I’ve been watching a replay on C-SPAN of the press conference earlier this year held by Laurence Silberman and Chuck Robb of the Committee on Intelligence Capabilities. They both noted that the committee’s views on the major flaws in the CIA are consistent with the findings of other bodies over the years. This led someone to ask why little was done to change fundamentally the way the CIA operates. Robb and Silberman didn’t really provide an answer.
The answer surely lies in the extraordinary ability of the agency to protect its turf. How does the CIA protect its turf so well? Its skill in the art of the leak must play a major role. For one thing, this skill helps explain how the agency exerts so much control over those in the mainstream media who cover it.