Bruce Fein in Washington Times: End the CIA!

Why should conservatives support the liberal CIA?


Other than Ron Paul, during his 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns, I never thought I would hear this from a conservative outlet. But Bruce Fein has re-launched the idea at the Washington Times: “It’s time to abolish the CIA.”

The CIA should be abolished.

After a trial run of 67 years, the agency has proven a sorcerer’s apprentice. The director and his subordinates have became insufferably arrogant Platonic Guardians hiding behind secrecy in the belief that the rest of us are too stupid or naive to judge what risks to accept to preserve liberty and the rule of law. The CIA has made Americans less safe.

Its incorrigible anti-democratic ethos was epitomized by legendary chief of counterintelligence James J. Angleton. He voiced contempt for the Church Committee’s investigation of chronic agency abuses, i.e., the “Family Jewels.” As reported in The New York Times, Angleton likened the CIA to a medieval city occupied by an invading army, i.e., the Congress of the United States. To the same effect, Director William J. Casey told Church Committee investigator Loch K. Johnson that the congressional role was to “stay the [expletive] out of my business.”

The CIA will never accept that it works for we the people and our representatives in Congress; and, that the United States Constitution and laws govern everything the CIA does. It will never accept accountability for its actions — including torture, kidnappings, and extrajudicial killings—because it salutes the motto that the ends justify the means, that savagery is justified to defeat perceived savages.

Fein provides a long summary of the CIA’s sins and failures. What bothers me is that he doesn’t point out that the original idea for the CIA was good: the President of the United States needed his own intelligence gathering capability rather than depending only on the military. Somehow, covert action (the “cloak and dagger” stuff) got included so that the Agency had basically two different missions.

Also, Fein leaves out the Liberal culture of the CIA. While Fein is right that the Agency officially came into existence under Harry Truman, it began life before that under the parentage of FDR. The main players were all Ivy League graduates and they recruited from Ivy League schools. So they were mostly Liberals with Liberal ethics and Liberal economic beliefs.

More puzzling: Fein leaves out the fact that the CIA, after lying about it, admitted they had spied on the Senate Intelligence Committee, provoking some deliciously ironic outrage from Diane Feinstein.

But Fein’s argument is still quite convincing. Even if the President needs a real source of intel outside the military, he is more likely to get it by building a new government agency from scratch, one that concentrates on information, not “black ops.”