Mr. GOSS. Mr. Speaker, pursuant to the unanimous consent agreement of October 30, 1997 I call up the conference report on the Senate bill (S. 858) to authorize appropriations for fiscal year 1998 for intelligence and intelligence-related activities of the United States Government, the Community Management Account, and the Central Intelligence Agency Retirement and Disability System, and for other purposes.
The Clerk read the title of the Senate bill.
The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. LaHood). Pursuant to the order of the House of October 30, 1997 the conference report is considered as having been read.
(For conference report and statement, see proceedings of the House of Tuesday, October 28, 1997, at page H9586.)
The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from Florida [Mr. Goss] and the gentleman from Washington [Mr. Dicks] each will control 30 minutes.
The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Florida [Mr. Goss].
Mr. GOSS. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the conference report to accompany the bill (S. 858) that authorizes funds for intelligence and intelligence-related activities, and for other purposes, for fiscal year 1998.
All such conference reports are, Mr. Speaker, as this one is, a compromise that, unfortunately, represents a significant reduction in funding for intelligence activities from our authorization passed by this body in June. But these reductions, when combined with some of the actions we have taken in appropriations, will mean the intelligence community will do without some much needed resources in several areas.
That said, however, this conference report does set the stage for some work we will be doing over the next several years to ensure that this Nation has the intelligence capability it needs. Therefore, I strongly support the passage of this report.
I would like to thank the members of the committee who worked hard to craft this bill, particularly the gentleman from Washington [Mr. Dicks], the ranking member. I appreciate, as well, the fine efforts of our subcommittee chairman and the ranking member, the gentleman from California [Mr. Lewis], and the gentleman from Florida [Mr. McCollum]. In fact, I thank all the members of the committee who played constructive roles throughout this process; and, indeed, that was every member of the committee.
Also, Mr. Speaker, special acknowledgment goes to the members of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence for their cooperation as we came together to make tough decisions on how best to invest in the future of our intelligence community for the benefit of our country.
Of course, there is no way we could be here today without the dedication, professionalism and perseverance of the staffs on both sides of the aisle and on both committees. I say that because we have a good working relationship, it is bipartisan, and bicameral, and it shows.
Finally, some applause most go to the Members and the staffs of the House Committees on National Security and Appropriations for their sustaining cooperation throughout this authorization's legislative journey. It has been a good working relationship and a good product as a result.
Mr. Speaker, this bill could not be more timely. Over the last few days, much time has been spent by Members deliberating very serious issues relating to the future relationship that the United States should have with Russia and with China. Indeed, we will be debating more on China today. Significant questions have been raised regarding these countries' roles in the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, proliferation that could result in placing our Nation at serious risk, thus comprising a direct threat to our national security.
I do not intend to get into the policy side of this debate here today. Whether we decide that sanctions should be imposed or continued on these countries is secondary, but there is a fact here that simply cannot be ignored. As a Nation, we will not be able to gauge the success or failure of our policies or know the threat without an effective intelligence community. We simply have to have the eyes and ears to let us know what is going on.
We are told that there are no Russian missiles aimed at American children as they go to bed at night. Mr. Speaker, how do we know that for sure? How can we make that statement with certainty? How long will it take to retarget such weapons? How can we know how tenuous is the chain of command in the Russian strategic rocket forces? And how are we to catch profiteers trying to steal and sell suitcase nukes, if indeed they exist? And how are we to uncover and disrupt the secret nuclear weapons programs underway in hostile rogue states we read about virtually every day in the paper and see on television every night? The answer to all of these questions is one word, `intelligence.'
And then there is China, Mr. Speaker. We will soon begin the debate again on the certification of China. Hanging in the balance could be United States access to the Chinese nuclear reactor market, reportedly a $50 billion trade opportunity. Or is it an opportunity? To do this, though, we must have confidence that the Chinese have stopped proliferating weapons of mass destruction components, systems and technologies, something that the Chinese President has promised to do. How good is that promise? But how will we know? How will we know that the technology we provide has been secretly diverted to military programs or to rogue regimes? Again the answer is simple, intelligence. Intelligence is what we count on to answer these questions, and we want these questions answered.
Mr. Speaker, weapons proliferation is a sufficiently grave problem for me to argue the need for dynamic intelligence community capabilities. But there are other problems also at play. Terrorism, narcotics, and racketeering are some of the transnational issues we talk about that are endangering our Nation's well-being and for which we must have strong intelligence capability.
