The Senate continued with the consideration of the nomination.
Mr. BOREN. Mr. President, I also want to express my appreciation to him for the comments which he made in announcing that he will vote in favor of the confirmation of Robert Gates to be Director of Central Intelligence. I know Chairman Pell has made a very thoughtful consideration of all of the issues in this matter.
I want to join with him in saying that I, like Senator Pell, am totally committed to the objectivity of the intelligence analysis process. That is the heart and soul of intelligence, as I said earlier in my opening remarks on the floor today. It would be completely unnecessary for us to spend billions of dollars collecting raw intelligence data if the analysts are going to slant the intelligence and simply tell the policymakers what they want to hear. That can be done by one analyst and a typewriter. It would not require the immense amount of funds and the intensive effort that we make to collect intelligence.
I have been impressed, as has been Senator Pell, by the recommendations which Mr. Gates has made. He made some of these comments in public hearings before our committee for trying to change the system--he has reflected upon it, he has looked upon his own experience--to change the system to ensure we indeed have objective analysis from the intelligence community. I think his proposal, that we move to a majority and minority expression of viewpoints and the provision of intelligence analysis, much like the majority and minority opinions of a court, is a very good one. That way we will have crisp, clear, predictive intelligence in terms of the majority view and not a watered down, caveated product that General Schwarzkopf and others have complained about, while at the same time the presentation of minority views set forth with the reasoning behind those minority views will assure that those who do not prevail in the internal debate will also have a chance to be heard by the policymaker.
I think it will add to the intergrity of the process and protect the objectivity of the process in the long run.
So I again want to thank my colleague for his comments, for his contribution to this process. I think, as I have said in the beginning, the confirmation process is a valuable process because, as we raise these kinds of questions, we also have an opportunity to focus the attention of the nominees on areas that need improving.
I am convinced that if Mr. Gates is confirmed as Director of Central Intelligence, he will be a better Director because we have gone through the confirmation process, because he will have been sensitized even further in the course of these proceedings to problems that exist in the Agency, areas that need improvement, and will have had the constructive suggestions of Members of the Senate and a constructive dialog with him in the course of this process.
So I thank my colleague, and I want to pledge that as chairman of the committee, if Mr. Gates is confirmed, or if, indeed, he is not confirmed and someone else is placed in that position, we will continue--and I know the other members of our committee on both sides of the aisle share that common commitment--to focus upon the objectivity of intelligence analysis and the integrity of that process as one of our prime areas of concern.
Mr. President, I would also like at this point to insert into the Record a summary of several different estimates and pieces of analysis done by the Central Intelligence Agency over the last decade. I will not go into all of them on the floor at this time, but I believe that they will indicate that there has been a consistent and unequivocable description in these pieces of analysis by the Central Intelligence Agency of the worsening failure of the Soviet political and economic system throughout the last decade.
The question that could not be answered with confidence, and over which there was substantial debate by analysts within the Soviet office, intelligence communities, the Government, and the academic community, was what would the outcome be when the seemingly inevitable crisis occurred? Would it result in a move backward to more oppressive totalitarianism or would it force political reforms and move the country in a direction of a more democratic process?
Many have seized on the inability of the agency to answer this question in precise terms as a sign of failure. While I think there is room for criticism, I do not believe it would be fully fair to look at only one part of the equation. I think some of the critics have dismissed an entire body of analysis and judgment which provided policymakers from the President to Members of Congress very good insight into the Soviet political and economic transformation that has occurred since Gorbachev came to power and very good insight into the nature of the problems of the Soviet economy.
So while I certainly do not offer this evidence in the way of apologizing for any mistakes and errors that may have been made, I simply do offer it for the sake of inserting some balance into our deliberations because it is an overstatement to say that throughout the past decade the intelligence community has been wrong, totally wrong, about the impending economic and political crisis in the Soviet Union. The record does not bear that out. There is room for criticism. There is also room for commendation in terms of the record of the past 10 years.
I urge my colleagues to look at the balance of the full record and not just at parts of it that have been highlighted by some of our colleagues and some in the course of the debate over the Gates nomination.
Yet, let us be clear about the fact that the Agency has not always been correct about predicting outcomes. But contrary to the allegations of critics, the Agency did not miss change in the Soviet Union during Bob Gates' tenure as DDI or DDCI. His own views in no way impeded a healthy and rich record of understanding of trends and the prospect for change in the Soviet Union.
What I have done is go back over a decade and reviewed what the Agency has been saying about the Soviet economy, defense spending, and Gorbachev. What follows is a recitation of quotes from documents that have been declassified by the CIA. What the documents show--and do so conclusively from my point of view, is that the Agency got it right, not wrong--and provided a solid understanding of trends in the Soviet Union.
In 1979, the Agency noted the societal pressures building in the Soviet Union by stating:
Soviet consumer discontent is growing and will cause the regime of the 1980's serious economic and political problems. * * * In the longer run * * * consumer dissatisfaction could have severe political consequences. The Soviet leaders can ill afford to ignore the material demands of their
increasingly acquisitive society. If, as projected, economic growth declines to the point where the regime is unable to improve or even maintain the current standard of living by the mid-1980's, the incidence of active unrest will certainly grow, forcing the leadership to consider a reordering of its priorities.
*** national minorities, particularly in the Western borderlands, tend to see their economic woes caused by Russian exploitation. On several occasions in recent years, economic and national grievances have combined to produce large-scale demonstrations in the Baltic republics and in the Ukraine. The approach of `hard times' will aggravate ethnic conflict. ***
In 1981, in a study commissioned by the CIA entitled `Consumption in the U.S.S.R.: An International Comparison' and submitted to the Joint Economic Committee, the Agency stated:
The Soviet pattern in many respects conforms to that in less developed countries, and remarkably little progress toward a more modern pattern has been made in recent decades. In this and other respects, the U.S.S.R. is indeed the world's most `underdeveloped country.' *** In the U.S.S.R., long-continued investment priorities favoring heavy industry and defense, coupled with a rigid and cumbersome system of economic organization, have combined to produce a consumer sector that not only lags behind both the West and Eastern Europe, but also is in many respects primitive, grossly unbalanced and in massive disequilibrium. These negative aspects cannot be captured in quantitative comparisons, which as a consequence, overstate the level of well being in the Soviet Union relative to other countries. Progress in raising living standards is likely to slow to a crawl and the consumer sector will remain fourth class when compared with western economies.
