May 6, 2006


White House Dismisses Reports on Goss (KATHERINE SHRADER, 5/06/06, AP)

The White House on Saturday denied that President Bush had lost confidence in just-resigned CIA Director Porter Goss, saying there was a "collective agreement" the agency needed a new leader now.

Bush planned to act quickly, perhaps as early as Monday, to nominate Goss' successor. The leading candidate was Air Force Gen. Michael Hayden, the top deputy to National Intelligence Director John Negroponte, a senior administration official said. [...]

It wasn't immediately clear what's next for Goss, 67. He was supposed to retire after representing a Republican district on Florida's West Coast for 16 years, but he became CIA director when Bush called in 2004.

Many former directors take consulting positions on corporate boards. Goss and his wife own a central Virginia farm, where they raise cattle, sheep and chickens.

Rumors swirl that CIA head quit so he could run for U.S. Senate against Bill Nelson (Larry Hannan, Charlie Whitehead, May 6, 2006, Naples News)
News that Porter Goss had resigned as director of the Central Intelligence Agency fueled speculation he'd make a bid for the U.S. Senate.

Southwest Florida officials expressed their surprise Friday at his resignation as they lined up to praise the longtime former congressman from Southwest Florida for his decades of service.

Some expressed the hope that he will run for the U.S. Senate against incumbent Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson of Tallahassee.

Soon after the announcement was made in Washington around 1:45 p.m. Friday, rumors began to swirl in the nation's capital and in Tallahassee that Goss resigned so he could run against Nelson.

Goss in the Cold: A Scandal Skedaddle? (David Corn, May 5, 2006,The Nation)

[T]here's already turmoil on the Seventh Floor of CIA HQ. Kyle "Dusty" Foggo, the CIA's executive director (who was put in that post by Goss), has been under investigation by both the CIA's inspector general and the
FBI. Foggo, the No. 3 man at the CIA, was a regular at a poker game hosted by Brent Wilkes, a businessman tagged by federal prosecutors as a coconspirator in the bribery case that landed Republican Representative Randy "Duke" Cunningham in jail. The CIA IG is examining whether Foggo helped one of Wilkes' companies win a CIA contract for providing bottled water, first-aid supplies and other items to CIA officials in
Afghanistan and
Iraq. According to he San Diego Union-Tribune, critics have claimed the CIA overpaid for this contract.

Did Foggo help Wilkes, his best friend since the late 1960s, bilk the CIA?

That may be the least of it. Last week--here it is!--the Wall Street Journal reported that the feds are investigating whether Wilkes and Mitchell Wade, a defense contractor who pleaded guilty to giving Duke Cunningham more than $1 million in bribes, supplied Cunningham with prostitutes, limos and hotel rooms (a dangerous combination). The Journal wrote, "Besides scrutinizing the prostitution scheme for evidence that might implicate contractor Brent Wilkes, investigators are focusing on whether any other members of Congress, or their staffs, may also have used the same free services, though it isn't clear whether investigators have turned up anything to implicate others." Other members of Congress. That's something to ponder.

Wade reportedly has confessed that he did periodically arrange for a limousine to pick up Cunningham and a hooker and ferry them to a suite at the Watergate Hotel or the Westin Grand. Wade also said that Wilkes participated in the ply-Duke-with-sex scheme.

What's this got to do with Porter Goss? Maybe nothing. But here's the reason for speculation. Wilkes did hold parties and poker games for CIA officials and lawmakers, including members of the House intelligence committee. (Goss has been a CIA director, a lawmaker, and a member of the House intelligence committee.) Wilkes was pals with Foggo. (As CIA executive director, Foggo manages the CIA on a day-by-day basis for Goss.) So might Goss know anything about (a) a rigged contract; (b) bad behavior at Wilkes' poker bashes; (c) the non-recreational use of prostitutes; (d) all of the above or something we cannot even imagine? The Foggo-Wilkes-hooker links are certainly quite sketchy at the moment. But--to put this in perspective--they are firmer than some of the intelligence the Bush administration used to claim Saddam Hussein was in bed with bin Laden.

With identical resulting regime change, no?

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 6, 2006 1:58 PM

Of course, Bin Ladin did turn out to be in bed with Saddam. Tho I doubt that's what Corn is driving at.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at May 6, 2006 2:28 PM

Corn has taken the smarmy crown away from Phil Donahue.

Posted by: erp at May 6, 2006 2:49 PM

Enumclaw? Didn't Pa Cartwright have a son named Goss?

Posted by: ghostcat at May 6, 2006 5:45 PM