Valerie Plame is running for Congress. She has a great ad.
And you like the CIA
Not especially. There are actually 2 CIA’s: the ‘light side’ and the ‘dark side’. The light side does analysis. I had huge problems with the light side in the cold war, because I thought their analysis of the USSR’s capabilities was wildly wrong, and because I thought they were illegally spying in the US and on some US persons abroad (some of it was not illegal). Generally I’m not real impressed with the ideological assumptions that (as far as we know) shade the work today, although there are exceptions eg global warming. There’s also an issue with duplication among the US’s many, many, many, many, many spy agencies of which the CIA is perhaps only the visible part of a big iceberg. And let’s not forget the domestic spying, although here right now the NSA’ electronic domestic recording policies seem to be the biggest issue.
All this pales in the face of my dislike of one part of he dark side, the folks who do the spying and run the secret wars. But let us distinguish between the two: I do think the US needs spies; it is a dangerous world — and Plame was a spy. Spying, novels tell us, is a trade for patriots and rogues. In either case, I think it’s evil in most cases to hang them out to dry as Cheney did to Plame. I can can conceive of exceptions to this rule, but none are relevant to Plame, who seems very clearly to be, and have, been a patriot.
The problem is the secret wars. I think they are usually immoral and almost always illegal. (We do get local fig leaves sometimes). That’s the part of the CIA that needs to be cut back to almost zero.
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