Mr. BYRD. Mr. President, on Thursday evening, July 10, 1997, the Senate confirmed the nomination of George J. Tenet, of Maryland, to be the Director of Central Intelligence. I am delighted that the Senate has taken this action, based on the unanimous recommendation of the Senate Intelligence Committee.
George Tenet is well known to many members of the Senate, as he served with distinction as a staff member, and then Staff Director of the Senate Intelligence Committee during the service of Senator David Boren, of Oklahoma, when he was Chairman of that Committee. When Senator Boren retired, to take up the post of President of the University of Oklahoma, George became the Assistant to the President for Intelligence matters on the staff of the National Security Council, and served with great distinction in that capacity. As a result of that service, he was asked by Mr. John Deutsch to be the Deputy Director of Central Intelligence when Mr. Deutsch was appointed Director, and he has served as the Acting Director since January of this year when Mr. Deutsch returned to the private sector. Mr. Tenet has been praised on the floor by the current leadership of the Senate Intelligence Committee, by the Chairman, the distinguished Senator from Alabama, Mr. Shelby, and the Ranking Democrat, the distinguished Senator from Nebraska, Mr. Kerrey. They have praised Mr. Tenet's capabilities, judgment and character. I wish to express my own confidence in his leadership and I believe he has the capacity to bring the agency out of the unfortunate period that it has recently experienced which was tarnished by espionage scandals, and too rapid a turnover in the Office of the Director. He faces the challenge of bringing morale up, as well as restoring public and Congressional confidence in the intelligence organization of the nation. It is his responsibility to ensure that the Intelligence Community performs on the basis of the highest standards of integrity, and that the tremendous analytical, technical, and personnel resources that the community possesses, without rival in the world, are brought to bear on the often dangerous and difficult targets and areas of concern that constitute the intelligence agenda of the nation.
Mr. Tenet is already known as a strong leader with clear focus and a broad vision. I do not believe there is any recent Director of Central Intelligence that I have dealt with that brings as strong a knowledge of and constituency in the Senate as he enjoys. Intelligence in the confusing and shifting world of this post-cold war era is vital to both branches of the national government, and to be successful must enjoy the strong support of both of them. George is uniquely qualified to bring about a working consensus on the priorities, activities and budget of the intelligence community. He enjoys an extraordinarily deep reservoir of support here in the Senate, and I believe in the White House and the Intelligence Community as well. He is an outstanding choice, and the President is to be commended on his selection. I look forward to working with him to ensure that the highly dedicated, talented and courageous individuals who serve the nation silently day and night across the globe enjoy the support that they need to carry out their duties. I wish him a long, fruitful and rewarding tenure as our new Director of Central Intelligence.