Congressional Record: September 10, 2004 (Senate)
Page S9061-S9063                     

                          Intelligence Reform

  Mr. GRAHAM of Florida. Mr. President, I thank my colleague and good 
friend, Senator Kennedy, for his courtesy in allowing me to make these 
remarks at this time.
  Mr. President, this is a propitious moment.
  At exactly 8:46 tomorrow--Saturday--morning, we will observe the 
third anniversary of the crash of American Airlines Flight 11 into the 
North Tower of the World Trade Center.
  That moment changed our Nation and our world forever--and in the 
hours and days that followed the terrorist attacks of September 11, 
2001, we in public office undertook an important obligation.

[[Page S9062]]

  We vowed, in the memory of the nearly 3,000 innocent people who died 
that day, to take action to prevent attacks of that magnitude from ever 
happening again within our homeland.
  In his speech delivered before a joint session of Congress on 
September 20, 2001, President Bush put it this way:

       Americans are asking, How will we fight and win this war?
       We will direct every resource at our command--every means 
     of diplomacy, every tool of intelligence, every instrument of 
     law enforcement, every financial influence, and every 
     necessary weapon of war--to the disruption and to the defeat 
     of the global terror network.

  Unfortunately, one day before the third anniversary of 9/11, we have 
not met that commitment.
  We have failed to adequately focus on what it will take to fight this 
new threat, one that calls for new thinking and new governmental 
  The No. 1 requirement for meaningful reform is strong and consistent 
Presidential leadership.
  We have seen leadership lacking at several crucial turning points in 
recent history, both before September 11, 2001 and since.
  I have believed for many months--since well before the final report 
of the independent 9/11 Commission was released in July--that the 
problems in our intelligence community are not a mystery, they are 
known weaknesses that simply have yet to be fixed.
  I commend the 9/11 Commission for its fine work, especially chairman 
and former Governor of New Jersey Tom Kean and vice chairman and former 
Congressman from Indiana Lee Hamilton.
  And I am optimistic that their report has shaken our nation's leaders 
out of their lethargy and caused them to focus on the need for reform 
of our intelligence gathering and analysis.
  But the record is clear. The 9/11 Commission's work built on a series 
of commissions and studies that offered recommendations for reform of 
the intelligence community going back nearly a decade.
  But those recommendations were--tragically--all but ignored.
  Just to mention the reports that were before the Congress and before 
the President, I would date these efforts to 1995, when Congress 
created the Commission on the Roles and Capabilities of the United 
States Intelligence Community, also known as the Aspin-Brown 
  Its final report was issued on March 1, 1996.
  Since then, there have been the Advisory Panel to Assess Domestic 
Response Capabilities for Terrorism Involving Weapons of Mass 
Destruction, also known as the Gilmore Committee, which issued the 
first of its five reports in December 1999, the National Commission on 
Terrorism, also known as the Bremer Commission, which issued its report 
in June 2000, and the National Commission on National Security in the 
21st century, also known as the Hart-Rudman Commission, which issued 
its final report in January of 2001.
  I ask unanimous consent to have printed in the Record the membership 
of each of these commissions, which demonstrates the quality of the 
individuals who studied these problems and made recommendations.
  There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

       Members of independent commissions that have reviewed the 
     Intelligence Community:
       Hart-Rudman Commission (2001): Gary Hart (co-chair), Warren 
     Bruce Rudman (co-chair), Anne Armstrong, Norm R. Augustine, 
     John Dancy, John R. Galvin, Leslie H. Gelb, Newt Gingrich, 
     Lee H. Hamilton, Lionel H. Olmer, Donald B. Rice, James R. 
     Schlesinger, Harry D. Train, Andrew Jackson Young, Jr.
       Bremer Commission (2000): L. Paul Bremer (chairman), 
     Maurice Sonnenberg (vice chairman), Richard K. Betts, Wayne 
     A. Downing, Jane Harman, Fred C. Ikle, Juliette N. Kayyem, 
     John F. Lewish, Jr., Gardner Peckham, R. James Woolsey.
       Gilmore Commission (1999): James S. Gilmore, George 
     Foresman, L. Paul Bremer, Michael Freeman, William Garrison, 
     Ellen M. Gordon, James Greenleaf, William Jenaway, William 
     Dallas Jones, Paul M. Maniscalco, John O. Marsh, Kathleen 
     O'Brien, M. Patricia Quinlisk, Patrick Ralston, William Reno, 
     Kenneth Shine, Alan D. Vickery, Hubert Williams. Non-voting 
     participants: John Hathaway, John Lombardi, Michael A. 
     Wermuth, Jennifer Brower.
       Aspin-Brown Commission (1996): Appointed by Pres. Clinton: 
     Les Aspin, Warren B. Rudman, Lew Allen, Zoe Baird, Ann 
     Caracristi, Stephen Friedman, Anthony S. Harrington, Robert 
     J. Hermann, Paul D. Wolfowitz. Appointed by Congress: Hon. 
     Tony Coelho, David H. Dewhurst, Rep. Norman D. Dicks, Sen. J. 
     James Exon, Hon. Wyche Fowler, Rep. Porter Goss, Lt. Gen. 
     Robert E. Pursley, Sen. John Warner.

