Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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May 6, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

TURF WAR?....After hours of blogospheric speculation yesterday that Porter Goss was forced to resign as CIA director because of some mysterious (and still undetermined) connection to Hookergate, the conventional wisdom in the press today has congealed around something very different: it was just the final act in a long-running turf war with National Intelligence Director John Negroponte. Laura Rozen isn't buying it:

Negroponte has President Bush's ear every single day when he delivers the President's daily intel brief. If he had been lobbying to get rid of Goss, and the President was inclined to support that decision, there were a hundred ways to do it in a way that would project stability, confidence, normalcy. There was hardly a show of that yesterday. They could have named a successor. There could have been a leak to the press about Goss being tired (remember all the foreshadowing in the press about how tired Andy Card was after all those 20 hour days that preceded his departure?) and wanting to spend more time with his family, or that Bush was unhappy with him. There was none of that. It was a surprise move. What happened this week that Negroponte and Bush acted so swiftly?

Does the way it happened resemble the slo-mo, warm and fuzzy way Andy Card and Scott McClellan were retired? Or does it rather have more in common with the swiftly announced departures of Claude Allen and David Safavian from their posts, a few days before we hear of federal investigations?

Well, who knows? Sometimes long-running feuds really can come to a head unexpectedly, and maybe that's what happened this time.

But, yeah, it doesn't seem very likely, does it? After all, as Laura points out, the press seems to have rather suddenly discovered this turf war. In fact, I just checked Nexis, and here's what I found: in the week before Friday's announcement, not one single reporter even mentioned the names Porter Goss and John Negroponte in the same story. In the month prior, there was only one piece that mentioned the phrase "turf war," and it wasn't being used to describe problems between Goss and Negroponte. On Thursday, a mere 24 hours before the Goss announcement, the Washington Post's Dana Priest did a one-hour online Q&A and never alluded to tension between Goss and Negroponte, even though she had several chances to do so.

So what's the deal? For the past several months, the consensus word on Goss has been that he's loyally protecting George Bush by firing all the CIA's closet Democrats and aggressively tracking down the leakers who are undermining his ability to torture prisoners in Eastern European prisons. That seems like sterling service. But now, out of the blue, we're supposed to believe that Bush woke up Friday morning and suddenly decided that some previously unreported bureaucratic turf war finally needed to be stopped? Who exactly is the source for this theory? Whoever it is, he seems to have been a busy boy on Friday.

Kevin Drum 1:18 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (83)

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Comments

Plus, as Laura Rozen also pointed out, the Bush White House went out of its way to distract the media from the Patrick Kennedy thing. If not for Goss's resignation, we would have had wall-to-wall Kennedy coverage til Monday. Instead, the coverage is about Goss, and even murmerings about Duke, bribes, and hookers.

Posted by: Jim E. on May 6, 2006 at 1:27 PM | PERMALINK

Thank you Kevin, for proving my point.

First, you say:

But now, out of the blue, we're supposed to believe that Bush woke up Friday morning and suddenly decided that some previously unreported bureaucratic turf war finally needed to be stopped?

Of course, Goss wasn't fired. He resigned. For those of you who went to caltech, that means he left voluntarily.

Now, it's a pretty conventional situation. Somebody leaves a job! GASP! STOP THE PRESSES!!!

That didn't satisfy the liberal media, however. Your evidence convincingly shows that they simply manufactured a 'turf war' out of thin air to make the administration look bad. As you note, there's no credibility to that theory.

So, does the liberal blogosphere accept that the media is stretching, wish a dedicated public servant well, and move on to real policy analysis? Of course not. It creates even MORE elaborate, unsubstantiated conspiracy theories.

Seriously. Maybe Goss was forced by Bigfoot to step down because the martians foud out he shot JFK!!!

Posted by: Al on May 6, 2006 at 1:29 PM | PERMALINK

the conventional wisdom in the press today has congealed around something very different: it was just the final act in a long-running turf war with National Intelligence Director John Negroponte

Kevin, great conspiracy theory. No wonder you and the liberal media is embracing it! A more likely explanation is that Goss wanted to issue indictments for Clintonista CIA "agents" who leaked informationj, for example indicting Mary McCarthy. But since the liberal attorneys who run the Department of Justice wouldn't allow it, he decided to resign rather than let renegade traitors who damaged national security be let off scot free for their crimes.

Posted by: Al on May 6, 2006 at 1:33 PM | PERMALINK

Wow. That was pretty dumb spin, even for Al.

Posted by: ferg on May 6, 2006 at 1:34 PM | PERMALINK

The Occam's Razor principle says: look for the simplest explanation.

And, no, Al hasn't come up with it.

Posted by: JB (not John Bolton) on May 6, 2006 at 1:35 PM | PERMALINK

Al at 1:33 is fake Al. There's no THERE, there.

A man had a job. He quit. Why does this shock the world? People.... change their jobs sometimes. Working for the government isn't that great; the payscale is absurdly low. Goss is probably going to earn more money in the free market.

Posted by: Al on May 6, 2006 at 1:37 PM | PERMALINK

The bush administration is creeping closer and closer to a major meltdown as more high ranking CIA officials decided that Bush must go. Goss was supposed to be the plumber who stop the leaks but as Nixon learned it the hard way : Don't fuck with the spooks.

