ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST….As near as I can tell, the new position of “director of national intelligence” was rendered pretty close to meaningless after the job was successfully neutered by the Pentagon during congressional negotiations last year. The fact that George Bush’s choice for the job is John Negroponte therefore inspires in me mostly a yawn.

Except for one thing: Negroponte has been ambassador to Iraq for the past seven months and will be leaving Baghadad (and its forthcoming billion dollar embassy!) to take the new job. What’s up with that? It’s hardly plausible the Negroponte was literally the only person Bush could find for the job, so this means that Negroponte must have made it clear that he was anxious to leave.

Not that I blame him, mind you, but we sure do have a hard time finding people willing to spend more than a few months in Iraq, don’t we? If Iraq were really the future garden spot that administration spokesmen keep implying it is, you’d think there would be plenty of heavy hitters anxious to step in and take their place in history as the MacArthur of the Middle East. But apparently not.

Food for thought, anyway. On the bright side, maybe this will renew calls for Paul Wolfowitz to take the job, a slice of poetic justice that would surely have broad support on both sides of the aisle. Plus we’re certain to get confirmation hearings for Negroponte in which questioning about death squads will figure prominently. That’s always good for late night TV.

Our ideas can save democracy... But we need your help! Donate Now!