Director of Central Intelligence (DCI)
November 27, 2008
Seeking Integrity at the CIA
by Ray McGovern
Editor's Note: An underlying factor in the national security crises confronting the United States has been the corruption of the US. intelligence process, with analyses tailored to fit the desires of the policymakers and with laws bent to permit torture and other abuses.
In this guest essay, former CIA analyst Ray McGovern reflects on what went wrong and what now needs to go right:
The Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) must be a person whose previous professional performance has been distinguished by unimpeachable integrity and independence. The director must have the courage of his or her own convictions.
Without integrity and courage, all virtue is specious, and no amount of structural or organizational reform will make any difference.
Most of official Washington has long believed that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld needed to be sacked. Unfortunately it took a major Republican loss at the polls to finally prompt George W. Bush to cut loose a key player from his inner circle.
The removal of Rumsfeld signals that Bush is listening to the voters and elected officials. However, the nomination of Robert Gates—a Bush family crony and former Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) under his father’s administration—to replace Rumsfeld will only create new problems for the president.
President Ronald Reagan had to withdraw Gates’ nomination for DCI in 1987 because of Gates’ involvement in the Iran-Contra scandal. By 1991, after the heat had died down on the whole affair, President George H.W. Bush re-nominated Gates for the post, and he was confirmed.