Second in a continuing series...
The Left in the United States has long had a problem with the CIA. The Democratic Party virtually destroyed the ability of the US to run covert operations and humint resources overseas during the Carter years with the Church Commission and other absurdities.
Bluntly: any country needs intelligence services. Covert operations, programs to subvert enemies, etc., are also part and parcel of the Real World, the one that the Left denies even exists.
But the Obama Administration is opening the door to a reversion to type: the self-loathing liberal who cannot stand the sight of his own face in the mirror because he knows that more serious, more rational and above all more moral people have killed and subverted in order to protect the United States. Self-loathing because he knows that he is too cowardly to have signed off on these things himself.
It always amazes me how naive the Left are: they truly believe that Cuba is a worker's paradise, that Chavez is saving Venezuela from the ruling oligarchy, that the Soviets just reacted to us, that Mao was misunderstood and that Pol Pot had basically the right idea.
Give the empirical evidence, I cannot respect anyone who remains a Leftist, let alone a Marxist or a member of some other revolutionary nonsense.
But your classic Washington Beltway Leftist, whilst denying loudly and fervently that they even have a bias (because they cannot see it), knows how terrible US intelligence became after the Church Commission thrashed the CIA to within an inch of its life.
Hence the next legacy of the Obama Administration: gutting of US intelligence and counter-intelligence assets, leaving the country open to subversion and organized attempts to manipulate the US political system by foreign powers.
Why do I include counter-intelligence assets here as well? Because the two are fundamentally inseparable. Destroy your intelligence community and the counter-intelligence community will fall apart.
What is really happening here is politically-motivated revenge, going after those who were told that the methods in question were okay, but failing to go after those who okayed the methods. The former is applying the law retroactively in order to punish anyone daring to behave like intelligence professionals behave; the second is obvious political revenge, prosecuting those with differing opinions.
What will be - no, not will be, what are the effects?
Can anyone explain to me, when this goes through, why anyone would ever want to work for the CIA again? Do what your boss tells you to do, and then face financial ruin because a new administration changes policy and decides that what you were told to do makes you a criminal? The only alternative is to have all of your actions vetted by a lawyer before you actually do anything: that means the end of virtually all and any actions whatsoever. Or you go to jail. If need be, ignore the law and change it, making it retroactive.
Of course, that is the intent. To criminalize having a different opinion. Nothing more, nothing less. Please explain to me how this is different,
Because it isn't.
The legacy of the Obama administration will be a CIA and other intelligence agencies that will fundamentally fail to provide anything but the blandest and weakest intelligence, worse than could be found in the pages of a newspaper, analyzed not by intelligence professional but by lawyers. They will fail to inform, they will fail to protect, they will fail to find out what is really going on and name names.
Enjoy that legacy.