Congressional Record: November 5, 2003 (Senate)
Page S13948-S13952


  Mr. CHAMBLISS. Mr. President, I thank the Senator from Kansas for 
conducting this time for morning business.
  I rise in a very different mood today--different from any other mood 
I have been in since I had the privilege of becoming a Member of this 
body. I had the privilege of serving for 8 years in the House of 
Representatives, and now for a year in my first term in the Senate. 
During my last 2 years in the House, I served on the House Intelligence 
Committee. For the past year now, I have served on the Senate 
Intelligence Committee, under the strong leadership of the Senator from 
Kansas, Senator Roberts, as well as his vice chairman, Senator 
Rockefeller of West Virginia. We operate in a very bipartisan way in 
both the House and Senate Intelligence Committees.
  I was privileged to serve alongside of the now-ranking member of the 
House Intelligence Committee in conducting a very thorough and detailed 
review of the intelligence community leading up to September 11 and 
particularly concluding with a report detailing the failures in the 
intelligence community leading up to September 11, 2001. All of this 
oversight work has been done in a very bipartisan way since I have been 
in the Senate. Again, we have operated within the Intelligence 
Committee in a very bipartisan way. We can have our differences, and we 
have had them; but it has been a very healthy debate up to this point 
in time.
  Unfortunately, yesterday, the Republicans on the Senate side of the 
Intelligence Committee came into possession of a two-page memorandum
that details a systematic way in which the other side of the aisle 
intends to undermine and attack the President of the United States on 
the intelligence information not only leading up to the conflict in 
Iraq, but also moving beyond that, into the policy area--again, trying 
to undermine the policy of the President of the United States with 
respect to the conflict in Iraq.
  This is a different road than the Intelligence Committees on the 
House and Senate sides have been down before. It is not the kind of 
road an Intelligence Committee should be traveling down. I rise to say 
that I don't know where this memo came from. I have seen a copy of it. 
I don't know whether it was staff driven or member driven. I have great 
respect for the members of the Intelligence Committee on both sides of 
the aisle, and I don't think anyone on the other side of the aisle 
would intentionally try to undermine the operation of our troops in 
Iraq today. Yet, as I looked at this memorandum and read through it, 
there was a very clear and definite outline of undermining the policy 
of the President of the United States, the Department of Defense, the 
intelligence community, and anybody involved in the current conflict 
with Iraq.

  If that particular outline were followed, it would be devastating not 
only to this body--the bipartisan integrity of this body--but it would 
have the potential effect of truly undermining the operation in Iraq.
  I hope my colleagues on the other side of the aisle will rethink the 
position if it is one in which they are moving toward. I hope they will 
certainly disavow any knowledge of the position or intent to undermine 
the operation in Iraq from an intelligence or oversight standpoint 
within the Senate Intelligence Committee with respect to a report we 
are going to be concluding and preparing within a matter of days or 
  I truly hope we can move forward in a positive way, with a strong, 
positive attitude toward ensuring the operation in Iraq is concluded in 
a satisfactory manner, and that the intelligence community can move 
forward knowing they have the support, in a bipartisan way, of the 
Senate Intelligence Committee, and the matter-of-fact ideas and plans 
laid out in this memorandum will certainly not be carried out.
  I thank the chairman for his leadership and position on this. I yield 
the floor.
  Mr. ROBERTS. Mr. President, I yield 10 minutes to the Senator from 
Missouri, Senator Bond.
  Mr. BOND. Mr. President, I thank the chairman of the Intelligence 
Committee, who I believe is doing a very fine job under very difficult 
circumstances, leading a bipartisan inquiry, which is the legitimate 
scope of the Intelligence Committee on how we can improve our 
intelligence system.
  When we are fighting the battle against terrorism, there is no 
question that intelligence is the coin of the realm. There is no way we 
can deter terrorist attacks by threatening to retaliate or administer 
retributive justice to those who make terrorist strikes against us. 
When you are dealing with suicide bombers, there is not going to be 
anything left for us to retaliate against or take retribution against.
  Finding the holes in our intelligence system, and how we can do a 
better job, is a major challenge. I joined the Intelligence Committee 
this year because I realized how important it is to the future of peace 
and security in the world and to our own security. I know from personal 
experience that we and our staffs--and particularly our staffs--have 
been engaged in an exhaustive examination of what the intelligence was 
prior to declaring Operation Iraqi Freedom. This was a major effort.
  As those in the Chamber may know, I have supported the President. I 
supported the Iraqi supplemental, and I thank our colleagues for 
passing that bill to defend our troops and also to make sure we build 
Iraq so we can move our troops out.
  But when the revelation came out yesterday of a memorandum apparently 
from Democratic staff, minority staff on the Intelligence Committee, 
indicating there was a different agenda, I was very much concerned. The 
key element in the Intelligence Committee, unlike any other committee, 
is that we have to do our work in confidence. We have to be able to 
maintain the confidence of the intelligence community that comes before 
us. We must protect intelligence sources, and we cannot get engaged in 
partisan battles.
  Yet the memorandum that came out yesterday has such interesting 
quotes such as:

       Pull the majority along as far as we can on issues that may 
     lead to major new disclosures regarding improper or 
     questionable conduct by administration officials.

