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Mr. BONIOR. Mr. Speaker, by direction of the Committee on Rules, I call up House Resolution 136 and ask for its immediate consideration.

The Clerk read the resolution, as follows:

H. Res. 136

Resolved, That at any time after the adoption of this resolution the Speaker may, pursuant to clause 1(b) of rule XXIII, declare the House resolved into the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union for the consideration of the bill (H.R. 1455) to authorize appropriations for fiscal year 1991 for the intelligence activities of the United States Government, the Intelligence Community Staff, and the Central Intelligence Agency Retirement and Disability System, and for other purposes, and the first reading of the bill shall be dispensed with. All points of order against consideration of the bill are hereby waived. After general debate, which shall be confined to the bill and which shall not exceed one hour, to be equally divided and controlled by the chairman and ranking minority member of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, the bill shall be considered for amendment under the five-minute rule, by title instead of by section, and each title shall be considered as having been read. The amendments recommended by the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence now printed in the bill shall be considered as having been adopted and shall become original text for the purpose of further amendment under the five-minute rule. At the conclusion of the consideration of the bill for amendment, the Committee shall rise and report the bill to the House with such amendments as may have beaen adopted, and the previous question shall be considered as ordered on the bill and amendments thereto to final passage without intervening motion except one motion to recommit.

The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. McNulty). The gentleman from Michigan [Mr. Bonior] is recognized for 1 hour.

Mr. BONIOR. Mr. Speaker, for the purpose of debate only, I yield the customary 30 minutes to the gentleman from Ohio [Mr. McEwen], pending which I yield myself such time as I may consume. During consideration of this resolution, all time yielded is for purpose of debate only.

Mr. Speaker, today we consider the fiscal year 1991 intelligence authorization bill--more than half way in to the current fiscal year.

Unfortunately, last year's bill was pocket vetoed by the President over issues of tough congressional oversight. These provisions embodied much needed reforms that grew out of the devastating consequences of the Iran-Contra affair. They had been crafted by the Intelligence Committee with care and consideration over a period of time.

These are provisions which I strongly supported. And the intelligence bill itself was approved by voice vote last November.

The House Intelligence Committee has sought to reach agreement on an acceptable approach, but unfortunately the White House has not been forthcoming.

I will continue to work with the chairman--who is to be commended for his efforts--to seek adequate oversight provisions in conference with the Senate.

Too many times in the past Congress has not been informed of covert actions--even though the law requires it.

In 1983, Congress discovered that the CIA had mined Nicaraguan harbors without notifying the Intelligence Committees. Although CIA Director William Casey then agreed to keep the committees fully informed, Congress was again stunned to discover--through press reports--that the CIA had published a manual for the Contras urging the assassination of Government officials.

Congress should not have to learn about the Nation's most sensitive secrets from the newspapers.

No problem better demonstrates this than the Iran-Contra affair--one of the most serious constitutional crises our Nation has faced.

A small group of senior officials believed they alone knew what was right, and they refused to inform the Secretary of State, the Congress, or the American people of their actions. In essence, they ran their own private foreign policy.

When their operation was threatened with exposure, they engaged in a coverup, altered chronologies, shredded documents, and lied to Congress and the American public. They even withheld key facts from the President.

Iran-Contra was a covert operation run amok, and a foreign policy fiasco.

Among the many lessons of the Iran-Contra affair, none is more important than the critical need for the executive and legislative branches to work together on foreign policy issues--especially in the area of covert action.

Had the Intelligence Committees of Congress been properly informed, it is very possible that the fallacy of the Iran-Contra affair would have been exposed for what it was: an arms-for-hostage deal.

Instead, the truth was not told and vital information was withheld.

As a result, it was 10 months later before the Iran-Contra story was revealed through press accounts. The actual text of the finding was not released until a year after the President signed it.

Numerous officials made false statements to, and misled, the Congress, but none described the administration's attitude better than Elliott Abrams. Unless Members of Congress, he said, asked `exactly the right question, using exactly the right words, they weren't going to get the right answers.'

In the face of an executive branch determined to thwart the law and to lie about it, the ability of the Intelligence Committees and Congress to perform oversight is almost impossible.

