CIA Director Nominee Michael V. Hayden's
Statement before the
Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
May 18, 2006
you, Chairman Roberts and members of the Committee.
a privilege to be nominated by the President to serve as the Director of the
CIA. This is a great responsibility. There is probably no agency more important
in preserving our security and our values as a people than the Central
Intelligence Agency. I am honored, and more than a bit humbled, to be nominated
to this office, especially in light of the many distinguished Americans who
have served before me.
I speak of my vision for CIA, I would like to say a few words about the
Agency’s most recent Director, Porter Goss. Over the span of more than 40
years, Porter Goss has had a distinguished career serving the American people,
most recently as Director of the CIA, the organization where he started out as
a young case officer. As Director, Porter fostered a process of transformation
that the Agency must continue in the coming years. He started a significant
expansion of the ranks of case officers and analysts, in accord with the
President’s direction. He consistently pushed for a more aggressive and
risk-taking attitude towards collection. And he spoke from experience as a
former case officer and as a long-time member and Chairman of the House
Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. It was Porter Goss who, as Chairman
of the HPSCI, supported and mentored me when I arrived as Director of NSA in
1999. More importantly we developed a friendship that lasts to this day. I
thank Porter for his service and his friendship.
is unique among our nation’s intelligence agencies. It is the organization that
collects our top intelligence from human sources, where high quality, all-
source analysis is developed, and where cutting-edge research and development
for the nation’s security is carried out. As this Committee well knows, these
functions are absolutely critical to keeping America safe and strong. The
Central Intelligence Agency remains, as Director Goss has said, the “gold standard”
for many key functions of American intelligence.
that is why I believe the success or failure of this Agency will largely define
the success or failure of the entire American Intelligence Community. The Intelligence
Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 (IRTPA) gives CIA the
opportunity and the responsibility to lead in ensuring the success of the
Director of National Intelligence.
me elaborate on that last sentence. The reforms of the last two years have, in
many ways, made CIA’s role even more important. While it is true that the
Director of Central Intelligence no longer sits on the 7th floor at Langley
as head of both the Intelligence Community and CIA, it is also true that no
other agency has the “connective tissue” to the other intelligence agencies
that CIA has. CIA’s role as the Community leader in human intelligence and as
an enabler for technical access, in all-source analysis, and in elements of
research and development—not to mention its worldwide infrastructure—
underscore the interdependency between CIA and the rest of the Community.
although the head of the CIA no longer manages the Intelligence Community, the Director
continues to lead the Community in certain critical respects. Most notably, the
Director of CIA is the National HUMINT Manager, responsible for leading
national human intelligence efforts by coordinating and setting standards for
human intelligence across the Community. The Agency is and will remain the
principal provider of analysis to the President and his senior advisors. And it
leads the Community’s open source activities through the Open Source
Center, an invaluable
effort that informs Community analysis and helps guide the Intelligence Community’s
other efforts. In a word, CIA remains—even after the Intelligence Reform Act—“central” to American intelligence.
this very centrality of CIA makes reforming it in light of new challenges and
new structures an especially delicate and important task. The Agency must be
transformed without slowing the high tempo under which it already operates to
counter today’s threats. CIA must continue to adapt to new intelligence
targets, a process underway thanks in large part to the leadership of George
Tenet, John McLaughlin, and Porter Goss; and the CIA must carefully adjust its
operations, analysis, and overall focus in relation to the rest of the
Community while still keeping its eye on the ball—intelligence targets such as
al-Qa’ida, proliferation, Iran, and North Korea, to name a few.
key to success for both the Community and the CIA is an Agency that is both capable of executing its assigned
tasks and cooperative with the
rest of the IC. CIA must pursue its objectives relentlessly and effectively
while also fitting in seamlessly with an integrated Community. CIA’s role in
the Community is like a star player on a football team—critical, but part of an
integrated whole that must function together if the team is going to win. And
as I’ve said elsewhere, even the star player needs to focus on the scoreboard,
not individual achievement.
me be more specific about the broad vision I have for CIA, if I am confirmed.
I will begin with the collection of human intelligence. If confirmed as
Director, I would reaffirm CIA’s proud culture of risk-taking and excellence,
particularly through the increased use of non-traditional operational
platforms, a greater focus on the development of language skills, and the
inculcation of wha t I would call an expeditionary mentality. I strongly believe
that the men and women of CIA already want
to take risks to collect the intelligence we need to keep America safe. I
view it as the Director’s job to ensure that these operators have the right
incentives, rewards, support, and leadership to take those risks. My job is to
set the conditions for success
confirmed, I would also focus significant attention on my responsibilities as
National HUMINT Manager. I have had some experience in this type of role—as
Director of NSA I was the National SIGINT Manager, and I often partnered with
CIA to enable sensitive collection. As I did with SIGINT as DIRNSA, I would use
this important new authority to enhance the standards of tradecraft in HUMINT
collection across the Community. CIA’s skill in human intelligence collection
makes it especially well suited to lead the Community. As CIA Director and as
National HUMINT manager, I would expect more from our human intelligence collectors—those
in the Department of Defense, the FBI, and other agencies—both in terms of their
cooperation with one another and also in terms of the quality of their
tradecraft. Here again, we welcome additional players on the field, but they
must work together as a team.
and on par with human intelligence, CIA must remain the U.S. Government’s “center
of excellence” for independent all- source analysis. If confirmed as Director,
I would set as a top priority working to reinforce the Directorate of
Intelligence’s tradition of autonomy and objectivity, with a particular focus
on developing hard-edged assessments. I would emphasize simply getting it right
more often, but with a tolerance for ambiguity and dissent manifested in a real
clarity about our judgments—especially our confidence in them. We must be
transparent in what we know, what we assess to be true, and what we just don’t
know. “Red cell” alternative evaluations, a rich source for thought-provoking
estimates, should also be an integral part of our nalysis. And we must set
aside talent and energy to take the long view and not just be chasing our
version of the news cycle.
