Cultural Revolutions

Porter Goss and the CIA

Porter Goss wasn’t in a mood to discuss his May 5 departure from his post as CIA director after only two years on the job.  Following the announcement of his resignation, Goss cryptically told reporters that his leaving was “just one of those mysteries.”  Indeed, it was—neither Goss nor President Bush was in a hurry to explain the change.  (The President nominated Air Force Gen. Michael Hayden as Goss’s replacement; Hayden was confirmed by the Senate in late May.)  President Bush stated simply that the former congressman and intelligence officer had offered his resignation and the White House had accepted it.  The President praised Goss, opining that “Porter’s tenure at the CIA was one of transition, where he’s helped his agency become integrated into the intelligence community . . . that was a tough job, and he’s led ably.”

Indeed, Goss seems to have been dispatched to the CIA to “integrate” the agency into a system that would crank out “intelligence” custom fit to the White House’s policy choices.  During his time at the CIA, Goss conducted a purge of personnel the White House saw as disloyal—especially critics of the Iraq war.  The purge was simultaneously blended into the White House spin machine’s CIA “intelligence failure” myth, with Goss portrayed as the hero dispatched to cleanse...

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