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February 7, 2006

Daniel P. Mulhollan
Congressional Research Service
The Library of Congress
Washington, DC 20540-7210

Dear Mr. Mulhollan:

We write to correct the record following the February 1, 2006 letter to you from Congressman Peter Hoekstra, Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, concerning recent Congressional Research Service (CRS) reports on intelligence matters. We have found these CRS documents very helpful in conducting our oversight responsibilities, and disagree that they are "speculating with respect to highly sensitive national security matters" as Chairman Hoekstra asserts. Indeed, the legal analyses provided by CRS have been especially informative given the Executive Branch's unwillingness to provide information to the Congress or to the American public as is appropriate. In particular, we note that:

The Congressional Research Service exists first and foremost to assist Members of Congress with their legislative and oversight duties. All of the aforementioned reports satisfied CRS' mission "to support an informed national legislature." While there are certainly challenges inherent in researching and producing reports on intelligence matters, where much information is appropriately classified and its audience restricted, it is still necessary for Members of Congress to have an accurate understanding of the legality, policy implications, and history of various intelligence policies and activities.

We appreciate your service in these matters, and expect that you will continue to fulfill your mission in this regard.