|This article appears in the September 10, 2004 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
CIA Nominee Goss's Lies
Threaten National Security
by Michele Steinberg
On Aug. 3, in a strategic study of intelligence reform, released by LaRouche PAC, former Democratic presidential primary candidate Lyndon LaRouche, wrote, "The fact that there are some rather large loopholes in the present organization of the U.S.A.'s intelligence-security-system, is no excuse for the current tendency to plunge, stupidly and recklessly, into rushed efforts to create an intelligence "czar." Idiot! Get your fat foot off that gas pedal! There is no need to rush into surrendering the powers of government to some alleged superman. The U.S. does not need a Heinrich Himmler."
"In fact," LaRouche continued, "our nation does not have any need for the re-election of that pathetic George W. Bush who proposes that, he, now, shall create the Great Golem of national security, the man of mud, to save us all.... Better leave the decisions about intelligence reorganization to the leadership of a new President, until a new day, come January 2005, after the completed work of the "9/11 Commission" has dealt with those most crucial issues not yet touched upon by its presently uncompleted investigation."
Yet, on Aug. 27, President George W. Bush floored the gas pedal and signed four executive orders governing the CIA and national intelligence collection, which vastly increase the power of the Director of the CIA, creating in effect, an interim National Director of Intelligencewho will be his nominee for CIA Director, Rep. Porter Goss (R-Fla.), the former head of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI). Goss has functioned for the past three years as a hit-man for Dick Cheney, in protecting the neo-conservative cabal that runs between the Office of the Vice President and the Pentagon, where it is headed by Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, and Doug Feith.
These new powers make it imperative to block the confirmation of Goss as CIA director.
Under the new Bush Executive Orders, Goss would be in charge not only of the CIA, but also of intelligence allocations of the Defense Department's major agencies, including the Defense Intelligence Agency, and the massive National Security Agency, making him the equivalent of the "intelligence czar." Not only are Washington critics of the Iraq war wary that Goss would continue to mold intelligence to the policy wishes of warmonger Cheney, but they consider Goss's appointment to the position of "national director of intelligence" to be highly dangerous. As the record shows, not only has Goss gone along with Cheney's imperial war plans, he has been an accomplice of the Cheney networks that are responsible for the worst intelligence abuses since the Iran-Contra scandals that forced then-President Ronald Reagan to "clean house," at the National Security Council, and which led to the indictments of NSC chief, John Poindexter, his deputy Robert McFarlane, then-State Dept. Assistant Secretary Elliot Abrams, NSC staffer Oliver North, former Deputy Undersecretary of Defense General Dick Secord (Ret.), and many others. Iran-Contra was the worst set of offenses since Watergate, but President Ronald Reagan, unlike Richard Nixon, made a show of cleaning house. This time around, says John Dean, the former White House counsel who was inside Nixon's Watergate debacle, the Administration abuses that started the Iraq war are worse than Watergate.
Could Goss Be Confirmed?
Hearings are slated to begin on Sept. 8, according to Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kansas), head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and so far, the Democratic leadership of the House and Senate is headed towards giving Porter Goss a "free pass." It would be as grave an error, and threat to civil liberties of Americans, for Democrats to confirm Goss, as was the confirmation of John Ashcroft in January 2001, when enough votes existed to block the nomination through a filibuster.
There is serious opposition to the Goss nomination. Sen. John D. Rockefeller III, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, is opposed to the nominationfor good reason. Rockefeller said in a July 14 article in the popular Washington journal The Hill, that, "We need a director that is ... unquestionably independent.... [A]n individual with unimpeachable non-partisan national security credentials and the stature to bring about a much needed reform of our intelligence agencies." Former CIA Director, George Tenet, has said that any attempt to "rewire" the intelligence community in the aftermath of the report of the 9/11 Commission which found that there were many warningsbefore Sept. 11about a threatened attack by Osama Bin Laden, would only cause more harm to the counter-terrorism effort. And, Sen. Roberts himself, who is now in a mad rush to not only confirm Goss, but to introduce legislation that would rip apart the CIAthe only intelligence collection agency that actually consistently opposed the Cheney cabal's "evidence" that Iraq was an imminent threathad said, in a July 14 interview with The Hill, that he agreed with Rockefeller that "we ought to be very deliberate and very careful."
With more than a half-dozen still incomplete investigations into the misuse of intelligence, the leaking of secrets, and the abuse of power by the Administration in the run-up to the Iraq war, and federal grand juries looking into the leaking of secret information to Iran and to Israel, and another set of grand juries looking into illegal profiteering by Dick Cheney's Halliburton company, and its subsidiary, KBR, this is no time to sweep Porter Goss's complicity in the Cheney coup d'etat, under the rug.
