Keeping Porter Down on the Farm

The WaPo's Dafna Linzer examines Porter Goss's troubled one-year reign as CIA director, which has seen a steady stream of high-level resignations among veteran analysts and officers. It seems Goss, himself a 1960s agency operative and a fierce critic while in Congress of George Tenet's handling of terror intelligence, has a rather, uhm, idiosyncratic view of the job's demands.

In March, Goss complained during a speech that his job was overwhelming and that he was surprised by the number of hours it demanded. "The White House wasn't amused by that," one intelligence community official said. Then in June, Goss told Time magazine that he had "an excellent idea" where Osama bin Laden was but that the United States could not get him because of diplomatic sensitivities. This time, the White House and the State Department publicly disputed the remarks.

In a now-infamous e-mail to overseas station chiefs, Goss said appointments with visiting intelligence chiefs should be arranged for Tuesdays or Thursdays. The memo was apparently meant to assure station chiefs that he was setting aside extra time for important visits, but it bewildered officers in the field.

What's so bewildering? The guy needs Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays free to continue dogging bin Laden! Our favorite detail, though, is this:

A work trip to picturesque Slovenia . . . raised eyebrows, from the spy division to the legal department, officials said, because Goss, an avid organic farmer, arranged for one meeting to take place at a local organic farm.

That's right--an "avid organic farmer" is now in charge of monitoring the most sensitive information affecting American global interests. And here we just thought that slinging horseshit was merely a metaphorical requirement for the job.

A Year Later, Goss's CIA Still in Turmoil [WaPo]


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