Magazine article The Nation

Giving Gates the C.I.A

Magazine article The Nation

Giving Gates the C.I.A

Article excerpt

Directors of Central Intelligence are the last casualties of war, revolution and failed covert actions. Allen Dulles, who seemed to have a lock on the job, was promptly fired by President Kennedy after he botched the Bay of Pigs. Richard Helms, "the man who kept the secrets:' didn't exactly do the greatest job in the world in Vietnam, but he really ran afoul of President Nixon for his squeamishness in collaborating with the Watergate cover-up. George Bush was supposed to clean up the C.I.A.'s image after the back-to-back debacles of Vietnam and Watergate, which just shows how far the once-proud intelligence service had declined. And it was God, not a mere President, who terminated William Casey in the middle of the Iran/contra fiasco.

With a quondam D.C.I. now in the White House, it's not hard to see what hackles an independent-minded C.I.A. chief would raise. William Webster's biggest mistake was flip-flopping on the sanctions-vs. …

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