Congressional Record: September 27, 2004 (Senate)
Page S9700-S9720


  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, the Senate will 
proceed to consideration of S. 2845, which the clerk will report.
  The assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

       A bill (S. 2845) to reform the intelligence community and 
     the intelligence and intelligence-related activities of the 
     U.S. Government, and for other purposes.

  The Senate proceeded to consider the bill.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Maine.
  Ms. COLLINS. Mr. President, today the Senate begins an important 
debate on the National Intelligence Reform Act. This legislation, which 
I have introduced with my good friend and colleague, Senator Joe 
Lieberman, represents the most sweeping reform of our intelligence 
structures in more than 50 years. It reorganizes an intelligence 
community designed for the Cold War into one designed for the war 
against global terrorism and future national security threats. It 
recognizes that the fundamental obligation of government is to protect 
its citizens and that those protections must evolve along with the 
threats. It reorders the priorities of an intelligence structure that 
was devised for a different time and a different enemy.
  On July 22, the 9/11 Commission released its final report on 
terrorist attacks against the United States. On that same day, our 
leaders, Senator Frist and Senator Daschle, assigned the Governmental 
Affairs Committee the task of developing legislation addressing the 
Commission's recommendations to restructure the intelligence agencies 
within the executive branch. Our committee performed that task with 
dedication and diligence, and with the active participation of its 
talented members. From late July until mid-September, we held eight 
indepth hearings to assess the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission. 
We heard testimony from more than two dozen witnesses, including 
Secretary of State Powell, Secretary of Homeland Security Ridge, FBI 
Director Mueller, CIA Director McLaughlin, the 9/11 Commission 
Cochairmen, Kean and Hamilton, Commissioners Fielding and Gorelick, 
intelligence experts, field operatives, professors, and representatives 
of the 9/11 families. As a result of this unprecedented effort and 
wide-ranging input, the committee has produced the legislation now 
before the Senate. It is legislation that is comprehensive, 
bipartisan--indeed, unanimous--and historic.

  This legislation is not, however, merely the product of 2 months' 
work by our committee. It is based upon the work of the 9/11 Commission 
and the inquiry that spanned 20 months, with 19 days of hearings and 
160 witnesses, the review of 2.5 million documents,

[[Page S9701]]

and interviews of more than 1,200 individuals in 10 countries. The new 
intelligence structure we propose in our legislation is built upon a 
rock-solid foundation of inquiry and information.
  In crafting a structure designed for today and for the future, the 
committee built on the strengths of our current system, recognized the 
progress that has been made since 9/11, and charted a new course to 
strengthen our intelligence community. We understood that the 15 
agencies that comprise the intelligence community provide a wide range 
of unique experience, expertise, and viewpoints that must be preserved. 
We realize that the barriers to information sharing, cooperation, and 
coordination--what the 9/11 Commission referred to as ``stovepipes''--
must be demolished.
  We set as our goal an intelligence structure with the agility that 
the times and the threats demand, not simply another layer of 
bureaucracy. We were determined that this new structure not infringe 
upon the freedoms that Americans cherish.
  This legislation uses the Commission's recommendations as our guide 
and these principles as our compass. It begins with the creation of the 
position of national intelligence director. The NID will be the head of 
our intelligence community and the principal adviser to the President 
of the United States. As the head of the new National Intelligence 
Authority, this Presidentially appointed, Senate-confirmed official 
will truly be in charge of our intelligence community. No longer will 
there be confusion and doubt about who is in charge and accountable. 
The answer will clearly be the national intelligence director.
  The director will have broad authority to unify and strengthen our 
intelligence community's efforts and to eliminate barriers that impede 
the coordination of intelligence activities. He or she will set 
standards for information sharing and classification across the 
intelligence community and develop an integrated, coordinated 
communications network. His responsibility will be to turn the 
stovepipes that separate our intelligence community into conduits that 
promote cooperation. Along with this responsibility will come strong 
authority to direct budgetary and personnel resources where they are 
needed most.
  To illustrate why these authorities are crucial, consider this 
passage from the 9/11 Commission Report.
  In late 1998, it had become increasingly apparent that Osama bin 
Laden and al-Qaida posed a direct, immediate, and deadly threat to the 
United States. On December 4 of that year, Director of Central 
Intelligence George Tenet issued this memorandum. I quote from it:

       We are at war. I want no resources or people spared in this 
     effort, either inside CIA or the Community.

  You may ask, What is the result of this clear, concise and direct 
order from the head of our intelligence community.
  According to the Commission:

       The memorandum had little overall effect on mobilizing the 
     CIA or the intelligence community.

  Why did it have so little impact? The expert witnesses before our 
committee and before the Commission provided the answer. Under the 
current structure, the DCI is responsible for managing the intelligence 
community but does not have the real authority to do so. No 
organization can succeed with such a disconnect between responsibility 
and authority.
  At our committee hearing on September 13, I asked Secretaries Powell 
and Ridge what I consider to be the bottom-line question in this 
debate. I asked them both: Do you believe that a strong national 
intelligence director with enhanced power to set collection priorities, 
to task the collection of intelligence, will improve the quality of 
intelligence that you both need in your capacity as policymakers?
  Each answered with an enthusiastic and unambiguous ``yes.'' As 
Secretary Powell put it, our intelligence team needs, and I quote the 
Secretary, ``a stronger, empowered quarterback.'' The Collins-Lieberman 
bill would provide that quarterback.
  Perhaps the most important power that we provide to the national 
intelligence director is the power of the purse. In order to foster 
cooperation throughout the intelligence community, the NID will have 
control over the budget for national intelligence. Currently, that 
funding is largely funneled through the Department of Defense, and the 
director of the CIA has only very limited authority over the overall 
resources of the intelligence community.
  Under the Collins-Lieberman bill, the NID, in consultation with the 
agency and department heads, will develop and recommend an intelligence 
budget to the President. After congressional action, it will be the NID 
who receives the appropriations for what will be known as the national 
intelligence program. The NID will also have significant authority to 
reprogram and transfer funds so that he can marshal the resources 
needed to counter a threat.
  Never again should we have the kind of situation we saw with the 
directives issued by George Tenet in December of 1998, calling on the 
marshaling of resources and yet nothing happens.
  After careful consideration, the committee decided to declassify only 
the aggregate figure for the national intelligence program. The 
Collins-Lieberman bill does not require the declassification of the 
budget totals for the various agencies that make up the NIP. Our 
witnesses generally urged great caution in going that far; instead, we 
require the directors to report to Congress on whether further 
declassification of budget totals is appropriate.
  The NID will allocate the budget to the various intelligence agencies 
in accordance with the appropriations determined by the Congress. That 
includes agencies such as the National Security Agency, the National 
Geospatial Intelligence Agency, the National Reconnaissance Office, and 
parts of the Defense Intelligence Agency which serve national 
intelligence consumers but are located within the Department of 
Defense. In recognition of the dual roles played by these important 
agencies, which provide critical intelligence not only to the 
Department of Defense but also to the CIA and other national customers, 
our bill keeps these agencies within the department but strengthens the 
NID's authority over them.

  It is important to emphasize that nothing in the national 
intelligence agency's authority will in any way hinder military 
operations or readiness. Tactical and joint military intelligence 
programs will remain under the control of the Pentagon and outside the 
national intelligence program as they are today. The Collins-Lieberman 
bill will not affect the tactical intelligence assets of the Army, Air 
Force, Navy, or Marines. This bill will not impede the flow of real-
time actionable intelligence that our war fighters require. In fact, by 
strengthening and improving the collection and analysis of 
intelligence, our legislation should improve the quality of 
intelligence provided to Pentagon officials and the combatant 
  The members of the intelligence community collect a vast amount of 
information, but the Commission found that we have a weak system for 
processing and transmitting this information where it is needed. As the 
9/11 report reveals, this weakness has been evident during many 
terrorist attacks over many years. It took an attack that claimed the 
lives of 3,000 people for this weakness to be fully exposed, and now it 
cannot be ignored.
  Our legislation contains strong provisions that make information 
sharing the rule, not the exception, and requires integrated 
communications networks to be developed, a serious deficiency in our 
current system which Senator Durbin highlighted in our hearings. We 
simply can no longer tolerate a system where the pieces of the puzzle 
are not assembled, where the CIA and the FBI each have vital, urgent, 
and compelling information, but no one puts the picture together.
  The second major Commission recommendation included in our bill is 
the establishment of a national counterterrorism center. It would 
expand the communitywide intelligence analysis capabilities of the 
Terrorist Threat Integration Center established by the President last 
  A major benefit of this new center is that much of its staff will be 
drawn from the various intelligence agencies now scattered across the 
Federal Government. These intelligence experts will work side by side 
sharing and analyzing information, gaining an understanding of each 
other's mission, and

[[Page S9702]]

creating a culture of cooperation. A significant responsibility of the 
NCTC will be joint planning. The center will have the authority to 
develop plans that include a mission, objectives to be achieved, 
courses of action, and recommendations from operational plans. 
Moreover, the center will assign responsibilities for counterterrorism 
operations to the agencies as set forth in these plans.
  As an example of how this might work, the NCTC would have the 
authority to create an interagency plan to dismantle a particular al-
Qaida cell. The center would assign specific tasks to the appropriate 
agencies. But I want to be clear that the NCTC would not have the 
authority to tell any agency how it must execute that task, nor will it 
be in the military chain of command. Should an agency object to the 
NCTC assignment, the national intelligence director could either accede 
to the objection or appeal to the President to resolve the conflict.

  These provisions are important. They will ensure an integrated 
approach to operational planning. We are not telling the various 
agencies precisely how to carry out the plan, how to execute it, but we 
will make sure that someone is looking at plans that span agencies, and 
in doing the planning when it affects more than one agency, when it is 
  The legislation also includes provisions recommended by the 
Commission and authored by Senator Voinovich that streamline and 
standardize the system for security clearances, a system that we have 
heard, over and over again, is inconsistent, slow, and backlogged. An 
important provision requires the President to designate a single agency 
to handle security clearances for Government employees and contractors.
  The final chapter of the 9/11 report, the chapter that outlines the 
recommendations we seek to implement, begins with this statement:

       Some of the saddest aspects of the 9/11 story are the 
     outstanding efforts of so many individual officials 
     straining, often without success, against the boundaries of 
     the possible. Good people can overcome bad structures. They 
     should not have to.

  This summarizes one of the major reasons we need reform. We have a 
system now that does not allow us to respond with agility to the 
threats we face today.
  As this next chart shows, in our legislation we are not adding a 
layer of bureaucracy, nor are we breaking up individual agencies, nor 
are we creating a new department of intelligence. We are, instead, 
creating a new structure for cooperation, accountability, and results. 
Our legislation gives the good people in our intelligence community the 
structure they deserve. It also takes steps recommended by Senator Jay 
Rockefeller, the vice chairman of the Intelligence Committee, to ensure 
that we will always have good people. It creates a scholarship program 
to encourage bright young Americans to join the intelligence community 
and it will enable veteran intelligence officers to enhance their 
skills. Intelligence reform requires this investment in human capital. 
We also create a reserve corps of retired intelligence officers who can 
be called upon when their special skills and judgment are needed.
  Our bill also creates a civil liberties board as recommended by the 
Commission and strengthened by amendments offered by Senator Durbin. 
Nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate, the members of 
this board will advise agencies of the civil liberties ramifications of 
policies before they are adopted and then will conduct oversight.
  In addition, our legislation will create both a civil liberties and 
privacy officer as part of the new national intelligence authority.
  The fundamental obligation of any government is to protect its 
citizens. The American Government has an additional obligation to 
protect the freedom of its citizens. Our legislation does not ask the 
American people to choose between security and liberty. We firmly 
believe that no such choice is necessary. Our structure reflects that 
  To help ensure a smooth transition from the current structure to the 
new, the bill provides a 6-month phase-in period that gives the 
President considerable discretion in implementing these reforms. We 
will not let our guard down during any point in this process.
  We also recognize that reforms of this magnitude require continued 
and careful congressional oversight and review. The bill includes a 
provision recommended by former Senator Warren Rudman that requires a 
report to Congress on implementation of these reforms after 1 year. As 
a result of an amendment offered by Senator Pryor, it also includes a 
useful requirement for a government accountability study and report to 
  As I have indicated, this legislation is the product of a concerted 
effort by the Governmental Affairs Committee. It reflects the 
recommendations of other committees and it builds upon the work of the 
9/11 Commission. But it is important to know that the 9/11 Commission 
did not start from scratch, either. Its work takes into account nearly 
a half century of studies on intelligence reform dating back to the 
Eisenhower administration.
  The titles of the studies and commissions reads like a ``Who's Who'' 
of 20th century military, intelligence, and diplomatic expertise: 
Hoover, Doolittle, Schlesinger, Rockefeller, Scowcroft, to name just a 
few. These studies were conducted under a variety of conditions and 
threats but a central theme emerges: America's intelligence system is 
hindered by a fragmented structure and compartmentalized thinking.
  Our past failure to act on these many studies, which spans decades, 
which is repeated over and over again, is why we are here today. For 
example, the Boren-McCurdy legislation of 1992 realized the emerging 
threat of the post-Cold War era, terrorism, and weapons proliferation. 
Using the successful restructurings of the military since World War II 
as models, the National Security Act of 1947 and the Goldwater-Nichols 
Act of 1986, this legislation called for the creation--yes, you guessed 
it, Mr. President--the creation of a national director of intelligence 
with strong authority similar to what we propose today.
  The Boren-McCurdy Act was not adopted. At the same time that those 
reforms were being set aside for another day, one component of our 
intelligence community had identified Osama bin Laden as the mastermind 
behind a foiled plot to bomb American troops. Another noted bin Laden's 
close ties to a known terrorist who was later revealed as the architect 
of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Yet another considered bin 
Laden to be nothing more than an extremist financier. Information that 
could have led to effective action against bin Laden a decade ago was 
there, but it was not shared or acted on. In 1996, the Aspin-Brown 
Commission reached the same post-Cold War conclusion and made very 
similar reform recommendations. The result: yet another failure by 
Congress to take action.
  Meanwhile, our intelligence community was starting to agree that bin 
Laden had started something called al-Qaida and that it was some kind 
of terrorist army. As the 9/11 Commission notes, however, every 
relevant member of the intelligence community had a different plan for 
dealing with bin Laden and al-Qaida, from cruise missiles to diplomacy 
with the Taliban. While these conflicting plans were butting heads, two 
American Embassies in Africa were bombed, the attack on the USS Cole 
was approved, and what became known as the Planes Operation was taking 

  The need for reform was made clear by the 9/11 Commission's 
exhaustive study on the intelligence failures that preceded the murder 
of 3,000 innocent people on September 11, 2001. In late July of this 
year, as the Governmental Affairs Committee's work began, Washington, 
New York City, and northern New Jersey were placed under elevated 
terrorist alert, an alert that is still very much evident at the 
intersections of this city today. Our committee work neared its 
conclusion as terrorists murdered once again, this time at a 
schoolhouse in Russia.
  These terrible events, combined with the slaughter we have seen in 
Bali, Istanbul, Madrid, Jerusalem, Jakarta, and so many other places, 
leaves no doubt that the enemy we face has both a global reach and an 
unlimited capacity for cruelty. Our response must be far reaching, and 
it must unleash America's capacity to meet any challenge. This 
legislation is an essential part of that response.

[[Page S9703]]

  The calls for reform go back 50 years. For nearly 2 years, the 9/11 
Commission conducted an investigation of unprecedented depth. Our 
committee produced comprehensive legislation with unanimous support.
  Hardly a day passes in which we do not see new evidence of 
terrorism's depravity. Yet there are still some who say: We should 
wait. We need more information. Under the current threat of terrorist 
attack, the time is not right. The charged atmosphere of the election 
season is not the right environment for such important decisions.
  I ask, What more information do we need? Look at the list of 
witnesses who appeared before the 9/11 Commission and our committee. 
What point of view has not been heard? What area of expertise was not 
explored? What more compelling evidence do we need before we act?
  I ask, If the time is not right now, when will the right time come? 
When will there be no threats? I ask, What could be more cynical than 
our failure to act on something of such critical importance to the 
citizens of our country?
  At our very first Commission hearing on July 30, Commission Chairman 
Thomas Kean spoke on the need to move forward with these reforms. This 
is what he said--and I hope we will heed his words--

       These people are planning to attack us again and trying to 
     attack us sooner, rather than later. Every delay we have in 
     changing structures or changing people . . . to make that 
     less likely is a delay the American people can't tolerate.

