Skip to comments.The CIA 1--Bush 0
Posted on 05/13/2006 5:36:26 AM PDT by Pokey78
PORTER GOSS'S TENURE as director of central intelligence began with a public spat between the new reform-minded CIA leadership and an intransigent bureaucracy. Now, 18 months later, it is ending in a cloud of confusion. Goss is gone and so are his agents of change. Two of the CIA officials at the heart of that opening battle--Mary Margaret Graham and Stephen Kappes--have been promoted. And the old guard is happy.
"The move was seen as a direct repudiation of Goss's leadership and as an olive branch to CIA veterans disaffected by his 18-month tenure," wrote Peter Baker and Charles Babington in the Washington Post. Yet Goss had taken to the CIA the high expectations of many top Washington policymakers who work on intelligence issues.
"Porter Goss's confirmation . . . represents perhaps the most important changing of the guard for our intelligence community since 1947," the year the CIA was created, said Pat Roberts, the Kansas Republican who chairs the Senate Select Intelligence Committee, on the day Goss was confirmed. "He will be the first director of central intelligence in a new, and hopefully better, intelligence community."
And now he's gone. So what happened?
GOSS WAS SWORN IN as CIA director on September 22, 2004, two days after the Senate voted 77-17 to confirm him. Although his hearings came in the midst of a heated presidential campaign, Goss managed to win the votes of most Senate Democrats.
On September 30, Goss named Michael Kostiw, the staff director of the House Intelligence Committee's subcommittee on terrorism, executive
Welcome to the CIA, Mr. Goss. Enjoy the ride.
On November 5, Goss's new chief of staff Patrick Murray confronted Mary Margaret Graham, then serving as associate deputy director for counterterrorism in the directorate of operations. The two discussed several items, including the prospective replacement for Kostiw, a CIA veteran named Kyle "Dusty" Foggo. Murray had a simple message: No more leaks.
Graham took offense at the accusatory warning and notified her boss, Michael Sulick, who in turn notified his boss, Stephen Kappes. A meeting of Goss, Murray, Sulick, and Kappes followed. Goss attended most of the meeting, in which the two new CIA leaders reiterated their concern about leaks. After Goss left, Murray once again warned the two career CIA officials that leaks would not be tolerated. According to a source with knowledge of the incident, Sulick took offense, called Murray "a Hill puke," and threw a stack of papers in his direction.
Goss summoned Kappes the following day. Although others in the new CIA leadership believed Sulick's behavior was an act of insubordination worthy of firing, Goss didn't go quite that far. He ordered Kappes to reassign Sulick to a position outside of the building. Goss suggested Sulick be named New York City station chief. Kappes refused and threatened to resign if Sulick were reassigned. Goss accepted his resignation and Sulick soon followed him out the door.
A Washington Post story on November 13 and a follow-up the next day reported that Goss staffers were "disgruntled" former CIA officials who were "known widely" for their "abrasive management style." One was "highly partisan." On the other side of the dispute, judging from the Post accounts, were highly respected career civil servants.
It was a characterization that would persist throughout Goss's tenure at the Agency. And it was deeply misleading.
ELEMENTS OF THE CIA have been in near-open revolt against the Bush administration since shortly after the attacks of September 11, 2001, despite the fact that Bush retained CIA director George Tenet, a Clinton appointee and former Democratic Hill staffer. The CIA staff is huge--by some estimates nearly 25,000--so attempts to ascribe views to "the Agency" are imprecise. Many CIA officials simply do their jobs, sometimes at great personal risk, and deserve the gratitude of their country.
But the notion that the CIA was apolitical until Porter Goss and his staff arrived is silly. It wasn't.
Examples of political meddling at the CIAare plentiful. Here are a few:
* In July 2003, Joseph Wilson went public about his trip to Niger to explore claims that Iraqi officials had sought uranium from the African nation. Wilson had been sent despite (or because of) the fact that he was a fervent critic of Bush's Middle East policy. Although the details of the trip were classified, Wilson never signed a nondisclosure agreement and was thus free to discuss his trip and misreport its findings. So he did.