In a 1982 assessment the CIA stated:
The Soviet Union now faces a wide array of social, economic and political ills, including general social malaise, ethnic tensions, consumer frustrations, and political discontent. *** How these internal problems will ultimately challenge and affect the regime, however, is open to debate and considerable uncertainty. Some observers believe the regime will have little trouble coping. *** Others believe that economic mismanagement will aggravate internal problems and ultimately erode the regime's credibility, increasing the long-term prospects for fundamental change.
*** Popular discontent over a perceived decline in the quality of life represents, in our judgment, the most serious and immediate challenge for the Politburo.
It should be noted that this study incorporated the results of Murray Feshbach's research on increasing infant mortality and declining life expectancy in the Soviet Union.
In a 1983 assessment the Agency stated:
Civil unrest in the Soviet Union takes many forms. Since 1970, intelligence sources report over 280 cases of industrial strikes and work stoppages, public demonstrations, and occasional violence, including sabotage, rioting, and even political assassination attempts. *** The scope and character of popular grievances that are suggested in recent civil unrest probably present a greater long-range challenge to the regime than the narrower intellect dissident movement.
In June 1983, in another assessment, the CIA stated:
Growth had been decelerating since World War II and nose-dived in 1976-1982. Productivity slumped even more dramatically. The surprising and dramatic turndown was triggered by a pathbreaking--but ultimately failed--investment decision in the 1976-1980 Five Year Plan, but other internal and external factors also caused serious damage. Strenuous efforts have not halted the decline. Even if major systematic reforms are launched--and they aren't on the agenda--industrial growth and productivity will not rise for many years.
In July 1983, with the Defense Intelligence Agency taking a dissent, the Agency stated:
New evidence indicates that in at least one major area--procurement of military hardware--the Soviets have not maintained their past spending momentum since 1976.
In a September 1985 assessment, the Agency stated:
Economic performance has improved in recent years from the low levels of 1979-1982, but the system cannot simultaneously maintain growth in defense spending, satisfy demand for greater quantity and variety of consumer goods/services, invest amounts required for economic modernization/expansion, and continue to support client-state economies. It is an open question how much economic improvement will occur and how long it can be sustained.
On July 10, 1987, the Agency stated:
If by next year, industrial modernization doesn't provide enough growth to give generous investments to consumers as well as to defense and investment, leaders will have to reallocate.
In an August 1987 assessment, the Agency stated:
Even before Gorbachev took over, there was an emerging consensus among the elite that the need to revitalize the economy was reaching a critical stage. We expected, in the long-term, major problems for him because the system would block, not help, him; and he would have to deal with increased demands for shares of a diminishing resource pie. It will be a tumultuous year ahead, politically, in the U.S.S.R.
In a submission to the Joint Economic Committee in September and October 1987, the Agency stated:
A period of economic disruption is likely over the next few years, even in the best circumstances, that would depress growth to less than two percent and complicate the delicate balance between interest groups. There might not be a noticeable payoff for years to come. Nevertheless, there are good reasons why this program has a better chance than its predecessors: it is bolder, more comprehensive, has more leadership commitment, and better means of monitoring compliance. But likely gains will not match Gorbachev's expectations.
In submission to the Joint Economic Committee in April and June 1988, the Agency stated:
We foresaw troubles for Gorbachev--too few investment resources chasing too many needs, unrealistic growth targets, a squeeze on the consumer, military expenditures at a high absolute level, and people/system problems. We continue to think the outlook for the reform program is bleak unless and until the Soviets deal with fundamental problems. Reforms are pointed in the right direction, but don't go far enough. Price reform is at the heart of the issue--also an incentive program to spur productivity.
In June 1988, in commenting on the Soviet Union's economic woes, the Agency stated:
The budget deficit has increased dramatically over the last three years. It is financed by new money and inflation is obvious and deleterious. Gorbachev must act quickly to improve the quality of life because if the deficit is not controlled, it will produce inflation much worse than at any time in the postwar era.
In the same month in 1988, the Agency stated:
Nonetheless, the meager progress so far in the industrial modernization program, particularly in machinery output, which is the linchpin of the plan, creates powerful incentives for at least a short-term reduction in military procurement and construction, and perhaps even in the size of the active-duty forces. A leadership seeking ways to conserve resources going to military would not be hard pressed to find elements of the massive Soviet military establishment that seem excessive in relation to `reasonable' security requirements, especially if more weight is given to political dimensions of security. In deed, a case could be made--and is, in fact, implied in the arguments of some writers--that defense spending could be cut at the same time the effectiveness of the Soviet military is improved. All of this leads us to conclude that--barring a major change in the party leadership or in the external situation--there is a good chance that Gorbachev will, by the end of this decade, turn to unilateral defense cuts.
In March 1989 the Agency stated:
Indeed, although clearly a military superpower, the Soviet Union has an economy that in many ways is like that of a developing country. The level of per capita consumption in the U.S.S.R., for instance is far below that of the developed Western countries and Japan. * * * The pattern of consumption and output (also) resembles that of less developed nations. * * * (For example) the per capita consumption of consumer durable resembles that of many Latin American countries. * * * (it) was more comparable to countries such has Mexico and Brazil (in 1985). * * * The Soviet position relative to the rest of the world has not improved over the past ten decades. * * * The share of agricultural output in GDP in the Soviet Union is similar to that in Turkey and in the Philippines.
In evaluating Gorbachev's ascendancy, all of the CIA products quickly identified the new General Secretary as a vigorous, imaginative leader, both domestically and in foreign and security policy. His commitment to reinvigorating the Soviet economy and revitalizing Soviet society--even if only to reestablish the credibility of the party and political system--were reported early on, as was his creative approach to foreign and security policy--especially in arms control.
But the CIA analysis also described the early Gorbachev to be more of a fixer than a true reformer; his early moves were unmistakenly aimed at making the system work, not changing the system. CIA reported that his efforts to jump start the economy through efficiency and improved industrial production would at best produce a short term shot in the arm, and he could not sustain even the sought for improved efficiencies while forcing the consumer to await any tangible benefits. And that when these short term gains puttered out, he would be faced with a situation even worse--in part from his unfulfilled promises--than his
predecessors. And that sooner or later this would force him to confront the real problems--that dealing with a need to both improve consumer and societal welfare while also modernizing the antiquated industrial base would bring him squarely in confrontation with the immense, disproportionate share of national wealth going to the military; and that the political system and the party machinery which provided the instruments for power, that he was trying to revitalize, were in fact the chief obstacles to achieving his ends.
