Congressional Record: February 5, 2004 (Senate)
Page S608-S610


  Mr. ROBERTS. Mr. President, I rise today in order to update my 
colleagues in this body on the recent activities of the Senate Select 
Committee on Intelligence with respect to Iraq. This is a subject that 
has been in the headlines consistently for many different reasons. But 
my purpose in rising today is to report to the Senate, for it is an 
important day in that the Intelligence Committee members, as of this 
afternoon, will be presented the working draft of what the staff has 
been working on for better than 7 months.
  In June of last year, nearly 8 months ago, the Intelligence Committee 
began a formal review of U.S. intelligence into the existence of Iraq's 
weapons of mass destruction programs, Iraq's ties to terrorist groups, 
Saddam Hussein's threat to regional stability and security in the 
Persian Gulf, and his violation--obvious violation--of human rights.
  This review was initiated as part of the committee's continuing 
oversight of the U.S. intelligence community's activities and programs, 
which is always continuing. Our committee staff had, for the previous 
several months, already been examining the intelligence activities 
regarding Iraq, including the intelligence community's support to the 
United Nations weapons inspections in Iraq and the community's analysis 
and collection of reporting related to the alleged Niger-Iraq uranium 
  On June 20, 2003, however, Vice Chairman Rockefeller and I issued a 
press statement. We announced a joint commitment to continue the 
committee's thorough review of prewar U.S. intelligence. In that press 
statement, Senator Rockefeller and I agreed to examine the following: 
the quantity and quality of U.S. intelligence on the Iraqi regime's 
weapons of mass destruction programs, its ties to terrorist groups, the 
regime's threat to stability and security in the region, and its 
repression of its own people.
  We also agreed to look at the objectivity and the reasonableness, 
independence, and accuracy of the judgments reached by the Intelligence 
Community; whether those judgments were properly disseminated to 
policymakers in the executive branch and the Congress; whether--and 
this is very important--any influence was brought to bear on anyone to 
shape their analysis to support policy objectives; finally, other 
issues we might mutually identify in the course of the committee's 

  I laid out three phases of the committee's overall Iraq review. 
First, to evaluate the quantity and quality of the intelligence 
underlying prewar assessments concerning Iraq; second, to determine 
whether the analytical judgments contained in those assessments were 
objective, independent, and reasonable; third, to evaluate the accuracy 
of those assessments by comparing them with the results of the ongoing 
investigative efforts in Iraq.
  This afternoon, as I have stated, our committee members will begin 
reading and reviewing the staff's draft report, which does contain the 
committee's efforts to complete the first and second phases of the 
review. The third and final phase will be completed when the Iraq 
survey group completes its work in Iraq.
  Mr. WARNER. Mr. President, will the Senator yield for a question?
  Mr. ROBERTS. I am delighted to yield.
  Mr. WARNER. Mr. President, I am privileged to serve on the committee 
with the Senator. There has been criticism, raising the inference that 
we have not in the Senate been addressing this with the depth and 
sincerity and interest we should.
  I take great umbrage at that. Under the leadership of the chairman 
and, indeed, myself, we are the ones who brought David Kay up. We are 
the ones who put David Kay on the stand, the Intelligence Committee 
first, and before the Armed Services Committee immediately following, 
and subjected him to cross-examination after the delivery of his 
report. His report is a mixed one in certain ways, in my judgment, but 
nevertheless in no way were we not taking the initiative to bring this 
to the forefront.
  I say also, yesterday the Armed Services Committee heard from the 
Secretary of Defense. The distinguished chairman was present. He is a 
member of that committee. Again, the first questions on WMD and 
precisely the question of whether or not there was any manipulation or 
distortion came from the Chair, myself, addressed directly to the 
  Any objective analysis of the reports out of that hearing this 
morning--it was covered by the press--he faced it head on and answered 
those questions.
  As we are speaking, I just departed the television where Director 
Tenet is now addressing the Nation. So I think the President and his 
principal deputies are facing square on these complex issues, as is the 
  I commend the chairman, and perhaps he will agree with my 
  Mr. ROBERTS. Mr. President, I fully agree with the distinguished 
chairman of the Armed Services Committee, and I am very proud to serve 
on that committee, as well as privileged being the chairman of the 
Intelligence Committee.
  We discussed this at great length. All members of these committees 
discussed it at great length. We have a responsibility to the American 
people to

