Testimony of Robert S. Mueller, III
Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Before the House Appropriations Committee
Subcommittee on the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State,
the Judiciary, and Related Agencies
June 3, 2004
Good afternoon Mr. Chairman, Congressman Serrano, and members of the Subcommittee. Thank you for this opportunity to discuss the FBI’s vision to enhance our enterprise-wide intelligence capabilities. As I described in my testimony in March, we have spent the past two and a half years transforming the FBI and realigning our resources to combat international terrorism and other evolving national security threats, including criminal threats. We are now focusing our reform efforts on strengthening our intelligence program and improving interagency coordination.
While we, and many of our critics, are generally satisfied with our progress in building an enterprise-wide intelligence capability, a healthy skepticism persists about the FBI’s ability to fully execute its plans. Some, including members of this subcommittee, have proposed alternatives to the Bureau’s current intelligence structure. As we have progressed with implementation of our Intelligence Program, we too have seen the need to strengthen our intelligence organizational structure.
Mr. Chairman, at your request, the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) undertook a review of the FBI’s intelligence and counterterrorism programs. As a result of its review, NAPA, in conjunction with the General Accounting Office (GAO) and the Congressional Research Service (CRS), developed several proposals to expedite and enhance the FBI’s counterterrorism reforms and to strengthen our domestic intelligence function. We have worked closely with NAPA, GAO and CRS on these proposals and would like to commend them -- and you -- for these efforts.
As you know, Mr. Chairman, the FBI supports the concept of an intelligence service within the FBI. In my view, this concept consists of two basic components: (1) creation of a new Directorate of Intelligence, and (2) more effective control and use of resources. Before discussing these two issues, I would like to take a few moments to discuss several principles that I believe must guide any reform effort if we are to successfully address the most critical threats facing our nation.
First, any reform proposal must recognize that intelligence is fundamental to successful FBI operations. Intelligence functions are woven throughout the fabric of the Bureau, and any changes to this integrated approach would be counterproductive. Intelligence is embedded in every aspect of the FBI workforce and organization -- the Agents, the analysts, the Laboratory, the Cyber Division, the Investigative Technologies Division, and even training. The FBI can take the devices and techniques of our adversaries, analyze them, and put together information of great use to our partners in state and local law enforcement and the Intelligence Community.
Second, we must continue to integrate intelligence and law enforcement operations. We must be able to employ both intelligence and criminal tools as part of an integrated counterterrorism strategy that gives us the flexibility to move seamlessly from intelligence gathering to disruption at a moment’s notice.
Third, analysis should be fully integrated into intelligence collection and other operations so that intelligence can drive the investigative mission.
Fourth, we should have centralized management with distributed execution. Central management should support national collection efforts, information sharing, and dedicated strategic analysis that pulls intelligence from all FBI offices and across programs, and ultimately drives planning and the allocation of resources.
And fifth, we should limit stove-piping of intelligence collection and analysis and encourage synergy in our own operations and in collaboration with our partners.
With these guiding principles in mind, we support the creation of a strong intelligence service within the FBI that leverages our formidable collection capabilities and fully integrates our law enforcement and Intelligence Community partners.
Proposed Intelligence Directorate
The first step toward our “service within a service” is to build upon the Office of Intelligence to create a Directorate of Intelligence with broad and clear authority over intelligence-related functions. The authority of the Executive Assistant Director for Intelligence (EAD-I), who now provides policy and oversight, would be extended to cover all intelligence- related budgeting and resources.
It might be helpful for me to explain the proposed organization in terms of how it will support each critical intelligence-related function. I will begin with management of our intelligence requirements process – the ongoing cycle of identifying intelligence gaps and directing collection to fill those gaps.
Management of Intelligence Requirements and Collection
We currently have an Intelligence Requirements and Collection Unit that provides independent and centralized management of the FBI’s intelligence requirements and collection functions. The efforts of this Unit would be strengthened by: (1) working with target experts to develop collection strategies to fill gaps in our knowledge; (2) developing, implementing and overseeing FBI standards for the validation of assets and sources; and (3) making intelligence from human sources available across program lines.
The EAD-I has been given responsibility for information sharing policy, and we expect demands in this area to increase. In particular, we need to ensure the FBI’s full participation in the Justice Intelligence Coordinating Council, the DOJ’s Law Enforcement Sharing Initiative, the DCI Advisory Group, and other entities.
Our contingent at TTIC would be part of the Directorate and would be fully incorporated into our information sharing efforts.
To enhance our support of outside customers in state and local law enforcement, the Directorate would evaluate customer satisfaction, tailor the FBI’s support to each major customer, and ensure that our partners are receiving the information they need from the FBI.
To boost our strategic analysis efforts, the new Directorate would be responsible for the organization and implementation of strategic intelligence campaigns to support major cases, crisis response, and significant threats. The Directorate would work with operational counterparts to design, organize, implement, and manage an FBI intelligence system support structure.
