Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Heckuva Job, Gen. Mikey! (Our next CIA chief in action)

If TPM Muckraker isn't one of your bookmarks, take care of that right now, OK? Because in its few brief months of existence, it's become indispensable.

Yesterday, for instance, Muckraker Justin Rood rescued some overlooked reporting by Siobhan Gorman of the Baltimore Sun, which found that, under GEn. Hayden's watch at the NSA:

NSA bungled two key technology programs and an important oversight effort. As a result, "The agency has been gradually 'going deaf,' as unimportant communications drown out key pieces of information," an official told Gorman. Meanwhile, the secretive agency has been burning through billions -- billions -- of dollars.

"Nearly 4 1/2 years after the Sept. 11 attacks, the NSA lacks a system to comprehensively evaluate all of the communications collected by its vast networks of high-tech ears," Gorman concluded.

"Agency computers have trouble talking to each other and frequently crash, key bits of data are sometimes lost, and vital intelligence can be overlooked."

Here's the kicker: Because of the failures under Hayden, the NSA actually lost authority. Congress was so upset by these techno-screwups and cost overruns that it stripped the agency of the power to sign its own big-ticket contracts -- and gave it to the Department of Defense. This is the guy who's going to strengthen the CIA's hand against the Pentagon?

IOW, this guy's another Bush Administration world-class fuckup.

See the header link for a quick summary of the details. See the Baltimore Sun for the complete details.


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