Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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November 15, 2004
By: Kevin Drum

PURGING THE CIA....Knut Royce of Newsday reports that the CIA is screwed:

The White House has ordered the new CIA director, Porter Goss, to purge the agency of officers believed to have been disloyal to President George W. Bush or of leaking damaging information to the media about the conduct of the Iraq war and the hunt for Osama bin Laden, according to knowledgeable sources.

"The agency is being purged on instructions from the White House," said a former senior CIA official who maintains close ties to both the agency and to the White House. "Goss was given instructions ... to get rid of those soft leakers and liberal Democrats. The CIA is looked on by the White House as a hotbed of liberals and people who have been obstructing the president's agenda."

Again: loyalty is everything, now. Justice, State, and the CIA are being filled with people whose most signal qualification is loyalty to George Bush, and I'm sure more is on the way.

As Josh Marshall says, this is a recipe for disaster, especially at the CIA. It's not that the professionals at the CIA have always been right:

But in the cases where they got things wrong, it was always the case the the White House and the rest of the administration was pushing for wrong+1 or more likely wrong-squared.

....On every significant point of conflict between the Bush administration and the country's cadre of intelligence professionals, the Bush political appointees turned out to be wrong. Often very wrong, and with disastrous consequences. Sometimes the intel folks were wrong too; but when that was so, the appointees were always more wrong.

....If you think this is just a Washington squabble or political debating point you'd be mistaken. Because your lives, and those of your families and friends, may very well be on the line.

I think that about covers it.

Kevin Drum 2:19 PM Permalink | Trackbacks

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