INTELLIGENCE AUTHORIZATION ACT FOR FISCAL YEAR 1999 -- HON. JUANITA MILLENDER-MCDONALD (Extension of Remarks - May 12, 1998)
HON. JUANITA MILLENDER-MCDONALD
in the House of Representatives
THURSDAY, MAY 7, 1998
The House in Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union had under consideration the bill (H.R. 3694) to authorize appropriations for fiscal year 1999 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:
- Ms. MILLENDER-McDONALD. Mr. Chairman, I rise to express my support for H.R. 3694, the Intelligence Authorization for FY 1999. However, my support is not without serious reservations, for I remain deeply concerned about allegations that have been raised regarding CIA involvement in drug trafficking in South Central Los Angeles and elsewhere. While I applaud Chairman Porter Goss, Ranking Member Norm Dicks, and the rest of the House Permanent Select Committee for convening a public hearing following release of Volume One of the Central Intelligence Agency Inspector General's report in response to the San Jose Mercury News' series `Dark Alliance', I have made my views about the shortcomings in this report known to the Committee and to the Agency. I am aware that Volume Two of the Inspector General's report, which deals with the more substantive issues regarding the extent of the relationship between the intelligence community and the Nicaraguan Contra resistance, has been provided to the Select Committee in classified form. I understand that it is being reviewed by the Central Intelligence Agency to determine whether any or all of it may be declassified. And, we are still awaiting release of Inspector General Michael Bromwich's report on the allegations of wrong doing that may have occurred within branches of the U.S. Department of Justice.
- However, I would like to take this opportunity to strongly urge C.I.A. Director George Tenet and Chairman Goss to do everything possible to declassify as much information in the report as possible as its subject matter goes to the heart of the issues raised by my constituents in the public meetings I convened following publication of the San Jose Mercury News series. I also urge Attorney General Janet Reno to release the I.G.'s report at the earliest possible opportunity. Failure to make this information public feeds the skepticism of the hundreds of consitutents in my District and throughout the nation who still want answers and who are encouraged by the Committee's expressed commitment to make public as much information as possible.
- Furthermore, to fully appreciate our government's efforts to fight the scourge of narcotics, the public must understand its intricacies, including the role of interdiction and intelligence. Public release of the reports, followed by public hearings, and ultimately the conduct by the Committee of its own inquiry, will assist my constituents to evaluate the role the Central Intelligence Agency played in balancing competing nations priorities. Such a process will also give Members of Congress, as policy makers, the information necessary to make informed decisions about handling such issues in the future.
- Consequently, I and my constituents continue to eagerly await the public release of the reports by the Inspectors General of Justice and CIA. I reiterate my hope that the Select Committee will give their content, methodologies and findings the scrutiny they deserve and in a similar spirit of openness, make themselves available to my constituents to respond to any questions these reports generate. I believe such openness is critical to restoration of the credibility and public trust necessary to allow intelligence gathering activities, which by their nature are secretive, to coexist with democracy