Monday, May 08, 2006

Appointing Hayden Makes Perfect Spook Sense

All the brouhaha over the likely nomination and appointment of Gen. Michael Hayden to head up the CIA is rather silly. It should be remembered that the CIA is basically a military creature, although civilian leaders have run the agency in recent decades. The CIA emerged from the Central Intelligence Group with the signing of Truman’s National Security Act in July 1947. A flourish of Truman's pen also created "an independent Air Force, provided for coordination by a committee of service chiefs, the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), and a Secretary of Defense, and created the National Security Council (NSC). The CIG became an independent department and was renamed the Central Intelligence Agency," explains the Federation of American Scientists. "Chaired by the [Intelligence Advisory Committee], the Committee included representatives from the Departments of State, Army, Air Force, the Joint Chiefs of Stag, and the Atomic Energy Commission." The first director of the CIA was Rear Admiral Sidney W. Souers, followed by General Walter Bedell Smith.