NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT FOR FISCAL YEAR 1999 (House of Representatives - May 21, 1998)
Part D amendment No. 18 offered by Mr. Gibbons:
At the end of title XII (page 253, after line 3), insert the following new section:
SEC. 1206. RELEASE OF EXPORT INFORMATION HELD BY THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE FOR PURPOSE OF NATIONAL SECURITY ASSESSMENTS.
(a) Release of Export Information: The Secretary of Commerce shall transmit any information relating to exports that is held by the Department of Commerce and is requested by the officials designated in subsection (b) for the purpose of assessing national security risks. The Secretary of Commerce shall transmit such information within 5 days after receiving a written request for such information. Information referred to in this section includes--
(1) export licenses, and information on exports that were carried out under an export license issued by the Department of Commerce; and
(2) information collected by the Department of Commerce on exports from the United States that were carried out without an export license.
(b) Requesting Officials: The officials referred to in subsection (a) are the Director of Central Intelligence, the Secretary of Defense, and the Secretary of Energy. The Director of Central Intelligence, the Secretary of Defense, and the Secretary of Energy may delegate to other officials within their respective agency and departments the authority to request information under subsection (b).
- Mr. GIBBONS. Mr. Chairman, the amendment that I am offering before the House today will compel the Secretary of Commerce to transmit any information that is requested by the Director of Central Intelligence, Secretary of Defense, Secretary of Energy, and Designees of these three officials in a timely manner (defined as within 5 days of request) upon receiving a written request for such material. The information that these officials could request includes: export licenses and information on exports that were carried out under an export license by the Department of Commerce and information collected by the Department of Commerce on exports from the United States that were carried out without an export license.
- The amendment doesn't ask them to produce new data or collect additional information. It simply requires the Secretary of Commerce to provide the information that he maintains--as a part of his department's day-to-day mission--to these selected Executive Branch Secretaries to enable them to do their jobs of producing intelligence and protecting our nation.
- Mr. Chairman, until recently, I would not have believed that this body would have to mandate timely cooperation between Executive branch departments. However, when the defense of this nation and it's citizens is challenged or compromised--the time has come.
- The current situation with China and the transfer of satellite technology is in the news right now, but similar situations inside the administration are proliferating almost as quickly weapons of mass destruction are around the world.
- Let me share the example that focuses on the seriousness of the issue.
- In last year's defense bill, the National Security Committee recommended a study to assess the extent and the impact of the distribution of U.S. and allied supercomputers to China, the former Soviet Union, Iran, Iraq, Syria and Libya.
- The National Security Committee has been increasingly concerned about technology transfers of this type in recent years.
- The study would have assessed the effect of the technology transfers on the design, development, manufacturing, performance and testing of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons; weapons platforms; command and control communications; and financial, commercial, government and military communications.
- The Defense Intelligence Agency and the Department of Energy were assigned the task of conducting the analysis.
- However, they were unable to get any assistance from the Department of Commerce.
- They needed assistance from Commerce since Commerce is charged with the responsibility to control the export of sensitive technologies that have both military and civil applications.
- The Department of Commerce refused to cooperate for the entire period of the study. Only after pointed communications from the Chairman and Ranking Member of the National Security Committee, did they provide `derivative' data that was not usable for the analysis that had been requested.
- Mr. Chairman, it is not uncommon for our intelligence entities to have to go to other Executive Branch departments to collect `raw' information that they process into usable intelligence. It is a common requirement that has not presented a problem in the past.
- This `stonewalling' behavior by Commerce was unprecedented. While it was unprecedented, it was no less excusable!
- This was one Executive Branch department refusing to provide information to another Executive Branch department.
- I am at a loss to explain the difference between Commerce's response and the responses of the other Executive Branch departments. Did Commerce have something to hide or was there something else at play in this incident?
- Commerce's intransigence had national security implications and it is incumbent on us to ensure that our decisions are not affected by faulty information and analysis in the future!
- Our national security demands that the Congress and the President make decisions based on timely, accurate and truthful intelligence.
- I urge my colleagues to support my amendment and ensure that our national security is not compromised in the future.
Fiscal Year 1998 NDAA--Implications of Technology Transfer; `A Case Study of the Stall'
July 15, 1997--The HNSC recommended a study be conducted by the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) to study the distribution of United States and allied supercomputers to China, the former Soviet Union, Iran, Iraq, Syria and Libya to Assess the impact of Technology Transfers on:
Nuclear weapons design, development, manufacturing, performance and testing chemical and biological weapon design, development, manufacturing, performance and testing;
Design, development, manufacturing, performance and testing of major weapons platforms (tactical aircraft, cruise/ballistic missiles, submarines);
Anti-submarine warfare; command and control communications; intelligence collection, processing and dissemination; financial, commercial, government and military communications.
