Porter Goss quits: a Hookergate connection?

There has to be some reason for Goss’s sudden unexplained resignation with no successor ready. Getting prostitution services courtesy of a contractor sounds like a pretty good reason to me.

Last week, Ken Silverstein of the Harper’s blog reported that the Wilkes/Wade/Cunningham/Watergate/Shirlington Limo /corruption/ prostitution scandal included “former lawmakers on Defense and Intelligence committees—including one person who now holds a powerful intelligence post.”

Today, Porter Goss, former chair of the House Intelligence Committee, resigned as CIA Director.

No connection, of course.

All the big papers and TV stations I’ve seen so far (except for Norah O’Donnell on MS-NBC) are playing this straight, without even a hint about hookers. Bill Kristol comes closest with a vague remark about “some scandal conceivably involving an associate of Goss’s.”

Well, I’ve heard that particular organ called lots of things, but never an “associate.” If Al d’Amato had called Chuck Schumer an “associate head,” he’d probably still be in the Senate.

It doesn’t sound too bad, does it? “Bill Clinton had an associate problem.” “Whatever you do, keep your associate off the payroll.” “He thinks he’s a big, swinging associate.”

Footnote I don’t much like the -gate ending convention for naming scandals, but a scandal involving prostitutes at the Watergate Hotel must inevitably be Hookergate.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com

6 thoughts on “Porter Goss quits: a Hookergate connection?”

  1. I keep hearing this Warren Zevon Lyric whenever I read about this scandal:
    I had a little friend named Mister Johnson
    Who always tried to be like me
    He rose to the heights of this profession
    He was hard on his friends and family
    [Warren Zevon, "Lord Byron's Luggage"]

  2. Just a little bug in the ear, but in addition to the good reasons mentioned by all and sundry, isn't there the slightest possibility that this is partly about Iran?
    Think about it. Goss has so thoroughly purged the CIA of anyone who knows anything, and has so thoroughly pissed off whoever's left who knows anything, that he can't provide the admin with needed fakery to sell us on Iranian nukes.
    This would be likely a trap sprung by Negroponte, the third man at this afternoon's little resignation party, the one stage left who didn't show up on the network clips. Goss does the job bush gave him, and Negroponte has figured out a way to whack him for it.
    Another little straw tending to confirm this is what Blair did today in Britain– he canned his foreign secretary, Jack Straw, mostly because Straw kept saying that attacking Iran would be inconceivable and bonkers. Blair got nasty calls from Washington and doesn't want another Robin Cook moment.
    That moment for Jack Straw would have come when the attack on Iran happens. If anything could more clearly signal that it's a go, I can't conceive what that might be.
    In part, then, Goss was forced out because the CIA under his direction could no longer offer up phony evidence convincingly enough to support the commitment to attack Iran.
    But Negroponte can take care of that, you bet. He's got sources.

  3. Joe raises a good question, to which this administration's likely answer would be that the president is the unitary boss of the unitary executive branch and everybody in or out of uniform reports to him anyway. That it appears to be clearly forbidden under A. ii. here, and (I assume) under the UCMJ or other laws governing uniformed officers, would not matter in the least. bush would just issue an "appointing statement."

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