Bush purges the CIA

So which sounds more likely to you:

  1. Bush purging CIA employees based on political critiera will greatly improve the agencies importance.
  2. We’re fucked.

“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.”

The incomprehensible thing is that the CIA was right about Iraq. But Bush yelled at them so loud they basically started telling him what they wanted to hear.

If this is true, horribly despicable. Not to mention lethally dangerous.

More commentary here on the subject from the blue guy’s perspective:

As long as the CIA wages an internal political war against the President, what the hell do you expect him to do? While I’m sure that liberals would love to answer “Duh, you roll over for the CIA” as Jason did, the President was elected and has the right to make policy without being backstabbed every five minutes by a CIA leak. The NYT editorial seems to endorse this view - the CIA’s estimates should be produced by people who don’t have an axe to grind with elected officials and who don’t intentionally wield it by leaking damaging materials while withholding friendly materials that might represent vindication for their target - in this case Bush.

I think David Brooks counts as a red guy when writing his op-eds, although I suspect he’s a blue guy who wishes he were a red guy.

I think David Brooks counts as a red guy when writing his op-eds, although I suspect he’s a blue guy who wishes he were a red guy.[/quote]

He is definitely a blue guy. I read all the editorialists on the NYT regularly and he is the only Republican guy around. That said I felt he was somewhat right here. The administration has a right to partisan support and the unprofessionalism of the leaks and the book and such was outside the line.

Your statement there - that the Administration has a right to partisan support from the CIA - sounds a lot like saying that the CIA should create plausible reasons to support whatever policy the administration comes up with, instead of gathering factual intelligence and then presenting that intelligence, whether or not it happens to agree or disagree with a policy that was decided upon before any intelligence was known. Isn’t policy supposed to be crafted FROM intelligence, rather than intelligence twisted to support a pre-existing policy?

“Hey, they didn’t like it when we browbeat them and made them tell us what we wanted to here last time. The only way to deal with them complaining about it is more of the same!”

The administration has a right to partisan support

Oh, bullshit. The agency is supposed to be a non-partisan organization like Defense, or State, that provides honest, professional evaluations to Presidents. Bush didn’t like it very much when they did this - the conservative median opinion on the CIA appears to be “they don’t agree with us, so obviously their disagreemnt has a partisan root.”

Ridiculous. Hope you don’t mind a 9/11 repeat, because this kind of shit is going to get us one.

It’s frightening that the idea of checks and balances seems to be going out the window in favor of the “with us or agin us” mentality. The CIA shouldn’t be required to give partisan support, I always thought it was supposed to be objective.

To be fair, the non-partisan nature of the CIA should go both ways. The CIA’s conclusions should be based primarily on analysis of intelligence, not political climate. This applies to its employees as well. If Scheuer was encouraged by CIA officials to make Bush look bad when talking to the press about his book, that’s unprofessional and inappropriate.

You have to admit this CIA shake-up is consistent with rumors that the Bush administration only wants support for its ideas. For homework this week, analyze the nature and quality of decisions made by a group where disagreement with accepted policies is strongly discouraged. Use examples from business and politics to support your conclusions. HINT: The concept of groupthink may apply here.

It’s good to see the ultraliberal QT3 crowd has gotten over the election and is back to their old ways. The bush-demonizing cataclysm-prophesizing has returned in full force. It rings a little false now though, since the election showed just how out-of-touch with reality the QT3 fringe elements are.

The CIA was due for a shakeup anyway. Based on the 9/11 report some restructuring of the intelligence agencies was inevitable. It’s sad that it appears to be happening with a partisan twist and with so much willingness to discard experienced people, but it’s not a crisis of biblical proportions. Sometimes that much turnover at the top is even a good thing for an organization as it brings in new people with new ideas and a willingness to try out new methods.

Leaking confidential position papers and memos to make the sitting President - any President - look bad is a partisan activity. Certainly nobody would bother leaking a memo to make the sitting President look good, they’ve got White House staff to do that.

It’s also unprofessional as hell.

I agree that it should be done in a nonpartisan way, but we can be reasonably sure that conservatives in the CIA aren’t the ones who have been leaking like a sieve. In any case, as you say, the CIA is due for an overhaul.

Experience, incidentally, is not a panacea. The older you get, the more set in your ways you are, and once you get to a certain point your conclusions are more based on 40-year-old events than on 1-year-old events. It’s a truism that experienced generals are almost always trying to fight the current war as if it were the previous one.

Are we talking about the civil war in Iraq memo leak? Or are we talking about something I haven’t read about?

Anyway, Bush is plainly destroying our careful system of checks and balances. The Republicans are solidifying their power base at the expense of our safety. That should piss everybody off, but Republicans are too busy parading around their christ child to understand that this is going to fuck us all very, very hard.

Just a reminder, but no one in government service, including the president, swears an oath to the presidency. They swear an oath to the Constitution.

Sure, the CIA could use an overhaul. But what about the noobs at DOD who got us in this mess? Rumsfeld didn’t like what the CIA was telling him, so he ignored them and formed his own intelligence group that greased the skids toward war. Wolfowitz testified to Congress that Iraq would be a cakewalk and he dismissed all concerns that the post-war would be anything other than blissful. Feith, accordging to Tommy Franks, “is the stupidest fucking guy on the face of the earth.”

Don’t blame the CIA for this clusterfuck. It goes all around. But the CIA is the one getting the blame, partly because the folks there dared to tell the truth. How many times did Cheney personally browbeat the analysts after they told him something that didn’t fit into the neoconservative view of the world?

I guess it’s pointless - conservatives consider the entire concept of professionalization bunk. Sad to see Podheretz having so much influence.


How did you come to the conclusion that conservatives consider the entire concept of professionalization bunk?


How did you come to the conclusion that conservatives consider the entire concept of professionalization bunk?[/quote]

Because that’s explicitly what the neocons (back before become they became famous for Iraq - I’m talking 75-85 here) have been saying for years - that a cabal of unrepresentative professional organizations & experts have been usurping power from the public in general, and most egregiously their allies who previously had it.

I know none of you are thinking “well, the CIA is a bunch of ivory tower professionals”, but you’ve got all of the neocon/george wallace(in his not-racist incarnation)-developed line of thinking after that. It’s the water droplets making up the cloud of modern conservative thought. You don’t think to think about it, the same way liberals don’t think to think about why these use a Keynesian framework for everything.

Creationism, “pointy-headed academics”, “the CIA is full of liberals trying to stop us,” “State is full of liberals trying to stop us,” same thing for the media, professional medical associations, OMB - it’s the unified field theory of movement conservatism. Not being inflammatory or saying it’s all the same creationism, but the framework driving the analysis is the same.