The Senate resumed consideration of the nomination.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, the hour of 10 a.m. having arrived, the Senate will go into executive session to resume consideration of the nomination of Robert Gates, of Virginia, to be Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. The time is equally divided, under the control of the Senator from Oklahoma [Mr. Boren] and the Senator from New Jersey.
The Chair recognizes the Senator from Oklahoma.
Mr. BOREN. Mr. President, how much time is allocated to each side under the order?
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The vote is ordered to occur by 6 p.m. The time between now and 6 p.m. will be equally allocated between both sides. The time between 12:30 and 2:15 will be a time for recess.
Mr. GORTON. I ask the Senator for 15 minutes.
Mr. BOREN. I am happy to yield 15 minutes to the Senator from Washington.
Mr. GORTON. Mr. President, the world is an especially fluid and challenging place today. Yesterday's status quo is history today and an anachronism tomorrow. Five years ago who would have predicted that communism would end so abruptly? Or that the Soviet Union could fracture into a dozen or more independent nations? But the triumph of the United States in the cold war, and of democracy and free markets as a way of life to be sought everywhere, simply present us with new
challenges and problems which have never before been more varied and complex.
Intelligence will play a central role in addressing successfully the many riddles facing the United States. In battle, intelligence is called a `force multiplier.' It is the equalizer for the overmatched; the insurance for the strong. Today we face many challenges and need as never before a force multiplier. Even with the experience, knowledge, vision, and leadership we currently possess, accurate information will be the key to success. That is the role of intelligence, to be the stars for the sailor and to assist the leaders of our Nation in navigating treacherous seas.
The intelligence community will face innumerable challenges during the next decade. The Soviet threat has receded, but has been succeeded by more numerous concerns. More nations are capable of building and delivering nuclear, biological and chemical weapons today than ever before. The threat of international conflicts has diminished, but the potential for domestic unrest and internal conflict in the second and third worlds has sharply increased. Narcotics continue to plague societies throughout the world, destroying lives and controlling governments. Terrorism is a constant menace. And finally, economic espionage is becoming a more common topic of concern within and among governments. To meet all these perils, the intelligence community must adapt.
But the reality of changes at home is even more likely profoundly to alter our intelligence gathering network. A shrinking budget necessitates change, and with fewer dollars our next DCI will be expected to do more. At the same time, a cumbersome intelligence organization must reorganize and restructure to become a more efficient, streamlined machine.
Finally, our intelligence must be more focused and responsive to the needs of its consumers: military, political, and otherwise.
Never before has the United States and the intelligence community encountered the array and complexity of concerns with which we are faced today. These demands will surely test our next Director of Central Intelligence.
Mr. President, though the future is uncertain, the past of Bob Gates is clear. Bob Gates not only has the qualifications required of a DCI, he sets a new standard for a DCI. Engraved on the National Archives Building is a quote from Shakespeare's, The Tempest. It says: `What's past is prologue.' If true, then the record of Bob Gates portends a bright future for the intelligence community under his leadership.
Out of often tedious hearings littered with attempts by critics to rewrite history, to generate evidence of wrongdoing, and to stretch honest disagreements into widespread uprisings, emerged a portrait of a man who is smart, experienced, innovative, and committed to the congressional oversight process: just the right person, in my opinion, to lead the intelligence community into unstable and extremely challenging times.
Bob Gates has had a long and distinguished career in the field of intelligence. During 25 years of public service, he has worked in a variety of sensitive assignments in the administrations of five Presidents, Republican and Democratic alike. Of his many strengths, one is having worked as both a producer of intelligence, and as a consumer of analyses. This unique experience has made him aware of what policymakers want from intelligence, and how the community can deliver it.
At every level, Bob Gates has attempted to make the intelligence community a stronger, more efficient and more relevant organization. He is not hesistant to effect
change. During the 1970's as a junior analyst, unsolicited, Bob Gates authored an internal working paper highly critical of the analytical product emanating from the CIA. Though Mr. Gates had no authority to implement them, this paper proposed reforms to a system from which not only he was benefiting, but also his superiors. He wanted to make the system better.
In the early 1980's he was tapped by Bill Casey and Adm. Bobby Inman to be the Chief of Staff at the CIA, and in testimony Admiral Inman confirmed the quality of work Bob Gates performed. Only a short time later, Mr. Gates was installed as Deputy Director of Intelligence, charged with executing a reorganization of the directorate.
These assignments have given Bob Gates a unique perspective for understanding the intelligence community. Such knowledge and experience is essential for the individual who must design and implement the most sweeping set of changes ever in the intelligence community. Time for on the job training does not exist.
Though cloaked in a world of secrecy, the intelligence community does not function most effectively in the dark. Congressional oversight is an essential component of a capable and active intelligence community. In the past when oversight has not been respected, the Nation has suffered. Bob Gates has a demonstrated record of openness and sincerity
with the Congress. No one nominated for this position understands better than Bob Gates the important relationship of trust and confidence that must exist between Congress and the CIA. In recognition of this relationship, Bob Gates has pledged to resign rather than ever to jeopardize that association.
Last, Bob Gates has proven his intellectual toughness. He is considered one of the great analysts of his time. Judgments he made years ago have been justified by events. His public prediction in 1983 of the weakness of the Soviet economy and Soviet vulnerability in Eastern Europe put him on the cutting edge of Sovietologists reading the pre-Gorbachev Soviet Union correctly. In 1988 Gates correctly hypothesized about the future dissolution of the Soviet Union.
These two examples of judgment swiftly dispel two myths about Bob Gates' intellectual vigor. These predictions reflect independence and objectivity of thought, not an individual who has mentally sold out to his superiors. And, second, they establish that he did not miss the single, biggest question in the intelligence world of the last 40 years. Indeed, Bob Gates was a lot closer to the mark on the Soviet Union than were many of his present critics.
Two issues dominated the confirmation proceedings, the Iran-Contra affair, and allegations of politicization. Upon close examination, I believe a silver lining exists in both for Bob Gates.
In the first case, we learned once again that Bob Gates had no role in or knowledge of the Iran-Contra affair. What was not stressed, however, was the fact that having a DCI who lived through this debacle could be a real benefit.
The hearings showed that Bob Gates has been immeasurably marked and influenced by the Iran-Contra affair. By his own admission he made mistakes during this difficult period. Perhaps he should have taken more seriously the possibility
of impropriety and pursued more aggressively speculation of wrongdoing. The weight of this affair will forever burden Bob Gates. It is clear, however, that this incident educated and matured Bob Gates and made him more sensitive to the lessons of that time.
The second charge, also shown to be unfounded, was that Bob Gates personally and systematically politicized the analytical process. The basis for this charge stems from a widespread reorganization of the Intelligence Directorate while Gates was DDI. In fact, the reorganization was undertaken to make analysts' products more pertinent for policymakers. It was not perceived that way by some analysts, even though I can think of nothing more important for morale than for employees to know their work means something and is relevant to the consumer. Perhaps Gates' approach was too bureaucratic and impersonal, but his intentions were strictly human.
Though this confirmation is a symbolic step, it is obviously anything but a token gesture. Bob Gates would be the first Director with intelligence experience to come from the analytical section of the agency. His confirmation would reflect the true heart of the agency and the reason for its existence. Moreover, it would underscore the importance analysis will play in a post-cold-war world where information is readily available.
The Bob Gates we are confirming today is a much different Bob Gates than the person who withdrew his nomination in 1987. He is wiser, more experienced, tested, and proven, more mature and more understanding. Like all human beings, he has learned from his mistakes and grown with experience.
Some believe that President Bush took a gamble when he nominated Bob Gates. The real gamble, however, would have been to nominate a less controversial, less experienced and less qualified individual. That would have guaranteed confirmation, but not a promising future for the Nation's intelligence community.
Mr. President, I warmly support this nomination and urge the confirmation of Bob Gates.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Who yields time?
Mr. BOREN. Mr. President, I see the distinguished Senator from New Jersey is off the floor. He has indicated to me he wished to yield time to the Senator from Illinois in opposition to the nomination.
How much time does the Senator from Illinois desire?
Mr. SIMON. Five minutes.
Mr. BOREN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent on behalf of Senator Bradley I might yield 5 minutes from the time in opposition to the Senator from Illinois.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
Mr. SIMON. Mr. President, I thank my colleagues from Oklahoma. Let me thank him not just for the courtesy right now, but also for the extent of the hearings that were held and for one other thing that, frankly, we need more of in this body, and that is the real bipartisan working together in the Intelligence Committee that has taken place under Senator Boren's leadership. I think, frankly, we need to be reaching out to each other more than we have been on these things.
I am going to vote in the negative on the approval of Mr. Gates for Director of the CIA. I have every reason to believe I would vote for him for almost any other position other than Director of the CIA.
I think there are three positions in the Federal Government--perhaps others could be added--but three at least where it is very key that they have the full confidence of this body and of the American public. One is the Director of the FBI, the second is a drug czar, and the third is the Director of the CIA. In each of these positions the potential for abuse is very, very great, particularly when you operate under the cloak of secrecy.
It is extremely important that whoever heads that operation has the full confidence of this body and of the American public. Judge Sessions, as head of the FBI, has that confidence. I have great respect for him.
The reality is that Mr. Gates is a person of great ability, but there are people who are thoughtful Members of this body, such as Senator Bradley, who have serious concerns whether he is the right person to head the Agency. There has been a lot of talk about
the Iran-Contra problems.
Let me mention another area that also concerns me and that is a memorandum of December 14, 1984, from Mr. Gates to Bill Casey, and in that memorandum, first of all, he talks about maintaining the fig leaf of curtailing the arms sale to Salvador, and second, he talks about taking certain actions that are clearly acts of war.
My idea of what the Central Intelligence Agency ought to be doing is that it ought to be gathering intelligence, period, and then, if there are military decisions that should be made, the military should be involved in that.
I happen to have served in the Army in something that few people will even recall existed anymore, I know it has not existed for several years, called the counterintelligence corps. I am very much interested in this whole process of sound intelligence gathering, and that is what the CIA ought to be about. They ought to be gathering intelligence, period. And then, if they want to make recommendations to other agencies to take other kinds of covert or overt action, that should be done.
And I think there are plenty of people who are competent, who are knowledgeable. Let me just mention two, and I have no idea whether they would even consider it. I recognize the Gates nomination probably is going to be approved. But Admiral Crowe or Gen. David Jones, both retired, both former Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, have great respect in this body. I would without hesitation vote for either as head of the CIA. And I would have full confidence that they have the sense of balance to do the right kind of a job.
I have an uneasy feeling about Mr. Gates, and I do not think we ought to have that uneasy feeling about whoever heads the CIA.
So, Mr. President, my vote will not be for Mr. Gates as head of the CIA. I think we can do better in this country. I think we can find someone who would have the unanimous support of this body.
