OLE BOB SCREWED UP, TOO | 2004-08-28

If you think Old Bob is applying for CIA Director, forget it. When I was a security expert, I was as bad as anybody. My boss was ranking Republican on the House Select Intelligence Committee and when he died President Reagan appointed me to the very top of the chain for approving every single security clearance for every single civilian employee of the Federal civil service. This included such highly sensitive groups as the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA).

One person who could find out any government secret was the head of Cuba desk of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). She is now in prison, having admitted that her entire career in the DIA was devoted to Fidel Castro and Communism.

During the Cold War our government was full of Soviet agents. This is now a matter of public record. Since the KGB files opened up some after the Soviet Union collapsed, so many Americans were found to have been working for the KGB that we stopped naming them out of boredom.

Besides, naming them would be "playing the blame game." No one should blame a person who worked for Stalin in the 1950s. But anybody who worked for Hitler in the early 40s must be tracked down anywhere on earth.

The glorious FBI and CIA found none of these Soviet agents back when it was a matter of life and death.

Nobody minded. They were experts.

In a recent television documentary a former employee of the Soviet Embassy in America was talking about the fact that nobody at the Embassy had much to do in the way of normal diplomatic work. Their job was recruiting agents in America.

He even named the groups they recruited among: "Liberals, ex-hippies" and so forth. The same people any right-winder used to suspect if he was looking for a pro-Communist. It stands to reason that if the Soviets didn't find a lot of agents that way, they wouldn't have spent so much time looking for them.

So the Soviet Union, with its giant web of spies, knew anything it wanted to know in the US, right?

Wrong. The reason Soviets didn't know everything they needed to know had nothing to do with Top Secret. It was because, if the CIA is a junior league of the Keystone Cops, the KGB was much, much worse.