WASHINGTON - August 24 - President Bush has nominated to be CIA Director a man who has led the effort to cut the very intelligence priorities that are most critical to the fight against terrorism. According to a report in todays Washington Post, Rep. Porter Goss (R-FL) actually sponsored legislation that would have cut intelligence personnel by 20 percent in the late 1990s.
President Bush has repeatedly criticized John Kerry for joining with Republicans to slightly reduce funding for intelligence after the end of the Cold War. But the Presidents nominee tried to make far deeper cuts in intelligence as terrorist attacks against the United States increased in the mid-90s, following the 1993 World Trade Center attack.
Goss supported cuts that were far larger than those proposed by Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) and Goss proposals were specifically targeted at human intelligence, the very capability which the 9/11 Commission and other independent experts say was lacking in the days and months leading up to the 9/11 attacks.
The hypocrisy of the Bush White House never ends, said Peter Schurman, Executive Director of MoveOn.org. With one side of their mouth, the Bush team attacks John Kerry for supposedly weakening our intelligence capabilities. With the other, they nominate to run our intelligence service a man who supported cutting deeply the same human intelligence capacities the 9/11 Commission called critical to preventing past and future tragedies.
The revelations about Goss come only a few weeks after similar evidence came to light showing that Vice President Cheney has also repeatedly tried to stop intelligence reforms and cut critical defense programs. In 1992, Cheney led the effort to block the very same intelligence reforms the 9/11 Commission said would have made the United States better prepared to deal with the threat of al Qaeda.
Similarly, while the Bush-Cheney campaign has attacked Kerry for supposedly reducing defense spending, it was Cheney himself in 2000 who admitted that as Defense Secretary, he did in fact significantly reduce the overall size of the U.S. military. And in 1990, it was Cheney who went to Capitol Hill to tout his effort to slash defense, bragging about programs that I have recommended for termination.
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