In sum, CIA products during the first year of Gorbachev described clearly that he was a new brand of leader, committed to improving the economic performance with a vague future promise that this would ultimately improve the social lot, but CIA also expressed skepticism that he could succeed without systemic change in the command economy mechanisms and the stifling political system, or relief from the crushing military burden.
In March 1986 submissions to the Joint Economic Committee the CIA stated:
In the absence of [an] upturn, however, the hopes for eliciting a great work effort will probably plummet as general disillusionment sets in, with the population seeing Gorbachev as no more effective than Brezhnev or Chernyenko * * * Gorbachev might permit selective utilization of private sector activity, particularly consumer services. This would require a greater departure from economic orthodoxy than he has indicated so far he is willing to do. * * * Gorbachev's approach has reflected adherence to the Soviet model. He doesn't seem to want to change the model. He seems to think he can make it work better. In sum, we continue to believe that major adjustments probably will have to be made in Soviet economic policies, if Gorbachev hopes to come close to his economic objectives. At this stage, it is too early to say just what moves, if any, he would make.
On the political side, in April 1986 the CIA stated:
Gorbachev's initial party congress effectively drew a curtain on the Brezhnev era. * * * but was not the decisive break some Soviets and Western experts had predicted. * * * For every issue moved forward an equally important question was sidestepped. * * * Gorbachev's avoidance of potentially divisive issues at the congress was politically prudent, but continued caution could slow the momentum he has built over the first year.
In April 1986 the Agency stated:
Gorbachev has set for himself the ambitious objective of reviving Soviet communism--by revitalizing the economy, the society, the ideology, and the party itself. The General Secretary, building on initiatives started under Andropov, has moved vigorously to address societal and economic ailments confronting the regime. * * * These policies will increase turbulence within society and the elite. Within officialdom, powerful vested interests will attempt to slow the pace and limit the scope of change.
* * * Soviet leaders will face continuing problems throughout the 1980's and beyond. Soviet society problems result from fundamental contemporary conditions that the regime is unable or unwilling to alter. The growing sophistication of consumer demand is a natural consequence of the very process of economic modernization that the regime wants to further. The growing size of the critically thinking public is the result of expanded education, which is essential to the country's progress. The exposure of the population to external influences is partly due to technological advances beyond the regime's control.
It needs to be borne in mind that the above citations are all from products done in the first year of the Gorbachev tenure.
In February 1987, CIA's SOVA published an assessment of the challenges Gorbachev would face. The key judgments from this study have now been declassified and submitted for the record in their entirety.
CIA's March 1987 submission to the Joint Economic Committee also sums up much of what CIA products had said during Gorbachev's second year.
The plan that was [originally] submitted under the Gorbachev leadership essentially did not change or envisage any change in the fundamentals of the Soviet system. * * * We saw major problems for him * * * it was our view that the system he thought he could exercise would, in effect, stymie him * * * he still had not dealt with * * * the incentives to overcome the cynicism of a population that believed it had seen this before and of a managerial system which had strong disincentives for creativity, enterprise, and initiative. And * * * he had to contend with a large number of sinecures which had
grown up over the last 18 years of the Brezhnev leadership * * * [regarding defense] there will come a time in the next year or two, we think, when the question of cutting tools for the next generation of weapons systems will be a serious issue, and when the debates begin on the next Five Year Plan. It is clear that the military is going to have to be dealt with insofar as its share of investments is concerned.
And finally, the consumer is going to have to see some results * * * if he is going to have the kind of positive incentives needed.
Gorbachev appears now to have recognized that he is, indeed, running into the kinds of systemic problems we anticipated * * * facing resistance and blockage * * * he has taken the first steps toward challenging some fundamental aspects of the system. * * * This has created a great deal of political tension in the Soviet Union.
In a July 1987 assessment CIA's Bureau of Soviet Affairs stated:
Because he seems determined to protect a modernization program that is already underfunded and because the milestones for fashioning the 1991-95 economic plan are fast approaching, Gorbachev is likely to seek arms control agreements in the final years of the Reagan Administration rather than wait for the next election. Moreover, the weaknesses of the reform measures undertaken thus far are likely to become clearer over the next few years. We think Gorbachev is likely to move forward rather than retreat and push through more radical reforms so that they will be in place for the 1991-95 plan period.
* * * Gorbachev has already asked the military and the population to curb their appetites in return for more later. If his programs do not work out, other leaders could appeal to these constituencies. The risks in a more radical reform and a rewrite of the social contract are that confusion, economic disruption, and worker discontent will give potential opponents a platform on which to stand. Gorbachev's position could also be undermined by the loosening of censorship over the written and spoken word and the promotion of limited democracy. If it suspects that this process is getting out of control, the party could well execute an abrupt about-face, discarding Gorbachev along the way.
In this period from the beginning of Gorbachev's second year that CIA began to focus increasingly on the tension between Gorbachev's efforts on the economy and outlook for the defense budget. An additional product, principally in the political sphere, dealt with Gorbachev's efforts to take back from the military and defense industrial sector the control that Brezhnev has allowed to develop. In an October 1987 assessment CIA stated:
Gorbachev's intention of challenging the military's priority status has been reflected in a series of actions from his first hours as party boss. * * *
And, as was described by CIA, Gorbachev's policies toward more systemic change did indeed result in increased turbulence within Soviet society. Throughout 1987 and the ensuing years, SOVA turned out numerous products describing the rising ethnic and society volatility. All of these papers not only analyzed specific ethnic hot spots but also flagged the broader issue of empire maintenance.
As the summer of 1988 approached, it appeared that the drama whose setting had been laid out in the above listed products and other products was reaching a critical juncture with an upcoming All-Union Party Conference. This prospect was described in a SOVA product published in June 1988. CIA stated:
[It] could mark a watershed in the history of the Soviet system. * * * Gorbachev is counting on the party conference to approve sweeping changes in the Soviet political system in order to breathe new life into his efforts to restructure the economy and build a stronger foundation for regime legitimacy. * * * Changes under consideration, if successfully adopted and implemented, would radically alter the Soviet political landscape by `democratizing' the party and society, limiting the role of the party in day-to-day economic and social life, and opening the way for decentralized decision making.
