The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, the Senate will now stand in recess until 2:15 p.m.
Thereupon, at 12:49 p.m., the Senate, recessed until 2:15 p.m; whereupon, the Senate reassembled when called to order by the Presiding Officer (Mr. Adams).
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Oklahoma is recognized.
Mr. BOREN. Mr. President, in discussing this with the Parliamentarian, I understand it would simplify matters, since we have roughly the same amount of time give or take 2 or 3 or 4 minutes on each side between now and the hour of 6--since we went somewhat past the normal recess time of 12:30, the time has been slightly thrown off--it will be easier, I think, in order to keep track of it from now on, that we give a slight disadvantage to this side, I think of 6 or 7 minutes, if we simply entered into an agreement by unanimous consent to divide the time evenly between now and the hour of 6 p.m., at which time the vote should occur; no later than 6 p.m.
So I ask unanimous consent that the time of proponents and opponents be divided equally between this time and the hour of 6 p.m.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection? The Senator from Rhode Island.
Mr. CHAFEE. Mr. President, there would be a capacity, however, should nobody come to the floor and there be no further discussion, I assume, that the time could be yielded back?
Mr. BOREN. Yes.
Mr. CHAFEE. In other words, my colleague is not asking unanimous consent that the vote occur at 6?
Mr. BOREN. Mr. President, that is correct. If the two sides decided to yield back the time, if there were no other speakers and we reached that point earlier than 6 p.m., the time could be yielded back by both sides.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
The Senator from Oklahoma.
Mr. BOREN. I yield 4 minutes to my distinguished colleague from South Carolina.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from South Carolina is recognized.
Mr. THURMOND. Mr. President, I rise to express my support for the President's nominee to be the next Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Mr. Robert M. Gates.
However, before discussing the Gates nomination, I would like to thank both Senator Boren and Senator Mursowski, the chairman and vice chairman of the Select Committee on Intelligence, for the exceptional manner in which the committee dealt with this controversial nomination. I am especially appreciative that the committee provided me with a copy of the report on the nomination well in advance of this confirmation debate. With the help of this comprehensive report, the Senate can make a reasoned judgment on Mr. Gates' qualifications to lead the Central Intelligence Agency during this period of global political and military transition.
Mr. President, as we end the confrontation between the two superpowers, our intelligence community, headed by the Central Intelligence Agency, must adapt to a new operational climate. Mr. Gershwin, a CIA official who testified before the Intelligence Committee, gave us a preview of the difficulties of this transition when he stated:
I think we are entering an era in the 1990's when life is going to be very uncomfortable for all of us intelligence analysts. It is very uncomfortable for me. * * * I do not know where we are heading, but I know that my job in the future is going to be real different from what it was in the past.
Mr. Gershwin goes on to say:
And frankly, I think with a man like Mr. Gates there (at the CIA), I think he is going to shake us all up in a big-time way and it is going to be very valuable for all of us.
Mr. President, I believe Mr. Bob Gates is the man who can shake up the CIA. He has been in the intelligence business since 1966, when he joined the CIA as an analyst. Since that time, he has held positions of trust in both Republican and Democratic administrations. Inevitably, an individual in sensitive and challenging positions is involved in controversy and becomes the subject of allegations. Mr. Gates is not unique in this aspect. He was saddled with allegations regarding his involvement in the Iran-Contra affair and charges that he politicized the intelligence process.
Mr. President, in my judgment the Intelligence Committee thoroughly investigated these allegations and found no smoking gun. Rather, it found a man that one Senator described in the report, who `is smart, experienced, innovative, and a tough taskmaster; just the right man to lead the CIA into uncertain and extremely challenging times.'
I join in that assessment and support the President's judgment in nominating Mr. Gates for this exceptionally challenging position. I will vote in favor of the confirmation and urge my colleagues to do so as well.
Thank you, Mr. President.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator has yielded the time. Who yields time?
Mr. BOREN. I yield 10 minutes to my colleague from Maine.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Maine is recognized for 10 minutes.
Mr. COHEN. Mr. President, earlier today, one of my colleagues took the floor and suggested that Republican members of the Intelligence Committee secured the services of their trial lawyer. I must say that I was flattered with the notion that somehow the Intelligence Committee would consider me to be their trial lawyer, particularly when they have such distinguished members on that committee as Senator Rudman, Senator Danforth, Senator Gorton, three former attorneys general of their States, distinguished, experienced trial lawyers. They surely did not need the services of this former trial lawyer.
I might say, Mr. President, that I came to the confirmation hearing on the first day--I had just returned from Maine. I came to the hearing and I sat in the very rear of the hearing room, the last chair available in the very rear of the room. I was quite content to simply sit there and listen to the evidence. I was curious about it. I had spent 8 years on the committee, 4 years as vice chairman of the Intelligence Committee. I was curious as to how the hearings would unfold, what the testimony might reveal, and I wanted to see how they would progress. No one invited me. The White House did not call me. I went there simply of my own volition.
As I was sitting at the rear of the hearing room one of my colleagues from the Intelligence Committee, Senator Metzenbaum, suggested to the chairman that I be invited up as a courtesy to sit behind the dais. I was again thankful that Chairman Boren extended that courtesy to me. It came without any prompting on my part, and I was pleased to be of service.
One of the reasons I was pleased to be helpful to my colleagues, as I indicated before, is because I spent 8 years on the committee; I was quite familiar with the so-called Iran-Contra scandal. I was one of those who helped to conduct, and indeed even write, the initial report of the preliminary inquiry into the sale of weapons to Iran and their diversion to the Nicaraguan Contras.
Some of my colleagues may recall that there was tremendous pressure being generated by the White House at that time. President Reagan wanted the intelligence oversight committee to tell him what he allegedly did not know and to file this report as quickly as possible. Frankly, I objected. I was even out of town at the time. It was planned to turn this document in as a final report, and I objected. Many of the witnesses' testimony had not even been transcribed, and I felt we could not present a complete enough picture and an accurate enough picture to our colleagues, and so I said, no. I must say, I took considerable criticism from many of my colleagues for failing and refusing to sign that report at the time.
I was also appointed to serve on the Iran-Contra Committee, and at the end of that investigation I coauthored with my distinguished colleague, the majority leader, Senator Mitchell, a book called `Men of Zeal,' describing what lessons we learned from that experience. So those were the qualifications I brought to the hearing, to my colleagues on the committee, who may not have had as much familiarity with the background that I had about the Iran-Contra matter.
Again, early this morning it was suggested that before the very first witness could even testify, the Republican committee members had lawyer Cohen get a midnight letter from Arthur Liman. Let me just set the record straight. Lawyer Cohen was not sent to get a letter from Arthur Liman. I had read Mr. Polgar's op-ed piece in one of the major papers, and, indeed, I had seen a preliminary statement that he was going to give to the committee. Frankly, I was troubled by it. I have enormous respect for Mr. Polgar. I had worked with him when he was a staff member of the Iran-Contra Committee. As I read the op-ed piece and I read his testimony, I found them indeed quite troubling because, in essence, he was accusing Bob Gates of not only deception, but I believe conduct that would justify, if it were true, the independent counsel taking action against Robert Gates because Mr. Polgar, in essence, accused him of misleading Congress, preparing misleading testimony, and indeed accused him of being part of the coverup of the Iran-Contra scandal, including the diversion of funds.
For that reason, I took it upon myself to call Arthur Liman, who had just returned from celebrating the Jewish holidays. I spoke with him by phone. We talked about it, and indeed he did dictate a letter to me which I offered or proffered, I should say to be technical about it, to the committee the following day. And that was to put in perspective not only Mr. Polgar's role but, indeed, the fact that, to my knowledge and to Mr. Liman's knowledge, Mr. Polgar never indicated to any member of the Iran-Contra Committee, not to the counsel of the committee, that he believed or had evidence that Mr. Gates in any way obstructed justice or committed perjury or lied or misled the committee because, if he did have such evidence, I am sure it would have worked its way in one fashion or another into Judge Walsh's hands.
I thought I would take a few moments, Mr. President, to explain my own interest in the case, in the hearings, and my own role during the course of those hearings. I did not seek to have an opportunity to question any of the witnesses. I did not want to break or set any precedents. I felt I was entitled,
much as the former vice chairman of the committee, Senator Moynihan was, to make a statement, and, indeed, that is what I did, pertaining to the allegations that Robert Gates had engaged in conduct which would have certainly disqualified him from being confirmed as Director of the CIA were the allegations true.
Mr. President, I would like to offer a few general comments, if I might. The ancients observed, `Whom the gods would destroy, they first make euphoric.' I think they might well have had the current situation in mind as we approach the end of the second millenium. Two years ago, heady with newfound power, Polish voters threw out every Communist that they were allowed to pass judgment on. They replaced them with Solidarity-aligned democrats. Last week or 10 days ago, disillusioned and resentful about the state of their lives, most Poles did not even bother to vote and those who did cast their ballots to a diffuse mix of democrats and demagogs, nationalists, regionalists, and Communists.
Two months ago, Russians who had mounted the ramparts to successfully defend their democratically elected President and Parliament, celebrated their dramatic victory. Just weeks later with President Boris Yeltsin off writing his memoirs, the bickering Parliament took on an eerie quality reminiscent of what occurred right after the 1917 democratic revolution. While Yeltsin's announcement this week of his plans for drastic economic reforms offers some reason for hope, the transition to a market economy is going to be even more difficult for Russia than it is for Poland, and there is no certainty at all that the Russian democrats can hold power long enough to see a new economic dawn break above the horizon.
Without taking time now, I call my colleagues' attention to an article that appeared in this week's U.S. News & World Report, the November 11 issue, pages 48 and 49. They will indeed find some very discouraging descriptions about the mood and the sentiment and the prospects for the new Russia because behind the face of the new Russia, one may very well find the face of the old Russia.
Reading from the article:
Ironically, it is the democrats--not the many reactionaries who have survived the coup attempt--who are ushering in the new authoritarianism, on grounds that democracy cannot flourish amid political and economic chaos. Unable to cope with a disintegrating economy, increasing shortages and a growing threat to public order, reform leaders--who received power almost overnight--increasingly favor strengthening executive powers in order to make quicker economic decisions and to demonstrate to a weary population that someone is in charge. Democracy, says one Soviet politician ruefully, may prove to have been nothing more than a transition from totalitarianism to authoritarianism.
Even Mayor Popov, who many of us have had a chance to meet here in Washington, is said to be `battling a feisty city council.' [He] `declared flatly that the democratic experiment has failed: `In a word, democracy cannot find a basis in this country.'
So I think it is important that we keep this in mind; that those Members who have come to the floor to criticize Mr. Gates, the Reagan-Bush administration, and others, keep some perspective of exactly what is taking place in the world today.
I mention this because some have accused the Bush administration through its release of certain declassified CIA documents of trying to rewrite history. And the charge is that the CIA missed the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Soviet empire; that it misread Soviet economic indicators; that it misunderstood who Mikhail Gorbachev was, and thereby allowed Ronald Reagan to spend billions of dollars on arms that we had no need for whatsoever.
Not one of Bob Gates' critics mentioned Andre Sakharov's exile to Gorky. Not one of the critics spoke of the grand deception at Krasnoyarsk. I did not hear a word mentioned by anybody about the CIA pinpointing Krasnoyarsk as a violation of the ABM Treaty, which was denied year after year after year until finally Shevardnadze reversed his public position and said yes, it is a violation. Not one spoke of the atrocities committed by Soviet soldiers in Afghanistan, manufacturing----
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Ten minutes have expired.
Mr. COHEN. I ask that I be allowed to continue for an additional 5 minutes.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection? The Senator is recognized for an additional 5 minutes.
Mr. COHEN. No one mentioned those fancy little weapons that the Soviets had designed to look like toys, so that children in Afghanistan would pick them up and blow their limbs off and their parents would have to cry and weep knowing they could not get medical treatment for them. Their goal was to kill the morale of the freedom fighters.
No one referred to the challenge posed by the Soviet deployment of SS-20's toward Western Europe and the attempt to drive a stake into the heart of NATO.
No one mentioned that Ronald Reagan got the INF treaty, that he said he would get if we did what? Not if we adopted a nuclear freeze but if we deployed the Pershing II and the ground-launched cruise missile over great political opposition in Europe. Nonetheless, they deployed it and we got the treaty.
No one mentioned that Mikhail Gorbachev allowed Black Berets to commit brutal acts in the Baltics or use chemical agents in Georgia to put down protests.
No one mentioned the forward-looking reformers like KGB head Vladmir Kryuchkov and Prime Minister Valentin Pavlov were among those who engineered the failed coup in August.
No one mentioned that Gorbachev was seen as being resistant to true reform by such intellectuals as Alexi Arbatov, Nicolai Smeloff. No one mentioned that.
The whole Reagan Presidency is discredited by saying that we missed the chance to do business with Gorbachev, and then the Bush administration including Bob Gates is discredited by saying now it is too committed to Gorbachev; we should be doing business with Boris Yeltsin and others; the President and Gates are too tied to the center now.
So first we miss Gorbachev and now when we are dealing with Gorbachev, they insist we should be dealing with Yeltsin even when there are signs that Mr. Yeltsin may be evolving toward something other than a great democratic reformer. He sounds very authoritarian in some of the statements he is making. He seems to be demanding more and more power. And so there are fears that we may see the rise of Russian nationalism. But the critics of Bob Gates say we missed Gorbachev and now we are missing Yeltsin and so he is damned on the one hand and damned on the other.
Well, apparently the critics know so much more than the European leaders like Vaclav Havel, who came to the joint session of Congress and he said what? He said thank you, thank you for standing up to your responsibilities, and he thanked us for the sacrifices that the American people have made over the years so that his country and others in Eastern Europe would have the chance to know freedom.
Mr. President, Robert Gates, we have to remind ourselves, serves at the pleasure of the President of the United States. I might say that if we applied the same standards to our own conduct that we insist upon applying to his, I doubt very much whether many could pass that test. If we were to hold up our own record for the past decade, not to mention Bob Gates' two decades, and ask the American people, what do you think about our role in the S&L crisis? How did that happen on our watch? What about the collapse of the economy, and the soaring deficits?
We are the ones who appropriate the funds, not the President. How about the loss of public confidence? Sixty-three percent of the American people think that we are corrupt. All of us.
Now, that is the perception, Mr. President. Is it fair? Is it right? Is each one of us in this Chamber to be disqualified from trying to come to grips with the domestic, the foreign, the fiscal problems of this country because of our record during the past decade? I submit to you if the standard that we are applying to Bob Gates were applied to us, very few would be left standing in this Chamber.
So, Mr. President, I support Bob Gates for the position of Director of Central Intelligence. I think he is tough minded. I think he is bright. I think he has made some mistakes. I think he stepped on some toes. But I think he learned from his mistakes. I saw evidence of that. I worked with him for several years, and I believe he does possess the capability to deal with the new challenges of the future. I believe he is in a better position to understand the complexities of that vast bureaucracy, and the personalities within it. And I believe that he has gained from what he has gone through for the past several years and certainly during his confirmation proceedings.
So I hope my colleagues will take a very close look at the record and listen to people, in addition to those who testified, listen to some of the people like Bobby Inman, John McMahon, people who everyone says they have the utmost respect for and confidence in. I think if you look at the record and listen to some of the people who have worked closely with and know Bob Gates best you will agree that he should be confirmed for that position.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The time of the Senator has expired. Who yields time?
Mr. BOREN. Mr. President, I yield to the Senator from Rhode Island as much time as he may require.
Mr. CHAFEE. I thank the distinguished floor manager. I thank the distinguished Senator from Maine for the comments he made, and particularly for the point he stressed, how many of us could stand scrutiny of our records for the past 20 years?
I have been in the Senate now for 16 years, and most of the other Senators I see have been here 10 years or more. How many of us could stand up to scrutiny on what happened in the S&L crisis and what did we do about it? Or the national deficits or a whole series of other programs? Suppose we were held liable for every one of those?
So I think the points the Senator from Maine made were excellent, as always. He is very perceptive and contributes continually in this body to a whole series of efforts we are making.
Mr. President, I would like to begin by thanking the chairman and ranking member of the Intelligence Committee for the manner in which they have led the committee during this difficult nomination process. I think they have done an outstanding job of ensuring that the process has been both thorough and fair. It was not always easy to balance the strongly held views of the members of our committee or the witnesses that have appeared, and I want to commend our leaders for minimizing the friction involved and keeping the important issues in focus.
This was not expected to be a difficult or contentious process when President Bush nominated Robert Gates in June. But, as we all know, shortly after the nomination was received by the Senate, former CIA official Alan Fiers unexpectedly pled guilty to withholding information about the Iran-Contra affair from Congress. Immediately, many leapt to the conclusion that if Mr. Fiers had lied to Congress, then his superior Mr. Gates probably had as well. Matters were further complicated a few weeks later when some network TV shows began to carry segments featuring
convicted felons, in some cases interviewed from their jail cells, who had wild tales to tell regarding their alleged involvement with Mr. Gates in undertaking illegal covert activities. Some of these tales were more elaborate and intriguing than a Robert Ludlum spy novel. Then, just when I thought I had seen everything, the BCCI scandal hit the airwaves and print media with the force of a hurricane arriving at high tide with a full Moon. Finally, and also unexpectedly, a former CIA official approached the committee and alleged that Mr. Gates had been guilty of slanting intelligence estimates to ingratiate himself with Bill Casey and senior officials of the Reagan administration. What had been expected to be a fairly routine nomination had become a sensationalized and highly contentious one.
There has never been any serious doubt about Mr. Gates' aptitude or expertise. He has served this country with distinction for over 20 years in a variety of sensitive assignments. He was an Air Force officer. A CIA analyst and manager, and served in the National Security Council under both Republican and Democratic administrations. He was promoted and rose quickly through the ranks because of his performance and effectiveness in the eyes of men such as Zbigniew Brzezinski, Stansfield Turner, and Adm. Bobby Inman. By all accounts, Mr. Gates functioned very effectively as Deputy National Security Adviser during the gulf war with Iraq and during Operation Just Cause in Panama. So the key questions regarding Mr. Gates are not about his competence but his integrity. Has he been truthful
about his role in the Iran-Contra affair? Did he politicize estimates in order to ingratiate himself with his superiors? Did he smother evidence about illegal BCCI activities in order to protect CIA operations?
I am satisfied that Mr. Gates has been forthcoming regarding the Iran-Contra affair. The Iran-Contra committees of the House and Senate interviewed over 500 witnesses and reviewed 300,000 documents pertaining to this matter. As Senators Boren, Nunn, and Rudman, who served on that committee know, this extensive and unprecedented investigation did not produce any evidence of impropriety on the part of Mr. Gates. Since that time, the independent prosecutor, Judge Walsh, has spent over 4 years and $25 million probing the Iran-Contra affair, and he has publicly acknowledged that Mr. Gates is not a target of his investigation. The record has long shown that Mr. Gates was not involved in the diversion of funds to the Contras and that he raised the issue with his superiors when he was informed by Charles Allen that such activities might be occurring. Our own independent investigation, which has included the testimony of individuals such as Alan Fiers and Charles Allen, confirms these facts.
The other allegations against Bob Gates have also been thoroughly investigated and found to be lacking. The documents obtained by staff demonstrate that the CIA appropriately disseminated the information it had regarding BCCI to the Treasury Department and other Federal agencies.
The allegations of politicization, however, have been more difficult to contend with. As one senior intelligence official said to the committee:
Its right out of Franz Kafka. Because once you are accused, the inspector general will never come back and say you are absolved. They will say: `We found no evidence to substantiate it.'
It is in fact impossible for Mr. Gates, or anyone else, to prove the negative. I would therefore suggest that instead of asking the impossible we examine the facts.
Of the roughly 2,500 intelligence estimates produced during Bob Gates' tenure, only a handful are in dispute. In those instances, after extensive hearings, interviews, and a review of well over 1,000 documents, the allegations remain unsubstantiated. No analyst has come forward and said, `Bob Gates asked me to take a dive.' At the same time, it has been indisputably demonstrated that Bob Gates disseminated numerous reports contradicting the policies of the Reagan administration on such contentious issues as chemical weapons, Lebanon, the Soviet pipeline, and Soviet defense spending.
It is not surprising that Bob Gates stands accused of politicizing intelligence estimates. Such allegations have also been made against William Colby, Bill Casey, Judge Webster, and many other senior intelligence officials. In every large Federal bureaucracy, there are factions and disputes, winners and losers. In this instance, the strongest allegations against Mr. Gates come
from an individual who is himself accused of politicization and who has testified that he believes he was demoted by Mr. Gates. But those allegations, for example that Bob Gates pressured analysts to produce a report implicating the Soviet Union in the attempted assassination of the Pope, are simply not supported by either the documentary evidence or the testimony of the analysts who have submitted affidavits to the committee.
In fact, as John McMahon has pointed out, it is difficult to understand how Bob Gates could have manipulated CIA analysts even if he had wanted to. The directorate of intelligence is simply not a bureaucracy composed of 2,000 spineless wimps.
After listening to the witnesses on both sides of this issue, I have concluded that there is nevertheless a genuine perception of politicization on the part of some analysts. These perceptions appear to have preceded Mr. Gates and have continued since he left. I think the perception of politicization is attributable to a number of factors:
First, a sometimes suffocating bureaucracy that has not permitted adequate communication between senior management and analysts.
Second, the desire by some midlevel managers and some analysts to achieve promotion by responding to the perceived views of their superiors. This is a problem that was clearly identified in the internal CIA review of the now celebrated assessment on the attempted assassination of the Pope. I think it is perhaps worth briefly quoting from this document, known as the Cowey report:
So, despite the DDI's best efforts--
And Mr. Gates was the DDI at the time--
there was a perception of upper-level direction.* * * In the event, however, our interviews suggested that it was not so much DCI or DDI direction as it was an effort on the part of some managers at the next one or two layers down to be responsive to perceived DCI and DDI desires.
In short, people wanted to please their boss. This is a natural instinct and a problem inherent to the analytic process.
Third, and finally, Bob Gates was prone to toughening estimates on the Soviet Union. Because of the Reagan administration's hard-line views on the U.S.S.R., this on some occasions led to the perception of politicization. But the fact is, Mr. Gates himself was a hard-liner on the Soviet Union with a Ph.D. in Soviet studies to back it up. Consequently, when he changed an estimate to be more critical of Soviet behavior, it only reflected his own sincere views, but because the Reagan administration shared similar views, he was subject to the allegation of politicization.
In sum, I do not believe that the allegations that Mr. Gates politicized intelligence are valid. At the same time, I have
concluded that there are some organizational problems in the directorate of intelligence that warrant further attention and I welcome Mr. Gates' eight suggestions for improving intelligence analysis.
As we all know, it is difficult if not impossible to accomplish anything in Washington without antagonizing someone. There is an old Russian adage that expresses the problem well `When you chop wood, chips fly.'
I do not think there is any doubt that Mr. Gates has sent some chips flying over the years. He has not been afraid to make tough decisions or undertake new initiatives. He has done a tremendous amount of good work in behalf of this country, and he has done so under very difficult circumstances. If we want individuals with extensive experience in the CIA, who are willing to take risks, who have taken controversial positions and stood their ground, we are inevitably going to find disaffected bureaucrats among their former colleagues.
I believe that this is a time when it is essential to have a DCI who does not need on-the-job training. We need a DCI who can manage the intelligence community during a period of profound change, minimizing the impact of budget reductions, while ensuring appropriate oversight by this committee. If our only concern were to avoid controversy in the nomination process, then I would say do not vote for this nomination. But I believe that this is an extremely able, experienced, honest, and patriotic individual who will be an effective Director of Central Intelligence. I hope that he will soon be confirmed so that we can concentrate on the reorganization of the intelligence community, to whatever degree is required, in response to the dramatic changes underway in the world around us.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New Jersey.
Mr. BRADLEY. I yield as much time as the majority leader may use.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The majority leader is recognized
Mr. MITCHELL. Mr. President, I will vote against the nomination of Robert M. Gates to be Director of Central Intelligence.
I did not easily reach this conclusion. I believe that, in general, Presidents should be able to select the officials of their choice to serve in key administration positions. As a matter of policy, every President should be free to name qualified individuals who share his views and goals.
It is clear that President Bush knows this nominee well and has confidence in his abilities.
However, the Director of Central Intelligence [DCI] is a position unique in our Government.
The Director is a trustee, the custodian of the Nation's secrets, the executive officer responsible for activities known to few if any other officials. With respect to the critical intelligence analysis provided to the President and other key Government officials, he is the umpire and the protector of objectivity. This very objectivity and the quality of this intelligence is the foundation upon which is built much of our Nation's foreign policy, national security, and military strategy. Critical decisions which affect the Nation's most profound interests, sometimes for years, even decades, are made on the basis of such intelligence judgments.
The hearings held by the Intelligence Committee on this nomination highlighted for the American people several such decisions--decisions involving the Soviet Union's intentions in the Third World and elsewhere, Iran and Iraq, and policy in Central America to name a few.
The trust and confidence placed in the Director will be even more important in the years ahead than it has been in past years. With the collapse of communism, with the profound changes around the globe which have followed, the CIA will need to respond to a new set of challenges. America will face new circumstances--new allies, perhaps new enemies--and certainly new competition created by the global marketplace.
The CIA will have a role to play in assuring that the Nation's leaders have the information needed to best protect the Nation's security. The intelligence community will need a Director who not only understands these new realities, but who has the leadership and credibility to lead these organizations in new directions.
These are additional important factors which must be considered as the Senate discharges its constitutional duty in evaluating those nominated to serve in high Government offices.
Among them are the nominee's credibility and judgment.
In my view, too many unanswered questions remain about this nominee's credibility and this nominee's judgment.
I am troubled by the conflicts in the testimony of Mr. Gates and others. I am further troubled by the many memory failures of the nominee. I am disturbed that even after the Intelligence Committee raised questions arising from Lt. Col. Oliver North's diaries, the nominee declined to read and address those entries.
I will not attempt here to detail each of the conflicts in testimony and troubling aspects of Mr. Gates' own testimony. The committee report which is before each Senator does an admirable job of that.
However, I do wish to recall for the record the testimony of Charles Allen, the National Intelligence Officer for Counterterrorism, who met with Mr. Gates on October 1, 1986, and informed him of Allen's suspicions that funds generated by the covert sale of arms to Iran were being diverted to covertly fund the Contras in Nicaragua.
Mr. Allen testified, and I quote his testimony at some length:
I recall discussing the Iranian initiative with Mr. Gates on 1 October 1986 and expressing deep concern over this White House-directed effort. I had been deeply troubled since mid-August over a number of aspects of the initiative and conveyed these concerns in some detail to Mr. Gates during the * * * meeting. Specifically I recall * * *:
a. Describing the impasse over the pricing and [the first channel to the Iranians] refusal to pay Mr. Ghorbanifar the price asked for the Hawk spare parts because the price asked for the Hawk spare parts was `five or six times' the actual cost of the parts.
b. Noting the desperate financial straits of Manucher Ghorbanifar and his `frantic' call to me in August 1986 in which he provided details on specific costs of certain Hawk missile spare parts, and in which he claimed that his markup on the price of the spare parts averaged only about 40 percent.
c. Mentioning Lt. Col. North's reference to `the reserve' in his conversation with me on 9 September 1986 in which he stated that Vice Admiral Poindexter had formally approved the second channel and that the Ghorbanifar channel would be shut down.
d. Informing Mr. Gates of Mr. Aviram Nir's [the Israeli Prime Minister's representative in the Iran arms sales matters] statements in support of Mr. Ghorbanifar's assertions that the latter as the middleman in the transaction was substantially over-charged.
e. Detailing Mr. Nir's fears that the operational security of the initiative was rapidly eroding and that the immediate action was needed to shore up its security.
The facts among others were repeated in a meeting with Mr. Casey on 7 October 1986 in which Mr. Gates was present.
Mr. Gates' testimony was that he was `startled' and that he was `disturbed by the threat to the security of the operation, as well as the speculation,' which in his 1987 testimony to the Intelligence Committee he described as flimsy. At that time he testified:
Again, we had on the one hand reports of cheating and overcharging that we had been seeing for months, and that are not abnormal in the international arms market, and on the other hand he simply called attention to the circumstantial fact that some of the same people were involved in the Iran affair and the contra thing.
Mr. President, I feel that the statement by Mr. Allen was far more detailed and far more significant than this characterization of it by Mr. Gates.
Mr. Allen also testified that in the context of this October 1 meeting he `distinctly recalls' Mr. Gates telling him that `in the past he had admired Colonel North because of his work in crisis management and things of this nature, but that this was going too far, and asked that I see the Director.' Allen went on to state that Gates: `said this with deep concern that Colonel North, whatever qualities he may have had in the past in performing services to the United States, that this was a very questionable activity at best.' According to Mr. Allen's testimony Mr. Gates repeated this statement regarding Lieutenant Colonel North in the October 7 meeting in Director Casey's office.
Mr. Gates testified that he has `no recollection' of making these statements and further that Mr. Allen `didn't have any indication of any U.S. Government role or anything. I think it was just the mere fact of Secord's presence in both of these activities that, I think is just the best way to put it, raised this concern.'
Mr. President, I have reviewed the testimony of Robert Gates and others on this particular matter very carefully. I find it very hard to see how the Deputy Director of Central Intelligence could take this matter so lightly.
However, to give him the benefit of the doubt, put aside, for the moment, Mr. Allen's speculation about a diversion of funds. Further put aside Acting CIA Director Kerr's testimony that he had in August told Mr. Gates about Mr. Allen's conclusions--and that is another statement on the matter which Mr. Gates cannot remember. Accept Mr. Gates' statement that this seemed flimsy and `had little sense of urgency about it.' Accept all of that. Give him all of the benefit of the doubt. What troubles me most is that an analyst of Mr. Gates' background and experience should not have recognized that the exorbitant overcharging of the Iranians for the missile parts they were receiving in the Iran arms sales, a covert program he knew to have the President's approval, represented an extreme risk to the lives of the very hostages for which weapons were being traded.
Let me repeat that. The exorbitant overcharging of the Iranians for the missile parts, in a covert program which he knew had the President's approval, represented an extreme risk to the lives of the very hostages for which weapons were being traded. That alone, it seems to me, should have been reason enough for the Deputy Director of Central Intelligence, then Mr. Gates, to raise red flags and blow whistles with Director Casey, Admiral Poindexter, and ultimately the President himself.
While the testimony does not fully remove my doubts regarding what Mr. Gates learned regarding Iran-Contra and what he did or failed to do with that knowledge, I make no accusation. In fact, in the whole matter, in my judgment, Mr. Gates' own testimony is sufficient criticism of his actions.
By his own testimony, his response to information which he learned regarding the Iran-Contra affair was inadequate. Mr. Gates himself testified:
I should have taken more seriously * * * the possibility of impropriety or even wrongdoing in the Government, and pursued this possibility more aggressively. I should have pressed the issue of a possible diversion more strenuously with Director Casey and with Admiral Poindexter. * * * I should have been more skeptical about what I was told. I should have asked more questions, and I should have been less satisfied with the answers I received, especially from Director Casey. * * *
Those are Mr. Gates' own words.
While I respect his admission of shortcomings and accept that he has learned from the experience and matured in subsequent offices, nonetheless his performance in this area falls short of the standards of behavior which I believe necessary for a position requiring the unique sensitivities, responsibilities, and trustworthiness as does the Director of Central Intelligence.
Additional charges have been made that Mr. Gates played a role in efforts to shape intelligence estimates to conform to the policy directions of the Reagan administration during the period that he served both as Deputy Director for Intelligence and as Deputy Director of Central Intelligence.
Mr. Gates was given the opportunity to and did address many of these specific charges. Some were not fully or adequately addressed. But, more than any accusation that Robert Gates, by his own hand, skewed any intelligence assessment, I am concerned by the perception that politicization was carried out by the leadership of the CIA during the 1980's. What should not be a political agency was made into a political agency. Many past and current CIA employees share this view.
Indeed, the Iran-Contra Committee concluded in its final report;
* * * there is evidence that Director Casey misrepresented or selectively used available intelligence to support the policy he was promoting, particularly in Central America.
I am not here arguing guilt by association. I am asserting that the signal sent to the CIA and others in the intelligence community at the beginning of a new era in intelligence gathering, but reaching back into the Casey era and selecting as the new Director the man who was Casey's own Deputy, is precisely the wrong signal to be sending.
Proponents of this nomination have argued that Mr. Gates' experience in the Agency, the very fact that he has risen from among the ranks of the analysts, and the fact that he experienced the painful episode associated with Iran-Contra make him the ideal candidate to lead the intelligence community through the period of change ahead. I believe that this is exactly wrong.
While I believe that the public airing of the ferment at the CIA will be positive for that Agency in the long run, and was certainly educational for the American people, I believe that it will further undermine Mr. Gates' ability to serve as a strong leader for the CIA. His every move and his motives will be scrutinized for political spin and for retaliation against personnel.
Even while supporting this nomination, the chairman of the Intelligence Committee felt it necessary to add the following in his statement. And this is Senator Boren's statement.
Might I say I have the greatest respect and admiration for Senator Boren. And if, as we all expect, Mr. Gates is going to be confirmed, he will owe that confirmation to one person and one person alone, and that is Senator Boren.
Senator Boren said this with respect to the Gates nomination;
Let me say a few words about the courageous people-analysts, young and old, who came forward to cooperate with the committee during the confirmation process. They have my commitment, indeed the commitment of this committee, that no untoward action will be taken against them, and their careers will not be disrupted. If Bob Gates is confirmed, I intend to hold him accountable and carefully scrutinize his decisions and actions to ensure that needed changes are made. This committee will pay increased attention to the less glamorous but important issues of the morale and well-being of the men and women of the Central Intelligence Agency. I have given my personal assurances to at least two individuals that for my remaining 5 years in the Senate, long after I have left this committee, I will intervene on their behalf at the slightest hint of retribution.
That is the end of the quotation from Senator Boren. He then went on at a later point to say:
And I say openly to the men and women at CIA, that I believe that Bob Gates will live up to the demands of decency and fairness required. But if he does not, I will be the first to take action, whether I serve on this committee or not. This is my personal commitment to the men and women at the CIA.
I want to add my assurances and my support for those made by the distinguished chairman of the Intelligence Committee. Senator Boren makes those assurances because he is a fair, decent, and compassionate man who understands how difficult it had been for these employees to step forward. I commend him for that.
But, Mr. President, and Members of the Senate, my point is that the need for the chairman of the Intelligence Committee to make such a statement is so remarkable, and so extraordinary, that it speaks for itself. It simply should not be necessary for such a commitment to be made, to have to say to everybody at the CIA, all of the employees: `Do not worry if the Director takes retribution on you, we will be there to intervene.' Even though all of them must know with however good our intentions and however energetic we are in trying to ensure that commitment, there is literally no way that this kind of oversight can prevent the kind of retaliation or retribution that could take place. It is truly extraordinary that everybody at the CIA must be told this--must be warned with respect to this nominee.
I want to commend the chairman of the Intelligence Committee, the distinguished senior Senator from Oklahoma [Mr. Boren] and the vice chairman, the junior Senator from Alaska [Mr. Murkowski] for the comprehensive, fair, bipartisan, and educational process by which the nomination was considered. All of the members of the committee and the staff should be commended as well. Hundreds of witnesses were interviewed and thousands of documents collected in an exhaustive effort to seek the necessary information for the Senate to make its judgment on this nomination. The committee's process has served the Senate and the American people well.
The role of the Director of Central Intelligence is too important to gamble on a nominee who, by his own admission, has demonstrated poor judgment and who represents precisely the wrong signal to so many at the CIA and elsewhere. Robert Gates has served the President and General Scowcroft well in his current position. He is a strong and effective policy advocate. However, given the enormous challenges facing the CIA for a transition to a new role, facing a new world order, and requiring a newly invigorated workforce at CIA and elsewhere in the intelligence community, I have concluded that Robert Gates is the wrong man at the wrong time for this position.
The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Robb). Who yields time? The Senator from Alaska [Mr. Murkowski].
Mr. MURKOWSKI. Mr. President, may I ask the remaining time on the two sides?
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator controls 1 hour and 15 minutes; on the time controlled by the Senator from New Jersey there remains 1 hour and 32 minutes.
Mr. MURKOWSKI. I thank the Chair. I defer to the Senator from Pennsylvania.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Pennsylvania [Mr. Specter] is recognized.
Mr. SPECTER. Mr. President, after considerable deliberation, I have decided to support the nomination of Mr. Gates. I had some reservations in 1987 when Mr. Gates was last considered for this position because of questions on his role in helping to prepare Director Casey's testimony which misled the Congress, and because of questions about Mr. Gates' knowledge on the diversion of funds from the diversion of arms sales to the Contras.
To the extent that Mr. Gates has made mistakes, it is my conclusion that he has learned from them. I believe that as a matter of his personal qualifications he is an astute, experienced intelligence officer who has the confidence of the President. I believe that the time has come, really past time, to move on with vital U.S. intelligence collection and analysis worldwide. And further, at this date in 1991 it is my conclusion that Mr. Gates is ready, willing and able to work with the Congress, allowing the Congress its appropriate oversight capacity.
Without detailing the 1987 confirmation hearing record--and I repeat that I had many reservations about that reach--suffice it to say that the loyalty of a Government subordinate is owed to the truth and to the American people, rather than to the next higher individual in the chain of command. Too much occurs in this town--really everywhere--where people go along to get along. And I think the experience that Mr. Gates had in 1987 and what has occurred since, and the very incisive investigation and hearings conducted by the Intelligence Committee, are a very, very sharp statement of the kind of scrutiny that will be undertaken and the kind of risks which are involved. But, with the lapse of 4 years and with Mr. Gates' very good record since that time, which record I have observed to some extent and been informed about by Mr. Scowcroft and by the President, I believe that it is appropriate at this time to move forward with his confirmation.
The critical question in my mind today is how well will Mr. Gates perform as Director of Central Intelligence? That is the dominant question, as opposed to what he may have done in the past. A
man's record, of course, is a very, very significant indicator as to how he is going to perform in the future. But whatever Robert Gates' mistakes were of the past, it is my judgment, as I say, after considerable reflection, that he is more than a reasonable risk to undertake this job in the future. Those considerations are weighted against his tremendous experience, his obvious intelligence, and his capacity to perform in a very, very important job and with the President's complete confidence.
When you talk about the mistakes that Mr. Gates has made in the past, I think that the distinguished Senator from Rhode Island [Mr. Chafee] characterized them very well. Mistakes in judgment, in predicting what will be, or in evaluating a complex set of facts that are very, very difficult to come by, should not be disqualifiers.
In terms of the critical oversight function of the Congress, that is a question which is very much on my mind. I have heard the chairman and the vice chairman speak in complimentary terms on Robert Gates, on his willingness to work with the Intelligence Committees. My own dealings with Mr. Gates since 1987 give me a sense of confidence that, to the extent he made mistakes in not recognizing congressional oversight, he has learned a valuable lesson from such mistakes.
When legislation was considered on the independent inspector general for CIA, Mr. Gates was a proponent of that proposal. And I think that speaks very well for him. That is the only remedial legislation to come out of the Iran-Contra hearings, but in my judgment, it is not sufficient. I am still concerned that we ought to have a statutory time limit--whether it is 24 hours, as in legislation I proposed, or 48 hours as others have proposed. There ought to be such a statutory requirement for the disclosure of covert activity to at least a key group of congressional leaders, even if it be limited only to four of the highest-ranking congressional officials.
But, it is apparent, after efforts to get that legislation that, it simply is not going to be--at least at the present. It may be that the best way to work through that
concern is through confidence-building measures--and the Intelligence Committees are doing a better job than in the past--and to build a tradition where the executive branch will make appropriate disclosures of covert activities to the Congress, as contrasted with the statutory requirement.
When members of the executive branch, or anyone, make misstatements of fact intentionally before the Intelligence Committee or any committees of Congress, I think that it is a very, very grave and serious problem. That is why the legislation which I proposed adds a mandatory minimum sentence of 1 year for anyone who was determined to have committed perjury from the executive branch to the intelligence committees. Maybe it ought to be broader. But that was the place where I started after the experience of the Iran-Contra affair.
