Sunday, May 07, 2006

Daily Times: Gen Hayden likely to lead CIA

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Gen Hayden likely to lead CIA

WASHINGTON: US President George W Bush plans to name Air Force General Michael Hayden to run the CIA after the abrupt resignation of the spy agency’s director Porter Goss, Time Magazine reported Friday.

Time said Hayden, who it described as close to Vice President Dick Cheney, has not been formally offered the job, but called him “the leading candidate”, citing Republican sources.

Hayden, currently principal deputy director of national intelligence, is the US military’s highest-ranking intelligence officer, and has served as the Director of the National Security Agency.

Time, which said Goss resigned under pressure amid ongoing reorganisation of the national intelligence apparatus, said Bush would name the replacement on Monday.

Questions about CIA’s health: The abrupt resignation of CIA Director Porter Goss raises disturbing questions about the US flagship intelligence agency’s health, amid growing concerns about a nuclear Iran, turmoil in Iraq and the Al Qaeda threat.

More than four years after the Sept 11 attacks, critics of the Bush administration, including Democrats in Congress, also warned that problems at the CIA had parallels elsewhere in the 16-agency US intelligence community including at the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security.

Goss’ departure capped months of unhappiness over his leadership of the CIA and efforts to rebuild the agency’s key clandestine and analytical operations for the war on terrorism, analysts and former intelligence officers said.

“The real problem is that Goss has laid out his vision, but what he hasn’t been able to do - this because of his management style and his weak leadership - is to build allies within the ranks who can be agents for change,” said former CIA agent and author Melissa Boyle Mahle.

Added another former CIA officer who spoke on condition of anonymity: “The agency’s gone down hill since he arrived. There’s been an exodus of senior people, and the guy he appointed to head the clandestine service has proved mediocre.”

Goss, a former Florida congressman who headed the House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, was charged with increasing CIA spy ranks that had been found sorely lacking after the Sept 11 attacks.

But analysts said an early confrontation between the Goss staff and clandestine officers prompted a number of senior agents to resign and left the CIA with little senior leadership at a time when the agency is taking on an army of green recruits and trying to recover from massive failures on Iraq and the Sept 11 attacks. agencies


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