Tuesday, November 16, 2004
Michael Ledeen's take:
ML: He said: "I never met a stupid person in the agency. Or an assassin. Or a Republican... They were, at least in the operations side where I was...wall-to-wall knee-jerk liberals. And they were befuddled that the left outside the agency regarded them as some sort of right-wing threat. Because they were the absolute opposite, in their own politics."
JJA: Of course. I mean, they all came from Yale, which didn't exactly preach Social Darwinism. And then remember that during the McCarthy purges, any leftist at State who could get to CIA, jumped, and Allen Dulles protected them all. In the Fifties and early Sixties, the State Department was much more hard-line than the agency.
ML: Well, I think they've caught up by now...
JJA: No doubt, no doubt. I see where you're going.
ML: Yes, I'm sure you do. The CIA didn't like Bush very much; they wanted him out. He was very reluctant to believe that at the beginning, but he worked it out, didn't he?
JJA: It was probably the Plame Affair that clinched it. I can't ever remember the director of central intelligence pulling a stunt like that: asking the criminal division of Justice to investigate a leak at the White House.
ML: Yeah, exactly. Richard Helms once told me that they'd investigated some leaks, and invariably found that they had come from the top guys, and so the investigation ended right there.
JJA: Right. I was involved in a couple of those investigations. Helms was right.
ML: So the call for the Plame investigation was an attempted political assassination, so to speak.