  Mr. GRAHAM of Florida. Mr. President, finally, there is the report of 
our own House-Senate Joint Inquiry into the intelligence failures that 
surrounded 9/11, which I had the honor of co-chairing with 
Representative Porter Goss.
  The Joint Inquiry file our report with its 19 recommendations in 
December 2002.
  I ask unanimous consent to have printed in the Record the names of 
the members of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees in the 
107th Congress who served on the Joint Inquiry.
  There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

   House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, 107th Congress 

     Porter J. Goss, R--Florida, Chairman
     Nancy Pelosi, D--California, Ranking Democrat


     Doug Bereuter, Nebraska
     Michael N. Castle, Delaware
     Sherwood L. Boehlert, New York
     Jim Gibbons, Nevada
     Ray LaHood, Illinois
     Randy ``Duke'' Cunningham, California
     Peter Hoekstra, Michigan
     Richard Burr, North Carolina
     Saxby Chambliss, Georgia
     Terry Everett, Alabama


     Sanford D. Bishop, Georgia
     Jane Harman, California
     Gary A. Condit, California
     Tim Roemer, Indiana
     Silvestre Reyes, Texas
     Leonard L. Boswell, Iowa
     Collin C. Peterson, Minnesota
     Bud Cramer, Alabama

     Timothy R. Sample, Staff Director
     Michael W. Sheehy, Democratic Counsel

  Mr. GRAHAM of Florida. The declassified version was released to the 
public on July 24, 2003.
  I filed legislation, S. 1520, September 11, the Memorial Intelligence 
Reform Act, to implement those recommendations 1 week later on July 31, 
2003. Each of these panels, in common, concluded major changes were 
needed to better protect the American people, including such steps as 
much longer human intelligence capabilities. Yet we did not see the 
leadership that was needed to fully implement any of those 
recommendations. Rather, when it comes to reforming our intelligence 
community, our Nation's leaders can be described as lethargic, at best, 
negligent, at worst.
  Let me be clear, my condemnation is not directed only at the current 
administration but previous administrations, as well. For instance, in 
my judgment, the Clinton administration was guilty of two principal 
failures. One, it did not seriously consider or initiate the changes 
necessary to move our intelligence agencies into the 21st century; 
second, it did not take adequate steps to wipe out the al-Qaida 
training camps in Afghanistan, camps which produced thousands of 
extremists trained in the effective skills of terrorism.
  The blame is not totally at the White House. This Congress deserves 
blame for its failure to move with a greater sense of urgency. I will 
discuss those failures in a future date.
  Now we have the 9/11 Commission report. We are likely to see passage 
of an intelligence reform package before the election. I am convinced 
the American people will recognize that valuable time has been lost in 
the 3 years since September 11, 2001, and should we suffer another 
terrorist strike on our land before these reforms are fully 
implemented, we will not be able to dodge tough questions about why we 
failed to respond sooner.
  It is abundantly clear that had we heeded the lessons to be learned 
from September 11, we might have avoided the embarrassing failures of 
intelligence on weapons of mass destruction that led us into the war in 
Iraq. President Bush should have exercised his full powers as Commander 
in Chief in the hours immediately after September 11 by calling 
together the leadership of the agencies whose failures contributed to 
that tragedy. The President should, in the bluntest of terms, have 
demanded a full review and a report and steps to correct these 
deficiencies to be

[[Page S9063]]

submitted to the Oval Office within no longer than 100 days.
  The No. 1 lesson of September 11 is obvious: Our intelligence on the 
terrorist threat was unreliable. It was subject to major gaps of 
necessary information and analysis. Had we applied exactly those same 
lessons learned as we prepared for the war in Iraq, the President would 
have had less confidence in the intelligence he was being given on 
issues such as weapons of mass destruction and the conditions that our 
military men and women would face during and after the initial assault.
  Ponder this: What a difference that would have made as we learn from 
the Senate Intelligence Committee report on the problems of pre-Iraqi 
war intelligence. If we do not now take action to remedy those 
weaknesses, we will not be able to avoid accountability for our failure 
to detect and deter the next attack.
  As has been demonstrated over the past decade, the fundamental 
opponent of intelligence reform is inertia and the natural tendency to 
maintain the status quo. Before we can get people to reject the status 
quo, there has to be, first, an agreement as to what are the problems 
to which the status quo has contributed.

