Mr. COMBEST. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.
Mr. Chairman, I want to say initially that I am in total agreement with the gentleman's intent, that I share his concerns and voted for provisions in H.R. 7 of last year that would have substantially improved the process by which intelligence could be shared with the United Nations.
Unfortunately, those restrictions did not become law, and I still support the idea of requiring that to the appropriate committees of Congress, that any information which is shared with the United Nations commanders must be provided to the Congress for oversight.
I am concerned, and our committee spent a good deal of time over the last year following some recognition of some problems in pursuing those to make certain that there was no loss of sources or methods in some of them mishandling of classified information, and we have a very strong concern.
Let me mention two areas of concern that I have in regards to the gentleman's amendment that I certainly do not presume in any shape, form or fashion would be intentional. But let me mention two areas of real concern that I have, in which I am concerned that the amendment as offered by the gentleman from Kansas [Mr. Brownback] in its current form would have.
One is in the area of providing and sharing intelligence in which U.S. troops are involved. That would be that we would be prohibited in certain instances by a basic prenotification, that we could not share intelligence with NATO forces in any area in which U.S. troops were involved, and consequently could potentially put them into greater harm. In addition to that, in certain instances that would require prenotification that might not be possible in a timely fashion.
I will give you an example in which Captain O'Grady was shot down. That information through the processes of determining the fact that there were surface to air missiles that were in a location that had not previously been determined, literally came down to a matter of minutes, in which we may have been able to be aware of that, but not been able to share that with U.N. forces in the area that they would have been able to get that information to Captain O'Grady.
Those concerns in a real timely fashion I believe were legitimate, and I have an amendment to the Brownback amendment that I would submit, Mr. Chairman, that would in fact allow a broader authority for sharing of intelligence when it goes to support U.N. forces in which the United States is a participant, and, secondly, to allow a waiver for emergency situations involving imminent risk to U.S. lives, in which case the President would have to report to Congress as to the specific details of that waiver.
Mr. COMBEST. Mr. Chairman, I offer an amendment as a substitute for the amendment.
The Clerk read as follows:
Amendment offered by Mr. Combest as a substitute for the amendment offered by Mr. Brownback: At the end of title III, the following new section:
SEC. 306. RESTRICTIONS ON INTELLIGENCE SHARING WITH THE UNITED NATIONS.
(a) In General: The National Security Act of 1947 (50 U.S.C. 401 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end of title I, the following new section:
`Sec. 110. (a) Provision of Intelligence Information to the United Nations: (1) No United States intelligence information may be provided to the United Nations or any organization affiliated with the United Nations, or to any officials or employees thereof, unless the President certifies to the appropriate committees of Congress that the Director of Central Intelligence , in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense, has established and implemented procedures, and has worked with the United Nations to ensure implementation of procedures, for protecting from unauthorized disclosure United States intelligence sources and methods connected to such information.
`(2) Paragraph (1) may be waived upon written certification by the President to the appropriate committees of Congress that providing such information to the United Nations or an organization affiliated with the United Nations, or to any officials or employees thereof, is in the national security interests of the United States.
`(b) Periodic and Special Reports.--(1) The President shall report semiannually to the appropriate committees of Congress on the types and volume of intelligence provided to the United Nations and the purposes for which it was provided during the period covered by the report. The President shall also report to the appropriate committees of Congress within 15 days after it has become known to the United States Government that there has been an unauthorized disclosure of intelligence provided by the United States to the United Nations.
`(2) The requirement for periodic reports under the first sentence of paragraph (1) shall not apply to the provision of intelligence that is provided only to, and for the use of, appropriately cleared United States Government personnel serving with the United Nations.
`(c) Delegation of Duties.--The President may not delegate or assign the duties of the President under this section.
`(d) Relationship to Existing Law.--Nothing in this section shall be construed to--
`(1) impair or otherwise affect the authority of the Director of Central Intelligence to protect intelligence sources and methods from unauthorized disclosure pursuant to section 103(c)(5); or
`(2) supersede or otherwise affect the provisions of title V.
`(e) Definition.--As used in this section, the term `appropriate committees of Congress' means the Committee on Foreign Relations and the Select Committee on Intelligence of the Senate and the Committee on Foreign Relations and the Permanent Select Committee on Foreign Relations and the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence of the House of Representatives.'
`(b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of contents for the National Security Act of 1947 is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 109 the following:
`Sec. 110. Restrictions on intelligence sharing with the United Nations.'.
Mr. COMBEST (during the reading). Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous consent that the amendment offered as a substitute for the amendment be considered as read and printed in the Record.
The CHAIRMAN. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from Texas?
There was no objection.
Mr. COMBEST. Mr. Chairman, I will only reiterate the substitute that I will be offering to the Brownback amendment would provide those two caveats, one for the allowance of intelligence sharing, broader authority for allowance of intelligence sharing when it goes to supporting U.N. forces in which the United States is a participant, and the second to allow a waiver for emergency situations that involve imminent risk to U.S. lives, in which case the President would have to report to Congress the details of that waiver.
Mr. DICKS. Mr. Chairman, I rise in very strong support of the Combest substitute and urge its adoption.
Mr. TIAHRT. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.
Mr. Chairman, this is not specifically addressed to the amendment that is being offered by the gentleman from Texas [Mr. Combest]. I want to speak in favor of the legislation because I am very concerned about how the United Nations has mismanaged not only classified information but other financial matters that they have gotten, and I am speaking specifically to Cambodia, where they lost some $20 million plus worth of equipment that has just disappeared.
We are not just talking about hardware here, we are talking about classified information and the inability of the United Nations to handle that information in a prudent fashion.
