Michael Barone is a well—regarded political observer who has worked for The Washington Post and is currently a senior commentator for US News and World Report and FoxNews. He has authored a number of books, including the standard reference work The Almanac of American
Barone is hardly a wild—eyed conspiracy nut. A few days ago he sounded the alarm that
"...cadres in the CIA ... have been trying to discredit and undermine support for Bush's policy of liberating Iraq."
"...the folks around Valerie Plame who sent Joseph Wilson on his mission to Niger, (and) the folks who authorized the publication of Michael Scheuer's 'anonymous' book."
Barone once asked former CIA Director George Tenet
"whether people in the agency had been engaging in covert attacks on administration policy. He said that absolutely no such thing had taken place. I doubted that then and doubt it very much more now. ..." [italics added]
And here is Barone's reading of Bob Woodward's recent revelation about Valerie Plame:
"Bob Woodward first won his fame by exposing the lies of a White House that had attempted, unsuccessfully, to use the CIA to refute charges that its campaign committee had engaged in criminal activities. Now he comes forward, reluctantly it seems, to provide evidence that advances the case that the CIA tried to derail and delegitimize the policies that a White House was pursuing. [italics added]
I recall that some years ago Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan argued that the CIA should be abolished, and I argued that that was a ridiculous and irresponsible position. As usual when Pat and I disagreed, Pat turned out to be right."
Michael Barone has now joined a rising chorus of voices asking the real question of Plamegate:
What has the CIA turned into? Why is the secret government conspiring to bring down a duly elected President in a time of war? And isn't it time for a Special Prosecutor to look into shenanigans at the highest levels of the CIA?