Thursday, October 29, 2009
In the new century, the CIA’s continued existence is not guaranteed. That is alarming because our country depends on its intelligence services for survival. CIA officers, while protecting us against real dangers, should help clear the smoke for all to see that the Justice Department’s investigation, whether or not it leads to criminal charges, is not part of a vast conspiracy against them. Understanding that the eagle in the CIA’s seal stands for both security and liberty, they should trust Leon Panetta to improve the Agency with more assertive roles from a new General Counsel, a new Inspector General, and better internal review boards. These internal checks are especially important for an agency that operates so much in the shadows. These checks have to be realistic, however, or else the case officers will no longer take their tough questions to the safe havens. Balance is vital.