For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
August 10, 2004
Remarks by the President Nominating Congressman Porter Goss to be Director of the Central Intelligence Agency
The Rose Garden
8:31 A.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you all for coming. I'm pleased to announce
my decision to nominate Congressman Porter Goss as the next Director of
the Central Intelligence Agency. Porter Goss is a leader with strong
experience in intelligence and in the fight against terrorism. He
knows the CIA inside and out. He's the right man to lead this
important agency at this critical moment in our nation's history.
The work of the CIA is vital to our security. America faces
determined enemies who plan in many nations, send trained killers to
live among us, and attack without warning. This threat is
unprecedented, and to stop them from killing our citizens, we must have
the best intelligence possible. The men and women of the CIA must
penetrate closed societies and secretive organizations. They must
overcome challenges of language and culture and learn things that our
adversaries don't want us to know. Because their work is secret, the
men and women of the CIA receive little recognition, but they're
protecting our country every day.
Since September the 11th, our intelligence professionals have
worked with great determination to stop another attack on America, and
our country is grateful.
Director George Tenet and acting Director John McLaughlin have
served our nation with distinction and honor. And now, with the
agreement of the U.S. Senate, the CIA will have another strong leader
in Porter Goss.
I've given Porter an essential mission to lead the agency for the
challenges and threats of a dangerous new century. He is well prepared
for this mission. Porter Goss brings a broad experience to this
critical job. He's a former Army intelligence officer with a decade of
experience in the CIA's clandestine service. He knows the agency, and
he knows what is needed to strengthen it. He understands the
importance of human intelligence. He was a CIA field officer on two
continents. He'll make sure that the men and women of the CIA have the
capabilities and skills they need to penetrate the hard targets and
denied areas, and to get to know the enemy first hand. He also knows
the importance of investing in technologies that allow us to look and
listen better. And he will work to ensure the agency remains on the
cutting edge of technological change.
As Chairman of the House Select Committee on Intelligence since
1997, and as a member on the Commission on the Roles and Capabilities
of the United States Intelligence Community, he has been a leading
voice on intelligence and national security and terrorism. He's been a
force for positive change. His experience on Capitol Hill will serve
him well at the CIA, because he's respected on both sides of the aisle,
and because he understands the important role Congress must play in the
effort to improve our nation's intelligence capabilities.
Over 15 years of service, Porter Goss has built a reputation as a
reformer. He'll be a reformer at the Central Intelligence Agency. I
look forward to his counsel and his judgments as to how best to
implement broader intel reform, including the recommendations of the
I appreciate your many years, Porter, of service to our country. I
appreciate your willingness to serve. I'm grateful that you've agreed
to step forward and serve once again. Welcome.
CONGRESSMAN GOSS: Thank you very much, Mr. President. Thank you
very much, Mr. President. I'm obviously deeply honored, and I'm
extremely grateful for the opportunity -- you've outlined a very strong
I think every American knows the importance of the best possible
intelligence we can get to our decision- makers. It is vital, as the
President has well said. What many Americans don't realize is that
we've got an awful lot of people around the globe doing very, very hard
work -- long hours in dangerous situations. The essence of our
intelligence capability is people. And we have some wonderful
Americans doing a great job.
I used to be part of them when I worked for CIA. I'm very proud to
be associated with them again. And I look forward to the challenges of
the future. I also look forward to the confirmation process with the
Senate. As a member right now on the Hill I know the value of that and
the importance of that.
Thank you very much, Mr. President.
THE PRESIDENT: Good job, thank you, sir.
CONGRESSMAN GOSS: Thank you, sir.
END 8:38 A.M. EDT