I am waiting the final blow anyday now. What could it be ? a smoking gun tape of Bush and Cheney discussing how to lie about Iraq?

Posted by: dave on May 6, 2006 at 1:37 PM | PERMALINK

Well, I'm glad Al's already on record as saying it's no big deal--Goss just decided to leave very suddenly. Happens all the time. Right. I'll be interested to hear his take in a few weeks (or less).

I'm with Kevin on this. When I read that "Negroponte feud" speculation this morning, I did't believe it for a minute. I don't know what the real reason is, but I doubt this. It sure comes quickly on the heels of all the Mitchell Wade/Dusty Foggo news. But I suppose that since Negroponte is spending several hours at the club every day geting his rubdowns, etc., it's merely that he wanted Goss out so he would finally have some work.

Posted by: dogofthesouth on May 6, 2006 at 1:41 PM | PERMALINK

Al is spinning so hard on this one that he is posting from China right now.

Yes, the fact that Porter Goss promoted an obscure Frankfurt based procurement officer, who happened to be involved in Hooker Gate to the #3 job at the CIA, and the Wall Street Journal reporting that Dusty Foggo, said #3, was in the headlights of the FBI has absolutely nothing to do with this.

You are right Al. It's all a big coincidence. We all rapidly promote friends of contractors who throw hooker parties. It was just Porter Goss who was unlucky enough to be questioned on this. He is no lucky ducky.

Posted by: trifecta on May 6, 2006 at 1:42 PM | PERMALINK

Not to in anyway feed the troll, but it brings up an interesting question: when was the last time a cabinet-level official was fired? And the President publicly saying he asked for their resignation isn't the same.

Posted by: Nathan on May 6, 2006 at 1:42 PM | PERMALINK

Laura Rozen's reasoning seems very right. If it were a turf war, and Bush ended up being persuaded to support Negroponte against Goss, it would have happened much differently.

This has the feel of a breaking scandal. I once worked in a corporation and one of the executives was found to have kiddie porn downloaded on his computer. He was marched out of the building in the middle of the day by cops. This isn't as harsh, so I suspect it was damage control & second-hand shame.

However, the two hypotheses aren't mutually exclusive. The fact that Hayden was immediately installed to replace him suggests that Negroponte, Cheney and the WH intelligence ops HAVE had their eyes open for a chance to take over CIA.

Side coment, when Bushco is finally routed, will there be any agency in government still functional?

Posted by: PTate in MN on May 6, 2006 at 1:45 PM | PERMALINK

It's the procurement, not the prostitutes. Foggo had to have been elevated as a quid pro quo involving the money deals related to Wilkes, Cunningham, and probably Doolittle, Duncan Hunter, etc.

The hooker thing is what will make folks crack. They will be able to prove this easy, and people will roll on the procurement. It's not the hookers themselves that created this resignation.

Posted by: trifecta on May 6, 2006 at 1:49 PM | PERMALINK

Hey Al,

Of course, Goss wasn't fired. He resigned. For those of you who went to caltech, that means he left voluntarily.

Now, it's a pretty conventional situation. Somebody leaves a job! GASP! STOP THE PRESSES!!!
Have you never worked in a large organization? Someone who is planning on leaving and wants to assist the organization in the transition lets them know he wants to go, and they foreshadow it, while making it look long-planned - as it should have been.

Something this sudden simply has to be the direct result of some situation which was not anticipated as early as a day previously.

As for being fired or quitting, being fired can often take the form of a resignation. In fact, in the government it almost always does. It takes the form of the superior saying "I don't like what you are (saying) (planning) (doing) (etc.) so I want your resignation on my desk at (such&such a time.) The administrative form of separation is designed to make the best appearance for both sides, unless one is not cooperating. Usually that non-cooperating person is the subordinate.

This was not a planned, amicable separation. It is the direct result of some new situation that people just became aware of, probably late Thursday.

Al, if you don't see that you are a fool, and I don't think you are. So you are trying to put lipstick on the pig to call it pretty. There isn't that much lipstick possible. This is pure warthog.

Nor can I see why you want to try. This is actually a positive appearing move for the Bush administration. They are actually holding someone responsible for his failure to produce results, something they have never before done so clearly.

Either that, or Goss is just thoroughly pissed about something. I think the second is more likely, but if I were in the White House I'd be spinning the first alternative.

Posted by: Rick B on May 6, 2006 at 1:49 PM | PERMALINK

Dear Kevin: We have reached the reductio ad absurdum of the Bush administration. The director of the CIA suddenly resigns and "total loss of influence" that is, failure, is the cover story.
For true insiders, it's also leaked that the failure was due to the director's incompetence.
Think about it. Failure and incompetence have become the COVER STORIES when a Bushie is relieved of duty. The administration confesses the nation had a nitwit at the helm of the CIA for 20 months and the reaction of the press and the Republicans is, "thank God it wasn't something serious."

Posted by: JMG on May 6, 2006 at 1:55 PM | PERMALINK

Various people -- pundit-types -- have said that the FBI investigation into "hookergate" is the biggest investigation on record. If that's true, we have a lot of suggestions of cover-ups and perp walks and Friday evening news dumps to look forward to. Which is fine.