That legislation was not favorably received by my colleagues and has not been enacted. It was not a move forward. There is a problem in terms of plea bargaining, as we have had some experience recently, but I make reference to that to underscore the very deep personal concern which I have about executive branch officials, especially members of the intelligence community, who appear before the legislative branch committees and do not tell the truth intentionally and knowingly.
I think there is another factor that requires a moment or two, Mr. President. It has already been touched upon by others. I do think we have to establish realistic standards for the confirmation of nominees. There may not be enough perfect people inside the beltway to fill the Cabinet and there may not be enough people outside the beltway either. It is much tougher to sit in confirmation hearings at the witness table than in the Senators' swivel chairs. That is something we have to take into account.
Senators' questions and characterizations and conclusions may go a bit too far at times. If we have a man who has the innate intelligence and capability of a Robert Gates, who has served in the highest levels of Government and who went through a period where serious questions were raised about his assistance to Director Casey in the preparation of Director Casey's misleading testimony to the Congress
about the diversion of funds, but since has performed in an exemplary fashion in a very high-level job, then I think that the preferable course, considering his capability, is to move ahead with his confirmation.
On a slightly lighter side, I can personally attest to Robert Gates' good educational background. He and I went to the same elementary school in Wichita, KS.
I think it is time, Mr. President, to move on, to look to the future. It would also be my hope that there will be serious consideration and the enactment of legislation which will move to correct the risk of politicization of intelligence information. It has been apparent for the better part of two decades that there are strong reasons to revise the legislation enacted in 1947 by separating out the functions of the Director of Central Intelligence from the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Those conclusions came forth during the Church committee hearings of the midseventies. Those conclusions were articulated by Secretary of State George Shultz when he testified during the Iran-Contra hearings about the cooking of intelligence information. I think that it is a subject which will likely engage Robert Gates if and when he is confirmed.
During the Iran-Contra hearings, and my time on the Senate Intelligence Committee in 1986 and 1987, it seemed to me that that legislative change in the structure of intelligence was very important.
I introduced legislation on October 27, 1987, Senate bill 1820 in the 100th Congress, to separate out the job of the Director of Central Intelligence from the day-to-day management of the Central Intelligence Agency. That legislation was reintroduced in the 101st Congress, Senate bill 175 on January 25, 1989, and the 102d Congress, Senate bill 421 on February 9 of this year. There have been efforts made by the chairman of the Intelligence Committee to move forward with the schedule of hearings on reorganization, but because of a very, very crowded agenda, that has not occurred. It is my hope that this legislation, S. 421, will be taken up very promptly.
I commend the distinguished chairman of the committee and
the distinguished vice chairmen for their laborious efforts, and the entire Intelligence Committee for undertaking a very, very difficult and excellent job.
For the reasons I have outlined, Mr. President, I intend to vote later this afternoon for the confirmation of Robert Gates. I thank the Chair and yield the floor.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Who yields time?
Mr. BRADLEY. Mr. President, I suggest the absence of a quorum.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
Mr. BRADLEY. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for the quorum call be rescinded.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
Mr. BRADLEY. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the quorum call be assessed to each side.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection? Without objection, it is so ordered.
Mr. BRADLEY. I suggest the absence of a quorum.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
Mr. BRADLEY. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for the quorum call be rescinded.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
Mr. BRADLEY. Mr. President, I yield 10 minutes to the Senator from Maryland.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Maryland [Mr. Sarbanes] is recognized for up to 10 minutes.
Mr. SARBANES. Mr. President, on the September 29, the Baltimore Sun ran an editorial headed `Regarding Robert Gates: No;; in which were raised the following questions:
How credible is the nominee when he claims be cannot remember conversations about the Iran-Contra affair that are specifically recalled by close associates at the Central Intelligence Agency?
How good is his judgment in light of this admitted failure to perceive weakness in the Soviet Union, his supposed area of expertise, and the way his anti-communist zeal resulted in positions that were more advocacy than analysis?
What about the integrity of the advice he gives the government when one considers the allegations of CIA insiders that during his tenure as deputy CIA Director he slanted reports and analysis to confirm to the political views of President Reagan and the late CIA chief, William J. Casey?
What management skills will be bring to the huge $25-billion-a-year agency if there is any truth to charges that he damaged morale and created turmoil in the intelligence sector?
Those are all very central and troubling questions about the nominee and have been addressed in varying detail by many of my colleagues who have spoken on the floor and also in the report from the Select Committee on Intelligence.
This editorial was written as the committee reopened its hearing on the nomination of Robert Gates as Director of Central Intelligence. In raising the questions cited above, the editorial writers had made, it appears, their judgment about Robert Gates because later is the editorial concludes, `What the Senate must decide in whether he is the right man to protect this country. We think not.'
Furthermore, they came back on the November 5 after the Intelligence committee completed action and reaffirmed, in the light of the hearings, their judgment in an editorial headed: `Gates: Less than the CIA Deserves.'
And they conclude that second editorial by saying, `We have said before the CIA deserves better than Robert Gates.' And in the course of reaching that conclusion, the editorial points, again to the very questions which they raised earlier--his knowledge about the Iran-Contra scandal, the slanting of intelligence analysis to please his superiors, the undermining of the moral of subordinates.
Now, Mr. President, in a like vein, the New York Times has commented about Mr. Gates, first on October 18, 1991, when they said, and I quote them:
These have not been steller years for the Central Intelligence Agency. Even with the distinguished outsider Judge William Webster in charge, the once proud agency has, at least to public perception, flunked. Who there anticipated the fall of the Berlin Wall, the aggression of Saddam Hussein, the implosion of the Soviet Union?
Nevertheless, President Bush contends he needs an experienced insider and has nominated Robert Gates to be Director of Central Intelligence.
Mr. Gates has done his best to dispel the doubts that forced him to withdraw when he was first nominated in 1987. He has seemed contrite and open-minded and cites his broad experience and future vision. But Senators would do well to consider at least three criteria:
Whether his past performance shows him to warrant their trust * * * whether he has earned the confidence of agency employees * * * and above all, whether he, an insider, is the right person to lead the agency into uncertain times. On each count, Mr. Gates falls short.
Just recently, on November 4, the Times in an editorial entitled `Mr. Gates's Past the CIA's Future' repeated its reservations about Mr. Gates:
All three reservations about Mr. Gates--is denying knowledge of Iran-Contra, slanting intelligence and winking at reporting requirements--suggest that he is a man used to doing business the old way. Yet a new era requires new ways. The Senate would mortgage the CIA's future to its past and deny Congress's constitutional role of oversight if it confirmed Mr. Gates as CIA Director.
Now, Mr. President, why do we find ourselves having this debate over one of the most sensitive positions in Government. Obviously, one would like to have a nominee to be the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency who was so clearly an outstanding choice that there was virtually no debate and that it went through with the unanimous approval of the Members of the Senate. Instead, we find ourselves wrestling with a nominee whose record raises very serious questions and, in my opinion, reasonable justifiable doubts.
I wish to address for just a moment the standard we ought to be applying to nominees especially to highly sensitive and important positions. One of the assertions made is that nominees to the executive branch are there to assist the President in carrying out his responsibilities for that branch of the National Government, the branch for which he
is directly responsible, and therefore the President is entitled to his person unless the Senate finds that person to be disqualified. In other words, under this approach the presumption is with the nominee and the burden is upon the Senate to disqualify the nominee. That approach leads the Senate into a very intense exchange about whether individuals are being treated fairly and justly on a personal level when in my opinion the personal considerations in the sense of someone having to be disqualified in order not to vote for him ought not to be the standard.
Now, that is particularly true when we talk about a critical position such as the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. With respect to other executive branch appointees, Assistant Secretaries in a department for example perhaps more can be made of the argument that the President ought to have the person he wants to help him run the administration, although I must say, Mr. President, even there it is my view that the standard for passing on nominees has deteriorated badly. It has almost reached the point that unless the nominee is mentally certifiable or criminally indictable there is the presumption that we are supposed to confirm and support the President's nominees.
That is not my view. I think nominees for high public office must make the case as to why they should be confirmed. The burden is upon those advancing and supporting the nominee to show why the nominee ought to gain the consent of the Senate to hold the position. The President's selection of the person is not determinative and it does not shift the responsibility on to the Members of the Senate to demonstrate what is wrong with the nominee. The burden is on those making the nomination to demonstrate what is right. There is not an entitlement to high public office.
I can quite easily take the view that someone is a perfectly fine person, that he has significant abilities, but is not the person for the particular job at the particular time, that he has not carried the burden of demonstrating why he should obtain the affirmative approval of the Members of the Senate.
Will the Senator yield me 2 more minutes, please.
Mr. BRADLEY. I yield 2 additional minutes.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator is recognized for 2 additional minutes.
Mr. SARBANES. I think in this instance, Mr. President, there are sufficient questions about Mr. Gates' past performance, sufficient doubts about his conduct at the CIA that he ought not to be confirmed by the Senate.
I note that he left the CIA in January 1989 and went to a policy position at the National Security Council as Deputy Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs. So he has been very much involved in policymaking and has, in a sense, a vested interest in the policies that have been adopted in the course of his tenure at the National Security Council, a position that he went to from being the Deputy Director of the CIA.
It is not as though he had been at the agency continuously and was now being moved up from the deputy directorship. He has been a major policy player since the beginning of this administration at the National Security Council. This, of course, will only raise again the question that was raised by some of the CIA people at the hearings about his earlier performance in shading intelligence reports, in effect politicizing the agency.
There has been a rebuttal to these charges. I know those supporting him do not agree with the charges, but I do not know that they have yet asserted that the doubts raised by such charges are utterly beyond the framework where reasonable people may draw a different conclusion.
In other words, while people may draw different conclusions from this set of facts, the questions and doubts raised about Gates have a factual basis--they are not being constructed out of whole cloth. There is substance upon which to premise these serious questions that I quoted from the newspaper editorials, which are being raised about the nominee.
Clearly, there is a factual basis for those serious questions. People may draw different conclusions. My own conclusion is that it raises sufficient doubt and questions about that this nominee, particularly given the sensitive nature of the position, that Robert Gates ought not to be confirmed.
Therefore, I will oppose the nomination.
Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to have the editorials from the Baltimore Sun and the New York Times previously referred to printed in the Record.
There being no objection, the articles were ordered to be printed in the Record, as follows:
As Senate hearings reopen this week on the nomination of Robert M. Gates as Director of Central Intelligence, troubling questions continue:
How credible is the nominee when he claims he cannot remember conversations about the Iran-contra affair that are specifically recalled by close associates at the Central Intelligence Agency?
How good is his judgment in light of his admitted failure to perceive weakness in the Soviet Union, his supposed area of expertise, and the way his anti-Communist zeal resulted in positions that were more advocacy than analysis?
What about the integrity of the advice he gives the government when one considers the allegations of CIA insiders that during his tenure as deputy CIA director he slanted reports and analyses to conform to the political views of President Reagan and the late CIA chief, William J. Casey?
What management skills will be bring to the huge $25-billion-a-year agency if there is any truth to charges that he damaged morale and created turmoil in the intelligence sector?
That Mr. Gates carries a lot of baggage in these four important categories--credibility, judgment, integrity and management--is hardly news to the White House or to members of the Senate Intelligence Committee. When he was first nominated as DCI in 1987, his convenient bouts of amnesia about Iran-contra led to his withdrawal. Questions were also raised about the reliability and objectivity of the views he would advance at the highest level.
Yet George Bush, the ex-CIA director-turned president, has chosen Mr. Gates to head his old agency. The question is why? And the answer may lie in the description of Mr. Gates as the `quintessential staff person' by Intelligence Committee chairman David Boren, a Gates backer. For the past three years, Mr. Gates has been on the White House staff as assistant national security adviser. Obviously, the president is comfortable with him.
Perhaps Mr. Bush wants a `quintessential staff person' at the CIA so he can be sure his views for reshaping the post-Cold War agency to emphasize intelligence-gathering rather than operations will be obediently enforced.
Or perhaps, more unkindly, the president likes to stick it to Senate Democrats by offering top-level nominees who are hard to swallow. [Note continuing upset over the nomination of Judge Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court.]
We have no doubt that Mr. Gates is a thoroughly trained professional who knows the ways of Washington and can be counted upon to protect himself, his agency and the White House.
What the Senate must decide is whether he is the right man to protect this country. We think not. With the collapse of Soviet power, the CIA can no longer trot out the Soviet bogyman on any occasion to justify dubious convert operations or imprudent uses of U.S. resources and prestige. It needs leadership in which intellectual depth, vision and honesty are beyond question.
Now that the Senate Intelligence Committee has voted 11-4 to confirm Robert M. Gates as head of the Central Intelligence Agency, it seems likely the full Senate will concur today. If Mr. Gates knew more about the Iran-contra scandal than he confessed, if he slanted intelligence analysis to please his bosses in the Reagan administration, if he browbeat subordinates and undermined morale, apparently more senators don't want to know. They are learning the uses of `deniability,' a field in which Mr. Gates is an expert.
One of the key votes in the Senate will be cast by Georgia's Sam Nunn, an influential member of the intelligence panel. In voting tentatively to confirm at committee level, Mr. Nunn came up with this Delphic utterance: `I have serious reservations, primarily about the signal being sent to the men and women in the intelligence community about how you get to the top in this town.'
What `signal' did Senator Nunn have in mind? Is it a career-climber's willingness to kowtow to his superiors? That is an instinct hardly confined to the executive branch. Or is it something more specific--Mr. Gates' success in cultivating key members of Congress, especially Sen. David Boren, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee?
It is no secret that Senator Boren worked hard to rehabilitate Mr. Gates after he chose to withdraw his first nomination to head the CIA four years ago because of unanswered questions about Iran-contra. The Oklahoma Democrat reportedly made sure Mr. Gates was included in select gatherings and met the best people. One of the reasons, aside from personal chemistry, may have been Mr. Gates' assiduity in briefing Senate and House intelligence panels on CIA activities. Mr. Boren felt he was being leveled with--and said so. Four years ago, Mr. Gates described these efforts and commented that `Congress may actually have more influence today over the CIA's priorities and its allocation of resources than the executive branch.'
Oh? That happended to be the time the late CIA chief William Casey and his sidekick, Oliver North, were misusing the CIA in the secret and illegal Iran-contra operation while Mr. Gates made it his business not to know--and, consequently, not to have to inform Congress.
We have said before the CIA deserves better than Robert Gates. If that is not to be, we hope he proves our misgivings misplaced and provides his troubled agency with needed direction. Senator Boren maintains this will require `the most sweeping changes in the intelligence community since the CIA was created almost half-century ago.'
These have not been stellar years for the Central Intelligence Agency. Even with the distinguished outsider Judge William Webster in charge, the once-proud agency has, at least to public perception, flunked. Who there anticipated the fall of the Berlin wall, the aggression of Saddam Hussein, the implosion of the Soviet Union?
Nevertheless, President Bush contends he needs an experienced insider and has nominated Robert Gates to be Director of Central Intelligence, a choice the Senate Intelligence Committee votes on today. There are strong reasons to vote no.
Mr. Gates has done his best to dispel the doubts that forced him to withdraw when he was first nominated in 1987. He has seemed contrite and open-minded and cites his broad experience and future vision. But senators would do well to consider at least three criteria:
Whether his past performance shows him to warrant their trust * * * whether he has earned the confidence of agency employees * * * and above all, whether he, an insider, is the right person to lead the agency into uncertain times. On each count, Mr. Gates falls short.
David Boren, the committee chairman, commends Mr. Gates for forthrightness. Yet he overlooks occasions when Mr. Gates helped skew intelligence assessments and was demonstrably blind to illegality. The illegality concerned the Iran-contra scandal. Mr. Gates contends he was `out of the loop' on decisions about what to tell Congress. And he defends his professed ignorance on grounds of deniability--that he was shielding the C.I.A. from involvement. These contentions defy belief.
The testimony of others puts Mr. Gates, on at least two occasions, very much in the loop. He supervised preparation of Director William Casey's deceitful testimony to Congress about the scandal. And one C.I.A. analyst, Charles Allen, says he informed Mr. Gates, before it came to light, of three unforgettable details: Oliver North's involvement, the markup of prices of arms sold surreptitiously to Iran, and diversion of the proceeds into a fund for covert operations. In a telling lapse of his reputedly formidable memory, Mr. Gates could not recall the details when Congress asked two months later.
The second criterion concerns intelligence estimates. Incorrect forecasting should not be disqualifying; estimates can be wrong for the right reasons. But when they're wrong for reasons of political expediency, that's `cooking the books.'
The hearings have documented at least three cases of such slanting: a May 1985 estimate on Iran, estimates of Soviet influence in the third world, and assessment of Soviet complicity in the assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II. Mr. Gates has responded to their testimony but not refuted it. He evidently went to great lengths to manipulate the process, because highly reticent career officials testified against him in public. That electrifying development demonstrates how little confidence Mr. Gates enjoys in the agency.
It can be argued that his experience makes him well suited to lead the C.I.A. into the future. As a former Deputy Director and deputy national security adviser, he knows how intelligence assessments are put together and what policy makers need. And he knows the U.S. will not keep spending $30 billion a year on intelligence.
But it is more reasonable to think the agency would be better off with a director unbound by William Casey's dark legacy--the conviction that the agency knows best, a barely concealer contempt for Congress and a belief that anything goes, including evading he law. Reshaping the agency wisely depends on casting off that legacy.
Thomas Polgar, a C.I.A. veteran, urged the committee to consider the message that confirmation would send. Would officials wonder whether it was wise for outspoken witnesses to risk their careers by testifying? Would they say to themselves, `Serve faithfully the boss of the moment; never mind integrity? Feel free to mislead the Senate--senators forget easily?'
By voting no, senators will vote to remember.
When the Senate votes tomorrow on the nomination of Robert Gates, it will be judging more than his fitness to lead the Central Intelligence Agency out of the past. It will be judging its own fitness to oversee intelligence.
The confirmation hearings did little to dispel doubts that Mr. Gates misled Congress during the Iran-contra scandal. They reinforced suspicions that he tailored intelligence estimates to please his superiors. And they raised questions about his role during the Iran-Iraq war.
Even so, the Senate Intelligence Committee chose to give Mr. Gates the benefit of the doubt, voting 11 to 4 in favor of confirmation. That vote sends and unfortunate message: Instead of overseeing intelligence, the Committee chose to look the other way. Now it's up to the Senate to confront Mr. Gates's past and say he's not fit to lead the C.I.A. into the future.
The Iran-contra question is simple. Did Mr. Gates know about the illegal diversion of proceeds from arms sales to Iran to the Nicaraguan contras? In 1985 and again in 1987, he told Congress he knew nothing about it. He clings to his story--despite evidence that he was warned about it in some detail by subordinates.
Charges that Mr. Gates slanted intelligence assessments, leaving Congress in the dark and more amenable to Administration policy, stand unrefuted. He now acknowledges suppressing dissent to a 1985 intelligence estimate justifying the covert sale of arms to Iran.
Then, when he was accused of `killing' estimates that showed waning Soviet activity in the third world, he obliquely acknowledged that he `may have found a specific paper inadequate.'
Further, Mr. Gates distributed an assessment making the case for Soviet complicity in the attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II and endorsed it, enthusiastically, as `the C.I.A.'s first comprehensive examination' of the issue. A C.I.A. post-mortem found that `no one at the working level other than the two primary authors of the paper * * * agreed with [its] thrust.'
The hearings left another question dangling: did Mr. Gates play a role in suspected intelligence-sharing and arms transfers with Iraq? The C.I.A., the committee concludes, shared vital intelligence with Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war and failed to report it to Congressional intelligence committees, as required by law.
A related question, let unanswered and still troubling to some senators, was whether the C.I.A., which is supposed to monitor suspicious arms deals, looked the other way while U.S. companies unlawfully armed Iraq as well as Iran.
All three reservations about Mr. Gates--his denying knowledge of Iran-contra, slanting intelligence and winking at reporting requirements--suggest that he is a man used to doing business the old way. Yet a new era requires new ways. The Senate would mortgage the C.I.A.'s future to its past and deny Congress's constitutional role of oversight if it confirmed Mr. Gates as C.I.A. director.
Mr. BOREN. Mr. President, I yield 15 minutes to my colleague from New Hampshire, Senator Rudman.
Mr. RUDMAN. Mr. President----
Mr. COHEN. Will the Senator yield for a question or two?
Mr. RUDMAN. I am pleased to yield to my colleague from Maine.
Mr. COHEN. Mr. President, earlier, a suggestion was made that Mr. Charles Allen had presented some detailed references to conversations he had with Mr. Gates, and Mr. Gates did not recall in great detail all of those particular references.
I notice in the Committee report at the top of page 14, there is listed the items that Mr. Allen alleges he told Mr. Gates in their October 1, 1986 meeting. It is my understanding of the evidence that Mr. Allen presented some testimony on prior occasions back in 1986 and 1987, and in those prior statements, he neglected to mention the items marked letters C, D, and E in the Committee report.
On the bottom of page 14, Mr. Allen, when asked about these disparities, said he had more `time to reflect and think clearly' about this meeting.
My question to the Senator from New Hampshire, who had vast experience in trying many, many law cases: Does he not find that one's memory tends to be fresher closer to the events, rather than 5 years after the events?
Mr. RUDMAN. Mr. President, I think that is absolutely correct. But what this particular hearing demonstrated to me was that when you expose potential witnesses to an incredible amount of data, some of which they were unaware of at the time of the event they being questioned about, they have marvelous recollection.
There is a problem in determining what they really knew at the time, which I do not think we were able to find out from
Mr. COHEN. I thank the Senator.
One more point. Again, reference was made to the fact that Mr. Gates did not look at Colonel North's notes or diary. The Senator from New Hampshire had occasion to serve on the Iran-Contra Committee, as several of us had that opportunity. Did he not find that those notations would not have carried very much relevance in terms of the inquiry, because they found that the notes were embellished from time to time on the part of Colonel North?
Mr. RUDMAN. I do not think there is any question but that the only person who could understand precisely what the diaries meant was Colonel North himself.
Mr. President, I want to start out by saying that this hearing took place virtually contemporaneously with the Thomas hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. The events were taking place virtually simultaneously. And for that reason, there was not as much public attention on the Gates hearing that I think we would have seen otherwise.
But there is no question in my mind that several important things came out of that hearing--and it was run remarkably well, efficiently, and in an extraordinarily bipartisan manner. People were courteous on both sides and tried to get the truth. One important thing that came out of that hearing is this: it is probably impossible to serve this Government in major positions over a period of 20 to 25 years and be able to come before a Senate committee for confirmation to a Cabinet-level post with clean hands.
I also have come to the conclusion that if one serves here in this body for 12 years--in the atmosphere in which we are operating, no matter how extraordinary and exemplary that record might have been over those 12 or more years--it would be virtually impossible to run in a political campaign in the atmosphere that we now run in a hearing. If we did, much of your constituency would think that you probably did a majority of very bad things during your 12-year period.
The fact is that these hearings have become a forum not only for examinations of policy and of background, but to a large extent, an excruciatingly painful examination of what you remember and when you remembered it. It is governed to some extent by guilt by association, and to a large extent an impugning of one's integrity and character, based on only a microcosm of the service you have rendered your country. To some extent, I think that is what happened in these hearings.
I am not going to take a lot of time today to go over all of the evidence. I think people have heard it, and people will be able to make up their minds. I simply say this. On the Iran-Contra affair, which has been the subject of comments of at least eight Members of the Senate in relation to this nomination, I want to make clear on the floor what I made clear at the hearing: there are two separate events--the sale of arms to Iran, and the illegal diversion of funds to the Contras.
The former, although incredibly ill-timed, and incredibly stupid, was legal. It was the subject of a finding of the President of the United States, and the CIA was directed to carry out whatever portion of those duties it had to carry out, as was DOD.
But during these hearings, people attempted to charge Bob Gates with knowledge of that, as if there was something improper about him having knowledge about the sale of arms. Of course, he had knowledge of that affair. He was in a position of importance at the CIA. Part of the time he was Director of Intelligence; and part of the time he was Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. He had great knowledge of that, and vehemently disagreed with the policy.
The second part of Iran-Contra which would be the smoking gun, concerns knowledge of the diversion of funds to the Contras. I was glad to hear the majority leader say that he did not draw a definite conclusion from the evidence that we had, nor was he in fact attempting to have a guilt-by-association factor. I know the majority leader to mean what he said. That is a fair conclusion.
But others have indicated that, because he was informed about the diversion on the first of October 1986, roughly 47 days, I
believe, before it became public to the world, that somehow this brought Mr. Gates into the clan, if you will, of the Contra part of the Iran-Contra affair.
That is ludicrous. What did Bob Gates do at the time? I think he did what most deputies would do. He told Mr. Allen to prepare some information. By Allen's own testimony, he delayed that 7 or 8 days. When it was completed, he said: `We will take it to Director Casey, and then we will take it to the General Counsel.' What else was he supposed to do? Some suggested he should have gone to the President of the United States.
I have to say, Mr. President, that I do not know too many deputies of agencies in this city discovering information, short of treason, that would go to the President of the United States and say: Mr. President, I have something I want to tell you.
There may be a few, but that is not the real world. To accuse Bob Gates of not going to the President is grossly unfair. I want to leave these charges about Iran-Contra, what he knew and what he forgot and move on to other areas.
Incidentally, he was charged by some in our committee of not having perfect recollection of things that happens 5 years before, and in his previous testimony in 1987, events that were 18 months before. I defy any of my colleagues to do an experiment with me. Take your calendar not from 5 years ago or 18 months ago; I want you to take it from 2 weeks ago. Take one appointment on your calendar with someone of significance, and you tell me what happened in that meeting. I guarantee you from my own experience that when you go to the person who was there, one of you will leave something out or have a different interpretation of the meeting.
But our committees demand instant, perfect recollection from all witnesses. If you don't have it, you are either lying or you are holding back. It is not fair.
Let me talk briefly about this whole issue of politicization.
I thought the most remarkable part of those hearings was the closed session we had, I believe it was on a Wednesday evening, in which we heard the most damaging testimony from
one witness in particular. The other two witnesses were interesting, but I did not find their testimony particularly probative because in neither instance was it first hand. But as to this one witness, it was first-hand testimony.
We all became alarmed by that testimony. There was unanimity amongst Republicans and Democrats that this testimony was so important that we must make it public because it was not classified. The portion of it that was, classified we would get sanitized.
The following Monday or Tuesday--I forget the date--we had an open session. Remarkably the witness that had given the most damaging testimony against Mr. Gates in closed session, never expecting that testimony to see the light of day--and that is very, very important--this individual went before this committee in a closed session and no one had reason to believe that testimony ever would become public. And it did go public and guess what? The testimony changed. Some of the most serious charges were left out.
I will not detail all of it, but let me just give you one example. In respect to the witness, I will not use names. Senators, who will vote today, know who I am talking about. The witness made an accusation in the closed session that William Webster, one of the men with the greatest amount of integrity that I know in this city--a man who is unchallenged by anyone as to his integrity and the verity of what he says--did not trust Bob Gates and was having investigations done. The witness testified to Bob Gates' politicization of the agency, and that Judge Webster was working around Gates. He was insulating Gates from certain information. The witness made the flat-out statement that Judge Webster gave instructions that Gates was not to be told about an investigation on politicization.
I will tell you, Mr. President, when I heard that, as I sat at the hearings, my hair kind of stood up a little bit and I felt a little tingle. I said if that is true, this nominee has a big problem because Bill Webster knows something we do not know, we have to call him as a public witness. I called the former Director the next morning, and this was his first day in
private life, and said, `Bill, a witness has said `thus and so.' I have no idea, anything about it, but it is important that you respond to it. I am having delivered to you a transcript of that portion that was unclassified, a portion of that statement that he gave that relates to you. I do not care what you do, but please check it out, write back to me, and I will share it with the committee.' And he did.
And the bottom line was that there was not a shred of truth to what this witness had said.
I read it to the witness at that hearing, and asked him if he would like to correct the record, because Mr. Webster has now said that that is not true. And, by the way, the witness' statement was that it was based on hearsay; he did not know of that of his own knowledge. He refused to correct the record. He said, `I have my opinions,' to which I simply responded that he was entitled to his own opinions but not to his own facts.
I make that one point for this reason: There was something fundamentally wrong with some of the testimony that we listened to on such an important matter. It threatened the integrity, the basic honesty of this public servant. It was based on hearsay, based on innuendo, based on rumor. This was the panel that could have been the killer panel to the Gates' nomination. Had we not been fortunate enough to do some scrambling the next several days and found out that what many of the witnesses had said was just basically either not so, or subject to different interpretation or rebuttable, then we might not be on this floor today.
Bob Gates has made some mistakes in his life, mistakes of judgment, not mistakes out of malice, or being devious. He has made mistakes which all of us make in life, and I would call these, mistakes of nonfeasance. But one must remember with respect to William Casey, who is now deceased, Bob Gates was in fact his deputy during much of this period. There is no question in my mind that that had to be one of the most difficult assignments of any deputy to any Cabinet level officer in this town. Nonetheless, to charge Bob Gates with anything that Bill Casey may have done is grossly unfair.
Mr. President, there is a lot more I could say about the activities of some of the people within the agency both for and against Bob Gates.
First, I do not believe people who work in a Government agency ought to try to influence the outcome of a nominee who would be their boss. I think that is incorrect and I will talk about that at some other time.
Second, I want to say that there is no question in my mind that there is no one I know--other than Admiral Inman, who has not been nominated--who has the capacity to do what must be done at the CIA over the next several years. As the defense budget falls--and it will fall precipitously in my view--so will the CIA budget fall, particularly in the area of covert operations. We will need a careful reorganization by someone who understands it, who has spent a lifetime there and has the confidence of most of the people there. And I must say that in conversations I have had with many people, I believe Bob Gates has the confidence of the majority of people who work in the Agency.
More importantly he has the confidence of the President of the United States who feels that Bob Gates has told it to him as it is, not as Bob Gates would like it to be. He is a man with a distinguished career of public service who has served his country well.
Many of us know him and have worked with him. I also rely on the opinions of the chairman and on Senator Cohen, who was then the vice chairman. There was a refreshing new relationship they had with the CIA during the period that Bob Gates was the Acting Director.
Mr. President, I am pleased and proud to stand up for this man who I think has been unfairly and unjustly accused, and I will vote to confirm Robert Gates to be the new Director of Central Intelligence.
I thank the Chair.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Who yields time?
Mr. BRADLEY. Mr. President, how much time remains?
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New Jersey controls 1 hour and 18 minutes.
Mr. BRADLEY. I yield 5 minutes to the distinguished Senator from Washington.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Washington, Mr. Adams, is recognized for up to 5 minutes.
Mr. ADAMS. I thank the Senator from New Jersey.
Mr. President, I rise today in opposition to the confirmation of Robert Gates to be Director of Central Intelligence.
I have reviewed the testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee. I have reviewed the record of the Iran-Contra hearings, and in particular I have reviewed the findings of Senator Kerry's 1988 subcommittee investigation into drug trafficking, law enforcement, and U.S. foreign policy, a committee in which I took part and an investigation in which I was deeply involved.
Even after the Iran-Contra investigation and the lengthy confirmation hearings, there still is a lot we do not know about Mr. Gates. And I am troubled at what I have learned during the course of the hearings, that Senator Kerry and I and others were conducting on drug trafficking in Central America, and the involvement and the lack of information that moved on what the CIA knew and was doing and was not prevented during the tenure of Mr. Gates.
The extensive record that we have here raises some serious questions which have been gone into in great length by others on this floor, but I wish to mention them once again to indicate the concern that I have and why I oppose Mr. Gates.
Questions about Robert Gates' knowledge of Oliver North's secret supply network to funnel Iranian arms sale profits to the Contras. Questions about why Mr. Gates now admits that he should have examined more closely the privatization of U.S. covert activity. Questions about his judgment regarding Soviet military power. Questions about his ability to recognize the new, emerging threats to U.S. security. Questions about the spin he sought to impose on intelligence analyses.
I am especially troubled by Mr. Gates' apparent forgetfulness during his testimony because of the evident depth of his memory in other areas. He is obviously an extremely bright and meticulous man. Retired CIA analyst Harold Ford has testified that he knew Gates to have an almost photographic memory. Yet, Mr. Gates testified that it is not unreasonable for someone to forget events that were not written down. That seems entirely too convenient to me. Or, as Mr. Ford terms it, too clever.
It appears Mr. Gates' cleverness led him to slant intelligence information in order to conform to the particular policy agendas of his boss and mentor, William Casey.
I have heard stated on the floor today, as I was listening to this debate, that he believed the same thing about the Soviet Union. Well, if this was the point that was trying to be made, that he was the same as Mr. Casey, and they therefore, gave us a false impression of the Soviet Union and its power, then it is just another reason that he should not be leading the Central Intelligence Agency during this period of change.
Because such actions are a direct threat to U.S. national security. They place in danger the lives of millions of American men and women who serve our country in the military, foreign service, and other official capacities overseas.
The Senate Intelligence Committee chose to investigate four instances of such alleged slanting. These are a 1985 intelligence estimate maintaining that the Soviet Union was gaining influence in Iran; a 1985 memorandum arguing that the Soviets were behind the attempted assassination of the Pope in 1981; a 1986 speech by Mr. Gates which advanced the case for the strategic defense initiative; and a series of Inspector General reports exploring charges of politicization in the Agency's Soviet division.
The hearing record in all four areas--and those four areas are by no means inclusive--points to a dangerous melding of intelligence and policymaking under Robert Gates' watch.
In the Iran memo, Mr. Gates squelched the differing views espoused by the State Department in order to reverse United States policy and send arms to so-called Iranian moderates.
Gates himself now admits the memo about Soviet complicity in the attack on the Pope was based on flimsy evidence. Yet, Mr. Gates' cover memo forwarding it to the President stated that the intelligence review had been comprehensive. In fact, an internal review denounced the report as being skewed some months after Gates sent it to the President. It did, however, support William Casey's theory that the Soviet Union was the cause of most United States foreign policy conflicts--and that seemed to be enough for Mr. Gates.
Mr. Gates also now admits that public speeches by the Director of Intelligence or other senior intelligence officials--such as the one he made supporting the need for SDI--are probably unwise because they give the impression of advocating specific policies. He has vowed not to make any speeches if confirmed. I hope this is true.
The charges of politicization, intimidation, and demoralization among analysts--particularly in the Soviet field--are compelling. After all, even Mr. Gates has expressed worries about politicization. I believe the testimony heard by the committee and the comments by Gates himself give credence to the accusation.
Although charges of politicization are difficult to prove, intimidation and demoralization are not, and they can lead to the same ends: Skewed intelligence assessments. The ideological climate that Casey and Gates created led analysts to change their assessments before they were even submitted. Knowing what was expected of them and afraid to challenge their superiors, analysts changed their reports to conform to the team position.
This activity is the most threatening to U.S. national security. Robert Gates was in large part responsible, in his capacity as Deputy Director of Central Intelligence and head of the Agency's Intelligence Analysis Division. A man with such a record would hardly seem to be an appropriate choice to lead the CIA. This is particularly true in view of the dramatic reforms that must soon be undertaken in our intelligence system.
I am concerned that an intelligence community led by Robert Gates might miss the new threats that are challenging our security. The early identification and analysis of these threats and the reorganization of our intelligence agencies to counter them will be the primary challenge of post-cold-war intelligence.
Mr. Gates' record in this area is not impressive. One of the most important emerging threats to our security and, indeed, to the security of our hemisphere is the growth of drug trafficking and the accompanying spread of narco-terrorism. Yet, the Kerry subcommittee investigation discovered that during William Casey's tenure--when Robert Gates was a senior intelligence officer and even Casey's executive assistant--U.S. intelligence systematically turned to blind eye to drug trafficking being carried out through the CIA covert supply networks and by those on the CIA payroll. The administration's overriding and exaggerated concern over the potential spread of communism in Central America led U.S. intelligence, in turn, to downplay other threats to our security from the region.
A similar charge can be made about the portrayal of the Soviet threat under Gates' watch. In 1983, when Gates was Deputy Director for Intelligence, he testified before a congressional panel that CIA analysts had overestimated Soviet military spending. According to Raymond Garthoff, a friend of Gates', Gates told him that he had presented his analysis without checking with his superiors. Yet, this was precisely the time when the Reagan administration was hyping the Soviet threat. And when Gates became Deputy Director of Central Intelligence, he gave great emphasis to Soviet space capabilities, while downplaying intelligence that ran counter to that assertion.
Robert Gates is not the right candidate for the vital reform of U.S. intelligence agencies that will be required in the coming years. The entire focus and mission of U.S. intelligence has shifted. No one has yet articulated what that shift will mean in terms of the operational and philosophical role of the CIA. That job waits for the new Director of Intelligence. It is a task of enormous significance and importance for our country.
Robert Gates is a Casey man. He represents the traditional intelligence mentality, forged in the cold war climate of the postwar period. He is a conservative ideologically and he is a conservative professionally--the consummate good bureaucrat.
Robert Gates has testified that, when he began to have serious concerns about the manner in which the Agency was approaching the Soviet Union--when he began to question whether in fact the Agency might be missing major political and economic developments within that country--he wrote a memo. However, he went no further in pressing his views because he was fearful he might step on someone else's toes.
President Bush has placed great emphasis on the fact that Robert Gates is a career intelligence analyst. He apparently believes this is sufficient to qualify him to lead the CIA into the post-cold-war era. On the contrary, Mr. Gates is too closely associated with the mistakes and the politics of the past. What is more, I am concerned that, just as he slanted intelligence estimates to meet Casey's policy standards, he is now saying what he thinks the Senate wants to hear. U.S. security and intelligence deserve a strong, new voice. A voice that can both assess accurately the incredible changes that are sweeping the globe and fashion an intelligence system that will serve adequately U.S. interests in this post-Communist age.
For those reasons, I will vote against the confirmation of Robert Gates to be Director of Central Intelligence.
The PRESIDING OFFICER (Ms. Mikulski). Who yields time?
Mr. SIMPSON. Madam President, I yield myself 10 minutes from the proponents.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered. The Senator may proceed.
Mr. SIMPSON. I thank the Presiding Officer.
Madam President, I wish to speak in support of the nomination of Robert Gates to be the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.
President Bush has nominated Robert Gates because he believes deeply in his abilities to lead the CIA. The confirmation hearings conducted by the Intelligence Committee have dealt effectively with every single issue raised by his opponents.
And I want to acknowledge the chairman and the ranking member of the committee. They have done a superb job, in a very fine bipartisan way, to present this issue before the Senate. I commend Senator Boren, Senator Murkowski, and the members of the committee in doing that in a very able way.
In the final analysis, the hearings have proven that Robert Gates is a sound, sensible, reasonable, and competent nominee.
Over the past 2 years, the world has been rapidly changing. We need someone like Robert Gates at the helm of the CIA in order that the intelligence community can adapt swiftly to those changing circumstances.
It has been my personal privilege to come to know Robert Gates. I met him many years ago. He and his very lovely wife, Rebecca, and mutual friends joined us together in several social activities and I came to know the essence of the man.
He is a delightful gentleman, a man who listens, a man who will share with us the information, all of the information he can, as he takes on this role of critical importance. And he does it all with great good grace and humility and a very delightful sense of humor, a twinkle in the eye, if you may refer to it.
I particularly recall an evening when he was telling me about the fact that he was telling a neighbor, whom he was speaking with--his wife was working in the District of Columbia schools and he had a cover in the Agency, of the CIA, and his cover was that he was in the Naval Munitions Operation. He went to a reception where his wife was teaching at one of the district schools in Washington, and a fellow in the course of the evening said, `Well, what do you do?'
Bob Gates said, `I work for the Naval Munitions Operation.'
The fellow said, `Well, so do I. Isn't that something?'
Then the fellow said, `What is your office number?'
`Well,' he said, `my office is 242 in Building A-H.'
