We're told CIA Director Porter J. Goss doesn't particularly like the title "director." The problem, apparently, is that the title is oft-associated with the job of director of central intelligence, overseer of all the spy agencies. That job, after the recent intelligence overhaul, now belongs to John D. Negroponte.
So while Goss is, of course, director of the CIA -- notwithstanding chatter that some administration types think White House homeland security adviser Frances Fragos Townsend should replace him -- senior CIA officials have been informally asked to come up with a new title for him. Perhaps it could be something that could more accurately convey his lesser position in the intelligence community or that would be a useful moniker.
Naturally, Loop Fans can help! Yes, it's the In the Loop CIA Title Contest, to come up with a suitable title for the CIA chief and win a still-coveted official In the Loop T-Shirt.
For example, given the agency's troubles of late, Goss might want to be addressed as "George." That way, if something goes wrong, they can always "blame it on George," as in predecessor George J. Tenet.
Or, given his lesser rank under Negroponte -- who now handles the daily presidential intelligence briefing -- a detractor suggested, most unkindly, that Goss might be called "His Irrelevance." (By the way, there's no need to name his staff, most of whom Goss brought in with him from Capitol Hill. Veterans have already dubbed them "the Gosslings.")
But remember, in this age of terrorism, speed is essential. There is no time to waste. So this contest deadline is midnight Wednesday.
Send your entry -- and rationale -- via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail it to In the Loop, The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071. Given the nature of this contest, entries on background or even deep background -- as in "government official" -- will be permitted. But all entries must include telephone contact numbers to be eligible.
Judging Bush vs. Clinton
California Justice Janice Rogers Brown's confirmation to the federal appeals court here brings the number of minority women President Bush has appointed so far to nine, about half what President Bill Clinton named in eight years.
And, as it turns out -- Democratic National Committee chief Howard Dean's recent shot notwithstanding -- when it comes to diversity in the judiciary, the Bush numbers are quite presentable.
At the end of his first term, Bush had appointed only 11 African Americans to federal trial courts, or 6.6 percent of his total. Clinton's overall percentage, 17.4, was much higher. But 18, or 10.7 percent, of Bush's appointments to those courts have been Hispanics. That's nearly double Clinton's rate.
As for women appointees, 28.5 percent of Clinton's District Court judgeships went to women, and 20.8 percent of Bush's were filled by women.
The percentages of minorities put on the appellate courts by Bush and Clinton are roughly comparable. However, nearly one-third of Clinton's appellate appointees were women, but only 21 percent of Bush's appeals judges in his first term were women.
The numbers show the Bush team "very committed to diversity," University of Massachusetts professor Sheldon Goldman said yesterday, "although ideology trumps diversity." The relatively small pool of conservative African American lawyers thus limits Bush's ability to appoint as many black jurists as Clinton could.
These statistics will be in the next issue of Judicature, next month.
For Russians, a Bolton Out of the Blue
If the Senate confirms Undersecretary of State John R. Bolton as ambassador to the United Nations, folks up there -- Americans and foreigners -- may need a while getting used to his distinctive confrontational style.
For example, there was his determination early in the administration to force the Russians to understand that Bush, no matter what the Russians thought, really was going to scrap the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty of 1972 and go ahead with a missile defense system.
So, as recounted in "Kremlin Rising," Washington Post colleagues Susan B. Glasser and Peter Baker's new book, Bolton laid it out at a meeting of 15 Russian and 15 American officials.
" 'You think [the ABM agreement] is a permanent treaty with a six-month withdrawal [notification] clause, and we see it as a six-month treaty renewable daily,' he told the shocked Russians. As Bolton later recounted the moment to us over coffee, he smiled: 'Half my side's own jaws dropped, too. But we were trying to get their attention.' " Certainly did that.
A State Dept. Ghost Story
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee helpfully puts ambassadorial nominees' opening statements to the committee on its Web site. These statements presumably are written by the nominees.
But there was this curious language on the last page of testimony last month by Julie Hamm Finley, nominated to be ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.
"Drafted: EUR/RPM: Greta Holtz," a State Department official. And it appears an additional 10 department folks worked on it.