* After the
* On July 15, 2004, an anonymous CIA official published a blistering attack on the Bush administration and, to a lesser extent, the CIA. The text had been through the CIA's pre-publication review and the author--subsequently identified as Michael Scheuer, the longtime head of the CIA's bin Laden unit--was granted permission to talk to the media. But when Scheuer used these interviews to criticize the CIA as well as the administration, the Agency quickly shut him up. "As long as the book was being used to bash the president," he later told Dana Priest of the Washington Post, "they gave me carte blanche to talk to the media."
* On September 16, 2004, the New York Times had a story about a leaked classified CIA analysis of Iraq. "A classified National Intelligence Estimate prepared for President Bush in late July spells out a dark assessment of prospects for Iraq, government officials said Wednesday. The estimate outlines three possibilities for Iraq through the end of 2005, with the worst case being developments that could lead to civil war, the officials said. The most favorable outcome described is an Iraq whose stability would remain tenuous in political, economic and security terms." Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry immediately used the report to question Bush administration claims that elections could be held in January 2005 and to accuse the Bush administration of living in a "fantasy world of spin."
* In a column published September 27, 2004, Robert Novak reported that a senior CIA official had briefed a group of business executives in northern California with the approval of his "management team" at the Agency. The official, Paul Pillar, harshly criticized the Bush administration and the Iraq war. His attack, which came less than two months before the 2004 presidential election, was not off the record. Although the ground rules stipulated that the official was to remain anonymous, the substance of his remarks could be reported.
If there were any doubt that these leaks--and many others--were designed to undermine President Bush's reelection effort, those doubts were put to rest a short time later. "The fact that the agency was leaking isn't denied by some," according to a November 2005 account in the American Prospect. W. Patrick Lang, former chief of the Defense Intelligence Agency's Middle East division, spoke openly about the effort in an interview with the magazine. "Of course they were leaking. They told me about it at the time. They thought it was funny. They'd say things like, 'This last thing that came out, surely people will pay attention to that. They won't reelect this man.'"
GOSS ARRIVED at the CIA with at least two goals: stemming the flow of leaks from the Agency and reforming the directorate of operations (DO). They were difficult tasks. The DO has long viewed itself as untouchable, a problem for a bureaucracy that emphasizes recruitment numbers over risk-taking, and budget increases over penetration of the enemy. (See Reuel Marc Gerecht's "The Sorry State of the CIA," July 19, 2004, in this magazine.) Others who have tried to reform the DO have met with little success. (John Deutch comes to mind.) The DO is virtually impervious to change.
Weeks after Goss arrived at the CIA, a "decorated former case officer" told the Nation about the changes sought at the DO. "From here on out, elements of the DO especially will effectively slow or close down; directives will be ignored or carried out at a leisurely pace," said the officer, in comments published in the December 13, 2004 issue. From the beginning, then, the bureaucracy was determined to fight.
Stopping leaks would prove no easier. But, on April 19, 2006, Goss had one high-profile success. He fired Mary McCarthy, a senior official in the CIA's Office of the Inspector General, after she acknowledged discussing classified information with reporters. (McCarthy later denied the charges through a spokesman.) CIA officials will not discuss the specifics of the case, although two sources with knowledge of the leaks say that they were serious. "They have badly, badly compromised national security," says one source. "They were extraordinarily damaging."
CIA officials refuse to speculate on whether McCarthy was one of those who leaked so the American public would not "reelect this man." That she contributed large sums of money to the Kerry campaign and the Democratic National Committee shortly before the election is, however, suggestive.
Not surprisingly, reporters on the intelligence beat (some of whom presumably had received leaks from McCarthy) wrote long tributes to her professionalism. Her former colleagues spoke highly of her, and Democratic politicians, including John Kerry himself, lined up to declare her efforts patriotic.
