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Posted by on May 6, 2006 in At TMV | 12 comments

CIA Director Porter Goss Abruptly Resigns (UPDATED)

Other recent changes in the White House were expected, but the announcement today that CIA Director Porter Goss resigned came abruptly …with little explanation, when President George Bush announced it:

CIA Director Porter J. Goss resigned today after less than two years on the job, President Bush announced at the White House.

Bush said Goss offered his resignation this morning and that “I’ve accepted it.”

This Washington Post article gives little explanation of why he resigned and why Bush accepted it…mainly because it (glaringly) wasn’t given:

Neither the president nor Goss, who sat to Bush’s right as he made the announcement in the Oval Office, gave a reason for the resignation.

Bush said he had established “a very close personal relationship” with Goss, who succeeded George J. Tenet as director of the CIA in September 2004. He said Goss’s tenure has been marked by “transition” as the CIA has become integrated into an intelligence community headed by a new director of national intelligence. Veteran ambassador John D. Negroponte was named to that post in 2005, taking over a position whose creation was recommended by the commission that investigated the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Bush said Goss had instilled a “sense of professionalism” in the CIA. He expressed confidence that his successor “will continue reforms” at the agency.

Bush did not name a successor or indicate when he would choose one.

There was the usual praise given when someone decides to leave an administration or takes a hint and heads towards the exit. Little more. Watch the VIDEO HERE.

And although Goss has had a bumpy ride since he took over The Agency, his name wasn’t one of the ones most people expected to see in an administration shake up. The Los Angeles Times:

Goss, a former congressman from Florida, head of the House Intelligence Committee and CIA agent, had been at the helm of the agency only since September 2004.

He came under fire almost immediately, in part because he brought with him several top aides from Congress who were considered highly political for the CIA.

He had particularly poor relations with segments of the agency’s powerful clandestine service. In a bleak assessment, California Rep. Jane Harman, the Intelligence Committee’s top Democrat, recently said, “The CIA is in a free fall,” noting that employees with a combined 300 years of experience have left or been pushed out.

But it’s unlikely that comments or opinions from Democrats led to his exit. Were there personal reasons? A falling out with other administration officials? His disagreement over a policy? A need to “spend more time with his family” or “spend more time spying on his family?” Was it: “He’s all tapped out..” Nothing was said.

Some suggest it could be something dealing with a scandal like this (but no proof yet). The LAT again:

Under Goss and the sweeping intelligence overhaul Congress approved in December 2004, the CIA lost considerable clout among U.S. spy agencies. With the installation of the country’s first national intelligence director, John Negroponte, Goss no longer sat atop the 16 intelligence agencies. Negroponte took that role — and many of the CIA director’s responsibilities. That includes Bush’s morning intelligence briefings….

….Goss has pressed for aggressive probes about leaked information.

“The damage has been very severe to our capabilities to carry out our mission,” he told Congress in February, adding that a federal grand jury should be impaneled to determine “who is leaking this information.”

Just two weeks ago, Goss announced the firing of a top intelligence analyst in connection with a Pulitzer Prize-winning story about a network of CIA prisons in Eastern Europe. Such dismissals are highly unusual.

So the question now becomes: who will Bush pick from Fox News to fill this position?

UDATES: The lively Internet tabloid Sploid minces no words about why it thinks this resignation took place — and gives a no-holds-barred account. A small part of it:

But the growing “Hookergate” scandal connected to convicted criminal Duke Cunningham and CIA executive director Dusty Foggo may have finally wrapped its whorish tentacles around Goss’ neck.

“Something happened,” neo-conservative magazine editor William Kristol said on Fox News this afternoon. “It’s going to be a bad few days. We’re going to discover something … It will be something not good for the Bush Administration.”

Fox News actually got a phone call from a “top White House official” during Kristol’s damning comments, and Kristol was cut off so Bush mouthpiece Chris Wallace could say the Goss resignation is just a harmless part of the “White House shakeup.” Sure.

