[Congressional Record: June 30, 2011 (Senate)]
NOMINATION OF DAVID H. PETRAEUS TO BE DIRECTOR OF THE CENTRAL
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, the Senate will
proceed to executive session to consider the following nomination,
which the clerk will report.
The assistant legislative clerk read the nomination of David H.
Petraeus, of New Hampshire, to be Director of the Central Intelligence
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, there will be 2
hours of debate equally divided and controlled in the usual form.
The Senator from California.
Mrs. FEINSTEIN. Thank you very much, Madam President.
I come to the floor as the chairman of the Select Committee on
Intelligence to speak about the nomination of GEN David Petraeus to
become the Director of the CIA. I wish to thank the majority leader for
bringing this nomination to the floor in such a quick fashion because
the committee, only earlier this week, on Tuesday, unanimously approved
the nomination of General Petraeus.
I think there is no doubt but that General Petraeus is among the
finest military officers and strategic thinkers of his generation. We
are very lucky to have his service. He wrote the Army's
counterinsurgency strategy and then applied it in Iraq, securing a
military victory from what had appeared to be a descent into chaos and
One year ago to this day, the Senate confirmed General Petraeus to
replace GEN Stanley McChrystal as the leader of American and
International Security Assistance Forces in Afghanistan. Since then he
has shifted the strategy, implemented the troop surge, kept our
coalition together, and today our military and intelligence analysts
point to gains in the security situation and in the Afghan military and
ability of the police to secure their nation.
General Petraeus's willingness to take on the Afghanistan mission
also demonstrates his extraordinary commitment to public service. At
the time, he was serving in Tampa, FL, as the Combatant Commander for
Central Command, no longer directly in charge of a war zone but with
the responsibility for not just Afghanistan but for 19 other countries
as well. He agreed to what was a step down in the military ``org
chart'' to take on the hardest military challenge in the world and to
deploy from Tampa to Kabul. The Nation certainly owes General Petraeus
a debt of gratitude for 37 years in uniform.
When he is confirmed, General Petraeus will be taking off the uniform
to become Director Petraeus. He has clearly considered the differences
in culture and mission between the CIA and the military, and now he
his style to lead intelligence collectors and analysts rather than
officers and enlisted troops.
As a matter of fact, in our hearing in Hart 216, there was a bit of
levity when General Petraeus was asked the question about how he would
transition from a four-star general to a civilian role as Director of
the CIA. He said: You can be sure that when I arrive at the CIA, I will
arrive without an escort and just simply get out of my automobile and
walk into the building. Well, as we looked out in the audience at his
confirmation hearing and we saw a phalanx of officers accompanying the
general, it became very clear that it was, indeed, going to be quite a
I believe--and I think this is the importance of this nominee--that
General Petraeus understands the difference and is prepared to move
into a civilian organization at a difficult time. Of our 16 different
intelligence agencies, one is generally--and hopefully but generally--
led by a civilian, although there have been seven military commanders
in our history who have led the CIA. Of course, Leon Panetta is, in
fact, a civilian.
I think we have to consider the timing of this: the winddown of two
wars, Iraq and Afghanistan; the operation in Libya; a restive Middle
East where the changes in an Arab spring are not fully known; an
Israeli-Palestinian situation that has to it crisis dimensions; the
North Korean situation with respect to the nuclear weaponry of that
country; Iran, a very dangerous country with the potential of becoming
a nuclear country; and, above all things, the fact that this September
is the tenth anniversary of 9/11, and where there is nonspecific
intelligence that this country may well have a revenge attack against
it. Therefore, I think General Petraeus's military service will come in
handy. I think his analytical skills and ability will come in very
handy. I believe he is the right man for the job at this time.
Through the confirmation process, the Intelligence Committee has
sought to understand General Petraeus's vision for the CIA and how he
will lead it through the challenges I have just mentioned. I believe he
has answered these questions and has laid out his views.
General Petraeus has testified that he had discussed this possible
move to the CIA with Secretary Gates as far back as last year. He even
demonstrated that he knows the CIA culture and the lingo, saying that
right after being sworn in he will call an ``all-hands'' meeting for
all CIA employees and ``will tell them up front right there that you
all should know that I'm here to recruit you and I know that you're
here to recruit me.''
He has met with just about every CIA former Director and received
their advice on running the agency, and he plans to put that advice
General Petraeus has written and testified he fully appreciates the
mission of the CIA is to provide unvarnished intelligence assessments
to policymakers, whether they like it or not. That is a fundamental
point. The intelligence must stand on its own. It must be good
intelligence, it must be streamlined intelligence, and it must be
intelligence which has been subject to the best of analysis and red-
This was one of the questions raised during his confirmation: Would
General Petraeus put aside his military commander's assessments and
carry forth the agency's analytic view? He answered the question head
on, pointing out that he has experience in the analytical field and in
debating assessments to reach the best judgment possible.
General Petraeus specifically pointed to his academic background as
well as his military command experience. He, in fact, has earned--and I
don't think many people know this--a master's of public administration
and a Ph.D. in international relations from Princeton University's
Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. He has
served as an assistant professor of international relations at the U.S.