In fact, this event turned out to be another mixed affair. Conflicts and resistance were becoming entrenched and as had happened so often, Gorbachev temporized. Many of the reforms CIA had expected were passed, but the major shakeup of the party did not occur. But the forward leaning stance reflected in this attempted forecast shows that CIA and SOVA in particular was in fact looking at the prospects for dramatic change that would transform the landscape.
And shortly, thereafter, in September, the expected major shakeup did in fact occur. It included not only major realignment of leadership personnel, but a restructuring of the party and state organs both at the center and regionally. The imminence of a major political event had in fact been forecast in a SOVA paper shortly before it happened, although the precise outcome could not be forecast. It was a clear move by Gorbachev to outflank the party and move to state organizations. It reflected a clear signal that he had given up on trying to reform the work through the party apparatus. A December CIA 1988 paper described the significance of this event by stating:
[It could] strengthen legislative institutions and transfer some executive powers from conservative and resistant party bodies back to the presidency * * * give greater priority to consumer goods and services and may lead to increased diversion of resources from military to domestic economic needs * * * allow more tolerance for national assertiveness * * * more pragmatic, nonideological approaches to foreign affairs * * * [increased] prospects for advancing `new thinking' on national security issues.
Mr. President, I will conclude by saying that I believe this is a rather rich record of publication. Notwithstanding, Mr. Gates's own personal views, the Agency demonstrated a strong understanding of events and trends in the Soviet Union. It allowed policymakers to take the Agency's product and combine it with diplomatic reporting, academic papers and their own personal prejudices to come to their own judgments.
But the bottom line is the Agency did not miss the key events and trends in the Soviet Union in the 1980's. And whether Mr. Gates had hardline views or not, he did not stop the flow of independent thinking and analysis.
Mr. BENTSEN addressed the Chair.
The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Simon). The Senator from Texas is recognized.
Mr. BENTSEN. Mr. President, I shall vote for confirmation of Robert Gates as Director of Central Intelligence. I served on the Intelligence Committee from 1981 to 1989 and those were critical years for the Intelligence Committee. There has been a great deal of 20-20 hindsight that has been directed back to the reports that took place during that period of time.
I have reviewed the report of the Select Committee on Intelligence and, considering my observations of the nominee during that period of time, I think he has integrity and he has the experience and the ability to do the job that has to be done. I think he can hit the ground running. He understands how the agency works, and he also understands there are major changes that have to be made to deal with the fact that we are moving into in a new era, a situation where you only have one superpower left in the world.
My experience with him was that he cooperated with the Congress. Many times he told us things that there is no way we could have found out on our own. I believe he is in a position where he can help us in doing the critical oversight responsibilities that we have. From very extensive obervations and frequent direct contact with Mr. Gates, I have firsthand knowledge of his qualifications in his dealing with the Intelligence Committee. I found him consistently forthcoming and helpful.
Notwithstanding his demonstrated competence, his confirmation hearings raised some questions for me, as it did for other Members, questions about whether Robert Gates had been a party to slanting intelligence to produce what his superiors wanted to hear. The perception has been established that Mr. Gates had yielded to pressures which always exist to produce intelligence to support the policy of an administration. My own careful examination of the facts, however, has persuaded me that that perception is false; that Mr. Gates maintained the independence of judgment that we have to have from the intelligence community.
The allegations of slanting intelligence came primarily from people who were involved in analyzing Soviet activity in the Third World. If Bob Gates permitted or encouraged slanting intelligence to please policymakers, one would expect to find that kind of evidence in other areas around the world. A solid test of Mr. Gates' record, therefore, would come from looking at these other issue areas. I believe the factual record shows that on a number of significant problems, Bob Gates supervised the production of reports or estimates that did not support administration policy decisions--in fact, in one instance went so far that as I understood it one of the Secretaries tried very much to get him discharged.
In 1983, a national intelligence estimate judged that the prospects of achieving United States objectives in Lebanon were bleak and that was despite the Presidential policy decision to deploy Marines. Now, that is the last kind of intelligence report that an administration would want at a time like that.
He also supervised the production of an estimate that the U.S.S.R. would build a pipeline into Western Europe despite the sanctions. Now, you remember all the debate we had here at that time when President Reagan was trying to put sanctions on building that pipeline: you are going to stop the Russian Government from being able to earn hard currency by selling their gas through that pipeline, bringing it into Western Europe. Part of the results of that were that the Caterpillar Co., for example, which was dominant worldwide, lost all kinds of business in Europe and gave the Japanese time to bring on a very strong competing product, to develop the economies of size, to develop market share, and take much of market share away from Caterpillar.
The whole process did not work. The embargo did not work. The administration was wrong on it. And the intelligence report was correct.
Mr. Gates also supervised the production of an estimate that the U.S.S.R. would go ahead and implement that and would have the cooperation of our allies in the West, and that also happened.
In 1984, as Congress was debating United States plans to produce new binary chemical weapons, Mr. Gates defended and published a CIA research effort that concluded that the Soviets were not going forward with a comparable program. That is the last thing the Defense Department would want to hear at a time like that. That is the last thing that an administration wanted to hear about the evil empire at a time like that.
There are many other examples during Gates' tenure at CIA in reporting on El Salvador, Angola, Pakistan, the Philippines, as well as the Soviet Union where the intelligence community took stands that were unwelcome in the administration.
This body of evidence has persuaded me that while the perceptions of slanting clearly existed among some analysts whose ideas were rejected, the facts exonerate Bob Gates from those charges. That does not mean he was always right in his own strongly held pronounced opinions, but his views were not tailored to support the wishes of the White House officials just because it would coincide with their policies.
Nevertheless, I suspect that the confirmation process has made Mr. Gates acutely sensitive to the need to deal with the perception as well as the reality of any evidence to slant intelligence judgments.
Mr. President, the world has changed dramatically in recent months, and that requires the CIA and other intelligence agencies to change as well, so they can respond to the new and different challenges that we face as a nation. While I support Mr. Gates and have high confidence in how he will carry out his important duties, I also believe that the changes required by new world conditions must be made and quickly. Fortunately, I think with his vast experience in the intelligence field, he can get that kind of job done and he will have broad support in the Congress to go ahead with the extraordinarily difficult job that lies ahead of him.