Unfit to Serve
Appointing Porter Goss as CIA director is bad enough, but allowing him to become the interim "intelligence czar" as well, is an even greater threat to national security of the United States. Most of the intelligence abuses by the CIA and intelligence community, identified by the 9/11 Commission investigation occurred during Goss's watch as Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. But not only was Goss an ineffective and dishonest watchdog, he also has been an accomplice in the Cheney-Pentagon cabal's crimes. These include: using deception to terrify the American population and Congress about a danger from Iraq's nonexistent weapons of mass-destruction; using Pentagon cubby-holes to set up units that would fabricate through "re-analysis," an accusation that Iraq and Saddam Hussein were behind the 9/11 irregular warfare attacks; using the Pentagon to launch illegal covert operations to destabilize, and begin undeclared U.S. wars against, Syria and Iran; and the latest scandal being investigatedthe unauthorized distribution of a top-secret policy discussion paper to agents of Israel.
There is no question that Goss is unfit to serve, and the damage he has done to the intelligence community of the United States goes way backat least 8 yearseven before Goss became Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.
One of the first areas that should be explored about Goss is his cozy relationship to Newt Gingrich's powerful political action committee, GOPAC, and whether Goss blocked a broad inquiry into Gingrich's financial affairs.
In 1996, the Sarasota (Fla.) Herald-Tribune, Goss's "hometown" newspaper, reported that it was widely believed that Goss had a "conflict of interest" when he became head of the House Ethics Subcommittee, investigating Gingrich's misuse of tax exempt funds. GOPAC, the multi-million dollar organization that was at the center of Gingrich's fascist policy machine, was one of the major subjects of the investigation, and Goss was a GOPAC crony. The Sarasota newspaper reported that in 1994, Goss, a Connecticut "blueblood," had in fact contributed the maximum amount allowed$5,000, and that Goss had deep family ties to GOPAC's nominal founder, "Pete" DuPont, a Gingrich co-thinker who had run for the Republican Presidential nomination in 1992. DuPont's parents are Porter Goss's godparents, and "Pete's" sister, Michelle DuPont, is married to Porter's brother.
When calls went out for Goss to remove himself from the Gingrich investigation, he adamantly refused, insisting that his involvement with Gingrich and GOPAC in no way compromised his ability to investigate Newt. Goss also insisted that his ties to GOPAC did not meet the "severe" Congressional test of a true conflict of interest. But the Congressional Accountability Project, a watchdog organization, strongly disagreed; its director, Gary Ruskin, warned that Goss's control over the committee, its staff, and his "power over questioning" would undermine "any confidence" the public could have in the investigation. Gingrich survived the potentially fatal investigation, after the committee chief investigator rejected a petition by then-Congressman David Bonior (D-Mich.) to broaden the investigation into all of GOPAC's activities.
Following Newt's unsurprising survival, and in the midst of the Ethics Subcommittee investigation, Gingrich awarded Goss with a high honor: He appointed him chairman of the powerful House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
Goss's next claim to fame was a vicious attack, in 1996, on Sen. John Kerry's Senate investigation of the involvement in narcotics trafficking of the Nicaragua rebel force, known as the "Contras." The charges that Kerry had investigated, later resurfaced along with new evidence in 1996, after a series of articles in the San Jose Mercury exposed the fact that convicted California crack cocaine-traffickers had been leaders in the Nicaraguan rebel group, the FDN, and part of Ollie North's and the NSC's secret Contra support operations.
Appearing on a CNN talk show hosted by Jesse Jackson, Goss attacked Senator Kerry, and President Bill Clinton, with a vengeance, using two techniques that have become his hallmark: First, he lies that no evidence exists, when it clearly does, and second, he denounces the charges as "partisan," and "politically motivated" electioneering.
The transcript of the Sept. 30, 1996 CNN show, "Both Sides," has Goss, backed up by Tucker Carlson, the neo-con clown who writes for the Weekly Standard, jumping down the throat of Prof. John Newman, an historian from the University of Maryland, over the Kerry Committee's findings:
Goss: ...Senator John Kerry in the mid '80s conducted quite an expensive investigation and came up with absolutely no evidence. And despite repeated attempts before then and since then, nobody has come up with any hard facts....
Carlson: ...My point is that no evidence has ever arisen that shows the CIA condoned drug dealing of any kind.
Newman: That's not true. And furthermore, Senator Claiborne Pell and Senator Lugar, who asked for information from the CIA and from the Justice Dept., were denied that information. That's in the record. You can read it for yourself. Don't trust me. Get the Kerry report and find out for yourself how they were stonewalled....
Goss: You don't have the facts. That's your problem.
Newman: I'm not going to prejudgeI have lots of facts.
Goss: You have innuendo. You have supposition. You are trying to stretch something that doesn't quite stretch. I would suggest that you look to why the motive and the timing of this now. There are many who say that this is happening because the drug problem in this country is bad. It has gotten worse under the Clinton Administration. And this is just a diversion to take attention away from the failure of the Clinton Administration in the war on drugs.
