The committee met, pursuant to notice, at 5:00 p.m., in room H-405, The Capitol, Hon. Anthony C. Beilenson [chairman of the committee] presiding.
Present: Representatives Beilenson, Hyde, Kastenmeier, Roe, McHugh, Dwyer, Kennelly, Glickman, Mavroules, Richardson, Solarz, Livingston, Bereuter, and Rowland.
Also present: The Hon. Edward P. Boland.
Mr. Beilenson. Will you all please come to order.
It is good to have so many good people and good friends of Eddie Boland here today. I welcome you to this celebration, and especially welcome our distinguished Speaker, Mr. Wright; our former Speaker. Mr. O'Neill, whom we are delighted to--Tip, I am talking about you--to have back here today; Mr. Leader Foley; Judge Webster; Admiral Turner; Admiral Studeman; former Chairman Lee Hamilton and Lou Stokes; our former Minority Leader on this committee, Bob Stump; present and former Members of the committee, a lot of very distinguished people from the Intelligence Community and from Intelligence-related activities of the services.
I won't introduce all of them, but it is lovely of all of
you have to come out to honor our good friend Eddie Boland. Special thanks to our friends in the Massachusetts delegation who have turned out in force, and other colleagues of ours, and ladies and gentlemen in general.
I think I have covered just about everyone except Eddie and Mary Boland and their son, whom we are pleased to welcome.
Mr. Boland. You forgot the security guard outside.
Mr. Beilenson. Just so we don't forget you, sir.
This is an impressive array of friends and associates and people who care about Eddie Boland--bipartisan, across the political spectrum, from all the various parts and branches of the Government, including even some sometime political opponents, who have joined with us today to honor this man with whom they worked very well, this man, as they call him, the big Chairman, the real Chairman, the only guy that got to be Chairman for this committee for more than a year or two, as the rest of us have.
I am pleased to start off the proceedings today. I will be very brief because we have three or four other chaps who are going to say a couple of words also about Mr. Boland.
I do want to say to you, Eddie, if I may, it is really good to have you back here with us. We miss you. We miss you very much.
It gives us great pleasure to honor you today by naming this committee room, which you presided over so beautifully for so many years, in your honor. It is the least we can do. We wanted to do more. As a matter of fact, we asked the CIA if perhaps they would think about renaming one of their headquarters buildings out there in your name. They objected to it. I don't understand why.
The only reason that they are so big, that they need all the buildings out there is because you presided over a building up of the CIA, and if it hadn't been for you, they wouldn't have had so many people or needed so many buildings. But nonetheless, they turned us down so we are back naming this nice, little room after you.
In all seriousness, as the newest Chairman, only since the middle of January, of this committee, I am constantly reminded of Eddie Boland, the staff that he hired, many of whom still work for the committee. It is hard to get rid of them and it is hard to hire new people because the staff won't allow us to hire any new people. They point out in these remarks which they prepared for me--that they are among the best staff of the Hill.
We also remember Eddie because of the policies which he established on public discussion, or the lack of it, to be more precise, about intelligence matters. You don't read anything about this committee in the press. You haven't in the past, and you won't, I hope, in the future. He also established a tradition of bipartisan cooperation, which, as you all know and remember very well, was very strong under Mr. Boland, and in fact would have been stronger if it had not been for his own amendments with respect to contra aid. We could have maintained that bipartisanship a lot longer than we were able to. But we are struggling to put it all back together, and his amendment seems not so controversial anymore.
In the last few days we are reminded of Eddie by that plaque we have put up outside, just outside in the foyer, that I hope you saw as you came in, and if you didn't, please look at it as you go out. It will stand as a reminder of the fairness and bipartisanship and good judgment that was Eddie Boland's hallmark, and which remains the standard against which the House, the Intelligence Committee, and the public will continue--and I hope they do continue--to measure us, and correctly so.
The purpose of the Intelligence Committee is to oversee all U.S. intelligence activities, to authorize their funding, and consider all matters relating to intelligence activity of the Government. Under Mr. Boland, this committee established, and I hope retains, a reputation as a serious and forceful influence on U.S. intelligence.
We have become a partner as well as a critic. The presence of all of you from both parties in the Congress and so many branches of the Government attest to that.
We have Eddie Boland to thank for showing us the way. Both parties in the Congress attest to that. We have Eddie Boland to thank for showing us how to be that kind of committee.