Before I came to the Congress, I worked for the Boeing company, and I worked in classified areas where top-secret documents were stored and handled and even developed. We were under very strict guidelines. And if I look at what has happened in Somalia, as pointed out by Senator Snowe, if similar occurrences had occurred in the work environment that I was working under, it would have resulted in a certain loss of job and a potential prosecution under U.S. law.
Because we are giving classified information to the United Nations, they do not fall under the same guidelines, the same legal restrictions that we have here in the United States. This information can be passed on or lost or stolen and can fall into the wrong hands.
I share the concerns of the gentleman from Texas [Mr. Combest] for situations where we have U.S. troops in critical situations and that there may be a sudden need to share locations of anti-aircraft missile sites, but when we look at the general trend that goes on in the United Nations when they handle information of this classified nature, they do not have the proper guidelines. They do not follow the common sense criteria that we have laid out in the United States.
Mr. Chairman, I have risen in strong support of the amendment of the gentleman from Kansas, Representative Brownback, because I believe there needs to be some confidence on the part of the United States that when it does share information that was gained at a very high cost in terms of expensive satellite systems or in developmental hardware or in a high cost to taxpayers, that it not fall into the hands of people who could use it against the very people that paid for the information; that it could go against the best interests of this country, whether it is military purposes or social purposes or political purposes or whatever.
I think it is important that this type of information be guarded; that there be a high degree of responsibility in making sure that it is only narrow in its scope; that it is directed specifically for an instance, and that broad-based intelligence, classified intelligence information is not shared for unnecessary purposes.
Mr. Chairman, I do not see those guidelines around. So I think the Brownback amendment is certainly a step in the right direction and I would stand in support of the Brownback amendment.
Mr. CHABOT. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of words.
(Mr. CHABOT asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)
Mr. CHABOT. Mr. Chairman, I rise in strong support of the amendment offered by my good friend, fellow freshmen, and thoughtful colleague on the International Relations Committee the gentleman from Kansas [Mr. Brownback].
This amendment would prohibit the sharing of U.S. intelligence information with the United Nations or any of its affiliates unless the President certifies to Congress that the U.N. organization has implemented the proper CIA, Defense Department, and State Department procedures to ensure that U.S. intelligence sources and methods are protected.
It is a good amendment. It was passed by both Houses earlier this year as part of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act--a bill that was unfortunately, and I believe wisely, vetoed by President Clinton. We can rectify some of the damage done by that veto if we adopt the Brownback amendment today.
Mr. Chairman, I can see no logical reason why anyone would want to oppose this amendment. The United Nations is not known for its sympathy to American interests. And when sharing our intelligence data, we must be extremely careful. The Brownback amendment protects that data, protects our intelligence sources, and protects our intelligence methods. I urge my colleagues to support it.
Mr. BROWNBACK. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of words.
Mr. Chairman, I want to engage, if I could, in a bit of a dialog with the chairman of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence , the gentleman from Texas [Mr. Combest], on his amendment to my amendment.
As I understand from his discussion of this amendment, he would maintain the majority of the bill that we have put forward, as far as the concerns that we have of the loose treatment of intelligence information by the United Nations of U.S. intelligence information.
That is maintained; is that correct?
Mr. COMBEST. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?
Mr. BROWNBACK. I yield to the gentleman from Texas.
Mr. COMBEST. Mr. Chairman, the gentleman is correct.
Mr. BROWNBACK. Mr. Chairman, reclaiming my time, the gentleman is attempting here to get at particularly the issue of when we are engaged in a particular theater that that information can be shared on that theater of operations, not just on a specific instance by instance?
Mr. COMBEST. My concern would be, for example, we can take the UNPROFOR forces, where the United States is a part of that operation; requiring a prior approval on each case-by-case basis might not be able to be done in a timely fashion.
If it is required that there be a waiver or that that be reported to Congress as a theater, the American forces involved with UNPROFOR in Bosnia, that would certainly be something I would support.
It is the individual case, in which in a timely manner prior approval could not be given, just simply because there was not enough time that existed prior to the need to share that information for protection of American lives, either be it a single situation, such as Captain O'Grady, or U.S. forces that might be involved in a situation where we became aware of something that was fixing to happen or was going to happen in a very short order but there was not time for the President to actually get engaged and to grant the waiver prior to the time that action had to be taken.
Those are the concerns I have. And in those instances, I would try to protect in my substitute that the appropriate committees of Congress would have to be notified that, in fact, that waiver was granted and could then make their own determination about whether or not it, in fact, qualified.
Mr. BROWNBACK. Mr. Chairman, our amendment had put forward particular safeguarding procedures to try to encourage there to be an agreement between the United States and the United Nations on any sort of sharing of information and that we tighten up that procedure.
Those are maintained, as I understand it, in the amendment that the gentleman has put forward.
Mr. COMBEST. Mr. Chairman, I support the idea of requiring an agreement to be made. That may not be true of every member of the committee, but I certainly do support that.
Mr. BROWNBACK. Mr. Chairman, with that, I have no objections to the amendment.
Mr. DICKS. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of words. We accept the amendment. I commend the gentleman. I think he has made the right decision here. He is moving the ball forward, and we are just as concerned as he is about making sure that U.S. intelligence is secured properly. I think by accepting the Combest amendment we can make progress because of his initiative. I urge support for the amendment.
The CHAIRMAN. The question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Texas [Mr. Combest] as a substitute for the amendment offered by the gentleman from Kansas [Mr. Brownback].
The amendment offered as a substitute for the amendment was agreed to.
The CHAIRMAN. The question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Kansas [Mr. Brownback], as amended.
The amendment, as amended, was agreed to.