Thursday, June 28, 2007

Where's the CIA's Missing Jewel?

David Corm makes some very good points in this all-to-brief article in which he wonders why not only one, but numerous CIA "family jewels" are redacted or, apparently, missing altogether.

Perhaps, Michael Hayden is attempting to show the American people that today's CIA is not the CIA of our day, by releasing these 700 pages of documents, after all these years, some of it going back to the McCarthy era, not all that long after the CIA was formed.

Certainly there is more oversight by Congress and the Executive after the Church Committee Hearings of the 1970s.

Nevertheless, one cannot fail to note that the domestic spying, which came to light in December of 2005, was and is under the control of the NSA, not the CIA, where Michael Hayden was then the boss, before he was nominated to head up the CIA after Porter Goss was fired, asked to leave, retired, whatever.

Many of the bits and pieces we have been able to glean, so far, from what has begun to dribble out from the National Security Archive (we have not had the chance to pour over the contents posted at their website, yet) are already well-known to those of us who lived through the 60s and were anti-war activists, and to others who, for whatever reasons, took an interest in what our government was up to, back in the day.

Still, I wonder, how many Americans, till now, have been clueless about the contents of the newly released file. I doubt that any of this stuff was taught in high school civics and/or government classes.

I, for one, am under no illusions that the same kind of skulduggery is not afoot today, under the Bush administration, and the chances are, it is even worse.

As a nation, we cannot afford to wait another 30 years to find out what this administration has been up to.

Where's the CIA's Missing Jewel?:

Hayden, the CIA chief, deserves some credit for releasing the 'Family Jewels,' and he wants the public to believe that his CIA is not your father's CIA, which plotted assassinations, illegally opened mail, and spied on American political dissidents. But the CIA in recent days has run secret prisons and used interrogation methods that either involve torture or border on torture. (The details are sketchy.) And the National Security Agency has used warrantless wiretaps to eavesdrop on American citizens and residents. Moreover, as the release of the 'Family Jewels' demonstrates, there still are secrets from the past the CIA will not disclose. Are these legitimate secrets that ought to be kept from the public to protect national security, or are they embarrassments the Agency is not willing to face? Only the secret-keepers of the CIA know which jewels remain buried.

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