Also included in the need for intelligence is its crucial role supporting our military forces, our war fighters, mission one, whether they are deployed for war or for other less well-defined humanitarian or peacekeeping missions where we are doing force protection. Intelligence requirements have grown tremendously and intelligence-related technologies have revolutionized our defense and warfare doctrines.
As we know, it is intelligence that puts the smart in the smart weapons. But it goes well beyond that. Intelligence is the centerpiece of the doctrine of Dominant Battlefield Awareness, which has been endorsed by the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and by our Armed Services.
But, the Defense Department needs to make the hard decision to invest more for intelligence if it truly desires to achieve the capabilities it says it needs to support our forces. I encourage them to take that message during the next year. Indeed, I find it somewhat puzzling that if this is the direction that DOD wants to go, why are there continued efforts to, `tax' defense intelligence agencies and programs even more? Why has the Defense Reform Task Force apparently been talking about significant cuts to defense intelligence, up to 25 percent? That is a big cut. Why are those in the Joint Chiefs' office asking our commands to consider a 10-percent reduction in staffing of joint intelligence billets in the field? These types of actions do not indicate a sense of seriousness on behalf of the DOD that backs up their commitment to intelligence. Giving our war fighters the best possible informational edge is not debatable.
We also need a real commitment from Congress. As we review our intelligence capabilities over the coming year and as we look at next year's budget submission, we must keep in mind that intelligence is a vital part of our Nation's defense, not a cash cow bill-payer for it.
That brings us up to this conference report, Mr. Speaker. Let me be blunt. I do not believe that the intelligence community is sufficiently prepared to meet the demands that are being placed upon it now, much less in the future. In other words, the community simply cannot deliver all that is expected or all that is desired of it today. I think that is a shame. The fact that many forget is that we cannot turn intelligence on and off like a light switch. We cannot treat this like we are cramming for a test on a final exam. It just does not work that way. It takes time to build and maintain the proper capabilities. But that is something we have got to do.
Regardless of how this Nation responds to an issue, whether it is through diplomacy or whether it is law enforcement or whether it is military action, intelligence is the key to success and we simply must have it. Good intelligence, I think as we all know, is better than insurance. It saves lives. It prevents calamities. It heads off those nasty surprises. But like insurance, you have got to have it before the crisis happens. So now we must invest for our future.
In this conference report, we are doing that. We are doing the right thing and making the right choices, though coverage in some areas is admittedly light and I think dangerously light. I encourage my fellow Members to support this conference report.
Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
Mr. DICKS. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume. First of all, I want to commend the gentleman from Florida [Mr. Goss], the chairman of the committee, for the statement that he just gave. I think he hit the nail right on the head. We are not spending enough money today on intelligence. A lot of people in this House think we are spending too much money on intelligence. But I think the gentleman is absolutely right. The cuts that were made unfortunately in the Appropriations Committee, and I am a member of it and take some responsibility for it, I think are too deep and are cuts that we are going to regret because of the consequences within the intelligence community. I commend the gentleman for his statement.
Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the conference report on the intelligence authorization bill. I want to commend again the gentleman from Florida [Mr. Goss] on his leadership in achieving in conference an agreement that addresses many of the reservations I and other Members had with the bill the House considered in July. As I noted then, I believe that changes in the direction of complex activities should be undertaken with a clear understanding of their likely consequences. The conference report takes a more measured approach toward change, particularly in the programs of the National Reconnaissance Office, than did the House bill, and represents in that respect a better product. I want to point out that when you have these very major programs that are crucial to the ability of this country to gather intelligence, our national technical means, stability is required. One thing that we in the Congress have to be very careful about is not causing instability within the NRO. They have got a daunting challenge to modernize our national technical means. I hope that we as a Congress do not make that job more difficult.
I want those who are concerned with the amount of money spent on intelligence programs and activities to be aware that while the measure passed by the House contains slight increases to the amounts requested by the President, and authorized in fiscal year 1997, the size of those increases were reduced in conference. The legislation now before the House is 1.4 percent above last year's authorized level and 0.3 percent above the President's request. I do not consider these increases to be excessive and want to assure my colleagues that the amounts authorized by the conference report are responsive to the legitimate needs of our intelligence agencies to maintain their capabilities to collect, analyze, process and disseminate intelligence.
