Congressional Record: November 7, 2003 (Senate)
Page S14254-S14261


  Mr. FRIST. Mr. President, I want to spend the next several minutes 
commenting on a matter that I regard, as majority leader of this body, 
to be one that is very serious. As is the case with a number of my 
colleagues, in fact, most of the U.S. Senators, we have been given the 
opportunity to reflect on the publication of a very disturbing internal 
memorandum, a memorandum that lays out a blatant, partisan strategy to 
use the Senate Intelligence Committee to politically wound the 
President of the United States.
  That is unacceptable. There is really no other way to read this memo. 
I am deeply disappointed that anyone--that anyone--would have a plan to 
so politicize the Intelligence Committee of the U.S. Senate, to render 
it incapable of meeting its responsibilities to this institution, to 
the U.S. Senate, and, indeed, to the American people.
  Moreover--I had hesitated to come to the floor to address this 
directly, but now is the time to do that--the response by those behind 
this memo has been miserably inadequate, has been disappointing, and 
has been disturbing.
  We are at a time of peril in our Nation's history. As our 
intelligence agencies and our Armed Forces in the Middle East are at 
war against our mortal enemies, those responsible for this memo appear 
to be--and anybody can read this memo. It is available now. The copy I 
have here is actually on the FOXNews Web site. But if you read it, 
those responsible for this memo appear to be more focused on winning 
the White House for their party than on winning the war against terror.
  Those priorities are wrong. They are dead wrong.
  As majority leader of the U.S. Senate, as one responsible for 
preserving the integrity of this institution and the direction of this 
institution, it is incumbent upon me to make sure we address this 
matter properly, appropriately, and adequately.
  In the aftermath of the war in Iraq, the failure thus far to find 
deployed weapons of mass destruction is a legitimate matter for inquiry 
by this body, this institution, for our colleagues. After all, for 
nearly 10 years--throughout the 8-year tenure of President Clinton and 
the first 2 years of President Bush--the U.S. Congress and the White 
House were given a steady flow of information by the intelligence 
community that suggested such weapons did exist.
  In fact, it was this information that precipitated, in 1998, the U.S. 
military attack Operation Desert Fox, ordered by President Clinton at 
that time, and, in part, Operation Iraqi Freedom, ordered by President 
Bush in 2003.
  Thus, if there is incomplete or imprecise information that had been 
provided to President Clinton or President Bush and the U.S. Congress 
over a 10-year period, the intelligence community should be asked to 
explain. That is what the Intelligence Committee is expected to do; it 
is really charged by this body to do; and that is exactly--that is 
exactly--what Senator Roberts, chairman of the Intelligence Committee, 
set out to do.
  Last spring, Senator Roberts, as chairman of the Intelligence 
Committee, made a commitment, jointly with Senator Rockefeller, to 
conduct a thorough review of U.S. intelligence on the existence of and 
the threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programs.

  The review was also intended to cover Iraq's ties to terrorist 
groups, Saddam Hussein's threat to stability and security in the 
region, and his violations of human rights, including the demonstrated 
actual use of weapons of mass destruction; namely, chemical weapons 
against his own people.
  The review was intended to examine the quantity of information, the 
quality of U.S. intelligence, the objectivity, the independence, the 
accuracy of the judgments reached by the intelligence community, 
whether or not those judgments were properly disseminated to 
policymakers in the executive branch, as well as to this body and the 
Congress, and whether any influence was brought to bear on anyone to 
shape the analysis to support policy objectives.
  Thus, that was the initial charge and what, in fact, has occurred 
over the past 5 months. The Intelligence Committee staff has reviewed 
thousands of documents. It has interviewed over 100 individuals, 
including private citizens and analysts and senior officials with the 
Central Intelligence Agency, with the National Security Council, with 
the Defense Intelligence Agency, with the State Department's Bureau of 
Intelligence and Research, and even the United Nations.

[[Page S14255]]

  It is indisputable the chairman of that Intelligence Committee, 
Senator Roberts, has complied in good faith with the nonpartisan--the 
nonpartisan--commitment which he made to his Democratic colleagues. 
Most recently, this nonpartisan commitment was manifest, once again, in 
a series of very direct, no-nonsense letters directed to the 
administration, demanding the immediate production of documents and 
interviews necessary to move the Iraq review forward.
  Senator Rockefeller, himself, formally recognized, on the floor of 
the Senate, the fundamental good work performed thus far when, on 
November 5, he stated on this floor, and I quote:

       I have been vocal in my appreciation of the absolutely 
     excellent job done to date by the staff on the aspects of the 
     investigation they have been asked to perform, which is 
     reviewing the prewar Iraqi intelligence. They have done a 
     superb job, absolutely superb job.

