Donald J. Trump views as “political hacks” a group of formerdirectors
of intelligence agencies. He hastened to reassure Americans, saying
he is satisfied with the agencies under the chiefs he appointed. That
not-quite-enthusiastic endorsement opens the door to revisit classic
claims made about the 70-year old Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
Many have been repeated so often as to acquire unwarranted credence.
Some of these claims are misleading, some are misdirected, some are
outright wrong. Here’s why.
directors have been disclaiming any policy role since the agency’s
earliest days, when Allen Dulles used the word “myth” and termed
assertions of a policy role the most harmful assertion made about the
agency. Current CIA director Mike Pompeo told an audience last spring
he could “leave to others some of the challenging questions about
the details around policy.” But in the same talk, at the
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