So we all knew it was a joke when President Bush said he didnt want to see American intelligence politicized, didnt we? We knew what he really meant was, I want to stuff the top intelligence positions with fiercely partisan, fiercely loyal yes-men, further complicating this spooky boondoggle and insuring that national security takes a solid backseat to business as usual. Why else would Bush appoint Porter Goss as the new CIA Director?
Writing for the allegedly liberal New York Times Elizabeth Brumiller said that Goss appointment would put someone in place, who is not identified with the [CIA]s failures. Spin doesnt get any more transparent than that and, not identified, is, of course, the crucial turn of phrase here. Goss hasnt been employed by the CIA since the 1970s but hes been has Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee--the committee responsible for policing ALL American Intelligence agencies-- since 1997. If Goss had been doing his job correctly for the past seven years it wouldnt have taken a national disaster and a Senate-level investigation to discover the deeply tragic policy flaws blinding the American Intelligence community like unchecked Syphilis. So no, Gosss fingerprints cant be discovered at the scene of the crime because he wasnt at the scene of the crime. He was more like a stakeout-cop sitting at a booth in the Coffee Hut having a bear claw across the street from the scene of the crime. The failures in American Intelligence are, in a very real sense, also Gosss failures. But thats not why hes a bad choice for the position.
To really see why Porter Goss is the worst possible candidate to head the C.I.A. you have to turn to this little gem from D.C. reporter Cory Reiss:
Rep. Porter Goss said Thursday that the uproar over allegations that White House officials purposely identified a covert CIA agent [Valerie Plame] appears largely political and doesn't yet merit an investigation by the House Select Committee on Intelligence, which he chairs. "Somebody sends me a blue dress and some DNA, I'll have an investigation," Goss said.
If there has ever been an ever a more partisan line concerning a FELONY at the highest levels of American security, I would love to read it. The undeniable, but still unexplained, and certainly unexcused outing of Plame by an administration insider is inexplicably, according to Goss, bad political pool on the Democrats behalf. But the Clenis extraseminal activities are enough to get an expensive government investigation clipping along at full chop-chop? To put it mildly: What the fuck?
But Goss slavish whoring for the administration, and even his sophomoric, glandular obsessions dont add up to much. So whats the dealbreaker? According to Goss theres no point in opening an investigation without first having the damning, incontrovertible evidence of guilt in DROPPED ON YOUR DOORSTEP. Now that might be a good rule of thumb for future presidents pondering war, and certainlu an improvement. But for a CIA director tasked with determining what is and is not worth looking into it pretty much sucks. Throughout the 9-11 investigation we heard members of intelligence moan about having all the evidence we needed to prepare ourselves for a domestic attack--except for the exact date, time, and location of the attack. They had EVERYTHING, except for the Blue Dress. And to paraphrase yet another example of failed leadership in the American intelligence community, Condi Rice, Do we want the [Blue Dress] to be a mushroom cloud?
Of course, none of this matters much, does it?