Saturday, May 06, 2006

Arguments and paperwork: the real threats

Porter Goss called his resignation as CIA director on Friday "just one of those mysteries" and declined to elaborate on why he's leaving. But I suspect the reasons behind the departure will come out soon enough, and they're likely to involve internecine power struggles, residual anger over politicization of the agency, and yet another scandal involving the Watergate.

Goss' likely replacement is Air Force Gen. Michael Hayden, who once headed the National Security Agency. More to the point, last year he defended the Bush administration's decision not to seek retroactive warrants for wiretaps of international telephone calls, as required by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, arguing that such an effort "involves marshaling arguments" and "looping paperwork around." Besides, we're only talking a few weeks here.

Sometimes laws are just so inconvenient.


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