Senate questions Bush’s CIA pick
* Goss vows to help repel future terror attacks
WASHINGTON: The top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee questioned on Tuesday whether President George W Bush’s choice to head the CIA was too partisan to be able to restore credibility to US intelligence services.
Bush nominated Republican Rep. Porter Goss to succeed former CIA director George Tenet who resigned in July just prior to the release of the Sept. 11 Commission report that found “deep institutional failings” in the US intelligence agencies related to the 2001 attacks and the Iraq war.
“The documented intelligence failures prior to the terrorist attacks of September 11th and leading up to the war in Iraq have left the intelligence community’s credibility bruised and its reputation tarnished,” Sen. John Rockefeller, a West Virginia Democrat, said in his prepared opening statement for a hearing on the Goss nomination.
“The community’s objectivity, independence and competency have been called into question,” he said.
The hearing on the nomination of Goss, who until recently was chairman of the House of Representatives’ Intelligence Committee, offered Democrats an election-year platform to criticize the Republican administration on national security issues.
The next director of the Central Intelligence Agency would be the most important ever confirmed by the Senate, given the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the global fight terrorist organizations - “The stakes are simply enormous,” Rockefeller said.
Terror attacks: Former spy Porter Goss vowed on Tuesday to work “tirelessly” to deter future terrorist attacks on the United States, as he appeared before a Senate panel considering his nomination to be CIA director.
“As Americans, we are confronted by a brutal enemy who prefers to murder innocents, who continues to strike our military men and women, who bombs our embassies, who is committed to the destruction of not only our economy, but our way of life,” Goss told the Senate Intelligence Committee, the panel tasked with vetting his nomination.
“In this battle, good intelligence is crucial. We must deliver a solid reliable product for our decision makers,” he said. “That is our core business.” agencies