The fellow then said, `Well, for heaven's sakes, they tore that wing down.'
Then Bob was quite nonplussed and he said, `Well, I really don't get to the office too often.'
So anyone with that view of his cover and the world perhaps can bring a dimension.
The Soviet Union is obviously no longer the military threat that it was. However, the Soviets continue to step up their efforts with regard to industrial espionage and the gathering of technical secrets.
That is disturbing to many of us as we wish them well as they go about their reconstruction and rehabilitation and renewal.
We also need good intelligence regarding rapidly changing events in the Soviet Union. The political situation is evolving rapidly and there is a great deal of instability with regard to the relationship, obviously, between the central government and the Republics. Robert Gates is just the man that can pull together the accurate and firm information we need about the Soviet Union.
We also need good intelligence about China. China continues to disappoint us--to sell arms to radical Third World governments. We need to know if the Chinese are passing on secrets about nuclear weapons programs and we need to know what is happening in China. Here again Robert Gates will be a very credible leader in providing intelligence about these events.
Some of Mr. Gates critics have tried to indicate that he was involved in the Iran-Contra affair. We now know that he was not deeply involved in helping to conceal that diversion. Mr. Gates admits that he should have taken more aggressive action in investigating this matter, but he has always fully cooperated with Congress with regard to all affairs relating to the intelligence community.
Some of his critics have insisted that he politicized intelligence reports and only reported what the President wanted to hear. I believe what really occurred was a simple difference in opinion on the part of CIA analysts and Mr. Gates. The confirmation hearing process made it clear that what was involved were personalities, philosophies, and individual biases. Not the slanting of intelligence.
Other critics of Gates have tried to indicate that he was involved in preparing false testimony before Congress for Bill Casey, the former Director. However, the facts clearly indicate that Robert Gates has not engaged in misleading Congress by preparing misleading or false testimony.
It is so very important that any CIA Director be independent and objective and that he have a good grasp of the technical minutiae involved in intelligence reports. I believe Robert Gates has all of these remarkable attributes and would be an outstanding CIA Director.
President Bush has previously directed the CIA and, indeed, did a marvelous job of that in another role in Government. He fully understands the intelligence-gathering process. And he fully understands the necessity for this Director to fully communicate with the Congress.
So I think the President's selection of Robert Gates to be the new CIA Director is based upon a good understanding of what is expected of this man by those of us in Congress, those on the Intelligence Committee, those within this Nation and internationally. For all of these reasons and many, many more, I believe we should certainly support this nomination. And I am very certain that we will not be disappointed.
The PRESIDENT OFFICER. Who yields time?
Mr. BRADLEY. I yield 15 minutes to the distinguished Senator from Georgia.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Georgia.
Mr. FOWLER. I thank the Senator from New Jersey and my colleagues.
Madam President, I rise in opposition to the nomination of Mr. Robert Gates as CIA Director. I was a charter member of the Intelligence Committee in the House of Representatives and served for 8 years in that capacity, most of which time I was the chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight. And based on that experience, I absolutely believe that a strong and effective intelligence community is essential to our national security.
In fact, a first-rate, or crack intelligence corps is our first and most effective line of defense, in my opinion. All the missiles and military capability in the world do not do us a bit of good if we are not prepared for the specific threats that we face. What good is a 600-ship Navy if we cannot get the right ship to the right place at the right time? How can we make the right decisions about fighting terrorism or combating nuclear weapon proliferation without timely and accurate intelligence information?
During my years in the Congress in both bodies, I have voted for the highest feasible funding of our intelligence operations, simply because they are so crucial to our country. And two of my most treasured awards--though undeserved, I might add--are from my years serving and working with the Intelligence Committee, those awards received from the Central Intelligence Agency, and the National Security Agency.
Thus, it is with some degree of reluctance that I rise to oppose the nomination of Mr. Gates to be the Director of Central Intelligence. But it is precisely because of the importance I attach to our intelligence operations that I oppose his nomination. The reason, in short, is my belief that he is the wrong man to lead our intelligence community at the present time.
It seems to me, at a time when the world is rapidly changing, requiring creativity and the challenging of previous assumptions, we need a Director of Central Intelligence who will foster and support such a creative approach within our intelligence agencies. In such a time, loyalty to the truth is far more important than loyalty to the President.
The Iran-Contra hearings exposed the worst that can happen when our intelligence system is compromised by political shenanigans. The agencies charged with gathering intelligence cannot and should not create policy. The President and the Congress share the responsibility for the foreign policy of the United States. And we must not allow the intelligence community to serve as agents of collection or of corroboration of the policies of any administration. Again, loyalty to the truth is more important than loyalty to the President, any and all Presidents.
I hope we never again have to sit and listen, as we did during the Iran-Contra hearings, to an intelligence official totally misrepresenting the strategic facts of the Iran-Iraq war in order to excuse a policy of arms sales to Iran for which there was no justification.
Though this was done in full support of the official administration position, the results were tragic, as we have seen, for everyone.
When our intelligence is compromised in this fashion, we not only fool ourselves, we hurt ourselves. We also hurt our allies who depend on us. And most important, we compromise our own decisionmaking process, cheating the American public in the process.
Intelligence reports skewed to the predispositions of our political leaders can serve to advance careers and build up loyalty from those leaders. And sometimes a proverbial `kick in the pants' of any bureaucracy, including that of the intelligence community, in the form of a challenge to conventional wisdom, seems to me to be a good thing.
But developing a climate where the conclusions come first and the evidence is then collected to support those conclusions is assuredly not a good thing; it is indeed a dangerous thing when the stakes involve the fate of nations.
Such a climate leads to tilting to Iraq or then to Iran in a war that should have had no favorites from an American perspective. It leads to overestimating the strength of both the Nicaraguan Sandinistas well as their Contra opponents and underestimating the threat from terrorists in Beirut and from Saddam Hussein.
By and large, thankfully, our country's overall intelligence capabilities are impressive. We do have a dedicated, professional, and competent intelligence community. Our technological sophistication is unmatched and, on the whole, our human intelligence network is adequate. We do have analysts who are capable of great insight.
But we also have experienced, in recent times, several significant intelligence failures spoken to in great detail and with great authority by the Senator from New York [Mr. Moynihan], and the Senator from New Jersey [Mr. Bradley], as well as a general decline in morale among our intelligence personnel. When one adds to this the unprecedented challenge to American intelligence posed by the dramatic and rapid change in the world order, it is clearly a time when the American intelligence community needs the very best leadership possible.
I served on the Intelligence Committee, as I mentioned before, Madam President, during the months that Mr. Gates was Deputy Director of the CIA. I do not think it is overall helpful to try to cite chapter and verse my experience with the stress in that high capacity for many reasons, not the least of which most of what was done involves classified information. But I can tell you that after a review of my notes, my own recollections, and a review of the record made in the exhaustive hearings by the Senate Intelligence Committee under the capable leadership of Senator Boren, I simply do not find Mr. Gates' testimony credible in many regards.
The Robert Gates I remember prided himself on an extraordinary memory. The Robert Gates that I remember made us all believers in his extraordinary memory. To use only the examples listed by the majority leader earlier today where that memory now finds itself faulty is beyond this Senator's credulity.
I have the greatest confidence that our intelligence agencies will be able to rise to the challenge that now faces us in an extraordinarily changing world. We need a Director who is not part of the policy of the past, who is not challenged on his role in policies of the past, and who will provide the kind of leadership that is so desperately needed on behalf of our intelligence community and on behalf of our Nation.
I do not believe Mr. Gates is the man for that job. It is on that basis that I oppose the nomination. I yield the floor.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Who yields time?
Mr. BRADLEY. Madam President, I yield 15 minutes to the distinguished Senator from Ohio.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Ohio may proceed for 15 minutes.
Mr. METZENBAUM. Madam President, yesterday I spoke to the deficiencies in the record of Robert Gates.
I believe that those deficiencies warrant the Senate's rejection of his nomination to be Director of Central Intelligence.
Near the end of that statement, I said that `The CIA needs a leader now who can take it from turmoil to triumph,' and that `I think Mr. Gates is the wrong person to whom to give that task.' Today, I want to discuss the CIA's turmoil and the path that U.S. intelligence must take if it is to meet the challenges of tomorrow.
The future is never fully predictable, and the recent past has been filled with surprising events. But some trends for the future of U.S. intelligence seem clear.
First, the end of the cold war brings a need for major revisions in intelligence priorities. Too many intelligence resources, both human and technical, are devoted to the Soviet military.
Second, the end of the cold war brings a need for greater adaptability in U.S. intelligence. For a generation and a half, the threat of nuclear war held countries back from the brink and fostered an ordered world with rigid alliances. Today, countries' alliances are based more on what each has done for the other lately. There will be more crises and more surprises in the future, and we must reorient U.S. intelligence to deal with them.
Third, U.S. intelligence must adjust to these changing times with lower budgets. Mr. Gates agreed with the committee that intelligence budget cuts are inevitable, whether he wants them or not.
For the next Director of Central Intelligence, then, the challenge will be to do more with less. In human terms, the challenge will be to take an institution that has grown and prospered with a clear mission in an ordered world, and reorient it to a new world disorder.
How shall this be done? And who shall do it? Basically, Madam President, there are two approaches one can take. One is a top-down approach, in which the leader lays down the law.
Robert Gates ruled in the top-down style as Deputy Director for Intelligence between 1982 and 1986. He berated his analysts for `analysis that was irrelevant or untimely or unfocused or all three;' He berated them for `closed-minded, smug, arrogant responses to legitimate questions and constructive criticism;' and he berated them for `flabby,
complacent thinking and questionable assumptions.'
I can hardly believe that a person who has used such language with respect to his subordinates can expect to bring the team together and mould that new operation. Those are not the kind of words a leader uses when he is trying to really bring about an esprit de corps.
But that is not Mr. Gates's only problem as a leader. Mr. Gates set himself up as the personal editor of all analyses that went to high-level policymakers and he rejected analyses as much on substantive grounds as on grounds relating to their rigor or their presentation. And no matter how you slice it, no matter who the individual is, you cannot have a one-man team heading up the CIA.
Not only did Mr. Gates have problems as far as the work of his analysts was concerned, he also had a role in easing out several mid-level managers who opposed his views. He placed like-minded analysts in managerial positions within the intelligence directorate. And when existing institutions could not do all that he wanted, he supported the creation of new ones--new offices within the intelligence directorate, new managerial levels within existing offices, and new centers to focus on topics of particular concern.
Mr. Gates's impact has been mixed. Many current or former analysts have told the Intelligence Committee that is efforts led to self--censorship and intelligence failures. Internal CIA investigations cited his multilayered analytic bureaucracy for imposing much of that self-censorship, whether Mr. Gates intended it or not. And new centers, even if they do good work, can conflict with missions performed by regular analytic and operational offices.
Centralized top-down leadership produces as many problems as it solves. We may beat swords into plowshares, but people are flesh and blood and emotion, not iron or steel. Beat them into submission and they will only become sullen and fearful, neither enlightened nor enlivened.
Yet, Madam President, there is another way and we may call it humane management. By this I mean leadership whose goal is to bring people together rather than to kick them along. This approach to management is especially useful when people must be retrained or reoriented to handle new challenges, as they must today.
Change is never easy. Our intelligence officers grew up, were educated, and began their careers in the cold war. For them, as for many of us, the new world disorder will be profoundly unsettling and confusing. They will suffer crises of confidence as they learn new skills and apply themselves to new subjects.
In the new world disorder, U.S. intelligence needs leadership, not authoritarianism. We need a new intelligence system based on a corps of self-confident officers with the flexibility to adjust to changing conditions. They must handle new topics and bring more substantive expertise to their work. They must get out of the diplomatic cocktail parties and into the real world.
We must liberate intelligence analysts from multilayered bureaucracy that stifles their creativity. They need a much more flexible work environment. they need cross-training, so they can move readily from routine assignments to special ones in a crisis. They need broader competence and broader responsibilities. Frankly, we can cut the layers of bureaucracy, reduce the number of analysts and get better analysis for less money, if the CIA has the right leader.
Can we do that with Mr. Gates' management style? He
cited his tutelage under Judge Webster, who emphasized allowing those affected by change to help design the new approaches. That was a side to Mr. Gates which I was pleased to observe.
But when we asked Mr. Gates about his past actions as a manager of intelligence analysis, he reverted to his old form. He denied any errors in his past. He repeated his negative characterizations of dissenting analysts.
I do not doubt that Robert Gates will try to administer the CIA and the rest of the U.S. intelligence community in new ways. Can he do that? I do not know. But I am concerned that his old ways are too ingrained to be that readily changed.
I also believe that Mr. Gates has antagonized and frightened too many intelligence professionals to regain their trust and active support. And it is precisely in this time of wrenching change that people's confidence must be built up, rather than beaten down. We need a leader who can motivate his team to pull together.
If we look at great business successes, both in America and throughout the world, they were not obtained by orders from above. Those successes came through creating a supportive environment in which new ideas were encouraged and professionals were given the leeway to work on them, even though some of those ideas would fail.
What we need today is a leader for U.S. intelligence who will not just make the tough decisions, but also encourage other intelligence officers to pursue their ideas--rigorously and subject to peer review, but also with the sale-confidence that comes from knowing their boss will stick with them.
I ask my colleagues to think hard about what sort of intelligence community they want in the coming years, and I ask them to consider not just Mr. Gates's experience, but the character of that experience. Will that experience lead to creative leadership, or will it be baggage that weighs him down as he strives to refocus U.S. intelligence?
I am intelligent enough to know that Mr. Gates is going to be confirmed this afternoon. He will be confirmed by a rather substantial margin. I wish him well in his new responsibilities. But I hope that he will take stock of some of the problems he has had in the past. He is intelligent enough to understand himself and his past role at the CIA. I hope he will become the kind of leader that will make all of us proud to have him at the head of the CIA. I wish him well. I sincerely hope he succeeds.
My vote will be not to confirm him; but notwithstanding that, I know he will be confirmed. And I am hopeful he will become the great CIA leader that I know everyone in this body, whether they vote for him or not, wishes him to be.
Mr. President, I yield the floor.
Mr. BOREN addressed the Chair.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Who yields time?
Mr. BOREN Madam President, I yield 8 minutes to the distinguished vice chairman Senator Murkowski.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Alaska.
Mr. MURKOWSKI. I thank the Senator.
Madam President, I think it is interesting to reflect, as we wind up the debate on the Gates nomination, that we have within the Intelligence Committee a 15-man committee made up of 7 members of the minority and 8 members of the majority. It is also interesting to note, Madam President, that the vote out of the committee was a resounding 11 to 4. That was made up specifically of seven Republicans and four Democrats.
A particular note of gratitude must be passed to the chairman, Senator Boren. I have enjoyed working with him throughout the year, and I think all Members have indicated in their recitations that the hearings have been fair, the hearings have been bipartisan, the hearings have been comprehensive, enlightening and, I might add, somewhat exhausting.
I commend Senator Boren for his leadership and his vision. I commend the professional staff, which has worked so hard on both sides, for their diligence and thoroughness.
Madam President, my closing statement is going to be brief. We have heard some claims that Mr. Gates should not be confirmed because he imposed his personal views on the CIA and then he represented them as the views of the institution and its analysts.
As former Deputy Director John McMahon told the committee, if Mr. Gates or anyone else actually tried to impose his personal views over the objections of most analysts. There would be a revolt among the analysts, who are indeed a strong-minded group who are not going to be trampled on by Mr. Gates or for that matter, anyone else. I believe we diminish the independence and the intellectual integrity of this group of professionals if we argue otherwise.
Other have said that we should not confirm Robert Gates because the CIA was wrong about the Soviet Union, and that Mr. Gates was somehow to blame. In fact, the record shows that Robert Gates and others at the CIA, as early as 1981, outlined the inherent instability and potential implosion of the Soviet economy.
Others claim that Mr. Gates should not be confirmed because he is somehow a symbol of old cold war thinking and a dated foreign policy that is out of step with the needs and requirements of the new world order.
Well, I believe as most Americans believe, that George Bush has a keen grasp of foreign affairs. His success rate is pretty obvious. He has shown his good judgment again and again, and it is the President's judgment that Robert Gates is the man best equipped to lead the CIA in changing and challenging times. I Do not believe the opponents of Mr. Gates have made a case that calls the President's judgment into question. I think it is fair to say that we all hold the President responsible under our system for those that he chooses on his team.
Some opposing Mr. Gates have resurrected Iran-Contra--referred to it time and time again--and argue that Gates' failure to successfully persuade President Reagan, Director Casey, and Oliver North on the need to inform Congress about the Iranian arms sales--sales that Gates himself opposed--is cause to oppose confirmation. Others claim, by the benefit of all-knowing hindsight--that is cheap around here--that Robert Gates should have known more and done more about the diversion of funds to the Contras once he learned what Ollie North was doing over at the NSC.
Madam President, there was one charge made yesterday on the floor by the Senator from Ohio, Mr. Metzenbaum, that I cannot allow to go unchallenged. The Senator from Ohio, speaking about Colonel North's diversion of funds from the Iran arms sales, said the following:
Mr. Fiers told the committee that he never specifically told Mr. Gates what was going on. But he added that everybody knew what Colonel North was doing, and he believed Mr. Gates must have known as well, at least in general terms. (Congressional Record, Nov. 4, 1991 S-15848.)
That statement might lead one to erroneously conclude that Gates must have known about the illegal diversion. But that is not what Mr. Fiers said. What Mr. Fiers really said was this:
A broad array of people had an understanding of what was happening. Not the diversion, not the sales of weapons to Iran, but that a private benefactor support network for * * * the Contras * * * had been established and was being quarterbacked by Ollie North.' (Hearing record, Sept. 19, 1991, page 70.)
In other words, the Senator from Ohio extended Mr. Fiers' characterization of a general knowledge of the private benefactor program to include a general knowledge of the illegal diversion. Such is not the case, that is not what Mr. Fiers said, and I wanted to correct any misconceptions on that point for the record.
Indeed, our committee has a solid institutional knowledge of Iran-Contra. Three members of our committee, including the chairman, were members of the Select Iran-Contra Committee investigating these matters. It is noteworthy that all three former members of the Iran-Contra Committee who serve on our committee--one on the Republican side and two on the Democratic side--voted to recommend the confirmation of Robert Gates. I think that is most important.
While I am on the subject of remarks made during yesterday's debate, I must comment on a remark made about Cuba by the distinguished Senator from New York [Mr. Moynihan]. Robert Gates, in a 1984 memo to Director Casey, asks the question: `Can the United States stand a second Cuba in the Western, Hemisphere? One need only look at the difficulty Cuba has caused over the past 25 years to answer that question.'
Senator Moynihan points to that statement and contends that Cuba really has not caused us any difficulties for the past 25 years except that `it has been difficult to come by a genuine Monte Cristo cigar.'
Well, Madam President, I have the highest regard for Senator Moynihan and his capabilities as an astute observer of world events. In this instance I must assume that he was trying to liven up our debate with a little humor.
My own view of Cuba during the last 25 years is that of a nation determined to ferment and export revolution and disruption at every turn. I believe that events in Angola, Granada, El Salvador, and Nicaragua bear this out.
Indeed, has Cuba ever caused us difficulties? Recall the instance when, in a particularly cynical episode, Castro emptied his jails of hardened criminals and sent them to Florida in the 1979 Mariel boat lift. Ask either of our Senate colleagues from Florida, Senators Graham and Mack, if Cuba has caused us any difficulties.
I contrast my view with that of the good Senator from New York, not to engage in a debate about Cuba, but to point out how reasonable people can come to different interpretations of the facts. I have one view about Cuba, and Senator Moynihan has another.
The same concept is found throughout the debate in our committee on whether Bob Gates' view of certain events was or was not supportable either by facts, or by a persuasive marshaling of facts and history.
When Robert Gates headed the analysis side of the CIA, I believe he had a realistic and solid grasp of what was happening in the world, and what role the Soviet Union was playing or was trying to play. He was also aware that some leaders rule with an absolute and ruthless disregard for human rights.
In short, Bob Gates, although he was raised in Kansas, possessed the healthy skepticism of someone raised in Missouri.
I am certain that he does not share the same view of Cuba as that shared by the Senator from New York. But that fact does not disqualify him to be the next Director of Central Intelligence--indeed, in my view it makes him more qualified.
Madam President, I have known and worked with Robert Gates for several years. I believe he will make an exceptional Director.
Others whose judgment I respect greatly, including former Directors Webster, Colby, Helms, former Deputy Director Admiral Bobby Inman, have all expressed their support of Mr. Gates' confirmation.
I support Robert Gates because he will demand accountability in the intelligence process. He will not tolerate analytical mush. He knows what the policymaker needs in an intelligence product. He understands and supports the importance of active congressional oversight. He has the confidence and respect of the President.
I urge my colleagues to consider those factors in their analysis, and vote to confirm Robert Gates.
Thank you, Madam President.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The distinguished minority leader is recognized.
Mr. DOLE. Madam President, I wonder if I might have 5 minutes. I know there are other speakers seeking recognition.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
Mr. DOLE. Madam President, we have finally reached the time to vote on the Gates nomination.
It has been a long process--by my count, 135 days. It took us longer to investigate Bob Gates than to defeat Saddam Hussein.
It has been a very, very thorough process. The nominee testified in open and closed sessions for 4 full days, responding to about a 1,000 different questions. The committee reviewed thousands of documents, and interviewed hundreds of witnesses, many of whom gave formal testimony.
The committee's report totals up to 245 single-spaced pages--and that without the section on `additional views.' If staff were getting paid by the word for their drafting, we would need a dire emergency supplemental to pay the bill.
And every time it seemed we were near closure on this long and thorough process, somebody managed to come up with a new allegation or question--sometimes, seemingly, out of left field. Each of those allegations and questions was examined carefully and comprehensively.
The committee's report lists four major areas which it examined: The Iran-Contra affair; the allegations of politicization of intelligence; charges or rumors of participation in intelligence activities illegal under our laws; and Bob Gates' views of and capacity to perform the role of DCI.
The Comittee--by a strong 11-4 vote--cleared Bob Gates of any wrongdoing in any of the first three areas; and gave him a strong endorsement in the fourth.
Certainly, the distinguished chairman of the committee, Senator Boren, and the distinguished vice chairman, Senator Murkowski, have done everything they could to make this process both thorough and fair. They deserve the thanks of all Senators for their diligent work.
And now, after all of this work--after all of the delays, and allegations, and rumors, and questions; after everyone has had his or her say, and every Senator has had the chance to read the committee's report and consider our own positions--we have gotten to the bottom line. The committee's work is done, and the ball is in our court. It is our responsibility--the responsibility of the full Senate--to make the final decision.
The distinguished chairman of the committee, Senator Boren--who probably knows Bob Gates better than any of us; the distinguished vice chairman, Senator Murkowski; and nine other members of the committee have indicated that they support the nominee. The Senate should, too.
Bob Gates deserves our vote. He earned it the old-fashioned way--by a career of hard and honorable work; and by 135 days of full, candid, and patient cooperation with this process.
When I introduced Bob Gates at his first hearing, I noted that he was a great Kansan--and that alone was a strong point in favor of his confirmation.
But, as the committee and the American people have learned, Bob Gates is not only a great Kansan, but an outstanding American. His career--from his early days as a junior analyst at CIA, until these past months, standing at the President's side through some of the most important events of the century--his career has uniquely prepared him for the role of DCI. Put simply, he is the best nominee for this critical job.
Bob Gates has the President's complete confidence.
He has unmatched experience.
He has uncompromised integrity.
He has great talent.
He has a strong record of cooperation with the Congress and its intelligence committees.
He is the right nominee, for the right job, at the right time.
The President wants--the intelligence community needs--and the Nation deserves to have this nominee confirmed, now, and overwhelmingly.
I urge all Senators to vote to confirm Bob Gates as director of Central Intelligence.
I yield the floor.
Mr. BRADLEY. Madam President, I yield 7 minutes to my distinguished colleague, Senator Lautenberg.
Mr. WARNER. Madam President, if the Senator will yield for an inquiry, may I ask the manager if I might share a 5-minute colloquy with the distinguished Senator from New York [Mr. Moynihan] at a convenient time?
Mr. MURKOWSKI. I would assume that the Senator would like to share the time, since Senator Moynihan will undoubtedly be speaking on the other side of the issue.
Mr. WARNER. I would.
Mr. MURKOWSKI. Would there be any objection to sharing the time as proposed by Senator Warner, the time being about 5 minutes with Senators Warner and Moynihan in a colloquy?
Mr. BRADLEY. I have no objection, if there is sufficient time remaining after all other Senators that have asked to speak during that time are taken care of.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Will the Senator withhold?
Mr. MURKOWSKI. I would defer half of that time to the Senator from Virginia, and I would like the Senator's side to address their time.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Will the Senator withhold?
Mr. MURKOWSKI. Madam President, I might ask how much time is remaining?
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Chair wanted to check with the Parliamentarian to make sure we were allocating time. The Senator was just checking. He was not making a unanimous-consent request; is that correct?
Mr. MURKOWSKI. That is correct.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator has a question?
Mr. MURKOWSKI. The Senator would like to inquire of the remaining time.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The proponents have 21 minutes, 42 seconds. The opponents of the Gates nomination have 46 minutes, 25 seconds. The current parliamentary situation is that the manager of the proponents, Mr. Bradley, has yielded 7 minutes to the other Senator from New Jersey.
Mr. LAUTENBERG. Madam President, I rise now to announce that I am going to vote against the confirmation of Robert M. Gates as the next Director of Central Intelligence.
It is obvious to all that it has been a long, arduous effort. All of us understand that the process has been perhaps detailed beyond almost any other example that we have seen. But the fact of the matter is that after all of that testimony and thousands of pages recorded, as I look at that testimony from the Senate Intelligence Committee hearings, and after considerable deliberation, I cannot, in good conscience, vote to give Mr. Gates the job of Director of Central Intelligence. He has not, in my mind, lived up to the high standards we would expect for promotion to this sensitive and difficult position.
Madam President, the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency [DCI] is no small job. The individual serves as the President's primary adviser on intelligence matters. He not only heads the CIA, he is the leader of the entire U.S. foreign intelligence community.
The Director and his organization play a key role in the development of our nation's foreign policy by providing the information on which foreign policy decisions are based.
Do we have the military capability to defeat Iraq swiftly and with minimal loss of life? Is the Soviet Union on the verge of disintegration? How close is the Middle East to another war? It is the CIA's job to answer such questions, and do so in an objective, timely, and accurate manner.
The price of having faulty or untimely intelligence is unacceptably high. It can cause billions of tax dollars to be spent on a misguided defense or foreign policy. And it can cost precious American lives.
Just consider what would have happened in the gulf war if our intelligence community had grossly underestimated Iraq's military power? If we continued to plan military strategy to fight a nuclear war with the Soviet Union while ignoring the growth of the nuclear threat throughout the world? These are only a few of the circumstances where faulty intelligence would cost America dearly.
In my judgment, a successful nominee to head the CIA must possess unassailable integrity and judgment, superior and objective analytical skills, and a track record of successful intelligence analysis. Mr. Gates does not, in my mind, meet these criteria.
First, I am deeply troubled about Mr. Gates conduct in the Iran-Contra affair, which suggests at best a lack of judgment and at worst a lack of candor. These persistent, nagging concerns are what led him to withdraw his name from consideration after nomination by President Reagan for the DCI job in 1987.
Reagan administration officials have testified that Gates attended meetings in which the diversion of funds to the Contras were discussed, and that these meetings occurred weeks before the events became public.
Yet, asked in the hearings what he knew of the Iran-Contra events, and when he knew about them, Gates frequent response was `I don't remember.' Harold Ford, a retired intelligence officer who worked for Gates for years, but decided to speak out against his nomination, noted that `the forgetfulness of this brilliant officer, gifted with a photographic memory, does not instill confidence.'
It was as if Mr. Gates lived by the maxim, `Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil' when he occupied the No. 2 spot at the CIA. While such lapses of memory and failure to pursue indications of wrongdoing may be acceptable mistakes for the average citizen, Robert Gates must meet a higher standard to become the guardian of our Nation's intelligence network. Given his track record in this major Government scandal, I cannot put my confidence in Robert Gates to lead our foremost intelligence gathering and analytical agency into the next century.
Second, I have serious doubts about Robert Gates' essential objectivity as an intelligence officer. The Central Intelligence Agency's mission is to provide independent and objective analysis of intelligence information, not to shape intelligence to support individuals' views or administration policy. Yet, the testimony of past and current intelligence analysts suggests that Mr. Gates slanted his intelligence assessments to conform to administration policy and to his personal world outlook, particularly in the areas of the Soviet Union and the Sandinista government in Nicaragua.
Several intelligence analysts suggested, for example, that Mr. Gates knowingly used outdated analysis in congressional testimony because it supported administration policy. Intentional skewing of intelligence is unacceptable and dangerous behavior for any intelligence officer, much less one who seeks the highest position in the Central Intelligence Agency.
(Mr. CONRAD assumed the chair.)
Mr. LAUTENBERG. Mr. President, even if Robert Gates' intelligence assessments were not intentionally skewed, I have nagging doubts about whether Mr. Gates' view of the world--and particularly the Soviet Union--enables him to provide objective intelligence analysis.
Robert Gates was a classic cold warrior. In the not-so-distant past, his view of the world was driven by a belief that communism and the Soviet Union were the persistent menace threatening the United States. He seems to have changed this outlook only reluctantly, and only as required by events.
A compelling case has been made by my friend and colleague, Senator Bradley, and some others on the Intelligence Committee, that during the 1980's Gates' intellectual tunnel vision on the Soviet Union kept him from recognizing early on the breakup of the Soviet Union and the emerging threat posed by Iraq. A compelling case has been made that Robert Gates ignored and suppressed signs of a declining Soviet Strategic threat, in part, because he was unable to shed his cold war orientation.
It has been said that these views, prevented Robert Gates--despite the receipt of new and contrary intelligence--from recognizing the extent and pace, and consequently the significance, of developments in the Soviet Union. It was these views that likely contributed to the failure of the CIA to accurately forecast the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
That CIA failure hurt the United States. And we cannot afford many more such miscalculations.
This Nation needs a Director of Central Intelligence open to new information, not one who is reluctant to shed outdated beliefs. We need a DCE with the foresight to lead the intelligence community through the difficult and uncertain international political environment of the 1990's.
Mr. President, I do not dispute that Mr. Gates has some impressive qualifications and talents. He has worked at the CIA or with the National Security Council since 1966, giving him 25 years experience in the intelligence community. He rose through the ranks to become Deputy Director for Intelligence and later, Deputy Director of the CIA. Along the way, Mr. Gates earned his PhD. in Russian and Soviet History.
Yet despite these qualifications and experiences, I do not believe that he has demonstrated that he is the best person to be our Nation's next Director of Central Intelligence. For these reasons, I will vote against his confirmation. This job is simply too critical to our Nation's security to entrust it to someone about whom I have such grave reservations.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Who yields time?
Mr. BOREN. Mr. President, I yield 2 minutes to the Senator from Mississippi [Mr. Cochran].
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Mississippi is recognized for 2 minutes.
Mr. COCHRAN. Mr. President, I thank the distinguished manager for yielding me this time.
Mr. President, the selection of Robert Gates to be Director of the Central Intelligence Agency should be approved by the Senate.
Chairman Boren and Vice Chairman Murkowski worked very hard to ensure that Robert Gates' qualifications were carefully and fairly reviewed by the Intelligence Committee. I applaud them for the efforts they made to address all the important questions that were raised about this nomination.
They have examined intelligence management, and its decisionmaking process, under a microscope, and in addition to making a decision that the candidate is eminently suitable, they have made determinations about the managerial responsibilities of the Director of Central Intelligence which will help make the service of this Director more effective as well as compatible with the responsibility of cooperating with the Congress as it exercises its oversight duties.
A strong vote in favor of this nominee will also be evidence of the willingness of this Senate to cooperate with the administration in the development of an intelligence-gathering policy that serves our Nation's security interests.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Who yields time?
Mr. BRADLEY. Mr. President, I yield 10 minutes to the distinguished Senator from Connecticut.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Connecticut is recognized for 10 minutes.
Mr. DODD. I thank you, Mr. President, and let me thank our colleague from New Jersey, as well.
Mr. President, let me begin by expressing my admiration for Senator Boren and the members of the Intelligence Committee for the tremendous amount of time and effort they have spent in reviewing this nominee.
In fact, I believe that the report they have prepared, containing some 225 pages, Mr. President, stands as a tribute to the thorough job done by the Intelligence Committee in examining this nomination. Its 225 pages certainly serve to catalog and review the charges and countercharges associated with the nomination of Robert Gates. Together with the committee's hearing record, it is hard to believe that any stone has been left unturned. Indeed, Chairman Boren and the members of the Senate Intelligence Committee ought to be commended, as I said a moment ago, on a job well done, especially so given the contentious and controversial nature of this nomination.
So, the committee report provides us with the road map, a direction finder, if you will, to help ferret out the facts. It is certainly not an easy task, to be sure. And that is the second reason, I suppose, for asking my colleagues to consider the committee report. It is really, in a sense, the other side of the coin, or flip-side of a thorough and complete investigation.
Here is how the committee report described the effort:
By any standards, the consideration of this nomination was the most thorough and comprehensive of any nomination ever received by the committee. Thousands of documents were reviewed; hundreds of witnesses were interviewed. The nominee testified for 4 full days in open and closed session, responding to almost 900 questions. Written responses were submitted to almost 100 additional questions.
Mr. President, the obvious question for this Senate, and I believe for this body, is why was it necessary, in fact, to conduct such a comprehensive investigation? Why was it necessary, in fact, to review thousands of documents and interview hundreds of witnesses? Why was it necessary to raise so many questions and to follow up with so many additional questions? Why was it necessary to pursue, in fact, a process that was largely unprecedented in the annals of the Intelligence Committee?
Mr. President, I believe that the short answer is baggage, in the sense the Gates nomination carries with it a great deal of that baggage. All in all, there were more than 200 pages' worth just in the report alone. Shifting through it is not an easy task, nor a pleasant one.
After reviewing the material and talking to members of
the committee and my colleagues, I am drawn to the conclusion, Mr. President, that we can and must do better.
Perhaps for the very reason that others have found Mr. Gates to be the right man in the right place at the right time, I am convinced, certainly at this point anyway, that Mr. Gates is the wrong man in the wrong place at the wrong time. I admit, Mr. President, this is a pretty harsh judgment. But anything less, in my view, would be shadowboxing with the truth.
As we look at this nomination, honesty requires us to say that Mr. Gates appears to fall short of the mark. Or at a minimum, in different areas, there are sufficient areas of doubt to suggest that confirmation in this case would raise unnecessary risks.
First, Mr. President, there is the ever-present taint of the Iran-Contra affair, and the issue of whether or not Mr. Gates knew or did not know about the sales of arms to Iran and diversion of funds to the Contras. As more and more information has come out, Mr. President, particularly in recent months, and particularly with respect to the CIA's involvement, I find it very difficult to believe--very difficult to believe--that Mr. Gates was uninformed about this matter, and that he subsequently did not mislead the Congress on it.
Second, Mr. President, there are a host of serious questions about Mr. Gates' willingness to slant the Agency's findings for the purpose of playing to the ideological proclivities of his superiors, while at the same time serving to advance his own career goals. The charges and allegations that have been made by any number of intelligence analysts cannot be dismissed simply as sour grapes or office politics. I am familiar with both, as I think most of my colleagues are. What we saw before the Intelligence Committee goes far beyond the petty differences that occur daily in any large organization.
Third, there are interrelated issues of poor judgment, policymaking, and political bias. In the not-too-distant past, Mr. President, Mr. Gates unfortunately engaged in all three. Claims that the Soviets were targeting the Panama Canal, a clear case of poor judgment. Calls for direct United States military action against the Sandinista government in Nicaragua, a clear case of policymaking. And denials until the very end about major changes taking place in the Soviet Union and throughout Eastern Europe, a clear case, Mr. President, of political bias.
While all of these matters are troublesome, I want to underscore my concerns about Mr. Gates' willingness, if not eagerness, to play the role of policymaker and policy advocate. To my mind, nothing in the record provides stronger evidence of this than the Gates memo on Nicaragua of December 14, 1984, to William Casey. I ask unanimous consent that a copy of this memo be printed in the Record at the conclusion of my remarks.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
(See exhibit 1.)
Mr. DODD. Mr. President, keep in mind that the CIA's mandate does not extend to the policymaking area.
In fact, in testimony before the Intelligence Committee, Mr. Gates said:
I believe the Director of Central Intelligence should stay out of policy matters. * * * And I think he should keep his hands clean in terms of making policy recommendations or getting deeply engaged in policy discussions. * * * His role in those meetings should be to make sure that the information they are discussing is as accurate as we can make it.
Mr. President, this memo, dated December 1984, was written at a time when Mr. Gates was Deputy Director of Intelligence. The Deputy Director of Intelligence is the head of analysis and production, a person who collects facts and presents them to his superiors. This memo hardly includes any facts at all. Basically, it is a campaign speech that was given at that time. And, frankly, there are some chilling recommendations that, had they been followed, Mr. President, I think the picture that we see in Central America today would be vastly different and devastating one.
This memorandum recommended direct United States air strikes against Nicaragua only 2 months after this Congress had passed the so-called Boland II amendment which expressly prohibited the use of United States moneys for the purpose of supporting military or paramilitary operations against Nicaragua. The American people had spoken. The statutes, the laws were there, and here we have a recommendation for direct air strikes. Had that occurred, today the possibilities of democracy throughout Central America would not be on the horizon. In fact, I do not think you would have had a free and fair election in Nicaragua at all.
It was, in my view, a very illogical recommendation, a very ideological speech and, frankly, recommendations that I think could have been devastating for this country had they been followed.
The main responsibility, as we all know or should know in this body, of the Director of Central Intelligence is to fulfill the Agency's mandate and remain above interagency policy battles. Perhaps former CIA Director Richard Helms said it best, `The Director of the CIA is supposed to keep the game honest.'
I agree with the Helms view. And because I to, I have strong differences with Mr. Gates about the Agency's proper role in the bureaucracy. This is why I ask my colleagues to examine carefully the December 1984 memo. Clearly, it is not a balanced, dispassionate, and well-honed analytical piece. On the contrary. It is a highly partisan assessment, with startling United States policy recommendations, with respect to Nicaragua. At the same time, much of the language and phraseology used by Mr. Gates suggest that one of his primary purposes was to play to the ideological fantasies of Mr. Casey.
But perhaps the most disquieting aspect of this memo is its call to arms. Mr. Gates argues for direct United States military involvement, beginning with air strikes on selected Nicaraguan military targets. Additionally, he recommends increased military support for the Contra forces and other forms of assistance for a Nicaraguan Government in exile.
Had those recommendations been followed, as I said a moment ago, Central America today would be inflamed, absolutely inflamed.
What makes all this so disturbing and disquieting is these recommendations were made, as I said, 2 months after the law of this land said that there should be no United States moneys spent in support of military activities against Nicaragua. And yet this memo does not even point out to the Director of the Central Intelligence that such a law was on the books, and that it would prohibit the very policy direction he was proposing.
I find that deeply disturbing, Mr. President.
Mr. President, any administration is only as good as the people who are employed by it, particularly the high-level managers, administrators, and directors. They set the tone and drift, regardless of the agency or the organization. It goes without saying, the quality of the product depends on the quality of the people.
This country is extremely fortunate; our people are a national treasure. The gifted and talented swell our ranks. Individuals of national stature, with sound and secure reputations, are available for public service. The CIA deserves such a person. It deserves the very best. So too does the American public, the people who pay the bill.
For these reasons, Mr. President, I believe the United States Senate should reject the nomination of Mr. Robert M. Gates to be Director of Central Intelligence.
1. It is time to talk absolutely straight about Nicaragua. To recap where we are:
Based on all the assessments we have done, the Contras, even with American support, cannot overthrow the Sandinista regime. Whatever small chance they had to do that has been further diminished by the new weaponry being provided by the Soviets and Cubans.
