FILE ID:97031201.POL

(CIA nominee stresses need for counterintelligence) (940)
By Jacquelyn S. Porth
USIA Security Affairs Writer

Washington -- Anthony Lake, President Clinton's nominee to be director
of central intelligence, pledged at his first confirmation hearing
that he will provide the president with unbaised intelligence

The intelligence community, he told members of the Senate Select
Committee on Intelligence March 11, must provide "straightforward,
unvarnished intelligence" and the United States must have "an
intelligence process of absolute integrity."

Committee Vice Chairman Bob Kerrey (Democrat, Nebraska) noted that
"the need for accurate and useful intelligence will be vital" as long
as the United States chooses to maintain its world leadership role.
Even though the Cold War is over, he said, "the job of intelligence is
not, because threats and risks remain and they can grow or diminish
based on the decisions of U.S. policymakers."

Senator John Chafee (Republican, Rhode Island) urged Lake to provide
the president with "the most reliable and credible information in a
straightforward manner."

Lake, who has been Clinton's national security adviser for the past
four years, said he knows "first-hand how important it is to defend
the bright line separating policy and intelligence."

In his 1990 book, "Somoza Falling: A Case Study of Washington at
Work," Lake wrote that it is essential for the director of central
intelligence to be "prepared to present a president with unpleasant
information. When the director is a loyalist more than an analyst, an
enforcer of the president's ideology rather than a skeptical and
independent figure, the result can be disastrous."

Kerrey told Lake that he expects him to establish priorities among
competing threats and to place high value on the threat posed by
Russian nuclear weapons and fissile materials. Their great lethality,
"either as military weapons or in some terrorist device," he said,
"should command the full attention" of U.S. policymakers and the
intelligence community.

In written answers provided to questions submitted to him earlier by
the committee, Lake said the U.S. intelligence community must focus on
supporting both the U.S. military in the field and U.S. diplomats
abroad, and on countering the growing threats of terrorism,
international crime, the flow of drugs, and the proliferation of
weapons of mass destruction.

He said that at the Central Intelligence Agency he expects to
concentrate on counterintelligence efforts and to vigorously pursue
personnel reforms, additional improvements in fiscal accountability,
and "clearer databases for making tough resource allocation

The position of director of central intelligence, which was
established by the 1947 National Security Act, today includes
responsibility for more than 80,000 U.S. intelligence personnel
working for the Central and Defense Intelligence Agencies, the
National Security Agency, the intelligence organizations of the State,
Energy and Treasury Departments, the Federal Bureau of Investigation
(FBI), the National Imagery and Mapping Agency, the National
Reconnaissance Office, and the Defense Airborne Reconnaissance Office.

Lake was asked at the March 11 hearing if he knew of any presidential
decision taken based on intelligence that was subsequently found to be
inaccurate. He indicated that intelligence provided on Somalia "may
have suggested that the prospects for capturing (Somali warlord
Mohammed Farah) Aideed were better than turned out to be the case."

Lake also was questioned about his knowledge of an FBI briefing given
to two members of his National Security Council (NSC) staff last
summer about possible Chinese efforts to peddle influence with U.S.
politicians in the 1996 elections. He said he was never informed of
the briefing by his staffers and that he believes that "on a matter of
extraordinary importance such as that, I should have been informed and
the president should have been informed."

He described the two NSC staffers as fine career officers, but said he
does not know "the character of the information that they were given"
or "what strictures or instructions...were given to them about further
dissemination...and so I am not in a position now to second-guess
their specific decision" not to consult him about the matter.

He said he has not talked to the two staffers in question because the
issue is being investigated by the White House counsel and he does not
want any appearance of trying to influence them as they prepare to
respond to the investigation.

Asked whether he thought CIA station chiefs should be autonomous
within U.S. embassies, Lake said this is a subject he looks forward to
discussing with Secretary of State Albright. "I believe that there is
never any excuse for a station chief to have a chief of mission and
ambassador surprised by something that's going on" in the area of
intelligence, he said. "But equally, I believe that an ambassador
should not ask a station chief about sources and methods in ways that
could be dangerous to the operation of the station."

Asked about maintaining sanctions against Iraq, Lake said, "We have to
maintain those sanctions in place as long as Saddam Hussein continues
to present a threat to others in the Persian Gulf and to his
neighbors." As long as Iraq's leader remains in power, he added, "we
have to persist and maintain an absolute, firm policy in containing
the Iraqis within their borders and to do what we can through
sanctions to keep Saddam Hussein from building new weapons of mass
destruction and repressing his people."
If confirmed, Lake will be the fifth director of central intelligence
in six years and the third during the Clinton years. He has pledged to
remain in the post for four years.