Who’s Minding The CIA?
I clicked on Instapundit this evening and see that he addressed a topic that’s been very much on my mind since hearing reference to the CIA on Mark Levin’s radio show on Friday. I too am very troubled when thinking about the CIA’s role in the entire Plame affair, not to mention their role in leading up to the Iraq War in the first place.
THE BIG LOSER in the Libby affair, it would seem to me, is the CIA. At least it will be if anyone pays attention. Consider: Assuming that Valerie Plame was some sort of genuinely covert operative — something that’s not actually quite clear from the indictment — the chain of events looks pretty damning …
People seem so intent on repeating the myth that we went to war over WMD’s, all I can do is scratch my head, as that was never my impression in the first place. We went to war because Saddam refused to give way to years of UN sanctions and inspections. On top of that, his air force was trying repeatedly to shoot down our planes over the no-fly zones.
The Bush administration never linked Saddam Hussein to 9/11, nor did they ever say anything as regards Iraq and WMD which wasn’t already being said by a previous American President, Clinton, the CIA and the bulk of intelligence agencies around the world. And Britain’s intelligence agency still insists that Wilson’s alleged intelligence work missed the mark and Saddam actually did try to obtain yellow cake Uranium from Niger. That one fact alone renders the entire Wilson / Plame episode moot as far as impacting upon any alleged rationale for war.
How ironic that just when it was becoming obvious there were myriad intelligence gaffes by our CIA, not only in leading up to the war, but quite possibly through the decade or so preceding 9/11 and the Afghan and Iraq wars, that the very agency who should be in question would facilitate a covert operation using an unlikely and unqualified operative with a very big mouth to undertake one of the more important missions before them at the time. It simply makes no sense.
It’s increasingly difficult to conclude that the CIA was doing anything other than manufacturing cover for their own terrible performance, and perhaps taking steps, much like Hoover’s FBI was once wont to do, to ensure that it wasn’t going to be held accountable to the full measure that it should have been for what appears to be poor performance over some number of years.
While we like to think of agencies like the FBI and the CIA as pure and ever vigilant defenders of America and Americans, the Hoover years should be a stark reminder that operating half in the dark as they must, they are also free to become huge bureaucracies which can at times develop methods of thinking, ways of doing things and distinct agendas all their own.
Post 9/11 to date, I have heard the words faulty intelligence bandied about more often by more politicians and pundits on both sides of the isle than I can recall in America’s history. Yet nothing I have seen or heard said in public over recent years has given me any real assurance that the issue has been addressed to anyone’s satisfaction, let alone my own.
Given that the CIA now seems at the center of more than its share of debacles, from faulty pre-terrorist attack and pre-war intelligence to the Plame affair, isn’t it now time that someone asks the simple question, who’s minding the CIA?
And, when they ask it, they might just as well inquire into two other matters. What the hell were they up to in sending a person such as Joe Wilson, given all we’ve now learned of him, on some secret mission? That certainly doesn’t sound like the CIA I want watching, or not watching my back, as it were. And then perhaps it’s time for some discussions around Able Danger and to what extent they may or may not be involved there, as well.
I’ve given up on demanding objectivity coupled with intelligence from more than a few of our many politicians. I see no reason to do the same when it comes to the Central Intelligence Agency.