Saturday, May 06, 2006

CIA gets degossed:

As Lou Reed might say, things are going from bad to weird. In a bizarre twist yesterday the president hauled CIA director Porter Goss into the Oval Office and publicly fired him. Fittingly, the press found out about this latest high profile personnel change an hour before it was to happen at Scott McClellan's last press briefing. Typically McClellan "forgot" to mention it until the last minute as he was about to walk out.

The official story is that Goss "resigned," but even that was strange because there was no reason given as to why was felt he had to leave. (You mean he wasn't even interested in spending more time with his family?) Bush wasn't exactly falling over himself to offer praise for Goss saying only that he "led ably." In explaining how Goss had led ably W. said he had done a good job working on his "five-year plan." That's great, but he quit 2 years into it, I don't get it. (good enough for government work.)

Here's yet another example of W. and Cheney screwing things up. When they announced that Goss was going to be to new CIA director a lot of people were wondering what the hell they were thinking about. But this was never about appointing a competent official to run the country's premier spy agency; it was about pay-back; getting an ideological fellow traveler in there who would clean house. It was obvious from the start that the Cheney/Rummy cabal was out to get those people at the CIA who had been "disloyal" during the run up to the Iraq war. See in this administration, every governmental function is subordinate to the political whims of the cabal. Those with insufficient ideological ardor are eliminated.

In all the papers today you'll see the CIA described as having been "reeling" from the intelligence failures of 9/11 and the pre-Iraq war WMD claims before Goss came in. I'm not a big defender of the CIA, but I think the rank and file, at least, kind of got a raw deal. The CIA did give W. and Condi ample warnings about 9/11, they just chose to ignore them. And the agency did supply numerous caveats about Iraq's WMD: That's why Cheney had to go swooping into Langley on a regular basis to threaten everyone to get on board. Hell there was so much resistance to the crap that was being peddled that Rummy had to set up his own intelligence shop in the pentagon to make an end-round the CIA's naysaying. [Otherwise known as the Lie Factory]

There apparently were quite a few folks at the agency who did try to get the word out that the Iraq Intel being pushed by the administration was bogus; anyone reading Dana Priest or Walter Pincus ---the CIA conduits --- in the WaPo could have seen there was a lot of push back coming from the CIA during the later part of 2002. Their reward for doing their duty for the American people was having Goss go in there and fire or demote anyone suspected of being behind the "leaks" that were embarrassing the administration.

Its two years later and there's a whole bunch of experience that's walked out the door and the atmosphere inside the agency is said to be "mutinous." I don't see how anyone at the agency is going to be expected to be able to give their honest opinions about Iran's nukes or anything else if they constantly fear for their jobs. I guess, that's the point though.

This is just another disastrous episode in the annals of the Bush administration's criminal mismanagement of the government. Let's hope it doesn't come back to bite us in the form of another al-Qaeda attack or another trumped up war.


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