It's official: General Mike Hayden has been nominated to head the CIA. Republican lawmakers are already spooked by the choice -- and not just because of his domestic wiretap project, or his shaky grip on the 4th amendment says. But one military intelligence specialist tells Defense Tech that he likes Mike:
If we leave aside the obvious political arguments over the NSA program which are sure to come up at any confirmation hearings, Hayden is a great pick. One of the big talking points on both sides of the aisle is how CIA needs to be fixed... Hayden did the same thing at NSA, dragging it kicking and screaming into the 21st century. He overcame a lot of bureaucratic inertia to accomplish that. I would say he is the best candidate to do just the same at CIA. Additionally, being a in the military might afford him a little extra protection from some of the political sniping that comes with a regular political appointee. Time will tell, but if we are serious as a nation about our security and having competent intelligence services to help provide that security, I don't think we could fins anyone better for this job at this time. If certain Senators want to play politics and kill this nomination (if it comes) to make some partisan points, what we will inevitably end up with running the CIA is a milquetoast, non-threatening figurehead who is acceptable to everyone, and such a person will have no leverage to produce any reforms in the Agency. That result would be the intelligence equivalent of FEMA/Michael Brown. That should be unacceptable to us all.I'll be curious to hear what guys like Bobby Ray Inman, Patrick Keefe, and James Risen say tonight during their New York Public Library talk. If there are any truly juicy tidbits, I'll let you know.Meanwhile, check it constantly with Laura Rozen and TPM Muckraker, who are all over the CIA transition story.UPDATE 12:14 PM: I've been away for a few days (more on that in a bit), so I didn't get a chance to comment on the downright hilarious spin whizzing around Porter Goss' departure from the CIA. I didn't work in Washington all that long. But I was there long enough to know that top-level guys like him do not get fired suddenly over long-standing turf battles or routine staff shake-ups. Frankly, the poker-and-hooker theory makes a whole lot more sense.