Whassup at the CIA?

Leon Panetta

 CIA Director Leon Panetta:

Caught in  the Cross Fire

 While the devil will certainly turn up in the details, from the limited understanding thoughtful observers are able to glean from the facts that have surfaced there is a big mess brewing at the CIA which has the potential to wreak havoc on the Republican Party.  On the face of it one could easily view this as a democratic fight – as some pouting Republicans are all too happy to do – but thorny questions regarding the limits of executive power vis a vis the Congress and the Courts may well lead to a full fledged investigation into whether top officials in the Bush administration ordered the CIA to withhold information and thus mislead Congress.  This would be a serious crime!

Such a course of investigation might well reveal that the CIA was ordered to lie to Congress, in which case the investigation could lead right into the Office of President Bush.  This is a reasonable assumption, based upon what we know from past renegade actions by the CIA.  Although you’d never know it based on the ahistorical chatter among the talking heads in the media, there is a rich literature written by former CIA agents that document illegal or immoral actions carried out by the intelligence agency  around the world unbeknownst to the Congress, who is charged with oversight of the nation’s intelligence establishment.  Among the classics of this confessional literature are the works of Phillip Agee, John Stockwell and Ralph McGhee.

Together these books detail how the CIA engaged in activities that were or ought to be criminal – like organizing coups and assassinations of foreign leaders and ideological dissidents in the service of US foreign policy.  Much of what these agents revealed was supported by the historic Church Committee’s investigation into the activities of US intelligence agencies, and the way the growing controversy around clandestine CIA activities is shaping up another sweeping investigation may be forthcoming.

One thing is certain: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and CIA Director Leon Panetta cannot both be telling the truth – she says he said the CIA has misled congress in private; he says he said no such thing in public!  But from what I know for sure about the activities of Dirty Dick, Clueless George and the renegade Republican regime that led us into a disastrous war of choice in Iraq, I believe Nancy.  So let the investigations began, because Thomas Jefferson was right: “The price of liberty is eternal vigilance!”



Playthell Benjamin

Harlem New York

May 15 2009

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