated by military officials. He said he wants to see a diversity of views — and more civilians — at the top of spy agencies.

“I don’t want the CIA run like the Army,” Hoekstra said Thursday. “I am glad that General Hayden is not saluting up through the chain of command at the Pentagon, but somewhere along the line, he does realize that his future career may be influenced by the people at the Pentagon.”

In the C-SPAN interview, Hayden said he reports to McConnell. “And after him, to the president,” he said. “It’s not that kind of problem for us.”
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posted by u2r2h at 2:33 PM


Blogger Philip said...

I have a hard time believe that a 4-star military general has anything to be worried about in terms of future career endeavors.

Monday, April 30, 2007 at 6:10:00 PM PDT  

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