Mr. President, I yield back whatever time may remain.
Mr. BOREN. Mr. President, I yield to myself as much time as I might require.
Mr. President, I thank my colleague for his kind comments about my leadership on the Intelligence Committee, and I appreciate the contribution which he makes to not only national security but foreign policy of this country. We have worked together on many occasions and in many different areas of policy. I know that he will understand that on this occasion I respectfully do disagree with my good friend and colleague from Illinois.
I think at a time of immense change at the Central Intelligence Agency--and it will be a time of sweeping change--we only have to reflect upon the fact that perhaps half of the the multi-billion-dollar-a-year budget is directly or indirectly focused upon the Soviet military target-Eastern bloc military target.
This means that there will be large changes dictated, hopefully some budgetary savings at the bottom line can be achieved, some significant savings, and at the same time certainly a reordering of priorities. When we undertake this kind of change it means to me that the last thing we want is to have someone at the helm of an agency who really does not have experience in that field, someone who needs on-the-job training. Instead we need someone who can hit the ground running, who has background and experience and understands the present program, and that is a necessary beginning before we can decide how to change it.
I sometimes worry that we are moving in this country toward a basic principle that to be appointed to a position and have an easy time in a confirmation process one really needs to be without experience or background in that field. That seems to be more and more true in a number of areas. We have a person who has been a legal scholar who has writings, who perhaps has been an academic in the field of law, who has vast judicial experience with a number of cases decided one way or another. That experience can be used against a person, especially if we want the standard of perfection, especially if we have a standard that a person has to always be right in every decision that he has made. To have that standard applied makes it impossible to find anyone with experience.
If we are never going to have anyone who made mistakes, never made a wrong decision, never written an article, never taken a controversial stand, never taken a risk, that is really not what we want in positions of responsibility in our Government. So I worry sometimes that we are moving down a path, not just in the debate on this nomination or on Supreme Court Justices, but in many other realms as well, that people with experience in a particular field are disqualified because
they have made decisions, because they do have a track record.
I would say to my good friend and colleague that certainly Mr. Gates has a track record. I myself have said that these are parts of that track record that do not please me. I wish he had been more aggressive in terms of getting to the bottom of the Iran-Contra affair. I wish he had had more of a whistleblower's mentality.
While I do not think the record substantiates on balance a finding that there was a systematic politicization of intelligence analysis at the agency when Mr. Gates was responsible for that analysis, there are a lot of things in the record that show much independence on the part of analysis during that period of time. Analysis, for example, that was very much opposed by the administration, stating that the Soviets were not likely to use chemical weapons at a time when the administration was trying to get chemical weapons production approved in this country; analysis that said Soviet defense spending was going to go down at a time when we were debating the Reagan defense buildup.
There is a lot in the record on what he said on that matter, but I wish he would have been more sensitive to at least the perception by some of the analysts and understood that perception, that there was an implied pressure from time to time.
There were things that I wish he had done differently. But there are also real strengths in that record.
As I shared with my colleagues yesterday, it is not just a matter of taking Mr. Gates at his word when he says he would have done things differently, when he said he learned from the Iran-Contra affair. I would not be prepared to just take him at his word because he said it to us in the opening of our confirmation hearings.
He indeed has proven himself, I believe, by his actions since late 1986 and through the years 1987 and since then, that he has learned lessons from the Iran-Contra affair, that he has been a vigorous supporter, not just rhetorically, but he has really weighed in at crucial times during the debate to allow the Congress to have greater oversight powers. And this is very important in terms of protecting the interests of the American people.
Mr. Gates weighed in to allow our audit units full
access to the records of the most secret bank accounts of the CIA without advance notification, that we would go in and find wrongdoing, whether it existed. And we found wrongdoings in certain cases that I did not discuss on the floor and we shut down certain programs. Without his assistance as Acting Director and Deputy Director we would never have had that kind of access because there were those in the community that did not want us to have that ability to go in and to look at those accounts. And so the record is filled in support for the independent inspector general when that legislation was pending, and the President was threatening to veto it is another example.
The weekly briefings we had, Senator Cohen and myself, as chairman and vice chairman of the committee when he was deputy director and when was acting director of CIA again indicates a record of real candor, of sensitive information shared with us that we could never have found without his telling us about it. And so he really ushered in a new relationship of trust that had not existed previously between the committee and the CIA, a new policy of being forthcoming on the part of the agency, instead of engaging in bureaucratic stonewalling and insisting that we had to ask the right questions to get the answers or to get the information. So there have been many changes.
I want to comment just on the last point that the Senator from Illinois made. And I understand why that memorandum was disturbing to the Senator from Illinois if read only on its face. I think we also have to analyze it on the basis of what Mr. Gates believes about the uses of covert actions.
In this case, I think the views of Mr. Gates, expressed during our hearings on when covert action is appropriate and when it is not, would be very much endorsed by the Senator from Illinois. Mr. Gates, during the course of our hearings took two positions that certainly coincide with my own view.
One, I supported the Metzenbaum amendment which would make public the bottom line spending for the intelligence community. I think that is a step in the right direction. It is a figure we cannot mention on this floor, but it is a very large figure. The press has indicated they believed that figure is somewhere between $25 and $30 billion a year, if we take into account both military and civilian intelligence.
Without commenting on the accuracy of that figure, let me just say that the actual figure is a very large figure. It is a lot of the taxpayers' money. I think Mr. Gates, in supporting openness about the appropriations process to the degree that we can without endangering the secrecy of certain programs, is taking a step in the right direction of greater accountability of how money is spent, how the taxpayers' money is spent in the intelligence field.
Second, he has also taken the position that I have taken on many occasions, and that is that it is not appropriate to use covert action as a substitute for opening derived foreign policy decisions involving the American people. If we are going
to make fundamental decisions about doing something in the foreign policy realm, we should not use the secrecy of a covert action program to take action where the public themselves would really not be in support of it, where we cannot build a consensus in this Congress.
I think everyone knows the position that I took on aid to the Contras in Nicaragua. I happen to believe that that was a program that was important and I personally believed that the ultimate victory of Mrs. Chamorro and those who were working for democracy in Nicaragua sustains that point. But, the American people were deeply divided in that issue. It was impossible to have a consensus in the Congress on that issue. I think we had nine different votes on that issue in which we reversed fields nine different times--giving the aid, taking it away, giving it again. That shows there was not a consensus.
I personally feel when you have a situation like that we should not be using covert action to make policy. It ought to be in open debate with open programs. If you cannot have a consensus, it is something that should not be done. I think it was a mistake to have started that particular program because we could not sustain it. We were back and forth divided as a American people.
So I think the adage that you should not start something unless there is a public support to continue it and complete it is a very wise thing. Mr. Gates argued that forcefully in our hearings. He said he did not believe the covert actions should be used as a substitute for openly derived foreign policy decisions on that which a consensus should exist.
I think what he was saying in that memorandum--that is the way I read it--is that, well, we ought to either get in or get out in Nicaragua, and we should not do it on a secret program. We ought to go public. If there is the support there from the American people to go forward and go all out with every resource of the Government, as we did in the cast of the invasion of Kuwait for example, go ahead and do it. But if there is not the support there to do it, do not start it at all. I think that is really what he was saying. It was a way of saying it to Mr. Casey, because Mr. Casey obviously so strongly supported getting rid of that regime in Nicaragua. I think what he was really saying is, you know we should not even be having these covert action programs at all. You ought to either try to sell the American people of going all out or you ought to stop. That is the way I read it. Now it can be read both ways. That is certainly the way I believe.
We had a program related to Cambodia. In the Intelligence Committee, I took the positon--I think it is the first time in the history of the Intelligence Committee that the committee has taken this action--that we refuse jurisdiction.
We said this is not a matter that should be decided in secrecy in the Intelligence Committee, to have a covert action program in relationship to Cambodia. This ought to be a matter for the Foreign Relations Committee and for the whole Senate of the United States and for the American people to decide in public whether or not there is a consensus of how to act on this matter. And that is the position that I took.
I think from the hearing testimony that is the kind of position that Mr. Gates would take as Director of the Central Intelligence. I think he would be very cautious about beginning new covert programs of a paramilitary type; that he would urge instead that we look to see whether or not there is a broad public consensus.
So I do have some honest disagreement. Perhaps it is based upon my own experience in listening to Mr. Gates and his philosophy and what he said in our hearings. I think it is perfectly reasonable to read the memorandum as the Senator from Illinois has read it. If I read it and interpreted it the same way he did I would draw the same conclusions, because I think they, in a sense, advocate some extreme actions I would not favor.
I think they were a ploy, if I might say to my friend from Illinois, a way of trying to make a point to Mr. Casey about when it is proper to use covert action and when it is not.
Mr. SIMON. Will my colleague yield for just a minute?
Mr. BOREN. I will be happy to yield.
Mr. SIMON. On one point. The point you make, and earlier in your comments, that we may be approaching the point where we cannot get anyone with any experience. I think you have to recognize there are two totally different kinds of Government leadership post.
If we have a Secretary of Transportation who makes a mistake in the State of Oklahoma or the State of Illinois we are all going to know about it. And it is going to be very public.
When the director of the CIA does it, it is a very different thing. It is secret action. And, so, I think there is a higher standard that we must demand.
Obviously, you and I differ on the nominee. And I hope my colleague from Oklahoma is correct, because in all likelihood
the nominee is going to be approved. But I think that the Senator from Oklahoma and I and the other Members of the Senate who are on the floor right now, we could probably find 10 people with experience in intelligence who could be approved unanimously by this body. I think there are people with that kind of background. And I would feel more comfortable if we had a consensus candidate, rather than someone where there are serious doubts on one side or the other. But I thank my colleague.
Mr. BOREN. Mr. President, I thank my colleague from Illinois.
I understand exactly what he is saying. I am not so sure I agree with him we could find 10 who could get unanimous approval in this field, especially if they have been working at CIA for the past 15 or 20 years, unless we got someone who was a bureaucrat's bureaucrat. If we got someone who was not a boat rocker at all he might be embraced by the bureaucracy there. There are certainly some others.
I have people, for example Admiral Inman, who could perhaps command almost unanimous support. I would certainly be in support of someone like him, were he nominated as well.
I would point out, by the way, that many of these people, for whom we have such universal respect like Mr. Inman, like Mr. McMahon, like some of the previous Directors--Mr. Colby, Mr. Schlesinger, Judge Webster, like Mr. Stolz, the former Director of Operations who resigned as a matter of principle when Mr. Hugel was brought in by Director Casey, like Admiral Burkhalter who I quoted yesterday and others, former Congressman Boland of Massachusetts who was the chairman, distinguished chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and who wrote the Boland amendment, who also supports Mr. Gates. All of these people have been supporting him.