The bill as reported by the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence contained a provision which would have terminated the Defense Airborne Reconnaissance Office [DARO]. Since the version of the defense authorization bill reported by the House Committee on National Security had a similar provision and that reported by the Senate Committee on Armed Services did not, the matter was reserved for resolution by the defense authorization conference.
As a conferee on that measure, I want to emphasize that the defense authorization conference report does not include the DARO termination recommended by the House. The conference agreement compels no change in DARO nor will it require that DARO cease the exercise of its critical responsibilities for strong oversight of airborne reconnaissance. The conference report does clarify that DARO's role does not include program management or budget execution. It should be understood clearly that this provision does not alter DARO's current role or responsibilities since, Department of Defense officials have stressed, DARO has not, does not and will not manage programs. Instead, all airborne reconnaissance programs are executed by the military services or by the Defense Advance Research Projects Agency [DARPA].
The conference report provides for a review of DARO by the ongoing Defense Reform Task Force, which I support. This task force could well make a recommendation and the Secretary of Defense could decide to place the airborne reconnaissance oversight function in another organizational structure or to alter the manner in which the office reports to senior DOD officials. I have every expectation, however, that the task force and the Secretary will strongly support continuation of a centralized and powerful oversight function at a senior level within the Department.
I would add that I believe that the pursuit of UAVs and airborne reconnaissance are two things that we must continue to work on and strongly support. I believe, having talked to a number of intelligence officers, that UAVs, like Predator, have tremendous potential and that we as a Congress need to do everything we can to support the agencies that are working with these unmanned aerial vehicles. I believe that they have tremendous promise and that we should not back away from them. I know that my colleagues on the other side are as interested in that as we are, but we have got to have stability there as well. If we did away with DARO and if we did away with moving forward with UAVs, what would happen is that we would fall back to the old technologies and not make the breakthroughs that I think are required for the future.
During a colloquy when the House considered the conference report on the Defense Appropriations Act, the gentleman from Florida [Mr. Young] assured me that the reduction to DARO's operating budget reflected in the act was made without prejudice and that the committee would consider a reprogramming request from the Secretary to restore all or part of the funding requested for supporting the airborne reconnaissance oversight function for fiscal year 1998. The defense authorization conference report followed the budgetary allocations of the appropriations conference in this as in most other matters. I hope that the leadership of the other committees which would have to consider a reprogramming for DARO will likewise defer to the judgment of the Secretary of Defense on funding for this activity in fiscal year 1998.
In closing, I want to note an omission from this legislation about which I have great concern and disappointment. One of our primary responsibilities as members of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence is to ensure as best we can that the intelligence agencies have the means by which to conduct their important activities, not just in the short term but for decades into the future as well. I believe the record of the Congress in providing the resources necessary to modernize intelligence capabilities has been excellent, and there are a number of examples of that in this conference report. There is, however, one important area in which a critical investment should have been made, in my judgment, in the bill. Both intelligence committees were willing to provide the required authorization of funds, but the administration, taking a view of the future with which I disagree, refused to commit the necessary resources. I believe we will look back at this missed opportunity with great regret and that those responsible for this decision will have many occasions to wish that they had taken a more far-sighted view of the intelligence needs of the next century.
Mr. Speaker, the reservation I just stated is not the fault of the conference committee and does not lessen my support for what is contained in this conference report. The conference agreement merits the support of the House, and I urge that it be adopted.
I want to join with the chairman complimenting the excellent staff that we have both on the Democratic and Republican side. We try to function in a bipartisan way; that is the goal that the chairman and I both share. We do have outstanding people who work every day for the House on the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence staff, many with long tenure. I just want the House to know that we are well served by the professionalism and the ability of these people who keep confidential some of the most important information in this Government.
Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
Mr. GOSS. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
Mr. Speaker, I thank the distinguished gentleman from Washington [Mr. Dicks] for his very compelling remarks, and I think we can all see what an extraordinary job he does on this committee and what incredible leadership he gives us, what participation, and what championship of projects that he knows about and cares about deeply, and we share the same views, perhaps not the same energy level on some of them.
I think as regard to DARO, the issue is not about the capability, the issue is how we make it work best, and I know that the gentleman knows that I am committed to that.
Mr. DICKS. Mr. Speaker, will the gentleman yield?
Mr. GOSS. I yield to the gentleman from Washington briefly.