The Soviets and Cubans are turning Nicaragua into an armed camp with military forces far beyond its defensive needs and in a position to intimidate and coerce its neighbors.
The Nicaraguan regime is steadily moving toward consolidation of a Marxist-Leninist government and the establishment of a permanent and well armed ally of the Soviet Union and Cuba on the mainland of the Western Hemisphere. Its avowed aim is to spread further revolution in the Americas.
The FDN has been denied American assistance. Without further assistance by February, all the information we have suggests the Contras are going to begin heading into Honduras. The Hondurans will then be faced with some 12,500 armed fighters (whom the Hondurans see as closely allied with Alvarez, thereby potentially unsettling Honduras itself).
Flight of the Contras into Honduras will be followed not only by their families but presumably by a second wave of refugees and others who, seeing abandonment of American efforts to force the Sandinistas to alter their regime, will see the handwriting on the wall, determine that their personal futures are in peril and leave the country. It is altogether conceivable that we could be
looking at an initial refugee wave from Nicaragua over the first year of 150,000 to 200,000 people (the families of the Contras alone could account for 50,000).
Failure of the United States to provide further assistance to the resistance and collapse of the Contra movement would force Honduras to accommodate to the Nicaraguan regime. One result of this would be the complete reopening of the channels of arms support to the Salvadoran insurgency, thereby reversing the progress made in recent months.
These unsettled political and military circumstances in Central America would undoubtedly result in renewed capital flight from Honduras and Guatemala and result in both new hardship and political instability throughout the region.
2. These are strong assertions but our research as well as the reports of our people on the spot (for example our GOS in Honduras) make it possible to substantiate each of the above points.
3. What is happening in Central America in many ways vividly calls to mind the old saw that those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it.
In 1958-60 we thought that we could reach some sort of an accommodation with Castro that would encourage him to build a pluralistic government in Cuba. We have been trying to do the same thing with the Nicaraguans, with the same success.
In Vietnam, our strategy consisted of a series of measures applied very gradually and over a long period of time. With each step of new US involvement the gradual approach enabled the enemy to adjust to each new turn of the screw so that by the end of the war, even in the face of the most severe bombing, the Vietnamese had developed enormous tolerance. Half measures, half-heartedly applied, will have the same result in Nicaragua.
In 1975, the United States President announced that American assistance to UNITA in Angola was in the national interest of the United States and strongly urged the Congress to support military assistance to that group. The Congress turned it down, thereby not only proving that the United States would not involve itself in any significant way in the Third World to combat the Soviet subversion and activity but, moreover, that the Congress could effectively block any moves the President did wish to make. The Boland Amendment and the cutoff of aid to the Contras is having the same effect again, showing the Soviets and our Third World friends how little has changed in nine years, even with a President like Ronald Reagan.
In a variety of places, including Vietnam, negotiations in effect became a cover for the consolidation and further expansion of Communist control. While they might observe whatever agreements were reached for the first weeks or as long as American attention (particularly media attention) was focused on the situation, they knew they could outlast our attention span. Usually within a relatively short period of time they were openly violating whatever agreements had been achieved.
4. The truth of the matter is that our policy has been to muddle along in Nicaragua with an essentially half-hearted policy substantially because there is no agreement within the Administration or with the Congress on our real objectives. We started out justifying the program on the basis of curtailing the flow of weapons to El Salvador. Laudable though that objective might have been, it was attacking a symptom of a large problem in Central America and not the problem itself.
5. It seems to me that the only way that we can prevent disaster in Central America is to acknowledge openly what some have argued privately: that the existence of a Marxist-Leninist regime in Nicaragua closely allied with the Soviet Union and Cuba is unacceptable to the United States and that the United States will do everything in its power short of invasion to put that regime out. Hopes of causing the regime to reform itself for a more pluralistic government are essentially silly and hopeless. Moreover, few believe that all those weapons and the more to come are only for defense purposes. Only when we acknowledge what the objective is in Central America, can we begin to have any kind of rational discussion on how to achieve it. As long as one maintains the fig leaf of curtailing the flow of arms to El Salvador, all other efforts can easily be politically dismissed.
6. Once you accept that ridding that Continent of this regime is important to our national interest and must be our primary objective, the issue then becomes a stark one. You either acknowledge that you are willing to take all necessary measures (short of military invasion) to bring down that regime or you admit that you do not have the will to do anything about the problem and you make the best deal you can. Casting aside all fictions, it is the latter course we are on. Even new funding for the Contras, particularly in light of the new Soviet weaponry, is an inadequate answer to this problem. The Contras will be able to sustain an insurgency for a time but the cost and the pain will become very high and the resistance eventually will wither. Any negotiated agreement simply will offer a cover for the consolidation of the regime and two or three years from now we will be in considerably worse shape than we are now.
7. The alternative to our present policy--which I predict ultimately and inevitably is leading to the consolidation of the Nicaraguan regime and our facing a second Cuba in Central America--is overtly to try to bring down the regime. This involves a mustering of political force and will, first of all within the Administration, and second with the Congress, that we have not seen on any foreign policy issue (apart from our defense rearmament) in many years. It seems to me that this effort would draw upon the following measures:
Withdrawal of diplomatic recognition of the regime in Managua and the recognition of a government in exile.
Overt provision to the government in exile of military assistance, funds, propaganda support and so forth including major efforts to gain additional support in international community, including real pressure.
Economic sanctions against Nicaragua, perhaps even including a quarantine. These sanctions would affect both exports and imports and would be combined with internal measures by the resistance to maximize the economic dislocation to the regime.
Politically most difficult of all, the use of air strikes to destroy a considerable portion of Nicaragua's military buildup (focusing particularly on the tanks and the helicopters). This would be accompanied by an announcement that the United States did not intend to invade Nicaragua but that no more arms deliveries of such weapons would be permitted.
8. These are hard measures. They probably are politically unacceptable. But it is time to stop fooling ourselves about what is going to happen in Central America. Putting our heads in the sand will not prevent the events that I outlined at the beginning of this note. Can the United States stand a second Cuba in the Western Hemisphere? One need only look at the difficulty that Cuba has caused this country over the past 25 years to answer that question.
9. The fact is that the Western Hemisphere is the sphere of influence of the United States. If we have decided totally to abandon the Monroe Doctrine, if in the 1980's taking strong actions to protect our interests despite the hail of criticisms is too difficult, then we ought to save political capital in Washington, acknowledge our helplessness and stop wasting everybody's time.
10. Without a comprehensive campaign openly aimed at bringing down the regime, at best we somewhat delay the inevitable. Without US funding for the Contras, the resistance essentially will collapse over the next year or two. While seeking funding from other countries to the Contras could help for a time, it is essential to recognize that almost as important as the money is the fact of the United States support both from an economic and political standpoint. Somehow, knowing that Taiwan, South Korea and Singapore are behind you does not carry the same weight. Economic sanctions surely would have a significant impact in the initial months, but unless accompanied by a broad range of other actions this impact will diminish over time and we will find ourselves with a Nicaragua even more closely attached to the Soviet Union and Cuba than we have now.
11. All this may be politically out of the question. Probably. But all the cards ought to be on the table and people should understand the consequences of what we do and do not do in Nicaragua. Half measures will not even produce half successes. The course we have been on (even before the funding cut-off)--as the last two years suggest--will result in further strengthening of the regime and a Communist Nicaragua which, allied with its Soviet and Cuban friends, will serve as the engine for the destabilization of Central America. Even a well funded Contra movement cannot prevent this; indeed, relying on and supporting the Contras as our only action may actually hasten the ultimate, unfortunate outcome.
Robert M. Gates.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator's time has expired.
Mr. MURKOWSKI. Mr. President, I yield 2 minutes to the Senator from Virginia.
Mr. WARNER. I thank the distinguished manager. Could he give me 3 1/2 minutes?
Mr. MURKOWSKI. I yield 3 1/2 minutes to the Senator.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator is recognized for 3 1/2 minutes.
Mr. NUNN. Mr. President, would the Senator yield me about 3 1/2 minutes?
Mr. MURKOWSKI. I am happy to yield to my friend from Georgia 3 1/2 minutes.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Georgia is recognized for 3 1/2 minutes.
Mr. WARNER. Mr. President, I spoke on the Senate floor yesterday in strong support of this nomination. Today I rise to include in the Record a chapter of history, a chapter which covers the turning point in the relations between the CIA and the Congress.
This chapter of history was prepared by our colleague, Mr. Moynihan, who at the time covered by this particular documentation was the vice chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and our distinguished former colleague, Senator Goldwater, was the committee chairman. The history was carefully prepared by Mr. Moynihan drawing on his memory of the facts at that time, and indeed by a number of relevant documents which will be brought to light for the first time.
In looking at the role of the Director of the CIA in dealing with the Congress, Mr. Moynihan addresses the issue of the mining of certain Nicaraguan harbors and the subsequent protests in April 1984 by then Chairman Goldwater that the Intelligence Subcommittee had not, I repeat not, been properly and fully informed of the action. Senator Goldwater's steadfast diligence throughout this period was critical in keeping the Congress informed.
I feel Senator Moynihan's comments and accompanying documents go a long way in outlining the decisive role that our former colleague, the distinguished Senator from Arizona, played, and that it was also the turning point in the relationship between the Congress and the CIA.
This morning's Washington Post contained an editorial that carried the following quote: `Unquestionably,' relating to Gates, `he has the knowledge of the machinery and the confidence of the President to do that job.'
I addressed that point yesterday in some detail, Mr. President. The editorial further provides:
He also promises to be faithful to the imperatives of honest consultation with the Congress. Such consultation is designed precisely to diminish the chances that abuses of secret power, in operations or analysis, could recur.
That is the essence of this very important chapter of history prepared by Mr. Moynihan, which he disclosed to our committee during the course of the Gates hearing, and it is my privilege to point it out on behalf of Mr. Moynihan and our former colleague, Senator Goldwater.
I ask unanimous consent that the full text of Senator Moynihan's memorandum be printed in the Record and, further, that the full text of the editorial of today's Washington Post also be printed in the Record.
There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in the Record, as follows:
Washington, DC, October 1, 1991.
At the opening day of the Gates hearings I was allowed to make a brief statement regarding the insensate overestimate, as I see it, of the size of the Soviet economy which the C.I.A. turned out year after year for a generation and more. One consequence, again as I see it, of overestimating the size of the Soviet economy by a factor of three or thereabouts is that we overestimated their global reach and the attraction of marxist ideology. (Recall that as late as 1986 the Agency was reporting that per capita GNP in East Germany was higher than in West Germany. If only the East Berliners had known!)
At the close of my statement Senator Bradley asked if I would recall for the Committee the events surrounding Senator Goldwater's protest in April 1984 that the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence had not been informed of the mining of certain Nicaraguan harbors in the manner prescribed by the Intelligence Oversight Act of 1980.
I responded in summary detail--the Committee was waiting to hear Mr. Gates--but made one point which clearly caught your attention. Senator Goldwater, I said, had been subjected to a disinformation campaign by the Central Intelligence Agency. Later you asked if I would provide you with more details that you might place in the hearing record.
First, a word about the term itself: disinformation. You will not find it in the Webster's Third New International Dictionary. Nor Safire's. It is a term of tradecraft. I fathom it from experience in the field; you from experience of command. And yet it is not easy to explain. I think of the Hebrew phrase
`ha mayvin yavin:' those who understand, understand. The essence of disinformation is not mere lying. Disinformation is designed to confuse; to muddle. Understandably, it will be found in the most authoritative Russian language dictionary, that of the Soviet Academy of Sciences, which defines dezinformatsiya as `a false, inaccurate announcement with the aim of confusing someone.' Disinformation distracts. If for example you wish to conceal one set of facts; you try to get a big argument going about a wholly different set of facts.
A final introductory note. The term disinformation as applied to the mining of the Nicaraguan harbors was first proposed to me in a 1988 letter (attached as Appendix 1) from Robert R. Simmons, who, at the time of these events, had been Majority Staff Director of the SSCI. He wrote:
`. . . in 1984 the Agency engaged in what can only be called a domestic disinformation campaign against the U.S. Congress in which they alleged that the SSCI and the HPSCI has been fully briefed on the harbor mining program. This campaign has resulted in widely held misconceptions about these events--misconceptions that have grown over time to the point of being accepted as the truth. For example, Scott Breckinridge' book titled `The CIA and the U.S. Intelligence System' states `the fact is the members were told, and only one of them seems to have reached to the point.' To hear, now, that the Agency claims the President did not know of these events before the fact does not surprise me. Sometimes I wonder if even they know what the truth of the matter was.'
Now to the facts, which are really quite simple and are fully set forth in Senator Goldwater's 1988 autobiography.
The essence of the various statutes concerning congressional oversight of intelligence as regards important covert activities is that the intelligence committees be informed in advance. The Intelligence Oversight Act of 1980 states the Committees will be kept `fully and currently informed' of all intelligence activities including any `significant anticipated intelligence activity.' Each covert operation was to be considered per se a `significant anticipated intelligence activity.' There were to be exceptions in cases of the utmost sensitivity, as, for example, the attempted rescue of our hostages in Iran in 1980, but these were well understood.
By the early 1980s the arrangement was working well. Senator Goldwater was then Chairman of the Committee; I was Vice Chairman. We spent an ungodly amount of time being briefed, but had no complaints. Then in early April 1984 Senator Goldwater learned from the Wall Street Journal that in early January the C.I.A. had been directly involved with the mining of certain
Nicaraguan harbors. He was thunderstruck. Try to be clear at this point. It was never any secret that Nicaraguan harbors were being mined. For all I know the fact was published in Notice to Mariners, or whatever it was we used to call that bulletin. But the assumption was that the contras had done, were doing it. In Senator Goldwater's view, as he would shortly state in a letter to William J. Casey, this was an `act of war', an act `violating international law'. By any understanding this qualified as a `significant anticipated intelligence activity'! And we had not been told in advance. Senator Goldwater was over his disbelief; he was now, as he wrote to Casey, plain `pissed off'.
The letter (attached as Appendix 2) leaked to the Washington Post. Whereupon the disinformation campaign began. The essence of the campaign was to establish that the Committees had been briefed. After the mining had occurred. True enough. Senator Goldwater wrote to Casey on April 9, the Post printed the letter April 11. On April 12 in an address at the Naval Academy, Robert McFarlane stated that `every important detail' of the mining operation `was shared in full with the proper Congressional oversight committees.' On April 13 Casey (with advance notice to selected journalists) circulated, over his own signature, a memorandum to CIA employees which concluded:
`We have fully met all statutory requirements for notifying our intelligence oversight committees of the covert action program in Nicaragua. This agency has not only complied with the letter of the law, but with the spirit of the law as well.'
A spring recess had begun, and Senator Goldwater had left the country to visit Taiwan. As Vice Chairman, I had the deck, as you would say. (The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence is singularly bipartisan. In the absence of the Chairman, for example, the Vice Chairman presides at Committee meetings.) I learned of Mr. McFarlane's speech the next day, April 13. In a taped interview with John Martin of ABC television I announced that I would resign as Vice Chairman. This interview was shown on `This Week With David Brinkley' that Sunday, April 15.
The week that followed was not one I would wish to live through again. The best journalists were skeptical, the hardest editorialists were derisive. The news was filled with details of the Agency briefings--post-mining briefings--and of individual members of the Congress who had energetically informed themselves of all the details, even as the Chairman and Vice Chairman had unaccountably, or perhaps predictably, failed in their elemental duty.
Senator Goldwater return; adamant. The CIA, having won the public debate, now decided to close the matter with a private apology. On April 25 Director Casey sent a hand-written note of apology to Senator Goldwater. The next day, April 26, he
appeared before the committee in the dome and apologized, you might say, in secret. After this meeting the Committee had to issue its own statement which said:
`[T]he Committee agreed that it was not adequately informed in a timely manner of certain significant intelligence activity in such a manner as to permit the Committee to carry out its oversight function. The Director of Central Intelligence concurred in that assessment.'
The Committee's report on this matter is attached as Appendix 3.) Soon an apology arrived from McFarlane on White House stationary stamped Confidential.
But where were we to go to get our reputations back? Nowhere. The press was tired of the subject. No one--no one--ever got our point that the issue was that we had not been informed in advance. No one ever figured out that Senator Goldwater would have told the Agency that they could not mine the harbors of a nation with which we had an extant Treaty of Friendship, Commerce and Navigation. He did not have the authority to stop them, but he could have picked up the telephone and asked for President Reagan.
Robert McFarlane subsequently testified before the Iran-Contra Committee on May 12, 1987 as follows:
Mr. Sarbanes. Did you know about the mining of the Nicaraguan harbor?
Mr. McFarlane. Yes, sir.
Mr. Sarbanes. Did you think that should have been consulted with the Intelligence Committees?
Mr. McFarlane. Yes, sir.
Mr. Sarbanes. It wasn't done.
Mr. McFarlane. No, sir.
Senator Goldwater was not intimidated; he is of a different stuff from most. But the Senate was at very least silenced. The power of the Agency is pervasive in this town. Consider the number of news stories that begin: `Intelligence sources say. . . .' Guess which `Intelligence sources'. The debts too numerous; the compromises just possibly compiled, computerized.
And so, there was no Senate motion of censure. No news analysis, editorial asking: `Hey, what does it mean that the D.C.I. `apologized profoundly' to the Senate Intelligence Committee--in secret? Had he misinformed--disinformed--the rest of us but is keeping that a secret? Nothing. Silence.
One last detail. Iran-Contra started here. Money for the insurrection was cut off; had to be got elsewhere. The rest is a well enough known history. But how well absorbed? I leave you with the judgement of Theodore Draper, who has outlined this matter in `A Very Thin Line: The Iran-Contra Affairs.' In 1987 he wrote in the New York Review of Books:
`If ever the constitutional democracy of the United States is overthrown, we now have a better idea of how this is likely to be done.'
October 13, 1988.
Hon. Daniel P. Moynihan,
U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.
Dear Senator Moynihan: Thank you for your note of October 3, 1988. I agree with you that Senator Goldwater has written a `wonderful book' and I have enjoyed reading it very much.
Regarding Chapter 10--Spies, Secret and National Security, I have several thoughts on the two questions you posed.
I did not think the famous `pissed off' letter to Casey was `public from the first.' My recollection is that it was to be closely held for the obvious political reasons. In particular, I remember that Judy Eisenhower, Senator Goldwater's Administrative Assistant, did not want me to have a copy down at the Committee because she saw it as a political bombshell. So I never had a final copy. In fact, I relied for many months afterward on what was printed in The Washington Post to answer questions about the letter. This is not to say that the letter was classified--clearly it was not. But my impression was that it was to be closely held, at least at the staff level.
Regarding the issue of the President's knowledge, I remember that John McMahon told me the President authorized the harbor minings sometime in the fall of 1983. This was one of the reasons that we were so upset over these events--they had been going on for six months without our knowledge, and they had been authorized by the President! This was particularly galling to Senator Goldwater because he had been so much a part of President Reagan's political career. He felt that an important element of trust had been violated, and without good cause. His descripton of these events in the book is very touching, and tracks completely with what I remember of those days.
I am interested that the Agency maintains the President did not know of the mining before it took place. Logically, this does not make sense to me. After all, the official Agency position is that they briefed the Committee in March of 1984. If you accept this position, which I do not, why would they have briefed the Committees on so sensitive a covert action without receiving prior presidential approval in the form of a finding. Do they mean to say they engaged in these activities without prior presidential approval? If so, this seems to me to be a very serious matter. It raises issues of `rogue elephants.'
Also, on this subject, I have a vague recollection that the harbor mining operation was instigated in September 1983 following a briefing at which the President expressed his concern over the import of certain weapons and equipment to Nicaragua. The idea was that if fuel supplies were disrupted and shipping was scared away, no more equipment would be landed and the vehicles already in place would not run very far. In short, an expression of presidential concern resulted in the proposal. Now, the President may not have known when each particular operation was to take place. But I certainly concur with Senator Goldwater that the President knew about the mining before it took place. He approved it in advance.
As you recall, in 1984 the Agency engaged in what can only be called a domestic disinformation campaign against the U.S. Congress in which they alleged that the SSCI and the HPSCI had been fully briefed on the harbor mining program. This campaign has resulted in widely held misconceptions about these events--misconceptions that have grown over time to the point of being accepted as the truth. For example, the enclosed excerpt from Scott Breckinridge's book titled The CIA and the U.S. Intelligence System states `the fact is the members were told, and only one of them seems to have reacted to the point.' To hear, now, that the Agency claims the President did not know of these events before the fact does not surprise me. Sometimes I wonder if even they know what the truth of the matter was.
Regarding local news, I have now completed three years of teaching my seminar at Yale, and I have been asked to return in the spring of 1989. My course, titled `Congress and the U.S. Intelligence Community,' has been oversubscribed each time it was offered and the students have been very flattering in their acceptance of me, my thoughts and my teaching style. While I find teaching at Yale to be very stimulating and lots of fun, I do not have a Ph.D. which means I will not be able to make much of a career of it. On this basis, I have applied to the Ph.D. Program in Political Science at the University of Connecticut. I expect that I will complete my course work over the next 18 months, and then I'll write a dissertation. I have already started classes, and it is great fun.
Thanks again for your note. It was great to hear from you. All the best.
Robert R. Simmons.
One recent example of a breakdown in communications involved the mining operations of Nicaraguan ports in early 1984. The Congress was aware of a program to interdict the movement of arms from the Sandinista government in Nicaragua to the insurgents in El Salvador. The general U.S. program of opposing the communist campaign had been made controversial by those opposing the Salvadoran regime. The role given to CIA--to support the anti-Sandinista group (the `Contras')--was judged by some to be a form of illegal intervention, whereas those approving of the concept considered it to be support for the non-Marxist forces as well as a chance to strengthen democratic forms in the area. Early in 1984 CIA was to brief the oversight committees in both houses on the entire program. The House committee was briefed in detail. Delays and postponements of the Senate briefing held up that presentation to the end of the first quarter of the year. From one point of view it was, from all reports, a typical detailed review of what was happening, where and when and how. After the mining became controversial some senators disclaimed any knowledge of it; what developed, in fact, was that it had been reported. 1
Then followed complaints that the mining aspect of the briefing was but a small part of an indigestible whole. Perhaps the same could have been said about each segment of the briefing, but the real problem is that this particular part flared into an issue.
1 New York Times column, by William Safire, May 28, 1984.
In retrospect, there is an explanation of why the senators felt they had not been told. First, they knew of the general program to interdict the movement of war materials from Nicaragua to the insurgents in El Salvador. It is likely that when they were told of the mining of the harbors from which arms were shipped to the insurgents in El Salvador, the mining seemed a logical part of what had been approved. Only one senator reacted to the point and requested additional briefing. Others, when approached by the media with the challenging question about violation of international law--an arguable point in any event--were startled and claimed that they knew about nothing that would violate international law.
The way in which committee hearings are often conducted further explains the confusion. Those who have appeared before committees have observed the occasional preoccupation of committee members with such matters as draft legislation, correspondence to constituents, and discussions with their staff assistants who come to consult with them. A fragmented attention span can produce blank spaces in the consciousness of the committee members. The fact is that the members were told, and only one of them seems to have reacted to the point. Members of Congress are not known for acknowledging error; the initial reactions to the news of the mining were never corrected.
As such problems will not simply go away, the Congress must realize that a great care should be made to understand what it is told; intelligence people, for their part, must speak as clearly as possible to those who are unlikely to understand some nuances. The fact remains that congressional oversight is essential to effective operation of our governmental system. It is a responsibility of both Executive and Legislative branches to make it work as well as possible, especially in relation to intelligence.
Hon. William J. Casey,
Director of Central Intelligence,
Central Intelligence Agency, Washington, DC.
Dear Bill: All this past weekend, I've been trying to figure out how I can most easily tell you my feelings about the discovery of the President having approved mining some of the harbors of Central America.
It gets down to one, little, simple phrase: I am pissed off!
I understand you had briefed the House on this matter. I've heard that. Now, during the important debate we had all last week and the week before, on whether we would increase funds for the Nicaragua program, we were doing all right, until a Member of the Committee charged that the President had approved the mining. I strongly denied that because I had never heard of it. I found out the next day that the CIA had, with the written approval of the President, engaged in such mining, and the approval came in February!
Bill, this is no way to run a railroad and I find myself in a hell of a quandary. I am forced to apologize to the Members of the Intelligence Committee because I did not know the facts on this. At the same time, my counterpart in the House did know.
The President has asked us to back his foreign policy. Bill, how can we back his foreign policy when we don't know what the hell he is doing? Lebanon, yes, we all knew that he sent troops over there. But mine the harbors in Nicaragua? This is an act violating international law. It is an act of war. For the life of me, I don't see how we are going to explain it.
My simple guess is that the House is going to defeat this supplemental and we will not be in any position to put up much of an argument after we were not given the information we were entitled to receive; particularly, if my memory serves me correctly, when you briefed us on Central America just a couple of weeks ago. And the order was signed before that.
I don't like this. I don't like it one bit from the President or from you. I don't think we need a lot of lengthy explanations. The deed has been done and, in the future, if anything like this happens, I'm going to raise one hell of a lot of fuss about it in public.
(Reprinted in Daniel Patrick Moynihan's `Came the Revolution' (Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, 1988. pp. 178-9))
Mr. Goldwater, from the Committee on Intelligence, submitted the following report:
On April 10, 1984, in a closed session, with most of the Members of the Senate in attendance, the DCI made his first formal presentation to the Committee of the details of the mining operations and the decision-making process which led to it. Following this briefing, the Senate, by a vote of 84-12, passed a sense of the Congress resolution that:
`No funds heretofore or hereafter appropriated in any Act of Congress shall be obligated or expended for the purpose of planning, directing, or supporting the mining of the ports or territorial waters of Nicaragua.'
On the same day, the Chairman of the Committee, Senator Goldwater, issued a statement which stated, among other things:
`. . . [The] Intelligence Community did not fully inform . . . [the] Committee concerning mining of harbors in Nicaragua despite the fact that they had a legal obligation to do so.
`[The] Intelligence Authorization Act [for Fiscal Year 1981] amended the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 to require that each operation conducted by or on behalf of the Central Intelligence Agency in a foreign country, other than activities intended solely for obtaining necessary intelligence, shall be considered a significant anticipated intelligence activity for the purpose of Section 501 of the National Security Act of 1947 [popularly referred to as the Intelligence Oversight Act of 1980].
`Because the legal requirement of the law was not followed in this case by not briefing our Committee, I therefore, wrote a strong letter to Director Casey expressing my extreme displeasure. In the letter, I explained to Director Casey that we in Congress had been debating for almost two weeks whether we would increase funds for the Nicaraguan program. Since neither the Committee nor my staff were briefed on the substance of the program, I had to engage in repeated debate on the Senate Floor. Having discovered the truth of the matter, I was then placed in the position of having to apologize to Members of the Committee and the Senate.
`I told Mr. Casey that this is no way to run a railroad and that it is indefensible on the part of the Administration to ask us to back its foreign policy when we don't even know what is going on because we were not briefed pursuant to the legal requirements. The Committee and Congress were left holding the bag in this instance. And, if we are to support the foreign policies of this Administration then, the President and his spokesman should let Congress and the American people know what is going on.
`In effect, what I told Director Casey was that if plain old fashion common sense had been used, the type of problem we face today would have never happened.'
The Chairman's statement concluded by saying that:
`The issues being raised now by me will have to be resolved to the satisfaction of my Committee and the Congress. Until that is done, I would hope and suggest that the debate be put on hold.'
Public debate, however, continued. On April 12, 1984, DCI Casey issued an `Employee Bulletin' in which he asserted that the CIA had `fully met all statutory requirements for notifying our Intelligence Oversight Committees of the covert action program in Nicaragua . . . [and] complied with the letter of the law in our briefings . . . [and] with the spirit as well.' On the same day, according to a press report, the President's National Security Advisor, Robert McFarlane, told the Naval Academy Foreign Affairs Conference, that:
`Every important detail [of the mining] was shared in full by the proper Congressional Oversight Committees.'
The report said Mr. McFarlane went on to say that `disclosure of secret plans to specified Congressional Committees `as . . . provided by law,' was `faithfully' accomplished.'
On April 15, 1984, Senator Moynihan announced his intent to resign as Vice Chairman of the Committee, stating:
`This appears to me the most emphatic way I can express my view that the Senate Committee was not properly briefed on the mining of Nicaraguan harbors with American mines from an American ship under American command.
`An employee bulletin of the Central Intelligence Agency issued April 12 states that the House Committee was first briefed on 31 January, but the Senate Committee not until March 8. Even, then, as Senator Goldwater has stated, nothing occurred which could be called a briefing. The reference is to a single sentence in a two-hour Committee meeting, and a singularly obscure sentence at that.
`This sentence was substantially repeated in a meeting on March 13. In no event was the briefing `full,' `current,' or `prior' as required by the Intelligence Oversight Act of 1980--a measure I helped write. If this action was important enough for the President to have approved it . . . it was important enough for the Committee to have been informed . . . [before implementation].
`In the public hearing on the confirmation of John J. McMahon as Deputy Director of Central Intelligence, I remarked that with respect to intelligence matters the `oversight function necessarily involves a trust relationship between the Committee and the Community because we cannot know what we are not told and therefore must trust the leaders of the Community to inform us.'
`I had thought this relationship of trust was securely in place. Certainly the career service gave every such indication. Even so, something went wrong, and the seriousness of this must be expressed.'
On April 26, the Committee held a closed meeting with DCI Casey at which he `apologize[d] profoundly.' Following the meeting, the Committee issued the following statement:
`The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence met on April 26 to review the events that let to the mining of Nicaraguan harbors and attacks on Nicaraguan ports. At the conclusion of this review, the Committee agreed that it was not adequately informed in a timely manner of certain significant intelligence activity in such a manner as to permit the Committee to carry out its oversight function. The Director of Central Intelligence concurred in that assessment.'
It is hard to recall a presidential nominee of any sort whose work performance and style was ever dissected so closely as Robert Gates's--and this in a supposedly secret agency. Yet it seems unfair to judge him strictly on the basis that he acted wisely in one instance, unwisely in another. Whose work product could stand up under that sort of scrutiny? Once demystified, as Sen William Cohen observed on the op-ed page yesterday, intelligence analysis turns out to be not nearly so much a quest for absolute truth as a struggle to prevail within a thoroughly human, bureaucratic and, yes, necessarily political environment. The CIA itself turns out to be much more a part of Washington and the larger political society than many understood.
In a thousand battles, sometimes Mr. Gates showed good sense and maturity and sometimes not. There is no question but that, promoted early, he often stepped on toes. The latter-day politicization sometimes less of analysis than of the analysis of analysis complicates scoring. But our judgment is that he was battling and learning at the same time. In his several White House assignments, he was learning some more.
Even those who feel he did not learn enough, however, have tended to move to a second front. Do not the scars that Mr. Gates inflicted and incurred at CIA disable him from leading American intelligence into a new era? Attentive outsiders and some brave insiders who took their careers into their hands testified that in this crucial category of leadership he falls short.
It seems to us, however, that the scars are a mark not only of a formidable experience but of a visible chastening. Mr. Gates is now publicly committed to reform. He means to manage the CIA to meet the changing requirements of the post-Cold War era. Unquestionably he has the knowledge of the machinery and the confidence of the president to do that job. He also promises to be faithful to the imperatives of honest consultation with Congress. Such consultation is designed precisely to diminish the chances that abuses of secret power, in operations or analysis, could recur.
Grave questions have been raised about Mr. Gates. He has made his own confessions of error and misjudgment. But these do not amount in our view to a showing that he is unqualified. On the contrary, there is much evidence that--as an analyst, as a manager, as one who knows the ways of the consumers of intelligence as well as the producers--he is qualified. He seems to us a reasonable choice to be George Bush's director of intelligence.
Mr. MOYNIHAN. I simply want to say to my friend from Virginia, that it was characteristically gallant of him to want to make part of this debate the record of a hugely unfortunate set of events in the early spring of 1984 when Barry Goldwater, then chairman of the Select Committee, stated that the committee had not been informed of the agency's participation in the mining of Nicaraguan harbors. He said this was an act of war, a violation of international law.
There followed, as I suggested to the committee on the occasion of the opening day of the nomination hearings in response to a question from the Senator from New Jersey, that what followed was a disinformation campaign directed against Barry Goldwater. I was vice chairman at the time. It was said all over this town that he had indeed been informed, but had forgotten. The suggestions, the insinuations, attained the level of viciousness. They worked in the press, and they would have worked in the Senate had it been a lesser man than Barry Goldwater, who was not about to be lied about.
And the day came when the Director, in a closed meeting in the Dome, apologized. The day came when the National Security Adviser, who had been duped, I think, into participating in this campaign against Senator Goldwater, sent a letter of apology, marked `Confidential.'
But the matter is not over. An employee bulletin which impugned Barry Goldwater's name, given out to all the members of the agency at the time, has never been retracted. It falsely stated that the committee had been fully briefed and that the agency had complied with the letter and the spirit of the law. The Director acknowledged privately this was not true, but the bulletin was not retracted.
The agency employees are owed an apology. They were told something not so about the Senate. And I am happy that I can report to the Senate that Mr. Gates came to see me on the 7th of October and said that if confirmed he would look into this matter, an important fact. An injustice to the Senate and to a great man that needs to be put straight will be put behind us.
Mr. WARNER. Mr. President, if I might just acknowledge again my pleasure in assocaiting myself with the distinguished Senator from New York, at long last making public this vital part of the record in the history of the CIA and one of our distinguished colleagues.
Mr. NUNN. Mr. President, during the Intelligence Committee's deliberation of this nomination, I indicated that I had reservations about it. I noted my concern about the signal it would send to the men and women in the intelligence community about how one gets to the top in this town. Mr. President, I still have some of these reservations. I also noted my concern over the CIA's inadequate response to questions I had submitted. The latter concern has been eased, although not completely and the CIA has now made a reasonable effort to reply to my inquiries, and they are continuing to endeavor to do that.
I believe that there are four issues that have to be considered in this nomination: First, Mr. Gates' relationship to the Iran-Contra operation; second, the charge of politicization in the management of intelligence analysis; third, Congressional oversight; and Fourth, the proper way to address the future of the CIA in a changed world, the latter being the strongest consideration, in my view.
The Intelligence Committee carefully examined the available evidence regarding Mr. Gates' relationship to the Iran-Contra operation. There are grounds for concern over Mr. Gates' inability to recall warnings of possible diversion of funds and over his lack of aggressiveness in following up various indications of impropriety.
Nonetheless, on the basis of the evidence before the committee, he does not appear to have been aware of any CIA impropriety or of the diversion of profits from arms sales to aid the Contras. Moreover, in his opening testimony before the committee, he acknowledged that he should have taken more seriously the possibility of impropriety or wrongdoing and should have pursued this possibility more aggressively.
Before looking at the management of intelligence analysis, I believe it is important to note that allegations of politicization are not new. They have plagued the CIA for several decades. Examples of controversy regarding the use of intelligence include estimates of Vietcong strength prior to the Tet offensive in 1968; estimates of Soviet strategic capabilities in 1969; and estimates regarding cross-border activities in Cambodia in 1970.
This helps to understand the controversy surrounding the CIA in the 1980's, particularly during the period from 1981 through 1986, when William Casey was the Director of Central Intelligence and Robert Gates occupied key positions at the CIA.
As we look back on this period, I believe there is little doubt that Mr. Casey has a policy agenda for combatting the global Soviet threat, as he understood it. I also believe there can be little doubt that Mr. Casey slanted intelligence to serve his policy agenda. For example, the report of the congressional committees investigating the Iran-Contra affair concluded the following:
The democratic processes are subverted when intelligence is manipulated to affect decisions by elected officials and the public. This danger is magnified when a director of Central Intelligence, like Casey, becomes a single-minded advocate of policy. Although Deputy Director of Central Intelligence, John McMahon, testified that no such intelligence manipulation took place, there is evidence that Director Casey misrepresented or selectively used available intelligence to support the policy he was promoting, particularly in Central America. Misrepresentation of intelligence also occurred in the Iran initiative.
It is also worth recalling the testimony of then Secretary of State George Shultz before the Iran-Contra committees:
* * * I hate to say it, but I believe that one of the reasons the President was given what I regard as wrong information, for example, about Iran and terrorism, was that the agency or the people in the CIA were too involved in this. So that is one point. And I feel very clear in my mind about this point. And I know that long before all this emerged, I had come to have great doubts about the objectivity and reliability of some of the intelligence I was getting, because I had a sense of this.
Mr. President, the available evidence regarding allegations of politicization is detailed in the committee report, and I will not attempt to review it here. I believe it is clear that the
most dramatic allegations are not borne out by the facts as we know them. I also believe that the evidence, while inconclusive as to the nominee's deliberately slanting intelligence, is clear as to the widespread perception of politicization of CIA analysis.
It is clear to me that Mr. Gates was not sufficiently sensitive to these perceptions during that timeframe. I believe, however, that this confirmation process and his experience since this period of time has made an impression on him. I also believe that he will take aggressive action to protect the independence and objectivity of the analytical process throughout the intelligence community and that he will be properly attentive to the morale and well-being of the men and women in the community. Those of us on the committee will be watching this very carefully, if he is confirmed.
I was pleased with Mr. Gates' responses to me and to Chairman Boren regarding congressional oversight and reporting indications of wrongdoing. I was also impressed by Chairman Boren's comments as to Mr. Gates' support for the role of Congress during his service as the Deputy National Security Adviser. Chairman Boren's strong support for Mr. Gates is an important factor in my affirmative vote today.
The most important challenge that will face the next Director of Central Intelligence is the need to restructure the CIA to adjust to a new world. I found the floor speech of Senator Moynihan about the failure of the CIA to chart the course of Soviet and East European economic affairs to be on point. I believe that the CIA in the next months and years to come must make significant changes and must do so soon. It has come to rely too much on technical means and not enough on human intelligence to fulfill the intelligence requirements of the United States. Technical means alone will not tell us what is going on in the Third World, which will be a likely source of challenge to U.S. interests in the future. Nor will technical means give us a clear reading of likely future developments in the Soviet Republics or in Eastern Europe.
We also need a new approach to the analytical process. We have to get away from the lowest common denominator and, when analysts disagree, move to an approach in which differing views are clearly set forth for policy makers.
We need the A views, the B views, and the C views if necessary. We need to challenge analyzers to make conclusions, and we need to form competing teams of analysts to take on competing visions.
Mr. President, in effect the CIA needs some ventilation. They need to have opposing views. They need to have fresh air. They need to have competing teams. They need to give policymakers more than one view on a number of subjects that at best have to be speculation.
I think those changes are long overdue.
Mr. President, I will support the nomination of Mr. Gates to head the CIA and the intelligence community based upon his extensive experience in intelligence analysis, as well as his appreciation with his background that he now has, his keen appreciation of the type of intelligence policymakers need and must have.
I have dealt personally with him over the years and have been impressed repeatedly with his intellect and his dedication. But most importantly, I believe that he possesses the background and experience that will enable him to reorient and revitalize the CIA to meet the challenges of the future. I rely on his pledges that he will do so.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Who yields time?
Mr. BRADLEY. I yield 8 minutes to the distinguished Senator from Arkansas.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Arkansas is recognized.
Mr. BUMPERS. Mr. President, I have never met Mr. Gates, but I am probably one of the few people here who actually read the committee report. I want to give him the benefit of every doubt. But when I read the report, I concluded that I could not support him to be Director of the CIA.
I read the day before yesterday some newspaper where people said they were tired of Iran-Contra.
I think that is true. I am too. But this debate is not about Iran-Contra. It is about Congress being misled. It is about Congress being deceived and lied to. It is about our intelligence community missing the demise of the U.S.S.R. It is about how on Earth are you going to cut funding for intelligence at a time when it can certainly be cut, with a cold war warrior as the Director of CIA?
And, Mr. President, the most dangerous thing of all, is the politicization of the intelligence community.
