November 15, 2004

Spooks Going to Croatan?

The Confidence Man has been avidly following this story about Porter Goss purging the CIA of all disloyal "liberal" anti-Bush elements.

As always on such matters, Josh Marshall has the best precis and facts-behind-the-spin take: essentially, Bush via Goss is purging the CIA of anyone who will stand in his way, including the analysts who correctly told Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Rice that they were full of shit when it came to anything having to do with the Middle East.

This is, of course, a genuine national tragedy, and is bound to cost us in the short and long runs.

But the Confidence Man, as always, has his eyes on the tangents.

First of all, if Goss is indeed purging the CIA -- where are all of these disaffected spooks going to go to work? This is a big and fascinating (albeit tangential) question. One would certainly hope that all of the centrist and left-leaning DC think tanks would provide soft, comforting shoulders for the victims of the Goss Putsch.

Second, all of the lefty commentators who scoff at Bush's perception of Langley as a "hotbed of liberals" are grossly mistaken. The CIA has always been a "hotbed of liberalism" -- of Classic Liberalism, that is. The OSS and CIA were "Eastern Establishment," Ivy League, tweed-and-pipesmoke institutions from their inception down to the present day. This is why Nixon hated 'em, and doubly so why Bush hates 'em. No, they're not Rove-Atwater-caricatured Nader-voting, tree-hugging, Walmart-disparaging small-l liberals.

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