  Yes, we can wait. We can wait until the day when we know everything 
we possibly can know, when there are no more threats, when the American 
people do not expect their leaders to lead. We can wait until the day 
another attack leaves us all wondering once again why we did not see it 
  That first day will never come. If we do not act, the second surely 
  Thank you, Mr. President.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Bennett). The Senator from Connecticut.
  Mr. LIEBERMAN. Mr. President, I have a unanimous consent request 
which I am really happy to make. I am sure Senator Collins, if she does 
not know yet, will be happy to hear this. I ask unanimous consent to 
add Senators Feinstein and Mikulski as cosponsors of our legislation.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. LIEBERMAN. Mr. President, I am truly proud to join with Chairman 
Collins in presenting to the Senate this historic bipartisan 
legislation, the National Intelligence Reform Act of 2004.
  Senator Collins deserves enormous credit for shepherding this bill 
through the Governmental Affairs Committee and for involving so many 
interested parties to produce transformational reform, which, when 
implemented, will make all Americans safer than we are today. It has 
been truly a personal pleasure to work with her and other members of 
our committee to produce the legislation we have brought before the 
Senate this afternoon.
  On the day after the September 11 Commission report was issued and 
the bipartisan leadership of this Senate, Senator Frist and Senator 
Daschle, gave the Governmental Affairs Committee jurisdiction to take 
up and discuss and report back to the full Senate on the executive 
branch recommendations for intelligence reform, Senator Collins and I 
spoke and we agreed from the beginning that this was the moment to 
forget party labels and focus on the national security interests.
  After all, not only were we attacked 3 years ago, we are under 
imminent threat of another terrorist attack. Al-Qaida and the other 
terrorist groups have made absolutely clear they intend to strike us 
again. The news reports today feature warnings from our Government to 
various levels of Government throughout the country to be prepared and 
on guard for the potential of terrorist attempts to disrupt our 
election process, right up to and through election day.
  So Senator Collins and I understood from the beginning that we had to 
work together to do what was best for the country as we saw it. There 
would be differences of opinion, but we would do everything we could to 
make sure they were not partisan. That is exactly the tenor of the 
markup our committee conducted for 2 days last week. It was one of the 
best 2 days of my 16 years as a Senator. When it was over, we had more 
than 40 amendments filed with the committee. Not a single amendment was 
decided on a partisan vote. One particular Democratic colleague said to 
me: For 2 days it was actually like we were legislating, the reason we 
came here in the first place.
  That is absolutely right. We produced a solid, bold bill to transform 
our intelligence community to meet the challenges of an age of 
terrorism. We present it to the Senate with a confidence that the 
momentum that has been created by the 9/11 Commission, by the families 
of victims of September 11 appealing to us for action, by our own 
committee's nonpartisan work, will carry through the Senate, the House, 
the conference committee, and we will get this critical job done and in 
law as soon as possible, certainly this year, hopefully before the 
  I call this transformational reform because transformational reform 
is exactly what is necessary to face the enemy of today.
  Terrorists working across national boundaries are brutal. They are 
inhumane. They strike, most of all, undefended targets, and they adapt 
to meet new circumstances. They are not going to be defeated solely, or 
perhaps even largely, in the end by military power or with the help of 
an intelligence system and community that were organized to fight the 
Cold War and helped win the Cold War. We need to restructure our 
intelligence capabilities to meet the challenges of 21st century 
warfare, and that means the war on terrorism.
  That is what the legislation Senator Collins and I are presenting 
today will do. We owe a great debt to the seminal work of the 9/11 
Commission and to their staff whose recommendations we relied on in 
drafting this bill. The Commission spent a year and a half studying the 
weaknesses in our national defenses that left us vulnerable on 
September 11, 2001. They interviewed more than 1,200 witnesses, 
reviewed literally millions of documents, held 12 public hearings, and 
produced a compelling narrative, chilling in its details and 
  Under the strong leadership of Governor Kean and Congressman 
Hamilton, this bipartisan Commission made 41 recommendations to 
strengthen our country against terrorists. The two that they have 
called the most urgent--that is, the most time sensitive to act on--a 
strong national intelligence director, and a national counterterrorism 
center, form the centerpiece of the legislation we put before the 
Senate today.
  We owe a deep debt of gratitude as well to the courageous families of 
those who died on September 11. We are here today because they turned 
their personal grief into an inestimable force for change, playing a 
vital role in getting the 9/11 Commission established in the first 
place, working relentlessly to help the Commission through the rough 
patches it faced, and embracing and championing its final 
recommendations. They are a mighty moral force. I continue to be awed 
and inspired by them in this debate. I will not forget their loss and 
their commitment to make sure that we reform our Government so that no 
other Americans face similar losses from 9/11 type attacks.
  When the Commission released its report on July 22, very few would 
have predicted that legislation would be on the Senate floor today and 
the Senate would be poised to debate the most far-reaching reforms of 
our Nation's intelligence community in half a century. In fact, many 
predicted it would never happen. Most people thought it certainly 
wouldn't happen this year. Maybe next year. But the 9/11 Commission 
confirmed what we knew--the work of protecting our Nation from 
terrorist attacks cannot wait and must not be delayed. Business as 
usual on these matters is not an acceptable option.
  During August and early September, in fact beginning at the end of 
July, the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee held, as Senator 
Collins said, eight hearings on the Commission's recommendations and 
drafted a bill on their work. Last week we held a 2-day markup, 
considered more than 40 amendments, and voted the measure

[[Page S9704]]

out of committee unanimously, with amendments adopted, good give and 
take, thoughtful discussion, negotiation on wording that in the end 
strengthened the authority and the position of national intelligence 
  Following the example of the 9/11 Commission, our committee members 
did work, not as partisans, though we are in the midst of an election 
campaign; we worked as Americans, concerned about the security of our 
fellow Americans and the responsibility we have to protect them. That 
is a much more compelling interest than any partisan political interest 
that any one of us may have.

  Although we have acted with speed, we have also acted with 
deliberation. Our legislation is based not only on the comprehensive 
work of the 9/11 Commission I have described but on the earlier work of 
the joint House and Senate Intelligence Committees in their inquiry 
into matters of intelligence, on the expertise of scores of experts who 
have been thinking about this subject for decades, and on critical 
reports, as Senator Collins indicated, that date back not 10 or 20 
years but 50 years, making similar recommendations to the ones we have 
made. It is a tragedy that it took 9/11 to shake us out of our 
bureaucratic lethargy to be on the edge of doing what should have been 
done 50 years ago.
  The fact is, we are not moving too fast. Three years have passed 
since the devastation of the attacks of September 11. The 9/11 
Commission has stated--and I think this says it all--``We are safer. 
But we are not safe.'' That is why we are moving so swiftly in this 
proposal to modernize the management of our intelligence agencies, to 
make sure we get the maximum in national security for the billions of 
dollars we are investing. Our enemies continue to plot against us, and 
intelligence is the first line of defense against these plots.
  As the Commission report noted:

       Not only does good intelligence win wars, but the best 
     intelligence enables us to prevent them from happening 

  These are not ordinary times. Our citizens are still at risk. Our 
military is on a wartime footing and in action, deployed abroad. So, 
too, we must be on wartime footing and deployed here at home.
  September 11, 2001, reminds us that we can no longer afford to put 
off reform. In its extensive report, the 9/11 Commission literally 
indicted the status quo in America's intelligence community and 
insisted on change. The report said:

       As presently configured, the national security institutions 
     of the United States Government are still the institutions 
     constructed to win the Cold War.

  The Cold War is over. We are now engaged in a wholly different 
conflict: a long-term war on terror. That is why the old systems of 
intelligence, the old structures must give way to new and more 
effective ones that meet our current threat.
  A big part of the problem with the old structure, the Commission 
found, is that it has no leader. Lee Hamilton, vice chair of the 
Commission, said:

       A critical theme that emerged throughout our inquiry was 
     the difficulty of answering the question: Who is in charge? 
     Who ensures that agencies pool resources, avoid duplication, 
     and plan jointly? Who oversees the massive integration and 
     unity of effort to keep America safe? Too often, the answer 
     is no one.

  Our intelligence community is like an army without a commanding 
officer, a football team without a quarterback. It doesn't work; it is 
not acceptable, not with the challenges we face.
  No one below the level of the President is charged today with the 
responsibility of overseeing a diffusion of organizations spread across 
15 agencies in our intelligence community. No one today has the 
authority to knit together the efforts of these disparate elements; 
therefore, no one is accountable for mistakes.
  Senator Collins showed a chart which portrays the changes our reform 
proposes. For comparison, here is our best effort to show the current 
system. You see the President, but then you see stovepipes--CIA, 
Defense, Homeland Security, State, et cetera--without a leader. We 
can't expect the President, with all the demands on the highest office 
in our Nation, to be on a daily basis coordinating this community which 
spends billions and billions of dollars every year--so stovepipes but 
not coordination.
  That leads to some of the shortcomings that Senator Collins so ably 
and eloquently dramatized.
  In fact, the Commission's report describes over and over again the 
consequences of the absence of a leader of our intelligence community 
  Senator Collins referred to George Tenet's call to war against 
terrorism, a directive sent to all of the agencies of the intelligence 
community on December 4, 1998. What was done in response to that call 
to war? Nothing. Why? Because most of the members of the intelligence 
community didn't think they had to do anything. The Commission 
concluded that Tenet's declaration ``had little overall effect on 
mobilizing the CIA or the intelligence community'' because he didn't 
have the power. He was not in control. The fallout, as we all know, was 
a frustrating series of missed opportunities and an agonizing failure 
to piece together good information that different agencies had 
gathered--the failure to connect the dots.
  We have a lot of able people and extraordinary capacities in our 
intelligence community. Nobody in the world can do all that we can do 
in intelligence. But if you don't bring it together in one place, if 
you don't have coordination and leadership, literally one arm doesn't 
know what the other is doing, and the national security suffers and the 
terrorists gain.
  At its core, the configuration of the intelligence community today 
prevents us from drawing upon the experienced people, the ample 
resources, and the extraordinary information that are available within 
the community. Some of the problem is this lack of leadership I have 
talked about. Some of it is the top-to-bottom bureaucratic organization 
that the stovepipes on the chart show. Too often, each of the 15 
intelligence agencies reside in their own universe, walled off from 
alternative points of view, failing to share information, and adjusting 
too slowly to new and emerging threats. As the commissioner put it on 
page 353 of the 9/11 report:

       Information was not shared, sometimes inadvertently or 
     because of legal misunderstandings. Analysis was not pooled. 
     Effective operations were not launched. Often, the handoffs 
     of information were lost across the divide separating the 
     foreign and domestic agencies of the government.

  I depart from the quote. Even though the terrorists don't make that 
foreign and domestic divide, they are coordinating their activities; 
they are at war against us without regard to bureaucratic or foreign 
and domestic divides.
  The Commission said that:

       The Agencies [of the intelligence community] are like a set 
     of specialists in a hospital, each ordering tests, looking 
     for symptoms, and prescribing medications. What is missing is 
     the attending physician who makes sure they work as a team.

  Today, the head of the intelligence community--whom we call the DCI, 
Director of Central Intelligence--only has effective control over the 
funds of one agency within the entire community, and that is the CIA. 
That means that roughly 80 percent of the national intelligence budget 
is not even controlled by the Director of Central Intelligence. We may 
have won the Cold War with that structure, but as has been made 
painfully clear, it is not enough for the war on terror, if we are to 
learn many lessons the hardest way possible. And agencies are doing a 
better job now sharing information and better coordinating their 
activity, but the system is still not organized--certainly not as well 
as it should be to get maximum security from the billions of dollars 
American taxpayers invest every year in the intelligence community.

  Listen to this story. Philip Zelikow, the executive director of the 
9/11 Commission, spelled out the problem before our committee. He told 
of traveling to Pakistan and Afghanistan to visit representatives of 
various U.S. agencies working in the border areas there to determine, 
he said, how they were working together, how they were integrating 
their hunt for Osama bin Laden. Surely, it is one of our most critical 
national goals since September 11 to find bin Laden. So Zelikow asked 
his host:

       Well, where is the joint strategic plan for the hunt for 
     bin Laden? Where is the person who is in charge every day of 
     the integrated strategic plan, [who] updates that plan every 
     day of how we're hunting bin Laden?

  What Zelikow found was that 3 years after September 11, ``there is no 

[[Page S9705]]

joint plan. There isn't a joint integrated planner for that hunt.''
  I imagine that will shock and unsettle the American people as much as 
it did the members of the Commission and the members of our committee. 
That is why we want to put this national intelligence director and 
national counterterrorism center in charge.
  The legislation we are presenting today deals with these deficiencies 
by adopting two of the three critical Commission recommendations. Under 
our proposal, the national intelligence director would be the 
President's primary intelligence adviser but also the leader of the 
national intelligence community, with strong budget, personnel, and 
tasking authorities to break down the stovepipes and knit the agencies 
together into a powerful, agile, effective network. Tom Kean and Lee 
Hamilton told our committee they recommended a national intelligence 

       Not because we want to create some new ``czar'' or a new 
     layer of bureaucracy to sit atop the existing bureaucracy. We 
     come to this recommendation because we see it as the only way 
     to effect what we believe is necessary: a complete 
     transformation of the way the intelligence community does its 

  The national intelligence director will have strong authority to 
reprogram and transfer money and people, so that he or she may react 
quickly to changing threats, and direct intelligence resources when and 
where they are most needed.
  We heard from many witnesses before our committee about how critical 
it was to give the new national intelligence director budget authority 
if we wanted that director to forge the unity of effort we are looking 
for. The Director of Central Intelligence currently has authority to 
reprogram funds but not real budget authority, and even the 
reprogramming authority is not exercised frequently because the process 
takes from 3 to 5 months to complete. Imagine that. The threat of 
terrorism is daily, and it requires agility, quick action, and 
reprogramming funds to fight it, but reprogramming can take 3 to 5 
  We heard from the former Director of the CIA, Jim Woolsey. He 
described what he called the Washington version of the Golden Rule: 
Whoever has the gold makes the rules. That is why we want to give the 
new national intelligence director real budget authority. Let me quote 

       If budget execution authority is given to the national 
     intelligence director, he will or she will have a much better 
     ability to say to the Secretary of State or Secretary of 
     Defense, ``Look, I sympathize, I understand. I know this 
     fluent Arabic language linguist is a very rare asset. But you 
     didn't hear me. I really need her or him.''

