Deputy National Intelligence Director Michael Hayden, “who has a close rapport with Vice President Cheney, has not been formally offered the job [but] is the leading candidate and the announcement is planned for Monday at the White House,” sources tell Time. Hayden’s record? He previously misled Congress about Bush’s warrantless spying program.
President Bush’s new name for the war on terror.
Minutes ago on Fox News, Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol said he doesn’t believe the White House spin that Porter Goss’ resignation had been planned for at least a few weeks.
I think there were either serious disputes or some internal problem at the agency or some scandal conceivably involving an associate of Goss’. Who knows? Something that popped this week and that caused this sudden event this Friday.
Read the full transcript: Read more
Neither President Bush nor Porter Goss gave a reason for the CIA director’s resignation. As CNN correspondent Kathleen Koch acknowledged, “We did not hear Porter Goss really explain why he is leaving now — why he’s making this choice right now.”
Of course, that didn’t stop her and other TV reporters from offering some boilerplate explanations:
“There also were obviously were these concerns about whether or not the CIA had given the Bush Administration good intelligence to make important policy decisions including those to go to war in Iraq.” [CNN]
“There could have been some concern — there very well there could have been a level of dissatisfaction on the part of CIA chief Goss that perhaps his role had been diminished.” [CNN]
“Perhaps this is in keeping with that call that White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten put out, several weeks ago [to leave now or stay through the rest of Bush's term].” [CNN]
“You think this might have to do with a sense that this was a job that he was ready for, had the skills set for, and for whatever reason he was passed over?” [CNN]
Jamie McIntyre, CNN’s senior Pentagon correspondent:
Well you know Tony we’re trying to find the story behind the story, what’s actually going on here with Porter Goss. And talking with intelligence officials here in the building, I can tell you it came as a complete surprise to them.
In fact, Porter Goss was apparently supposed to attend a regularly scheduled afternoon meeting that takes place right about this time in the afternoon. The Defense Department has representatives there and, according to sources, none of the people at that meeting had any advance word that Porter Goss was going to be tendering his resignation.
So it indicates the sudden nature that this took place, and again it just fuels the speculation of what the real backstory is here. And again, nobody here seems to know. They are all all just really surprised, they had no idea this was coming. And they’re really just wondering what was actually behind it.
Learn about the backstory HERE.
UPDATE: Goss releases a statement. Still no explanation as to why he resigned now.
UPDATE: AP has the story.
UPDATE II: We’ve put together a primer on the connection between Goss and the Cunningham scandal: Read more
“Sudan’s government and the largest Darfur rebel group agreed Friday to sign a peace plan, a top U.S. envoy said, marking major progress in an internationally backed effort to end the death and destruction in western Sudan.” The timing is critical. The U.N.’s humanitarian chief warned yesterday: “The world’s largest aid effort now hangs in the balance, unsustainable under present conditions. If we are to avoid an imminent, massive loss of life, we need immediate action””from the government of Sudan, the rebels, U.N. Security Council members and donor governments.”
Today’s media coverage of CIA veteran Ray McGovern’s tough questioning of Rumsfeld yesterday has surprisingly posed a great challenge to the media about how aggressively they would cover the episode.
To quickly recap yesterday’s events, McGovern asked Rumsfeld, “[W]hy did you lie to get us into a war that was not necessary.” When Rumsfeld protested that he did not lie, McGovern presented the evidence, saying that Rumsfeld had claimed he knew where the WMD were. And McGovern was right:
RUMSFELD: We know where [the WMD] are. They’re in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat. [ABC This Week, 3/30/03]
While the media has been quick to cover McGovern’s accusation that Rumsfeld lied, many news accounts have failed to report Rumsfeld’s own words from March 2003. The lead AP story, written by Shannon McCaffrey, fails to make any mention of it. Versions of the AP story have been reported in today’s Washington Post, Houston Chronicle, and many other papers.
ABC News: “The grand jury hearing the leak investigation case is scheduled to meet at 9:30 am ET. Special prosecutor Fitzgerald is in town for a 1:30 pm ET hearing before Judge Walton in the Libby case. The hearing will be a status conference requested by Libby’s lawyers after Fitzgerald disclosed in court papers that President Bush had authorized Libby to disclose sections of the National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq’s WMD.”
Former 27-year CIA analyst Ray McGovern courageously challenged Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld yesterday afternoon in Atlanta about his lies about Iraq’s WMD program. He was interviewed last night by CNN’s Paula Zahn. Watch it:
The media is framing McGovern’s tough questioning as the act of a “hostile war critic.” CNN’s Paula Zahn took that approach, posing leading questions that criticized McGovern while defending Rumsfeld. Salon’s War Room points us to some of the ‘fair and balanced’ questions Zahn had for McGovern:
Did you go to this speech today with the intent of challenging Secretary Rumsfeld?
How much of an ax do you have to grind with Secretary Rumsfeld?
Donald Rumsfeld encouraged whoever I think had their hands on you at the time to let you stay there. Does he get any credit for that today?
McGovern ably defended himself, educating Zahn that this was “not a matter of axes to grind. It’s a matter of telling the truth. And we pledged, in my day at the CIA, to tell it without fear or favor, to tell it like it is. And, when I see that corrupted, that is the real tragedy of this whole business.”
Full transcript HERE.