Spy turf fight being umpired by White House
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.
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.
Photo credit: Reuters/Larry Downing (Lobby of CIA headquarters)