Thursday, March 31, 2005
The toothless WMD report
It furthers the lie that Bush and his PNAC Platoon were misled by those awful people in the CIA and the State Department, when in fact the PNAC Platoonies were the ones who created the Office of Special Plans (aka the Office of Telling the PNAC Platoon Only What They Wanted to Hear).
But let's face it. The CIA and other intelligence agencies have functioned abysmally for years. Clinton's appointment of James Woolsey, a neocon, as head of the Agency was abysmal, one of his worst appointments. Clinton appointed Louis Freeh, one of the worst FBI directors that the Bureau has ever had-- and that's saying something. Bush has succeeded in making worse appointments, but not by much.
The intelligence agencies are dysfunctional. They failed to recognize bin Laden as a threat until he killed seventeen good men on the USS Cole. They failed to communicate information about al Qaida operatives to Customs and the FBI. They failed to listen to FBI field agents. Their translation departments have been penetrated, if we are to credit Sybil Edmonds, by our enemies. They are heavily politicized, heavily biased toward conservative white men, and incapable of handling a complex world where language and cultural skills count as much as computer savvy (which they also lack).
So, the intelligence agencies deserve a spanking. But they do not deserve to be made the scapegoat. There has been no leader who properly used intelligence since... maybe Carter. Or considering the whole Team B saga which Carter fell for, maybe Eisenhower or Truman.
And Louis Freeh spent the greater part of his tenure looking for ways to undermine Clinton, instead of trying to protect the nation.
More blogs about politics.