I will take a half minute more to read from the resolution which is responsible for establishing the name of this room.
`Whereas the Honorable Edward P. Boland, a representative from Massachusetts who served in the House from 1953 to 1989, was the first Chairman of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence,
`Whereas, under his leadership, the committee established a reputation for security, bipartisanship, and measured judgment,
`Whereas these traditions have served as norms for the activities of the committee since that time,
`Whereas Presidents Carter and Reagan, the Central Intelligence Agency, and the National Security Agency have honored Edward P. Boland for his leadership and support for the intelligence services of the United States, and
`Whereas it is appropriate that the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence honor the contributions of Edward P. Boland in establishing effective, fair congressional oversight of intelligence activities,
`Be it resolved by the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence of the U.S. House of Representatives that Room H-405 in the Capitol Building, the meeting room of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, hereinafter be named and shall be called the `Edward P. Boland Room,' that an appropriate memorial to this effect shall be placed at the entrance to Room H-405, and that the committee take steps to notify Edward P. Boland of this action,' and invite Mr. Boland to come on down here for this celebration.
So, Eddie, congratulations to you. Thank you very much for being the inspiration you have been, and now you are going to hear a few words from each of a few more people, the first of whom is my good friend and our Ranking Republican Member, Mr. Henry Hyde.
Mr. Hyde. Thank you very much, Tony. I shall be brief.
I tried to think of how to describe Eddie Boland, and to whom to compare him. He is really incomparable. It occurred to me, I suppose, doing the best I could do with comparisons, that he is sort of a New England Bill Natcher, righteous and respected--or perhaps Bill Natcher is a bluegrass Eddie Boland--but the type of person who hasn't an enemy in the world, who is respected and admired and emulated for his integrity and his knowledge and his commitment to the highest of legislative ideals.
Eddie told me that when he first came to Congress in 1952, like all of us, he wanted to change the world. Now he just likes to leave the room with dignity if he can, and I certainly share that feeling.
Tip O'Neill did America and the cause of intelligence a great favor by nominating Eddie as the first Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and Ed Boland set a standard that has been adhered to by succeeding chairmen. His successor, Lee Hamilton is of the same stripe; his successor, Lou Stokes, outstanding; and his successor, Tony Beilenson, the high quality, the high-caliber Chairman for this committee who has followed in the footsteps of Eddie Boland, and that has got to be good for our country.
The accomplishments of Ed Boland are legion: the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, Classified Information Procedures Act, the Intelligence Identity Protection Act. But I hope that history won't remember him mostly for the Boland Amendments, but indeed they are his progeny and they must be mentioned.
Eddie, in rummaging through my records, and I keep records, I found H. Con. Res. 9, introduced January 4, 1977, by Mr. Boland in the 95th Congress in the House of Representatives. It was a concurrent resolution to establish a joint committee on intelligence, and this is for you.
Mr. Boland. If I could, I did that at the suggestion of Tip O'Neill.
Mr. Hyde. I have got one by Lee Hamilton, too.
Let me just say in closing that there is a great line from Camelot where King Arthur says, `All of us are tiny drops in a vast ocean, but some of them sparkle.' Eddie Boland is positively incandescent.
Mr. Beilenson. We are very pleased and very honored to have our distinguished Speaker, Mr. Wright of Texas, with us today. Jim wanted very much to be here to help us honor Eddie.
Speaker Wright. Mr. Chairman, Mr. Speaker, Eddie, Mary, I think it is altogether appropriate that this room, which has been such a well-kept secret for so many years from so many people, should be dedicated in the name of Eddie Boland, whose remarkable qualities of leadership were for so many years a well-kept secret to the world and even from some of his colleagues.
Eddie might be called a late bloomer. He was well into his 20s before he and Mary married. If someone were to declare open season on politicians, and there were those around with shotguns and rifles wanting to bag a politician to use for a trophy in the trophy room, Eddie Boland might be fairly safe unless they knew him, because at superficial, first glance, nobody would think of Eddie Boland as a politician. He is not a glad-handler, he isn't a back-slapper, he isn't gregarious; he is a quiet, unobtrusive, productive individual. He is the quiet man of politics. Yet, what a wonderful record he has set. What an example of those of us who came to know him, who penetrated that little bit of New England reserve that you have to penetrate to get to understand and to know what lies at the heart of Eddie Boland. He is a treasure. His friendship is a valuable possession.
