Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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August 13, 2004
By: Kevin Drum

THE WORLD OF PORTER GOSS....Via Tapped, Michael Levi of the Brookings Institution says that George Bush isn't the only politician who gets into trouble when he speaks off the cuff. Apparently, future CIA director Porter Goss had a conference call with the press a couple of months in which he made a couple of rather odd pronouncements:

Rep. Goss began the call inauspiciously with the declaration that chemical and biological weapons are "more dangerous" than nuclear arms. In fact, nuclear arms are far more lethal than chemical arms, and in most if not all cases would be more lethal than biological arms as well.

....The congressman's more disturbing remarks in that half-hour June call with the press addressed North Korea's nuclear weapons program. Goss said, "Clearly not making the progress at Yongbyon and other places because we've called their bluff successfully."....But according to American intelligence, since 2002, North Korea has restarted every key facility at Yongbyon, and has produced enough plutonium for at least six additional nuclear weapons.

....A perplexed reporter followed up, asking Goss how he qualified six new North Korean weapons as American "progress." The congressman's response was startling: "What they've been doing behind the curtain for a long time may be far greater than what you knowthat you've just quoted to me now."

To suggest that the intelligence community knows about a massive parallel North Korean program that hasn't been publicly disclosed strongly strains credulity.

We already know that Goss is a partisan hack, but now it turns out that he is either misinformed (charitable interpretation) or delusional (more likely interpretation) about both the relative danger of nuclear proliferation and the state of North Korea's bomb making program.

From a guy who's been overseeing the CIA for nearly a decade, this is fairly disturbing stuff. Maybe Republicans ought to rethink this appointment. After all, loyalty isn't everything.

Kevin Drum 4:09 PM Permalink | Trackbacks

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