A congressional committee must rely on information and honesty from the executive branch.

When Congress is treated as an irritant to be avoided rather than an adviser to be trusted, the result will be a failure of policy and a failure of the democratic process.

We cannot rely on the good will of Government officials to keep us reliably informed. We need laws on the books that erase ambiguities and set up clearly defined procedures.

I know that the Senate is still working on a compromise with the administration. But if such a proposal were to weaken current law requiring timely notification, or change the definition of covert action so that Congress would be kept in the dark on critical intelligence matters, it will not be acceptable.

We need to reach an agreement on 48-hour notification. At a minimum, we must not weaken current statutes.

We must put into law what has in fact been traditional practice between the administration and Congress. But this practice was violated in the Iran-Contra affair and the country suffered. We must ensure such abuses do not occur again by making sure that:

Congress is informed before covert action is initiated;

The Intelligence Committees receive written copies of Presidential findings;

Findings are not issued retroactively for covert operations that have already begun;

In the rare instances when prior notice is not possible, timely notification should be a matter of days, not months.

Though oversight provisions are not included in the legislation which we will consider today, I want my colleagues to know that if the Senate insists on weakening current law, we will fight for an agreement in conference which will actually strengthen and preserve the oversight role of the Intelligence Committees.

Mr. Speaker, H.R. 1455 authorizes funds for all intelligence and intelligence-related activities of the U.S. Government for fiscal year 1991.

Except for the oversight provisions--which have been put aside for now--the bill is similar in all respects to last year's authorization bill which was overwhelmingly adopted by the House.

House Resolution 136 is an open rule providing for 1 hour of general debate. The rule provides that the Select Intelligence Committee amendments now printed in the bill will be considered as adopted as original text for purposes of amendment.

The bill will be considered by titles. The rule waives all points of order against consideration of the bill and provides one motion to recommit.

This is an open rule and a fair rule, permitting any Member to offer an amendment that is germane.

I urge my colleagues to support House Resolution 136.

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[TIME: 1430]

Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

Mr. McEWEN. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 7 minutes.

Mr. Speaker, it is indeed a pleasure to rise not just to support this particular rule, but to express gratitude to the leadership of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, the committee chairman, the gentleman from Oklahoma [Mr. McCurdy], along with the ranking member, the gentleman from Pennsylvania [Mr. Shuster], for they deserve commendation on requesting an open rule. Likewise, I commend my colleagues on the Rules Committee, particularly Chairman Moakley, as well as the ranking member, the gentleman from New York [Mr. Solomon], for granting the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence's request by proposing this open rule.

In this, the People's House, open debate is essential to democracy, and I hope and trust that the leaders of the other committees will take note of Mr. McCurdy's leadership and follow suit by requesting open rules such as that that allow the people's Representatives to fully air their differences and not just cast votes to settle those differences.

Mr. McCurdy and Mr. Shuster deserve our gratitude for requesting an open rule, and they deserve our gratitude for drafting a clean bill, a bill that avoids many of the controversies that led President Bush to veto the Intelligence Authorization Act passed last year.

My colleagues will probably recall the concerns that the President expressed with provisions of that bill which sought to define the term `covert action' to include any request by the United States to a foreign government to conduct an effort on behalf of our Nation.

Further, there was concern over the bill's report language which sought to dictate to the President how quickly he must report to the Congress on such request. Of course, we understand the consternation this causes some, and indeed we are reminded of the frustration that this body experienced with its commitment to the Sandinista government. And what we have seen of late is a frustration that people feel when they see democracy triumph over tryanny and indeed to suggest to those who are fighting for their independence in Central America, trying to bring democratic principles to the fore, now to see it all go by the boards as they are successful in overwhelming the tyranny that was taking hold there, there is indeed a frustration for those who invested so much time and effort in the Sandinista government.

I remember specifically being in a meeting just down one floor from here with the leadership of this body in which the Sandinista, Marxist, Communist revolutionaries were invading their neighbor governments, and after the intelligence information had been looked over, and after the report from the State Department officials as to the fact that they were in their neighboring country and they had violated international law, and after the effort had been made, indeed the leadership of this House reached in his pocket and pulled out an envelope in which he said, `Well, I have been speaking with the intelligence experts of the Communist revolutionary Sandinista government, and they have assured us that if there were any intrusions into the neighboring country that it was inadvertent and accidental.'

