Thursday, August 23, 2007

The CIA Report

Pardon my cynicism, but does anyone think this report on CIA failures is anything more than another Blame it on the Clenis ploy? (That's not an entirely rhetorical question; maybe people more knowledgeable than I am can vouch for it.) In any case, that's certainly how the wingnuttosphere is using it.

And of course, to the extent it doesn't blame Clinton, it's still all about outsourcing blame. If the administration and its toadies can pin it on the CIA's failures, maybe people will forget about the guy who ignored the memo.

There are two obvious points about this report. The first is that it was produced under an administration that has been fatally compromised by partisan mendacity. Every single thing that comes from them or anyone under their control is automatically suspect, for the very good reason that so much of it has been fabricated, distorted, or purged of embarrassing detail. The entire machinery of the executive branch has been harnessed to the purpose of making the Executive look good regardless of the facts. Maybe this is more of the same, and maybe it isn't...but anything that branch produces is presumptively dubious.

The other point is that intelligence failures before 9/11 pale next to the catastrophic blundering since. The news that "[t]he CIA never developed an overall strategy for confronting Al Qaeda" is hardly as important as the question: what is the strategy now? Diverting resources from fighting terrorism to a bloody quagmire of choice, spending hundreds of billions of dollars to open a de facto recruiting station for al Qaeda, allowing Afghanistan to fall back into the failed state nightmare we had one brief chance to save it from--what could be more appalling than the 'strategy' they did adopt?