Friday, February 10, 2006

Plame, Plame, Plame

Blame, blame, blame. Interesting how he never brings up the Valerie Plame leak. People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. Of course, this article exhibits quite a bit of stones all by itself.
Loose Lips Sink Spies - New York Times: "The C.I.A. has put many terrorists out of action since 9/11. In our pursuit of the enemy, we accept the unique responsibility we bear as officers of a clandestine service serving an open, constitutional society. But we also know that unauthorized disclosure of classified intelligence inhibits our ability to carry out our mission and protect the nation.

Revelations of intelligence successes or failures, whether accurate or not, can aid Al Qaeda and its global affiliates in many ways. A leak is invaluable to them, even if it only, say, prematurely confirms whether one of their associates is dead or alive. They can gain much more: these disclosures can tip the terrorists to new technologies we use, our operational tactics, and the identities of brave men and women who risk their lives to assist us.

Such leaks also cause our intelligence partners around the globe to question our professionalism and credibility. Too many of my counterparts from other countries have told me, 'You Americans can't keep a secret.' And because of the number of recent news reports discussing our relationships with other intelligence services, some of these critical partners have even informed the C.I.A. that they are reconsidering their participation in some of our most important antiterrorism ventures. They fear that exposure of their cooperation could subject their citizens to terrorist retaliation.

Last month, a news article in this newspaper described a 'secret meeting' to discuss 'highly classified' techniques to detect efforts by other countries to build nuclear weapons. This information was attributed to unnamed intelligence officials who 'spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the effort's secrecy.' Whether accurate or not, this is a direct acknowledgment that these unnamed officials apparently know the importance of secrecy. "
I believe our allies are talking about the administration not being able to keep a secret. So far they have outed Plame, released or "lost" senior al Qaeda members (how many number twos are there anyway?), talked about capturing terrorists that other countries had kept quiet, the list goes on. This country needs to be kept safe, I'm just wondering if the bigger threat is within, instead of without. While Goss tries to justify his inability to do his job, Paul Pillar is trying to make clear that the CIA is compromised.
"Official intelligence on Iraqi weapons programs was flawed, but even with its flaws, it was not what led to the war," Pillar wrote in the upcoming issue of the journal Foreign Affairs. Instead, he asserted, the administration "went to war without requesting -- and evidently without being influenced by -- any strategic-level intelligence assessments on any aspect of Iraq."

"It has become clear that official intelligence was not relied on in making even the most significant national security decisions, that intelligence was misused publicly to justify decisions already made, that damaging ill will developed between [Bush] policymakers and intelligence officers, and that the intelligence community's own work was politicized," Pillar wrote.
Ooh, dueling spy articles. Which one of these guys is telling the truth?
Yesterday, the Senate Republican Policy Committee issued a statement to counter what it described as "the continuing Iraq pre-war intelligence myths," including charges that Bush " 'misused' intelligence to justify the war." Writing that it was perfectly reasonable for the president to rely on the intelligence he was given, the paper concluded, "it is actually the critics who are misleading the American people."
The Senate Republican Policy Committee? Who are these people and why do they think that they are so important?

Talk about playing the blame game. Everybody is pointing fingers, trying to prove they didn't do it, whatever it is. Sort of like the behavior of four year olds around a broken cookie jar, you know, the one they were told not to touch.

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