But I wonder how much we will actually learn. Am I the only one who believes there is w-a-a-a--y more to all this than gay prostitutes and defense contracts and limo services? And that the story may go back years and decades? When Bush first came into office he extended the period during which past presidents' (and his own) papers could be kept from public view. I've been keeping that in mind as we've all watched the same nefarious crew, buddies since the early '80's and before, have been manning desks in key agencies, accepting portfolios, tying defense and intelligence agencies ever closer to the private sector.

Posted by: PW on May 6, 2006 at 1:56 PM | PERMALINK

I agree with Lauren, this supposed months long "plan" to ditch Goss stinks to high heaven.

And Al? Seriously, stop using the powdered Kool-Aid straight from the wee packets. It's too strong for your ilk. ( BTW, if youre in any position to know, when DID the WH stop adding sugar to their Kool-Aid, and slamming it straight? Was it when nuking Iran seemed a brilliant idea?) Dana Priest isn't manufacturing some conspiracy, she's dutifully repeating what some WH/CIA/DHS/ETC. official told her.

i.e. This administration is NEVER caught off guard! Not only did we KNOW about this resignation we've been PLANNING for it for WEEKS. That's why we had nobody as a replacement, meetings with Goss that were never cancelled, and none of the Congressional intelligence committees were notified, etc. WE (the Bushies) WERE TOTALLY ON TOP OF IT!!!

Dana Priests story is the last thing you should complain about! Youve been on the receiving end of mighty righteous stenographyor just plain dictationand youre STILL suspiciously ungrateful. Unless of course, you're being camp and I can't tell the difference, you're totally nuts.


i.e. This administration is NEVER caught off guard! Not only did we KNOW about this resignation we've been PLANNING for it for WEEKS. That's why we had nobody as a replacement, meetings with Goss that were never cancelled, and none of the Congressional intelligence committees were notified, etc. WE (the Bushies) WERE TOTALLY ON TOP OF IT!!)

Dana Priests story is the last thing you should complain aboutyouve been on the receiving end of total stenographyor dictationand youre suspiciously ungrateful. Unless, of couse, you're being camp and I can't tell the difference, you're totally nuts.

Posted by: UhHuh on May 6, 2006 at 1:56 PM | PERMALINK

So-call Al sez:

Now, it's a pretty conventional situation. Somebody leaves a job! GASP! STOP THE PRESSES!!!

There is absolutely nothing conventional here.

A DCI does not just "leave a job" after only 19 months and without a warning...

Get real!

Posted by: dcs on May 6, 2006 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

Of course he quit. He gave up being a Congressman (a job he could have held forever) and committee head for a one-year gig. It's completely sensible.

Posted by: Calling All Toasters on May 6, 2006 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

Gosh, Kevin, are you saying they're lying?

Posted by: The Fool on May 6, 2006 at 1:59 PM | PERMALINK

dave:"The bush administration is creeping closer and closer to a major meltdown as more high ranking CIA officials decided that Bush must go. Goss was supposed to be the plumber who stop the leaks but as Nixon learned it the hard way : Don't fuck with the spooks."

dave, you raise a fascinating possibility. Is Goss's departure somehow related to the generals protesting against Rumsfeld?

Is Bushco trying to prevent the dam from cracking completely?

A movie metaphor comes irresistibly to mind: Treebeard & the Ents march on evil Saruman and the orc-works under the tower of Isengard, the Dam holding back the River Isen breaks....oh, that this were such a day!

Posted by: PTate in MN on May 6, 2006 at 2:00 PM | PERMALINK
A more likely explanation is that Goss wanted to issue indictments for Clintonista CIA "agents" who leaked informationj, for example indicting Mary McCarthy. But since the liberal attorneys who run the Department of Justice wouldn't allow it, he decided to resign rather than let renegade traitors who damaged national security be let off scot free for their crimes.

Knee Slapper! Liberals? In the Bush DOJ?

Posted by: molly bloom on May 6, 2006 at 2:02 PM | PERMALINK

OK, now I can tell you the really true version: Goss was in a turf war with Bernard Kerik's nanny.

Posted by: Calling All Toasters on May 6, 2006 at 2:02 PM | PERMALINK

Interesting that Tony Blankly (WashingtonTimes editorial page editor) said yesterday on "Left, Right and Center" radio program that he learned about it on his way to the studio, hadn't heard a peep and didn't know what had happened. Blankly even mentioned -- after making a big deal over refering to Goss only as "Porter" -- that he's a personal friend.

Blankly ALWAYS knows the official line (and spouts it as Gospel) so I believe him when he says it caught him by surprise.

Posted by: Tilli (Mojave Desert) on May 6, 2006 at 2:07 PM | PERMALINK

Ack! Hubby says there's a rattlesnake on the porch!!!

Posted by: Tilli (Mojave Desert) on May 6, 2006 at 2:09 PM | PERMALINK

PTate in MN:

I can't recall anytime in our country''s history that many high ranking CIA officials speaking on records. Do you?

We have Drumheller, the CIA #1 official in EU then Pillar, the mid-east CIA boss and they all on the records attacking their boss, Mr Bush.

I suspect that more CIA officials will be speaking out in the days ahead.


