The Mix

Larry Johnson: Why Porter Goss Resigned

A former spook gives some good backstory... and some pro-CIA propaganda.
Former CIA spook Larry Johnson on the story behind Goss' resignation:
Speculation in the blogosphere suggested that Porter Goss selected Foggo because of his ties to Wilkes and may be implicated in the sexscapades. I'm told by a friend who used to work at the Agency that Goss, on this charge is clean. In fact, Goss may be a victim, guilty only of selecting some lousy staff.
A former CIA buddy tells me that Porter's main problem, however, is a key staffer who is linked to both Brent Wilkes and the CIA's Executive Director, Dusty Foggo. My friend also said that it is highly likely that the Goss staffer did participate in the hooker extravaganza. Goss, politician that he is, probably recognized that even though he did not participate in the sexual escapades and poker games, his staffer's participation created a huge problem for him that would be difficult to escape.
There also is truth to the rumor that Goss was not happy with presiding over a CIA that had been rendered a co-equal with the Department of Defense intelligence units. Prior to the creation of the National Director of Intelligence, the CIA was the lead intelligence agency. No longer. Ironically, part of the impetus for the creation of the NDI was the perceived "failures" of the CIA with respect to 9-11 and Iraq. Recent revelations by retired CIA officers, such as Paul Pillar and Ty Drumheller, make clear that the CIA basically got it right on Iraq and was ignored by the Bush Administration.
That's interesting. But once a spook, always a spook -- Johnson goes on to say that Goss made a "valiant effort" in "revitalizing the human collection side of the Agency. He reopened CIA posts overseas that his predecessor, George Tenet, had closed." Wow. I'm not one of those people who thinks that the CIA is some redeemable entity -- that if only a sensible, sane intelligence official ran it, the developing world would sleep better at night. Because the truth is, the CIA has been behind some of the worst offenses in the history of mankind. And there's no reason it will stop.

Johnson, however thinks the CIA just bleeds red, white, and blue: "We live in a dangerous world that requires an organization like the CIA capable of operating in the world of the covert and clandestine. Faced with a crisis of leadership and confidence, however, the CIA may be distracted from its mission of helping protect this nation."
Jan Frel is an AlterNet staff writer.
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