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Goss Extreme Makeover

Usually, when a nominee is subjected to Senate scrutiny, he or she will have to disavow or explain controversial prior statements. Usually, those statements are more than a couple of months old. Porter Goss, Bush's nominee for Director of Central Intelligence, is unusual. Goss has apparently discovered a commitment to bipartisanship, quite an accomplishment for a person who:

  • co-authored an op-ed piece "Need Intelligence? Don't Ask John Kerry" in March [AP];
  • supported more drastic humint cuts than those he criticized Kerry for; [Washington Post];
  • called the outrage at Abu Ghraib a "circus" in May [AP];
  • endorsed domestic intelligence operations in June [AP, Newsweek];
  • opposed the creation of the 9/11 Commission [AP];
  • opposed an investigation into the Plame outing [Herald Tribune];
  • used his seat on the Congressional intelligence committee to protect the administration [Ray McGovern, 7/6/04];
  • "couldn't get a job with CIA today" [Michael Moore];
  • has no managerial experience; delayed his planned retirement in 2002 at the request of Dick Cheney [KR];
  • embraced unlawful assassination [PBS];
  • acquiesced to the inclusion of the Uranium-Niger claims in the SOTU [Moonie Insight]
According to the NYT, Goss will pass (there was a change of heart sometime in August, according to the Hill). George Bush is putting a partisan operative, however experienced and informed, in place at the CIA, and the Democrats are acquiescing. If Kerry wins, he can replace Goss, so this development isn't the end of the world. It's merely one more sign that Bush is more concerned with rewarding loyalists and swimming in sycophancy than protecting the American people.

Miscellaneous quotes on Goss:
Mel Goodman, a former CIA and State Department analyst, said he is “leery of people who come from the political environment on the Hill.”

“You become a deal-maker, or a schmoozer like Tenet,” said Goodman, a senior fellow at the Center for International Policy. He said the CIA would be better off with a professional as director, such as a respected career diplomat. [KR]
If Porter Goss becomes the next CIA director (a big if, by the way), two predictions can be made with confidence. First, to the extent possible, he will return the agency's clandestine branch to its adventurous, gun-toting days of yore. Second, he will be ruthlessly loyal to George W. Bush. [Fred Kaplan, Slate]
Maureen Dowd of The NYTimes had it about right in her comment about Goss on HBO’s Bill Maher's "RealTime" show August 13: "Porter Goss is not going to make me sleep better at night, if Al Qaeda is coming to get us... The 9/11 Commission found that congressional oversight of intelligence was dysfunctional. Guess who was in charge of congressional oversight of intelligence? Porter Goss... You know, he helped Cheney try and suppress the 9/11 Commission at birth. They tried to suffocate it... But still, I mean, if Cheney gets his own guy in there – you know, he was already over at the CIA lurking over the analysts, trying to get them to help him make up evidence to go to war – if he has his own guy in there, think of what he can do." [Jude Wanniski]
Stansfield Turner, the CIA director under former President Jimmy Carter (1977-1981) described the nomination as the "worst in the history of the post," while Mel Goodman, a former top CIA analyst, currently at the Center for International Policy (CIP), said the Florida congressman "has all the wrong credentials," including a nine-year stint in the 1960s as a covert CIA operative in Latin America and Europe. [Jime Lobe]
Former CIA agent Larry Johnson also questioned Goss's qualifications. "There is one thing Goss didn't really do for the last several years -- he didn't chair the House Intelligence Committee, in spite of what his resume claims," said Johnson. "Instead, he did the dead man's float."

Johnson said Goss did not have the experience claimed. Goss did not "push through real reforms, for example, getting more funding for badly clandestine assets. He didn't do any of it." [Moonie Insight]
Former CIA Counter-terrorism Chief Vince Cannistraro agreed: "Goss has never been very distinguished, but he's protected. He's a Bush loyalist and has been in the forefront of those who have tried to place the major blame for the 9/11 attacks on the agency."[Moonie Insight]
PS. There really needs to be a liberal talking points factory, ideally divorced from the Democratic Party, that will put together reports on these sorts of issues. Google shouldn't be the backbone of the liberal noise machine.

PPS. Thanks to Cursor for the link. If people have a few minutes, check out this post and let me know what you think.


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