May 26 2006
Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today expressed her support for the nomination of General Michael V. Hayden to be the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. In anticipation of a Senate vote on the nomination, Senator Feinstein entered the following statement into the Congressional Record:
“Mr. President, I rise in support of the nomination of General Michael Hayden to be the next Director of the CIA.
I support his confirmation first because I think General Hayden’s vision for the future of the CIA is right on point. He has pledged to make the collection of human intelligence a top priority – a necessary move in understanding our nation’s enemies and the threats we face. At the same time, General Hayden understands the failures of analysis prior to the Iraq War and is committed to making major changes. Only time will tell, but I am hopeful that General Hayden has what it takes to put the Agency on the right path after recent collection and analytic failures.
Secondly, I think General Hayden brings with him the overarching view of the entire Intelligence Community needed to carry out the vision and transition the CIA to deal with the new asymmetric threat posed by the terrorist world. I think this is critically important at this time. General Hayden served six years as the Director of the National Security Agency, the largest intelligence agency in the Intelligence Community. He ably led a transformation from a Cold War institution to a key component of our nation’s counterterrorism efforts. Additionally, he served as Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence under Ambassador Negroponte for the past year. In this role, he oversaw the day-to-day operations of the Office of the DNI, and many of the DNI’s accomplishments to date can be directly attributed to General Hayden’s service.
Third, I am pleased that General Hayden made a commitment to me to appoint experienced intelligence professionals to serve on his direct staff and in senior positions across the Agency. I also support the Administration’s intention to name Stephen Kappes as the Deputy Director of the CIA. Mr. Kappes brings a wealth of experience in the clandestine service to the Agency’s senior leadership. Perhaps more importantly, his return to the Agency has already gone a long way to assure operators that they are well represented in management and that their concerns will be met. General Hayden will come to the Agency at a time of major personnel problems. But he has already taken steps to move the Agency beyond the problems of the past – and that is good news.
There is no question that the concerns that have been raised about General Hayden are legitimate and important. Before my meeting with General Hayden and his appearance at the confirmation hearings, I was concerned that he will not be sufficiently independent of the Department of Defense. On this point, I have been reassured. General Hayden has shown his independence in the past, and has committed that if he finds his uniform to be a hindrance in any way, he will “take it off.”
Similarly, the Intelligence Committee will need to pay close attention to intelligence activities of the Department of Defense, especially in the area of human intelligence. I have concerns that the Pentagon is going too far in this area, and I want to make sure that the CIA remains the leader and primary provider of this type of intelligence collection.
My greatest concern about General Hayden is that he was not more forthcoming in his answers during the open confirmation hearing. Many members asked important questions on the NSA domestic surveillance program and on detention, interrogation and rendition policies. In my view, the public deserved more forthcoming answers than those provided by General Hayden. For example, I felt that General Hayden should have stated clearly, in full public view, whether he believes that certain interrogation techniques constitute torture. He could say “yes” or “no” without disclosing sources and methods. It is my hope that General Hayden will be more forthcoming once he is confirmed as Director of the CIA.
The challenge ahead of General Hayden is daunting, but it is absolutely critical to our nation’s security that he succeeds. I believe General Hayden is the sound intelligence professional the CIA needs to regain its footing as the world’s premier spy service and the hub of our nation’s intelligence analysis and research and development capabilities. I look forward to working with him to protect the American people.”