No One Wants to Be CIA Director Thanks To Bush
If I can say something that isn’t about Gaza for a minute, Jeff Stein at CQ has a great piece about how Barack Obama can’t find someone to become CIA director now that part of the job description is to preside over torture:
“A lot of people don’t want the job,” said the source, because the CIA chief is no longer top dog in the fractious, 16-agency intelligence community, and no longer gives the President his daily briefing. The Obama team has gone down “some blind alleys” in finding the right person, the source said.
Whereas in pre-9/11 times the job might have been a springboard to bigger things, now “it’s a career ender” because it requires direct supervision of such contentious policies as renditions and interrogations.
You’d think that Obama could just tell people “We’re not going to torture anymore.” But who knows? Maybe that’s because he’s reserving the right to torture people. In fairness, there’s a long tradition of people not wanting to be CIA director, as it’s a thankless job that often ends in being blamed for policy failure.
Fun fact: John Deutch thought the position was rinkydink when Bill Clinton offered it to him after a certain neocon know-nothing proved to be a crappy director. Deutch wanted to be defense secretary. It didn’t happen. CIA director is rarely a stepping stone to anything, Bob Gates notwithstanding.