President Nominates Air Force General as Next CIA Director
By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, May 8, 2006 President Bush today announced Air Force Gen. Michael Hayden as his choice to replace Porter Goss as next director of the Central Intelligence Agency.
"Mike knows our intelligence community from the ground up," Bush said from the Oval Office today. "He's been both a provider and consumer of intelligence."
Hayden currently serves as the deputy to Director of National Intelligence John D. Negroponte. Before that, he directed the National Security Agency.
Bush said throughout his military career, Hayden has demonstrated an ability to adapt U.S. intelligence services to the new challenges of the war on terror. "He's the right man to lead the CIA at this critical moment in our nation's history," the president said.
The Senate unanimously confirmed Hayden last year for his current position as deputy director of national intelligence. Since he began his active duty career in 1969, he has held senior positions at the Pentagon, in U.S. European Command and on the National Security Council, and he served in the U.S. Embassy in Bulgaria during the Cold War.
Hayden said he looks forward to meeting congressional leaders in the confirmation process, as well as working with CIA employees. "If I'm confirmed, I would be honored to join you and work with so many good friends," he told the men and women of the CIA.
Bush announced Goss's resignation as the agency's director May 5.
Under Goss's leadership, the CIA launched a five-year plan to strengthen human intelligence capabilities, Bush said. That plan involves increasing numbers of operatives and sources in the field, as well as developing the agency's analytical capabilities and instilling a sense of professionalism in the agency.
The president also credited Goss for shaping the relationship between CIA and the director of national intelligence. That process benefited from a decades-long friendship between the two directors, he said.
"With the agreement of the Senate, Mike will succeed a great patriot and director, Porter Goss," Bush said. "I'm confident that (he) will continue the reforms that Porter has put in place and provide outstanding new leadership to meet the challenges and threats of a dangerous new century."