Friday, January 9, 2009

The Truth

Leon Panetta today:

A reader of David Frum's recently wrote:
I am not all that impressed with how the Agency over the last eight years has used its budget in hiring personnel. It is, at this point, a hopelessly dysfunctional organization incapable of fulfilling its mission. Up to me, I would abolish it, or at the very least, emasculate it and create a parallel organization to do its job for it...
I think they were already emasculated over the past eight years (just look at how the work of intelligence professionals was treated). Who wants to work for an organization like the one James Risen describes here?:
Gross: You say in the book that many of your sources that you draw on in the book came to you or spoke to you because of their growing disillusionment. What can you tell us about what was disillusioning your sources with the way intelligence was run. These are sources both in the NSA and the CIA.

Risen: I think one of the things that struck me when I first started working on this book, not just in the intelligence community but throughout the Bush administration, that people I was meeting, a lot of them, many of them people of them who had recently left the Bush administration over the last year or two, you looked at them and they had a dazed look as if they'd just been in a car crash.
Why would a talented person be interested in working for a place where your work was completely twisted or disregarded? This is in contrast to an earlier CIA that did quite well in Afghanistan.

A couple years ago David Corn noted a strange remark someone made to him at the AEI following him asking some pointed questions at a Chalabi speech:
As I headed for the elevator, a white-haired woman whom I did not know yelled at me, "You should be paid by the CIA!" She apparently thought my questioning of Chalabi was too rough. Her jeer was a demonstration of how the Iraq war has twisted the ideological lines in Washington. Yes, I said to her, only a CIA provocateur working for a left-of-center magazine would dare question Chalabi in that manner, and I cannot wait to get back to my office and receive my payment from Langley.
CIA employees--add them to the list of suspect New Class professions that the right guns for...

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