Intel Director, Deputy Nominees Get Committee's Approval
By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, April 15, 2005 A Senate committee approved the president's nominations of John D. Negroponte and Air Force Lt. Gen. Michael V. Hayden to become the director and deputy director, respectively, of national intelligence after an April 14 Capitol Hill hearing.
Hayden is the current director of the National Security Agency, which specializes in communications eavesdropping and intercepts and code breaking. Negroponte is the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and, most recently, to Iraq.
The committee-approved nominations will be forwarded for a full Senate vote, which could occur next week.
Congress created the director of national intelligence position last year in addressing recommendations made by the commission that investigated the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States. The DNI will be the nation's top official responsible for intelligence operations.
During April 14 testimony before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Hayden said the DNI's office "would need robust authority over those big, muscular national (intelligence) collection agencies like NSA and NGA (National Geo-Spatial Agency), and CIA's directorate of operations."
Secondly, the three-star general noted, "you want unity of effort" among the nation's intelligence organizations and "economies of scale."
Thirdly, he said, the DNI's office would need to "accommodate the needs of America's combat forces, needs that daily seem to redefine standards for relevance and timeliness."
Congressional legislation signed by President Bush, Hayden noted, provides the DNI with "real authority to task both the collection and analysis of intelligence."
The 9/11 Commission's report cited an apparent lack of information sharing among the nation's 15 intelligence organizations.
"I think the fundamental issue," Hayden told the Senate committee, "is to move out of a mindset in which each of our (intelligence) collection agencies want to hold onto information until they had perfected it."