There's a great piece up at Slate about the CIA Director (Hayden) going after the Inspector General (Helgerson).
But last week, that tension boiled over when CIA director Michael Hayden launched an investigation into his own agency's inspector general, John Helgerson. Hayden's move to watch the CIA's watchdog is deeply misguided"”an effort to neutralize one of the few vestiges of meaningful oversight at the agency, and leave the "legal decisions" to the spies themselves. The intelligence scandals of the past six years, and Mike Hayden's career in particular, demonstrate that this would be a grave mistake.
That's the basic slant of the piece. It's not a subject I normally follow but the question of who watches our enforcers and the intelligence community is valid in pretty much any situation. Obvisouly the author here (a former CIA man himself) has a slant that he's pretty up-front about.
Publicly going after the Inspector General seems misguided even to someone as uninformed as I am. The goal seems like it is to remove his teeth. There are at least two questions that arise: Are the recent actions of the CIA (torture, secret prisons, etc...) questionable? My quick take is yes. Secondly, why would you go after the man whose job it is to ask exactly those kinds of questions? Are you uncomfortable with what he'll find?
I'm not versed in the history here but publicly going after the guy whose jo it is to ask critical questions appears cowardly and a blatant attempt to remove or neuter the (small?) amount of oversight that exists.
What say you all? Any idea what will happen? Apparently there won't be any condemnation by the White House of Hayden going after Helgerson, so who steps in here to back this guy up?
(BTW, this the first thread I've started in P&C, let me know if I'm doing it right, or at least if I'm not.)