On the other side? Silence. The White House said little about the termination and nothing at all in support of the CIA director. Goss associates say he was surprised and disappointed that senior Bush administration officials chose not to offer any public support of his efforts.
It was an only-in-Washington moment: A senior CIA official fired after she acknowledged leaking classified information--information that reportedly damaged national security--is lionized, while the CIA director who terminated her is accused of a witch hunt. And the White House says nothing in support of the man it charged with cleaning up the Agency and clamping down on leaks.
In retrospect, it was a sign of things to come.
AT ABOUT 10:30 a.m. on Friday, May 5, the chairmen of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees--Representative Pete Hoekstra and Senator Pat Roberts--received urgent phone calls from the White House. Hoekstra was attending the funeral of a Michigan soldier killed in Iraq and could not immediately be reached.
The news would come as a surprise: Porter Goss was resigning as CIA director. The announcement was scheduled for approximately three hours later. No reason was given for his departure.
After the announcement, on Friday night, Hoekstra received a call from Candy Wolff, head of congressional relations for the White House. Wolff was calling to let the House Intelligence chairman know that Air Force General Michael Hayden would be nominated Monday to replace Goss. Hoekstra said that he had concerns about the fact that Hayden was still on active duty, and Wolff told him that someone else from the White House would be calling.
In the meantime, "senior administration officials" offered anonymous criticism of Goss in interviews with reporters, something that did not go over well with Goss's former colleagues in the House. And while Goss decided that he would not speak publicly about his resignation, he told former colleagues and associates eager to defend him that they were free to do so.
On Saturday, both Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte and National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley called Hoekstra to discuss the changes at the CIA. Hadley attempted to assuage Hoekstra's concerns about Hayden by touting the man chosen to be Hayden's top deputy, a CIA veteran who would be well liked at Langley but whom he did not name. Hoekstra made clear his concerns about Hayden and told Hadley he was not supportive of the changes.
On Sunday, Hoekstra went public with his concerns, telling Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace that Hayden would be "the wrong person" for the job. The same day, the Washington Post reported that former senior intelligence officials were contacted about the appointment of Hayden's top deputy. The Post did not name the prospective nominee but quoted a former senior official who said, "The Agency, and particularly the DO, will be happy with this choice."
The next day, the White House made its announcement: Hayden was Bush's choice to run the CIA. In a press briefing afterwards, without being asked, Negroponte told reporters that Stephen Kappes was "the leading candidate" to be Hayden's deputy.
Jane Harman, ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, released a statement expressing concern that Hayden was too close to the White House. At the same time, however, Harman endorsed Kappes. As her statement said:
Some of these concerns can be alleviated if Steve Kappes is named as Hayden's deputy. Kappes would go a long way to reassuring the workforce. As a civilian with a distinguished career in human intelligence, Kappes would send the right signal to the women and men who serve at CIA. Kappes also stood up to the Agency's previous management team--evidence that he is willing to speak 'truth to power.'
It remains unclear why the White House would think that the selection of Kappes, who left the CIA after his public dispute with Goss, might reassure members of Congress, especially Republicans, eager to reform the Agency. Former colleagues say that Kappes is a smart and savvy veteran of the Agency's operations side. He is not, however, a reformer. They describe Kappes as an ardent, sometimes reflexive, defender of the CIA bureaucracy.
Harman was not the only one happy about Kappes's return to the CIA. "It's a phenomenal choice," said A.B. "Buzzy" Krongard, a former executive director of the CIA, replaced by Goss, in an interview with the Washington Post: "It's an admission that it was a big mistake for Goss to bring in the people he did and let them loose with no adult supervision."
ABC News investigative reporter Brian Ross, guest-hosting the Charlie Rose show Monday night, interviewed former deputy CIA director John McLaughlin. Ross said that people he had spoken with "said that the selection of Kappes indicated the purge that Porter Goss had attempted was over, that it was back to business as usual as it had been 20 months ago." Ross asked McLaughlin: "Is that accurate?"
