Stormfront is having a discussion of the Genius Conspiracy that caused Pearl Harbor. When those folks consider the Conspiracy, they are looking at CIA agents who make James Bond look like typist.

My picture of the Geniuses is a little different. In fact, what always comes to my mind is the incident of the Burn Bags.

OPM, where I was a Reagan appointee, had to deal with the employment of all civilian employees that were on budget. The CIA itself is off budget. But the Defense Intelligence Agency and the like are on budget.

Theoretically we dealt with a lot of highly classified stuff. Actually, we farmed it out to the agency. But we had to handle our documents the way any agency that might be in on intelligence work had to do it.

We also had to CLEAR all civilian personnel.

We were, in short, among the Geniuses.

When something came across our desks in the Director's Office that was what they call Top Secret, it went into the Burn Bag after we looked at it.

One day Reagan's appointee as General Counsel in this agency handling highly classified material came to the our regular meeting with the Director with a request:

"Would you please order them to BURN the damned Burn Bags?"

Someone from his office had been in the furnace room and had actually stumbled over one of the high pile of Burn Bags they hadn't gotten around to.

I was very uncomfortable, and the Director looked over and me without a word. I was in his line on staffing and security, the last person to see the stuff before it went to his office. I should have checked that sort of thing.

This was an evening meeting, when the "politicals" met after the regular folks had long since gone home. So I went and burned them myself. So I remember it well.

We were sloppy, but the CIA itself was sloppier.

When I hear people talking about The Beast, the Geniuses, about a dozen incidents like this come before me.

When Reagan needed some real manipulating done, he called in Ollie North, a new Lt. Colonel, to do it. When the congressman who got us into saving the Afghans in their rebellion against the USSR, he ended up going to the front himself, and the CIA opposed him the way any bureaucracy would.

I have been in the Mouth of the Beast.

It strikes me as toothless.