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The Washington Independent
The Washington Independent

Keeping Hayden At CIA: Are You Kidding Me?

The holiday blahs haven’t let up when it comes to who’s getting what job in the new Obama-run intelligence community. No news today on that front, according to

Henry Hamer
Last updated: Jul 31, 2020 | Jan 05, 2009

The holiday blahs haven’t let up when it comes to who’s getting what job in the new Obama-run intelligence community. No news today on that front, according to the Obama transition. So, as day follows night and pain follows dehydration-inducing New Year’s revelry, it appears that speculating about Mike Hayden staying at CIA isn’t just for House intelligence committee chairmen and anonymous bad-faith intel vets anymore.

My friend Ken Silverstein over at Harper’s talks to an anonymous former CIA official who takes the prospect of Hayden staying seriously. The dude also thinks it’s a terrible idea:

[Hayden's] a safe place holder. But it won’t play well in [the CIA]. He hasn’t earned respect. He’s a four-star airforce general who’s not a pilot or a war guy. He is a really nice guy, he just has no business running the nation’s espionage business. He’s a professional administrator and they need a good case officer. They need a spy to rebuild, restructure, motivate and run the nations spy service. Bush is leaving office, after two terms with the same intelligence questions unanswered that he faced when he arrived? How is this possible?

I know, right? It’s almost like Bush wasn’t interested in intelligence-qua-intelligence, as opposed to intelligence that provided opportunities for cherished visions of the future. Still, it’s interesting to see Hayden pushback that centers on agency antipathy to what he represents, since all the pro-Hayden stuff that’s been floated in the press has portrayed him as commanding fervent loyalty over at Langley.

Henry Hamer | I'm currently working for Google's Chrome team in Munich, Germany, as a developer advocate. I was a member of the team responsible for the online presence of, one of Germany's largest daily newspapers, from January 2010 to November 2011. I used to work for Yahoo! on their similarly massive European news pages before joining Sueddeutsche. I've concentrated my efforts on the internet, which has turned out to be a fantastic decision.


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