Porter J. Goss
|This is a profile of a former U.S. Representative. (See the Florida portal for all incumbents, candidates and blogs.)|
Porter Johnston Goss, is a former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, serving in that position between April 21, 2005, and May 5, 2006, when President George W. Bush accepted his resignation.
In July 2008, Goss was named to the House of Representatives Office of Congressional Ethics, a bi-partisan and independent ethics board that can refer complaints to the full House Ethics Committee. Goss was named a co-chairman of the OCE.
- 1 Bio
- 2 Career
- 3 Related SourceWatch Resources
- 4 Articles and resources
Clarke testimony declassification
In 2004, Goss, then chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, sought the de-classification of testimony provided by former White House terrorism adviser Richard A. Clarke in 2002. Several Republicans in Congress, including then Majority Leader Bill Frist (Tenn.) and then House Speaker Dennis Hastert (Ill.) wanted to publicize Clarke's testimony in a bid to compare his 2002 remarks with negative comments he made about the Bush Administration in 2004.
"Rep. Porter Goss said August 5, 2004, that the uproar over allegations that White House officials purposely identified a covert CIA agent appears largely political and doesn't yet merit an investigation by the House Select Committee on Intelligence, which he chairs. ...
"'I would say there's a much larger dose of partisan politics going on right now than there is worry about national security,' said Goss, R-Sanibel. 'But I would never take lightly a serious allegation backed up by evidence that there was a willful -- and I emphasize willful, inadvertent is something else -- willful disclosure, and I haven't seen any evidence.'
"Goss said he would act if he did have evidence of that sort.
"'Somebody sends me a blue dress and some DNA, I'll have an investigation,' Goss said." 
Legislation for Increased DCI powers
On June 16, 2004, Rep. Goss introduced legislation (H.R. 4584) to the House in the guise of an "intelligence reform bill." In the current atmosphere of leaning the blame for 9/11 on the intelligence community, efforts to address realized failures are attempting to restructure and redefine the powers and departments entrusted with providing for the nation's security.
The language of Goss' bill appears to drastically alter the authority of the DCI, in direct contradiction to the CIA's fifty-seven year-old charter, and legalize "the company's" operations within the United States. The proposed bill follows current law by reassuring that the DCI shall "collect, coordinate and direct" the collection of intelligence for the US government, except that the CIA "may not exercise police, subpeona, or law enforcement powers within the United States."
However, a clause follows this passage stating that the ban on domestic law-enforcement operations applies "except as otherwise permitted by law or as directed by the President." (emphasis added)
Some critics have claimed that changes to the current laws like this open the door for the CIA and the Pentagon to spy and collect data on US citizens and to create and use assets in the US and against US citizens. Jeffrey H. Smith, who was the general counsel of the CIA in '95-'96, said of the language of Goss' bill, "I can't imagine what [he] had in mind." Wording like this "would have allowed President Nixon to authorize the CIA to bug the Democratic National Committee Headquarters."
Though there is little chance of the bill going through, it is indicative of what type of clay the bill drafters have on the potting wheel. Said a congressional official familiar with the writing of Goss' proposal, "It was designed as a point of discussion, a point of debate. It's not carved in stone." 
Appointment to D.C.I.
Bush's selection of a partisan to head the troubled agency was met with immediate criticism. At the time of the announcement, most CIA Directors had no political experience: the single exception was Bush's father, George H.W. Bush, who headed the agency from 1976-1977.
Senator John Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), then ranking member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, which held hearings on the nomination, declared that it was a mistake to select "any politician, from either party." Former CIA Director Stansfield Turner, who served in the Carter administration, called the nomination "the worst appointment that's ever been made because that's an office that needs to be kept above partisan politics."
Fahrenheit 9/11 appearance
- "Porter Goss is a leader with strong experience in intelligence and the fight against terrorism. He knows his CIA inside and out. He's the right man to lead this important agency at this critical moment in our nation's history." --President George W. Bush, Transcript from video clip run by CNN, August 10, 2004.
- "It is true I was in CIA from approximately the late 50's to approximately the early 70's. And it's true I was a case officer, clandestine services office and yes I do understand the core mission of the business. I couldn't get a job with CIA today. I am not qualified. I don't have the language skills. I, you know, my language skills were romance languages and stuff. We're looking for Arabists today. I don't have the cultural background probably. And I certainly don't have the technical skills, uh, as my children remind me every day, 'Dad you got to get better on your computer.' Uh, so, the things that you need to have, I don't have."
