Congress Must Investigate the CIA

Sunday, November 06, 2005
Victoria Toensing, writing in the Wall Street Journal, calls for an invesigation of the CIA to determine what really happened in the case of Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame.

Among the many questions she raises is why the CIA did not warn Bob Novak off the story when he called to verify the information he had been given regarding Joseph Wilson's wife. As Novak himself noted, he would have edited out any mention of Plame if the CIA had indicated that there was anything "covert" about her.

The entire Plame affair appears increasingly likely to have been an attempt by a faction within the CIA to "sting" the Bush administration. Since Patrick Fitzgerald has displayed zero interest in getting to the bottom of what Wilson and his wife were up to, a Congressional investigation is both appropriate and long overdue.

This Republican Congress has displayed a near total aversion to investigating crimes on the part of the political opposition. Perhaps the lesson they took from the Clinton impeachment trial is that such investigations will always be spun to their disadvantage. Whatever the explanation, the list of matters crying out for Congressional hearings is extensive and grows longer all the time. The forged memos pertaining to Bush's TANG service are an example, and the widespread vote fraud in the 2004 elections are another.

John Hinderaker and Bill Kristol wonder why the Bush administration does not fight back against the lies. It's an appropriate question, but one which might be asked with equal force of the Republican majorities in the House and Senate, which appear to be more concerned with trying to appease the Democrats in Congress and the media than in defending themselves and advancing their own agenda.

A single blog has little influence. But if all the blogs on the right extert pressure, and sustain it, they can sometimes get results. It is time for us to start putting pressure on the Republican party, both in Congress and in the White House, to thoroughly investigate what has happened and is happening within the CIA. This intelligence agency continues to leak classified information to the detriment of the war effort, even several months after Porter Goss took over the reins. If the executive branch is unable to control the departments under its jurisdiction then Congress has both the right and the obligation to provide oversight.


10 comments:

terrye said...

flenser:

I tend to agree with you but there may be more going on behind the scenes than we know.

As for why Bush does not fight back..I think the truth is it always makes it worse..the press sees to that.

If you think he is called Hitler now, just imagine the reaction if the administration called for a criminal investigation of all those brave folks speaking truth to power.

But I do smell a rat here. Either the CIA is completely incompetent or they are up to something.

In spite of the recent leak concerning alleged secret prisons there have been far fewer leaks since Porter Goss took over.

Maybe he should just send a bunch of these guys to someplace nice, like the Congo or Turkmenistan or Siberia.

Peter UK said...

Replacing the head of the CIA is futile,whole layers of management need to go,perhaps generous early retirement would defang any backlash,well worth the money.Then you can downsize it,break it up and hive off any usful components.

Historically any otganisation which becomes powerful,whether it be the CIA,The Church,Big Business,Civil Service,Landed Aristocracy,Trade
Unions,are going to have their own comfort zone and agenda.
The CIA however also seems incompetant,it missed the most seminal events of the 20th century ,the Iranian Revolution,the collapse of the Soviet Union and the rise of Islamism.they couldn't even bring down Castro.

Syl said...

Peter

"The CIA however also seems incompetant,it missed the most seminal events of the 20th century ,the Iranian Revolution,the collapse of the Soviet Union and the rise of Islamism.they couldn't even bring down Castro."

Brutal.

True, but brutal. :)

David Thomson said...

“John Hinderaker and Bill Kristol wonder why the Bush administration does not fight back against the lies.”

George W. Bush was brought up to be overly generous and polite with his political opponents. He thinks it rude to get into a yelling match with them. It is supposedly part of his responsibility to endure such criticisms---if they come from Democrats. Only Republicans need worry about getting on his bad side.

flenser said...

terrye

I'm not calling for Bush to investigate the CIA, although in truth I think he has a responsibility to do so, regardless of whatever nasty things the Democrats will say. (They seem to be saying all those nasty things in any case.)

I'm saying that Congress needs to take some time from its busy schedule of funding bridges to nowhere and preening for the cameras to provide proper oversight of the various government agencies which it funds. If the CIA is expendng greater effort in engaging in domestic American politics than it is in the WOT, then major reforms, even replacement, may be neccessary.

But a good first step would be finding out what is going on.

Peter UK said...

Syl,
I won't even mention the Cuban missile crisis,the Bay of Pigs and the poisoned cigars.
I confess,it is a big disappointment to me,all those black op tough guys subverting the world,turn out to be the equivalent of a rejsct dog catcher.
You really must do something about it...even if it is only having somebody assasssinated...which is another thing....there are too many bad guys out there walking around,what on earth does the CIA do?

terrye said...

flenser:

Like I said I would tend to agree but considering the fact that the Congress has looked the other way so far, I doubt we will see that happen.

Peter is right, just look at the list of screw ups. If this was the private sector most of these guys would have been out of a job long ago.

They would not have been around long enough to get up to this kind of mischief.

But you know, it might be worth a letter to our representatives to ask why and how it is these people seem to be able to get away with all this stuff.

Syl said...

Peter

I don't like the political leaking. Nor the big misses. But the Keystone Kops image works to their advantage.

There's good work happening we don't know about.

My fave that we *do* know about is the missile hitting that car in Yemen.

Anyway, you had asked why the CIA is operating inside the US. Yes, it doesn't spy on citizens, but there are non-citizens and also agents of other governments we keep an eye on here.

And the FBI, which is domestic, does a lot of work abroad tracking down suspects.

Peter UK said...

Terrye,
Imagine if the CIA was an airline,Continuous Incompetent Accidents.

vnjagvet said...

FYI:

Here are the Committee Members of the Committees responsible for legislative oversight of intelligence matters.

SENATE

Republicans

Pat Roberts, Kansas Chairman
Orrin G. Hatch, Utah
Mike Dewine, Ohio
Christopher S. Bond, Missouri
Trent Lott, Mississippi
Olympia J. Snowe, Maine
Chuck Hagel, Nebraska
Saxby Chambliss, Georgia

Democrats

John D. Rockefeller IV
West Virginia, Vice Chairman
Carl Levin, Michigan
Dianne Feinstein, California
Ron Wyden, Oregon
Evan Bayh, Indiana
Barbara A. Mikulski, Maryland
Jon S. Corzine, New Jersey

HOUSE

Republicans

Peter Hoekstra Michigan (Chair)
Ray LaHood Illinois
Randy Cunningham California
Terry Everett Alabama
Elton Gallegly California
Heather Wilson New Mexico
Jo Ann Davis Virginia
Mac Thornberry Texas
John McHugh New York
Todd Tiahrt Kansas
Mike Rogers Michigan
Rick Renzi Arizona

Democrats

Jane Harman California (Ranking)
Alcee L. Hastings Florida
Silvestre Reyes Texas
Leonard L. Boswell Iowa
Robert E. Cramer, Jr Alabama
Anna G. Eshoo California
Rush D. Holt New Jersey
C.A. Ruppersberger Maryland
John Tierney Massachusetts

The only one I know is Saxbe Chambless. I will find out who handles this stuff on his staff and email that person requesting some action.

Anyone know anyone else?