"My confidence in General Hayden should not be interpreted as confidence in this administration."
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.), a member of the Senate Select Intelligence Committee, released the following statement today following the committee's vote to confirm Air Force Gen. Michael Hayden as Director of the CIA:
"I use five criteria to evaluate all executive branch nominees: competence, integrity, commitment to the core mission of the department, commitment to the Constitution, and independence.
"I voted to confirm General Hayden as Director of the CIA based on what I know after working closely with him for more than five years, and based on his testimony last week. I have no question about his competence or personal integrity, and expect him to remain an independent voice, committed to the Constitution not just with words, but with deeds.
"My confidence in General Hayden should not be interpreted as confidence in this administration. I have flashing yellow lights about the Bush Administration's willingness to politicize this important intelligence agency. I am also concerned that this administration sometimes pays lip service to the law of the land, as we have seen with recent revelations about the warrantless surveillance program.
"The Intelligence Committee must be fully briefed on all surveillance or data collection programs, so we can do our part in protecting the Constitution and the nation. And we must keep a close eye on the CIA as it struggles to redefine itself and its role in our reformed intelligence community."
Senator Mikulski is one of two federal senators for the state of Maryland. She is classified as a Class III Senator. Senators are elected to six-year terms, and every two years the members of one class-approximately one-third of the Senators-face election or reelection. Terms for Senators in Class I expire in 2007, Class II in 2009, and Class III in 2011.
Ms. Mikulski's website is located at http://mikulski.senate.gov/. Her office can be reached at (202) 224-4654. More biographical info on Ms. Mikulski can be found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbara_Mikulski.