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“But that would mean the CIA would have spies working actively inside the United States.”
“As your sons would say, ‘yeah, so?’ Are you serious about stopping terrorists before they strike again or not? If you are, you have to be serious about reforming how the intelligence agencies operate. Rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic like Senator Kerry wants to do won’t change a bloody thing.”
“Hmm. I see what you mean, I think. But we’d have to get over the objections of all the civil libertarians.” Reilly started tapping the arm of his chair. His patience was wearing thin.
“Jed, Jed, Jed. I thought you were a serious man. You don’t need to remove the Constitutional barriers to search and seizure to do this the right way. You needn’t reduce your citizens’ inalienable rights, and your courts and Congress will still be there to protect those rights. When you force the joint operation, you must put someone on top of these combined agencies who can actually lead them. How about Paul Wolfowitz?”
“Sidney, I’m sure Wolfowitz would rather slash his wrists than take that job. The same goes for General Myers, who I’d choose if Wolfowitz turned the job down. What else should we be doing?”
“Sorry, old man. I need to go. My new lady friend is waiting for me.” He smiled broadly. “Don’t ask. All I’m going to tell you is that Ingrid Bergman looks as good now as she did in Casablanca.”
With that Reilly faded away, though his grin lingered in the air for a long time.p> TAS Contributing editor Jed Babbin was a deputy undersecretary of defense in the first Bush administration, and now often appears as a talking warhead on radio and television. br> /p>
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