Congressional Record: September 30, 2003 (Senate)
Page S12154-S12159                       


  Mr. SCHUMER. Mr. President, I came to the Chamber this morning 
because I thought we would be on the DC appropriations bill and was 
prepared to offer a sense-of-the-Senate amendment to that bill 
concerning the appointment of special counsel to conduct a fair, 
thorough, and independent investigation into a national security 
  I ask unanimous consent that my amendment be printed in the Record.
  There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

 (Purpose: To express the sense of Congress concerning the appointment 
   of a special counsel to conduct a fair, thorough, and independent 
             investigation into a national security breach)

       At the appropriate place, insert the following:

                   SECURITY BREACH.

       (a) Findings.--Congress finds that--
       (1) the national security of the United States is dependent 
     on our intelligence operatives being able to operate 
     undercover and without fear of having their identities 
     disclosed by the United States Government;
       (2) recent reports have indicated that administration or 
     White House officials may have deliberately leaked the 
     identity of a covert CIA agent to the media;
       (3) the unauthorized disclosure of a covert CIA agent's 
     identity is a Federal felony; and
       (4) the Attorney General has the power to appoint a special 
     counsel of integrity and stature who may conduct an 
     investigation into the leak without the appearance of any 
     conflict of interest.
       (b) Sense of Congress.--It is the sense of Congress that 
     the Attorney General of the United States should appoint a 
     special counsel of the highest integrity and statute to 
     conduct a fair, independent, and thorough investigation of 
     the leak and ensure that all individuals found to be 
     responsible for this heinous deed are punished to the fullest 
     extent permitted by law.

  Mr. SCHUMER. Mr. President, now I am told the bill has been delayed 
because this amendment was going to be offered. I am going to talk 
about the amendment and have a dialog with my colleague from 
  On July 23, I believe it was, when I read the Novak column that named 
high administration sources as revealing the wife of Ambassador Wilson, 
Ms. Plame, as an agent--I hasten to add, I don't know if she is a 
covert agent. That is classified. But that is what was in the paper--I 
was outraged. I didn't know who had leaked the information. No idea. I 
am not an expert on the internecine rivalries among the various 
agencies, but the fact it was done just boiled my blood. So I wrote the 
FBI and asked Mr. Mueller to undertake an investigation of this act. 
The act, make no mistake about it, is a very serious act. In fact, it 
is a crime, punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
  Why is it a crime? Why have this body and the other body made this a 
crime? For obvious reasons. Our covert agents put their lives at risk 
for us every day. They are soldiers just like our brave young men and 
women in Iraq and around the globe. And in the post-9/11 world, the 
world of terrorism, they are among our most important soldiers because 
we have learned intelligence is key. When the name of an agent is 
revealed, it is like putting a gun to that agent's head. You are 
jeopardizing their life; in many cases, you are jeopardizing the lives 
of the contacts they have built up over the decades, and you are 
jeopardizing the security of America. So the seriousness of this crime 
is obvious.
  When, in addition, we learned that it was done in all likelihood for 
a frivolous, nasty reason--namely, that somebody was angry at 
Ambassador Wilson for speaking the truth, at least as he saw it--I 
tended to agree with him. I don't think anybody disputes it. In fact, 
the administration has admitted, the yellow cake sale from Niger to 
Iraq and the documents were, in fact, forged and the President was 
incorrect to use them in his State of the Union Address. This was a way 
of getting back at him through his wife or perhaps to cower him to make 
sure he didn't speak any further. Nasty. Not just nasty, it was like 
  In fact, John Dean, who has been through this, just wrote an article 
in something called TruthOut Editorial. The title is "The Bush 
Administration"--that is assuming it was done by the administration, 
but that is what all the reports are--"Adopts a Worse-than-Nixonian 
Tactic: The Deadly Serious Crime of Naming CIA Operatives."
  I ask unanimous consent that Mr. Dean's article be printed in the 
  There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

                     [From TruthOut, Aug. 15, 2003]

The Bush Administration Adopts a Worse-Than-Nixonian Tactic: The Deadly 
                 Serious Crime of Naming CIA Operatives

                           (By John W. Dean)

       On July 14, in his syndicated column, Chicago Sun-Times 
     journalist Robert Novak reported that Valerie Plame Wilson--
     the wife of former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV, and mother 
     of three-year-old twins--was a covert CIA agent. (She had 
     been known to her friends as an "energy analyst at a private 
       Why was Novak able to learn this highly secret information? 
     It turns our that he didn't have to dig for it. Rather, he 
     has said, the "two senior Administration officials" he had 
     cited as sources sought him out, eager to let him know. And 
     in journalism, that phrase is a term of art reserved for a 
     vice president, cabinet officers, and top White House 
       On July 17, Time magazine published the same story, 
     attributing it to "government officials." And on July 22, 
     Newsday's Washington Bureau confirmed "that Valerie Plame . 
     . . works at the agency [CIA] on weapons of mass destruction 
     issues in an undercover capacity." More specifically, 
     according to a "senior intelligence official," Newsday 
     reported, she worked in the "Directorate of Operations [as 
     an] undercover officer."
       In other words, Wilson is/was a spy involved in the 
     clandestine collection of foreign intelligence, covert 
     operations and espionage. She is/was part of a elite corps, 
     the best and brightest, and among those willing to take great 
     risk for their country. Now she has herself been placed at 
     great--and needless--risk.
       Why is the Administration so avidly leaking this 
     information? The answer is clear. Former ambassador Wilson is 
     famous, lately, for telling the truth about the Bush 
     Administration's bogus claim that Niger uranium had gone to 
     Saddam Hussein. And the Bush Administration is punishing 
     Wilson by targeting his wife. It is also sending a message to 
     others who might dare to defy it, and reveal the truth.
       No doubt the CIA, and Mrs. Wilson, have many years, and 
     much effort, invested in her career and skills. Her future, 
     if not her safety, are now in jeopardy.
       After reading Novak's column, The Nation's Washington 
     Editor, David Corn, asked, "Did senior Bush officials blow 
     the cover of a U.S. intelligence officer working covertly in 
     a field of vital importance to national security--and break 
     the law--in order to strike at a Bush administration critic 
     and intimidate others?"
       The answer is plainly yes. Now the question is, will they 
     get away with it?
       Bits and pieces of information have emerged, but the story 
     is far from complete. Nonetheless, what has surfaced is 
     repulsive. If I thought I had seen dirty political tricks as 
     nasty and vile as they could get at the Nixon White House, I 
     was wrong. The American Prospect's observation that "we are 
     very much into Nixon territory here" with this story is an 
       Indeed, this is arguably worse. Nixon never set up a hit on 
     one of his enemies' wives.

               leaking the name of a cia agent is a crime

       On July 22, Ambassador Wilson appeared on the Today show. 
     Katie Couric asked him about his wife: "How damaging would 
     this be to your wife's work?"
       Wilson--who, not surprisingly, has refused to confirm or 
     deny that his wife was a CIA operative--answered Katie 
     "hypothetically." He explained, "it would be damaging not 
     just to her career, since she's been married to me, but since 
     they mentioned her by her maiden name, to her entire career. 
     So it would be her entire network that she may have 
     established, any operations, any programs or projects she was 
     working on. It's a--it's a breach of national security. My 
     understanding is it may, in fact, be a violation of American 
       And, indeed, it is.
       The Espionage Act of 1917 and the Intelligence Identities 
     and Protection Act of 1982 may both apply. Given the scant 
     facts, it is difficult to know which might be more 
     applicable. But as Senator Schumer (D.NY) said, in calling 
     for an FBI investigation, if the reported facts are true, 
     there has been a crime. The only question is: Whodunit?

                       the espionage act of 1917

       The Reagan Administration effectively used the Espionage 
     Act of 1917 to prosecute

[[Page S12155]]

     a leak--to the horror of the news media. It was a case that 
     instituted to make a point, and establish the law, and it did 
     just that in spades.
       In July 1984, Samuel Morrison--the grandson of the eminent 
     naval historian with the same name--leaked three classified 
     photos to Jane's Defense Weekly. The photos were of the 
     Soviet Union's first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, which 
     had been taken by a U.S. spy satellite.
       Although the photos compromised no national security 
     secrets, and were not given to enemy agents, the Reagan 
     Administration prosecuted the leak. That raised the question: 
     Must the leaker have an evil purpose to be prosecuted?
       The Administration argued that the answer was no. As with 
     Britain's Official Secrets Acts, the leak of classified 
     material alone was enough to trigger imprisonment for up to 
     ten years and fines. And the United States Court of Appeals 
     for the Fourth Circuit agreed. It held that such a leak might 
     be prompted by "the most laudable motives, or any motive at 
     all," and it would still be a crime. As a result, Morrison 
     went to jail.
       The Espionage Act, though thrice amended since then, 
     continues to criminalize leaks of classified information, 
     regardless of the reason for the leak. Accordingly, the "two 
     senior administration officials" who leaked the classified 
     information of Mrs. Wilson's work at the CIA to Robert Novak 
     (and, it seems, others) have committed a federal crime.

             the intelligence identities and protection act

       Another applicable criminal statute is the Intelligence 
     Identities Act, enacted in 1982. The law has been employed in 
     the past. For instance, a low-level CIA clerk was convicted 
     for sharing the identify of CIA employees with her boyfriend, 
     when she was stationed in Ghana. She pled guilty and received 
     a two-year jail sentence. (Others have also been charged with 
     violations, but have pleaded to unrelated counts of the 
       The Act reaches outsiders who engage in "a pattern of 
     activities" intended to reveal the identities of covert 
     operatives (assuming such identities are not public 
     information, which is virtually always the case).
       But so far, there is no evidence that any journalist has 
     engaged in such a pattern. Accepting Administration leaks--
     even repeatedly--should not count as a violation, for First 
     Amendment reasons.
       The Act primarily reaches insiders with classified 
     intelligence, those privy to the identity of covert agents. 
     It addresses two kinds of insiders.
       First, there are those with direct access to the classified 
     information about the "covert agents" who leak it. These 
     insiders--including persons in the CIA--may serve up to ten 
     years in jail for leaking this information.
       Second, there are those who are authorized to have 
     classified information and learn it, and then leak it. These 
     insiders--including persons in, say, the White House or 
     Defense Department--can be sentenced to up to five years in 
     jail for such leaks.
       The statute also has additional requirements before the 
     leak of the identity of a "covert agent" is deemed 
     criminal. But it appears they are all satisfied here.
       First, the lead must be to a person "not authorized to 
     receive classified information." Any journalist--including 
     Novak and Time--plainly fits.
       Second, the insider must know that the information being 
     disclosed identifies a "covert agent." In this case, that's 
     obvious, since Novak was told this fact.
       Third, the insider must know that the U.S. government is 
     "taking affirmative measures to conceal such covert agent's 
     intelligence relationship to the United States." For persons 
     with Top Secret security clearances, that's a no-brainer: 
     They have been briefed, and have signed pledges of secrecy, 
     and it is widely known by senior officials that the CIA goes 
     to great effort to keep the names of its agents secret.
       A final requirement relates to the "covert agent" 
     herself. She must either be serving outside the United 
     States, or have served outside the United States in the last 
     five years. It seems very likely that Mrs. Wilson fulfills 
     the latter condition--but the specific facts on this point 
     have not yet been reported.

             how the law protects covert agents' identities

       What is not in doubt, is that Mrs. Wilson's identity was 
     classified, and no one in the government had the right to 
     reveal it.
       Virtually all the names of covert agents in the CIA are 
     classified, and the CIA goes to some effort to keep them 
     classified. They refuse all Freedom of Information Act 
     requests, they refuse (and courts uphold) to provide such 
     information in discovery connected to lawsuits.
       Broadly speaking, covert agents (and their informants) fall 
     under the State Secrets privilege. A Federal statute requires 
     that "the Director of Central Intelligence shall be 
     responsible for protecting intelligence sources and methods 
     from unauthorized disclosure." It is not, in other words, an 
     option for the CIA to decide to reveal an agent's activities.
       And of course, there are many good reasons for this--
     relating not only to the agent, but also to national 
     security. As CIA Director Turner explained in a lawsuit in 
     1982, shortly after the Intelligence Identities Act became 
     law, "In the case of persons acting in the employ of CIA, 
     once their identity is discerned further damage will likely 
     result from the exposure of other intelligence collection 
     efforts for which they were used."

