|http://www.sina.com.cn 2005/05/12 21:29 英语沙龙|
John Negroponte faces intrigue subterfuge and shadowy2 fighters. And that's just in Washington
After more than 40 years serving under every President since Kennedy in such trouble spots as Vietnam Honduras and Iraq U.S. ambassador to Iraq John Negroponte 65 is the consummate3 diplomat—discreet deliberate and always careful choosing his words whether in English French Greek Spanish or Vietnamese. So a day after President Bush nominated him to be the nation's first Director of National Intelligence DNI Negroponte's brief exchange at a breakfast with the ambassadors representing the permanent members of the U.N. Security Council was telling4. Asked by a diplomat whether he should “congratulate you or offer condolences on your nomination” Negroponte replied simply with a dose of dry5 self deprecating wit6 that he doesn't often reveal“Both.”
Given the enormous responsibilities about to be thrust upon his shoulders and the less than clear powers he will have to carry them out any ambivalence7 Negroponte might have about his promotion would be understandable. As the government's new intelligence czar and the President's primary intelligence adviser—a position created late last year by Congress after fierce lobbying by the 9/11 commission and families of the 9/11 victims—Negroponte has the job of making sure that the kinds of intelligence stumbles that led up to 9/11 and the sorts of miscalculations about Iraq's WMD programs don't happen again. Or as Bush put it more delicately when announcing Negroponte's nomination of ensuring “that our intelligence agencies work as a single unified enterprise.”
That is easier said than done. If confirmed by the Senate Negroponte would oversee parts of 15 different agencies including the CIA the FBI the Pentagon and the Department of Homeland Security agencies whose willingness to share closely guarded secrets is notoriously poor and whose suspicion of one another is strong. CIA Director Porter Goss and FBI Director Robert Mueller for instance still haven't worked out a lingering turf war over some aspects of human intelligence gathering and the White House recently ordered that they get it done sources tell TIME.
Bush went out of his way to say that Negroponte will deliver the President's daily intelligence briefing and will have ultimate authority over the nation's sprawling8 intel apparatus including an estimated $40 billion annual budget. But considering how vague the legislation that established the DNI is Negroponte's ability to actually do that is an open question. In fact his position puts him smack9 in the middle of what could be the nastiest bureaucratic battle in Washington for years to come a tussle over money with Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld considered an almost unmatched infighter. Until now Rumsfeld controlled roughly 80% of total intelligence spending but now that control will have to be shared.
Negroponte won't have to fight alone. His deputy Bush announced will be Air Force Lieut. General Michael Hayden who has overseen electronic eavesdropping and code breaking for the intelligence community as chief of the highly secretive National Security Agency for the past six years. Diminutive and bookish in appearance Hayden 59 has already shown himself willing to stand up to10 Rumsfeld.
For the chattering classes of Washington the selection of Negroponte came as a surprise.
Though Negroponte has no formal intel background he's an experienced consumer of intelligence having headed five U.S. diplomatic missions. His welltested skills as a diplomat may be particularly valuable. “He understands the power centers in Washington” Bush said of Negroponte. “That was code to the intelligence agencies that John is not going to rock the boat11”says Leslie Gelb a former Defense and State Department official and president emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations.“He's not going to try to pound the table and create a revolution. The agencies would blow up anybody who would try. He'll get them in the room get them talking to each other and if Bush wants a particular thing done he will get it done.” Negroponte's patrician manner belies what friends and enemies alike say is a hardheaded resolve.
The son of a Greek shipping magnate Negroponte was brought up amid privilege in New York City attending boarding school at Exeter and college at Yale where he played a mean game of poker and one of his classmates was CIA Director Goss who will soon be reporting to him. After graduation he joined the foreign service and was posted first to Hong Kong then in 1964 to Vietnam. There he attracted the attention of a visiting Harvard professor named Henry Kissinger who brought Negroponte to the National Security Council during the Nixon Administration but the two fell out12 when Negroponte complained to his boss that the Paris peace talks had essentially sold out the South Vietnamese. As Secretary of State Kissinger sent him next to the relative backwaters of Ecuador and Greece.
At the beginning of the Reagan Administration Negroponte snagged13 what seemed to be a plum14 assignment in Honduras. As the base for U.S. backed contra rebels fighting the Sandinistas in neighboring Nicaragua Honduras was vital to Washington's anticommunist policies in Central America. But if Negroponte and his wife hadn't ended up adopting five Honduran children he would probably just as soon have forgotten15 his tenure there. The posting proved to be the black mark in his career. He was accused of turning a blind eye to human rights abuses by the Honduran government he says he saw no evidence of them. Just as the U.S. is being criticized for abusing and torturing suspects in the war on terrorism critics are sure to try to make that period an issue in his confirmation hearings.
By the time the second Bush Administration came into power Negroponte thought he had left public service for good16. Having finished his career with stints17 on the NSC and in the Philippines and Mexico he had moved on to earn a great deal more money as a vice president for global markets at publisher McGrawHill. But his restlessness with corporate life led him to reach out to his old boss at the NSC Colin Powell and soon he was representing the U.S. at the U.N. working to persuade members of the necessity of war against Iraq. His U.N. tenure may soon seem like a picnic compared with his next assignment. In part owing to the White House's reservations about making drastic changes the bill establishing the DNI was written with more than enough ambiguity for Rumsfeld and Goss to exploit if they so choose. For instance the White House resisted giving the new intelligence czar so called tasking18 authority over the CIA director according to one expert meaning that in practice Negroponte can't say order up CIA action.
While nominally handing massive new budget powers to the DNI the law also makes clear that he will not“abrogate the statutory responsibilities” of any existing intelligence related agency. That could be used by the Pentagon to justify holding onto the purse strings. Because of Rumsfeld's reluctance to challenge Bush's authority directly it's unlikely Rumsfeld will openly take on Negroponte but that does not mean he won't assert his will in more subtle ways such as keeping him out of the loop on small budget issues or stonewalling him on information requests.
In the end whether Negroponte succeeds or fails in his new job will depend largely on the force of his personality as well as the strength of his relationship with the President. After the announcement of his nomination Negroponte returned to the State Department. While grabbing a snack in the cafeteria he bumped into a fellow ambassador who complimented him for maintaining the element of surprise until the President was ready to break the big news. “The first requirement of the national director of intelligence” Negroponte deadpanned19“is being able to keep a secret.” But unless the officeholder can make sure secrets are as well shared as they are guarded no one will be laughing.
|Bush's New Intelligence Czar|
内氏在其新职位上最终是成功还是失败，主要将取决于他的人格力量，以及他与总统之间关系是否过硬。在宣布提名他之后，内氏返回了国务院。在自助餐厅匆忙吃快餐时，他碰见了一位大使同事。后者称赞他对此秘而不宣，从而在总统准备宣布这一重大新闻时，让人们感到意外。内氏面无表情地说：“对国家情报局长的第一项要求就是要能守口如瓶。”但是，除非担任此职的人不仅能够确保机密得到严守，而且还会得到充分的共享，否则就没有人能笑得起来。 (尹宏毅 摘译自 Time Feb. 28 2005)
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