Let me say to my friend from Illinois one last word--I know at this point in time when decisions are made, we are not going to change anyone's mind--but one of the reasons, again, why I do support Mr. Gates. Like anyone else, I could be mistaken in my judgments. One of the things I have said is I take him at his word. If he ever did enter into activities which caused him to lose the confidence of the oversight committee he said he would submit his resignation. I would not only expect him to do that, I would demand that he do that if I were still the chairman of the Intelligence Committee. And having taken the position I have taken on this nomination, I can assure you I would probably be the first person to demand such action if he did not continue to merit the confidence which I and others have expressed in him yesterday--also by Senator Bentsen, the distinguished chairman of the Finance Committee who was the ranking member of our committee for 4 years; by Chairman
Pell of the Foreign Relations Committee yesterday, and by others who will be speaking in the course of today.
But one of the reasons why I do support him is the very reason that has been focused upon lastly by the Senator from Illinois. The Secretary of Transportation, as I said, his mistakes are public. There is much more of a public debate about them. The actions of the Director of the CIA are in secret. That is why I believe it is absolutely essential that we have a Director who not only gives in to the letter of the law, goes as far as the law makes him go in terms of congressional oversight so that we really know what is going on--I think it is absolutely imperative that we have some-one who truly believes in congressional oversight to the point of following the spirit of the relationship as well as the letter of the law, who tells us more than we have a right to know under the law, who really is forthcoming with the committee.
I can just say to my colleague from Illinois, I think that Senator Cohen and I, and in the last year Senator Murkowski and I, because of our responsibilities--not because we have any particular insights--but because of our responsibilities as chairman and vice chairman of the committee, meeting with the Director on a weekly basis on behalf of the committee, I think we are in a position to understand that Mr. Gates is the kind of person who really does share that information, including the mistakes--including the bad news--with the oversight committee.
He has done that consistently, and he has not just done that. He has supported greater authority--greater authority for the Congress. I want to make it clear I am not just saying for the Congress, I am saying for the American people. Because it is through us being able to look at, audit, and examine what the CIA is doing through its secret programs we are sure that there are not actions taken which are illegal or which violate the intentions of the American people.
And he has supported greater legal authorities. In my opinion, after all the arguing I did with the President of the United States on this question--and he started out firmly against the idea of an independent inspector general for the CIA, confirmed by us, reporting to us any disagreements with the
Director of the CIA so we would know if anything was going wrong out there, I argued with him, Senator Cohen argued with him, other members of our committee argued with him. We made some headway but we did not change his mind. I am convinced it was not until Mr. Gates weighed into the debates in behalf of having an independent statutory inspector general that the President finally relented and agreed not to veto that bill.
So I would say that is one of the things that does give me some level of assurance about Mr. Gates, and that is that he has been such a strong supporter of the oversight process. I know I am not going to change the mind of my colleague from Illinois but I do want him to know that if Mr. Gates goes to the directorship or if someone else goes to the directorship, that this Senator will certainly be doing everything that he can to make sure that that oversight process works, that there is a high level of accountability, not only to our committee but to the American people for the actions that are taken there.
Mr. President, I want to just make one additional point before I yield the floor. Yesterday on the floor I read into the Record a letter from Vice Adm. E.A. Burkhalter, former Director of the Intelligence Community Staff, in support of Mr. Gates' nomination. It expressed Mr. Burkhalter's view that one of Mr. Gates' critics at our hearings, Mr. Hal Ford, had not held intelligence analysis positions as high as some of the other analysts who testified supported Mr. Gates.
I do want to make it clear for the record that Mr. Ford's position was Deputy Chairman and Acting Chairman of the National Intelligence Council in the mideighties. Dr. Gates at that time wore two hats, that of CIA Deputy Director for Intelligence and Chairman of the DCI's interagency National Intelligence Council. And he selected Mr. Ford as his deputy at the NIC, and Mr. Ford became the Acting Chairman when Mr. Gates moved up to become the Deputy DCI. The committee solicited Mr. Ford's advice in considering this nomination.
While I do not find myself in agreement with the conclusions of Mr. Ford, though I will point out he testified that in his own experience as chairman of the NIC that his professional relationship with Mr. Gates was very good and that he was never urged by Mr. Gates to do anything improper in terms of slanting intelligence, he came to a conclusion of being opposed to the nomination mainly because based upon the feeling that it could have a bad impact on morale because of his discussion with some other people.
I do not agree with his conclusion. I agree with what he said about his own personal experience, but I do want the record to reflect that he did have a position of high responsibility, in fact, selected by Dr. Gates, in the intelligence community's analytical work. It is work for which I have immense admiration and respect, and I do want to make that clear.
I am sure that Admiral Burkhalter was in no way expressing a lack of respect for the work of Mr. Ford. I think he said that, indeed, explicitly in his letter, but I also wanted the record to reflect the full range of positions which Mr. Ford has held.
It is my hope that if Mr. Gates becomes the Director of Central Intelligence--and we will determine that fact as the Senate deliberates later this afternoon--that he will reach out and seek the advice of those who have had honestly different views and perceptions of his performance in the past. I think that will happen, and I think that will be valuable. I think that is another reason, as I said, why I think the confirmation process works, why it is a good thing that we have a process like this, and it will make, I think, the nominee, any nominee, particularly this one, more sensitive to some of the concerns that have been raised.
Mr. President, I yield the floor and reserve the remainder of my time.
Mr. KENNEDY addressed the Chair.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Who yields time?
Mr. BOREN. The Senator from New Jersey is absent from the floor. I know he was expecting the Senator from Massachusetts.
How much time does the Senator need?
Mr. KENNEDY. Ten minutes.
Mr. BOREN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that I yield 10 minutes on behalf of the Senator from New Jersey to the Senator from Massachusetts.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
The Senator from Massachusetts.
Mr. KENNEDY. Mr. President, I join in commending the chairman of the Intelligence Committee, Senator Boren, for the fair and thorough manner in which he conducted the hearings on the nomination. The testimony of the nominee, current and former CIA officials, and former government officials, as well as the thousands of documents reviewed and the hundreds of witnesses interviewed have given the Senate a thorough record on which to make its judgment.
In reviewing that record, however, there are too many unanswered questions, too many forgotten meetings, too many attempts to slant intelligence. I intend to vote `no' on this nomination and urge my colleagues to do the same.
During the 1980's the intelligence community suffered severe damage to its credibility, morale, and ability to fulfill its mandate because of ideological interference, flagrant efforts to circumvent the law and deceive Congress, and the devastating effect of the Iran-Contra scandal.
The Nation needs a CIA Director who can make a clean break with this distressing and controversial past--a Director who can reshape the intelligence community in the post-Soviet world, who can understand the emerging political and economic forces that will challenge the United States, and who has an impressive vision of this evolving role for our intelligence community.
Mr. Gates' record raises serious doubts that he will be able to leave his cold war views behind, lead the intelligence community in a nonpartisan manner, and ensure intellectual freedom and adequate attention to dissenting views.
The next head of the CIA must take the lead in finding a new mission for the intelligence community. That individual must have a talent for understanding forces of change and a skill for ensuring that the Nation is prepared to meet the challenges of the post-cold-war era.
Yet Mr. Gates' record is one of a cold warrior who skewed intelligence to fit his or his superiors' view of the world. He ignored the biggest scandal of the decade, intimidated those who disagreed with his views, and ignored the crumbling of the Soviet Union long after it began.
Mr. Gates has promised to keep Congress fully informed. And yet time and again during his tenure at the CIA, Congress was misinformed, deceived, denied timely notifications, and kept illegally out of the loop. We have heard that promise before. In 1986, he pledged to Congress that `this unique relationship between us depends on mutual trust, candor, and respect and I assure you I intend to conduct myself with this in mind.' At best, Mr. Gates stood by and let these deceptions happen. At worst, he was part of in the effort to circumvent the will of the American people, the authority of Congress and the laws of the land.
The record shows that Mr. Gates knew about both Oliver North's illegal Contra resupply network and the illegal sale of weapons to Iran but never acted to alert Congress or stop the illegal activity.
The record also shows that he was integrally involved with the secret sharing of intelligence to Iraq and our sharp tilt toward Iraq in its war with Iran. But Mr. Gates hid that action from Congress, too. It is important to keep in mind that this shift toward Iraq in its war with Iran began our ill-fated cozy relationship with Saddam Hussein.
Mr. Gates now promises to resign if the White House interferes with intelligence assessments or if the White House refuses to put an end to illegal activities. And yet, when he had the chance to do so under similar circumstances, he failed to act.
Mr. Gates promises to make intelligence more useful in informing the policymaker and to ensure that minority views are heard. And yet, his record is one of an official who suppressed dissenting views and who knowingly passed on misleading information to his superiors.
He suppressed analysts' reports in 1982 and 1985 which correctly projected a slowdown of Soviet activities in the Third World. He quashed dissenting views and helped craft an inaccurate 1985 intelligence estimate that Soviet influence in Iran could soon grow and that urged the United States to deal with Iranian moderates. He personally insisted that State Department officials drop footnotes from the report which did not support his viewpoint. These actions had consequences far beyond mere intellectual debates. In recommending that United States allies be permitted to sell arms to Iran, the report helped lay the foundation for the ill-fated arms for hostages deal in Iran.
Similar actions took place on other intelligence estimates throughout his tenure at the CIA. He dismissed dissenting views doubting possible Soviet complicity in the assassination attempt on the Pope, and misrepresented a report implicating the Soviets in that action as more authoritative than it was. His view of the Soviet Union led him to miss the impact of glasnost on Soviet society. He dismissed the Soviet reformers and clung to the evil empire theory, long after it was clear to the rest of the world that the Soviet Union was changing under Gorbachev. Even as late as 1989, he failed to see the likelihood of any fundamental political reforms in the Soviet Union.
Mr. Gates repeatedly gave public speeches that demonstrated a preoccupation with the Soviet menace, while ignoring much of the evidence undermining his point of view. His public speeches actively promoted the Reagan doctrine and exaggerated Soviet advances in ground-based laser ABM systems as he pushed for SDI. Within the intelligence community, he even advocated air strikes against the Sandinistas in Nicaragua. Rather than an objective professional dedicated to ensuring that the President receives the best intelligence possible, he became an enthusiastic promoter of President Reagan's policies.
We need a good manager at the CIA, one who can direct the agency, its people and its programs through the coming years of change. Yet Mr. Gates has a long record of intimidating analysts who differ with him, suppressing dissenting views, ignoring minority opinions, and demoralizing analysts. He made a practice of personally editing all analysis going to senior government officials, and thus made himself the final arbiter of good analysis. He eased out midlevel Soviet analysts with whom he disagreed and created a damaging politicized environment at the CIA. Now, at a time of great need for wise direction in the intelligence community, we cannot afford a manager with such a record.
