Negroponte's Move WAS A Demotion
I thought Negroponte's move from Director of National Intelligence to Deputy Secretary of State was done because Negroponte doesn't want to face the blizzard of questions from the new Democratic Congress regarding how the Bush administration cherry-picked intelligence to bolster their case for the Eye-Rack war.
Now former UPI correspondent Richard Sale reports on Pat Lang's site that the Bushies were the ones who ordered the demotion, precisely because Negroponte was not a team player and might reveal too much to the likely hearings:
Contrary to the bland stories in The New York Times and Washington Post of Friday, Negroponte did not go voluntarily to State from his job as director of intelligence. In fact, there was tremendous administration pressure to get him out of his current job. The chief cause of the quarrel involved Negroponte's balking at at request from Vice President Cheney to increase domestic collection by the National Security Agency on U.S. citizens.
Negroponte flatly refused, Cheney bridled, and from then on the pressure built to get rid of him. (The White House did not return phone calls, but there is nothing new is that.)
The Bush people, chiefly Cheney and the president, were already annoyed by the fact that the Negroponte group has been busy producing drafts of reports that predict utter disaster in Iraq and which are utterly opposed to any increase of troops. Cheney and Bush both flared in wrath over this. Of course, intelligence is simply evaluated information. Its purpose is to help inform decisions by policymakers, as Pat as so often pointed out. But this this administration perceives objectivity as a inadequate commitment or as an absence of complete loyalty.
Always look for alterior motives with these rats.