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Porter J. Goss was brought into the CIA to quell what the White House viewed as a partisan insurgency against the administration and to re-energize a spy service that failed to prevent the Sept. 11 attacks or accurately assess Iraq's weapons capability.
But as he walked out the glass doors of Langley headquarters yesterday, Goss left behind an agency that current and former intelligence officials say is weaker operationally, with a workforce demoralized by an exodus of senior officers and by uncertainty over its role in fighting terrorism and other intelligence priorities, said current and former intelligence officials.
In public, Goss once acknowledged being "amazed at the workload." Within headquarters, "he never bonded with the workforce," said John O. Brennan, a former senior CIA official and interim director of the National Counterterrorism Center until last July.
Bush Nominates Rep. Goss to Run CIA
President Bush nominated Rep. Porter J. Goss (R-Fla.), a CIA officer-turned-politician, as director of central intelligence yesterday and said he would rely on Goss's counsel on the politically volatile issue of intelligence reform in the midst of a presidential campaign.
"He knows the CIA inside and out," Bush said in a Rose Garden announcement yesterday morning. "He's the right man to lead this important agency at this critical moment in our nation's history."
Key Senate Democrats, who have the power to hold up the nomination by filibuster, indicated they would not oppose Goss outright but would question his independence at a time when the prewar intelligence on Iraq and the failure to thwart the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, have become tender subjects for the White House.
Goss spent much of the 1960s — roughly from 1960 until 1971 — working for the Directorate of Operations, the clandestine services of the CIA. There he first worked in Latin America and the Caribbean and later in Europe. The details are not known due to the classified nature of the CIA, but Goss has said that he had worked in Haiti, Santo Domingo, and Mexico.
Goss, who has said that he has recruited and trained foreign agents, worked in Miami for much of the time. It is speculated that there he took part in the recruitment of Cuban exiles and immigrants for the failed Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba in 1961, which was crushed by Fidel Castro. Goss was also involved in the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, telling the Washington Post in 2002 that he had done some "small-boat handling" and had "some very interesting moments in the Florida Straits."
At the same time, in a sharp turn from his earlier statements defending the CIA, Goss said the agency has "been ignoring its core mission activities" and the clandestine service is on its way to being "a stilted bureaucracy incapable of even the slightest bit of success." He called the CIA's human intelligence gathering apparatus "dysfunctional" and averse to change, and charged that its intelligence analysts were timid and lacked proper focus. Tenet called the attacks "ill-informed" and "absurd." Goss also used House rules to keep Democrats from attaching their amendments to the intelligence appropriations bill.
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Porter Goss said Saturday that his surprise resignation as CIA director is "just one of those mysteries," offering no other explanation for his sudden departure after almost two years on the job.
Federal investigators have apparently interviewed prostitutes involved in the Wilkes-Wade parties.
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.