Mr. President, I yield the floor.
Mr. BOREN. Mr. President, I thank the distinguished Senator from Texas, the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, for his comments, and also take this opportunity to thank him for his service on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Senator Bentsen was already a member of that committee at the time I became a Member. He was senior to me as a member of that committee. By virtue of the fact that he was already chairman of the Finance Committee, under our rules he did not succeed to the chairmanship of the Intelligence Committee.
I was privileged to become chairman of the committee. But during those first 4 years of my service as chairman of the committee, the Senator from Texas was the ranking member on our side of that committee. His experience, his knowledge, and his insight as a member of the Intelligence Committee were invaluable to me. He approached every issue with the same thoroughness that he has demonstrated today in his analysis of the various intelligence estimates that were prepared during the time Mr. Gates served as Deputy Director for Intelligence of the Central Intelligence Agency.
I express my appreciation to him for his comments today, and especially for his long and very valuable service on the Intelligence Committee.
As we all know, it is not only a matter of intellect that is important in making very difficult decisions on sensitive issues that affect national security. It is also a matter of judgment, balance in a decisionmaking process. Time after time as we tackled very difficult decisions within the Intelligence Committee, Senator Bentsen contributed not only his keen insight but he contributed also his judgment, his best judgment about how we should proceed. On many occasions, his suggestions became the prevailing view of the committee. I appreciate very much the tremendous contribution which he made during that period of time.
Mr. President, I have really no other comments to make at this time except I would like to insert in the Record several communications which I have received from others in the intelligence community. As has been indicated, we have had the testimony of Mr. McMahon, the former Deputy Director of Central Intelligence, highly respected in the community in favor of Mr. Gates. We have also had the testimony of Adm. Robert Inman, the former Deputy Director as well of the Central Intelligence Agency, a leading figure in the effort to reform the intelligence process.
I have mentioned the comments which Congressman Edward Boland, the former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee authorized me to make in conveying the support which he expressed to me for Mr. Gates to be Director.
I would also like to insert in the Record at this point, I will not read the full text, a letter from James R. Schlesinger, the former Director of Central Intelligence, former Secretary of Energy and Defense, who wrote to me on October 9. I will read a part of what he said. He indicated to me that while he was not in a position to comment on other issues before the committee, had no detailed knowledge of the issues relating to Iran-Contra and some of the other matters, he did have judgments about Mr. Gates.
I have pondered about how I might be useful to the committee with respect to the pending nomination of Robert Gates. Though I have had only occasional contact with Bob Gates over the years, I have developed a high regard for him. He has served the Nation's intelligence community with great dedication. I believe that he knows what it is necessary to know--to help restructure this Nation's intelligence operations in the aftermath of the Cold War. It is a mission he is well suited to perform.
I also received a letter from William Webster, immediate past Director of Central Intelligence, on October 8 in which he said:
I respectfully urge that the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence endorse the nomination by President Bush of Robert Gates to be the next Director of Central Intelligence. I believe that Bob Gates possesses the requisite ability, character and experience to lead the Agency and the Intelligence Community in the very challenging times that lie ahead. I believe he can and will engender the indispensable trust that can only be earned through performance and maintained by accountability.
I also received a letter on October 7 from another former Director of Central Intelligence, Mr. Richard Helms. Again, I will not read the full letter at this point, but it says:
Dear Mr. Chairman: This letter is to endorse the nomination of Robert Gates to be Director of Central Intelligence, a position he would hold `at the pleasure of the President of the United States for the time being.'
If confirmed by the Senate, Mr. Gates would be the first Director to have risen through the ranks of the Intelligence Directorate at the Central Intelligence Agency. This is the moment in history when such an appointment is indicated. Intelligence analysis is after all the core of the CIA's mission, as prescribed in the National Security Act of 1947. In addition, Mr. Gates has twice served in the White House, once on the NSC staff--
Which of course was under President Carter--
and now as Deputy Assistant to the President.
Under President Bush--
From this experience he has had a unique opportunity to learn at first hand what the President and his staff require in the way of intelligence background. And I might add, this constitutes a significant asset which no other Director has enjoyed. On top of this Mr. Gates knows the entire Intelligence Community, how it operates, the quality of what it produces. This means that in reorienting the U.S. intelligence apparatus in the world conditions created by the end of the Cold War, he would be able to `hit the ground running.' No training or indoctrination process would be necessary.
Also, I received a letter from another who is recognized as a leader for reform for oversight--for making sure that the intelligence community operates within the law, the spirit of the law, and within American values. This is William Colby, who was Director of Central Intelligence from 1973-76.
Mr. Colby writes in part:
Mr. Gates is superbly qualified for the post from his experience and performance as a career officer of the Agency, as its Deputy Director and as an officer and Deputy at the National Security Council. He has an exceptional record of service in the structure in which he will work as Director of Central Intelligence.
Mr. Gates will be the first Director with intelligence experience who will come from the analytical element of the Agency, his predecessors all having had operational experience. This is an important symbolic step, reflecting the true analytical `center' which lies at the heart of Central Intelligence,
I hope the committee and the full Senate will fully support his confirmation.
Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the full text of these letters from previous Directors of Central Intelligence be printed in the Record.
There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in the Record, as follows:
Washington, DC, October 7, 1991.
Hon. David L. Boren,
Chairman, Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Washington, DC.
Dear Mr. Chairman: This letter is to endorse the nomination of Robert Gates to be Director of Central Intelligence, a position he would hold `at the pleasure of the President of the United States for the time being.'
If confirmed by the Senate, Mr. Gates would be the first Director to have risen through the ranks of the Intelligence Directorate at the Central Intelligence Agency. This is the moment in history when such an appointment is indicated. Intelligence analysis is after all the core of the CIA's mission, as prescribed in the National Security Act of 1947. In addition, Mr. Gates has twice served in the White House, once on the NSC staff and now as Deputy Assistant to the President. From this experience he has had a unique opportunity to learn at first hand what the President and his staff require in the way of intelligence background. And I might add, this constitutes a significant asset which no other Director has enjoyed. On top of this Mr. Gates knows the entire Intelligence Community, how it operates, the quality of what it produces. This means that in reorienting the U.S. intelligence apparatus in the world conditions created by the end of the Cold War, he would be able to `hit the ground running.' No training or indoctrination process would be necessary.