On October 7, Elliott Abrams pled guilty to lying to Congress. Everybody knows that story.
Bill Casey, head of the CIA all the years under Ronald Reagan until his death, lied to Congress.
Ollie North lied to Congress.
John Poindexter lied to the U.S. Congress.
And when the intelligence community withholds information, from Congress, misleads, deceives, shaves, and hedges on information to Congress--Mr. President, the United States can wind up in a war and never know how it got there. It is the most dangerous thing that can happen to this country, when people in position to know who, know that we are depending on them for information to make decisions, and lie to us, or mislead us.
Robert Gates said that politics never entered into his decision, his analyses.
Draw your own conclusions. In 1984, he said air strikes would be necessary to defeat the Sandinistas, and he went on in a memo to Bill Casey in 1984 and said: `Hopes for a more pluralistic government are essentially silly and hopeless,' referring to Nicaragua.
Does that sound like somebody giving you intelligence, or does that sound like somebody running for office on an anti-Communist platform? That is advocacy, pure and simple.
Further on Nicaragua he said, `Any negotiated agreement will simply offer a cover for the consolidation of the Sandinista regime.'
And then he said: `It is time to stop fooling ourselves about what is going to happen in Nicaragua.'
He was right, but he was the one who was fooled.
And on SDI, Mr. President, does this sound like somebody who is a gatherer of intelligence, giving us information on which to base our decisions by recommending the `astrodome defense' concept which even Dan Quayle called political jargon? It was not even a serious program goal, and he went on to say, in a public speech, that for the United States to give up on defense and rely just on offensive forces, the strategy that served the United States well for over 35 years, `would be a key indicator of a loss of U.S. will to compete militarily.' And even worse, `Failure to proceed with an American strategic defense would hand the Soviets a unilateral military advantage of historic consequence--with awesomely negative implications for strategic stability and peace.' Does that sound like an intelligence analyst, or does that sound like a speech from the White House?
The memo he wrote to Bill Casey in 1984--and I do not have time to read all of it--is nothing more or less than an ideological presentation; virtually no intelligence in it.
Mr. President, at a time when the U.S.S.R. was collapsing, as it had been for years, I never heard a peep out of the CIA to indicate that some of our defense expenditures were bloated and unnecessary.
I got to where I would not go up to room S-407 for CIA briefings because every time an issue was raised on the floor about what the Soviet Union was up to, if the proponents wanted the B-2 or, SDI, whatever they wanted, to counter something in the Soviet Union, just go up to S-407 and hear what the CIA had to say about it. I knew what the CIA was going to say before I went. They were going to say exactly what the President of the United States and the Pentagon told them to say. And I cannot remember one single piece of intelligence from the CIA, before or during Desert Storm that turned out to be accurate.
Mr. President, we are spending, so I read in the Times, $30 billion a year on intelligence--over half of which is directed at the Soviet Union. And the number one problem that is going to cause the collapse of this country is not the Soviet Union, but the United States deficit. When we finally get serious around here about the enormity of our deficit, intelligence is going to have to
take a cut along with everyone else. Tell me, do you expect Robert Gates, based on what you know about him right now, to come in here and tell you where we can save maybe $10 billion in intelligence? The answer is in the question.
I believe that intelligence in the past 10 years has been woefully inept, wrong, and outrageously politicized. These are things that are not just from this Senator. These are things that were said by higher ranking people in the CIA who testified before the committee, and they have not been discredited.
Finally the CIA said the Soviet Union was a part of the conspiracy to assassinate the Pope, I must tell you I was traumatized. The Soviets may be dumb but they are not stupid. Fifty million or more Catholics in this country. Maybe a billion or more around the world. What a scam the CIA pulled on that one. We now know there was not one shred of evidence, to justify such a report, and yet this body and the American people were misled into believing that.
Mr. President, much has been made here about the CIA needing an insider. I submit if there was ever a time that the intelligence community, and especially the CIA, needed an outsider, it is now.
I thank the Seantor from New Jersey for yielding.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Who yields time?
Mr. BRADLEY. Mr. President, how much time remains?
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New Jersey controls 15 minutes.
Mr. BRADLEY. I yield 4 minutes to the Senator from Ohio.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Ohio.
Mr. METZENBAUM. Mr. President, yesterday I had said in this body, `Mr. Fiers told the committee that he never specifically told Mr. Gates what was going on. But he added that everybody knew what Colonel North was doing and he believed Mr. Gates must have known as well, at least in general terms.'
My colleague from Alaska took the floor a few minutes ago to say, `that statement might lead one to erroneously conclude that Gates must have known about the illegal diversion. But that is not what Mr. Fiers said. What Mr. Fiers really said was this: `A broad array of people had an understanding of what was happening. Not the diversion, not the sales of weapons to Iran, but that a private benefactor support network for * * * the Contras * * * had been established and was being quarterbacked by Ollie North.'
My colleague from Alaska fails to add what Mr. Fiers went on to say: `I think in my own mind'--this is according to Fiers--`that Bob Gates was in that universe.'
My colleague also fails to include the balance of the statement of Mr. Fiers, who goes on to say: `But within that [universe], I have serious reason to doubt that Bob Gates had extensive detail. He was late to the game. It was not something that was talked about openly. At that point, there were more understandings between people and I think he got glimpses and snatches into it, enough so that he knew that it was a problem. Someplace--there were shoals out there the Agency had to stay away from and * * * as best I understand it, that was his intent.'
I believe that suffices, Mr. President, to indicate that Bob Gates knew what was going on. The exact details, no, probably not; but certainly he knew what was going on, and Mr. Fiers so testified. I say to my colleague from Alaska, I think the record speaks in support of the position and the statement that the Senator from Ohio made yesterday.
Mr. President, I yield the floor.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Who yields time?
Mr. BRADLEY. Mr. President, I yield myself 10 minutes.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New Jersey.
Mr. BRADLEY. Mr. President, first, I would like to express my appreciation to the chairman for his fairness and thoroughness throughout this whole process that is about to come to an end. I think there will be a lot of relieved staff members as soon as it is concluded, as well as some of us who worked in the committee for months on this nomination.
Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that my opening and closing statements in the hearings be printed in the Record, along with the testimony of Mr. Tom Polgar and Mr. Hal Ford.
There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in the Record, as follows:
Mr. Chairman, these hearings are not just an occasion to reexamine, yet again, Robert Gates' role in the Iran-Contra scandal, in other words, what he knew when, why he did not find out more sooner, what he did or did not do sooner, and what he did or did not do as a result. These hearings are an opportunity to open a new debate on the future of the role of intelligence in protecting not just American interests against foreign dangers but also U.S. taxpayers against unneeded defense spending.
The U.S. Intelligence Community annually spends many billions of dollars and employs tens of thousands of people to avoid the costs of false alarms while keeping alert to real dangers. The DCI leads the Intelligence Community, manages its vast resources, and advises the President and the Congress on critical issues.
That is why we must appraise Mr. Gates' past record (as the CIA's former Deputy Director for Intelligence, a former Chairman of the National Intelligence Council, a former Deputy and Acting DCI, and as the current Deputy Assistant to the President) to ensure that he meets high standards of integrity, judgment, and leadership. In addition to Iran-Contra, we must evaluate his performance on the two issues that have been central to American security in recent years: the Soviet Union and Iraq.
Based on our past investigations, the Iran-Contra scandal began with an error of judgment. In 1985, the National Intelligence Council, which Mr. Gates headed, produced a badly flawed estimate that overestimated Iranian vulnerability and provided the Administration with a strategic rationale to help Iran get arms. A few months later, the CIA gave unauthorized support to covert Israeli shipments of U.S. arms to Iran. When Mr. Gates found out about them afterwards, he not only failed to object but also neither reviewed nor disclosed them to the Congressional oversight committees for a year. Moreover, during the summer of 1986, he ignored growing signs that profits from selling arms to Iran were being diverted to the Nicaraguan contras,
contrary to law. Despite his promises to supervise and report all covert activities, he was instrumental in misinforming the Senate Committee about the CIA's role in this scandal.
The Committee will have to decide whether these lapses of judgment were isolated mistakes or part of a pattern in which Mr. Gates tailored intelligence to suit policymakers or his own biases; failed to prevent, protest, or at least warn of improperly authorized activities; or even suppressed damaging information.
The reason these questions--was it isolated incidents or a pattern--is important is because upon confirmation, the DCI disappears behind a veil of secrecy, accountable to the public only through the Congressional oversight Committee. If we confirm someone whose past lack of candor has hidden poor judgment and his own failure to exercise leadership, how can we be confident that the CIA will do a good job under his direction in the future? That is a basic question in these hearings.
Assuming Mr. Gates satisfies the Committee on Iran-Contra, I think he must still explain his persistent overstatement of Soviet strength and insufficient attention to Iraqi threats. His weak record on these crucial issues raises questions about his strategic judgment.
First, the Soviet Union, Mr. Gates' slowness to recognize the powerful movements toward democratic and nationalist revolutions in the former Soviet Union is cause for concern--especially in view of the data and insights he was getting from intelligence analysts. While he might be excused for belittling the fundamental changes taking place as early as 1986, it is hard to excuse his blindly fatalistic view in 1988 that `the dictatorship of the Communist party remains untouched and untouchable' or that `a long competition and struggle with the Soviet Union lie before us.' Today, both the Communist Party and the former USSR are rapidly fading into history. There is no question that Mr. Gates got it dead wrong. The question is why.
The Committee must decide whether such mistakes were truly impartial errors of judgment or the result of systematic biases to support the bloated defense budgets of the 1980s.
For instance, in November 1986, he publicized highly alarming estimates of Soviet strategic laser developments and warned that `Failure to proceed with an American strategic defense would hand the Soviets a unilateral military advantage of historic consequences--with awesomely negative implications for strategic stability and peace.'
This was simply a false alarm. Yet, it supported a costly and fruitless quest for wonder weapons and squandered resources that would have been better spent, for example, on ensuring that Patriot missiles were improved to knock out all Scud warheads in case of conflict in the Persian Gulf. These and other alarmist messages about the Soviet Union that Mr. Gates publicized during the 1980s were embodied in intelligence estimates that he provided to policy-makers serving two administrations.
Now, lets turn to Iraq. In the mid-80s even as the Iran-Contra operation was playing out, the U.S. tilted more and more forcefully toward Iraq. The following are things that are publicly known: First, the Reagan and Bush Administration approved export licenses for $1.5 billion worth of dual-use items--i.e. items that had a military application such as helicopters (not very much unlike the ones used in the invasion of Kuwait) and equipment that could help the Iraqi nuclear program.
Second, they muffled criticism of Iraqi's gassing of Kurds;
Third, they extended hundreds of millions of dollars in Ex-Im and agricultural loan guarantees; and
Fourth, in 1989, the Bush Administration opposed naming Iraq a terrorist state and when Congress did so anyhow, the President waived it's restrictions on agriculture and Ex-Im credits to Iraq.
In this atmosphere of cozying up to Iraq and remaining fixated by the Soviet specter, Mr. Gates did not refocus sufficient intelligence resources on the emerging Iraqi threat. Specifically, after Iraq routed Iran unexpectedly in 1988, it clearly increased its military advantage over all its neighbors and intensified its pursuit of technology for strategic and nuclear weapons. Notwithstanding these danger signs, Mr. Gates did far too little to ensure that U.S. policy would be well informed of Iraqi strategic activities, including ballistic missiles and weapons of mass destruction.
As a result, when Saddam Hussein began making more belligerent and specific threats against Kuwait in 1990, the Administration had no good alternative to the unreliable reassurances of Arab officials whose interests differed from ours. Fortunately, this failure of intelligence was not catastrophic for the U.S., but only because Saddam had provoked the U.S. prematurely, before he had acquired an effective chemical or nuclear deterrent. Enemy stupidity is not a reliable substitute for astute guidance.
In addition to Mr. Gates' role in the Iran-Contra scandal and in failing to refocus U.S. intelligence resources
on the emerging Iraqi threat, his involvement generally in U.S. ties with Iraq since 1985 needs to be examined critically. These ties include not just direct official relationships between governments but also connections that were the responsibility of the CIA to monitor or to maintain. Indeed, unless all his activities in this regard were authorized under law, I would seriously question his candor and commitment to upholding the law, and therefore his fitness to serve.
We have been pleasantly surprised by the early endings of the Cold War and the Persian Gulf War, but more diverse challenges to our security and new opportunities to support democratic change in the world lie on the horizon. Does Robert Gates have the record, the vision, and the independence needed to revamp the Intelligence Community to address these new questions? Only Mr. Gates can answer these questions by what he does or does not say during these hearings. The floor will be Mr. Gates'; he will either answer those questions to the satisfaction of the Committee and the American public, or he won't.
Mr. Chairman, the inquiries and hearings conducted by this Committee over the last few months have been fair and thorough. The hearings have answered many important questions about the public record of the President's nominee to be the Director of Central Intelligence. They have also raised many questions about the judgment and personal qualities needed in the next Director. I have concluded that despite his ability, success, and dedication as an intelligence officer, Bob Gates cannot provide the fresh leadership and good judgment that the United States needs at the top of its intelligence community in the post-Soviet world.
The record shows that Mr. Gates is a man of the past. While he has great expertise on the former Soviet Union and its armed forces, much of his knowledge was made obsolete by the communists' loss of power in August.
Mr. Gates was exceptionally slow to recognize the build-up of powerful, non-military forces that finally swept away the old Soviet order.
At the same time, Mr. Gates was insensitive to early signs of threats to U.S. interests in Iraq in the period after it routed Iran in 1988.
And his past management of the CIA's analysts left a legacy of doubt that would be difficult to overcome--especially since he often turned out to be wrong when he substituted his own judgment for the analysts'. He did this by predicting early Soviet inroads in Iran, tests of Soviet
laser defenses against ballistic missiles, and Soviet moves against Panama and South Africa.
The person who leads the CIA into the new era I think has got to have, above all, sound judgment. But as these hearings revealed, Mr. Gates has a record dotted with serious errors of judgment:
He erred in late 1984 when he advised the DCI that air strikes would be needed to beat the Sandinistas.
He erred when he failed to insist that CIA analysts take advantage of offers of assistance from Soviet emigre economists who were correctly interpreting the early signs of Soviet economic collapse.
He also erred in managing a CIA assessment in 1985 of the Soviet role in Agca's hapless effort to shoot the Pope John Paul II. The assessment was not a study of all possibilities. Yet, Mr. Gates' cover letter and the key judgments of the study suggested it was. He thus misrepresented its meaning to policy makers, and after an internal review showed him that the process by which the study was conducted had been flawed, he failed to correct misimpressions it may have created in policy makers' minds. Only after he was pressed in these hearings did Mr. Gates finally concede that he overstated the basis for confidence in the case that the Soviets had any role whatsoever.
He erred again in 1986 when he ignored the impact of glasnost on Soviet foreign policy in his speeches--one of which, `War by Another Name,' blatantly promoted the Reagan doctrine.
He erred repeatedly in other speeches between 1985 and 1990 in portraying Soviet reformers as at first unreal and, when that was no longer credible, as losers.
As the Deputy DCI and later as Deputy National Security Adviser, Mr. Gates should be held accountable for shortcomings of intelligence we have experienced in even more recent years. Just in the past few months we have learned how badly the intelligence community missed the vast bulk of Iraq's nuclear weapons programs. Mr. Gates' misjudgments were critical in diverting the attention of the intelligence community away from Iraq in late 1988 and early 1989, just when Iraq began to show signs of strategic activities that could threaten U.S. interests in the Persian Gulf. He opted instead for monitoring Soviet military power more closely, just as the Soviet Union was being squeezed by a shrinking economy and a decaying political system.
The complex challenges of the post-Soviet world call for a Director of Central Intelligence who understands the
needs of that changing world. American interests will be affected increasingly by developments in Asia and Latin America, by the spread of nuclear and other dangerous technologies in the Third World, and by widespread religious, racial, and ethnic strife. At the same time there will be these changing needs, the budgets for U.S. intelligence will decline.
That is why the next DCI must lead the intelligence community with sound strategic judgment. He must refocus the policy makers' attention on the new issues, anticipate threats before they become unmanageable, and question conventional wisdom of superiors as well as subordinates. Mr. Gates has the record of a man who has not been up to these three tasks.
Quite apart from his misjudgments of Iraq and the Soviet Union, Mr. Gates also has a creditability problem of his own. When he has been candid, he has admitted many mistakes. For example, publicly advocating SDI and other controversial policies, predicting the revival of Soviet power, and slighting alternative views.
Yet, his candor has varied from time to time and issue to issue. He apologized for some of the mistakes that he has not been able to deny, for example, having failed to find out more, sooner, and done more about the Iran-Contra scandal.
In other cases, he did not recall his mistakes until confronted with undeniable evidence. For example, only in the last few weeks, when the evidence was finally made public, did he admit that he had mistakenly quelled dissent on the special national intelligence estimates in 1985 that provided the anti-Soviet rationale for easing the arms embargo on Iran.
Finally, after months of classified inquiries, only last week did he finally admit that he had been personally involved in a major change of policy toward intelligence liaison with Iraq in October 1986. Yet, just six months earlier, he had promised under oath and was required by law to keep the Committee fully and currently informed of all significant anticipated intelligence activities. Moreover, there are still important and unanswered questions about his management and supervision of the undisclosed ties between Iraq and the United States--ties that may even have encouraged Saddam to miscalculate about U.S. willingness to resist his aggression.
These hearings have given us a revealing picture of Mr. Gates--he is a man who apologizes for undeniable mistakes, admits newly confirmed mistakes, recalls possible mistakes only when questioned repeatedly in public, refuses to recall or forgets unproven mistakes, and promises to prevent any more serious mistakes.
Mr. Chairman, these actions do not inspire confidence. How are we to believe that Mr. Gates has been fully candid in the past, that he is speaking with complete candor even now, or that he can recover his credibility in the future? Confirming him would send the intelligence community the wrong message. It would send the message that we would only promote an adept bureaucrat and deny our policy makers the fresh leadership we so desperately need.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I have some very difficult things to say today, but I feel I must say them. In brief, my message is that I think Robert Gates should not be confirmed as Director of Central Intelligence. This is a difficult task for me, in part because though semi-retired I am still an employee of the CIA, on part-time contract. This is also a very painful task for me. It is painful to be negative about someone who has been my colleague, a relationship that was cooperative throughout and where there was no bad blood whatsoever between us. Moreover, as my supervisor, Bob Gates was good to me, and awarded me increased responsibilities. Furthermore, he is extremely able, and has clearly had unique experience in both the production of intelligence and its use by the country's top decisionmakers. For me, this is a case of conflicting loyalties. As an indebted colleague, I should loyally support Bob Gates' candidacy. But I also have loyalties to the Agency and to our country's need to have DCIs of the finest makeup possible.
First, a word about where I'm coming from, and about my knowledge of Bob Gates. Following service as a naval officer in World War II and a freshly-won PhD, I joined the CIA in 1950. I served in operations, including a tour of duty as a CIA Chief of Station abroad. I was also an analyst of intelligence for some years, then a manager of intelligence for many years. I have also been a critic of intelligence--including four years duty with this Committee, at which time I was the senior staffer concentrating on intelligence analysis. I served four years in CIA's Directorate of Operations (DO) and four years in CIA's Directorate of Intelligence (DI), but most of my Agency duty concerned the National Intelligence Estimates business. First, with the old Office of National Estimates, where I was the Chief of its Staff; and later with that office's successor, the present National Intelligence Council (the NIC or the Nick), where I was a National Intelligence Officer, later the NIC's Vice Chairman, and then its Acting Chairman, from which post I retired from CIA on 3 September 1986, for matters of health. Since then I have been a lecturer at the Defense Intelligence College, and an historian with the CIA, part-time. I am an author and lecturer on intelligence analysis, including a national prize-winning monograph on National Intelligence Estimating.
Discerning what is the skewing of intelligence and what is not is a tricky business, but from my four decades of experience in and around intelligence I think I can help the Committee thread its way through the differing kinds of pressure which Bob Gates did or did not bring on intelligence analysis. It is my view, in
short, that some of his pressures were justified, as he sought to sharpen analysis and its usefulness to decisionmakers. Secondly, that some of the pressures he brought on analysis simply reflected differing professional judgments, and that some of the allegations that he skewed intelligence doubtless have arisen from analysts whose pride was damaged by his revisions. Thirdly, however, as I am prepared to discuss at greater length, it is my view, based chiefly on the confidences of CIA officers whose abilities and character I respect, that other of Bob Gates' pressures have clearly gone beyond professional bounds and do constitute a skewing of intelligence--not in the fields of military and strategic issues, but concerning Soviet political questions, and developments concerning the Soviets and the Third World.
I first met Bob Gates in 1980, when I returned to the CIA from duty with this Committee. I then had some contact with him, off and on, for some three years. Then considerably more contact with him after he became Chairman of the NIC in 1983--at which time I was one of his National Intelligence Officers, and NIO/At Large, seized mostly with global issues. I had still more contact with Bob Gates from January to September 1986: first, as his senior deputy on the NIC; and then, after he became the Deputy Director of Central Intelligence in April, when I succeeded him as Chairman of the NIC, in an Acting capacity. During those months of 1986 we saw quite a bit of one another, on questions of personnel, procedure, and substance. In many of our meetings Director Casey was also present; many other of my meetings with Bob Gates were one-on-one. As I have mentioned, our relationship was cooperative throughout, and I admired his efforts to make intelligence estimates shorter, sharper, and more relevant to the needs of our policymaking consumers.
During those eight months of 1986 I recall no instance where he tried to skew the NIC's intelligence analysis in any way. Regarding pre-1986 months in the NIC, however, I have learned that Bob Gates did lean heavily on an Iran-Iraq estimate in 1985, insisting on his own views and discouraging dissent. I have some knowledge of that skewed estimate, and of subsequent--and more correct--estimates produced in 1986. I also have some first-hand knowledge clarifying and correcting some of the testimony this Committee has previously received concerning the famous--or infamous--National Intelligence Estimates on Mexico (of 1984) and on the Soviets and International Terrorism (of 1981). It is my understanding that Bob Gates brought considerably more pressure to bear on intelligence analysis in the Directorate of Intelligence than he did with the NIC. This is probably because it is harder to skew a broad National Intelligence Estimate than it is the narrower questions more often addressed in the DDI; and, secondly, because the DDI's analysts are mostly younger, more junior officers than the NIC's tough veterans.
I know I am not as well known as the witnesses who have urged this Committee to confirm Bob Gates. But I do bring certain credentials to my testimony. As someone still in the intelligence analysis business who's been there longer than any other officer I know. Someone who has had the pleasure of knowing and working for DCIs of stature: General Bedell Smith, Allen Dulles, John McCone, Dick Helms, Bill Colby. Someone who has held senior CIA positions in both operations and analysis. Someone to whom Director Casey and Bob Gates gave several awards, including the National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal. Someone who has been rewarded with respect within the CIA, within this Committee years ago, and in the outside world of scholarship in the fields of international affairs, of intelligence, and of ethnics and public affairs.
Now the key question: why do I take the painful step of urging that Bob Gates not be confirmed? Several reasons:
First, my views on the nomination have become more critical since the confirmation hearings began. I have become more critical because of the depositions, the documents, and the testimonies that have come to light--including that of Tom Polgar, whose detailed knowledge of the Iran-Contra record deserves respect and careful examination, even if the Iran-Contra Committee did not happen to formally pursue those questions at the time.
Secondly, I have become more critical because of the testimony of Bob Gates, himself. I'm sorry to say it, but the word that captures his testimony, for me, is--clever. The forgetfulness of this brilliant officer--gifted with photographic memory--does not, to me, wholly instill confidence.
Thirdly, to develop the finest US intelligence possible, a DCI Gates would have to attract and recruit the best brains in the country. I fear he would have some difficulty doing so, because many would shy away from serving a DCI about whom some serious questions have been raised.
Fourthly, there should also be reservations about Bob Gates' analytical style and judgment. Over the years the best analytical results in US intelligence have occurred when the DCI attracted the best analytical talent he could find, then listened to their judgments, ground in his own, and then presented their collective views to the senior policymakers. Many will share my view that Bob Gates has often depended too much on his own individual analytic judgments, and has ignored or scorned the views of others whose assessments did not accord with his own. This
would be OK if he were uniquely all-seeing. He has not been. Most importantly, he has been wrong on the central analytic target of the past few years: the probable fortunes of the USSR and the Soviet European bloc. He was wrong concerning the Soviet threat to Iran in 1985. Overly certain that the Soviets ran international terrorism. Overly certain that the sky would fall if we didn't bomb Nicaragua--to say nothing of the wisdom of such a recommended course of action. The USA deserves a DCI whose analytic batting average is better than that--especially if that DCI tends to force his views on the CIA and the Intelligence Community, and especially at a time when US intelligence and US policy face a far more complex world than the one we have known.
Lastly, I have some hesitancy concerning Bob Gates' determination to be a fiercely independent voice of intelligence. I agree with Admiral Inman's testimony that there will not necessarily be dancing in the streets in the CIA if Bob Gates becomes DCI. I do feel, however, that Admiral Inman may have left a mistaken impression with this Committee that the reason CIA's senior officers might not wholly welcome a DCI Gates is because they're simply set in their ways and wouldn't want to have to change. I would stress that there is another element present among them which deserves emphasis. And that is the strong tradition among older CIA officers, one of stress upon the need for integrity of judgment and action, a generation of officers raised on the need for strict independence of judgment, of a premium on telling it like it is, of going where the evidence takes one and then candidly so telling the senior policymakers, whether they find such judgments congenial or not--the aim being to enlighten them about the true shape of the world, not to please them or to cater to their preconceptions.
I do not see Bob Gates a strong exemplar of that tradition. For US intelligence to be worth its keep, worth all the money, talent, and effort involved, we citizens must be confident that a DCI will independently and fiercely stand his ground with his boss, the President of the United States, in cases where their views may differ concerning a particular intelligence judgment at hand. In my view--which I am sure many senior CIA officers share--there would not be such confidence concerning the Bob Gates who served DCI Casey in the CIA. And it seems to me it would be even more difficult for Bob Gates to develop such fierce, independent integrity of judgment and action with the President now, after having been a close, key member of his policymaking team for some years.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for permitting me to comment on the nomination.
Born in Budapest, Hungary in 1922. Academic gymnasium in Budapest, Gaines College for Business Administration in New York City. Yale University international studies (while in U.S. Army).
On active duty U.S. Army January 1943-May 1946. 2d Lieutenant Military Intelligence. Assigned to OSS, (World War Two predecessor of CIA) in 1944. Accepted civilian intelligence employment with interim agency Strategic Services Unit on discharge from Army and entered on duty with CIA when it was formed in 1947. Career intelligence officer for next 34 years, holding staff and command positions with steadily increasing responsibilities in Europe, Latin America, Vietnam and CIA Headquarters.
Noteworthy assignments included Chief of Base Frankfurt, Chief of Base Hamburg, Deputy Chief of Station Vienna, Austria; Chief of Station in Argentina, Mexico, Vietnam and Germany. In CIA Headquarters served as Chief Intelligence Collection Staff Eastern Europe and for Latin America. Chief of Personnel Management, Operations Directorate.
Held `supergrade' rank for 18 years, including GS 18 and Executive Level Four for ten years.
Decorations include two Distinguished Service Medals--Intelligence Star and Department of State Award for Valor.
Retired from CIA in December 1981. Subsequently served as consultant to Defense Intelligence Agency 1982-1985 and on staff of U.S. Senate Select Committee on Iran/Contra.
Consultant to private business in United States and in Germany, but never in areas related to defense or intelligence.
Lectured on intelligence topics at Tufts University, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University; Smithsonian Institute's Campus on the Mall and Central Florida University.
Author of numerous articles on intelligence and international affairs published in such papers as Miami Herald, Washington Post, Orlando Sentinel, Boston Globe, American Legion Magazine, International Journal of Intelligence and German `Welt am Sonnta' (Sunday World).
My name is Tom Polgar. I appear today in response to the Committee's invitation.
I feel qualified to testify based on some 40 years' involvement with American intelligence, starting with OSS in World War Two. During 34 years with the Central Intelligence Agency I held a dozen or so senior staff and command positions. I was chief of station in Argentina, Vietnam, Mexico and Germany. In 1987 I served as investigator on the staff of the Senate Select Committee on Iran/Contra.
I come today to oppose the nomination of Robert Gates because of information and conclusions developed from the Iran/Contra chain of events.
This is the first time I have taken a public position on a presidential appointment.
At the outset, let me counter the claim that Robert Gates as Deputy Director of Central Intelligence was `out of the loop'--that Gates was not told about the events now known as Iran/Contra. I intend to show by documentation and testimony that Gates was fully in the loop, in the management pattern set by his predecessor John McMahon.
No one then serving in CIA could have had any doubts that McMahon was a Deputy Director fully involved in CIA's management, exactly as was intended by Congress when the appointment of the Deputy Director of Central Intelligence was made subject to Senate confirmation.
McMahon was Director Casey's loyal deputy and strong right hand. For example, when President Reagan called a meeting for Saturday, December 7, 1985 to discuss the Iran initiative, McMahon was there for CIA, along with other top advisors of the President.
A few days earlier, in the Director's absence, McMahon showed strong leadership, taking the initiative to right a wrong, trying to construct a legal defense by means of a Presidential Finding for the CIA's role in the November 1985 HAWK missiles for hostages deal.
Mr. Gates succeeded McMahon as Deputy Director for Intelligence in 1982 and as Deputy Director Central Intelligence in 1986. It is not conceivable to me that McMahon would have failed to explain to Gates how the shop was being run and what were the major and controversial operations then handled by the Agency.
In any case, after several years in top management jobs, Gates should have known well how the CIA functioned and what were the primary interests of Director Casey.
The CIA's own records show that Gates followed McMahon's pattern. He was acting Director in Casey's absence; he dealt personally with the White House, accompanying the Director or on his own; he was in and out of the Director's office at his own volition; he needed no invitation to join Casey when Oliver North came to lunch. This was in accordance with the statement made by Mr. Gates to the Senate Intelligence Committee in April 1986 that the Director and he, Gates, agreed to merge the offices of DCI and DDCI into a single entity.
By early 1986, in my opinion, it would have been impossible for any senior CIA officer, let alone the Deputy Director, not to know that CIA was involved in support to the Contras. The mining of the Nicaraguan ports, for example, which resulted in sharp controversy between Director Casey and the then Senate Intelligence Committee chairmen Goldwater and Moynihan, the arguments around the Boland Amendment and CIA's own intelligence reporting
reflected the developments. It is hard to imagine that the Deputy Director of CIA did not know what was behind the newspaper reporting and why Congress was becoming agitated.
It has been suggested that Gates did not know about Iran/Contra and the diversion of funds because he was `compartmented out'.
This is not true and, indeed, would not have been possible. People who make such claims do not understand how CIA functions.
The truth is that certainly from the time he succeeded John McMahon as Deputy Director for Intelligence, Gates was a key member of CIA's top management team. He was not only well aware of Iran/Contra development but had direct involvement with them already as Deputy Director for Intelligence, as shown by CIA documents, testimony, depositions and White House papers.
Intelligence Directorate participation, under Gates, in the formulation of the Agency's role in support of the Contras is reflected, for example, in a December 1985 memorandum `Crucial Decisions on Central America' and in a January 1986 `NSC prebrief' meeting in which participants were instructed that Director Casey wanted to make the insurgency choice stark:--either we go all out in support of the Contras or they will go down the drain.
As for Iran, a CIA memorandum for the record indicates that on December 5, 1985 then Deputy Director John McMahon convened a meeting to top CIA officials, including Robert Gates, to advise them that he would be meeting with the President on December 7 to take stock of U.S. efforts to free hostages and expand ties with Iran. McMahon reviewed what had already happened, including the 24 November HAWK shipment, the first Iran Funding and the planning for more weapons shipments.
This meeting and the subsequent CIA memorandum for the record are of crucial importance because they indicate the falsehood of later statements of Robert Gates and other CIA witnesses.
Gates' early involvement with the Iran operations is also shown by his testimony (SSCI) that he was in a meeting on January 25, 1986 at the CIA to discuss preparation of intelligence to be passed to the Iranians, as part of the arrangements developed by the National Security Council staff with the Ayatollah Khomeini's regime.
According to a document found in Oliver North's files, titled `DCI, Talking Points, February 27, 1986' (Tower Commission) `the people who know' included Robert Gates.
In March 1986 then Deputy Director for Intelligence Gates asked his analysts to prepare briefing material for Robert McFarlane in order for him to impress the Iranians with the gravity of the Soviet threat to Iran. A week later the analysts met with Gates to discuss how to respond to Iranian intelligence requirements on Iraq.
CIA documents show that in the spring of 1986 Gates was among the small group of senior officers who received sensitive intelligence from the National Security Agency that the Iranians were paying exorbitant prices for spare parts and radar equipment.
An internal White House electronic message dated April 16, 1986 from North to Admiral Poindexter stated `Chief NE and Gates have urged Cave and North to proceed tomorrow with the Iranians in Frankfurt.'
North's message indicated that Gates was not only aware of but took an active part in the management of the Iran operation. Far from being compartmented out of Iran/Contra, even as Deputy Director Gates was an important member in CIA's top management team. I suggest that he must have done well in that capacity to warrant Mr. Casey's choosing him to be his deputy.
In July 1986 Admiral Poindexter sent an electronic message to North on the latter's proposal to sell General Second's Central American enterprise to the CIA. Poindexter explained that he had alread told Robert Gates that the private effort should be phased out. Would a careful man like Poindexter talk with Gates of the private effort unless he knew for certain that Gates was among the people at CIA who knew about the private effort? And if Gates did not know, would it not have been his duty to find out what it was the National Security Adviser wanted?
The record shows that Gates had continuing contact with Poindexter. Often he accompanied Casey to the scheduled weekly meetings, at times he saw the National Security Adviser alone.
According to a memorandum for the record by Gates, he, Casey, Poindexter and North met at the White House on October 2, 1986. (Tower Commission).
Records made available to the Iran/Contra Committee show that after the shooting down of the Hasenfus plane over Nicaragua there were frequent contacts in person and by telephone between CIA's top management and Admiral Poindexter. Grave problems emerged with the Contra and with the Iran aspects. Gates was in Poindexter's office on the 2nd, 15th and 24th October. On the latter date, according to testimony of CIA senior analyst Charles Allen to the Tower Commission, Gates had given a lot of warning to the Admiral that the Iranian operation was spinning out of control.
How could Gates have given such warning if he were compartmented out and did not know what was happening?
On October 9, 1986, according to the record, Gates invited himself to Casey's lunch with Oliver North to hear North's report on his meeting in Frankfurt with a new Iranian channel, along with General Secord and CIA's George Cave. During the lunch North made, what Gates called a cryptic reference to a Swiss account and money for the Contras. Gates said in testimony (SSCI) that he and Casey did not pursue North's remark; that after lunch he and Casey discussed it and agreed that they did not understand North's comments.
It would seem that the two top Central Intelligence officers failed to ask North what he intended to convey by reference to such interesting subjects as Swiss accounts and money to the Contras.
Casey and Gates met again with Poindexter on November 6th, 1986 when--as Gates testified (SSCI)--Casey recommended that Poindexter bring in the White House legal counsel. Gates also said that he learned at that meeting that Casey had a prior discussion with Poindexter in which the Director recommended that North obtain legal counsel. Certainly at this point Gates had good reason to assume that something illegal might have taken place. A lawyer with Casey's experience would not recommend that a White House staffer retain legal counsel, unless he had reason to assume that actions took place for which legal defense would be required.
The CIA's Inspector General testified that Casey and Gates met again with Poindexter on November 14, 1986 to discuss suspected diversion of money to Central America. The Inspector General said that by early November CIA had fairly significant evidence that some diversion might have taken place. (SSCI)
The Comptroller of CIA testified that he learned of possible diversion to the Contras on November 18 or 19, 1986, when CIA operations officers speculated about the diversion as they were pulling together information for Casey's November 21 testimony on the Hill. The Comptroller said he shared this information with Casey and was told by Casey that he and Gates had already in October expressed to Poindexter their concern about a possible diversion.
The records available to this Committee show that Casey and Gates knew about the diversion well before the CIA Inspector General and the Comptroller raised the subject with them.
Sensitive NSA reporting about inflated prices being charged to the Iranians was disseminated to key CIA personnel, including Casey and Gates. This information caused two senior officers directly involved, Charles Allen and George Cave, to grow suspicious. In August 1986 Allen reported the possibility of money diversion to the Contras to his immediate superior, the Deputy Director for Intelligence, Richard Kerr, who had by then succeeded Gates. Kerr told Senate Committee staff that he related Allen's diversion account to Gates, but Gates subsequently told the CIA Inspector General that he could not recall the discussion with Kerr.
That Gates could not remember a conversation with his former deputy and successor when the subject was the possibility that CIA and NSC staffers were involved in an ongoing felony strains credulity.
Allen testified that on 1 October he took his worries directly to Gates, reporting that the Iran project was going to be exposed and that money generated by the project may have been diverted to the Contras. According to Allen's testimony (Tower) Gates appeared deeply disturbed by the report; he said that he did not want to hear any more, that he did not want to know about such rumors. Allen insisted that he was not talking rumors but was conveying analytical judgment based on intelligence. Gates then asked Allen to brief the Director. When Allen briefed Casey on October 7, he found that Roy Furmark--a business associate of Saudi businessman Adnan Khashoggi's and former client of Casey's--had been there before him. Oliver North testified that Furmark told Casey in early October about the speculation surrounding the diversion to the Contras and that it was the meeting with Furmark that triggered Casey to advise North that things ought to be cleaned up.
Thus Allen's report to Casey that the money might have gone to the Contras came as no surprise. The Director told Allen to put it all on paper.
In his written report Allen repeated his conclusions and included Manucher Ghorbanifar's statement that `some of the profits were redistributed to other projects of the U.S. and Israel.'
On October 15 Casey and Gates met with Admiral Poindexter and gave him a copy of Allen's memorandum.
CIA officials Allen and Cave met again with Furmark on 16 and 22 October 1986, after which Allen and Cave jointly prepared a new memorandum for Casey to send to Poindexter. This memorandum referred to Ghorbanifar's accusation, which Furmark had repeated, that some of the `bulk of the original $15 million price tag was earmarked for Central America.' The memorandum, Allen testified `laid out starkly . . . that Ghorbanifar had made allegations of diversion of funds to the Contras.' (Allen at Tower, JC Chapter 15, page 274).
Allen testified (Tower) that Casey talked with Poindexter on a secure telephone about the October 22 meeting with Furmark but the letter containing the diversion information was not sent to Poindexter. CIA claimed that it fell into the wrong box and was not discovered until the Attorney General's press conference on November 25, 1986.
It seems strange that an important letter was mishandled in the Director's office and that none of the sharp people around Casey, including Gates, saw to it that what Casey wanted to send to Poindexter actually got there.
It is more likely that Casey did not send the letter because he and Poindexter wanted no paper to exist in the White House which would have documented early awareness of the diversion.
This lost letter may then have been one of the early moves in what was to become a campaign of concealment and obstruction, as reported in Chapter 19 of the Congressional Committee's majority report on Iran/Contra.
I contend that in this concealment Gates played a key role. I also note that Gates testified at his February 17, 1987 confirmation hearings that he did not inform Congress of possible diversion of funds to the Contras, because `while the evidence he had was worrisome, it was also extraordinarily flimsy.' Yet the Director and Deputy Director Gates repeatedly took this so-called flimsy evidence to the National Security Adviser. When I was in the CIA, it was not the practice to bother the National Security Adviser with matters the CIA front office considered flimsy.
