Jeff Stein, in the Washingtonian, profiles the CIA’s #2 man, Steve Kappes. Stein, a reporter with good contacts in the intelligence community, presents both Kappes’ positive and negatives. But, in the end, the story is of a man who failed to opp0se the worst abuses of the Bush administration and of a leader who presided over multiple CIA disasters: the Kost bombing last year that resulted in the deaths of seven CIA agents;, the Milan kidnapping that led to trials and convictions for 23 CIA operatives; and the CIA’s disaster in Baghdad; not to mention his defense of CIA abuses.
When Obama’s intelligence transition team had visited Langley, it had gotten a pitch from Kappes and other CIA officials to “retain the option of reestablishing secret prisons and using aggressive interrogation methods,” according to an anecdote buried in a Washington Post story.
“It was one of the most deeply disturbing experiences I have had,” David Boren, the moderate Oklahoma Democrat and former Senate Intelligence committee chair who led the transition team, told the Post.
“I wanted to take a bath when I heard it,” said Boren, now president of the University of Oklahoma, adding that “fear was used to justify the use of techniques that violate our values and weaken our intelligence.”
As one who opposed John Brennan’s getting the post of CIA Director, its profoundly saddening that Kappes wound up as #2. But those concerned about the CIA’s successful functioning should also want Kappes gone. But, in
March 31st, 2010