Is the CIA a 'Bloated, Dysfunctional Bureaucracy'?

Hayden responded to the criticism that the CIA did not provide actionable information for the soldiers stationed in Afghanistan. He told Pajamas Media: “By definition the American people cannot know about successful spy work. Otherwise it will neither be successful nor spy work.”

Furthermore, this year Major General Michael Flynn, the deputy chief of staff for intelligence in Afghanistan, wrote a report about the military, not CIA intelligence in Afghanistan. Thor used this report in a misguided attempt to show the CIA’s ineptness. Flynn emphasized to Pajamas Media that “my report does not refer to the CIA. … [T]heir support has been very good, very forthcoming.  The report was as much a self-critique and meant to kickstart a process of change.”

Stephen Kappes, the deputy director of the CIA under Hayden and Panetta, is used by Thor as a scapegoat. He writes: “There are lots and lots of problems at the Central Intelligence Agency and Kappes’ fingerprints are all over them.” Kappes was described by those interviewed as someone who knows how to work Washington and who is very honorable, reasonable, and loyal.

Thor believes the "Kappes' doctrine" is at the forefront of what’s wrong with the CIA and cites the Forward Operating Base  Camp Chapman disaster, where seven CIA agents were killed by their Jordanian asset, and the recent leaks to the New York Times as examples. Yes, there were mistakes made at Camp Chapman, but Mr. Thor is a Monday morning quarterback. There is the need to take risks. No one wants a risk-averse CIA. Rest assured that those in the intelligence business will take the lessons learned, procedures will change, and security will be strengthened.

Regarding the leaks, many U.S. intelligence officials think this accusation is not only wrong but preposterous. There is an unwritten commandment of the CIA: “thou shall not out anyone.” A former high-ranking CIA official emphatically stated that “everyone just needs to keep their eye on the adversary and stop sniping at each other. This is probably another case of those who know don't tell and those who tell don't know.”

Granted, no organization is perfect and there is always the need to reexamine and make improvements. Yet people should remember that directly after 9/11 the CIA was a big part of America’s combined shield. As Michael Hayden positively stated, “We are proud of our record in Afghanistan and as strategy changes intelligence needs change and the CIA will adapt.”