  The words of Senator Rockefeller.
  The chairman of the committee, Senator Roberts, has acted with the 
utmost attention to that nonpartisan tradition of this critically 
important Intelligence Committee. That nonpartisan tradition--and it is 
unusual to have nonpartisan traditions in this body--but it has always 
been preserved, for good reason, in that Intelligence Committee.
  The tradition is reflected in the committee's founding resolution, S. 
Res. 400, enacted in 1976, as a result of nationwide concerns at that 
time about intelligence activities in earlier years.
  The committee's nonpartisan tradition has been carefully cultivated 
and respected over time, over all these years, by its members. The 
tradition is part and parcel of the committee's rules, which extend the 
prerogatives of the minority, that are not found in any other committee 
in this body.
  For a quarter century there has been a consensus in the Senate that 
the committee's nonpartisan tradition must be carefully safeguarded. 
Nothing less is acceptable. Why? Because this committee deals with 
information that is unique, that is privileged information, because of 
the dangerous and sensitive nature of the subject matter for which the 
Intelligence Committee, this committee, has unique oversight.
  I come to the floor because that critical tradition has now been 
willfully attacked.
  How can I say that? By this memo. You read the memo. The Senate 
Select Committee on Intelligence has been harmed by a blatant partisan 
attack. I have no earthly idea who wrote this memo. I do know why. I 
don't know who it was intended for, but I do know why. If you read the 
memo, you can look. It is a sequence of steps spelled out. The sequence 
of steps proposed in this partisan battle plan for the committee itself 
is without question intended to sow doubt, to abuse the fairness of the 
committee chairman, Senator Pat Roberts, to undermine the standing of 
the Commander in Chief at a time of war, and to launch a partisan 
investigation through next year to continue into the elections.
  The memo lays clear that over the past several months there has been 
a partisan design at work ``to pull along the majority.'' According to 
the memo, the good will, the sense of fairness, the nonpartisan 
approach of the chairman of the committee, Senator Roberts, is still 
seen as providing ample ``opportunity to usefully collaborate'' in 
attacking the President of the United States. That is an abuse of the 
chairman of that very committee. This whole idea of leading that 
chairman or the committee along is simply unacceptable and out of the 
spirit of this committee. Again, it is something we simply cannot 
  Finally, in the memo the author proposes that once the committee can 
be duped no longer, a partisan core of Senators can ``pull the 
trigger'' on another investigation.
  The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence simply cannot function. 
Worse than that, it cannot fulfill its purpose for us without a 
complete understanding of what is at work in this matter. I thought it 
would come forward over the last 48 hours, but it simply has not. That 
is unacceptable.
  Thus I suggest we take the following three steps. First, I don't know 
who wrote this memo, but as majority leader of the Senate, I do ask the 
author or authors to step forward, to identify himself or herself or, 
if there are several people, to stand up with that information for the 
full Senate. We would be much better equipped to understand the level 
of intent behind this partisan strategy as well as the depth of the 
problem within the committee itself.
  It is necessary to know who the memo was intended to go to, who was 
to receive that memo. It was obviously written as a strategy. Who was 
that memo to be delivered to? Was it intended for political purposes 
beyond what is permitted in the Senate rules?
  Second, it is reasonable to expect, I think--in fact, I know--that 
the author or authors and the designated recipient or recipients 
disavow once and for all this partisan attack in its entirety. It is 
hard to believe this disavowal has not come forward given what is at 
stake. The Senate cannot permit a committee chairman with the integrity 
of Senator Pat Roberts to be subjected to such abuse. The Senate as an 
institution should not permit a committee upon which all of us are so 
dependent--because of its privileged status with access to information, 
we are dependent on that committee to make decisions--to be so misused 
or potentially misused for partisan purposes.
  Third, I expect there to be a personal apology to the chairman of the 
Intelligence Committee, Senator Roberts, for the manipulative tone and 
the injurious content of this document. Senator Roberts is one of this 
body's most distinguished Members. He is a friend. He is a 
trusted colleague. He served in this body for 7 years, rising to that 
position of trust as chairman of one of the Senate's most respected, 
most important, most critical committees, especially at this time of 
war. Senator Roberts, with his straight-talking manner, has the 
complete trust of colleagues on both sides of the aisle. He served this 
Nation in uniform, in the Marine Corps, in the House of 
Representatives. His integrity is unimpeachable. He is doing an 
outstanding job as chairman of the Intelligence Committee.

  But only with the fulfillment of the three steps I outlined--No. 1, 
who wrote it and who was the intended recipient; No. 2, a total 
disavowal of the writing of this and, more importantly, the intent of 
this memo; and No. 3, an apology to the chairman--will it be possible 
for this important committee to resume its work in an effective manner, 
in a bipartisan manner, a manner that is deserving of the confidence of 
100 Members in the Senate as well as the confidence of the executive 
  In light of this partisan attack, Chairman Roberts and I have taken 
the opportunity to discuss the scope of the unfinished work on the 
review of the prewar intelligence in Iraq. It is our view that the 
committee's review is nearly complete. Together we have called upon the 
administration to provide the remaining requested materials. We have 
jointly determined that the committee can and will complete its review 
this year.
  To the authors of this memo, there will be no more pulling along and 
no more useful collaboration on partisan schemes, borrowing from the 
malicious intent of this memo.
  This must be addressed forthrightly. I call upon my colleagues to pay 
attention to this memo. It is something we can resolve and we must 
resolve over the coming days.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Virginia.
  Mr. WARNER. Mr. President, I commend our distinguished leader for 
addressing this matter which is of extraordinary importance to the 
institution and indeed the United States.
  I humbly say I have been privileged to serve in this body for 25 
years. I have been a member of the Intelligence Committee in years 
past, 8 years; the last 2 of those years serving as the ranking member 
with Senator DeConcini, who is now retired from the Senate. I speak now 
as a former member of the committee and draw on those 25 years of my 
own experience.
  I have never seen an incident of the level of seriousness to our very 
vital security interests in this country as this particular memo 
presents. I think our leader, in a very fair and balanced way, has 
addressed the challenges. I commend the distinguished chairman, Senator 
Roberts, with whom I have served these many years in the Congress and 
the Senate.
  I conclude by saying, speaking for myself and I think many Senators,

