I'm not sure if this is your problem but I ran into some weird behavior with kismet that I threw me off for a bit. It turned out to be permission problems, but that wasn't clear at the time. See in order to bring down the wireless ethernet interface, you have to be root. But for security reasons, kismet always runs as a regular user. So you start kismet from the root account, it kicks you over to a regular user and you're dead because the regular user can't write to the root's home directory because of permissions. Kismet kicks out a lot of log information, so I created a directory naturally called "kismet" in my home directory (because I have kismet configured to kick me over to my regular user account once it starts). My procedure then becomes: log into root, change to /home/scott/kismet directory, start kismet, and walla! I'm running as a regular user, me, and logging kismet info in my set aside place.
The fact that it's not accepting wi-fi controls kind of indicates this problem. Another possibility is that your card can't be used in monitor mode. I've never witnessed this behavior but I've heard it can happen.