Military Academy at West Point, from which he graduated, and as a
fellow at Georgetown University.
So the culture and debate in the CIA's Directorate of Intelligence
will not be new to General Petraeus, and he understands the importance
of presenting clear analytic views.
While all Members are familiar with General Petraeus's recent
positions in Iraq and Afghanistan, let me touch on some of his prior
experience. Prior to command in Iraq, he served at Fort Leavenworth,
KS, during which time he oversaw the development of the Army and the
Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Manual. The importance of that manual is
that it has stood the test of time since then.
Earlier in his career, General Petraeus served in Bosnia, where he
was the Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations of the NATO
Stabilization Force and the Deputy Commander of the United States
Counterterrorism Task Force-Bosnia.
Prior to his tour in Bosnia, he spent 2 years at Fort Bragg, NC,
serving as the Assistant Division Commander for Operations of the 82nd
Airborne Division, and then as Chief of Staff of the Airborne Corps.
In addition, he has served in a number of staff assignments,
including aide to the Chief of Staff of the Army; Military Assistant to
the Supreme Allied Command-Europe; Chief of Operations of the United
Nations Force in Haiti; and Executive Assistant to the Chairman of the
Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Not only is this a man who has great experience, this is a man who
has commanded, who understands the military, and who has produced for
the United States of America.
From my meeting and discussions with him, his responses before,
during, and after our confirmation hearing, and based on his remarkable
background, I am absolutely confident General Petraeus will make an
excellent Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. I hope his
confirmation vote will be unanimous. That makes it a real mandate.
While we are here to consider the nomination of David Petraeus, I
also wish to note and recognize some other people. First and foremost,
Defense Secretary Bob Gates, a former Director of Central Intelligence
and the Secretary of Defense whose term ends today.
Secretary Gates has been a tremendously dedicated public servant
throughout his career but never more needed and appreciated than his
last 4\1/2\ years as Secretary of Defense. He has presided over the
wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He has managed the largest organization
in the world at the Pentagon. He has earned the complete trust and
respect of both President Bush and President Obama and of every single
Member of this body. That almost makes him an endangered species.
Secretary Gates is the model of the professional government official,
and his leadership and his character is truly an example to us all. I
wish him well as he goes back to the State of Washington. Candidly, on
a personal level, I will never forget his service to our country.
Next, today is Leon Panetta's last day as Director of the CIA. I was
very proud to be able to introduce Director Panetta as a native
Californian at his confirmation hearing to be Secretary of Defense
earlier this month. I can't say enough about the job he has done and my
appreciation for the relationship we have had over the past 2 years. I
think it is well known that when it first cropped up that he might be
considered for CIA Director, I thought the service could be best served
by someone with CIA experience. I can say here I couldn't have been
more wrong. Director Panetta has stepped in when the Senate has had a
hard time finding agreement and put together a note of confidence in
this body that is unsurpassed, and I believe that is true at the agency
as well. He has raised morale. He understands the priorities. He has
set the priorities. And he was eminently prepared to be the commanding
officer in the takedown of Osama bin Laden. Mr. Panetta's service as
CIA Director was both unique and very special. And it is worth noting
that, in a time when the Senate has a hard time finding agreement, Leon
Panetta received 100 votes on his confirmation to be the next Secretary
I hope and expect the vote on General Petraeus will be overwhelming
as well. It speaks of the President's choices of such qualified and
respected nominees and of their willingness to continue service.
Quickly, I would also like to recognize a person who will be, as of
tomorrow, the Acting Director of the CIA, Michael Morell.
I notice that the vice chairman of our committee, the distinguished
Saxby Chambliss, is on the floor. I believe both of us think that Mike
Morell has given our Intelligence Committee nothing but the unvarnished
truth. He has come in to meet with us; he has been prepared to answer
questions; he has presented the facts. He is an articulate, strong
briefer. He knows the Agency. I believe he is going to lead the Agency
well until the beginning of September, as General Petraeus will
complete his tour in Kabul in July, and then there will be a transition
period as he returns home and resigns his commission. In the interim,
Mike Morell will be in charge at the CIA. I think we both believe the
Agency will be well served by his service as Acting Director.
Finally, I want to thank Mrs. Holly Petraeus, the wife of David
Petraeus and the Assistant Director of the Consumer Financial
Protection Bureau, responsible for the Office of Servicemember Affairs.
General Petraeus mentioned at his hearing that Holly has been with
him for 37 years and 23 moves, and we thank her for continuing to share
her husband with our country.
Madam President, you and I both know how difficult it is when we have
a spouse somewhere else, let alone having a spouse somewhere in great
jeopardy in wartime far from America, in countries at which we are
waging war, year after year after year. She, indeed, is a very special
woman, and I think the general is very lucky to have her as his spouse.