      The White House's Unusual Stonewalling About an Obvious Leak

       In the past, Bush and Cheney have gone ballistic when 
     national security information leaked. But this leak--though 
     it came from "two senior administration officials"--has 
     been different. And that, in itself, speaks volumes.
       On July 22, White House press secretary Scott McClellan was 
     asked about the Novak column. Offering only a murky, non-
     answer, he claimed that neither "this President or this 
     White House operates" in such a fashion. He added, "there 
     is absolutely no information that has come to my attention or 
     that I have seen that suggests that there is any truth to 
     that suggestion. And, certainly, no one in this White House 
     would have given authority to take such a step."
       So was McClellan saying that Novak was lying--and his 
     sources were not, in fact, "two senior administration 
     officials"? McClellan dodged, kept repeating his mantra, and 
     refused to respond.
       Later, McClellan was asked, "Would the President support 
     an investigation into the blowing of the cover of an 
     undercover CIA operative?" Again, he refused to acknowledge 
     "that there might be some truth to the matter you're 
     bringing up." When pressed further, he said he would have to 
     look into "whether or not that characterization is accurate 
     when you're talking about someone's cover."
       McClellan's statement that he would have to look into the 
     matter was disingenuous at best. This ten-day old column by 
     Novak had not escaped the attention of the White House. 
     Indeed, when the equation was first raised, McClellan 
     immediately responded, "Thank you for bringing it up."
       As David Corn has pointed out, what McClellan did not say, 
     is even more telling than what he said. He did not say he was 
     trying to get to the bottom of the story and determine if it 
     had any basis in fact. He did not say the president would not 
     tolerate such activities, and was demanding to know what had 
       Indeed, as Corn points out, McClellan's remarks "hardly 
     covered a message from Bush to his underlings: don't you dare 
     pull crap like this." Indeed, they could even be seen as 
     sending a message that such crimes will be overlooked.
       Frankly, I am astounded that the President of the United 
     States--whose father was once Director of the CIA--did not 
     see fit to have his Press Secretary address this story with 
     hard facts. Nor has he apparently called for an 
     investigation--or even given Ambassador and Mrs. Wilson a 
     Secret Service detail, to let the world know they will be 
       This is the most vicious leak I have seen in over 40 years 
     of government-watching. Failure to act to address it will 
     reek of a cover-up or, at minimum, approval of the leak's 
     occurrence--and an invitation to similar revenge upon 
     Administration critics.

         congressional calls for investigation should be heeded

       Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) was the first to react. On July 
     22, he delivered a lengthy speech about how the Bush 
     Administration was using friendly reporters to attack its 
     enemies. He knew this well, because he was one of those being 
     so attacked.
       "Sadly, what we have here," Durbin told his colleagues, 
     "is a continuing pattern by this White House. If any Member 
     of this Senate--Democrat or Republican--takes to the floor, 
     questions this White House policy, raises any questions about 
     the gathering of intelligence information, or the use of it, 
     be prepared for the worst. This White House is going to turn 
     on you and attack you."
       After Senator Durbin set forth the evidence that showed the 
     charges of the White House against him were false, he turned 
     to the attacks on Ambassador and Mrs. Wilson. He announced 
     that he was asking the chairman and ranking member of the 
     Senate Intelligence Committee to investigate this "extremely 
     serious matter."
       "In [the Administration's] effort to seek political 
     revenge against Ambassador Wilson," Durbin said, "they are 
     now attacking him and his wife, and doing it in a fashion 
     that is not only unacceptable, it may be criminal. And that, 
     frankly, is as serious as it gets in this town."
       The House Intelligence Committee is also going to 
     investigate the Wilson leak. "What happened is very 
     dangerous to a person who may be a CIA operative," 
     Congressman Alcee Hastings (D-FL), a member of the Committee, 
     said. And the committee's chairman, Porter Goss (R-FL), a 
     former CIA agent himself, said an investigation "could be 
     part of a wider" look that his committee is taking at WMD 
       In a July 24 letter to FBI Director William Mueller, 
     Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) demanded a criminal 
     investigation of the leak. Schumer's letter stated, "If the 
     facts that have been reported publicly are true, it is clear 
     that a crime was committed. The only questions remaining to 
     be answered are who committed the crime and why?"
       The FBI, too, has confirmed that they are undertaking an 
       But no one should hold their breath. So far, Congress has 
     treated the Bush Administration with kid gloves. Absent an 
     active investigation by a grand jury, under the direction of 
     a U.S. Attorney or special prosecutor, an FBI investigation 
     is not likely to accomplish anything. After all, the FBI does 

[[Page S12156]]

     have power to compel anyone to talk. And unless the President 
     himself demands a full investigation, the Department of 
     Justice is not going to do anything--unless the Congress 
     uncovers information that embarrasses them into taking 
       While this case is a travesty, it won't be the first one 
     that this administration has managed to get away with. Given 
     the new nadir of investigative journalism, this 
     administration has been emboldened. And why not? Lately, the 
     mainstream media has seemed more interested in stockholders 
     than readers. If Congress won't meaningfully investigate 
     these crimes--and, indeed, even if it will--it is the press's 
     duty to do so. Let us hope it fulfills that duty. But I am 
     not holding my breath about that, either.

  Mr. SCHUMER. Mr. President, this is serious stuff, and I was furious. 
I had no idea who had done it at that point in time. "High 
administration official" can mean a whole lot of things. So I wrote 
the letter to Mr. Mueller and publicly called on him for an 
  I learned shortly thereafter that for such an investigation to 
proceed, the CIA had to fill out, I think it is, an 11-point 
questionnaire about the person named, what they did, and what was 
revealed. Of course, last week it came out on television and in the 
newspapers that the CIA had asked for an investigation. The logical, 
though not certain, conclusion of that, of course, is that they believe 
a crime might well have been committed; that Ms. Plame, indeed, was 
hurt by the revelation, and that it was illegal to reveal it.
  I cannot tell you how many people I have talked with in this body and 
throughout the country who are just outraged by this--just outraged. 
The attitude that seemed to be indicated by the administration 
spokesperson yesterday--oh, we get plenty of leaks, and this is just 
one of them, and we investigate all of them--is even more infuriating.
  This is not an ordinary leak. I challenge any of my colleagues on 
either side of the aisle to bring to me the situation where someone in 
a high administration position leaked the name of an agent and 
jeopardized their life, their contacts, and America's security. This is 
a totally different ball of wax. This is not just a leak. This is a 
crime, plain and simple.
  Mrs. BOXER. Will the Senator yield?
  Mr. REID. Will the Senator yield for a question?
  Mr. SCHUMER. Mr. President, I will be happy to yield to my two 
colleagues in just a minute.
  Even the White House saying, "We will fire whoever did it," is not 
sufficient. If you have a company and someone is suspected of murder 
and they say, "If we find out they are convicted of murder, we will 
fire them," would that be a sufficient enough punishment? Absolutely 
  What we have here is an attitude: Let's sweep this under the rug, 
let's make sure nobody says much about it, and maybe it will go away.
  I yield first to my colleague from Nevada.
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, I have a question. Will the Senator yield?
  Mr. SCHUMER. I will be happy to yield to my colleague from Nevada for 
a question.
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, I say to my friend from New York, I have 
been at a meeting with the Iraqi Governing Council, and I was stunned 
when I came back to the Senate Chamber and was advised by my staff that 
we are no longer on the DC appropriations bill. We are suddenly in 
morning business until our weekly caucuses.
  I say to my friend from New York, why in the world would someone be 
afraid to vote on an amendment the Senator from New York and others are 
going to offer that says: Let's take a look at this; let's find out 
what happened? We know there was a crime committed. I don't use those 
words often. I know there was a crime committed. It is only a question 
of who did it. Why wouldn't our friends on the other side of the aisle 
allow a debate on this issue? It is not as if we are taking away heavy 
business. We have been vouchered out from doing the DC appropriations 
  I say to my friend from New York, what fear does the majority in the 
Senate have in allowing an amendment the Senator from New York wishes 
to offer? Why can't we debate this amendment?
  Mr. SCHUMER. I thank my colleague for the question. I have asked 
myself the same question. I was told first that the reason the DC 
appropriations bill has not been put forward is that they are afraid of 
this amendment. This is a pattern. This morning--
  Mr. REID. I say to my friend--pardon the interruption, through the 
Chair--afraid of what? Of the truth?
  Mr. SCHUMER. That is what the signs seem to indicate. This morning, I 
was asked to go on the "Today Show" and talk about this issue. They 
asked a whole bunch of Republican Senators. None would appear. They 
asked the administration to send somebody. No one would appear. Again, 
the attitude seems to be: Let's shrug our shoulders and hope this goes 
  I will make one other point to our colleague. Our President has made 
it his hallmark of defending our troops. That is why we are debating or 
we will be debating the money for them. That is why we will be debating 
all of this. Every CIA agent is one of our troops, and for the 
President to not address this directly, for the President to have his 
spokesperson say this is one of a whole lot of leaks, to say if they 
find out who it is, they will be fired--well, I just ask my colleagues 
to think about this. Let us say they were certain it would cause no 
damage to them, that these high administration officials were somewhere 
far away. Do my colleagues think we would have the same attitude from 
our Commander in Chief, and one who correctly prides himself in 
protecting our troops?

  So it makes one scratch one's head and say, What are they worried 
about? Why will they not get to the bottom of this? This, again, as my 
colleague has said, is very likely a crime, and a serious crime.
  I read my colleagues what President Bush, Sr., the 41st President, 
said about this type of crime. He ought to know because, of course, as 
we all know, he was head of the CIA before he was President.

       I have nothing but contempt and anger for those who betray 
     the trust by exposing our sources. They are, in my view, the 
     most insidious of traitors.