  They are not looking at the Intelligence Committee; they are looking 
at the administration. They say:

       We need to look at activities of the Office of the 
     Secretary of Defense and the State Department.

  They talk about preparing additional views. And they say:

       Among other things, we will castigate the majority for 
     seeking to limit the scope of the inquiry.

  They talk about an independent investigation, and they say:

       We can pull the trigger on an independent investigation on 
     the administration's use of intelligence at any time.

  When you talk about what goes on and how intelligence is used, that 
is a topic of debate in the political realm, and there is no shortage 
of that debate in particularly the Democratic primaries right now. We 
see many of the candidates who are arguing very forcefully about it. I 
am disappointed that the discussion in the Presidential primary has 
totally ignored or forgotten the old adage that politics stops at the 
water's edge; that we should not be getting into political battles when 
we have troops in harm's way, and there is no question we have troops 
in harm's way.

[[Page S13949]]

  It appears this memo suggests there is, at least at the staff level, 
a Democratic game plan to make the Intelligence Committee a focal point 
for the 2004 Presidential debates. This memorandum said:

       Yet, we have an important role to play in revealing the 
     misleading, if not flagrantly dishonest, methods and 
     motives of the senior administration officials who made 
     the case for a unilaterally preemptive war.

  Those are pretty harsh words. Those are the words of a political 
  Unfortunately, it is not just the staff who has been talking about 
them. There is an article in the Sunday Telegraph of London quoting a 
Democratic member of the Intelligence Committee:

       We want to know whether the administration put pressure on 
     the agencies to come up with certain kinds of information. 
     It's a question that's been explored at great length in 
     Britain. If the Republican leadership of the Senate 
     Intelligence Committee is determined to protect the 
     administration at any cost, we'll do the investigative job on 
     our own.

  I can assure you that this inquiry goes into every area that we can 
find in the intelligence operation, in many intelligence agencies, how 
that information is developed. There are suggestions that there is 
improper influence. This is something we are exploring assiduously. The 
committee staff has interviewed many members of the Intelligence 
Committee, anybody who might have information. They have been asked: 
Were they pressured? Was the information tainted or changed or 
pressured? And absolutely not. If there is evidence of pressure, that 
will undoubtedly be included in the chairman and vice chairman's 
  Moreover, I tell you regrettably, it will be leaked almost 
immediately because the committee has a tendency right now to leak like 
a sieve. There was one person who said he had a problem, and I turned 
to my colleague on the Intelligence Committee and said: Let's take bets 
on how long before it is on the national news wire. It was less than an 
hour. It turns out that the analyst did not have any problem with the 
intelligence related to the operations of Iraq, but it came out 
  The question that is being raised that some of our Democratic 
colleagues want to address in the Intelligence Committee is: Can we 
find a way to undercut the President, the Vice President and the 
administration? That, I submit, is not the role of the Intelligence 
Committee. The Intelligence Committee has a very important 
responsibility. We need to determine how to improve our intelligence 
system to win the war on terrorism, not to win the war for the White 
  What is the job of the Intelligence Committee? Is it to determine and 
argue with the policy or is it to find out if the intelligence-
gathering information is appropriate? The people in the intelligence 
community have to deal with information that is fragmentary. We 
criticized them as a result of 9/11 for not having connected all the 
dots and come together to forecast and perhaps forestall the attacks of 
9/11. Now we are saying they didn't have enough information, but this 
information has been available and has been supplied by the 
Intelligence Committee for some time.
  I quote a statement by the President. The President said:

       Heavy as they are, the cost of action must be weighed 
     against the price of inaction. If Saddam defies the world and 
     we fail to respond, we will face a far greater threat in the 
     future. Saddam will strike again at his neighbors. He will 
     make war on his own people. And mark my words, he will 
     develop weapons of mass destruction, he will deploy them, 
     and he will use them.

  Those are the words of the President talking about intelligence that 
he received. And by the way, that was a speech on December 16, 1998, by 
President Bill Clinton. That was based on the information he was 
receiving at the time.
  If that intelligence was grossly inaccurate or inadequate, then we in 
the Intelligence Committee need to fix it. I happen to think there were 
some major mistakes made 7 or 8 years ago in the intelligence community 
when they decided to restrict severely the number of human intelligence 
sources they could use by refusing to take intelligence sources from 
people who didn't meet the highest moral and ethical standards. 
Frankly, those people often don't deal with terrorists and provide us 
the information we need.
  We need to do a better job. We are making improvements in 
intelligence, but I don't think anybody will say we have an 
intelligence system that is as good as it should be. I can tell you, 
the battle over how intelligence is used is a broader political battle.
  Leaving aside the question of whether it should be carried on while 
we have troops in harm's way in Iraq, it is not a question, in any 
case, to be fought out in the Intelligence Committee by trying to 
change or develop information that is not there.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Senator's time has expired.
  Mr. BOND. I thank the Chair, and I urge our colleagues to remember 
that the battle of the Intelligence Committee is to win the war against 
terrorism, not to win the White House.
  Mr. ROBERTS. Mr. President, how much time do we have remaining?
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Senator retains 15 minutes.
  Mr. ROBERTS. I yield 5 minutes to the distinguished Senator from 
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Senator from Arizona is 
recognized for up to 5 minutes.
  Mr. KYL. Mr. President, I thank the distinguished chairman of the 
Intelligence Committee and applaud him for the work he has been doing 
and commiserate with him today. Having served on that committee for 8 
years, I know how difficult it is to keep focused on the important 
intelligence issues that confront our country, especially in this time 
of war, and do that in a way that maintains the traditional bipartisan 
relationship that has heretofore characterized the members of the 
Intelligence Committee.
  Having served there for 8 years, I never saw the kind of blatant, 
partisan politics emerge that has apparently emerged as revealed in 
this memorandum that has been discussed this morning. It is a 
disgusting possibility that Members of the Senate would actually try to 
politicize intelligence, especially at a time of war, even apparently 
reaching conclusions before investigations have been performed.
  This memo refers to the fact that, for example, if we carry this plan 
out that has been discussed already, we will identify additional views 
and castigate--well, I will quote it exactly:

       Our additional views will, among other things, castigate 
     the majority for seeking to limit the scope of the inquiry.

  In other words, before something is even done, the plan has already 
been devised about how they are going to criticize the majority about 
something it has not even done yet. This is blatant partisan politics.
  Now, our Democratic colleagues have denied that this memorandum 
represents their plan. One of two things is true. It either is or it is 
not. If it is, it is reprehensible. If it is not, there is a sure way 
to prove it and that is to repudiate the memorandum and to ensure that 
this plan of action is never carried out. So we shall see.
  Are the denials of the Democrats going to result in this plan being 
repudiated and not carried out? That will be the test of whether this 
is really the plan of the Democrats.
  I note that parts of the plan appear already to have been set in 
motion. The first item of the plan:

       Pull the majority along as far as we can on issues that may 
     lead to new disclosures. . . . We are having some success in 
     that regard.

  I mean, this is being done. This is not a plan that somebody had, an 
idea that is out in the future someplace. It is part of what is 
currently a Democratic process in the committee.
  Secondly, the suggestion that there should be an independent 
commission, well, while there is some confusion in the memo about when 
to "pull the trigger" on that, the ranking member on the committee 
has already called for an independent commission. So there appears to 
be some elements of a plan that are already in play, but I am willing 
to accept the denials of my Democratic colleagues that this represents 
their proposed course of action. As I said, the sure way to prove that 
is for them to repudiate it and to ensure that, in fact, that plan does 
not go forward.
  I note one other thing. There is much in this memo that deals with 
how the Republican position will be characterized. We are talking about 
a Republican Senate position. I urge my Democratic colleagues to 
consider this. It is

[[Page S13950]]

unethical and improper under the rules of the Senate to characterize 
the motives of fellow Senators. We all know that. We do not do that. 
That begins the breakdown of the comity that must exist in this body.

  I do not question my colleagues' motives and clearly they should not 
question mine, but there is an opportunity in this memorandum for 
questioning motives. I want to bring this to the attention of people 
because clearly this should not be a part of anything we do in this 
  In the summary, the memorandum itself says:

       Yet we have an important role to play in revealing the 
     misleading, if not flagrantly dishonest, methods and motives 
     of senior administration officials who made the case for 
     unilateral preemptive war.

  I think it may be inappropriate to question the motives of senior 
administration officials, as well as Senators. In any event, as I say, 
there is much in here that goes to the questioning of the report that 
they presume will be prepared by the majority. That would be a breach 
of ethics, and I urge my colleagues to strongly consider what that 
would result in and to repudiate this memorandum because of language 
like that.
  We do not need more reviews. We have already had the review that was 
conducted when I was on the Intelligence Committee that resulted in a 
lengthy report. The Kean Commission is doing its work right now; and, 
third, we have the Intelligence Committee doing its work. So I think 
that enough review has occurred. We certainly should not let partisan 
politics intrude into the important work of the Intelligence Committee.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator's time has expired.
  Mr. ROBERTS. Mr. President, how much time do I have remaining?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Kansas retains 10 minutes.
  Mr. ROBERTS. I yield 4 minutes to the distinguished Senator from 
  Mr. LOTT. Mr. President, I thank the distinguished chairman of the 
Intelligence Committee for yielding me this time. I will adhere to the 
4 minutes because I know that he wants to wrap this up, too.
  First, I want to thank the chairman for his diligence in trying to 
make sure the Intelligence Committee does its job and does its job in a 
nonpartisan, bipartisan way. I went on the Intelligence Committee this 
year because I believe it was one of the most important committees in 
the Senate. I like the fact that while the committee's work is always 
difficult, the committee worked together in a bipartisan way and has 
not become a political tool.
  I have also expressed myself that I am concerned about the 
intelligence that we have received before going into Iraq, and the 
intelligence that is available even today. So I am not one who is going 
around trying to make excuses for the intelligence community. But my 
approach is different. I think we need to find out where our problems 
are, where we need more assistance, and how we can do a better job in 
the future.
  It should not be about the blame game. It should not be about 
politics. It should not be about trying to find a way to blame it on 
the President or the Vice President or anybody else, even though 
obviously there will be some criticism directed at one place or 
another. The thing we need to do is to make sure we have the 
intelligence that our officials need and our military men and women 
need, and that should be the focus.
  This memorandum outlines a political plan of attack in the 
Intelligence Committee. Our adversaries around the world must be 
smiling this morning. They must be enjoying watching us fight among 
ourselves instead of focusing on doing what we need to do to get the 
kind of intelligence we require to do the job against the terrorists 
around the world. This memorandum is a very sad commentary. While I am 
not quite sure of its origin, whether it was written by a particular 
Senator or by a staff member at the direction of a Senator, it clearly 
is something that a Democrat staff member, working with some members of 
the Intelligence Committee, drafted.

