Senate Select Committee on Intelligence

Hearing on the Nomination of Porter Goss
to be Director of Central Intelligence

September 20, 2004

[excerpt on classification, declassification]


SEN. WYDEN: I'd like to have even one or two concrete examples of where you are willing to stand up to the administration of your party to try to bring about intelligence reform.

MR. GOSS: Senator, again, without regard to the question of the partisanship or the party, which I believe is not appropriate, as I also said last week, even in the construct of the oversight committees that we have on intelligence, so I try to practice, as I said, nonpartisanship. I didn't always succeed, but I tried to practice it, and I think seven out of the eight bills I pushed through came through on a bipartisan basis.

I did find it necessary to push very hard on the administration on some issues with regard to reform. One of them surely has to be the area of classification and declassification. We had quite an arm wrestling discussion with the executive branch about that system, which I said last week is a broken system. It is a broken system.

I tried very hard to do some reform with it, actually worked with Senator Moynihan. We did pass a bill, bicameral, bipartisan -- a first step. It wasn't as much as either of us wanted, but it was a good step, and it is the law, and it has made it easier now in the declassification process.