July 9, 2004: Headlines: COS - Fiji: Politics: Congress: Intelligence Issues: Newsday: Shays surprised by inclusion on CIA list

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Shays surprised by inclusion on CIA list

Shays surprised by inclusion on CIA list

Shays surprised by inclusion on CIA list

Shays surprised by inclusion on CIA list

Associated Press Writer

July 9, 2004, 6:43 PM EDT

WASHINGTON -- Connecticut Republican Rep. Christopher Shays said he was surprised Friday to see his name listed as a potential candidate to head the CIA.

But if offered the job, he said he'd love the challenge.

"When I read the newspaper this a.m. I was surprised to see my name on the list," said Shays, referring to a report in the Washington Post that included him among a half dozen possible successors to director George Tenet, whose resignation takes effect Sunday. "Had I thought seriously about having that responsibility? No. Did that article get me to think about it? Yes."

Shays, chairman of the National Security subcommittee of the House Government Reform panel, has compiled a long record of hearings and investigations into the terrorist threat facing America. He was probing the issue long before the Sept. 11 attacks.

Just this week, he delivered a zealous defense of the USA Patriot Act, arguing against efforts to weaken the law by preventing authorities from collecting information on library users and book buyers.

Shays noted that he has spent a lot of time on intelligence issues, and he has strong opinions on what the next CIA director should bring to the job.

"They should have a clear sense of what needs to happen. We need to make a better effort at integrating out intelligence community," he said.

The next director should work to better mesh covert information and other public information to give the agency a clearer picture of the terror threat, he said. Too often, he said, information isn't shared with the right people.

As part of that effort, he said, the CIA must decrease the amount of information designated as "classified," so the agency can better share that intelligence with other agencies.

Shays, a moderate Republican who has often split from his party on issues ranging from abortion and the environment to campaign finance reform, has frequently butted heads with his GOP leadership. While that may make him a less popular choice for some Republicans, it could beef up his support among Democrats.

Still, he said Friday that he believes Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, also on the list, is a highly qualified, more likely candidate.

"It is a hugely important job, probably one of the most important jobs for our country," Shays said. "Whoever it is will have a mammoth task. They will be doing the Lord's work."

Copyright © 2004, The Associated Press

RPCV Chris Shays to be named CIA Director? RPCV Chris Shays to be named CIA Director?
The Washington Post is reporting that Fiji RPCV and Congressman Chris Shays is on Bush's short list to run the Central Intelligence Agency. "The likelihood of their choosing me, I think, is fairly remote," Shays said but added that he would consider the job if it were offered. Meanwhile Shays is in a competitive race for his seat in Connecticut. Read more about Chris Shays. What do you think?

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Story Source: Newsday

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Fiji; Politics; Congress; Intelligence Issues



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