November 16, 2004

George Bush's Dusty Broom

After reading this piece by Phil Carter complaining about George Bush's impulse to purge the CIA, I have to ask, what world has he been living in? There have been calls for a purge up and down the entire national security apparatus since at least 9/11/01 and there are perennial Republican calls for a purge in State and Education because they're viewed as having a hostile culture to Republican administrations and conservative initiatives. President Bush has resisted most of this, with very partial exceptions for demonstrated, public disloyalty in individuals to carrying out presidential policy.

The CIA mandarinate apparently thought that restraint was license for them to more or less openly resist this administration. This is unacceptable, outrageous, and has no doubt gotten people killed. Phil Carter eventually backed down a bit in a postscript (I think I would have blown a gasket had I read the original, unmodified story) but he's still playing down the dangers of a mandarin class who is officially authorized to keep deep secrets from most of the rest of government, much less society, has a history of funny accounting, and has gotten into the habit of violating the fundamental rule of a civil service, don't get involved in politics.

Coups have started from less in societies that are not as stable as ours. In fact, one of the principle dangers is foreign misunderstandings that a CIA acting in this fashion might be in pre-coup mode. That injects an awful lot of noise in the system, making our friends fearful and our enemies bold. That's a major disservice to the people.

Posted by TMLutas at November 16, 2004 03:11 PM