Intelligence Reform Bill Filed in Senate

Bipartisan Legislation Follows Joint Inquiry Recommendations

July 31, 2003

A trio of leading senators today filed a comprehensive bill aimed at overhauling the Intelligence Community to prevent another successful terrorist attack like the tragedy of September 11, 2001.

"The 9-11 Memorial Intelligence Reform Act," sponsored by Senators Bob Graham, John D. Rockefeller and Dianne Feinstein, embodies the recommendations of the House-Senate Joint Inquiry into the events surrounding September 11.

Seventeen of the 19 recommendations require legislative changes to implement, including reorganization of the management of the Intelligence Community, new accountability standards for employees, a top-to-bottom review of classification standards, and creation of a National Terrorist Watch-List Center.

"We cannot -- and will not -- tolerate a repeat of the mistakes and missed opportunities that cost us 3,000 lives on September 11th," said Graham, D-Florida, who co-chaired the Joint Inquiry.

Graham said a top priority is the creation of a Cabinet-level Director of National Intelligence, who would be appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. "The Intelligence Community needs a leader with clout to set common goals, establish priorities and knock heads when necessary to ensure that the American people are protected," Graham said.

"These recommendations were overwhelmingly endorsed by the bipartisan, House-Senate Joint Inquiry on 9-11", said Rockefeller, D-West Virginia, vice chairman of the Select Committee on Intelligence. "Our national security is at stake and we need to start the process of achieving effective and lasting reforms in intelligence."

Feinstein, D-California, a member of the Intelligence Committee, is the third original co-sponsor.

A fact sheet on the legislation is attached.

Intelligence Reform Bill            Summary of the 9-11 Memorial Intelligence Reform Act