CIA - Make no mistake, the clean up will continue

I like Stephen H. Hayes of the Weekly Standard. Over the last few years he has writing some good stuff as far as Joe Wilson/Plame/CIA as well as blowing the lid off the Saddam documents long before any of us. But in his recent "CIA 1---Bush 0", I'm afraid that he has succumbed to the same propaganda of the MSM and even from the agency itself has, that the Bush administration has taken it on the chin and threw up the white flag. Nothing is farther from the truth.

Let's take a look:

"PORTER GOSS'S TENURE as director of central intelligence began with a public spat between the new reform-minded CIA leadership and an intransigent bureaucracy. Now, 18 months later, it is ending in a cloud of confusion. Goss is gone and so are his agents of change. Two of the CIA officials at the heart of that opening battle--Mary Margaret Graham and Stephen Kappes--have been promoted. And the old guard is happy.

"The move was seen as a direct repudiation of Goss's leadership and as an olive branch to CIA veterans disaffected by his 18-month tenure," wrote Peter Baker and Charles Babington in the Washington Post. Yet Goss had taken to the CIA the high expectations of many top Washington policymakers who work on intelligence issues.

"Porter Goss's confirmation . . . represents perhaps the most important changing of the guard for our intelligence community since 1947," the year the CIA was created, said Pat Roberts, the Kansas Republican who chairs the Senate Select Intelligence Committee, on the day Goss was confirmed. "He will be the first director of central intelligence in a new, and hopefully better, intelligence community."

And now he's gone. So what happened?

GOSS WAS SWORN IN as CIA director on September 22, 2004, two days after the Senate voted 77-17 to confirm him. Although his hearings came in the midst of a heated presidential campaign, Goss managed to win the votes of most Senate Democrats.

On September 30, Goss named Michael Kostiw, the staff director of the House Intelligence Committee's subcommittee on terrorism, executive director of the CIA. Within days, a leak to the Washington Post revealed that Kostiw had left the Agency in the early 1980s in the wake of a shoplifting incident, and he promptly withdrew from consideration.

Welcome to the CIA, Mr. Goss. Enjoy the ride."

The opening leak of Kostiw's 'incident' in the early 80's was indeed a warning shot to Porter - the first of many to come. Many have cited the return of Kappes and Graham as that so called "repudiation" to Goss's reforms, but nothing is further from the truth. First, neither Kappes or Graham were "rogue" or necessarily "old guard", as Hayes outlines.

Goss's mandate was to come in and specifcally target certain "leak" centers. In other words he "stirred up" the rat's nest. As with the incident with Kappes and Graham, it would seem that things got out of hand - but that was only the imagination of the MSM who needed to have that in design in order to protect their "source farm" within the agency. Trust me there as actually people at the agency very glad that someone came to rid it of the chaff.

Hayes continues...

"It remains unclear why the White House would think that the selection of Kappes, who left the CIA after his public dispute with Goss, might reassure members of Congress, especially Republicans, eager to reform the Agency. Former colleagues say that Kappes is a smart and savvy veteran of the Agency's operations side. He is not, however, a reformer. They describe Kappes as an ardent, sometimes reflexive, defender of the CIA bureaucracy.

Harman was not the only one happy about Kappes's return to the CIA. "It's a phenomenal choice," said A.B. "Buzzy" Krongard, a former executive director of the CIA, replaced by Goss, in an interview with the Washington Post: "It's an admission that it was a big mistake for Goss to bring in the people he did and let them loose with no adult supervision."

ABC News investigative reporter Brian Ross, guest-hosting the Charlie Rose show Monday night, interviewed former deputy CIA director John McLaughlin. Ross said that people he had spoken with "said that the selection of Kappes indicated the purge that Porter Goss had attempted was over, that it was back to business as usual as it had been 20 months ago." Ross asked McLaughlin: "Is that accurate?"

McLaughlin praised Kappes and replied, "Yeah, I think--I think that's basically an accurate assessment."

So it's business as usual at the CIA. The White House took on the Agency. And the Agency won."

First, Kappes's return is a blessing for Kappes and it acually behooved him to come back on board. It is widely known that legislation has already passed the house that would allow Negroponte to block the pensions of leakers. I would say that is a very strong motivation to return.

It is my understanding that Kappes has been read the riot act and will be VERY cooperative with administration efforts to continue the sweep, and to work - as it were - with a clean slate. This is also true for Graham who after the riff went to work directly under Negroponte.

Secondly as I've noted here, Brian Ross himself has come under a bit of suspicion of late and in my opinion he's running interference, especially since he was interviewing Mr. "Rogue Agency? We ain't no stinking rogue agency" McLaughlin. Talk about Judas interviewing the Devil. Give me a break!

So while the Agency might have appeared to have won, but is more of a simple brilliance of the the plan to out even more leakers. Just imagine how things can get 'relaxed' and "back to normal", like it was before 9/11.

No Steve, It's not the end of the fight, just going into the final rounds.

UPDATE: caught AG Alberto Gonzale's correct assertion that yes reporters are eligiable for the big house too.

Well! Fire one!