Prof. Newman was right about the Kerry report, "Drugs, Law Enforcement, and Foreign Policy," filed in December 1988, and Goss was dead wrong. The evidence of drug trafficking by Contra members, guerrillas, and pilots is all over the Kerry report's several volumes. Two excerpts from the final report suffice:
On July 24, 1986, the State Dept. issued a report to Congress concerning allegations in the press about drug-running by the Contra resistance. The State Dept. said, "...the available evidence points to involvement with drug traffickers by a limited number of persons having various kinds of affiliations with, or political sympathies for, the resistance groups....
"A year later, in August 1987, the CIA's Central American Task Force Chief became the first U.S. official to revise that assessment to suggest instead that the links between the Contras ... to narcotics trafficking was in fact far broader than that acknowledged by the State Dept....
"Appearing before the Iran-Contra Committees, the CIA Central American Task Force chief testified: 'With respect to [drug trafficking by] the Resistance Forces ... it is not a couple of people. It is a lot of people.'
"The CIA's Chief of the Central American Task Force went on to say: 'We knew that everybody around Pastora [the leading Contra figure] was involved in cocaine.... His staff and friends [redacted] they were drug smugglers or involved in drug smuggling.' " (pp. 37-38).
Another section of the report says: "As DEA officials testified last July before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Lt. Col. Oliver North suggested to the DEA in June, 1985 that $1.5 million in drug money ... be provided to the Contras." The suggestion was rejected by the DEA (p. 41).
Goss's denial of such a clear public record is mind-boggling, but his "deny and attack" mode has made him a perfect extension of the neo-conservatives' conspiracy to defraud Congress and the American people.
While Goss was out to prevent an investigation of the Ollie North-Contra drug running in 1996, the following year, in 1997, Goss took the exactly opposite position, opening a bizarre national security investigation into White House mishandling of classified material. Goss claimed that the Democratic National Committee's breaking of contact with Grigory Loutchansky, a wealthy, publicly identified Russian national with reputed organized crime connections, was a case where classified information was misused. The DNC had disinvited Loutchansky from a fundraising event, and Goss demanded to know if secrets from the "intelligence community," or the "U.S. Secret Service" had been used to tip the DNC off about Loutchansky's background.
"If this disclosure actually took place, it constitutes a felony," Goss railed. "There has been a pattern of inattention to what I call access to classified information ... throughout this Administration since Day One," adding that his experience as a CIA operative made him "sensitive" to the consequences of mishandling secret intelligence data.
Goss explained, "an associate of mine was blown up in a car as a result of an indiscreet comment in Washington."
This might be a commendable concern for a candidate to head the intelligence services of the United States, except that in Goss's case, it is completely phony. Compare Goss's zeal against Clinton White House leaks to the protection racket he ran for Dick Cheney in the leak of the identity of Valerie Plame, an agent of the CIA's clandestine services.
First, Goss denounced the publicity around the Plame leak as more "partisan politics" than a "worry about national security." He went on to tell the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, in an Oct. 3, 2003 story, that he would only allow a House Committee investigation of a "serious allegation," which he said must be "a willfuland I emphasize willful, inadvertent is something elsewillful disclosure [of classified information], and I haven't seen any evidence yet." Returning to his characteristic hatred of Clinton, Goss added, "Somebody shows me a blue dress and some DNA, [and] I'll have an investigation."
The truth is that Goss blocked any public investigation of the Plame leak, as he has blocked any investigation of the Abu Ghraib torture scandals in Iraq, and the less publicized torture and killings of prisoners in Afghanistan by the U.S. military. He also blocked legislation that would have authorized an investigation into "U.S. dealings with Iraqi leader Ahmed Chalabi."
Like Dick Cheney, Goss is highly secretive, and crudely relishes political sadism. That is why he has been chosen by Cheney and Bush to be the lead attack dog against Democratic Presidential candidate John Kerry on matters of intelligence. On March 10, Goss co-authored an op-ed, attacking Kerry for "leading the way to make deep and devastating cuts" in the intelligence budget after the end of the Soviet Union. On June 1, Goss was asked by the Bush-Cheney campaign to attack Kerry's foreign policy speeches, which he did for the campaign's website.
How low would Goss grovel to get the CIA nomination? On June 23, vigorously campaigning to be the new CIA chief after Tenet's resignation, Pinocchio Goss was at it again, attacking Kerry on the House floor, by clownishly holding up a big sign with a quote from Kerry that questioned the growth of the intelligence apparatus after the end of the Cold War. "That was in May of 1997 from the record. I got books full of that stuff," Goss said. "There is no doubt where the record is. The Democratic Party did not support the intelligence community."
Another fib by omission: Goss doesn't mention his own 1995 proposal to cut a full 20% of the CIA and intelligence community allocations over the course of 5 years, at 4% per year. Goss's devastating cuts, fortunately, were never passed.
British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, speaking about intelligence work, said that the truth must be surrounded "by a bodyguard of lies." Goss's profile is that his lies are directed at the American people.