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Negroponte Quotes

February 17, 2005

Reaction to President Bush’s nomination on Thursday of John Negroponte, the current U.S. ambassador in Iraq, to be the first national intelligence director:

``I also believe that it is helpful that he comes to this position from outside of the intelligence community. It is fair to say that there are significant turf issues and significant technical issues and I believe that Ambassador Negroponte brings the particular talents to bear.″ _ Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

``His appointment is good news for homeland security, good news for America, and good news for the free world.″ _ Republican Rep. Christopher Cox of California, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee.

``It is vitally important that he be an honest broker and always report the facts. In my opinion, if he becomes merely a mouthpiece for the administration, he will have failed in his duties to the American people.″ _ Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn.

``I think he will bring the right mix of worldwide experience and bureaucratic skill to a most important and challenging position.″ _ former Secretary of State Colin Powell.

``He understands the needs of policy-makers and how the executive branch works. He will do very well.″ _ Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn.

``I am concerned ... about the message we are sending to Iraq and the rest of the world by removing our ambassador to Iraq so soon after he took office and at such a critical point in the transition to a democratically elected Iraqi government.″ _ Democratic Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

``For the director of national intelligence to succeed, he must have the president’s complete confidence and full support. We are encouraged by the president’s statement that Ambassador Negroponte will have full authority to set budgets for the intelligence community.″ _ Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton, leaders of the Sept. 11 commission.

``It is my hope that the president will give the resources and authority to Ambassador Negroponte to turn things around in our disconnected intelligence community.″ _ Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y.

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