People can (and will) debate over the possible reasons. What’s undeniable is: this was VERY abrupt — and that usually means something did indeed happen. And the more the bad news is delayed, the bigger it’s going to be when it does break.
Fox News Raw Data on Goss
Outside The Beltway, InstaPundit, Daily Kos, Newshog

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  • Mike P.

    Keep an eye on the actions of Kyle “Dusty” Foggo, Goss’ #3 at the agency, who has been tied to the Wilkes/Wade/Cunningham probe, and quite possibly hookergate. If he suddenly also decides to spend more time with his family, this summer’s news cycle might get even more interesting.

    But Goss certainly seems to have more than his share of detractors – whether or not there are any ties to that scandal.

  • Robert Bell

    As a typographical convention, wouldn’t such a statement

    “So the question now becomes: who will Bush pick from Fox News to fill this position”

    normally be enclosed in some sort of HTML tag indicated “snark” as opposed to merely boldface?

    – Just kidding

  • What amazes me from the WaPo article is the failure to even bury a mention of the whole hookergate thing. I understand that co-incidence doesn’t equal causation. But jeez, not to mention it?

    PS, Josh Marshall has a great rundown on the situation as we know it.

  • An alternate theory popping up is that he is headed back to Florida to oppose Katherine Harris in the Republican Senate primary. That would be a race to boggle the mind.

    Of course, I think it’s hookergate. 😉

  • Bob J Young

    My vote is hookergate.

    This is just so surreal, you couldn’t write a novel with this much stuff happening.
    No WMD, VP shoots someone, hookers, Watergate Hotel…..
    What’s next biblical plagues?

  • Charles Jordan

    The government is in a state of choas.

  • Maybe he just found out he’s got terminal cancer…
    Rumors- Spreading fast by those without a clue….
    Will find out soon enough…

  • Elrod

    Well, this is a pretty huge deal. Goss was supposed to be the man who would make the CIA more compliant with the White House. In the midst of major intel changes afoot, some for the good of the country and some not, suddenly Goss up and quits. This is the CIA we’re talking about, not the Secretary of HHS or Commerce.

  • bacci40

    Can someone explain to me the big deal of defense contractors providing female entertainment to congressmen?

    This has been done since the beginning of time.


  • grognard

    Wild seculation all around, but from what I heard on NPR few in the CIA are sorry to see him go.

  • To paraphrase another blogger, had Goss been found dead, much of the agency, and almost all of the world’s professional assassins, would be prime suspects; he was despised in the Company, even as he was in the middle of a political purge.

    That kind of purge is not something one stops in the middle for no reason. Short answer: if they say its not about the sex, its about the sex. Hookergate it is. Duke Cunningham is just proving to be the gift that keeps giving.

  • Nova A

    Fossi has been tentatively implicated in a connection to Sheridan Limo by attending a series of parties where inappropriate dealings may have occured. Goss’s only established connection to Hookergate is that he hired Fossi.

    If Hookergate was the issue, then the politically expedient action would be to isolate Fossi from Goss, not ask Goss to resign.

    Forced resignation is usually due to other factors such as negligence, ineffectiveness or obstructionary behavior. It’s no secret that Goss and the person to whom he reports, Negroponte, did not agree on most issues.

    TITLE: Porter Goss Resigns
    BLOG NAME: Liberty and Justice
    If this was part of the ‘shake-up’, one would expect ‘insiders’ to know about it, or at least suspect it, no? […] The moderate voice is, of course, completely right. At this moment there are suspicions about Goss’s involvement in Hookergate, nothing more.

    TITLE: CIA Chief Porter Goss Resigns
    BLOG NAME: The Kudzu Files
    Porter Goss, who has been head of the CIA only since September 2004, resigned this morning. This can’t be considered as a routine second-term departure. For an agency mired in controversy and instability like the CIA, having “the right man…

    TITLE: CIA Director Resigns
    BLOG NAME: The Indepundit
    PORTER GOSS abruptly resigns as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. JOE GANDELMAN asks, “Who will Bush pick from Fox News to fill this position?”…

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