I would remind the folks that the border between Honduras and Nicaragua is a river, and people do not accidentally and inadvertently cross a river. But nevertheless, they did. And the suggestion was from those who had vested so much time and commitment to that Communist government that the United States should not act. And fortunately in that case Ronald Reagan, the President of the United States, did act. He sent the 82d Airborne immediately, and four of ous colleagues from the House went down there and set our feet on the location where the invading Communist forces from Nicaragua were invading their neighbors. And we could see that when the word had come that the United States had taken an interest in defending the independence of Honduras, that those Marxist revolutionaries had run

back across the river. They had dropped their bags, they had dropped their weapons, they had dropped their Soviet supplies, and dashed across the river again.

That is the kind of concern that there was, a frustration between democracy triumphed in Nicaragua and for those who had done everything in their power to see that the Sandinistas survived, there was a frustration on their part from the commitment of the Reagan administration and those who wanted to see liberty live in Central America.

I am convinced the President was right in making sure that in decisions with neighboring countries that he should be allowed to make those without first checking with the congressional committees. His veto was proper on those grounds, and indeed successful operations that have been carried out in recent days in Operation Desert Storm prove the President's wisdom in not allowing his office to be unduly restricted by unnecessary reporting deadlines.

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[TIME: 1440]

Mr. Speaker, I am convinced that the Intelligence Committee leadership chose wisely in bringing this bill before us without including those offensive sections that would have been a source of friction between the legislative and executive branches. Indeed, that wise restraint has served to increase the chance that a mutually acceptable solution can emerge.

Indeed, there is concern by many folks, certainly those in the intelligence community, as to how much information can be shared with the Congress of the United States. I am reminded of the time that our neighbors to the north wished to engage in intelligence activities with us but would only do it with a commitment from the President that they would not inform the Congress lest the Congress share that information with the newspapers, and their personal agenda versus the Nation's agenda would be furthered.

Mr. Speaker, I think one of the reasons we could correct that concern would be if we had the same secrecy oath apply to members of the Intelligence Committee that also applies to the Secretary of Defense, that also applies to the members of the intelligence community and applies to those who come before the committee.

The chairman of the Intelligence Committee has placed a very wise restraint on those testifying to remind them of the solemnity of the facts with which they are dealing in the Intelligence Committee. The chairman, the gentleman from Oklahoma [Mr. McCurdy], has instituted within this Congress a request that those testifying before the committee, that they swear an oath not to violate the secrets that they are sharing.

I cannot help but think that if the members sitting behind the table were to take the same oath and express the same solemnity that the chairman, the gentleman from Oklahoma [Mr. McCurdy], requests of those testifying that it would make a quantum leap forward in respect not only for this Congress but certainly for the intelligence oversight committee.

I would conclude by saying this, that the gentleman from California [Mr. Beilenson], the chairman who just stepped down last January after 7 years on the committee, and I was privileged to serve on the committee with him, said that he felt that the CIA and the administration had been more than forthcoming with the committee and `had followed both the letter and the spirit of the law' when he stepped down.

I think that the time for cooperation and trust with out Nation's secrets are in order. The rule before us is an open rule, and I commend it to my colleagues.

Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

Mr. BONIOR. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume to the gentleman from California [Mr. Edwards].

(Mr. EDWARDS of California asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

Mr. EDWARDS of California. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding me this time.

Mr. Speaker, I rise in reluctant opposition to the bill. The gentleman from Oklahoma, the chairman of the Intelligence Committee, has worked very hard to bring this legislation to the floor and we are all indebted to him for his leadership.

But I have to vote against the bill because, once again, we are turning over to the President powers that he does not have under the Constitution and that he should not have as a matter of sound policy.

