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Many years ago I knew Angelo Codevilla at Hoover as a bright, somewhat elusive individual. Now a Professor of International Relations at Boston University, he has suddenly burst back into my ken with a harsh condemnation of the CIA, in an article in Inside magazine and on TV. He has reportedly worked for the Rand Corporation and the Senate Intelligence Committee. We all know that the CIA has made mistakes, notably the Bay of Pigs, but we would expect a balanced picture of its operations. Codevilla's is totally negative, bringing in even CIA members who are Yale alums. (Now, if they had been Boston alums...). He demands the immediate firing of Tenet, the director, who has impressed me favorably. He dismisses as whitewashes the reports of the Church and Gramm committees. Such a totally negative, even nasty assessment seems to be based on some personal experience. He accuses the CIA of being hostile to Catholics, conservatives and Israel, and of swallowing the Arab line. I judge this assessment to be quite unfair. The present Middle East turmoil was triggered by Sharon's actions on the Temple Mount; he was clearly seeking a confrontation. Yet the Bush administration singles out Arafat for blame, while protesting unconvincingly that it is putting equal pressure on Sharon. To add to my confusion, Codevilla accuses the CIA of backing dictators, presumably referring to Latin America, and thus supporting the accusations of Latin American WAISers. It is possible that the Bush administration has heard these accusations and plans to close down the CIA and then reopen it with another name, as the Army did with the School of the Americas. Miles Seeley worked for the CIA in Arab countries. What does he think? What does Jim Woolsey think?
Ronald Hilton - 4/1/02