  I have found that the medical model of first diagnosing a problem and 
then prescribing a remedy to be a useful prescription with social 
problems. Today, I want to give the diagnosis of our intelligence 
community that a careful physician might offer. Next week, I will come 
to the Senate to offer my prescription.
  This is what I consider to be five major problems and challenges 
facing American intelligence. One, the failure to adapt to a changing 
adversary and a changing global threat environment. Just as it was 
difficult 40 years earlier for the intelligence community to make the 
transition from the practices of the OSS against Germany and Japan, 
today's intelligence community has found it even more difficult to 
shift from the cold war to the war on terror.
  Our new enemy is distinctly different than we are. It is a non-nation 
state, asymmetrical in the extreme. It is motivated by a religious 
belief that denies the legitimacy of governments which intrude on the 
direct relationship which should exist between all law and man. We are 
almost deaf to the numerous, frequently arcane languages that our new 
adversaries speak. As a people and as a nation, the United States has 
limited expertise in their cultures. By the failure to make the 
transition to this new world we inhabit and the new threats we face, 
American intelligence is rendering itself less and less capable of 
bringing the security which our citizens need and deserve.
  A second failure is the repeated instances in which the intelligence 
community did not provide effective, strategic intelligence. In the 
summer of 2001, intelligence was reporting to American decisionmakers 
that, yes, al-Qaida was something of a threat to U.S. interests, but 
outside the country, not inside the homeland of the United States. So 
while we spent hundreds of millions of dollars to fortify our embassies 
abroad, we did virtually nothing to increase the safety of domestic 
commercial aviation.
  As the planning for the war was intensifying in the winter and spring 
of 2003, Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld and Deputy Secretary of Defense 
Wolfowitz reached two conclusions which were validated by intelligence, 
much of which came from the intelligence agencies within the Department 
of Defense. They claimed that after the war the U.S. troops would be 
received as liberators and that the Iraqi people would shower our 
troops with flowers, as the American soldiers had been welcomed in 
Paris in 1944. They went on to say that the Iraqis would turn on the 
faucets of that nation's oil riches and pay for the occupation and 
rebuilding of their nation. Sadly, of course, neither of these 
projections has come true.
  The third failure is the failure to establish within the intelligence 
community broad priorities and then to deploy the resources of the 
intelligence community behind those priorities. In December of 1998, 
former CIA Director George Tenet declared terrorism was the 
intelligence community's primary target, that America was at war with 
  The problem is that within the CIA and the other intelligence 
agencies few heard the battle cry and even fewer responded.
  Rather than set up intelligence systems to validate convenient 
political notions, we need a system that pursues mutually agreed-upon 
  Fourth, the intelligence community has not implemented the policies 
necessary to recruit, train, reward or sanction, maintain the talents 
or diversify its human intelligence capabilities.
  The U.S. human intelligence at the end of the cold war has been 
described as very deep in our knowledge of the Soviet target, almost 
ignorant about everything else.
  In the places where we most need human intelligence, such as in the 
Middle East and Central Asia, we are woefully deficient.
  The intelligence community's current recruitment and training 
regimes, which rely heavily on college campus career days, has been 
inadequate to overcome this handicap.
  We are confronting terrorists with a band of men and women who are 
enthusiastic to perform the challenging intellectual work of an analyst 
or the dangerous undertaking of an operative, but often lack the 
necessary skills to be effective.
  In my opinion, we need to rethink our system of intelligence 
recruitment, training, and performance evaluation.
  The fifth failure is the failure to realize that many of the most 
important decisions made by the intelligence community that were 
previously described as tactical have now become strategic.
  Unfortunately, the level and perspective of those tasking the 
gathering of that intelligence has not changed, often with highly 
adverse consequences.
  One of the reasons that congressional oversight of the intelligence 
community exists is because in 1960, in the days before a planned 
summit between President Eisenhower and Soviet leader Nikita 
Krushvchev, the Soviet Union downed an American U-2 spy plane.
  The tension surrounding the plane's mission and its downing aborted 
the summit, and that enraged Senator Mike Mansfield. This is what 
Senator Mansfield said:

       Not a single member of the Cabinet nor the President 
     exercised any direct control whatsoever over the ill-fated U-
     2 flight at the critical moment at which it was launched.

  He continued that the decision to undertake the flight

     ``owes its origin more to bureaucratic inertia, lack of 
     coordination and control and insensitivity to its potential 
     cost than it does to any conscious decision of politically 
     responsible leadership.''

  In other words, a tactical blunder had set back a strategic goal.
  Today, even more than in 1960, tactical intelligence gathering 
operations need to show an appreciation--a greater appreciation than is 
true today--for their strategic implications.
  Mr. President, it has been 3 years since we suffered the horror of 
September 11. The time to act is long since past.
  In future days, I will discuss recommendations to address what I 
think are the major challenges we face, and to urge the courage and 
commitment, will and urgency, to protect the American people in the way 
that we failed to do on September 11, 2001.
  Thank you, Mr. President.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Massachusetts is recognized.