When Goss and Murray arrived at the CIA in the fall of 2004, their first choice for the agency's No. 3 job of executive director was a former CIA officer named Michael Kostiw, who had many friends in conservative political circles. But Kostiw's nomination was sabotaged when a CIA insider leaked the fact that he had once been accused of shoplifting. The charges were dropped after Kostiw resigned and agreed to seek counseling. Kostiw's past made him an inappropriate choice for such a senior position, in the view of many career CIA officers, but to Murray the leak was evidence of a liberal cabal at the CIA that was determined to obstruct the Bush administration's agenda.
What is it with these guys and petty larcency? Claude Allen was making $161,000 a year (drawn on you and me, the taxpayers, of course). I'm sure Kostiw wasn't making quite as much, but I doubt he would have been pinched for change to buy a Snickers bar.
Ah, but I see the shoplifting allegation is 25 years old. Maybe he was just a wayward young man back then — starving graduate student or something. Maybe … or then again, maybe not. Here's what Walter Pincus reported two years ago, when Kostiw withdrew from consideration for the job that ultimately went to Kyle "Dusty" Foggo:
The change came after The Washington Post reported Sunday [Oct. 3, 2004] that, in late 1981, Kostiw was caught shoplifting a $2.13 package of bacon from a supermarket in Langley, according to two former CIA officials familiar with the incident. At the time, Kostiw had been a CIA case officer for 10 years.
You work for the CIA for ten years and then you resort to shoplifting to bring home the bacon? He was 34 at the time. According to Pincus, the reason there were no charges filed was because the CIA provided what sounds like a "get out of jail free" card:
Kostiw has told friends he decided to resign during the leave. Agency officials arranged for the misdemeanor shoplifting charge to be dropped and the police record expunged in return for his resignation and agreement to seek counseling, a former official said.
I wonder whether the agency provides that kind of help to troubled teens, too?
Extra! MoDo is on the case as well — "Six Degrees of Bacon" — but you can't shoplift Times Select and I wouldn't recommend paying for it. She's mostly repackaging Pincus anyway, with a few bacon "jokes" thrown in. I regret my own "bringing home the bacon" now. The rest of today's posts will be strictly kosher.