Belaboring the Obvious

Friday, May 05, 2006

Just Musing on Porter the Goss...

... and his sudden desire to spend more time on the family farm in Virginia. There's lots of speculation that Goss is somehow tied up in Hookergate through his #3, "Dusty" Foggo, or to procurement irregularities through Foggo's close association with Brent Wilkes. But, Larry Johnson's sources are telling him it's not likely.

Saturday's Washington Post labors mightily to create the impression that this is all over a longstanding war of wills between Goss and John Negroponte.

But, let's just review. Goss likely knew that the new intelligence umbrella agency was coming when he took the job, and also knew that his task at the CIA would be to politicize it as it had never been politicized before (even under William Casey). Goss' unspoken job description was to bring the agency to heel, and to induce some loyalty to George W. Bush. He did this in some odd ways (such as bringing in some staffers from his Congressional office, who then asked some pointed questions about the political affiliations of some personnel; it was no accident that Mary McCarthy was, when her firing became public, described as a "Democrat").

Moreover, when has incompetence, corruption, arrogance or political partisanship bordering on the insane ever disqualified a Bush appointee? They're almost prerequisites for any job in the Bush administration.

So, maybe there's something else at work here. It's entirely possible that Hookergate presents an opportune reason for Bush to throw Goss under the bus, but that it's not the reason. What does Bush want more than anything else right now? My guess would be a satisfactory excuse to launch his surprise attack on Iran.

He could do that under the War Powers Act, but he'd have to come back to Congress later with some sort of fig leaf. That fig leaf might very well be documentation that Iran was an imminent threat (any reason would do). The fig leaf, though, would have to come in the form of a plausible statement from, hey, yeah, the intelligence community--in the form of a new NIE on Iran.

Now, if Goss simply couldn't produce such a document, first, because there was no evidence of imminent threat, and second, because he'd pissed off everyone in the agency by threatening them because they weren't loyal to this President, might Dubya think Goss himself disloyal for not producing an NIE which supported Bush's prejudices and intentions?

Scuttlebutt has it that Goss was picked by Cheney, the real prime mover behind war with Iran, and TIME is reporting tonight that former NSA director LTG Michael Hayden will get the job, in part, because Hayden "...has a close rapport with Vice President Cheney...."

Hayden's already proved that he can lie to Congress with a straight face and stonewall with the best of `em, and being buds with Cheney, by definition, means the good general is a real team player who might give Cheney and Bush what they really want--an excuse.

Is there a new NIE on Iran in the works that just might be needed to "fix the facts around the policy?"


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