Tales from the Trail

Spy turf fight being umpired by White House

July 7, 2009

The daggers are out in the U.S. spy world — for each other.

And the job of breaking up the fight in the ring of shadows has gone to the White House, which is expected to rule soon.

In one corner is the CIA, established by President Truman, when he signed the National Security Act of 1947, to coordinate the country’s intelligence activities. BUSH

In the other corner is the DNI, which began operating in 2005 as a coordinator of all intelligence agencies after being created in response to the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

And in the middle (not a place anyone would volunteer to be in this battle) is the White House.

Vice President Joe Biden let the cat out of the bag in an interview with ABC’s “This Week” that a settlement of the dispute was close at hand. “I think we’re well on the way to that being solved.”

No word yet on where the White House came out on this one.  Biden would only say “They both won.”

Hmmmmm… wonder how he found the secret to keeping both of them happy when each side appears to have staked out opposing positions.

The crux of it is over the DNI sending out an intelligence directive saying he can choose to appoint a DNI representative in overseas stations who is other than the CIA station chief.

CIA supporters say that would only bring bureaucracy and confusion to overseas posts because it would not be clear to anyone who is in charge, and the system of having the CIA station chief also be the DNI representative is working just fine.

DNI supporters say in some circumstances it may be better to have someone other than the CIA station chief  to handle questions of coordination and resources and strategy.

Winner(s) to be announced in fairly short order.

Click here for more Reuters political coverage

Photo credit: Reuters/Larry Downing (Lobby of CIA headquarters)

Comments
One comment so far | RSS Comments RSS

If they keep fighting among themselves we may stay safe otherwiese all of them running loose in this country with secret programs kind of undermines democracy since we don’t know what they are doing to whom for what reason and in what way. I suppose they can be trusted to be right 100% of the time and not abuse power or make any mistakes or be biased against certain types of people or political views or socio-economic status or race, color or creeds etc…

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