In the position of Director of the CIA, he will carry out one of the
most important posts in our government. The Director is a senior member
of the President's national security team and provides candid and
objective analysis on every single national security issue this Nation
faces. But the Director is also in charge of clandestine and covert
operations around the globe. It is one of the reasons our oversight
responsibility is so important in these areas: to see that the law is
followed and to see that missions are carried out with the full
oversight of our committee. The CIA Director is responsible for the
security of the people of his Agency and for making sure their efforts
are in keeping, as I said, with the Nation's laws and ethics. It is a
unique and difficult combination of management, of intellect, and, most
importantly, of character because things can go awry and one might
elect not to follow the law. I believe that will not be the case with
General Petraeus. I believe he will follow the law and he will do an
excellent job. So I fully, 100 percent, absolutely support his
I am very pleased to yield the floor to the distinguished vice
chairman of the committee, the Senator from Georgia.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Georgia.
Mr. CHAMBLISS. Madam President, first of all, let me thank and
commend the chairman of the Select Committee on Intelligence for her
great work not only on this issue but on every other issue we have had
the opportunity to work on together over the past 6 months. She has,
No. 1, reached out to me and my staff every day to make sure we are
doing the intelligence work in the way we both agree it ought to be
done. She has done a magnificent job of leading the committee.
The nomination of David Petraeus is a classic example of how she has
led our committee; that is, we need a very smooth transition, a very
quick transition when it comes to the leadership of the intelligence
community. What Chairman Feinstein did was, as soon as the announcement
was made on Director Panetta's move to be the nominee for Secretary of
Defense and David Petraeus was going to be the nominee for CIA
Director, she made sure all the background was done immediately so we
could go ahead and schedule a hearing well in advance of the movement
by Director Panetta to the office of Secretary of Defense, preparing
for the confirmation of General Petraeus to be the next Director of the
CIA. That is not always easy, but she made sure it got done.
I wish to commend, too, the majority staff director, David Grannis,
as well as the minority staff director, Martha Scott Poindexter, for
their work in doing the background that was needed to be done to allow
this nomination to move very quickly.
It is a pleasure to work with Chairman Feinstein. She certainly has
the best interests of America and Americans at heart from an
intelligence standpoint, and she is doing a terrific job. It is a
pleasure to work with her.
Mrs. FEINSTEIN. I thank the Senator.
Mr. CHAMBLISS. I also rise to speak in favor of the nomination of
David Petraeus to be the next Director of the Central Intelligence
Agency. General Petraeus has had an exemplary military career, and I
look forward to his confirmation as the Agency's 22nd Director.
Before I talk about him, I, too, would like to acknowledge his wife
Holly for her service and support. In addition to supporting a military
family during a number of long and unprecedented deployments and 23
moves, Holly Petraeus has also worked to protect military families from
predatory lending practices. I appreciate her longstanding commitment
and support of our men and women in uniform and want to thank her for
joining her husband in answering our Nation's call of duty.
The strain on a military family cannot be overstated, and Holly
Petraeus is certainly an individual who exemplifies everything that is
good about how a military family needs to support the military member.
I truly commend her for her great service to our country in that
The nomination of David Petraeus comes at a pivotal moment in our
history as we face threats from across the globe. As a warfighter, he
brings a unique perspective, having seen firsthand the tactical value
of accurate and timely intelligence. This experience, in an era of
unparalleled cooperation between the Central Intelligence Agency and
the Department of Defense, will not only benefit the military and the
intelligence community but also the American people.
General Petraeus graduated from West Point in 1974, but he has spent
the better part of the last decade on the battlefields of Iraq and
Afghanistan. No matter what the task, David Petraeus has always
answered this country's call. Most recently, after turning around the
war in Iraq and putting us on a path to success, he left his position
as commander of U.S. Central Command when he was again called upon for
an unexpected deployment to Afghanistan. General Petraeus understood
the importance of the mission and accepted the assignment with vigor.
After leading the surge in Afghanistan, many expected him to retire
from the military and public service, but not David Petraeus. He has
decided to accept one of the most challenging positions in the U.S.
Government. As Director of the CIA, General Petraeus will face a number
of critical challenges, many of which cannot be anticipated. However,
without a doubt, the threat from terrorism will remain the focal point
for the CIA and for the new Director.
The successful strike on bin Laden removed al-Qaida's leader but not
the threat from terrorism. The al-Qaida core has been weakened, but
their extremism and violence continues to spread through affiliates
such as AQAP in Yemen and other like-minded radicals. General Petraeus
understands these threats, and I look forward to working with him to
make sure the Nation remains vigilant through these very uncertain
I recall very vividly my first encounter with David Petraeus. It was
in Iraq when he was in charge of the training of the Iraqi security
police and the military personnel. I remember standing on a rooftop
outside of Baghdad and observing an operation, a training mission that
was going on where Iraqi security police and military personnel were
interacting and carrying out this training mission with U.S. military
personnel. Just being around David Petraeus that first day, you could
sense there was something special and something different about this
great leader. The respect he commanded from all of his subordinates and
the respect he showed to his superior officers was evident, and it was
pretty obvious there was something very unique about David Petraeus.
Obviously, he has gone on to provide the right kind of leadership
that America has grown to expect from our great military leaders, and
certainly David Petraeus has exemplified the very best the U.S.
military has to offer.
