Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Some Intelligence News

Why do people do this?

Influential Democrat asks Obama to keep spy chiefs

Reyes said he had recommended to Obama's transition team that CIA Director Michael Hayden and Director of National Intelligence Michael McConnell be kept in place for at least six months.
"There's got to be some continuity, and the leadership of both the CIA and the DNI is going to be pivotal to keeping us safe and secure," Reyes said. "I made a recommendation that they stay on during the transition so that there would be a period of time that there would be overlap."

Because OMG!! whoever Obama hires would be really scary and noone would follow them and we need to stick to the status quo, I mean center!

Still time for the Shredder?

Obama Transition Team Pushing for Secret Legal Memos

A senior Justice Department official said today that "99.8 percent" of the department's work with President-elect Barack Obama's transition team has gone smoothly. The 0.2 percent snag: The department has reservations about granting the team's request to review classified legal opinions related to secret CIA and National Security Agency programs.

he Justice official said the department was reluctant to provide the opinions to Obama's team without permission from the two intelligence agencies whose activities they address. At the roundtable, Mukasey said OLC opinions are issued at the request of other agencies with their "own equity or interest in the information."

"And so what we try to do is determine whether, and to what extent, we can clear that information and try to do it as quickly as we can so as to get it to the transition team so that they're aware of all the things that they need when they take over on the 21st," Mukasey said, according to a transcript provided by the department.


The story explains that the dispute between Obama's team and the DOJ over the records has caught the attention of Williams & Connolly's Greg Craig (pictured), who has been named as the incoming White House counsel. The story cites an unnamed justice official as saying the agencies first want to sign off on any information disclosed to their new boss before turning over sensitive records.

Are they delaying the inevitable? Why would they hesitate to share this information? Is this normal? Apparently the CIA and NSA know that something isn't quite right with those memos...oh, but they don't expect to be prosecuted, oh no. I really don't understand what the point of the hesitation is. I hope I can find some kind of explanation for this behavior from someone more knowledgable on the nets.

Next up...putting together the pieces of the newest intelligence rumors. Maybe trying to figure out what it means to be "center" on intelligence policy (especially when "intelligence policy" in the media boils down to torture and terrorism).

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