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'Fahrenheit 9/11' Interview of CIA Nominee
Porter Goss: "I am not qualified."

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On Tuesday, August 10th, 2004, George W. Bush nominated Florida Rep. Porter Goss to head the Central Intelligence Agency.

Rep. Porter Goss, appeared briefly in Michael Moore's 'Fahrenheit 9/11.' But part of his March 3, 2004 interview for the movie, which did not make it into the film, has suddenly taken on major significance. The following is an excerpt from the interview:

INTERVIEWER: [Y]ou come from intelligence. This is what you did, this is what you know.

REP. GOSS: Uh, that was, uh, 35 years ago.


REP. GOSS: 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.
-- Rep. Porter Goss, March 3, 2004, Washington, DC

These statements directly contradict President Bush's comments on Mr. Goss. Pointing to his CIA experience, Bush said, "He knows the CIA inside and out" and "He's the right man to lead this important agency at this critical moment in our nation's history."

No. 3 CIA Pick Was Caught Shoplifting-US Paper

Sun Oct 3,12:12 AM ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The man chosen for the third-ranking job in the CIA resigned under pressure from the U.S. spy agency more than 20 years ago after being caught shoplifting, The Washington Post reported Sunday.

Michael Kostiw, picked by new CIA Director Porter Goss to be the agency's executive director, has not received final clearance to take the job, although he had been scheduled to be sworn in Monday, the newspaper reported, citing a friend of Kostiw whom it did not identify.

Citing past and current agency officials, the Post said Kostiw was caught shoplifting in late 1981 at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia. He had been an officer for 10 years at that point.

He was put on administrative leave after responses to questions about the incident during a polygraph test, according to four officials familiar with the situation, the Post reported.

One former official said agency officials arranged for misdemeanor theft charges to be dropped and the police record expunged in exchange for his resignation and an agreement to get counseling.

Goss picked Kostiw, a former lobbyist for ChevronTexaco Corp and staffer on the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee, to replace the existing executive director less than a week after becoming director. Kostiw would have a key role in spending decisions and personnel matters, the Post said.

Goss, a Republican congressman from Florida, was chosen to replace former CIA Director George Tenet after U.S. intelligence agencies came under heavy criticism for failures before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and the invasion of Iraq.


By Richard Reeves

Frank Luntz, a Republican pollster, did a focus group with 18 "swing" voters during the first Bush-Kerry debate at the University of Miami.

The count before the debate was 12 undecided, two for President Bush and four for Sen. John Kerry .

After the debate, the Luntz scorecard read: seven undecided, two for Bush, nine for Kerry.

Pretty dramatic stuff, though winning the debate -- which Kerry obviously did -- does not necessarily mean winning the election. But it beats losing the debate, as Bush did. Asked why, Luntz said: "The split-screen worked to Bush's disadvantage. The group thought he looked angry, negative and upset."

What the president looked like was a teenager getting a lecture from his parents.

Peter Canellos, evaluating the performances for The Boston Globe, also cited the cutaways of Bush listening (and squirming) as Kerry spoke.

He wrote this on Friday: "Bush's repetition seemed insistent rather than firm, and his body language
-- sighing, clenching his teeth, rolling his eyes
-- suggested a man on the defensive."

Jay Nordlinger of the National Review, the secular scripture of American conservatism, began his evaluation by saying to his pro-Bush readership, "Don't shoot the messenger!"

Then he gave them his unhappy message: "If I was a normal guy ... I would vote for Kerry. On the basis of that debate, I would."

What happened to Bush? What's wrong with him? I would say he has a bad case of Ovalitis -- an ear infection endemic to the Oval Office. Sit there long enough, and you don't hear anything you don't want to hear.

The people who come into the president's office know all about shooting messengers, so they bring only tidings of great joy. Anyone who doesn't do that gets fired.

That's what happened to both his chief economic adviser, Lawrence Lindsey, and the Army chief of staff, Gen. Eric Shinseki, when they said, correctly, that occupying and stabilizing Iraq would take more money and men than Bush had imagined.

At first the president must have seen through all the bowing and scraping, but gradually it became his due; he is the boy in the bubble. And the bubble moves with him around the country as his staff and the Secret Service protect him from any unpleasant words or people.

Tickets to his rallies are given only to the loyal.
He holds no press conferences.
He hides away out there in the Crawford sagebrush.
He's alone.

Thursday night visibly shocked Bush. He was shocked by what Kerry was saying, particularly about the poisoned chaos that is Iraq.

Why, the Democrat even raised questions about Ayad Allawi, the Iraqi tough guy Bush picked as prime minister
-- and seemed on the verge of comparing to Winston Churchill. How could Kerry say such things about such a man?
How could Kerry say things are going badly in Iraq?
No one told the president that, or he didn't hear it.
Why, that could demoralize our troops
-- as if those soldiers in harm's way did not know what was going on long before Kerry spoke out.

Bush is a man who does not hear, or does not listen. That, rather than Kerry's confident professionalism, was what was important Thursday night. The challenger, we know, has had problems because he hears too many voices; he listens to everyone.

The only people we know the president listens to are members of his small court, led by Vice President Cheney, who has been pushing the preposterous for the past three years.

This is not new. Bush gave away part of the game when he talked about never dreaming when he debated in 2000 that he would have to send troops into harm's way.

What did he think presidents do?

He seemed ignorant then.

But as commander in chief he quickly became imperious. Answering a question from Bob Woodward in 2002 about whether he was listening to staff and advisers as he prepared for war, Bush said: "Of course not. I'm the commander. See, I don't have to explain why I say things. ... I don't feel like I owe anybody an explanation."

Apparently he meant that. He certainly did not make much of an attempt to explain anything in this first debate -- and that's why he lost it.

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