Obama tries to buck CIA morale after bad decision on memos
The description of his remarks in the NY Times sounds like the old expression about gentlemen not reading others mail. Is was all moral preening trying to disguise and cover up some extraordinary bad judgment on his part that has rightly angered many who work at the CIA.
President Obama visited the CIA headquarters yesterday to placate officials dismayed by his decision to release top secret “torture” memos, a move that has provoked accusations that he is willing to compromise America’s safety out of political correctness.
Mr Obama’s first visit to the CIA, to boost morale there and shore up his own reputation, came as his decision to release the memos detailing brutal interrogation sessions of terror suspects continued to attract criticism.
There were claims from inside the agency’s ranks that the move had undermined its ability to extract vital intelligence from America’s enemies, and could even blow the cover of some secret operatives.
Michael Hayden, who ran the CIA under President Bush, said before Mr Obama’s visit that the release of the memos had compromised the CIA’s intelligence gathering work and, in effect, aided America’s enemies.
Obama seems to think that his mere presence makes everything OK. A few words from his mouth and the effects of his poor judgment are supposed to be washed away. Out in the real world our enemies are pleased with his decisions.
Let me be clear. The Times does a straight report on his remarks. I am giving my own impression of them. I think it is also clear that he would not have bothered to make the trip if there were not a lot of people out there who thought he screwed up.