George Tenet lamented, “Our failures are always trumpeted; but our successes- which are many- are always a secret.”

His point is well taken and reminds me that at its best our media will only give us a part of the story, and one of my axioms is that a part of the truth is often more misleading than all of a lie.

The hard reality is that the CIA is incapable of being able to monitor all the points of potential problems that exist in the world. They must make critical decisions in a world of uncertainty with far from perfect informations. They make a lot of decisions and a lot of them prove wrong.

It takes an operative up to 2 years in immersion training just to learn the language of one country well enough to be effective. The number of different languages and cultures the CIA must fucntion under is enormous. In retrospect the severe budget cuts in the CIA during the 90’s was a disaster.

Like other institutions they suffer from ignorance and arrogance. But little is written about the catastrophes they avoided. No reporter covers the war that was never fought.