One of the most troubling aspects of Mr. Gates' testimony is his changing account of his involvement with the Contras in Nicaragua. He testified to Congress five times before his confirmation hearing. He claimed to have only very limited knowledge of the Iran-Contra scandal unfolding under his nose. He said that he had virtually no knowledge of the Contra aid program--legal or illegal.
He became more forthcoming only when his former colleague, Alan Fiers, pleaded guilty to withholding information from Congress and acknowledged greater CIA involvement in the scandal than had previously been known. That revelation forced Mr. Gates finally to admit that he, in fact, was responsible for supervising the legal resumption of the Contra aid network in 1986. Had Mr. Fiers not spilled the beans, there is no evidence that Mr. Gates would have owned up to his much more extensive role in the Contra aid network.
He spent a great deal of time before the Intelligence Committee responding to questions about the Iran-Contra scandal. He provided written answers to many more questions. And yet, it is still not clear what Mr. Gates knew.
He is well known for his prodigious memory and his ability to recall minute details with pinpoint accuracy. And yet he draws a blank on all aspects of the Iran-Contra scandal. The question for the Senate is whether his memory on this issue is a blank slate or a black box.
He claims not to recall that Deputy Director for Intelligence, Richard Kerr, told him in late August 1986 of a possible diversion of funds.
On September 9, 1986, a senior CIA analyst, Charles Allen, wrote a memo on the arms sales to Iran, a copy of which went to Mr. Gates. He also claims to have talked to Mr. Gates regarding shipments of arms to Iran. Mr. Gates cannot recall the conversation or receiving the memo.
A September 8, 1986, entry in Oliver North's notebook on the proceeds from the arms sales to Iran includes a notation `Gates supportive.' Another entry on September 30 includes the entry `Call Charlie [Allen] Re: letter to Gates.' Mr. Gates claims he does not know the meaning of these notes.
As Deputy DCI since April 1986 Mr. Gates was an authorized
recipient of all the intelligence on the Iran initiative. He admits he may have scanned the relevant memos, but claims he did not bother to try and understand the codes.
Allen has testified that when he met with Mr. Gates on October 1, 1986, Mr. Gates appeared to already have some general awareness of pricing problems with the sale of weapons to Iran. According to Allen, `Mr. Gates captured the central message that I had brought to him, that there was possibly a diversion occurring and this was a matter of serious concern.' Mr. Gates disputes that assertion.
In addition, Mr. Gates reviewed drafts of the misleading testimony of November 21, 1986, by William Casey to the Congressional Intelligence Committees. He changed not a word and made no effort to correct the false impression that Casey's testimony left with the committee.
In spite of all this, Mr. Gates continues to insist that he was out of the loop, out of the room, or simply cannot recall. He looked the other way and failed to take action when it was most needed.
For the Senate to confirm Mr. Gates with so many reservations and outstanding questions would be a mistake. It would also send the wrong message to the able and dedicated men and women at the Agency--to get ahead, make sure your analysis fits your superiors' political agenda.
At this critical juncture in our Nation's history, we need a Director of the CIA whose objectivity and fairness, are beyond question. I urge the Senate to reject this nomination.
Mr. HOLLINGS addressed the Chair.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Who yields time?
Mr. BRADLEY. Mr. President, I yield such time as the distinguished Senator from South Carolina needs.
Mr. HOLLINGS. I thank the distinguished Senator from New Jersey.
Mr. President, I will try to be brief. Right to the point, Mr. President. Let us, like others, express our gratitude to our distinguished chairman. Senator Boren really brought a higher level, frankly, of the chairmanship to this committee. We were disturbed by leaks, and the distinguished chairman, along with the Senator from
Maine [Mr. Cohen] really got onto our entire operation, in my opinion, and did an outstanding job and have done an outstanding job, up until this particular nomination.
I have been an adherent of Senator Boren. He and I are the only two Senators, I believe, on this side of the aisle who voted for Robert Bork, and I am still very proud of that vote. And we have seen things alike.
Let me at the same time, though, commend the Senator from New Jersey for taking on this task of leadership on this side in that it has been a very difficult one.
Bob Gates is known to most of the committee members, but we did not know him until we really had this hearing. I am one of them. I saw a smart fellow, brilliant fellow that he is. I see him as responsive, as he is. I was prepared to go along. I indicated that to Mr. Gates and to Chairman Boren. But I see now that our troubles are really greater out at the Central Intelligence Agency.
I really commend Senator Bradley of New Jersey for coming in--in detail with staff, working around the clock, making the record for us in this regard because it is a record of nonconfirmation. There is no doubt about it, in my mind.
I speak advisedly, Mr. President. I like the CIA. I know it. I know it from 35 years ago. President Herbert Hoover appointed this particular individual--of course, not a Senator in those days--as a member of the Hoover Commission task force investigating the intelligence activities. Those were the McCarthy days. They had a Doolittle report under President Eisenhower. It was not accepted. The Congress rejected it out of hand. And then the President and the White House got together; under President Hoover, doing the work with his credibility, we had no trouble at all, and I was honored to be able to serve on what we called the Clark Task Force on Intelligence Activities. Gen. Mark Clark was the chairman of it, and the members included Capt. Eddie Rickenbacker, Richard Lansing Conolly, Henry Cearns of California, and Donald Stuart Russell, who is now a chief judge over in the Fourth Judicial Circuit. We want very thoroughly into this agency and all intelligence agencies. So, based on that background, I have taken the task and assignment on intelligence and on the Intelligence Committee in a serious fashion.
But at this time of the year, as chairman of the Commerce Committee, trying to get our end-year markups, as a member of the Appropriations Committee on the various conferences that have been ongoing, I just, frankly, could not give the time, and I really commend the Senator from New Jersey on giving the time and giving the leadership.
Let me say a word, though, about the hearing, because somewhere, somehow, the record is going to be made. No one wants to offend, and certainly it is not this Senator's intention to offend our distinguished chairman or anybody on this committee. But it was not necessarily just a regular hearing in the context of trying to find the truth about the situation in the sense that we were investigating this skewing
of intelligence in order to conform to policy. And, ironically, we ended up as a Committee on Intelligence trying to skew the confirmation in accordance with the preconceived confirming of Mr. Gates.
I noted this when I came to an early hearing and they veritably had a solid front, so to speak, on the other side of the aisle with their trial lawyer, the distinguished Senator from Maine [Mr. Cohen] whom we all respect and who knows far more about intelligence than this particular Senator. I respect him and I do not say that casually. I knew when they brought Senator Cohen in and he was sitting in there that it seemed more like a trial, than a hearing--in fact, I was called to comment at one time, when they were shouting at the witnesses and shouting at the Senators that this was not a murder trial. We were trying to get a feel as to whether or not this gentleman ought to be confirmed, was it in the best interests of our Central Intelligence Agency that Gates become the Director.
I was not going to go through all of the little tidbits of `what did you say and why did you not remember and what about that and do you not remember this.' I was trying to get a feel of the man himself, looking, of course, at the general track record.
Now, the chairman, of course, was with Mr. Gates. I use as my text on this particular score, so he will not think I am just talking out of the whole cloth, the article in the New York Times on October 5 where Mr. Boren--
* * * Supported Mr. Gates' nomination to the same job in 1987 and was disappointed when Mr. Gates had to withdraw his nomination because of unanswered questions about the Iran-Contra affair.
After that, said David Holliday, Mr. Boren's former special assistant on the committee, `He took Gates as a sort of reclamation project, helping him to get invited to some of the best tables in Washington.'
So we had the very unique situation of a chairman saying, `I have not made up my mind' at the same time he is testifying for the gentleman--a very interesting judge and jury situation.
But, in any event, we started off, and that is exactly what happened. Before the very first witness could testify, they had lawyer Cohen, the distinguished Senator from Maine, get a midnight letter from Arthur Liman, the lawyer from Iran-Contra, to contradict the witness before he could even testify. Arthur Liman, Mr. President, is the gentleman who could not find out that President Ronald Reagan knew about Iran-Contra. Even Colonel North says the President knew it all along.
We knew it. I do not know where they get the idea that we did not know it, and that the President did not know it. It was a cat and mouse game between the Congress and the President. We had four Boland amendments. We did not know about Iran, but we knew the aid was getting down there to the Contras. That was why the Boland amendments had come along. I happened to have wanted that aid to go down to the Contras.
We were sitting down there on the Defense Appropriations Committee, and we said: We cannot accept these restrictions on aid to the Contras. And they were nudging us on the shoulder: Do not worry about it; the White House is not worried. Let it go. This is just an appropriation bill, a little restriction on spending. Translation: They are going to get the aid down there anyway.
The Congress tried to catch them and say that the CIA directly should not send any. Then when the aid kept going, they said, well, anything connected with intelligence or involved with intelligence, they knew whether it was Defense or National Security Council or CIA. And the reports would come, and the New York Times knew all about the aid going there. Everybody knew about it. And we had a big formal hearing around here to determine that nobody knew anything about it, particularly the President of the United States, which is total nonsense.
But, in any event, we had quite a time with this confirmation hearing, and the Senators were running around like lawyers for the defense trying to bolster the nominee--talking about his retention and experience. The difficulty here, Mr. President, of course, is they are trying to make Bob Gates the smartest and the dumbest all at once. I do not know how they are going to do it. They are trying, but they have not succeeded.
There is no question in my mind, if I had to vote, my vote comes down on the side of Gates being the smartest. He is a Ph.D. graduate. He has worked with the Director over there. He has a photographic memory. There is no question in this Senator's mind that he is the smartest, and that is disturbing.
They talk about the experience. Let us look at his experience. His Director knew--Casey. The man immediately underneath him who tried to get these people in place--it was Clair George--knew. Alan Fiers, below him, knew. The two Latin American chiefs down there knew. George Cave knew. Everybody around him knew, but he did not know. That is why we ought to confirm him.
You cannot make him the smartest and the dumbest all at the same time, and so when you come in--and Charlie Allen, for example, comes in and tells him that they violated the Boland amendment, and things are going out, he does not remember that. I know about the thousands of things that go through the mind, but when the man comes in and tells us that he does not even remember the conversation, I still think he is the smartest.
That raised a question in my mind, and then the testimony added to it. The distinguished chairman just read into the Record about Harold Ford. When this old-time analyst, who won every award out there with the CIA, who had worked with Sherman Kent, who this Senator had worked with back in 1954 and 1955, when he testified, I began to take note and began to listen. And you did not have to listen to much before you really realized, yes, there was a definite perception in the Agency that you had to conform the intelligence to the policy.
Well, I could go into that in detail. I promised to be brief. There were 20-some allegations of politicization that I have here, if you read this record, and this has been a very good committee report. I commend the staff of the Intelligence Committee in preparing this report and, as I said, our distinguished chairman, in giving balance to the report. Nothing is left out that any Senator wanted in here. We got our individual views and everything else. And you read that report. You will see more than 20 times in which analysts perceived politicization.
