Thiessen offers a latte-infused account of why Cheney's right and Obama's wrong on national security

Blog ››› ››› ADAM SHAH

From Marc Thiessen's book: Courting Disaster: How the CIA Kept America Safe and How Barack Obama Is Inviting the Next Attack:

I asked Cheney about the state of morale at the CIA. He says: "We live out there in McLean, [VA], about half a mile from the agency, so when I go into Starbucks to get a cup of coffee I always run into the agency personnel. And my experience has been they all come up and thank me for what we're doing." He says, "People out there are asked all the time to take risks. I had one of them tell me the other day, 'Look, we don't mind taking risks. That's our business, that's our line of work, we recognize that we have to do that. What we don't recognize and cannot tolerate is when we have to worry about what our own government is going to do to us if we carry out our orders. And if we're instructed to go out and undertake a difficult and dangerous mission, and succeed, that five or ten years later a new administration can come in and decide that we broke the law and that we deserve to be prosecuted for carrying out orders.' That's the kind of thing that will take a bold, dynamic, think-outside-the-box intelligence agency, and turn it into a bureaucracy where everybody is trying to cover their ass." [Pages 361-62]

That's right. As related by Thiessen, Cheney appears to be validating his views on national security through compliments he hears at his local Starbucks.

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