  When you start talking about castigating the majority or pulling the 
trigger on an independent investigation, or an independent commission, 
the Senate voted on that just a week ago and overwhelmingly defeated 
the idea that we kick the football over to somebody else, let somebody 
else do our job. I say we should do our job, do it here, and do it in a 
constructive, aggressive, nonpartisan, bipartisan way.
  This is a very debilitating thing that we have seen. One might say, 
well, maybe we are protesting too much, that this does not necessarily 
reflect all of the Democrat members of the Intelligence Committee. But 
already the London Telegraph in London is quoting Democrats in the 
Senate Intelligence Committee using some of the exact words in the 

       We want to know whether the administration put pressure on 
     the agencies to come up with certain kinds of information.
       If the Republican leadership of the Senate Intelligence 
     Committee is determined to protect the administration at any 
     cost . . .

  I have watched the chairman aggressively pursue information and 
insist that the administration provide information to this committee. 
We have not been shrinking violets. We are doing our job.
  To have this attack plan come out and make it totally political is 
one of the most disquieting things I have seen in recent months in the 
Senate. We should not proceed in this way. I hope the Democrats will 
disavow this whole approach and say that is not their political plan, 
that is not their intent. The alternative is chaos in the committee 
that is so critical to making sure we have what we need in terms of 
  Just this week I proposed that we make the membership permanent on 
the Senate Intelligence Committee. I know there has been an argument 
that permanent membership on the committee could impact objectivity, 
but what I want are members who are experienced enough to do the job.
  I thank the chairman for yielding me this time, and I am looking 
forward to hearing Democrats assure us that this is not what is going 
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Graham of South Carolina). The Senator's 
time has expired.
  Mr. ROBERTS. How much time do I have remaining?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Five and a half minutes.
  Mr. ROBERTS. Mr. President, as members of the Senate Intelligence 
Committee are well aware, we have spent almost 6 months pouring over 
thousands of documents that are related to Iraq's weapons of mass 
destruction programs and its ties to terrorism. We have interviewed 
over 100 people. This is probably the most thorough and complete review 
of intelligence that has ever been conducted, and the committee's 
process is completely open and transparent to Members on both sides of 
the aisle.
  All staff involved certainly participate on an equal basis. I have 
worked to ensure the minority's voice has been heard at all times. 
There should be no legitimate question as to our approach or our 
dedication to following the information no matter where it leads. I 
have said that over and over. We have asked the hard questions.
  When the inquiry is complete, I believe strongly the facts will speak 
for themselves. Yet despite all efforts to handle this review in the 
most professional and bipartisan way, we have learned of an effort to 
develop a plan to discredit the committee's work, undermine its 
conclusions, no matter what those conclusions may be.

  Our goal is to discover the facts, not to target any individuals or 
to serve any agenda. We want to know that the assessments reached by 
the intelligence community were based on sound intelligence and that 
the policymakers, including the President and the Congress, got the 
best information possible.
  I have been asked, Where do we go from here? The answer is simple: We 
go back to work. We build a bridge and go back to work. We have a 
number of documents yet to review. We have a handful of interviews yet 
to conduct. Then we will begin the process of drafting a committee 
report and preparing for public hearings. It is critical that all of 
this take place in an atmosphere of good faith and mutual trust. Secret 
plans to undermine the committee's work are examples of neither. I urge 
my friends across the aisle, those members of the committee, to 

[[Page S13951]]