Posted by: dave on May 6, 2006 at 2:15 PM | PERMALINK

And, don't forget that Rumsfeld's shop is grabbing all the intel money, sources and influence away from CIA and NIA anyway.

I wonder how Hayden's confirmation hearing will play out.

God, I hope the Dems finally get a hardon.

Posted by: Tilli (Mojave Desert) on May 6, 2006 at 2:17 PM | PERMALINK

So Al cheers those who make America less secure.

What else is new?

Posted by: Dr. Squid on May 6, 2006 at 2:19 PM | PERMALINK

Here's an interesting syllogism for you

1. No Bush administration official has ever been canned for incompetence.

2. Goss was an utterly incompetent political hack (W's kind of guy)

3. Yet he's just been canned...

A syllogistic non sequitur? Of course! That is why this "resignation" smells very fishy. Something Big is going down...you just wait for the other shoe to drop.

Posted by: dcs on May 6, 2006 at 2:20 PM | PERMALINK

La-tee-da, more egregious stenography by the "press", if they keep this up even Kevin may join the ranks of the reflexively shrill press bashers.

Posted by: ftm on May 6, 2006 at 2:21 PM | PERMALINK

Let Bush reclassify all the crap he wants. It can be re-declassify just the same. There's gonna be some entertainment once these assholes' fingers are pried from the controls.

Posted by: fourmorewars on May 6, 2006 at 2:21 PM | PERMALINK

Re-declassified, I meant.

Posted by: fourmorewars on May 6, 2006 at 2:22 PM | PERMALINK

Al:

Somebody leaves a job! GASP! STOP THE PRESSES!!!

...So, does the liberal blogosphere accept that the media is stretching, wish a dedicated public servant well, and move on to real policy analysis? Of course not. It creates even MORE elaborate, unsubstantiated conspiracy theories.

blah blah blah blah etc.

This seems like a good time to quote myself:

Unlike tbrosz, who's 80% idiot/10% liar/10% miscellaneous, the real Al is quite literally 100% liar. He's a genuine sociopath. Authoritarian governments have real problems because they can never find enough people like Al -- usually they're stuck with thousands of tbroszes.
Posted by: grh on May 6, 2006 at 2:28 PM | PERMALINK

: )

Negroponte Please

: )

Posted by: Alex on May 6, 2006 at 2:31 PM | PERMALINK

So, does the liberal blogosphere accept that the media is stretching, wish a dedicated public servant well, and move on to real policy analysis? Of course not. It creates even MORE elaborate, unsubstantiated conspiracy theories.Posted by: Al on May 6, 2006 at 1:29 PM


Kevin, great conspiracy theory. No wonder you and the liberal media is embracing it! A more likely explanation is that Goss wanted to issue indictments for Clintonista CIA "agents" who leaked informationj, for example indicting Mary McCarthy. But since the liberal attorneys who run the Department of Justice wouldn't allow it, he decided to resign rather than let renegade traitors who damaged national security be let off scot free for their crimes.Posted by: Al on May 6, 2006 at 1:33 PM | PERMALINK

Liberals rant in conspiracy theories(?), but Al thinks the DOJ is being "run" by liberal attorneys conspiring to keep Goss from doing his job?

Okay.

Al, is someone helping you keep track of your meds? Does your doctor know that your prescription needs re-evaluation? It's not really working for you. Somewhere underneath it all, you must know that..don't you?

Posted by: jcricket on May 6, 2006 at 2:39 PM | PERMALINK

He resigned because hookergate is getting real close as in about to indict the #3 dude at CIA and Goss' closest bud. There is nothing that scares GOP/Rove more then a SEX scandle and they will do anything to avoid it.

Spinners spin, ok, but the god-damned press and MSM are total fucking access whores on this story. Where is the pride of being a reporter? Lost long ago to the fun/$$$/fame of cocktail weenys and access to the powerful. I hate our media. Long live blogs.

Posted by: the fake fake al on May 6, 2006 at 2:41 PM | PERMALINK

How about a simple synthesis of these theories:
Negroponte and much of current/former CIA wanted Goss & Co out. Bush was loathe to push the button.
As soon as credible tie-ins were found between Foggo and Duke's scandal, and thus at least indirectly to Goss, those gunning for Goss demanded action, phrasing it as a way for BushCo to avoid the next big embarassment, perhaps backed by a threatened walk by Negroponte in case of inaction.
The new WH crew, seeking to cast itself as hyper-effective and pre-emptive on quashing brewing scandals, sided with the demand-resignation-wave.
And the rest is history.
Simple

Posted by: Jim on May 6, 2006 at 2:46 PM | PERMALINK

Ok, this is what will happen in the next few weeks:

-Foggo and Goss are indicted in connection with Hookergate

-Heat from Hookergate rises through the intel community to the executive

-Congress feels the need to DO SOMETHING

-Frist and Boehner announce a crackdown... on ALL THESE HOOKERS. If there weren't hookers, we wouldn't have all these hooker scandals.

Posted by: greenplasticmike on May 6, 2006 at 2:58 PM | PERMALINK

Just like with lobbying reform. The answer is not to have congressmen obey the rules that exist. We have to have more rules.

Posted by: greenplasticmike on May 6, 2006 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK

Al at 1:37 is a fake Al. I am the real Al, and you will all burn in hell for opposing the one true King, George W. Bush, whose cock I am not worthy to put in my mouth, even though I do.

