Phil Carter at Intel Dump notes a Newsday article that includes:
The White House has ordered the new CIA director, Porter Goss, to purge the agency of officers believed to have been disloyal to President George W. Bush or of leaking damaging information to the media about the conduct of the Iraq war and the hunt for Osama bin Laden, according to knowledgeable sources.
“The agency is being purged on instructions from the White House,” said a former senior CIA official who maintains close ties to both the agency and to the White House. “Goss was given instructions … to get rid of those soft leakers and liberal Democrats. The CIA is looked on by the White House as a hotbed of liberals and people who have been obstructing the president’s agenda.”
and Carter writes
If the CIA really is obstructing the fight on terrorism, and acting like a bunch of hide-bound bureaucrats (there is some support for this proposition), then the White House ought to clean house with the biggest broom it can find. However, this isn’t the Department of Education or Agriculture or Commerce — this is the CIA we’re talking about. It doesn’t have the deepest bench to begin with in the operational directorate, and especially when you’re talking about its Bin Laden unit or its Middle East unit. The White House has to be especially careful about sweeping out all of the expertise left within the CIA in these critical areas. If it goes too far, or instills the wrong command climate at Langley as the result of this purge, then it will do lasting damage to the national security of the United States.
My earlier post on this subject noted that if a completely justified and objective housecleaning were taking place, we’d probably see exactly the reaction in the press that we’re seeing now. The problem is that we don’t know.
It seems that most of the ones complaining are the ones who have lost out since Goss arrived. But what would you expect them to say? On the other hand, I’ve got to think that they aren’t totally inept, so at least some of what they say has to be right.
Unhappy long-timers upset that they’re not being listened to. Goss not making himself accessible to those who are accustomed to having access. Doing some things far differently than they’ve always been done. Well, isn’t all that part of the change process?
Obviously, if this “purge” is completely politically-driven, it’s the wrong thing to do. I don’t doubt that some are going to get the shaft for political reasons, but that’s nothing new. I hope and pray that this is being handled correctly. Don’t expect to get the answers in the media, though.
UPDATE: A Physicist’s Perspective comments on Carter’s post.