if that word is too strong, just to say not to go down this path of a 
strategy of attack, and join us to work together to complete the 
business of the committee. The American people, and particularly those 
currently serving in uniform overseas, deserve nothing less.
  I know Senator Rockefeller. He is a good friend. He is a good 
colleague. We have had a good private discussion. It is time to put 
this in the past, build a bridge to the future, and let the 
Intelligence Committee, unique among the committees in the Congress, do 
our work, our congressional oversight on behalf of national security.
  I yield the remainder of my time.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Illinois.
  Mr. DURBIN. Mr. President, on my own time I would like to ask the 
chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee if he would respond to a 
  Mr. ROBERTS. Yes.
  Mr. DURBIN. I ask the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, 
is he prepared to say on the Senate floor today that the investigation 
of this committee will not only look into the conduct and activity of 
the intelligence agencies, but allow us to follow the intelligence 
information gathering to its use by the administration, from the 
President on down, specifically whether the committee, as we have 
requested on the Democratic side, will take this intelligence 
information, determine whether there was any influence by the 
administration on intelligence agencies, and determine whether or not 
the administration and any of its spokesmen, before the invasion of 
Iraq, in any way exaggerated or distorted the intelligence that was 
gathered in portraying the case to the American people?
  Mr. ROBERTS. I say to my friend and colleague, we are in the process 
of conducting an inquiry. That inquiry I would say is about 85 percent 
complete. We have had full cooperation--not full cooperation but a 
spirit of cooperation from the White House, State Department, 
Department of Defense, and the CIA. Once our inquiry is complete, I 
think I can answer the question the Senator has posed.
  We are on the right track. We want to get at the timeliness and the 
credibility of the intelligence that was provided. We had four goals to 
do that, agreed upon by Senator Rockefeller. We will do that job. At 
that particular time, why, the Senator's question would be pertinent.
  I yield.
  Mr. DURBIN. Let me reclaim the time. The response or lack of response 
from the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee explains why we 
are in the Chamber today. There are two responsibilities of this 
Intelligence Committee: Not only to determine whether the intelligence 
agencies did their job but whether or not the information they 
generated was correctly portrayed by the administration.
  I have just asked the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee 
directly whether this investigation will go into the use of 
intelligence information by the administration, and you heard his 
response: Only after we have completed the first round of inquiry about 
intelligence agencies would we consider asking the question whether 
anyone in the administration exerted influence on intelligence agencies 
or mischaracterized the information coming from those agencies.
  That was the direct question. There was an opportunity for the 
chairman of the committee to say point blank that we will allow this 
investigation to take its normal course, and he deferred. He said we 
will wait to a later time. That, I believe, is the source of 
frustration within this committee.
  Our ranking member on this committee, Senator Jay Rockefeller of West 
Virginia, has shown the patience of Job. He has tried literally for 
months to encourage and convince the Republican majority on this 
committee to have a full and complete investigation. That is what the 
American people deserve. That is what this committee should do. But, 
sadly and unfortunately, the Republican majority has built a wall and 
said we will gather all of the information and all the investigation 
about intelligence--but we will not breach that wall and go over the 
other side to see how the administration used this information.
  That is the critical issue. How can you have a complete investigation 
without asking both questions? Unfortunately, it has been a decision by 
the Republican majority that they will not allow us to look into the 
use of intelligence data.
  I have never seen this memo that has been referred to. No one has 
ever given it to me. I certainly had no role in the preparation of this 
memo. I don't know what it said. But if that memo expressed the 
frustration of many Senators on the committee that we have created this 
firewall to protect the administration, then the memo, frankly, speaks 
to real feelings.
  The Intelligence Committee historically has been bipartisan, as it 
should be. Our efforts on the Democratic side were to urge the 
Republican majority to take perhaps the uncomfortable but necessary 
step so that the investigation would be complete. You heard what 
Chairman Roberts said this morning. He is not prepared to take the 
investigation of the Intelligence Committee to the use of intelligence 
data. And as long as that wall has been created, sadly, this cannot be 
the kind of investigation the American people deserve.
  Just several weeks ago--maybe 2--Senator John Corzine of New Jersey 
came to the floor and asked for an independent commission on the 
intelligence that was gathered and how it was used by the 
administration before the invasion of Iraq. At that time his amendment 
was rejected by the Senate. It was opposed by Chairman Roberts of the 
Senate Intelligence Committee and Senator Rockefeller, the ranking 
Democrat. They said: Stay with the investigation of the Intelligence 
  I, frankly, took a different position. I really think this debate 
this morning proves the point that it is now time to appoint an 
independent commission--independent and bipartisan--that will literally 
take this investigation wherever it leads. If the chips fall on a 
previous administration or this administration, so be it. It is not our 
role in the Intelligence Committee, nor in Congress, to protect any 
political party or administration. Our role is to protect the United 
States of America. Our responsibility is national security. Once the 
chairman of the committee, as he said this morning, decided this 
investigation will not go into the use of intelligence data, it is 
clear that this Intelligence Committee cannot do its job as it should. 
It makes the case now more than ever that an independent commission 
needs to be appointed so there is integrity, transparency, and 
believability in this process.

  Mr. LOTT. Mr. President, will the Senator yield for a question?
  Mr. DURBIN. I am happy to yield for a question.
  Mr. LOTT. I appreciate that because I believe Senator Roberts did 
respond to your question.
  I didn't mention any names quoted in this London Telegraph article. 
But, Senator Durbin, you are quoted as saying that a public split and 
new inquiry is inevitable. I hope that is not a quote from you.
  Mr. DURBIN. Well, it is a quote from me.
  Mr. LOTT. Because to prejudge----
  Mr. DURBIN. Reclaiming my time----
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senators will respond to each other 
through the Chair.
  Mr. DURBIN. Responding to my friend from Mississippi, let me say that 
quote is accurate, that quote is mine, and what you heard from our 
chairman this morning is the reason for the quote. If we do not allow a 
complete and full investigation, a split is inevitable. If a decision 
is made to protect this administration at any level at the expense of 
the credibility of this investigation, we are not serving the American 
people well.
  Senator Rockefeller has tried time and time again to convince the 
chairman, the Republican chairman of this committee, that we need a 
complete investigation. He said repeatedly to Senator Rockefeller, I 
have been led to believe, what he said on the floor this morning: We 
are going to draw the line. We will not look into the use of 
  That, sadly, I think, is the reason we are here today and tied in 
this political knot. It is time for an independent commission.