Posted by: Al on May 6, 2006 at 3:07 PM | PERMALINK

In this echo chamber, Ive heard three real hypotheses. The one from Jim at 2:46pm is the most recent and the best in combining plausibility with twisty logic. Then there is the obvious watergate-gate hooker tie-in. The dark horse is that the CIA is somehow involved in that DC9 full of cocaine that Mexican authorities confiscated in Yucatan a few weeks ago. Our Friend Foggo is one of several old contra hands from the 1980s, and probably know how to run airplanes over the Caribbean. It would truly be the juiciest, most outrageous connection. Thats why Im rooting for it. See
http://www.madcowprod.com/ for a rundown.

Oh, and I recommend using olive oil instead of butter on your popcorn. It looks like we will be eating a lot of it in the next weeks.

Posted by: troglodyte on May 6, 2006 at 3:13 PM | PERMALINK

Jim -- A reasonable explanation. However, no one could have believed that Goss's hasty departure would not: (1) increase speculation about something more than meets the eye; and (2) increase the perception of turmoil and ineffective management.

Even if Goss is clean, the White House opens itself to additional criticism for mismanaging the appointment, tenure and departure of Goss, and thus the CIA and a sizeable portion of the intelligence community.

While Goss and his lieutenants are easy targets and demonstrable failures, the focus should be as much on the White House's mismanagement.

Posted by: has407 on May 6, 2006 at 3:24 PM | PERMALINK

Haydn, the presumed replacement for Goss, is a weathervane for the administration. If he is approved by a compliant GOP-dominated Congress, the administration will probably act swiftly to continue to consolidate its power, perhaps by introducing sedition laws targeting journalists and whistle-blowers within the federal bureaucracy. If his potential nomination is shot down this weekend by Senate republican leadership, or if he is nominated but fails to win confirmation, then Congress will at last be acting to restrain this imperial President.

Posted by: Bad Apple on May 6, 2006 at 3:36 PM | PERMALINK

Truisms regarding any statement that comes out of the Bush Administration:

1. It's a lie.
2. The truth is much uglier than you can imagine.
3. The truth will not be known anytime soon, because our press has forgotten how to investigate anything that requires effort, integrity, and intelligence.

We live in an era of Total Government Opacity. We desperately need our own glasnost. We're not going to get it, because the very structures of the system have changed completely in the last 30 years to protect the power structure.

In the meantime, we need to become Kremlinologists, extracting what truth we can from shadows, body language, and anomalies.

Posted by: CaseyL on May 6, 2006 at 3:44 PM | PERMALINK

The one thing I would like to point out is that for the last five years Bush and his Republican friends have demonstrated multiple methods of failure. The resignation (firing) of Goss could easily be for multiple reasons though there's surely a reason that was the tipping point. Given how sluggish Bush is to do anything, a scandal seems a likely candidate for a sudden departure.

Posted by: Craig on May 6, 2006 at 3:53 PM | PERMALINK

All Als up till this point are fake Als. I am the real one.

Posted by: phleabo on May 6, 2006 at 4:07 PM | PERMALINK

FWIW, Jane Harman was briefly interviewed yesterday (here); and vaguely suggested the long-running the turf war angle:

Q: How surprised were you by this announcement...

HARMAN: Well, the rumors have been around a long time, and they predate some of the latest gossip about some of this inexperienced staff being at parties and so forth...

Posted by: has407 on May 6, 2006 at 4:08 PM | PERMALINK

This is just a convenient change for all concerned, isn't it? Goss can end his frustrations in an unpleasant way for the Administration, and the WH can try to paint Goss as the reason for its problems with the CIA.

Foggo's problems don't involve Goss, with the exception that Goss put him in an important position and that reflects badly.

It seems like people wanted Foggo fired as a security risk and Goss didn't want to do this, in a Bush-like stand on loyalty.

Posted by: jerry on May 6, 2006 at 4:15 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe if a fellow finds himself in a turf war with Negroponte, he is the last to know. First sign is that your food tasters start to croak.

Posted by: Hedley Lamarr on May 6, 2006 at 4:17 PM | PERMALINK

The question I have is why this was announced in GREAT BIG LETTERS at 1:45 pm. These people have made an art form of quietly announcing bad news at 5:00 pm on Friday; why not this time?

If they were going to announce it with no advance work (whispers to someone at Fox or WashTimes, trial balloons planted with Tony Blankley/George Will/Bob Novak, late night phone calls to Hill committee chairs, etc.), why didn't they soft-play it and release it quietly three hours later?

Even though it was sudden, I don't believe it happened the way it did because Andy Card wasn't around; Bolton has to know how to do it. If Goss was forced out as part of a power struggle, or if he were leaving in advance of being indicted, I imagine they'd try to sneak the news out quietly.

What is it about this that made them make a big show of it?

There's more fruit to fall from this tree, and it's going to be really fun to watch when it happens.

Posted by: Kevin on May 6, 2006 at 4:35 PM | PERMALINK

Possibilities I haven't seen mentioned:

1) Goss was tasked to produce an intel estimate (on Iran??) with conclusions he refused to endorse.

2) Goss gave unacceptable advice, and paid the price just as Gen. Shinseki did.

