August 22, 2005


The C.I.A. Goes Gentle Into the Spooky New Night (FRANCIS X. CLINES, 8/22/05, NY Times)

When the end came, eight former czars of central intelligence gathered in the Langley, Va., headquarters for an eerie moment of nostalgia - and devotees of the fact and fiction of the Central Intelligence Agency were already walking back the cat (spy talk for retrospectively figuring out how a careful scheme turned disastrous). Porter Goss, the former spy and congressman who was awarded the intelligence directorship last year, generously summoned his predecessors and two of their widows on Tuesday to a cafeteria celebration to bid adieu to the agency's tattered primacy. The agency director, once the morning briefer of presidents, is now a secondary player under the umbrella of the new director of national intelligence, John Negroponte. In the wake of 9/11, the agency that once swaggered romantically as "the Company" has been subsumed like the loser in a corporate takeover.

It's a mark of the cancerous power that bureaucracies wield over the merely elected government that the CIA wasn't simply closed.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 22, 2005 6:17 AM
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