Spy Games

by Clifford D. May

Former CIA operative Reuel Marc Gerecht in today’s Wall Street Journal:

The revealing of Valerie Plame’s true employer has in all probability hurt no one overseas. You can rest assured that if her (most recent) outing had actually hurt an agent from her past, we would’ve heard about it through a CIA leak.

Langley’s systemic sloppiness–the flimsiness of cover is but the tip of the iceberg of incompetence–has repeatedly destroyed agent networks and provoked “flaps” with some of our closest allies. A serious CIA would never have allowed Mr. Wilson to go on such an odd, short “fact finding” mission. It never would have allowed Ms. Plame potentially to expose herself by recommending such an overt mission for her mate, not known for his subtlety and discretion. With a CIA where cover really mattered, Mr. Libby would not now be indicted. But that’s not what we have in the real world. We have an American left that hates George W. Bush and his vice president so much that they have become willing dupes in a surreal operational stage-play. You have to give credit to Langley: Overseas it may be incompetent; but in Washington, it can still con many into giving it the respect and consideration it doesn’t deserve.

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