Last month the Christian Science Monitor ran the story, "Wanted: strong bipartisan manager to repair CIA." Former CIA Director Stansfield Turner was quoted as saying, "We need a vigorous hand to reassert the standards intrinsic to the place - someone who's not there to tell people what they want to hear, but tell them what they think is right."
(Porter Goss at far left.)
Among the five leading candidates, it was noted that Florida Republican representative Porter Goss "was considered a front-runner until recently, when Democrats signaled they will not go for a "partisan" nominee."
While Goss was once respected for his "pragmatic, bipartisan style," that respect has faded in the last year.
He blocked house investigations into the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal and Washington's links with its erstwhile Iraqi ally Ahmad Chalabi.An editorial in the Fayetteville (NC) -- home of Ft Bragg and the 82nd Airborne -- Observer put is this way:
During a debate in the house on security, he held up a sign with a 27-year-old quote from the Democratic challenger, John Kerry, calling for budget cuts to the intelligence services.
He is far too partisan for such a sensitive post. Nobody should be playing politics with our national security, but that's exactly what's happening with this nominee. For the good of the nation, his name should be withdrawn and the White House should, instead, begin serious efforts to implement the recommendations of the 9-11 commission.So why would the Bush administration choose a partisan nominee, rather than someone who might have a better chance of fixing the CIA? In a word: Florida. And because their strategy now, as always, is not to do what is best or what is right, but what will help them win.
Craig Kilborn had this to say about Goss's nomination on the "Late Late Show":
"President Bush officially made his nomination for Director of the CIA: Republican Porter Goss from Florida, who is an ex-CIA agent himself. A bad sign: The potential new head of the CIA said the nomination came as a complete surprise."
"Goss was chosen after Bush's inner circle repeatedly rejected his first choice, Chuck Norris."
"Experts say it will be impossible for Goss to fill George Tenet's shoes and he'll have to settle for being totally wrong just 80 percent of the time."