Wednesday, November 24, 2004

McCain no longer a loose canon

Why is McCain providing media air-cover for Porter Goss's purge of the old guard of the CIA? One thing is for certain, there is no connection between reform of the CIA and the high-level purge of career civil servants that Goss is carrying out. Goss is after a politically subservient CIA that Bush can count on to cover his ass; Goss's actions and choice of staff, not to mention his choice of targets clearly indicate this.

This absolutely is not about the plethora of bills to restructure and reform the CIA and other US intelligence agencies sitting on desks on the Hill. McCain's own bill, which he co-sponsored with Lieberman, backs the recomendations of the 9/11 commission and sets up a central Director of Intelligence who would have budgetary authority over the entire set of intelligence agencies across agencies. Bush opposes this plan. In fact, it is not at all clear that Bush supports any reform legislation given the deadlock his Administration inspired in the House on intel reform.

So why is McCain willing to cloak Goss's political long knives in the trappings of genuine reform with his comments to the effect that the CIA is 'dysfunctional' and 'like a rogue agency'? Surely he knows that Goss's moves have everything to do with gutting political opposition within the agency and nothing to do with actual operational reform. What goals for intel reform do McCain's comments further? None.

The only conclusion is that this is another chip in the kitty which now holds an endorsement, a public hug, and a rah-rah convention speech. Add to it the betrayal of the intelligence community to the tender mercies of Porter Goss and his gang of goons. It is no coincidence that the first whisper of 2008's Republican nominee that followed Bush's re-election eminated from McCain's direction. With Bush campaign director heading the RNC, and Bush's rolodex containing all those Pioneers, McCain needs Bush's active support if he is to run successfully in 2008.

McCain may have done a public service by trying to keep the candidate's civil, though arguably his admonitions placed the candidates in a position of moral and ethical equivalency on the issue of unsavory and dishonest attacks that Bush did not deserve, but such statesmanship is all over now, I suspect. For the next four years, it looks like McCain has decided to take the low road and become Bush's bitch.

1 Comments:

At 3:09 PM, Blogger stephensedona said...

I'm not a huge fan of McCain myself. He is supporting Gross's purge to position himself for 2008

There is a major purge going on of moderates, apolitical and independent minded folks in the not only in CIA, but the State Department and Defense Departments, pretty soon they will turn to anyone they think is obstructing their environmental plans...

Lets be honest.

As the election neared insiders, members of the political establishment, (NY Times editorial indorsing Kerry with it's uncharacteristic sharp and radical tone is public example) -- privately some folks in the CIA (secret report about the dim prospects in Iraq is example), State and Defense departments started leaking info that undercut Bush's lies, about his evidence of weapons of mass destruction and all the rest. A whole series of unfavorable leaks occurred.

The insiders almost never 'do anything',whatever their personal politics, because being 'partisan' undercuts their insiders status. They want their status no matter who is running things. The Washington Post gave the Bush Presidency the soft treatment for just that reason.

But it looked like Kerry might win and some finally became alarmed about Bush and his policies. Paul Krugman in NYT has been trying to make the case that Bush and administration seriously, seriously bad for four years. Settling scores and consolidating power that's what this about. The CIA folks were no great shakes but they are being replaced by some flaky Republican partisans who are much worse.

 

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