[Congressional Record: November 9, 2009 (Senate)]
[Page S11298-S11299]

                           EXECUTIVE SESSION


                           EXECUTIVE CALENDAR

  Mr. REID. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the Senate 
proceed to executive session to consider Calendar No. 530, the 
nomination of David Gompert, to be Principal Deputy Director of 
National Intelligence; that the nomination be confirmed, and the motion 
to reconsider be laid upon the table; that no further motions be in 
order; that any statements relating to the nomination be printed in the 
Record; and that the President be immediately notified of the Senate's 
action, and the Senate resume legislative session.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Merkley). Is there objection?
  Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The nomination considered and confirmed is as follows:

[[Page S11299]]

            office of the director of national intelligence

       David C. Gompert, of Virginia, to be Principal Deputy 
     Director of National Intelligence.

  Mrs. FEINSTEIN. Mr. President, I support the nomination of Mr. David 
C. Gompert to be the Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence 
and urge my colleagues to support this nomination. The Senate Select 
Committee on Intelligence unanimously approved Mr. Gompert's nomination 
by voice vote on October 29.
  The Principal Deputy DNI is an extremely important position that has 
two main responsibilities: 1: to assist the DNI, and 2: to act on 
behalf of the DNI in his absence or due to a vacancy in the position.
  The Director of National Intelligence, Admiral Blair, has made clear 
to me and to the committee his strong desire to have Mr. Gompert in 
place to carry out his duties. In fact, Director Blair's predecessor, 
Admiral Mike McConnell, told the Committee when he was in office that 
carrying out the DNI function requires a strong and able deputy, and 
that a lengthy vacancy in the PD-DNI positions was a major problem 
during his tenure.
  Mr. Gompert has made clear that he will assist Director Blair by 
serving as the lead intelligence official in many policymaking areas, 
including the numerous National Security Council meetings in which 
intelligence assessments play a key role.
  He will also have an important role to play in assuring that the 
National Intelligence Program, which was recently disclosed to account 
for $49.8 billion in fiscal year 2009, is managed well and provides to 
the American public the intelligence capability required to keep the 
nation safe and its policymakers well informed.
  Especially given Mr. Gompert's role in the private sector, the 
committee will look to him to import and insist on strong management 
practices to reign in troubled acquisitions, improve information 
sharing, and help run our intelligence apparatus as a true community 
and not just a collection of agencies.
  If confirmed, Mr. Gompert will be the third principal deputy DNI 
since Congress created the position in 2004. As I mentioned previously, 
the position has been unfilled for much of the time, so I am pleased 
that the President has nominated Mr. Gompert and I am also pleased he 
will be confirmed quickly.
  Mr. Gompert was nominated by President Obama on August 6, 2009--the 
day before Congress broke for the August Recess. After going through 
the pre-hearing procedures, the Senate Intelligence Committee held a 
confirmation hearing on the nomination on October 13, 2009. As part of 
the confirmation process, Mr. Gompert was asked to complete a committee 
questionnaire, pre-hearing questions, and post-hearing questions for 
the record. The answers provided by Mr. Gompert have all been posted to 
our committee website.
  From my meeting with Mr. Gompert and based on his answers to the 
questions put to him by members of the Intelligence Committee, I can 
say that Mr. Gompert has proven that he will be an excellent addition 
to help the Office of the Director of National Intelligence carry out 
all of its important responsibilities and to make continued reforms. 
His responses to our questions have been thoughtful and thorough.
  Mr. Gompert has almost 40 years of experience as a national security 
professional and information technology company executive. He has also 
served as a national security analyst in senior White House and State 
Department positions.
  Most recently, Mr. Gompert has worked in the Office of the Director 
of National Intelligence--ODNI--on a short-term assignment to evaluate 
how the ODNI's mission managers are working in practice. In that 
informal role, Mr. Gompert worked to identify what additional measures 
can be taken to facilitate mission management and other forms of cross-
agency teaming of analysts and intelligence collectors.
  Before his service at the ODNI, Mr. Gompert was a Senior Fellow at 
the RAND Corporation. Prior to this he was Distinguished Research 
Professor at the Center for Technology and National Security Policy at 
the National Defense University.
  In 2003 he was a senior advisor for National Security and Defense to 
the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq.
  He has also been on the faculty of the RAND Pardee Graduate School, 
the United States Naval Academy, and the National Defense University.
  Mr. Gompert served as President of RAND Europe from 2000 to 2003, 
during which period he was on the RAND Europe Executive Board and the 
chairman of RAND Europe-UK. He was vice president of RAND and director 
of the National Defense Research Institute from 1993 to 2000.
  From 1990 to 1993, Mr. Gompert served as special assistant to 
President George H. W. Bush and senior director for Europe and Eurasia 
on the National Security Council staff. He has held a number of 
positions at the State Department, including deputy to the Under 
Secretary for Political Affairs, 1982-83; deputy assistant secretary 
for European Affairs, 1981-82; deputy director of the Bureau of 
Political-Military Affairs, 1977-81; and special assistant to Secretary 
of State Henry Kissinger, 1973-75.
  Mr. Gompert worked as an executive in the private sector from 1983-
1990, when he held executive positions at Unisys and at AT&T.
  At Unisys, 1989-90, he was president of the Systems Management Group 
and vice president for Strategic Planning and Corporate Development. At 
AT&T, 1983-1989, he was vice president, civil sales and programs, and 
director of international market planning.
  Mr. Gompert holds a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering from 
the United States Naval Academy and a Master of Public Affairs degree 
from the Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University.
  In sum, Mr. Gompert will be an asset to the Intelligence Community 
because he has worked at the intersection of intelligence and policy 
for much of his career.
  His background has provided good management experience and a unique 
perspective on how to address the challenges lying ahead for the 
Intelligence Community.
  I look forward to the Senate approving Mr. Gompert's nomination and I 
yield the Floor.


