The dishonesty of the press can be seen in how they have criticized the CIA for getting it wrong about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq but how the agency supposedly got it right about the terrorist threat there. “CIA Pessimistic About Iraq,” was the front-page headline over a Washington Post story about what some CIA officials are supposed to think.
Now that the CIA seems to be following a Kerry campaign theme?that Iraq is a quagmire?the agency has become respectable again. But Jack Wheeler is one of many conservatives who believe that the CIA has to be cleaned out of what he calls “aging leftists.” Wheeler, an architect of the Reagan Doctrine of liberating the former communist bloc, recently made that pitch to a group of foreign policy conservatives in Washington.
The CIA’s left-wing bent was confirmed by Bill Gertz of the Washington Times, who reported on September 7 that the CIA Counterterrorist Center, the CTC, “has spent more than $15 million in the past three years funding studies, reports and conferences produced by former Democratic administration officials and other critics of the Bush administration.” He said that the CTC had not funded any activities by Republican-oriented, conservative think tanks.
The Washington Post story, by Dana Priest and Thomas E. Ricks, reflected anger over a Post column by Robert Novak which had criticized the CIA for waging war with the White House over Iraq and other issues. However, the Post also quoted one “intelligence expert” as saying there’s a “real war” between the White House, the CIA and other agencies.
If there is a war, Novak is right in the middle of it, having been the vehicle for those in the administration who conveyed the information that Valerie Plame of the CIA had recommended her husband, Joe Wilson, for a mission to Africa to investigate the Iraq-uranium link. Wilson came back, lied about his findings, insisted that his wife played no role in his mission, and joined the Kerry campaign. But they played the controversy, with the help of the press, into a “scandal” over who had “leaked” the name of Wilson’s wife, and whether an Iraq-uranium link had been misrepresented by the Bush Administration. The real issue was whether Plame and some group at the CIA had conspired against the White House.
The editorial writers of the Wall Street Journal contend there is an “insurgency” at the CIA “against the Bush Administration,” and that it was reflected in another leak to the New York Times about how the agency had warned back in January 2003 of a possible insurgency in Iraq. The Journal said, “This highly selective leak?was conveniently timed for two days before the first Presidential debate.” The paper concluded that this faction in the CIA is “trying to defeat President Bush and elect John Kerry.” The Post story by Priest and Ricks is another such leak and represents another attempt by this faction in the CIA to undermine the president. The Journal expressed the hope that the new CIA director, former Congressman Porter Goss, would clean out the mess at the agency. Look for the CIA’s lackeys in the press to fight back hard.