It was he more than any other person who laid the keel for this committee. He set the pattern. He established the direction. He charted the course, and it has been a wonderfully productive committee that has performed enormously valuable service to the Congress of the United States, permitting us to have one central place that can be the repository of classified information. Eddie did it with such dignity and with such eclat and with such superlative skill that hardly anybody noticed, and that was the marvelous quality of his leadership.
But to Eddie Boland we owe a very great many things in this Congress, and the nation owes him 36 years of productive work, free from the fanfare of self-promotion, 36 years in the Congress, 54 years in public office, never having been rejected by an electorate, and additional years in service to the United States because he is not just a sunshine patriot.
When time of trouble came, World War II, Eddie Boland left public office to serve in the service of the United States, entering as a private and emerging as a captain. He is a soldier in peacetime, he is a patriot in peacetime and he is a great American all the time. And I am really very, very happy that we made this choice to name this room in his honor.
Speaker Wright. He sings a wicked baritone, too.
Mr. Boland. Not tonight.
Mr. Beilenson. Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.
Also, we are very pleased and very honored to have our former Speaker, the lovely gentleman from Massachusetts, the gentleman who had the good sense to put Eddie in charge here at the very beginning so that the rest of us would know how to operate afterwards when our turn finally came.
Would you like to come up here and say a word or two, sir?
Mr. O'Neill. We better stop or I will tell a couple of old stories.
Speaker Jim Wright, Tom Foley, delighted to see you. All of my colleagues here I see--I believe all of the Massachusetts delegation. I am happy to see them. That is the first time they have been totally since I left.
Mr. O'Neill. When I was elected as Speaker of the House and Jimmy Carter was the new President, Charles Ferris was one of my AAs, and one of Charlie's duties was on Wednesday morning at 7 o'clock down in the old Sam Rayburn Board of Education, the Speaker would meet with the CIA and we would get the records of everything that had happened during the past week. We would have a little breakfast together.
Admiral, I don't know if that was during your days or just before you came on. But anyway, after going to these meetings for about 10 weeks, I said, `This is the craziest thing I have ever heard of. They tell me every covert action, what their plans are for the future, highly confidential, and I can't tell a damn soul. I can't even go home and tell my Millie.' Only Charlie and I would know.
It was my understanding that they had to report to the Congress of the United States, so here they are reporting to me. And I said, some day something is going to blow up and they will say, `Well, we reported to the Speaker.' So we came up with the idea that there ought to be an independent committee of intelligence, and that was the birth and that was the idea of how the committee got together.
Well, immediately, of course, knowing the seriousness of the committee and knowing how highly classified the information was, the main thing was getting a man with ability, talent and intelligence who would be able to keep his mouth sealed. Well, Eddie could keep a secret better than anyone I ever knew. I lived with him for 25 years and never could find the blue comb. I said, anybody that can hide the blue comb, what a master he would be at keeping a secret.
We decided that it would be a committee of six Democrats and six Republicans, and the Republicans would name their side and we would name our side of the aisle, and it would be bipartisan in nature. And we were going to take, in our opinion, some of the best and most talented and most able people in the Congress who we would have absolute confidence and trust in.
The truth of the matter was, they did a fantastic job. Eddie molded the committee together. Eddie was a man who gave real input to the intelligence committee. He developed, as Henry Hyde said, what the committee really stands for.
I know that this is probably the greatest thing I ever accomplished in my 34 years in Congress. But, Eddie, looking back, I say how proud I am that I had a friend as close as you, that we did sit down together and take the youngest and brightest minds, and we did put a committee of this type together. And here you are today, your friends are here, to honor you, Democrats and Republicans in the Congress are here.
Eddie, it is great to be able to look back and say, well, there is so much that I have written in the law of intelligence. So with these people who are honoring you, they are honoring themselves and they are honoring the Congress, the greatest body in the world.
Mary and Eddie, may you have longevity and peace and satisfaction, and you can always look back, as Jim Wright said, to 54 years in public life. It could have gone to 64 had it not been your own desire to leave.
Congratulations. How honored and pleased I am that they are honoring us in your memory.
Mr. Beilenson. Thank you, Mr. Speaker, for those lovely remarks.
We have just one more gentleman who is going to make brief remarks before we hear from Mr. Boland himself for whatever he wants to sing or talk--that is up to him.