[[Page S609]]

fully investigate this and to publicly, when we can, when we are not 
dealing with any classified information, tell the American people what 
they should know and have a right to know. We are proceeding in that 
fashion. We are taking this very seriously, which is why I am trying to 
summarize now for the Senate and for all those who may be interested in 
this issue precisely what we have done to date in regard to the 
Intelligence Committee.
  The Senator is exactly right, he has taken the lead in the Armed 
Services Committee with the appropriate people within the military, and 
I thank him for his contribution.
  Mr. WARNER. Mr. President, I thank the Senator.
  Mr. ROBERTS. Mr. President, our review in the Intelligence Committee 
began in earnest in early June of last year when the intelligence 
community did provide our committee with 19 volumes--19 volumes, floor 
to ceiling--and they contained approximately 15,000 pages of 
intelligence assessments and sources and source reporting underlying 
the assessments of the Hussein regime's WMD programs. They also 
pertained to ties to terrorist groups, the threat to stability and 
security in the region, as I have said before, and the repression of 
his own people.
  Our committee staff began immediately to read and analyze every 
report provided to determine how intelligence analysts reached their 
conclusions and whether any assessments were not supported by the 
intelligence provided to the committee.
  Our committee staff endeavored to the greatest extent possible to 
disregard--to disregard--postwar revelations concerning Iraq in order 
to replicate the same analytical environment enjoyed by the 
intelligence community analysts prior to the war.
  In late August and early September of 2003, our committee staff did 
request additional intelligence to substantiate the intelligence 
community's assessments which staff judged were not sufficiently 
supported by the intelligence that had been previously provided. Not 
only did we ask for the original information, but when we were not 
satisfied, we asked for more; we demanded more.
  Our committee staff began to receive this additional supporting 
intelligence in October of 2003. In late October, the staff requested 
any intelligence which had not already been provided that contradicted 
the intelligence community's prewar analysis in regard to Iraq.
  For example, the committee staff requested intelligence that showed 
Iraq had not reconstituted its nuclear program, had not renewed the 
production of chemical agents, and had abandoned an offensive 
biological weapons program. In early November of 2003, the intelligence 
community wrote to the committee that it was working to provide the 
contradictory intelligence we requested.
  In the same letter, the community stated it had uncovered an 
additional six volumes of intelligence material that supported its 
assessments on Iraq's WMD programs, and the community did provide the 
contradictory intelligence information in late November.
  I want my colleagues to realize that this has been an extremely 
thorough undertaking. During the 8 months of the committee's review, 
our committee staff submitted almost 100 requests for supplemental 
intelligence information, received over 30,000 pages of documents in 
response to those requests, and reviewed and analyzed each document 
that was provided.
  Additionally, our committee staff have interviewed more than 200 
individuals, including intelligence analysts, senior officials within 
the Central Intelligence Agency, Defense Intelligence Agency, 
Department of Defense, Department of Energy, Department of State, 
National Ground Intelligence Center, the Air Force, and the Federal 
Bureau of Investigation.
  They have also questioned former intelligence analysts, national 
intelligence officers, operations officers, collection managers, 
signals intelligence collectors, imagery analysts, nuclear experts with 
the International Atomic Energy Agency, ambassadors, former United 
Nations inspectors, Department of Defense weapons experts, State 
Department officials, and staff members of the National Security 
  Additionally, the committee has held three hearings on aspects of 
United States intelligence on Iraq, a hearing on the Iraq-Niger 
connection, a briefing by the CIA and State Department inspectors 
general on their review of the Iraq-Niger issue, and a hearing on the 
history and the continuity of weapons of mass destruction assessments 
that pertain to Iraq.
  These efforts have enabled our committee staff to develop a full 
understanding of the quantity and quality of intelligence reporting 
supporting the intelligence community's prewar assessments.
  Our committee staff have also gained an understanding of how 
intelligence analysts throughout the community used that intelligence 
to develop their assessments on these issues and how those assessments 
were actually disseminated to policymakers, and whether those 
assessments were reasonable, objective, independent, or if there was 
any political consideration and, again, whether any influence was 
brought to bear to shape their analysis to support any policy 

