What is intelligence for?

According to a report in today's New York Times, that issue has finally been cleared up by the new Director of Central Intelligence, Porter Goss. The paper obtained an internal memo which Mr Goss sent on Monday to agency employees, in which he writes that the job of CIA employees is to "support the administration and its policies in our work.'' He adds, "as agency employees we do not identify with, support or champion opposition to the administration or its policies."

Now, this might be less than it appears to be. He may be seeking to control the public statements or the books or articles written by CIA employees, rather than trying to influence the contents of their reports. That remains to be seen, one way or another. But one thing seems clear: the administration is troubled by facts on the ground that contradict their policy positions. The CIA's findings did not support Mr Bush's claims about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, for example.

How did this memo get out to the New York Times and also, apparently, to The Washington Post? Mr Goss hastens to remind agency employees, "We remain a secret organization.'' But he might do well to reread Max Weber's classic essay on bureaucracy: what gives professional civil servants power over the political appointees who run their agencies temporarily is that they control the information.


Anonymous said...

I just gasped out loud.

My mouth has not closed yet.

Am I allowed to cry?

I dont get it :-(

Anonymous said...

But Eric.

Don't you know, these guys are NOT reality based (for reference see Ron Suskind article in NYT Magazine weekend or two before election).

The reality-based analysts at CIA were holding them back by their negative empirical data. So they needed to be replaced with non-reality based guys.

The Bushies CREATE reality. So Goss is purging the CIA to put in like-minded hacks, who then will create the fantasy reality that the Bushies want...

It's all so clear, isn't it...