Fin De L'Agence?

Is it time to dismantle the CIA? In light of the latest NIE flap and "Tapegate" controversies, we are nearing a place where it is not a wholly flippant question.

It is plausible that the latest NIE was written to give cover to Democrat presidential candidates who would rather answer hard questions about Iran by saying that we should do nothing difficult. The "Valerie Plame" controversy was clearly an effort by the CIA to embarrass the administration. Porter Goss, hired by President Bush to clean up the mess in Langley, lasted only a year.

Given the amount of information that any average citizen can have about the utility of the CIA, I'm inclined to believe that we have an intelligence agency that is so completely politicized that it is hostile to a freely elected federal executive and should be shut down.

According to Tim Weiner, no right wing ideologue, the CIA has been dysfunctional from the beginning. Weiner chronicles misstep after policy disaster that the CIA has been produced since it was staffed by adventure seeking preppies in the 1950's.

Since the 1970's the Agency has been increasingly staffed by coastal elites quietly working in concert with like thinking, left leaning bureaucrats at State to restrict American power on the world stage. With the appearance of Bush on the scene, it has been open warfare between Langley and an administration that has been twice elected to implement a foreign policy preferred by a right leaning electorate.

If the CIA can't conduct itself professionally, in secret, and at the direction of its political bosses, then it may finally be time to just shut the mess down. Better that than to have an intelligence agency that is acting behind a cloak of secrecy to cripple an administration that has been freely chosen by the people and which answers to the electorate.

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