Mr. DICKS. Mr. Speaker, I think that is the point we want to make. There have been some problems. I know we are all frustrated about the UAV's, trying to bring them on more rapidly, but I do think in this particular case that the Department of Defense deserves, and after all we said to them, pull all these programs together, create an entity, get management oversight of this, we want this to be handled.
Now we got the agency created, they are starting to do the job. The problem is, like in a lot of areas of advanced technology there are problems, and not every one of these programs works perfectly the first time in many areas because they used to be classified, people did not know about it, and finally we get it right, but we would not kill the program.
Now we put it out there in the open, and people see the failures, but that is what R&D is really all about. There will be failures, but ultimately we are going to get this job done, and it is going to give us a revolutionary new capability in the reconnaissance area along with our aircraft. And I just think we have got to stay the course and support this, support DARO, and make sure they get the job done with good oversight which the chairman has provided.
Mr. GOSS. Reclaiming my time, Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume to the distinguished gentleman from California [Mr. Lewis], the chairman of our subcommittee.
Mr. LEWIS of California. Mr. Speaker, I very much appreciate my chairman yielding this time to me, and I want to take just a moment to express my personal deep appreciation for the work of both our chairman and the ranking member, the gentleman from Washington [Mr. Dicks].
I would further like to say that within this committee the atmosphere of growing almost nonpartisanship is a very refreshing development in the Congress, indeed an area that is so critical to the United States, our intelligence programing, to have people working together in a fashion that recognizes that the importance and strength of the country is what we are about is very, very encouraging to me. I would like to compliment our staff on both sides of the aisle for their very fine work they have done throughout developing this measure.
Stepping aside for a moment and reacting to the discussions regarding the DARO and airborne reconnaissance programs, I must say I believe this committee has done a fabulous job over some time at highlighting the importance of these reconnaissance programs, and the work of the DARO is the result of the efforts of this committee, and indeed a great deal of progress we have made in this area is a direct result of the efforts of the committee. And so I am very encouraged by the interest on both sides of the aisle and expect that there is little doubt that we have gotten the attention, the clear attention, of those in DOD that we should have in order to make further progress as we go forward.
In the area of keeping us on the cutting edge of technical capabilities which is so important to our intelligence success, I would like to mention just a few things, the first being that investment in satellite systems that utilize cutting-edge technology that are smaller and operationally more flexible, and they can be acquired within greatly reduced time lines, eventually will reduce the overall cost to these programs, and yet they are very, very important programs to us. If we do this correctly, that is by following the pattern of faster, better, cheaper, we certainly will have dividends that in turn can be applied to other areas of significance to our work.
I would mention that reinvesting some of those dividends and items that relate to downstream activities, like the processing and exploitation, analysis, as well as dissemination of our products, is a critical part of effective use of intelligence assets. I must say it is one thing to spend a good deal of money developing information; it is another thing to be able to use it in a way that means something to our interests, and those sorts of investments are very important as we go forward with developing more effective intelligence systems as well as programs.
Another area is investment in research and development to keep us on that cutting edge. There is not any question in my mind's eye that there is not another area of American Government's work that is more critical than making sure that we are technologically capable and on the edge than in the field of intelligence.
America, without any doubt, in this changing world remains the strongest country in the world, indeed the leader and the hope for democratic and free opportunities in the future. No small part of that is because of the work of the intelligence community. We always and often most hear about problems that we may have in our intelligence work because that is when ofttimes those activities and that work becomes public. Very few know about the real successes that have made a difference for freedom throughout the world, and that is the responsibility in no small part of this committee as we carry out our oversight functions, and it is my privilege to participate in the work, the very fine work, of the committee and the leadership of our chairman and our ranking member.
Mr. DICKS. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume to the distinguished gentleman from Missouri [Mr. Skelton], who is a senior member of the Committee on Armed Services and a new member of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, but one of our very, very best.
Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the ranking member giving me some time this morning.
The conference report before us does more for military intelligence programs and activities than the President requested. While these increases are small, I believe they reflect the fact that as the size of the Armed Forces decreases, the need for timely and reliable intelligence becomes more critical. Our military commanders cannot do their jobs, both in terms of the achievement of their objectives and the safeguarding of the lives of our service men and women without intelligence of the highest quality. We simply cannot manage safely the planned drawdown of the Defense Department without the kind of investments made by this bill.