Perhaps the next few months will clarify all this.

Posted by: Kinnison on May 6, 2006 at 4:43 PM | PERMALINK

Or does it rather have more in common with the swiftly announced departures of Claude Allen and David Safavian from their posts, a few days before we hear of federal investigations?

For a list of Bush Administration officials who have resigned under cloud of scandal, click here.

Posted by: Night Owl on May 6, 2006 at 4:44 PM | PERMALINK

from,

http://allspinzone.com/blog/index.php?itemid=2720

The other high point came when Rogers asked (Jeff) Gannon where he was those nights he slept over at the White House. Gannon did not respond. In fact, he was saved from responding by Sender and Gordon. And therein lies the odd thing about the whole panel. Gordon kept talking about ethics and journalism and getting facts straight, but when Mike Rogers asked Jeff Gannon for a straight factual answer, she and the moderator helped change the topic. That's the problem with the mainstream media today: they don't seem to want to dig for the truth if it is uncomfortable.

Posted by: cld on May 6, 2006 at 5:40 PM | PERMALINK

I jive with Kinnison's 4:43pm query. When I first saw the news flash on the CNN home page I surmised that Goss was resigning rather than sex-up some intelligence on Iran. Although Goss is a partisan and an inept administrator, there was the chance that he is not an out-and-out fabricator of intel. The other events of the day and of past weeks seem to overshadow Kinnison's hypotheses, but they dont refute them, as far as I know. Does anyone have facts or opinions to bring to this question?

Posted by: troglodyte on May 6, 2006 at 5:54 PM | PERMALINK

Goss had to go out. Negorponte needs someone pliant in place to stage lies for a ground war with Iran next.

It's okay, we field tested estimates via the Iran-Iraq war. If we use tactical chemical WMD we'll win easy(again).

Posted by: Mr.Murder on May 6, 2006 at 6:44 PM | PERMALINK

The only reason for the suddeness is that Goss had become a danger to Bush. Goss had hoped that Bush would sit on the scandal and Goss could keep his job. No dice. Goss then started an agency op to get something/anything on the Bush family to apply pressure. Baker found out on Friday and Goss lost his head.

Posted by: wisedup on May 6, 2006 at 6:55 PM | PERMALINK

Al,

I've got the perfect spin story for you! This is my gift to you, free of charge:

The thought-reader implant in Goss' head (implanted by HELLory RodRam Klintonista) began to malfunction, and transmitted his thoughts to Dick Cheney instead. He recognized that Goss' plan to use the CIA Mind-ray to convince Sen. Bill "God" Frist to promote the assanine $100 rebate checks, failed to include all other Republicans as well. This was obviously due to a lack of power provided by Duke Power to the CIA, because of all those illegal aliens Duke employs, who were lazing around instead of stoking the coal plants, to keep them operating at full capacity.


There this should absolve all Republicans of responisbility, and place the blame firmly on Hillary Clinton and the liberal elitist scientists (as well as lazy illegal aliens).

Posted by: jeff-perado on May 6, 2006 at 7:08 PM | PERMALINK

For the chronically-spinning Al, I will make one observation: The head of a major U.S. agency, with no apparent public difficulties, goes to the White House on Friday and submits his resignation effective immediately.

That is a major ass-covering if ever there was one.

Even Nixon gave us a little warning.

Posted by: Mellifluous on May 6, 2006 at 7:31 PM | PERMALINK

To suggest Goss gave unacceptable advice, in private, and was therefore summarily canned, is a stretch. There's intelligence gathering and analysis; then there's adivce on what action to take. While the intelligence community analysis and opinions obviously has an impact on what advice consumers of that intelligence provide, the primary adivsors are not within the intelligence community.

Whether it had anything to do with the veracity of intelligence produced by the CIA will remain speculation, but I think unlikely; the abrupt departure argues against it. But as long as we're engaging in wild speculation... that abruptness would suggest something more time critical, such as an unwillingness to task the DO with a borderline operation (or maybe an outright revolt within the DO at being ordered to undertake such).

In any case, it's worth noting that National Intelligence Estimates are produced by the National Intelligence Council. The NIC use to be appointed and serve under the DCI. The intelligence reform act changed that; the NIC is now appointed and serves under the DNI (and their web site here has moved from the CIA's to the DNI's). The current head of the NIC was appointed in May 2005, and came from State INR. That suggests that saner heads may prevail.

That said, Goss has had a chance to assuage speculation about his departure. Instead, today he appears to have fueled it, as reported by CNN:

Porter Goss said Saturday that his surprise resignation as CIA director is "just one of those mysteries," offering no other explanation for his sudden departure after almost two years on the job.
That sounds like someone who doesn't care because the speculation will end soon, or because his name is irredeemable; or someone who is pissed and daring the press to dig for answers.

Posted by: has407 on May 6, 2006 at 7:35 PM | PERMALINK

Who leaked/led this spin?
Tony Snow reporting for duty sir!

Posted by: carsick on May 6, 2006 at 7:43 PM | PERMALINK

The best reason I read (on FiredogLake, maybe) not to believe the silly spin, is simply the fact that the White House would certainly not have dared to step on a Drunk Kennedy News Story --Not for all the oil in Alaska!--unless they absolutely had no choice. Somethings stinky here.

