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Would Bush Rather Be Fishing?

Linzer wrote in Monday's Post: "The Republican chairmen of the House and Senate intelligence panels raised serious concerns about Gen. Michael V. Hayden on the eve of his expected nomination today as CIA director, with Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R-Mich.) calling him 'the wrong man at the wrong place at the wrong time.'"

The central concern appears to be about an active duty officer leading the nation's civilian intelligence agency.

The Mystery of Goss

So why did Goss resign (and so abruptly)? And what's the core rationale behind the Hayden nomination? Amid the blizzard of rhetoric and unattributed, contradictory backstories from the White House, these questions remain very much unanswered, and therefore the legitimate object of speculation.

For instance, was Goss's departure in any way related to an ongoing federal corruption investigation?

And was the White House unhappy with Goss because he overpoliticized the CIA -- or because he didn't politicize it enough?

Bush's praise for Goss on announcing his departure was less than enthusiastic. "Porter's tenure at the CIA was one of transition," Bush said. "He's led ably."

In an NBC interview , Vice President Cheney was even more lackluster. "He didn't have to take the job. He took it on at a very difficult time, and I think he's done a reasonably good job at it, too."

Richard Sisk and James Gordon Meek write in the New York Daily News: "CIA Director Porter Goss abruptly resigned yesterday amid allegations that he and a top aide may have attended Watergate poker parties where bribes and prostitutes were provided to a corrupt congressman."

A scurrilous rumor? Well, Goss isn't saying one way or the other.

Elaine Quijano reported for CNN on Saturday that "early this morning, outside his home, he told CNN producers, Fran Lewin and CNN photojournalist, Larry Langley, quote, 'it's just one of those mysteries.'

"(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

"QUESTION: Can you tell us why you're leaving?


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