  Do we just answer, this is a leak like every other leak when dealing 
with traitors?
  Mr. REID. Will the Senator yield for one more question?
  Mr. SCHUMER. I will be happy to yield for a question.
  Mr. REID. I came in past the 11:30 hour. Is it true then that we find 
ourselves in a situation, from a parliamentary standpoint, that the 
Senator cannot offer his amendment? Is that what the Senator is telling 
  Mr. SCHUMER. If my colleague from Nevada will yield, that is exactly 
  Mr. REID. The Senator has worked on this all morning, I know, as well 
as yesterday. I had a conversation with him yesterday. We were to go 
back into legislative business at 11:30. That right has been taken away 
from us by the majority. They will not even let the Senator offer an 
amendment in legislative session. Is that true?
  Mr. SCHUMER. That is exactly true.
  I would be happy to yield to my colleague from California for a 
  Mrs. BOXER. I thank the Senator so much for yielding. I have a few 
questions. What I want to do is make a 4- or 5-minute statement and 
then ask three or four questions and hope the Senator can answer them 
in his inimicable fashion.
  First, I thank Senator Schumer so much for picking up on this issue. 
I remember reading about this in July and just scratching my head. I 
essentially thought: This cannot be true. I cannot believe that someone 
in the White House would reveal the identity of a person who is working 
at the CIA undercover. Whether she is an analyst, an operative, or an 
agent, it matters not, but certainly someone whose identity had never 
been revealed. I thought: This cannot be happening.
  To be honest, I should have done more about it, but I did not, and 
thank the Senator for writing to the head of the FBI, for whom I have a 
great deal of respect, and letting him know this.
  Here are my questions: As I look at this, I think, why would someone 
do this? Well, clearly the idea behind attacking Ambassador Wilson's 
wife was that Ambassador Wilson gave the White House news they did not 
want to hear, which was that there was really no proof that Saddam 
Hussein was getting nuclear materials from Niger. They did not want 
that answer; it was kind of a kill-the-messenger type of response; and 
in order to get back at

[[Page S12157]]

him, they out his wife, which is despicable and a crime, but I think it 
is about arrogance and it is about intimidation.

  We have seen the arrogance, but it is the intimidation factor I want 
the Senator to comment on because this is not only about this one 
incident--in which clearly Ambassador Wilson was correct, by the way--
but it is a signal that is sent, really, frankly, to everyone in 
politics that nothing is off limits if someone crosses us: We will go 
after their wife; we will go after their kids.
  I have to say to my friend, he is a family man, I am a family woman. 
We are in this world--God knows how and why but we are in it--and we 
are willing to take the hits and everything else, but the lowest form 
of politics is if someone comes after your kids or your spouse. I 
resent it, and I want my colleague to comment on those two areas.
  I also ask him to comment on a third one, and that is the whole 
struggle that women are having in this world of ours to enhance our 
careers, to break the glass ceiling, to go into fields that are maybe a 
little bit unusual. I do not have the statistics at my fingertips, but 
if we look at the number of women who are FBI agents, I can tell my 
colleague that it is very few. I used to know the exact number. I do 
not want to throw out a number, but it is way less than a third, as I 
  So we have a circumstance where there is a woman in a nontraditional 
field doing her work, obviously not getting credit for it. She is 
working incognito at the CIA, whatever her work is, and she is going up 
the ladder. Maybe she has a tremendous future. Well, probably the 
future in that field has been harmed, if not totally destroyed, and 
maybe her life or other lives that she touched in her work are in 
  So we are talking about a number of issues--yes, the crime that was 
committed, but the whole idea of intimidation to people who might take 
on this administration, the whole idea of going after someone's family 
when we know, as public servants, what our families mean to us and how 
we protect them from whatever befalls us, the hits, the pain, and other 
things that happen. We asked for it. We are in this arena.
  So I hope my friend will perhaps talk about that. It is a human 
tragedy beyond the crime, and I ask my friend to comment.
  Mr. SCHUMER. I thank my colleague for her thoughtful, incisive, and 
from-the-heart-type comments. I will comment on them.
  The one I would like to focus on a little bit is the intimidation. 
The greatness of this democracy through the centuries has been the 
structure the Founding Fathers set up which allows debate on the 
issues. It is wonderful.
  If we had to think of a sentence at the core of America, it might be: 
We believe in the competition of ideas, and the best idea will win out. 
Free speech, that is the competition of ideas in its pure form. Free 
enterprise, that is the competition of economic ideas. Freedom of 
religion, that is the competition of spiritual ideas. Democracy is the 
competition of political ideas. When we no longer have that, the 
democracy frays.
  When people are afraid to say what they think, not because their 
arguments will be answered directly but, rather, because they will be 
hit below the belt, we have the beginnings of the fraying of the 
democracy, and that is what is happening.
  I hate to say this, but this administration seems to have a peculiar 
penchant to attack someone's patriotism when they disagree. I have 
basically been a supporter of the President on the war and foreign 
policy, but for those who disagree, there has been not just, here is 
why you are wrong and let me tell you why--there has been some of 
that--but in addition there is an impugning of motive, an impugning of 
character, a kneecapping. One of the reasons this issue resonates so is 
that it is the worst of that.
  Now, about our families, of course, they should be off limits. I will 
tell a little story, and then I will yield to my colleague from Iowa. 
But the points of my colleague from California are so good.
  When I ran for the Senate in 1998, my daughter was starting ninth 
grade in a new high school. My worry was she was going to start in 
September. If, God willing, I won the primary, the next day I knew that 
my opponent, who was known as a hardball political player, Senator 
D'Amato, my predecessor--with whom I now get along quite well, I am 
happy to say--would go after me. My greatest worry, and the No. 1 
reason I debated not to run, was that I thought she would be new in 
high school, with a whole bunch of new people, and she was going to a 
different high school, not in Brooklyn but in Manhattan, and people 
would not want to be friends with her because they would see these 
horrible things being said about her father on television. Of course we 
talked it over with Jessica, too, who was a mature 10th grader then--
now she is in college and doing great--and we decided to run. As it 
turns out, they did run all the nasty ads. The morning I won the 
primary I turned on the TV and there they were. It didn't affect her or 
her friends. That is the worry we had.

  What they are trying to do here is send the message that even your 
family is not off limits, perhaps. That is a horrible message. That 
frays democracy, just as does the inability to dissent.
  I respected Ronald Reagan. When you asked Ronald Reagan something, if 
he disagreed with you he would say exactly why: Well, I am against Head 
Start because I think parents should be in charge of their children 
until they are 5.
  All too often in this administration they don't answer directly. In 
fact, they will get up and say, "We love Head Start," and then they 
will cut the money.
  So the candor, the debate on the merits, seems to be going away, and 
that worries me about the future of this country. This incident is an 
apotheosis of that, both in terms of intimidation, in terms of going 
after family, in terms of being malicious, and in terms of saying our 
political agenda is more important than the lives of the people 
fighting for us--in this case, in the intelligence agencies.
  I am happy to yield to my colleague from Iowa for a question.
  Mr. HARKIN. I thank my friend from New York for yielding for a 
question. I am proud to be a cosponsor of the amendment that the 
Senator is trying to offer. I came over to the floor from the 
Appropriations Committee meeting to speak on this amendment. Evidently, 
I now find out, I understand--am I correct, I ask my friend from New 
York, that the majority, Republican side, has extended this period of 
morning business which will keep you from offering this amendment? Is 
that correct?
  Mr. SCHUMER. That is correct.
  Mr. HARKIN. Again, I am proud to cosponsor the amendment. I think it 
gets to the heart of the matter, and that is to try to get a special 
counsel to look into these serious allegations.
  I noted earlier the Senator from New York had quoted from former 
President George Herbert Walker Bush on leaks. I think there is another 
quote from a former Senator, John Ashcroft, now Attorney General, in 
which he said:

       You know, a single allegation can be most worthy of a 
     special prosecutor. If you are abusing government property, 
     if you are abusing your status in office, it can be a single 
     fact that makes the difference on this.

  John Ashcroft, October 4, 1997, on CNN, Evans and Novak, "A single 
allegation can be most worthy of a special prosecutor."
  As I understand it, the allegation here is not someone has abused 
government property, not that someone has engaged in some murky real 
estate deal in timberland someplace, this is an allegation that someone 
high up in this Government--we don't know where, but someplace high up 
in the Government, having access to classified information, leaked to 
one or more reporters, columnists, news people, the name of a CIA 
agent. That is the allegation, is it not?
  Mr. SCHUMER. That is exactly the allegation.
  Mr. HARKIN. It would seem to this Senator that allegation is of such 
import that everyone here ought to support the Senator's sense-of-the-
Senate resolution. I say to the Senator, I view it with nothing short 
of amazement that the other side would want to stop this. I would think 
everyone here would want to get to the bottom of this.

  I ask the Senator, again, is it the Senator's judgment that somehow 

[[Page S12158]]

are not being allowed to bring this up for a vote? Does the Senator 
intend to pursue this, to make sure we do speak as a Senate on this?
  Mr. SCHUMER. I thank my colleague for asking that question. Indeed, 
whenever the DC appropriations bill comes up, I am going to bring up 
this sense of the Senate.
  I thank him for bringing up something else. I don't want this to be a 
partisan issue. When I first wrote the Director of the FBI, I had no 
idea who put this in there. I just wanted to get to the bottom of it 
because I was so outraged at the tactic. What I think we ought to be 
doing is getting the special counsel because the special counsel is the 
way to certainly remove any appearance of a conflict, and perhaps a 
conflict itself. Attorney General Ashcroft, whom you quoted, is known 
as a close political ally of the President's. There is an argument that 
the Attorney General should be removed from the President and be a 
lawyer for the Nation. And there is an argument that the Attorney 
General should be a close political ally of the President. Democrats 
and Republicans--it has not been a Democratic or Republican issue.
  John Kennedy appointed his brother as Attorney General. But when you 
appoint an Attorney General who is a close political ally and friend, 
and when something sensitive with conflicts of interest occurs, then 
you have an obligation, in my judgment, to move for a special 
prosecutor. You pay a price, in a certain sense. You gain things by 
having a political ally as Attorney General, but you also lose things, 
and you lose the guise of independence, the actuality of independence.
  My colleague is so right. The best thing that could happen is we pass 
this resolution unanimously, we all work together to get a respected 
independent counsel--someone like a John Danforth or a Warren Rudman or 
a Sam Nunn or a George Mitchell--and then they go forward with their 
investigation. I think every one of us on this side of the aisle, as 
well as the other, would be content that the chips will fall where they 
may so this dastardly crime, and that is what it is, will be exposed.
  This idea of not bringing up such a resolution, of not wanting to 
debate it, of, again, maybe casting aspersions on the motivation of 
those who are for it--we have 14 or 15 of us, and we will have more--is 
going to make the American people think: Wait a minute, maybe they are 
worried; maybe there is something to hide--which there may or may not 
  I thank my colleague.
  Mr. HARKIN. I thank my colleague for responding. I have a couple more 
  I appreciate what the Senator just said. There have been some 
allegations made. I don't know whether or not this is some partisan 
effort or something like that. We know that a law has been broken. 
There is a clear law against leaking the names of our intelligence 
agents, and it is punishable by 5 years--or 10?
  Mr. SCHUMER. Ten.
  Mr. HARKIN. Ten years or a $50,000 fine. A crime has been committed.