[[Page S13952]]

  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from South Carolina.
  (The remarks of Mr. Hollings pertaining to the introduction of S. 
1821 are located in today's Record under "Statements on Introduced 
Bills and Joint Resolutions.")
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Indiana.


Congressional Record: November 5, 2003 (Senate)
Page S13952

                        INTELLIGENCE INFORMATION

  Mr. BAYH. Mr. President, I am pleased to offer a few remarks on 
behalf of myself and also the distinguished Senator from Oregon with 
regard to the brouhaha that has broken out over the Intelligence 
Committee and our inquiry into the possible existence of weapons of 
mass destruction and the use of intelligence information by this 
  In many ways, it is an unfortunate debate because if there is one 
thing that should absolutely be above and beyond partisanship, it is 
the Intelligence Committee, our intelligence services, and the use to 
which that information is put. We need to dedicate ourselves not to 
scoring political points but, instead, to protecting the national 
interest. When we have Members' motives cast in a bad light and heated 
rhetoric used, it does not serve that purpose in any way whatsoever.
  Senator Rockefeller, the ranking member on the Intelligence 
Committee, has been doing a very admirable job. It is my strong 
impression that he has been pursuing his responsibilities in a 
bipartisan way, trying to get at the truth in a way that is consistent 
with the finest traditions of the Intelligence Committee.
  I have never seen the report that has been alluded to. I understand 
it was simply a listing of possible options. And I can guarantee you 
that Senator Rockefeller has been under intense pressure by some others 
to pursue a much more partisan line of inquiry and to be much more 
confrontational. Instead, he has chosen to try to pursue the 
cooperative path first. I compliment him for that because it is exactly 
the course that needs to be pursued on the Intelligence Committee and 
in this body. Most importantly, we need to get beyond this current 
  I happen to think those who are watching this debate out beyond the 
beltway are scratching their heads and saying: There they go again. 
What on Earth are they doing?
  We have gone to war at least in part because of the possible 
existence of weapons of mass destruction in the nation of Iraq. Our 
credibility is at stake. We need to get to the bottom of this and 
understand, if they do exist, what we can do to root them out and, if 
they do not exist, why we were led to believe they do exist. This is 
important to ensuring the national security interests of our country.
  We also need to get to the bottom of allegations about the possible 
manipulation or misuse of intelligence in the runup to the war--not for 
the purpose of scapegoating or witch hunting but for the purposes of 
ensuring that in fact it never takes place.
  Those in the majority shouldn't stonewall or circle the wagons, and 
those on our side of the aisle shouldn't engage in finger pointing and 
trying to score political points in a runup to a Presidential election 
next year. We need an objective, dispassionate search for the truth. 
That is what the American people deserve. It is my understanding that 
is what Senator Rockefeller is pursuing.
  Finally, the British have some experience in this area. They have 
just recently gone through an inquiry of their own over what was 
allegedly the "dodgy dossier." I think that is how it is referred to 
in British circles. The Prime Minister even had to offer evidence under 
oath as part of that inquiry.
  No one is suggesting anything so intrusive on our side of the aisle. 
On the contrary, we would like to pursue this in a cooperative, 
nonpartisan manner to get at the truth, to determine whether weapons of 
mass destruction existed and, if not, why we were led to believe they 
did, and always to fairly and dispassionately analyze how information 
from the intelligence world was used in making the case to pursue the 
ouster of Saddam Hussein. That is in the national security interests of 
our country.
  I salute Senator Rockefeller for taking the appropriate course. I 
hope this debate will calm down and refocus on the business at hand, 
which is protecting the national security of our country, rather than 
engaging in heated, partisan rhetoric which we have way too much of 
around this town and in this Chamber.
  Those are my thoughts.
  I again compliment Senator Rockefeller, and I look forward to working 
with Members on both sides of the aisle to bring about that kind of 
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Oregon.
  Mr. WYDEN. Mr. President, I very much share the view of the Senator 
from Indiana. I simply say that a lot of paper floats around Capitol 
Hill that never sees the light of day. The document that has to guide 
the members of the Intelligence Committee--both Democrats and 
Republicans--is the Constitution of the United States. That is the tone 
that our vice chairman, Senator Rockefeller, has consistently set 
throughout this effort to get at the facts with respect to Iraq. That 
is the path I think every Member of the Senate ought to continue to 
follow. It ought to be a bipartisan goal. The American people deserve 
no less.
  There are legitimate and very troubling questions that need to be 
answered about the intelligence used to bring this Nation to war in 
Iraq. In fact, serious issues have come up just in the last week.
  I will say that I found it exceptionally troubling--really chilling--
that just last week, Paul Bremer, who is the point man with respect to 
the efforts on the ground in Iraq, was asked about the nature of the 
Iraqi resistance and in fact was told there really wasn't a capability 
in the intelligence community to give our country the information that 
is so necessary to protect our courageous men and women who are in 
harm's way.
  That is the kind of issue about which I think every Member of the 
Senate ought to be concerned. That is what the Intelligence Committee 
ought to be tackling in a bipartisan way. That is what Senator 
Rockefeller has consistently been trying to do.
  We can go through a lot of the past history. Certainly, in 
discussions about weapons of mass destruction, we were told right here 
in the U.S. Capitol on a number of occasions that those weapons have 
not materialized. There are issues with respect to the past that need 
to be examined. There are issues such as the point Mr. Bremer made just 
in the last week that I think are very troubling.
  I just urge that every Member of the Senate--and certainly those on 
the Intelligence Committee--recognize it is not the paper that floats 
around here that may or may not see the light of day and various kinds 
of draft documents that are important; what is important is that we do 
the work of oversight. That is what is in line with the document that 
ought to guide us--the Constitution of the United States. And that is 
what Senator Rockefeller has set out for us in his work. I commend him 
for it.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Hawaii.
  (The remarks of Mr. Akaka pertaining to the introduction of S. 1822 
are located in today's Record under "Statements on Introduced Bills 
and Joint Resolutions.")
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Michigan.


