October 2, 2004


C.I.A.-White House Tensions Are Being Made Public to Rare Degree: Tensions have simmered for years, mostly over intelligence about Iraq, but in the last few weeks, the friction has surged openly. (DOUGLAS JEHL, 10/02/04, NY Times)

Already, the contents of classified intelligence estimates about Iraq have been leaked by people sympathetic to the C.I.A., to the considerable embarrassment of the White House. In response, the White House associated the documents' authors with "pessimists and naysayers," and President Bush initially dismissed one particularly damaging forecast as nothing more than a guess. And in newspaper columns in recent days, Republican partisans have variously described what is now afoot as part of an insurgency or vendetta being waged by the C.I.A. against the White House.

"Wars bring things out in people that sometimes other disputes don't," said R. James Woolsey, a former director of central intelligence. "But even with the passions of war, I think you ought to keep it within channels." A third former intelligence official was more critical of the C.I.A. "The agency's role is to tell the administration what it thinks, not to criticize its policies," the official said.

Of course, the most urgent threat to the agency lies in the effort now under way in Congress to restructure American intelligence agencies under the command of a new national intelligence director.

"urgent threat to the agency"? Isn't the agency supposed to be a tool of the American people, not some independent institution guarding itself from them?

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 2, 2004 8:07 AM

CIA stands for 'Clueless in America.' It is long past time to disband it and prosecute its careerists for treason, drug dealing and all manner of crimes against America and humanity.

Posted by: Bart at October 2, 2004 10:58 AM