When I was director of the CIA, I knew that we had been – and I’m choosing my words very carefully here – effective in our expansion. We really had – expansion of government agencies and expansion of use of contractors. Effective, we were; efficient, we weren’t. And so, as director of the CIA, I went after the inefficiencies part.
Right after 9/11, I mean, every agency can give their own gradation, but a nice, popular rule of thumb is everybody doubled down. I ended up in NSA with about twice as much money as I had prior to 9/11.
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Comments on: "Michael Hayden Quotes: Right after 9/11, I mean, every agency can give their own gradation, but..."
When I was at the CIA I asked my civilian advisory board to tackle some tough questions. Among the toughest: In a political culture that every day demands more transparency and more public accountability from every aspect of national life, could American intelligence continue to survive and succeed? That jury is still out.
When asked if I miss being in government, I usually try to lighten the moment by responding that I awake most days, read the paper, and then observe that, ‘It’s yet another great day to be the former director of the Central Intelligence Agency.’
There’s this movie, ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ about the hunt for Osama bin Laden. Some have complained that too many ‘secrets’ were dished out by the intelligence and special operations communities to director Kathryn Bigelow, screenwriter Mark Boal and their crew, part of a broader pattern of using intelligence for political effect.
There is no part of the executive branch that more exists on the outer edge of executive prerogative than the American intelligence community – the intelligence community, CIA, covert action. My literal responsibility as director of CIA with regard to covert action was to inform the Congress – not to seek their approval, to inform.
I’m a career Air Force officer. We have a saying in the Air Force: ‘If you want people to be with you at the crash, you’ve got to put them on the manifest.’ And so I was always of the view to almost leave no stone unturned when you’re up there briefing the Hill.
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