Congressional Record: November 5, 2003 (Senate)
Page S13952-S13954


  Mr. LEVIN. Mr. President, early this morning there was a discussion 
on the

[[Page S13953]]

floor of a staff memo from some Intelligence Committee staffers which 
had not either been authorized or indeed shared by members of the 
Intelligence Committee. But it was characterized--and I think 
mischaracterized, quite clearly--as a Democratic plan relative to the 
review of the intelligence that was created and used prior to the Iraqi 
  The only thing that Democratic members of the Intelligence Committee 
have pressed is for a full investigation, a full inquiry into not just 
the creation of the intelligence but the use of that intelligence.
  Without looking at the use of intelligence that was created by the 
intelligence community, there would only be half a picture painted. 
Hopefully, that half of a picture will be fully explored on a 
bipartisan basis. I think the first half of the picture, indeed, is 
being fully explored on a bipartisan basis. That is the part of the 
picture that looks at the intelligence community's production of 
intelligence and as to whether or not that intelligence community in 
some way either shaped or exaggerated that intelligence for whatever 
purpose. It has also been now added that if any of the administration 
put pressure on the intelligence community that would also be included 
in the review.
  But what is left out is the critical half of the picture which the 
American public hears, which is the use of the intelligence given to 
the policymakers by those policymakers. Now, the word "use" of 
intelligence, that word "use" actually appears in the resolution 
creating the Intelligence Committee and identifying the oversight role 
of the Intelligence Committee. So the word "use" is actually embedded 
in the very document creating the Intelligence Committee that sets 
forth what its role will be and what its oversight responsibilities 
are. Yet so far the majority of the Intelligence Committee has said: We 
will not look at the use of the intelligence which was given to the 
  Now, that is a huge gap. That means we will be walking up to the 
water's edge and stopping there. That means instead of letting the 
chips fall where they may, the chips will only be allowed to fall on 
the intelligence community's side of the fence. They will not be 
allowed to fall on the policymakers' role and responsibility.
  We were told by the policymakers, prior to the war, that--this is 
Secretary Rumsfeld--

       We know where the weapons of mass destruction are.

  We were told, before the war, by the Vice President:

       Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now 
     has weapons of mass destruction.

  We were told, before the war, by the President, himself, that:

       Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves 
     no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and 
     conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised.

  So the heart of the problem that we have at the Intelligence 
Committee is whether or not we are going to stop at that water's edge 
or look at the use of the intelligence, whether a critique will be made 
of the intelligence community's shaping or exaggeration, to the extent 
that existed, or whether or not the same searchlight will be placed 
upon the policymakers as to whether they exaggerated or shaped or 
misstated what was given to them by the intelligence community.
  The Department of State had a Web site. On December 19 of last year, 
that Web site said:

       Why is the Iraqi regime hiding their uranium procurement?

