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Thread: 9/11 Suspect Porter Goss Resigns As Director Of The CIA

  1. #1
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    9/11 Suspect Porter Goss Resigns As Director Of The CIA

    CIA Director Goss resigns
    Bush announces departure after short term

    Updated: 2:00 p.m. ET May 5, 2006

    WASHINGTON - CIA Director Porter Goss is resigning, President Bush said Friday.

    Bush called Goss’ tenure one of transition. “He has led ably,” Bush said from the Oval Office. “He has a five-year plan to increase the analysts and operatives.”

    Goss, a former congressman, had directed the spy agency since September 2004.

    Bush said that Goss has “helped make this country a safer place.”

    “We’ve got to win the war on terror,” Bush added.

    Goss, for his part, said that “I would like to report to you that the agency is back on a very even keel and sailing well.”

    The CIA has come in for harsh criticism in recent years, not only for questionable prewar intelligence on Iraq but also in connection with the failure of it and a host of other federal agencies to coordinate information closely in connection with the terrorist threat.

    Questions about the CIA’s performance in connection with Iraq involved mostly George Tenet, Goss’s predecessor.

    Last fall, Goss defended his agency’s track record and insisted “we know more than we’re able to say publicly” about terror chiefs Osama bin Laden and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

    The al-Qaida leaders haven’t been found “primarily because they don’t want us to find them and they’re going to great lengths to make sure we don’t find them,” Goss said in a November interview on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

    “We’re applying a lot of efforts to find out where they are.” He insisted that the CIA knows “a good deal more” about the men “than we’re able to say publicly.”

    Shake-up speculation
    Prior to the announcement, there had been speculation that Bush might make further changes within the White House.

    Bush’s new chief of staff, Joshua Bolten, has made several changes since taking over last month.

    Recently, longtime Bush adviser and confidant Karl Rove had the policy-making portion of his portfolio taken away so he could focus on the midterm elections and White House press secretary Scott McClellan announced his resignation. McClellan has been replaced by Fox News commentator Tony Snow.

    Replacing McClellan with Snow gave the White House an experienced television personality, who at times had been critical of the president, as the public face of the White House.

    McClellan’s last briefing at the White House was Friday. His last day isn’t until next week, but the president is traveling in Florida the first part of the week, meaning that McClellan will be briefing on the road.

    Rove was allowed to keep his deputy chief of staff title, but was stripped of day-to-day oversight of policy coordination. That job was given to Joel Kaplan, Bolten’s former No. 2 when he was budget director.

    Bush also named Rob Portman, a former six-term Republican congressman from Ohio who now serves as U.S. trade representative, to replace Bolten at the head of the Office of Management and Budget.

    The vacant job of domestic policy adviser has not yet filled.

    Other changes that have been expected included changes in the White House lobbying office run by Candida Wolff and the expected departure of communications chief Nicolle Wallace, whose husband recently moved to New York. Officials have also done little to discourage speculation that Treasury Secretary John Snow is leaving.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

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    beltman713 Guest

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by beltman713
    Don't know about Porter?
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

  4. #4
    beltman713 Guest
    Wonder why he is leaving now? He hasn't been head of the CIA that long, has he?

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    Jan 2005
    August 28-30, 2001: US Politicians Visit Pakistan and Discuss bin Laden
    Senator Bob Graham (D), Representative Porter Goss (R), and Senator Jon Kyl (R) travel to Pakistan and meet with President Pervez Musharraf. They reportedly discuss various security issues, including the possible extradition of bin Laden. They also meet with Abdul Salam Zaeef, the Taliban ambassador to Pakistan. Zaeef apparently tells them that the Taliban wants to solve the issue of bin Laden through negotiations with the US. Pakistan says it wants to stay out of the bin Laden issue. [Agence France-Presse, 9/28/2001; Salon, 10/14/2001]

