Saturday, November 19, 2005

Barone on the CIA

Michael Barone has a long post on Bob Woodward, Walter Pincus, Fitzgerald and the CIA. His conclusion is noteworthy:
Bob Woodward first won his fame by exposing the lies of a White House that had attempted, unsuccessfully, to use the CIA to refute charges that its campaign committee had engaged in criminal activities. Now he comes forward, reluctantly it seems, to provide evidence that advances the case that the CIA tried to derail and delegitimize the policies that a White House was pursuing.

I recall that some years ago Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan argued that the CIA should be abolished, and I argued that that was a ridiculous and irresponsible position. As usual when Pat and I disagreed, Pat turned out to be right.

As I have written before, Barone is the most knowledgeable observer of American politics. He is extremely smart, as evidenced by his academic record at Harvard Law School and his subsequent judicial clerkships. And he is extremely fair. He began his life in politics working to with Peter hart to get Democrats elected. He remains friends with many Democrats. I've never known anyone to accuse him of being partisan in his journalism.

So when he speaks out, people should listen. This comment about the CIA is not casual. He must see an organization that is corrupt and out of control.


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