Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Talking About Paranoia...

By Cernig

There have been a fair few accusations of "lefty-loony" paranoia made by rightwing pundits lately - but let's not forget that the Republican "black helicopter" crowd are still alive and well. Rowan Scarborough of the Examiner is one of their wild-eyed prophets, saying that the CIA has always worked to undermine the Bush administration, and he gets respect from some of the major rightwing blogs.

One of the biggest is Powerline (where they also think John McCain is the last great hope for mankind).
We've previously noted the new book Sabotage by Rowan Scarborough. Scarborough's book explores the CIA's efforts to undermine the Bush administration. It is a subject that we have written about here frequently over the past several years. John explored the subject in the Standard column "Leaking at all costs," as I did in "Three years of the Condor."

... Earlier this week CIA Public Affairs Director Mark Mansfield issued a press release responding to Scarborough's book:
We generally don't comment on books, but we have departed from that on occasion, and have decided to do so in connection with Rowan Scarborough's new book, "Sabotage: America's Enemies Within the CIA."
CIA employees work very hard to protect their fellow citizens and to help keep America safe. They take great pride -- and take great risks -- in serving our country. They know that the intelligence they collect, analyze and deliver to policymakers, diplomats, law enforcement officers, and military commanders makes a difference, each and every day. The premise of Mr. Scarborough's book -- that CIA employees are working to undermine our government -- is both ridiculous and offensive.
This statement is a classic non-denial denial. Scarborough thesis is that the CIA has sought to undermine the Bush administration.
If a lefty wrote this as satire it would fail the marginal credibility test for good satirical comedy. The notion that a CIA which has been complicit in illegal renditions, torture and warrantless surveillance for the Bush administration is actually working to undermine that administration? Come on! The idea that Porter Goss was forced out by the CIA because he was opposed to their plans rather than because his good buddy and number three Foggo had been implicated in the Cunningham bribery scandals and Goss got out before his own name appeared? Unlikely in the extreme.

Yet rightwing journalists like Jules Cretinden lap up Powerline's "analysis" uncritically. Others such as Human Events, Michelle Malkin and American Thinker have all endorsed Scarborough's paraniod conspiracy theories. Those theories include a man-crush on Donald Rumsfield which paints him as the only person capable of fighting terrorism and some truly kooky claims about Saddam's WMD's being spirited off to Syria - both integral parts of the rightwing paranoid conspiracy tale.

Pot, meet kettle.

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