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June 30, 2005

It's Time to Dismantle the CIA « GWOT »

From actively opposing the current administration's policies, to leaking secrets, to assassinations, to torture of suspects, to its intelligence failures (It's a slam dunk, Mr. President!), to a bone-headed kidnapping in a foreign nation, I believe it is time to dismantle the CIA.

Sure, we need its capabilities.

But not its entrenched hubris.

Get rid of all of them, and start fresh. We'd be a little worse off in the short-term, but maybe we could avoid the long-term attitude problems that have hamstrung our foreign intelligence collection over the last 30 years.

Posted by Nathan at 08:03 AM | Comments (9)

I know you're not and idiot, Nathan, but do you realize what it would take to rebuild the CIA from the ground up?

How much risk would that pose to our national security?

Posted by: Gordon at June 30, 2005 08:40 AM

I'm not an idiot, thank you for noticing.

We didn't have a CIA before 1947. We did have the OSS, and the CIA was built on top of that...the result was that the CIA was up and running almost immediately. But we didn't have the OSS before the onset of WWII. It put us behind for a few years...but by the end of the war, it was as good (with differing strengths) as the British Intelligence.

But what has the CIA actually done well? Very little. Sure, the nature of clandestine intelligence is that you hear about failures, and successes are never known. True successes look like accidents.

But enough Tell-Alls have indicated that the CIA has failed us time and time again. There are reasons for it, sure. Penetration at all levels by foreign intelligence services. Entrenched power structure that works at odds against sitting Presidents. Incompetence.

The FBI was farther ahead than the CIA on 9/11. The CIA hasn't gotten us bin Laden, didn't get us Saddam Hussein (that was Army Intel), led us completely astray on WMD, screwed up Central America so its still not getting straightened out.

I can't think of a single success of the CIA yet. Sure, they provide some vital intelligence that we'll never hear about. But I think the other intelligence services can take over responsibilities and fill the gaps until the we can gut and rebuild the CIA into something that actually helps make the nation more secure, instead of pushing personal agendas.

Posted by: Nathan at June 30, 2005 08:51 AM

But what would I do with my tinfoil hat?

Posted by: Sharp as a Marble at June 30, 2005 09:17 AM

And you won't hear about it, they don't publisize it. only screw ups make the press...thats why they call them secret agents.

rebuild yes, fix yes, but because you haven't seen it on CNN you think they haven't succeeded. Come on you are smarter than that.

Posted by: Mr Bob at June 30, 2005 01:55 PM

Let me put it another way:

From open-source reporting, we know about FBI intelligence successes and failures. We know about military intelligence success and failures. Why did it take two Army intelligence professionals to find Saddam Hussein? How could the CIA been totally useless in that? How can they have so completely failed to locate Osama bin Laden? --the open press makes it painfully obvious that our close brushes are all due to military efforts through Intelligence and Special Forces.

So why is the only story we have about any CIA success in the last 40 years in a Tom Clancy novel?

The CIA gave no warning about 9/11. The CIA insisted there was WMD easily found in Iraq...but the President takes the hit for that, not CIA. The CIA thought it would be just dandy to investigate rumors of Saddam buying nuclear material by sending Joe Wilson to drink tea. The CIA is responsible for about 90% of the torture allegations making us look bad worldwide. The CIA kidnapped this Muslim from a sovereign nation.

Don't you think something good they did might have come out by now? Leaked to the press, or included in a Tell-All book or in someone's memoirs? We know lots about declassified activities once the source/method is no longer compromised...nothing positive by the CIA has ever been made public that I can see.

Doesn't the lack of any indication that we've gotten anything useful from the CIA in forty years bother anyone at all? On the contrary, we've got dozens of stories of their failures.

Spy Satellites? That's a different department, not CIA. Listening in on conversations? That's a different department, again, not CIA.

I can't say the CIA never delivered what they were supposed to...but they don't seem to have done anything to justify the expenditure over the last decade at least. They really seem to have been a detriment to our security, overall.

Posted by: Nathan at June 30, 2005 02:22 PM

Yor are an idiot.

"Leaking secrets": it wasn't the CIA who leaked the name of Valerie Plame. It was (most likely) Karl Rove.

"Assassinations": Bush Jr. administration policy.

"Torture of suspects": ditto.

"Bone-headed kidnappings": ditto.

"It's a slam dunk, Mr. President!": Oh come on! Junior leaned on the CIA to tell them what he wanted to hear. He wanted to be told it was a slam dunk, but he had already decided to invade Iraq. George Tenet could only stick his head so far up Junior's ass, and once he demurred and insisted that intelligence analysis should have some basis in reality, he was fired. That's when the extreme right talking point of CIA-as-a-liberal-conspiracy started.

What really needs to be dismantled is the George Bush Junior junta, and its criminal corruption and incompetence swept away.

Posted by: No More Mr. Nice Guy! at June 30, 2005 03:31 PM


Posted by: Nathan at June 30, 2005 03:48 PM

The CIA only allows for J. Edgar style manipulations of the democratic process both here and abroad. They started wars in Angola overthrew a democratically elected governement in Asuteralia and sold the weapons to Iraq that they were so desperately searching for (which are now either in the hands of the Syrians or terrorists). The CIA is the enemy, and tin foil hats ain't going to do a damn thing. This isn't conspiracy theory it's what we've rested from there tight fisted manipulation of America. Let it die democracy will be the better for it.

You don't think there's an office of disinformation?

Posted by: 149875 at July 6, 2005 11:04 PM

Not sure if you are even reading comments on this older post, but

Again, you do not know of their successes. I am in military intelligence, albeit in the reserves, I do know a little about how it works. We get a ton of our information from the CIA and a lot of our successes are due to the work they've done. Again, we dont' publisize our successes either, but you sure here when we F*&^ up. Take a look at Hugh Hewitt's post from the weekend and he lists a ton of captures and stops of terrorism over the last two years, and you can bet that just because those stops are in Europe that the CIA had somethign to do with some of them. He doesn't even list the ones in the US. The public record comes through the MSM filter unfortunately. You have to dig to find the good news and even then, Intel types keep those things secret. Its not about letting people know....anything.
I agree it needs some work, but the baby, bathwater thing applies here.

Go Broncos :-)

Posted by: Mr Bob at July 11, 2005 01:48 PM
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