The bill passed by the Congress last year said that the President could not circumvent the checks and balances of the oversight process by getting private parties or third countries to perform covert operations without informing Congress. It did not say the President couldn't use surrogates. It merely said he had to inform Congress. The CIA and the White House were aware of this provision and led the Congress to believe that the President would sign the bill. After we adjourned, ideologues in the White House, with their exaggerated notion of Presidential power and their disrespect for the notion of checks and balances, urged the President to veto that bill, and he did. The bill before us drops the offending passage.

Mr. Speaker, is our memory that short? Did we learn nothing from the Iran-Contra scandal? One of the central elements of that affair was the use of private parties and third countries to carry out covert operations that the President was barred by law from undertaking. The purpose of the provision in last year's bill was simply to make it clear that the President could not use surrogates to accomplish what he was legally prohibited from doing directly.

Let us remember that covert actions are constitutionally suspect in the first place. To the extent they are secret wars, I believe they are clearly unconstitutional. I believe they should be subject to tighter controls that now exist. I cannot vote for a bill that gives the President a loophole for carrying out secret operations without even informing Congress.

Mr. McEwen. Mr. Speaker, I yield 8 minutes to the gentleman from New York [Mr. Solomon], the distinguished minority member of the Committee on Rules.

Mr. SOLOMON. Mr. Speaker, prefacing my remarks, let me just respond to the gentleman from Michigan [Mr. Bonior].

We need to point out that the gentleman from Michigan [Mr. Bonior] is a chief deputy whip of the Democratic Party. The gentleman from Michigan [Mr. Bonior] is a more liberal member of the Democratic Party on that side of the aisle. They are the ones who seem to control the Democratic Party. They gave us candidates like Michael Dukakis and George McGovern, and I think that it needs to be said that all Democrats are not that way. There are a lot of good conservative Democrats like Sam Stratton, who served here for many years, and there are many more; I could go down the line.

Mr. Speaker, American foreign policy has worked. It has worked well, and that was proven the other day. We had the privilege to see democracy at work around the world when Violeta Chamorro came and stood where you stand, Mr. Speaker, and addressed a joint session of this Congress. Democracy is breaking out all over this world, not just in the Warsaw Pact countries, not just in the Baltic States, throughout the Soviet Union, but all over this world, whether it be Africa, Central America, all over. Thank God for Ronald Reagan and thank God for George Bush. So much for the left-wing of the Democratic Party.

In response to the statements made by my good friend, the gentleman from Michigan, let me just read this statement:

Congress currently has in place effective tools for conducting oversight of the operation of our intelligence activities.

Who said that? Our good friend, the gentleman from California [Mr. Beilenson], the immediate past chairman of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

Mr. Speaker, when did he say that? Only 6 months ago, the last time this bill came before this House.

What the gentleman from Michigan has done is to dredge up ancient history.

I will conclude by quoting the gentleman from California [Mr. Beilenson] one more time:

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The current administration shares our goals * * * We have a higher level, a greater amount of mutual trust now than there has been at any time in 13 or more years that these committees have been in existence and have had relationships with one Chief Executive or another.

That statement, by one of the most respected Members of this House, speaks for itself, and it says a lot about the Bush administration.

Mr. BONIOR. Mr. Speaker, will the gentleman yield?

Mr. SOLOMON. I am happy to yield to the gentleman from Michigan.

Mr. BONIOR. Mr. Speaker, on that point, when was that statement that my friend read about my good friend, the gentleman from California [Mr. Beilenson], that wonderful chairman that we had of the committee?

Mr. SOLOMON. I think it was October 17, 1990. Here is the Congressional Record.

Mr. BONIOR. Let me ask the gentleman another question. If it was October 17, 1990, was it before or after the President led the gentleman from California [Mr. Beilenson] and the committee to believe that that bill was going to be signed into law?

Mr. SOLOMON. I think it was obviously before.

Mr. BONIOR. It was obviously before, and then the President vetoed the bill.

Mr. SOLOMON. Mr. Speaker, let me at this time thank the leadership of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence for requesting an open rule on this piece of vital legislation.

It is kind of ironic that on a matter of intelligence we are being offered an open rule when we need perhaps some selectivity. Nevertheless, we do deeply appreciate it on this side of the aisle.