McLaughlin praised Kappes and replied, "Yeah, I think--I think that's basically an accurate assessment."
So it's business as usual at the CIA. The White House took on the Agency. And the Agency won.
Stephen F. Hayes is a senior writer at The Weekly Standard.
99 and 86 reinstated.
Great post, thanks.
I no longer believe it is possible to reform the CIA. I think it is rotten to the core--mainly because of the incompetence and political agenda of its analyst corps. In 2002, Bill Gertz of the Washington Times called for the elimination of the CIA and replacing it with an entirely new agency in a book called "Breakdown." We need an organization with the OSS mentality and today's CIA has no capability to foster that.
We need to take a cadre of SOCOM folks and CIA operators like Robert Baer and let them draw up new blueprints. And then send the Mary McCarthys of the world to HHS and HUD where their skills are more suited.
Goss was booted for his support of Foggo?
I see the shadow of GHWB on this. Placate the Agency before the midterm elections to buy thier silence.
After November, I sure would like to see the hammer drop.
And Casey had to go outside the lines and basically form an organization within an organization to accomplish what he did.
Since then the Left in the CIA has become so powerful that even Casey would have a tough time.
Since then the Left in the CIA has become so powerful that even Casey would have a tough time.
You got it! The demoscum gutted the CIA in the 70s with the Church hearings. Fallout from watergate.
Negroponte is a disaster. Doesn't say much for Bush's selection process for a career diplomat with no direct experience in intelligence matters to have been selected for that position. Goss was trying to make the analysts pull overseas tours of duty and get closer to the operators and the analysts went squealing like stuck pigs to Negroponte--and it worked.
The DNI was a poor solution to the problem from the start. Government bureaucracies don't solve problems, they magnify them. That is what has happened here.
Suggesting the Agency has gone rogue?
Probably not too far off if enough "policy" level chairs are involved in rebellion against the policies of the current administration. Which the evidence seems to imply (strongly).
I'm wondering if the CIA has the "the drive-by media" on a hook? There's a chasm separating the public perception of Bush and the things Bush has done;he's a moderate in fact, but is depicted as a neanderthal conservative, he's conducted the war on terror with restraint, but he's depicted as Attilla the Hun, etc.
The media is easy to lead around: for the most part they are narcisistic, fawning, treacherous little careerists looking for a scoop. Manage them like pigeons. Throw some parties, let them rub elbows with the big shots, drop one an exclusive from time to time, and you'll have them eating out of your hand.
Clinton, if he succeeded at anything, succeeded here. He knew the tricks. So would the CIA; it's they're business.
The CIA has poisoned the water and it's going to take a lot to fix.
Well, if you can't plug the leaks at the CIA the next best move would be to see to it that the CIA has nothing worth leaking. At least, that's what I would do.
Allright, Mr. hayes. Let's see how happy they are with the good General running the place.
And I believe if my memory serves me correct that Casey's death was somewhat mysterious in itself.
Evidently J. Edgar Hoover is still in residence at HQ.
Don't think so. Casey died of brain cancer.
Maybe my memory is going down hill faster than the rest of the parts. But I recall that the brain tumor was found suddenly and the man was gone.
Probably watching too much "24".
That is exactly right. I had forgotten about that. Casey's family had not communicated with him in some time at the time Woodward claimed Casey talked to him. I don't think Casey would talk to Woodward anyway.
The CIA will be rewarded when the RATS take control .... they will be gutted.
Very perceptive. I agree. Bush gets credit for a lot of things he has never done. Taking out the Taliban was bold. Taking down Saddam was bold. But he has never held the Sauds feet to the fire on Al Qaeda. Nor has he truly rebuilt our military. And his border and immigration policies are right there with Ted Kennedy.
