Congressional Record: June 9, 2004 (Senate)
Page S6675-S6677


      By Ms. SNOWE:
  S. 2515. A bill to establish the Inspector General for Intelligence, 
and for other purposes; to the Select Committee on Intelligence.
  Ms. SNOWE. Mr. President, I rise today to introduce legislation that 
will address what I believe are fundamental deficiencies in the 
Intelligence Community's organization and methods of accountability.
  For some time, we have been engaged in an ongoing national debate 
about the scope, methods, organization and

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mission of our intelligence agencies. Since the creation of our modern 
Intelligence Community as part of the National Security Act of 1947 
there have been numerous recommendations to strengthen the Intelligence 
Community leadership and mission to foster better communications and 
better serve the national security of the nation. Events over the last 
decade have highlighted some disturbing intelligence failures--we have 
all spoken sadly of the 1993 World Trade Center Bombing, the Khobar 
Towers tragedy, the attack on the USS Cole, the bombs at our embassies 
in East Africa and of course, September 11. As a Congress we have an 
obligation to address these incidents and work to better our 
intelligence gathering and disseminating capabilities to ensure this 
list is not added to.
  As a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence--and a 
former member of committees on international relations and armed 
services in both this body and the other--I have participated in this 
national debate on many fronts and for many years. Irrespective of the 
events surrounding Director Tenet's recent resignation, I have believed 
strongly in the need for reform of the Intelligence Community for some 
  There is no question that the Intelligence Community requires 
systemic changes. Specifically, increases in human intelligence, better 
information sharing and greater accountability are all issues that 
desperately need to be addressed, and more importantly, acted on. It is 
my hope that the Intelligence Committee aggressively pursue specific 
recommendations based on a Committee-authored report to make 
substantive changes that will address the flaws that have been 
tragically revealed.
  Americans need to know that their intelligence services are doing the 
best job possible in protecting their security. I say this even while I 
must recognize the dedication and professionalism of the thousands of 
Americans who make up our Intelligence Community. Each day across this 
country and around the world, they labor, mostly without recognition, 
to keep this country safe from harm. Our intelligence employees work 
under very demanding conditions and in environments that are extremely 
dangerous and can often shift without notice. They operate in a dizzing 
world of ``what ifs'' where the rules change daily. It is their 
vigilance upon which we rely to give us the forewarning necessary to 
counter the many dangers present in our world. Although it is 
impossible to directly express our deep appreciation for their efforts, 
I charge this body to relay our eternal gratitude to those who serve 
America so well.
  But too often, breakdowns can occur that put Americans' lives at 
risk. There are many of us in Congress who believe that we have gone 
too long without making any real efforts to reform the Intelligence 
  However appreciative we are of the service done by those who work in 
the fifteen agencies that make up our nation's Intelligence Community, 
we as a Congress have a responsibility to continue to work to find ways 
to help them do an even better job, and more importantly, to ensure 
that any failures are not repeated and that we learn from past 
mistakes. And at the same time, we have an obligation to the people of 
this country to ensure that both pride and comfort in our intelligence 
services exist. The people of this nation, and those of us elected to 
represent them, have a right to know that when mistakes are made, 
corrections soon follow.

