Thursday, November 18, 2004

Laura Rozen over at War and Piece has a copy of the Goss memo to the CIA.

The paragraph that has raised eyebrows:
I want everyone in our workforce to know - I seek to encourage and expect the best from everyone in CIA. Our country demands it, our President needs it, and this institution deserves it. I also intend to clarify beyond doubt the rules of the road. We support the Administration and its policies in our work. As Agency employees we do not identify with, support, or champion opposition to the Administration or its policies. We provide the intelligence as we see it - and let the facts alone speak to the policymaker.

Goss has asserted that the statement was taken out of context. Yet the context of the paragraph makes it pretty clear. Read the whole memo and it becomes even more clear that the intention was exactly what critics have said, no dissent will be tolerated.

While I can understand the desire to want to cut down on possible leaks and controlling media access to agents, the statement sounds like they plan on only presenting information that will support the administrations decision. Picking an outcome and then finding facts to back it up is an awful way to run an intelligence operation. It's how this whole mess in Iraq got started. It'll be quick, we'll be welcomed and we'll install our guy Chalabi who will be accepted because he's an Iraqi. That worked out well didn't it.

In fact, it was the dissenting voices in the CIA who will most likely feel the brunt of the coming changes. Those who said, correctly, that the administration's expectations for the post-war period were completely wrong and things will go sideways pretty quickly. It is this crew of "realists" rather than "supporters" that did most of the leaking. Not to harm anyone, but to exhibit that whatever is going on at the top of the chain and in the White House, we told you Iraq would devolve the way it has and you ignored us.

It's a bit of payback, but it is also a cry for help. They need help to escape the politicization that has occurred under Bush. The appointment of Goss and the signals he has given illustrate that they can only expect more of the same.

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