“From drone strikes to prison torture, the CIA has been pulling the strings of US foreign policy since 9/11. And if history is a guide, the agency will be calling the shots in the middle east for years to come,” write Yochi Dreazen and Sean D. Naylor at Foreign Policy:
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Dennis Blair was itching for a fight. In May 2009, the retired U.S. Navy admiral was serving as the director of national intelligence (DNI). Theoretically, Blair’s title gave him oversight of the CIA and Washington’s constellation of 16 other spy agencies. Yet, in reality, the director was powerless even to designate the senior American spy in a given country—a rank that, for decades, had traditionally been given to the CIA station chief in capitals from London to Beirut. Blair felt entitled to have charge over this. So sidestepping the White House, he sent a written order codifying that the DNI would now be the one to select the most senior spies.