Leaving partisanship aside, this ought to be deeply troubling to anyone who cares about democratic government. The CIA leakers are arrogating to themselves the right to subvert the policy of a twice-elected Administration. Paul Pillar, another former CIA analyst well known for opposing Mr. Bush while he was at Langley, appears to think this is as it should be. He recently wrote in Foreign Affairs that the intelligence community should be treated like the Federal Reserve and have independent political status. In other words, the intelligence community should be a sort of clerisy accountable to no one.
CIA Director Porter Goss is now facing press criticism for trying to impose some discipline on his agency. But he not only has every right to try to root out insubordination, he has a duty to do so because it undermines the agency's ability to focus on the real enemy. The serious and disturbing question is whether the rot is so deep that it is unfixable, and we ought to start all over and create a new intelligence agency.
When NPR runs a warm and fuzzy piece about the Crypto sculpture at CIA headquarters, you know the agency has become more of a liability than an asset.
Good grief, with the press and Left acting as cheerleaders for the CIA's destabilization campaign, are we entering a time when we need competing spook agencies just to watch each other like we're some God-forsaken Third World basket case?
UPDATE: Great minds think alike, I guess. Jeff at Caerdroia already discussed the idea of a purge of the CIA. It is sad to think it has come to this. But it is also frightening to see that it has come to this. What choice is there other than a purge?
ANOTHER UPDATE: I'm not even sure what to make of this.