Congressional Record: July 13, 2004 (Senate)
Page S7951-S7952                       


  Mr. LOTT. Mr. President, on the Select Committee on Intelligence 
report, I emphasize again, this was a unanimous bipartisan vote. There 
are problems with the intelligence community. We did not get what we 
needed before we went to war in Iraq. It was flawed and misleading and 
inaccurate. We should acknowledge that. But all the effort that is 
going on now to find a way to fix political blame is a mistake. We 
should be working together to produce results. That is why I am working 
with Senator Feinstein of California on some proposals. That is why I 
am working with Senator Wyden on some proposals.
  We have 1 minute remaining?
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, I am happy to not object, but Senator 
Lautenberg was on the floor this morning and asked for an additional 5 
minutes, and it was objected to.
  Mr. LOTT. I think I have 1 minute left.
  Mr. REID. I was just waiting for an opportunity to say what I just 
  Mr. LOTT. Mr. President, we need to find a way to deal with the 
  The point I want to make is, Congress is now like somebody that has 
been at the scene of an accident. We saw it happen, but now we are 
pretending we weren't there. Congress is a part of this problem. For 20 
years we have underfunded, we have limited human intelligence. We have 
improperly funded the intelligence community. We have allowed a 
situation where 80 percent of the money for the intelligence community 
is under the Department of Defense, not the CIA.
  Let me give some numbers. During the 1990s, the number of CIA 
stations declined by 30 percent. The number of agents declined by 40 
percent. The volume of intelligence reports decreased by 50 percent.
  The intelligence community connected the dots, and got it wrong. It 
was not just our intelligence community that got it wrong--there was a 
global breakdown in intelligence analysis. The report is not an 
indictment of the hard-working and dedicated men and women who put 
their lives on the line, and are charged with connecting the dots. It 
is a criticism of the process and community at large, and demonstrative 
of a lack of leadership, oversight, and insufficient investment.
  The breakdown in intelligence capability evolved over several years. 
It was recognized in 1976 by a 5-volume report by the Church committee. 
Our intelligence gathering and analysis capability--especially human 
intelligence and linguists--was gutted in the 20 years that followed, 
particularly in the 1990s, when the Congress did not adequately fund 
the intelligence community.
  President Clinton relied on this same analysis of the Iraqi threat 
when he signed the Iraqi Liberation Act. The Congress relied on this 
same intelligence when we passed several resolutions regarding Iraq; 
President Bush relied on this intelligence when making his decisions as 
well. Many have asked whether I want to change my vote given today's 
assessment of pre-war intelligence--I do not.
  Saddam Hussein was a mass murderer who used weapons of mass 
destruction on his own people; supported terrorism and trained 
terrorists; provided ``bonuses'' to the families of terrorists; a 
destabilizing factor in the Mideast.
  Let's not play armchair quarterback by asking ``what would have 
happened if.'' The country would be much better served if the Congress 
and the President took action as soon as possible to fix the 
organization, leadership, and oversight problems that we have with our 
intelligence community.
  When the American people read the Intelligence Committee's report, 
they will see some fundamental things that need to be changed in the 
intelligence community. First and foremost it is evident that the 
Director of Central Intelligence does not really control all aspects of 
the intelligence community. In fact, as I have said, 80 percent of 
intelligence dollars go to the Department of Defense, not the CIA. 
Moreover, many of people that lead the 15 agencies that comprise the 
intelligence community work for the Department of Defense, not the 
Director of Central Intelligence.

[[Page S7952]]

  To fix this problem, Senator Feinstein and I are about to propose 
legislation that will establish a Director of National Intelligence--or 
DNI. The DNI will be a Cabinet-level position that will lead the 
intelligence community, and be responsible for aggregating intelligence 
for the President.
  As for the specific processes that cry out for reform, the report 
focuses on two in particular. One, layering of uncertain conclusions--
judgments were layered upon other judgments, and specific concerns and 
uncertainties were simply lost; two, group think--because we knew 
Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, and used them on his 
people, any data that appeared to support this continued behavior was 
viewed favorably, and dissenting data was discounted or underreported.
  Those ``process'' types of deficiencies quickly lead one to ask: How 
can the intelligence community provide better oversight and supervision 
of ``expert'' analysts; and how can the Congress provide more effective 
oversight of the intelligence community? There are clearly process 
reforms needed within the intelligence community, and Congress's 
oversight of that community.
  I know that Chairman Roberts and Vice Chairman Rockefeller, are very 
concerned that our intelligence community is broken, and are committed 
to taking action in the coming weeks and month to address many of the 
most critical deficiencies.
  With particular regard to congressional oversight, I believe that 
there are some fundamental things that need to be changed such as term 
limits of committee members. Currently, members can only serve on the 
Senate Intelligence Committee for 8 years. That means that when they 
know enough to be conversant in the intelligence business, they need to 
rotate off of the committee. We need intelligence committee members who 
can speak the lingo and understand the processes. Consequently, term 
limits need to be eliminated.
  Also, the jurisdiction of the Intelligence Committee regarding 
classified matter is sometimes muddied due to overlap with the Armed 
Services Committee. I submit that a simplified approach to jurisdiction 
could enhance oversight and accountability.
  The process of document classification and redaction also needs to be 
reviewed. When the Intelligence Committee first prepared this report, 
the CIA recommended that about half of it be redacted. I understand the 
need to protect the names of sources and intelligence methods. But I 
can tell you that most of those redactions were not of that nature; 
they were everyday, unclassified words.
  The report you see today is less than 20 percent redacted, and the 
Intelligence Committee is still working with the CIA to release more of 
the report.
  Notwithstanding, it is my belief that in matters such as these, the 
CIA is too close to the intelligence process to provide an objective 
view of what really needs to be classified. Consequently, I am working 
with Senator Wyden to propose legislation that will establish a small 
independent group under the President that will review documents such 
as this report to ensure that classification decisions are independent 
and objective. In addition, I urge the President to nominate as soon as 
possible a candidate to serve as the Director for Central Intelligence.
  This is a critical time of this Nation as we fight the global war on 
terrorism, and we need to have effective leadership in-place at the CIA 
as soon as possible. As we make progress in fixing the intelligence 
community, I repeat my call to both sides of the aisle to not 
politicize the issues or the prospective remedies. We owe it to the 
American people and to the members of the intelligence community to fix 
the fundamental problems outlined in this report, and create an 
intelligence community that can best serve the national security 
interests of the United States.
  We are part of the problem. Let's find the solution.
  I yield the floor.