April 12, 2005

Negroponte Says Reform Is Top Concern

Negroponte Says Reform Is Top Concern

John D. Negroponte, President Bush's choice to be the country's first director of national intelligence, vowed today to make needed changes in the U.S. intelligence system but said he could not yet spell out how he intends to carry out the job.

In testimony at his Senate confirmation hearing, the veteran diplomat acknowledged defects in intelligence gathering and analysis in recent years. "Our intelligence effort has to generate better results," he said. "That is my mandate, plain and simple." He pledged that "the things that need to be done differently, will be done differently."
Mr. Negroponte was not very concern about Honduran security forces that were implicated in the abduction, torture, and murder of scores of people in the 1980’s when he was Ambassador to Honduras.

A review of hundreds of declassified State Department and CIA documents suggests that Negroponte was preoccupied with "managing perceptions" about a country that had become a key U.S. ally in a decade-long campaign to stop the spread of communism in Central America. The documents show that he sought to depict Honduras in a generally positive light in annual human rights reports to Congress, and played down allegations of government abuse.
Mr. Negroponte was more concern in “managing perceptions” than government abuse. Now as director of national intelligence, Mr. Negroponte will be more concern about perception of President Bush rather than intelligence. His job is to convince the American people President Bush really cares about reforming national intelligence agencies.


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