Hearing of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence

On the Nomination of Porter Goss to be Director of Central Intelligence

September 14, 2004

[excerpts on intelligence budget disclosure]


SEN. HAGEL: Do you favor making the aggregate intelligence community budget public?

REP. GOSS: Sir, what do you mean by the aggregate? The top line?

SEN. HAGEL: How much -- yes. How much we spend on intelligence.

REP. GOSS: My preference is no, sir, for a very simple reason. It served us well not to put that top line out when we were in what I will call a standoff, a bipolar standoff with the Soviet Union. I'm not sure what the future holds. One of the things that kept the Soviets off balance, we know now, was they weren't quite sure how much we were committing, what we really had, what we were really doing. And my view is that, if I had a preference, I think the day may come when we find ourselves in another sort of bipolar situation, and maybe it'll be tripolar, with other great nations that are emerging.

I don't think it's a critical question. To me it's not a deal- breaking type question, but that would be my preference. If it is every revealed -- and whatever your decision on that would be, obviously I would follow the law if I'm confirmed -- but if it is revealed, I hope it would be clear what it was that we were talking about when we say we are revealing the intelligence budget and how it is managed, how the oversight of that works in Congress, because I fear, if confirmed as a DCI, that I had to come back to you with a number that was one number that was public out there which wasn't the real number I was dealing with, that sooner or later there would be stories written about that. So I think the connection of the decisions you make on how you do your oversight with regard to the budget and intelligence amounts is related to what you're asking me.

SEN. HAGEL: Mr. Goss, thank you.

Mr. Chairman, thank you.