[[Page S14256]]

with everything we do in this body today, I keep in mind the young men 
and women of the Armed Forces, wherever they are in the world today, 
serving valiantly, most particularly in Afghanistan and Iraq, and how 
the actions we as an institution take hopefully are in their best 
  I thank the Chair and the distinguished leader.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Missouri.
  Mr. BOND. Mr. President, I thank our leader for bringing this matter 
to the floor. I join with the very distinguished chairman of the Armed 
Services Committee because that is what we really ought to be about. We 
ought to be focused on winning the war against terrorism, not allowing 
one of our primary, sensitive committees, the Intelligence Committee, 
to be focused on winning the White House. I can't say it any better 
than the Senator from Virginia. We have heroic young men and woman in 
harm's way fighting to bring order to a region of the world where we 
have had many threats to our security. The least these brave men and 
women could expect would be that our country and our Congress would be 
behind them.
  Frankly, one of the reasons I sought membership on the Senate 
Intelligence Committee as a new member was I realized that in this 
critical battle against terrorism worldwide, we cannot win unless we 
have the best possible intelligence.
  As I understand it, the job of the Intelligence Committee is not only 
one of oversight but of taking a look and seeing what has happened in 
the intelligence-gathering analysis and sharing in the past, how we can 
do a better job. Our staffs have been deeply engaged in this exercise 
for many months. We have followed it. We have had numerous hearings. We 
have read some, but not all, of the tens of thousands, perhaps hundreds 
of thousands, of pages that have come before us. We need, on a 
bipartisan basis, to be able to find out how we can improve that 
  One of the reasons the Intelligence Committee is so special is the 
tradition it has. The intelligence community members, whose lives are 
at risk because of what they are doing--often undercover work, dealing 
with classified, sensitive subjects--have been able to come before the 
committee in the past, knowing they could count on confidentiality, 
professionalism, and on a body that was not going to be using their 
words or their actions for partisan political gain.
  Unfortunately, when we first saw this memo, it looked as if there was 
somebody, or ``somebodies,'' in the Intelligence Committee who wanted 
to use it to win the White House. That is just unacceptable. Some 
people on the other side have said this is just an options memo tossed 
up for review. I have been around here for a few years, and a staff 
person on his or her own doesn't write a memo saying: We have carefully 
reviewed our options under the rules and we believe we have identified 
the best approach. Our plan is as follows.
  I say that the occupant of the chair, and probably everybody else 
here, would be totally stupefied if they got a memo from the staff that 
was supposed to be an option memo and said: This is our plan. This is 
not an accident. Days have passed and there have been no consequences. 
If somebody was really off base, there would have been something that 
would have happened. Some steps would have been taken. As the 
distinguished majority leader has pointed out, nothing has happened. 
Unfortunately, too many of the actions we have seen seem to fit right 
in with this plan. Not only are they not disavowing it, they appear to 
be preparing to implement it, or are in the process of implementing it.
  What is this plan? Is it to find out how the intelligence gathering 
could be better? Not likely. In addition to the President's State of 
the Union speech, they say, they want to look at the activities of the 
Office of the Secretary of Defense, as well as Secretary Bolton's 
office at the State Department. They want to go after political 
  Somebody in my office said, ``This looks like a political witch 
hunt.'' I said maybe that is not a bad way to characterize it.
  They are going after political scalps, not trying to find out whether 
the intelligence that we received, the White House received, the 
Department of Defense received, and the State Department received was 
good, but how they can use the process of the Intelligence Committee to 
win political points.
  By the way, when they talk about ``when we can pull the trigger''--
pull the trigger on an investigation--they say the best time to do so 
will probably be next year.

  If I remember correctly, that happens to be a general election year. 
That would seem to square with some of the statements made by the many 
Democratic Presidential candidates who want to raise questions, who 
want to attack the President, using the process of the Intelligence 
  One of the things that is really bothersome is that they are not just 
speaking to an audience in the Senate. When they launch these attacks, 
these attacks get carried across the Nation and across the world. They 
get back to the people we are trying to fight. Do you know something? 
There is nothing a terrorist likes better than seeing discord, 
disharmony, and political infighting among the people they are trying 
to terrorize. That is one of the victories of terrorists. If they can 
tie up the intelligence-gathering operation, which is so critical for 
the protection, first and foremost, of our soldiers on the front line, 
but ultimately our allies and ourselves--if they can see that tied up 
in a political Gordian knot, then they know they are winning.
  I strongly support what the majority leader has said. I strongly 
believe that our fine chairman has not only gone the extra mile, he has 
gone the extra mile and a half.
  Some on the other side said we have not been able to get the 
information we want. When we have found we could not get information, 
the chairman has demanded it and we are going to get it. When they want 
to ask questions, they can do so. When they want to call witnesses, 
they can call witnesses.
  There has been a suggestion that there was pressure on intelligence 
community members. The chairman has gone out and asked publicly of the 
intelligence community, if anybody has any information or concerns that 
they have been pressured, to come forward and talk to staff. We have 
set up elaborate procedures so they can come forward. We are still 
waiting. If we find any of that, we will certainly let it out.
  In the meantime, it is time for us to get back to the job of the 
Intelligence Committee--how we can support, rather than tear apart, our 
intelligence-gathering system. It is with great regret we note that we 
have gone down this path and there doesn't seem to be any remorse or 
disavowal from the other side.
  I thank the Chair and yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Georgia.
  Mr. CHAMBLISS. Mr. President, I rise today, first of all, to ask that 
I be associated with the remarks of the majority leader, as well as the 
Senator from Virginia and my colleague from Missouri, and to also pay a 
great compliment to the chairman of the Intelligence Committee, 
Chairman Roberts, who throughout the past 10 months has led the Senate 
Intelligence Committee through one of the most difficult, if not the 
most difficult, times in the history of the United States of America 
from an intelligence community standpoint.
  Today, our men and women are fighting a war that is unlike any war 
America has ever been involved in before. The intelligence community is 
playing a more high profile and much more public role than ever before 
in the history of our great country. Chairman Roberts has been at the 
tip of the spear when it has come to providing oversight in a 
bipartisan manner with respect to the activities of our intelligence 
  Over the past week, he has provided great leadership with respect to 
the most sensitive issue that has taken place in the short time I have 
been a Member of the Senate. We have seen a security breach unlike any 
other security breach I have ever experienced.
  As my colleagues have noted, the memo that has been referred to that 
was prepared by someone on the other side of the aisle--we have yet to 
find out who--was a blatant political attempt to impede what I consider 
to be an independent, nonpartisan review of prewar Iraq intelligence. 

