Whatever else it is, the CIA is not a government office loyal to either truth or the White House. Read this from Robert Novak, and I think you’ll fully appreciate the dishonest political game the CIA is playing — a game entirely separate from its mandate to amass information to aid the US in making decisions in a changing world. Perhaps it’s playing this game because it can do it well, while history shows that, fairly consistently, its intelligence gather, analysis, and covert activities have all been deeply flawed. (The Bay of Pigs fiasco, and the failure to spot either the Fall of Communism or 9/11 are some of the big errors I’m thinking about when I say that.) Anyway, here’s Novak:
Republican Rep. Peter Hoekstra could hardly believe what he heard last Friday on television as he watched a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing. Rep. Henry Waxman, the Democratic committee chairman, said his statement had been approved by the CIA director, Gen. Michael Hayden. That included the assertion that Valerie Plame Wilson was a covert CIA operative when her identity was revealed.
As House Intelligence Committee chairman when Republicans still controlled Congress, Hoekstra had tried repeatedly to learn Plame’s status from the CIA but got only double talk from Langley. Waxman, the 67-year-old, 17-term congressman from Beverly Hills, may be a bully and a partisan. But he is no fool who would misrepresent the Director of Central Intelligence (DCI). Waxman was correctly quoting Hayden. But Hayden, in a conference with Hoekstra Wednesday, still did not answer whether Plame was covert under the terms of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act.