CIA: Director goes after Inspector General

There's a great piece up at Slate about the CIA Director (Hayden) going after the Inspector General (Helgerson).

Slate Article wrote:

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.)

Yeah, this is worrying. What I've read seems to indicate that the humint guys are worried about oversight clicking back into place and reversing the opinion of the CIA's lawyers (which, ideally, would have been backed up by the now-repudiated Justice Department decisions on torture.) I can see their point, but honestly, someone *should* be going to jail over this - starting with John Yoo and the lawyers who set this all in motion at Cheney's behest.

I think there's going to be a lot of debate in years to come over why Cheney was not perp-walked out of the White House at some point. Right now, no one is being held accountable for many of the illegalities foisted upon us which are in the process of being turned around (cf Mukasey's stance on torture and the attempt to indemnify the compliant telcos). Heck, we are even hearing that the telco that didn't cave on the surveillance stuff was punished by the NSA, which pulled contracts it had won.

The intel services are still fractured, with some analysts favoring the Cheney/Bush "give them what they want" approach, and some trying to keep to the old school "do it right no matter what" philosophy. It's sickening that this is still a debate, but even analysts have political leanings.

Seriously, let's all play Kremlin.