Following the senate’s confirmation of Michael Chertoff as the new secretary of Homeland Security, Bush has nominated John Negroponte, currently U.S. ambassador to Iraq, to become the first director of national intelligence.

Bush said in a press conference to announce Negroponte’s nomination that the career diplomat’s understanding of foreign politics and of “the power centers in Washington” makes him the right person to be in charge of global intelligence.

“John will make sure that those whose duty it is to defend America have the information we need to make the right decisions,” Bush said. “We’re going to stop the terrorists before they strike.”

Negroponte, 65, served as United States ambassador to the United Nations until he took on the job of U.S. ambassador to Iraq in June of last year. He has also served as ambassador to the Philippines, Mexico, and Honduras.

If confirmed as the director of national intelligence, Negroponte will coordinate the work of all 15 U.S. intelligence agencies, in accordance with the recently passed legislation that reorganized the system.

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