  I say to the Senator, here we are going on day after day, and there 
is a lot of stuff going around the White House and the Attorney 
General's office. Is it the judgment of the Senator that this could 
really be brought to the forefront rapidly? I say because of a 
statement that was made on ABC News--The Note. They had an interesting 
question. They asked: Has he [has the President] insisted that every 
senior staff member sign a statement with legal authority that they are 
not the leaker and that they will identify to the White House legal 
counsel who is?
  It seems to me the President of the United States can say: Sign this. 
Are you the one who called or not? And this will be over with by 4 
o'clock this afternoon.
  Mr. SCHUMER. I thank my colleague for that. That is what the 
President ought to do. This President--I mentioned this earlier to my 
colleagues, when I was having a dialog with my colleague from Nevada--
is known for defending our troops. That is what we are talking about 
with $87 billion. That is a good thing.
  Our CIA agents are our troops, just as our soldiers are our troops. 
In fact, after the war, after 9/11 and the global fight against 
terrorism, they are even more important because intelligence is so 
  It seems to me that it would be logical for this President to do just 
what the Senator said--to say: You know, yes, we have to have a legal 
investigation, but I want to get to the bottom of this immediately 
because this conduct is reprehensible.
  I don't believe the President was involved in this. I disagree with 
him politically. It doesn't seem part of his character. But he should 
sure want to get to the bottom. He does not address it at all. His 
spokesperson comes out there and says: Oh, these are leaks just like 
all the others. We will find out and we will fire him.
  One wonders.
  Mr. HARKIN. I thank the Senator. One wonders. The President, it seems 
to me, would want to get this over with in a hurry by finding out who 
the person is who leaked this and let the legal recourse then follow. 
But at least expedite this right away and get rid of that person.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Sessions). The 30 minutes allotted on this 
side has expired.
  Mr. SCHUMER. I ask unanimous consent, since there is no one from the 
other side, that we be given an additional 10 minutes.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. SCHUMER. Thank you, Mr. President.
  Mr. HARKIN. Mr. President, I know other Senators want to engage the 
Senator from New York. I thank him for his leadership on this. I know 
of the Senator's longstanding support for our law enforcement and for 
making sure that those who violate the trust of public office are 
brought to justice. That is what this is about. This is a gross 
violation. This is not some little real estate deal someplace.
  I ask the Senator: Maybe it is not so much that the wife of Mr. 
Wilson is identified, and she may be safe here in the United States. I 
don't know about her travels abroad. That may be restricting her 
freedom in the future. But what about the contacts she made and her 
sources around the world? What is going to happen then? What will 
happen to our intelligence agents around the world today if they think 
they are going to be "outed" sometime by this administration or some 
other administration? What happens to our war on terrorism?
  Mr. SCHUMER. I thank the Senator. I so much appreciate my colleague's 
intelligence and integrity and passion which he brings to so many 
different issues. He is exactly right. Even if this agent should decide 
to retire, the damage would be great because other agents would think: 
Maybe I will get in trouble. What will I get in trouble for? Speaking 
the truth?
  We depend on truth in our intelligence services more than just about 
anything else. President after President has said one of the keys to 
governing well is good intelligence that will tell you when you are off 
base as well as when you are on base. It is so serious. The Senator is 
exactly right. This transcends any one person. It transcends any 
specific person because it goes to the integrity.
  I say to my colleague one other thing: From what I understand, our 
intelligence services are livid because this happened.
  Mr. HARKIN. They should be.
  Mr. SCHUMER. I don't know for a fact. But my guess is there was great 
debate in the CIA because it was a tough thing to do given that "high 
administration sources" were implicated. But the anger among the 
Agency is red hot, as I understand it, and with good reason.

  I thank my colleague. I would be happy to yield to my colleague from 
Florida for a question.
  Mr. NELSON of Florida. Mr. President, I wanted to pick up on 
something the Senator from New York said. I can best illustrate it with 
Veterans Day and Memorial Day when we typically are commending those 
young men and women in uniform. We have to modify that now because of 
the war in Afghanistan and the war in Iraq. We commend the young men 
and women not only in uniform but in the service of their country, 
because the CIA was the first to go into Afghanistan. They were all 
over Afghanistan before we ever went in with our military forces. They 

[[Page S12159]]

working in conjunction with our military forces. Indeed, the first 
American to be killed in Afghanistan was Mike Spann, a CIA agent.
  What we are dealing with, lest folks get this all mixed up with 
politics, is a crime of the most serious nature because it jeopardizes 
the security of the United States and its people. When someone's 
identity is suddenly revealed and is an agent of the U.S. Government, 
their life is in jeopardy and the lives of their contacts are in 
jeopardy. That is the gravity of this leak. That gets lost in all of 
this. He said, she said, and so forth is just branded as politics. But 
we are dealing with the lives of people.
  As in any normal criminal proceeding, if a violation of law is 
thought to have occurred, then let us allow the cops to investigate and 
let us bring that person in front of the responsible judicial 
tribunals. The question is, which cops will be able to investigate and 
get to the truth? If you leave it to the professional law enforcement 
people, they will. But isn't it sad that we have to be concerned that 
political influence will direct that investigation?
  Whatever turn it takes, what the Senator from Florida is standing for 
is I know our people want to get to the truth, and it ought to be the 
professional law enforcement investigators who determine what is the 
truth. That is why I wanted to come and support the Senator.
  Mr. SCHUMER. I thank my colleague. Again, he is on the money. That is 
all we seek here now--the truth.
  The spokesperson for the President, Mr. McClellan, said we are 
referring it to the Justice Department and the professionals. If you 
look at the chain of command, it goes right up to the Attorney General.
  As I mentioned earlier, the Attorney General is a close political 
ally with the President. There is nothing wrong with that. That is one 
model of the Attorney General. But it certainly sacrifices the 
appearance of independence, and perhaps independence itself 
particularly goes very high up.
  Why we have asked for a special counsel is very simple: It is to 
allow professional law enforcement to do the job unfettered so they 
know they will not pay a price if they pursue it completely and fully. 
That would entail a special counsel of great legal background and 
sterling repetition for independence and integrity. I think it would 
behoove the administration to do that.
  There are all sorts of doubts now. Are they telling the truth about 
this, that, or the other thing when it comes to foreign policy? Were we 
to appoint a special counsel, people would say: Yes, maybe they are.
  But I will say this: The effort to sort of sweep this under the rug 
and say, oh, this is just one of the leaks that occurs every day, that 
makes me angry, to be honest with my colleague. That is unfair not only 
to the CIA agent in question but to the thousands of intelligence 
agents across the globe who at this moment, as my good colleague points 
out so correctly, are defending just as our soldiers are defending us 
and are more needed than ever before.
  That is why in the intelligence community there is such livid anger 
because this occurred. My guess is--this is just my guess--that is why 
Mr. Tenet requested the investigation. My guess is that in his head he 
was saying, Oh, boy, this is going to get me in trouble the way, say, 
Janet Reno may have gotten in trouble with the previous President, the 
Attorney General from the Senator's State. But he knows that the 
integrity of the intelligence service is important. My guess is that is 
why he did it. Maybe that is why it took a bit more time than I had 
imagined when I first requested this on July 24. But he did request it.
  Now our obligation to the thousands of brave men and women who are in 
our intelligence services and risking their lives is to get to the 
bottom of it with a fearless, complete, and thorough investigation.
  Mr. NELSON of Florida. Will the Senator further yield for an 
additional comment? It is not only, interestingly, those who are 
directly in the services of the CIA now, but it is also the retirees.
  I will never forget being in an almost deserted embassy in Islamabad, 
Pakistan, after September 11. I heard my name being called. I turned 
around, and I saw an elderly looking gentleman, and he recalled how we 
knew each other back when I was in the House of Representatives.

  I said: What in the world are you doing here?
  We were getting ready to do a raid in 5 cities simultaneously that 
night, of which we got 50 al-Qaida, and we got the No. 3 guy. And, lo 
and behold, he was a retired CIA agent they brought back in the 
aftermath of September 11, when we were trying to catch up until we 
could get the new guys trained. They reached out, and they got the old 
guys who had all the knowledge.
  Mr. SCHUMER. Right.
  Mr. NELSON of Florida. So we are talking about the protection of the 
interests of this country, and not only those in the active service 
right now but those who are retired who in times of emergency are 
called back as well.
  Mr. SCHUMER. I thank my colleague. Well said. It is a tribute to how 
familiar he is with our intelligence services and how many from his 
State serve in the intelligence community.
  I was glad to hear, for instance, that these days, on the college 
campuses, signing up for intelligence is a coveted thing.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The 10 minutes have expired.
  Mr. SCHUMER. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that we be given 
another 5 minutes.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. SCHUMER. Thank you, Mr. President.
  There are lines to join the intelligence services, sort of as there 
were after World War II, when some of our best and our brightest wanted 
to go into our services.
  I will tell you, if politics can be played--and those of us asking 
for an investigation are not playing politics; it was the people who 
outed this agent, if, indeed, that is proven to be true, who were 
playing politics--but if that is allowed to prevail, it is going to 
hurt our intelligence agencies in many more ways than one.
  I thank my colleague.
  Mr. President, I would just make two points. No. 1, I will continue 
to make an effort to bring up this amendment. It has now been printed 
in the Record. I ask my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to read 
it. We were judicious in our language. It does not have any kind of 
political language or diatribe. It just states the facts. I would hope 
we could get colleagues from both sides of the aisle to sponsor it.
  And I would hope we could move it forward--move it forward quickly--
as a message because that is all it can be, but as a message to the 
President that we need a thorough, complete, and fearless 
investigation, and that only a special counsel can do that for us.
  With that, Mr. President, I yield the floor and suggest the absence 
of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. In my capacity as a Senator from the State of 
Alabama, I ask unanimous consent that the order for the quorum call be 
  Without objection, it is so ordered.


Congressional Record: September 30, 2003 (Senate)
Page S12160-S12179                       


  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will state the bill by title.
  The assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

       A bill (H.R. 2765) making appropriations for the government 
     of the District of Columbia and other activities chargeable 
     in whole or in part against the revenues of said District for 
     the fiscal year ending September 30, 2004, and for other 

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New York is recognized.

                           Amendment No. 1790

  Mr. SCHUMER. Mr. President, I send an amendment to the desk.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report.
  The assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from New York [Mr. Schumer], for himself, Mr. 
     Daschle, Mr. Reid, Ms. Mikulski, Mr. Rockefeller, Mr. Leahy, 
     Mr. Levin, Mr. Nelson of Florida, Mr. Kennedy, Mr. Durbin, 
     Mr. Baucus, Mr. Harkin, Mr. Bayh, Mr. Hollings, Mr. Biden, 
     Mr. Lautenberg, Mr. Sarbanes, Mr. Bingaman, Mr. Kerry, Mr. 
     Wyden, and Mr. Graham of Florida, proposes an amendment 
     numbered 1790.

  Mr. SCHUMER. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that further 
reading of the amendment be dispensed with.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The amendment is as follows:

 (Purpose: To express the sense of Congress concerning the appointment 
   of a special counsel to conduct a fair, thorough, and independent 
             investigation into a national security breach)

       At the appropriate place, insert the following:

                   SECURITY BREACH.

       (a) Findings.--Congress finds that--
       (1) the national security of the United States is dependent 
     on our intelligence operatives being able to operate 
     undercover and without fear of having their identities 
       (2) recent reports have indicated that administration or 
     White House officials may have deliberately leaked the 
     identity of a covert CIA agent to the media;
       (3) the unauthorized disclosure of a covert intelligence 
     agent's identity is a Federal felony; and
       (4) the Attorney General has the power to appoint a special 
     counsel of integrity and stature who may conduct an 
     investigation into the leak without the appearance of any 
     conflict of interest.
       (b) Sense of Congress.--It is the sense of Congress that 
     the Attorney General of the United States should appoint a 
     special counsel of the highest integrity and statute to 
     conduct a fair, independent, and thorough investigation of 
     the leak and ensure that all individuals found to be 
     responsible for this heinous deed are punished to the fullest 
     extent permitted by law.

