Maureen Dowd gets the scoop for The New York Times even though half the paper's other journalists probably don't even know what she's talking about.
Screw the neocon publisher's firewall, here's Poker, Hookers and Spooks By MAUREEN DOWD:
So much news was popping out all over Washington yesterday, it was hard to decide which way to look.
I felt I had no choice but to go with Dusty Foggo, Top Spook.
There was also the story of a Kennedy cover-up, moonlight car accident and drug abuse. Been there, done that.
And the story of a top U.S. official stuck in the cold war taunting the Russian bear. Been there, done that.
And the story of a delusional secretary of defense being confronted in public for lying about an unpopular war producing a steady stream of body bags. Been there, done that.
But Dusty Foggo? That's a name for a spy that tops Valerie Plame, or even Valerie Flame.
And when you add Dusty to Duke, you've really got something. Dusty was handpicked by Porter Goss in late 2004 to be the No. 3 C.I.A. official, astonishing many agency veterans, according to Newsweek.
Dusty turns out to be a friend of a defense contractor implicated in the federal corruption investigation of the imprisoned Randy "Duke" Cunningham, a former G.O.P. congressman. The contractor, Brent Wilkes, is now entangled in allegations of louche and lewd behavior involving limos, hookers, a poker player with a missing digit from the C.I.A. nicknamed "Nine Fingers," and Watergate hospitality suites where more was offered than just Scotch and pretzels.
Been to the Watergate, haven't done that.
Yesterday, Porter Goss lost the job he never should have had in the first place. After John Negroponte gave Mr. Goss the ax, W. went biking in Beltsville, Md.
When spooks get spiked, W. spins the spokes.
The C.I.A. missed 9/11 and W.M.D., so you'd think President Bush would want a superstar in the job. Instead, he put in a Cheney lackey whose first move was to warn agency employees to get in line, that their job was to "support the administration and its policies." Mr. Goss's last move was to fire a top C.I.A. officer, Mary McCarthy, who was accused of, but denied, leaking the secret C.I.A. prisons story.
Mr. Goss got the job even though the 9/11 commissioners had declared that Congressional oversight of intelligence was "dysfunctional" at a time he ran the House intelligence panel.
He got the job even though he tried to help the vice president suffocate the 9/11 commission. At the C.I.A., he relied on so many cronies, he made Brownie look professional.
The benign but still disturbing explanation for his abrupt termination ”given all the home videos that Qaeda terrorists are brazenly sending out” is that he and John "10 Fingers" Negroponte were fighting over access to W., like teenage girls over the prom king. (Wasn't Mr. Negroponte's position created to quell turf battles?)
Even conservatives found yesterday's chain of events suspicious. Bill Kristol said on Fox News, "I think there were either serious disputes or some internal problem at the agency or some scandal conceivably involving an associate of Goss's."
The president is supposed to announce Mr. Goss's successor on Monday. It's clear that the White House is again making policy on the fly.
With all these loony threads, conspiracy theorists are having fun weaving dime-novel scenarios.
After all, Ms. McCarthy, the C.I.A. officer ousted by Porter Goss, worked in the agency's inspector general's office. That office "charged with investigating transgressions by C.I.A. employees, like questionable dealings with defense contractors in hotel rooms, with poker and perhaps even pajama games" is now examining Mr. Foggo's dealings with Mr. Wilkes.
Ms. McCarthy was known to be a supporter of John Kerry, not one of the Bush loyalists who could be counted on to see no evil.
She has been labeled a traitor by the right, just as Ray McGovern, a former C.I.A. analyst who challenges Rummy's veracity, is being Swift-boated as a nut case and partisan.
Mr. McGovern and other disgruntled retired spooks say the C.I.A. has been misused, abused and marginalized by the Bush hawks. Rummy even formed his own C.I.A. within the Pentagon to get the prewar intelligence that he and Dick "Trigger Finger" Cheney wanted to hear.
Are disgusted retired C.I.A. analysts colluding with disgusted retired generals to wreak revenge on Rummy, who ran roughshod over them all? Is W.'s dad sending him a message? Mr. McGovern, oddly enough, was a C.I.A. briefer for Poppy. Or are those just wild Potomac conspiracy theories?
Weirdest of all, Patrick Kennedy's car accident was just a block or so from Mr. Goss's Capitol Hill town house. Coincidence?
Hard to tell, in the Foggo of war.