Well, Senator Cohen says in the article here earlier this week in the Washington Post:
Of the roughly 2,500 intelligence estimates produced during Bob Gates' tenure, a handful were presented to the committee as evidence that Gates sacrificed his integrity for political expediency.
It is not the proof that counts here; it is the perception. You get a handful--and he is giving us the old Mel Belli, so many dollars per hour of pain. I have tried those kinds of cases. Now we are told there were 2,500 reports during Gates' tenure, such a big volume coming through, that Gates could not really do it. The truth is, he did.
He transmitted through the agency what was characterized as a perception of politicization. Let me quote from Jennifer Glaudemans' testimony:
The means by which politicization occurred is not readily documented. There is little paper to evidence, the continual and subtle pressures applied to analysts to make them comply, because it is virtually impossible to collect the paper trail, evidence quickly becomes one person's word against another's. But let me suggest to you that politicization is like fog. Though you cannot hold it in your hand or nail it to the wall, it is real. It does exist, and it does affect people's behavior.
There is no question that it affected some who were in the Agency who got moved on out when they did not come in with the right report. Then the word went around: If you go to the cafeteria for lunch today, you will find out what the word is. And, of course, there was a veritable paranoia on the part of Casey about the Soviets, which caused us--here is the end instance
that has to be emphasized--which caused us to flunk the course in Afghanistan, in Iran, in Iraq, in Ethiopia, in Angola, with the fall of the Wall, and the demise of the Soviet Union itself. Even in Desert Storm, the commanding general had to come and say: `Look, the rounded edges and the smoothed corners on the intelligence were of no assistance to me. I got the feeling that they were really given to protect the Intelligence Agency itself, rather than to inform the commander in the field.' He called it `mush.'
If we do not think we have a problem out at CIA, and our distinguished chairman talks about experience, do not give me anybody with this experience. That is the objection of the Senator from South Carolina--Gates' experience--because his experience is one of pleasing the boss. And, again, the Senator from Oklahoma says that is why we ought to put him on, because he is going to please the Congress.
That in and of itself is not going to be difficult. On the one hand, you can give us Senators little tidbits, a little here and yonder from a tremendous volume of intelligence activity, and we go smiling knowingly down the hall, thinking that we know way more than the next Senator. You are pleased, and we do not say anything to anybody, and that is the end of that.
But worst of all, when you go to pleasing, you risk weakening the CIA. You put in such things as Presidentially appointed, senatorially confirmed inspector general. You cannot operate an intelligence activity with an independent inspector general running around and over you on each little item. In intelligence, I do not know a batting average. I guess in baseball .300 is good; .500 is good in this thing. You are supposed to give the facts, the cold hard facts. In many instances it might not come out.
But, there is no doubt that pleasing the boss is exactly this brilliant man Gates' weakness. He could please Brzezinski, he could please us, he could please anybody along the line, and that was his downfall--he pleased Casey to the point where outstanding intelligence veterans like Hal Ford sensed the imbalance. The Senator from Oklahoma just read it in the Record, Hal Ford, the best of intelligence we had, first was listed in our committee records as a witness for Mr. Gates, in turn was a witness against Mr. Gates. Why? Because there is a morale problem out there.
Now you have a volume problem at CIA, I can tell you that. You have over a hundred Senators, a hundred supergrade Senators, analysts falling out over each other. We can save billions of dollars, not only in the CIA, in defense, and elsewhere. When you are talking about wasting money, we ought to cut out that waste. It is just a matter of policy on the one hand, but then you also have a morale problem with a fellow who is always going to please the boss.
And in his zeal to please he rode herd over the CIA, and there was a definite perception you come out with. For example, the burden was on the analysts studying the attempted assassination of the Pope, to blame it on the Soviets. You come out with this or that, you either do that or
we go higher. And if you do not write the right report, we will go out and hire somebody who will bring in the right report.
This turned this Senator totally around from support to opposing.
Those that Mr. Gates has pleased have recommended him highly. And it is a sad scene to finally bring the distinguished gentleman up for his confirmation when we have the chairman promising that he is going to have oversight, he is going to watch him, and he is going to have special oversight over the morale at the CIA. You almost get the message, if you are listening impartially, here is a big mistake about to be made and we are going to have to have a lot of oversight. And then the man himself comes up, and he promises to resign if anything untoward comes across his desk. He is going in on one promise, that he is going to resign if anything comes across his desk, and generally expecting his supporters to say, well, yes, he might not have been assiduous enough and diligent enough and the should have used better judgment, but he has matured now and he has grown into the truth. He has grown into the truth. The sole purpose for intelligence is to determine the truth. And that is all we need, the true facts, and let the others make their judgments as they will.
I have additional comments, Mr. President, but I see my distinguished colleague from Arizona on the floor here, who wanted to get in his comments before we break for lunch. So let me yield the floor at this particular time.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Who yields time?
Mr. BOREN. Mr. President, the Senator from South Carolina did not know it, but the Senator from Connecticut has been waiting on the floor. Also we are alternating back and forth. If it is all right with the Senator from Arizona, I think the Senator from Connecticut has only brief remarks to make.
Mr. DeCONCINI. No problem.
Mr. BOREN. Mr. President, before I yield to the Senator from Connecticut, I would like to yield to myself 3 minutes.
Mr. President, I was somewhat surprised by some of the comments made by the distinguished Senator from South Carolina. Perhaps he is unaware of the facts, because I understand he quoted a newspaper article in support of a couple of comments which he made. But I do want the record to be clear so that he hears it from me and not on the basis of some anonymous newspaper reporting. It is not the fact--and he should know this--that in 1987 I was going to vote for the confirmation of Mr. Gates. As I have stated on the floor several times, and I will state it in the committee, I felt that at that time Mr. Gates was not equipped to be the Director of Central Intelligence. I said so. I said so to him. And I felt at that time it was best for the country that the nomination be withdrawn. That was my position. I want him to know that is my position, and whatever newspaper reported that is reporting it incorrectly.
I also want to state to the Senator from South Carolina that it is not my responsibility to enter into reclamation projects for anyone, and the meetings that I have had with Mr. Gates, or that Mr. Cohen had with Mr. Gates, were in our capacity as chairman and vice chairman of the committee. I would have been derelict had I not had those meetings. I continue to have those same meetings with Judge Webster and Mr. Kerr, and I am not undertaking any kind of rehabilitation project for them either. We simply meet on a professional basis, on a weekly basis, on a biweekly basis with the Director, the Acting Director, and the Deputy Director of the Agency. And I think that is as we should because we have business to do.
That is not a social occasion, I can assure you, and, as I have indicated, my relationship with Mr. Gates and with Judge Webster, for that matter, as well and with Mr. Kerr as well, is purely professional. I have not been at social gatherings, small social gatherings of less than 50 or 100 people with any of those individuals. That does not mean I have animosity to them or I would not be pleased to spend time with them but my workload makes it pretty well impossible for me to spend that kind of time. And the time we have spent has been as professional components of our committee.
Let me say, in the course of those meetings over the last several years, not so much since Mr. Gates has been at the National Security Council--I have not seen him systematically since then except when we had matters of policy to discuss--but I think I did get, and I think Senator Cohen did get, a very good insight into how this person would operate. When you sit down on a weekly basis or biweekly basis and you try to get information from the CIA and are able to get it and able to get it without even having to ask the right question and when sensitive information is given to you, I think that that is something that includes the politicization of the Agency; I think that that is something that has bearing on the qualifications of this nominee.
So I simply say to my good friend and colleague from South Carolina, and he is my friend and I appreciate what he said about our process, our process speaks for itself in the Intelligence Committee. The Senator did not try to keep any witnesses from coming. Quite the contrary, this Senator had a steering committee of 15 members, including members of the staff of the Senator from South Carolina, the Senator from New Jersey, the Senator from Arizona, the Senator from Alaska, and all of those on both sides of the aisle. Witnesses that were desired were brought. Any they certainly were not all complimentary to the nominee by any stretch of the imagination.
The Senator from South Carolina reads the record of the committee to support his view. I read the record of the committee to support my view. I think it shows we developed a very thorough and objective record, hearing both sides, on which honest people can disagree on their conclusions.
I do want to simply correct any impression that the Senator from South Carolina has from reading the newspaper story that that was my point of view about Mr. Gates in 1987. It was not, and as I have said on the floor, the mere statement on his part that he would do things differently is not something I take at face value or am prepared to accept just because he said it. I am more prepared to accept it because I have had this experience of information forthcoming. I have known his support, and our committee received the benefit of his support of our independent audit unit, of our inspector general, of writing into the law the lessons of Iran-Contra and giving our committee more power and jurisdiction. It is on that basis--and I do not quarrel with my good friend from South Carolina. I never quarrel with him. He is a valued Member of the Senate. We have stood together, as he said, sometimes on very unpopular causes, sometimes when we were a very small minority in taking a position we have. I do want him to know that in terms of where I stood and where I stand now, and I just do want the record to reflect that.
I am happy to yield to the Senator from Connecticut as much time as he might desire.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Connecticut is recognized.
Mr. LIEBERMAN. Mr. President, I thank the Chair, and I thank my colleague and friend from Oklahoma.
I join in the chorus of praise for the chairman of the Intelligence Committee for the extraordinarily fair and comprehensive job he has done on this nomination. I say that with a certain degree of personal pride since our friendship goes back to our days in college together.
I am pleased to say that I not only praise him for the process that he has conducted but I join in him in the results of that process, the confirmation of Bob Gates as the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.
Mr. President, the beginning point for me in consideration of this nomination is the fact that President Bush has nominated Bob Gates to be his Director of Central Intelligence. He wants Bob Gates to oversee the intelligence function for him and for the U.S. Government.
I think that when the American people elected George Bush President in November 1988 and made him, by that act, our Commander in Chief, we gave him the right to surround himself in these critical national security positions--Director of Defense, Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, head of the National Security Council--with the people he wants there.
The question before us, therefore, in my opinion, is not whether Bob Gates is the best qualified person in America to hold this job, now whether he is the person each of us would want to hold this job, the question is, the President having nominated him, whether he, in our opinion, is qualified to hold this job. And in my opinion he more than passes that test.
Mr. President, we have come a long way, as has been indicated in this debate, in the involvement of Congress in the intelligence function. We brought it out of the darkness, probably not fully into the sunlight, but at least into the shadows. A lot of that progress is due to the work of the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee and others who have worked before him. But is seems to me that we have to acknowledge that the greater role still lies with the President and that our role is not coequal to his. And therefore the
beginning and influential point in this discussion is again that President Bush wants Bob Gates to be his DCI.
