Frank Gaffney has an absolutely brilliant idea: put David Kay in charge of the Central Intelligence Agency. Kay has shown that he’s willing to be independent, he has a capacity for investigation, and he understand that the biggest weakness in our intelligence chain is the withering of our HUMINT capabilities.
I believed that George Tenet, the current Director of Central Intelligence, should have been fired after September 11. His leadership has seen two of the greatest intelligence failures in modern history. Even if these problems were not directly a problem of his policy, the fact that he allowed them to go on speaks volumes about his basic and fundamental lack of leadership. The war on terrorism requires an emphasis on intelligence to break into and destroy terror cells worldwide. The CIA can’t even determine if and where Saddam’s WMDs are.
Tenet is not the only one to blame. For 30 years the US has systematically decimated its own intelligence services through scurrilous accusations and pointless witch hunts. Our HUMINT capabilities have been severely degraded while our electronic and photographic intelligence capabilities have ballooned. While such surveillance methods are important, our intelligence community has bought into the notion that they can replace rather than augment the human on the ground actively making contacts and gathering intelligence. They simply cannot – human intelligence can locate information that can’t be seen from the air or culled for wiretaps.
It is time for Tenet to be called to account, even if it is almost three years too late. Dr. Kay would be a worthy replacement who is in a unique position to help America’s intelligence community further develop the skills and techniques it needs to win the war on terrorism.