Posted by: IncandenzaH on May 6, 2006 at 7:44 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, but what does it all mean?

The CIA supposdly failed "us" although we have no way of knowing how or in what way.

This administration (poor choice of word) appoints a complete idiot to run the CIA. Experience flees or is pushed to one side. We "reorganize" intelligence and create new entities and a whole new layer of "management".

During the Moussaoui trial we find out (again) how inefficient the FBI is.

Anybody want to guess how effective our security services are right now?
Anybody want to get a grip on this?

Not likely!

Posted by: notthere on May 6, 2006 at 7:48 PM | PERMALINK

It has been playing out in the press, at least a little. Somebody should find out why Frank Gaffney wanted to get rid of Negroponte a week or so ago.
Mr. Negroponte and his team also created an environment in which one of the finest national security professionals, Michelle Van Cleave, felt unable to continue serving under the DNI as the president's national counterintelligence executive. The Negroponte team does not understand this vital position and hamhandedly undermines its role.


Posted by: Webster Hubble Telescope on May 6, 2006 at 8:08 PM | PERMALINK

Kind of a prosaic theory, but isn't this a good time to get out and start positioning oneself for a run at the Senate? After having done a fair amount of boat rocking and making some enemies, and before one can be held accountable for the results?

And, if one discusses ones plans in this regard in the inner circles, then it opens up the possibility of having powerful "others" pressing him to do it according to "their" timetable (not his), or not at all, and having to justify the decision.

Or ... you can just say, "I'm out", and do whatever you think is right going forward.

Posted by: Terry Ott on May 6, 2006 at 8:30 PM | PERMALINK

Webster Hubble Telescope: Somebody should find out why Frank Gaffney wanted to get rid of Negroponte a week or so ago.

No mystery there. Gaffney has been critical of Negroponte and has wanted him replaced virtually since his appointment. Gaffney (a PNAC original signer) also considers Negroponte appointees Brill and Fingar little better than traitors, and holds them up at least once a month as examples of why Negroponte needs to go.

Posted by: has407 on May 6, 2006 at 10:15 PM | PERMALINK

Senator John Rockefeller (D-WVa), the vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, which held hearings on the nomination, declared that it was a mistake to select "any politician, from either party." Former CIA Director Stansfield Turner, who served in the Carter administration, called the nomination "the worst appointment that's ever been made because that's an office that needs to be kept above partisan politics." [5] (http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=04/08/11/144254)

Goss was reported to have participated in partisan instigation of the de-classification testimony that former White House terrorism adviser Richard A. Clarke gave in 2002. [6] (http://www.legalmemorandom.com/legalmemorandom/2004/week13/)

The Pakistan / ISI / Porter Goss connection is described here (http://globalresearch.ca/articles/CHO407A.html) and here (http://www.communitycurrency.org/Prime.html). Not surprisingly, the Goss-ISI connection was ignored at his confirmation hearings to be CIA Director.

nuff said.

Posted by: Mach Tuck on May 6, 2006 at 10:57 PM | PERMALINK

As you see Bush Appointed an Air Force General

Posted by: Mach Tuck on May 6, 2006 at 10:58 PM | PERMALINK

David Brooks says the guys were just meeting to play poker. Can't you people get that!

Posted by: kenj on May 6, 2006 at 11:10 PM | PERMALINK

There's a simple rule-of-thumb that applies here: if it's being said by the Bush administration then it's a lie, e.g. WMDs in Iraq, Saddam masterminding 911, yellowcake sales from Niger, we've turned a corner, last throes, yada yada yada. Ergo, the reasons given by the Bush administration for Goss's resignation are lies.

Kevin please stop saying silly things like 'the reasons given for the resignation could be true'. Yeah they could be true, and Saddam could have those WMDs hiding in a body cavity.

Posted by: Huh on May 7, 2006 at 12:05 AM | PERMALINK

Both the Washington Post and the New York Times are now reporting President Bush will name General Hayden head of the CIA on Monday.

For the details, see:
"Hayden In, Jury Still Out on Goss Departure."

Posted by: AvengingAngel on May 7, 2006 at 12:17 AM | PERMALINK

Porter Goss comment that his resignation is "one of those mysteries" is rather strange?! He was forced to resign for something very serious, because Bush keeps Rumsfeld a total flake and it doesn't matter what that weird dude does, so what did Goss do on Thursday that made his resignation mandatory Friday afternoon? On Thursday Rumsfeld was exposed as a proven liar, by a former CIA agent Ray McGovern, so did Rummy get pissed at Goss for not gagging McGovern? And that sex scandal contributed to the need to dump Goss ASAP!

Posted by: Jay Randal on May 7, 2006 at 12:33 AM | PERMALINK

Nothing says family values like having tax payer funded hookers, entertain your guests in a backroom when they either tired of losing money at the poker table, or won a big pot and are boozing it up and needing some!

Praise the lord!

Posted by: Family Values on May 7, 2006 at 2:21 AM | PERMALINK

Posted by: Family Values on May 7, 2006 at 2:21 AM | PERMALINK

Hits it. That and lobbyists.

Where are Swift Boat Veterans for Democrats when you really need a good advert that strikes to the boner.

