National Review editor Rich Lowry has the must-read take on yesterday’s resignation by CIA Director George Tenet:

“CIA Director George Tenet has resigned,” writes Lowry. “Good. Can Congress and the media resign next?

“Tenet stacked up an impressive number of failures during his tenure, but pinning America’s atrophied intelligence capabilities on him is a little like blaming Danish Defense Minister Soeren Gade for Denmark’s weak defense. The problem is the national material with which both have had to work. Led by Congress and the media, the United States has hobbled its ability to conduct intelligence operations throughout the past three decades with its squeamishness and its gotcha political culture.

“Intelligence is a dirty business — ‘a lout’s game,’ in the words of writer Rebecca West. In the course of engaging in it, things will inevitably go wrong. Unless you are willing to accept these facts with some equanimity, you won’t be able to do intelligence well. You will instead write Marquess of Queensberry rules for yourself and engage in paroxysms of self-blame when they aren’t followed properly. Since the emasculating Church hearings of the 1970s, this has been the story of the CIA…”