Tuesday, August 10, 2004


Billmon has more background info than you probably care to digest on Republican whitewash artist Porter Goss, the chair of the House Intelligence Committee, who was nominated today by President Bush as the next director of the CIA:
Like his counterpart Duncan Hunter, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Goss has also carefully steered his panel away from oversight of any of the administration's other intelligence sore spots - such as Abu Graib scandal, which pointed to the existence of a secret chain of anti-terrorist gulags run by the CIA and authorized by the White House. Goss has also been extremely lackadaisical about following up the Senate's WMD investigation - such as it was - with one of his own:
The House panel has yet to issue even a target date for its own report.

“Who knows; it will get done,” Goss said . . . when asked when he would issue his report on intelligence failures . . . .
Well, the Democrats may feel politically compelled to pull their punches, but former CIA Director Stansfield Turner apparently does not:
"This is the worst appointment that's ever been made to the office of director of central intelligence because that's an office that needs to be kept above partisan politics."
If anything, that seems like a bit of an understatement. When Richard Nixon decided to bang heads together at the CIA, and thereby stop the flow of Watergate-related leaks he suspected were originating there, he at least sent in James Schlesinger - an experienced bureacrat who'd already paid his dues in the national security state. Bush, on the other hand, is sending in a feeble partisan hack with absolutely no experience managing large organizations, and whose glory days as a CIA operative are more than three decades in the past.
And Digby dug up this revealing quote in support of his argument that Porter Goss should be the first Bush appointee John Kerry fires:
Rep. Porter Goss said Thursday that the uproar over allegations that White House officials purposely identified a covert CIA agent appears largely political and doesn't yet merit an investigation by the House Select Committee on Intelligence, which he chairs . . . .

"I would say there's a much larger dose of partisan politics going on right now than there is worry about national security," said Goss, R-Sanibel. "But I would never take lightly a serious allegation backed up by evidence that there was a willful -- and I emphasize willful, inadvertent is something else -- willful disclosure, and I haven't seen any evidence."

"Somebody sends me a blue dress and some DNA, I'll have an investigation," Goss said.

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