Rumsfeld Calls Lobbying Reports 'Nonsense'
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Nov. 23, 2004 Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld called published reports that he lobbied against the Senate intelligence bill "nonsense."
Rumsfeld spoke during a Pentagon press conference today.
The intelligence bill is stalled in Congress. The secretary said the Senate and House versions of the bill are very close and that the conferees are trying to smooth out the differences.
Rumsfeld said he fully supports President Bush's policy in regard to intelligence reform. "Needless to say, I'm part of this administration," Rumsfeld said. "I support the president's position."
Reporters asked Joint Chiefs Chairman Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers about an Oct. 21 letter he wrote to the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. In that letter, Myers asked the conferees to adopt terms that would ensure required warfighting intelligence capabilities are accommodated in the final version of the bill. Officials said the chairman was giving his best advice, as he is required by law.
Rumsfeld said he and the president were fully aware that Myers was sending the letter to the House.
The chairman said his opinion has not changed since he wrote the letter. In it, Myers said it was important that the final version of the bill take into consideration the responsibilities of the secretary of defense for the operation and funding of DoD intelligence agencies.
"In this regard the budgets of the combat support agencies should come up from the agencies through the secretary of defense to the national intelligence director," the chairman wrote in his letter.
In allotting appropriations, the director of national intelligence should also work through the defense secretary, said Myers in the letter.