But let us go beyond that. Why do I think he passes the test of qualification as everybody has spoken of it? Bob Gates has an extraordinary personal record, personal capability.
Let me just speak for a moment about the fact that this is a man who chose, right after college, to devote himself to public service. There is a certain tendency that we in Government often succumb to, to take somebody from outside with no experience in Government, a CEO of a large business, and make that person a head of an agency like the CIA.
But let us give a little bit of credit and tribute to somebody who, as a young man, a gifted young man, turned away from fields in which I am sure he would have been much better remunerated and devoted himself to a career of service in the interest of our national security. He served the last five Presidents of the United States. Those five Presidents gathered yesterday at the dedication of the Reagan Library. All have been served by Bob Gates, as Director of Intelligence from 1982 to 1987 and from 1987 to 1989 as Deputy Director of the CIA.
This is somebody who knows this agency and knows it well. Even his sternest critics in this confirmation process have said that he is a person of extraordinary intelligence and I think unquestioned character. Some have questioned his judgment in particular cases, but I do not think anybody is questioning his character here.
Now there are two questions that have been raised about his performance over the last decade at the CIA that I found disquieting and I think need to be dealt with. Those are his behavior in the Iran-Contra case and the general allegation that he has been involved in a political manipulation of intelligence information.
Before I deal specifically with those two charges, I would like to make just a few points here. The first goes back to something I said a few moments ago. We cannot run a system here where we are either punishing those who have the guts to even get involved in the fray and therefore are going to be tarnished because they are human, as opposed to those who have not been in the fray.
Let us give some credit here and understanding to the fact that the intelligence function is a risk-taking function. It is a function in which we want people who can analyze facts but also who have opinions.
As the chairman of the Intelligence Committee said before--and I want to reemphasize it very briefly--I hope we are not getting to a point where we are not only going to punish somebody who has made the laudable commitment to enter public service early in his career, that we are going to punish people who have the guts to take stands, to articulate opinions, to get into the battle instead of standing timidly by. I would rather have someone who has that kind of strength in a position like this, and honor, than someone who does not.
Mr. President, it seems to me that the critics of Bob Gates are saying inconsistent things along the way here. One, that he is a patsy for those he works for and yet also seems, in that sense, timid and also seems to be strong and insensitive, a bully to those who work with him.
Let us agree here that in the accusations that have been made against him about the political slanting of intelligence facts, that we have to understand, as I understand it, what this intelligence business is all about. We are not dealing here with a scientist who does a laboratory experiment and then has data that he conceals or misuses or misstates. We are dealing here with some facts that are then sifted through somebody's mind, somebody's analytical capability, and there can be differences of opinion and different conclusions.
This really is a question of whether the glass is half empty or half full, not whether there is a glass there at all. I do not think anyone is saying that Bob Gates has been deceitful. I think they are disagreeing with his conclusions and saying that his opinions often guide his interpretation of the facts.
My own reading of the record corresponds with what was suggested by the Senator from Oklahoma and the Senator from Maine: numbers are important here when you are dealing with analysis, and Bob Gates was in charge of more than 2,500 intelligence estimates. These are not just casual notes to a coworker. These are formal statements of opinion which have some weight to them. Those that have been questioned are a handful, as I hear it, less than 10, single digits. The basis of the questioning to me seems to be judgmental. Some could agree, some could disagree.
I do not read in them the kind of hard evidence that says that Bob Gates was deceitful. I see in him a lot of personal impressions, which I can understand and respect. And I see in the record a man who is accused of doing whatever his superiors would have him do, whatever he thought his superiors wanted him to do. I see in the record that I have read a series of examples where he took on his superiors. They have been testified to before.
Let me just mention a few others that I am aware of. He concluded and reported during the 1980's that President Reagan's economic sanctions against Western European countries, that were engaged in building a gas pipeline between Europe and the Soviet Union, would not work. He said that Defense Secretary Weinberger was incorrect in his belief that Soviet military spending was not on a decline. He said that Secretary of State Shultz' attempts to shore up the Lebanese Government through the presence of United States troops there would fail. And, more recently, he questioned the views of Secretary of State Baker when he warned--that is, Bob Gates warned--about the continued existence of hardline forces within the Soviet Union opposed to President Gorbachev. That warning came in 1990, long before the events that we saw in 1991 that proved the truthfulness of that estimate.
On the question of Iran-Contra, I think what the chairman of the Intelligence Committee has said has been dispositive. Hindsight is always clearer than foresight. I think we have to judge Mr. Gates' behavior with a certain degree of empathy and mercy and hold ourselves to the same high standard we would hold him to in this case.
Yes, by his own testimony he missed or did not adequately respond to some references to Iran-Contra that I would describe as suggestive but not clear. When the clear and definitive statements were made to him, in October 1986, I think the record shows that he responded quite aggressively and specifically to find out what was going on and to try to clarify the role of the CIA.
So, on balance, I think the case against Bob Gates on the standard that I have mentioned, that I believe is the definitive one, at least for me, which is not whether he is the best person in the world to fill this job but, having been nominated by the President, is he qualified to fill this job--and I say that he is more than qualified.
I think he is more than qualified by virtue of experience and by virtue of this confirmation process. I know, people can disparage the lessons that were learned, the clear statements that he made in the committee--the self-criticism that in some
cases I think was even a little bit harsh toward himself--perhaps to satisfy those on the committee who he worried would be his critics. But I cannot imagine that any previous Director of the CIA has come to that office, not only with the record of experience, but with the clear record of intention not to repeat some of the mistakes of the past, to work with Congress, to recognize the oversight function of Congress. He will need all of that experience and all of that commitment to meet the challenges ahead.
A lot has been said about the new age at the CIA. It will be a new age. A lot has changed in the world but a lot has not changed. It is not quite time to dismantle this agency or the critical intelligence function that it plays for us. Yes, the Soviet Union as we knew it no longer exists. That does not mean that there is a shortage of threats to America's national security in the world today or that there is an end to the need for good intelligence.
You do not have to find a new mission for the CIA. In my opinion the mission is out there--unfortunately. Take a look at the Soviet Union. Clearly it is not what it was but it still possesses enormous, terrifying nuclear firepower. And add to that an obviously unstable political situation.
Look at the Middle East, an area of continuing critical strategic interest to the United States, where small countries, unstable countries, dictatorial countries, gain great wealth and use that wealth increasingly to buy weapons of mass destruction.
Look at the colossus of Asia, China, almost a billion people; look at India nearing that same mark itself--one a democracy, the other a brutal dictatorship. Each in its way will play a critical role in the future of world security and, therefore, of American security.
So there is a lot to do. Yes, there may be a need to reorganize. Sure, there is a need to turn the boat around from its exclusive or predominant focus on the Soviet Union toward some of the other problems that exist. Yes, there are tough personal decisions to make.
I must say in some sense I hope some of the testimony that has been given about Bob Gates' insensitivity is true. Because I think he is going to have to be insensitive to make some of the changes in personnel and direction that will be necessary at the CIA in the years ahead because of the changed direction and because of the need and opportunity to cut Federal spending.
I hope he will be cautious, and I believe he will, because of his background, about rushing into some of the new areas that are being advocated for the CIA. I have heard some people say there may be a role for the CIA in environmental work internationally. Some have suggested that the CIA should have a role in economic espionage. Again, I hope we proceed cautiously and that any of these new doors not just be embraced as a way, frankly, to save jobs that exist there today.
I have concluded, for the reasons I have stated, that the President's nominee, Bob Gates, is uniquely qualified at this moment in our history, by experience, by background, by the statements he has made in his confirmation hearings, to accept the leadership of our intelligence operation in the years ahead. He is uniquely qualified to give us what we are going to need, which is a newly directed lean, mean intelligence machine.
He has the President's confidence. I think he more than
passes fair standards of qualification that the Senate should impose on him. I am proud to vote for him. I wish him good luck and Godspeed in the important work that he will now undertake. I thank the Chair and yield the floor.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Who yields time? The Senator from New Jersey.
Mr. BRADLEY. I yield such time as the Senator from Arizona needs.
Mr. DeCONCINI. I thank the Senator from New Jersey.
Mr. President, my colleagues, and those who may be listening to this debate, I think we have a difficult decision before us, but I am not so naive as to think that there are not sufficient votes for this nomination.
There is no more important appointment made by the President of the United States, in my judgment, than the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Perhaps only appointments to the Court that are lifetime appointments surpass it. But this Agency, though not a Cabinet agency, is truly one that affects not just the CIA but affects the people who work in other Cabinet positions. And it affects the Congress of the United States that has the responsibility of authorizing and appropriating funds for intelligence activities. And it affects not only the lives and the quality of lives of CIA employees, but also the security of the people of the United States.
Let me begin by saying I join with other Members here to express my thanks, appreciation, and praise to Chairman Boren for the way he has conducted these hearings. During the time that I was at those hearings he always gave me the maximum amount of leeway to ask my questions, and to raise them with the particular witnesses in whom I might be interested. Indeed, I have no quarrel with Chairman Boren whatsoever about the process.
And my praise extends to the staff as well, both those who work for the majority and minority, and both those who work for us who oppose Gates and those who work for Members who support Gates. They were extremely helpful. They went out of their way and did a great deal of work, particularly Tim Carlsgaard, my designee on the committee--and I thank him. But I urge my colleagues to read the committee report. You can read it and I guess you can draw any conclusion you want. But I think the staff has done a very, very fair, balanced job of reporting, so that it is hard to come to any conclusion, without some question marks about Mr. Gates.
Before Senators cast their votes I think they should ask themselves: Does Robert Gates possess the qualities that are necessary to be the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency? Does he have a distinguished character? Does he have the qualities, and the reputation, of making good, sound judgments? Does he possess a sharp and brilliant mind? Does he have superior management skills, and the ability to operate under pressure, under fire? Can he do something about the budget of the CIA? Does he have the ability to command loyalty and to receive it? Does he have foresight, the ability to recognize the complexity of a rapidly changing world? And, does he have the ability to say `no' to his superiors, to the President of the United States?
(Mr. BINGAMAN assumed the chair.)
Mr. DeCONCINI. Mr. President, can he muster up enough strength to provide all the intelligence that has been gathered by the agencies when he is briefing the President or the White House staff? I have concluded that those questions cannot all be answered in the affirmative. These are skills that are essential, in my judgment, to be the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.
Three weeks of hearings have produced a lengthy record. Mr. Gates has positive attributes, and I heard many of them enunciated here today. I have also heard almost everyone who has spoken in favor of him--somewhat apologeticly--say that Mr. Gates has changed; that he is now ready for the job; that after the many mistakes he has made and admitted to, he can come back and really lead.
He is close to the President. There is no question about it. And I think that is an important factor here. But we would expect nothing more, would we? Would we expect a nominee to come up here totally divorced from his close relationship with the President? I doubt it.