During the consideration of this bill, I will be supporting an amendment by our good friend, the gentleman from Ohio [Mr. McEwen], that calls for all Members and all staff of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence to take oaths of secrecy. I would hope that we could expand that to every Member of Congress and every staff member who works for this Congress. However, that is not germane to the issue here today.

I will be supporting this amendment not to impugn the integrity or the patriotism of any Member of Congress, because I am not and would not. Nor will I be supporting this amendment as a way of suggesting that the Intelligence Committee is an important or primary source of leaks, because I am persuaded that it is not. I will be supporting this amendment as a way of reinforcing the idea that Congress has an extraordinary responsibility to protect the sensitive information that is provided to all of us.

If the people who have the primary task of handling this information are subject to an oath of secrecy, their good example should have a positive effect on the entire institution. That is what I am looking for.

There have been examples in the past of secret information that was deliberately, and I repeat, deliberately, leaked by somebody in Congress.

[TIME: 1450]

There are perhaps, even more examples of Members who have inadvertently or unintentionally passed on classified information after closed briefings or hearings. I sat on the Committee on Foreign Affairs for almost a decade, and I saw Member after Member sit through briefings of classified information. Some more inexperienced Members, not knowing the difference, walked out and blabbed to a press conference about classified information. That is what I am seeking to prevent, even though this activity is often unintentional.

I am always on the lookout for ways in which the seriousness of the issues and information with which we are involved can be reinforced. This is one way to reinforce them. The McEwen amendment is certainly, I think, going to do that.

If a noted civil libertarian like Benjamin Franklin saw nothing wrong with members of the appropriate committee in the Continental Congress having to sign oaths of secrecy concerning the sensitive information they were handling, why should we see something wrong with it? I certainly do not.

Also, I would like to say that I will be offering an amendment to the intelligence authorization bill that will subject members of the Central Intellignece Agency to random drug testing. They do not have to do that at the present time. This amendment was accepted by the committee last year. I would hope that we could not only attach it to this legislation, but to all bills for all departments of the Federal Government, to set an example to the private sector that something has to be done about casual drug use in this country. About 75 percent of all drug use today is carried on by people who simply think they are not harming society by snorting a little cocaine or puffing a little marijuana. We need to stop that by people who work in the Federal Government. We can do it by enacting my amendment later on.

I would appreciate the support of all Members for the amendment.

Mr. McEWEN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 4 minutes to the gentleman from Pennsylvania [Mr. Gekas].

(Mr. GEKAS asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

Mr. GEKAS. Mr. Speaker, I want to add my voice to the tumultuous voices of those who are describing the bill that the President vetoed last session.

It is my understanding, confirmed in several different ways, that had the bill been enacted into law and not vetoed, Desert Shield and Desert Storm would have been totally different from, and flawed to the extent that perhaps those excellently concluded missions would not have ended in victory for the coalition.

The wording of that original bill, had it not been vetoed, would have hampered American intelligence efforts on a dozen different fronts, including in the diplomatic and military portions of Desert Shield and Desert Storm.

I asked for special reports in that regard, and I am convinced, as I have said, that that is so. I would hesitate to make that an issue as to what is now going to occur in this particular debate. I think we should move on with that being part of the history of Desert Shield/Desert Storm.

Mr. McCURDY. Mr. Speaker, will the gentleman yield?

Mr. GEKAS. I yield to the gentleman from Oklahoma.

Mr. McCURDY. Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the gentleman yielding. I rise only to say that I think it is important to state for the record perhaps a clarification. The gentleman may have some information that is unavailable to the Chair. However, I would submit that I have not heard any testimony, any relevant testimony, in relation to the statement that the gentleman has just made, that would indicate that the language contained in last year's bill, which was vetoed, would in any way have altered the performance in the Persian Gulf in any respect.

I am not doing this to put the gentleman on the spot in any way. I just wanted to state for the record, since the gentleman raised that point, that it is my impression and understanding in discussions before the committee, that that language had no bearing whatsover on the operations in the gulf.

Mr. GEKAS. Mr. Speaker, I want to assert to the gentleman from Oklahoma [Mr. McCurdy] No. 1, that I will share the briefing information that I have received on that point; No. 2, the question did not come up during, as I recall, the particular briefings on that question. This came about as the request that I made afterwards, and therefore, I am glad to share this information.