this regard I take very seriously the lessons from your joint inquiry with the
House intelligence committee, your
inquiry into pre-war intelligence on Iraq weapons of mass destruction, the 9/11
Commission, and the Silberman-Robb Commission, as well as internal Intelligence
Community studies of what has worked—and not worked—in the past. Ultimately, we
have to get analysis right—for, in the end, it is the analytic product that
appears before the President, his senior advisors, military commanders, and the
Congress. Intelligence works at that nexus of policymaking—the nexus between
the world as it is and the world we are working to create. Many things can
legitimately shape a policymaker’s work and action. Intelligence, however, must
create the left- and right-hand boundaries that form the reality within which decisions
should be made.
me make one final, critical point: when it comes to “speaking truth to power,”
I will lead CIA analysts by example. I will—as I expect every analyst
will—always give our nation’s leaders the best analytic judgment.
beyond CIA’s HUMINT and analytic activities, CIA’s science and technology efforts
provide focused, flexible, and high-quality research and development across the
intelligence spectrum. If confirmed as Director, I would focus the Directorate
of Science and Technology on research and development programs aimed at
enhancing CIA’s core collection and analytical functions. Further, I would work
to more tightly integrate CIA’s S&T into broader Community efforts to
increase the pay-offs from cooperative and integrated R&D. Most specifically,
I would dramatically upgrade the entire CIA information technology
infrastructure to bring it line with the expectations of the first decades of
the 21st century.
are two “cross cutting” functions on which I would also focus, if confirmed. To
begin, I would focus significant attention, under the direction of the DNI, on
the handling of intelligence relationships with foreign partners. As the
Members of the Committee well know, these relationships are of the utmost
importance for our security, especially in the context of the fight against
those terrorists who seek to do us grave harm. These sensitive relationships
must be handled with the greatest care and attention, and I would, if
confirmed, regard this responsibility as a top priority.
importantly, I would vehemently push for greater information sharing within the United States, among the
Intelligence Community, and with other federal, state, local, and tribal entities.
Under the leadership of the DNI, in concert with the Program Manager for the Information
Sharing Environment and the Intelligence Community’s Chief Information Officer,
and with agencies such as the FBI and DHS, CIA has an important role to play in
ensuring that intelligence information is shared with those who need it. While
at NSA I focused my efforts to make sure that all of our customers had the
information they needed to make good decisions. In fact, my mantra there was
that users should have access to the information at the earliest possible moment
and in the rawest possible form where value from its sharing could be obtained.
I would do just the same at CIA.
view both of these initiatives—working with foreign partners and information sharing
within the U.S.—require that we change the paradigm from one that operates on a
“transactional” basis of exchange (they ask, we provide) in favor of a premise
of “common knowledge, commonly shared” or “information access.” This would
entail opening up more data and databases to other IC agencies as well as
trusted foreign partners, restricting the use of the overused “originator controlled”
caveat, and, fundamentally, embracing more of a risk management approach to the
sharing of information.
everything I have said today matters little without the people—the great men
and women of the CIA whom, if confirmed, I would lead—but also the people of
this great Nation.
Senators, I believe that the intelligence business has too much become the football
in American political discourse. Over the past few years, the Intelligence
Community and CIA have taken an inordinate number of hits, some of them fair,
many of them not. Yes, there have been failures, but there have also been many
will do our lessons learned studies, and I will keep the Committee fully
informed on that. But I also believe that it is time to move past what seems to
be an endless picking apart of the “archaeology” of every past intelligence
“failure” and “success.”
officers, dedicated as they are to serving their country honorably and well,
deserve recognition of their efforts. And they also deserve not to have every
action analyzed, secondguessed, and criticized on the front pages of the
newspapers. Accountability is one thing—and we will have it—but true
accountability is not served by inaccurate, harmful, and illegal public disclosures.
I will draw a clear line between what we owe the American public by way of openness
and what must remain secret in order for us to continue doing our jobs as
charged. CIA needs to get out of the news—as source or subject—and focus on
protecting the American people by acquiring secrets and providing high-quality
all-source analysis. Internally, I would regard it as a leading part of my job
to affirm and strengthen the excellence and pride of CIA’s workforce.
return, I vow that, if confirmed, we will dedicate ourselves to strengthening
the American public’s confidence and trust in the CIA and re-establishing the
Agency’s “social contract” with the American people, to whom we are ultimately
accountable. The best way to strengthen the trust of the American people is to
earn it by obeying the law and showing what is best about America.
do our work, we will have difficult choices to make and I expect that not
everyone will agree 100 percent of the time, but I would redouble our efforts
to act consistent with both the law and a broader sense of American ideals. And
while the bulk of the Agency’s work must, in order to be effective, remain
secret, fighting the “long war” on the terrorists who seek to do us harm
requires that the American people and their elected representatives know that
the CIA is protecting them effectively—and in a way consistent with the core values of our nation. I did that
at NSA and, if confirmed, I pledge to do it at CIA.
this regard, I view it as particularly important that the Director of CIA have
an open and honest relationship with congressional committees such as yours, so
that the American people know that their elected representatives are conducting
oversight effectively. I would also look to the members of the committee who
have been briefed and who have acknowledged the appropriateness of activities
to say so when selected leaks, accusations, and inaccuracies distort the
public’s picture of legitimate intelligence activities.
owe this to the American people and we owe this to the men and women of CIA.
hope that I have given the Members of the Committee a sense of where I would
lead the Central Intelligence Agency, if confirmed.
thank the Committee for its time and look forward to answering any questions Members