Wednesday, May 10, 2006


CIA - Reax on Kappes

There is a little concern from some of my readers of the report that former DDO Steve Kappes coming back on board to take the deputy position under Hayden when he is confirmed. The concern is mostly about his "reported" run in with Goss back in 2004, when Kappes refused the order from Goss to reassign Mike Sullick that resulted in Kappes resigning.

Stephen Hayes of The Weekly Standard covered it at the time here.

"One significant leak landed on the front page of the New York Times on September 16, 2004. Prospects for success in Iraq, the CIA assessed, ranged from bleak to grim. The story and its timing coincided nicely with the Kerry campaign's effort to paint postwar Iraq as Vietnam-in-the-desert. Then in October, less than two weeks after Goss was confirmed, "past and current agency officials" sabotaged Goss's pick to be CIA executive director, in what Bush administration figures considered a brushback pitch. Those agency officials revealed to Washington Post reporter Walter Pincus that Michael Kostiw, a respected former CIA official and immediate past staff director of the House terrorism subcommittee, had been arrested for shoplifting in 1981 and subsequently resigned from the CIA. "He is one of the brightest minds in the intelligence community," a senior Bush administration national security official told me months before Goss was nominated. Kostiw withdrew from consideration for the CIA job one day after the leak.

So it's no wonder that Goss was upset about leaks. Murray had told the associate deputy director of counterterrorism that the new agency leadership would not tolerate media leaks. This person reported the conversation to Michael Sulick, associate deputy CIA director for operations. Sulick, in turn, alerted his boss, Stephen Kappes, deputy CIA director for operations, and a meeting between Sulick, Kappes, Murray, and Goss was hastily arranged. Goss participated in most of the tense meeting. After he left, however, according to a source familiar with the confrontation, Murray reiterated the warning about leaks. Sulick took the advice as a threat and, calling Murray "a Hill puke," threw a stack of papers in his direction.

The following day, Goss summoned Kappes to discuss the altercation. Goss told Kappes that such behavior is unacceptable at his CIA and ordered Kappes to reassign Sulick to a post outside of the building. Goss suggested making Sulick the CIA station chief in New York City. Kappes refused to reassign Sulick and told Goss that he would resign if Sulick were removed from his post. Goss told Kappes to resign, and Kappes told Goss he intended to take the matter to the White House."

Heh...truth hurts eh Sulick?

It's no doubt that Sulick was a media darling during the 2004 election, and quite frankly not a fan of George Bush. Porter was right to bring him to the carpet. But associations in the agency run thicker than family and when push came to shove Kappes stood with his 'man'.

But what about Kappes? Was he a former rat who is now coming back on board? In a word - yes.

According to this by Roger Simon, back in 2004, Kappes was one of the primo leakers during the 2004 election.

But why? Frankly, outside of taking the CNN article (choke!) at face value, this might just be a move of the WH to 'smooth' the SIC and thus ensure a smooth (or at least as smooth as possible) confirmation. If so you can bet that Kappes will be read the riot act by Negroponte, who is pushing for the authority to rip retired spooks of their pensions will no doubt let him know - one leak and your ass is grass.

I know that most people are sucking into the MSM's (and even some so-called conservative commentators who want to be MSM) bitch-fest painting Goss as the 'loose cannon' who caused all those experienced and dedicated CIA guys and gals to quit. It's hilarious to read The Times, the WAPO bemoan the damage to their beloved CIA, when in fact all they give a crap about is the loss of the leaking bastard sources they used over the years to bash the White House. the thinking of the media.... that now that the wicked warlock is gone it's "All Clear" for Kappes to return?

I have to admit I find this intriguing, but don't get Rep. Curt Weldon started. In his book Countdown to Terror He has nothing good to say about "that lying bastard".

I'm going to be digging a little bit more today on it, so keep checking in, but for now, I wouldn't be "too concerned". Why? Because make no mistake, Hayden is going to continue the mission of getting things in order - Kappes or no Kappes.

NOTE: More on the Kappes/Sulick/Leaks background is covered by Newsmax in this article.

UPDATE: Just for a little intrigue, lets go back to this article, about the Kappes, Sulick, Goss meeting where we obtain "fly on the wall" status:

"When the head of counterintelligence - whose name cannot be published under US law - refused to pursue the leakers last week, the No 2 in the directorate of operations, Michael Sulick, was ordered to fire her, according to well-informed sources.

When he refused, his boss, Stephen Kappes, was ordered to step in. Mr Kappes refused and after a weekend showdown both he and Mr Sulick resigned on Monday."

Now I wonder if the "her" was this "her", because if it was "her", it would be very interesting - yes indeed.

UPDATE: Another interesting tidbit. I'm tracking down that former "head of counterterrorism" who, went on to run the NCS, known only as "Jose" - who refused to persue leakers. There is a key here but I won't be able to connect the dots until I know.

As a side, his replacement was none other than Robert Grenier who had no problem talking to Libby about Wilson's trip.

Hey! Did I tell you it was going to be a BANG of a Summer?

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