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Yes, Media Matters, There is a "War on the CIA" Whether You Want To Admit It or Not

Posted on August 29 2009 5:33 pm
David Swindle is the Managing Editor of NewsReal Blog and the Associate Editor of FrontPage Magazine. Follow him on Twitter here
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The more I do my own “watch-dogging” of progressive “watchdog” Media Matters the happier I am that I never got the researcher job that I applied for with them years ago when I was still a leftist.

What a painfully boring, mind-numbing job it must be to be one of their “researchers” having to try and create something out of nothing. I can only try and put myself in the shoes of “J.K.F.” the researcher who wrote up yesterday’s “Conservative Media Call Review of Interrogations a ‘War on the CIA”:

Following Attorney General Eric Holder’s announcement that a federal prosecutor will be conducting “a preliminary review into whether federal laws were violated” during interrogations of detainees suspected of terrorism, Rep. Peter King (R-NY) asserted that the investigation would be a “declaration of war against the CIA, and against common sense.” Several conservative media figures have similarly advanced the claim that by looking into interrogation abuses, the Obama administration or the Justice Department has “declared war” on the CIA.

“J.K.F.” cited several examples of this trend in his research. One of them was MSNBC’s Pat Buchanan who said:

[I]t’s dreadful in particular for this president, who is perceived as increasingly a man of the left, who have been traditionally, you know, in the caricature of the right, hostile to the security agencies of the country. To have the Justice Department declare war on the Central Intelligence Agency, to expose Leon Panetta, the CIA director as someone who can’t defend his own troops, to attack the guys who did the dirty work to keep us safe for seven years and succeeded — for a liberal president to do this is just to re-enact the worst mistakes of the Carter administration and just before it when Democratic Congress went after the CIA and the FBI, as though those were the enemies in the Cold War against communism and those were the enemies in the effort to prevent people blowing up buildings in the 1960s.

“J.K.F.” also singled out Human Events, Washington Times, and Fox and Friends among others. Go ahead and read his whole piece if you can — it’s dreadfully boring stuff.

Here’s the thing, though that “J.K.F” and Media Matters won’t acknowledge: there is a war on the CIA right now. There’s been one against it pretty much since its founding. And who’s waging this war? The Left.

The CIA has been one of the boogeymen of the Left for a pretty obvious reason: over the course of the 20th century few entities were as critical in defending America and fighting her enemies abroad as the CIA. And who were those enemies? The foreign Communists and Marxists who the modern American Left spent its time aligning itself with and defending. So of course the Left was going to run interference against the CIA, declare a war if you will, as its part in the global quest for “social justice.”

Few figures fall into this tradition better than socialist journalist and activist William Blum, author of Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II. Here’s an example of a Blum interview, you’ll get the idea rather quickly:

President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder both emerged out of the culture of the Left. Neither of them are as radical as Blum, but they still cut their teeth within this political tradition. And Obama has, in many regards, been forced to abandon much of the Left’s foreign policy demands — either out of political necessity or perhaps a genuine evolved perspective. (Who among us can actually read his heart and mind?) Initially Obama had rejected calls to go to war with the CIA and the Bush administration era policies of harsh interrogation. He was embracing the Left’s “Move On” mantra in a far different way than they preferred.

Abandoning the Left’s war with CIA and America comes with a cost, though: diminished support from the Left’s political machine that powers the Democratic Party.

Thus he was met with passionate anger and rejection from leftist broadcasters like Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow. (Olbermann has had Blum on Countdown before and pretty much uncritically embraced Blum’s anti-CIA, Anti-American foreign policy ideas.)

So now we have to watch as Obama and Holder have to do a political dance. Do they move Left and satisfy their anti-American base by giving the anti-CIA war the full force of the Justice Department? Or does Obama slide to the Center, allowing both Justice and CIA to focus on more important tasks than the Left’s Anti-American crusade?

Time will tell, and you can bet money where Media Matters’ position will be. They’ll continue to do just as Blum does in the above clip: deny that those who oppose the American Idea exist and ridicule those who suggest otherwise.

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