  Mr. SCHUMER. Mr. President, I yield to my colleague, our leader from 
South Dakota, as much time as he wishes.
  Mr. DASCHLE. Mr. President, I thank all of those involved in the 
discussion and the agreement we have just reached procedurally. This is 
an important issue and it deserves the consideration of the Senate.
  I want to especially acknowledge the leadership Senator Schumer has 
shown on this matter, and I expressed the gratitude of our caucus to 
him for providing this legislative leadership as we consider what to do 
in this particular case.
  I think there are several facts we know for sure. We know the law was 
violated. We know what the law says with regard to violations of this 
magnitude. We know the chilling effect it has on our intelligence-
gathering capability and on personnel involved in the front lines with 
regard to intelligence-gathering responsibilities.
  We know, if we can believe the reports that have already been printed 
and reported, what motivated someone in the White House or someone in 
this administration was retaliation, retribution for being critical of 
the administration. Those things we know.
  What we don't know is how it happened. What we don't know is who is 
responsible. What we don't know is whether or not the perception that 
the Justice Department can investigate this independently, objectively, 
and thoroughly is something we can answer today. I would say the answer 
is no. It would be very difficult to put John Ashcroft in the position 
of investigating the very people who hired him for the job. We no 
longer have the independent counsel law. That has expired. I am on 
record as having said I support the expiration of the independent 
counsel law because of the abuses that I believe have occurred. What we 
do have is an independent prosecutor set up by regulation throughout 
the Justice Department to create more of an independent review, an 
outside analysis of all of the outstanding questions regarding this 
particular case.
  So that is really what the Senator from New York is saying. Because 
the law was violated, because of the perceptions created about the 
inability of this Attorney General to create an independent, thorough 
investigation, we have no choice. We have no choice but to encourage 
and to demand that a special counsel be appointed.
  Mr. President, I don't know that there could be anything more 
egregious--in fact, I thought President Bush's father said it about as 
well as anyone can.
  Anyone who is guilty of doing something such as this is what 
President Bush said, an insidious traitor. I believe those are strong 
words, because they deserve the kind of repudiation that words such as 
that connote.
  The only way we can ensure that those responsible for insidious acts 
involving the very essence of our ability to stay strong is to ensure 
that when we pass laws involving violations, we deal with them 
effectively and directly, regardless of who it may be.
  Our country is based on the premise, on the foundation, of the rule 
of law. There can be no respect for the rule of law if laws as 
essential to our national security as this are violated and there is no 
followup, no responsibility, no actions taken.
  I do not care how one connotes the importance of this law, one cannot 
minimize its impact in this country today, especially now. So all that 
the distinguished Senator from New York is saying and what many of us 
are saying with him is let us uphold the law; let us say, as we demand 
of others that they respect the rule of law, that we set the example, 
and that in encouraging the rule of law and respecting the 
extraordinary consequences of the law those who violate it are held 
  I hope this Congress will act unanimously in this sense of the 
Senate, in this statement of purpose that the Senator from New York is 
offering today. Let us simply say with one voice that there can be no 
excuses, there can be no explanation, there can be no other option than 
pursuing the law vigorously. The only way to do that is to recognize 
the importance of what the Justice Department itself recognized, that 
there are times when conflicts of interest stand in the way of pursuing 
justice effectively. In those times, the only option we have available 
to us is the creation of an independent counsel.
  In essence, that is what we are proposing today. I strongly support 
the letter as well as the spirit and the intent of the resolution, and 
I hope my colleagues will do so as well.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New York.
  Mr. SCHUMER. Mr. President, first, let me thank our leader from South 
Dakota for his right-on-the-money words as well as his leadership on 
this issue with so many others. I think I speak for every Member on our 
side when I say we are proud to follow his leadership, and every Member 
of the

[[Page S12161]]

Senate, that he is just a fine leader and fine man.
  This is a sense-of-the-Senate resolution. As our distinguished 
Democratic leader stated, it simply says that the rule of law should be 
upheld. When I read in the Novak column that an agent was outed, I was 
just furious. My first reaction was to call the FBI and send them a 
letter asking that there be a thorough investigation. I was told that 
before anything such as this could happen, the CIA had to answer 11 
questions on a certain form that would show the law was--and I am not 
sure of the standard; it might be probable cause but violated, or at 
least the significant possibility of it being violated. Evidently, last 
week the CIA sent those 11 pages back and asked for an investigation.
  There are so many points to make, and I will make a few. First, the 
dastardliness of this act; it is despicable. I have been in Washington 
22 years. I have never seen anything quite like this. To reveal the 
identity of an agent, or an analyst, the law does not matter--and I 
know that it was said on television yesterday by Mr. Novak, well, she 
was not an agent, she was an analyst and therefore it does not matter, 
but the law is very clear, and if someone is covert, a member of the 
CIA, and their identity is revealed, that is a crime.
  Furthermore, we do not know if she was an analyst or an agent. If we 
are going to believe Mr. Novak on this part of it, then maybe we should 
believe him on all the rest of it. Everyone would agree that some high 
administration officials did a very terrible thing. To take this agent, 
analyst, this covert individual, who has served their country, and 
expose them, endangers them, endangers their sources and their 
contacts. As my good colleague from California has said, it puts a halt 
on their career and endangers the security of this country.
  Furthermore, we have always felt that our intelligence agents are on 
the front lines. I was told earlier today by my colleague from Florida, 
Mr. Nelson, that the first American killed in Afghanistan was not a 
member of the Armed Forces but a member of the CIA. In a post-9/11 
world, our intelligence sources are so important. What does it say to 
all of those thousands of men and women who serve us that if they tell 
the truth and somebody high up does not like it either they or their 
family can be outed? It goes to the very heart of what that Agency is 
all about. It is no wonder that the CIA, its employees from top to 
bottom, were just furious about this activity.
  I do not know where this will lead. Rumors abound. If the Washington 
Post is correct and six media outlets were called, it is going to be 
pretty hard to keep it a secret as to who made the calls, where and 
when, but that is not the point. The point is, this crime demands a 
solution. This outrageous act demands justice.
  To hear Mr. McClellan of the White House say yesterday, first, there 
are 50 leaks every week, belittling this, made my blood boil. This is 
not a typical leak. To reveal a covert operative's name is a crime, not 
a leak.
  Then second, to say, if we find them, we will fire them, well, that 
is like saying someone in your company is a murderer and all that 
should happen is they should lose their job. There was a serious crime 
committed. What makes the crime worse is that it appears on its surface 
it was committed for reasons of malice, for reasons of stifling debate 
and dissent. As somebody who has generally been supportive of the 
President in Iraq, I find it just as outrageous as somebody who might 
be opposed.

  Mrs. BOXER. Will the Senator yield for a brief question?
  Mr. SCHUMER. I would be happy to yield to my colleague.
  Mrs. BOXER. The reason I am doing this is because I am unable to stay 
and speak on the Senator's amendment but I wanted to make a couple of 
comments and ask a question, if I can, through the Chair.
  First, I again thank Senator Schumer for his leadership on this. We 
spoke about it this morning, the fact that he took action back in July 
and wrote to the head of the FBI. He knew immediately that this was 
something outrageous, and I do thank him for that.
  I am also very pleased that we are able now to have the Senator's 
amendment offered, to which I am a cosponsor. If I am not, I ask 
unanimous consent to be added as a cosponsor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mrs. BOXER. The fact is, we now have the DC bill in front of us and 
we have a legislative way to express ourselves. The thing I want to 
point out is now there is an attempt to try to demean this incident by 
saying that the fact that a CIA analyst or agent--we are not exactly 
sure--was revealed is not such a big deal and does not have much merit 
to it. I know my friend spoke about that, but I want to pursue a couple 
of questions.
  Is it not the fact that the head of the CIA himself decided this was 
so egregious, to reveal the identity of Ambassador Wilson's wife, that 
the head of the CIA, who really serves at the pleasure of President 
Bush, asked for an investigation by the Attorney General? Is that 
  Mr. SCHUMER. I would assume that is correct. The bottom line is the 
CIA has asked for it. This is a very sensitive matter. He is the head 
of the CIA, so I think it is a pretty good assumption that he asked for 
it. I think another assumption, that he realized this would ruffle a 
whole lot of feathers at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, at the White House, 
in the administration, is true. But from what I am told by sources who 
know what went on there, the obligation to the men and women in the 
intelligence service transcended any feathers that might be ruffled. It 
is a pretty courageous act.
  Mrs. BOXER. Yes. I just want to point out that to attempt to minimize 
this crime by saying this woman was probably an analyst and not an 
agent is unbelievable to me. The fact is, whether she was an agent or 
an analyst or anything else, was she not undercover? Every time I see 
her on TV, they cover up her face. I say to my friend, let's not get 
into the sideshow about was she an analyst or was she an agent. The 
fact is, she was in a covert situation, was she not, and it is safe to 
say that the reason her face is covered up is that she was undercover; 
the reason the CIA asked for an investigation is that they believe a 
law may have been broken because she was undercover.
  I want to make that one point, in addition to the points we made this 
morning, which is that I hope my colleagues will vote for this 
amendment. I hope my colleagues on the other side will not have a dual 
sense of when an independent counsel should be appointed: There is a 
real estate deal somewhere; there is an independent counsel. There were 
no lives on the line there. This is a situation where someone who is 
undercover has been revealed as a way to get back at her husband who 
happened to bring back the news that the administration didn't want to 
hear--that in fact Iraq was not purchasing, at least in this particular 
case, from Niger any nuclear materials.
  We have a circumstance where, faced with this, the new defense is: 
She was just an analyst; she wasn't an agent. I want to make the point, 
this woman was in the CIA. Her career has no doubt been destroyed. She 
was undercover. We do not see her face on TV. The fact is, the CIA 
asked for an investigation. And what my friend is saying today is, we 
need a more independent investigation. We don't want politics to play a 
role in this investigation. We want to remove it, even though the 
Attorney General will still be in charge of an independent or a special 
counsel, as we call it. A special counsel will have a little more 
independence than just getting it over to the Justice Department.
  Mr. SCHUMER. I thank my colleague.
  I wish to clarify a few points that should be made to everyone. The 
reason there is a debate about an agent or analyst is that is what Mr. 
Novak said on one of the shows, that is what we were told earlier 
  I have something from They say that other sources told CNN 
on Monday--yesterday--that Plame was an operative who ran agents in the 
field. Let me repeat that. Other CIA sources told CNN on Monday that 
Plame was an operative who ran agents in the field. I don't know if 
Novak is right or if these other sources are right; that is the very 
point. The issue of whether she was an agent, an operative, or an 
analyst is beside the point. The law was broken.