It is also important that we note, as Chairman Feinstein stated, that
there are some other folks who are moving to different positions or
leaving public service who have been so valuable to the intelligence
I have had the privilege of working with Secretary Bob Gates as a
member of the Armed Services Committee on a fairly regular basis.
Secretary Gates will be the first one to tell you, he and I have not
always agreed on everything. That is part of what makes this
institution work so well and what makes our country such a great
country. But what a professional individual he is. He has provided the
exact kind of service as Secretary of Defense that has been needed
during his years at the Pentagon, which have not been easy years. These
have been very difficult years to move through the Iraq situation, the
surge into Afghanistan, as well as to deal with all the other myriad of
issues--from personnel, to health care, to weapons systems--the
Secretary of Defense has to deal with on a daily basis.
I admire and respect Bob Gates so much, and obviously we certainly
wish him the best in the private sector.
Leon Panetta moving from the CIA to the office of Secretary of
Defense is a natural. As I have stated on this floor previously, I will
miss him as the Director because I think he has done such an exemplary
job. He came in without a lot of the experience from an intel
standpoint that some folks thought the Director should have. But having
worked with Leon Panetta when he was Chief of Staff to President
Clinton, having worked with him as Director of OMB under President
Clinton, I knew what kind of man he is. I knew Leon would adapt very
quickly, and that is exactly what has happened.
He rolled his sleeves up and went to work. He has traveled around the
world meeting not only with leaders of other nations, but he always
makes sure he goes down and visits not just the station chief in the
countries where he is visiting but the personnel who really are out
there putting their lives on the line every day to try to protect
America and Americans.
He has certainly gained the respect of every individual at the CIA,
as well as Members of this body. Not only has he gained respect, but
the morale at the CIA today is probably the highest it has been since I
have ever been involved over the last decade with the CIA. I think he
has done a magnificent job, and he is going to do likewise as the
Secretary of Defense.
The chairman is right--Mike Morell stepping in for the next couple
months will allow us to have a very seamless transition during the
interim because Mike is such a gifted professional. He appears before
the committee on a regular basis, and he does provide the direct,
unfiltered, raw kind of information we need to hear. He is a great
individual. He has been a great leader as the No. 2 person at the CIA,
where he will continue to serve. During the interim, he is going to
continue that kind of leadership we again have grown to expect from the
Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. So I am very pleased Mike
Morell is in the position he is at this point in time so we will
continue to have the right kind of leadership at the Agency.
Let me say, we had a unanimous vote in the committee on reporting out
the nomination of David Petraeus. I, like the chairman, hope we have a
very outstanding, unanimous vote today for General Petraeus to be
confirmed as the next Director of the CIA.
With that, I yield the floor.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from California.
Mrs. FEINSTEIN. Madam President, I thank the vice chairman for his
remarks. I would like to thank him also for his willingness to work as
a bipartisan team, which, as he said, we have done. I think the
dividends have been great for our committee in that we have been able
to get an authorization bill passed, we have been able to effect some
changes. We have been able to work together. Our staffs work together.
In particular, I would like to thank Majority Staff Director David
Grannis, and I would like to thank Minority Staff Director Martha Scott
Poindexter for her work in this regard.
I think it is extraordinarily important that Americans know there is
in the Senate of the United States a team of oversight that is, in
fact, working together on a true bipartisan basis.
So I say to the Senator, Mr. Vice Chairman, thank you so much for
that--it has been wonderful for me--and particularly for your
friendship as well.
I yield the floor.
Mr. INHOFE. Madam President, I rise today to applaud the military
service of GEN David Petraeus and voice my support as he transitions
from leading our Nation's troops in Afghanistan to leading our Nation's
intelligence professionals at the Central Intelligence Agency. He is a
man of outstanding moral integrity who has had a distinguished career
in the U.S. Army.
Four years ago, General Petraeus was called ``General Betray Us'' by
Moveon.org and other leftist groups. While I have always supported
General Petraeus, others in this body have not. The general's rise,
since 2007, to national prominence that supersedes party and ideology
is indicative of the incredible nature of his service to our country.
When analysts discuss success of the Iraq surge in 2007 and 2008,
credit is given to counterinsurgency tactics or to counterterrorism
tactics. The ``awakening'' of the Sunni leadership has often been
touted as the decisive factor as has the marginalization of the Shia
extremist militias. But I would submit to the Senate that the success
of the surge had a singular root in the leadership of General Petraeus.
After successfully leading U.S. and coalition forces in Iraq, our
Nation once again called upon General Petraeus to lead combat
operations in Afghanistan. As in Iraq, he developed and executed a
strategy that took the momentum away from the enemy and began the
process of providing a lasting stability in Afghanistan. General
Petraeus has acknowledged that we have only begun to ``get the inputs
right'' in that war-torn country. His leadership, rapport with the
troops, interaction with our coalition partners, and efforts with the
Afghan government have been decisive to the successes we have had in
Afghanistan to date.
General Petraeus now moves on to a new challenge. He will lead the
Central Intelligence Agency, which is now rightfully riding high in the
wake of killing Osama bin Laden. His nomination to this position is an
inspired choice that I am very happy to support. In General Petraeus,
we have a leader whom we can trust as our Nation continues to prosecute
the global war on terrorism.
