CIA Boss: We Were Heroes in Error

by | May 5, 2015


Once again, Washington is agog over a former government insider’s admission of the “mistakes” made by his agency in a memoir otherwise wholeheartedly endorsing US failed foreign policies. As Iraq and Syria fall to ISIS and al-Qaeda, as Libya’s “liberation” has produced hell on earth, former CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell writes in his new book that, oops, we got it wrong: we expected all these US “liberations” to undermine rather than bolstering al-Qaeda in the region.

At more than $100 billion per year, the US Intelligence Community failed assessing the second most important US event in the past 25 years (first most important being 9/11, also botched).

As quoted in the Washington Post, Morell writes:

We thought and told policy-makers that this outburst of popular revolt would damage al-Qaeda by undermining the group’s narrative…[but]…the Arab Spring was a boon to Islamic extremists across both the Middle East and North Africa. From a counterterrorism perspective, the Arab Spring had turned to winter.

That’s it?

Nevertheless, Morell writes, the overall US policy in the region was correct even if US intelligence also got wrong the Saddam/WMD thing. Torture, including waterboarding, personally troubled him, but the CIA had no other choice. Torture saved lives, he claimed. The drone strikes in Pakistan, Yemen, and elsewhere were “the single most effective tool in five years” for counterterrorism, he wrote, and claims of civilian casualties from the US attacks are “highly exaggerated.”

It might be considered a kind of limited hangout to admit mistakes around the margins while vigorously defending the core of the policy that produced the disasters we are currently witnessing.

The Washington Post and the other mainstream media love these stories of minor “mistakes” that nevertheless reaffirm the regime narrative that US interventionism is an enormously successful practice that, while experiencing a few hiccoughs, is slowly but surely moving history toward its peaceful and prosperous democratic end.

Never does the Washington Post or other regime media ever find the space to write glowingly — or at all — about those individuals who urged the US to stay out in the first place, like Ron Paul. Those who warned that attacking Iraq would cost a fortune and leave the place the worse for it. If being right means non-interventionism is given a shred of credibility, the Washington Post would rather be wrong. Kind of like Pravda in the days of another empire…


  • Daniel McAdams

    Executive Director of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity and co-Producer/co-Host, Ron Paul Liberty Report. Daniel served as the foreign affairs, civil liberties, and defense/intel policy advisor to U.S. Congressman Ron Paul, MD (R-Texas) from 2001 until Dr. Paul’s retirement at the end of 2012. From 1993-1999 he worked as a journalist based in Budapest, Hungary, and traveled through the former communist bloc as a human rights monitor and election observer.

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