Monday, May 08, 2006

He's seen James Bond films, though

Here are the qualifications for the next head of the CIA, as stated by Dick Cheney on Sunday:

... When you think about the intelligence community and the way in which the threat has evolved, it's imposed huge demands for change in the way we do business. We used to just be able to count missiles and silos. That was relatively easy to do from overhead satellites. We've built a whole system around technical collection that worked very well during the Cold War. But now when we're faced with trying to find ways to figure out what a small group of terrorists are going to do, they're difficult to penetrate, difficult to track by national technical means. It's a whole different kind of a target. It places a much heavier emphasis on human intelligence than was required necessarily before.

This is an area in which the actual nominee, active duty Air Force General Michael Hayden has no experience -- most of his career being in technical surveillance activities. The sensitivity to this point is revealed by today's White House "Fact Sheet" (sic) on his nomination, where only one relevant bit of experience is cited:

He also served in the U.S. Embassy in the former People s Republic of Bulgaria during the Cold War, where he trained with the CIA and collected human intelligence.

This is stated so vaguely that it could simply mean reading reports from field agents.

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