First Nancy Pelosi got into a very public battle with the CIA, one that she abruptly dropped. Now Eric Holder is starting the same war with his announcement that he has decided to appoint a prosecutor to examine nearly a dozen CIA terror interrogations.
I’ll ask again what I asked before in connection with Nancy Pelosi: How smart is it to get into a very public shoving match with the keeper of the secrets? Even though the CIA has been a bit, well, off when it came to predicting events (such as the collapse of the Soviet Union and 9/11) and it’s not supposed to operate within American borders, I have no doubt that CIA operatives know where the bodies are buried at home.
So I have to wonder whether, assuming Holder pursues what CIA people will perceive (rightly so) as a politically motivated witch-hunt, we’ll suddenly start seeing a whole bunch of interesting leaks about transcripts and birth certificates and real estate holdings and affaires, stories that will affect all the people in the Obama administration, starting at the top.
All of which is entirely separate from the even greater concern that the CIA, with a hostile government peering over its shoulder, will completely abandon its responsibilities to the American people, as each individual agent does what it takes to insulate himself (or herself) from becoming a political target.
UPDATE: I’m not the only one thinking along those lines!