The proposal also envisions promoting enterprise-wide strategic analysis through the development of analytic products that cross traditional programmatic lines and identify intelligence gaps to facilitate the development of collection and dissemination requirements. The unit will help us forecast future threats, and drive the allocation of resources and the development of investigative and intelligence strategies to support the FBI’s mission. This is analogous to the DCI’s National Intelligence Council (NIC) that ensures a full-time focus on strategic issues.
Intelligence Production and Use
To support intelligence production and use, we would build upon existing units to improve the FBI’s 24-hour intelligence production capability, FBI daily reports, and the FBI’s Presidential Intelligence Assessments.
To support intelligence activities in the field, we propose integrating intelligence received from Legal Attaches into the FBI’s overall intelligence capability. The Field Intelligence Groups (FIGS) would be thoroughly integrated into the larger Intelligence Community. We would also focus on the new regional intelligence centers, such as the recently announced Counter-Terrorism Unit at the Upstate New York Regional Intelligence Center.
To support vital functions related to human talent, we would create a new Intelligence Career Management group to manage the intelligence career track for agents, intelligence analysts, linguists, and others, including the development of intelligence training across the FBI. An FBI Intelligence Officer certification program would be developed, including U.S. Intelligence Community Officer Training. This will enable us to build on our efforts to create career paths for analysts and intelligence agents.
The FBI’s language translators must do more than straight translation. To be effective, they must be familiar with the players and understand the context of what they are translating. This is fundamentally an analytical function, and accordingly our language analysts should be fully integrated into our Intelligence Program as well as our operations. To support this integration it will be necessary to move the Language Services Section and the National Virtual Translation Center to the Directorate of Intelligence.
Program Management and Support
Last, but important to the success of this proposal, is the need to strengthen program management support to the EAD-I across the elements of the Intelligence Program. Emphasis would be placed on ensuring consistency of Intelligence Program priorities with DCI , DOJ and other senior guidance, developing the annual Future Threat Forecast, and providing security planning and guidance. Budgeting, evaluations to measure our progress, communications and administrative functions, and support for the EAD-I’s role as Chair of the JICC would also be a focus of this effort.
Formalizing and strengthening centralized management of all intelligence-related resources would be a key responsibility of the new Directorate. Our initial effort has been the development of our Concept of Operations for Intelligence Budgeting, but I believe we can and should move further. The President’s Fiscal Year 2005 Budget proposes restructuring the FBI’s budget decision units from the current ten to the following four: Counterterrorism, National Security, Criminal Enterprises / Federal Crimes, and Criminal Justice Services.
We agree that four decision units are appropriate and beneficial. The current ten decision unit structure has intelligence resources spread throughout the organization. The structure, as proposed in the President’s Budget, would allow us to more effectively and efficiently manage our resources based on national priorities and threat assessments. It would give the FBI needed flexibility to internally shift resources to higher priorities, giving us agility to respond to rapidly developing national security threats.
The alternative decision unit structure outlined by NAPA, however, would go further than the proposal in the 2005 Budget with respect to our intelligence resources. It would also have four decision units, but would create a new Intelligence Decision Unit, while combining the Counterterrorism and National Security decision units, and retaining the Criminal Enterprises / Federal Crimes and Criminal Justice Services decision units.
If the NAPA proposal were adopted, the Intelligence Decision Unit should be comprised of operational elements including the existing Office of Intelligence and our TTIC contingent. It should also include programmatic elements representing analysts across the Bureau, and administrative elements, such as training, recruitment, information technology, and security.
The NAPA structure would further remove internal barriers that obstruct collaboration across programs, so that we can better address threats that cross programmatic lines. It would also provide greater transparency, so that external stakeholders can more easily identify the level of resources supporting the FBI’s intelligence program. And finally, it would provide internal safeguards for out intelligence resources by requiring Congressional approval of a reprogramming request to shift resources out of the Intelligence Decision Unit.
Mr. Chairman, this is an ambitious plan and it would take a lot of work to fully implement. But once accomplished, this proposal would provide for the centralized management and FBI-wide execution of integrated intelligence and law enforcement operations, an independent requirements and collection management process, and a dedicated strategic analysis effort. It would create a strong organizational entity, dedicated to intelligence sharing with state and local law enforcement, and create opportunities for DOJ-wide intelligence activities.
The next logical step would be to expand the career paths we have established for agents and analysts into an intelligence career service. This may require new flexibility related to our ability to hire, promote, and reward intelligence personnel, and I look forward to working with you and the Administration to resolve some of these issues.
In closing, Mr. Chairman, I want to take a moment to thank you and the members of the Subcommittee for your continued leadership and strong support of the FBI. The funding you have provided has been critical to our mission and our efforts to transform the FBI. Over the past two and a half years, we have moved from an organization that was focused primarily on traditional criminal investigations to one that is first and foremost investigating and disrupting terrorist operations.
I am pleased to respond to any questions you may have.