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How Partisan is Porter Goss?

Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS), chairman of Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, had this message for the president regarding nominating a CIA director: "My only message to the White House is if they do this, make it an extraordinary person that will get bipartisan support." Does Porter Goss fit the bill?

Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS), chairman of Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, had this message for the president regarding nominating a CIA director: “My only message to the White House is if they do this, make it an extraordinary person that will get bipartisan support.” Does Porter Goss fit the bill?

SENATORS THINK GOSS TOO POLITICAL: Senior Democratic Sen. John Rockefeller, top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, opined that choosing Goss or “any politician from either party for the CIA director job, would be a mistake.” He added, “I strongly urge the President to look for an individual with unimpeachable, nonpartisan national-security credentials and the stature and independence to bring about much-needed reform of our intelligence agencies.” Upon hearing Rockefeller’s comments, Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS), chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, “dismissed the chances of Rep. Porter Goss’s (R-FL) becoming director of the Central Intelligence Agency,” saying,  “if you have the vice chairman firmly opposed to the nominee, I don’t think that’s a very good starting point.” [Agence France Presse, 8/10/04; The Hill Newspaper, 7/14/04]

GOSS ENGAGES IN PARTISAN ATTACK ON HOUSE FLOOR: On June 23, 2004, Rep. Porter Goss attacked presidential candidate John Kerry on the House floor, saying, “I will hold this up [this sign with a 1997 quote from John Kerry] because this is why the problem exists. The promise was broken. I quote, ‘Now that that struggle, the Cold War, is over, why is it that our vast intelligence apparatus continues to grow?’ Now, that kind of statement just before no votes on supporting the intelligence community happens to have been made by such distinguished Members of the Congress as Senator John Kerry. That was in May of 1997 from the record. I got books full of that stuff. There is no doubt where the record is. The Democratic party did not support the intelligence community.” [Porter Goss, House of Representatives – June 23, 2004]

GOSS ENGAGES IN PARTISAN ATTACK IN OP-ED: Rep. Goss co-authored an op-ed on March 10, 2004, titled “Need Intelligence? Don’t Ask John Kerry.” In it, he wrote: “With the end of the Cold War, some in the Clinton White House and the Democrat-controlled Congress saw the opportunity in the 1990s to sharply curtail spending on one of their least favorite organizations: the Central Intelligence Agency. Especially in the early Clinton years, the cuts were deep, far-reaching and devastating to the ability of the CIA to keep America safe&nbsp…Where was the junior senator from Massachusetts? Serving as a senior member of the Senate Intelligence Committee…Did he fight the cuts in intelligence spending or the restraints on U.S. intelligence operatives? Far from it. In fact, he was leading the way to make deep and devastating cuts.” [Reps. Porter Goss and Bill Young, Tampa Tribune, 3/10/04]

GOSS REBUTS KERRY SPEECH ON BEHALF OF BUSH CAMPAIGN: “John Kerry’s speech today amounted to little more than political ‘me-tooism.’ He laid out some old goals that everyone agrees to, without offering concrete proposals to achieve them. He also neglected the President’s historic achievements in this area.” [Porter Goss Statement on Bush/Cheney Web site, 6/1/04]

GOSS BLOCKED EFFORTS TO INVESTIGATE ABU GHRAIB: As chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Goss led a party-line vote to reject an amendment that would have “Increased oversight and investigated alleged prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib.” [Congressional Quarterly, 6/17/04]

GOSS BLOCKED EFFORTS TO INVESTIGATE AHMED CHALABI: As chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Goss led a party-line vote to reject an amendment that would have authorized an investigation into “U.S. dealings with Iraqi exile leader Ahmed Chalabi.” Even after allegations that Chalabi has leaked U.S. military secrets to Iran, Goss said, “I would say that the oversight has worked well in matters relating to Mr. Chalabi.” [Congressional Quarterly, 6/17/04; AP 6/3/04]

GOSS MOCKS SUGGESTION TO INVESTIGATE THE OUTING OF VALERIE PLAME: “Rep. Porter Goss said Thursday that the uproar over allegations that White House officials purposely identified a covert CIA agent…doesn’t yet merit an investigation by the House Select Committee on Intelligence, which he chairs…’Somebody sends me a blue dress and some DNA, I’ll have an investigation.'” [Porter Goss, Herald Tribune, 10/3/03]

GOSS TAKES PARTISAN HIT AT PREVIOUS ADMINISTRATION: “Goss said he met with then-President Clinton on three occasions to discuss ‘certain problems.’ ‘He was patient and we had an interesting conversation but it was quite clear he didn’t value the intelligence community to the degree President Bush does,’ Goss said.” [Gannett News Service, 6/25/04]