    September 11, 2001: Intelligence Committee Chairs Meet with ISI Head and Possible 9/11 Attack Funder as the Attack Occurs
    At the time of the attacks, ISI Director Lt. Gen. Mahmood Ahmed is at a breakfast meeting at the Capitol with the chairmen of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees, Senator Bob Graham (D) and Representative Porter Goss (R) (Goss is a 10-year veteran of the CIA’s clandestine operations wing). The meeting is said to last at least until the second plane hits the WTC. [Washington Post, 6/18/2002] Graham and Goss later co-head the joint House-Senate investigation into the 9/11 attacks, which has made headlines for saying there was no “smoking gun” of Bush knowledge before 9/11. [Washington Post, 8/11/2002] Note that Senator Graham should have been aware of a report made to his staff the previous month (see Early August 2001) that one of Mahmood’s subordinates had told a US undercover agent that the WTC would be destroyed. Evidence suggests that attendee Mahmood ordered that $100,000 be sent to hijacker Mohamed Atta. Also present at the meeting were Senator Jon Kyl (R) and the Pakistani ambassador to the US, Maleeha Lodhi. (All or virtually all of the people in this meeting had previously met in Pakistan just a few weeks earlier.) Senator Graham says of the meeting: “We were talking about terrorism, specifically terrorism generated from Afghanistan.” The New York Times reports that bin Laden was specifically discussed. [New York Times, 7/3/2002; Salon, 10/14/2001; Vero Beach Press Journal, 10/12/2001]
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

  6. #6
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    Cheney's Cat's Paw
    Porter Goss as CIA Director?

    Former CIA Analyst

    There is, thankfully, a remnant of CIA professionals who still put objective analysis above political correctness and career advancement. Just when they thought there were no indignities left for them to suffer, they are shuddering again at press reports that Rep. Porter Goss (R-FL) may soon be their new boss.

    That possibility conjures up a painful flashback for those of us who served as CIA analysts when Richard Nixon was president. Chalk it up to our naivete, but we were taken aback when swashbuckling James Schlesinger, who followed Richard Helms as CIA director, announced on arrival, "I am here to see that you guys don't screw Richard Nixon!" To underscore his point, Schlesinger told us he would be reporting directly to White House political adviser Bob Haldeman (Nixon's Karl Rove) and not to National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger.

    No doubt Goss would be more discreet in showing his hand, but his appointment as director would be the ultimate in politicization. He has long shown himself to be under the spell of Vice President Dick Cheney, and would likely report primarily to him and to White House political adviser Karl Rove rather than to National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice.

    Goss would almost certainly follow lame-duck director George Tenet's practice of reading to the president in the morning and become an integral part of the "White House team." The team-membership phenomenon is particularly disquieting.

    If the failure-prone experience of the past few years has told us anything, it is that being a "team member" in good standing is the kiss of death for the CIA director's primary role of "telling it like it is" to the president and his senior advisers. It was a painful moment of truth when former Speaker Newt Gingrich--like Cheney, a frequent visitor to CIA headquarters--told the press that Tenet was "so grateful to the president that he would do anything for him."

    The Whore of Babylon
    One need look no farther than what has become known as a latter-day Whore of Babylon - the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) of Oct. 1, 2002, the very title of which betrayed a politically correct, but substantively wrong, conclusion: "Iraq's Continuing Programs for Weapons of Mass Destruction." And bear in mind that it was only several months after President Bush decided to attack Iraq that Tenet commissioned that estimate. Not unreasonably, Congress was wondering about the views of the intelligence community, and the White House wanted congressional acquiescence in the war it had decided to launch.

    No problem. "Slam-dunk" Tenet, following White House instructions, ensured that the estimate was cooked to the recipe of Cheney's tart speech of August 26, 2002. "We know that Saddam has resumed his efforts to acquire nuclear weapons," Cheney said, and the estimate Tenet signed gave belated endorsement--with "high confidence," no less--to that lie.

    The intelligence process, of course, was not the only thing undermined. So was the Constitution. Various drafts of that NIE, reinforced with heavy doses of "mushroom-cloud" rhetoric, were used to deceive congressmen and senators into ceding to the executive their prerogative to declare war--the all-important prerogative that the framers of the Constitution took great care to reserve exclusively to our elected representatives in Congress.

    What was actually happening was clear to intelligence analysts, active and retired. We Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity were not the only ones to expose it--as clearly and often as the domesticated US media would allow.

    But what about CIA alumnus Porter Goss, then in his sixth year as chairman of the House intelligence oversight committee? Republican party loyalist first and foremost, Goss chose to give an entirely new meaning to "oversight." Even when it became clear that the "mushroom cloud" reporting was based mostly on a forgery, he just sat back and watched it all happen. Like Br'er Fox, he didn't say nothin'.