Our Nation and its people owe General Petraeus and his family a debt
of gratitude for their selfless service. They are an inspiration to
this Nation, young and old, to spend their lives in service and support
of our Nation--in the military where possible or in government service
or private endeavors. There will be many speeches and many accolades
for this inspiring leader, and rightly so. But let us give General
Petraeus the tribute that any leader really craves--to look behind him,
and see followers.
Mr. LIEBERMAN. Madam President, it is my great honor to speak today
in support of President Obama's nominee to be the next Director of the
Central Intelligence Agency, GEN David Petraeus.
I want to take a few moments to describe what, I believe, Dave
Petraeus has meant to our country and why he will be a great CIA
GEN David Petraeus is the most distinguished general officer of the
U.S. Armed Forces of his generation--and his generation has many
impressive general officers. He is a true American hero who has twice
been called upon by our commander-in-chief to assume leadership of a
faltering war effort. And twice he has not only answered that call, but
led our forces out of the jaws of defeat and onto the path of victory.
To my knowledge, no one else in American history shares that record
with Dave Petraeus.
At a moment when cynicism too often infuses our national politics,
and partisanship too often affects our national security, General
won the confidence, gratitude, and respect of the American people--
Democrats, Republicans, and yes, Independents. While commanding our
extraordinary military in wars that have divided our country, General
Petraeus has inspired and united our American family.
At a moment when too many of our fellow citizens fear our best days
are behind us, General Petraeus' life and leadership have been a
reminder that America is still a land of heroes--and that Americans are
still very capable of achieving greatness.
This special debt of national gratitude extends beyond Dave Petraeus
to his family, beginning with his remarkable wife, Holly. Holly
Petraeus shares her husband's strength of character, intelligence, and
devotion to the cause of public service. As many of you know, she is
currently leading a noble mission of her own--protecting our military
families from exploitative and manipulative lending practices.
By my rough calculations, General Petraeus has spent more than twice
as many months deployed in Iraq or Afghanistan over the last 8 years as
he has back home in the United States. Throughout all that time, Holly
has been supportive of her husband's service and taken care of their
gifted children. So today I know we all want to say: Thank you, Holly
General Petraeus' background and accomplishments would make him a
superb candidate for any of the top national security positions in the
U.S. Government. But there are a special set of reasons why I believe
he will make a truly superb Director of the CIA in this time of war.
First, GEN David Petraeus is someone whose very name inspires the
trust and confidence of America's friends, and the fear and anxiety of
America's enemies. As our commander in Iraq, at U.S. Central Command,
and now in Afghanistan, he has stood at the epicenter of some of our
toughest, most intensive, and most effective counterterrorism
operations. David Petraeus knows our enemies.
At the same time, General Petraeus has also built close personal
relationships with our key partners and allies in the Middle East,
South Asia, the Euro-Atlantic community, and around the world. Dave has
also proven himself to be a capable leader of large organizations,
larger even than the CIA. And because he is a scholar as well as a
soldier, he is well-suited to oversee and improve the critically
important analysis done by so many who work at the CIA.
After all he has done, General Petraeus would be well-justified in
seeking a quiet, personal retirement now. But fortunately for the rest
of us, service to a cause larger than himself is General Petraeus'
creed and destiny. The brave and skillful men and women of the Central
Intelligence Agency will be in very good hands when he is given the
opportunity to become their leader, and all Americans will be fortunate
indeed, and safer, when General Petraeus is at the helm there.
And that is why I feel so personally honored to vote today for the
confirmation of GEN David Petraeus to serve as the next Director of the
Central Intelligence Agency.
Ms. MURKOWSKI. Madam President, I am pleased to support GEN David
Petraeus to be Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. For the
second time in as many weeks, this body endorsed an exceptional nominee
for a critical post. General Petraeus brings to his new position an
incredible resume of warfighting knowledge and experience, strengthened
by meaningful excursions into academia. After leading our troops in
combat operations overseas for nearly a decade, I think he is well
qualified to lead our foremost Intelligence institution to serve the
needs of our Armed Forces and the Nation at large.
One of the most respected military thinkers of his generation,
General Petraeus literally rewrote the manual on counterinsurgency
operations. Understanding that the ability to think is as critical as
knowing how to fight, he translated difficult and sometimes
counterintuitive principles into a winning formula for a flagging Iraq
campaign. In his latest post, his leadership has inspired hope for a
positive outcome to our endeavors in Afghanistan.
Threats to our national security are ubiquitous, with those who plot
against us living in all corners of the world and in the elusive halls
of cyberspace. To defend our liberty and way of life, we rely on an
intelligence service that is agile and proactive to swiftly defeat
threats before they can harm us. General Petraeus has the rare
combination of professional acumen and keen intellect to lead the
Central Intelligence Agency in a way that anticipates the moves of our
adversaries and keeps them off balance.
General Petraeus and his wife Holly will again unselfishly answer the
call of public service at a time when our Nation demands great leaders.
After 37 years, they continue to serve with vigor and distinction and I
look forward to following their continued success.