On Sunday, November 16, 1968 Casey flew to Central America. Gates assumed duties as Acting Director. According to unchallenged testimony from officials in CIA, National Security Council Staff, State Department and Justice Department, the NSC staff was coordinating testimony to be given by Admiral Poindexter and Director Casey to congressional committees on November 21. There was a problem: The CIA chronology--with the title `Newest--11 hours, 19 November' was an honest, factual account of what happened in November 1985. I quote: `In late November 1985 the NSC and CIA for the name of a discreet, reliable airline which could assist the Israelis in transporting a planeload of Israeli-owned HAWK missiles to Iran. . . . The airline was in fact hired to transport a Boeing 707 load of weapons from Tel Aviv to Tehran. When senior CIA management learned that this had occurred, it was decided that a Finding would be necessary before the Agency could provide any future support of this type.'
This CIA chronology also reported the provision of intelligence to Iran, the Iranian promise to provide some U.S.-supplied weapons to the Mujahedin in Afghanistan and that the McFarlane team had left Tehran without making any progress.
All this contradicted previous statements of President Reagan and Admiral Poindexter.
On November 20, 1986 a meeting was held at the White House to coordinate Casey's proposed testimony with the White House version of events. In this meeting Gates participated along with Director Casey. The CIA chronology was altered in substance. HAWK missiles became `bulky cargo', mention of the Israeli connection was dropped, Tehran became `an unspecified location in the Middle East', the paragraph about CIA management having decided that a Finding was necessary was dropped, as were the paragraphs on providing intelligence to Iran, Iranian assistance to the Mujahedin and on the lack of progress of the McFarlane mission.
It was after this meeting that Assistant Attorney General Charles Cooper and State Department Legal Advisor Abraham Sofaer agreed that the new CIA/White House chronology did not correspond with Secretary Schultz's recollection nor with a contemporaneous note written by Charles Hill, Shultz's Executive Assistant, in November 1985. This was stated in deposition by Judge Sofaer and confirmed in sworn testimony by Assistant Attorney General Cooper.
Cooper testified that after the November 20 meeting at the White House, Judge Sofaer said that if Casey's testimony were to be given in the form developed at that meeting, he--Sofaer--would leave government, to which Cooper replied `we may all have to.'
No such sounds were coming from Gates. The record shows that he went along with the falsification of the chronology. He neither insisted that the testimony about to be given should be truthful, nor did he inform the Senate Intelligence Committee that it was about to be misled, despite his pre-confirmation commitment that he would report false or misleading testimony.
In the event, Casey's November 21st testimony was false and misleading. Gates was an active and leading participant in preparing the testimony.
Gates himself gave false and misleading testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee. For example in December 1986 he testified that `Agency people . . . from the Director on down, actively shunned information. We did not want to know how the Contras were being funded. . . . we actively discouraged people from telling us things. We did not pursue lines of questioning.'
These sentences--if they were true--amount to a terrible self-indictment by an intelligence officer. But in fact Gates was not telling the truth. CIA personnel in the field were ordered by their Headquarters to report on the Contras. The requirements were spelled out in a January 26, 1986 message from Alan Fiers, Chief Central American Task Force, to the Chief of Station Honduras:
`As we are all painfully aware, this project in all of its various incarnations is far and away the most controversial undertaking by CIA . . . It is now incumbent on us to expend a strong influence on the resistance forces . . . the field managers must have their finger on everything the resistance forces are doing . . .'
The Chief of Station in Honduras testified that he was required to report receipt of supplies by the Contras and to assist in obtaining flight clearances. This inevitably led to continuing contact with the people handling the supplies and with those controlling the air movements. How were clearances to be obtained without knowing specifics?
The Station Chief in Costa Rica testified that he advised CIA Headquarters of every flight expected to bring supplies from the so-called private benefactors and that he asked CIA for flight support information, including risk from hostile forces and their radar coverage and, he testified, `Headquarters sent it to me not once but several times.
Contrary to the Gates statement, the CIA stations thus responded to Headquarters requirements by collecting and reporting all relevant information.
Gates also mislead Congress on December 4, 1986 when Senator Eagleton asked Gates about his knowledge of General Secord's activities. Gates replied:
`I can't place it exactly but I would say a number of months ago one of the rumors we heard in terms of funding for the Contras was that he was involved with the private benefactors in some way and it was no more specific than that.'
Another look at the record: In 1981, when Gates was Special Assistant to Casey, one of the Director's objectives was to provide AWACS planes to Saudi Arabia. General Secord, then in the Defense Department as a
Deputy Assistant Secretary, handled the project for the Pentagon. Previously Secord worked with CIA during the Vietnam war. Secord was Casey's type of man and it was Casey who recommended him to North.
The record further shows that Secord became a key player in the Iran and Central America projects, attended meetings with senior CIA personnel in the White House and in CIA Headquarters, arranged the flight which took McFarlane and North to Tehran and participated in the Frankfurt meeting on which North reported to Casey and Gates at the lunch on October 9, 1986. And the Deputy Director of CIA could not place him exactly?
In August 1987 Clair George, then the CIA Deputy Director for Operations testified about Secord as follows:
`. . . There is a world of ours in which are people we do not deal with and Secord is one of them.'
Senator Cohen: This world of yours . . . is it fair to say that people at your level, and I am certainly talking McMahon, Casey, yourself, Clarridge, would have knowledge of Secord's activities?'
Senator Cohen: His name is one that certainly would pop up on the same mental screen?
George: I don't see how you can be in this business and not know the name of General Secord.'
Gates, however, said in sworn testimony that he could not exactly place the name of Secord.
Other examples of what I would characterize as Gates' reserved attitude toward the truth came during his confirmation hearings on February 17, 1987. Gates said that Joseph Fernandez, the Station Chief in Costa Rica was a renegade officer who acted on his own.
The record shows that Fernandez acted in compliance with instructions he received from Headquarters and had reported on his activities, including his secure electronic system of communications with Oliver North. Fernandez was never told to cease and desist. He may have been misguided and he may have been a willing victim of circumstances but in my view he was never a renegade who acted on his own.
Gates also said, as previously mentioned, that he did not inform Congress of possible diversion of funds to aid the Contras because while the evidence he had was `worrisome' it was also `extraordinarily flimsy'.
The record shows that the information was based on professional analysis of sensitive and reliable electronic intelligence reports from the National Security Agency. The analyst responsible for the conclusions was Charles Allen, one of CIA's top-ranking analysts, specifically designated to handle the Ghorbanifar aspects.
When an officer of Allen's status reported information that Gates called `worrisome' but which actually indicated the possibility of a continuing felony perpetrated with the knowledge of White House officials, it should not have been dismissed as `flimsy'. Indeed, Gates' own actions contradicted the statements he gave to the Senators. When Charles Allen and George Cave prepared their memorandum which `laid out starkly the allegations of the diversion to the Contras' on October 22, 1986, Casey relayed the substance to Admiral Poindexter by secure telephone and on the 24th of October Gates discussed these new problems personally with Poindexter.
I would like to point out also that the CIA Inspector General testified that Casey and Gates met with Poindexter on November 14 to discuss the
suspected diversion and that by early November the CIA had fairly significant evidence that some diversion might have taken place.
In sum, was the evidence fairly significant as claimed by the Inspector General and as reflected in communications between Casey and Gates on the one hand and Poindexter on the other or was it so flimsy, as claimed in testimony by Gates, that it was not worth mentioning it to the Tower Commission or to the Senators?
In the foregoing I have emphasized my negative views, supported by evidence from the record, of Gates' veracity and judgment in the management of CIA and its relations with Congress.
His proposed appointment as Director also raises moral issues. What kind of signal does his renomination send to the troops? Live long enough, your sins will be forgotten? Serve faithfully the boss of the moment, never mind integrity? Feel free to mislead the Senate--Senators forget easily? Keep your mouth shut--if the Special Counsel does not catch you, promotion will come your way?
These are wrong messages and they bode ill for the future of our intelligence service.
Temptation to engage in illegal or immoral acts is inherent in the shadowy business of secret operations. Lack of integrity at the top will be reflected down the chain of command, as we have seen in the Iran/Contra and Watergate scandals. Most importantly, the intelligence agencies in this democracy must not have an adversary relationship with the Congress.
One need not go beyond the headlines of today to realize that there will be continuing requirements for intelligence collection and analysis, but they may well take CIA into uncharted waters. National priorities and resources will have to be reconsidered. Recent testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee by General Norman Schwarzkopf and statements by Admiral Frank B. Kelso, II, Chief of Naval Operations indicate that there are problems with the quality and timeliness of American intelligence. Inspired and imaginative leadership will be needed for correcting current shortcomings, for defining and attaining new goals and to attract the type of personnel they will require.
In Robert Gates I see an official closely associated with the errors and misjudgments of the past. I also see a man who has failed to live up to the solemn commitments he made when he was confirmed as Deputy Director of Central Intelligence in April 1986, who participated in the concealment and cover-up during the Iran/Contra investigation and who has misled the Senate Intelligence Committee.
It is up to you, Senators, to decide what kind of message you will send to American intelligence.
Mr. BRADLEY. Mr. President, I would also like to make a few comments about the so-called Iraqi liaison relationship for the Record. Section 501 of the National Security Act states that the executive shall provide advance notice of significant intelligence activities.
In the confirmation hearings in 1986 of Mr. Gates for the Deputy DCI, he answered a question by saying that he thought intelligence agencies should go beyond the letters of obligation cited in the law--go beyond the law.
The committee report that is before the Senate states in one paragraph that the liaison relationship with Iraq on two occasions may have exceeded the scope of the sharing arrangement authorized. Mr. Gates himself says that what was done then, if it was done now, should have been and would be reported to the Congress.
During the question and answer session in one of the committees, I asked him: `Did you take care to ensure CIA's compliance with constraints of the NSC?' His response: `I think it was judged not to fall within the rubric of significant intelligence activity that would be reportable.' To which my question is: `Judged by whom?' There is no indication on the public record that Mr. Gates asked anyone.
Yet I think at another moment in the committee deliberations, in answer to a question by Senator Metzenbaum, there is a clue. Senator Metzenbaum is asking: `Why did you not hear Mr. Allen when he was telling you about diversion and when he also mentioned Oliver North?' And Mr. Gates responds: `You know, a lot of things were going on at that time. A major change in Iraqi policy, in policy toward Iraqi liaison.'
So, Mr. President, a major change, but not a significant activity? Frankly, given the fact that he says it would now be reportable, that he said then it was a major change, given the fact that he said 6 months earlier to the committee that he would go beyond the letter of obligation cited in the law, it should have been reported at that time.
Let me also say that in the discussions there was some misunderstanding. I think people did not say, certainly I did not, that Mr. Gates never disagreed with his superiors. I simply said that he did not disagree with Mr. Casey, on Casey's areas that he cared about, in particular Soviet activity in the Third World. How else do we account for his speech on November 25 and his op-ed article in which he said the Soviets are targeting Panama? And when asked if he had any intelligence activity to back it up, he said, `No.' And when asked why, he said, `Poetic license.'
Why else would--and this is a very important point that is hidden in the report of the committee--there have not been footnotes to estimates taken on Soviet activity in the Third World? Indeed, Mr. Gates, in answering the question, said that there were 16 footnotes. But all of those footnotes argued that the threats in the NIE's were greater--or not as great. All of the footnotes said there was a greater threat, my point being that he clearly, in these activities, was acting, in my view, to protect the interests of Mr. Casey.
On another point--and this will be a continuing story--in the early eighties we had $1.5 billion of export licenses on dual-use technology to Iraq. Some were sent; some were used. We do not have all the information now, but with the United Nations uncovering more and more every day, I believe this will be
a continuing story.
Let me sum up, as I began, by saying that I think the next Director of CIA should have bold conceptual ability, strong managerial skills, and not be tied to the controversies of the next decade. In my view, Mr. Gates fails on all of these points.
As has been stated and restated with regard to Iran-Contra, he has admitted significant failures. He said he should have taken more seriously the possibility of impropriety and wrongdoing; pressed the issue of the possible diversion with Casey and Poindexter; done more; not been content simply to take the information to Casey and Poindexter; been more skeptical; asked more questions; been less satisfied with answers that Casey gave.
He also, as has been pointed out, did not recall a number of areas that Kerr told him of the diversion in August; that in October, Allen mentioned Oliver North; that he did not remember that he, Gates, himself, said that North had gone too far, questionable activity. October 27, Poindexter meeting: Had no recollection of the special Iranian project. October 7, that Casey-Gates-Allen meeting: Does not recall that Allen mentioned North again.
So, Mr. President, there is no question that there were ties, and my question is basically, Why do we want a Director who has to carry the burden of suspicion of those Casey years? I do not think we should have a Director who has to carry the burden of suspicion of those years in terms of managerial skills and conceptual ability. I think that case was made at length yesterday in statements. I want to point out on the managerial skills, when something of grave importance was brought to him with regard to a new way to look at the Soviet economy, the record shows he did not push the bureaucracy to take it into account; that he said it was very difficult to change the analytical model; he was not prepared to push the system; and that he did not make headway and did not succeed.
Mr. President, I also, as I have said, believe that his comments about Panama showed either that he was seeking favor of a superior or that he was an ideologue, both of which raise questions. In my mind, if the question is asked, Will he, on every occasion, provide judgments without personal bias, and will he never hesitate to challenge policymakers' assumptions? I have very serious doubts.
So, Mr. President, I would argue that, finally, Mr. Gates is a part of the policymaking process with vested interests in ongoing policy, not only in Iraq but in the Soviet Union and elsewhere, and that it is not in our interest at this time to have someone with vested interests in existing policy going to head the Central Intelligence Agency, which above all should simply tell us the unvarnished truth without consideration for policy. It is difficult for me to imagine how someone who is as intensely committed to policy positions as Mr. Gates is to suddenly turn the switch off and not have any interest in policy and provide the unvarnished truth.
So, Mr. President, my conclusion is that he is not the pathfinding leader needed to refocus the CIA. We are entering a time when we have to have a total picture of the world and a total picture of what is happening in the various parts of the world, and the threats that are on the horizon to our interests. In my view, that leadership cannot be and will not be provided by Mr. Gates.
I hope that when he is confirmed--and there is no doubt that he will be--I will be proven wrong. But I felt my obligation to the Senate is to share with it my view on this issue, and that I have done.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Who yields time?
Mr. BOREN addressed the Chair.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Oklahoma.
Mr. BOREN. Mr. President, how much time is remaining to this side?
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Oklahoma controls 10 minutes, 23 seconds.
Mr. BOREN. Mr. President, I yield to myself the remaining time on this side.
Mr. President, first of all, I thank the many people on our committee who labored long hours to make sure that our confirmation process was a very thorough process and, as I have said, also to make sure it was a fair process. I thank again the members of the committee on both sides of the aisle, and those who have opinions both for and against this nominee as we complete our work. They have conducted themselves again with fairness and with diligence.
This is a record about which honest people can disagree in terms of their conclusions. At the outset, we struggled to find a way in which all points of view would be heard. We had the staff members, as I indicated in my opening remarks, of all 15 members of the committee, Democratic and Republican, individuals selected by those members who stood in and acted as a steering committee to select the witnesses and the documents and the issues that would be considered during the confirmation process. Over 800 questions were asked of the nominee under oath; hundreds of witnesses were interviewed; thousands of pages of documents were studied; thousands of pages of documents were declassified and released to the American public. It has been the most comprehensive series of confirmation hearings ever conducted for a Director of Central Intelligence, and it has also been the most public confirmation process ever conducted, giving the American people the greatest look, the greatest understanding they have been able to ever have of the way that the intelligence community operates.
That is as it should be. It is the tax dollars of the American people that fund this agency. It is the values of the American people that should guide and direct the secret policies of our Government as well as the public policies of our Government, and it is to that cause that we in the intelligence community, on both sides of the aisle and both sides of this issue, have dedicated ourselves to act as trustees for the American people, to act as watchdogs to make sure that the money is appropriately spent, that the programs are carried out in the accordance with the law and carried out in accordance with the bedrock values of the American people.
I want to especially thank also the members of our staff.
I cannot possibly name all of them, but I want to name some of them that have worked particularly hard to prepare the information and the material necessary in such a voluminous undertaking.
I want to thank first our staff director, George Tenet, and the minority staff director, John Moseman, who spent long hours in preparing our committee for this confirmation process; Mr. Britt Snider, our general counsel, who I might say serves both the majority and the minority on our committee. Except for the majority and minority staff directors of our committee, he is very unique. We do not have a staff that is otherwise divided among Democrats and Republicans. We have an American staff. If perhaps we could get that sort of precedent going across the board in this Congress, to grapple in a bipartisan way with the problems that confront us, we could do a better job of preparing this country for the next century.
In addition to Britt Snider, I want to mention others that have really been of great help and put in particularly long hours: Pat Hanback, Dave Garman, Jim Wolf, Andre Pearson, Claudia Daly, Marvin Ott, Rose Floorgang, Mary Sturdeman, Jim Van Cook, and, as I say, there are many others that I could mention on the staff of the Intelligence Committee who have assisted us in this undertaking.
Mr. President, I think that we have heard all the arguments at this point. I am sure there are not many votes left to be swayed by our deliberations, but I do simply want to sum up from the point of view of this Senator, why I have decided to vote in favor of the confirmation of Mr. Gates to be the next Director of Central Intelligence and to review some of the arguments that have been made.
The distinguished majority leader certainly emphasized that I had issued a personal guarantee to witnesses who came before our committee who criticized Mr. Gates, those still serving in the CIA and in the intelligence community; made a pledge to them to be watchful to make sure their careers did not suffer because they had taken a controversial position or positions as witnesses before our committee.
I want to stress that I made that commitment not because of any feeling that Mr. Gates would in any way try to take any kind of retribution against any of those who testified. I do not believe that he will. Having had conversations with him, and having thought about the fact that he has dedicated virtually his entire adult life to this institution and to the intelligence community, I believe him when he says he wants to rebuild the sense of family at the CIA, that he wants to heal the wounds of the past and get on with meeting the challenges of the future.
I made those assurances because I think individuals in any organization are nervous when they come forward to take controversial positions, positions that are not always accepted by their coworkers and by those in any kind of institution. I wanted to say to them very clearly that I regarded their participation in the process, just as I regarded the participation of those who appeared in favor of the nominee, to be an important contribution to this country.
I sincerely mean that. I have the utmost respect for all of the witnesses who appeared before us, for their abilities, for the contribution that they made to this country. I wanted that to be made clear.
I also wanted to signal that whether it is Mr. Gates or some other Director that ultimately comes to lead the Central Intelligence Agency, that as long as I am a member of the oversight committee, particularly as long as I am chairman of the oversight committee, that the morale and the working conditions of those who try to serve their country in the intelligence community will be of paramount importance to me. I
will be mindful of those kinds of challenges that they meet every day in their work environment.
I want to also indicate that I think that as we look back over the record there is not, I think, a substantial basis for believing there has been systematic intelligence slanting at the CIA. I do not believe the record will bear that out.
While I think there have been some instances in which greater sensitivity should have been given to the perception of some in the Agency, that perhaps there were incorrect pressures being exerted, I think that on the whole the record establishes, especially as it relates to Mr. Gates, that he was independent in his judgments.
If he had desired to slant intelligence, for example, to please policymakers, would he have approved the issue of that intelligence estimate which said it was very unlikely that the Soviet Union would use chemical weapons; that at a time in which the administration was seeking more funding for the chemical weapons programs of the United States.
If he was anxious to always please his superiors, would he have supported the release of those estimates which indicated that the Soviet Union was going to have to reduce its defense spending because of problems with their economy at the very time that we are debating on the floor of the Senate defense buildups that were recommended by the Reagan administration?
So I do not think the record would substantiate the view that there was systematic intelligence slanting, nor do I believe that it would substantiate the view that Mr. Gates in any way sought to keep information from the Senate Intelligence Committee about the Iraqi relationship and intelligence-sharing relationship during the Iran-Iraq war.
In fact, it was Mr. Gates who argued on the side of the committee for expanding the definition of significant intelligence activities so that we would learn more, not less, about what was going on in the Central Intelligence Agency.
He has good ideas for the future, and finally he is a strong supporter for the oversight process. I would say to my colleagues again the best protection we have for the American people is a strong oversight process, one that has instruments that can really determine how the money is being spent and the programs are being run.
We would not have the capability we now have to go in with our own independent audit unit to look at the secret bank accounts of programs all around the world without advance notice had it not been for the support of Mr. Gates.
We would not have the statutory independent inspector general system passed into law by this Senate, requiring our confirmation of an inspector general responsible to us and not responsible to the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, had it not been for the support, the vocal support of Mr. Gates, who talked to the President, at least in part played a large role in talking the President out of vetoing that legislation and allowing it to become law.
Yes, Mr. Gates has made some mistakes. So has anyone else with experience in a certain field. As I said in the beginning, the only way we can assure that we could nominate someone to this position who has not made mistakes is to find someone totally without experience or someone who has never taken any risks or someone who has never made any decisions.
Mr. President, with all the changes that must be made in the intelligence community, the savings that should be made in the budget, I happen to be one that agrees with the Senator from Arkansas, substantial savings can be made and must be made, a reordering of the priorities and the missions of the intelligence community, more emphasis on human intelligence, educating and training people to increase the pool of qualified people should be undertaken, more emphasis on stopping the proliferation of nuclear, chemical weapons, and more emphasis on economic intelligence. These are the kinds of important decisions that must be made. They must be made with someone with experience, who does not require on-the-job training at this critical moment in which we are on the brink of making sweeping changes in the intelligence community.
I would submit that sometimes we begin to move in the confirmation process toward the general principle that we should find someone without experience, without a track record. That way we could find someone who has not made mistakes. That way we would also find people that are not qualified to do the job at hand.
Again I thank my colleagues and I again conclude with my own personal judgment, a judgment that I intend to back up with vigorous oversight whether it is Mr. Gates or someone else who occupies that position, that he should be given a chance to lead the Central Intelligence Agency at this time.
Mr. President, I ask for the yeas and nays on the nomination.
The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Kohl). Is there a sufficient second? There is a sufficient second.
The yeas and nays were ordered.
Mr. CRAIG. Mr. President, today, the Senate will vote on President Bush's nomination of Robert Gates to be the next Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, probably one of the most important issues confronting U.S. national security in recent times. The next DCI will be responsible not only for leading America's primary source of intelligence collection and analysis, but for restructuring the institution in an unknown world where threats other than the Soviet-United States rivalry dominate security concerns.
After reviewing thousands of documents, interviewing hundreds of witnesses, and listening to 4 full days of testimony by the nominee, who answered more than 1,000 questions, the Senate Intelligence Committee has recognized Bob Gates' brilliance and professionalism, and has easily approved his nomination.
Robert Gates joined the CIA in 1966 after completing his masters. Eight years later, while an intelligence adviser to the SALT negotiations, Bob Gates earned his doctorate in Soviet studies from Georgetown University. In 1982, he became Deputy Director for Intelligence, and 4 years later became Deputy Director of the CIA. The President has obviously nominated a career analyst, instead of a politician.
Many of the witnesses testified to his long career of providing cold, unbiased interpretations of world events. He has made incorrect analyses, but he has made many correct analysis, too. Unlike those who oppose Dr. Gates because he made a supposedly wrong prediction about the Soviet Union, he is not perfect--although the attempted Communist coup has proved him correct.
His career as an intelligence analyst, plus his experience on the National Security Council, provides him with vast knowledge of the workings of the intelligence process. Such ability is extremely important at a time when political relations are undergoing fundamental changes. The United States cannot wait for the President to nominate and for the Senate to confirm another DCI, and then wait for that Director to become familiar with the intelligence process. As last year's events showed, threats to this Nation can come suddenly from anywhere, anytime.
During his confirmation process, Dr. Gates addressed the Intelligence Committee candidly and honestly, admitting the mistakes he made at the agency. Does such modesty not show his maturity, his open-mindedness? One of the major criticisms against him was the politicization of CIA analysis. Would a person who skewed global interpretations admit to giving wrong analysis? This Senator doubts it, and many current and former CIA analysts agree and testified he did no such thing. According to one CIA analyst, Elizabeth Steeger, Bob Gates flatly rejected the idea that the title of her work on the 1981 attempted assassination of the Pope be changed to imply Soviet complicity.
Many also questioned Dr. Gates's role in Iran-Contra and his respect for the law. By honestly admitting to vaguely knowing something about plans to free hostages in the Middle East, and acknowledging he should have investigated this matter more thoroughly, Bob Gates not only risked his nomination to head the CIA, but demonstrated his respect for the congressional oversight process.
Knowing the mudslinging and politicking that occurs when the President nominates a person for high office, Bob Gate's actions demonstrate an unheard-of bravery. In this era, when men and women come to testify before this institution, it is rare that a person admits fault or states a provocative opinion. Some of the members may interpret his courage and honesty before the Senate as naive stupidity, but I see it as proof of Dr. Gates' personal integrity, his strength to openly present unpopular views, and proof that he will act within the bounds established by the Constitution.
That is why I agree with the Intelligence Committee and strongly support the nomination of Robert Gates to be the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.
Mr. LEVIN. Mr. President, I have given a great deal of thought to this nomination of Robert Gates to be the next Director of Central Intelligence. This has not been an easy decision for me. I have been particularly impressed by the fact that so many people I deeply regard and trust, including the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, have so much confidence in the nominee.
Nevertheless, I am left with the feeling that Robert Gates has not been fully forthcoming with the Senate as to his recollections of the events of the Iran-Contra affair.
Here are some examples:
First, Mr. Gates did not remember being at a September 1985 meeting that Clair George testified that Mr. Gates attended.
Clair George said he and Mr. Casey, Mr. McMahon, and Mr. Gates met in Mr. Casey's office about the Iran project in September 1985.
In June 1991, Mr. Gates said `I do not recall this meeting.'
Second, Mr. Gates did not recall a conversation with Admiral Poindexter concerning having the CIA buy the assets of the private logistics operation.
In both testimony before the Iran-Contra hearing, and an earlier deposition, Admiral Poindexter discussed conversations he recalled with Mr. Gates about Poindexter's efforts to have the CIA buy the private assets of the private logistics operation.
In June 1991, Mr. Gates said, `I do not recall this conversation.'
Third, Mr. Gates did not remember as of June 1991 Richard Kerr telling Mr. Gates in August-September 1986 of Charles Allen's concern about a possible diversion.
Mr. Kerr told the Iran-Contra Committee that he told Mr. Gates of Mr. Allen's diversion speculation in August-September 1986, and Mr. Gates said he wanted to be kept informed. In March 1987, Mr. Gates said, `I simply have no recollection of any conversation with Kerr regarding the kind of speculation and concern I remember first hearing from Allen on 1 October 1986.'
In June 1991, Mr. Gates stated, `I have had no subsequent recollection of this conversation that Mr. Kerr recalls took place in the August-September 1986 time period.'
Fourth, Mr. Gates did not remember as of June 1991 receiving a September 1986 Charles Allen memo about Lieutenant Colonel North and Mr. Ghorbanifar.
Mr. Allen stated in his Iran-Contra deposition that he sent a copy of his memo to Mr. Casey and Mr. Gates. Lieutenant Colonel North told Mr. Allen he might have to pay Mr. Ghorbanifar `Out of the reserve.'
In June 1991, Mr. Gates stated, `I have no recollection of receiving or reading this memorandum at the time. * * * I do not recall reading this memorandum.'
Fifth, Mr. Gates did not remember saying the things that Mr. Allen testified Mr. Gates said about Lieutenant Colonel North on October 1, 1986.
Mr. Allen stated in his Iran-Contra deposition that Mr. Gates expressed admiration for Lieutenant Colonel North's abilities, but this time he was going too far, and Mr. Gates wanted Mr. Allen to speak to Mr. Casey about it.
In June 1991, Mr. Gates stated, `I do not recall making these remarks about Lieutenant Colonel North. * * * Although I have been reminded of Mr. Allen's recollections in the committee's interrogatories, I have no recollection of making these statements.'
Sixth, Mr. Gates did not remember a memo he initialed, nor does he remember why he wanted what the memo requested.
An October 3, 1986, CIA memo that Mr. Gates initialed indicated that Mr. Gates met with Admiral Poindexter on October 2, 1986. The memo states, `There was discussion of a special Iranian project. Have Tom Twetten and Charlie Allen call me.'
In 1987, Mr. Gates wrote to the Intelligence Committee and said he had `no recollection of the specifics of this discussion. * * *' In June 1991, Mr. Gates stated, `I do not recall why I wanted Mr. Twetten and Mr. Allen to call me.'
Then, when asked what Mr. Gates subsequently conveyed to Mr. Twetten or Mr. Allen, Gates said, `I do not remember what I conveyed to Mr. Twetten or Mr. Allen.'
Seventh, Mr. Gates did not remember making comments to CIA general counsel David Doherty that Mr. Doherty testified Mr. Gates made.
Mr. Doherty stated in an Iran-Contra deposition that on October 15, 1986, Mr. Gates, in discussing a possible diversion to Central America, discussed with Mr. Doherty `speculation on contributions from other countries as well.'
In June 1991, Mr. Gates stated, `No, I do not recall making the additional statement to Mr. Doherty about contributions from other countries.'
Mr. President, I have remaining doubts about Mr. Gates' candor with the Senate. I cannot vote to confirm him.
Mr. BAUCUS. Mr. President, one of the Senate's most important functions is the confirmation of executive appointments. Today we are considering the confirmation to one of the most critical positions in our Government--the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.
The Intelligence Committee hearings in connection with Mr. Gates' nomination have been illuminating in several regards. We have gained important insights to the secretive world of intelligence gathering; we have been sensitized to the need for objective, nonpolitical intelligence; and we have seen the importance of congressional oversight driven home. I commend the distinguished chairman and the entire committee for their leadership in these hearings.
After carefully evaluating the findings from the confirmation hearings, I have decided to vote against Mr. Gates' nomination.
I am particularly concerned about allegations from former colleagues of Mr. Gates concerning the politicization of the intelligence. Such action is patently unacceptable.
In an era of unprecedented international change, we must place an extremely high premium on accurate information. Congress has no analogy to the CIA. Our ability to make responsible policy often turns upon CIA assessments of the world situation. We cannot afford to gamble on whether a CIA report reflects reality--or the President's political agenda.
We have come to realize that national security contains an economic component--a component of at least equal importance to military considerations. Most Americans now believe that Japan is a greater threat to the United States than the Soviet Union. If the United States is to remain a great power, we need an intelligence community that understands the changed nature of the environment we face.
While the world has entered a new era, I fear that Mr. Gates remains trapped in the mindset of yesterday. He has made a career of fighting the cold war, and I admire his sense of service. But times have changed. I do not believe Mr. Gates is the right person to lead today's CIA.
Mr. SHELBY. Mr. President, I want to thank the distinguished chairman of the Select Committee on Intelligence for yielding me time to speak on this important nomination.
Mr. President, the intelligence community, like the defense community, is at a crossroads. The focus of its activities since the Central Intelligence Agency was established in 1947, has been the Soviet Union. Now that threat has been significantly diminished. In its place are wide-ranging concerns. The Middle East, Narco-terrorism, economic espionage and the threat of the proliferation of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons, just to name a few.
Added to this equation is the fact that funding for the Central Intelligence Agency, like the Department of Defense, will certainly decline. The need to eliminate budget deficits and the end of the cold war have forced cut-backs in spending on intelligence activities. Shortages of funding will require innovative approaches to intelligence.
To make the transition that lies ahead for the Central Intelligence Agency requires the appointment of a new director that has the experience, qualifications, and trust of the intelligence community. Robert Gates, a career intelligence officer who has served five Presidents, is uniquely qualified to serve in this capacity.
The fact that Mr. Gates is superbly qualified does not automatically ensure that he should be supported for confirmation. It is the duty of the U.S. Senate to thoroughly investigate the background and the conduct of each nominee. I believe that the select committee on intelligence, under the direction of Chairman Boren and Vice Chairman Murkowski, have provided the Senate with an extensive, bipartisan nomination process. It held 10 days of hearings, with the nominee giving 4 days of testimony, in open and closed session.
Two serious charges were leveled at Mr. Gates during the hearings. The first charge concerned Robert Gates' conduct during the Iran-Contra affair, and the second allegation related to possible distortion of intelligence estimates for political purposes by Mr. Gates while serving in various capacities at the CIA.
I have read the committee report on the nomination hearings and have come to the conclusion that Mr. Gates did not have any involvement in, or prior knowledge of, the Iran-Contra affair. As to the charges of politicalization of intelligence estimates, I concluded from my study of the materials provided, that there is no evidence that Robert Gates deliberately slanted intelligence estimates.
What this process did find is that Robert Gates is a man of strong personal conviction who is not afraid to makes his views known. He is an expert in his field, with a brilliant mind and 25 years of experience in intelligence. He is the type of man to lead the CIA through the challenging times ahead.
Mr. President, I intend to vote in favor of the nomination of Robert M. Gates to be Director of Central Intelligence and urge my colleagues to support his confirmation.
Mr. JEFFORDS. Mr. President, I believe my colleagues are aware of my basic philosophy on nominations by the President to administration posts. In my view, the President's choice for his top officials should be respected unless there is clear evidence that the individual is unfit or unqualified for the job.
Robert Gates is being nominated to head the CIA, not for a seat on the Supreme Court. The Director of Central Intelligence [DCI], unlike a Supreme Court Justice, can be removed by the President at any time and is subject to the ultimate authority of the President at all times. And conversely, the President himself is ultimately responsible for the policies of the members of his administration. Mr. Gates has been selected by President Bush to run the CIA at this particular time in history. This does not preclude his selection of another individual to take Mr. Gates' place should the President feel that an individual with different skills or qualifications becomes necessary. And another President should enjoy the same prerogative in naming a replacement for Mr. Gates should he or she so choose.
Just as the Senate Judiciary Committee was faced with the controversial nomination of Judge Clarence Thomas to be a Supreme Court Justice, the Select Committee on Intelligence was also faced with a controversial nominee. Over the course of several months, including almost a month of public hearings, the committee exhaustively examined charges of Mr. Gates' involvement in the Iran-Contra affair, charges that he stifled debate within the intelligence community and allegations that on certain occasions he skewed intelligence reporting to conform with the opinions of then-DCI, William Casey.
Mr. Gates testified before the committee on all of these matters, and in some cases, admitted that he had made some mistakes and had not been sufficiently vigilant in ferreting out the truth. Many of his colleagues and subordinates at the agency came before the panel to share their opinion of Mr. Gates and his performance at the CIA. I am concerned by testimony from some career CIA analysts that Mr. Gates, in their view, slanted intelligence findings and politicized analysis in key reports. Many of the concerns raised during his confirmation hearings echoed misgivings of mine. However, in the end, the members of the Intelligence Committee, by a vote of 11 to 4, decided that there was insufficient evidence to deny President Bush his choice for DCI. I agree with the committee's assessment.
Robert Gates is no stranger to the Select Committee on Intelligence. As Deputy Director of the CIA from 1986 to 1989, including 5 months as acting director, and then in his position as Deputy Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, the committee has had frequent contact with Mr. Gates. This association has given the committee insight into how Mr. Gates would relate to Congress as DCI.
And President Bush is no stranger to the CIA. As a former DCI himself, I am pleased that he saw the wisdom in appointing a career CIA analyst to head the agency. As we head into a period of reorientation and redefinition for the Agency, it is critical that the director have a thorough understanding of all aspects of the agency, and have the credibility that comes from career service.
The world is changing rapidly, and with it that segment of the international relations of greatest concern to the CIA. Just as the primary military threats to our Nation are shifting, the types of intelligence activities and data collection required for national security must be redefined. The war against Iraq pointed out the danger of a Soviet-centric intelligence operation. Today, the threats to America come from many different quarters, and in many instances, the intelligence community still views the world through the prism of the East-West confrontation. Threats to America's security in the coming decade are more likely to be economic than military, regional rather than East-West and fueled by deprivation rather than ideological fervor.
I envision substantial changes in the role of the CIA in the new world order. While the world is no less scary, the traditional international espionage will be less likely to influence world events. Just as the size of the military budget is declining rapidly, the need for international covert operations is also reduced. Mr. Gates has indicated that he is cognizant of this evolution and has supported recent attempts to allow greater congressional scrutiny of the CIA's operations. To a small degree, the Gates hearings themselves provided an unprecedented public glimpse into the private world of the CIA and the human disagreements that exists within any institution, but that seem foreign to our perception of the CIA. Could glasnost finally be coming to the CIA?
The new DCI will be required to think creatively and act boldly in reorienting the agency. Here, Mr. Gates' intimate understanding of the CIA and the intelligence needs of the President put him in a unique position to lead such a reform movement, should he choose to do so. If he does not so choose, then the duty will fall to Congress.
It is always tempting to ask whether a President's nominee is the best possible person for the job. I do not see that as the correct question for the Senate to ask. While we are obligated to reject any nominee who is unfit or unqualified, the choice of administration officials is not ours. We must respect the wishes of the person who has been given the mandate by the American people to form his or her own team. Robert Gates would not be my choice, but he is President Bush's choice and I see no compelling reason to oppose the nomination.
Mr. DASCHLE. Mr. President, I rise today to express my serious reservations as we debate the confirmation of Robert Gates to be the next Director of Central Intelligence. Since Robert Gates was first named Deputy Director for Intelligence in 1982, and later confirmed as Deputy Director of Central Intelligence in 1986, the key events have ushered in an era of remarkable change. We have witnessed not only the collapse of the Berlin Wall and the unification of Germany, but also the demise of the Warsaw Pact and the failure of communism. The end of the cold war has not only diminished the likelihood of a confrontation between the Soviet Union and the United States, but also increased the possibility of a world filled with hope, peace, and prosperity.
As the global situation continues to evolve, the United States must respond accordingly. The changes especially in the Soviet Union, demand that we develop new ways to adjust both economically and militarily. The Department of Defense, for example, intends to cut its overseas bases by one-third and expects to reduce its U.S. military personnel based in Europe by almost 50 percent by mid-decade. As the threat of a Soviet conventional attack subsides in Europe, it is obvious that the need for United States intelligence to counter the KGB will decline as well. If we can no longer afford to maintain our United States forces based overseas at cold war levels, we can no longer afford a CIA that concentrates half of its assets on the Soviet military target.
Some in this body have proposed that all functions and powers of the CIA be transferred to the State Department. Most will agree that the priorities of the CIA need to be re-evaluated. Even Robert Gates remarked in his opening statement, that the `CIA and U.S. intelligence must change--and be seen to change--or confront irrelevance and growing sentiment for their dismantlement.'
The chairman of the Intelligence Committee, Senator Boren, has stated that whoever is the next Director of central Intelligence, `is going to preside over the most sweeping changes in the history of the intelligence community.' Clearly, change in U.S. intelligence is inevitable. It is the responsibility of this body to determine if the President's nominee to head the CIA is capable of propelling U.S. intelligence into the 21st century.
As I mentioned at the beginning of my statement, I have serious reservations regarding the confirmation of Robert Gates to be the next Director of Central Intelligence. I have several concerns regarding his tenure at the CIA, and I have several questions regarding how his nomination will affect the future of U.S. intelligence.
My first major concern is whether or not Robert Gates played an active role in the Iran-Contra affair. Robert Gates was first nominated by President Ronald Reagan in 1987 to be Director of Central Intelligence, but was forced to withdraw his nomination because of the controversy surrounding the Iran-Contra scandal. Despite the passage of 5 years and 3 weeks of hearings, the controversy surrounding the Iran-Contra scandal has not subsided. Mr. President, the testimony of Robert Gates during these hearings failed to resolve the questions I have regarding the role that Gates played in the Iran-Contra affair.
In 1987, Robert Gates testified that Director Casey kept him in the dark about the secret arms sales to Iran and the transfer of profits from those sales to support the Nicaraguan Contra rebels. Several witnesses have also speculated that it was possible that Casey left Gates `out of the loop' to protect him from potential fallout.
Thomas Polgar, a former CIA official and a policy analyst for the Senate Select Committee on the Iran-Contra Affair, testified during the confirmation hearings that Gates was not out of the loop. Polgar stated that those who have suggested Gates did not know about Iran-Contra and the diversion of funds because he was compartmented out, do not understand how the CIA functions. Polgar explained that, as Director Casey's hand-picked Deputy Director for Intelligence, Gates was a key member of the CIA's top management team. Polgar believes that Gates `was not only aware of Iran-Contra developments but had direct involvement with them already as Deputy Director for Intelligence. * * *' By early 1986, Polgar claims, `* * * it would have been impossible for any senior CIA officer, let alone the Deputy Director, not to know that the CIA was involved in support for the Contras.'