"We don't torture"
On March 18, 2005, Reuters reported that Porter Goss "defended his spy agency's current interrogation practices but could not say all methods used as recently as last December conformed to U.S. law.
"U.S. officials do not view torture as a method for gaining vital intelligence, Goss said. But he acknowledged some CIA operatives may have been uncertain about approved interrogation techniques in the past."
Goss told the Senate Armed Services Committee "'The United States does not engage in or condone torture, ... I know for a fact that torture is not productive. That's not professional interrogation. We don't torture.'" 
Related SourceWatch Resources
- Bush administration cronyism and incompetence
- Department of Homeland Security
- global detention system
- homeland security
- Intelligence Authorization Agreement of 2004
- Intelligence Community
- Patriot Act I
Articles and resources
- Susan Crabtree "Goss among former members appointed to ethics office ," The Hill, July 24, 2008
- "Republicans seek to declassify '02 Clarke testimony," USA Today, March 23, 2004
- "Is Bush’s Nominee for CIA Chief Porter Goss a Decoy For Re-Election?", Democracy Now, August 11, 2004
- Unofficial Transcript, Porter Goss Interview with Michael Moore, March 2004
Profiles & Political Data
- Porter J. Goss, Director, Central Intelligence profile, cia.gov; accessed July 8, 2005.
- "Porter J. Goss" in the Wikipedia.
- "Porter Johnston Goss" at NNDB.com, "an intelligence aggregator"; accessed July 8, 2005.
- Porter J. Goss, 1996 Election Cycle, opensecrets.org.
- Campaign Contributions by Porter Goss (1990-1999) NewsMeat, accessed July 8, 2005.
- Personal Financial Disclosure: Porter Goss (1995-2003), opensecrets.org.
- Rep. Porter J. Goss, fairness.com.
Reports & Documents
- Congressional Record: "Rep. Porter J. Goss speaks in Congress against US military involvement to restore democracy in Haiti, 1994."
- Statement of Porter Goss to the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, May 22, 2003. Posted on globalsecurity.org website.
- Confirmation Hearing of Porter J. Goss to be Director of the CIA, September 14 and 20, 2004, Federation of American Scientists website.
- George W. Bush, Statement on Senate Confirmation of Porter Goss, White House, September 22, 2004.
- Joshua Micah Marshall, Photograph of the Psi Upsilon fraternity, Yale University, 1960, Talking Points Memo, May 7, 2006: Porter J. Goss, John D. Negroponte, and William H.T. Bush.
Articles & commentary
- Cory Reiss, "Goss says CIA leak not worthy of committee action," Herald Tribune (Florida), August 3, 2003.
- Pepe Escobar, "9-11 and The Smoking Gun, Part 2: A Real Smoking Gun," Asia Times Online, April 7, 2004.
- Michael Hirsh, Michael Isikoff, and Mark Hosenball, "Secret Agent Man," Newsweek, July 5, 2004.
- Raymond McGovern, "Porter Goss: Cheney Cat's Paw," CounterPunch, July 6, 2004.
- Fred Kaplan, "Spies Like Goss,", Slate, August 10, 2004.
- Amy Goodman, Interview with Ray McGovern and Fred Kaplan, Democracy Now!, August 10, 2004.
- Rush Transcript includes "Porter Goss Selected as CIA Head," CNN, August 10, 2004.
- "Porter Goss on Plamegate," Stephanie Says, August 10, 2004.
- "Bush nominates Goss to head CIA. Democrats raise objections to pick," CNN, August 11, 2004.
- Michael Isikoff and Mark Hosenball, "Goss’s Wish List. Bush’s CIA nominee has alarmed civil libertarians with a plan that would authorize the agency to arrest U.S. citizens," Newsweek, August 11, 2004.
- "An unqualified success at the CIA?" New York Daily News, August 12, 2004.
- Dave Williams, "Porter Goss the new CIA head linked to funding 911 terror attacks," Melbourne Indymedia, August 12, 2004.
- "Double standard on Porter Goss," Boston Globe, August 12, 2004.
- "Porter Goss: 'I'm not qualified for the CIA'," UPI, August 13, 2004.
- "Moore interview exposes CIA nominee," ABC News (Australia), August 13, 2004.
- "Moore footage shows new CIA boss ruling himself out," Guardian/UK, August 13, 2004.
