HOLT STATEMENT ON PRESIDENT BUSH'S NOMINATION OF ROBERT GATES TO BE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE
Rep. Rush Holt (NJ-12) today issued the following statement on President Bush's nomination of former CIA Director Robert Gates to replace Donald Rumsfeld as Secretary of Defense:
"The President's decision to replace Secretary Rumsfeld is long overdue. Our men and women fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan deserve leadership worthy of their sacrifice and service.
"The President's choice of Robert Gates to succeed Mr. Rumsfeld, however, is deeply troubling. During his tenure at CIA, Mr. Gates developed a reputation for pressuring analysts and managers to shape analytical conclusions to fit administration positions, a fact that led dozens of current and former CIA analysts to oppose his confirmation as CIA Director in 1991. What we need going forward in Iraq is straight talk about the challenges we face, and open-minded leadership that is willing to speak truth about the situation, no matter how unpalatable the news. Mr. Gates confirmation hearing should be thorough and probing."