Liberals, that’s who. Decades ago, the CIA was despised and sometimes feared by American leftists. It is hard to imagine what would have happened if the Agency had ventured on to a college campus to try to recruit agents: many young people saw the CIA (and only marginally less so, the FBI) as an agent of oppression. Conservatives, on the other hand, generally approved of the CIA and other intelligence agencies, as well as the FBI.
Those days are long gone. Rasmussen finds that approval of the CIA falls along party lines:
Sixty-seven percent (67%) of Democrats, but only 34% of Republicans and 44% of unaffiliated voters, have a favorable opinion of the CIA.
And who likes the CIA the best? Young people:
Sixty-eight percent (68%) of voters under 40 have at least a somewhat favorable opinion of the CIA, but that opinion is shared by only 40% of those ages 40-64 and 45% of voters 65 and older.
Whatever became of the idea that young people are naturally rebellious?
More important than the bare approval numbers is the fact that most Americans now think the intelligence community has a political agenda:
Fifty-one percent (51%) now think U.S. intelligence agencies have their own political agenda – up from 45% in 2018 – while 36% believe the agencies generally perform impartially. Another 13% are not sure.
Sixty-five percent (65%) think it is likely that U.S. intelligence agencies are influencing news media coverage of political issues, including 38% who believe it’s Very Likely. Twenty-eight percent (28%) say it’s not likely intelligence agencies are influencing media coverage.
Majorities of every political category – 77% of Republicans, 53% of Democrats and 65% of voters not affiliated with either major party – believe it is at least somewhat likely that U.S. intelligence agencies are influencing news media coverage of political issues.
Why do most people think the intelligence agencies have their own agenda, and try to influence the news? Because it is true. The reprehensible actions of the “Dirty 51” have not gone unnoticed.