"Weapons of Mass Deception"


Purge At The CIA

January 07, 2005

Not enough attention is being paid to the Bush administration’s political assault against the CIA. Some liberals might see it as karmic revenge for all of the CIA’s misdeeds over many decades, but the fact remains that the CIA was a bastion of resistance to Bush’s war in Iraq. It is now getting its come-uppance from the White House, implemented by Porter Goss, the hatchet man.

Walter Pincus, the Post’s intelligence reporter, says that more than 20 officials have left the CIA in recent months, most forced out by Goss and Co. The latest, of course, over the holidays was the chief of the Directorate of Intelligence, the analytical branch of the CIA. The official, Jami Miscik, will be off the job in February, making a near complete-sweep purge of the agency’s top officials and, presumably, many of the anti-Bush stalwarts who refused to go along with the Pentagon’s phonied-up intelligence on Iraq’s WMD and ties to terrorism.

The press, however, has pretty much failed to follow up on the story of the Pentagon vs. CIA war in covering the purge at the agency. All of that—the Pentagon’s Office of Special Plans, Ahmad Chalabi’s lies, the CIA’s dissent, the political pressure on George Tenet from Vice President Cheney to declare the anti-Saddam dossier a “slam dunk”—has vanished into the night. What’s left is the CIA holding the bag, and the Pentacons laughing into their sleeves.

Speaking of Cheney, no one seems to care that Cheney’s former flack, Jennifer Millerwise, is now going to be the CIA’s official spokesperson. That’s often a post held by a former spook, usually with field experience overseas, but now it will be held by a partisan flack. Millerwise, whose name sounds like a merger between two big beer companies, actually symbolizes a merger between the CIA and Cheney’s office. Oh, she also worked for Goss, before Cheney.

The latest blow, recounted in today’s New York Times , is a leaked report of the CIA’s 2004 study of pre-9/11 failures. Reportedly, it slams Tenet and James Pavitt for failing to devote enough resources to counterterrorism, and could lead to disciplinary action against the two (now resigned) officials and others. My two cents is that this report, which was edited or reviewed by Goss—who wasn’t the CIA chief when it was produced—is just more piling on against the agency, part of the administration’s unceasing effort to make them a scapegoat for everything that’s gone wrong.

Meanwhile, Bush still hasn’t named (as expected) the person will be the so-called director of national intelligence, the new superspy post created by the 9/11 bill late last year. Few leaks have emerged about who it will be, and apparently Goss himself is a candidate. (I’m sure the CIA would love to get him out of Langley and into the czar’s job.) Stay tuned.

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Milton Frihetsson, 03:05


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