  This is months after the CIA apparently told the State Department 
that there was no such effort on the part of Iraq to obtain uranium, or 
at least that they had not reached that conclusion. Yet in December--
and by the way, much later--the State Department's Web site still is 
representing to the public that the Iraqi regime is hiding uranium 
  Why should we not look into that Web site? How does that Web site get 
created, despite what we now believe was the intelligence community's 
conclusion or lack of conclusion relative to uranium acquisition?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator has used 5 minutes.
  Mr. LEVIN. I thank the Chair.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New Jersey.
  Mr. CORZINE. I thank the Chair. I appreciate very much the comments 
of the Senator from Michigan, particularly in informing the Senate that 
the charge of the Intelligence Committee includes the use of 
intelligence as part of its mission.
  Frankly, this whole discussion of this leaked memo today only 
reinforces my own view that we need an independent, bipartisan 
commission because it is now becoming a political debate about whether 
there is politics inside the Intelligence Committee.
  I listened to the earlier discussion on the floor. People are talking 
about Presidential politics and talking about how inappropriate it is 
for people to talk in a thoughtful manner about how processes may occur 
over a period of time. We are missing the point.
  There are men and women who are dying in Iraq because either the 
development or the use of our intelligence is not at a level where we 
are protecting the people of America and the men and women in uniform.
  The issue is not whether this is a political debate. The issue is 
whether Iraq possessed chemical or biological weapons.
  It is whether Iraq had links to al-Qaida or whether Iraq attempted to 
acquire uranium. It is an issue of whether we are going to turn loose 
the names of our intelligence operatives because there is political use 
of the need or want to discredit someone who might challenge some of 
the answers to the questions I just raised.
  We have a fundamental question right here and now of whether we are 
going to have an intelligence operation that informs policymakers so 
they can make good decisions or whether we are going to have an 
intelligence operation that is used to justify policy decisions already 
  The idea that we are going to debate whether this is a political 
issue or not really does argue in the strongest terms that we need to 
have an independent, bipartisan approach to understanding whether the 
development of our intelligence was appropriate and whether the use of 
that was even consistent or whether it was designed to justify as 
opposed to inform.
  When men and women are dying, I don't understand why we are even 
thinking about this in the context of politics on either side of the 
aisle. The real issue is, we ought to get to the bottom of it. What led 
to decisions that don't match the reality we have come to find on the 
ground in Iraq?
  I have over and over again--and will again--asked for an independent 
investigation, a bipartisan investigation, a commission to understand 
why we don't know what we should have known when we entered into this. 
It seems to me that is the essence and the most important issue we 
ought to be discussing, not some memo that wasn't seen by anybody else 
in the committee, developed by a staffer as a concept memo. That really 
diverts from the fundamental issue of protecting our men and women, 
protecting the people of the United States.
  By the way, there is some reason to believe we are not getting all 
the information, whether it is in the Intelligence Committee. We know 
the independent commission studying 9/11 has said they have been 
stonewalled. People from both sides of the commission, as far as 
political background, have said that. They had to subpoena information 
from the FAA to be able to get information to move forward to 
  We are missing the point. One of the reasons I do believe we need an 
independent, bipartisan commission is so we don't have the kind of 
discussion we had on the floor today, so we can get to the facts that 
actually will protect the American men and women in uniform. It is high 
time we put our priorities right, which is understanding how our 
intelligence operations develop and how they are used, not whether we 
have a political issue that can be talked about on the talk shows at 
  I find it very hard when senior people in the State Department, who 
have worked there 25 or 30 years, say, speaking about folks, that we 
have a faith-based approach to intelligence, that we are developing 
intelligence to show what we want to conclude.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator's time has expired.

[[Page S13954]]

  Mr. CORZINE. Mr. President, I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. BENNETT. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. BENNETT. Parliamentary inquiry: What is the pending business?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. There are 8 minutes remaining in morning 
business that the Senator may consume or yield back.
  Mr. BENNETT. Mr. President, given that opportunity, I will consume a 
few of those minutes to respond to the conversations about Iraq.
  I was in this body when we went to S-407 and heard the intelligence 
community brief us on the manufacture of chemical weapons taking place 
at what appeared to be a pharmaceutical factory in the Sudan. We were 
told repeatedly by high officials of the administration this was a 
plant producing weapons of mass destruction, chemical weapons; it had 
to be taken out by a cruise missile. Some of us asked to see the 
intelligence. We asked to know exactly what it was that led the 
administration to believe this was in fact a chemical plant.
  As we were given that intelligence, I found myself questioning it. I 
walked away from that meeting saying to myself: This is a little bit 
thin. There is not a lot of substance here. But administration 
officials were very emphatic in saying, no, we have gone through the 
intelligence. It is very firm. We have to take this out.
  The administration in this instance, of course, was the Clinton 
administration. The intelligence being presented to us was being 
presented by Secretary Cohen, the Secretary of Defense. We now know the 
intelligence was wrong. This was not, in fact, a factory for weapons of 
mass destruction. It was, rather, a pharmaceutical plant, just as the 
people said it was.
  We blew it up nonetheless. We killed some people with the cruise 
missiles we threw in there. After recognizing the intelligence was 
wrong, we apologized, as indeed we should.
  The question I would ask those who are now raising the issue about 
intelligence in Iraq would be this: Would they suggest the result of 
our actions in Iraq called for an American apology? Are they suggesting 
we should apologize to the people of Iraq for having taken out Saddam 
Hussein and, when we find him, replace him in power?
  This is a man who killed 300,000 of his own people. We have uncovered 
the mass graves. This is a man responsible for over 1 million 
additional deaths in the two wars he started with his neighbors.
  This is a man who has destroyed his own country. This is a man who 
has raped and brutalized those of his citizens whom he has not killed. 
This is a man who was willing to pay $25,000 to anyone who would wrap 
himself in dynamite and blow himself up, as long as he took some others 
with him. This is a man who had weapons of mass destruction and has 
used them against his own people. This is a man whose actions are 
clearly in violation of the U.N. Resolution 1441.
  Am I supposed to apologize for having supported an effort to remove 
him just because some people are challenging the details of the 
intelligence that led us to this action? I do not apologize for one 
moment for supporting the war or for supporting the supplemental to pay 
for the war, because the consequences of the action we have taken have 
liberated over 20 million people and made the neighborhood in which 
Saddam Hussein lived substantially safer for all of the neighbors 
around him.
  This is not similar to the case of the blowing up of a pharmaceutical 
plant in Sudan because the intelligence was faulty, which took place in 
the Clinton administration. This is an action that history will look 
back upon and say we did the right thing.
  With that, I yield back the remainder of morning business time.