And now, the winners of the Loop contest to help CIA officials come up with a new title for Porter J. Goss. Goss apparently wasn't enamored of being called "director" anymore, since he's no longer director of central intelligence (supervising the CIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency and such).
Congress, in restructuring the national security apparatus, established a new director of national intelligence, and Bush gave that title to John D. Negroponte.
Goss, we were told, had tasked some aides to think of an appropriate alternative title for him.
Loop Fans joined the effort, generally suggesting titles that would reflect his somewhat reduced station in life. Some entries, variations on "Boss" or "Chief" were rejected as too straightforward. Others, such as "Gossbag" or "Empty Suit," were deemed too over-the-top.
And now the winners, in no particular order:
* "Mini-Dee," for mini-director, submitted by government employee Mike Foughty of Alexandria, "with apologies to Austin Powers."
* "Capo di Pochi," meaning chief of little, to mark his downfall from his previous status as "capo di tutti," or chief of everything, submitted by Rick Bennett, a retired submariner from Chesapeake, Va., who picked up some Italian while stationed there.
* "DemiGoss" -- since he "has half the power he used to hold in the new national security structure, submitted by a Hill employee who has been using paints recently.
* "Avis," as in "We're number two, we try harder," submitted by Michael Murphy, an electrical engineer in Ann Arbor, Mich.
* "Adjunct Director, Claude Moore Colonial Farm at Turkey Run." The farm is around the corner from CIA headquarters. Submitted by government employee and prior contest winner Robert B. Houston of Reston.
* "Chief of Station, Langley," submitted by Daniel Kohns, a D.C. political communications consultant. This is to reflect that Goss, much like chiefs of station in London or Tokyo, is in charge of matters at the CIA headquarters, but that's all.
* "X," where "X is that funky symbol used by Prince a while back," in which case Goss could be "The Bureaucrat Formerly Known as the DCI" -- submitted by someone known as "Bobs."
* "The Undercoverling," submitted by Lindsay Moran, author of "Blowing My Cover: My Life as a CIA Spy."
* "Directorette," adding the diminutive suffix, was submitted by Robert N. Noe, a consultant at SAS International Heidelberg, Germany.
* "CIAO," as in Central Intelligence Assistance Officer, submitted by former CIA employee Jim Wood of Vienna. It means hi or goodbye in Italian, so Goss "could be coming or going," Wood said.
Another version was submitted by Jim Blue, a government mathematician from Darnestown, who suggested "Central Intelligence Agency Overseer."
* Also on the foreign-language front, Miriam Goodman, a retired federal worker in Washington, suggested Goss could be given the nickname "Mischa" (usually for Mikhail) and then he would be Mischa Goss.
That would be Yiddish, phonetically, for madness. (Actually, it is used more jovially, the dictionary says, as in "A wacky, irrational, absurd belief; nonsense. 'No one can figure it out; it's plain mishegoss.' " Or something "so silly or unreal that it defies explanation.")
* "Chief Chameleon in Charge of Chaos for Imaginative Impalpable Ideology and Altered Analysis (C4I3A2)." The title, retired Beltway bandit John F. Lyons of Olney suggests, is "self-explanatory" with the agency name concealed in the acronym, itself patterned after Pentagon acronyms.
* "Director of Usually Mistaken Intelligence" or "Director of Uniquely Marginal Intelligence" -- the acronym either way is DUMI. Submitted by a government official at an agency dealing with foreign affairs.
* "G." The British call their Secret Intelligence Service chief "C," a State Department official notes, based on the last-name initial of its first director, and it hasn't changed over the years. Then all the Gosslings, the name for Goss's inner team, brought in from the Hill, could be G-1, G-2 and so forth.
* "Mr. Mayor," because he was mayor of Sanibel, Fla., at one time, suggests Los Angeles political analyst Howard Cohen. Also echoes how President Ronald Reagan once called Housing and Urban Development Secretary Sam Pierce "Mr. Mayor."
Congrats to the winners, who will get the coveted Loop T-shirts. Thanks to all for playing. And thanks to our two judges, who declined to be named because of the sensitivity of the subject matter.
Speaking of the CIA . . . let's give a big Loop happy 30th birthday today to Jennifer Millerwise, spokeswoman for the agency and former aide to Vice President Cheney. Wonder if she's got enough chutzpah to have our winners posted in the internal CIA news clips. The betting at Langley has, in fact, already begun.