The Case for Getting Rid of the CIA and the FBI

by baldilocks

This morning, I shared this very long piece by Angelo Codevilla, who outlines what close observers have figured out for themselves.

What, then, is CIA good for?

Its founding myth combines a historical falsehood with reference to technical circumstances that have not existed for at least a generation. (…)

The truth that analysis of Intelligence must include a multiplicity of sources, and that a central repository of information is needed for that, was always the strongest argument for the existence of some sort of central facility where “all source analysis” could be done. But, since at least the 1980s, computers have made it possible and imperative for all analysts, regardless of their location, to access everything securely. Nowadays, ironically, CIA’s insistence on managing the access and distribution of information is the biggest barrier to universal, all-source Intelligence analysis.

Today, CIA is good for confidential meetings with the New York Times, the Washington Post, NBC News, etc., through which it joins—if it does not lead—campaigns to shape domestic American opinion.

What is the FBI good for?

Once upon a time, FBI foreign counterintelligence officers were cops first. Like all good cops, they knew the difference between the people on whose behalf they worked, and those who threaten them. They had graduated from places like Fordham, a Catholic, blue-collar university in the Bronx. Like T.V.’s Sergeant Joe Friday, they wore white shirts and said yes, sir, yes, ma’am. Unlike CIA case officers, FBI officers mixed with the kinds of people they investigated, and often went undercover themselves. The FBI jailed Capone and dismantled the Mafia. Because it used to take counterintelligence seriously, it was able to neutralize Soviet subversion in the USA. The old joke was that, in any meeting of the U.S. Communist Party or of its front groups, a majority of attendees were FBI agents. The only U.S. Intelligence penetration of the Kremlin was the FBI’s recruitment of a U.S. labor activist whom high-level Soviets trusted.

In the late 1970s, that began to change. Director William Webster (1978-87) refused to back up the officers who had infiltrated and surveilled the New Left’s collaboration with the Soviets against America in the Vietnam War. Webster also introduced contemporary political correctness into the FBI. Asked by the Senate Intelligence Committee why his FBI had neither infiltrated nor disrupted the Jim Jones cult that resulted in the deaths of 900 Americans in Jonestown, Guyana, he answered that he would no more have interfered with that religion than with the Catholic Church. Not incidentally, the Jim Jones cult was associated with the Democratic party.

Thus FBI officers became standard bureaucrats who learned to operate on the assumption that all Americans were equally likely as not to be proper targets of investigation. They replaced the distinctions by which they had previously operated with the classic bureaucratic imperative: look out for yourselves by making sure to please the powerful.

Take a cup of coffee or tea and read the whole thing. And I should point out that I’m old enough to remember when it was considered paranoid and crazy to believe that the intelligence agencies were domestic enemies of the American people.

Their concerted efforts against Donald Trump, however, have turned out to be a vast miscalculation.

Do I think that these agencies could be scrapped? Yes, but one might liken it to surgical removal of an aggressive cancer: expensive and painful, the body will need time to recover, and the surgeons will have to monitor the patient for new growth.

It can be fixed but it will never be over.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

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China, socialized medicine, and me

Hundreds of people wait to register to see a doctor in Guangzhou, China.

By Christopher Harper

If you want to see what socialized medicine looks like, China is a classic example—a system unable to meet the needs of many patients in normal times that crashes into chaos when a crisis occurs like a coronavirus.

During my travels throughout China over the past five years, I was able to see the system up close and personal. See https://datechguyblog.com/2018/06/05/healthcare-in-china/

While the wealthy can pay for the best care with foreign doctors, most people are relegated to overcrowded hospitals. In the countryside, residents must rely on village clinics or travel hundreds of miles to find the closest facility.

The country does not have a functioning primary care system. China has one general practitioner for roughly every 7,000 people, compared with the international standard of one for every 1,500 to 2,000 people, according to the World Health Organization.

Another major issue, particularly in a crisis like a coronavirus, is the system for handling patients at hospitals, which often is the place where most people go for treatment.

When I went to a hospital in Guangzhou, the third-largest city in China in the southern part of the country, I registered to see a doctor and waited for one hour to see a physician to diagnose a persistent cough.

I sat in a large waiting room to see the doctor—where you can get sick from some of the other 60 to 70 people with a variety of illnesses.

The doctor seemed competent during my five-minute visit, but I then had to go for tests, waiting for another two hours with 50 other people because the hospital closes for lunch from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

It took only a few minutes to get the results of an EKG, but the blood tests came after two hours.

I then saw another physician—in my case, another hour of waiting—before receiving three prescriptions to soothe my chest cough. It took another 30 minutes to have the prescription filled. Again, those waiting for prescriptions amounted to roughly 100 people.

By the time I was done, I’d been around hundreds of people, with a variety of diseases that I could have gotten, and they were exposed to my illness.

All I had was a chest cold and needed a prescription for some medicine. A visit, which would have taken me 15 to 30 minutes with my family doctor in the United States, took more than six hours in China.

But there’s more. At the time I was getting my chest cold diagnosed, hundreds of thousands of children were found to have been injected with faulty vaccines, amplifying the already existing frustration with the health care system.

In recent years, scandals have erupted over bribes to physicians from those who could afford to pay to move to the front of the line for critical treatments.

In my experience in China and elsewhere, socialized medicine may be adequate as long as there is no serious health threat.

Here’s what every voter should ask a Democrat candidate for president: Would you prefer socialized medicine fighting the coronavirus or the current system that exists in the United States? For me, the choice is pretty simple.

Don’t let this VA #2a Victory Fool You

There are still plenty of gun control bills moving forward, in fact as Bearing Arms note Governor Ralph “Klan Robe or Blackface” Northam will likely be signing a few this year

While the gun, magazine, and suppressor bill is dead for this legislative session, it will almost surely be back again next year, and in the meantime Gov. Northam will likely get a chance to sign several gun control bills, including measures that would roll back the state’s firearm preemption law, change training requirements for concealed carry licensees, and more.

The most dangerous thing about a victory like the one yesterday on HB961 is for people to think the fight is done. In fact I’m sure that there will be a lot of effort to make you think this is the case so that next year when Trump is not on the ballot and conservatives are basking in wins nationally and elsewhere the left can sneak these bills though.

That is the plan and it will only fail if they stay scared. Make sure you keep them so.