Democracy Arsenal

« Losing Hope: The 9 Best Songs of 2006 | Main | Asia's Katrina »

January 04, 2007

Negroponte: Benched, or Deep Relief?
Posted by Heather Hurlburt

I was waiting for The Washington Note to weigh in on what to think about John Negroponte stepping down as Director of National Intelligence to go be Rice's deputy at State.  But Steve Clemons seems to be trapped at some garden spot without a hard drive -- so let's think for ourselves:

Two-word comment:  Systemic Failure.  There's some amusing gossip/inside baseball/Kremlinology on this move, some of which I note below.  But fundamentally, the idea that a holder of the intelligence position could even consider leaving it for a lower-ranking government job suggests to me that the effort to reform how we manage intelligence has, ummm, not yet succeeded.  Something is very wrong if our senior intelligence job is less attractive than being the waterboy for ANY Secretary of State.

Three word comment:  Staying the Course:  Last May, Steve seemed to see Negroponte in his intel position as a key opponent of then-Secretary Rumsfeld.  Interesting that Rumsfeld's departure didn't make Negroponte want to stay/able to stay.  One should conclude, as if there wasn't enough evidence pouring in from other quarters, that this Administration is not planning to change in any fundamental way.   

Gossipy question: Jumped or Pushed?  That's how NPR framed it this morning. Negroponte told C-SPAN just last month that he was in it through this Administration.  I thought I heard someone on NPR say that Negroponte had also clashed with Rice in the past, but perhaps I hallucinated that in a pre-caffeine haze. 

I'll even leave you with a Thursday morning conspiracy theory:  what if this were a preliminary move because Rice is planning to leave State?  I don't expect that myself, but one could see Negroponte, a career foreign service officer, hoping to do a Lawrence Eagleburger and become Secretary briefly at the end of this Administration.   


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Negroponte: Benched, or Deep Relief?:


The Bush administration is typically even less frank about its reasoning in personnel matters than in other areas, and I have no inside knowledge about this change. But in the past merely ineffective officials have been allowed to remain at their posts long after it was clear they had lost the President's confidence. At the same time Deputy Secretary of State -- in most earlier administrations an managerial position filled by someone able to manage the paper flow and free the Secretary to make policy -- is a much more important position now, with a Secretary of State weak to begin with and forced to spend considerable time lending emotional support to her chief in the White House.

The Dep. Secretary's position badly needed to be filled. The DNI position didn't desperately need a change. I conclude therefore that Negroponte, despite criticism of his performance as DNI, was more pulled to State than he was pushed out of the intelligence business.

I don't view the issue as being a decision between State or Intel (though the belway wonks love that sort of talk).

The timing is the key point. It is very interesting that he comes in as the surge is planned. Remember his comments as ambassador on the Salvador Option back in early 05. We don't know for sure if that option was carried out (being a covert mission and all) but if it was, it does explain the massive increase in violence we see today.

Negraponte's oversight of the dirty war in Honduras and ability to produce "victory" is sure to be part of the desire to have him back in the fold of State. I think it signals that the administration is willing to see a lot more killing on the ground in Iraq in the hope that it will produce some sort of stability.

That's far more chilling than wondering if he wasn't having any fun tapping our phones.

Your suggestion that - in Steve's absence - we "think for ourselves" gave me a good chuckle this morning!

Three possibilities:

1. Negroponte wants to get out of intelligence before the House and Senate intelligence committees open up major investigations of pre-war intelligence, and he is forced to spend all his time playing defense, organizing a strategy, responding to questionnaires, trudging up to Capitol Hill and fending off increasingly aggressive members of Congress.

2. The Bush administration itself decided Negroponte was the wrong face for intelligence when all this was going down, given his own dubious record of involvement in human rights abuses and coverups.

3. The neocon right demanded Bush put Negroponte at State to act as their eyes, ears and mouthpiece and keep Condoleeza Rice on the straight and narrow neocon path.

For what its worth, Negroponte is the 2nd senior official in a row to leave their more senior post to serve as Deputy Secretary of State. Bob Zoellick, of course, was a Cabinet member as USTR before leaving for State. What to make of it? I don't know.

runescape money runescape gold runescape money runescape gold wow power leveling wow powerleveling Warcraft Power Leveling Warcraft PowerLeveling buy runescape gold buy runescape money runescape items runescape gold runescape money runescape accounts runescape gp dofus kamas buy dofus kamas Guild Wars Gold buy Guild Wars Gold runescape accounts buy runescape accounts runescape lotro gold buy lotro gold lotro gold buy lotro gold lotro gold buy lotro gold lotro gold buy lotro goldrunescape money runescape power leveling runescape money runescape gold dofus kamas cheap runescape money cheap runescape gold Hellgate Palladium Hellgate London Palladium Hellgate money Tabula Rasa gold tabula rasa money Tabula Rasa Credit
Tabula Rasa Credits Hellgate gold Hellgate London gold

My friend told me that she would buy lastchaos gold for me, and I was so happy. I do not like to go shopping, because it always spends a lot of money, but I never hesitate to buy lastchaos money. I find fun to buy last chaos gold. I like to discuss with my friends about where to buy cheap lastchaos gold and the equipment I need.

we don't think it is reasonable to spend hundreds thousands dollars to buy a decorating watch. you can use those money to invest in other industry which will return you good profit.
here you just need to spend 100-200 dollars to buy a replica rolex watches.
Rolex Explorer replica watches are made by the rating 1:1 according to the original watches, and you can't distinguish the original and the fake watches when you look at the surface of the watches.

Therefore, I should buy Tales Of Pirates Gold with the spare money.

I hope i can get kamas in low price.
Ibuy dofus kamas for you.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Sign-up to receive a weekly digest of the latest posts from Democracy Arsenal.
Powered by TypePad


The opinions voiced on Democracy Arsenal are those of the individual authors and do not represent the views of any other organization or institution with which any author may be affiliated.
Read Terms of Use