  Unlike the current DCI, the new director would not run the CIA, while 
simultaneously trying to manage the entire intelligence community. We 
are going to separate them. The 9/11 Commission told us you cannot be 
both the President's principal intelligence adviser, the head of the 
intelligence community, and also run the CIA every day. So we have 
separated those two functions.
  Our proposal thus puts the director in charge of the national 
intelligence program, which will encompass all programs and 
intelligence activities concerned with ``national'' intelligence--the 
interests of the entire nation rather than just one department.
  Remember that our intelligence community ultimately serves the 
President as Commander in Chief, but the President is the head of our 
Government overall, representing the public interest. I know there are 
concerns about how these changes might affect the American military, so 
let me be very clear about this. Intelligence for use by the military 
services must continue to be a top priority of the national 
intelligence director and of our intelligence community. Support of our 
warfighters will always be a primary concern of our intelligence 
community, but it is not the only concern. Under this organization, the 
warfighter will benefit because as the national intelligence director 
takes charge, our overall intelligence will become more effective, 
including for the warfighter.
  As Senator Collins made clear, the Department of Defense will retain 
control totally over the tactical military intelligence budgets.
  Finally, the national intelligence director will have the assistance 
of a newly created Cabinet-level joint intelligence community council--
Secretary Powell, when he appeared before us, compared this to the 
Joint Chiefs of Staff in the military--headed by the intelligence 
director as well as the Secretaries of State, Treasury, Defense, 
Energy, and Homeland Security, as well as the Attorney General. This 
council will advise the Director of Intelligence and ensure that the 
timely execution of the Director's priorities within each member's 
respective Department occurs. That reform, we believe, will bring 
direction and focus to the intelligence community's work.
  The national counterterrorism center, the second urgent major 
recommendation made by the 9/11 Commission, is designed to overcome the 
failure to share information, to break through the stovepipes, to 
coordinate activities to make sure, to the best of our ability, that 
never again does 1 agency of our Government see 2 terrorist suspects 
coming into our country and not tell the border security agencies and 
those 2 end up as 2 of the 19 who attacked us on September 11.
  Our legislation establishes the center with two key functions: First, 
to build on the Terrorist Threat Integration Center now housed at the 
CIA and ensure that intelligence from all sources in our Government is 
integrated and analyzed. In other words, this is the place where we can 
be sure the dots will be connected. Second, it will develop interagency 
counterterrorism plans and assign agencies responsibilities and monitor 
and report on implementation of the plans.
  The obvious point here is if we are going to have everybody at the 
same table sharing the intelligence they collected, the analysis they 
make of it, it makes every bit of common sense to authorize them to 
plan together what to do about it.
  This counterterrorism center--and I note the occupant of the chair is 
a member of the Armed Services Committee--would be comparable to the 
combatant commands, the joint commands that were created pursuant to 
the Goldwater-Nichols Act of the mid-eighties. These operations that 
would be planned could be on the larger strategic level, such as how do 
we win the war on terrorism, how do we win the hearts and minds of 
people in the Muslim world, and, of course, they also should be on the 
more tactical level: What can we do together to more quickly capture or 
kill bin Laden? What can we do together about this terrorist cell we 
see in some American city?
  Here is what the Commission chairman and vice chair said about this:

       Today, we face a transnational threat. That threat respects 
     no boundaries and makes no distinction between foreign and 
     domestic. The enemy is resourceful, flexible and disciplined. 
     We need a system of management that is as flexible and 
     resourceful as is the enemy. We need a system that can bring 
     all the resources of Government to bear on the problem--and 
     that can change and respond as the threat changes. We need a 
     model of Government that meets the needs of the 21st century. 
     We believe that the National Counterterrorist Center will 
     meet that test.

  So, too, of course, Senator Collins and I and the members of our 
committee, whose bill we put before you today, would establish such a 
  This is a critical reform. It will triumph over the bureaucratic 
inaction and failure to share information described by the Commission 
throughout its report. Let me just give this example from the report.
  In late 1999, the National Security Agency, which overseas the 
collection of signal intelligence, analyzed communications to and from 
and about some people they were watching who turned out to be future 
terrorist hijackers of September 11. NSA correctly concluded that 
someone named ``Nawaf'' and his accomplice named ``Khalid'' were part 
of ``an operational cadre,'' and that ``something nefarious might be 
afoot.'' But the NSA, and that particular analyst and others, did not 
think its job was to pursue further the identities of these men because 
it saw itself as a support agency that should energetically respond to 
requests for information, listen to conversations, et cetera, but not 
initiate investigations. It turns out there was additional valuable 
information right in the NSA computers regarding these two terrorists 
which, had it been checked, might well have thwarted the 9/11 plot.

[[Page S9706]]

  The Commission tells us how the CIA tracked Nawaf and Khalid to Kuala 
Lumpur and then lost them when they traveled to Bangkok. The evidence 
is that one of the men's passports indicated that a possible 
destination and interdiction point was the United States. Yet no one 
alerted the Immigration and Naturalization Service or the FBI, and so 
these 2 arrived in Los Angeles unhindered on January 15, 2000, and 
became 2 of the 19 September 11 terrorist attackers.
  The Commission report notes the response of different officials to 
this information. There was confusion about who was supposed to do 
what. The head of the CIA's Counterterrorism Center at the time did not 
recall why the case fell through the cracks or off the radar. The 
Director of the al-Qaida unit in CIA did not think it was his job to 
determine what actions should or should not be taken in a case such as 
  Under our proposal, the national counterterrorism center will put in 
place interagency orders to make sure rules and responsibilities for 
counterterrorism missions are clear. It will monitor the implementation 
of those plans to make sure information so critical does not fall 
through the cracks of bureaucratic stovepipes again and that no one 
drops the ball again and that the American people are never left 
unprotected again.
  As the Commission recommended, the national intelligence director 
will also have authority to create new national intelligence centers 
beyond the Counterterrorism Center to integrate capabilities across the 
intelligence community to focus on other threats, such as weapons of 
mass destruction, or geographic areas, such as North Korea. You can 
imagine a national intelligence center on North Korea or Iran or, more 
specifically, on what we are so worried about today: the development of 
a potential nuclear weapons capability in Iran. This would bring 
everyone in our Government who knows anything about such a capability 
together to share information and analysis, and develop plans.
  Senator Collins talked about the information-sharing parts of our 
report, and I will not go over that any further except to say that I am 
proud of what we have done here. We built on some excellent work done 
by the Markle Foundation which, quite rightly, suggested the old need-
to-know standard in intelligence ought to be broken to allow more 
sharing at every level of our Government to maximize protection of the 
  I do want to say that Senator Durbin has for years championed the 
idea that we need a concerted effort to make sure that information is 
shared throughout our Government in a systematic way, using the best of 
modern information technology to gather, pool, and understand 
information--a Manhattan Project, as Senator Durbin likes to call it, 
for information sharing. His ideas are reflected in substantial parts 
of this report, and I thank him for it.
  We have a very important section on civil liberties. Again, Senator 
Collins referred to this, and I will just say briefly that throughout 
our history, America has always balanced the joint concerns and 
commitments to security, without which there is no liberty, and 
liberty. We seek security for a purpose, which is to protect our 
liberties so as not to compromise the liberties that define us as 
  As the 9/11 Commission said, we are at a stage in our history, after 
having been attacked as we never were before on September 11, where the 
Government will have to play a more active role in American life. We 
want to make sure as that happens that the liberties of the American 
people are not compromised.
  There is a broad section on independence--which in some senses goes 
beyond what the 9/11 Commission was specifically responding to, and 
responds to other concerns that people in both parties and both 
Chambers have had--to make sure that the intelligence product the 
President gets and that we in Congress get is independent and 
  Senator Rockefeller brought to this matter his extraordinary 
expertise as ranking member of the Intelligence Committee. He deserves 
special thanks from our committee for the many contributions he made to 
the bill that we put before the Senate. I mention him because he had 
uniquely the idea of creating an ombudsman within the National 
Intelligence Authority who will serve as an independent counselor for 
complaints, but more than that, an independent reviewer of analytical 
products throughout the intelligence community to ensure that the 
intelligence advice the President and Members of Congress get is free 
of bias of any kind, political or otherwise.
  In private industry, there is not a business I know that can afford 
it, that does not have some kind of quality control system. In some 
sense we do not have a quality control system for the $40 billion-plus 
we spend on intelligence, and this office of ombudsman will be the 
quality control office for American intelligence.
  Senator Rockefeller is also the author of the national intelligence 
reserve corps idea. It is a great idea, allowing in these demanding 
times for temporary reemployment of retired intelligence community 
employees with specialized skills to help us meet emergency mission 
  Senator Levin helped improve Congress's access to intelligence, and 
to require that the information is free from bias, with substantial 
input to this bill as a member of our committee.
  Senator Pryor, too, added significantly to the bill. Because of his 
efforts, we will have reports from the Government Accountability 
Office, the GAO, providing us with an assessment as to how this 
legislation is actually being implemented, enabling Congress to be more 
effective in our oversight. I hope it will give some sense of assurance 
to those who wonder how this will all work that we have built in look-
backs to make sure that if it is not working in all of its particulars 
as we want it to, we will know that and we will act on it.
  The 9/11 Commission report tells us:

       Our biggest weapon of defense is our intelligence system. 
     If that doesn't work, our chances of being attacked are so 
     much greater. So our major recommendation is to fix that 
     intelligence system and do it as fast as possible. Chairman 
     Tom Kean said:
       Not only does good intelligence win wars, but the best 
     intelligence enables us to prevent them from happening 

  Intelligence has always been critical to warfare. In many ways, it is 
even more critical to the war on terrorism because we face an enemy 
unlike any we faced before, whose basic mode of operating is to strike 
undefended targets, to strike not at the military but to strike at 
undefended, innocent civilians. Intelligence is critical so we can see 
and hear what our terrorist enemies are planning so we can stop them 
before they strike at us again.
  Senator Collins and I have taken the words of the Commission to heart 
and are offering this historic and transformational reform in direct 
response to those words. We have hewn very close to the Commission's 
intelligence reform recommendations and are proud and grateful to have 
the explicit support of the chairman, vice chairman, and the members of 
this extraordinary bipartisan Commission.

  Yes, we are moving quickly but we are moving quickly for a reason. As 
I have said, our terrorist enemies are not mired in bureaucratic 
tradition. They are flexible. They are agile, brutal, and inhumane. We 
must be, in all of our humanity, with all of our values, as powerful, 
agile, and quick to change as they are. If we hesitate, we will truly 
pay the consequences again.
  The Deputy Director of the CIA's counterterrorism center, Philip 
Mudd, summed it up when he told our committee:

       We need clear, clean, short lines of command and control. 
     Opportunities to roll up a terrorist or prevent an attack 
     demand immediate action. This is a war of speed.

  Those are important words to remember.
  I expect some of the most significant amendments that will be 
presented on the floor will be those that I am afraid will blur the 
clear, clean, short lines of command and control.
  Preserving the strength of the national intelligence director is one 
of the critical aims that Senator Collins and I have as we go forward 
with this debate.
  FBI Director Robert Mueller said:

       Don't create a national intelligence director with no real 
     authority, because you will have the worst of all worlds 

  Interestingly, that was echoed by the now former Acting Director of 
the CIA,

[[Page S9707]]

John McLaughlin, when he said, and I paraphrase with apologies, the 
only thing worse than doing nothing is to create a national 
intelligence director without real authority. Then it is just another 
layer of bureaucracy.
  We have to establish that 21st century management system we have 
talked about.
  So in a Congress that unfortunately over the years has grown 
increasingly partisan, in the middle of an election season which is 
inherently political and partisan, Senator Collins, the members of our 
committee, and I, on a bipartisan basis, putting aside our partisan 
labels to work exclusively for the national security interests, present 
this proposal to the Senate. Every member of the Governmental Affairs 
Committee worked hard, with some disagreements, and ultimately 
supported the proposal.
  There is now a significant political consensus for change. Momentum 
is building and I am confident our colleagues in the Senate will rise 
to the challenge and take strong action in the national interest. We 
are, after all, a nation at war, a war like none we have ever fought. 
We must maximize and transform our ability to defend our Nation to meet 
this new threat. We cannot do that without the best intelligence 
  Senator Collins and I are confident that the proposal we put before 
our colleagues today will result in just that, the best intelligence 
possible. It deserves the support of our colleagues in the Senate.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from West Virginia.
  Mr. ROCKEFELLER. Madam President, I rise in support of the National 
Intelligence Reform Act of 2004, the bill that Senator Collins and 
Senator Lieberman have discussed. I speak not only as the Senator from 
West Virginia but also as the vice chairman of the Intelligence 
  I begin by expressing my thanks for the bipartisan cooperation of 
Chairman Collins and Ranking Member Lieberman, their staffs, and 
members of their committee for the way in which they worked and reached 
out across the intelligence community. It was an extraordinary thing, 
something one does not see around here very often.
  I lend my voice as strongly as I can to theirs in saying that 
Congress--and by that I mean both the Senate and the House--should pass 
and enact this critical legislation before we recess.
  I certainly am committed to making that happen, as I know Senator 
Collins and Senator Lieberman are. With an equal level of commitment 
from the Senate leadership, the House leadership, and the President of 
the United States, we can meet this ambitious goal, a goal about which, 
a month ago, even 3 weeks ago, people would have said is absolutely 
impossible. This has to not be put off. Distinguished statesmen from 
eras gone by have said we can't do these things, we have to take our 
  I say, from time to time, when you give Congress the time to do 
something, we may not. If you give us a little bit of time to do 
something very important, we may very well. I believe this is one of 
those cases.
  In just the past 2 years, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence 
has put forth not one, but two, frankly, quite devastating 
investigative reports about what surely rank among the greatest 
intelligence failures in the history of our country, to wit, the 
terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and the intelligence estimates 
prior to the war in Iraq, particularly those that related to weapons of 
mass destruction.
  In December of 2002, after 2 years of painstaking work by a 
congressional joint inquiry--it was the House and Senate Intelligence 
Committees acting together as one, for a very long period of about a 
year and a half, where we worked side by side and we also issued a 
report and series of recommendations reflecting the suggestions about 
the 9/11 attacks. It is extraordinary when one reads that and one reads 
the 9/11 Commission Report, how much is familiar, as between the one 
and the other; more eloquently expressed by far in the 9/11 Commission 
Report but nevertheless in both reports.
  In early July of this year, less than 3 months ago, we released a 
report on the collection and analysis and dissemination of prewar 
intelligence leading up to the war in Iraq, as I have indicated. That 
511-page investigation, reported out of our committee by a unanimous 
vote of 17 to nothing, thoroughly detailed how the analytical judgments 
about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programs were flawed, 
exaggerated, and misleading. And there were no doubters. There were no 
doubters. There were different points of view, but there were no 
doubters on those central premises.
  It showed in plain terms that the intelligence community had failed 
to provide intelligence assessments prior to the war that were timely, 
objective, and in this Senator's opinion, independent of political 
considerations, as is legally required under the National Security Act 
which defines so much of what we do.
  Then, a few weeks later, the independent national 9/11 Commission, 
led by Governor Tom Kean and Congressman Lee Hamilton, himself a former 
chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, published its findings 
and recommendations, and in so doing took our work a much needed, a 
very critical step down the road.
  The 9/11 Commission not only very powerfully described the individual 
organizational and systematic failures prior to the attacks, but they 
also set forth a very specific agenda for reform in what I thought were 
clearly readable, logical, and understandable ways. They addressed our 
intelligence shortcomings and proposed restructuring the intelligence 
community so that it would be more effectively managed, better prepared 
to deal both offensively and defensively with the terrorist threat that 
faces our Nation.
  By the end of July, mere days before this Senate was scheduled to 
adjourn for a lengthy recess that is called August, the case for 
reforming the intelligence community had been described in more 
convincing detail than ever before, and the question suddenly became no 
longer should the intelligence community be reformed, but when. Most 
Members of Congress understood this. The American people certainly 
understood this. Even the leaders of the Central Intelligence Agency 
and other intelligence agencies seemed to have concluded on their own 
that the intelligence communities, after 57 years of largely static 
existence, denigrating nothing that they have done following its Cold 
War birth, rooted in that tradition and in that culture, is in need of 
an overhaul. One does not simply say let us have an overhaul. One 
produces legislation to create it, and that is exactly what the 
Governmental Affairs Committee has so brilliantly done, which is not to 
say that this is all new, or even a reflection of only recent events.

