CIA to Obama: Quit blaming us 

After the single most deadly day for the CIA since eight officers were killed in Beirut in 1983, an official tells the Daily Mail he's tired of the double standard: 

One day the President is pointing the finger and blaming the intelligence services, saying there is a systemic failure,’ said one agency official. ‘Now we are heroes. The fact is that we are doing everything humanly possible to stay on top of the security situation. The deaths of our operatives shows just how involved we are on the ground.’

But CIA bosses claim they were unfairly blamed at a time the covert government agency has been stretched further than ever before in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

They point to the murder of seven operatives at a remote mountain base in Afghanistan’s Khost Province as an example of how agents are putting their lives on the line at the vanguard of America’s far-flung wars.

The agents – including the chief of the base, a mother-of-three - were collecting information about militants when the suicide bomber struck on Wednesday.

Obama's going to have a hard time ducking blame if every time he throws the agency under the bus, CIA officials push back. But especially interesting is this tidbit:

The president complained that a warning from the former London engineering student’s father and information about an al Qaeda bomb plot involving a Nigerian were not handled properly by the intelligence networks. 

But CIA officials say the data was sent to the US National Counterterrorism Centre in Washington, which was set up after the 9/11 attacks as a clearing house where raw data should be analysed.

The problem isn't so much that the president has blamed the CIA -- it's that a blame-game is being played at all. This is the squabbling of disorder -- not of problem-solving. Harry Truman's old adage wasn't mere grandstanding, but a sound mission statement for management.

So where exactly is that buck supposed stop, Mr. President?

About The Author

J.P. Freire

J.P. Freire is the associate editor of commentary. Previously he was the managing editor of the American Spectator. Freire was named journalist of the year for 2009 by the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). You can follow him on Twitter here. Besides the Spectator, Freire's work has appeared in... more
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