Goss Appoints "Dusty"
Enjoying his newfound job security, Porter Goss has appointed "Dusty" Executive Director of the CIA. Dusty is a 22 year undercover logistics officer who primarily worked within the "Office of Global Support" [NYT], which may have been formerly known as the Office of Deployed and Externally Assigned Personnel in the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency [PDF about the name change].
This is probably better than the appointment of an open Republican hack, but it raises a number of problems. Most importantly: how is democratic oversight of the CIA supposed to work when covert operatives are being elevated to the highest positions? Walter Pincus, who broke the story for the Post, reports that he "will become public fairly soon," but how much transparency will there really be? There are very real fears both about the CIA's vulnerability to politicization and about Goss' intentions. Appointing covert operatives isn't reassuring.
Dusty's experience is important and the guy probably has a lot to offer. But the Executive Director "manages the day-to-day administrative activities of the $5 billion agency, including personnel and budgeting matters, while the director and deputy director focus on intelligence and clandestine operations," according to Pincus. Reuters
A former intelligence official said putting someone who had run offices that rented spaces and made sure supplies were delivered for various operations into one of the top jobs at the spy agency was "leaping many layers."Reuters also notes that Dusty came to Goss' attention because he sniped about the CIA to Goss' House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. According to Pincus, he was close to the Republican staff members Goss has already brought over to the Agency.
Background on Goss.
Update, 11/9/04, 3:59 PM EST: Laura Rozen highlights an alarming article from the NY Sun's Eli Lake. Goss is purging the CIA, replacing "80 people who are holding jobs they should not be holding" with "some of the old bulls around in (President Reagan's director of central intelligence) Bill Casey's day."
Rozen seems to have mixed feelings about the changes, but I'm a bit more cynical. Goss is restoring the "moral values" of the Iran-Contra era. He is putting our security in the hands of people that have an outdated, statecentric, Sovietological approach to national security. He has embraced partisan "it's our due" thinking - Robert Baer says "people in the CIA bet on the wrong horse....Goss is going to clean house." This is what we were all worried about with Goss - that he would be guided not by what's best for the nation but by conservative sympathies and biases. He is already on the Woolsey path.