Porter Goss and George W. Bush

Shortly after the announcement of the result of the US presidential elections, the “elected” president George W. Bush gave the two orders that he had refrained: to review the people’s resistance in Faluya (Iraq) and to purge the CIA. In a harsh editorial, the Wall Street Journal said: President Bush is fighting two insurrections; one in Iraq and the other one in the CIA.

While the horde of the coalition raided house per house in the martyr city, Porter Goss, new director of the Central Intelligence Agency, met with his main subordinates in his office. Those who accepted to alienate from the neoconservative standards would remain in their posts, the rest were revoked. In a few days, more than 90 senior officers of the CIA were removed or resigned from their posts. It was the greatest political “cleaning” made in the agency since the crisis in 1961.

At that time, the CIA director, Allen W. Dulles, had used false information to get the approval from President John F. Kennedy for landing on Bay of Pigs. What should have been the glorious liberation of Cuba by the exile was no nothing but a raid of mercenaries that turned out to be a fiasco. Kennedy forced Dulles to resign and entrusted his successor, John A. McCone the assignment of cleaning the agency. Several officials were removed, among them, the director of operations and chief of the stay-behind network [1], Richard M. Bissell.

The Combined Headquarters, deeply involved in the failed manipulation, could escape from the decapitation thanks to the Southeast Asian crisis. Kennedy prohibited General Lyman L. Lemnitzer from launching an offensive in Laos, but allowed for a greater involvement of the United States in Viet Nam. The officials, who were not loyal to the CIA and extreme right-wing generals under Lemnitzer, later devised a plot against President Kennedy. So far, it is unknown whether they actually carried out their plan or others did it before them.

Today, it is all the way around. Instead of punishing the CIA for manipulation, the White House imposes a sanction on it for not participating in its own maneuvers aimed at justifying the invasion on Iraq. However, the consequences are the same: the excluded ones will definitely end up getting together to act against the president. The only thing is that this time, Mr. Bush, less scrupulous than Mr. Kennedy, could take the initiative to neutralize them.

The Beginning of Hostilities Between the CIA and the White House

It all started a year ago. On July 6, 2003, the New York Times published an editorial about Ambassador Joseph Wilson confirming an information published by Los Angeles Times daily paper. The Department of State had entrusted Wilson to carry out an investigation in Niger that had to do with a possible shipment of uranium to Iraq, and Wilson had found nothing. His report had been sent to the White House but it was ignored, to the extend that President Bush personally had wrongly mentioned in a TV speech the purchase of uranium from Niger by Saddam Hussein. The publication of Wilson’s report was then a tough blow for the neoconservatives that, among other pretexts, had used this one to justify the invasion on Iraq.

On July 14, the neoconservative editorialist of the Chicago Sun and CNN Robert Novak accused Ambassador Wilson of carrying out a political maneuver and revealed that, according to a White House source, his wife, Valerie Plame, was a CIA agent.

A terrible mess came up then. The CIA director, Robert Tenet, reactivated a law that had been used only on one occasion to silence former CIA agent Philip Agee, and made a denunciation for the disclosure of the identity of an active agent. The Secretary of Justice John Ascroft was kept out of the case and Patrick Fitzgerald, a special attorney brought from Chicago, was appointed to handle the case in Washington.

Journalist Robert Novak refused to reveal his source in the White House, although the media had mentioned it was the political advisor to president Bush, Karl Rove. The issue began to make news again with the accusation of the top journalist of the New York Times, Judith Miller, for being personally involved in the disclosure of such information, although she had not published anything on the issue. Mrs. Miller played, however, an important role in the dissemination of false information of the neoconservatives about the imaginary existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq [2].

Throughout the year, tensions between the CIA and the White House continued to increase. In the hearings of the parliamentary commissions, the responsible ones of the agency did not hesitate to denounce the falsification of their reports by Cheney’s clan. They denounced the use of intelligence information for political interests and tried to give a coup de grace with the report from their Inspection Group in Iraq that showed that Saddam Hussein did not have weapons of mass destruction since 1991.

James Pavit

However, it is only possible to understand that conflict by observing what actually was at stake when the secret activities of Valerie Plame were disclosed. As a consequence, the dispute “burned out” the association Brewster, Jennings & Associates, where Mrs. Plame worked and used as a cover. This cabinet served as advisor to the Saudi oil company ARAMCO and was especially through it that the CIA monitored the US interests in Saudi Arabia. This means that the CIA has not been aware of what has actually been going on in the royal family for a year Mrs. Plame depended directly on the CIA director of Operations, James L. Pavitt.

Contrary to the general opinion, the Bushes, although they have business with the Saudi, do not depend on them but they have their own informers within the royal family and use some of the princes against the rest. The Bushes have in Saudi Arabia their own private intelligence service, Kellog Brown & Root (KBR) [3]. On the other hand, it should not be forgotten that Bush senior was CIA director before being the president of the United States. By closing the information channel of the agency in Saudi Arabia, the White House could come up with any initiative for its own interests, even behind the back of its own administration.

