Drooling on the Pillow

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Selecting the Intelligence 

I saw Chuck Hagel on Paula Zahn last night, worrying about the changes at the CIA. He hopes this isn't a political purge.

This is like Fox hauling in Zell Miller when they want a Democrat to bash his brethren.

Hagel is good at worrying. Seems to me that, as a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, he might spare a moment to worry about what could charitably be called the underperformance of the Agency. There are two things going on, of course and one of them, I guess, could be called a political purge. That is, a purge of elements in the agency that, for political and bureaucratic reasons, have systematically thwarted, undermined and defied the president and his agenda. The other thing is the long overdue process of tapping the snoozers on the shoulder and showing them the door.

All this hand-wringing about the resignation of some senior bureaucrats misses the point that the Agency is in dire straits and needs a major shake-up. If Bush brings in people who will only tell him what he wants to hear he will have to answer for that. What we have now is an agency that only tells him what it wants to hear. And one that is wrong more often than not.

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