Posted by: notthere on May 7, 2006 at 5:19 AM | PERMALINK

those with unflinching loyalty to a monster typically have other vices which inevitably bubble to the surface. much bubbling as of late.

Posted by: chris from boca on May 7, 2006 at 6:11 AM | PERMALINK

Chris mathews and Little Timmy Russert were the first to come forward with the spin - "undisclosed high ranking WH officials".
Duh. Of course they were being spun. This WH cannot tell the truth - it is genetically precluded from doing so.

Obviously something else broke, or was about to. Hookergater indeed. Ah, the GOP - the party of Family Values.

Posted by: agnostic on May 7, 2006 at 6:56 AM | PERMALINK

People leave jobs all the time but it is certainly unusual for someone to leave such a high profile job (previously held by the first President Bush) after such a short time.

People do not leave jobs very often while the FBI are engaged in a corruption investigation of close aides.

And even in Washington there are not many corruption investigations that have already led to one Congressman going to jail, that implicates at least four others (Harris, DoLittle, Ney, DeLay), that involves hotel rooms being rented at the Watergate for hookers and poker games.

The blogosphere has been way ahead of the press when it comes to the culture of criminality. The press still hasn't bothered to tell the public about Gannon.

The irony to Al's 'attempted' spin (I suspect he is a leftie pulling a Colbert) is that recognising unusual facts and drawing inferences from them is precisely what an intelligence agency is meant to do.

Posted by: Phill on May 7, 2006 at 7:55 AM | PERMALINK

I've lived in Washington for thirty-plus years and Al couldn't be more wrong.
This Friday resignation is not business as usual. And whatever the reason for it, the careerist intel community deeply resents this administration's clumsy attempt to politicize the agencies.
Finally, Michael Hayden is an ambitious military toady who sold out the NSA for another start on his epaulet.

Posted by: chefrad on May 7, 2006 at 8:46 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin,

I agree that something fishy is going on here

A Friday resignation announcement that no one expected does leave the President vulnerable to a weekend of talk-show speculation.

Not to mention that with any agency dealing with national security, like the CIA, it seems that a smooth transition is in the country's best national security interest, not this sudden and shocking resignation.

After watching how the administration handled Card leaving, McClellan, Snow's rumored future departure, as well as past departures, I tend to agree that something "sudden" happened here.

It could even be blamed on Josh Bolten's new style, as McClellan's departure was a little more sudden than normal, except that the rumors of jettisoning him had been floating around for quite a while. So that strikes that theory.

It just strikes me as odd that a president would think that sending the intelligence community into a tailspin when we are in a "war on terrorism" might be a great way to handle things.

Posted by: C on May 7, 2006 at 9:55 AM | PERMALINK

The first time I heard this theory was on Friday afternoon, and the person promoting it was Jane Harman. She said that these rumours have been around forever.

Posted by: BevD on May 7, 2006 at 10:04 AM | PERMALINK

Hookers are part of the fabric of Washington politix. I seriously doubt that "Hookergate" is the (real) reason. Heck, the press usually ignores such everyday, piddly stuff. It's simply gotta be something else. (And, more than likely, our pals are busy burying the reasons this weekend. We'll probably never know. . .)

The EU Parliament announced today that a 13-member delegation of EU lawmakers are now on their way to Washington, demanding answers on the allegations of secret CIA prisons and flights transporting "terror suspects" across Europe to more "torture-friendly" sites.

The delegation will meet US Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Daniel Fried, former CIA director James Woolsey, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee Pete Hoekstra and congressmen Mac Thornberry, Robert Wexler and Ed Markey during the four-day visit, according to a list released by the European Parliament. They will also meet John Bellinger, legal adviser to Condoleezza Rice.

A European Parliament committee launched an inquiry into the reports, getting firsthand testimony from people who say they were kidnapped by US intelligence agents, and from human rights activists and EU anti-terror officials. They are demanding answers. http://www.7days.ae/2006/05/08/eu-demands-answers-over-secret-cia-flights.html

Perhaps there's something coming up in that?

Nah!

I bet that Bush's puppeteers told Goss that they want him to be a "sacrificial lamb" for something they did, and his ego simply would not permit that -- and he unexpectedly quit. This would fit, as the Bush Team would have been prepared with a replacement right then.

Pran

Posted by: Prantha Trivedi on May 7, 2006 at 8:15 PM | PERMALINK

And the punchline? The hookers were NOT WOMEN. Get it?

Posted by: Not- so Rich on May 7, 2006 at 8:21 PM | PERMALINK

Hookergate is still not completely convincing because we have yet to meet the hookers. Now, unless the congressmen were sleeping with enemy combatants, all the hookers should have lawyers by now. These lawyers are looking for paid interviews with the Enquirer, leading to future Playboy/Penthouse spreads, book/TV Movie deals, and finally, a tearful conversion and careere as a sub evangelist on TV. If there are hookers, we should start hearing more personal details this week. In the mean time, remember, it's always smarter to just give people money and let them get their own hookers...

Posted by: wmcq on May 8, 2006 at 11:34 AM | PERMALINK

inesse inesse852

Posted by: inesse 181 on May 9, 2006 at 6:08 PM | PERMALINK

addendumabcasp addendumabcasp918

Posted by: addendumabcasp 762 on May 9, 2006 at 6:08 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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