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Thread: Bush Shapes CIA in his Own Image
Nov 25th, 2004 12:08 AM #1
Bush Shapes CIA in his Own Image
Bush Shapes CIA In
His Own Image
By Dara Purvis
The Raw Story
Before Pray-sident Bush was re-elected by a landslide of overwhelming popular support (thus giving him a mandate to continue robbing us of our civil liberties, transferring our tax dollars to his rich sponsors, and acting as chief recruiter for Osama bin Laden), he selected Porter Goss, a former Republican Congressman from Florida, to head the CIA.
Goss replaced George Tenet, who resigned after having spent several years ignoring bin Laden and then taking the fall for the missing weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
Predictably for a Bush-ite, Goss has "united not divided" the CIA by taking actions that provoked a war of words, fought in the national media, between factions within the spy agency. The opening salvoes were from current and former CIA agents chafing under Goss's immediate steps to fashion the agency into another partisan Republican weapon for use against any liberal citizens or politicians who show any sign of Un-American disagreement with the Thief-in-Chief.
In what the future will undoubtedly know as the "Rove Response," the administration again unleashed the dogs of slime to immediately label those calling for reform as incompetent, cowardly traitors.
While the immediate genesis of the latest exchanges is the conduct of Goss, the underlying tension goes back to the first days of the Bush administration, when it became clear that the administration regarded the CIA as a political organization, there to manipulate its findings for the purpose of justifying Bush's already-formulated foreign policy agenda.
Thus, for example, George Tenet's famous "slam dunk" assurance that Saddam (He Tried To Kill My Daddy) Hussein definitely possessed WMDs.
It is undeniable that the CIA, and the American intelligence community in general, has serious problems. The 9/11 Commission, after all, was in charge of examining how America could have been blindsided by the genius terrorists of Al Qaeda. (Who could have imagined that they would use hijacked airplanes as weaponsуbesides a few low-level terrorism analysts, that is.)
But the Bush administration has consistently made the intelligence community a political football, and proved its unwillingness to conduct serious reform. It would rather treat what is arguably the most important defense against further terrorism like one more cadre in a reactionary army.
Take Goss' attitude towards the expertise of past CIA staffers. In the last month, four separate ex-deputy directors of operations have contacted Goss to offer what counsel they can regarding the reorganization and agency assessment that he will be undertaking.
The four have considerable experience in what could go wrong. After the Watergate and Iran-contra scandals, there were reform efforts that caused considerable tension within the organization and, obviously, did not solve the agency's problems in a meaningful way.
Despite the clear attempt of these four men - men removed from the Agency with no personal agenda, and who served under both Democratic and Republican presidents - Goss refused to meet with any of them.
More troubling, Goss has made a clear statement of his intention to treat the CIA as a partisan organization. In an internal memo leaked to the press, he baldly announced that "I also intend to clarify beyond doubt the rules of the road. We support the administration and its policies in our work. As agency employees we do not identify with, support or champion opposition to the administration or its policies."
Forgive my naivete, but I always thought that the CIA was meant to conduct intelligence operations to protect the United States, not support a particular administration.
Goss' "Our Pray-sidentуRight or Wrong, Especially When Wrong" memo breaks new ground in Republican hypocrisy, considering the buffeting the CIA has received from Bush's cronies over the last four years. It only intensified as it became undeniable that There Were No WMD's In Iraq. (Say it again!)
First Bush demanded that the CIA spew out his party line that Iraq was on the verge of sparking mushroom clouds over America. Then Karl Rove's militias started slandering the CIA in the press for disloyalty, i.e. not providing the appropriate propaganda - excuse me, I mean impartial facts and analysis - for Colin Powell to bring to the UN.
Yet as Americans began to notice a lack of headlines trumpeting weapons of mass destruction uncovered by our troops, "anonymous sources" started dropping little tidbits into Rupert Murdoch-owned papers. They discussed how terribly worrying it was that the CIA gave Bush bad information, and how that was why we hadn't found anything yet. (Bush somehow restrained himself from making that particular dig in his video shown in March at the Radio and Television Correspondents' Association dinner.)
More recently, after reports were published on "progress" in Iraq that wasn't filtered through rose-colored glasses, grumbles of disloyalty began to echo from the White House. So which spin is true: Is the CIA disloyal to Bush, or are they responsible for all of Bushнs lies - I mean, well-intentioned misstatements - about what we would find in Iraq?
Or, perhaps, is the CIA just the latest whipping boy of a regime grimly determined to carry out their own far-right priorities, no matter what the facts are? Goss himself has demonstrated impressive hypocrisy in his own remarks about the CIA. Despite whining about leaks unfavorable to the Republican party line, Goss was utterly dismissive of the ongoing investigation into who leaked the name of Valerie Plame, an undercover CIA agent who had the temerity to be married to former Ambassador Joseph Wilson.
You will recall that, after Bush inserted the "Iraq's buying yellowcake from Niger, let's go invade" line in his State of the Union speech, Wilson had the temerity to announce publicly that he, along with several other investigators, had told Bush months before that speech that no such transaction existed. Plame's exposure as an agent was a clear and deliberate retaliation for Wilson's speaking out. It put her and everyone she worked with as an agent in danger. Yet Goss poo-poohed the smear as "wild allegations," and told a newspaper reporter that if he had a "blue dress and some DNA," that would be a real matter for the government to investigate.
So Goss' first steps as Director seem to be purging anyone from the ranks who does not agree with his well-reasoned assessment that the CIA should be more concerned with proving that Democratic politicians have extramarital sex than with protecting the United States from further terrorist horrors. Scores of career intelligence officers have been fired, and more are being driven to resign.