Mr. Gates has endured intense scrutiny by the Senate during the conformation hearings. He has been under the press microscope as well. If he had rough personality edges before, this experience would most likely knock them off.
On Sunday, October 6, Mr. Harry Rowen wrote an excellent article in support of Mr. Gates. I enclose a copy with this letter. But I particularly want to draw attention to one sentence and to underline it: `There has been too much time spent in the past week on flimsy charges about political intrusions on the purity of the analyses and much too little about how to get better work done.' As Director of Central Intelligence for six and a half years and Deputy Director for fourteen months, I had ample opportunity to learn about political pressure and the unpopularity of intelligence analysis which does not support Administration policy. Those issues, important though they are, dwarf beside the problems of fashioning objective analysis designed to help the President and of predicting the course of events in a reasonably accurate way. Mother Nature did not give man the gift of prescience. Intelligence officers strive valiantly to remedy that oversight, but they are often wrong. Mr. Gates, I believe, would give the solution of these many problems an intelligent, aggressive, and hard-working effort. He is well equipped to do this.
LAW OFFICES OF DONOVAN LEISURE, ROGOVIN, HUGE & SCHILLER,
Washington, DC, October 7, 1991.
Hon. David L. Boren,
Chairman, Select Committee on Intelligence, U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.
Dear Mr. Chairman: Please allow me to express my full support for the confirmation of Mr. Robert M. Gates to become Director of Central Intelligence.
Three reasons fully warrant this confirmation:
1. Mr. Gates is superbly qualified for the post from his experience and performance as a career officer of the Agency, as its Deputy Director and as an officer and Deputy at the National Security Council. He has an exceptional record of service in the structure in which he will work as Director of Central Intelligence.
2. President Bush has full confidence in him from their many years of working together. This is a very important consideration in the performance of the duties he will have.
3. Mr. Gates will be the first Director with intelligence experience who will come from the analytical element of the Agency, his predecessors all having had operational experience. This is an important symbolic step, reflecting the true analytical `center' which lies at the heart of Central Intelligence, but it is also an important recognition that the main challenges of the post-Cold War world will lie in analysis of the masses of information that new open world will provide.
I hope the Committee and the full Senate will fully support his confirmation.
WILLIAM E. COLBY,
Central Intelligence (1973-76).
Hon. David L. Boren,
Chairman, Senate Select Committee, Committee on Intelligence, Washington, DC.
Dear Mr. Chairman: I respectfully urge that the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence endorse the nomination by President Bush of Robert Gates to be the next Director of Central Intelligence.
I believe that Bob Gates possesses the requisite ability, character and experience to lead the Agency and the Intelligence Community in the very challenging times that lie ahead. I believe he can and will engender the indispensable trust that can only be earned through performance and maintained by accountability.
Bob's confirmation process has been rigorous, and as I watched and read about it I asked myself whether I had learned anything which would alter my support for Bob as D.C.I. The short answer is that I did not. But knowing Bob as I have for many years, and working closely with him these past four, I am convinced that the concerns expressed by some will be a challenge to him and that he will be an even better D.C.I. in consequence of them. In his testimony before your Committee, Bob has endorsed the important standards of trustworthiness, objectivity, nonpolicy-making and relevance for the Agency and the community, and I have every confidence he will apply those standards successfully throughout his tenure should the Senate see fit to confirm him.
William H. Webster.
Hon. David L. Boren,
Chairman, Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.
Dear Senator Boren: I have pondered how I might be useful to the Committee with respect to the pending nomination of Robert Gates to be Director of Central Intelligence. Though I have had only occasional contact with Bob Gates over the years, I have developed a very high regard for his intelligence, his ability, his forcefulness. He has served the nation and the intelligence community with great dedication. I believe that he knows what it is necessary to know--to help restructure this nation's intelligence operations in the aftermath of the Cold War. It is a mission he is well suited to perform.
Yet, regrettably, I am not in a position to comment on those other issues that have absorbed much of the Committee's attention--what Bob Gates may have known or may have done during the eighties--since I have no direct knowledge about such matters. Therefore, on those issues I myself can shed little light for the Committee--though I believe that some of the assertions made about supposed slanting simply ignore the inherent difficulties in running an intelligence organization and in providing finished intelligence.
Mr. BOREN. Mr. President, I also want to insert in the Record another letter from a person for whom those of us who have had experience in the national security community in the area of both defense and intelligence have profound respect. This is from Vice Adm. E.A. Burkhalter, Jr., U.S. Navy (Retired).
Admiral Burkhalter was the Chief of Naval Intelligence. From October 1982 until September 1986, he was Director of the Intelligence Community Staff.
During that period of time, he worked very closely with Mr. Gates as a professional peer when he was Deputy Director for Intelligence and the reporting senior for the National Intelligence Council.
Admiral Burkhalter writes in part--and I want to quote just a portion of his letter, as I know he was known to many of us--I see the distinguished ranking member of the Armed Services Committee is now present on the floor. I know he is well aware of the long work of Admiral Burkhalter in the national security field and I want to quote.
Mr. WARNER. Mr. President, that is correct. I have known him for many, many years and worked with him.
Mr. BOREN. I want to mention one comment and then I will yield the floor. He said--this letter was written on October 16:
In observing the comments of the various analysts who appeared before you, I would submit that although Mel Goodman and Hal Ford are certainly credible analysts and men of integrity, they never rose in the positions of responsibility held by Larry Gershwin and Graham Fuller, who both were eminently respected within the Intelligence Community. John McMahon and Admiral Bob Inman, two of my former bosses, appeared before the SSCI to give strong support to Bob as the DCI, and I concur with their views expressed to the Committee regarding Bob's qualifications. Having worked with Bob Gates closely for four years, I found him to be a man of integrity and one who was respected throughout the Intelligence Community. He is a professional who knows the national security process, and I am confident that he can adapt and make the changes required in this dynamic time to make our intelligence apparatus responsive to new and emerging requirements. Finally, he has the confidence of the President which is a most important factor for the DCI.
I therefore strongly endorse Bob as the DCI, and I urge you to vote in the affirmative for his nomination:
This is a letter directed to me prior to our vote:
I would be pleased to expand on any of my views to you if you should so desire.
E.A. Burkhalter, Jr.,
Vice Admiral, USN (Ret.).
I ask unanimous consent that the letter from Admiral Burkhalter be printed in the Record.