I want to congratulate the chairman and congratulate the ranking Democrat for the work they have done to make sure that our military personnel have the support that they need in this important area. I intend to continue to do what I can to make sure that we do not slight the future investments that will need to be made to ensure that our battlefield commanders have the information necessary to achieve rapid dominance so that any armed conflict results in a decisive victory for our forces.
I believe we have taken important steps toward that end in this conference report. Much more, Mr. Speaker, needs to be done, particularly in the areas of information warfare and aerial reconnaissance. These are among the areas to which I hope the committee will devote particular attention in the next year.
It is a pleasure to serve on this committee. I salute both the chairman, the gentleman from Florida [Mr. Goss], and the ranking Democrat, the gentleman from Washington [Mr. Dicks] for their dedicated and bipartisan work. I also want to give particular thanks to all of the staff who have devoted untold hours to producing this conference report.
Mr. GOSS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the distinguished gentleman from New York [Mr. Boehlert].
Mr. BOEHLERT. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of this conference report. I am sure my colleagues have all heard that information technology is vital to our future both for economic competitiveness and for national security. Information warfare, information operations, information dominance, information assurance and dominant battlefield awareness, they are all familiar phrases often invoked when defense budget priorities are discussed. Upon closer examination, however, we sometimes find that this is more rhetoric than reality. Since Rome Laboratory is in my congressional district, it is the Air Force center of excellence for information technology development, I have had the occasion to examine the rhetoric and the reality.
In a broader sense, the entire intelligence budget is geared to provide a U.S. worldwide information advantage upon which policymakers and military forces will rely heavily, yet partly because of the rise in military operations costs and the dearth of military procurement money, in recent years the intelligence budget has received only modest congressional plus-ups provided to the defense budget. This year, for instance, money appropriated for intelligence will be under, under the administration request.
Further, I understand that in the developing budget for fiscal year 1999, the Air Force initially recommended large cuts to science and technology in the magnitude of $250 million, which could fall heavily on information technology. Quite frankly, that is totally unacceptable. I have made known my strong rejection of that approach to the appropriate people, and fortunately I am finding a receptive audience in both DOD, the Department of Defense, and the White House.
One of the reasons I sought this much coveted position on this committee is to be able to deal directly with its very important subject, and I am pleased to report that our committee this year took steps to upgrade the information infrastructure budget of several agencies to improve their processing, storage and exploitation of intelligence data. For the future we are also requiring a more coherent interagency strategy and budget for information assurance, or information protection. In this regard the President's Commission on Critical Infrastructure recently publicized its conclusions that not only the defense infrastructure, but also key parts of the civilian economy are highly vulnerable to computer attack. The Commission called for greater focus and progressively increased spending to improve our protection.
Thus far, Mr. Speaker, I do not yet see the level of commitment to information technology that will maintain the country's technological advantage into the future. In fact, although the rhetoric is there, the reality seems to be somewhat questionable.
I urge my colleagues to follow the lead of this committee and the chairman and the ranking member and support this conference report and deal with this very important subject in a responsible manner.
Mr. DICKS. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
Mr. GOSS. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume to the gentleman from Nevada [Mr. Gibbons], who is a value added member of our committee, believe me. As a decorated serviceman, the information he has given us has been extraordinary, and we welcome him in his first year.
Mr. GIBBONS. Mr. Speaker, I thank the distinguished gentleman from Florida [Mr. Goss] for yielding this time to me, and, Mr. Speaker, I rise in very strong support of the conference report accompanying Senate Bill 858.
The gentleman from Florida [Mr. Goss] and the ranking minority member, the gentleman from Washington [Mr. Dicks], along with their counterparts in the other body deserve a great deal of credit for an intelligence authorization bill that this Nation can be proud of and that all Members of this body should strongly support. Not only does this bill authorize the proper amount of authorization for the operation of our national intelligence activities, it also specifically authorizes funds for those tactical intelligence functions that provide direct indications and morning support to our military personnel deployed around the world. It is absolutely critical that we, the elected officials in this country, fully support those men and women we have sent into harm's way with useful intelligence.
This bill provides the best effort possible to do just that.
Mr. Speaker, I think that it is also important to note that in terms of tactical intelligence functions, in this bill there was tremendous and close coordination between the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the House Committee on National Security. I have firsthand knowledge of this as I proudly serve on both committees.