Ms. SNOWE. Madam President, I rise today in ardent support of the
nomination of GEN David Petraeus to be the 20th Director of the Central
Intelligence Agency, CIA.
First and foremost, General Petraeus deserves our Nation's unending
gratitude for his unwavering commitment to this country over the nearly
four decades that he has served in uniform. Since graduating from the
U.S. Military Academy in 1974, General Petraeus has accumulated
exceptional knowledge, acumen, and experience worthy of the legendary
military giants who have matriculated at West Point. Throughout his
long and distinguished career, he has demonstrated the highest levels
of integrity and performance, exceeding our Nation's expectations time
and time again.
His numerous awards, distinctions, and decorations reflect the fact
that General Petraeus is one of the superior military leaders of this
or any generation, as he is the recipient of the Bronze Star Medal for
valor and two awards of the Distinguished Service Medal. His
accomplishments extend beyond our own beloved shores around the world,
as he has also received the Gold Award of the Iraqi Order of the Date
Palm, the French Legion d'Honneur, the Polish Order of Merit, the Order
of Australia, and the National Defense Cross of the Czech Republic.
Such accolades are a testament to the extraordinary leadership of
General Petraeus and speak to an individual whose name is synonymous
with excellence and respect.
One of the finest officers our Nation has produced, General Petraeus
also possesses a brilliance that is only matched by his bravery.
Consider just a few of the military milestones that have occurred under
General Petraeus. He has directed operations that have halted and
reversed the momentum in such Taliban strongholds as Kandahar and he
positioned the United States to secure victory in Iraq when defeat
often seemed inevitable. His tactical and strategic faculties are
universally admired and are second to none. And as the commander
leading U.S. and Coalition forces in both Afghanistan and Iraq, he
clearly understands the absolute necessity of coordination between
military special ops and intelligence covert actions--an imperative
that was underscored with the remarkable May 1, 2011, take down of
Osama bin Laden.
And I would be abjectly remiss if I did not recognize General
Petraeus's wife Holly, their son Stephen, who has followed in General
Petraeus's footsteps by serving in the Army, including a recent tour in
Afghanistan, and his daughter Anne. His assignments since September 11,
2001, have taken him away from his family, far too often and for far
too long. In fact, it is my understanding that General Petraeus has
been deployed for more than 6\1/2\ years over the past decade, and I am
sure that there have been many missed birthdays, holidays, and other
family moments along the way. And so I would like to take an
opportunity to acknowledge the family that has endured ``23 moves'' and
state that all of you deserve recognition for your sacrifices and
dedication to the Nation. Indisputably, our phenomenal military
families at every level and in every branch of our Armed Forces are
nothing short of indispensable to America's ultimate success in our
missions. Our servicemen and women could not perform their duties as
effectively without you nor could our Nation. Your sacrifices are your
service and we cannot thank you enough.
Today, the U.S. Senate considers General Petraeus to lead the CIA at
a time when daunting challenges to our
national security threaten America's unique position and stature in the
world, when the threat of retaliatory strikes in a post-bin Laden
landscape are alarmingly high, when uprisings across the Middle East
and northern Africa continue to spread, when Iran continues to flaunt
its nuclear ambitions, when the makeup of the Libyan opposition is
still unclear, when the threat of cyber intrusion and attack is
distressingly persistent, and when Islamic extremists continue to
control large swaths of territory in such locations as Yemen.
Former Director--and now Defense Secretary--Leon Panetta has left the
CIA on firm footing, having successfully rebuilt the agency's
relationship with Congress, implemented efficiencies, and defended the
best assets of the agency. General Petraeus will undoubtedly continue
on this path, while striving to close such key intelligence gaps and
others, as our security may depend on such efforts.
General Petraeus also will be tasked with leading the agency during a
time of national austerity. As Senator Feinstein, the chairman of the
Senate Intelligence Committee, stated during General Petraeus's
nomination hearing, ``the nation's economic and financial struggles are
requiring a new level of fiscal discipline, which means that the major
increases of intelligence resources since 2001--and the CIA budget has
virtually doubled in that time--will likely end and the intelligence
community will have to do more with less.'' The arduous calibration
between seeking efficiencies to reduce costs without diminishing in any
way the agency's pivotal role in the national security apparatus
requires the discerning vision and deft judgment that have been
hallmarks of General Petraeus's illustrious tenure in service to our
General Petraeus must at the same time strengthen the bridges between
our military commanders on the ground and the analysts in Washington.
Intelligence assessments, which are so critical to the creation of
sound policy, must accurately depict the situation on the ground and
take into account the most recent tactical and strategic developments--
fortunately, General Petraeus is supremely positioned to understand the
needs of those commanders and to ensure that our intelligence meets
their needs. As he stated during his nomination hearing, General
Petraeus intends to ``strive to represent the Agency position'' and
``convey the most forthright and accurate picture possible.''
