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Should CIA Director be a career position rather than an executive appointment?(5 posts)

Should CIA Director be a career position rather than an executive appointment?128
Jan 9, 2004 6:40 AM
I think it was the Carnegie group that suggests this in their recent report concluding that there were no WMD's, and that there was political pressure to have inteligence which would support the existence of WMD's.

So does it make sense to remove such high level intelligence officers from Executive appointment? On first blush it makes sense to me (separation of power) although I don't know what the alternative would look like, and I'm not certain if there is some compelling reason to keep the positions appointed positions.
you want a lifetime spook in a lifetime job?dr hoo
Jan 9, 2004 7:05 AM
Great! No country has ever suffered by having someone head up the secret police for years and years.

I think the political appointment is the best that can be hoped for. It exerts some level of control and potential reform over a very, very secretive and potentially powerful agency. If things don't work, bring someone in to "clean house" so to speak. Not that this happens, but it CAN happen.

I think the big problem in information gathering and reporting to the executive branch is groupthink (only giving ideas that agree with the leader's position, even if you have doubts). To counter this, the organization should be divided into the "this is what we think the truth is" and the "we are wrong, that is not the truth" departments. The devil's advocate is a critical role in good decision making. Problems arise when the "counter" voice is marginalized. By elevating the critical-we are wrong voices to the same level as the we are right voices, the effects of politics should be minimized.

Imagine if every report on Iraq had an equal number of pages devoted to there NOT being a threat to US security. Would we have invaded? Maybe. Would there have been a more complete debate on the issue in congress and in public? Definitely.

So I would go for more of a procedural reform, not personnel reform.
What???Dave_Stohler
Jan 10, 2004 9:24 PM
"No country has ever suffered by having someone head up the secret police for years and years."

Ummm...how about the USSR under Molotov???
What??? Well, the what of it is...dr hoo
Jan 11, 2004 4:40 PM
... sarcasm.
Sounds like someone's forgotten the FBI under J. Edgar Hoover...The Walrus
Jan 9, 2004 1:20 PM
...and the way the Bureau was run as his personal fiefdom. Imagine the potential for something like this, on an international scope.