Monday, May 08, 2006

CIA Summary Judgment

Laura Rozen at War and Piece seems to know some interesting folks. And one of those folks sent this her way, a short note about a luncheon at the CIA on Friday, the day Bush announced Goss's "resignation":
An interesting anecdote. On Friday, [I was part of a small working group invited to the CIA.] Our group received unclassified briefings on topics from China to Iran, but the highlight was a luncheon with the Director. Goss made some opening remarks, and then took approximately ten questions or so before he was summoned away by an aide. He was very engaging and somewhat frank -- he made no secret of his distaste for the intel reform legislation that created the ONI. He was very adamant that the CIA did not engage in any form of torture, at one point asserting that no good facts are ever derived from torture. Finally, in response to a (prescient) question on what he expects as his legacy, Goss sharply defended his efforts to rebuild the Agency and restore its clandestine service. During his remarks, he also took several potshots at what he termed a pattern of inaccurate reporting by the news media on the Agency's activities.

As I said, he had to cut short his appearance due to what he called "the press of the day". Less than two hours later, we heard the announcement of his resignation. Amazing!
Amazing, indeed. Little did Goss apparently realise just how literal the phrase "press of the day" would become a short while later.

Let me just say that the reference to the "ONI" is a bit puzzling because ONI is normally the acronym for the Office of Naval Intelligence, which has been around since 1882. It hardly seems likely that this is what Goss was grousing about. I suspect -- in fact it seems certain -- the writer is refering to the much more recent creation of the Office of Director of National Intelligence, which is Negroponte's roost.

Now, either the NSA was spying on Goss at the luncheon when he expressed this so-called "distaste" with the "ONI," which passed this information along to Negroponte who then dutifully told Bush, who subsequently got pissed and summarily canned Goss, or the CIA's own investigation of Foggo was causing some serious and immediate concerns. But given how Goss's day went down, his resignation hardly has the appearance that this was something that was percolating for sometime. And that must be especially true given that it is now being reported that Kyle "Dusty" Foggo is expected to announce his sudden and easily explained resignation.

Even so, the White House just can't seem to get away from the accursed Cunningham scandal because it now appears that Bush's newest nominee, General Hayden, also has some direct connection to that web of corruption and intrigue. Justin Rood at the TPM Muckracker (and what a apppropriate name that has been for those folks) is reporting that Hayden had direct contractual dealings with MZM Inc., the company Mitchell Wade headed until his indictment and subsequent guilty plea for bribery in the Cunningham snarl. Furthermore, a former Hayden aide at the NSA, Lt. Gen. James King, appears to have been implicated in the Mitchell Wade scam by having directed illegal campaign contributions to that now less-than-favoured GOP member of Congress, the insufferable Katherine Harris.

Which leads to the inevitable question, is there any Republican in Washington at this point who has not been brushed by the greasy hand of either Wade/Wilkes scandal or that of Jack Abramoff?

[By the way, this CIA/Goss/Foggo/Hayden/King/MZM story is being updated almost by the minute, so follow the story at the TPM Muckracker, who are doing a bang up job.]


Blogger elendil said...

He was very adamant that the CIA did not engage in any form of torture, at one point asserting that no good facts are ever derived from torture.

Huh. I wonder, then, what motivated him to ask Congress to exempt CIA employees from legislation that would bar cruel and degrading treatment prisoners in U.S. custody? It's a mystery.

8:11 AM  
Blogger theBhc said...

Hi elendil,

Yeah, Inoticed that, too, but at this point, the Bush administration has said this so many times, while resisting bans on torture, the whole lie is simply just noise at this point.

12:35 PM  
Blogger elendil said...

the whole lie is simply just noise at this point

A high-pitched whining noise, like from Eraserhead, that makes you go crazy. I wish they'd do another poll on torture. I'd like to see if the Americans have changed their opinions at all since Dec, and if this kind of blatant lying is working.

7:23 PM  

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