The editors of NRO point out how critical it is to continue the work of routing out the Fifth Column in the CIA. In addition to some things we've already noted about the considerable perfidy at the agency (such as allowing the head of its counterterrorism book to publish his anti—Bush screed Imperial Hubris), they note this:
Meanwhile, the CIA used its funding clout to underwrite Bush's opponents. From 2001 through 2004, the agency's Counterterrorism Center provided more than $15 million for various studies led by former Clinton officials (such as Richard Clarke) and Bush critics (such as the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace). The resulting products, according to a CIA spokeswoman, were aimed to bolster 'our analytic product.' A 2004 investigation by the Washington Times found that the Counterterrorism Center had not funded any research by organizations supportive of the administration's foreign policy.
Most damaging of all, however, has been the CIA's incorrigible leaking. Again and again, it has demonstrated that it is more dedicated to harming the Bush administration's war effort than to protecting its own secret activities. On the eve of the 2004 presidential debates, for example, the CIA selectively leaked a report claiming that it had warned in early 2003 that a joint Baathist—jihadist insurgency would follow a U.S. invasion of Iraq. The report—which turned out not to have said much of anything about an insurgency, and to have been wrong in its core prognostications—was written by Paul Pillar, who has been happy to rip the Bush administration in the press, identifying himself as 'a top national intelligence officer.'
In May 2005, CIA officials leaked to the Washington Post details of a covert operation in which airplanes owned by CIA front companies were being used for various activities, including the renditions of top al Qaeda operatives. Six months later the Post, again relying on agency insiders (among others), reported that the CIA was using secret prisons in Eastern Europe to detain and interrogate high—level al Qaeda prisoners. This leak gravely jeopardized the cooperation of allied governments, whose own security and intelligence gathering were imperiled by the disclosure.
On the eve of a critical congressional vote on Patriot Act renewal, the New York Times sensationally broke a story it had been sitting on for a year: According to intelligence—community sources (which almost certainly included CIA officials), the NSA had, since 9/11, been intercepting international communications between suspected al Qaeda terrorists and persons stationed inside the United States. Aside from delaying the Patriot Act's extension for months, the NSA leak has taught the enemy about our methods and submerged a vital program—an effort to create an early—warning system to avoid another 9/11—in a sea of legal controversy.
Clarice Feldman 5 08 06