The CIA and Pentagon are Ready for a McCain or Obama Inauguration Day

Key personnel are preparing for a smooth transition.

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Inauguration Day will mark more than just a historic power handoff. It will also be the first wartime transition since Vietnam. And for agencies like the Pentagon and CIA, getting ready is a huge challenge. At the CIA, for example, Director Michael Hayden this month started to prepare agents and analysts for the switch with comments that suggested he is prepared to stay on to help either winner of the election. "In the course of just a few months—from the election through the first months of a new administration—CIA will demonstrate not only our unique capabilities and leadership role in the community but also our ability to adjust to the interests and needs of our new customers." Ditto at the Pentagon, where spokesman Geoff Morrell says many top insiders will stay on to assist the transition if the winner so desires. Other agencies are also getting into the act, part of an order from President Bush to build a glitch-free transition.