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November 15, 2004
CIA Shake-Up Reveals Democratic Hypopcrisy ... Again

Less than six months after the release of the final report from the 9/11 Commission, new CIA Director Porter Goss promises to deliver what the panel recommended and the Democrats demanded -- a shake-up of the intelligence community that received such harsh criticism for its overreliance on technology and closemindedness. Now that Goss has actually taken action, however, Democrats have been howling about the "purge" at Langley.

Today, though, Goss picked up important political support for the housecleaning from the one Republican that every Democrat hailed during the election cycle:

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) yesterday supported CIA Director Porter J. Goss's shake-up of the intelligence agency, which he described as "dysfunctional" and not providing President Bush with the information needed to conduct the war on terrorism.

Reacting to stories about potential resignations of CIA officials in response to actions taken by Goss and his staff, McCain, appearing on ABC's "This Week With George Stephanopoulos," said, "A shake-up is absolutely necessary."

One of the continuing themes of the 9/11 Commission and the presidential campaign was the poor quality of the intel going to the President prior to both 9/11 and the Iraq war. Democrats pushed for change, and the Bush administration has delivered. Earlier, the Patriot Act (which received bipartisan support) changed the processes so that information could be shared between intelligence and law-enforcement agencies, as well as allowing both to use investigative techniques for counterterrorism that were already legal in organized-crime and child-pornography investigations. Now Bush has named his own CIA Director, who is busily replacing career officers in order to effect a new mindset at Langley, and hopefully a decidedly less political one than had been demonstrated over the past few years.

The hue and cry from the left is instructive; having been given exactly what they wanted, they now complain about the solutions. They paint the Patriot Act as an entre to Big Brother, even though it fixed the gaping hole in information-sharing and took the handcuffs off that the 9/11 Commission blamed for our lack of preparedness. Now they claim that Goss is politicizing the CIA with this housecleaning, which they claimed only told Bush what he wanted to hear in the run-up to Iraq. Nor do the Democrats reconcile how they regarded the CIA to be so incompetent prior to both 9/11 and Iraq but so spot-on regarding their assessment of post-Saddam Iraq, with the same people in place. (These people, by the way, were the ones that they complained the 9/11 Commission protected by not naming names.)

Only one consistent theme runs across the entire opposition: they're just sore they're not in power. Schizophrenic policy statements and contradictory allegations like this are a good part of the reason why.

UPDATE: Jon Henke at QandO, the essential neolibertarian blog, reminds those who are shocked, shocked! to see a housecleaning at the CIA that the last Administration did the exact same thing ten years ago. May this effort be more successful than the last.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at November 15, 2004 12:04 PM

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