"Begun, the Joe Walton Clone Wars Have"
Not exactly the quote from Master Yoda, but it'll do. How do Joe Walton, discredited egotist, and clones go hand in hand? Because there are a ton of carbon copies of the guy wailing about undesired changes going on at Langley.
Stephen Hayes, the Weekly Standard's master of cloak and dagger issues has penned this rather neat article about just how swimmingly the transition is going at CIA. It seems that the new Bush-appointed CIA director, Porter Goss is finding as he moves in, that the house needs a good deal of work.
The CIA is, like any other arm of the federal government, prone to festering into a bureaucratic swamp. But unlike the Departments of Agriculture or Interior, it does work that affects people's safety. And look at how great their track record has been:
- They missed the downfall of the Soviet Union,
- They relied significantly more on ELINT (electrical/communications) than on human intelligence (spies and sources who get into bad guys' lairs and start reporting back what they find).
- They failed to update their operations to include people proficient in middle east customs and languages
- They missed the 90s terrorist attacks
- They missed 9/11
In all, not a great 15 years.
Now the new CIA director is coming in and is making himself wildly unpopular with the existing bureaucrats by shaking up the operations of the Agency. Of course, the Washington Post is quick to take sides, claiming that Goss is wrecking CIA and upsetting the entrenched Chardonnay crowd who have been there for years. The implication, of course, being that Goss should not be upsetting the complaining crowd. But there are a few problems with the fact and way this is being reported.
First, this stuff should never get out. The intelligence community is one requiring secrecy. When employees are upset, it is customary to just leave and not to air sour grapes in the Washington media.
Second, the Post is reporting the angry conclusions of irritated--and anonymous-- bureaucrats as facts without any investigation. Given that they report no details as to what Goss is actually doing to create such an unholy stir, save accusations from those who feel that their cushy positions are no longer safe, it seems that the MSM is once again taking sides with the feckless federal employee over the effective operation of a key arm of our national security machine.
Third, since when does the MSM have problems with change? They had no problem when Clinton turned the military into his own personal social laboratory (gays in the military, increased combat roles for women, slashes in defense funding, a president who didn't return salutes, all resulting in a lower retention rate for experienced soldiers and officers). But imagine what would happen if Bush appointed a Secretary of State who would actually push his foreign policy in a no-nonsense way, without kowtowing to Council on Foreign Relations and demanding a pro-U.S., U.S. State Department. Well, CIA has become infested with the same ilk as those that infest the State Department. So this is but an example of what will come if Condi Rice starts dares to exhibit loyalty to her boss.
Goss has begun part of what will be a painful de-lousing of the CIA. It will be messy to be sure, but if the MSM and the bureaucrats who come crying to them are rightly ignored, the CIA may actually get the chance to modernize into an effective part of the national security machine. But a failure will result in the CIA we have now--somewhat functional, somewhat helpful, but really an enclave of bureaucratic incompetence and territorialism. And an unnecesarily less safe nation.
Is that what the Post really wants to protect?