In Deputy Chief Resigns From CIA, the Washington Post gives us a peek at the train wreck in the making at the CIA.
It's obvious that Bush has nominated a partisan hack. He brought with him four aides, people I don't know much about, but whom the CIA people depict as having much to be modest about.
I wish I could stop there, and just pen another Bush-administration-incompetence story (which this seems to be), but it's more complicated than that. I actually think that a significant fraction of what Goss says is wrong with the CIA is likely to be right.
The problems at the CIA are pervasive. They start with a general lack of brilliance among the people who've been promoted in the agency. They run through bloat and hide-bound ways of work. The agency never recovered from the last purge, so it lacks 'assets' in key parts of the world, and is still shaking off its cold-war-centered focus. The CIA tortures people, which is no trivial matter.
Thus, even though it was politically expedient I have not been real comfortable with the war between the spooks at the Agency and their nominal political masters. It's never good when the secret police or the get into politics.
The agency is a serious mess and nowhere more than the dark side, the clandestine service. It needs a cleanup; it's just not at all likely that the ham-handed methods being used by Goss and his merry henchmen are likely to improve matters much. They might even make things worse.