Goss Goes Down Over HookerGate?
In a surprising and welcome announcement today, CIA Director Porter Goss abruptly tendered his resignation to President Bush. Effective immediately, Goss' quick exit was unusual, to say the least.
But not necessarily totally unexpected. Since the story broke about Republican congressmen involved in the Hookergate scandal of Duke Cunningham moneymen Mitchell Wade and Brent Wilkes, rumors have swirled around not-so-clandestine rendezvous involving top CIA figures. Goss' #3 at the agency, Kyle Foggo, admitted to playing poker during the Watergate sessions, if not dallying with prostitutes. And while Goss previously denied as "flatly untrue" allegations he joined the Wilkes' parties, stories have circulated describing FBI pursuit of "current and former lawmakers on Defense and Intelligence committees - including one person who now holds a powerful intelligence post."
The downfall of Porter Goss couldn't be more fitting. In the wake of the CIA's utter failure on 9/11 and its abdication to the White House on Iraq WMD, President Bush appointed a partisan hack to lead the American intelligence effort during the war against Al Qaeda. During the 2004 election, then Congressman Goss and House intelligence committee leader repeatedly attacked Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry, including a bilous op-ed piece titled "Need Intelligence? Don't Ask John Kerry." Upon taking the reins of the CIA, Goss started a politically motivated purge, driving essential senior analysts and leaders out of the agency. And back in February, Goss penned a cynical New York Times op-ed ("Loose Lips Sink Spies") threatening to prosecute leakers and claiming that he "filed criminal reports with the Department of Justice because of such compromises," while maintaining silence of the outing of CIA agent and Iran nuclear program expert Valerie Plame. As Goss put it in 2004, "Somebody sends me a blue dress and some DNA, I'll have an investigation."
We don't yet know for certain if Porter Goss is going down (so to speak) over Hookergate. In any event, good riddance.