We are delighted and honored to have with us the Director of Central Intelligence, the gentleman from Langley, Judge Webster. I must say that if Lou Stokes and I do decent jobs as Chairman of this committee, it is because we had this gentleman to deal with instead of the former Director. He seems to be leveling with us. He is good to work with, and we are delighted and proud to have him with us here today.
Judge Webster. Thank you, Chairman Beilenson, and I appreciate very much your letting me represent the Intelligence Community on this very important occasion. We are honored to take part in honoring Edward P. Boland for the naming of this historic room.
There is so much history involved in this room and a good deal of that history is represented by the people who have come here to honor you today.
I must say that if Chairman Boland had not set the tone or charted the course, as Speaker Wright said, I might be appearing here exercising my right as a defendant to take the stand in my own behalf.
Judge Webster. But that is not the case, and we have established a working relationship that succeeding chairmen have been faithful to and we have tried to be faithful to ourselves.
I think the thing that Congressman Hyde mentioned, so many of the important acts of legislation affecting the Intelligence Community and its ability to serve the nation, track back to Chairman Boland. The one we remember him, I suppose, the most for is the Intelligence Protection of Identities Act, which was cast by many in First Amendment terms and therefore made it difficult to approach the problem of protecting our most precious resource, our sources and methods.
But by having a distinguished and respected leader of Congress state the case for finding a way to rationalize our responsibilities, to be accountable to the Congress through its surrogate, this committee, it was possible for us to protect those very precious sources that enabled us to do our job. We will always be grateful for that.
His words are beautiful. They are articulate and they are true. I won't take up your time by quoting them. I was prepared to do that, but I want you to know you are well remembered for the balanced and important view that you took and the fairness that you showed with it.
There was a suggestion from Chairman Beilenson that we might want to name one of our buildings out at Langley for Chairman Boland, and the only thing I could say is, if we were naming buildings out there, you would be very high on our list.
Judge Webster. As one who lived in a building for nine years that the Congress threatened to rename annually, you would be very high on our list. I would have thought I would go out and find a place where there were no names. [Laughter.]
Judge Webster. I know it will be a pleasure to come up here and report to the Congress and the House in a room with your name on it.
Mr. Beilenson. Eddie Boland just asked if I wouldn't call on three or four other good friends of his to say nice and good things about him because he is enjoying their remarks, but I told him it is a quarter of 6:00 and some of these people have to leave. But they don't want to leave until they hear from you.
So, Mr. Chairman, please come up and say a few words to us.
Mr. Boland. I have got a lot of pages of remarks here. First of all, I think probably this will go down as the longest standing group that ever came into this room. You won't be standing for long anyhow.
First of all, I want to express my very deep appreciation to Speaker Wright and to Speaker O'Neill and to Bill Webster and to Stansfield Turner and to all of those who have been associated with CIA, the NSA, the FBI and Defense Intelligence and all of the intelligence agencies that go to make our intelligence the finest in the world.
I had some trepidation when I came into this room and saw the food and then I saw Henry Hyde was here. I decided to make sure there wasn't any problem with it, so I made sure he ate it first.
Also, I take some pride in the fact that any time I can get Mort Halperin and Henry Hyde and others into the room at the same time, we haven't done too bad a job.
As Tip has said, we looked at this problem some years ago in the Carter Administration and decided that--we were not the ones that decided; as a matter of fact, the President of the United States himself decided, and there was no question about the fact--there was absolute necessity creating this particular committee.
We are deeply honored--Mary and Edward, who is here with me, and Martha, Michael and Kathleen who are back home. In honoring me, of course, you honor them, too. I say that from the bottom of my heart.
I particularly want to pay my respects to Lou Stokes and Nick Mavroules and Bernie Dwyer and Tony Beilenson for getting together and suggesting that this be done.
My only regret is that Ken Robinson, who served as the committee's ranking Republican with me for some six years of this committee, could not be here. He was in every way my partner and a very close friend. This nation was well-served by the effort and the work that he put in when he was Ranking Minority Member of this committee. No one, no one did more on the Minority side during my period as chairmanship of this committee than did he, and no one was a more superb gentleman than he was.
I did spend a lot of time up here in this attic, more than I ever presumed I would, ever dreamed that I would. I will never forget that one day I decided I had to be a little skeptical of what I heard up here, especially when I was being briefed from the wall map, which, unlike the ones the rest of the world uses, has two Africas on it. I had difficulty following some of the directions.
