June 1, 2006  

To the Bush administration

For nominating Air Force Gen. Michael Hayden to replace former congressman Porter Goss as director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Hayden is undoubtedly a superb officer and manager, but he suffers from two faults. The first is that he will come to the job as the beneficiary of the apparently bitter power struggle between John Negroponte, the director of national intelligence, and Goss. The fact that Hayden has been Negroponte’s No. 2 won’t help. The second problem is that Hayden has no background in human intelligence, although that’s supposed to be the CIA’s primary job now that the administration wants to reduce the agency’s analytic role. Given that the Pentagon is struggling to control human intelligence — long a bone of contention with the CIA — it seems likely that the U.S. intelligence community is in for even more turmoil.