Knight Of The Mind

I'll do my best to present a philosophical and generally conservative look at current events and life, the universe and everything. Readers are invited to take all that's posted herein with a grain of salt. or if they prefer, a grain of salt, a slice of lime and a shot of tequila.

Location: Alexandria, Virginia, United States

Greetings and welcome. My name is Steve, I'm 35 years old and I work for the US Army as an Operations Research Analyst. Hence my blog title Knight Of The Mind.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

McCain Vs. The CIA

Senator McCain has decided to make CIA reform his visible issue in the coming year. Rather than settling for just saying he thinks the CIA needs to be fixed, he called them a rogue agency. Perhaps Valerie Plame could be described as a rouge agent moonlighting as a political smear merchant, but McCain has hyperbolized to keep his name in the headlines.

The occasion for this ruckus involved the Washington Polemic's efforts to smear Porter Goss. George W. Bush's new director of the CIA. It seems Goss intends to change how the CIA operates and the CIA doesn't feel like changing. Goss has offered eviscerating criticisms of the agency.

The CIA's loss of prestige stems from what many critics, McCain included, see as institutional failures to gather accurate information prior to the Iraq War. The games played by Joe Wilson and Agent Plame only reinforce this image of institutional chicanery. The CIA becomes a handy scapegoat for anyone who needs to explain why we haven't found Saddam's WMDs yet.

A more accurate target for national ire would be the congressional leaders who have 'reformed' the CIA into flaccid, embarassing impotence. Senator Frank Church accused them of being assassins and waghalters. He detailed what he believed to be American plots to assassinate Fidel Castro and other foreign despots. The CIA was also accused of serving as Boogeymen for the Nixonian purge of dissident groups.

Robert Toricelli also worried about the investigative practices of the CIA. As a congressman, he impressed his girlfriend Bianca Jagger by outing an alleged CIA recruiter in Guatamala. He also accused the CIA of being responsible for the deaths of two left-wing Guatamalan dissidents.

As a result of Torricelli's meddling, President Clinton issued an executive order forbidding the CIA from deling with criminal or terrorist informants. In other words, if an informant hangs around with bad guys, the CIA could not use their information. Torricelli than could not understand why the CIA didn't prevent 9/11.

Senator McCain may be voicing needed support for Porter Goss at the CIA. His motives may be good rather than jaded. However, when Senators tell the CIA how to collect intelligence, the US government seems to have a very hard time buying a clue. I can only hope John McCain will restrain himself to blasting media critics of Porter Goss and appoint himself to perform Mr. Goss' duties.


As you may or may not already be aware, members of the Watcher's Council hold a vote every week on what they consider to be the most link-worthy pieces of writing around... per the Watcher's instructions, I am submitting one of my own posts for consideration in the upcoming nominations process.
Here is the most recent winning council post, here is the most recent winning non-council post, here is the list of results for the latest vote, and here is the initial posting of all the nominees that were voted on.

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