I did spend considerable time, as the staff knows and those who come before this committee know, from 1977 on trying to set the standards and to hire a staff that would serve intelligence oversight and the House not only in those days during my chairmanship, but those that succeeded me--Lee Hamilton, Lou Stokes and Tony Beilenson--but also those who were on the Minority side. Yet, I couldn't have accomplished any of this without the strong support of Speaker O'Neill and Speaker Wright and Bob Michel. Bob Michel was an old friend of ours when Tip and I--in the Cannon Building--when Tip and I came first here and were sworn in, in 1953.
This committee could not have acquired the reputation that it has without the cooperation and the hard work and the interest demonstrated by the Members of the committee who served with me during my tenure, not to mention those of you who carry on this work today and uphold the committee's reputation.
I think serving on this committee is probably one of the highest honors that Members could attain. You are very special people who serve on this committee, and one of the reasons for it is the trust that the Members of the House have in you, and actually the members of the press have in you, too. So I can't take all the credit. I think the credit belongs to those who served during my tenure and the tenures of those Chairs who succeeded me.
I also want to pay my respects to the staff. I don't think that any staff--was put together as carefully and as cautiously as this staff was put together. I never made one political appointment to this staff, except that I brought over from my district office from the congressional office one of my AAs, Michael O'Neil. Mike O'Neil, that was the only suggestion I made. I am glad that I did.
That staff, I think, probably is as good as any staff on this Hill. I must say also about the staffs on this Hill, the Appropriations Committee in particular, you won't find better staffs anywhere in this nation.
I think early on we not alone myself, but those who served with me on either side of this table up here--set some very simple rules, and that was every Member would be fully cognizant and fully involved in the committee's proceedings, and that was so from day one; that we would be insistent on obtaining information we needed but fully protective of the intelligence that we received; and that we would work to earn the trust of the House and the confidence of the Intelligence Community; and that our key goals would be the best possible intelligence system, responding, of course, to the policy makers and protective of the privacy rights of the people of the United States.
I think we did manage to achieve progress towards those goals. We have a strong Intelligence Community, probably the finest Intelligence Community in the world, and despite some noticeable exceptions, we developed a modicum of trust between the branches, which was not easy to do, and an acceptance of the need and the usefulness of congressional oversight.
We funded the largest peacetime buildup of intelligence capabilities in our history, starting with Stan Turner. We worked through legislation, as Henry Hyde has said, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, Classified Information Procedures Act. We advanced national security concerns.
We advanced them by really protecting the individual rights of the people that go to make up this great nation, and we were able to provide other committees and the public with careful, yet substantive statements on questions involving intelligence like the KAL-007 tragedy, Jonestown and Billy Carter.
To me, however, the most enduring memory and the greatest accomplishment is that this committee and its processes, particularly its staff, have become institutions that are respected both in the House and by the intelligence agencies, and that was our hope.
This event, the people who are here tonight, clearly demonstrates and confirms for me that we were successful. So I thank you all again. It is nice to be a part, a piece of the rock here.
This is a great building, one of the greatest in the world. And I repeat, to me, this ceremony says one thing quite clearly: Intelligence oversight really has arrived. It is a function which continues to be critical to this House and which must be constantly reviewed. I think it will remain in good health only through its vigorous--vigorous--exercise.
Sir William Stevenson said it best in The Man Called Intrepid, and many of you have heard me quote him quite often, I will repeat it once more: `Among the increasingly intricate arsenals across the world, intelligence is an essential weapon, perhaps the most important, but it is being secret the most dangerous. Safeguards to prevent its abuse must be devised and revised and rigidly applied. But as in all enterprise, the character and wisdom of those to whom it is entrusted will be decisive. In the integrity of that guardianship lies the hope of a free people to endure and to prevail.'
That has been the intention of this committee ever since I have been the Chairman and of all of the Members who have served here. It has been my pleasure and honor and privilege to have served with so many of them over the seven years that I presided over this committee. It was a great job. It was a great job because the people that worked with me were great people.
So, Tony and Lou and Lee Hamilton and Henry Hyde and all the others who served on this committee, and some of the new ones, let me thank you from the bottom of my heart for what you have done here. It is a unique honor, and I appreciate it very deeply, as my family does, too.
Thank you very much.
Mr. Beilenson. We are adjourned.
[Whereupon, at 6:00 p.m., the committee adjourned.]