CIA Director Porter Goss Resigns
BREAKING NEWS: CIA Director Porter Goss has resigned, President Bush announced today. (CNN)
Update: AP adds a little more.
CIA Director Porter Goss has resigned, President Bush said Friday. Bush called Goss’ tenure one of transition. “He has led ably,” Bush said from the Oval Office. Goss, a former member of Congress, has “helped make this country a safer place,” Bush said. “We’ve got to win the war on terror.”
Said Goss: “I would like to report to you that the agency (CIA) is back on a very even keel and sailing well.”
No word yet on whether Goss quit (to “spend more time with my family” or some other reason) or was pushed out as part of the so-called shake-up being initiated by new Chief of Staff Josh Bolton.
Update 2: Chris Wallace of Fox News (television, no link) just indicated that he had spoken with someone inside the White House that gave him the strong impression this was Bolton’s doing.
The evolving AP story, as reported by WaPo with a 2:18 timestamp, also makes that assertion: “It was the latest move in a second-term shake-up of President Bush’s team.”
Update 3: Perhaps needless to say but I’ll say it anyway: One would hope something as important as the CIA Director’s job–still a big deal, even with the new National Intelligence Director structure–would be outside Bolton’s purview. Goss has ruffled a lot of feathers since taking over at CIA but the moves he’s made (that I’m aware of) are in the right direction.
WaPo’s William Branigan has been unable to gain any useful insights, either. NYT’s David Stout offers only that, “while there was no immediate suggestion that Mr. Goss had been pushed out, his departure comes soon after the new White House chief of staff, Joshua Bolten, told members of the administration that, if they were thinking of leaving by the end of the year, they should leave sooner than that.”
Maybe/maybe not related: A TIME report that CIA is frustrated that their influence has been diminished with the post-9/11 reform movement.
Ever since John Negroponte was appointed Director of National Intelligence a year ago and given the task of coordinating the nation’s myriad spy agencies, he has been diluting the power and prestige of the best known of them all, the Central Intelligence Agency. From day one, he supplanted the CIA Director as the President’s principal intelligence adviser, in charge of George W. Bush’s daily briefing. Other changes followed, all originating in the law that created the DNI — and all traumatic for CIA fans. But now, in a little noticed move, Negroponte is signaling that he is moving still more responsibility from the CIA to his own office, including control over the analysis of terrorist groups and threats.