Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Hitchens: Dump the Central Intelligence Agency

Update and Bump: Ed Morrissey proposes a solution:

It's time to reconceive intelligence in a post-Cold War world. Given that it serves to defend our nation, it should fall under military command. That may not be the most elegant solution, but clearly the supposed benefits of civilian management have not made themselves apparent in either accuracy or efficiency. The laws that govern military intelligence and covert operations would therefore extend to all of our efforts, and failures to abide by those laws would have secure methods of correction.
I don't know if that would be the best solution, I'm still stuck on trying to tear down the CIA with a wrecking ball. On one hand, there is already an intelligence gathering arm in the military already. On the other hand, who's to say that the same inefficiencies and politics that have sprung up with the CIA wouldn't happen if the military's role were expanded?

Christopher Hitchens unloads over at Slate:
And now we have further confirmation of the astonishing culture of lawlessness and insubordination that continues to prevail at the highest levels in Langley. At a time when Congress and the courts are conducting important hearings on the critical question of extreme interrogation, and at a time when accusations of outright torture are helping to besmirch and discredit the United States all around the world, a senior official of the CIA takes the unilateral decision to destroy the crucial evidence. This deserves to be described as what it is: mutiny and treason.
Someone's head should roll for this:
Despite a string of exposures going back all the way to the Church Commission, the CIA cannot rid itself of the impression that it has the right to subvert the democratic process both abroad and at home. Its criminality and arrogance could perhaps have been partially excused if it had ever got anything right, but, from predicting the indefinite survival of the Soviet Union to denying that Saddam Hussein was going to invade Kuwait, our spymasters have a Clouseau-like record, one that they have earned yet again with their exculpation of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
That's what really gets me. We spend hundreds of millions of dollars on our intelligence apparatus and it seems like they are always wrong. This is bad.

This whole Great War on Terror reeks. Not because terrorists who want to harm us shouldn't be dispatched as quickly as possible, but because the Faustian bargain that has been made means we have given up our soul.

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