  I am aware of no fewer than 46 significant studies, reviews, and 
commissions on the organization of the U.S. intelligence community, 
dating back to 1949. Nearly half of those were completed in the past 10 
years, each proposing ways to improve and restructure our intelligence 
  The issue of reforming the intelligence community has been swirling 
about Capitol Hill for decades now. The concept of creating a position 
such as a national intelligence director, in fact, dates back to the 
Nixon administration. These past commissions' recommendations were 
never enacted, for a whole host of reasons, some of which we will not 
discuss at the present time, not the least of which was that there was 
really no momentum. There was no sort of galvanizing event or series of 
events and the will, therefore, in the Congress, joining with the 
administration, never came to be.
  Today we have that commitment, largely and sadly because we are 
gripped by present and growing signs of terrorism around the world and 
at home, true terrorism in which violence is not merely a means but 
also an end unto itself. I am talking now beyond even the tragedy of 
the 9/11 event itself.
  Madam President, 95 percent of the population growth in this next 
generation throughout the world will take place in precisely the 5 
percent of the land on the Earth which is poorest. If that is not a 
precalculated formula for the unleashing of people who want to find a 
cause or reason for justifying themselves as young men and women--I 
talk about 14- and 15-year-olds. One looks at the average age of people 

[[Page S9708]]

Iraq, which is 19. 40 percent of them were born either during or after 
the Persian Gulf war. They have known nothing but violence.
  So it is a part of our future. Senator Collins and Senator Lieberman 
understand that, and they have created legislation to help us deal with 
that from the intelligence perspective. As Senator Lieberman said, 
intelligence has taken on a new role because terrorists, jihadists, 
those who misinterpret good doctrine in the Koran, religious doctrine--
they are not afraid in the same way of military might as they used to 
be. Still very much so, still very much in play, the attempts to find 
Osama bin Laden have shown us, in a peculiarly unpleasant way, that it 
is not just airplanes and bombs and laser bombs and smart bombs and the 
rest of it that can find the people we must find. It is, indeed, 
intelligence or the lack of intelligence which has made that 
  So we have now the best chance in at least a generation, thanks to 
Senator Collins and Senator Lieberman and their committee, for getting 
at the heart of the problem in the intelligence community. It is past 
time to get the work done. The Senate bill we are considering is 
serious, comprehensive, and careful. On the other hand, I must say I am 
somewhat dismayed at reports of the efforts in the House--I must be 
frank; I mean to offend nobody--where I understand the bill which is 
under consideration may be much weaker, perhaps by design, and contains 
unnecessary and highly controversial items meant to slow debate. I pray 
that I am wrong on that. But we must have that in mind.
  If reports are also true that the minority has been shut out of the 
process, with exactly the opposite of what happened in the Collins-
Lieberman approach to crafting this bill, then the House leadership has 
a great deal of work to get things back on track.
  I think the President will face a great test of his leadership. Will 
he step forward to encourage full and far-reaching intelligence reform, 
as he has partly done so far already, taking steps which some were not 
sure that he would be willing to take? Or will he look the other way, 
and let things happen as they will? We need him and his influence in 
this Chamber and in the House Chamber, and I am confident that will 
  If the Senate and the House and the President squander this 
opportunity to allow the momentum behind the reform to lapse in the 
next year, we will have failed--and we will not fail. Other things will 
grab our attention even as exacting and devastating as this problem is. 
So we must not fail. We must not fail the American people. They expect 
reform, and we are not going to fail them.
  As to the substance, briefly: The Governmental Affairs Committee's 
work embraces the key principles of the 9/11 Commission except in a few 
instances where they saw things otherwise, such as the 9/11 Commission 
suggested locating the new national intelligence director inside the 
Executive Office of the President. The Commission felt that was a good 
idea. The committee felt that was not such a good idea, so it is not 
happening. They dealt in the same way with the suggestions made by 
paramilitary activities ongoing by the CIA, with respect to changing 
those. And once again the Collins-Lieberman committee made those 
  As my colleagues know, the lead recommendations of the 9/11 
Commission are the creation of a national intelligence director and a 
national counter-terrorism center. Senators Lieberman and Collins have 
both explained those very thoroughly here today. The Commission 
correctly saw in the intelligence community's current organizational 
arrangement a fragmented array of budget, personnel, and tasking 
authorities that inhibit the sharing of information and prevent 
coordination of efforts under a single accountable individual. This 
lack of consolidated authority undercuts the ability and the willing 
ability of the intelligence community to function as a true community, 
and more specifically prevents America from bringing the maximum force 
of intelligence, military, and law enforcement weapons to bear against 
al-Qaida and other terrorists both here and abroad.
  I have had a chance to carefully review the bill. I don't enjoy 
reading bills, but I have read this bill of the Governmental Affairs 
Committee. And it is, so far as this Senator can say, and many others, 
faithful to the 9/11 Commission's most important recommendations, and 
creates many of its own.
  The bill creates a national intelligence director, of course, and a 
national counter-terrorism center with unified authorities that will 
correct the inefficiencies and lack of accountability that exists.
  That was the beginning. Some will say--it is important to say these 
things--that the national intelligence director established in this 
legislation is too strong because the position will manage the budget 
and operations of three national intelligence agencies currently under 
the Pentagon's control. Here we get onto somewhat sacred ground. I 
speak of the National Security Agency, the National Reconnaissance 
Office, the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency.
  Others will criticize the bill by saying that the national 
intelligence director is too weak because the position does not have 
so-called ``day-to-day operational control'' over these three agencies 
I have just mentioned which also serve important combat functions 
inside the Pentagon. These critics are advocating in effect the 
creation of a new department of national intelligence. Senator 
Lieberman indicated that was not what they wanted to do, and thankfully 
that is not what they have done. In my view, the bill that was reported 
out unanimously by the Governmental Affairs Committee strikes precisely 
the right balance between these two positions.
  The budgetary, personnel, and management tasking authorities 
consolidated under the national intelligence director are substantial 
improvements over those now at the disposal of the current Director of 
Central Intelligence.
  I remember asking George Tenet when he was Director of the CIA, on 
several occasions--I think he was not happy with the question, but he 
was forthright with his answer--if you could control, don't you want to 
control what goes on at NSA, or NRO, or the Geospatial folks--it wasn't 
called that then--and he said, I can only and will only seek to have 
authority over what in fact I have budgetary authority. I cannot 
exercise control beyond that.

  The committee has reached that point to say that we have to have one 
person who has the budgetary control to do these things. The budgetary 
control of personnel, management, and tasking authorities consolidated 
in the national intelligence director is an enormous improvement over 
those now at the disposal of the current Director of Central 
  Moreover, the bill recognizes that the national intelligence director 
will have to rely on the expertise of the newly created deputies and 
the agency heads beneath them to manage the intelligence collected from 
domestic, foreign, and military forces. It acknowledges implicitly and 
explicitly the connection of the time and attention between military 
and intelligence. Chairman Collins addressed this very directly. It 
accommodates the military's legitimate need to control its own 
operations without giving short shrift to all of the nonmilitary 
consumers of intelligence, one of whom, incidentally, happens to be 
President of the United States.
  To put it another way, this bill achieves the fundamental 
restructuring of the intelligence community while preserving an 
underlying management arrangement that can implement the new director's 
directives in a coordinated way which is altogether missing today. 
Fifteen pairs of oars pulling at the same time under the direction of 
one captain--that is the concept at the heart of this legislation.
  I would also like to highlight a couple of additional items the 
committee made which I feel very good about. Both have been mentioned 
by Chairman Collins and Ranking Member Lieberman.
  The communitywide ombudsman to handle concern from the analysts--we 
heard a great deal about this--over the shaping or politicalization or 
potential, referring to the future, of intelligence, such as were 
voiced by analysts in the preparation of intelligence reports on Iraq 
in the fall of 2002.

[[Page S9709]]

  Creating this ombudsman, which the bill does, is an important way to 
ensure that policy considerations do not compromise the independence 
and objectivity of the intelligence community's judgment.
  Second, Senator Lieberman referred to this--I believe we need an 
intelligence reserve corps. The intelligence community can get 
stretched very thin. It was, for example, during Kosovo. We saw that 
during that time. Currently, in Afghanistan and Iraq, we see it now. We 
simply stop doing other important intelligence work, which in fact must 
continue in other parts of the world because resources are moved from 
some important place which is evolving into the current situation. One 
can't afford to do that in intelligence. We need to support the war 
site foremost at all costs, but we need to have the backup to make sure 
we are looking at intelligence on a worldwide basis. The intelligence 
reserve corps will do that. We don't want to miss a nuclear test. I am 
sorry; we have in the past. The intelligence community has missed it. 
We don't want that to happen again.
  Finally, I do think that our reform bill should establish a permanent 
analytical red team under the national intelligence director to test 
the key underlying--I use the word ``assumptions'' in analytical 
  The legislation before us includes a review unit under the office of 
the new ombudsman which is helpful but, if I may be allowed to say so, 
I don't think goes quite far enough and simply will be a matter of 
discussion for the floor. I believe we need a red team unit to work 
inside the analytical process before it has produced a product. In 
other words, as intelligence reports are being formulated, not after 
the fact of their formulation into a product. I hope we can work on 
that concept as we debate the legislation.
  In closing, I believe the bill before the Senate has taken an 
extremely complex and in certain respects arcane subject matter, the 
organization of the U.S. intelligence community, and proposed a 
sensible approach to long overdue reform. This bill will make 
considerable headway toward learning from the mistakes of the past and 
strengthening our national security.
  I again thank Senator Collins, Senator Lieberman, and their staff for 
working in the highest tradition of this body.
  I also want to extend my appreciation to Majority Leader Frist and 
Minority Leader Daschle for making the national intelligence reform the 
top priority of the Senate in the waning days of this Congress.
  Two weeks from the third anniversary of the September 11 attacks, we 
stand on the threshold of passing landmark legislation that few would 
have thought possible even 3 weeks ago. The planets are aligned. Let's 
finish our work and pass this legislation.
  I ask unanimous consent I be added as a cosponsor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The Senator from Maine.
  Ms. COLLINS. Madam President, I thank the Senator from West Virginia 
for his eloquent statement of support for this legislation. As vice 
chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, he brings extraordinary 
knowledge to this debate. We are very grateful for his contributions to 
the Collins-Lieberman bill.
  As both Senator Lieberman and I mentioned, Senator Rockefeller 
responded to our request for input and advice. We incorporated into our 
legislation several of the suggestions he provided. We are very 
grateful to have his support. It means a great deal as we proceed with 
this debate.
  Mr. LIEBERMAN. Madam President, let me join Senator Collins in 
thanking Senator Rockefeller across the board--most immediately, to say 
how significant it is to Senator Collins and me that Senator 
Rockefeller has joined as a cosponsor of this proposal. Senator Collins 
and I happen to not only be on the Governmental Affairs Committee, we 
are on the Armed Services Committee, so we know something about 
intelligence. Truthfully, we do not claim expertise, and the Senator 
has expertise.
  As we have discussed, Senator Frist and Senator Daschle were very 
wise in giving our committee jurisdiction because we are the committee 
on governmental reorganization without a particular interest. But to do 
our job well we depended on the members, the leaders of the other 
subject matter committees to counsel with us and to help turn out the 
best product we could. We sent letters to all the relevant committees, 
and the Senator responded magnificently. The Senator's imprint is all 
over this bill.
  His statement today was eloquent and rose to the national 
responsibility. I appreciate it greatly.
  The problem for Senator Rockefeller is that Senator Collins and I are 
now not going to let him leave the Senate floor for the remainder of 
the debate--well, occasionally. The Senator's informed involvement in 
this legislation will help the Senate do the right thing, which is to 
pass this bill and hopefully get it enacted before we leave so we can 
get it going for our intelligence services.
  I thank the Senator for all he has done.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Arizona.
  Mr. McCAIN. Madam President, I begin by commending the leadership 
from both sides of the aisle for working together to allow critical 
debate to begin today on legislation to implement the 9/11 Commission 
recommendations. In my view, this debate is perhaps one of the most 
important that will be held during the 108th Congress.
  I acknowledge the great leadership of the bill managers, Senators 
Collins and Lieberman, for their bipartisan work in reporting the 
pending legislation, reform legislation to the Senate. It is my 
understanding the bill was reported out by unanimous vote through the 
Governmental Affairs Committee, which is a significant accomplishment. 
They have developed sound legislation following the numerous hearings 
they held during the last 2 months. I commend them for their dedication 
to this very important legislation. Also, I point out that Senator 
Collins and Senator Lieberman, their staff, and members of the 
committee gave up a significant part of their August recess in order to 
hold a sufficient number of hearings in order to be able to frame this 
  We have come a long way since 2001 in enhancing this country's 
ability to prevent and respond to terrorist attacks, but, as the 9/11 
Commission said in its final report, we are not yet safe. Increasing 
our safety against terrorist attack requires new strategies, new ways 
of thinking, and new ways of organizing our Government. That is what 
this legislative debate will be all about.
  The 9/11 Commission's underlying goal was to determine where we went 
wrong and what we can learn from identified failures, weaknesses, and 
vulnerabilities in order to make necessary systematic corrections to 
better protect our Nation. I firmly believe the Commission accomplished 
its enormous assignment. It carried out a far-ranging and candid 
assessment in order to account for the failures of vision, threat 
assessment, and policy actions that preceded the attacks. I again thank 
Governor Kean and Congressman Hamilton for their commendable leadership 
of the Commission and the other Commissioners and their staff as well. 
They performed a tremendous service for our country while leaving 
politics at the door. Now it is the turn of the Congress to act on the 
Commission's report.
  Earlier this month, I joined with Senator Lieberman and others in 
introducing comprehensive legislation to implement all of the 9/11 
Commission recommendations. The bill before the Senate, developed by 
the Governmental Affairs Committee, S. 2845, the National Intelligence 
Reform Act of 2004, addresses the Commission's recommendations 
regarding intelligence reform, information sharing, and civil 
liberties. It is Senator Lieberman's and my intent to ensure the 
Commission's other recommendations--those not already addressed in the 
underlying bill--are fully debated; therefore, we will be offering 
amendments we hope will be adopted in order for the Senate to send to 
conference a comprehensive bill addressing the full range of the 
Commission's recommendations.

                           Amendment No. 3702

       (Purpose: To add title VII of S. 2774, related to 
     transportation security)
  I send an amendment to the desk and ask for its immediate 

[[Page S9710]]

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report.
  The bill clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Arizona [Mr. McCain] proposes an amendment 
     numbered 3702.

  Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the reading 
of the amendment be dispensed with.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  (The amendment is printed in today's Record under ``Text of 
  Mr. McCAIN. Madam President, this amendment is designed to address 
the transportation security-related recommendations of the 9/11 
Commission. The amendment is almost identical to title VII of S. 2774, 
the 9/11 Commission Report Implementation Act of 2004, which Senator 
Lieberman and I introduced earlier this month.
  It is important that during this debate we acknowledge the progress 
that has already been made since September 11 in improving 
transportation security, especially for aviation. However, as the 
Commission points out, significant challenges remain. For example, the 
computer systems and protocols used to vet passengers before they board 
a plane are not substantially different than the systems that failed to 
prevent the terrorists from boarding the planes on September 11.
  The Commerce Committee held a hearing on August 16, 2004, to examine 
these recommendations and heard testimony from the Commission and the 
Department of Homeland Security. This amendment reflects both the 
Commission's recommendations and that testimony.
  The amendment implements the Commission's recommendations on 
transportation security in the following three ways: One, establishing 
a national strategy for transportation security; two, assigning 
responsibility for the no-fly list to the Transportation Security 
Administration; and three, enhancing passenger and cargo screening.
  I will briefly discuss each of these recommendations.
  The Commission found that TSA had no comprehensive strategic plan for 
the transportation sector or plans for the various transportation 
modes--air, sea, and ground--and, therefore, called for such a plan to 
be developed. This amendment would require the Department of Homeland 
Security to develop a strategy that includes identification and 
evaluation of homeland transportation assets susceptible to attack; 
analysis of methods and technologies associated with transportation 
security methods; the development of risk-based priorities and 
deadlines; a plan that assigns roles to the Federal Government, State 
government, local governments, and public utilities while encouraging 
public sector cooperation and participation; an outline of response and 
recovery responsibilities; prioritization of research and development 
objectives; and recommendations for a budget and appropriate levels of 
funding. The amendment also requires the strategy to be developed and 
transmitted to Congress no later than April 1, 2005, and subsequent 
submissions would be required not less frequently than April 1 of each 
even-numbered year.
  We must indeed make sure our skies are safe. But we cannot focus only 
on the so-called last war. Recent events around the world have shown 
that other modes of transportation are vulnerable to terrorist attacks. 
We must ensure that we are aware of threats aimed at any and all modes 
of transportation as we determine how best to manage our resources to 
defend our homeland. This comprehensive plan, calling for specific 
criteria to be considered, will be a strong step in that direction.

