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A "Rogue Agency"

That's how Senator John McCain has described the CIA -- and about this, at least, he seems to be right.

As Deborah Orin points out in today's New York Post:

Having [Joe] Wilson go public was very useful to the CIA, especially the division where his wife worked — because it served to shift blame for failed "slam dunk" intelligence claims away from the agency. To say that Bush "twisted" intelligence was to presume — falsely — that the CIA had gotten it right.

When the White House ineptly tried to counter Wilson's tall tales by revealing that he wasn't an expert and his wife set up the trip, the CIA demanded a criminal probe — and then itself broke the law by leaking that news.

It now appears the CIA's entire referral was dishonest: The agency knew Plame wasn't a covert agent under the terms of the law, since she hadn't had an overseas posting in the past five years — and obviously neither she nor the CIA was taking proper precautions to protect her identity. Call it disinformation.

Those at the CIA who were involved in all this had better hope that the American people are no better at "connecting the dots" than they are.

Cross posted at