Robert Gates testified in 1987, however, that the first time he heard rumors of the diversion of funds to the Contras was on October 1, 1986, in a meeting with Charles Allen. At the time, Allen was a CIA analyst who was involved with the arms transfers to Iran. Gates has testified that he was startled by what Allen told him, but categorized the evidence as extremely flimsy. Gates also testified that Allen gave him no indication that the National Security Council or anyone from the U.S. Government was involved.
During the 1991 confirmation hearings, however, Allen stated that he discussed with Gates the possibility of diversion of Iran arms sale profits to the Contras. Allen testified that he and Gates discussed Lt. Col. Oliver North during the October 1, 1986 meeting. Allen said he distinctly recalled Gates saying to him that `* * * Colonel North, whatever qualities he may have had in the past in performing services to the United States, [had become involved in] a very questionable activity at best.' Allen also testified that Gates reiterated this statement in a meeting with Director Casey 6 days later.
Gates tesified during the confirmation hearings that he has no recollection of
making these statements regarding North. Gates also testified that he has no recollection of either discussing Lieutenant Colonel North or the diversion of funds to the Contras with Richard Kerr in August 1986.
Richard Kerr, who is now acting Director of the CIA, testified during the confirmation hearings that he first told Robert Gates of a possible diversion in late August 1986. Kerr testified that Charles Allen came to him in late August and said that the United States arms were being sold to Iran at inflated prices and that there was reason to believe the money was being used to support the Contras. Kerr thought the issue was important enough to discuss with Gates, which he testified he did on that or the following day. According to Kerr, he told Gates that `Ollie was involved' and Gates indicated that he had heard rumors of the contra connection before.
Allen and Kerr are by no means the only persons who have testified that they discussed with Gates, North's role in the diversion of funds to the contras before it was announced by the White House on November 25, 1986. There are also sworn statements from Adm. John Poindexter, then-CIA Near East Division Chief Tom Twetten, and CIA General Counsel Dave Doherty, regarding conversations with Gates that Gates said he does not recall.
Throughout his career Gates has demonstrated intellectual brilliance and an excellent memory. I find it somewhat intriguing and very disheartening that Gates is so forgetful on topics relating to the dramatic events in the fall of 1986. I also find it extremely disturbing that Gates responded to the committee's written questions with the written answer, `I don't recall,' some 33 times and with `I didn't know' more than 40 times.
If members of this body, despite the testimony of numerous witnesses and despite the evidence provided in numerous documents still believe that Gates did not know of the diversion as he has testified, the question remains, `Why didn't he know?'
In his opening statement before the Intelligence Committee on September 16, Gates said he made a number of mistakes by not pursuing the `possibility of impropriety or even wrongdoing in the Government.' Gates acknowledged that he should have `pursued this possibility more aggressively.' Gates has admitted that, `[he] should have been more skeptical of what [he] was told. [He] should have asked more questions and [he] should have been less satisfied with the answers [he] received, especially from Director Casey.'
But contrast this to statements that Gates made in 1987, when he testified on numerous occasions that the CIA actively avoided information concerning the diversion of funds to the Contras. According to Gates, `Agency people * * * from the Director on down, actively shunned information. We did not want to know how the Contras were being funded * * * we actively discouraged people from telling us
things. We did not pursue lines of questioning.'
Even Lt. Col. Oliver North recently stated that, `For someone [like Gates, who was then Deputy CIA Director] not to have known that I was involved in all manner of things [with the Contras] had to be an almost conscious act of `I didn't know.'
Mr. President, my questions regarding the role that Robert Gates played in the Iran-Contra affair culminate in my deep concern about what we can expect from Robert Gates if he is confirmed as the next Director of Central Intelligence.
As Senators, we are responsible for providing advice and consent regarding the President's nominee to be the Director of Central Intelligence. I trust that each of us has carefully weighed the evidence regarding the role that Gates played in the Iran-Contra affair.
But, I ask each of my colleagues, if Robert Gates played a more active role in the Iran-Contra scandal than he has admitted before Congress, can we safely say that Robert Gates will be committed to the oversight of intelligence in the future? My answer is, `No, we cannot.'
Furthermore, I ask my colleagues, if Robert Gates was involved in the Iran-Contra scandal when he was Deputy Director of Central Intelligence, can we entrust in him the responsibilities required of the Director of Central Intelligence? Again, My answer is, `No, we cannot.'
If, on the other hand, one honestly believes that Robert Gates was `left out of the loop' as he and others have claimed, then, will Robert Gates, as Director of Central Intelligence, likely refer to speculation of CIA analysts as flimsy evidence and conveniently brush it aside when it is politically expedient? My answer is, `We cannot afford to take that chance.'
I ask my colleagues, who will be voting on the confirmation of Robert Gates, if under either possibility, the strained relationship that currently exist between Congress and the CIA will continue to suffer? Again, my answer is, `We cannot afford to take that chance.'
Mr. President, my second major concern is whether or not Robert Gates politicized the intelligence process while serving as Deputy Director for Intelligence in 1982, and Deputy Director of Central Intelligence in 1986.
Gates has emphatically denied charges that he slanted intelligence reports and said he was always `open to different interpretations' and willing to have `all points of views presented to policymakers.' Gates and other witnesses claimed charges of politicization were mere perceptions that stemmed largely from analysts whose work had been rejected.
Jennifer L. Glaudemans, a former Soviet affairs analyst, found this explanation simplistic and patronizing, warning that it is too easy to dismiss charges of politicization by rationalizing that analysts are `too finicky, too egocentric, too whiney, or too academic.'
Glaudemans and other witnesses have come forward and testified before the Intelligence Committee that this was not the case. They have cited numerous examples where William Casey and Robert Gates manipulated the system for analyzing intelligence and cooked the books to advocate the ideological position of the administration. Melvin Goodman, a division chief in Soviet affairs at the CIA when Gates was the CIA's Deputy Director for Intelligence, testified that the `politicization of intelligence was institutionalized' during the Casey-Gates era.
Goodman described `two primary targets for politicization.' The first target included `nearly all intelligence issues connected to covert action,' such as CIA activities in Iran, Nicaragua, and Afghanistan. The other target was Casey's `conviction that the Soviet Union was intent on destroying the West and was responsible for most of the world's problems.'
Goodman testified that both Casey and Gates `overemphasized the Soviet threat, ignored Soviet vulnerabilities and weaknesses, and failed to recognize the pluralistic political culture that Gorbachev developed. * * *' Goodman went so far as to conclude that the Casey-Gates approach led to the CIA's failure to predict the collapse of communism in the Soviet Union, a failure that may well have delayed the end of the cold war and cost U.S. taxpayers billions of dollars.
Again, my questions regarding whether or not Robert Gates participated in the politicization of intelligence culminate in my deep concern about what we can expect from Robert Gates if he is confirmed as the next Director of Central Intelligence.
Again, I ask my colleagues, if Robert Gates cooked the books to advocate the ideological position of the administration while serving as Deputy Director for Intelligence and Deputy Director of Central Intelligence, is it possible that U.S. intelligence under his guidance will continue to politicize intelligence? My answer is, `We cannot afford to take that chance.'
Because of the concerns I have regarding the tenure of Robert Gates at the CIA, and because of the questions I have regarding how his nomination will affect the future of U.S. intelligence, I cannot support the confirmation of Robert Gates to be the next Director of Central Intelligence.
Finally, Mr. President, although I have decided not to support this nomination, I would like to commend the chairman of the Intelligence Committee, Senator Boren, for conducting hearings that were fair, thorough, and nonpartisan, especially at a time when the entire nomination process was in question. I put a great deal of weight behind the recommendation of the chairman, but I am constantly reminded of his own statement that the next Director of Central Intelligence, `is going to preside over the most sweeping changes in the history of the intelligence community.' While the strong conviction of the chairman weighs in his favor, I remain unconvinced that Robert Gates is capable of propelling the CIA into the 21st century.
Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, in nominating Robert Gates to be Director of Central Intelligence, President Bush has chosen a man well qualified to meet the demanding challenges that a vastly changed and changing world poses for the U.S. intelligence community today.
For 25 years, Bob Gates has dedicated his formidable intellect and analytical skills and his enormous capacity for hard work to the welfare of our country. In various intelligence and national security posts, he has served five Presidents with distinction. Even his harshest critics have attested to his extraordinary brilliance, dedication and competence. In short, he has proven himself to be a public servant of uncommon ability. He is, in my opinion, eminently well-suited to perform the task for which the President now calls him.
Bob Gates' critics allege that he is tainted by the stain of the Iran-Contra affair. Yet the Tower Commission, two congressional committees, and an internal CIA investigation, have all absolved him of any wrongdoing or knowledge of wrongdoing. Even Judge Walsh, as relentless an investigator as has ever served as a special prosecutor, has not discovered evidence that would make Mr. Gates a deserving subject for investigation. In its exhaustive review of this nomination, the Select Committee on Intelligence has not found anything that would add or subtract from the judgment that Bob Gates was not involved in the design or conduct of Iran-Contra policies.
In the course of debate on this nomination we have heard frequent reference to Mr. Gates' politicization of intelligence. That is, indeed, a serious charge. but as we have seen in his own forceful rebuttal of that charge, and in the testimony of supporting witnesses, politicization is, in the words of my good friend from Maine, Senator Cohen, `in the eyes of the beholder.'
Make no mistake, Bob Gates has served five Presidents well. He has served his superiors at the CIA well, men as diverse in their thinking as Stansfield Turner and Bob Casey. But the uniformly high opinion that his superiors hold of Bob Gates does not suggest that he cooks intelligence to suit the taste of his various customers. Their high opinion rests on their confidence that Gates' commitment to sober, dispassionate analysis, and his firm regard for the highest ethic of public service, renders him incapable of professional dishonesty.
Gates' critics further allege that he should be disqualified because he failed to predict the rapidity and extent of Soviet collapse. Yet, I have not met anyone in or out of the intelligence community possessed of the almost divine prescience necessary to have predicted the speed and full dimensions of Soviet decline.
What Bob Gates brought to these historic years, was a caution that befits an able intelligence officer, and a knowledge of the subject unsurpassed by his peers. He provided his superiors with analyses that was untainted by wishful thinking, and he offered judgments that were informed by fact, not fancy.
In the tumultuous days ahead, in the chaos that has beset the Soviet empire, and the turmoil that will result from the continued disintegration of that empire, this Nation will be well served by an experienced and talented analyst of Soviet affairs of the caliber of Mr. Gates.
We know that Bob Gates has the full confidence of the President. By his sterling record of cooperation with Congress, his manifest respect for our oversight responsibilities, he has earned ours. I will cast my vote to confirm Robert Gates as Director of Central Intelligence. I urge my colleagues to do likewise.
Mr. BINGAMAN. Mr. President, I will vote against confirmation of Robert Gates to be the Director of Central Intelligence for two basic reasons:
First, the dramatic changes in the world require us to rethink the role of the CIA and put that organization on a new and different course. I believe that this job can best be done by someone who approaches the position of Director with a fresh perspective; someone whose view of the role of the CIA has not been determined by its previous obsessions.
Second, the CIA has been rightly criticized for involvements in a variety of activities in the last decade. Mr. Gates has held positions of influence in the Agency during much of this time. It is essential that we close the book on those events and in order to do so we need a Director who has not been tainted by what has occured.
I realize the votes are here to confirm Mr. Gates. Since I disagree with the President's decision, my vote will not be one of those. I hope my concerns are proven to be unfounded. I wish Mr. Gates well in his new position.
Mr. WELLSTONE. Mr. President, I speak today in opposition to Robert Gates' nomination to be Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.
Under ideal circumstances, individuals charged with making decisions about U.S. foreign policy should have the benefit of reliable, accurate intelligence about world developments. The intelligence analysts should be completely removed from policy making and be neutral on specific policy matters. The Director of Central Intelligence, in particular, should not skew the data to please the President or to cater to his preconceptions. Nor should his or her own political views get in the way of an ability to analyze world developments objectively, and to tell it to policymakers--in the executive branch as well as the legislative branch--like it really is.
Of course, reality often falls short of our ideals. The CIA, in particular, has amassed a four decade-long record of politically and ideologically driven intelligence. Some of it has been very distorted, such as data on Soviet defense spending and capabilities, some of it just plain wrong, such as predictions about developments in Iran and Afghanistan in the 1970's and Iraq and the Soviet Union in the late 1980's and 1990's. On the operational end, the CIA has been involved in many enterprises that violate or skirt United States law--as recently as last decade in connection with the Iran-Contra scandal.
Mr. President, just because the CIA has not always lived up to our ideals, we should not abandon those ideals. If the Senate confirms Robert Gates to be the Director of the CIA, we will be abandoning the ideal of providing policymakers with unbiased, accurate intelligence. Indeed, we will be flagrantly flouting this ideal.
Robert Gates became the Deputy Director of the CIA in April, 1986, after a meteoric rise in the Agency. His confirmation hearings provided ample and credible evidence that, as the Deputy Director, he repeatedly skewed intelligence to promote the world view of his mentor and his boss, William Casey. Analysts specializing in the Soviet Union, Latin America, Africa, and scientific affairs, came forward--some at risk to their careers in the agency--to provide examples. The record further strongly suggests that Robert Gates supported--passively or actively--terribly misguided or illegal covert operations, including the diversion of funds to the Nicaraguan Contras obtained through the sale of arms to Iran. He also had a hand in hiding some of the details of these covert operations from Congress. Lastly, the record showed that Robert Gates crossed the line from independent intelligence-gathering into high-profile policymaking when he gave speeches advocating an
unyielding line toward the Soviet Union and deployment of a star wars missile defense system.
Mr. President, I won't retell the testimony of the many former and current employees of the CIA before the Intelligence Committee who questioned Mr. Gates' fitness to be DCI. Each Senator should review that record for him or herself before casting a vote. I do want, however, to highlight some of the principal charges made against Mr. Gates which remain troublesome or unrefuted by Mr. Gates.
Before the hearings began, the chief question concerned Mr. Gates' involvement in, and knowledge of, the Iran-Contra scandal. Mr. Gates testified that he was unaware of the scandal. He conceded that he should have pursued hints of impropriety and should have been more skeptical of the reassuring information he received from Director Casey and others.
I cannot know for certain what Robert Gates knew and when he knew it. However, I do know that four CIA officials swear they warned him about the illegal activities. I know that his immediate boss, William Casey, and his immediate subordinate, Claire George, were deeply involved in the affair. According to Oliver North, the only way Gates would not know of his activities is by a conscious act of not wanting to know. In my opinion, at the very best, Gates' role in this affair adds up a troubling picture of a top-level official willfully ignoring illegal activities in order to shield himself from political responsibility.
Once the hearings began, another equally important charge was investigated. Did Robert Gates participate in efforts to slant or distort intelligence analysis to conform to a preconceived political agenda or position?
Former and current intelligence officers cited several examples when Gates improperly slanted intelligence assessments. Robert Gates rebutted many of the specific charges of bias leveled against him, but he did not convincingly refute several principal charges. I will mention just two of these charges.
A senior intelligence analyst prepared a national intelligence estimate in 1982 that suggested that Soviet influence in the Third World was waning. Gates attached a damning cover memorandum to the report, thereby nullifying the report. The report's conclusion would have undercut Mr. Casey's advocacy of covert operations in response to a supposed increase in Soviet adventurism in the Third World.
Mr. Gates participated in an effort to produce a report which gave undue credence to the case for Soviet involvement in the attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II in 1981. It was well known that Director Casey was convinced of
Soviet involvement in the assassination attempt.
Lastly, Mr. Gates' past behavior demonstrates that he does not observe the line between policy advocacy and intelligence gathering. In October 1988, Gates made a speech in which he argued that Mr. Gorbachev had not really changed the Soviet Union. Then Secretary of State George Shultz was so irritated by the negative tone of the speech that he reprimanded Mr. Gates. A year later, when Mr. Gates was preparing a speech on the same topic, Secretary of State James Baker ordered Gates to cancel his appearance.
In another speech given in November 1986, Mr. Gates issued alarming, and exaggerated, estimates of Soviet laser developments. The Deputy Director of the CIA followed this so-called intelligence with his personal opinion about a controversial policy. Mr. Gates opined that American failure to proceed with SDI would have `awesomely negative implications for strategic stability and peace.'
For much of the CIA's history, the Director's job was a policy appointment, and the agency was the preserve of the executive branch. Fortunately, this is no longer true. Following the Church committee hearings on CIA abuses in the early 1970's, Congress has provided increasing oversight of the agency. As congressional involvement in foreign policy has increased, so has its need for good solid intelligence.
The post-cold-war world is at least as complicated as in earlier times. There is no doubt that the United States still needs intelligence. The Congress and the executive branch should be able to count on the Chief Intelligence Officer of the country for an independent, rigorous, and neutral assessment of world events. Mr. President, given Robert Gates' record, I believe that he is the wrong man for the job.
Mr. ROCKEFELLER. Mr. President, I will vote against Robert M. Gates to be Director of Central Intelligence.
It was my hope, at the outset of this nomination, to be able to support Bob Gates for this sensitive and critical post. It is clear that he is a dedicated and talented man, a gifted intelligence officer who has devoted his entire professional career to the agency he clearly loves. His entire career has placed him on course to assume this position.
But I have concluded that it would be a mistake, in light of what we have learned through the exhaustive confirmation hearings held by the Senate Intelligence Committee, to put this man in this post at this time.
The key question I have weighed is not merely whether Bob Gates is qualified to be Director of Central Intelligence--he clearly is, if the only criterion is one of experience. He is arguably the most experienced senior intelligence officer in our country. He has served not only at the CIA, but with the National Security Council. He has been involved in virtually every aspect of intelligence and foreign policy over the past three decades--and at the highest levels of government deliberations over the past 10 years. But the decision before the Senate should not, and must not, rest on Bob Gates' resume alone.
My judgment that Bob Gates should be rejected by the Senate rests on the record and quality of his experience.
Unfortunately, when the entire record of Bob Gates' tenure at CIA and the National Security Council is taken into account, one cannot but conclude that what is needed--now more than ever before--is a leader for the intelligence community who can effectively guide the CIA in the new era governing U.S. foreign policy.
And one cannot but conclude that Bob Gates is wholly identified with, and represents, the policies and practices of the past. Bob Gates does not stand for, and cannot guide the intelligence community into, the immense challenges and opportunities of the future.
The hearing record--which focused on the Iran-Contra scandal, the issues of intelligence analysis accuracy and politicization, particularly with respect to the Soviet Union--demonstrates convincingly that Bob Gates is fully associated with intelligence policies and practices that consistently failed the national interest. Even if Bob Gates is given every benefit of the doubt in each key area of inquiry, the fact remains that he
guided the intelligence community through an era that is fundamentally out of step with today's imperatives.
Some have focused their attention on the question of whether Bob Gates was involved in the Iran-Contra affair. One can make the case that he was cut out from knowledge and involvement in what were ultimately criminal activities that reached to the integrity of the constitutional processes of government itself.
We may never know the entire truth of what happened and the role of the principals involved, including President Reagan, former CIA Director William Casey, and Bob Gates. I believe it's fair to expect that, regardless of whether Gates knew of what was occurring, he should have made it his business, as the second in command, not only to be informed about, but to try to stop, activities that were illegal and which contravened the express prohibition of the Congress. Gates testified before the Intelligence Committee in the present confirmation hearings that he knew Director Casey crossed the bright line between intelligence and policy, particularly with respect to Iran-Contra, but that he never took his concerns on this most important issue to the President. Gates preferred to look the other way, and as a result of that, one of the worst scandals in American foreign policy erupted--with consequences that are still unfolding.
The confirmation hearings also dealt extensively with the issue of the politicization of intelligence analysis. The Intelligence Committee received directly conflicting testimony on this key issue, and again, it may never be possible to ascertain the truth of these allegations. It is nevertheless unprecedented for so many ranking intelligence officers to come forward, in such detail, to make a case that decisive intelligence judgments were directly overturned because of the political and policy views held by Bob Gates. One has to wonder whether what was gripping the agency over the past decade was nothing less than political correctness over intelligence--that if you, as an analyst, were not politically correct in your thinking as to the Soviet threat, the Soviet role in world terrorism, Soviet influence in Iran, or the Soviet role in the assassination attempt against the Pope, you were effectively silenced by the leadership at Central Intelligence.
Those who decry political correctness on our campuses would be hypocritical if they won't recognize the same syndrome in our intelligence agencies. What is clear--regardless of the ultimate truth behind this debate, which may never be adequately resolved--is that a tremdndous amount of demoralization has occurred throughout the professional ranks of the analytical side of the agency, and that Bob Gates played a major role in permitting it to grow. The cost involved goes not only to the loss of very talented people from the agency's ranks, but extends also to a more rounded and vibrant analysis of intelligence inside the Agency and in the White House.
Others have raised serious questions as to whether there was a crossover between intelligence and policy--the bright line that all recognize as essential to the integrity of intelligence itself. It is evident, however, that the imposition of politically correct views on intelligence analysis inevitably leads to mistaken intelligence conclusions which in turn lead to intelligence failures. This is not a theoretical concern--this country has suffered a long series of intelligence failures throughout Bob Gates' career in the Agency and the White House.
Bob Gates himself, in testimony before the Intelligence Committee, catalogued several such failures over the past several years, particularly with respect to the nature of the Soviet threat. What is especially disturbing, however, is that the intelligence community continued to misread the most critical events we have confronted, as recently as the past year.
In questioning by Senator Nunn, Bob Gates described two recent intelligence failures, and I quote:
I think among the failures would be most recently the failure to anticipate Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait. It would be the Soviet recognition that they could no longer sustain the level of defense spending that they had with the economic troubles that they had.
To be certain, the agency and the NSC under Bob Gates' leadership did enjoy several successes, including accurate analysis of the revolution in Eastern Europe and the tracking of perestroika in the Soviet Union.
But on the fundamental crisis issues affecting the United States and its national security over the past decade--and extending to last year's invasion of Kuwait and this year's overthrow of communism in the Soviet Union, including the coup against Gorbachev which the CIA missed entirely--it is fair to conclude that something is profoundly wrong at the CIA, for the simple reason that the CIA has successively failed at performing its job of giving the President, and the Congress, accurate intelligence.
My decision to oppose the nomination of Robert Gates is therefore based on the judgment that we cannot afford to reward with promotion the single individual most associated with the course of the agency and the intelligence community over the past decade--a course marked by successive failure in the most critical areas.
We are in a new era in foreign policy. The cold war is over, and we have won. The Soviet Union is collapsing, and we are the remaining superpower. Geopolitical challenges are taking on new dimensions: nationalistic, economic, technological, and regional. The policies and outlook of the past are inappropriate, even dangerous, to today's profoundly different
structure of international relations and our intelligence needs in this new era. Bob Gates, as both a product and practitioner of the past, as someone who embodies U.S. intelligence policies over the past two decades, is not the person to lead the intelligence community into the future.
It is not enough simply to defer to the President on his nominee. The constitutional requirement that we exercise both advice and consent on nominations is hardly consistent with out ratifying a nominee simply on the basis that the President believes he is best qualified.
Certainly the President deserves a person he can trust in this most critical of positions. But the American people also need and deserve, now more than ever, a Director of Central Intelligence they can trust, and in whom they can have confidence. Bob Gates does not meet those criteria.
My decision to oppose Robert Gates is therefore based on my judgment that it is imperative the United States have a new Director of Central Intelligence who is well qualified to manage the intelligence community in the new era that is upon us in international relations. We need a new DCI who both understands the challenges that we face and who has the strength to lead the intelligence community with force and vision to better meet these challenges.
It was my inclination, when Robert Gates was nominated for a second time to this position, to support him if at all possible. But I cannot do so in light of the record of the hearings held by the Intelligence Committee. They have revealed continuing, serious doubts about the Iran-Contra affair; a pattern of apparent politicization of intelligence analysis; and a crossing of the line between intelligence and policy. Most importantly, the hearings have documented--Bob Gates himself has documented--successive intelligence failures at CIA. And Bob Gates has been on the point at the agency throughout this period.
There is no question that Robert Gates is a dedicated public servant. He has the intellectual capacity to understand what must be done to improve intelligence analysis and operations, particularly with respect to the Soviet Union. But he has, nevertheless, been unable to implement the very prescriptions he himself believes are critical to the agency's viability and success.
I therefore will cast my vote against the nomination of Robert Gates to be Director of Central Intelligence.
Mr. KASTEN. Mr. President, one of the most important responsibilities of a U.S. Senator is to exercise vigilance over the quality of appointments to Federal agencies. I am proud to announce that in carrying out this duty I have determined that Bob Gates is eminently qualified to serve as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.
The background of Bob Gates has made him an ideal candidate for service to the Agency. He has the intellect and varied experience that will serve him well as Director of the CIA.
The CIA is at a crossroads. The tremendous shift in the world balance of power requires America's intelligence community to redefine its mission in the new world order. Changing global realities resulting from the collapse of communism and our victory over tyranny in the gulf require innovative approaches to intelligence. Bob's vast knowledge of the intelligence community, gained from working in the CIA and the NSC respectively, makes him the best choice to lead this transformation of mission.
Bob Gates is uniquely qualified to serve as Director of Central Intelligence. A career intelligence officer, he has served five Presidents with distinction in a variety of intelligence and national security capacities. In the 40-year history of the CIA, Bob's outstanding qualifications to lead the intelligence community are unparalleled by virtue of his superb academic training and broad political experience.
Bob's ethic of public service is displayed by a 25-year career of implementing the policies of both Republican and Democratic Presidents. The sheer merit of Bob's service is borne out by the fact that he is the first DCI-designate to be chosen from the ranks of career intelligence officer corps.
As President Bush stated in July, Bob Gates is `a man of total honor, and he should be confirmed as Director of Central Intelligence.'
The full Senate will soon decide whether to offer its advice and consent to the nomination of Bob Gates to the Director of the CIA. After studying his record, and the testimony before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, I am convinced that he will do honor to the Agency--and I will vote to confirm his nomination.
I followed Mr. Gates' confirmation hearings with great interest and some concern. The charges that were raised in the hearings and have been raised in this debate are serious and legitimate concerns: Mr. Gates' involvement in the Iran-Contra scandal; his alleged role in preparing misleading testimony to the Congress; the politicization of intelligence.
These allegations have been debated at length in the Senate. There are arguments on both sides, but few hard facts. Mr. Gates has denied most of these charges. He has admitted poor judgment in not pursuing the issue of the diverted Iranian arms proceeds to the Contras more aggressively. He has made mistakes. On balance, I concur with Senator Boren that Mr. Gates has learned from these experiences and that he will be better able to lead the CIA as a result of having confronted these issues openly and candidly in the nomination process.
My overriding concern, however, is whether Mr. Gates is capable of bringing the right kind of leadership to the CIA at this juncture in its history. I must admit that I had serious doubts about Mr. Gates' qualifications to engage in the `new thinking' on substance and on process I believe the CIA desperately needs in the post-cold-war world. Mr. Gates' history is, after all, that of a `cold warrior.' His educational background and his entire professional career have been almost exclusively focused on understanding, analyzing, and quantifying the threat posed by the Soviet Union.
Understanding the dynamics of change in the former Soviet Union will, of course, continue to be vitally important for United States policymakers. Increasingly, however, our security and our role in the world will be defined by nontraditional kinds of threats--resource scarcity, overpopulation, global climate change. These nonmilitary phenomena will increasingly come to shape the dynamics of global politics as we cope with environmental refugees in the millions, with political instability spawned by scarce water supplies, by mass starvation caused by desertification.
These are the forces which will define the kind of world in which we, our children, and our grandchildren will live. We desperately need to better understand these phenomena and the political forces they give rise to.
The end of the cold war demands, therefore, a redefinition of intelligence to reflect less emphasis on the military dimension of security--and much greater focus on the demographic and resource conflicts which will increasingly define the dynamics of international relations in the 1990's and beyond.
Forty-four years ago at the dawn of the nuclear age, Albert Einstein observed that `everything has changed except our way of thinking.' Rising to meet the challenges of that new world, an extraordinary group of wise men fashioned a policy to provide peace and stability in the international system. That effort has succeeded. But it no longer is sufficient to meet the emerging and daunting challenges we face in the international system as we enter the 21st century.
Today, we must create a new order--new assumptions, paradigms, institutions--to cope with the daunting global challenges we face. We will need all the creativity and wisdom that guided us through the immediate postwar years.
In a meeting with Mr. Gates on October 23, I raised these issues. He responded positively at that meeting and followed up the next day with a letter to me outlining his understanding and support for this nontraditional intelligence agenda.
Mr. Gates had already demonstrated to me his interest in environmental matters and his willingness and efficacy in dealing with them. In 1989, Senator John Heinz and I met with Mr. Gates, then Deputy National Security Adviser at the White House, to raise our concerns with a Japanese-funded highway aimed at opening the Amazon to the Pacific market, a clear threat to the fragile rainforest on which we depend. Mr. Gates listened carefully to our concerns and promised to assist. Within months, the project was stopped.
In his letter to me dated October 24, Mr. Gates noted that his first order of business if confirmed as Director of the CIA would be to review intelligence missions in the wake of the end of the cold war and the collapse of the Soviet Union. He went on to say that:
This review, in my opinion, should address the issues you and I discussed * * *, including international problems relating to the environment, energy, natural resources, and some aspects of global demographics * * * I believe these are appropriate areas for the application of unique intelligence capabilities both in collecting information (especially from space) and analysis. As we look into the future, U.S. Intelligence will need to focus more intensively on a broad range of non-Soviet international problems and issues than heretofore. This includes the environment, energy, natural resources, population issues. * * * If, as I would hope, the users of intelligence agree, I would be committed to institutionalizing and expanding the Intelligence Community's work on these important issues in those areas where we could make a unique contribution.
Mr. President, I believe that Mr. Gates possesses an awareness of and a willingness to pursue the kind of new thinking on issues which we will need in this decade and in the next century. Adm. Bobby Inman, with whom I also met to discuss this important nomination, raised similar concerns and stated that he had also discussed these issues with Mr. Gates.
I have great respect for Bobby Inman. He made a persuasive case that Mr. Gates, as an insider, would have the greatest ability to reshape the CIA to meet these new challenges. The same argument has been forcefully made by the distinguished chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Senator Boren. These arguments weighed heavily in my decision to support the nomination.
I will look to Mr. Gates to use his influence within the intelligence community and at the White House to effect fundamental changes in the nature and process of intelligence work. We need a new agenda to meet the new challenges we face, but we also need a new code of conduct. I am convinced that Mr. Gates will respect the vital role of Congress in providing oversight of the CIA and hope that he will press for even further process changes.
Mr. Gates alone, however, cannot effect new thinking or institutionalize a new agenda at the CIA without strong leadership from the President. The CIA, like other Federal agencies, reports to the President and his administration. Unless President Bush infuses his touted new world order with real policy substance and direction, fundamental change will not occur at the CIA or elsewhere in the Federal Government.
To date, we have not seen that kind of leadership from President Bush. In fact, we have seen retrograde motion on intelligence matters under the current administration. The end of the cold war allows us to rid ourselves of the excesses which that era gave rise to, including obsessive secrecy and lack of effective oversight. The demise of the Communist system should now permit us to bring greater accountability and greater relative openness in the conduct of American intelligence.
The Bush administration, however, has done just the opposite. President Bush has significantly narrowed the charter of his own intelligence oversight board--the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board. Under previous administration's, this Board had a much broader oversight charter and more influential membership. Now that the cold war is over, the Bush administration is restricting--rather than strengthening--oversight.
Similarly, President Bush and his administration have refused to embrace timely oversight of covert operations by the Select Committees on Intelligence of the House and Senate. The law requires the President to report Presidential findings on covert operations to the Congress in a timely fashion. We learned during the Reagan years, however, that the Executive interpreted this requirement in a very broad manner.
Congress has subsequently sought to refine the legislative intent of this provision to require congressional notification of covert actions within 48 hours. But the Bush administration has refused to accept this formulation. Here again, we see a predilection to retain the culture of secrecy and lack of accountability which characterized the cold war years and which have done such a disservice to the intelligence community and the Nation.
Mr. President, I have confidence that Mr. Gates understands the need to provide new direction for the CIA. It will not be an easy task, but there is great support in Congress for reshaping intelligence priorities and for bringing greater oversight and openness to the process.
I regret that I am unable to be here for the vote on Mr. Gates' nomination, and wish to be recorded as having announced myself in favor of the nomination. I hope that Mr. Gates is confirmed and look forward to working with him and the distinguished members of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence in engaging the intelligence community in the vitally important areas I have addressed today.
I ask unanimous consent that a copy of the letter Mr. Gates sent to me on October 24, 1991, appear in the Record immediately following my remarks.
There being no objection, the letter was ordered to be printed in the Record as follows:
The White House,
Washington, October 24, 1991.
Hon. Timothy E. Wirth,
Dear Senator Wirth: I want to follow up on our conservation yesterday.
As I said in my hearings, if I am confirmed as Director of Central Intelligence, my first order of business would be a top-to-bottom review of intelligence missions and priorities in the wake of the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union. In my view, this reexamination should be directed by the President and carried out by the users of intelligence, looking to the future and how best we can exploit the extraordinary capabilities of our Intelligence Community. This review, in my opinion, should address the issues you and I discussed yesterday, including international problems relating to the environment, energy, natural resources, and some aspects of global demographics.
Fortunately, should the policymakers and the Congress determine that Intelligence should in fact address these issues, there is a base at CIA on which to build. During the years I was CIA's Deputy Director for Intelligence, I expanded agency collection and analytical efforts in nontraditional areas. CIA has long committed substantial resources to international energy issues. The Agency from time to time has used its unique assets to address environmental issues as, for example, monitoring the effects of the Kuwaiti oil fires and the Iraqis' deliberate oil spillage in the Persian Gulf. There has been intelligence work in the past on global health issues such as the political, social and economic consequences of the AIDS pandemic in Africa. Analysis has also been done on changing patterns in world weather and on natural resources related issues, including potential conflicts over water resources. CIA has devoted considerable effort over the years monitoring world food supplies.
As we look to the future, US Intelligence will need to focus more intensively on a broad range of non-Soviet international problems and issues than heretofore. This includes the environment, energy, natural resources, population issues, and other issues already noted.
I believe these are appropriate areas for the application of unique intelligence capabilities both in collecting information (especially from space) and analysis. If, as I would hope, the users of intelligence agree, I would be committed to institutionalizing and expanding the Intelligence Community's work on these important issues in those areas where we could make a unique contribution.
I enjoyed our meeting and would very much appreciate your support.
Robert M. Gates.
Mr. ROBB. Mr. President, I rise to address the nomination of Robert M. Gates to be Director of Central Intelligence.
The nomination of a new Director of Central Intelligence is no small matter to my State. Virginians take great pride in the fact that the Central Intelligence Agency headquarters is located in our Commonwealth, and that many of those who serve professionally in that organization live in Virginia. I count the Agency as a near neighbor. As a matter of fact, almost 20 years ago, when we were completing our current house, we lived literally on the perimeter wire of the CIA. So issues concerning the Agency are of great interest to me and to many Virginians.
Robert M. Gates is acknowledged by supporters and opponents alike to be one of the most highly qualified individuals ever nominated for the post. I also find it very important--and Chairman Boren will bear me out on this--that he is as strong an advocate of legislative oversight as the community has seen in a long time. In his hearings and in face-to-face meetings, Mr. Gates made plain that he understands that the difference between the CIA and its foreign foes is that our Agency operates under a democracy, and it must be accountable for its actions.
My judgment of Mr. Gates has been borne out by a long-time friend, Adm. Bobby Inman, who is probably the most highly regarded person in the intelligence community today, and who strongly supports Mr. Gates. In our meetings, Admiral Inman admitted that Mr. Gates is not without shortcomings, but that in the new world, `We don't need spies in the classic sense, we need keen observers. People who understand the world. That's Bob Gates.' When I asked him to address concerns which had been expressed about Mr. Gates' record as an analyst, Admiral Inman replied that in the intelligence business, nobody bats a thousand--and Bob Gates has a better percentage than he did.
I withheld final judgment on Mr. Gates until the confirmation hearings had been completed and the committee had acted. Based on the best information available, I will vote to confirm Robert Gates.
To a certain extent, confirmation comes down to one's judgment of the individual. I have known Bob Gates for many years, and my conclusion is that he is highly qualified to serve as Director of Central Intelligence.
Mr. CONRAD. Mr. President, I must rise today to add my voice to those opposing the nomination of Robert Gates to head the Central Intelligence Agency. While Mr. Gates is clearly a very talented and capable person, he is not the right person for this job.
We have learned a great deal about Robert Gates in the last 2 months. The hearings on the Gates nomination were thorough and detailed, producing thousands of pages of documents and testimony. Dozens of charges were investigated. Hundreds of witnesses testified or were interviewed. Mr. Gates himself was on the stand for 4 days. However, after weeks of seeking to find the truth about Mr. Gates, questions and concerns about his nomination remain strong in my mind.
In the 1980's, Robert Gates served as a high ranking CIA officer under Director William Casey, a man whose strong ideological views affected both Agency analysis and U.S. policy. Many of Mr. Casey's actions at the CIA were questionable at best. Under William Casey, the CIA mined Nicaraguan harbors, secretly sold arms to Iran, and diverted the profits from these sales to illegally support the Nicaraguan Contras. Bob Gates was an integral part of the CIA while all of these events were occurring.
I find it hard to believe that a man as intelligent, as thorough, and as driven as Robert Gates would not have known about the Iran-Contra activities. Mr. Gates claims that he did not hear of the illegal diversion of weapons profits to the Contras until late in 1986, after it had been publicly disclosed. However, he admits that he was aware of the weapons sales to Iran, and Charles Allen, a retired CIA officer who was involved with the weapons sales, told Gates numerous times of his suspicions about profits diversions. Mr. Gates claims that he only vaguely recalls being told of Allen's suspicions. In addition, rumors about Oliver North's activities in Central America were well known in the intelligence community. Did Robert Gates, the No. 2 intelligence officer in the Nation, not hear them? If he did, why did he not investigate them?
It is strange that a man who rose quickly through the ranks of the intelligence community, a man who had a reputation for being tough and aggressive, would not pursue this matter.
Robert Gates is a man who was able to provide, overnight, a 20-point rebuttal to some of the charges brought against him by former CIA analysts. Yet, he could not put two and two together on Iran-Contra. He is said to have a photographic memory, and there were many instances during the hearings when Mr. Gates recalled his actions or conversations in great detail. But, he could not recall many key conversations and remarks regarding his knowledge of Iran-Contra. This memory lapse is disquieting.
Another charge brought against Robert Gates during the confirmation hearings was that he slanted intelligence. We heard testimony from several former CIA analysts making this allegation. Some will argue whether or not the charge was conclusively proven, but it cannot be denied that Robert Gates had strong ideological views on the Soviet Union. These views were very much in line with those of Mr. Casey, and it appears to me that there was a great deal of pressure at the CIA to provide analysis that supported this ideological stance. This pressure for analysis to be in line with the subjective views of the Director and the administration did serious damage to the morale of the CIA, and more importantly, provided our policymakers with misleading intelligence. Mr. President, intelligence must be objective and thorough if it is to be of any use to our policymakers.
Finally, Mr. President, let me say that I believe it is time for a change in the Central Intelligence Agency. Even if I had no doubts about Mr. Gates, I would still be hesitant to vote for someone who is a product of the old system. Just in the past few years, the CIA has seriously failed to foresee the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and the collapse of the Soviet Union. The two most important foreign policy occurrences of the last decade caught
our country by surprise. In addition, the CIA secretly shared intelligence with Iraq during its war with Iran, and we now learn that this intelligence may have helped Saddam Hussein to successfully hide his nuclear weapons program from the West. The list of intelligence failures does not stop there: Central America in the 1980's and Iran in the late 1970's come to mind. Robert Gates was a part of the system that produced these failures; I do not believe he should be the one put in charge of fixing it.