This cooperation was so effective, in fact, that the tactical intelligence provisions addressed were actually contained in the defense authorization bill that was recently voted on by Congress.
As a former military veteran and fighter pilot, I must say that several of these provisions address issues that are very important to me personally, issues such as unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAV's. These unmanned aircraft offer a great potential for reducing the threat and danger of enemy activities and threats to our airborne reconnaissance aircrews.
However, in many Members' eyes, the Department of Defense's management of these vehicles has not proven to be overly successful. The defense and intelligence authorization bills take some bold steps in this direction, both in terms of legislation and funding actions, to improve the Department's UAV management, thus ensuring that these air vehicles have the greatest chance for success.
Although controversial to some, I believe the very responsible positions hammered out during the conference and the conference process are all fair, logical, and, most importantly, a step in the right direction, to minimize the overhead costs while maximizing the Services' responsibilities for equipping their troops. These responsible actions are reflective of the entire intelligence authorization bill.
Again, I would like to thank the chairman and the Members on the other side of the aisle for their conscious and dedicated effort in this regard. I urge all my colleagues to support this conference report.
Mr. DICKS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from Ohio [Mr. Traficant] who has been largely responsible for the `buy America' provisions that have been contained in this bill over the last several years. He has been very concerned about this.
Mr. TRAFICANT. Mr. Speaker, I thank the ranking member for yielding me time, and I want to commend the chairman and ranking member for the bill.
As you know, I have questioned some of the intelligence-gathering capability of our programming here that we fund. Some of it evidently is made to the advertisement level, where I questioned why we did not learn from the CIA that Saddam Hussein had invaded Kuwait but we learned that from CNN.
I am not going to oppose this bill, because I have confidence in the people who have drafted the bill, and I understand that without adequate intelligence gathering, our national security is really threatened.
But I want to caution the Congress. When General Schwarzkopf said that he relied on intelligence as much from the media and CNN as he did from CIA and other sources, that should be cause for alarm. I honestly believe that we are spending billions of dollars in this hidden intelligence network system, and we are not getting the type of intelligence that we need to keep our great Nation free.
I believe there is a fault. I am hoping that in the next bill we will address that, we will address the reasons why a general in the Persian Gulf war relied as much on the media as he did on intelligence sources and why, in God's name, our media knows more at times about significant national and international events that affect our freedom as does our intelligence-gathering network.
So I believe you are on the right track. I appreciate the fact that even though it is a hidden budget, we can have a hidden `buy American' provision, and hopefully maybe we will at least buy a few American items that will help keep America free. I am going to support the bill.
Mr. DICKS. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 4 minutes.
Mr. Speaker, I just want to say to my friend from Ohio, Mr. Traficant, that General Schwarzkopf is a very close friend of mine. In fact, he was commanding officer of I Corps at Fort Lewis, and I went over there several times. He did come to the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence after the war. He said that this was the best intelligence that any commanding officer had ever received.
Now, did he say, yes, there were some things we should be working on like broad area search, the dissemination of imagery, being able to find targets which could be relocated, like Scud launchers, more rapidly? Yes. But I want the gentleman to know that we are working on each one of those issues.
Last year, this Congress created NIMA. I strongly supported that. That was an initiative of the administration. We put mapping together with imagery. Today, we are able to get imagery out into the field more rapidly than we could during the Gulf War.
I will also say to the gentleman that other areas of intelligence gathering provide greater insights into Iraqi plans in the gulf war. We knew exactly what was going on.
So the general had some critiques, but, overall, he said intelligence was very, very good. I think if you talked to him about it, he would say that. We are, I believe, trying to address the areas where there are problems.
I would also note that the first thing that George Bush, the President during the gulf war said at the time was that there had not been an intelligence failure with respect to the invasion of Kuwait. The intelligence community gave the President notice that it was likely there would be an invasion. The administration did not act on that warning.
It was hard to act, because our allies were giving us different information. Our allies in the region were saying that Saddam will not do it, while the intelligence community said that, it looks like he is going to do it. A decision was made to rely on the people in the region, and that proved to be wrong. But it was not an intelligence failure.
I like the fact that when you go all over the world you have CNN, and it is a good supplement to our intelligence. Having the news available all over the world is important. But it does not make up for having in place the national technical means, the tactical intelligence, the human intelligence that has to be out there in the field. I am worried, frankly, that we are downsizing to such a level that we are going to be spread so thin, especially in the human intelligence area, that we could have problems in the future. That is something we have to address. But that is going to require more effort and more resources, not less.