    From Sycophant Tenet to Professional Politician
    This is what CIA would get with Porter Goss at the helm. Appointing Goss would administer the coup de grAcntce to intelligence analysts trying to survive while still speaking truth without fear or favor. The only saving grace for them would be the likelihood that they would be spared "multiple visits" by Cheney to the inner sanctum where it used to be possible to produce unvarnished analysis without vice presidents and other policy makers looking over their shoulders to ensure they "had thought of everything." Goss, who has a long history of subservience to Cheney, could be counted upon to play the Cheney/Gingrich/et al. role himself.

    Don't Throw Me in That Briar Patch
    Last month when Tenet was let go, administration officials indicated that a permanent replacement would not be named until after the election. They indicated they wanted to avoid washing the dirty linen of intelligence once again in public. Evidently, they had not yet checked with Karl Rove.

    The Democrats warn smugly that an attempt by the administration to confirm a new CIA director could become an embarrassing referendum on CIA's recent performance, but they miss the point entirely--and show, once again, that they can't hold a candle to Rove for political cleverness. The name of the administration's game is to blame Iraq on intelligence failures, and Goss already did so last week in what amounted to his first campaign speech for the job of director. Consider court historian Bob Woodward's book, Plan of Attack, which Condoleezza Rice and other officials have promoted. Rice has publicly confirmed Woodward's story about Tenet misleading the president by claiming the evidence on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction was a "slam dunk."

    While there is ample evidence of ineptitude on Tenet's part, his obsequious ejaculation in this now-famous vignette obscures the fact that President Bush had unleashed the dogs of war well before checking to see if there was any credible intelligence to justify doing so. As the election nears, it serves the administration quite well to keep the focus on intelligence shortcomings and to make it appear that the president was misled - on weapons of mass destruction, for example. And Porter Goss is precisely the right person to cooperate in this effort. I can imagine Rove laughing up his sleeve last week at word that the Democrats are urging Senate minority leader Tom Daschle (<D-S.D>.) to prepare for extensive confirmation hearings this fall. (In my mind's eye I can see Rove musing, Bring --em on!)

    The Senate Intelligence Committee Report
    The report due out this week by the Senate Intelligence Committee investigating intelligence performance regarding the long-sought-after Iraqi weapons of mass destruction is said to be scathing in its criticism of CIA. No problem. This too will help keep the focus where the White House wants it - the more so since committee chair and Republican stalwart Pat Roberts (R-KS) can be counted on to do whatever Cheney and Rove tell him to do. It was not until Roberts was instructed to give Tenet the cold shoulder that the latter began to see the handwriting on the wall.

    As for Porter Goss, he was happy to let the Senate intelligence committee take the lead in investigating intelligence performance on key issues like weapons of mass destruction and, before he decided to promote his candidacy for director, he generally chose to keep his committee's head (and his own) down. With good reason. The myriad shortcomings in intelligence work appeared on his somnolent watch; by any reasonable standard, he bears some responsibility for impaired oversight - not only on Iraq, but on 9/11 as well.

    End Part I
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

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    The 9/11 Commission Report
    Republicans handpicked by Cheney also dominate the 9/11 Commission, which is supposed to issue its report by July 26. Although commission chair, Thomas Kean and vice-chair Lee Hamilton have sought to appear nonpartisan, they have already caved in to White House pressure to alter the findings of commission staff.

    At stake was no less an issue than whether the vice president usurped Bush's power as commander-in-chief in ordering the shoot-down of suspicious airliners on Sept. 11, 2001. The staff found no hard evidence to support Cheney's claim that he called Bush and got his authorization. According to Newsweek, 'some staffers flat out didn't believe a call ever took place,' and an early staff draft reflected deep skepticism.

    The White House lobbied vigorously to change the offending passage, with spokesman Dan Bartlett insisting, 'We didn't think it was written in a way that clearly reflected the accounting the president and vice president had given to the commission.' Kean and Hamilton backed down and removed some of the offending language. 'The report was watered down,' one staffer admitted to Newsweek.

    Watch for more watering down. By now Kean and Hamilton have doubtless been warned by the White House that if the highly controversial staff report that there is 'no credible evidence that Iraq and al-Qaeda cooperated on attacks against the United States' is allowed to stand, this would place further strain on the legal underpinnings of the war on Iraq. On March 19, 2003, the day the war began, President Bush sent a letter to Congress in which he said that the war was permitted under legislation authorizing force against those who 'planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001.'

    Kean is already backing off. A few days after the release of the staff report he emphasized repeatedly that it is only an 'interim report.' He added that not only is it 'not finished,' but also the commissioners themselves have not been involved in it so far.

