Office of the Press Secretary
August 10, 2004
Bush Nominates Congressman Goss as Director of CIA
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.
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
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.
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 9/11 Commission.
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 challenge.
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
Biography U.S. Congressman
Porter Goss : 14th District of Florida
Porter first came to Congress in 1989, and now he finds himself leading the
to revitalize the nation’s intelligence network to better meet the terrorist
threat by strengthening our human intelligence and analytical capabilities. As
Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Porter was
at the center of events in the Congressional investigation surrounding the September
11th terror attacks, spearheading the investigation on possible intelligence-gathering
failures prior to the attacks.
Porter ran for Congress
dedicated to representing the concerns of the people of Southwest Florida
and to changing
the way Washington works. His efforts
have focused on these legislative areas: veterans, the environment, health
care and national security. He’s fought to make sure our tax dollars
are spent wisely, and pursued common-sense solutions to eliminate waste and
streamline government bureaucracy.
A Florida resident for
over 30 years, Porter understands the importance of the state’s natural resources and works hard to protect them. In particular,
he has focused on preventing off-shore oil drilling and setting aside funding
to restore the Everglades ecosystem. He has served on bipartisan commissions
and task forces to craft proposals to make health care more affordable and
accessible for everyone. He worked for 10 years to make the dream of constructing
a new Veterans Outpatient Clinic in Lee County a reality. He continues to fight
for fair distribution of VA dollars nationwide to ensure that those dollars
go to where the veterans are. In the area of national security, Porter has
traveled to war-torn cities in Eastern Europe, Latin America and Asia to engage
in policy discussions and view first-hand the challenges faced by our allies.
He also actively participates in the review of NATO’s response to global
Porter began his public service career when he was elected to the first Sanibel
City Council in 1974 and named mayor by his fellow council members. In 1983,
Porter was appointed to the Lee County Board of Commissioners by then-Governor
Bob Graham. A former officer with U.S. Army Intelligence and the CIA, Porter
brings personal knowledge and experience to his role as Chairman of the House
Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. He also serves on the House Rules
Committee, which is responsible for how legislation is presented on the Floor,
and the new Select Committee for Homeland Security.
Porter and his wife Mariel have resided on Sanibel since 1971. They have four
children and eleven grandchildren.