We thank the gentleman for his help and participation and for his support of the bill.
Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
Mr. GOSS. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume to the distinguished gentleman from New Hampshire [Mr. Bass].
Mr. BASS. Mr. Speaker, I thank the distinguished chairman for yielding time to me.
Mr. Speaker, I would only follow on to my distinguished colleague's response to the gentleman from Ohio [Mr. Traficant] by saying, what the media did in the Gulf war was to report what was happening and what had happened. What is key to intelligence and its effective service is to analyze all sources and to try to predict and provide the best possible advice to our policy makers.
I think we have learned a lot from the Gulf war, and I think the quality of the intelligence services that we are provided today are, indeed, far superior. But the fact is, it is always easy to criticize an event after the fact. It is far more difficult to deal with the complexities of the world as they exist today and to provide leaders with predictions about what is going to happen. That is the key.
But I really appreciate, Mr. Speaker, the opportunity to speak today in support of the conference report to accompany the Senate bill that authorizes funds for intelligence and intelligence-related activities. As a member of the Subcommittee on Human Intelligence, Analysis and Counterintelligence, I am particularly pleased with the bipartisan and bicameral work that we have been able to do to augment the breadth and depth of all-source analysis, as I mentioned a minute ago, in the intelligence process.
Mr. Speaker, let me describe the future role of the all-source analyst by describing the past. Last month, the Central Intelligence Agency celebrated the 50th anniversary of its creation, leading us all to reflect for a moment on the grand struggles and great victories of the OSS in World War II and the CIA in the Cold War.
Our chairman, the gentleman from Florida [Mr. Goss], has spoken publicly and eloquently about the work and sacrifices made by U.S. intelligence officers from occupied France to the Soviet Union in securing these victories, in many instances submitting themselves to grave, grave danger.
Those struggles, Mr. Speaker, are now history, and it is really a grand history. In their place has emerged a far more complicated, multipolar world with issues and threats that emanate not just from Berlin or Moscow, but from places like Kinshasa, Monrovia, and Chiang Mai.
To inform and educate our policy makers in this new world, we require an intelligence community with diverse and global foci. To make that happen, we require an analytic core that can follow everything from the T-72 tank in the sub-Sahara to the price of poppies in the Golden Triangle. We also need those analysts to identify and direct intelligence collection that is both cost effective and useful to our needs.
Mr. Speaker, I support strongly Senate bill 858, and I urge my colleagues to support us in passing this conference committee report today.
I thank the gentleman from Florida [Mr. Goss] for his help and guidance as the chairman of this committee.
Mr. DICKS. Mr. Speaker, I have no further requests for time, and I yield back the balance of my time.
Mr. GOSS. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
Mr. Speaker, I am going to yield back, too. Before I do, I want to just point out one other thing. Sometimes we overlook the fact that we have men and women, dedicated men and women in the intelligence community in the United States of America, who are working literally 7 days a week, night and day, to make sure our national security remains nationally secure. I think that is something that sometimes gets overlooked and sometimes gets misinterpreted in our sensationalized and instantanealized media.
I think every American should be proud of the folks in the intelligence community and the work they do, and should be thankful for them, as we are.
Mr. Speaker, having said that, I urge support of the conference report.
Mr. GOSS. Mr. Speaker, I have no further requests for time, I yield back the balance of my time, and I move the previous question on the conference report.
The Speaker pro tempore (Mr. LaHood).
The previous question was ordered.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the conference report.
The question was taken; and the Speaker pro tempore announced that the ayes appeared to have it.
Mr. GOSS. Mr. Speaker, I object to the vote on the ground that a quorum is not present and make the point of order that a quorum is not present.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. Evidently a quorum is not present.
The Sergeant at Arms will notify absent Members.
The vote was taken by electronic device, and there were--yeas 385, nays 36, not voting 12, as follows:
Messrs. DeFAZIO, OBERSTAR, VENTO, and RUSH changed their vote from `yea' to `nay.'
Mr. BARR of Georgia and Mr. STUPAK changed their vote from `nay' to `yea.'
So the conference report was agreed to.
The result of the vote was announced as above recorded.
A motion to reconsider was laid on the table.