Embattled CIA chief George Tenet has stepped down from his position as Director of Central Intelligence citing personal issues. Dep. Director John McLaughlin will take his place when Tenet leaves in mid July.
I always thought Tenet should have resigned after September 11 as the CIA’s inability to know about the attacks was inexcusable. Granted, the CIA was just one failure among many, but Tenet always seemed to be too cautious to me. On the other hand, there are those who suggest that the structural problems put upon the CIA by the Church Commission were largely responsible for the problems and that Tenet had been fighting the bureaucratic inertia at the CIA for some time in order to fix some of these problems.
In any event, a change in leadership is not expected. Working as a high-profile member of the government is extremely stressful, and turnover rates are high. It would not at all surprising if more Bush Administration officials returned to public life in the next few months before the second term.
Let’s hope that the new director the CIA works diligently to restore America’s neglected HUMINT systems and helps focus our intelligence networks on fighting terrorism across the globe.