The intelligence committee could not have picked a better scapegoat. Its reputation suspect at any time, the CIA will be hard pressed to stop scrambling politicians from dragging out into the open the “company’s” history of assassinations, coup d'etats, drug running, and arms dealings for all to relive. And how can the agency possibly defend itself without compromising its security, operating methods, and perhaps even its field agents? It can’t. All that it can do is sit back and take the smear from the latest inside-the-beltway witch hunt.

Former Director George Tenant will soon begin to reap the whirlwind. At the same time, sniveling, groveling-for-the-publicity future members of the latest committee drag him through yet another crucible-type Salem witch trial. Of course, the administration's chorus of sick children will be there, pointing fingers and screaming them on.

Acting Director John McLaughlin held a press conference at CIA headquarters and declared that corrective measures have been taken. He lamely commented, “We could have done better.” He did not elaborate. The CIA’s budget is a secret, of course, although we know that the U.S. intelligence community spends about $40 billion a year. One would like to know at what, how, when, and where. But it’s a secret, of course.

And, of course, those in the administration who lied us into the war in Iraq, most notably President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of State Colin Powell and "I-had-my-own-super-tanker" Condi Rice, can follow suit. The collective bleating can now begin in earnest: The CIA lied to us; it’s not our responsibility; we acted on the information supplied to us; everything we said before the war is “INOPERABLE." (Richard Nixon and Ron Ziegler are smiling from wherever!) Joliet Jake Blues sums it up for all concerned: "IT WASN”T MY FAULT!!!"

And they are not to be outdone, expect perhaps, by the mainstream media, who led the cheers and fed us the lied to pile on the now hapless agency. I expect that The New York Times and Judith Miller will now begin editorials of their own disavowing this Mission Impossible joke.

The NeoCons and their right-wing fascist think tanks can breathe a sigh of relief as well. The collective outcry will cover their call to empire as well.

And of course, the American public will demand action. All of those pious, patriotic citizens who waved the flags, screamed for buckets of blood, called anyone who stopped to think this all might be a mistake traitors, appeasers, collaborators, and Frenchmen can now wipe out any guilt from their conscience. How could our own red, white, and blue spies have gotten it so wrong? At breakfast tables across the land, I can hear them now. The e-mails and "letters to the editor" (The New York Times!!} will now begin to pour in.

I imagine Ahmed Chalabi, now resting comfortably in his U. S.-taxpayer-supplied villa in downtown Baghdad, is laughing himself silly. He played a bunch of Jackass Americans Neocons for 38 million bucks or so. So the CIA trashed his office and took some stuff. So what? He’s waiting for the occupation to turn even worse so he can step in and collect the power that he feels is his due.

Next in line will no doubt be our own Tony Masiello. What better way to re-election than blaming all of Buffalo’s problems on poor information? He just might show up at the next intelligence committee meeting demanding action. Why not? Everyone else will.

There was no claim in the Senate’s report that any intelligence analyst was pressured into anything. The ten visits to Langley by Cheney were ignored or glossed over. The role of the Office of Special Plans was disavowed and overlooked. The stove piping of information directly into the White House was ignored. The nonsense of Ahmed Chalabi and his exile group setting up the administration has been forgotten as well.

Bush, true to form, said that he had not read the report. Perhaps Condi will read it to him later at Camp David.

But in the long run, the intelligence community just might have the last laugh. Its job is to collect information. Think what you might, the folks in the CIA are very good at it. They know where all of the bodies are buried, inside and outside of the beltway. Can anyone say ‘October Surprise?” By Grady Hawkins

The Senate Intelligence Committee delivered something that can be described as nothing short of Christmas in July for Members of Congress. It issued a damning report, pinning the blame for the invasion of Iraq on the Central Intelligence Agency. From now on, those members of the House of Representatives or the Senate who voted to forfeit their responsibility to wage war to the whim of the executive branch can now rest easy. They can claim that the reason they did so was because the CIA’s assessment "had been hyped, lacked evidence, and (was) driven by 'group think.'"

Members who are up for re-election this November can now return home and wash their hands of the blood of more than 1,000 US military dead in Afghanistan and Iraq, claiming that those unknown inside Langley are wholly to blame. Senator John Rockefeller IV of West Virginia set the example as he helped release the report saying that he would not have voted for the war in October, 2002, citing “the most devastating losses and intelligence failures in the history of the nation.”

Indeed, stay tuned as many of them, full of false fury and indignation, begin to bellow for heads to roll inside the agency. Watch as even more panels are convened, and more and more low-level spook types are herded before the flashing eyes and flailed nostrils of our outraged representatives.