He has served President Bush well as Deputy National Security Adviser under General Scowcroft. He worked closely with Stansfield Turner, Bobby Inman, and John McMahon. He has had a distinguished career with the Agency, serving there close to 25 years. Nonetheless, he does have a credibility problem.
This is not a problem that is manufactured by those of us who feel that he is not the best qualified person for this position. He really had a very close relationship with William Casey. We do not need to go into Casey. Perhaps it is unfair that he cannot respond to all the charges against him, but we cannot ignore the fact that Bill Casey appointed Gates to be his executive assistant in 1981 and in 1986 elevated him to be Deputy Director of the CIA. He elevated him over hundreds of other senior qualified people. Obviously, he was a chosen designee of Mr. Casey--to be his man, to respond to him. I think he expected a lot from his nominee, Mr. Gates, and, believe me, he got it. He got his money's worth when he put Gates there, because Gates did what he was told to do.
The committee has learned much over the past 5 months. Much of what we learned occurred while Mr. Gates was part of senior management. The committee found the CIA still has not learned the real definition of oversight. For example, Congress was badly misinformed on the intelligence-sharing relationship between the United States and Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war. The following is a classic example of Mr. Gates promising the committee something and then failing to follow through.
When Mr. Gates was nominated in April of 1986 to be the Deputy Director of Central Intelligence, he responded in writing to the committee's question on what he believed to be the obligations of the Director and the Deputy Director with regard to oversight by the Congress.
He said--and I would like to quote one statement he made--`to keep the two Intelligence Committees fully and currently informed of all intelligence activities'; and, `I believe it is appropriate, however, for intelligence agencies to go beyond the letter of the obligation cited in the law. We should deal candidly and straightforwardly with the committees'.
Nevertheless, consider the following: Although Acting Director Richard Kerr said in a recent letter that Bob Gates as DDI, DDCI, and the DCI, a period of time that goes back to 1982, was, and this is Mr. Kerr's quote, `aware of the general level of intelligence provided to Iraq,' the Senate Intelligence Committee did not learn of this significant intelligence-sharing relationship until Bob Woodward disclosed it in the Washington Post in December 1986.
Let me reiterate, Mr. Gates was in charge of the Directorate of the Agency that prepared the intelligence passed on to Iraq. What happened to Robert Gates' congressional oversight committee he made to the committee in April 1986? Will Congress be forced to rely on the Washington Post to carry out the Agency's oversight responsibility if Mr. Gates is confirmed? God, I hope not. I hope we can get the information that we are entitled to. That is a responsibility of the director or the Acting Director or the Deputy Director, or whomever is charged to come up to the committee in the oversight process.
In addition, 5 years after the fact, we learned the intimate details of how William Casey disseminated information and used information on Members of Congress and their staffs with regard to Nicaragua. What a disgrace.
The Iran-Contra scandal: After the 1986 Senate Intelligence Committee's investigation, the Tower Board investigation, the Iran-Contra Committee investigation and, of course, the independent counsel's investigation, new details continuously emerged.
I know people are tired of the Iran-Contra affair. The press no longer wants to write about it and no longer has that zeal to pursue it if nobody is going to bleed and really suffer. But it is an interesting part of history. New details keep emerging and many of them have come out in the confirmation process of Mr. Gates.
It troubles this Senator that every time Robert Gates testified, we had new details in that area. Will we ever really know what happened? It is difficult to have confidence in any explanation, in my opinion. New revelations keep coming forward.
Let me cite a couple. From Charlie Allen's testimony: He was the National Intelligence officer for counterterrorism. He was attached and assigned to work with Oliver North from 1985 until the end of that scandal. Allen told Gates on October 1, 1986, of Oliver North's reference to a reserve fund from the Iran arms sale. Mr. Gates says he does not recall.
But the lack of recall continues.
A discussion with Robert Gates about a November 7, 1986, memo on Allen's meeting with Roy Furmark regarding the possible diversion--a memo that Tom Twetten, who was Near East Division head at the time, called dynamite. Mr. Gates had discussed this with Mr. Allen, according to Allen. Mr. Gates says, I do not recall; I do not remember.
How about Richard Kerr's testimony? Certainly a very powerful individual who supports Mr. Gates. After Kerr met with Charlie Allen in August 1986, Kerr then spoke with Gates and he said he told him about the possible involvement of Oliver North in the diversion. Mr. Gates could not remember. He said I do not recall. He could not recall this conversation with Richard Kerr, one of his closest associates.
What about Messrs. Casey and Gates' calendars obtained by the committee? There are numerous meetings between the two of these individuals that never had been disclosed regarding Casey's November 21, 1986 testimony before Congress. Gates cannot recall what was discussed in any of these meetings. How can you have any credibility if you are meeting with your boss, your superior, the person who appointed you, the person who had confidence in you, the person who gave you specific jobs to do and you did them and then you cannot remember meeting with that particular person? Gates' calendar shows a previous undisclosed meeting on July 29, 1986, between Gates and North. When Gates was asked about this, he gave his familiar answer: I do not recall.
How about Alan Fiers' testimony? Fiers had a very close working relationship with Robert Gates--Gates does not dispute that--in the summer of 1986. According to Fiers, Mr. Gates was deeply involved in the restart of Contra support. In June and July 1986, Gates participated in at least a half a dozen meetings on that restart effort. On October 9, 1986, the day Fiers and Clair George allegedly agreed to withhold information from Congress, they also met with Robert Gates.
That is not in dispute. Except Mr. Gates says, `I don't recall that meeting.' Here he is involved, according to Fiers, with the restartup of the Contra effort, and he cannot recall it. According to Fiers, Robert Gates specifically asked him why the agency could not buy the private benefactor's assets, in this case aircraft, which had been used to support the Contras. When Mr. Gates was asked, `Do you know anything about that,' you can imagine what he said: `I don't recall.'
From George Cave's written response--very interesting. Here is a retired CIA senior official who was brought back into service. He worked with Allen to give support to North at the White House. Oliver North was allowed to write an intelligence report that was incorporated into an intelligence memorandum that was sent to the White House as if it came from the CIA. The CIA Inspector General is investigating that right now. It will be interesting to see whether or not they can substantiate what I just said. I believe they will.
Although Cave did not write an article for the President's daily brief, as alleged in the hearings and reiterated by Robert Gates, an intelligence memorandum based on Cave's reporting was sent with that daily brief, and I do not believe there is any dispute there. These reports were based on the contacts with the so-called Iranian moderates of really unknown reliability.
George Cave briefed the NSC staff on his Iranian contacts.
Additional credibility problems associated with Mr. Gates continued to be brought up. These are just a few that I looked over carefully. Other Members who oppose Mr. Gates will, I am sure, go into others.
Another area of great concern to me are allegations of the slanting of intelligence and the suppression of alternative views. These are serious charges and are perhaps impossible to prove with a smoking gun. But these charges are devastating, nevertheless, in the perception they create of Mr. Gates when he was a senior official at the CIA.
Who stepped forward to testify against Mr. Gates? Not limited just the three or four who came and spoke. There were many who wrote, some anonymously, some not; many who called and talked to me and expressed their views, and still others who provided sworn statements to the committee. They left strong impressions with this Senator that something was wrong with this nominee.
Jennifer Glandemanns: She was a low-level analyst perhaps but with high ideals. She was a mother of two children who was attending law school whom the committee asked to testify. She did not come forward on her own. What motivation would she have had other than tell us what was going on in the CIA when Mr. Gates was in charge? Critics said it was because she had worked for another witness who testified against Mr. Gates or that she was upset that her work product was not adopted and/or praised by Mr. Gates.
Do not believe it. Do not believe it. I do not. She worked for Mel Goodman for only 2 1/2 months. And I cannot find a motivation for her testimony other than wanting to bring to the committee her feeling of a problem with Mr. Gates' operation of that Agency.
And Harold Ford; Mr. Ford had 40 years' experience as an intelligence officer and analyst. Mr. Ford is an author and lecturer on intelligence analysis. He is the recipient, as a matter of fact, from William Casey and Robert Gates, of the National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal. Yet he was ridiculed and accused of McCarthyism. There was an attempt to discredit him by some of my colleagues. They said he had no firsthand knowledge, that his testimony was based entirely on hearsay, and misrepresented and distorted what Mr. Ford said.
That is an old one; is it not? They tried to discredit the man's efforts. This man is truly a professional. He is an expert with 40 years' experience. Nobody would say that Mr. Ford was not an expert able to give an opinion as an expert, whether in a court of law or before the committee.
Expert testimony is not hearsay. It is admissible. It is important. And this man had a lot of it, a lot of firsthand experience. He read and heard and watched Gates' testimony. He saw and read documents that have been declassified as part of this process. He talked to individuals who came to him, and he went to them about the problems within the Agency--of more than 20, he said. So truly this man is qualified to be taken seriously and not ridiculed as he was.
Gates' response to these allegations of politicization was a forceful 20-point rebuttal. However, the responses are limited to allegations of only one witness. Mr. Gates was evasive and did not provide the complete picture.
For example, Robert Gates ordered a paper in 1986 on the papal assassination attempt. Gates specifically directed analysts to make the case for Soviet involvement. He sent the paper to top policymakers, including then Vice President Bush with a misleading cover letter stating this paper was comprehensive. The letter said the CIA had confidence in this paper.
A later review of that papal assassination report, however, by the CIA, for which Mr. Gates now takes credit is extremely critical of the report. Let me read just a few things from the so-called Cowey report. I will quote just a couple of the key findings: `Alternative explanations were not adequately examined.'
Another example of the key findings:
The two longer assessments produced by the Directorate are impressive efforts to sort out the case, but type suffered from inadequate coordination, poor sourcing, and lack of balance.
Another quote from that finding:
In the absence of evidence, production was hamstrung, mindsets replaced evidence, and the issues became increasingly polarized.
There were additional comments. Let me quote one more.
They refer to analysts and the officers involved in collecting and producing intelligence on this topic--
Of the papal analysis--
thought that calling the paper the case for Soviet involvement and marshalling evidence only for that side stacked the deck in favor of that argument and ran the risk of appearing biased. This impression was further reinforced, they thought, by the unbalanced treatment of counterarguments in the text.
I do not know what else could be more condemning than to have someone in charge of the CIA who first sends off a report saying it is credible, saying it is comprehensive and we stand behind it, and then deciding to have somebody review that report, then having these statements come back with the review of the report. And what did he do with that report, the second report, and the analysis and the criticism of the report that he had already sent? He did not think it was necessary to send it and update the people who had received the first report.
Is that responsible leadership? Or did he choose not to send the second report because it would have discredited the objective which was to involve the Soviet Union in the papal attempted assassination, regardless of the facts--regardless.
