Friday, October 12, 2007

Cheney Torture Toady, And CIA Director, General Michael Hayden Puts A Horse's Head In The Bed Of The CIA Inspector General

WASHINGTON, Oct. 11 — The director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Gen. Michael V. Hayden, has ordered an unusual internal inquiry into the work of the agency’s inspector general, whose aggressive investigations of the C.I.A.’s detention and interrogation programs and other matters have created resentment among agency operatives.

A small team working for General Hayden is looking into the conduct of the agency’s watchdog office, which is led by Inspector General John L. Helgerson. Current and former government officials said the review had caused anxiety and anger in Mr. Helgerson’s office and aroused concern on Capitol Hill that it posed a conflict of interest.

The review is particularly focused on complaints that Mr. Helgerson’s office has not acted as a fair and impartial judge of agency operations but instead has begun a crusade against those who have participated in controversial detention programs.

Any move by the agency’s director to examine the work of the inspector general would be unusual, if not unprecedented, and would threaten to undermine the independence of the office, some current and former officials say.

Frederick P. Hitz, who served as C.I.A. inspector general from 1990 to 1998, said he had no first-hand information about current conflicts inside the agency. But Mr. Hitz said any move by the agency’s director to examine the work of the inspector general would “not be proper.

“I think it’s a terrible idea,” said Mr. Hitz, who now teaches at the University of Virginia. “Under the statute, the inspector general has the right to investigate the director. How can you do that and have the director turn around and investigate the IG?” ...

Ok, lets start off with the admission that I can actually envision a situation where CIA Director Michael Hayden's argument could have some validity. I would think covert foreign intel operations are a very difficult thing to apply standard Inspector General protocols to. But I don't see any validity whatsoever in the situation described here. In the first place, the detention and interrogation (torture) programs are not transitory spy v. spy James Bond deals. They are static programs and locations, really no different than military prisons and interrogations, or FBI work and Federal Prisons, in general character. Tailor made for an independent Inspector General. Secondly, who in the world doesn't believe that seriously malevolent and criminal activity hasn't been the rule, not the exception, in the detention and interrogation programs. The United States Supreme Court has even said so on several aspects; not to mention every monitoring body in the world.

The crux of the issue here though is, even if there was a legitimate argument (again, that just doesn't hold water here), this is an outrageously wrong, improper, unethical, immoral and illegal way to go about addressing it. There are no provisions that permit a subject agency to investigate it's own Inspector General; moreover, the very concept is completely antithetical to the nature and purpose of an IG. The Times article says it is unprecedented; that is probably an understatement. This action by Hayden, undoubtedly undertaken under the direct authority of Vice-President Dick Cheney, is malicious and beyond the pale. With no attempt to use the designated avenues of recourse provided for agencies against their IGs, it is nothing short of putting a severed horse's head in Inspector General Helgerson's bed to let him know the score. A pure attempt to chill, obstruct and threaten the IG's work at the behest and direction of the subjects being investigated.

General Michael Hayden self servingly says not to worry, this is perfectly proper and above board, “His only goal is to help this office, like any office at the agency, do its vital work even better,” For the foregoing reasons, that is a laughable pile of horse manure. One other thought; since when did the jurisdiction of the CIA get expanded to investigation of domestic governmental agencies and officers? Is that part of another secret Bush/Cheney executive order we don't know about? It seems like a new concept, and a pretty malevolent one at that. There is simply no limit to the outrageous, unprecedented and unethical extremes the Bush/Cheney Administration will go to to obstruct and avoid accountability and responsibility for their immoral and illegal conduct. It is time for this to stop.