  A major focus of mine for many years now has been accountability--
ensuring, for example, that government employees who issue travel visas 
to known terrorists are accountable to the American public for their 
actions. In this same vein, I'd like to see greater accountability 
brought to the Intelligence Community.
  The bill I am introducing today--the ``Intelligence Community 
Accountability Act of 2004''--creates an independent Inspector General 
for Intelligence. This IG is not housed within any one agency, rather, 
it is an Inspector General for the entire Intelligence Community--all 
fifteen agencies and department members.
  We must recognize that fifteen government agencies with fifteen 
different heads, fifteen different missions, fifteen chains of command 
and fifteen institutional paradigms are often handicapped in 
promulgating national intelligence. This in turn can lead to 
disconnects. And sadly in this business, such failures can lead to loss 
of life as we have been so graphically reminded over and over.
  Intelligence comes from a variety of sources and in a wide array of 
forms. The fifteen members of the Intelligence Community must 
adequately interpret what they see, hear and find and then communicate 
that to policy-makers who decide best how to use it in the defense of 
our homeland and interests abroad. The often used but highly 
appropriate cliche, ``connecting the dots'' requires extensive inter-
agency cooperation for this to happen. And if that doesn't happen and 
failures occur as a result . . . who do we hold accountable? How do we 
ensure it doesn't happen again?
  Let me be clear, the Inspector General for Intelligence, or IGI, that 
this legislation creates will not diminish the power of the IG's that 
already exist within each of the Intelligence Community member 
agencies. Rather, it will enhance their powers, giving them an 
overarching body to turn to when their own institutional limits are 
reached--when their investigations or complaints involve other 
Intelligence Community members who may be unwilling to cooperate or 
unable to provide answers or where roadblocks caused by inter-agency 
``turf wars'' are reached. It helps to fill a void in the 
accountability and oversight responsibilities of the Director of 
Central Intelligence in his role as head of the entire Intelligence 
  In the recent committee report to accompany the FY 2005 Intelligence 
Authorization bill, the committee acknowledged the need for changes in 
the Intelligence Community and stated that it believes the process of 
reform ``must begin.'' Therefore, I submit that we begin as soon as 
possible--I know that the Chairman of our committee is committed to 
this effort and I hope that by bringing my legislation forward at this 
time, my colleagues can see that I too am eager for progress and 
  Make no mistake--this effort is intended to be part of a larger push 
to overhaul the entire intelligence community's organizational 
structure. I welcome such a push and as we move forward in that 
endeavor, I will work to ensure my legislation is included in the 
deliberations. But until that happens, I implore my colleagues to study 
the issue, read my legislation and work with me to create this office.
  In looking at the Intelligence Community, we need to recognize that 
we are dealing with an amorphous entity made up of fifteen agencies, 
parts of departments, and independent bodies all spread out within our 
federal government. They each have their own mission, chain of command, 
procedures, history and institutional paradigms.
  By law, and specifically according to Executive Order 12333 issued by 
President Reagan in 1981, the Director of the Central Intelligence 
Agency wears a ``double hat'' by serving as the Director of the entire 
Intelligence Community.
  Within the structure created, he often does the best he can. But as 
head of one of the agencies in the Community, his hands are often tied 
when it comes to exercising his authority over the other 14 members of 
a community over which he has jurisdiction.
  Currently the Director of Central Intelligence has limited budget 
authority over the Pentagon's intelligence budget--which represents 
approximately 85 percent of the total intelligence community budget. 
According to Executive Order 12333, which also defines the 
responsibilities of the Director of Central Intelligence, the DCI is 
charged with working with the Secretary of Defense to ensure that there 
is no unnecessary overlap between national foreign intelligence 
programs and Department of Defense intelligence programs. This provides 
him with limited authority over the DoD intelligence budget, although 
historically this authority has not been exercised.
  My legislation will essentially preserve the powers and role that the 
Director of Central Intelligence currently enjoys as adivsor to the 
President and head of the Intelligence Community, but it would make his 
office a separate

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entity and a member of the President's Cabinet.
  I saw firsthand the consequences of serious inadequacies in 
coordination and communication during my twelve years as ranking member 
of the House Foreign Affairs International Operations Subcommittee and 
chair of the International Operations Subcommittee of the Senate 
Foreign Relations Committee. It was this lack of coordination that 
permitted the radical Egyptian Sheik Rahman, the mastermind of the 
first World Trade Center bombing in 1993, to enter and exit the U.S. 
five times unimpeded even after he was put on the State Department's 
Lookout List in 1987, and allowed him to get permanent residence status 
by the INS even after the State Department issued a certification of 
visa revocation.
  And after the attacks of 9-11, I worked hard to point out the 
importance of the ``Three C's'' that has been lacking among federal 
agencies that are integral to preventing terrorism: coordination, 
communication, and cooperation.
  This legislation that I am introducing today, is an extension of my 
efforts then.
  The bottom line is, if knowledge is power, we are only as strong as 
the weakest link in our information network--therefore, we must ensure 
that the only ``turf war'' will be the one to protect American turf. In 
our fight against terrorism, we can do no less.
  We must move heaven and earth to remove the impediments that keep us 
from maximizing our defense against terrorism, and that means changing 
the prevailing system and culture by re-focusing on the ``Three C's'': 
coordination, communication and cooperation.
  Many of our greatest victories--those won by the men and women in our 
intelligence services--will be measured by the attacks that never 
happen . . . in battles we win before they ever have a name . . . in 
conflicts we prevent before they ever claim one American life. I hope 
we will pass and enact legislation that will help make that possible.