Blow for Goss as ally resigns new CIA post





By Mark Huband in Washington

Financial Times, 5 October 2004

The decision of the Central Intelligence Agency’s new director to bring close allies into the agency suffered a setback yesterday with the withdrawal of his nominee as executive director.

Michael Kostiw, who had been one of three appointments made by Porter Goss, the new CIA director, withdrew his candidacy following allegations that he had been caught shoplifting in 1981. Mr Kostiw, who left the CIA after the incident, had passed security clearance.

“As a result of recent press articles and attendant speculation, I have decided that I cannot accept an appointment as CIA’s executive director,” Mr Kostiw said on the CIA website yesterday. As executive director, Mr Kostiw would have had day-to-day control over the agency and responsibility for budgets and personnel.

“Allegations about my past would be a distraction from the critical work the director of central intelligence needs to focus on, as well as a distraction from the war on terrorism and the other national security challenges being addressed every day by the extraordinarily talented and dedicated men and women of CIA,” the statement read.

Reports of Mr Kostiw’s past were published in the Washington Post at the weekend. He has neither confirmed nor denied the reports. The Post said that Mr Kostiw had agreed to resign in return for charges against him being dropped and his police record expunged. The statement said Mr Kostiw had agreed to remain as a senior adviser to the director.

Mr Kostiw was one of four staff members of the Senate intelligence committee Mr Goss said he would appoint to senior positions. Patrick Murray is the new CIA chief of staff, while Jay Jakub and Merrell Moorhead have been appointed special assistants.



© Copyright The Financial Times Ltd 2008.