[[Page S14257]]

should expect more from this Congress. The Democrats in this body 
should expect more from themselves as well as their staffs.
  The Select Committee on Intelligence was established to be 
nonpartisan in nature, in which Congress could perform critical 
oversight of the intelligence activities of the United States. This 
nonpartisan environment was, and is, a crucial feature. This 
nonpartisan environment creates a crucial level of trust between the 
executive branch and the Senate, permitting the President to share 
sensitive national security information, with the confidence that the 
committee will protect the information and not use it to engage in rank 
political misconduct.
  We have seen just the opposite take place with this blatant political 
attack that comes from the other side in the form of this memo.
  We can have our differences over issues involving Iraq, and we have 
had those differences, and we will continue to debate issues such as 
weapons of mass destruction. But no one in this body and no one in the 
intelligence community ever expected a weapon of mass destruction to be 
dropped on the Senate Intelligence Committee, as was done this week.
  I implore the leadership on the other side of the aisle to follow the 
initiative of the majority leader: examine what he has said with 
respect to what needs to be done from this point forward. I certainly 
hope the leadership on the other side of the aisle will do just what 
they are charged to do, and that is to provide leadership and come 
forward to explain the purpose of this memorandum, its intended use, 
and where they expect us to go from here because otherwise, that weapon 
of mass destruction that has been dropped on the Senate Intelligence 
Committee is going to impede our ability to function in the bipartisan 
way that is absolutely crucial if we are going to exercise our 
oversight role in the intelligence community.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Kansas.
  Mr. ROBERTS. Mr. President, I rise to reinforce the very serious 
concerns just raised by the distinguished leader and my colleagues, and 
I thank them for that. The Senator from Tennessee is an ex officio 
member of the Intelligence Committee. He has also been a member of the 
Foreign Relations Committee. He thoroughly understands the complex and 
important foreign policy issues which depend on reliable intelligence 
for their proper resolution.
  I associate myself completely with his comments and agree with him 
that neither the Intelligence Committee nor the Senate, let alone the 
American people, are well served in the current atmosphere of raw 
partisanship that was created by a minority attack strategy that was 
revealed this week.
  I have come before the Senate many times to report on the progress 
and good work that has been done by the committee staff in a bipartisan 
way on the Iraq intelligence review. That has been under review since 
the spring of this year. Two days ago, I expressed an interest in 
getting back to work in the Intelligence Committee. Some Senators 
across the aisle have taken this sentiment as an expression of 
readiness to simply close the book on this episode and pretend like it 
never happened. They are mistaken.
  What has occurred in the Intelligence Committee was not a simple 
misunderstanding over policy or a mild disagreement about philosophy or 
oversight responsibilities. Far from it. What occurred was a direct 
assault on the heart of what makes the Intelligence Committee a unique 
and credible and respected entity in behalf of our national security. 
It was a direct assault on our concept of oversight that is the product 
of some of our country's most trying days. It has functioned well, 
although imperfectly, for nearly 30 years. And now we find ourselves at 
a crossroads, and, boy, is this a road we didn't have to take.

  Unless and until this reprehensible attack plan and strategy to 
derail the committee's important work is properly addressed, I am 
afraid it will be impossible to return to business as usual in the 
  I remain absolutely stunned that just one Member of the minority of 
the Senate has disavowed this destructive strategy and said we are on 
the wrong trail, said it would lead to a box canyon. That courageous 
Member saw it for what it is: ``A highly partisan and perhaps 
treasonous memo.'' Those are his words, Mr. President.
  What really disturbs me the most is that most Democratic Members just 
haven't remained silent about this outrage; some of them have openly 
embraced it. They have actually tried to make a silk purse out of this 
sow's ear by dressing up their planned attack on the Intelligence 
Committee as some kind of frustrated cry for help from their committee 
staff. That is not going to wash.
  Democratic reaction to the attack memorandum is as destructive as the 
strategy itself. We face mounting intelligence challenges in places 
such as North Korea, Iran, and, of course, Iraq, and Afghanistan. 
Members across the aisle should carefully reflect and decide whether 
their caucus should repudiate or disavow--pick any word you want--this 
plan and embrace our Nation's security instead of self-interest. 
Critically important work lies ahead for the Senate Intelligence 
Committee, and an atmosphere of mutual trust and professionalism must 
be restored.
  According to Senator Bob Kerrey, a former Senator and a former vice 
chairman of the committee said:

       Rank partisanship like this destroys the comity needed for 

  There is a way to restore that comity quickly and completely. It 
seems to me that Democratic Senators must clearly repudiate or disavow 
the blatantly partisan strategy laid out in the attack memo. If they 
refuse, it seems to me, then, that the Democratic caucus must be 
prepared to accept responsibility for destroying the Intelligence 
Committee's 25-year, almost 30-year tradition of effective 
nonpartisanship when the country needed it most.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Arizona.
  Mr. KYL. Mr. President, I first compliment the distinguished chairman 
of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, the Senator from 
Kansas, not only for the remarks he just made, but for the way he led 
this committee during very difficult times, as has been mentioned 
  I regret he has been criticized for the very acts of comity which are 
required of a chairman in a position such as this for trying his best 
to accommodate the members of the minority, trying his best to be as 
open and as broad as he could possibly be in approaching the issues 
that have been brought to his attention by members of the minority, 
even criticized, I have seen, in his own hometown press, his own press 
in Kansas for being too soft in dealing with the members of the 
Democratic Party in this matter.
  It is his job to bend over backwards, to make the Intelligence 
Committee work in a nonpartisan fashion. I didn't say ``bipartisan,'' I 
said ``nonpartisan'' because that is the way this committee was set up 
25 years ago: to be a place where politics could not intrude.
  I don't know how many people are aware of where the Intelligence 
Committee works. It works in an area that is secure. That is the 
phrase. There are special physical arrangements in the construction of 
this area in which the committee works. It is literally a vault that 
you walk into, totally closed off from the rest of the world, obviously 
because we don't want any electronic surveillance or other means of 
intercepting what is said within the confines of this secure area.
  It could also be a metaphor for its location in this very political 
city because there is a lot of politics in Washington, DC. We all 
understand that.
  This is a special place where politics is not to intrude. It is 
literally an island in this political sea that is supposed to be out of 
bounds for politics.
  The chairman has done a great job of trying his best to get all of 
the information he can from the intelligence community, from the 
administration, from any other source that would be useful to the 
committee's work, and to bend over backwards, as the memorandum itself 
notes, for the members of the minority. I take my hat off to him for 
that and suggest that he should not be criticized for it; he should be 
praised for it.
  He, too, has made the point that there is a point beyond which one 
just cannot go. When it appears that the

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other side has attempted to take advantage of your goodwill, as the 
chairman has done, he has got to say that is it; no more; this 
committee is not going to be used for partisan political purposes. That 
is what he should do, and I applaud him for that effort.
  I also appreciate the comments of the distinguished majority leader 
in bringing this to the full body as he has done, to raise the critical 
questions and to simply ask for those responsible to step forward and 
acknowledge their responsibility and identify for whom this memorandum 
was written; for the responsible people, including the leadership of 
the Democratic minority, and certainly the leadership of the committee, 
to disavow the contents of the memo, the plan that has been written, 
and to make a public apology to the distinguished chairman of the 
  I think those are very reasonable requests and, frankly, too many 
hours have passed since the first calls for disavowal. Yet the 
memorandum remains not disavowed.
  I would like to take just a moment to try and explain why some of us 
feel so strongly about this. I served on this committee for 8 years. 
There is a rule that a Senator can only serve for 8 years because we 
never want this to become a politicized committee. We never want it to 
be a source where power is gathered around people who maintain their 
position. This is supposed to be a place where a Senator comes in, gets 
expertise, serves time, and then moves on. I had the honor and 
privilege of serving for 8 years.
  One of the things that always stuck with me was the fact that it was 
not bipartisan, it was nonpartisan. The staff was selected primarily 
from the intelligence community, people who were experts in matters of 
intelligence. When I first came in, I said I had a member of my staff 
who used to be with the Intelligence Committee. He has the top 
clearances, and I would like to have him on staff to help me on this 
committee. Bob Kerrey, the former Senator from Nebraska and 
distinguished former chairman referred to by Senator Roberts, made the 
point at the time: No, we cannot do that because we do not want there 
to be any suggestion that there is influence in the committee from the 
private staff of individual Senators. This is professional intelligence 
community staff, and if it ever were thought to be otherwise, we would 
never get the cooperation of the intelligence community providing us 
with secrets that are the most significant, important secrets of our 
  Our committee staff of the Select Committee on Intelligence has the 
complete knowledge of the most significant, serious secrets of this 
country. They have to be above reproach. Think for a moment what would 
happen if it were perceived that they were political staff just 
like all the other committees. There is nothing wrong with political 
staff, but we all understand they have a substantive and a political 
dimension to the work that they do. We all operate within that 
understanding. But here, think about what a Senator could do knowing 
all of these secrets if they decided to use them for partisan political 

  I can state unequivocally that I could have gone out and criticized 
the Clinton administration with things I knew, and people on the 
committee today could probably go out and criticize the current 
administration for things that they know. It would be very hard to 
respond to that because the only response is to use similarly 
classified information to respond.
  We cannot get into that game. No one would share information with the 
intelligence committee if they felt that it could be used for political 
purposes. Indeed, what foreign country or other sources would be 
willing to provide information to our intelligence community with the 
understanding that it might go right to a partisan political committee 
of the Congress? It could not be done.
  I was interested to go to Great Britain and visit with 
Parliamentarians who only recently obtained oversight, like the 
Intelligence Committee oversight of the United States, over 
intelligence activities of the executive branch of their government. 
Now, understand they are a parliamentary form of government so the 
distinction is not nearly as bright as it is in the United States, but 
they sought advice from us as to how they could best do oversight of 
this important intelligence function.
  They were interested in how we were able to get these deep dark 
secrets of our country into the legislative branch of government when 
in the past they had always been the sole province of the intelligence 
community and the executive branch. One of the explanations was because 
we were trusted. We were not a partisan committee like the other 
  Well, this memorandum and the conduct of the staff in this particular 
case begins the process of destroying that credibility and that trust 
and thus eliminating any prospect that this committee can operate in a 
successful way in its oversight function. That is why this is such a 
big deal.
  I mentioned former Senator Kerrey. I would also mention former 
chairmen of the committee, Senators Specter and Shelby, both of whom 
spoke to this issue a couple of days ago and recounted how in their 
experience they had never seen anything like this during their time as 
chairman and noted that they could not possibly function as a committee 
if there were a perception that the committee was being used for 
political purposes.
  I might note one other thing just as an aside. I wrote additional 
views, along with the distinguished chairman of the committee, today to 
the report that the Intelligence Committee issued at the end of last 
year about the events leading up to September 11, 2001. One of the 
reasons that those other views are not as eloquent as I would have 
liked them to have been is that we had to draft them very quickly, 
after the report was done, after we knew what its conclusions were. We 
were able to read through it, and the Senator from Kansas and I noted 
that we did not totally agree with everything--more precisely, there 
were other things that we thought should have been said in that report, 
and we hastily put together our additional views and got them attached 
to the report. I hope they are helpful for people who read that report 
and our additional views.

