think that the Bush White House would know an essential lesson of presidential survival in Washington: You don’t pick a fight with the CIA. Nixon learned the consequences of doing so; Bush One, a former director of the CIA, could have explained it to his son.
It doesn’t seem to me to take much thinking about that before it becomes very troubling. What President would worry about picking a fight with, say, the Pentagon? Yet the President should worry about getting in to a political fight with the CIA? Who’s really in charge, here? At this point I’d support a purge of the CIA by President Bush for no reason other than to demonstrate that the CIA is an agency of the executive branch that is to obey the President. It might be a good move to put the entire Wilson/Plame issue in the appropriate light, as a matter of civilian control over shadowy federal agencies. We might even see better national security once the CIA is not actively undermining the elected government.