  Understandably, aviation was the subject of our immediate reaction to 
9/11. I think it is clear events such as the Madrid rail bombing and 
other events throughout the world indicate that we must be equally 
attentive and equally committed to addressing those threats as well.
  The 9/11 Commission also recommended that the process of screening 
passengers against the no-fly list be performed by TSA and should 
utilize the larger set of watch lists maintained by the Federal 
Government. It further suggested that air carriers should be required 
to supply the information needed to test and implement this new system. 
Based on the Commission's recommendations, this amendment directs the 
Secretary of Homeland Security to implement a procedure under which the 
TSA compares information about passengers aboard all passenger aircraft 
with a database containing known or suspected terrorists and 
associates, commonly known as a no-fly list. This procedure is 
currently performed by individual air carriers, meaning each air 
carrier has its own separate no-fly process.
  By placing the burden squarely on the TSA, we will ensure there is a 
single database used to check the names of passengers against. I might 
add that I hope the TSA moves forward with its assessment on how best 
to develop a prescreening program that will assess the risk of 
passengers even if they do not appear on the no-fly list.
  The Commission also concluded that further improvements are needed in 
passenger and cargo screening. For example, currently there is no 
widespread use of technology to screen the actual passengers for 
explosives at passenger checkpoints, but only for screening passengers' 
checked luggage and carry-on luggage. Based on the recommendation of 
the 9/11 Commission, this amendment directs the Secretary to take 
action in improving passenger screening checkpoints to detect 
explosives. Within 90 days after the implementation of this act, the 
amendment would call for the Secretary to transmit a report and 
schedule to the Senate and the House of Representatives on how to 
achieve the objectives previously mentioned in this section.
  This amendment also directs the Secretary to take action to help 
improve the job performance of airport screening personnel, as well as 
to conduct a human factors study to better understand problems with 
performance. The Secretary is further directed to expedite the 
installation and use of baggage-screening equipment and to ensure that 
the TSA increases and improves its efforts to screen cargo.
  The amendment also would direct the Secretary to initiate a pilot 
program for air carriers to deploy hardened cargo containers on 
passenger aircraft that also carry cargo. This requirement is modified 
from the one we introduced on September 7, which would have required a 
hardened container on every passenger aircraft. Upon further review, it 
is apparent there are certain technical and implementation issues that 
have to be addressed before the use of these containers can be 
universal. Therefore, I have modified this proposal to require TSA to 
initiate a pilot program to further explore the feasibility of this 
  Madam President, this amendment is the next step in fulfilling the 
mandate of the 9/11 Commission recommendations and ensuring that we 
move forward in addressing the vulnerabilities in our transportation 
systems. These provisions should not be controversial, and I urge my 
colleagues to support this amendment.

  I would also like to add there will be further amendments that will 
come before the body, particularly on rail as well as port security. I 
remind my colleagues that some of those may be very expensive and have 
a very high price tag associated with them. I hope, while supporting 
efforts to improve rail and port security, we would also be cognizant 
of the fact that we cannot do all things to all means of transportation 
at all times.
  However, this is a great opportunity for all of us to improve all of 
our security, whether it be aviation, port, rail, bus, or other areas 
of vulnerability, and I urge my colleagues to bring forward those 
amendments as quickly as possible so we can dispose of them and, 
perhaps this week, bring forth a product all of us can support.
  Madam President, I again express my appreciation to Senators Collins 
and Lieberman for the incredible amount of work that they, their 
staffs, and other members of the committee have performed, which has 
resulted in an incredibly laudable product, supported by every member 
of the committee. I hope we will proceed in that same spirit as was 
exhibited in the Governmental Affairs Committee on both sides of the 
aisle so we can make sure we debate thoroughly and address the further 
challenges that we face, including addressing in one way or another all 
41 recommendations of the 9/11 Commission.
  Madam President, I yield the floor.

[[Page S9711]]

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Maine.
  Ms. COLLINS. Madam President, I thank the chairman of the Commerce 
Committee, the distinguished Senator from Arizona, for his 
contributions to this entire enterprise. I am very grateful to have his 
support for the underlying bill drafted by Senator Lieberman and 
myself. And I very much appreciate his offering of the first amendment 
to strengthen the bill still further, by adding one of the 
recommendations made by the 9/11 Commission.
  As the Senator indicated, the Governmental Affairs Committee largely 
confined its review to the major recommendations of the Commission that 
had to do with the reorganization of our intelligence community. That 
does not mean, however, that we slight in any way the many other 
recommendations made by the Commission. The amendment of the Senator 
from Arizona would implement the transportation security 
recommendations of the 9/11 Commission.
  It is my understanding the Senator's amendment was drafted in 
consultation with officials from the Department of Homeland Security. I 
believe it will help make our Nation more secure. Specifically, the 9/
11 Commission recommended establishing a national strategy for 
transportation security, assigning responsibility for the no-fly list 
to the Transportation Security Administration, and enhancing passenger 
and cargo screening.
  The amendment offered by the Senator will require the Secretary of 
the Department of Homeland Security to develop and implement a national 
strategy for transportation security and to revise and update that 
strategy as necessary to improve or maintain its currency.
  I particularly want to comment on the provisions of the McCain 
amendment that task the TSA with the responsibility of developing the 
no-fly list and comparing the names of air passengers against the 
Government database containing the consolidated terrorist watch list.

  I think recent incidents in the news show why it is a good idea for 
the Transportation Security Administration to have that authority 
rather than vesting it in the airlines, as is now the case. I would 
indicate to my colleagues that the Department of Homeland Security 
agrees with Senator McCain that it is the more appropriate entity to 
perform this matching of names against the Government's database.
  Two incidents which come to mind are, first, one of our colleagues, 
the senior Senator from Massachusetts, finding that he had difficulty 
boarding flights because of confusion with the names listed on the 
terrorist database. I have a similar case of a retired physician in 
Camden, ME, whose name, unfortunately, including his middle initial, is 
very similar to a name that is on the terrorist watch list. As a 
result, this retired physician, who is no more a terrorist than you or 
I, Madam President, has an extremely difficult time every single time 
he flies. That shows me that we need to do a far better job of 
improving the quality of that watch list to make sure it is 
consolidated but also to make sure it is accurate and that people who 
have similar names are not needlessly subjected to an in-depth search 
or even denied boarding privileges altogether.
  The second incident involves the singer formerly known as Cat 
Stevens, who was allowed to board an air flight from London to the 
United States recently because the airline was using a list that did 
not include all of the names on the terrorist watch list. So clearly we 
have a problem in that direction as well. There are too many watch 
lists. They need to be consolidated.

  The quality of information on those lists needs to be improved to 
make sure innocent Americans are not needlessly targeted, and it should 
be a Government responsibility--that of the Transportation Security 
Administration--to maintain and check these databases against the lists 
of airline passengers. It is really not fair to ask the airlines to 
accept that responsibility, particularly when they may not have access 
to the entire database that the Government has compiled.
  The McCain amendment appropriately vests in the Transportation 
Security Administration the responsibility for the no-fly list and for 
checking airline passengers against this list. I again emphasize that 
the Department of Homeland Security agrees that TSA should assume that 
responsibility and it should no longer be carried out by the airlines.
  For these reasons, I urge adoption of the McCain amendment. I believe 
it strengthens the Collins-Lieberman bill by incorporating some 
worthwhile and commonsense recommendations made by the 9/11 Commission 
in the area of airline security.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Arizona.
  Mr. McCAIN. Madam President, I thank the distinguished chairman, 
Senator Collins. I would like to have a rollcall vote on this, but that 
rollcall vote would be held at the discretion of the majority and the 
Democratic leaders. I ask for the yeas and nays, and I ask unanimous 
consent for the yeas and nays at a time agreed to by the majority and 
Democratic leaders.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  There appears to be a sufficient second.
  The yeas and nays were ordered.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Connecticut.
  Mr. LIEBERMAN. I thank Senator McCain for proposing this amendment as 
a part of the package that he and I introduced a while back as a full 
bill implementing all of the recommendations of the September 11 
Commission. This is not in any sense a detraction from the bill Senator 
Collins and I have brought out. It is in addition to it and would make 
it stronger.
  I wish to speak at length on the proposal, but I note the presence on 
the floor of Senator Feinstein who I am proud to say is a cosponsor of 
the proposal that Senator Collins and I have put before the Senate. She 
has been a leader on intelligence matters, one of the first in this 
Chamber to offer a proposal for reform and reorganization of the 
intelligence assets of the American Government. Her ideas greatly 
informed the proposal that we put before the Senate today. I am 
grateful, as is Senator Collins, for Senator Feinstein's support.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from California.
  Mrs. FEINSTEIN. Madam President, I thank the distinguished ranking 
  Let me begin by thanking the chairman of the committee, the 
distinguished Senator from Maine, the ranking member, Senator 
Lieberman, and the Governmental Affairs Committee for a very good bill. 
As a member of the Intelligence Committee, one who has been for the 
concept of a strong, independent director of national intelligence for 
3 years now, I was surprised to see the strong quality of the product 
that came out, because this committee has actually entered into some of 
the nitty-gritty and tried to come up with solutions that would stand 
the test of time. I thank them for their work. It has been excellent 
work, and it puts a product before the Senate that we can all be proud 
to discuss. It contains no poison pills. It is a straight bill. It 
deals with the subject at hand in a very meaningful way.
  As I mentioned, I have believed for sometime now that the way in 
which our intelligence community is structured is really fundamentally 
flawed. It is unsuited for the 21st century, when we are not talking 
about intelligence agencies of large powers but we are talking about 
asymmetric terror.
  In the context of intelligence, we have seen three comprehensive 
investigations into recent failures of the intelligence community. 
Senator Collins, Senator Lieberman, and Senator Rockefeller have 
mentioned many of them. Certainly, there was the joint inquiry of the 
House and Senate Intelligence Committees into the attacks of September 
11. There was the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence 
investigation, resulting in a 300-page report that we recently 
completed, which investigated and reported on the intelligence, the 
findings, and the recommendations--all related to weapons of mass 
destruction in Iraq. Then, of course, there was the 9/11 Commission, 
which investigated the attacks on 9/11, a very comprehensive report and 
review, which has, frankly, brought most of the decisionmakers, as well 
as the

[[Page S9712]]

country, into alignment with the concept that we do need a strong 
national director of intelligence.
  In each of these cases there were explicit and implicit findings that 
touched on how our intelligence community could fail so badly. Issues 
of funding, of education, of risk taking, and, frankly, of plain 
incompetence surfaced. Even today, there is still denial that many of 
the findings of weapons of mass destruction were simply wrong, deeply 
flawed, or bad. This will need to be remedied.
  In my view, these failings were symptoms of a failed structure; 
again, of a structure that was built for the last century's conflicts 
and unsuited to this new war of asymmetric terror.
  I believe the most important steps needed to address these structural 
failings revolve around the office of the Director of Central 
Intelligence, known as the ``DCI.''
  Up to this point, there has been a nominal head but a head of the 
Intelligence Community without the necessary authority. That post 
carries two handicaps. Those are built into its structure and, I 
believe, lead that structure to fail.
  First, the individual serving as DCI has two basic, incompatible 
jobs: leader of the intelligence community, which includes 15 often 
fractious Agencies and Departments, and in that role is the principal 
intelligence adviser also to the President; and leader of the Central 
Intelligence Agency, which is, of course, only one of the 15 agencies 
which make up that big fractious community.
  These two jobs are not compatible. They each take up far too much 
time. They each require a laser-like focus on its own unique mission. 
Worse yet, they can be in direct conflict, because the needs of the 
intelligence community in terms of mission, resources, and strategy may 
not be exactly what is wanted by the Central Intelligence Agency. The 
problem is that the Intelligence Community and the Central Intelligence 
Agency both need and deserve full-time leaders. That, of course, is the 
heart of the argument for this bill.
  Secondly, even under the current structure, the DCI lacks basic tools 
needed to run any large institution in Washington. And what are they? 
Budget, personnel, and statutory authority.
  Under current law, the DCI nominally is charged with administering 
the money and people who make up the intelligence community and for 
formulating a budget presented to us in the Congress.
  Today, in reality, the DCI has little control of much of that budget, 
with more than 80 percent actually controlled by the Secretary of 
Defense. He is unable to move personnel, or shift strategic focus, in 
an effective way. One chilling example was revealed by the 
investigations into 9/11, where DCI Tenet issued an order declaring war 
on al-Qaida in 1999, only to find in 2001 that few outside the CIA even 
heard about it, much less listened to it.
  The solution to the second problem is to ensure that the position of 
intelligence community director is provided with real budget authority, 
real personnel authority, and real authority to set strategy and 
policy, and this bill does that. I am very thankful for that.
  The bill before us today builds on these earlier efforts and I 
strongly believe accomplishes the basic and necessary goals.
  The bill creates a national intelligence director, separate from the 
CIA Director. The bill invests this director with meaningful budget 
authority, effective personnel authority, and the ability to set 
strategy for the entire intelligence community. And it ensures that the 
national intelligence director can set priorities for intelligence 
collection and analysis, and manage tasking across all 15 agencies to 
ensure that it gets done and done right.
  One of the Senate Intelligence Committee's findings in our report was 
that the collection and analysis that went into the compilation of the 
national intelligence estimate was deeply flawed, and that there were 
differences of opinion between agencies, whether it was aluminum tubes, 
where the Energy Department's intelligence and the CIA's differed, or 
whether it was with the unmanned aerial vehicles, where the 
intelligence agencies of the Air Force and the CIA differed, or whether 
it had to do with biological mobile labs, where the Secretary of State 
went out before the United Nations with deeply flawed intelligence. But 
the analysis and collection of that intelligence had deep flaws, which 
made it bad intelligence.
  This bill provides the national intelligence director also with a 
general counsel, inspector general, chief financial officer, human 
resources officer, and chief information officer, who together can 
ensure that effective organization and guidance can flow through the 
entire community. That is a good thing.
  I will support the bill because I believe it accomplishes the task at 
hand: making necessary changes to our intelligence community structure.
  That said, I believe there is some room for improvement. I want to 
take a few minutes to talk about that, and I want to offer to continue 
to work with my colleagues to improve this bill during this next week. 
Let me give you some of the things I am concerned about.
  First, I am concerned that the bill leaves ambiguous the relationship 
between the new national intelligence director and the Federal Bureau 
of Investigation. Let me give you some specifics. The bill 
incorporates, with no change, current law, which defines the role of 
the FBI's intelligence activities into this new bill. However, the 
current law is confusing, it is internally inconsistent, and it is a 
source of many of the problems that beset the FBI as a part of the 
intelligence community. I believe we must clarify this to do three 
things: First, we have to make it absolutely clear that 
counterintelligence investigations that involve the ``plans, intentions 
and capabilities'' of foreign nations and organizations, including 
terrorist groups, are part of the National Intelligence Program and 
thus under the overall supervision of the National 
Intelligence Director. This bill does not yet do that. For instance, 
the investigation of suspicious individuals taking flight lessons prior 
to September 11, which resulted in the ill-fated Phoenix memo, should 
clearly be a part of the intelligence community's responsibilities.

