Why Hasn’t the CIA Been Abolished?

If Ron Paul were president, he would get the ball rolling immediately to abolish the CIA. That’s because he strongly disapproves of most of what the CIA does and has done in the past. He’d expend the time, energy and political costs to see the process through. He’d fight this fight with his heart in it. He’d take the risk.

However, no president, including Trump, has decided to abolish the CIA or even broached the idea in public because each one has found the agency useful and/or each did not want to expend the political capital to abolish or drastically reshape the agency. If the CIA has at times been an antagonist to a president’s agenda or position, a president has found a workaround or tolerated the discomfort and problem. Presidents have calculated that the personal costs of abolishing the CIA exceeded the personal benefits of doing so.

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