We Americans have a conflicted relationship with the loose confederation of government agencies we collectively call "The Intelligence Community." Because suspicion (if not downright hatred) of government is in our national DNA, it's only natural that we focus that suspicion and hatred on those organizations the government creates to collect information ... after all, they might be collecting information about us, right?
But you have to feel a little sorry for the people who run the elements of the Intelligence Community, whose status and public approval rank right up there with, say, the Directors of the IRS or the ATF**. Think about it ... whenever some terrorist attack happens or government somewhere gets overthrown, you get hauled before a Congressional committee or two to get yelled at because you didn't stop it from happening. You can't tell anyone about the successful things you did, because they're all secret. Everybody in the country knows how to do the job better than you do, and everyone works hard to uncover all your secrets, because we Americans know that secret is bad ... anything kept secret is obviously being kept secret because it's protecting something bad. Everyone wants to know who your sources of information are, and when you try to protect them, it's obviously because you're hiding something bad. Of course, if you're Devin Nunes you can blithely and arrogantly refuse to name your sources.
Yes, it's not easy to be part of the Intelligence Community in this country, when you get blamed for everything that goes wrong, and when it seems as if the whole country is working against you. You must sometimes wonder if the intelligence services of other countries don't have it better. After all, when was the last time you saw the Head of the Russian FSB hauled in front of six committees of the Federal Assembly to explain how it is that opponents of Vladimir Putin are dropping like flies, or the Head of the Chinese Ministry for State Security required to testify about economic espionage or the suppression of rights in Tibet?
Well, none of that matters, because we're Americans and the only things that matter are the things that happen here at home. Who cares what the rest of the world does ... makes no difference to us here, right?
But because you care about protecting yourselves from the tyrannical power and overreach of the Big Bad Government™ and its evil minions, you need to know everything that government does, no matter why it's secret. And so, as a public service, here is an up-to-the-minute diagram of the structure of the dreaded CIA, with the latest Trump administration changes to improve its laser focus on people who don't like Trump. Click it to embiggen it for easier reading ...
Don't thank me. It's all part of my relentless efforts to make sure you are warm and comfortable in your happily tailored information bubble.
Move on, folks, nothing to see here.
Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.
* With apologies to the original line.
** Oops ... ATF hasn't had a Director since 2015 because the GOP keeps blocking nominees. It's being led by an "Acting Director." Sorry.