In their places, Goss is importing political hacks from his days in the House of Representatives. With our new "win the hearts and minds of Islam by raiding mosques" campaign in Iraq, Osama will have a very difficult time sneaking some of those 100 missing suitcase nukes from the old Soviet Union past the CIA now.
There seems little question that the CIA needs reform, from the top downward, if only because of its miserable record in dealing with terrorism. But replacing officers with decades of experience with partisan agents whose only expertise is in savaging Democrats is throwing our first line of defense out of the frying pan and into the fire.
A rich boy who dodged service in Vietnam by having his Congressman Daddy wangle a cushy stateside national guard slot won re-election by casting a man who volunteered to serve in combat, doing so heroically, as a coward and a liar. Osama must think Americans are stupid. Let's not prove him right, again, by turning the CIA into another unit in Rove's Legion of Liars.
Copyright © 2004 Raw Story Media. All rights reserved.
Dec 14th, 2004 9:23 PM #2
If that is true that this person was not doing their job then they deserve it. However, if this person was doing their job and its proven that they were asked to misrepresent the facts I doubt a demoncrat had anything to do with it in either case.
I would agree though that they tend to jump on the Bush bashing bandwagon more often to look like heroes.
Dec 14th, 2004 10:52 PM #3
Bush is surrounding himself with loyalists
By Janet Hook and Warren Vieth
Los Angeles Times
November 18, 2004
WASHINGTON -- Only long-time loyalists need apply.
That's the signal President Bush is sending as he assembles a second-term Cabinet.
The personnel changes he has announced will install some of his closest advisers from the White House and his years as Texas governor atop key Cabinet departments.
That is a clear sign that Bush will continue -- and perhaps intensify -- a leadership style that emphasizes personal loyalty, secrecy and reliance on advisers with whom he has a long-time personal bond.
Republicans close to the White House say that reflects the president's determination to act aggressively on his second-term priorities and to reinforce the storied discipline of a White House where internal disputes have been kept largely from public view. The appointments also could consolidate Bush's power, solidify his conservative agenda and reduce the possibility that Cabinet agencies might undercut administration policy.
"There is likely to be even more cohesion in effort and message than in the first four years -- and there was considerable cohesion in the first four," said Nicholas Calio, who was Bush's first director of legislative affairs. "It strengthens his hand over the Cabinet departments, which can always spin out of control."
Some find fault
Some critics and nonpartisan analysts say that Bush risks exacerbating one of the perceived pitfalls of his first term: His apparently limited tolerance for dissent, which some critics say contributed to poor planning for the stabilization and reconstruction of Iraq.
"He is not appointing anyone thus far who is noted for disagreeing with him -- just the opposite," said Lee Hamilton, a former Democratic House member from Indiana and co-chairman of the commission that investigated intelligence failures leading up to Sept. 11, 2001. "He is appointing people who built their career in support of his priorities and his views. At this point, you have to have some question as to how much he's going to reach out."
Bush promised to reach out to adversaries after his election.
White House spokesman Scott McClellan on Wednesday rejected suggestions that Bush was choosing new Cabinet secretaries who would affirm his existing policy preferences instead of presenting him with new options.
The president is selecting "strong-minded people with broad experience who will come in and tell him what he needs to know, whether it's something that's positive or something that's negative," McClellan said.
There have been reports that Bush might offer a Cabinet post to a Democrat, such as moderate Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska. But he did not reach outside the White House inner circle to fill the three Cabinet posts he has acted on so far, at the departments of State, Justice and Education. Bush's announcement Wednesday that he wanted domestic policy adviser Margaret Spellings to take the place of Education Secretary Rod Paige was the latest example of an inside choice.
Spellings had a big role in drafting Bush's first-term school improvement initiative, No Child Left Behind, but her relationship with the president goes back much further. She served as his political director when he ran for governor in 1994 and then became his education adviser. She helped him develop state legislation embodying many of the same principles as No Child Left Behind.
White House counsel Alberto Gonzales, Bush's choice to succeed Attorney General John Ashcroft, went to work for Bush in 1995 as his gubernatorial legal counsel in Austin. Bush named him Texas' secretary of state in 1997 and a year later appointed him to the Texas Supreme Court.
Bush reached deepest of all into his inner circle to tap national security adviser Condoleezza Rice to be his nominee for secretary of State, replacing Colin Powell. Rice is so close to Bush -- both personally and in her foreign policy views -- that some consider her the president's alter ego. Some Democrats worry that the change will deprive the Cabinet of a voice such as Powell's, willing to challenge administration hawks in favor of diplomatic solutions.
"My only question is whether or not she will be willing to disagree with the president and the core group of people who conduct foreign policy," said Sen. Christopher J. Dodd, D-Conn.
More insiders possible
White House insiders also head the list of likely replacements for other Cabinet officials who may depart. Medicare chief Mark McClellan is considered a potential replacement for Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson. Homeland security adviser Frances Townsend is a possible successor to Homeland Security Secretary Thomas Ridge. And Bush economic adviser Stephen Friedman is said to be a potential replacement for U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick.
Dec 14th, 2004 11:05 PM #4
If I was president, I would choose people that were like-minded as well. However, if there are threats going about if one does not fully support every molecule of agenda, it does no one or this country any good to have a cabinet full of "yes men".
Having someone with a difference of opinion is always good if done diplomatically. They can play devils advocate for the cause by opening up debate points not considered and balance things out.
Dec 18th, 2004 2:08 AM #5
Bush AGAIN Calls for New World Order
Free Press International
The Washington Post (WP) wrote, "President Bush yesterday challenged international leaders to create a new world order, declaring pre-September 11 multilateralism outmoded and asserting that freedom from terrorism will come only through pre-emptive action against enemies of democracy".
The title of the WP story is, "Bush Calls For New World Order; Strikes Against Enemies of Democracy".
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