In the opinion of the reviewers, the paper was deliberately skewed to make the case for Soviet complicity look more solid for their involvement. They thought the authors had indeed been manipulated. Indeed they had been, as we all know now.
Analysts coordinating in the DI would also have preferred more qualifiers in the key judgments, along with more time. It was a 97-page draft, and most of them had less than 1 working day to review it. They wondered why a paper dealing with such sensitive and complex subjects had to be rushed through.
We know now why it had to be rushed through. Because the White House, Mr. Casey, and Mr. Gates, wanted to implicate the Soviet Union. They wanted a report they could rely on, and they wanted it one-sided, one that did not take the other side.
We know what happens to intelligence reports. They are not made public. It is not necessary for a President, or any policymaker who has these reports, to accept them and say: I am going to follow it. They are to educate the person, and if that person, be it the President or anybody else, decides he does not want to follow it, that is their prerogative. Should they not have all the information? I submit they should, and that they did not.
Mr. Gates told me he did not think it was necessary to inform the Vice President of the review.
Another example of politicization is found in Mr. Gates' 1987 testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Ms. Glaudemanns prepared a briefing paper for Gates' testimony, which pointed out that two agency reports produced after the controversial 1985 Iran estimate rejected the idea of the Soviets making inroads into Iran.
Mr. Gates ignored her memo, she said, and instead testified that the Soviet threat in Iran in 1987 was as great as the threat as in 1985. Mr. Gates told the committee that he emphasized the Soviet threat in 1987 because it was the administration policy. I understand what administration policy is. We all do. But this is unacceptable from someone who is going to be the head of the CIA.
Consider the impact on analysts as a result of Mr. Gates' decision to ignore hard evidence in 1987. He could have presented the whole case to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and he could have said the administration's policy is this. He just conveniently left it out.
Most important, Mr. Gates was wrong on the Soviet Union. Mr. Gates struck out on understanding the weakness of the Soviet economy; struck out on the strong desire in the Soviet Union for democracy; and struck out on the strength of Gorbachev himself. According to a sworn statement by Wayne Limberg, a respected State Department employee and former CIA analyst himself, Gates rejected a 1986 report that he requested on the Soviet aid to the Third World. The report concluded that Soviet assistance was declining. Gates said he never wanted this to happen again, and the paper was never published.
Robert Gates did have time in 1986, however, though he did not publish papers, to deliver speeches providing his personal view of Soviet intentions. Mr. Gates listed targets in the Soviet Union's global strategy: The Panama Canal, the strategic mineral wealth of southern Africa, and the oil fields of the Middle East. He portrayed these as targets of the Soviet Union, when there is no evidence that that was the case. Why? Because the administration wanted it.
Finally, allegations were made that Gates said no to dissent on any CIA estimates by forbidding footnotes. Gates' rebuttal: There were 16 footnotes. The facts: There was not a single footnote or dissent on estimates dealing with Soviet politics or actions around the world. Jennifer Glaudemanns testified that the footnote restriction was less a formal constraint than perceived pressure. She added:
That a footnote was never seen as a realistic option, I believe, confirms the atmosphere of intimidation.
This is from a former employee. I wish time permitted me to go into other examples.
Mr. President, Mr. Gates is not the right person to head the CIA at this time. The mere fact that he has the confidence of the President is not enough to confirm him. I think we can do better. I think the President can do better, I think he will do better if, indeed, we had someone who was not part of the inside track, who was not one of the old boys' club, who was not prepared to do whatever the White House told him to do.
Mr. Gates is not the type of individual we need to head the CIA at this very important time.
Mr. HEFLIN addressed the Chair.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Chair advises the Senator that, under a unanimous-consent request, the Senate has been scheduled to recess at 12:30, and it will take unanimous consent to proceed beyond that time.
Mr. HEFLIN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that we proceed further until my conclusion, which I anticipate to be about 6 or 7 minutes.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. (Mr. DeConcini). Without objection, it is so ordered.
The Senator from Alabama is recognized.
Mr. HEFLIN. Mr. President, I rise today to discuss the nomination of Robert Gates to the position of Director of Central Intelligence.
Four years ago, I had the duty of being a member of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on the Secret Military Assistance to Iran and the Nicaraguan Opposition. At the start of the Iran-Contra hearings, I stated that we were beginning a process of investigation, affirmation, and restoration. I believe we were successful in investigating and determining the essential details of the Iran-Contra operation. I believe that the committee's public hearings reaffirmed, to ourselves and to the world, that the United States is a nation of laws, and that no official of our Government will be permitted to act above or outside the law. But, Mr. President, the Robert Gates hearings show that we still have a ways to go before we restore the trust in the relationship between the executive and legislative branches.
Though busy with another nominee, I have followed the Gates hearings with interest. My good friend Senator Boren from Oklahoma did an excellent job chairing the hearings, and keeping partisan politics to a minimum. Since the select committee first began investigating Mr. Gates background, I don't believe I have heard anyone challenge his qualifications. From the standpoints of experience, knowledge, and intelligence, Robert Gates is perhaps the most qualified candidate ever nominated for the position of Director of Central Intelligence. I have worked with him in the past and I know him to be a man of sound judgment. A career intelligence officer, over the last 25 years Mr. Gates has served under both Republican and Democratic Presidents. His assignments have included national Intelligence Officer for the Soviet Union, Deputy Director for Intelligence, and Deputy for National Security Affairs. He has risen through the ranks of the Agency, and the knowledge he has gained will prove invaluable during the transitional years to come.
So the question is not one of qualifications, but one of trust. As opposed to judicial appointments, executive agency appointments are usually with us for the term of the President, or for a period of time which the President chooses. Within reason, we hold the President answerable for his agency appointments. They run his agencies, not Congress'.
Should Robert Gates be named as Director of Central Intelligence, he will be directly responsible to the President. Mr. Gates will be accountable to the Constitution and the laws of the United States, as we all are, but the relationship of trust is primarily between the President and his agent. The intelligence President Bush receives from his appointee will directly effect the President's judgments as Commander in Chief and help shape his foreign policy. Viewed in this light, there should be a certain deference to, and trust in, the President's choices for executive branch appointments. Once these appointees are in office, it is then the duty of Congress to safeguard this trust through the vigilant use of our oversight powers.
Mr. President, trust is a fragile thing, and few things are broken as easily as one man's trust in another. There is an old saying that you can place blind trust in God, but with men, keep one eye open. During the Iran-Contra hearings, our trust was shaken. I hope President Bush, and the Presidents to come, will remember the lessons of the Iran-Contra Affair. The President must serve as the primary safeguard against the privatization of U.S. foreign policy, yet to carry out his duties he must delegate much of his power to others. To this end, he must have a man whose judgment he can trust at the head of the Central Intelligence Agency.
For its part, Congress requires the appointee to be eminently qualified, someone who will exercise independent judgment and not mold intelligence reports to fit policy. Most important, the American people demand that their country be well served, and that the interests of the Nation be put before personal ambition or loyalty to any one person. In sum, the President, the Congress, and the American people place a heavy burden of trust on the Director of the CIA, and there may be times that the guidance he receives from these groups may well seem contrary. I hope the President's choice for this position will always put the interest of his country foremost.
Mr. President, I will vote for the confirmation of Robert Gates, but I trust President Bush, and Congress, to keep one eye open.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Missouri.
Mr. DANFORTH. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to proceed for 5 minutes on behalf of the proponents for the nomination.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
The Senator from Missouri.
Mr. DANFORTH. Mr. President, there are two basic arguments that are made against the Gates nomination. The first argument is that Mr. Gates was somehow implicated in the Iran-Contra affair. I would only say in answer to that that, with the possible exception of Watergate, no matter, to my knowledge, has ever been as closely and as carefully investigated as Iran-Contra. During that investigation nothing has come up, nothing to indicate that anything improper or illegal was done by Mr. Gates.
Iran-Contra was investigated by both the House and the Senate. Depositions were taken of some 250 individuals. A special prosecutor has been working, at the cost of several million dollars, for a period of over 5 years investigating Iran-Contra. The Senate Intelligence Committee, in connection with this confirmation, interviewed some 20 witnesses. Nothing has come up which has implicated Robert Gates with Iran-Contra.
As a matter of fact, when he was the Acting Director and he picked up hearsay information with respect to the possible improper sale of arms and diversion of proceeds to the Contras, Robert Gates directed that the Attorney General, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, and the two oversight committees all be briefed by the CIA on the matter.
The second charge that is made is that somehow Robert Gates has politicized the CIA, namely, that he has `cooked the books' or he has skewed the intelligence analysis to reflect some bias of his own. The evidence of this was, to say the least, very shaky as it was presented to the committee.
For example, one of the key witnesses stating that there was bias and politicization was one Jennifer Glaudemanns and when asked to spell out exactly what the basis of her charge was, it turned out that there were two reasons for her comment about politicization.
One was what she called a general attitude, a kind of an atmosphere of politicization which she could not pin down, she could not touch. She said it was sort of like fog, it was there but you really could not pin down what it was. The second and more specific charge was that Mr. Gates testified before the Foreign Relations Committee of the Senate and he did not rely on briefing material that she had prepared for him. That was the basis of the charge for politicization.
Rather than somebody who politicized or somebody who skews information to achieve some result, in fact, Mr. Gates has been a highly independent person. He is a person who has not been hesitant at all in crossing swords with the highest officials of the executive branch. For example, he estimated that the Soviet Union was leveling off in its military spending, much to the consternation of the Secretary of Defense at the time, Caspar Weinberger. Similarly, with respect to his analysis of reform in the Philippines, under Mrs. Aquino, he was in direct contradiction to the position taken by then Secretary of State Shultz.
So, the fact of the matter is here is a person who has strong ideas, who does think for himself and is not unwilling to say what he thinks. He is a tough taskmaster, no doubt about it, and tough taskmasters can be very tough sometime in dealing with people who work with them. I do not think that that disqualifies Robert Gates from being Director of Central Intelligence.
Finally, Mr. President, Robert Gates is the choice of President Bush. Now, a lot of people have criticized President Bush for spending too much time on foreign policy. He is too much of a foreign policy President, it is said. I would argue that foreign policy has been in more flux, has been undergoing more momentous change in the past 2 years than at any other time in my lifetime. President Bush knows the requirements of the intelligence community. He served, himself, as the Director of Central Intelligence. He knows the requirements of planning and intelligence in making a policy in foreign affairs. And George Bush wants Robert Gates for this job.
I believe that Mr. Gates is the best qualified person for this job. He has the confidence of the President. He should be confirmed by the Senate.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Vermont.
Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to continue beyond the hour of 12:30 on two matters.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
The Senator from Vermont is recognized.
Mr. LEAHY. I thank the Chair.
(The remarks of Mr. Leahy pertaining to the introduction of S. 1916 are located in today's Record under `Statements on Introduced Bills and Joint Resolutions.')