The Los Angeles Times' Ed Chen perfectly descriptive lead: "Rep. Porter J. Goss almost certainly will win approval by the Senate as CIA director, but reaction to his nomination on Capitol Hill suggested Tuesday that the confirmation process could be like a visit to the dentist — quick but painful." LINK
Nice Demo op job planting lots of anti-Kerry, anti-CIA quotes in the media re: Mr. Goss, which serves, among other goals, to stir up anxiety within the CIA about the prospect of an insider-outsider taking over.
The New York Times ' David Sanger writes: "In the last two months Mr. Goss has engendered considerable ill will within the very organization he has been tapped to lead, by declaring in a committee report in June that the C.I.A. has been 'ignoring its core mission' and was in 'dysfunctional denial of any need for corrective action.'" LINK
The Wall Street Journal 's David Cloud wraps Goss nomination, Noting that "If Mr. Goss is confirmed, Mr. Bush can claim that as another step forward, while getting an ally who shares his cautious approach to intelligence reform."
Interestingly, one of Mr. Goss' most vociferous critics is uber-neocon Michael Ledeen, who wrote in The Corner yesterday, "I think it's a terrible choice. Not because it will be controversial (Rockefeller's opposition actually speaks well of Goss, in my view at least), but because CIA badly needs an outsider, not someone who is part of the failed culture. And Goss is an insider. First he worked at the failed Agency. Then he worked at the failed oversight committee in Congress."
With apologies to Bo Jones, here are four must-read graphs from the Allen/Pincus article in today's Post:
"Administration officials said the White House calculated that the president could not lose: Democrats would either cave when faced with a fight, or Bush could accuse them of obstructing CIA stability at a time when the nation is under threat of a terrorist attack." LINK
"Republican officials said the White House is also worried by polls showing erosion in Bush's image as commander in chief after Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) endorsed, more than a week before Bush, a reorganization of the intelligence services recommended by the commission investigating the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001."
"A Republican political operative, who requested anonymity because of participation in the party's regular conference calls, said the president turned back to Goss because 'poll data showed Kerry had closed the gap with Bush on handling of terrorism and was slightly ahead as fit to be commander in chief.' The operative also said polls showed the president's embrace of the commission's suggestion for a new intelligence director 'was not understood by the public.' Goss had to be named 'to show Bush was moving ahead.'"
"Officials in both parties said Bush's calculations about the outcome of the confirmation process are likely to prove correct."
The New York Times ' ed board isn't happy with the choice, arguing that "Nominating a new candidate for the old, unreformed job of director of central intelligence, as President Bush did yesterday, is not the logical or appropriate place to start" intelligence reform. LINK
Here's what one former committee staffer had to say about the nomination: LINK