  Second, we should establish in law the FBI's Office of Intelligence. 
The office of intelligence is created on page 7, with a mention under 
the programs of the bill. But it is not further defined anywhere in the 
bill. I suggest that it be defined on page 127, line 20, of the bill, 
and that it be defined to make it crystal clear that within the FBI 
this office is the source of authority and guidance for the 
intelligence activities of the FBI.
  Third, we should recognize in law that old, rigid divisions between 
law enforcement and intelligence make no sense. This can be 
accomplished by clarifying the definition section of the bill to remove 
the old ``carve out'' for ``counterintelligence and law enforcement'' 
activities within the FBI.
  For example, an FBI investigation into the activities of individuals 
suspected of illegally providing funds to overseas terrorist groups is 
both a law enforcement investigation and an intelligence effort.
  So I hope to offer an amendment, and would like to work with both 
Senators, the chairman and the ranking member, to clarify these 
definitions and remove the poorly worded ``carve out'' for 
``counterintelligence'' investigations; to ensure that the Office of 
Intelligence is defined in law, with clear responsibility for foreign 
intelligence; and to ensure that the new ``National Intelligence 
Director'' plays a guiding role in the FBI's efforts to improve its 
ability to function as an intelligence agency.
  Next, I am concerned that the bill leaves a similar ambiguity in the 
relationship between the authorities of the National Intelligence 
Director and the Secretary of Defense. This problem flows from the fact 
that the bill refers to ``tactical'' military intelligence, but does 
not define it. I believe we can remove a potential source of contention 
between the director of national intelligence and the Secretary of 
Defense by incorporating a set of definitions, so everyone knows 
exactly what is tactical intelligence and, thus, outside the scope of 
the National Intelligence Director's review. So we have that language 
and I would like to pass it by the chairman and ranking member before I 
offer it, which would includes a clarifying definition.

[[Page S9713]]

  Finally, I must say--and this I have gone back and forth on--I remain 
troubled that under this bill the Director serves at the pleasure of 
the President. When I introduced my first bill in 2002, the Director 
served at the pleasure of the President. When I introduced the second 
one in 2003, the director served at the pleasure of the President. Then 
I began to think about policy and intelligence and recognized that the 
two should remain separate, and I recognized that it is necessary to 
give this new National Intelligence Director some separation from the 
President's policies, or the Congress's policies. The only way to do 
this is with a term. I know that the Senator from New Jersey, Senator 
Lautenberg, offered in committee a 5-year term. I believe he was not 
successful in pressing his case at that time. I have thought about a 
10-year term.
  I remember the Casey days. I do not think we want to go back to those 
days, but I also think we need to keep policy and intelligence 
separated. So I hope Senator Lautenberg will offer his amendment, and I 
will support it if he does.
  Before I end, I want to say a few words about practical 
considerations related to the bill.
  It is my understanding that the House of Representatives may pass out 
a bill containing extremely controversial provisions unrelated to 
intelligence reform. I am concerned that this is a thinly veiled effort 
to introduce ``poison pills'' into desperately needed legislation. One 
House Member even referred to having Democrats ``over a barrel'' in a 
description of this strategy. This is no strategy at all. I think if 
this were to happen, and I certainly hope it does not happen, Americans 
are going to see right through it.
  The Senate, in this bill, has set the tone, and the tone is a well-
considered, well-crafted bill which deals solely with the issue at 
hand. In my view, that is what should be passed by both parties and 
both bodies.
  I am hopeful that our leadership--the majority and the minority 
leaders--will be able to make every effort to resist this. I think to 
get into PATRIOT Act items--this is under the jurisdiction of the 
Judiciary Committee. We have held several hearings. We will hold more 
oversight hearings. There are 156 sections of the PATRIOT Act; 16 of 
them sunset in December of next year. We will do our due diligence, and 
I say that as someone who has supported the PATRIOT Act, supported 
those 16 sections, and made some of the amendments.
  It is extraordinarily important that we be able to work in a careful 
method of oversight responsibility. I think something coming from the 
House which pushes in this direction would not be welcome.
  In conclusion, I, once again, compliment Senators Collins and 
Lieberman and the Governmental Affairs Committee for a job well done. I 
think we can pass this bill, and I hope we continue--I was going to say 
an ``aroma of bipartisanship.'' I am not sure ``aroma'' is the right 
way to say this, but in the bipartisanship model both the chairman and 
the ranking member have set forward. If we do, I think we deliver for 
the people of this Nation a very fine work product.
  I thank the Chair, and I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Maine.
  Ms. COLLINS. Madam President, I thank the distinguished Senator from 
California for her longstanding expertise in this area. I know the 
Senator presented a bill to create a national intelligence director 
long before it was popular to do so. She has been a leader in 
intelligence reform. She has made several very constructive and helpful 
suggestions and recommendations to the committee. We very much 
appreciate her leadership, and we consider it a great coup to have her 
support for our legislation.
  I thank her for her hard work and her leadership. We look forward to 
continuing to work with her.
  Mrs. FEINSTEIN. Madam President, I thank the Senator.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Connecticut.
  Mr. LIEBERMAN. Madam President, I join with Senator Collins in 
thanking Senator Feinstein for her leadership over the long term on 
matters of national intelligence, but also for a very thoughtful 
statement today and to express, again, not just gratitude but our real 
pleasure that she has made a judgment that the proposal we have made to 
Congress deserves her support as a cosponsor. That means a lot to 
Senator Collins and me, and I know it will to all the members of our 
  I also thank her for the suggestion she made in her statement about 
some areas of the bill she would like to work with us to strengthen. I 
know we would be delighted to do that.
  Finally, it may have been inadvertent, but I like the idea of the 
sweet smell of bipartisanship that may overwhelm this bill. Aroma is a 
better term.
  Mrs. FEINSTEIN. Madam President, I thank the Senator.
  Mr. LIEBERMAN. Madam President, I know the Senator from Oregon is in 
the Chamber. If he has a moment or two, I would like to go forward with 
a statement I intended to make in response to the amendment Senator 
McCain laid down, which is the pending amendment.
  I rise to support that amendment, and I ask unanimous consent that I 
be added as a cosponsor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

                           Amendment No. 3702

  Mr. LIEBERMAN. I thank the Chair.
  Madam President, in the aftermath of September 11, we have obviously 
taken some very aggressive steps to improve airline security. Those 
were critical improvements and, in some sense, inevitable after 
airplanes were used to attack us on September 11. But there is a lot 
more to do, and not just in aviation. We have to confront threats 
facing all modes of transportation.
  I continuously meet people who express to me worries about one or 
another mode of transportation they use--trains, buses, et cetera--
because they are now in some sense reassured by the presence of 
security around air travel but miss it and are unsettled when they do 
not find similar measures in other modes of transportation. So we have 
to confront the threats from terrorists facing all modes of 
transportation. Otherwise, we are going to be fighting the last war 
while our enemies probe for other weaknesses that we have left 
  Before I go into a little more detail on this amendment, I want to 
say this is the first of a series of amendments that Senator McCain, 
myself and others will offer on the Governmental Affairs Committee's 
National Intelligence Reform Act of 2004, the proposal Senator Collins 
and I put before the Senate. Obviously, the underlying bill contains 
several critical reforms and focuses on matters of intelligence, which 
our committee took to be the charge we were given by the bipartisan 
leadership of the Senate.
  I am very proud of the way in which the Governmental Affairs 
Committee addressed the issues that fell within that mandate that 
Senator Frist and Senator Daschle gave us. Obviously, there were other 
important recommendations of the 9/11 Commission that fell beyond the 
committee's purview. In fact, it made 41 recommendations to help detect 
and prevent terrorist attacks on the United States or on American 
citizens, wherever they might be.

  Some of these were quite broad. Obviously, what the Committee focused 
on is the restructuring of the intelligence operations of the executive 
branch. As I indicated in an earlier statement today, those 
recommendations are the ones the Commission felt were most urgent 
because we are under the threat of attack, and we need to reorganize 
and focus our considerable intelligence resources. But there were other 
recommendations the 9/11 Commission made. For example, they urged 
diplomatic outreach and educational grants to the Muslim world because 
a realistic offer of hope and freedom to the hundreds of millions of 
people living in countries that are primarily Muslim can be a much 
greater force, a much more appealing force, than the radical extremist 
terrorists called to Jihad.
  Other recommendations were to tighten and coordinate the screening 
and identification systems we use to admit people into the United 
States of America or when we give them access to transportation systems 
and other key facilities within our country.

[[Page S9714]]

  Other recommendations deal with the distribution of homeland security 
grants or increasing security for all forms of transportation.
  All of those, and others, went beyond the Governmental Affairs 
Committee's mandate.
  Two or three weeks before the 9/11 Commission made its report, 
Senator McCain and I met with Governor Kean and Congressman Hamilton, 
and we said to them--at that point we had no idea what the pace of the 
congressional reaction to the Commission report would be. We said: We 
are going to make you a promise. After you issue your report, our 
staffs and we will work hard to translate every recommendation of your 
report into legislative language, and introduce it so there could be a 
vehicle around which we could concentrate our support.
  We did not know at that time the Governmental Affairs Committee would 
be asked to take on this role by Senator Frist and Senator Daschle and 
that the congressional pace of reaction would quite appropriately be 
quick, leading us to set aside our normal August recess, have a number 
of hearings, and now have the bill before the Senate.
  Still, there are parts of the Commission report that, as I say, are 
not explicitly within the purview of the Governmental Affairs 
Committee's work and that is what the amendments of Senator McCain, 
others and I are intending to address; to complete the full package of 
reforms recommended by the 9/11 Commission after its own 20 months of 
hard work. Put all of this legislation together and there will be a 
package of reforms, both broad and deep, that will make America and 
Americans, wherever they are, safer and lead us to the victory in the 
war on terrorism that we all seek and know first must come with the use 
of force and any and all efforts we can make to capture and/or kill 
terrorists, but will take more than that as well.
  The amendment Senator McCain introduced today, the first of these 
amendments to go beyond intelligence reform in the Committee bill, 
deals with transportation security. It comes from our conclusion and 
the Commission's conclusion that we need to look at protecting our 
transportation systems the way a general looks at protecting supply 
lines. A well-coordinated attack on our transportation systems, or the 
key infrastructure that supports them, would be staggering to our 
homeland security and, of course, to the personal security of many 
  Imagine a major city being crippled because an attack had rendered 
mass transportation unusable, or imagine not even being able to 
resupply our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan because we cannot move the 
goods from warehouse to port.
  As we look worldwide, we know terrorists often target transportation 
systems. We are not imagining these threats. As we know from the news, 
they have not only used airplanes for their inhumane, cruel purposes, 
to express the extent to which they hate anyone who is not like them, 
they have used buses, trains, and shipping vessels. With the exception 
of aviation, the fact is in the United States of America we are still 
dangerously behind in our efforts to secure our own vital 
transportation networks.
  As the 9/11 Commission notes, ``over 90 percent of the Nation's $5.3 
billion annual investment in the TSA goes to aviation.'' Important? Of 
course. Critically important after September 11, but its not enough to 
meet all of the threats in transportation that face us.
  This amendment requires the Transportation Safety Administration to 
at least evaluate the threats, vulnerabilities, and risks faced by all 
modes of transportation, and then set priorities and deadlines--
including budget and research and development priorities--for 
addressing those needs; investing in new technologies that can help us 
gain the security in all modes of transportation that we need. This 
kind of transportation security strategy has been talked about for many 
months but it just never seems to happen, and that is why this 
amendment requires the TSA to complete this critical work under the 
direction of the Secretary of Homeland Security by April 1, 2005.
  The Transportation Research Board, the Government Accountability 
Office, and other independent experts have all called for this exact 
vital step. It will set the stage for critical new initiatives that 
must follow to better protect rail, transit, ports, and other key modes 
of American transportation.
  There is still more to do in the area of aviation security. That is 
why this amendment calls on TSA to step up efforts to detect explosives 
on individuals trying to board planes. Currently, as most of us who 
travel know but probably do not think about, only checked bags are 
routinely screened for explosives. This amendment would require the 
Department of Homeland Security to implement plans to screen all 
passengers for explosives.
  The amendment would also direct the TSA to begin comparing passenger 
lists against the Government's new consolidated terrorist watch list. 
This is not happening yet; not happening to the extent we want it and 
need it to happen. It makes such common sense that it is frustrating to 
the point of being infuriating that we are not yet doing it. That we 
are not using the capacity of information networks and computers to 
check passenger lists against terrorist watch lists so none of us is on 
a plane with someone who intends to use that plane for an attack or to 
bring the plane itself down.

  This is the first of several amendments Senator McCain and I will be 
offering. Again, I believe it is important we act on all of these as 
well as, of course, the underlying Governmental Affairs Committee 
intelligence reform proposal.
  We find ourselves at one of those rare moments in time, certainly in 
congressional time, when both the moment to act and the momentum for 
action have come together in a truly bipartisan way in Congress, in the 
executive branch and, of course, most importantly of all, among the 
American people to whom we owe the greatest responsibility.
  With that kind of general agreement nationally, passing a complete 
package of legislation responding to the strong compelling arguments in 
the bipartisan 9/11 Commission report is within our grasp, and adopting 
this amendment will be yet another step toward achieving that goal.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Oregon.
  Mr. WYDEN. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent to set aside the 
pending McCain amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

                           Amendment No. 3704

(Purpose: To establish an Independent National Security Classification 
                     Board in the executive branch)

  Mr. WYDEN. I send an amendment to the desk on behalf of myself, 
Senator Lott, Senator Bob Graham, and Senator Snowe.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report.
  The assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Oregon [Mr. Wyden], for himself, Mr. Lott, 
     Mr. Graham of Florida, and Ms. Snowe, proposes an amendment 
     numbered 3704.

  (The text of the amendment is printed in today's Record under ``Text 
of Amendments.'')
  Mr. WYDEN. Without turning this into a bouquet-tossing contest, I 
will say how lucky I think we are to have Senator Collins and Senator 
Lieberman, who have long practiced good government, handling this 
legislation. This is going to be a long and arduous task and to have 
this bipartisan duet at the helm is what is going to make this 
possible. I have enjoyed working with them on this and so many other 
issues in the past. We are going to get this done. The country is going 
to be safer and stronger for it, and I am very grateful for the work of 
the Senator from Maine and the Senator from Connecticut.
  Governor Kean, the chairman of the 9/11 Commission, said three-
quarters of the classified material he reviewed for the Commission 
should not have been classified in the first place. I think Governor 
Kean's comments reflect the state of where we are with respect to how 
Government documents are classified today, and it is for that reason 
that a bipartisan coalition has spent a considerable amount of time on 
the Intelligence Committee. Senator Lott and Senator Snowe and I serve 
there now.

[[Page S9715]]

  Senator Bob Graham, of course, chaired the committee, and the four of 
us, two Democrats, two Republicans, have teamed up so as to try to make 
sure that in this important reform legislation some common sense is 
brought to the way that information is classified for national security 
  The ability to make documents secret is one of the most powerful 
tools in our Government. It is a power wielded generously by those in 
18 agencies that deal with intelligence. My concern is that the Senate 
could spend weeks debating flowcharts and organizational changes and 
moving the boxes around with respect to where people in the 
intelligence community sit, but if the underlying way in which 
information is classified is not reformed, it is going to be very hard 
to make information sharing throughout the intelligence community 
effective. Very little will have been accomplished if information 
continues to be classified for purposes of protecting somebody's 
political career rather than our national security or if classification 
decisions continue to deprive the American people of their ability to 
judge the effectiveness of their Government on national security 

  The 9/11 Commission report says the need to restructure the 
intelligence community grows out of six problems. One of them, the 
Commission says at page 410, is that, in their words, ``The 
intelligence community is too complex and secret.''
  The Commission states:

       Over the decades, the agencies and the rules surrounding 
     the intelligence community have accumulated to a depth that 
     practically defies public comprehension. . . . Even the most 
     basic information about how much money is actually allocated 
     to or within the intelligence community and most of its key 
     components is shrouded from public view.