  We did not come to a conclusion before that report was done, before 
the committee's work was done, that no matter what that report said, we 
were going to attach additional views and be critical of the report. We 
could not have done that because we did not know what it was going to 
  That is what this memorandum suggests is the plan of these Democrat 
staffers, that irrespective of what the report says the Senator from 
Kansas will oversee the issuance of in the next few weeks, they plan to 
attach additional views castigating the majority. I will quote that in 
just a second. That is a misuse of the process and that is the kind of 
thing that we are talking about.
  I would just finally note in this regard, the report that the 
committee is working on now is the second of three major reports. 
First, the committee put out the report at the end of last year. Then 
there is the followup report that is being done right now on the 
intelligence leading up to September 11 and leading up to the conflict 
in Iraq, and finally the Kean commission, which is also going to be 
issuing a report on the same subject. So all three investigations 
overlap in one way or another to ask the question about the adequacy of 
our intelligence pre-September 11 and pre-Iraqi war. It is not as if 
this subject has not gotten a lot of attention.
  The public might be a little confused about what this memorandum 
actually says. I just wanted to note finally what this memorandum says. 
It begins by saying:

       We have carefully reviewed our options under the rules and 
     believe we have identified the best approach. Our plan is as 

  So this is not a recitation of options. This is a statement that they 
reviewed the options and this is what they came up with: The plan, 
``our plan is as follows.'' It clearly is written for someone who 
understands fully what the idea was.
  Our options for what? It would have to be options for something that 
the recipient of the memo already understood. It says:

       First, pull the majority along as far as we can.

  That is the distinguished chairman of the committee.

[[Page S14259]]

       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.

  In other words, a fishing expedition. Let us see how long we can 
string this out and maybe we will get lucky and come up with something. 
In fact, they say it right here: `` . . . We don't know what we will 
find,'' and then there is a parenthesis at the end of this paragraph 
that I find very interesting. ``Note: we can verbally mention some of 
the intriguing leads we are pursuing.''
  No, you cannot, not under the committee rules. It is absolutely 

  What is in that committee is confidential. You cannot verbally 
mention some of the intriguing leads that ``we are pursuing.''

       Assiduously prepare Democratic ``additional views . . .''

  That would be appropriate if the report is already done, but what 
does it say?

     . . . to attach to any interim or final reports the committee 
     may release.

  In other words, it doesn't matter what the committee says. We'll 
write these views ahead of time and attach them.

     . . . we intend to take full advantage of it,

it said.

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

  The majority has not done anything yet but, by golly they are going 
to be castigated for this.

       Prepare to launch an independent investigation when it 
     becomes clear we have exhausted the opportunity to usefully 
     collaborate with the majority.

  I like that phrase. I think that reveals a malevolent intent here. 

     . . . we can pull the trigger on an independent 
     investigation. . . . The best time to do so will probably be 
     next year. . . .

  They then talk about the advantages or disadvantages of doing it at 
that time. They note that:

       We could [under the second view here] attract more coverage 
     and have greater credibility in that context than one in 
     which we simply launch an independent investigation based on 
     principled but vague notions regarding the ``use'' of 

  It concludes:

       . . . 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 unilateral, preemptive war. The approach outlined above 
     seems to offer the best prospect for exposing the 
     administration's dubious motives and methods.

  This is political. This is staffers who have already prejudged. They 
cannot believe President Bush. There must be bad, dishonest motives. It 
is their mantra, and I think they think it is their duty to expose and 
blame the Bush administration. Yes, it is political, but in their view 
it is a higher calling. Bush must be exposed, so any method is 
acceptable, so the end justifies the means even if it risks destroying 
the intelligence committee.
  These staffers should know better because they are senior staffers, 
presumably. That is the kind of people who get hired on this committee. 
But it is wrong to put partisan politics above national security and 
certainly the members of the committee know better. That is why the 
majority leader is absolutely correct in calling upon them to disavow 
this memorandum, which puts partisan politics ahead of national 
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Nevada.
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, let me initially state I have the highest 
respect for Pat Roberts, with whom I served for a number of years on 
the Ethics Committee. I served with him in the House of 
Representatives. I also have the highest respect and the deepest 
admiration for Jay Rockefeller, a man who has devoted his life to 
government and who, as I have indicated, I admire greatly.