[[Page S12162]]

  The law is clear, and while it says covert agent but defines agent as 
an officer--I am paraphrasing--employee, present or retired, of an 
intelligence agency whose identity has not been previously publicized, 
revealed, that is the point.
  Once again, my colleague from California makes a very astute point. 
No one is revealing the face of this person. No one was revealing the 
name of this person. The bottom line is it is quite clear the law was 
broken. The only question we don't know is who broke it. What we are 
trying to do--and again the Senator from California is exactly right--
is keep the politics out of this issue.
  The idea that when a law is broken and someone calls for a full and 
thorough investigation, and the mechanism to do it, is politics is 
absurd. I will tell you what politics is--despicable and nasty 
politics. It was revealing this person's name because they did not like 
what her husband said. That is the politics of this issue.
  Mrs. BOXER. Mr. President, will my friend yield further?
  Mr. SCHUMER. I will be happy to yield.
  Mrs. BOXER. I wish to make a point to underscore this discussion. 
This leaking of a name is, on its face, a crime. The person who did 
this deserves to be punished because to think that someone would punish 
someone's family--they didn't like what Ambassador Wilson said: How can 
we hurt him? How can we sting him? How can we burn him? We will hurt 
his wife. We will out her; that will ruin her chances. And that will 
send a chilling message to Ambassador Wilson: A, be quiet, maybe this 
will go away; and, B, it sends a chilling message to everyone. That is 
why what you are doing is so important.
  This is an incident that cannot be swept under the rug. Whether it is 
a Democratic administration or a Republican administration matters not 
because this endangered someone, and it sends a chilling message to 
anyone who might bring bad news to this administration, who might 
disagree with their policy in Iraq.
  I say to my friend, he is right on target. If this does fail in a 
party-line vote--and I pray it does not, but if this fails in a party-
line vote, unfortunately, this will become a bigger and bigger 
political issue because I, for one, am not going to stop focusing 
attention on it. As a woman who has all my life been in jobs that are 
perhaps a little bit different than other women, I have tried to say we 
can do it. This attack on this woman who was on the ladder, obviously, 
in the CIA, was not only a crime, it was unjustified, and it sends a 
terribly chilling message to other women out there that you can do the 
greatest job in the world but, gee, if you are married to someone who 
might say something controversial, you are going to be outed.
  What about the message--I close with this--it sends to other agents 
out there, other agents who may be working on issues and bringing back 
information that the administration doesn't want to hear because maybe 
it does not comport with what they want to be known as the facts? What 
kind of message does this send? Are they going to take the risks? As 
Senator Harkin said, we are going to win this war against terrorism by 
the quality of our intelligence. And here we have the White House 
itself that says it is leading the fight against terrorism. We stood by 
their side continually on this, as we should. Here they are, in 
essence, outing someone who could be working in ways to save our people 
from another terrorist attack, from al-Qaida, and whatever else.
  I am so pleased my friend has been so stalwart on this issue. 
Anything he needs from this Senator from California to help him, I 
remain available to do whatever I can do to bring justice to this 
  I yield back the time.
  Mr. SCHUMER. I thank my colleague from California for her strong, 
intelligent, and heartfelt words.
  I would like to make just one other point, and this is a very 
important point I have not talked about before, so I hope my colleagues 
will listen. People ask, Why ought there be a special prosecutor? Why 
not let Justice do the job?
  There are obvious reasons. Attorney General Ashcroft is a close 
political associate of the President's. If this goes high up into the 
White House, there is obviously the appearance of a conflict, if not a 
conflict itself. There is nothing wrong with the President appointing a 
close political associate as Attorney General. Some have. John Kennedy 
did. Bill Clinton didn't. The other model is to appoint someone at some 
distance, someone removed, a professional law enforcement person. But 
when you appoint someone who is close, you lose any vestige of 
independence when something sensitive comes up, making the need for 
special counsel more important.
  A special counsel is not a runaway counsel. The independent counsel 
law expired because people were worried about that. It is still 
appointed by the Attorney General. The differences are threefold. No. 
1, the day-to-day running of the investigation is not under the 
Attorney General or the staff that is directly under him with the chain 
of command going up.
  Second, a very important prophylactic measure: Anytime the Attorney 
General should reject the request of the special counsel--to subpoena 
someone or bring someone to a grand jury or file some charges--a report 
has to be made to Congress. That is an extremely important and 
prophylactic measure.
  Third, special counsel, when they have been appointed--and by the 
way, Archibald Cox and Leon Jaworski, people like them, fell under a 
law very similar to the President's special counsel law because that 
was before the independent counsel was allowed and after 1999. After it 
expired, Justice passed this regulation allowing special counsel again. 
But they have stature. They are not going to be pushed around. Everyone 
will see who is appointed.
  Obviously, if the Attorney General should appoint someone who doesn't 
have the stature, doesn't have the political independence, they will 
not be given the respect that someone of stature and independence 
would. But because it is public, that is generally what happens. A 
Warren Rudman or a John Danforth or a George Mitchell or a Sam Nunn 
would be ideal type candidates as independent counsel.
  Let me show an example. This is the point to which I want people to 
pay attention. We just had an example of why we need a special counsel. 
This was reported, as I am told, by Mr. McClellan. We learned this 
morning that the White House Counsel, Mr. Gonzales, had sent an e-mail 
to all White House employees to preserve all their records, their logs, 
their e-mails and things like that. It was a good thing to do.
  But what Mr. McClellan just confirmed is that he was asked by the 
Justice Department to do it last night. He said: Can I wait until the 
morning? And the Justice Department said yes.
  Did anything happen between last night and this morning? I don't 
know. Nobody knows. You can be sure, if it was a special counsel, that 
ability to delay for several hours the sending out of this very 
important e-mail wouldn't have happened, or it only would have happened 
with an extremely good reason.

  But when you don't have a special counsel, when the White House 
Counsel makes the request, it is given the benefit of the doubt. 
Frankly, at least from the allegations we hear the White House Counsel 
is in the same place as the person or persons who did this dastardly 
act. So if there was ever an example of why we need a special counsel, 
it just came out when Mr. McClellan told us about this delay in sending 
out the e-mail. For all we know, and this is just hypothetical, rumors 
went throughout the White House that there will be an e-mail this 
morning--and this is just hypothetical and, hopefully, it didn't 
happen--but maybe that somebody who did it didn't save what they were 
supposed to save, inadvertently threw them out. Who knows?
  Again, if the special counsel were there, it is likely not to have 
happened. And if it did happen that the delay was sanctioned, people 
would have more faith that there was a justification for it.
  So we need a special counsel. It is not a perfect mechanism, but it 
is the only mechanism available that has some semblance of 
independence, of fairness. Along with my 15 cosponsors, we are 
requesting a sense-of-the-Senate resolution that that be done.
  I remind my colleagues, this is a sense of the Senate. It is 
basically a

[[Page S12163]]

sense of the Senate that in a very real sense says: Do you want to get 
to the bottom of this, and do you want to do it fairly and not 
politically? It doesn't require it to happen.
  Excuse me, we have now 22 cosponsors.
  It doesn't require it to happen, but at least we go on record, this 
body, as saying there ought to be a full, fair, and independent 
investigation--and a fearless investigation, I would add, an 
investigation that will go wherever it leads.
  I repeat, I have no idea who did this. There are names bandied about. 
If it is true that six people in the media were called, this is not 
going to be a top secret, even though the media people will not want to 
reveal that they were called because of their sources. But a special 
counsel should be able to get to the bottom of it. Any counsel should 
be able to get to the bottom of it if, A, they really want to; B, they 
don't fear getting to the bottom of it; and, C, they are not told by 
somebody else not to, subtly or otherwise.
  I guess that is another point I would make. What this case is about 
in many ways--not every way, there are so many ramifications to it 
already--the reason it has resonance is not only that what was done was 
despicable, but it relates to a methodology in Washington that has 
become too current lately, which is knee-capping people with whom you 
don't agree instead of having an open debate, saying you think this; I 
think that; let's see what the people decide. To call into question 
their character or patriotism or anything else--we have seen that in 
many different areas in the last year or two.
  So it has tremendous resonance, but ultimately one thing this is 
about is the ability to tell the truth without being hurt for telling 
that truth, hurt professionally. Isn't that, indeed, the reason we need 
a special counsel? If there is a career diplomat in the Justice 
Department who is doing this investigation, maybe he or she, even if 
told nothing, will say: Hey, if I bring this all the way to the top 
where I think it ought to go, it might hurt my career. Who knows? With 
the special counsel, if it were a John Danforth or a Sam Nunn, they 
would not worry about their career. Their integrity is rock ribbed, and 
they will take it where it leads.

  I hope we will allow a vote on this amendment. I don't know what the 
other side is afraid of, or whoever is afraid, to not allow a vote on 
this amendment. It is a simple sense-of-the-Senate resolution, and I 
would argue it will be more foretelling if this amendment is being 
blocked from being voted on. It will be very revealing if this 
amendment is blocked because it is saying somebody, somewhere, is 
afraid of where this investigation would lead.
  I think if a point of order is raised and not overturned in any way, 
then--I guess it cannot be overturned. If the point of order is raised 
and a vote is prohibited, it is going to say something. It is going to 
say those who raise the point of order are afraid of where the truth 
may lead. That is one of the things we all worry about.
  Once again, I say to my colleagues that the very fact that the e-mail 
which went out this morning was asked for last night, and delayed for 
several hours, raises questions. They may be answered; they may not be. 
But that is the kind of question that will come up every day in an 
investigation if we do not have a special counsel.
  I thank my colleagues from South Dakota and California and the so 
many others who spoke this morning--the Senators from Nevada, Iowa, and 
  All I can say is for the sake of this country, for the sake of 
fairness, and for the sake of the continuing rebuilding and the 
viability of our intelligence services, I hope this amendment passes. I 
hope no one will block it on a parliamentary procedure called "a point 
of order." I hope we will get to the bottom of this dastardly act and 
find out who put the integrity of the intelligence services and 
possibly the lives of people on the line for simply the purpose of 
malice or the purpose of preventing the truth from coming out.
  I am going to yield as much time as he would like to my colleague 
from Illinois, a member of the Intelligence Committee.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Crapo). The Senator from Illinois.
  Mr. DURBIN. Thank you, Mr. President. I thank Senator Schumer for his 
leadership on this issue.
  This is not a new issue. This article was written by columnist Robert 
Novak back in July. It is interesting at the end of September and the 
beginning of October that it finally surfaces and is receiving the 
attention it deserves.
  What Senator Schumer is asking is for the Senate to go on record in 
calling on the Bush administration to appoint a special prosecutor, 
someone who will be independent enough to ask the hard questions and 
try to find out who was the source of this very serious security leak.
  Keep in mind what happened here. A decision was made by someone in 
the administration--perhaps in the White House--to disclose the 
identity of a woman working for one of our intelligence agencies. In 
and of itself, it doesn't sound like much to an outsider. But for many 
of the people working for those intelligence agencies in a covert 
status, the fact that their identity is not known is an important part 
of their job and an important part of their survival. As a result, the 
disclosure of the identity of such a person is a Federal felony, the 
most serious crime you can commit. We believe it undermines our 
intelligence-gathering capability and can literally endanger the lives 
of innocent, hard-working, patriotic Americans to knowingly disclose 
their identity. In this case, a decision was made within the Bush 
administration to disclose the identity of this woman and jeopardize 
her future, her career, and maybe even her life. That is as serious as 
it gets in this business.
  We can remember back in the Nixon administration the enemies list 
that was generated--people the Nixon administration decided did not 
share their views on foreign policy or domestic policy. They made a 
long list of columnists and individuals across America who were their 
enemies. They looked for ways to hurt them.

  In this situation, we have the equivalent of an enemies list in the 
Bush administration--a decision by someone at the highest level of the 
administration to declare that Ambassador Joe Wilson and his wife were 
enemies and at any cost they had to be silenced; they had to be 
stopped. What was the administration trying to silence? They were 
trying to silence the fact that they sent Ambassador Joe Wilson, a 
former Ambassador in the Clinton administration, on a special detailed 
assignment to determine whether some of the statements the 
administration had made about the dangers of Iraq were true, 
particularly the statement which was made in the President's State of 
the Union Address that there had been fissile material that could be 
used to make nuclear weapons sent from the tiny African nation of Niger 
to Iraq.
  Of course, the reason that was important was because it was the first 
issue raised by the Bush administration as to why we had to invade 
Iraq. If they had nuclear weapons and the capacity to build them in 
short order, they would be a threat not only to the region and to the 
world, and so we had to stop Saddam Hussein in his tracks.
  Evidence of the movement of this enriched uranium or fissile material 
from Africa to Iraq was critical. The President of the United States 
thought it was so important that he made reference to it in his State 
of the Union Address to the American people.
  When Ambassador Joe Wilson was sent to Africa and began 
investigating, he returned and reported to the Bush administration they 
were wrong. In his estimation, there was no evidence that this ever 
took place. In fact, as I stand here today, President Bush has 
apologized to the American people for including this statement in his 
State of the Union Address, and there is literally no evidence that 
this took place.
  Ambassador Wilson did his job, took his assignment for the Bush 
administration, did it honorably, and came back and reported to them 
what he found. But there were some people in this administration who 
didn't like his report. They didn't want to know the facts. They had 
already created a scenario of nuclear weapons, and Joe Wilson's report 
wasn't consistent with it. They went forward and allowed this unproven 
theory to fester and grow as they started talking about the danger of 
Iraq to the world.