  The bipartisan amendment Senator Lott, Senator Bob Graham, Senator 
Snowe, and I offer today is premised on the belief that it is time to 
clear the fog of secrecy and that it is possible to do that so as to 
protect this country's national security. Our legislation establishes a 
three-person board with the President and the bipartisan leadership in 
the House and Senate each recommending one member, subject to Senate 
confirmation. Our board would have two tasks: first, to review and make 
recommendations on the standards and processes used to classify 
information for national security purposes, and, second, to serve as a 
standing body to act on congressional and certain executive branch 
requests to reexamine how a Government document has been classified.
  As entities, from the traditional intelligence community to the 
Environmental Protection Agency, now have the power to classify 
documents, the board would look at national security classification 
across our Government. Its creation would give the Congress, for the 
first time, an independent body to which it can appeal a national 
security classification decision.
  President Truman noted that the Nation's primary intelligence agency, 
the CIA, was created, ``for the benefit and convenience of the 
President.'' But the United States cannot preserve an open and 
democratic society when one branch of Government has a totally free 
hand to shut down access to information. The lack of an independent 
appeals process for Congress, in terms of the view of the four of us, 
two Democrats and two Republicans, tips the scale too far toward 
secrecy for any administration, and our bipartisan group of four 
Senators seeks to correct that imbalance.
  The 1946 Atomic Energy Act established the principle that some 
information is born classified. There are certainly important sources 
and pieces of information that must never be compromised. But over the 
years, millions and millions of documents that weren't born classified 
have inherited or adopted or married into a classification. Keeping 
information secret for political purposes or horse trading intelligence 
data, especially during this critical time, a time of heightened 
security, is unacceptable.

  Our Government must begin to be more accountable to its citizens. 
Having all appropriate information about national security is essential 
to Congress's congressionally prescribed oversight role. Access to 
information about their own security is the people's right. It is time 
to stop hiding the facts they deserve to know. Our bipartisan proposal 
does just that in a fashion that protects America's national security.
  According to the late Senator Moynihan, who was an expert on secrecy 
in Government:

       . . . much of the structure of secrecy now in place in the 
     U.S. Government took shape in just 11 weeks, in the spring of 
     1917, while the Espionage Act was debated and signed into 

  Eighty years later, Senator Moynihan would note that 6,610,154 
secrets were created in just 1 year alone. In fact, only a small 
portion, or 1.4 percent, was created pursuant to statutory authority, 
the Atomic Energy Act. Senator Moynihan labeled the other 98.6 percent 
``pure creatures of bureaucracy,'' created via Executive orders.
  The Secrecy Report Card issued in August by a coalition of groups 
including the American Society of Newspaper Editors found the American 
Government spent $6.5 billion last year creating 14 million new 
classified documents. This is a 60-percent increase in secrets since 
2001. These numbers do not even include CIA documents. The Secrecy 
Report Card also points out that agencies are becoming more creative in 
their classification systems.
  In addition to the traditional ``Limited Official Use,'' ``Secret'' 
and ``Top Secret,'' some agencies now have something called ``Sensitive 
Security Information,'' ``Sensitive Homeland Security Information,'' 
``Sensitive But Unclassified,'' or ``For Official Use Only.'' It has 
gotten to the point where Mr. William Leonard of the National Archives 
Information Security Office--the gentleman who oversees classification 
and declassification policies; he is known to some as the secrecy 
czar--believes that the system defies logic in many respects. He has 
called today's classification system ``a patchwork quilt'' that is a 
result of ``a hodgepodge of laws, regulations and directives.'' In 
reality, the Federal Government has so many varieties of classification 
that it can make Heinz look modest.
  In Mr. Leonard's view, the classification system for national system 
has lost touch with the basics to the point that some agencies don't 
know how much information they classify or whether they are classifying 
more or less than they once did or whether they are classifying too 
much or too little.
  The executive branch exerts almost total control over what should or 
should not be classified. The Congress has no ability to declassify 
material. So there is no self-correcting mechanism in the system. Even 
if Members of Congress wish to share information with constituents, it 
is so complicated for the Congress to release information to the public 
that no one has ever tried to use this convoluted process. The 
executive branch has a little-known group that can review 
classification issues, but it is seldom used and open only to executive 
branch employees and not to Members of Congress.
  What all this means in practice is that with the thump of a stamp 
marked ``Secret'' some unelected person in the belly of a Federal 
building has prevented Americans from gaining access to information. 
That decision cannot be appealed, even by the Congress. There is no 
independent review of classification decisions by the executive branch. 
With no chance of unbiased review, classification decisions are ready 
and ripe for abuse. Agencies wishing to hide their flaws and 
politicians--and I emphasize this, Mr. President--of both political 
parties who wish to make political points can abuse the classification 
guidelines to their advantage. And four Senators, two Democrats and two 
Republicans, wish to change that.
  I, for one, do not subscribe to the view that there is an inherent 
conflict between the executive branch's accountability to Congress and 
the American people on the one hand and the constitutional role of the 
President as Commander in Chief on the other. I believe that a balance 
can and must be struck between the public's need for sound, clear-eyed 
analysis and executive desire to protect the Nation's legitimate 
security interests.
  I believe we can fight terrorism ferociously without limiting the 
rights of our citizens to information. That is what the sponsors of 
this legislation seek to do.
  There should be no room in this equation I have described for the use 

[[Page S9716]]

classification to insulate officials and agencies from political 
pressure. As a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, I have had 
lengthy discussions with my colleagues on a bipartisan basis about how 
to strike such a balance. It is the view of Senator Lott, Senator 
Graham, Senator Snowe, and I that in proposing this amendment we have 
an opportunity to make the broad overhaul of the national security 
classification system and to do it in a way that will strengthen the 
overall reform effort that the Senate is working on.
  Finally, the independent board would review and make recommendations 
on overhauling the standards and process used in the classification 
system for national security information. The board then submits 
proposed new standards and processes to both Congress and the executive 
branch for comment and review. It would then implement the new 
standards and processes once there has been full opportunity by the 
executive branch to comment. The board would then begin on an ongoing 
basis to implement a system, continue to review and make 
recommendations on current and new national security classifications 
subject to executive branch veto that must be accompanied by a public, 
written explanation.
  The balance in this legislation ensures that the public and the 
Congress have access to an independent board for national security 
matters while ensuring that the Commander in Chief maintain the 
constitutional prerogative that the Commander in Chief must have with 
respect to military and foreign policy matters.
  For far too long, the executive branch has adhered to the motto, 
``When in doubt classify.'' Withholding information to protect 
political careers and entrenched bureaucracies is a disservice to the 
American people. It is a perversion of a policy intended to save lives, 
a perversion that weakens our democracy, and one that could even 
endanger our people. It is time to throw open the curtains and let the 
sun shine on American democracy and on the governmental processes we 
utilize today.
  That is what this amendment does.
  I see both the chairman and ranking member in the Chamber. Both of 
them have had an opportunity to see this amendment. I know both of them 
have a lot on their plates as we try to deal with this important 
  I think I can speak for Senator Lott, Senator Bob Graham, and Senator 
Snowe in saying we are anxious to work with the two of them. I know 
staff has some ideas, some of which strike me as very good, for ways in 
which we can improve this legislation. I wrap up only by way of saying 
that I think, with the excellent work they have already done as relates 
to the organizational structure and the flowcharts and all of the 
things that we are going to be debating over the next, I hope, few 
weeks rather than months--but I only say that to maximize the changes 
which will be made organizationally--we need to find a new way to 
strike a balance between protecting the country's national security and 
the people's right to know. I think that balance is out of whack today.
  If you look, for example, even at the exceptional work done by 
Senator Roberts and Senator Rockefeller with our committee's report on 
the Iraq situation with respect to intelligence, had Senator Roberts 
and Senator Rockefeller not dug in as aggressively as they have, my 
sense is that well over 50 percent of that report would have been 
classified. In fact, the most important sections would literally 
receive black ink. We have to do better. I think we can do it on a 
bipartisan basis. I think doing it will ensure that the important work 
Senator Collins and Senator Lieberman are steering the Senate to will 
be better. I am anxious to work with both of them and staff. They have 
both been very gracious as always. I know my cosponsors join me in 
saying that as we look at various ways to refine this, we are anxious 
to continue to work in a bipartisan way.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Cornyn). The Senator from Maine is 
  Ms. COLLINS. Mr. President, I appreciate the commitment of the 
Senator from Oregon to work with us on this issue. I certainly 
understand his frustration at a tendency to overclassify information 
that it is not warranted to be classified, that is not necessary to 
protect intelligence sources and methods.
  I note a couple of points. One is that the Collins-Lieberman bill 
vests in the national intelligence director the authority to establish 
requirements and procedures for the classification of intelligence 
  Another portion of our bill requires the national intelligence 
director to establish intelligence-reporting guidelines that maximize 
the dissemination of information, while protecting intelligence sources 
and methods.
  In addition, the administration has expressed grave reservations 
about the amendment as it is now drafted.
  What I would like to suggest and what the Senator from Oregon has 
graciously offered to do is have our staff on both sides of the aisle 
sit down with the Senator, see if we can address some of the 
administration's concerns, see if we can look at language that is 
already in the bill, and understand how that interacts with the 
Senator's proposal.
  I thank him for his commitment to this area. He has identified a very 
real problem. I hope, perhaps, we can come up with an approach that 
will address his concerns.
  Mr. LIEBERMAN. Mr. President, I also thank my friend and colleague 
from Oregon for a very thoughtful statement and a very thought-
provoking amendment that he has offered. I know it comes out of his 
service and the service of the other bipartisan cosponsors on the 
Intelligence Committee and some experiences they have had, shall we 
say, which have not been satisfying, in which they have believed they 
and the public have been deprived of information in a timely way that 
did not allow them to make informed judgments.
  I want to say a few things after thanking Senator Wyden. One is there 
are members of our committee who both shared the experience of 
membership on the Intelligence Committee and brought it to bear on the 
deliberations of our committee in presenting the Collins-Lieberman 
proposal which is now before the Senate. That all goes to the priority 
on sharing of information and the independence and objectivity of 
intelligence, and on the responsibility of the intelligence community 
to Congress to provide timely and objective information. And the 
proposal that the committee brought out is full of provisions aimed at 
doing just that.
  Senator Collins has just indicated the central provision for which 
the national intelligence director is responsible is reviewing and 
establishing standards for classification of intelligence.
  Remember, in the original 9/11 Commission proposal, the national 
intelligence director was in the Executive Office of the President. We 
decided--and the Commission ultimately agreed with us--that was a bad 
idea; that we wanted to establish a standard of independence, openness, 
and objectivity. We took the position out. The national intelligence 
director will now be an independent agent setting these standards for 
  We have broadly adopted a transformational approach to information in 
which we quite explicitly say we want to go from the Cold-War-era 
notion that there was a need only to have information if you really 
needed to know, and that the priority here is on a need to share unless 
there is a reason not to share. That goes in some cases not to the 
public but to the other intelligence agencies of our Government and to 
State and local law enforcement intelligence agencies.
  Senator Levin, a member of our committee, greatly strengthened 
building on our requirement in the underlying bill that the national 
intelligence director must provide national intelligence to Congress 
and the President that is ``timely, objective, independent of political 
consideration and based on all sources available to the intelligence 
community.'' Senator Levin extended that to cover the director of the 
national terrorism center, the other national intelligence centers, the 
CIA Director, the National Intelligence Council, and restated the 
mandate to require national intelligence be timely, objective, 
independent of political considerations, and not shaped to serve policy 

[[Page S9717]]

  We are asking that the national intelligence director have 
responsibilities to ensure that the appropriate officials of the U.S. 
Government, including, of course, Members of Congress, have access to a 
variety of intelligence assessments and analytical views; likewise, 
that the national intelligence centers have similar access.
  In response to the specific recommendation of your colleague, the 
ranking Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, Senator Rockefeller, we 
created the office of ombudsman within the national intelligence 
authority to serve as an independent counselor, an independent reviewer 
of analytical product, to address any problems of bias or lack of 
objectivity or politicization in the intelligence community. The same 
is true of national intelligence estimates, that they be provided in a 
way that distinguishes between analytical judgments underlying 
  We have a very strong provision about congressional oversight. The 
committee included provisions to strengthen the ability of 
congressional oversight to ensure independent and timely intelligence 
analysis; that the director of the counterterrorism center, for 
instance, may testify and submit comments to Congress without clearance 
from anyone else in the executive branch. The heads of the 
counterterrorism centers must provide intelligence assessments and 
certain other information to appropriate Members of Congress. Employees 
are explicitly authorized to report directly to Congress any evidence 
showing false statements to Congress and to an intelligence estimate.
  There is a real congruence of purpose here in opening up, to the 
extent allowed by our national security needs, the intelligence that is 
in the possession of our Government.
  I understand this amendment pushes this a step or two forward in 
focusing beyond what our proposal does in authorizing the national 
intelligence director to deal with classification standards to create 
this board. This is the first time I have seen the amendment. I 
appreciate the work that has been done on it and the purpose behind it, 
and with Senator Collins, I offer to sit and reason together with our 
respective colleagues, leaders in this field, who are the proponents of 
the amendment, and see if we can come to some agreement that is 
progressive but does not take the bill in a direction that might make 
it hard to adopt everything else we want to adopt.
  That is the practical last word I want to offer.
  Mr. WYDEN. Mr. President, if I could take perhaps an additional 2 
minutes to make a quick comment.
  Mr. LIEBERMAN. I yield the floor.
  Mr. WYDEN. And then one of our cosponsors, the former chairman of the 
Intelligence Committee, wants to speak on behalf of the bill, as well.
  Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent Senator Cornyn of Texas be 
added as a cosponsor to the amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. WYDEN. Mr. President, very briefly, first I express my thanks to 
Senator Collins and Senator Lieberman for their help. They always go 
out of their way to help me and I am very appreciative of it.
  My only substantive point, because we are going to work very closely, 
touches on the matter that our distinguished Chair made with respect to 
the executive branch having concerns about this issue. Every executive 
branch, whether it be controlled by Democrats or Republicans, will be 
concerned about this issue. What troubles the four of us is, whether a 
Democrat is President or a Republican is President, is that there are 
employees who can take a big old stamp, mark something ``secret,'' and 
then there is no independent review at all. That has been abused, in 
our view, on a bipartisan basis. It has been abused by administrations 
when they were run by Democrats. It has been abused when there have 
been administrations run by Republicans.
  What the four Senators seek to do--now five, with the gracious help 
of the distinguished Senator from Texas--we seek to strike a balance 
between the President and the Congress.
  What I say to the distinguished chairman of the committee, who makes 
a good point as to the executive branch, as the four of us talked about 
this issue--Senator Lott, Senator Snowe, Senator Graham, and myself--we 
felt we would give the President, the executive branch, the first word 
and the last word on an issue with respect to classification. It is 
possible under our bipartisan proposal for a President to have the last 
word with respect to whether a document is classified. What we do, 
consistent with that principle, is allow for a broad swath of 
congressional involvement in between the President having the first 
word and the last word.
  I only say to the distinguished chair of the committee, I will work 
very closely with you and Senator Lieberman. My guess is we can never 
make the executive branch completely happy on this issue, whether it is 
controlled by a Democrat or controlled by a Republican. It is in the 
public interest now to strike a better balance with respect to how 
Government documents are classified with respect to the Congress and 
the President. We do that by giving the President the first word and 
the last word. But without any opportunity for congressional appeal, 
what we will have is what Senator Moynihan started talking about years 
ago, which is that in every executive branch, whether controlled by 
Democrats or Republicans, people in these agencies in the belly of some 
building somewhere will keep stamping stuff secret because there is no 
independent review. It is just in the political interests of those 
people to do it.
  I look forward to working with my colleagues. They have been very 
  I see the former chairman of the Intelligence Committee. My 
involvement in this issue really stems from the superb work Senator 
Graham has done. I hope everyone buys his book in hardback. It is a 
wonderful piece of scholarship with respect to intelligence.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Florida.
  Mr. GRAHAM of Florida. Mr. President, I thank my good friend Senator 
Wyden for his thoughtful work on this amendment, for his always 
generous personal relationship, and for his commercial reference to the 
book ``Intelligence Matters.'' I will be using some of the material 
from that book in my comments this afternoon as I rise to speak in 
favor of the amendment which addresses our Government's dangerous 
tendency toward excessive secrets.
  From the very beginning of our Nation, the American people have been 
concerned with the Government's attempts, almost an irresistible 
attempt by any government, to hide or to fail to disclose issues that 
properly should be available to the public.
  President John F. Kennedy said in his first year as President:

       The very word ``secrecy'' is repugnant in a free and open 
     society; and we are as a people inherently and historically 
     opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths and to secret 
     proceedings . . .
       We decided long ago that the dangers of excessive and 
     unwarranted concealment of pertinent facts far outweighed the 
     dangers which are cited to justify it.