There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in the Record, as follows:
Burkhalter Associates, Inc.,
Washington, DC, October 16, 1991.
Senator David L. Boren,
Dear Senator: I wanted to give you my personal views on the nomination of Bob Gates to be the Director of Central Intelligence and also comment on the recent debate on analysis as it was viewed by myself on television and reported in the newspapers.
As you will recall, from October 1982 until September 1986 I was the Director of the Intelligence Community Staff. During that period of time, I worked very closely with Bob Gates, first as a professional peer when he was the Deputy Director for Intelligence at CIA and the reporting senior for the National Intelligence Council, and subsequently during the last year of my tenure as the Deputy Director of Central Intelligence. During that period when he was the DDI, I observed that Bob, contrary to some of the statements provided to you during your hearing, encouraged divergent views in the analytical process. At the same time I know he was a tough task master on both himself and his people.
Regarding the National Intelligence estimate process, I would like to observe that the National Intelligence Council was a separate entity from the Central Intelligence Agency although Bob had the ultimate responsibility for the analysis of both organizations. However, each National Intelligence estimate that was prepared had to be reviewed by the National Foreign Intelligence Board, and frequently the author of this document was from one of the other intelligence agencies and not the CIA. I sat in on almost all of the National Foreign Intelligence Board meetings as an observer when these estimates were reviewed. I can never recall a single instance in which I felt that Bob Gates was trying to either unduly influence the estimate or attempting to politicize it for whatever reason. Bob expressed his views forthrightly, but so did every other member of the National Foreign Intelligence Board, and at times those views might have been at variance to those of Bob's. Nevertheless, he always accepted the outcome of those meetings in which the NIE was formally adopted and then supported that estimate's views. He upheld that same philosophy during his tenure as the DDCI.
During the last eight months of my time as the Director of the Intelligence Community Staff, Bob was my boss, having relieved John McMahon as the DDCI. At no time during that period did Bob try to exercise any kind of undue persuasion on me or politicize anything that I might be doing. On the contrary he felt so strongly about the role of analysis that he recommended one of his top analysts to assume the duties as the Director of the Imagery Requirements and Exploitation Committee, better known as the COMIREX. I readily accepted this nomination, and Bob's nominee has served with distinction and respect in that position for the past five years.
In observing the comments of the various analysts who appeared before you, I would submit that although Mel Goodman and Hal Ford are certainly credible analysts and men of integrity, they never rose to the positions of responsibility held by Larry Gershwin and Graham Fuller, who both were eminently respected within the Intelligence Community. John McMahon and Admiral Bob Inman, two of my former bosses, appeared before the SSCI to give strong support to Bob as the DCI, and I concur with their views expressed to the Committee regarding Bob's qualifications. Having worked with Bob Gates closely for four years, I found him to be a man of integrity and one who was respected throughout the Intelligence Community. He is a professional who knows the national security process, and I am confident that he can adapt and make the changes required in this dynamic time to make our intelligence apparatus responsive to new and emerging requirements. Finally, he has the confidence of the President which is a most important factor for the DCI.
I therefore strongly endorse Bob as the DCI, and I urge you to vote in the affirmative for his nomination. I would be pleased to expand on any of my views to you if you should so desire.
E.A. Burkhalter, Jr.,
Vice Admiral, USN (Ret.).
Mr. WARNER addressed the Chair.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Virginia is recognized.
Mr. WARNER. Mr. President, at this time I would like to give my remarks on behalf of this distinguished public servant whom I have known and worked with for well over a decade now.
But prior thereto I want to pay my respects to my good friend and colleague from Oklahoma, the chairman of the committee, together with the distinguished ranking member, Mr. Murkowski, of Alaska.
They have provided leadership, and this nomination will be the result of the leadership that they have provided together with the backup of the extraordinary staff, both the majority and the minority. We have very little distinction between the staffs on our committee. They work together hand in hand.
I want to salute the Chairman. He has done a very thorough job on this. He presided over all of the hearings. I have been present, I think, every single day of the 10 days on which our committee held these hearings. I have watched him, and the manner in which he has made certain that all witnesses--whether in support or those that have a dissent to cast--were carefully, courteously, and fully heard. And once their testimony was made a part of the record, then under his direction, and that of Senator Murkowski, the record was surveyed very carefully.
So I want to pay my respects to my chairman and all members of the committee.
I think our committee can look back on this nomination process with a sense of pride. We have done it, as we are required under the Constitution, and we have done it thoroughly and well.
The committee has held hearings on 10 days and some 21 witnesses, 2,500 pages of testimony. And since the President nominated Mr. Gates, our staff has reviewed thousands of documents and interviewed dozens of individuals, many of them who did not appear before the committee.
I think our committee has covered every issue, including Mr. Gates' views on intelligence, his relationship with the charismatic and colorful--Bill Casey; and his former performance in high level positions in the CIA before he came up for this nomination.
We have gone over all of this, his involvement and noninvolvement, in the Iran-Contra scandal--as well as his involvement in the analytical process, the question about the `cooking of the books.' I personally looked over much of the record, and listened to the witnesses. I did not find any evidence that would give rise to an allegation of cooking the books.
But nevertheless, there were those who felt that he had indulged in that practice and, as a consequence, we very carefully considered their statements and viewpoints.
On the whole, the process has been fair, thorough, and, as I say, I think the committee can look back as to having done its work in a very credible fashion.
Mr. Gates is, indeed, in my judgment--and I say this with tremendous enthusiasm--highly qualified to be the next Director of the Central Intelligence. His detractors cast a dissenting voice, and stated that he knew more about the Iran-Contra episode than he admits and that he failed to forcefully bring his concern about CIA's involvement to the attention of his superiors. These views were carefully considered and weighed by the committee.
Bob Gates gave a candid rebuttal, including not only his opening statement, but his subsequent appearances before the committee. Indeed, there was an admission that in hindsight he could have perhaps done things differently, particularly during the Iran-Contra period.
There is not one in this Chamber who given the opportunity to go back over his or her record would not likewise, I think, look upon a certain chapter in their public careers and say perhaps we could have acted more wisely.
At the same time, it must be stressed that he did make his superiors both in CIA and the White House aware of potential wrongdoing in the Iran-Contra period. He did that in a very timely fashion, as he became aware of it himself.
