I don’t endorse this totally …

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… but this editorial cartoon by Ben Garrison which was posted on social media by former (libertarian but always credible) US presidential candidate Ron Paul reflects the views of many thoughtful Americans.

President Harry Truman saidBut it got out of handWhy, they’ve got an organization over there in Virginia now that is practically the equal of the Pentagon in many ways. And I think I’ve told you, one Pentagon is one too many … [and] … Now, as nearly as I can make out, those fellows in the CIA don’t just report on wars and the like, they go out and make their own, and there’s nobody to keep track of what they’re up to. They spend billions of dollars on stirring up trouble so they’ll have something to report on. They’ve become … it’s become a government all of its own and all secret. They don’t have to account to anybody … [and] … That’s a very dangerous thing in a democratic society, and it’s got to be put a stop to. The people have got a right to know what those birds are up to. And if I was back in the White House, people would know. You see, the way a free government works, there’s got to be a housecleaning every now and again, and I don’t care what branch of the government is involved. Somebody has to keep an eye on things.

All nations, including Canada, need efficient and effective intelligence agencies. I remain confident that Canada has good, sound intelligence gathering and analysis capabilities and has some (limited) capacity to conduct covert operations. That’s how it should be. Like many people, I have, since the 1960s, become less and less impressed with the huge “intelligence community” in the USA, of which the CIA is just one (albeit major) component. One wonders, sometimes, about just who is on the leash.

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