In their new positions as director and deputy
director of national intelligence, Ambassador John Negroponte
and Air Force General Michael Hayden will continue structural
reforms of the U.S. intelligence community that began after
September 11, 2001, says President Bush.
President George W. Bush attends the swearing-in
ceremony of Ambassador John Negroponte as National
Intelligence Director at the New Executive Office
Building Wednesday, May 18, 2005. (White House
photo by Paul Morse)
Speaking at the two officials' swearing-in ceremony on
May 18, Bush said his administration has implemented most
of the recommendations of the National Commission on Terrorist
Attacks Upon the United States, known as the 9/11 Commission.
Bush said administration officials are also reviewing the
recommendations made by the Commission on the Intelligence
Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass
Destruction, known as the Silberman-Robb Commission.
"We have already begun to implement a number of their
recommendations, " he said. "We will continue
to evaluate and act on the commission's useful blueprint
to improve the quality and quantity of intelligence we collect,
and to be able to analyze that information more thoroughly."
The president praised the career achievements of Ambassador
Negroponte and General Hayden, and expressed confidence
in their ability to carry out their responsibilities.
"Well-integrated, effective intelligence efforts are
America's first line of defense against the threats of the
21st century," Bush said. "I look forward to working
with this team to improve our intelligence capabilities,
and to use those capabilities to win the war on terror."
Following is the transcript of remarks by Bush and Negroponte:
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
May 18, 2005
REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENTAT SWEARING-IN CEREMONY FOR THEDIRECTOR
AND DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE
1:18 P.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: Good afternoon. Thank you for being here.
I am honored and pleased to congratulate John Negroponte
on becoming America's first Director of National Intelligence.
I also congratulate General Mike Hayden on becoming on our
nation's first Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence.
I want to thank Secretary of State Condi Rice and Secretary
of Defense Don Rumsfeld for joining us today. I appreciate
Porter Goss, head of the Central Intelligence Agency, for
joining us; Robert Mueller, Director of the FBI. I appreciate
Senator Ted Stevens, Senate President Pro-Tem joining us
today, along with Senator Jay Rockefeller. Thank you both
for being here.
I want to thank Congressman Peter Hoekstra, Chairman of
the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, along
with Congresswoman Jane Harman, ranking member. Thank you
both for coming. I appreciate Chuck Robb, Co-Chairman of
the WMD Commission, for joining us today. I want to thank
members of the intelligence community who have joined us.
I thank the rest of you for coming, too. (Laughter.)
Ambassador Negroponte's position is one of the newest in
the government, and one of the most demanding. Our nation
is at war, and John is making sure that those whose duty
it is to defend America have the information we need to
make the right decisions. He's ensuring that our intelligence
agencies work as a single, unified enterprise. And he's
serving as my principal intelligence advisor. These are
vital and urgent responsibilities, and John has what it
takes to fulfill them all.
In his distinguished career, John has represented America
in eight nations on three continents. He's served every
President since Dwight Eisenhower. Over the past four years,
I've come to know John's wisdom, intellect and integrity.
I've relied on his candid judgment to help solve complicated
problems. I have witnessed his unique ability to bring people
together, most recently in his historic achievements as
ambassador to a free Iraq. I'm grateful to John for answering
his nation's call. I thank his family for joining us today.
John is fortunate to count on an experienced and capable
deputy in General Mike Hayden. General Hayden understands
the intelligence community from the ground up. He has a
long record of wise and effective reform. Mike also has
a clear understanding of our enemies in the war on terror.
He'll be a superb deputy to Ambassador Negroponte. I thank
Mike for his willingness to serve, and I'm glad to see his
family, as well.
As John Negroponte and Mike Hayden carry out their new
duties, they're relying on the thousands of dedicated professionals
working in our intelligence community. These men and women
serve America with a wide variety of talents and expertise.
They all report to work everyday with the same goal: to
protect our fellow citizens from harm. Intelligence officers
work in secret, and often at great risk to their lives.
Their vigilance and bravery are vital to America's security.
And on behalf of all Americans, I thank them and their families
for their service in the cause of freedom.
As Director of National Intelligence, John is taking action
to help all who serve in the intelligence community to do
their jobs more effectively. He has assembled a strong leadership
team that reflects a wide range of skills and intelligence
experience. He's visited a number of intelligence agencies,
he's listened to experts in a variety of fields and he's
made reforms in the daily intelligence briefing. John recognizes
and values the contributions of all who collect and analyze
intelligence. He will ensure that they have access to the
tools and information their missions demand.
In the days ahead, Ambassador Negroponte and General Hayden
will continue the structural reforms of our intelligence
community that began after September the 11th, 2001. We've
now implemented the vast majority of the 9/11 Commission's
recommendations through executive orders, and the intelligence
reform bill I signed last December.
My administration is also reviewing all the recommendations
made by the Silberman-Robb Commission on weapons of mass
destruction. We have already begun to implement a number
of their recommendations. We will continue to evaluate and
act on the commission's useful blueprint to improve the
quality and quantity of intelligence we collect, and to
be able to analyze that information more thoroughly.
John Negroponte will also ensure the sharing of information
among agencies and establish common standards for the intelligence
community's personnel. I have confidence in John Negroponte
and Mike Hayden to carry out these vital missions. Well-integrated,
effective intelligence efforts are America's first line
of defense against the threats of the 21st century.
I thank the Congress for creating the Director of National
Intelligence position and for swiftly confirming two talented,
dedicated Americans to lead our intelligence community.
I look forward to working with this team to improve our
intelligence capabilities, and to use those capabilities
to win the war on terror.
Congratulations to both men. May God bless you and your
families, and may God continue to bless our country. (Applause.)
DIRECTOR NEGROPONTE: Thank you, Mr. President; members
of the Cabinet who are here today, members of the Congress,
to my own family, dear friends and colleagues -- especially
my new colleagues in the intelligence community.
I've always felt that the greatest honor that could be
bestowed on me by my country is the opportunity to serve
it. I felt this way as a junior Foreign Service officer;
I feel this way today as the Director of National Intelligence.
I can truthfully say that I've never really wanted to do
anything else -- whether I was stationed in Vietnam, in
Greece, in Iraq, in Mexico or here in Washington. Why? Because
the United States represents freedom, the United States
represents peace, and the United States represents opportunity.
What greater privilege could any American enjoy than to
pursue a career representing a great nation based on values
such as these.
As parents, Diana and I want our five children to have
as much freedom, peace and opportunity as we, ourselves,
have had. We know every other American parent feels the
same way. So I view the position of Director of National
Intelligence as a challenge, yes, but I'm grateful to you,
Mr. President, for asking me to accept it. In so doing,
I am reassured by the fact that I will be supported by tens
of thousands of patriotic professionals in the intelligence
community who have dedicated their lives, often at great
personal risk, to the defense of our country and all that
it stands for.
I want to thank each and every one of you for being here
today. Thank you very much. (Applause.)
END 1:25 P.M. EST