The Senate Intelligence Committee invited William Burns, a former diplomat who has been a covert negotiator with Iran and an Envoy to Russia, William J. Burns, at his confirmatory hearing to become the new CIA Director Wednesday.
A especially controversial hearing focused on Chinese and Russian threats and allowed Burns, often in close cooperation with Spy Agency, to showcase his three decades’ experience in foreign affairs.
No senator also raised a clue to the nomination of Burns. Often, his views on US policy against external adversaries were more important than on how he structured the CIA to tackle these challenges. As Burns has pointed out, the CIA does not enforce legislation, it protects the people.
But Burns, who was the deputy state secretary in Obama’s administration recently, carried CIA Director’s unique mix of policymaking experience and expertise.
Sen. Marco Rubio, Vice Chairman of the Committee of Ministers of the Interior, praised Burns’ long and distinguished career as he anticipated working with Burns “as a partner for the work of the CIA as the first defence line for our nation.”
Next week, the Congressional officials say that the full Senate vote on his nomination can take place. Burns would take over the CIA at a moment of transition, as the agency emphasises espionage against nation-states after nearly two decades of counterterrorism operations, which some current and former officials have said drained too many resources and distracted the CIA from its classic spying mission.
In the four years of intense political conflict in which President Donald Trump regularly charged professional intelligence officers and their superior with conspiring against and attempting to undermine its administration, Burns was going to assume leadership of a workers.
When Burns was nominated by President Biden last month, he underlined his common belief that “intelligence must be political and that the dedicated intelligence professionals who serve our nation deserve our gratitude and reverence.”
“That is exactly what President Biden expects of CIA. It was the first thing he told me when he asked me to take on this role,” Burns told lawmakers. “He said he wants the agency to give it to him straight — and I pledged to do just that, and to defend those who do the same.”