[[Page S12164]]

  Finally, Ambassador Joe Wilson, in desperation, published an article 
in a leading newspaper and said, I have to tell the truth. I went to 
Africa on an assignment from the Bush administration. What I found was 
inconsistent with what they said to the American people.
  This was an amazing development--an amazing disclosure. But I met 
with Ambassador Wilson, and he felt he had no other choice. His 
integrity was on the line. He decided to tell the truth to the American 
people. But because he did and because that truth brought embarrassment 
to this administration, they struck back. But they didn't strike at 
Ambassador Joe Wilson. They went after his wife, a professional 
intelligence agent working in a covert capacity. That is what this is 
all about.
  Who was behind this? I don't know. I do not know if it reaches to the 
White House. I can't say. Mr. Novak has only said "administration 
sources." But what Senator Schumer brings to the floor today to really 
confront is the fact that we cannot honestly expect Attorney General 
John Ashcroft to really treat this case in the manner it deserves to be 
treated for the good of our intelligence gathering, for the integrity 
of the people who work at those agencies and, frankly, for justice to 
be served.

  Last year when I served on the Senate Intelligence Committee and 
there was a disclosure of some classified information, Vice President 
Cheney and Secretary Rumsfeld were adamant and vocal that the leaking 
of classified information, particularly in the runup to the war in 
Iraq, was absolutely intolerable and unacceptable. No one questions 
that premise. I certainly don't, as a member of the Intelligence 
Committee. When this piece of information was leaked, they turned on 
the Intelligence Committee and said we want to know which Senator--
assuming it was a Senator, and it could have been staff or someone 
else, for that matter--which Senator leaked the information.
  Do you know what they did next? They sent an FBI agent to my office 
and to the office of every Senator on the Intelligence Committee--this 
Ashcroft Department of Justice and the Bush administration. They asked 
me if I would submit to a polygraph--a lie detector--to determine 
whether I was the one who leaked the information. I didn't leak the 
information. But I also feel, as most people do across America, that 
those polygraphs are notoriously inaccurate. Most States don't even 
recognize them in their courts. I have never counseled a client in my 
legal practice to take one. I just do not think they can be trusted.
  I said no, I am not going to submit to a polygraph. The next thing 
you know is that in the course of my reelection campaign it was 
disclosed to the public that I had turned down the request of the FBI 
agent for a polygraph test. I explained it as best I could to the 
people of Illinois. They obviously accepted it, and gave me a chance to 
serve again in the Senate.
  But isn't it interesting that this Bush administration and their 
Department of Justice, which obviously believes so passionately in 
polygraph tests, now is in a predicament where if they are going to 
investigate this leak, if they are going to try to find out which 
person in the administration is responsible for calling Robert Novak 
and disclosing this, they are frankly going to be in a position where 
they have to ask for polygraph tests.
  You have to ask the obvious question. Is Attorney General John 
Ashcroft willing to ask Karl Rove to submit to a polygraph and tell the 
people whether he says yes or no? You could go through the list of 
potential people from the administration who need to be asked. I think 
the answer is obvious. They are not going to do that. Attorney General 
Ashcroft is not likely to ever do that.
  What Senator Schumer and myself and others are saying is now is the 
time to acknowledge the obvious. This administration is not up to the 
task of dealing with such a disclosure so sensitive and so important at 
the highest level of Government. It is time to give this responsibility 
to a special prosecutor, someone outside the administration, with no 
conflict of interest.
  I will tell you, I did not think the day would come, or come soon, 
when I would come to the Senate floor and call for a special 
prosecutor. The gross abuse of independent prosecutors during the 
Clinton era really, I guess, satisfied me once and for all that you 
have to be extremely careful to put that much power in one individual. 
But I do not know any other way out here.
  I cannot imagine that leaving this in the hands of Attorney General 
Ashcroft and the Department of Justice is really going to give us a 
satisfactory conclusion to these critical and important questions: Who 
was it who decided to put Ambassador Wilson's wife on this hit list, on 
this enemies list? Who was it who was willing to risk prosecution of a 
Federal felony to embarrass her and compromise her as an analyst or an 
agent for America? Who was the person who decided that all bets were 
off and no holds were barred when it came to going after critics of the 
  Those are hard, tough questions, questions this President would not 
want to face, no President would want to face, and certainly questions 
not likely asked or answered if it is going to be done within the 
  So I certainly support my colleague from New York. I join with others 
who believe the appointment of a special prosecutor is the only way to 
serve the needs of justice and to do it in a way where there is a 
credible outcome.


  Mr. REID. Mr. President, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  I ask the Chair to advise me when 3 minutes remain.
  Mr. President, after I went home last evening, I couldn't stop 
thinking about a statement Senator Harkin had made regarding the leak 
of classified information about the identity of an undercover CIA 
agent. Like Senator Harkin, I also remember as a boy seeing those signs 
that warned: Loose lips sink ships. Our Nation was at war then. Even 
though the war was far away, every citizen was constantly reminded that 
there might be spies among us and that the wrong information in the 
wrong hands could cost American lives. So here it is, 67 years later. 
Once again we are at war and, sadly, it seems that the wrong 
information has been passed into the wrong hands--not by our enemies 
but by someone who works at the White House.
  By now I think we are all familiar with what happened. On July 14, 
the political columnist Robert Novak, who I consider a friend and like 
very much, disclosed the identity of a covert CIA operative. He wrote 
that the information was given to him by "two senior administration 
officials." Yesterday the Washington Post reported that before Mr. 
Novak's column appeared, two top White House officials had called at 
least six journalists, revealing the name of this undercover CIA agent.
  The reason, of course, for the leak has been well established. It was 
to get back at the husband of the agent. He is Joseph C. Wilson, former 
U.S. Ambassador, who had publicly challenged President Bush's claim 
that Iraq tried to purchase uranium from Africa. In retaliation for Mr. 
Wilson's telling the truth as he saw it, two White House officials 
apparently blew his wife's cover and, in the process, they threatened 
our national security. If you think that is overreacting, remember the 
old warning: Loose lips sink ships. Because that information was 
leaked, this agent's ability to gather intelligence has been destroyed 
and her safety has been put at risk.
  Even more important, the leak of that sensitive information has 
jeopardized the safety of every person in the

[[Page S12166]]

world who had cooperated with her. Any person who was a known associate 
of this agent will now be suspected of cooperating with the CIA. Maybe 
even some innocent friend would be so thought. We might never know how 
many people have been tortured or maybe killed as a result of this 
  As terrible as that scenario is, it is not the worst consequence of 
this leak. This leak of classified information will undermine our 
efforts to recruit people who can help us in the war on terrorism, 
people who might be able to infiltrate terrorist cells and gain prior 
knowledge of deadly plots against our Nation. Because of this leak, 
people who might be inclined to pass information along to the United 
States will now wonder whether we can be trusted to protect their 
identity. After all, if they can't trust those who work in the White 
House, who can they trust.
  We are at war against terrorism. It is a war that will not be won 
with our mighty arsenal of weapons. It is a war we can only win by 
obtaining good intelligence about the plots that these terrorists are 
hatching. Intelligence is our best weapon against terrorism. So loose 
lips not only sink ships, they might prevent us from stopping a future 
terrorist plot.
  This is as serious as it gets. I used the word "traitor" yesterday 
in a colloquy with Senator Harkin. I know that is strong language, but 
I believe that about anyone who would leak this kind of sensitive 
information at a time when we are at war. This is a crime. It is a 
felony punishable by 10 years in prison.
  This morning we heard that the Justice Department has launched an 
investigation into this crime. Realistically, we not only have to do 
away with what is bad but what looks bad. To have John Ashcroft, former 
Senator, longtime political confidant of the President doing this 
investigation simply won't sell. Considering the grave nature of what 
has happened, this case warrants an independent counsel, a special 
counsel, someone who does not have political ties to the White House. 
If we need an independent counsel to investigate a private real estate 
deal, certainly a breach of national security deserves the same level 
of scrutiny. We must act quickly before memos and phone logs and 
computer records are destroyed.
  We must find the source of this leak and send a message to everyone 
everywhere who betray the United States: Loose lips sink ships, and 
they will land you in jail.
  Mr. LEVIN. Mr. President, I have cosponsored the Schumer sense-of-
the-Congress amendment which is before the Senate. The amendment calls 
upon the Attorney General to appoint an independent special counsel to 
investigate allegations that a high ranking official or officials 
within the Bush administration purposely disclosed to the media the 
identity of a CIA agent involved in clandestine operations.
  If these allegations are true, they are extremely serious. In fact, 
the individual or individuals who provided this information to the 
media may well have committed a felony under federal law. Such a 
disclosure could endanger the CIA operative involved, former Ambassador 
Joseph Wilson's wife, and makes it impossible for her to continue to 
function as a clandestine CIA operative. This act could also endanger a 
number of individuals, assets, contacts and even mere acquaintances of 
the CIA operative. And, this act may send a cold shiver down the spine 
of every CIA employee and asset now operating under cover anywhere in 
the world. If the administration itself will not safeguard their 
identities, how can they feel secure? These are men and women playing 
absolutely critical roles in the defense of our national security. The 
role in our security of such individuals gathering intelligence around 
the world has been all the more clear since September 11, 2001.
  Mr. President, this amendment seeks to send a clear message that we 
believe that the American people deserve a credible and independent 
investigation not influenced by or even weakened by the perception of 
influence which results from an appointee of the President 
investigating high level administration officials. An appointment of a 
special counsel of unquestioned integrity and credibility is the only 
way to assure that independence. I hope the majority will permit a vote 
on this sense-of-the-Congress amendment today and that the Senate will 
adopt this amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Who yields time?
  Mr. GREGG. Mr. President, what time remains?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New Hampshire has 58 minutes. 
The proponent of the motion has 3\1/2\ minutes.
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, we know that the time will just run out. 
Senator Schumer wanted to speak last. He is not here. So we have no 
alternative. If the Senator is going to yield back his time, there is 
no way to preserve our 3\1/2\ minutes.
  Mr. GREGG. Mr. President, we are ready to proceed. If we can have the 
clock run equally against both sides, I ask unanimous consent that that 
occur until the minority's time has run out, and then we will make a 
motion, unless the minority wishes to yield back.
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, because of the time constraints, I ask 
unanimous consent that a point of order not be taken in this matter and 
that we have an up-or-down vote.
  Mr. GREGG. I object.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Objection is heard.
  Mr. REID. That is really too bad. I say that because it would seem 
that something this important to the American public should at least 
have an up-or-down vote. All we want is a resolution from this body 
saying it is appropriate that the Attorney General, in effect, recuse 
himself and assign a special prosecutor to look into this most serious 
  There is no question that somebody committed a crime. We don't know 
who it is or who they were, but leaking this information is a crime. It 
is a felony punishable by at least 10 years in prison. I think it is 
unfair. We know that Senate rules often don't appear to be fair. But in 
this instance, it would certainly be the right thing to do to allow an 
up-or-down vote.
  I yield back whatever time we have.
  Mr. GREGG. Mr. President, this is being investigated by the FBI. It 
is not being investigated by the Attorney General. The FBI will be 
doing the legwork and we will find out what happened as a result. 
Clearly, if the allegations are correct that a crime has occurred, it 
should be prosecuted.
  Mr. President, I yield back the remainder of my time. I make a point 
of order that the amendment is not germane to the bill.
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the point of 
order not be laid before the Senate until 3:45 and Senator Schumer at 
that time be allowed 5 minutes prior to the point of order being taken.
  Mr. GREGG. I object.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Objection is heard. The point of order has 
been made. The amendment is not germane. The point of order is 
sustained. The amendment falls.


