CIA Director Mike Hayden understands politics, and in this presidential season he wants to make sure his staff of agents and analysts do too.
His goal: keeping the agency out of the political debate this year. So he's recommending that his gang stick to their jobs and avoid the tug of politics. We hear that at a town meeting inside CIA headquarters on Wednesday, the director said that in today's political climate, moves by the agency can sometimes be dragged into the media spotlight.
"By the nature of our agency, we pretty easily get roped into the public political debate, mainly because everything you're doing is central to virtually every foreign challenge that's facing the nation today," he said. "As I've said to you many times, intelligence has never been more important to the nation's security, and unfortunately that cuts both ways. It puts us in the media spotlight, and from time to time in the media spotlight in ways that really don't make our job any easier. But it also underscores the relevance, the unique role we play."
Hayden, known for regularly reaching out to his employees, advises them to "just focus on our work, just do our job."
By Paul Bedard