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With the House's passage of the intelligence reform bill, "lawmakers and others involved in the bill began to turn their attention to a new issue: who should get the job of director of national intelligence?" [NYT]

Lawmakers have informally circulated the names of several potential candidates, including a pair of retired members of the Senate with extensive involvement in intelligence and national security issues: Sam Nunn, a Georgia Democrat who was chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Warren B. Rudman, a New Hampshire Republican who served on the Senate Intelligence Committee and was a member of White House Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board after leaving Congress.

At least three members of the Sept. 11 commission are also often cited on Capitol Hill as possible candidates: Mr. Kean, who recently announced that he was stepping down as president of Drew University in New Jersey and has not disclosed plans; Mr. Hamilton, a former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and now director of the Wilson Center in Washington; and John F. Lehman, Navy secretary in the Reagan administration.

Another possibility is the elevation of the current director of central intelligence, Porter J. Goss, to the job of national intelligence director, although Mr. Goss could expect a bruising confirmation fight given the reports of turmoil at the agency since his arrival there this year, with the departure of several senior career intelligence officers. At least one influential Republican senator, Susan Collins of Maine, the principal Republican architect of the intelligence bill, has said that she would not support Mr. Goss for the new job.
Charles Babington, Washington Post:
The White House has not signaled yet whether CIA Director Porter J. Goss, the former Republican chairman of the House intelligence committee, would become the director or whether he would remain at the agency.

The new national director would be subject to Senate confirmation. If Bush nominated Goss, confirmation hearings could focus on his decision this summer to bring four GOP committee aides to the CIA and their roles in the unexpected retirements of senior officers in the clandestine service.


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