    Democrat Commissioner Richard Ben-Veniste does not see it this way. As Kean was talking to ABC's This Week, Ben-Veniste told NBC's Tim Russert, 'There was no Iraqi involvement in 9/11. That's what our commission found. That's what our staff, which includes former high-ranking CIA officials, who know what to look for (found).'

    Ah, but what about the additional information that Cheney says he 'probably' has? Kean was quick to note that the final report will include whatever 'new information' becomes available. In other words, there are already ample signs that the Republican commissioners will continue to succeed in watering down findings critical of the administration, while highlighting those critical of intelligence performance.

    Goss on 9/11
    With respect to the various investigations into 9/11, Goss was thrust into the limelight by Cheney, who initially opposed any investigation at all. In February 2002, Cheney went so far as to warn that if Congress decided to go ahead with an investigation, administration officials might not show up to testify. When folks started talking about the need for a genuinely independent commission, though, Cheney acquiesced in the establishment of the congressional joint committee as the lesser evil and took reassurance from the fact that Goss could be counted on to keep the lid on--and, when necessary, run rings around co-chair Sen. Bob Graham, (D-FL).

    Porter Goss performed that task brilliantly, giving clear priority to providing political protection for the president. Goss acquiesced when the White House and CIA refused to allow the joint committee to report out any information on what President Bush had been told before 9/11--ostensibly because it was "classified." This gave rise to thinly disguised, but eloquently expressed, chagrin on the part of the committee staff director, who clearly had expected stronger backing in her negotiations with White House officials.

    As a result, completely absent from the committee's report was any mention of the President's Daily Brief of Aug. 6, 2001, which bore the title "Bin Laden determined to strike in US," even though the press had already reported the title and the gist of that damning piece of evidence. Small wonder that the families of 9/11 victims were outraged and pressed even harder for an independent investigation.

    And a First for a Congressional Committee
    The most notable (and bizarre) achievement of the joint committee was inviting the FBI to investigate members of Congress. In June 2002, Cheney called Goss and Graham to chastise them for a media leak of sensitive information from intercepted communications. A CNN report had attributed the leak to "two congressional sources," and Cheney was livid.

    Goss admitted to being "chagrined" over Cheney's call. He and Graham promptly bypassed normal congressional procedures and went directly to Attorney General John Ashcroft, asking him to investigate the leak. Little thought apparently was given to the separation of powers between the executive and congressional branches, or the fact that Congress has its own capability for such investigations.

    Next thing you know, the FBI is crawling all over Capitol Hill, questioning members of the joint committee that is investigating the FBI, CIA, et al., and asking members of Congress to submit to lie-detector tests. Shaking his head, Sen. John McCain (R-NM) noted the ludicrousness of allowing the FBI to build dossiers on lawmakers who are supposed to be investigating the FBI. He and others joined those pushing for the creation of an independent 9/11 commission.

    That Goss and Graham could be so easily intimidated by Cheney speaks volumes.

    Bottom Line
    West Virginia Sen. Jay Rockefeller, the ranking Democrat on the Senate intelligence committee is right in saying, "We need a director who is not only knowledgeable and capable but unquestionably independent." And politicians need not apply. Rockefeller would rule out "any politician from either party." But who pays attention to minority members these days--ranking or non-ranking?

    Rockefeller might add, if only for the record, that another prerequisite for a director of the CIA is prior experience managing a large, complex organization. Tenet had none; neither does Goss.

    There seems a better than even chance the Bush administration will nominate Goss, and use the nomination hearings as yet another forum at which to blame the Iraq debacle on faulty intelligence. And, as a bonus for Bush, if there is time before the election, it would seem a safe bet that Goss will be able to bring to heel recalcitrant analysts who are still "fighting the problem," still staring in disbelief at the given wisdom (given, apparently, only to the Pentagon and White House) that Iraq and al-Qaeda were in bed with each other. Nor should anyone rule out the possibility that Goss will see to it that 'weapons of mass destruction' are found--perhaps as an October surprise.

    Ray McGovern, a CIA analyst for 27 years, is co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity and a contributor to CounterPunch's unsparing new history of the Afghanistan/Iraq wars, Imperial Crusades. McGovern can be reached at:

    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

  8. #8
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    In another shakeup, CIA director resigns

    By Katherine Shrader, Associated Press Writer
    Saturday, May 6, 2006 11:15 AM PDT

    WASHINGTON - CIA Director Porter Goss resigned suddenly Friday, nudged out after a turmoil-filled 18 months at the spy agency as it struggled to forge a new identity in an era of intelligence blunders and government overhauls.