Like my colleagues in this Chamber, I applaud General Petraeus, who
upon assuming the directorship, has pledged to retire from the military
to which has given every fiber of his being. He recognizes and
understands the necessity for independence. General Petraeus stated
that he has ``no plans to bring my military braintrust with me to the
Agency'' and that he would ``in short, get out of [his] vehicle alone
on the day that [he] report[s] to Langley'' underscoring that
understanding and avoiding the mistakes of some of his predecessors.
General Petraeus has described the professionals of the CIA as, ``the
ultimate selfless servants of our Nation, individuals with
extraordinary expertise, initiative, integrity, and courage in the face
of adversity and physical danger.'' I could not concur with this
assessment more, and frankly, we would be hard-pressed to find a
nominee with stronger credentials than General Petraeus to lead this
key national security organization.
The trust and the confidence that are lynchpins of General Petraeus's
sterling reputation among all who have served under him extend to the
U.S. Congress and the President. There is no doubt whatsoever that the
general will arrive at Langley with an unprecedented combination of
intellect and courage, and without reservation of any kind, I could not
be more pleased to vote to confirm General Petraeus as Director of the
Central Intelligence Agency.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Arizona
Mr. KYL. First, let me acknowledge that two of the great leaders of
the Senate have just made very ringing endorsements of General Petraeus
to head the CIA, which we will be voting on in about an hour and a
half. I associate myself fully with their remarks because they are in
such a good position to know, as chairman and ranking member,
respectively, of the Intelligence Committee.
I think my colleagues will defer to their judgment about this. But
more than that, most of us have gotten to know General Petraeus because
he has been so involved in so many of the important policy decisions of
this country, that we have all been able to form our own judgments and
reach the same conclusion that the chairwoman and ranking member of the
committee have articulated so well just now. I am glad to associate
myself with their remarks.
Noting that no one else is on the Senate floor to speak further about
this nomination, I would ask unanimous consent to speak as in morning
business for 10 minutes.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Arizona.
Mr. McCAIN. What is the pending business before the Senate?
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Petraeus nomination. The Senator from
Arizona is recognized.
Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to engage in a
colloquy with the Senator from South Carolina.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
Mr. McCAIN. In a few minutes we will be casting, I am sure, a 100-0
vote to confirm General David Petraeus as the new Director of the
Central Intelligence Agency, and obviously his nomination is supported
by all Members of the Senate, and I am sure all Americans, especially
those, such as the Senator from South Carolina and myself, who have had
the great privilege and honor of knowing General Petraeus for many
years and watching him lead the men and women serving in our military
in a fashion that I have never seen surpassed. The Senator from South
Carolina has had the unique privilege and responsibility to serve under
General Petraeus in uniform, because, as most of our colleagues know,
the Senator from South Carolina also serves as a colonel in the South
Carolina National Guard and in the legal corps as a JAG officer.
The Senator from South Carolina has worked with General Petraeus both
in Iraq and Afghanistan on many of the important issues concerning
detainees as well as other issues. Before I ask the Senator from South
Carolina for his comments, I wish to repeat what I said before. I don't
believe that in my life, which has been blessed to know many
outstanding military leaders of all branches of the service, I have
ever quite encountered a military leader or civilian leader, for that
matter, with the combination of charisma and intellect General Petraeus
possesses. The Senator from South Carolina, the Senator from
Connecticut, Senator Lieberman, and I had the unique opportunity, among
many visits we made to Iraq and Afghanistan, one Fourth of July in 2007
to be present at a reenlistment ceremony that took place in the palace
in Baghdad. There were a couple of thousand spectators and there were
well over 200 young men and women who had agreed to reenlist, to
continue to serve in Iraq when they could have fulfilled their
commitment they made to serve in the military and gone home to their
families and a grateful nation. Instead, they chose to reenlist, to
stay, and continue the fight. Part of that ceremony was to administer
the oath of citizenship to over 75 people who were not born in the
United States of America, who were not citizens, who were green card
holders, who were legally in the United States as green card holders
but had joined the military in order to serve and to achieve an
accelerated path to citizenship.
What struck me at that ceremony was that in the front row there were
three empty seats with boots on them of individuals who were green card
holders who were scheduled to take the oath of citizenship and who had
been killed in the previous few days in action, serving their country
I was privileged to speak. The Senator from South Carolina spoke. The
Senator from Connecticut spoke. But when General David Petraeus spoke
to those assembled men and women who are serving their country, it was
very obvious of the not only respect but admiration every one of those
young Americans felt for the inspirational leadership General Petraeus
had provided them. I might point out it was a time when most experts
and many politicians and Members of this body predicted the surge would
fail. Well, I think what they didn't take into account was the
incredible leadership and implementation of a strategy that was
embodied by GEN David Petraeus and the young men and women who are
So I am confident as we continue the fight against al-Qaida and the
radical Islamic extremists who want to attack and destroy our country,
that now General Petraeus, soon to be Director of the CIA, will provide
our Nation with the very best strategy, tactics, thought, and action to
keep our Nation safe.
I don't very often come and talk about nominees and spend the
Senate's time, but I know I express the appreciation and affection of
all those men and women, both serving now and in the past, who had the
great honor and privilege of serving under General Petraeus and to wish
him a well done and smooth sailing and following winds as he assumes
his new responsibilities which will continue to keep America safe.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from South Carolina.