PORTER AND CASEY
Written by Dr. Jack Wheeler
Wednesday, 10 May 2006
No, not Bill Casey, Ronald Reagan's DCI. Casey Stengel. After winning 10 pennants in 12 years including 5 straight World Series managing the New York Yankees, Stengel spent 3 dismal years trying to manage the hopeless New York Mets. They were so inept that at one point, Stengel blurted out the immortal line, "Doesn't anyone here know how to play this game?"
Porter Goss asked the same question of the team he was managing, the CIA - and the team owner fired him.
The saga of the sacking of Porter Goss is one of such gargantuan incompetence on the part of the Bush White House that it finally tears any loyalty conservatives have to this presidency.
It also provides the final evidence that the CIA should be abolished. Get rid of the whole bureaucratic mess and let the DIA (Defense Intelligence Agency) at the Pentagon handle intel analysis and ops.
To get a handle on the fiasco requires re-reading the entire series of TTP articles on the CIA. It starts with Tenet Down Powell To Go, which described the State Department/CIA war against Rumsfeld and how Rummy won, forcing Tenet's resignation.
That article predicted in June 2004 that Porter Goss, then chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, would be the next DCI. The next in the series - and absolutely critical for you to read - is Porter At The Pass.
This explained that: "Most folks think the CIA is a right-wing outfit. It is not. The CIA has been dominated by incompetent left-wing hyper-liberals for years."
It further explained that:
The CIA doesn't simply live in a pre-September 11 world where terrorism is only a "nuisance" - it is that the CIA lives in a left-wing world, the same left-wing world as the State Department. Both worship at the Shrine of Accommodation, Appeasement, and Compromise. Both Langley and Foggy Bottom bureaucrats hate George Bush for alienating the Euroweenies and taking the fight to the Moslem terrorists. Both are working overtime to do what they can to secure Bush's defeat.
The leader of the CIA's war against George Bush was an agent named Paul Pillar. In The Pillar Gang, you learned that:
The Pillar Gang hates George Bush because he won't appease the terrorists. Porter Goss is doing all that is humanly possible to rid the CIA of leftists who focus more on hurting the White House than defending their country. Let's hope he has enough time.
When Goss finally got confirmed as DCI in September 2004, it looked for a while that he would succeed in purging the agency of the left wing "Rogue Weasels" like Pillar and his ilk, the subject of The CIA in Deep Qaaqaa.
One of the principal Rogue Weasels purged by Porter was Stephen Kappes, Pillar's chief lieutenant in the CIA's war on George Bush. Yesterday (5/9) it was announced that Stephen Kappes will be the new Deputy Director of the CIA.
Porter's firing was a total victory for the Rogue Weasels. Their war on Bush, the stream of treasonous leaks to the Washington Post, will continue unabated. And Bush has absolutely no one to blame but himself.
The Weasels' victory was engineered by hyping the rivalry between Porter and John Negroponte, head of the ridiculous new layer of intelligence bureaucracy created by Bush.
Negroponte is a State Department guy with no deep intel background. His dedication to his job as National Intelligence Director can be seen by his regular two-hour lunches at the University Club in downtown DC, which include a swim and massage smack in the middle of his "work" day.
The Weasels got Negroponte's ego in a lather over Porter's "challenging" his authority and expertise. Then the Weasels went to work on Josh Bolten, Bush's new chief of staff. They conned Bolten into believing that Porter himself was involved in "Hookergate" - the Washington poker parties replete with prostitutes set up by Porter's deputy, Kyle "Dusty" Foggo.
Porter with prostitutes. Right. But instead of laughing them away, Bolten listened to the Weasels after hearing complaints from Negroponte. Then he picked up the phone to call Porter and ask for his resignation. The Weasels' coup was complete.
What a reward for yet another virtuoso intel ops performance by Porter, described in Virtual Osama. You first learned how good at tradecraft Porter could be in his rescue of Ukraine's Orange Revolution in Global Freedom and Drunk Coal Miners.
