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Correspondence from Senator Dodd (D-CT)

Concerning the Nomination of Rep. Porter Goss as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)

A letter was sent via email to Senators Lieberman and Dodd and Representative Simmonsin regarding the nomination of Representative Porter Goss as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). This is Senator Dodd's response.

From: Senator_Chris_Dodd@dodd.senate.gov
Subject: From Senator Christopher J. Dodd
Date: Fri, 22 Oct 2004 12:23:35 -0400

Dear Ms. Thomas:

I also believe that the DCI must have the knowledge and experience necessary to lead some of our most critical intelligence efforts. I am sorry to say that some of the most egregious lapses in history by our Nation's intelligence community happened while Representative Goss was chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, which is responsible for ensuring that US intelligence agencies function effectively. Given this failure in oversight, I am concerned about his capacity to accomplish the fundamental intelligence reforms necessary to meet the challenges facing us in the 21st century.

Indeed, times have changed since the CIA was founded in1947. We are now engaged n new battles. The enemy we face, terrorism, is dispersed throughout the world in small cells, sometimes connected, sometimes acting independently. We must defeat soundly those who would attack our country and endanger the security of Americans, and to do so, we need a strong, effective intelligence service. In confronting this challenge, it is my fervent hope that Representative Goss will prove my concerns about his leadership unfounded.

Thank you again for contacting me. If you would like to stay in touch with me on this and other issues of importance, please visit my website at http://dodd.senate.gov and subscribe to my online newsletter, the Dodd Digest. Please do not hesitate to contact me again if I can help you in any way.

Christopher J. Dodd, United States Senator

~ Return to "What'd She Say Now!"

Already, I fear some of my concerns have been validated. Since his confirmation as DCI, Representative Goss has moved to install three partisan staff members of the House Intelligence Committee in high ranking positions within the CIA. The move, according to the Washington Post, sent a "tremor" through CIA headquarters because, it was feared, the appointees would "bring partisan sensibilities to their new roles". As a former intelligence officer argued, "It looks as though he is appointing people known to be partisan politicos and that may have a stifling effect on the staff."

Thank you for contacting me regarding the nomination of Representative Porter Goss as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). It was a pleasure to hear from you.

In 1947, President Harry Truman signed legislation which provided for the establishment of the CIA. This important agency plays a critical role in shaping the national security policy of the United States. The CIA engages in research and analysis of information, as well as a host of other activities related to foreign intelligence and national security.

As you may know, on September 22, 2004, Representative Goss was confirmed as Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) by a vote of 77-17. I did not support Representative Goss's nomination because I believe it is of the utmost importance that the Director of the CIA be nonpartisan. The safety of the American people should be above partisan politics. National security is an issue that must unite us in a common cause, and I am concerned that some of Representative Goss's comments during his tenure as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee were overly partisan and blindly supportive of the Bush Administration.

There is no question that intelligence has been politicized in this Administration, and I believe that confirming an individual who has played a role in politicizing intelligence is extremely unwise and only serves to further demoralize the individuals who are working so hard to protect our national security.