August 11, 2004
THE CLELAND EFFECT:
House veteran is picked to head CIA: Bush choice to face confirmation test (Anne E. Kornblut and Bryan Bender, August 11, 2004, Boston Globe)
While Kerry reserved judgment, several senior Democrats expressed concerns about Goss, whose committee oversaw the intelligence community during some of the most serious missteps in its history, setting the stage for potentially contentious confirmation hearings when Congress reconvenes in September.
The 9/11 commission accused Congress of lax oversight of the CIA before the terrorist attacks and in the run-up to the war in Iraq, and Goss has run afoul of critics in the past for what they described as his close, even sympathetic, relationship with the CIA.
Senator Jay Rockefeller, the senior Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, expressed concerns about putting a politician in a position that could easily be swayed by political concerns.
''I am concerned with the president's choice," Rockefeller said. ''Porter Goss will need to answer tough questions about his record and his position on reform, including questions on the independence of the leader of the intelligence community."
Okay, we get it now: Mr. Goss wasn't chosen to reform the CIA but to give the Democrats another chance to destroy themselves politically, as they did in the Homeland Security fight just before the midterm election. The President will let them crawl out on the limb of opposing a new head of the CIA in the middle of the war on terror and then crank up the Husqvarna. Posted by Orrin Judd at August 11, 2004 9:06 AM