Resignations and Purges

The nation seems to have greeted with a yawn the announced resignations of Sec'y of State Colin Powell, Sec'y of Education Rod Paige, Sec'y of Energy Spencer Abraham, and Sec'y of Agriculture Ann Veneman. Much of these changes have been forseen as part and parcel of the tradition of cleaning house even if an incumbent is reelected. After all, before today we saw Sec'y of Commerce Don Evans and most visibly Attorney General John Ashcroft submit their resignations. So far only Alberto Gonzalez has been put forward as a replacement, destined to be the top cop.

What is more unusual is Direct Porter Goss's continued cleanup of the CIA where he has been rooting out disloyal leakers an ineffective middle managers in order to comply with the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission. DDO Stephen Kappes and his immediate deputy, Michael Sulick are only the latest to leave. After all, this purge started with the one-retained Clinton appointee George Tenet. We saw other high-profile resignations, like Deputy Director John E. McLaughlin. Heck, the CIA hasn't been in the headlines this much since a secret agent recommended that her husband be sent on a diplomatic mission to discover the truth behind Nigerian yellowcake and turned Joe Wilson into the biggest liar to overshadow Sandy Berger's documented underwear.

However, Kappes is special. He is the “anonymous leaker” that has been undermining Bush to the delight of the anti-war left. Goss brought in his own staff, and has ignored the pleadings of an entrenched bureaucracy… one that hasn't seen a purge like this since the Clinton administration.

We can only hope that there's less politics and more effectiveness as the source of these latest changes. Bush, as the first MBA president, hopefully knows how to set clear objectives and put aside interpersonal differences to accomplish them. I expect him to say something about implementing 404 of Sarbanes-Oxley today, since we have reached another deadline.

Update: Via Drudge we discover ABC News is reporting that its inside sources at the White House say Powell's replacement will be National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice.

Josh Poulson

Posted Monday, Nov 15 2004 02:24 PM

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Housecleaning at the CIA

When Porter Goss became the Director of the CIA in 2004, I mentioned the needed housecleaning in the leaky intelligence organization. He fired a few apparently ineffective middle managers, and I especially highlighted the removal of DDO Stephen Kappes,... [Read more]

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