    Goss offered little explanation in a brief appearance with President Bush, a televised address to agency personnel and a written statement.

    “CIA remains the gold standard,” he said. “When I came to CIA in September of 2004, I wanted to accomplish some very specific things, and we have made great strides on all fronts.”

    But the agency, as well as the Bush administration, has been far from peaceful. Goss' departure was the White House's third major personnel move in just over a month, aimed at reinvigorating Bush's second term.

    Among those talked about as possible replacements are Bush's homeland security adviser, Frances Fragos Townsend; Gen. Michael Hayden, top deputy to National Intelligence Director John Negroponte; David Shedd, Negroponte's chief of staff; and Mary Margaret Graham, Negroponte's deputy for intelligence collection.

    Goss said he was willing to stay awhile for a smooth transition, but there also was talk that an acting chief could be named.

    Making Friday afternoon's announcement from the Oval Office, Bush said Goss' tenure had been one of transition. The director, a former CIA operative and then Florida congressman, had been given the job only a little over a year and a half ago.

    The president said, with Goss at his side, “He's instilled a sense of professionalism. He honors the proud history of the CIA, an organization that is known for its secrecy and accountability.”

    It was not entirely clear why Goss resigned so unexpectedly. An intelligence official, speaking only on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of his position, said Goss had stood up for the agency when there were differences with Negroponte's office, which was created about a year ago.

    Goss was taking a stand against “micromanagement,” the official said and wanted the agency to “remain what its name says, the ‘Central' Intelligence Agency.”

    With the backing of the White House, Negroponte recently raised with Goss the prospect that he should leave, and the two talked about that possibility, a senior administration official said. That official also spoke on condition of anonymity, in order to give a fuller account of events.

    Agency officials dismissed suggestions that the resignation was tied to controversy surrounding the CIA's executive director, Kyle “Dusty” Foggo. The FBI is investigating whether Foggo's longtime friend, defense contractor Brent Wilkes, provided prostitutes, limousines and hotel suites to a California congressman who pleaded guilty to taking bribes from Wilkes and others in exchange for government contracts.

    CIA spokesman Paul Gimigliano said Goss' resignation also was not related to the recent firing of a CIA officer the director said had unauthorized contacts with the press - a firing that found support within the agency and the White House.

    Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., an Intelligence Committee member, said many in Washington want to know the full story. “I suspect that his decision could be based on any number of things that weren't stated, including a strong desire just to get on with his personal life after many years of public service,” Issa said.

    Bush nominated Goss in 2004, in the midst of a re-election campaign that was riddled with accusations about the botched prewar intelligence on Iraq. Bush said he would rely on the advice of Goss on the sensitive issue of intelligence reform.

    Goss, the former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, came under fire almost immediately, in part because he brought with him several top aides from Congress who were considered highly political for the CIA. They developed particularly poor relations with segments of the agency's clandestine service.

    California Rep. Jane Harman, the Intelligence Committee's top Democrat, said CIA employees with a combined 300 years of experience have left or been pushed out. “This has left the agency in free fall,” she said.

    Goss also had some public missteps. In March 2005, just before Negroponte took over, he told an audience at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library that he was overwhelmed by the duties of his job.

    “The jobs I'm being asked to do, the five hats that I wear, are too much for this mortal,” Goss said. “I'm a little amazed at the workload.”

    A number of former congressional colleagues released statements praising Goss on Friday, but not all were kind. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said his concerns about Goss, whose nomination he opposed, were never resolved.

    Mr. Goss resisted efforts to lift the veil of secrecy around the intelligence failures of 9/11,” he said, urging public release of the CIA inspector general's report on the Sept. 11 attacks.

    Bush aides have been looking for ways to rescue his presidency from sagging poll ratings and difficulties with the Iraq war and his agenda in Congress.

    The shake-up began with the resignation of Andrew Card as chief of staff and his replacement by Joshua Bolten. Other changes have included the replacement of press secretary Scott McClellan with Fox News commentator Tony Snow.

    It wasn't immediately clear what's next for Goss, 67. He was supposed to retire after representing a Republican district on Florida's West Coast for 16 years, but he became CIA director when Bush called in 2004.

    Many former directors take consulting positions on various corporate boards. Goss and his wife own a central Virginia farm, where they raise cattle, sheep and chickens.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

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