However, I am convinced, I repeat, that the veto came at an appropriate time in American history, because it allowed the magnificent exercise of American power and coalition power in Desert Shield and Desert Storm.

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Mr. McCURDY. Mr. Speaker, if the gentleman will continue to yield, again, since I directly inquired of the Director of Central Intelligence on that point in the hearing, under oath, I think it is important to raise that obviously I would like to see the information the gentleman has proffered.

At the same time, as best as I can report today in an unclassified setting, that is obviously not my impression. I say that also as one who was strongly in favor of the action in the gulf and supported it, and reviewed, over time, much of our operations.

Again, I appreciate the gentleman for his comments, but I could not allow that to pass without at least stating my concern.

Mr. GEKAS. I do not consider it a challenge. I consider it an opportunity to share information.

What I am asserting here is not revealing any classified information, but simply the aura of what occurred, before and during Desert Shield and Desert Storm.

Mr. McEWEN. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 6 additional minutes to be joined in a colloquy. But first I would like to be allowed to read, if I may, from the unclassified report from the committee minority views of the ranking member, the gentleman from Pennsylvania [Mr. Shuster], the gentleman from Texas [Mr. Combest), the gentleman from California [Mr. Dornan], the gentleman from Florida [Mr. Young], the gentleman from New York [Mr. Martin], and the gentleman from Pennsylvania [Mr. Gekas]. This report says:

Experiences in Desert Shield and Desert Storm reemphasized the importance of not classifying traditional military activities as covert actions, particularly sensitive traditional military activities undertaken in anticipation of hostilities to ensure the success of the operation and save lives. The Department of Defense is concerned that, in light of those experiences, some possible types of clandestine advanced force, strategic deceptions, and pyschological operations had not been taken fully into account in crafting the conference report language explaining the scope of `traditional military activities' exempted from the definition of `covert action'. Department of Defense feared that without modifications of that report language some of these clandestine military operational support activities would be unintentionally covered by the covert action oversight requirements this could potentially interfere with the President's commander-in-chief responsibilities.

Mr. SHUSTER. Mr. Speaker, will the gentleman yield?

Mr. McEWEN. I yield to the gentleman from Pennsylvania.

Mr. SHUSTER. Mr. Speaker, I would like to add some illumination to this particular point.

Originally, my understanding was the same as the chairman's. However, in December in the Persian Gulf a high-level official did inform some Members that had this law been in effect, it could indeed have hampered our activities. I have changed my views based on that information from December. However, up until that point, my understanding had been exactly the same as the chairman's.

Mr. McEWEN. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman.

Mr. GEKAS. Mr. Speaker, will the gentleman yield?

Mr. McEWEN. I yield to the gentleman from Pennsylvania.

Mr. GEKAS. Mr. Speaker, I would like to consult with the chairman and the ranking member to see if we can make this what I am talking about, a part of our official record in committee, or at the summit.

Mr. McCURDY. Mr. Speaker, will the gentleman yield?

Mr. McEWEN. I yield to the gentleman from Oklahoma.

Mr. McCURDY. Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the gentleman yielding.

I will state that obviously we welcome any information that members of the committee have. As to the point the gentleman from Ohio raised, that he read, and my friend from Pennsylvania [Mr. Shuster] also raised, it is my understanding, regardless of the activities that may or may not have occurred which I am not aware of or would be privileged to divulge anyway, the language in the bill last year would only have required that the administration inform the Committee on Intelligence of activities that may or may not have been conducted.

[TIME: 1500]

It would not have prohibited the administration from understanding any kinds of operations that are vital to national security.

Mr. SHUSTER. Mr. Speaker, will the gentleman yield?

Mr. McEWEN. I yield to the gentleman from Pennsylvania.

Mr. SHUSTER. Mr. Speaker, I would point out to my good friend that while that would have been the legal requirement, we know of specific situations in the past, particularly the Iran hostage situation, in which the Canadians required that their cooperation not be disclosed to the Congress as a basis for their helping extricate the Americans who were hidden in the Canadian Embassy in Tehran; so it is quite conceivable that our allies did not want any of this information shared.

