Day By Day

Thursday, May 18, 2006

The CIA -- If You Can't Mend It, End It!

For some time now I have been arguing that the CIA, like much of the permanent government, has to be severely reined in, taken down several pegs, or perhaps abolished. Victor Davis Hanson makes a similar point. He writes:

The problem is not just that the CIA consumes too much money, has too many employees and gathers too much superfluous intelligence while missing the landmark events of the age. Or that too many analysts can't do their own assigned disinterested jobs. Or even that both Democrats and Republicans periodically try to rein the CIA in with their own political appointees when they suspect it has become openly hostile and insubordinate.

No, the deeper worry is that there has grown up at the CIA an entrenched enclave and an arrogant "we know best" attitude in which self-appointed moralists are often convinced that they can make up their own rules and code of conduct. Gen. Hayden will have to end that culture - or end the agency as we know it.

Read it here.

One of the great glories of Bush's administration has been his willingness, indeed eagerness, to take on the permanent government and bring it to heel. One of the most extravagently uncontrollable and institutionally corrupt elements of the bureaucracy has been the CIA. It has long been overdue for top to bottom reform. As VDH points out, liberals used to support the idea of reforming the CIA..., before Dubya actually tried to do it, that is.

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