The Failure of Anthony Lake's Nomination as DCI

On 17 March 1997, William Anthony Kirsopp Lake withdrew his nomination to be DCI. The materials here track the process from nomination to withdrawal. The subject has been placed with CIA-related materials not because the failure of Lake's nomination had anything to do with the CIA, but in the belief that researchers might look for the subject under the CIA rubric.

Materials presented chronologically.

[Lake, Anthony.] "Excerpts from the Announcement on the Cabinet." New York Times, 6 Dec, 1996, A14.

Excerpts from 5 December 1996 news conference at which President Clinton introduced new Cabinet appointees, including Anthony Lake to be DCI.

Myers, Steven Lee. "Experienced Player and Policy Expert: Anthony Lake." New York Times, 6 Dec. 1996, A16 (N).

The DCI-designate began his government service with the State Department in 1962, but resigned in 1970 to protest the invasion of Cambodia. He returned in the Carter administration as director of the Office of Policy Planning. He has served four years as Clinton's National Security Adviser.

New York Times. "[Editorial:] Cabinet Renewal." 6 Dec. 1996, A20 (N).

"Mr. Lake, a thoughtful man who has served ably in coordinating Administration security policies, may lack the fire and fortitude to reshape the recalcitrant intelligence agency. He will be the fifth C.I.A. boss in a little over five years, hardly an effective way to manage the agency."

Lewis, Neil A. "Key Senator Has 'Doubts' on Candidate for C.I.A. Job." New York Times, 12 Dec. 1996, A18 (N).

At an SSCI hearing on 11 December 1996, the departing committee chairman, Sen. Arlen Spector, "was forceful and persistent in expressing his distaste for Mr. Lake's being chosen" for the position of DCI. "I am especially concerned about [his] role in the issue of giving the green light for the Iranians to arm Bosnia," the senator stated. See also Pat Towell, "Clinton's Pick of Lake for CIA Raises Senate GOP Hackles," Congressional Quarterly Weekly Report, 21 Dec. 1996, 3442.

Pincus, Walter, and Thomas W. Lippman. "Lake's New Mission: The CIA May Be Getting the Kind of Director It's Always Wanted -- Someone Who Can Keep a Secret." Washington Post National Weekly Edition, 16-22 Dec. 1996, 35.

Walcott, John. "Mission Impossible? Anthony Lake Will Be Taking on a Demoralized, Recalcitrant CIA." Washington Post National Weekly Edition, 16-22 Dec. 1996, 23.

The title and subtitle give a clear impression of the thrust of this article; the focus is less on Lake than on what the writer perceives to be problems with the clandestine service.

Fein, Bruce E. "Trivializing the CIA." World Intelligence Review 16, no. 1 (Jan.-Feb. 1997): 2.

"[Anthony] Lake's nomination ... corroborates the trivialization of the CIA within the national security establishment. President Clinton treats the DCI post as no different than other high-level offices filled to accommodate his political needs."

Pincus, Walter. "Lake Gets Pre-Confirmation Hearing Grilling on Spies." Washington Post, 10 Jan. 1997, A19.

Robbins, Carla Anne. "CIA Nominee Faces Heat from Senate Cold Warriors." Wall Street Journal, 17 Jan. 1997, A14.

Weiner, Tim. "Republicans Criticize C.I.A. Nominee Over Iranian Arms Deal." New York Times, 28 Jan. 1997, A8 (N).

Lake draws flak from House Republicans for his execution, as national security adviser, "of a secret policy to stand silent as Iran shipped arms to Bosnian Muslims in 1994."

Gates, Robert M. "The Case for Confirming Anthony Lake." Wall Street Journal, 29 Jan. 1997, A10.

Stout, David. "Hearings on Lake's Appointment Delayed." New York Times, 31 Jan. 1997, A20.

Congressional Quarterly Weekly Report. Editors. "Hearings on CIA Nominee Delayed for Probes." 1 Feb. 1997, 303.

Smith, R. Jeffrey, and Walter Pincus. "Lake Makes Overt Sales Pitch for CIA Directorship." Washington Post, 2 Feb. 1997, A, 1 A10, A11. "Campaigning for Spymaster." WPNWE, 10 Feb. 1997, 29.

Lake has been making contacts with active and retired CIA officers, including nearly every former DCI, in a "carefully orchestrated campaign to transform potential skeptics around Washington into believers that Lake is the right man for the job."

Weiner, Tim. "Conservatives Attack C.I.A. Nominee." New York Times, 3 Feb. 1997, A12 (N).

SSCI Chairman Shelby has expressed doubts about Anthony Lake's nomination as DCI. One concern is Lake's failure to notify Congress of the administration's tacit approval of Iranian arms shipments to the Bosnian Moslems. Conservative groups are also raising concerns that Lake is a closet liberal. Nonetheless, support has been voiced by former DCI Robert Gates and Senator John McCain.

Pincus, Walter. "GOP Report Questions Lake's Honesty on Iran-Bosnia Arms Testimony." Washington Post, 6 Feb. 1997, A18.