Mr. McCURDY. Mr. Speaker, will the gentleman yield?

Mr. McEWEN. I am just about out of time, and I have some profound statements to make.

Mr. McCURDY. Mr. Speaker, if the gentleman will yield for just 1 quick minute, and if necessary we can perhaps get some additional time.

Mr. McEWEN. I yield to the gentleman from Oklahoma.

Mr. McCURDY. As my colleague, the gentleman from Pennsylvania knows, in those instances where security in the mind of the administration is at such a critical stage and perhaps national security could be jeopardized that there is provision that allows the President to delay if he deems that essential reporting to the Congress; so although that may have been the case vis-a-vis the hostages, I do not believe that would have been the case in the gulf today.

Mr. McEWEN. Mr. Speaker, I would only conclude by leaving off as I began, and that is by commending the chairman of the Intelligence Committee and the ranking member for not including this obviously very contentious section that mere mention of it or reference to it causes great concern to this body. Those who have dedicated their lives and lived in daily risk of exposure and having their lives snuffed out in the effort to maintain freedom on this planet is a very, very sacred responsibility. Those of us who have been privileged to serve on the Intelligence Committee, some of us concluded, as the gentleman from Illinois [Mr. Hyde] has, that perhaps having two of these committees is excessively risky to the Intelligence Committee, that there should be one, that this constant rotation is also putting them at risk.

I would just say this in reference to the 1992 bill, that the President has a different perception as to what is being said in the language that has been exercised in this bill. I am hopeful that this quality legislation that is before us and this open rule that is on the floor will be passed overwhelmingly, and I also encourage the chairman not to bring this very dangerous legislation before us in the 1992 bill, because not only is the President firm, but many of us are very much convinced that any communications between our military and international military must first be given to the Congress for its full airing and debate.

We know of the leaks that have taken place. We know of Members of Congress who have been asked to step down from the Intelligence Committee, for reason, and that therefore when freedom is at risk and lives are at stake that we should give confidence to those who are willing to take an oath of secrecy and those who are willing to put their lives on the line and not expose them to unnecessary exposure from those in the political end of the legislative branch.

With that, I urge support for the rule.

Mr. BONIOR. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Speaker, the previous speaker has mentioned that the mere mention of this section causes great concern in this body, and it should cause great concern. We have not dealt in an official capacity in this Chamber with the abuses that occurred in the so-called Iran-Contra affair, an affair which came very, very close to toppling the Government of the United States, a Government which was headed by a Member of a party to which I do not belong.

Mr. Speaker, these are very serious questions and we have to face them, and we will face them. We will either face them in conference or we will face them in the 1992 bill or we will face them in some other important piece of legislation that is needed for an orderly process of our foreign policy in this country today.

This Government in which we are all proud to be a part, this Government under which we all live is for all purposes a democracy. In a democracy you are not able to have all the time all the secrets that you want. I believe in the responsibility of the Intelligence Committee in keeping secrets that we swore to when we took the oath and I will live up to that responsibility; but let it not go forward from this body today, as has been alluded to just a few seconds ago, that leaks on intelligence come from just Members of this body or of the other body. Everyone knows well that leaks come from the administration. So let us not lay the blame for national security risks and problems on Members of this institution, who I believe have had a commendable record of protecting the integrity of the secrets of this great Nation of ours.

Mr. Speaker, let me also say that I think the argument that was raised a second ago by my dear friends, and they are my dear friends, we have disagreements on some of these issues, but they are my friends and they believe in the principles that I believe in terms of openness and democracy, that the country of Canada, our neighbor, would try and persuade our leadership that openness would not be in our best traditions with respect to the occurrences in regard to the Middle East. That is a preposterous statement to make.

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Mr. SHUSTER. Mr. Speaker, will the gentleman yield?

Mr. BONIOR. I yield to the gentleman from Pennsylvania.

Mr. SHUSTER. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman, because I tell the gentleman that I personally spoke with the top intelligence officer who dealt with the Canadian Government during the Iranian hostage crisis and indeed that precisely was what the Canadian Government told us, so it is not preposterous, I say to my friend. It is fact.

