To the editor:
Get serious about the war against terror: Abolish the CIA.
Sept. 11 began as an intelligence failure. U.S. agencies ignored massive data indicating something was up. Send them all a message: Fire the least competent spies and reassign the money.
The CIA could be our least competent government organization, period. Every independent review concludes it's a net loss to national security.
I believe the CIA intelligence branch misses almost every significant international development, including:
The Soviet blockade of West Berlin
China's invasion of North Korea
The Sino-Soviet split
The demise of the British Empire
The economic rise of Western Europe and Japan.
The collapse of the Soviet Union.
Likewise, I believe the CIA operational branch's unsavory successes evolve into nasty failures, such as:
Overthrowing an elected Iranian government, leading to the ayatollahs.
Overthrowing an elected Guatemalan government, leading to 50 years of war and genocide.
Overthrowing an elected Chilean government, leading to Pinochet's war crimes.
Overthrowing a regime in Afghanistan, while training and arming al-Qaida. Hence 9-11.
Meanwhile, the CIA fails to expose traitors like its own employee Aldrich Ames, who sold more important secrets than the CIA ever bought. The appropriate penalty for abject incompetence is termination.