- Leigh Strope, "Dems warned not to block Goss for CIA," Chicago Sun-Times, August 16, 2004.
- Kurt Nimmo, "Goss and "Preventive Direct Action" in America," uslaboragainstwar.org, August 20, 2004: "'Rep. Porter Goss, President Bush's nominee to head the CIA, recently introduced legislation that would give the president new authority to direct CIA agents to conduct law-enforcement operations inside the United States -- including arresting American citizens,' write Michael Isikoff and Mark Hosenball for Newsweek."
- "Ghost Prisoners and Porter Goss," warblogging, September 10, 2004.
- Laura Blumenfeld, "Goss Hailed as Old Pro, Assailed as Partisan. CIA Nominee Faces Uncertain Future," Washington Post, September 13, 2004.
- "CIA Nominee Pledges Impartiality," CBS News/AP, September 14, 2004.
- "Porter Goss Confirmed By Senate," Fox News, September 22, 2004.
- Warren P. Strobel and Jonathan S. Landay, "New CIA Director Ruffles Agency," Knight Ridder Newspapers, October 25, 2004: "Critics: Goss filling posts with Republicans after nonpartisan pledge."
- Walter Pincus and Dana Priest, "Goss Reportedly Rebuffed Senior Officials at CIA. Four Fear New Chief Is Isolating Himself," Washington Post, November 14, 2004.
- Spencer Ackerman, "Killing the messenger. Porter Goss' purge at the CIA will ensure the agency is full of Bush yes men -- but it will seriously damage U.S. intelligence," Salon, November 16, 2004.
- Ivan Eland, "The Empire Has No Clothes: Politics and the CIA," antiwar.com, November 16, 2004.
- Douglas Jehl, "New C.I.A. Chief Tells Workers to Back Administration Policies," New York Times, November 17, 2004.
- Fred Kaplan, "Cooking With Goss. The new CIA chief's shakeups are bad news," Slate, November 17, 2004.
- David Ensor, "Officials: CIA memo not an order to 'back Bush'. Agency, White House say director's message was misconstrued," November 18, 2004.
- Chalmers Johnson, "Porter Goss' WIA – Worthless Intelligence Agency," Tomdispatch.com, November 27, 2004: "With the re-election of President Bush and the appointment of Porter Goss to bring the CIA under White House control, it becomes increasingly hard to see how the republic will survive." Posted on AlterNet.
- Stephen F. Haynes, "Porter's House. CIA Director Porter Goss takes charge," The Weekly Standard, November 29, 2004.
- Ryan Pearson, "CIA Director Porter Goss says he's 'amazed' at workload," AP, March 2, 2005.
- Douglas Jehl, "Questions Are Left by C.I.A. Chief on the Use of Torture," New York Times, March 17, 2005.
- Douglas Jehl, "C.I.A. Chief Defends Interrogation Policy and Disavows Torture," New York Times, March 17, 2005.
- "'We don't do torture,’ CIA director testifies. But Goss says professional interrogation is necessary to save 'innocent lives'," AP, March 17, 2005.
- Katherine Shrader, "Goss Defends U.S. Interrogation Tactics," AP, March 17, 2005.
- Douglas Jehl, "CIA Says Approved Methods of Questioning Are All Legal," New York Times, March 18, 2005.
- Ken Herman, "U.S. torture ties remain murky," Atlanta Journal-Constitution, March 18, 2005.
- Porter Goss: "We Don't Torture," Reuters, March 18, 2005. Posted at infowars.com.
- "CIA has 'excellent' idea where bin Laden is -Time," Reuters, June 19, 2005: "CIA Director Porter Goss said he has an 'excellent' idea where Osama bin Laden is hiding, but the al Qaeda leader will not be brought to justice until weak links in counterterrorism efforts are strengthened, Time magazine reported on Sunday."
- Timothy J. Burger, "10 Questions for Porter Goss," Time, June 19, 2005.
- "Porter Goss Attacks Justification For Afghan Invasion," On Closer Examination blogspot, June 20, 2005.
- Justin Rood, "CIA's Goss Drawn Into Hooker Probe?" TPM Muckraker, April 27, 2006. re Cunningham-Wade-Wilkes prostitute scandal See Congressional Bribery and a DC Sex Scandal.
- Justin Rood, "Goss: Claims I Partied With Wilkes Are 'Flatly Untrue,' 'Horribly Irresponsible'," TPM Muckraker, April 28, 2006.
