A Close Reading of the News: Whereas the Storyline Subtly Mutates
Just a mere eight days ago, we were treated to the news of Porter Goss being summarily let go as the head of the CIA. The scuttlebutt behind this news was how incredibly rapidly it was done (Goss had no idea he was going to be fired) and how if it had been a planned resignation, the Bush administration would have had a much cleaner story. And the speculation was that Goss was getting forced out because he had refused to fire his good pal, Dusty Foggo, who was going to be rather an embarrassing figure with which to be associated very soon.
Goss' inability to handle the allegations swirling around Foggo prompted John Negroponte, the director of National Intelligence, who oversees all of the nation's spy agencies, to press for the CIA chief's ouster, the senior official said. The official said Goss is not an FBI target but "there is an impending indictment" of Foggo for steering defense contracts to his poker buddies.
Today, in a new piece in Time, it is amusing to see how things have changed in just a few days. Here's the final paragraph of the article:
It is unclear exactly what Foggo's employment status is now at the agency. Foggo's departure had been in the works even before Goss's surprise retirement announcement last week, an intelligence official tells TIME, as Goss had viewed developments in the Cunningham case "as a distraction."
So what reason are we left with on why Goss was shown the door? Soon we'll be reading that Goss' resignation had been in the works for months and that he was really a great CIA chief.
It sure would be nice to know whose reputation is being salvaged in this story, right?
Update: Friends of Foggo let Newsweek know that Foggo had been trying to save the CIA charter from the Negroponte borg.
A source sympathetic to Foggo confirmed that CIA management had asked the executive director “to carry the fight and [he] did it willingly.” The source said that during the course of the dispute, Foggo “won some battles, and that pissed [Negroponte’s office] off.” Another source close to Foggo insisted that “If it weren’t for the resources … that CIA had already provided, there wouldn’t be an NCTC. [Foggo] defended to the end the idea of having operations officers and analysts working together on counterterrorism to get the bad guys off the streets.”
According to one of Foggo’s associate, Negroponte’s office eventually became so irritated at Foggo’s position that the intel czar began pressuring Goss to get rid of Foggo, a step which Goss initially appears to have resisted. However, last Monday, the first business day after Goss and the White House announced Goss’s own departure from the CIA, Foggo sent an e-mail around the agency indicating that he, too, would soon leave.
It's amusing to see how the secret agents are now all putting their spin on the story via their leaks to selected reporters.