Overall, the picture we have based on his testimony and that of others and former distinguished senior intelligence officials such as Admiral Inman, John McMahon, is one of a very thoughtful man.
Bob Gates is a very thoughtful man, an honest man, an experienced official, a good analyst, a no-nonsense manager, and a man with a vision of the future direction of the role of U.S. intelligence.
I am particularly impressed with his recognition that U.S. intelligence must redirect its focus, its resources, its support to tackel the two most important problems facing the security of this Nation. These are the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and the need to help equip our citizens to compete in an increasingly unfriendly global economic environment that is closing in all around us.
In the area of economic intelligence, it is important that the CIA perform its role carefully, less as a spy role, more of a role just in keeping the President, the members of the Cabinet, the senior officials of this Government, and Members of the Congress fully informed on what other nations are doing and how they are daily endeavoring to get so many of our economic secrets away from this country and use it for their own benefit.
We cannot rely on the honesty of foreign governments or foreign firms. We simply have to have within our Government structure adequate protections. We must monitor the flow of technology and equipment, protect trade secrets and patent rights, and block illegal trading practices.
Bob Gates, in direct response to questions by this Senator and others during the course of the hearings, and indeed in his opening and closing statements, made reference to the economic problems facing this Nation and the role of the CIA to help ameliorate them. He has given us the assurance of his deep attention to these subjects. He has indicated he will work closely to support the key policy elements of our Government in these areas: Department of Defense and State against the proliferation of mass weapons of mass destruction; the Departments of State, Commerce and Treasury, as well as a Customs Bureau, as it relates to economic intelligence.
I want to stress one additional and very important point. Along with his other attributes, Mr. Gates has the confidence of the President of the United States. In his effort to reshape U.S. intelligence for the 1990's and make intelligence a more powerful voice throughout the U.S. Government, there can be no greater asset than to have a trusted and respected working relationship between the Director of the CIA and the President of the United States.
While the Director of Central Intelligence has broad responsibilities, his most important mission is to provide direct intelligence and support on a daily basis to the President of the United States. Their personal relationship is as important as their professional relationship. Here Mr. Bush, our president, has worked with Bob Gates over many, many years. He respects him, and he has steadfastly, throughout this nomination process, supported him; he has not waivered at any time.
He made it clear to all concerned, and most particularly the Senate of the United States, that Bob Gates was his personal choice, after a great deal of reflection. He noted that having been Director of Central Intelligence himself--he was the first President in the history of this country to have served in that office--that he understood the mission of the CIA and the related intelligence agencies. He was imminently qualified to select Bob Gates to be the Director of the CIA.
That weighed heavily with this Senator.
Consequently, I think we should pay particular attention to the fact that the President--again, the first President to have been Director of the Central Intelligence Agency--personally chose Robert Gates as the man to run the overall Intelligence Agency.
Our country asks much of the intelligence community and its next Director. Bob Gates has the confidence of the President and the opportunity to visit with him at any time. Mr. Gates feels that it is necessary that the analysis, not only of the CIA but other related intelligence agencies, be made known to the President.
That should give a certain sense of pride to the employees of the CIA and other agencies to know that their boss, Robert Gates, will take their analysis and that it will reach the President, be carefully assessed, and indeed provide the foundation for many of the decisions which have to daily be made by our Government.
Bob Gates, having the confidence of the President, will again earn the respect and admiration, trust and confidence, of all of the intelligence agencies throughout the world. This is absolutely essential, if he, as Director of the CIA, is to fulfill his position.
We must do this at a time when the intelligence budget will shrink. The country will require a better organized, more cohesive intelligence community as a result. This is a time for vigilance, excellence, and in short, a time for leadership.
Mr. President, unequivocally, in this Senator's judgment, Robert Gates provides these characteristics. I will, with enthusiasm, vote for this nominee.
I yield the floor.
Mr. EXON address the Chair.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Nebraska.
Mr. EXON. Mr. President, in nominating Robert Gates to be the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, the President has selected a man of high qualifications. He has 25 years with the CIA and other related agencies, related to national security and defense issues, and is a man who obviously knows the CIA from the inside and out. He is a dedicated and hardworking follower of every supervisor that he has served.
Robert Gates has earned the confidence of Presidents, and those who worked for Presidents. His record is replete with a broad array of dedicated national security work and analyses.
His smarts as an inside operator for the top decisionmakers are well-established in shaping national defense and national security. He has faithfully served this President since 1989, as the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs.
While these credentials are outstanding, I might say that we should take a look. With that impressive resume, he should be confirmed; right? No way. And it is wrong.
While his credentials are outstanding, any objective review of the testimony would have raised serious doubts about his moving to the top position in the CIA. If the hearing record shows anything conclusively, it demonstrates an individual who has performed in at least some circumstances, at a minimum, in less than a candid manner. It shows lack of proper assessment in key areas.
It demonstrates a lack of forcefulness for what was right at times or a tendency to simply `look away' when knowledge of possible inappropriate or outright illegal activities were contemplated or performed within the agency where he held high responsibilities and obligations.
His career, regrettably, took a sad wrong turn when President Reagan nominated, and we confirmed, his campaign manager, of all people, to be head of the CIA. Mr. President, the true story may never fully be known, but there is little that one could conjure up that William Casey would not at least be capable of, whether he carried them out or not.
The brilliant and capable Robert Gates is certainly not a shining star in this troubled period, because he looked but did not act, and, therefore, I conclude he is not the person to step into the directorship.
In a dramatically changing world, a happening clearly missed by the CIA, at the costs of fears and multibillions of dollars in expenditures, the CIA demands a new director without ties within this highly important agency.
It must be recognized, and I strongly feel, that the budget of the CIA and their sister agencies must be slashed. What are their present annual expenditures? Well, Mr. President, as you know, that is classified, but I have seen a published report that, without any backup, indicates it is about $30 billion a year. That is $30 billion a year, Mr. President, just in case someone might misunderstand my remarks. At least that is what was alleged in a printed article.
I believe that Robert Gates is not now the individual for that job, despite what I consider a record of some significant accomplishments. He is a casualty of the Reagan-Casey years, as unfortunate as that might be for a dedicated and brilliant practitioner of the art of intelligence.
Mr. President, I will cast my vote in the negative.
Mr. President, I suggest the absence of a quorum.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
Mr. BOREN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for the quorum call be rescinded.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.