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Maybe “military intelligence” is an oxymoron, but…

Posted by Richard on May 9, 2006

OK, some healthy skepticism about anything related to government intelligence activities is probably a good idea — heck, throw in a little suspicion, caution, and paranoia if you like. But let’s not be stupid. Regarding the nomination of Lt. Gen. Michael Hayes to head the CIA, the concerns expressed by a bipartisan collection of Washington dolts are just plain stupid. A case in point is the slow-witted, inarticulate, bumbling fool who inexplicably sits just two heartbeats away from the presidency:

Speaker of the House J. Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., declared his opposition to Hayden’s appointment, siding with House Intelligence Committee Chairman Pete Hoekstra, a Republican from Michigan.

Hastert "believes a military figure should not be the head of a civilian agency," said Ron Bonjean, Hastert’s spokesman.

Let’s briefly recall the history of the CIA, shall we? Its precursor was the Office of Strategic Services, created by FDR in 1942. FDR named Bill Donovan as director. Donovan, although a Medal of Honor recipient and Colonel in WWI, was a civilian at the time, but FDR made him a general.

President Truman established the Central Intelligence Group in 1946 and named the first Director of Central Intelligence: Rear Admiral Sidney W. Souers. The CIG became the CIA in 1947.

Quite a few military men have served as Directors and Deputy Directors of Central Intelligence over the years.

Directors:

Rear Adm. Sidney W. Souers, USNR, 23 January 1946 —10 June 1946

Lt. Gen. Hoyt S. Vandenberg, USA, 10 June 1946 —1 May 1947
Rear Adm. Roscoe H. Hillenkoetter, USN, 1 May 1947 — 7 October 1950
Gen. Walter Bedell Smith, USA, 7 October 1950 — 9 February 1953
Vice Adm. William F. Raborn, Jr., USN (Ret.), 28 April 1965 — 30 June 1966
Adm. Stansfield Turner, USN (Ret.), 9 March 1977— 20 January 1981(Admiral Turner retired from the Navy during his tenure as DCI)

Deputy Directors (some of whom served as acting directors, too):

Brig. Gen. Edwin K. Wright, USA, 20 January 1947— 9 March 1949

Gen. Charles P. Cabell, USAF, 23 April 1953 — 31 January 1962
Lt. Gen. Marshall S. Carter, USA, 3 April 1962 — 28 April 1965
Vice Adm. Rufus L. Taylor, USN, 13 October 1966 —1 February 1969
Lt. Gen. Robert E. Cushman, Jr., USMC, 7 May 1969 — 31 December 1971
Lt. Gen. Vernon A. Walters, USA, 2 May 1972 — 7 July 1976
Adm. Bobby R. Inman, USN, 12 February 1981—10 June 1982
Adm. William O. Studeman, USN, 9 April 1992 — 3 July 1995
Gen. John A. Gordon, USAF, 31 October 1997 —29 June 2000

Anyone who expresses concern about "a military figure" heading the CIA is either remarkably ignorant or has an ulterior motive.

In the case of Hastert, I’m inclined to go with "remarkably ignorant." But I suspect that most of the others expressing concern about the Hayes nomination would have found some reason to oppose anyone Bush cared to name.

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One Response to “Maybe “military intelligence” is an oxymoron, but…”

  1. Anonymous said

    I think the era of CIA “civilian-ization” has lead to the recent display of ineptness, bumbling, and in general the bureaucratic ossification (no OSS pun intended), as marginal careerist-employees (not that there aren’t any in the Military) saw the Agency as their DC stepping-stone to a Gub’mint job-for-life.

    This entrenchment of desk jockey managers and administrators also amplified partisans fissures, and gave rise to the anti-administration blindness.

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