December 10, 1997--Chariman Spence and ranking minority member Dellums requested the study of DIA and asked for a report by 2 March 1998. Chairman Spence and Mr. Dellums also asked the Department of Energy to conduct a review concentrating on the impact of high performance computer exports on the design, development, manufacturing, performance and testing of nuclear weapons and associated delivery systems.
Early December 1997--The staffs of DIA and DOE submit oral requests for information from the Department of Commerce for all the info they have on supercomputers to the study target countries. The Department of Commerce is the executive agency with responsibility to control the export of sensitive technologies that have both military and civil applications. These oral requests were denied.
December 22, 1997--The Director, DIA, LTG Patrick Hughes wrote to the Deputy Secretary of Commerce and requested that the Commerce Department supply the information on supercomputer exports. The Commerce Department finally responded on 3 February 1998.
January 7, 1998--Chairman Spence and Mr. Dellums wrote to William Daley, Secretary of Commerce asking that the Department of Commerce provide the requested information to the DIA and DOE.
February 3, 1998--Under Secretary of Commerce William Reinsch responded to the December 22 letter from DIA.
Under Secretary Reinsch stated that Commerce would defer to the DCI on who should conduct the study that had been tasked to DIA and DOE. The CIA later attempted to transfer the requested information to the DIA and DOE but the Department of Commerce refused to allow such a transfer.
March 3, 1998--The Director, DIA wrote the HNSC that he could not complete the study because he was not able to obtain the necessary information from the Department of Commerce.
March 3, 1998--Chairman Floyd Spence of the House National Security Committee wrote to William Daley, Secretary of Commerce.
Chairman Spence stated his understanding that the Department of Commerce had declined the DIA and DOE requests for information on supercomputer exports.
Chairman Spence stated that, `I find the prospect that information is being denied to intelligence agencies that are attempting to determine the effect of illicit exports on U.S. national security highly disturbing and believe such dilatory tactics are indicative of a cavalier attitude by your department on matters of national security.'
Chairman Spence again requested the personal assurance of the Secretary of Commerce that Commerce would cooperate fully with the requested intelligence review.
March 3, 1998--the Secretary of Commerce responded to the January 7, 1998 letter from Chairman Spence and Ranking Minority Member Dellums.
Secretary Daley's letter stated, `the Department of Commerce has been in contact with the Director of Central Intelligence regarding this matter, and we intend to defer to his judgment on how to best proceed with respect to the conduct of the study.' (See the entry for February 3, above.)
March 9, 1998--the DIA and the DOE received `derivative' supercomputer export information from the Department of Commerce.
April 30, 1998--the Director of the DIA wrote to Under Secretary of Commerce Reinsch thanking him for the `derivative report' on the export of high performance computers but stating that the information provided by Commerce `does not provide the requisite data necessary to complete a comprehensive review.'
General Hughes asked Commerce to provide DIA with the raw export data obtained from U.S. supercomputer manufacturers so that DIA could conduct its own independent analysis.
May 19, 1998--as of this morning, Commerce has not provided any additional information to DIA to enable them to complete the study.
- Mr. Chairman, I offered this amendment today to address a vital national security issue. That issue is the failure of the Department of Commerce to provide complete and accurate information to our organizations that are charged with assessing threats around the globe.
- The need for analysis to have a flow of raw data to produce intelligence is as old as war itself. Skilled analysts sift through the bits and pieces of everyday trivia and find patterns that allows them to formulate an adversary's likely intentions.
- The Congress relies on the technical analysis of national intelligence resources. Last year, this Congress was concerned with the threat that was posed by the transfer of technology around the world.
- The National Security Committee requested a study addressing the impacts of past transfers. Mr. Speaker, I find it inexcusable that the study could not be completed because the Department of Commerce refused to work with the Departments of Defense and Energy on the study.
- The responsibility for controlling much of this technology was transferred by the administration to the Commerce Department last year, over the objections of both the Department of State and the Department of Defense.
- The recent nuclear tests in India; Pakistan's threats to conduct its own tests and the improper transfers of technology to the Chinese underscore the dangerous nature of our world today.
- We cannot allow ourselves to be forced to make decision with anything less than the best information and intelligence. We cannot allow executive branch departments to determine what information is important and what isn't.
- This amendment ensures that our intelligence community has access to vital information. Let's allow our analysts do their jobs!
- Vote yes on the Gibbons amendment.