The former spy named to run the CIA knows the troubled agency "inside out" says the man who picked him, President George W. Bush.
The nominee, Florida Representative Porter Goss, may know the Bush administration inside out, too, critics of the appointment warned yesterday.
Analysts say Goss, a Republican, is too tight with the administration and the agency to enact major changes recommended by the Sept. 11 commission.
Goss, 65, who has been chairman of the House Intelligence Committee for eight years, was described by Bush as "well prepared for this mission. He's the right man to lead and support the agency at this critical moment in our nation's history."
Bush cited Goss' extensive experience as a major plus in selecting him to run the CIA, which has come under attack for a host of intelligence failures leading up to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on New York and Washington and before the war in Iraq.
Goss' nomination was touted by the president during a campaign stop yesterday in Pensacola, Fla, reports Thestar.com
The choosing of Mr. Goss was immediately denounced as partisan manoeuvring.
"This is the worst appointment that's ever been made to the office of Director of Central Intelligence, because that's an office that needs to be kept above partisan politics," said retired Admiral Stansfield Turner, who led the CIA during the late 1970s and is an avowed supporter of Democratic presidential challenger John Kerry.
He said Mr. Goss had been picked "to help George Bush win votes in Florida," a key swing state that tipped the balance for the President in the 2000 election.
Mr. Goss has been chairman of the House of Representatives select committee on intelligence, which oversees the CIA and a host of other U.S. spy agencies.
He was widely tipped for several weeks to succeed George Tenet, who quit in July as CIA chief. But Mr. Goss could face a serious challenge at his Senate confirmation hearing.
"Porter Goss will need to answer tough questions about his record and his position on reform, including questions on the independence of the leader of the intelligence community," said Senator Jay Rockefeller, the senior Democrat on the Senate intelligence committee, informs Theglobeandmail.com