  But the American people must understand this memo that has been 
talked about was somehow stolen from the offices of Senator Rockefeller 
and his people who work in the Intelligence Committee. It was 
purloined--I used the word stolen--and then made public by the 
majority. I think one of the things we should consider here, in 
addition to what is in the memo, is how this information was taken. How 
it was obtained and how that came to be is something the Intelligence 
Committee should really be concerned about because, as a number of 
Senators have spoken about this afternoon, the information that is 
spoken of in the Intelligence Committee, the memos, letters, and other 
information that is in the Intelligence Committee, has to remain 
secret. It has to be something that is within the confines of that 
  That wasn't done in this instance. All you need to do is compare the 
situation where, just a few weeks ago now, information was leaked from 
somewhere within the confines of the White House to Robert Novak, a 
distinguished columnist in the Washington area, and that information 
was obviously leaked in an effort to get even with Ambassador Wilson. 
How did they intend to get even with Ambassador Wilson for questioning 
how the war came to be in Iraq? How were they going to get even with 
him? They were going to disclose the name of his wife who was a CIA 
agent. By her name being made public, not only could it lead to her 
physical harm but harm to the people with whom she had intelligence 
contacts all over the world. Where is the hue and cry about this?
  I have been terribly disappointed over the last several days about 
what is happening in the Senate. There were speeches this afternoon 
accusing Senators who are not here to defend themselves and who are 
only trying to do what they think is right for national security--it 
may not be right, but they think it is--of being unpatriotic. That 
makes me feel even sadder.
  The American people should understand, what we have here is an 
investigation being conducted by the Intelligence Committee. It is a 
very important committee. I acknowledge everything that has been said 
by the Senators here this afternoon. It is very important. But the 
minority believes the investigation should be more than looking at what 
the civil servants did; that is, the CIA itself, and should be looking 
at not only what the civil servants did but what the policymakers did.
  I voted for the first gulf war. I voted for the second gulf war. I 
have no regrets about having done either. But I am very interested in 
how we got to the situation we are in.
  I said we can win the war, but can we win the peace? I want to know 
about how the policymakers made the statements they did.
  I think it is also of note, as my friend, the distinguished Senator 
from Arizona, indicated, he did file the same views--he and Chairman 
Roberts. In this report, on page 4 in their views I quote:

       Because the fundamental problems that led to 9/11 are 
     almost certainly rooted in poor policy and inadequate 
     leadership, the investigation should have delved more deeply 
     into conflicting interpretations of legal authorities, 
     including presidential directives, budget allocations, 
     institutional attitudes, and other key areas. Only 
     penetrating these areas will tell us how policymakers, 
     including Congress, contributed to the failures the Report 

  So as I understand this memo, which was stolen from the Intelligence 
Committee--I don't see anything wrong with their asking for more 
information and how we should start looking at the policymakers, not 
just the bureaucrats.
  On page 17 of the report, Senators Roberts and Kyl said:

       The failures that led to 9/11 occurred not only in the 
     intelligence community. The [Joint Inquiry] was selective 
     about what threads of inquiry it was willing to follow beyond 
     the intelligence community.

  So they were asking for what I understand the memo asked for.
  Rather than talking about the Intelligence Committee being 
landlocked, blocked, I think they should just go ahead and do their 
report, enlarge it, and include this information.
  Last night on this floor and earlier today I tried to get permission 
from the majority to pass military construction. The conference report 
should have been passed. We are not doing that. We could do it right 
now. I also tried to pass the Syria Accountability Act. I understand 
procedurally why on the Syria Accountability Act the majority may want 
to hold it over. An hour and a half is plenty of time, but the 
appropriations bill has no time on it. I can't understand why we will 
not do that.
  Talk about political grandstanding, we now learn that starting next

[[Page S14260]]

Wednesday at 6 o'clock we will spend 30 hours talking about judges.
  I ask unanimous consent that the debate time for discussion on 
judges, which we have all learned is going to be 60 hours, be divided 
and controlled equally between the two leaders or their designees.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Mr. FRIST. Reserving the right to object, Mr. President, it is 
interesting to me; comments have been made over the course of the day 
that there was some attempt to figure out how time would be divided, 
and I believe the allegation has been made that had been discussed with 
me before. We have not gotten to that point yet. So I am a little bit 
surprised about some of the statements which were made earlier.
  As we discussed the judicial issue and the filibusters that are 
ongoing, which are unprecedented--partisan filibusters in this country 
on the judicial nominees--I do think it is critically important that we 
have the opportunity on both sides to be heard. The plans will be, 
after we finish the appropriations process over the next several days, 
that at that point in time we will turn to the judicial nominees. We 
will be debating two nominees who haven't yet been considered on the 
floor of the Senate. The intention has been made very clear that the 
Members on the other side of the aisle will filibuster. Therefore, I 
look forward to an active debate between both sides of the aisle. We 
would be happy to talk to the Democratic leadership about how the time 
will be divided.
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, I withdraw the unanimous consent request and 
express my appreciation for hearing that at a later time the leader 
will determine how he feels the time should be allotted. I am glad he 
is thinking about some allocation of time to the minority.