  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from West Virginia.
  Mr. ROCKEFELLER. Mr. President, I am very happy to point out that the 
good Senator from Tennessee and I served as Governors together, and his 
emphasis was always education then and obviously still is. I respect 
him greatly.
  I would like to speak for a few minutes on Senator Schumer's 
amendment to call on the Attorney General to appoint a special counsel, 
it having been laid aside on the basis of germaneness.
  I rise in support of the erstwhile amendment--maybe it will come 
back--calling on the Attorney General to appoint a special counsel to 
investigate allegations that senior Bush administration personnel--
perhaps including those working at the very highest level of the White 
House--may have knowingly and deliberately revealed to the press the 
identity of an undercover CIA agent.
  I speak as a Senator from West Virginia and also as vice chairman of 
the Senate Intelligence Committee. This is a matter of national 
security. It is a matter of criminal law. It is a matter that demands 
the most careful, impartial, and independent investigation possible. As 
I will explain shortly, it is actually a matter without legal 
  The Senate, Republican and Democrat alike, should go on record 
today--which we have not--to demand the Attorney General not hold this 
too close within the administration family, where the investigation 
will inevitably be questioned as raising conflicts of interest. This is 
going to happen. Forget the people involved. It is simply going to be 
an issue with the public. Rather, he should appoint a special counsel 
that can assure the Nation that no person in the United States, no 
matter where they work and what they do, are above the law in our 
  Twenty-one years ago after the tragic assassination of a CIA station 
chief and other attacks, Congress enacted the Intelligence Identities 
Protection Act of 1982 to punish the naming of covert agents. The act 
addressed essential appalling circumstances such as a private 
individual or organization engages in a campaign to publicize the names 
of agents. Appropriately, Congress reserved the most severe 
consequences--including imprisonment for up to 10 years, substantial 
sums of money--for unfaithful U.S. Government officials who 
intentionally disclose the identity of any of our country's own agents. 
To date, that kind of betrayal is so far beyond the pale, so to speak, 
so incomprehensible, that as far as the Intelligence Committee has been 
advised, there has never been a case prosecuted under it.
  It is, therefore, with special sadness that our country now faces an 
investigation into whether the unimaginable has, in fact, happened; 
whether at the highest levels of our Government there has been a felony 
disclosure of the identity of one of our covert agents.
  When the Senate Judiciary Committee reported the identities 
protection bill in 1981, it made a number of findings which are as true 
now as they were then. They found that it is essential for our Nation 
to have intelligence information that is timely, that is accurate, and 
that human sources of intelligence are the key to that effort and that 
we need and must be ready to rely on our own covert intelligence agents 
to gather information from our sources.
  To quote our Judiciary Committee:

       Without effective cover for United States intelligence 
     officers abroad and without assurance for anonymity of 
     intelligence sources, the United States cannot collect the 
     human intelligence which it must have to conduct an effective 
     foreign and national defense policy.

  This was true in the cold war when this law was enacted, and it is 
certainly no less true today in the war against terror.
  The disclosure of our agents puts them at risk. It puts their sources 
at risk. And it puts our Nation, as a result, at risk.
  In the case at hand, there is a further danger of immediate 
importance: The Senate Intelligence Committee is conducting an inquiry 
into prewar intelligence about Iraq and how that particular 
intelligence compares with what is being found or is not being found on 
the ground in Iraq. Two of the toughest questions we are asking are 
whether any of the intelligence was exaggerated or distorted by the 
policy- makers--that is, the users of the collected and analyzed 

[[Page S12172]]

whether any pressure was brought to bear on any U.S. intelligence 
analysts to shape their prewar analysis.

  I deeply hope the final answers to those questions is a no but the 
jury is still out. The House has produced a preliminary report of 
several pages. The Senate Intelligence Committee is hard at work on a 
very thorough, very profound effort.
  I ask my colleagues, how can we possibly expect our intelligence 
community to come forward to help us to get the truth in the matter if 
they fear that retribution will follow? One has not had to raise this 
question before.
  Since mid-July, our intelligence community officers have been reading 
the same press reports that we have been reading. They are reading 
about not just some inadvertent disclosure of a potentially covert 
agent but something far more insidious. If press reports are true, then 
the allegation at issue is that there may have been a coordinated 
effort to release the name of a covert agent for the specific purpose 
of discrediting somebody who disagreed with the administration about 
the fraudulent and much discredited claims of Iraqi purchases of 
uranium in Niger, a policy which never received virtually any credence 
at all.
  If the U.S. intelligence community and its agents believe their 
careers can be crushed by a phone call or by a couple of phone calls, 
how can they be sure their candor will be protected? Why should they 
produce candor? Perhaps they will be punished. They do not know. That 
does not happen, particularly in our world. It can happen sometimes in 
politics, but this is an everyday part of their world. We rely on them 
for accurate intelligence as they see it, as they believe it, that is 
then gathered, analyzed, and passed on to policymakers for judgments.
  How can the Congress meet our own investigation and oversight 
obligations, a committee in each body? How can we learn the true facts 
about the conduct of government officials and inform the American 
people? At this point, the prompt appointment of a special counsel is 
essential, the amendment being laid aside or not.
  Under the Department of Justice regulation, the Attorney General is 
to appoint a special counsel when investigation or prosecution of the 
matter would present a conflict of interest for the Department and it 
would be in the public interest as a further matter to appoint an 
outside counsel to assume responsibility for the investigation in the 
matter. Both tests are plainly met here.
  The Attorney General faces a conflict of interest when an 
investigation leads into the White House. And it is unquestionably in 
the public interest to assure confidence in such a critically important 
  The special counsel is admittedly not quite as independent as an 
independent counsel--and we have had those--was under the former 
statute. But the special counsel is our best and most impartial 
mechanism for difficult circumstances such as these. The regulations 
provide the special counsel shall not be subject to the day-to-day 
supervision of any official of the Justice Department. If the Attorney 
General concludes any action sought by the special counsel should not 
be pursued, the Attorney General is required to notify the Congress, 
and the Attorney General must report to the Congress if he or she wants 
to fire the special counsel and can only do so for good cause.
  In closing, since joining the Intelligence Committee, I have had the 
honor of meeting dozens of covert intelligence agencies working 
overseas in a variety of countries. These men and women make sacrifices 
that few Americans even come close to understanding or know anything 
about, which is as it should be. They live undercover, unable to tell 
their friends or even their family, what they do or where they are. 
They work tirelessly with much of the operational activity conducted in 
the evenings after regular working hours on other matters and on 
weekends when the rest of us are at home with our families. They put 
themselves at literal risk almost every single day. And they love what 
they do.
  If the recent allegations are true, someone in this administration 
has done these people a grave and lasting injustice. Our intelligence 
agents need to know we understand the sacrifices they make and that we 
will come to their defense when somebody puts them at risk. An 
independent investigation is the only way--and it is the only way--to 
restore their faith in the Government they serve. Not to do so would 
have a chilling effect on the recruitment of people to do this vital 
work, in a time when intelligence may be beginning to surpass actual 
war fighting in terms of its importance to something called the war on 
  I regret this amendment has been ruled out of order on this bill. I 
hope we will again take it up.
  Mr. President, I yield the floor.
  I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. HATCH. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. HATCH. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that my remarks be 
considered as in morning business.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. HATCH. Mr. President, I come to the floor to respond to some of 
the comments that I have heard concerning the CIA's request that the 
Department of Justice look into the leak of the name of one of its 
employees. My friends on the other side claim that a special counsel 
should be appointed and that the Department should recuse itself from 
the investigation.
  Quite simply, the Department of Justice is the appropriate agency to 
look into this matter. The CIA notifies the Department approximately 50 
times per year to investigate complaints about the leak of classified 
information. The Department has career professionals that address 
matters like these. This professionalism and experience is needed in 
instances like these to ensure that the investigation is done in a 
competent and complete manner.
  Some of my colleagues believe that a special counsel is needed 
because there has been a "clear violation of the law." I respectfully 
disagree. While I agree that this matter is a significant one and needs 
to be promptly examined, it is premature to conclude that the 
Protection of Identities of Certain United States Undercover 
Intelligence Officers, Agents, Informants, and Sources statute has been 
violated based merely upon media reports. In fact, there is reason to 
believe that no violation of this statute has occurred. The 
intelligence statute prohibits the disclosure of the identity of a 
convert agent whose identity and relationship to the United States the 
Government has affirmatively sought to conceal or that the defendant 
disclosed the name of a covert agent with reason to believe that such 
activities would impair or impede the foreign intelligence activities 
of the United States. Robert Novak, the reporter who wrote the story, 
has since stated: "Nobody in the Bush administration called me to leak 
this." He also stated that, "According to a confidential source at 
the CIA, Mrs. Wilson is an analyst, not a spy, not a covert operative, 
and not in charge of undercover operatives." If that is true, there is 
no violation of this statute.
  I would further urge those whose knee-jerk reaction is to call for a 
special counsel to step back for a moment. Political opponents of the 
President have charge that Karl Rove leaked this information. When 
pressed for specific evidence about Mr. Rove's involvement, they are at 
a complete loss. In fact, it is my understanding that former Ambassador 
Wilson, who has also charged that Karl Rove leaked this information, 
recanted when pressed for evidence on Karl Rove's involvement. This 
kind of speculation is unfounded. Unsubstantiated statements like these 
should simply not take place on the floor of the U.S. Senate.
  Since the Independent Counsel Statute expired in 1999, the Justice 
Department, under former Attorney General Reno, promulgated new 
regulations when the Attorney General may appoint a special counsel. 
The regulation allows the appointment of a special counsel when there 
is a need to investigate a unique case involving high-ranking executive 
branch officials and/or there is a conflict of interest for the 
  The regulations allow the attorney general to appoint a special 

[[Page S12173]]

when he or she determines that a criminal investigation of a person or 
matter is warranted and (a) that investigation or prosecution of that 
person or matter by the Department would present a conflict of 
interest, or other extraordinary circumstances exist, and (b) that 
under the circumstances, it would be in the public interest to appoint 
an outside special counsel to assume responsibility for the matter.
  I have every confidence in Attorney General Ashcroft and FBI Director 
Mueller's integrity and ability to investigate this matter. The FBI and 
the Department have career employees with the skill, experience, and 
honesty to look into this matter. For those who doubt this, I would 
point out that similar skepticism was raised in the Department's 
ability to investigate the complaints made against it by those detained 
following September 11th. My colleagues on the Judiciary Committee 
know, because I held a hearing on the report, that the Department's 
Inspector General issued an exacting report on the 9/11 abuses. The 
report shows that the Department's Inspector General, and career 
employees within the Department, pulled no punches regarding the 
treatment of the 9/11 detainees.
  This is the nature of career employees within the FBI and the 
Department of Justice. The continuity of service within our law 
enforcement community is what makes our criminal justice system the 
best in the world.
  So I recommend to those who are recklessly casting aspersions about 
the ability of the Department and the FBI to professionally conduct 
this investigation to take a careful look at the facts.
  Mr. President, I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.