Monday, May 8


I had missed the implications of this until I heard Rachel Maddowes talk about it this morning on Air America in relation to the Porter Goss resignation.

But her last job at the CIA was in the office of Inspector General John L. Helgerson, who has a unique status at the agency.

After revelations in the 1980s about questionable CIA activities, the inspector general's appointment was subjected to Senate approval for the first time, to confer a measure of independence. Moreover, as the person singularly responsible for sensitive internal investigations of alleged wrongdoing at the agency, the inspector general is routinely granted extraordinary access to secrets ordinarily not shared with others inside the CIA.

Like others, I thought at the time that McCarthy might have been fired from the CIA because in her position she might have been involved in the investigation of secret prisons, the use of torture and rendition, and thus suspected as the source of Dana Priest's articles on the issue. But put together with the reported CIA IG investigation into "Dusty" Foggo's connection to the Duke Cunningham scandal, it makes one wonder if the suddenness of Goss's resignation wasn't due to the desire of the Bush administration to get ahead of a breaking scandal. As Rachel said, it's less of a front-page story to have an ex-DCI linked to a scandal as opposed to a standing CIA director.

The inspector general of the Central Intelligence Agency, the agency says, is conducting an inquiry into Kyle Foggo, its executive director, who said this week that he attended some of the parties over the years.

Mr. Foggo, the C.I.A.'s third-ranking official, is a longtime friend of Brent R. Wilkes, one of the military contractors whose role is described in the indictment against Mr. Cunningham. Mr. Wilkes has not been charged, and his lawyer did not return calls on Friday.
A C.I.A. spokesman said Saturday that Mr. Foggo has said he did not violate agency rules in the awarding of contracts and that the poker games were nothing more than a gathering of friends. Mr. Foggo was promoted to his job at the C.I.A. by Porter J. Goss, who abruptly resigned Friday as director of the agency. There has been no suggestion by officials involved in these investigations that Mr. Goss did anything wrong or was under investigation.

I certainy don't believe the story that the administration suddenly decided, on a day when Democratic Congressman Patrick Kennedy's troubles were dominating the airwaves, to announce Goss's resignation because they couldn't wait to settle an intelligence "turf war" between Goss and his fraternity brother and classmate John Negroponte. There's more to this story, and we're likely to hear something very soon, or there wouldn't have been such a desperate rush to disclaim Goss, who has been carrying the administration's water in trying to root out Democrats from the ranks of the CIA, stifle reporters and prosecute leaks.

And now I'm suspicious that the rush to get Mary McCarthy out the door was because she knew something, from her position in the IG's office, about the whole burgeoning scandal/investigation, that made them desperate to shut her down and discredit her.

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