Second term national security team scorecard: Rice to State, Stephen Hadley to become national security advisor, Rumsfeld to stay put, Porter Goss to continue his massacre of some seemingly very qualified people at the CIA. Still in the gossip sphere: whether John Bolton will be promoted to become deputy secretary of state or deputy national security advisor, and whether Danielle Pletka will be appointed to head the Near East Bureau at State. Also unclear: whether Wolfowitz will be promoted or stay put at Defense, and whether Feith will stay. Interesting side note? one proposed candidate to head the CIA's clandestine service, Richard P. Lawless, a former business partner of Jeb Bush, is apparently also close with Richard Armitage, who is a major target of neocon animosity. Update: Fred Kaplan's take. Reading it, it's even more clear that who has really won this appointment-shuffle? Dick Cheney.
[Late Monday Update: Strobel & Landay: Powell was pushed out a bit earlier than he would have wished. Powell apparently spent the last four years as Secretary of State (who knew?).
U.S. officials and foreign policy analysts said Monday that by agreeing to Powell's departure and approving a purge by new CIA chief Porter Goss, Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney appear to be eliminating the few independent centers of power in the U.S. national security apparatus and cementing the system under their personal control.
Powell and his State Department team - quietly backed by the intelligence community - argued often for a foreign policy that was more inclusive of allies and that relied on diplomacy and coercion rather than on force to deal with adversaries.
They lost more battles than they won.
Powell, who friends said had hoped to stay on a little longer, will be replaced at the State Department by national security adviser Condoleezza Rice, said a senior administration official. Rice is far closer personally to Bush.
Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, a major architect of the Iraq war along with Bush and Cheney, appears to be staying for now, signaling that the White House believes its much-criticized Iraq policies are on the right track.↓ Story continues below ↓
"Letting him go would be an admission of failure," said one senior administration official who, like others, requested anonymity because of the White House's distaste for dissent.
We know how successful are systems that punish dissent. These people could not bring democracy to a kindergarten