May 19, 2006


How Bush Destroyed the CIA (Sidney Blumenthal, May 19, 2006, AlterNet)

Acting on the president's charge, Goss in effect purged the CIA. He was even conducting lie detector interrogations of officers to root out the sources of stories leaked to the press -- to the Washington Post, for example, in its Pulitzer Prize-winning exposé of CIA "black site" prisons where detainees are jailed without any due process, Red Cross inspection or Geneva Conventions protection. Last month, a CIA agent, Mary McCarthy, was fired for her contact with a reporter. Like others subjected to questioning, she was asked her political affiliation.

But Goss' purging weakened the agency and his own inherent bureaucratic strength in relation to his voracious rivals at the Directorate of National Intelligence and the Pentagon. The more he served as the president's loyalist, the less was his power. By fulfilling his mission, he diminished himself. [...]

President Bush has nominated Gen. Michael Hayden, the former director of the National Security Agency and currently Negroponte's deputy, as the new CIA director. He has distinguished himself as a loyalist to the administration by using his uniform as a shield against the heat generated by the revelation of illegal domestic surveillance by the NSA.

Regardless of anodyne assurances offered in his forthcoming congressional testimony, Hayden will preside over the liquidation of the CIA as it has been known. The George H.W. Bush CIA headquarters building in Langley will of course remain standing. But the agency will be chipped apart, some of its key parts absorbed by other agencies, with the Pentagon emerging as the ultimate winner.

Future historians will be bewildered that it took so long to level one of the worst run agencies of the American government and will be particularly puzzled by how it survived the collapse of the Soviet Empire, which dramatically demonstrated that ineptitude.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 19, 2006 10:28 AM

Once you see the byline, you can just stop reading: t Sydney Blumenthal's for it....

...and that include apple pie and motherhood, too!

Posted by: Kirk Parker at May 19, 2006 10:41 AM

Goodness gracious, I would have thought Sidney would be happy to see the break-up of an agency that pre-Porter Goss was running all those awful secret prisons around the world.

Posted by: John at May 19, 2006 11:04 AM

Once again, the President stands aside and lets the Dems self-destruct. The Dems insisted that we had to have an "independent" 9/11 commission, the Dems insisted that we had to adopt all of the commissions recommendations, the Dems insisted that we had to make CIA subservient to DNI and only then did the Dems notice what conservatives have known for decades: that CIA was the furthest left of the intelligence agencies. It was also the anti-Bush.

Posted by: David Cohen at May 19, 2006 2:47 PM

McCarthy was fired because she leaked classified information to a reporter, not because she was in contact with him/her.

I'm really peaved that she'll receive her pension instead of being sent to one of those secret prison we don't have in Bulgaria.

Posted by: erp at May 19, 2006 3:45 PM

Why is Sid complaining? Bush is just carrying on the work of the great Democrat, Frank Church.

Posted by: jdkelly at May 19, 2006 4:21 PM