The Loony Left is going to have a hard time explaining this one away. Essentially, James Risen, who broke the wiretapping scandal, is saying in his book that the Clinton administration shares a huge share of the blame for the CIA's shabby state. As soon as Clinton/Gore took power, the CIA was lobotomized by the loss of its very best operatives, who didn't want to work for them. Then, Al Gore briefly succeeded in making the environment one of the CIA's missions. The fucking environment.
National Democrats are irresponsible clowns. Even when they pretend to be responsible centrists, they're just buffoons. I'll exclude Southern Democrats from this assessment.
Author James Risen won the Pulitzer Prize on Tuesday for his much ballyhooed New York Times report last December that revealed President Bush's previously secret terrorist surveillance program - a revelation he uncovered while researching his book "State of War."
In the same book, however, Risen makes an equally explosive claim about President Clinton's relationship with the CIA - which his editors at the Times have so far declined to cover.
Upon taking power in 1993, Risen reports, the Clinton administration "began slashing the intelligence budget in search of a peace dividend, and Bill Clinton showed almost no interest in intelligence matters."
The agency cutbacks combined with presidential disinterest took their toll almost immediately.
"Over a three-or-four-year period in the early-to-mid 1990s," reports Risen, "virtually an entire generation of CIA officers - the people who had won the Cold War - quit or retired. One CIA veteran compared the agency to an airline that had lost all of is senior pilots . . . "
After Clinton CIA Director John Deutch cashiered several senior officers over a scandal in Guatamala, the situation got even worse.
"Morale [at the CIA] plunged to new lows, and the agency became paralyzed by an aversion to high-risk espionage operations for fear they would lead to political flaps. Less willing to take big risks, the CIA was less able to recruit spies in dangerous places such as Iraq."
The Clinton era of risk aversion also hobbled CIA efforts to get Osama bin Laden. In early 1998, Risen says, the agency was prepared to launch a special operation to kidnap the al Qaeda chief in Afghanistan.
"To be sure the operation was high risk, and there was a strong possibility that it would be so messy that bin Laden would be killed rather than captured. [CIA Director George] Tenet and the CIA's lawyers worried deeply about that issue; they believed the covert action finding on al Qaeda that President Clinton had signed authorized only bin Laden's capture, not his death."
Frustrated by restrictions that made dealing with the big challenges too difficult, the agency turned its energy to lesser problems.
Reports Risen: "Thanks to Vice President Al Gore, for example, the CIA briefly made the global environment one of is priorities."