Lieberman Statement on Nomination of John Negroponte to be DNI and General Michael Hayden to be Principal Deputy Director

WASHINGTON – Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Ranking Member Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., issued the following statement Thursday on the nomination of Ambassador John Negroponte to be the new Director of National Intelligence and General Michael Hayden to be his Principal Deputy Director:

“This is a very significant appointment, and I’m pleased the President has nominated a dedicated public servant to fill the post. I am also heartened by the nomination of National Security Agency Director Michael Hayden to be his principal deputy. “As a career diplomat for four decades, John Negroponte has loyally served his government in multiple countries around the world. If confirmed, he will be given a chance to put his skills to use to strengthen the nation’s national security and to protect the American people from future terrorist attacks at home and abroad. “General Hayden has been a first rate head of NSA and played a critical role in advising Congress on the need for and direction of intelligence reform last year. “The intelligence reform bill passed last fall gives the Director of National Intelligence robust budget and other authorities necessary to manage a sprawling intelligence community. To be successful, the new director and his deputy will have to exercise those authorities fully and forcefully in order to affect true reform. “But they will also have to be tough and willing to make strong, perhaps unpopular decisions to manage the competing elements of the intelligence community. And they will be most effective if President Bush remains committed to intelligence reform and ensures that the DNI has all the powers he needs to be an effective manager. “The 9/11 Commission did its job in identifying the problems of the intelligence community prior to the attacks of September 11. Congress passed intelligence reform last fall based on the Commission’s recommendations. Now the real work begins with full implementation of that law. John Negroponte’s and Michael Hayden’s nominations are the first steps toward carrying out these important reforms. “I look forward to meeting with the nominees to hear their vision for fulfilling these critical positions.”