Since a year ago, the agency has been repeatedly sabotaging the antiterrorist policy of George W. Bush and questioning the personal ties of the president with the royal Saudi family. An important moment for that campaign was the publication, in the midst of the anniversary of the scandal Wilson-Plame, of the Imperial Hubris, an anonymous criticism whose author appeared however, always against the light, in several TV shows and was, therefore, quickly identified [4].

It was about Mike Scheuer, the director of the CIA group in charge for more than 10 years of the surveillance on Osama Bin Laden. The message sent by Scheuer to his compatriots could be summed up as follows: the Muslim world does not envy our way of living, it hates us for our Israeli-centrist policy in the Middle East; the war on terror is a strategic mistake; we have to turn, with all means, against the Saudis.

The Purge

After having forced director George Tenet to resign, President Bush then appointed Porter Goss Republican representative of the State of Florida [5]. The real intentions of Mr. Goss do not have to do absolutely anything with what he himself wrote in the report of the Permanent Commission of the House of Representatives about the mistakes made by the intelligence services before and after September 11.

According to our information, Porter Goss came to the CIA with well-defined goals:

 Reorganizing the agency under a political loyalty criterion towards the Bush-Cheney clan and hampering all kinds of public statements, especially regarding September 11.
 Developing the operations directorate with four objectives: to control the energy resources of the Gulf and to remold the Middle East. To neutralize the European Union dismantling the coalition made up by France and Germany. To reestablish a quarantine line around Russia and to destabilize it.

Paving the Way for a Confrontation with China

Initially, Porter Goss chose as executive director Michael V. Kostiw, former vice-president of Chevron-Texaco [6], but had to resign after the disclosure of certain mistakes as youngster, although was given anyway the post of special advisor.

Porter Goss was surrounded especially with his old parliamentary collaborators, well known by their supportive attitude, particularly with Patrick Murray (chief of staff) and Jay Jakub (special assistant for operations and analysis).

Goss began to fire personally Mike Scheuer, the talkative author of the Imperial Hubris [7], before focusing on the hierarchy and blowing up the CIA chain of command. In the running off, the former second in command of George Tenet, John E. McLaughin, who had been in charge of the transition of the general direction during that summer, resigned. Two of his collaborators did the same after him, among them, the spokesman of the agency [8].

The heart of the conflict crystallized then around the operations directorate. This branch of the agency did not perform any intelligence work, but handled dirty maneuvers. It was the one that absorbed the stay-behind networks created in the allied States by the end of the Second World War to ensure loyalty by their political leaders. Porter Goss himself is a former responsible of such directorate and was involved, at the shadow of the Bush, in the reactivation of the old networks of the cold war.

According to the daily The Washington Post [9], the last four operation directors (Thomas Twetten, Jack Doping, Richard F. Stolz and, of course, James L. Pawitt) went to Porter Goss’s office to try to convince him that the directorate should not be politicized.

Richard Lawless (to the left) during a recent trip to South Korea

But it was useless. Actually, the operations director, Stephen R. Kappes, and his deputy, Michael Sulick, were informed that they had one day to pick up their stuff, return their access documents to Langley and definitively leave the headquarters of the agency.

The appointments are as quickly as the dismissals, which show that the purge was set up long ago. However, the appointment of the next operations director has become a symbol. The most likely candidate seems to be Richard P. Lawless Jr., a former special assistant to William J. Casey, who is a business partner that the governor of Florida Jeb Bush has in Taiwan. Besides, he is today a member of the team of Donald Rumsfeld.

The shooting continues and, among spies, anything might happen.

[1Thierry Meyssan: «The US networks of destabilization and interference», Voltaire, July 20, 2001.

[2Paul Labarique: « Judith Miller, journalist d’intoxication massive », text in French, Voltaire, March 5, 2004.

[3KBR is a branch of Halliburton, the company of the vice-president Cheney. Arthur Lepic: See « Halliburton, ou le pillage de l’Etat », text tin French, Voltaire, September 16, 2004.

[4« Quand la CIA communique annoymement », text in French, Voltaire, July 1st, 2004.

[5« Porter Goss wants to fight France », text in French, Voltaire, September 28, 2004.

[6« Les remaniements de la CIA en dissent long sur ses cibles », text in French, October 11 and 12, 2004.

[7Dana Priest: «Former Chief of CIA’s Bin Laden Unit Leaves», The Washington Post, November 13, 2004, p A4. See also «CIA whistleblower sees long war», BBC News, November 15, 2004.

[8Dana Priest and Walter Pincus: «Deputy Chief Resigns from CIA», The Washington Post, November 13, 2004, pp. A1 and A8.

[9Walter Pincus and Dana Priest: «Goss reportedly Rebuffed Senior Official at CIA», The Washington Post, November 14, p. A6.