WASHINGTON, DC – Following the announcement by President Bush today that he intends to nominate former U.N. Ambassador John Negroponte to be the country’s first Director of National Intelligence (DNI), Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) released the following statement. President Bush also announced that he will nominate Lieutenant General Michael Hayden to be the Deputy DNI. Senator Collins had recommended General Hayden to the White House.
Senator Collins, Chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, co-authored with Senator Joseph Lieberman (D-CT), Ranking Member of the Committee, the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act, which created the position of the DNI. The legislation creates a strong leader of the intelligence community who has the authority to marshal the resources of the national intelligence agencies to counter terrorism and other emerging threats. The DNI also serves as the primary intelligence advisor to the President.
The following is Senator Collins statement:
“Ambassador John Negroponte is an accomplished diplomat with strong credentials and leadership skills. His experience in national security and foreign relations is a strong foundation for the responsibilities that he will have in this critical position. Having served as our ambassador in Iraq, he has a special insight into the need for better intelligence.
“The new Director of National Intelligence will serve a critical role. He must oversee the 15 agencies that comprise the intelligence community. He must set the community’s budget, establish intelligence gathering and analytic priorities, and ensure that they are carried out. And he must make sure that the intelligence community is an integrated community, sharing information and working together, not working independently or even at cross-purposes.
“As head of the National Security Agency, Lieutenant General Michael Hayden is one of our nation’s foremost experts on intelligence matters. He has the expertise and experience in managing day-to-day intelligence activities that will serve him well as the Deputy DNI. I am delighted to have recommended him to the President.
“Ambassador Negroponte and Lieutenant General Hayden will bring a wealth of experience to the positions for which they are nominated. I hope that Congress acts quickly on these nominations.”