...and this lot want to run the world!

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    Last Update: Monday, November 15, 2004. 9:02am (AEDT)
    US Senator slams 'dysfunctional, rogue' CIA

    Influential US Republican Senator John McCain blasted the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) as a "dysfunctional" and "rogue" organisation that needs to be reformed.

    Reform of US intelligence has been a priority in the US Congress since spy agencies failed to stop the September 11, 2001 attacks, as well as the failures of US spies to provide accurate pre-war information on Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction.

    "This kind of shake up is absolutely necessary," the Arizona Republican told ABC television.

    "This is a dysfunctional agency and in some ways a rogue agency."

    Senator McCain blamed the CIA for providing President George W Bush with bad intelligence on Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction, noting that former CIA director George Tenet had reportedly told Mr Bush the case against Saddam Hussein was a "slam dunk".

    He also criticised the CIA for leaking to the media information "that could be damaging to the President" before the November 2 presidential election, pitting Mr Bush against Democratic Senator John Kerry.

    The Republican's criticism came after The Washington Post reported that the CIA is in turmoil, with several senior officers threatening to leave, due to internal conflict under new director Porter Goss who succeeded Mr Tenet.

    Senator McCain defended Mr Goss, a former House representative who headed the intelligence committee, saying his former colleague was "on the right track".

    "He is being savaged by these people that want the status quo and the status quo is not satisfactory," he said.

    "This is an organisation full of very good and decent people but is dysfunctional and is not providing the intelligence information necessary for the President to conduct the war on terror."

    - AFP
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