Mr. GRAHAM. I think our American military will be studying the
Petraeus tactics and strategy that he implemented in Iraq and
Afghanistan for generations to come. In January of 2007 when the surge
was announced, I had had the pleasure of being over in Iraq in April,
but I remember a letter issued by General Petraeus to all those under
his command and it was basically entitled ``Hard is not Hopeless.'' He
explained in great detail in the letter how we would move forward as a
nation, that it would be difficult, it would be hard, but not hopeless.
I have seen the inspiration he provides to our men and women in
uniform, and I cannot tell you how much this country owes General
Petraeus and his family. He has been deployed almost continuously since
2001, but what he was able to accomplish in Iraq with the help of those
under his command, he will be the first to say, they deserve the
And now Afghanistan. He came into Afghanistan under very difficult
circumstances, losing a commander in the field. The progress in the
last year has been stunning. The Taliban in the south has been knocked
down hard. There is a 90,000 increase in the Afghan national security
forces. We have a new training program to train Afghan security forces,
and I think it will pay great dividends.
To the President, you have chosen wisely in picking David Petraeus to
be the Director of the CIA.
I am confident Director Petraeus will do as good a job for the
country as General Petraeus, and that is saying a lot. Following Leon
Panetta, who did a great job, we are in good hands as a nation. I don't
believe any single person understands the threats America faces better
than General Petraeus. At the CIA he will have a chance to take the
fight to the enemy in a different way. We will not have available
forever 100,000 troops to be used in theaters of battle.
We are going to bring our troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan. I
hope we do it smartly based on conditions. But this fight is morphing
into other countries, Yemen, Somalia, the Horn of Africa, and the
Nation is playing a more crucial role in our Nation's defense than at
any time in the history of the CIA. We will be blessed to have
David Petraeus to be Director of the CIA. He understands the threats. I
think he will be able to marshal the resources of the CIA to keep the
enemies on their heels and to reinforce to our allies that we are a
reliable partner and to our enemies there is no place you can hide.
There is no passage of time that will keep you safe from American
I hope the Congress--I know Senator Chambliss will, the Senate in
particular--will listen to General Petraeus, who will soon be Director
Petraeus, about how to make sure the CIA is equipped and funded to take
on the enemy. In this war on terror, we are fighting an idea. There is
no capital to conquer, there is no air force to down, there is no navy
to sink. We are battling an idea. And the way we ultimately become safe
is to empower those who have the will to fight the terrorists in their
backyard to provide them with the capacity to let the terrorists
organizations know we will follow you to the gates of hell, that we
will never relent. The CIA and the brave men and women who serve in
that organization are becoming the tip of the spear in this battle.
What happened in Somalia yesterday, what is going to happen in the
future in Yemen and Somalia is a direct result of good intelligence and
To Senator McCain and those who have gotten to know General Petraeus,
I can assure you that President Obama chose wisely. This is the perfect
job for David Petraeus to take up for the Nation. He has the
understanding of the threats we face and the CIA is the platform we
will be using against the enemy more effectively than any other
platform I know.
With that, I look forward to casting my vote for Director of the CIA
David Petraeus, and I hope everybody in this body will provide a vote
of confidence to General Petraeus. He has earned this. America is in
good hands with David Petraeus being the CIA Director.
I yield. I note the absence of a quorum.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for
the quorum call be rescinded.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
Under the previous order, the question is on the Petraeus nomination.
Mr. GRASSLEY. Mr. President, I ask for the yeas and nays.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
There appears to be a sufficient second.
The question is, Will the Senate advise and consent to the nomination
of David H. Petraeus, of New Hampshire, to be Director of the Central
The clerk will call the roll.
The legislative clerk called the roll.
Mr. DURBIN. I announce that the Senator from California (Mrs. Boxer),
the Senator from Vermont (Mr. Leahy), and the Senator from New Mexico
(Mr. Udall) are necessarily absent.
I further announce that, if present and voting, the Senator from
Vermont (Mr. Leahy) and the Senator from New Mexico (Mr. Udall) would
each vote ``yea.''
Mr. KYL. The following Senators are necessarily absent: the Senator
from North Carolina (Mr. Burr), the Senator from Oklahoma (Mr. Inhofe),
and the Senator from Kansas (Mr. Moran).
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Are there any other Senators in the Chamber
desiring to vote?
The result was announced--yeas 94, nays 0, as follows:
[Rollcall Vote No. 104 Ex.]
The nomination was confirmed.
The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Sanders). Under the previous order, the
motion to reconsider is considered made and laid upon the table. The
President will be immediately notified of the Senate's action.
(At the request of Mr. Reid, the following statement was ordered to
be printed in the Record.)
Mrs. BOXER. Mr. President, I was absent for the rollcall vote
on the nomination of GEN David Petraeus to be the Director of the
Central Intelligence Agency. Had I been present, I would have voted
Mr. MORAN. Mr. President, today, I was unavoidably absent for
vote No. 104. Had I been present, I would have voted ``yea'' on the
nomination of GEN David H. Petraeus to be Director of the Central