So now the CIA gets another bureaucrat fixated on "sigint" - signal/electronic intelligence - and clueless on "humint" - real live human intel and psy-ops. Michael Hayden, as Negroponte's deputy, will be Negroponte's poodle at the CIA. He has no intel ops or "humint" background, and will be run around the halls of Langley with a ring through his nose by Kappes and the Weasels.
The left-wing bureaucrats win and Clueless George loses. Thanks for a valiant try, Porter. But you know how Washington works: it's the place where no good deed goes unpunished.
I no longer believe it is possible to reform George Bush. The man is not the son, rather he is the clone of his father -- a man who had a tin ear for politics.
Very good analysis and Wheeler should know.
But he has never held the Sauds feet to the fire on Al Qaeda. Nor has he truly rebuilt our military. And his border and immigration policies are right there with Ted Kennedy.
I don't know about the military, but I'm not sure on the Saudis. I think he's working this end of things quietly and gaining some ground. This is just a hunch. Question: There were stories circulating of Saudi fathers kidnapping children from American mothers and refusing to return them. I recall a human interest story of a teenage girl who had returned from Saudi Arabia and this article indicated that her release was due to policy change. I believe the article ran in Newsweek but can recall only the sketchiest details. Do you recall it or any similar article? If this happened, and if the Saudis are releasing children to their mothers then there is cooperation at some level, I figure. I really need to check this out, but if you can recall anything proving or disproving this I'd like to know.
Hope the story on mothers/children is true, but not sure what it has to do with Saudis funding Jihadists.
Oh, I don't think the Saudis have been funding the Jihadis so much as buying them off. The Jihadis are trying to dump the Saudi royals and take control.
Don't get me wrong, I have as little regard for those bastards as anyone; but we've got a full plate and this approach is more, well, economical.
Not just the saudi royals. Other wealthy Sauds have been funding Al Qaeda. Also, the saudi royal family is not a homogenous entity. There are about 30,000 of them broken relatively evenly into 3 groups:
1. 10,000 or so in power or close to power by being closely related to the Crown. These folks fear Al Qaida and hate them because they know Al Qaeda wants to overthrow them. But their solution in the past was to buy them off.
2. 10,000 or so not in power and not real interested. They are not close enough to the Crown to have real power, but they are happy to have their allowance and stay out of things. These folks tend to travel extensively in the West and frequent nightclubs, strip joints and discos. They act pious only at home, but don't spend much time at home.
3. 10,000 or so who are not in power and pissed off about it. They are radiclaized and they provide funding for Al Qaida and hate their cousins. They want to see Al qaeda overthrow their cousins and hate the West as much as OBL. They have plenty of money because they get their allowances just as the rest do.
But the most definitive evidence I have seen of collusion between Al Qaeda and the Saudi royals is the fact that not one single Saudi royal has ever been targeted anywhere by Al Qaida, despite all the rhetoric from OBL that the saudi royals are corrupt, etc. And it's not like some of these Saudi royals are hard to find. Go to London, Paris, Geneva, NYC, Rodeo Drive, etc and you can find them shopping, whoring and dancing in discos.
I'd like to know when this 25,000 member strong agency actually did something useful. Seems to me, their primary charter since 2000 has been to defeat George Bush's presidency.
We're gonna get outta this, 99! I tell you, that Goss guy can't stop us!
Would you believe....
Tear it down. Fire everyone and start over. It would be no loss in any case.
Send Zell Miller in their with a broom.
The CIA already reports to the Negroponte. How can you takeover something you already control?
Negroponte is one of the good guys.
Nowhere is it documented that Negroponte refused to follow the presidnet's orders on the document release.
Negroponte was Reagan's top diplomat in Central American. But he was more than a diplomat as the left knows.
He was Reagan's point man for the funding and training of the Contras working directly with the CIA.
He knows where all the dead bodies are buried in C.A. and the left hates it for him.
This article sounds like some much disinformation.
Excellent piece, thanks for posting it here.
The U.S. supplied S.A. with two list of Al Qaeda to removed. I believe all 40 or so on those two lists have been removed.