Roger L. Simon

Disturbing But Not Surprising

There’s a blogger’s cliché, if there ever was one, but it refers again to David Brooks’ column The CIA Versus Bush in this morning’s NYT. The CIA never seemed too comfortable with the militant-spread-of-democracy program of the current administration. At many points in their history, the intelligence agency wasn’t particularly keen on overthrowing the Soviet Union either. An entrenched bureaucracy, they prefer things the way they are and leak policy “reports” to preserve their positions. If you believed them all, you believe the Berlin Wall is still there.

The Joseph Wilson-Valerie Plame Affair, still percolating on some back burners, should be examined in the context of this Inside the Beltway Cold War. More interesting than the endless jockeying over who leaked what to whom, or perhaps underlying it, is why Wilson was chosen in the first place. Nepotism may have been the least of it. It may have been an attempt by the intelligence agency to undercut the President by choosing a committed political opponent to perform a crucial task (checking out yellowcake in Niger). The result would be a foregone conclusion.

New DCI Porter Goss has his work cut out for him. Let’s hope he has the stomach for it.

UPDATE: More views on CIA trouble here and here.