Excerpt from Juan Cole at Guardian.co.uk:
Eminent national security correspondent at the New York Times James Risen has been told by a retired former official of the Central Intelligence Agency that the Bush White House repeatedly asked the CIA to spy on me with a view to discovering “damaging” information with which to discredit my reputation. Glenn Carle says he was called into the office of his superior, David Low, in 2005 and was asked of me, “‘What do you think we might know about him, or could find out that could discredit him?'”
Low actually wrote up a brief attempt in this direction and submitted it to the White House, but Carle says he intercepted it. Carle later discovered that yet another young analyst had been tasked with looking into me. It seems to me clear that the Bush White House was upset by my blogging of the Iraq war, in which I was using Arabic and other primary sources, and which contradicted the propaganda efforts of the administration attempting to make the enterprise look like a wild shining success.
Carle’s revelations come as a visceral shock. You had thought that with all the shennanigans of the CIA against anti-Vietnam war protesters and then Nixon’s use of the agency against critics like Daniel Ellsberg, that “the Company” and successive White Houses would have learned that the agency had no business spying on American citizens.
I believe Carle’s insider account and discount the glib denials of people like Low. Carle is taking a substantial risk in making all this public. I hope that the Senate and House intelligence committees will immediately launch an investigation of this clear violation of the law by the Bush White House and by the CIA officials concerned. Like Carle, I am dismayed at how easy it seems to have been for corrupt White House officials to suborn CIA personnel into activities that had nothing to do with national security abroad and everything to do with silencing domestic critics. This effort was yet another attempt to gut the fourth amendment of the US constitution, in this case as part of an effort to gut the first amendment of the US constitution.