[Congressional Record: November 10, 2009 (Senate)]
[Page S11339-S11340]

                      NOMINATION OF DAVID GOMPERT

  Mr. FEINGOLD. Madam President, I voted to confirm David Gompert to be 
Deputy DNI during the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence's, SSCI, 
consideration of his nomination. He is highly qualified, and the 
responses he provided to questions from members of this committee have 
generally demonstrated a strong grasp of many of the issues he will 
face. However, one issue--the statutory obligations to notify the full 
committee of intelligence activities--requires further comment. I voted 
against the confirmation of Robert Litt to be the ODNI's general 
counsel and that of Stephen Preston to be CIA's general counsel because 
of their misinterpretation of the National Security Act. Specifically, 
they misread the ``Gang of Eight'' provision, which is included only in 
section 503 of the act covering covert action, to apply to section 502, 
which covers all other intelligence activities. When I asked Mr. 
Gompert about this, he acknowledged that the provision is not in 
section 502 but nonetheless cited the views of the general counsel.

[[Page S11340]]

  I have no reason to believe that, as a matter of policy, Mr. Gompert 
won't elect to notify the full SSCI, regardless of the statutory 
interpretations of the general counsel. Nonetheless, this confirmation 
process should serve to remind Mr. Gompert and other leaders of the 
intelligence community that those clear statutory obligations apply to 
them, regardless of the general counsels' misinterpretation of the law 
and regardless of the practices of the previous administration. These 
obligations are consistent with basic notions of statutory 
interpretation. They are also consistent with recent testimony before 
the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence by two experts on 
congressional notifications, both of whom worked on the Church 
Committee. Frederick ``Fritz'' Schwarz testified that the ``Gang of 
Eight'' provision ``should be read as limited to covert action'' and 
noted CIA Director Panetta's testimony at his confirmation hearing 
supporting this view. Britt Snider's testimony traced the entire 
history of the provision, describing amendments passed in 1991 and 
noting that he was general counsel of the Senate Select Committee on 
Intelligence at the time of the amendments and was ``heavily involved 
in their development.''

       Another important change brought about by the 1991 
     amendments limited the ``gang of 8'' option to covert 
     actions, rather than making it available to notify the 
     committees of any intelligence activity that was particularly 
     sensitive. This was done for several reasons. First, the gang 
     of 8 option had, to that point, only been used for covert 
     action. Sensitive collection programs had been briefed to the 
     committees as a whole. The view on the two intelligence 
     committees was that if an agency was instituting a new, 
     ongoing program to collect intelligence, they all needed to 
     know about it, regardless of its sensitivity. This was what 
     the committees were set up to do. They had to authorize the 
     funding for these programs. How could they not know of them? 
     Again, the [George H.W.] Bush Administration did not resist 
     the change . . . There have been no major changes to the 
     congressional notification requirements since the 1991 
     Amendments. But I think it is fair to say that practice under 
     the law has changed over time. It changed, for example, in 
     the late 1990s when the CIA began to disclose more 
     information to the committees about its collection 
     operations, especially those that were experiencing problems. 
     (Emphasis added.)

  Both the plain language of the statute and its history are thus 
clear. Moreover, the practice of violating the statute in this manner 
is not longstanding; it was limited to the George W. Bush 
administration. It is therefore particularly dangerous for the current 
administration and any current leaders of the intelligence community to 
associate themselves with this misinterpretation of the law.