Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Goss Destroying CIA

Porter Goss, Dubya's choice to "lead" the CIA, is busily destroying it:

A year later, Goss is at loggerheads with the clandestine service he sought to embrace. At least a dozen senior officials -- several of whom were promoted under Goss -- have resigned, retired early or requested reassignment. The directorate's second-in-command walked out of Langley last month and then told senators in a closed-door hearing that he had lost confidence in Goss's leadership.

The turmoil has left some employees shaken and has prompted former colleagues in Congress to question how Goss intends to improve the agency's capabilities and restore morale. The White House is aware of the problems, administration officials said, and believes they are being handled by the director of national intelligence, who now oversees the agency.

But the Senate intelligence committee, which generally took testimony once a year from Goss's predecessors, has invited him for an unusual closed-door hearing today. Senators, according to their staff, intend to ask the former congressman from Florida to explain why the CIA is bleeding talent at a time of war, and to answer charges that the agency is adrift.

"Hundreds of years of leadership and experience has walked out the door in the last year," said Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.), "and more senior people are making critical career decisions as we speak."

On a recent visit to a large CIA station in the Middle East, Harman, the ranking Democrat on the same House intelligence panel where Goss once presided, said she asked for a show of hands from those who understood where Goss was leading the agency. "The vast majority didn't know, and they are worried," Harman said in a telephone interview during her trip.

If Goss' answers during the hearing are not convincing, the Senators need to march to the White House and tell Shrub that Goss has to go, now. We can't afford a CIA in turmoil at this time.

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