Now this is interesting. Though I’m not a real maven on this subject, I’ve never seen the CIA promote itself using paid advertising. This one was on the N.Y. Times main page. Despite the questionable claims in the ad (“center of intelligence?”), I wonder what the purpose is. To polish the rather shaky reputation of the agency in the pages of one of the nation’s newspapers of record? To recruit new operatives?
The CIA has a lot to answer for, and claiming in an ad that it is the center of intelligence doesn’t exactly instill confidence that it’s learned any lessons. I know, you can’t exactly expect them to confess their sins in a paid advertisement either. But something a little less boastful would’ve been a bit more convincing.
I don’t think an advertising campaign will persuade anyone of a real change of heart or return to competence at the Agency. But a serious housecleaning from the incoming administration would go a lot farther to convince the American people that the CIA can work FOR them, rather than be in the pocket of whichever political clique holds sway and needs intelligence doctored to fit a pre-conceived, pre-determined policy.