  I also say that my friend from Arizona raised questions and made 
statements about the 9/11 Commission of which Governor Kean is 
chairman. Of course, that has a number of people on it, such as Senator 
Max Cleland. But as we have read from the press accounts, even Governor 
Kean, a Republican, is concerned about the lack of information.
  From the 9/11 Commission, Governor Kean has indicated publicly that 
he may go to as far as issuing subpoenas to the White House to get the 
information he hasn't gotten yet.
  If we are talking about divulging information, one of the things that 
we need to talk about is what has gone on in preparing this 
intelligence report between the White House and the Intelligence 
Committee which is supposed to be sacrosanct in itself.
  Numerous questions have been raised about what the intelligence 
community told the Bush administration about the threat posed by Saddam 
Hussein and how administration officials used this information in the 
days leading up to the war with Iraq.
  What was the factual basis for the administration's assertion that 
Iraq attempted to acquire uranium in Niger?
  What was the factual basis for the administration's assertion that 
there were concrete ties between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaida?
  What was the factual basis for the administration's assertion that 
Iraq posed an imminent danger to the United States?
  What was the factual basis for the administration's assertion that if 
we did not act in Iraq, the so-called smoking gun would be a mushroom 
  In all the speeches, not one of my colleagues has suggested that 
these are not legitimate questions for congressional inquiry. That is 
because each of us recognizes that we need a strong, independent 
intelligence community to win the war on terrorism.
  In order to answer these questions, we need to understand both what 
intelligence told the administration about these issues and how the 
administration used that information.
  Both issues have important implications for national security, and 
both issues should be thoroughly examined by Congress.
  Nevertheless, the Intelligence Committee chairman rejected the Armed 
Services Committee chairman's proposal to conduct a joint 
  My friend, the senior Senator from Virginia, asked for a joint 
inquiry by the Armed Services Committee and Intelligence. But that 
didn't come to be, even though we all know it was a good idea.
  At the same time that he was rejecting these entreaties from members 
of both parties, press reports indicate that the majority was meeting 
with the White House, as I have already indicated, to discuss how to 
proceed on matters that affect the intelligence community.
  I don't think it should come as a surprise to anyone who knows these 
issues that some in this body who are concerned about our national 
security have seen their pleas ignored by the majority. They have been 
  It is difficult for Members in this position to understand why the 
majority would refuse to explore the questions that I have outlined 
only briefly--questions which we all agree need to be answered if we 
are to succeed in this war on terrorism. We all agree that these are 
important questions. We all agree the committee has authority to look 
into these issues.

  While we are posing questions for each other here, my question is 
this: Why isn't the Intelligence Committee looking at both what the 
intelligence community knew and how the administration used that 
  Again, the memo that is the subject matter of the discussion here 
today was not leaked by anyone we know. In fact, we believe--and I 
think there is credible evidence to indicate--that it was stolen, 
purloined, and then made public. It wouldn't have been made public but 
for the majority.
  Doesn't the minority have a right, in the secret confines of the 
Intelligence Committee room, to have pieces of paper there that aren't 
going to be pilfered by the majority? The staff allocation is very 
unfair. Some say it is about 30 to 3. But in spite of that, those 30 
should have better things to do than to pilfer through the records of 
the minority.
  I have the greatest confidence in Senator Roberts and Senator 
Rockefeller. I think we should get back to the business of this 
Intelligence Committee. We should get back to it, and I hope they will 
broaden the investigation. If they decide not to broaden the 
investigation, as the memo indicated--and I have only read little bits 
and pieces of it; I haven't studied the memo--then there are things the 
minority can do to bring this out because the issues that I have raised 
should be made public.
  I hope these two fine Senators--the Senator from Kansas and the 
Senator from West Virginia--will work together as they have so well and 
not let this stolen memo hurt the deliberations of this most important 
committee, the Intelligence Committee.
  I apologize to the majority leader. I know he is a busy man. I am 
sorry I took so long to respond to the remarks made by others here 
  Mr. FRIST. Mr. President, we are about to wrap up here in just a 
couple of minutes.
  But just from my standpoint, based on the comments that have been 
made, we still have no one disavowing the contents of the memo or the 
intent of the memo. All I ask at this juncture is, Who wrote it? Who 
was it intended for? Who was the recipient?
  Second, I ask for someone to stand up and disavow either the intent 
or the content of the memo.
  Third, an apology to the chairman, who it certainly seems to me there 
is an intent to in some ways embarrass and subtract from the integrity 
he has brought to that committee.
  Those three things.
  Just to respond very briefly about some other business, we share the 
minority whip's concern about getting our business done. I have 
mentioned that November 21 is the target date for us to adjourn.
  I am pleased that we have been able--speaking to the legislation that 
we mentioned--to lock in a time agreement on Syria accountability. It 
was a priority of mine. It is a priority on my side of the aisle, and 
on the other side of the aisle. And I can assure our colleagues that it 
will be done early next week. I am not sure exactly what that date 
would be but sometime early next week. There are Members on both sides 
of the aisle who desire to speak on the Syria Accountability Act. I 
urge them to be available early next week, Monday or Tuesday, or they 
might not get that opportunity. I understand both sides of the aisle 
want to progress quickly to this important piece of legislation, the 
Syria Accountability Act.

[[Page S14261]]

  On MILCON, I am prepared to move on that conference report. If the 
minority whip is willing, I am prepared to lock in a 20-minute time 
agreement to allow the managers to make short statements and then to 
allow us to finish that measure. I ask the Democratic whip if he would 
allow us to proceed to that when we proceed to the conference report, 
that it be considered, and that a short time agreement be part of that 
  Mr. REID. Reserving the right to object, I ask that the consent be 
modified to allow the statements to be made after the bill passes 
today. We would pass it today, and people could have more than 20 
minutes next week to speak on it all they want. This matter should be 
passed immediately.
  Mr. FRIST. Mr. President, as I said earlier, I renew my request as 
made because it is very important that people who have worked very hard 
on MILCON, out of respect for them and those managers, be here and they 
make the appropriate speeches and response in support of this bill.
  Mr. REID. Reserving the right to object, does the leader have the 
time in mind when he would bring this up?
  Mr. FRIST. Mr. President, we would bring it up the early part of next 
  Mr. REID. As I have indicated, I want it passed tonight. People in 
Nellis Air Force Base and Fallon can do without speeches. It should be 
passed now. If it will not be passed now, I object.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The objection is heard.
  Mr. FRIST. Mr. President, as you can tell, we have a very busy week 
next week. I will comment a little bit more on the schedule shortly and 
we will be doing MILCON and Syria as well as many other things over the 
next several days.