July 12, 2004: Headlines: Intelligence Issues: Politics: Atlanta Consitution Journal: Sam Nunn rules out taking CIA job

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Sam Nunn rules out taking CIA job

Sam Nunn rules out taking CIA job

Sam Nunn rules out taking CIA job

Nunn rules out taking CIA job


The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Published on: 07/12/04

WASHINGTON Sam Nunn, a retired Democratic senator from Georgia whose name has been prominent in speculation about candidates for director of the Central Intelligence Agency, said Monday he is not interested in the job.

Nunn, 65, is co-chairman and chief executive officer of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, which works to reduce the threat of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons. Nunn was not giving interviews, according to his office, which issued a short statement that said he had not discussed the CIA job with White House officials.

 Sam Nunn

"He does not wish to be considered for this position and has no intention of going back into government," the statement said.

The beleaguered CIA now has an acting director. When George Tenet announced his retirement last month as director, initial reports were that a permanent successor probably would not be named until after the November election.

But last week's release of a devastating report by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence criticizing the pre-war intelligence on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, upcoming hearings on reforms and another report due from the independent Sept. 11 commission have increased the likelihood of a quicker nomination.

At a news briefing Monday, White House spokesman Scott McClellan said only: "The president will name a permanent CIA director in due course."

Sen. Kit Bond (R-Mo.), a member of the Senate intelligence committee, echoed the sentiments of many lawmakers Monday when he said he hoped there would be a nomination soon.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said the president will have to make a careful selection. "It needs to be an extraordinary choice," he said, adding that the confirmation process during the presidential campaign could be difficult.

 Sam Nunn

Bush has been advised by some to choose a person of such high standing that he or she would be kept on after the election, regardless of who wins.

Nunn served 24 years in the Senate and was known for his expertise in military affairs and for the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Program, which provides assistance to former Soviet republics to reduce nuclear, biological and chemical weapons. Nunn and media mogul Ted Turner founded the Nuclear Threat Initiative in January 2001.

Generally considered a political moderate, Nunn was the lone Democrat on the short list of outsiders mentioned most often as likely candidates for the CIA job.

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Story Source: Atlanta Consitution Journal

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