  The professional bipartisan staff of the Intelligence Committee I 
think has done an outstanding job. It is a very complete job. For the 
next 3 weeks, however, it will be the members of the committee, our 
turn to do our work by reading and reviewing and suggesting any changes 
to the report.
  I only hope that members will not prejudge the report. Let me repeat 
that. I only hope that members will not prejudge the report--there has 
been activity in the past indicating plans to do just that; I hope that 
does not happen--and that they will take the time to actually read the 
information in order to make informed critiques of the material.
  This report can have a profound impact--it will have a profound 
impact--on the future of our intelligence community as we face the 
threats of a new century. However, this can only be done if colleagues 
on both sides of the aisle put aside election year politics and review 
the facts in an objective and unbiased manner.
  Mr. President, how much time do I have remaining?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Kansas has 9 minutes 
  Mr. ROBERTS. Mr. President, I wish to read a statement by Winston 
Churchill which I think has application to the inquiry we are 
conducting in the Intelligence Committee and the whole issue in regard 
to the credibility and the timeliness of intelligence prior to the war 
in Iraq. Sir Winston Churchill said this upon hearing about the attack 
on Pearl Harbor:

       Silly people, that was the description many gave in 
     discounting the force of the United States. Some said they 
     were soft, others that they would never be united--

  Let me repeat that.

       That they would never be united, that they would never come 
     to grips. They would never stand bloodletting. Their system 
     of government and democracy would paralyze their war effort.

  Let me repeat that.

       Their system of government and democracy would paralyze 
     their war effort.
       Now we will see the weakness of this numerous but remote, 
     wealthy and talkative people.

  Referring to Americans.

       But, I have studied the American Civil War fought out to 
     the last desperate inch. American blood flowed in my veins. I 
     thought of a remark made to me 30 years before: The United 
     States is like a gigantic boiler. Once the fire is lighted 
     under it, there is no limit to the power it can generate. It 
     is a matter of resolve.

  I am concerned in what appears to be almost a blast furnace of 
politics at a very early time, in an even-numbered year--and I 
understand that. I know politics is not bean bagged, and I know that my 
colleagues have very serious differences of opinion, as we will on the 
committee, but I hope what Sir Winston said: ``Some said they were 
soft, others that they would never be united . . . their system of 
government and democracy would paralyze their war effort,'' is not true 
in regard to the global war on terrorism. I have some concerns about 
  I indicated at the first, when I knew it was our responsibility and 
obligation, in working with the distinguished vice chairman of the 
Intelligence Committee, that we would do our job and that we would do 
it just as bipartisan as we possibly could, that it would be

[[Page S610]]

thorough. It is my view that this draft report, and then what the 
Members will agree to, will be the most thorough review of the 
intelligence community in the last decade. I also said that we will 
make every effort to hold public hearings, because the American people 
have a right to know, and we will let any political chips fall any way 
they want to fall.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Who yields time? Under the previous order, the 
majority leader controls the next 23\1/2\ minutes and the Senator from 
California then would control 23\1/2\ minutes. The Senator from 
  Mr. LOTT. Mr. President, with the Senator's agreement I will go ahead 
and proceed since we did have, I think, about 27 or so minutes.
  Mr. ROBERTS. I yield the floor. May I inquire as to how much time I 
have remaining?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Kansas has 5 minutes 
  Mr. ROBERTS. I ask unanimous consent that that time be yielded to the 
distinguished Senator from Mississippi.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection? Without objection, it is 
so ordered.
  The Senator from Mississippi is recognized for 5 minutes.