Mr. BONIOR. It is preposterous for an intelligence officer in a democracy, a neighbor of ours, to tell us, to suggest to us as Members of this body that we are not privy or should not be privy to instruments of intelligence that affect this country in policies that we have to act on through appropriations or through authorizations that occur overseas, especially in the Middle East. I will not accept that, and I do not care if it is from an intelligence officer from Kuwait or from Canada.

Mr. SHUSTER. Mr. Speaker, will the gentleman yield?

Mr. BONIOR. I yield to the gentleman from Pennsylvania.

Mr. SHUSTER. I would also point out, Mr. Speaker, that we had testimony, open testimony in our committee from the top people in the agency that indeed this was precisely the case. Canada said they could not cooperate because lives were involved, Canadian lives were involved, American lives were involved, and that information should be withheld. Those are facts. The gentleman may not like the facts, but those are facts.

Mr. BONIOR. Well, of course, lives are involved. Lives are involved in many foreign policy issues we are engaged in here. That does not mean every time lives are involved that a foreign policy issue, if a foreign government tells us that the Congress of the United States which is elected by the people of this country----

Mr. SHUSTER. Mr. Speaker, will the gentleman yield?

Mr. BONIOR. I will not yield. I will yield when I am finished with my statement, because I respect the gentleman's opinion and I am interested in listening to it; but that does not suggest that when this body which is responsible to the American people has to make decisions on appropriations and authorizations and whether to commit your sons or daughters to battle, whether a select group of people who were commissioned to sit on the Intelligence Committee has a compromise with the administration some 13 years ago, we have a right to know.

Mr. SHUSTER. Mr. Speaker will the gentleman now yield?

Mr. BONIOR. Of course, I yield to the gentleman from Pennsylvania.

Mr. SHUSTER. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman. The gentleman's position, therefore, would have permitted those six Americans who were being hidden in Tehran to have been turned over to the Iranian Government, indeed those six Americans would have been murdered as the result of following the kind of policies which the gentleman is advocating today.

Mr. BONIOR. It would have done no such thing. The gentleman is suggesting that he does not trust his leaders. He does not trust his leader on that side. He does not trust the Speaker. He does not trust the minority leader in the Senate.

[TIME: 1510]

And that is what the law says. The law is clear on notification of leadership members in this body on intelligence matters that relate to serious problems, as the one the gentleman has just described.

Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

Mr. McEWEN. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

I would only say in conclusion that as I said, it is a good rule, it is a good bill. I hope we do not bring this up again in 1992, because there are those who are committed to making sure lives should be protected when at risk on our national secrets. There is an amendment to be proposed. It says:

I will not directly or indirectly disclose to any unauthorized person any classified information received in the course of my duties on the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence except with the formal approval of the proper committees of the House.

So, Mr. Speaker, I would say to you that if those members of the committee are unwilling to take that oath, then governments that refuse to cooperate with us have at least some justification for their fears. And if they are willing to say boldly as the witnesses have said before the committee that they will not violate the oath, if members of the committee are willing to do that, it would be very, very helpful to those other nations that have lost confidence, and indeed many of the people of the United States that are losing confidence in this House and in this body, as a source of keeping our national secrets.

With that, I urge that we vote.

Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

Mr. BONIOR. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the distinguished chairman of the committee, the gentleman from Oklahoma [Mr. McCurdy].

Mr. McCURDY. I thank the gentleman for yielding.

I was going to do this during debate on the bill, but I want to state to my colleague from Ohio that perhaps he has misspoken to the extent that the rules of the committee and the application of the rules that I have applied as far as taking testimony under oath merely requires that the testimony be the truth. It is not a requirement that the administration officials or anyone else who testifies--and it is a flat rule in any hearing--whoever testifies does so under oath. It is not an oath of secrecy, it is an oath merely stating what they testify is the truth and the complete truth.

Mr. McEWEN. Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.

Mr. BONIOR. Mr. Speaker, this has been an enjoyable and an interesting debate. It is with great pleasure that I yield back the balance of my time and move the previous question on the resolution.

The previous question was ordered.

The resolution was agreed to.

A motion to reconsider was laid on the table.