- "Raw Data: Statement by CIA Director Porter Goss," Fox News, May 5, 2006.
- "CIA Director Goss resigns. Bush announces departure after short term," Associated Press (MSNBC), May 5, 2006.
- "Goss resigns as CIA chief," Reuters, May 5, 2006.
- Keith Garvin, "Goss Was Told to Resign, Sources Say," ABC News, May 5, 2006.
- William Branigin, "CIA Director Porter Goss Resigns," Washington Post, May 5, 2006.
- Edward Alden and Demetri Sevastopulo, "CIA director Goss quits after 18 months," FT.com (MSNBC), May 5, 2006.
- Evan Derkacz, "Hookers involved in Goss resignation?" AlterNet, May 5, 2006: "In addition to speculation about prostitutes on Capitol Hill and fumbling ineptitude in office, rumors are flying that Goss is headed for a Senate run."
- "Norah O'Donnell discusses Hookergate's possible connection to Goss," Crooks and Liars, May 5, 2006. re Norah O'Donnell
- Larry Johnson, "Why Did Goss Resign?" TPM Cafe, May 5, 2006.
- Justin Rood, "Goss Departed Over Foggo?" TPM Muckraker, May 5, 2006.
- Spencer Akerman, "Flat Denial on Foggo, Wilkes and Goss," The New Republic Blog, May 5, 2006.
- Paul Kiel, "Barr: Hookergate to Blame for Hasty Goss Exit?" TPM Muckraker, May 5, 2006. re Congressman Bob Barr (R-GA)
- Justin Rood, "Goss: Why the Rush? We Have An Idea," TPM Muckraker, May 5, 2006.
- Jonathan Alter, "Raising the Bar on Losing a Job," The Huffington Post, May 5, 2006: "If CIA Director Porter Goss resigned because of a sex scandal, it will rock Washington, affect the midterm elections and give us all a lot to chew on for weeks or months. But long term, it will also indicate something of critical importance in understanding why President Bush will be viewed by history as a failed president: Apparently the only way to lose your job in the Bush Administration is by being disloyal (Paul O'Neill, Larry Lindsay [sic]) or by being a sleaze. ... Being incompetent is not a problem. ... Maybe he's innocent. But if he's not, the Goss firing may similarly raise the bar on what it takes to be relieved of one's duties. Anything short of being caught with hookers and you get to stay on."
- Billmon, "Company Man" and "The Night Porter Checks Out," Whiskey Bar, May 5, 2006.
- Mark Mazetti and Scott Shane, "Director of C.I.A. Is Stepping Down Under Pressure," New York Times, May 6, 2006.
- "Gossed Over," Wall Street Journal Online, May 6, 2006.
- "Bush Likely to Nominate Hayden as New CIA Head, Official Says," Bloomberg News, May 6, 2006. re Michael V. Hayden
- Dafna Linzer and Walter Pincus, "Goss Forced Out as CIA Director; Gen. Hayden Is Likely Successor," Washington Post, May 6, 2006.
- Christopher Cooper, Scot J. Paltrow, and Robert Block, "Goss-Picked CIA #3 Kyle "Dusty" Foggo Under Crim. Investigation In 'Duke' Cunningham Bribery Scandal...," Wall Street Journal (The Huffington Post), May 6, 2006.
- Maureen Dowd, "Poker, Hookers, and Spooks," New York Times (The Progressive American), May 6, 2006.
- Richard Sisk and James Gordon Meek, "CIA boss Goss is cooked, Tied to contractor's poker parties - hints of bribes & women," New York Daily News, May 6, 2006.
- Kevin Drum, "Turf War?" The Washington Monthly, May 6, 2006.
- Laura Rozen, "So, the verdict is in," War and Piece], May 6, 2006.
- "Goss: CIA resignation 'one of those mysteries'. Bush expected to tap former NSA chief as replacement," CNN, May 6, 2006.
- Michael Duffy, "Why Goss is Gone," TIME, May 7, 2006.
- Richard Sisk, "Behind the Goss toss. W's 'alarmed' panel sealed top spy's fate," New York Daily News, May 7, 2006.
- Bill Kristol, "Porter Goss Firing an 'Outrage'," NewsMax, May 8, 2006.
- Sidney Blumenthal, "Killing the CIA. In Goss, Bush found the perfect hatchet man to take vengeance on a despised agency. Now Goss is gone, scandal looms -- and the CIA is ruined," Salon, May 11, 2006.