The world has undergone radical changes in the past few years, and the United States must change its policies in response. The end of the cold war does not diminish the need for intelligence, but it requires a very different approach to intelligence policy. It is time to make a fresh start and select as head of the CIA someone who will bring unquestionable integrity, new ideas, and innovative thinking to the system.
Mr. President, this is not the stance that I would like to be taking on a nominee to a position of such great importance at such a critical time. However, I do not believe that Robert Gates would be good for the CIA or good for the country, and I will therefore vote against his confirmation today.
Mr. KOHL. Mr. President, I reluctantly intend to vote to confirm Robert Gates as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Mr. Gates would not have been my choice to head the CIA. I am disturbed by his involvement in questionable activities related to the Iran-Contra affair and the slanting of intelligence information. I am troubled by charges related to his management style. And I am distressed by the fact that in this time of radical change, we have turned to a product of past ideological battles and out of date ideological views. He is clearly not the person I would have nominated to serve as the Director of the CIA.
But I am not in a position to nominate anyone. I am in the position of passing judgment on the President's choice. And in this case, there is a presumption in favor of the President. Unlike a Supreme Court nominee, the Director of the CIA is part of the President's administration. I have always believed that, absent compelling evidence to the contrary, a President is entitled to have his own people serve in his own administration. I have examined the record carefully and while I find areas of doubt and concern, I do not find compelling evidence to overcome the presumption that rightfully rests with the President's nominee.
Accordingly, I shall vote for him. But the vote should not be seen as an endorsement of his record; rather it is a recognition of the President's prerogatives in the area of nominating people to serve in the executive branch. Given the questions that were raised at the confirmation hearings, I expect and trust that the members of the Intelligence Committees in the House and Senate will engage in extensive oversight of Mr. Gates and the Agency he heads.
Mrs. KASSEBAUM. Mr. President, I rise to support the nomination of Robert Gates to be Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.
As I noted in my remarks before the Intelligence Committee, the demands on the next director of the CIA will be perhaps the most challenging in the history of the agency. The collapse of communism will have a profound impact on our intelligence operations, priorities and budget. Currently, over 50 percent of our intelligence budget is directed against the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact.
Over the next several years, the CIA will have to be redirected from the bottom up, in order to make our intelligence analysis and operations relevant to a rapidly changing world and rapidly changing threats. The principal question before us is what type of individual can best provide this leadership. I believe it is clear that Robert Gates' extensive experience in the intelligence community and full understanding of its institutions are the main strengths he will bring to the job.
I also believe that the next Director will need the respect and confidence of the President in order to effectively plan and carry out a major review and overhaul of our intelligence policies. Once again, Robert Gates will come to his job secure in his relationship with the President.
Both the Intelligence Committee hearings and the floor debate on this nomination have been vigorous, comprehensive and thoughtful. The record clearly reflects the strengths Robert Gates will bring to this position during these very demanding times. I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting his nomination for CIA Director.
Mr. SYMMS. Mr. President, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence has been tasked with the long process of confirmation for the nomination of Robert M. Gates, as the Director of Central Intelligence Agency. Since June 24, 1991, Mr. Gates has been questioned by the Intelligence Committee about his management skills, his past judgments, and even his principles, yet in this Senator's opinion, he has passed the test with flying colors.
What other possible nominee would have a comparable level of experience within the intelligence community? With over 25 years of hands-on experience including positions such as Deputy Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs and Deputy Director of Central Intelligence, Gates holds the confidence of a President who once held the position of DCI himself.
The changing nature of the intelligence community also requires a nominee who will be able to carry out the necessary modifications brought about by the recent geopolitical changes worldwide. The new Director will have to refocus and reprioritize the former objectives of Central Intelligence. This could not be effectively accomplished by an unseasoned nominee.
Gates himself has stated:
Change is inevitable. It must come and come quickly. It must be constructive and informed by broadly agreed missions and priorities for U.S. intelligence. * * * The new Director and his senior managers must assure that those most affected by change are well treated and have the assurance of fairness and sympathy, and new personal opportunities. * * *
Gates has been called into question regarding his awareness of the Iran-Contra affair. It is common knowledge that the Central Intelligence Agency is extremely compartmentalized in its information dissemination, operating strictly on a need-to-know basis. Robert Gates has established that he had limited knowledge of the covert operation, and has already explained that in retrospect he would have handled specific situations differently.
But hindsight is always 20-20. We cannot expect perfection, but we can expect Robert Gates to have learned from past mistakes.
I believe that Robert Gates has matured greatly from the experience and, if anything, it has made him increasingly aware of comparable situations that could arise in the future. We need Robert Gates' experience to shape the intelligence community to suit the needs of tomorrow, and that is why I will support his nomination.
Mr. D'AMATO. Mr. President, I rise today to express my strong support for the confirmation of Robert M. Gates as Director of Central Intelligence. I believe he is fully qualified for the position and will perform superbly as Director of Central Intelligence.
Having listened to the floor debate on this nomination both yesterday and today, I am moved to return to the basis for this body's judgment. On this point, I want to restate my views from the beginning of the Intelligence Committee's hearings on Bob Gates:
As Senators, we again face the question of what standard to employ to decide whether or not a President deserves confirmation of his nominee to a very important post in his Administration. In my view, the proper standard is that a nominee should be confirmed if he or she is qualified for the position for which he or she is nominated. The question of qualification should be decided upon the basis of the nominee's character, integrity, experience education, and past performance. A nominee should not be confirmed if substantial, credible disqualifying information is found.
What does this mean? Disqualifying information is not proof that the nominee holds policy or ideological positions contrary to mine. Neither is it evidence of small errors of judgment in personal or professional matters. It certainly is not evidence that a nominee took controversial positions in good faith on certain issues.
Disqualifying information is negative information that bears upon a nominee's character, integrity, or competence so strongly that, when weighed against the totality of the nominee's personality, career, and accomplishments, it casts serious doubt on the nominee's ability successfully to perform the duties of the office to which he has been nominated.
This is the standard I applied to the information the committee developed before, during, and after the hearings. I believe it is the correct standard to apply to any Presidential nomination.
So far in the debate on this nomination on the floor, I have heard many colleagues in opposition to Mr. Gates'
confirmation implicitly put themselves in President Bush's shoes. With all due respect to my colleagues and friends who oppose this nomination, none of them are the President of the United States.
Article II, clause 2 of the United States Constitution provides that the President `* * * shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint * * * Officers of the United States. * * * The scope of the Senate's role has been clear since the early years of the Republic.
An 1837 opinion of the Attorney General states that `[t]he Senate cannot originate an appointment. Its constitutional action is confined to the simple affirmation or rejection of the President's nomination, and such nominations fail whenever it rejects them.' (3 Opps. Atty. Gen. 188)
My colleagues who oppose Bob Gates are free, and are entirely within their rights, to vote to reject him. However, when they advance arguments against him that, when reduced to their essential elements, consist of a personal or political judgment that they would not chose him to be DCI, they have crossed the line and usurped a role that the Constitution reserves to the President.
Mr. President, I believe that fairly applying the proper test leads to the clear conclusion that Bob Gates deserves the full support of this body. I call upon my colleagues to give Mr. Gates that support.
Now, I want to turn to one part of the controversy surrounding Mr. Gates' nomination on which I have special experience and expertise. That is the question of whether or not Bob Gates slanted the intelligence assessments concerning the May 1981 attempt by Mehmet Ali Agca to kill Pope John Paul II.
The question presented to the committee was not who was behind Agca's attempt to kill the Pope. The question was much more narrow: what involvement did Bob Gates have in the production of the 1983 and 1985 intelligence assessments?
On the broader, fundamental question, I remain convinced that Bulgaria ran the operation and that the Soviet Union provided, at the minimum, the instigation for the attack on the Pope. I came to that conclusion after personally traveling to Italy on several occasions and meeting with people who were at the forefront of the working investigations into the assassination attempt.
In February 1983 I traveled to Rome and met in person with the investigating magistrate, Ilario Martella. To my
knowledge, no other U.S. official had such a meeting before me. I met with an Italian counterpart of mine who served on the parliamentary committee charged with oversight of the Italian intelligence services. I also met with a large number of other investigating magistrates, senior Italian officials, and United States officials at the Embassy in Rome.
I came away from this trip and my previous trips convinced that the CIA was officially ignoring, to a very large extent, the attempt on the Pope's life. Indeed, various CIA officers were telling the United States and international press that Agca was a crazed, lone gunman, or an enforcer for drug runners, or an assassin for the Turkish Grey Wolves, but that there was no evidence that he was working for the Bulgarians, much less the Soviets.
The Italian authorities asked me why the CIA was `beclouding' their investigation. That is the term they used, `beclouding,' and they meant that the CIA was casting doubt on the integrity, seriousness, and purpose of their efforts to get to the bottom of the issue.
I developed a number of hypotheses as to why this was happening, but until Mel Goodman testified, I did not fully appreciate the will to disbelieve evidence of Bulgarian and Soviet involvement that existed in the Directorate of Intelligence at the CIA. Mel Goodman came forward and charged Bob Gates with slanting intelligence on the papal assassination attempt. What he showed me, through his testimony and his responses to the testimony of persons who were actually involved in the production of the 1985 assessment, is that he represented a rock-hard core of people in the Directorate of Intelligence who refused to consider evidence that was contrary to their personal perspective on the Soviet Union.
Mr. President, at this point I ask unanimous consent that an op-ed by Claire Sterling that was published on page A18 in the Tuesday, November 5, 1991, edition of the Wall Street Journal, entitled `At CIA, Nobody Cares Who Shot the Pope,' be printed in the Record. This op-ed succinctly recounts the outside picture of the CIA's approach to the papal assassination attempt as seen by the person who is generally recognized as the preeminent scholar on this subject.
There being no objection, the article was ordered to be printed in the Record, as follows:
Before voting to confirm him as head of the Central Intelligence Agency, the Senate Intelligence Committee aired charges that Robert Gates forced the CIA to investigate allegations that the Soviet Union was responsible for the shooting of Pope John Paul II in 1981. I can reassure the committee that, if he tried, Mr. Gates was entirely unsuccessful.
Three Italian courts have expressed their moral conviction that Bulgaria's secret service was behind the Papal shooting: the Rome Court of Assizes in 1986, the Court of Appeals in 1987, and the Court of Cassation--Italy's Supreme Court--in 1988. The courts did not pronounce the three Bulgarian defendants guilty, but would not pronounce them innocent either. (They were acquitted `for insufficient evidence,' meaning anything but innocence in Italy. Whether through indifference or contempt, the CIA showed no interest in these proceedings from the start.)
The agency did not bother to get a copy of Mehmet Ali Agca's earliest confession (as its Rome station chief told Sen. Alfonse D'Amato, R., N.Y., in 1982). It did not try to obtain a later confession leading to the arrest of three Bulgarians. It did not call on investigating magistrate Ilario Martella to ask for or volunteer information of any sort. Nor, to my personal knowledge, did it rush to get a copy of the Italian prosecutor's report on Judge Martella's 20-month investigation--the first official document to reveal what the judge had found.
Well over a year before the Martella report appeared in 1984, the CIA had produced what purported to be a careful study of the case, concluding that there was no reason to believe the Russians were involved.
Its next careful study, in 1985, concluded that the Russians were involved after all, through their Bulgarian surrogates. But that had nothing to do with Judge Martella's lengthy indictment, or testimony in the spectacular trial getting under way by then. The grounds were said to be new information from a secret Italian agent, contradicting old information from a secret Bulgarian agent who had said the Bulgarians didn't do it.
The CIA's performance throughout the case was bewildering. Officially, the CIA wanted no part of it. The papal shooting was `an Italian matter, and it would be inappropriate for the United States to interfere,' a senior intelligence officer told the New York Times in February 1983. But the CIA did interfere, with repeated and distinctly inappropriate efforts to get Bulgaria off the hook.
Its leaks to the press from Washington and Rome began just weeks after the three Bulgarians' arrest. `On the basis of the evidence, the Bulgarian-Soviet link (to Agca) cannot be proved,' an unnamed intelligence analyst told the New York Times in December 1982, when nobody knew what the evidence was. Efforts to exonerate Bulgaria and the Russian followed in rapid succession, approaching the preposterous.
Unnamed intelligence analysts suggested that `the Bulgarian secret service hired [Agca] as an assassin or drug-trade enforcer, in an arrangement that had nothing to do with the pope or the Soviet Union.' Later, this suggestion ran, `when Mr. Agca found himself in Rome on a mission for the Bulgarian secret service, he independently plotted to kill the pope, without the support or knowledge of the Bulgarian authorities.'
An alternative theory, offered straightfaced to the Los Angeles Times, conceded on the CIA's behalf that the three Bulgarians were `known intelligence agents,' and that `officials of the Bulgarian government had advance knowledge of the assassination attempt.' While this was `a 99% certainty,' however, `the CIA is also convinced that neither the Bulgarians nor the Soviet Union instigated the attack,' the sources said
What seems to have stumped CIA analysts in all these years was an inability to comprehend why the Russians would want the pope dead. One faction apparently could think of no plausible motive (1983), while the possible motive finally offered in a revised policy paper (1985) strains belief. `The Soviets were reluctant to invade Poland' in 1981, `so they decided to demoralize [the Polish} opposition by killing the Polish pope,' was how it read.
Any Pole in Warsaw or Cracow could do better than that--and not just a Pole. The Kremlin's urgent need to be rid of this pope was unmistakenly clear by the time Agca set out from Bulgaria on his mission. He left Sofia on Aug. 31, 1981: the day Poland's communist rulers signed a formal contract with Solidarity in Gdansk. It was the first agreement in the history of worldwide communism to legitimize a free trade union and, seen in retrospect, the beginning of the dissolution of the Soviet empire.
There was no mistaking who was held responsible by the Kremlin. The pope had been a menace since his first visit to Poland in 1979, when he told a delirious crowd of 6 million that `No country should ever develop at the cost of enslavement, conquest, outrage, exploitation and death.' Solidarity was born in the Gdansk shipyards that winter, just six months after John Paul's unforgettable visit.
The Vatican was committing `innumerable acts of ideological sabotage'; was `training and sending propaganda specialists. . . and smuggling subversive literature' into socialist countries on a `vast scale'; had `inspired subversive activities in Poland' and furthered `the aggressive aims of imperialism' declared the Soviet review Polititcheskoye Samboobrazovanie. `Solidarity was not born of the disorders in the summer of 1980, but in the lap of the Church,' and the Soviet news agency Tass.
Discrening a motive here, so difficult for the CIA, was no problem for Italian judges in three successive courts. Though obliged to acquit `for lack of sufficient evidence,' the Appeals Court noted in its 150-page sentence `the fears induced by the election of a Slavic Pope; the social tensions in his native country; the recognition--for the first time in the contemporary history of the East European states--of a free Solidarity. . . . How can we rule out that [such factors] would induce certain forces to maintain that the assassination of His Holiness could block a political situation in evident, dreaded evolution?'
Upholding that sentence, Italy's supreme court said bluntly that the shooting was `planned for political ends by the Bulgarian secret services.'
It is probably too late for some senator to ask why Mr. Gates didn't mention this verdict in his own defense.
Mr. D'AMATO. Now, I want to take a few minutes to go through the charges against Mr. Gates concerning the papal assassination attempt intelligence assessments on a point-by-point basis. I hope this will assist my colleagues in understanding how thoroughly the attacks on Mr. Gates on this subject have been refuted.
Let me begin by refreshing everyone's recollection about the background of this issue:
[The following material was prepared by the committee's staff, whom I want to recognize for their tremendous efforts on this nomination:]
As DDI, Bob Gates approved the dissemination of an assessment in 1983 which concluded that attempt on the Pope's life `was probably not at the direct behest or with the foreknowledge of either the Soviets or Bulgarians.'
In December 1984, the CIA published another assessment related to this issue. The so-called `Cowey Report,' which is one of the `in-house' studies Mr. Goodman refers to states:
`Everyone involved in producing the third paper, `Bulgaria: Coping with the Papal Assassination Scandal' recalls that the explicit marching orders from the Office and DI level were to remain strictly neutral on the question of whether or not the Soviets or Bulgarians were involved. The paper does this scrupulously, dealing only with how the controversy is likely to affect Sophia's relations with the West and Moscow.'
By 1985 a variety of new information had come to light. A decision was therefore made to examine the hypothesis of Soviet involvement. The question which was then asked, quite legitimately, was `How plausible is the case for Soviet involvement in light of this new information?' That is the question the analysts were asked to examine in 1985 and that is the message explicitly conveyed in the title of the report `Agca's attempt to kill the Pope: The Case for Soviet Involvement.'
To the extent that there were any legitimate problems with this assessment, the blame is far more plausibly placed at the feet of Bill Casey. Bill Casey often spoke with the analysts involved; he reviewed drafts and commented on them. It was no secret that he was obsessed with the issue.
Mr. Goodman was not involved in the preparation of this assessment, so the only basis for his allegations is hearsay.
Now, let us go through the allegations, one by one:
(1) The assessment was `abominable.'
(-) `The assessment was abominable. The scenario that the drafters came up with was absurd.'
(+) The Cowey report states:
`The 1985 IA, a joint effort by OGI and SOVA, is the Agency's most comprehensive look at the case to date. By any standard, it is an impressive compilation of the facts and marshaling of the evidence and reasoning for Soviet involvement.'
(2) Gates pressured the analysts to implicate the Soviets
(-) `But I'll say one thing for the analysts. They did not give Bob Gates everything he wanted. In fact one of the three writers on this particular paper once said I tried my hardest to give Gates what he wanted and it still wasn't enough . . .'
(+) All of the individuals involved have submitted sworn statements indicating that Mr. Gates did not try to manipulate or pressure them in any way. For example on pg 112 of the report, Elizabeth Seeger, the principal author of the assessment, who is now a homemaker in Virginia, states:
`Mr. Gates never attempted to manipulate me or my analysis on the Papal case. He never told me what or how to investigate the case, nor did he tell me what to write or what conclusions to reach. He never expressed or even hinted at his own personal view on the question of alleged Soviet involvement, frequently characterizing himself as `agnostic' on the case . . . I can recall instances when Mr. Gates made specific efforts to ensure that the analysis was not misrepresented in any way. Prior to publication, for example, an individual on the seventh floor [probably Casey] urged that the paper's title be altered to strengthen the link between the assassination attempt and the Kremlin. Mr. Gates refused to change it. He clearly did not want the title to go beyond what the paper could honestly say.'
(3) The assessment was prepared in secret
(-) `But they were told to prepare this study in camera. In other words, this was secret analysis in the CIA.'
(+) Relevant excerpts from sworn statements in the Committee report refute this allegation:
David Cohen (pg 114): `It was not prepared in secret--or in camera--as alleged in earlier testimony . . . Normal procedures for review and coordination were observed.'
Kay Oliver (pg 113): `I would point out that it is not unusual for a paper dealing with sensitive reporting to be held closely.'
Elizabeth Seeger (pg 113): `Assertions by Mr. Goodman to the contrary, the study was not prepared secretly.'
Bob Gates (pg 113 of the transcript of Oct. 3, in response to a question on this issue from Senator Deconcini):
`I put a limit on the number of people that should be involved. I just told MacEachin to handle it on a close-hold basis. And that didn't indicate that people who should be involved should be excluded in any way, and those who were directly involved in the process have testified . . . that they went through the regular process of coordination.'
In addition, during his testimony Doug MacEachin identified valid reasons for trying to handle the issue discreetly: a) the human source reporting was extremely sensitive; and b) the US government wanted to avoid the appearance of trying to influence Agca's ongoing trial in Italy.
(4) Gates rewrote the key judgments and summary
(-) `So what did Bob Gates do? Bob Gates rewrote the key judgments. Bob Gates rewrote the summary.'
(+) Excerpts from sworn statements in the report:
Lance Haus (page 114):
`. . . Mr. Gates made no changes to the draft submitted to him other than fairly minor editorial ones. Indeed, I believe he also added a few additional caveats. His concern, if I remember correctly, was that we not go beyond where the intelligence information would carry us . . . Mr. Gates did not draft or redraft the key judgments--I did with help from Beth Seeger and Kay Oliver.'
Dave Cohen (page 114): `It has also been alleged that Mr. Gates rewrote the key judgments, rewrote the summary, and added his own cover not that no one saw. All of these allegations are false.'
(5) Gates dropped the scope note
(-) `Bob Gates dropped a very interesting scope note that said, in trying to explain the methodology, that we only looked at the case for involvement. We didn't look at any of the evidence--and I might add very good evidence from very sensitive sources--that would have explained the Soviets were not involved. He dropped that scope note.'
(+) Sworn statements in the Committee report refute the allegation:
Dave Cohen (pg 114): `The so-called scope note was an introductory paragraph appended to the SOVA contribution to the paper. Ms. Oliver for SOVA and Mr. Haus for OGI agreed between themselves that a scope note was not needed given the title of the paper.'
Lance Haus (pg 114): `Mr. Gates did not drop any scope note--I doubt he ever saw the prefatory paragraph eliminated after consultation with Kay Oliver, during my first review of the paper . . .'
(6) Gates falsely portrayed the study as `comprehensive'
(-) `The cover note, signed by Gates, termed the paper `comprehensive' but there was no reference in the cover note, the key judgments, or the summary that there were inconsistencies or anomalies in the argument.'
(+) The Cowey report states:
`The 1985 IA, a joint effort by OGI and SOVA, is the Agency's most comprehensive look at the case to date.'
Further, Kay Oliver points out in her rebuttal to the Hibbits report that the key judgments and summary do identify anomalies and `puzzling' questions:
`Key Judgments, p. iv: `Some elements of Agca's own testimony, Martella's evidence, and information provided by [deleted] remain inconsistent and open to alternative interpretations, and many questions may never be conclusively resolved.'
`Summary, p. viii: `A variety of gaps and inconsistencies in the available data remain, and some important pieces of information remain open to more than one interpretation.'
`This observation is preceded in the summary by a brief discussion of the Orlandi kidnaping and Agca's recantations--two of the anomalies that appear in the main test (see pages 20-21).'
Finally, it should be noted that Mr. Gates did not draft the cover note--although he did sign it. Lance Haus' statement acknowledging his authorship of the cover appears on pg 114 of the Committee report:
`Mr. Gates did not draft the transmittal notes--although he certainly reviewed them. Again, I did.'
(7) The Cowey report says Gates `manipulated' the analysts
(-) `Fortunately, two in-house studies were done . . . It concluded that the analysts were manipulated by Bob Gates.'
(+) Nowhere does the Cowey report (or any other report) accuse Mr. Gates of manipulating analysts or the process. There is a reference to the perception on the part of some in the DO that the authors were manipulated, but the validity of that allegation is not established and Bob Gates is not alleged to have been the culprit. In fact, the Cowey report says on pg 19:
`. . . despite the DDI's best efforts, there was a perception among analysts of upper level direction, which became more pronounced after the new evidence of Soviet complicity was acquired. In the event, however our interviews suggested that it was not so much DCI or DDI direction as it was an effort on the part of some DI managers at the next one or two layers down to be responsive to perceived DCI and DDI desires.'
(8) Gates added a misleading cover note
(-) `And what did he do. He added his own cover note that no on saw . . . This note said, and I quote, `this is the best balanced and most comprehensive work we have ever done on this subject.'
(+) The committee has obtained two copies of the cover memo, one addressed to Anne Armstrong of the PFIAB, and another addressed to the Vice President. The language is identical in both and the sentence quoted by Mr. Goodman is not present.
(9) Gates must have had a guilty conscience regarding the paper since within a few weeks of its dissemination he asked Mr. MacEachin to prepare a rebuttal and then subsequently established the Cowey panel to review the process.
(-) `Also, his motivation for an in-house study only several weeks after releasing the paper to the president (sic), vice president (sic), secretary of state (sic), secretary of defense (sic), and national security adviser (sic) remains open to questioning. Was Gates trying to prevent Casey from releasing the paper to others? Did Gates realize he was vulnerable about releasing such a polemical work? . . . Finally, why in the world would a controversial assessment that Gates had problems with be sent to such an influential audience?'
(+) It is important to note that the Cowey report was not an examination of the 1985 assessment--it was an examination of the entire analytical and reporting process from 1981 to 1985. This included an examination of two hardcover publications as well as the articles on the subject that appeared in serial publications.
In response to a question from Senator DeConcini pg 118 of the transcript of Oct. 3, Gates states:
`My problem was more on the overall agency handling of the attempted assassination and that's why the Cowey report really addressed, to a considerable extent, all of the work the Agency had done since 1981.'
Gates also said on pg 116 of the Oct. 3 hearing:
`And also I think I had probably picked up some of the unhappiness that there had been about some of the aspects of the coordination of the paper. So I asked them to go back and take a look at the whole thing and our whole treatment of the issue.'
It is much to Mr. Gates credit that he choose to confront and investigate these perceptions.
We do not know why Mr. Gates asked for the critique produced by Mr. Hibbits. It may have been because he heard some rumblings about the paper due to the polarization within the agency on this issue.
(10) The paper was improperly coordinated.
(-) The Cowey report strongly criticizes the 1985 assessment and states on page 14:
`As it turns out, the coordination process was essentially circumvented--in both the DI and the DO--by either the press of time or by actual circumvention of the chain of command. (In the case of the DO, the paper ended up being coordinated with the DDO [Clair George], and the SOVA analysts who reviewed the draft saw only the SOV input.'
(+) It may well be true that there were irregularities in the coordination process. There is no reason to conclude, however, that Gates was aware of these problems at the time the report was disseminated, however. In response to a question by Senator Boren, Gates says on page 76 of the transcript of Oct. 3:
`* * * I would add to that that when the paper came to me it was certainly represented as being fully coordinated within the Agency. So it would have represented the Agency's best view. Coordinated with the Directorate of Operations, coordinated with other offices in the Directorate of Intelligence. So when the paper came to me I was told that it was coordinated, I had every reason to believe that it did in fact represent the corporate view of the Agency.'
In addition, in their sworn statements, those most directly involved in the assessment dispute the Cowey report and maintain that the paper was properly coordinated. The following excerpts appear in the Committee report beginning on pg 113:
Beth Seeger: `No relevant offices or analysts were excluded from participating in the examination of the case or in the preparation of the final report * * *.'
Kay Oliver: `I can assure the Committee that the paper was coordinated by the Chief of the Regional Issue Group on OVA, and I believe by the Third World Division. Contrary to his claim, I do not believe that Mel Goodman himself was in a job that would have made him a natural person with whom to coordinate.'
Lance Haus: `* * * the paper was fully coordinated.'
(11) Gates should have sent the Cowey report to recipients of the 1985 assessment on the Pope.
(-) Opponents have suggested that after receiving the Cowey report, which was in some respects highly critical of the 1985 assessment on the attempt on the Pope's life, Gates should have either sent a copy of this document or some sort of disclaimer to those who had received the assessment on Soviet involvement in the attempt on the Pope's life.
(+) Gates makes clear in his responses to questions from Senator DeConcini, pages 116-131 of the transcript of Oct. 3, that he thought the 1985 assessment was a good report but that he was troubled by the process that had been in place for handling the issue since 1981. Hence, since he thought it was a solid report (which many others involved did as well--and do to this day) he had no reason to try to contact the recipients. At the same time, because of his concerns regarding the procedural problems highlighted in the Cowey report, Mr. Gates sent a copy of the report to the office directors involved and asked for their comments.
Q. `And then a month later [after dissemination] you decided you don't have that confidence I guess?'
Gates: `I had concerns about the process Senator.' (e.g. not the quality of the product)
Gates (also pg 121/Oct. 3): `I sent it to the office directors of the offices that had been involved in the preparation of the paper. I asked for their comments on it. And we addressed the problems of process that had been identified as being deficient. But the Cowey report also said, as I recall, that it was the most comprehensive effort on the problem yet done.'
McLaughlin (member of Cowey panel/from affidavit/pg 3):
`4. We gave our study to Mr. Gates on 12 July. He thanked us and praised the effort after reading it. I did not speak to Mr. Gates personally about the report, but one of my colleagues recalls him registering some shock at the extent of the problems we reported.'
`5. Mr. Gates sent the report to the three relevant Office Directors for comment. He also forwarded it to Mr. Casey and, I believe, to the Chairman of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board.'
Seeger (pg 112 of the report): `The final report was a thorough and honest treatment of the subject. Indeed, even critics agreed it was well-done and comprehensive.'
Cohen (affidavit/pg 5): `The analysts were asked to assess the evidence of Soviet involvement in the assassination attempt and they did a terrific job.'
Haus (affidavit/pg 6): `Third, the analysis was balanced and sound, in my judgment, and anchored in the full body of information available on the case. The report we drafted accurately reflected Beth Seeger and Kay Oliver's best assessment of the facts and informed commentary by earlier analysts of the case . . . Indeed, I found the paper to be true to the information and convincing in its argument.'
(12) The paper did not examine alternative scenarios
(-) The assessment has been criticized for not examining alternative scenarios.
(+) Gates has acknowledged in retrospect that it probably should have. At the same time, the paper was deliberately and legitimately seeking an answer to a specific question: How plausible is the case for Soviet involvement? Based on the new evidence emerging in late 1984, there were compelling reasons to examine this hypothesis.
Cohen (affidavit/pgs 2-3):
`Directly or indirectly the study was initiated as a result of new information that was coming to us in late 1984 and early 1985, including information involving possible foreign involvement in the assassination attempt . . . the cumulative effect of the additional information meant we needed to take stock of what we knew regarding these possibilities.'
`There was a solid consensus among the senior managers as well as first line officers and analysts that the report should examine the plausibility of Soviet involvement in the assassination attempt . . . We agreed not to try to prove or disprove Soviet responsibility; the paper that emerged instead weighed the case for their involvement--what did we know or infer that pointed to their involvement. From my perspective as one of the senior managers in the Directorate of Intelligence responsible at that time for the Agency's analytic work on terrorism, this was a legitimate and responsible question to pursue. The Committee should be aware that at no time in the discussion did I or anyone above my level encourage or pressure anyone implicitly or explicitly to ignore any evidence regarding any aspects of the case.'
(13) Contrary evidence was suppressed
(-) `I might add that we did have evidence that the Soviets were not involved.'
(+) The Committee has never received any information from Mr. Goodman to substantiate this allegation. Further, as the comments from Ms. Seeger and others involved in the process make clear, they were given free rein to examine DO reporting and other sensitive material.
Seeger (Pg 112 of the report): `I wrote the assessment--with contributions from two SOVA analysts--after having examined all of the available evidence, and after levying requirements on the DO for additional information on the case . . .'
Haus (affidavit/pg): `She [Seeger] had access to all the information available in the Agency.'
(14) The assessment did not accurately reflect the views of those in either the DI or the DO
(-) The Cowey report states:
`. . . we found no one at the working level in either the DI or the DO--other than the two primary authors of the paper--who agreed with the thrust of the IA.'
(+)(a) There were very few people with access to the sensitive clandestine reporting that was the basis for the new assessment regarding Soviet complicity in the attempt on the Pope's life;
(b) There were few who had spent much time, as Beth Seeger, Kay Oliver, and Lance Haus had, carefully examining the issue. In fact, Beth Seeger was the official expert in the agency on this issue. She had the account.
(c) The Cowey report indicates that there were many on the other side of the issue who were not adequately willing to consider the possibility of Soviet involvement. Page 16 of the Cowey report states:
`With mindsets playing such a strong if not determining role in people's approach to this problem, we found that few minds changed as new evidence was obtained . . . Although we found no evidence in the DI of a conscious effort to excuse the Soviets or let them `off the hook' in this case, some of those interviewed perceived a reluctance to look at the `seamy underbelly of the (Soviet) beast,'
(d) As noted above at allegation #10, the paper was presented to Bob Gates as having been fully and properly coordinated. It should have reflected a consensus opinion. If it didn't, it at least accurately reflected the views of the Agency's dedicated analyst on the issue.
At this point, I want to turn to the issue of how the CIA will treat those who came forward, either in person or through written statements, on either side of this nomination. I said at the closing session of this hearing that it should be very clear that the intelligence community will oversee how these people are treated in the future. For our oversight process to be effective, people must not be subject to retribution--or reward--for the positions they took on this nomination. By coming forward, past and current CIA employees have aided us immeasurably in our work and made possible the full and thorough hearing process that we conducted.
Mr. President, I want to close by again expressing my enthusiastic support for the nominee and by urging my colleagues to give their advice and consent to his nomination.
I yield the floor.
Mr. GORE. Mr. President, this is not an easy or clear decision. At issue is a judgment call involving a talented public servant.
There has been an extended effort, employing the full resources of the Intelligence Committee, to establish whether Mr. Gates was involved in any wrongdoing: notably in connection with Irangate but also relating to claims that he skewed intelligence reporting to suit what the Reagan administration wanted to hear.
A fair reading of the outcome of that process is that Mr. Gates emerged culpable of no more than he has admitted: not having pursued hints of Irangate vigorously to their ultimate conclusion, and not having been sufficiently sensitive to the concerns of subordinates. Meanwhile, we also have the record of an individual whose knowledge of the intelligence community and competence to lead it through a major transition, are clear. This is also a person who has the support of persons in whose integrity and judgment I place a great deal of stock: Admiral Inman, for example, and Senators Boren and Cohen.
However, another reading is possible. Namely, that Mr. Gates had reason to suspect the outlines of what became Irangate, that his reaction to those suspicions amounted to a major test of perspicacity and character. One could also conclude that Mr. Gates did not weather this test well: we may either believe that he failed to grasp the significance of these early rumors, or that recognizing them full well, he avoided that which it could be dangerous to know.
As one reads the record of Mr. Gates' testimony and that of others, it becomes clear to this Senator, at least, that no one in the upper management of the CIA ever demanded to know the full facts in time. Rather, Mr. Gates' reaction was like that of several of his peers: he asked to be `Kept informed;' he did not demand knowledge; he did not confront those who could answer these questions at any point; he and others were circumspect because, in my opinion, he and they understood quite well that the Reagan White House and the late DCI, William Casey, functioned according to their own rules.
That kind of caution is perhaps understandable. Who, having dedicated a life to the pursuit of service in a career as
specialized as intelligence, would lightly risk that or even bring it to an end, rather than continue to remain in ignorance? But the position of DCI is singular: it carries immense responsibility, and it exposes those who hold it to constant moral choice--made all the sharper perhaps because these decisions may have to be made in secrecy, with no guide except what comes from within. And so, what is acceptable for everyone in general, may not be acceptable on the part of one who fills this post.
I respect Mr. Gates' talents and accomplishments. But I believe that radically changed circumstances in the world lead us to the need for a new chapter in the history of American intelligence work. And I believe that this new chapter requires management that is divorced from, rather than a product of the institutional culture that gave us Irangate. I hope and trust that Mr. Gates, if confirmed, will rise to the potential his supporters see in him, and that having erred on the side of excess caution once, he would be the better able to avoid that mistake again when it presents itself, as it assuredly will in some form or other. But for me, this vote has become an obligation to record my view that we do need profound change if we are to have a new beginning. Therefore, I shall vote against Mr. Gates' confirmation.
Mr. BIDEN. Mr. President, I believe it is time for us to look forward. I have been disappointed in the past in Mr. Gates' analytical skills, especially in regard to the Soviet Union. Although this was a close call for me because the nominee enjoys the support of people I respect a great deal, such as Chairman Boren and Adm. Bobby Ray Inman, the person I respect more than anyone else I have worked with outside the Senate, I have chosen to err on the side of new thinking. Therefore, I will vote against the nomination of Robert Gates to be Director of Central Intelligence. I wish him well in his new position.
Mr. RIEGLE. Mr. President, the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency holds one of the most influential positions in the U.S. intelligence community.
Among other responsibilities, the DCI is the primary advisor to the President and the National Security Council on all national foreign intelligence matters. In this vitally important role, it is essential that we have the most qualified and competent person as Director.
I intend to vote against confirming Robert Gates to be Director of Central Intelligence because, very simply, I do not believe he is the right person to lead the U.S. intelligence community at this historic time.
While Mr. Gates is an unquestionably intelligent and highly experienced individual, a number of other factors have convinced me that a no vote in this case is the correct one.
Mr. President, the Nation's senior intelligence officer must fearlessly safeguard the independence and integrity of the intelligence process by providing only objective intelligence analysis to the President.
However, testimony provided to the Intelligence Committee by former and current CIA intelligence officers alleging the skewing of intelligence to please policymakers, have raised serious questions in my mind about the nominee's objectivity.
In addition, I am concerned about the nominee's commitment to safeguard his independence as an intelligence officer. For example, I was troubled by Mr. Gates' strong public advocacy of the strategic defense initiative.
I believe that SDI is perhaps the most politicized defense program of our time. Since President Reagan first announced the program over 8 years ago, support for SDI has become the pre-eminent national defense litmus test for the Reagan and Bush administrations. Mr. Gates publicly endorsed the SDI Program while serving at the CIA.
While I do not doubt that Mr. Gates' view on the issue are honestly held, I believe that such public policy advocacy by a senior intelligence official compromises the integrity of the intelligence process.
Furthermore, I believe that it will be particularly difficult for Mr. Gates to have the necessary independence from the Chief Executive that a DCI must have, after having served as such a close and integral part of President Bush's senior national security policymaking team for the last several years.
I agree with Mr. Hal Ford, who stated in his testimony before the Intelligence Committee, that `to develop the finest U.S. intelligence possible, a DCI Gates would have to attract and recruit the best brains in the country.'
I have serious reservations about whether Mr. Gates will be able to attract such talent, considering the perception that he was involved in cooking the books of U.S. intelligence, and considering that he has seemed to depend too much on his own individual judgment at the expense of other intelligence analysts who did not share his strongly held views.
I can not help but wonder what returning Mr. Gates to the CIA will do to the morale of the thousands of men and women who work there.
Finally, I believe that it is difficult to overestimate the negative impact of the Iran-Contra affair on the CIA.
The errors and misjudgments made by senior officials at the CIA during the Iran-Contra affair were deeply damaging to the Agency's credibility, Morale, and overall effectiveness. And I am firmly convinced that the CIA will be unable to fully restore its credibility and effectiveness until it is able to successfully place Iran-Contra in the past, once and for all.
Recent indictments, and the ongoing investigation of the special prosecutor raise continuing uncertainties about what senior agency officials knew, and did not know, about the Iran-Contra affair. These uncertainties could remain for quite some time.
Mr. President, I simply do not believe that Mr. Gates is the right person to place Iran-Contra firmly in the Agency's past, so that it can deal effectively with the challenges of today.
For these reasons, I will vote to oppose the nomination of Robert Gates to be the next Director of Central Intelligence.
Mr. BRADLEY. Mr. President, I yield the remainder of my time.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The time for debate has expired.
The question is, Will the Senate advise and consent to the nomination of Robert M. Gates, of Virginia, to be Director of Central Intelligence?
On this question, the yeas and nays have been ordered, and the clerk will call the roll.
The assistant legislative clerk called the roll.
Mr. FORD. I announce that the Senator from California [Mr. Cranston], the Senator from Nebraska [Mr. Kerrey], the Senator from Colorado [Mr. Wirth], and the Senator from Pennsylvania [Mr. Wofford] are necessarily absent.
I further announce that, if present and voting, the Senator from Colorado [Mr. Wirth] would vote `aye.'
Mr. SIMPSON. I announce that the Senator from Utah [Mr. Hatch] is absent due to a death in the family.
I further announce that, if present and voting, the Senator from Utah [Mr. Hatch] would vote `yea.'
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Are there any other Senators in the Chamber who desire to vote?
The result was announced--yeas 64, nays 31, as follows:
So the nomination was confirmed.
Mr. BOREN. Mr. President, I move to reconsider the vote by which the nomination was confirmed.
Mr. RUDMAN. I move to lay that motion on the table.
The motion to lay on the table was agreed to.
Mr. BOREN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the President be immediately notified of the confirmation of the nomination.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.