Amanda Terkel (any relation to Studs, one wonders idly?) at Think Progress notes that Gingrich calling for Nancy Pelosi's resignation just because she called the CIA liars is more than a little pot/kettle behaviour. (Via Jane Hamsher at FDL)
But there's a much bigger hypocrisy here that neither Terkel nor Hamsher seems to be aware of and I think it's worth taking a moment for a recap.
In the mid-90's Gingrich made a series of speeches at the American Enterprise Institute castigating both the CIA's intelligence-gathering and its analyses of what it gathered. He accused the analysts in particular not just of lying but of forging and hiding evidence that Saddam Hussein was the kingpin of global terrorism. Seymour Hersh (via BuzzFlash):
Newt had been convinced by the writing of a right-wing Middle East "expert" named Laurie Mylroie that Saddam Hussein was, as I wrote 5 years ago, "the Professor Moriarty of islamic terror, the Mastermind behind the scenes". That he was behind not just some of it but all of it. In 1990, in a book called Saddam Hussein and the Crisis in the Gulf, Mylroie had developed her thesis to a faretheewell. The only problem with it was that it wasn't true. Any of it. As Peter Bergen explained in the Washington Monthly in 2003, Mylroie's "evidence" wasn't exactly credible to begin with, and didn't mount to much more than speculation in any case.
Mylroie became enamored of her theory that Saddam was the mastermind of a vast anti-U.S. terrorist conspiracy in the face of virtually all evidence and expert opinion to the contrary. In what amounts to the discovery of a unified field theory of terrorism, Mylroie believes that Saddam was not only behind the ‘93 Trade Center attack, but also every anti-American terrorist incident of the past decade, from the bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania to the leveling of the federal building in Oklahoma City to September 11 itself. She is, in short, a crackpot, which would not be significant if she were merely advising say, Lyndon LaRouche. But her neocon friends who went on to run the war in Iraq believed her theories, bringing her on as a consultant at the Pentagon, and they seem to continue to entertain her eccentric belief that Saddam is the fount of the entire shadow war against America.
It wasn't just the Pentagon. Gingrich became convinced that since the CIA kept on saying that nothing Mylroie had written was true, the CIA must therefore be lying. In the AEI speeches he, this great "expert" on intelligence whose idea of spying came from Ian Fleming novels and whose only experience in actual intelligence work was sitting on the House Intel Committee, devised and proposed what later came to be called "stovepiping": sending raw, unconfirmed data straight from field reports to the White House as a way to prevent the CIA from continuing to hide the "evidence" for Mylroie's thesis that he was sure they were deliberately burying.
One of the Young Turks who attended these speeches was Douglas Feith. Feith became a Gingrich acolyte, and when Cheney - an AEI founder and BMOC - was elected one of the first things he did was to make Feith a Deputy Undersecretary at Defense and order him to create and implement Newt's proposals from a few years before. Feith obediently began the Office for Special Plans (OSP), which was the place that "stovepiped" data was sent to, analysed by, and, in point of fact, cherry-picked. The OSP personnel, not at all surprisingly, wound up having pretty heavy Newt-connections.
The heads of NESA and OSP were Deputy Undersecretary William Luti and Abram Shulsky, respectively.
Other appointees who worked with them in both offices included Michael Rubin, a Middle East specialist previously with the neo-conservative American Enterprise Institute (AEI); David Schenker, previously with the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP); Michael Makovsky; an expert on neo-con icon Winston Churchill and the younger brother of David Makovsky, a senior WINEP fellow and former executive editor of pro-Likud 'Jerusalem Post'; and Chris Lehman, the brother of the John Lehman, a prominent neo-conservative who served as secretary of the navy under Ronald Reagan, according to Kwiatkowski.
Along with Feith, all of the political appointees have in common a close identification with the views of the right-wing Likud Party in Israel.
Feith, whose law partner is a spokesman for the settlement movement in Israel, has long been a fierce opponent of the Oslo peace process, while WINEP has acted as the think tank for the most powerful pro-Israel lobby in Washington, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), which generally follows a Likud line.
Also like Feith, several of the appointees were protégés of Richard Perle, an AEI fellow who doubles as chairman until last April of Rumsfeld's unpaid Defense Policy Board (DPB), whose members were appointed by Feith, also had an office in the Pentagon one floor below the NESA offices.
Similarly, Luti, a
retired naval officer, was a protégé of another DPB board member also
based at AEI, former Republican Speaker of the House of Representatives
Newt Gingrich. Luti in turn hired Ret Col William Bruner, a former
Gingrich staffer, and Chris Straub, a retired lieutenant colonel,
anti-abortion activist, and former staffer on the Senate Intelligence
The Far-Right Old Boys' Network in full cry.
So Gingrich defends the CIA when they do what he wants them to and attacks them viciously when they don't. What's surprising about this? He has a lot of responsibility for the Iraq fiasco that he's trying to duck. Blaming other people and pointing his finger in directions away from himself is how he's always done it.
At least he's consistent.