Monday, November 15, 2004


Trouble at the CIA

Yesterday, Senator McCain made clear his dissatisfaction with the Central Intelligence Agency. From the NY Post:

Arizona Sen. John McCain yesterday slammed the CIA as a quasi "rogue agency" that bungled prewar intelligence and is in desperate need of the high-level purging believed to be under way.

"The status quo is not satisfactory," McCain said, lauding the shakeup sought by new CIA boss Porter Goss as "on the right track."

The White House is said to have instructed Goss to push out officers thought to have been disloyal to President Bush or of leaking damaging information to the media.

John McLaughlin, who took temporary command of the CIA during a tumultuous three-month period prior to Goss' recent appointment amid a wave of criticism of the spy agency, is retiring amid internal conflicts.

"This is a dysfunctional agency and in some ways a rogue agency," McCain told ABC's "This Week."

"This is the agency that . . . when [the president] asked for information about weapons of mass destruction, said, 'It's a slam dunk.' "

McCain accused some in the CIA of working to undermine President Bush, prior to the election.

He also blasted the CIA for failing to gather intelligence on North Korea and Iran, claiming that the U.S. knows little more about those two countries that it did ten years ago.

Several blogs are covering this story:

Powerpundit says:
I had been a bit alarmed about the apparent purge underway at the CIA and its potential effect on agency morale during a time of war, but McCain's criticism and acknowledgement of the need for a broad purge of disloyal and ineffective CIA officials gives the whole effort a lot more credibility with me.

Mark Noonan at Blogs for Bush notes:
In my view, this is long overdue. After eight years of Clinton in charge of hiring and firing, the CIA (as well as the rest of the Executive Branch) got a heavy dose of liberals, leftists and others who's mindsets are still entirely frozen in the Cold War - incapable of thinking anew and acting anew in the post-9/11 world. Out of frustration with policies they don't agree with, they have been a thorn in the side of the President in fighting the war - they have forgotten that policy is set by the President and his appointees, not by career bureaucrats. The career government employees are merely to carry out policy, and resign if they really believe the policies being pursued are incorrect.
The CIA has had problems as an agency in the past, and it will be interesting to see if it's possible for Goss to turn the tide.

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