Gruenwald, Juliana. "Lake Faces Tough Scrutiny Over Policies, Finances." Congressional Quarterly Weekly Report, 8 Feb. 1997, 373.

Brinkley, Douglas. "The Right Choice for the C.I.A.: Lake Is a Victim of the Far Right." New York Times, 10 Feb. 1997, A15 (N).

"Mr. Lake has been on the radical right's enemies list since 1970.... But if his detractors examined his record, they would see that he is not the ideological foe they portray him to be."

Pincus, Walter, and Pierre Thomas. "Citing NSC Meetings and Lake's Finances, Shelby Again Delays Hearings." Washington Post, 12 Feb. 1997, A18.

See also, Tim Weiner, "Another Delay in Senate Hearings Over Nominee for Head of C.I.A.," New York Times, 12 Feb. 1997, A1, A14 (N); and Congressional Quarterly Weekly Report, "Shelby Again Delays Hearing on Lake Nomination," 15 Feb. 1997, 440.

New York Times. "[Editorial:] Start the Hearings on Mr. Lake." 13 Feb. 1997, A16 (N).

Washington Post. "[Editorial:] Start the Hearings on Mr. Lake." 13 Feb. 1997, A32.

Baker, Peter, and Helen Dewar. "Clinton Pushes Senate to Confirm Lake in Sign He'll Fight for CIA Choice." Washington Post, 14 Feb. 1997, A9.

Pincus, Walter. "Lake Says He Did Not Meet with Fund-Raising Principals." Washington Post, 15 Feb. 1997, A19.

Pincus, Walter. "More Papers Requested in Lake Review." Washington Post, 27 Feb. 1997, A4.

SSCI Chairman Richard Shelby wants the administration to turn over the raw data in the FBI files on Anthony Lake. He says that without the files there will be no hearings. See also, Tim Weiner, "Leaders in Senate Demand F.B.I. Files on C.I.A. Nominee; Confirmation in Limbo." New York Times, 28 Feb. 1997, A1, A12 (N).

Pincus, Walter. "Two on Panel 'Lean' Toward Backing Lake." Washington Post, 28 Feb. 1997, A10. "Showdown Vote Sought on CIA Nomination." Washington Post, 1 Mar. 1997, A7.

Cooper, Matthew. "An Unlikely Tough Guy: Tony Lake May Be Tweedy, But He Relishes Hardball." Newsweek, 3 Mar. 1997, 52.

DCI-nominee Lake is encountering difficulties with SSCI Chairman Richard Shelby on at least two fronts: His role in the White House's policy on ignoring Iranian arms shipments to Bosnia and the Asian money scandal surrounding contributions to President Clinton's election campaign.

Weiner, Tim. "Panel Chairman To Go Forward with Hearings on C.I.A. Nominee." New York Times, 5 Mar. 1997, A9 (N).

SSCI Chairman Shelby schedules nomination hearing for DCI-nominee Anthony Lake for 11 March 1997, after two postponements. See also, Juliana Gruenwald, "Lake Hearings Are Set to Begin; Shelby Still Seeks Full FBI File," Congressional Quarterly Weekly Report, 8 Mar. 1997, 598.

Weiner, Tim. "Lake Is Alive But Only Just[;] Pure Politics with C.I.A." New York Times, 11 Mar. 1997, A12 (N).

Weiner, Tim. "Nominee for C.I.A. in Tense Hearing." New York Times, 12 Mar. 1997, A1, A15 (N). "C.I.A. Nominee Works Hard to Sway Panel." New York Times, 13 Mar. 1997, A13 (N). "Angry Exchanges Interrupt Lake Questioning." New York Times, 14 Mar. 1997, A12 (N).

Reports on first three days of Lake nomination hearings.

New York Times. "[Editorial:] The Anthony Lake Nomination." 14 Mar. 1997, A16 (N).

Expresses concern about Lake's "anemic response to the campaign fund-raising abuses swirling around him while he was Mr. Clinton's national security adviser."

Gruenwald, Juliana. "Lake Pledges 'Unvarnished' Reports if Confirmed as CIA Chief." Congressional Quarterly Weekly Report, 15 Mar. 1997, 653.

[Lake, Anthony.] "Excerpts from a Sharply Worded Letter of Withdrawal." New York Times, 18 Mar. 1997, A12 (N).

This is text of Anthony Lake's 17 March 1997 letter to President Clinton, withdrawing his nomination to be DCI. Lake's position can be summed up in the following quote: "Washington has gone haywire." See also, Tim Weiner, "Lake Pulls Out as Nominee for C.I.A., Assailing Hearing as Endless Political Circus," New York Times, 18 Mar. 1997, A1, A12 (N).

Harris, John F., and R. Jeffrey Smith. "What Sank Tony Lake? The CIA Nominee Was Imperiled from the Start, but Many Agree that the System Went 'Haywire.'" Washington Post National Weekly Edition, 24 Mar. 1997, 12.

Washington Post. "[Editorial:] ...And the Tony Lake Affair." Washington Post National Weekly Edition, 24 Mar. 1997, 25.

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