  In a free, open, democratic society, we must always begin with the 
belief that the people should have access to all of the information 
which the Government holds on their behalf. The only exceptions to this 
rule should be those made for necessary personal or corporate privacy 
reasons, such as tax returns, and for legitimate reasons of national 
  Now, of course, there are occasions when the national security of the 
United States is best served by the withholding of certain information, 
such as when we conceal the sources and methods of gathering extremely 
sensitive information to protect the sources themselves. However, our 
current system of classifying information is being abused to an extent 
that borders on the absurd. But there is nothing comical about this 
  In my judgment, the two key issues we are going to have to face if we 
are going to overcome the many fundamental problems which are facing 
our intelligence community are, first, the inadequacy of our human 
intelligence to be able to confront the threats that we now face, and, 
second, this issue of secrecy.
  Now, I know that much of our analysis and focus will be on the 
specific problems identified by various groups which have looked into 
the events leading up to 9/11, including the Joint

[[Page S9718]]

House/Senate Inquiry. However, there are some other issues which are 
embraced in 9/11 but which go well beyond 9/11. One of those which has 
been a recurring failure of America's intelligence is the failure to 
see the big issue. Why was it that our intelligence did not see the 
fact that although it had stated there were precisely 550 sites where 
weapons of mass destruction were being either produced or stored in 
Iraq, once we got to Iraq, the number was actually zero? Can you 
imagine that we have an address book of 550 sites that were supposed to 
be the dangerous locations, and as soon as we occupied the country we 
started knocking on 550 doors and did not find any of it? Think of the 
damage that failure has meant to the United States as a fundamental 
rationale for going to war in the first place and to our international 
  A second example of the failure to see the big issue is the one 
Senator Moynihan used as a centerpiece of his book ``Secrecy,'' and 
that was the fact that our intelligence community failed to predict the 
collapse of the Soviet Union. As Senator Moynihan pointed out, 
indicators that the Soviet Union was on the brink of economic collapse 
were available years in advance of the end of the Cold War. Yet our 
intelligence community, and specifically the CIA, greatly misperceived 
the strength of the Soviet economy and, therefore, did not realize that 
collapse was imminent.
  Unfortunately, the CIA and other intelligence agencies insisted on 
classifying nonsensitive information about the state of the Soviet 
economy. If this information had been disclosed to the public and to 
experts outside the Government, we could have seen the CIA was working 
with flawed data. That flawed data would have been subject to 
challenge. And perhaps before the collapse of the Berlin Wall we would 
have concluded that the Soviet Union was not internally stable in order 
to maintain its position in the military, space, and scientific 
competition with the United States. Had we done so, this undoubtedly 
would have allowed us to develop smarter, more effective strategies 
regarding the Soviets and their allies.

  To give one example of that, during the period when it was widely 
known by many that the Soviet Union was on the verge of collapse, but 
where we were being told by our intelligence agencies, with information 
not available to the general public, that in fact the Soviet Union 
remained a competitive force, we were providing the resistance fighters 
in Afghanistan with some of the most sophisticated military materials, 
particularly items such as the Stinger missile, to use in the war 
against the Soviet Union.
  If we had known how close the Soviet Union was to collapse and had 
thought about the consequences of having hundreds if not thousands of 
pieces of some of the most lethal military equipment in the world in 
the hands of those who were resisting the Soviets in Afghanistan, we 
might have rethought whether that was a wise policy or whether we were 
pursuing a short-term victory at the expense of arming a part of the 
world which was going to be our long-term adversary.
  Those are the consequences of failure to see the big picture. I 
believe one of the principal reasons we repeatedly failed to see the 
big picture is exactly the secrecy which we have imposed upon material, 
therefore denying the opportunity for a wide range of Americans to see 
the information, challenge the information, and, if it is unable to 
sustain that challenge, force the information to be corrected.
  One of the more recent failures that was disclosed by both the House/
Senate Intelligence Committees Joint Inquiry and the recent 9/11 
Commission related to some of the evidence that there was a connection 
between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and at least some if not all of the 
terrorists inside the United States. This, in my opinion, was one of 
the most significant findings of the inquiry. Its significance is that 
if a foreign government is providing support to terrorists embedded 
inside the United States, it contributes substantially to the ability 
of those embedded operatives to maintain their anonymity while they are 
planning, practicing, and executing very complex terrorist plots.
  That is what happened prior to 9/11. It was our conclusion that in 
fact these terrorists were not here alone, that they were receiving 
that type of support. We raised the question, if it was happening 
before 9/11, what is our level of confidence that it is not happening 
after 9/11?
  Details of our findings that led us to this chilling possibility were 
included in the Joint Inquiry's final report.
  Let me read from a section of that final report which was made 
available to the public. But I note the brackets around these 
paragraphs. Those brackets indicate that while this information was 
made available to the public, it was only done so after it was 
sanitized, rewritten by the agencies which had scrutinized this report, 
particularly the CIA and the FBI. But here is what they would allow to 
be made available to the American people:

       [Through its investigation, the Joint Inquiry developed 
     information suggesting specific sources of foreign support 
     for some of the September 11 hijackers while they were in the 
     United States. The Joint Inquiry's review confirmed that the 
     intelligence community also has information, much of which 
     has not yet been independently verified, concerning these 
     potential sources of support. In their testimony, neither CIA 
     nor FBI officials were able to address definitively the 
     extent of such support for the hijackers globally or 
     within the United States or the extent to which such 
     support, if it exists, is knowing or inadvertent in 
     nature. Only recently, and at least in part due to the 
     Joint Inquiry's focus on this issue, did the FBI and CIA 
     strengthen their efforts to address these issues. In the 
     view of the Joint Inquiry, this gap in U.S. intelligence 
     coverage is unacceptable, given the magnitude and 
     immediacy of the potential risk to U.S. national security. 
     The intelligence community needs to address this area of 
     concern as aggressively and as quickly as possible.]

  What happened was that even with that sanitized version of the 
introduction to that section, then the intelligence community proceeded 
to censor the rest of the section, page after page. Twenty-seven pages 
were completely blank so that the American people were never given the 
opportunity to know what we knew about the role of foreign 
governments--specifically, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia--in support of 
the terrorists. Does it make America safer that this type of 
information is withheld? What an absurdity.
  Of course, this puts Americans at greater risk. Why was this done? 
Why was this withheld from the American people? I believe it was 
withheld not for national security reasons. And I might say I am joined 
in that assessment by my colleague, Senator Dick Shelby, who reviewed 
this information, as I had, and concluded that 95 percent of the 
information which had been censored was not of a national security 
  Obviously, it was embarrassing, embarrassing to the CIA, to the FBI 
that such an infrastructure of support could have been allowed to exist 
and grow in the United States and then be used by people who killed 
3,000 Americans.
  I believe this information is just one example of the tendency toward 
excessive secrecy, including the most recent example of that, which is 
the refusal to declassify any portion of the recently released national 
intelligence estimate regarding the scenario of future events in Iraq.
  This report, which represents the consensus view of all our 
intelligence agencies, outlines several possible scenarios for the 
future of Iraq and combines the best information and analysis available 
within the executive branch. While a few of the sources of information 
probably should continue to be concealed, the national intelligence 
estimate itself should not be. As the Congress and the American public 
debate the best way to proceed in Iraq, we should have access to the 
best thinking available on that subject.
  The administration thus far has characterized the national 
intelligence estimate on Iraq as being guesses. The administration 
should act immediately to declassify the national intelligence estimate 
so that the American people can determine whether it is a mature and 
professional assessment of the range of choices we have in Iraq.
  Our Joint Inquiry recommended that the President and the intelligence 
agency review the Executive orders, the policies and procedures that 
govern classification, the withholding from the American people of 
information. The purpose of this review would be to ``expand access to 
relevant information for federal agencies outside the intelligence 
community, for state and local

[[Page S9719]]

authorities, which are critical to the fight against terrorism, and 
for the American public.''

  If I could comment a moment on that access to State and local 
officials, there were at least five incidents within a matter of weeks 
of 9/11 in which one or more of the terrorists was under the control of 
a State and local law enforcement officer, generally because they had 
committed a traffic offense. Yet the State and local law enforcement 
officers did not have access, because of excessive secrecy, to the 
information that these very people who were under their direct command 
were also listed on a terrorist watch list as being people who, had 
they been outside the United States, would not have been allowed to 
enter. But now they are in the United States, and the people who are 
the most likely to encounter them, State and local law enforcement, are 
denied the information upon which they can protect the safety and 
security of the American people. It is an outrage.
  Two-thirds of these terrorists spent most of their time in the United 
States in my State of Florida. I am not proud of that, but it happens 
to be a statement of fact. I have talked with local and State law 
enforcement leadership in my State and I asked: If the same thing that 
occurred in the summer of 2001 were to occur in the fall of 2004, what 
would the result have been? Do you know what the answer is? Exactly the 
same, that our State and local law enforcement would continue to be 
denied access to the information that would allow them to be of optimal 
effectiveness in providing us, the American people, optimal security.
  Returning to the recommendations of the 9/11 Joint Inquiry, the Joint 
Inquiry called on the Director of Central Intelligence, the Attorney 
General, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of Homeland Security, 
and the Secretary of State to review and report to the House and Senate 
proposals to protect against the use of the classification process as a 
shield to protect agency self-interest.
  What has happened in the now almost 2 years since this report was 
filed? The answer is, nothing has happened. There has been no effort by 
any of those agencies to present to the Congress their ideas of how we 
can protect ourselves against agency self-interest.
  The recommendation also called upon Congress to undertake a similar 
review of classification procedures and consider in particular ``the 
degree to which excessive classification has been used in the past and 
the extent to which the emerging threat environment has greatly 
increased the need for real-time sharing of sensitive information.''
  Again, sad to say, almost 2 years since the report was filed, no 
executive agencies have taken any action to review and report on their 
classification procedures. This means that we in the Congress, as the 
representatives of the people who are being denied this information, 
must now step forward and force action.
  The amendment offered this afternoon by my colleague from Oregon 
would create an independent national security classification board 
within the executive branch to review current classification policies 
and procedures. The board would then propose more coherent, rational 
standards to Congress and the President and help to ensure that new 
standards are implemented.
  Once the new standards are in place, the board will have access to 
all documents classified for national security reasons and will have 
the authority to review decisions made by employees of the executive 
branch. The board will be able to recommend that the President reverse 
or alter classifications with which it disagrees. The President will 
have the authority to ignore the board's recommendation, but the 
President will be required to notify Congress and the American public 
that he or she has done so.
  Early in our country's history, Patrick Henry argued:

       The liberties of a people never were, nor ever will be, 
     secure when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed 
     from them.

  Much more recently, Senator Moynihan concluded his book on the evils 
of government secrecy with these words:

       A case can be made . . . that secrecy is for losers, for 
     people who don't know how important information really is. 
     The Soviet Union realized this too late. Openness is now a 
     singular, and singularly American, advantage. We put it in 
     peril by poking along in the mode of an age now past.

  We would do well to heed both the words of Patrick Henry and Senator 
Patrick Moynihan. We would do well, by such heeding of these words, to 
avoid the peril of excessive secrecy and its consequences, including 
the consequence of designating the United States of America as losers. 
We now have the opportunity to avoid that fate.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Connecticut is recognized.
  Mr. LIEBERMAN. Mr. President, I thank my friend, the Senator from 
Florida, for a very informed statement.
  To restate what we said to Senator Wyden, I appreciate the experience 
that led our colleagues from both parties to offer this amendment. I 
know I speak for Senator Collins in saying, first, we want to look at 
the amendment in more detail; second, we want to work to see if we can 
come up with some way to accommodate your concerns that is agreeable to 
all involved.
  I ask unanimous consent that this amendment be set aside to allow us 
time to do the work we are about to do.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. LIEBERMAN. Mr. President, I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The bill clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Ms. COLLINS. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Ms. COLLINS. Mr. President, it is my understanding that the senior 
Senator from Maine, Senator Snowe, is on her way to the floor to speak 
to the amendment temporarily laid aside.
  Before the Senator from Florida leaves the floor, I want to thank him 
for all the work he has done in this area. The Senator recently spent 
about an hour with me, sharing some of his experiences as chairman of 
the Senate Intelligence Committee. He has a great deal of knowledge and 
expertise, and I very much appreciated his taking the time to give me 
the benefit of his thoughts on intelligence reform. I am also the proud 
owner of his book, which is on my bedside table right now and is very 
appropriate reading as we do this debate. I thank him for his 
contributions. Like Senator Lieberman, I look forward to working with 
him, Senator Wyden, Senator Snowe, Senator Lott, on the amendment they 
have proposed.

  Mr. LIEBERMAN. Mr. President, I want to tell Senator Graham that 
Senator Collins indicated to me she does have your book on her bedside 
table and she finds it compelling. She does not use it to induce sleep. 
I want to reassure him of that. I find it compelling as well. I join 
her in thanking the Senator.
  You two were way out front in recommending quite a while ago some of 
the reforms that are contained in our committee's proposal. I hope the 
Senator knows his work cleared a path and informed the work that the 
committee did. I thank him for that.

                           Amendment No. 3705

  Ms. COLLINS. Mr. President, I send an amendment to the desk on behalf 
of myself, Senator Carper, and Senator Lieberman.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report.
  The bill clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Maine [Ms. Collins] for herself, Mr. 
     Carper, and Mr. Lieberman, proposes an amendment numbered 

  Ms. COLLINS. 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 printed in today's Record under ``Text of 
  Ms. COLLINS. Mr. President, I will not debate this amendment tonight. 
I wanted to alert our colleagues that this amendment represents the 
work of the Governmental Affairs Committee to reform and improve and 
strengthen the formula for the allocation of Homeland Security grant 
moneys. Our committee has held several hearings over the last 2 years 
on this issue. This legislation reflects the result of those hearings. 
It also parallels the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission,

[[Page S9720]]

that the formula needs to be revised so that it is more of a threat-
based formula.
  We worked very hard to come up with a compromise on the committee. We 
maintained the minimum that each State would get to ensure that every 
State can respond to its preparedness needs. But we also rewrote the 
formula in recognition of the fact that some areas of our country, some 
States, are indeed high-threat areas.
  This legislation represents a careful balance that reflects the 
membership of our committee, which includes both large-State Senators, 
such as Senator Levin of Michigan, and small-State Senators, such as 
Senator Carper of Delaware. Senator Levin, in particular, I recognize 
for his very hard work on revising the formula. As I said--and I see 
members of the leadership on the floor--we will not debate this at 
length tonight. I did want to send the amendment to the desk.
  Mr. LIEBERMAN. Mr. President, I am prepared to join with Senator 
Collins and Senator Carper in introducing this amendment, and Senator 
Carper played a very active role on the committee, along with Senators 
Collins, Levin, and other members in devising this very balanced 
approach to this controversial question of the Homeland Security grant 
formula. It does reflect the reality of the current terrorist threat, 
that there are some places that are a higher probability because they 
contain more potential targets, or because they are just big, prominent 
cities. But the fact is, when you are dealing with an enemy--and we 
have seen this around the world--that will strike at the most 
vulnerable, undefended targets, not caring about consequences to human 
life, whoever it is--children in schools, buses, trains, families, et 
cetera--in some sense, every American is endangered and every community 
is endangered. Therefore, every State deserves some proportion of these 
Homeland Security grants.
  That balance has been struck very well, I think, in this amendment, 
which is the bill our committee reported out earlier. So I look forward 
to debating this and hopefully passing it with strong support in the 
coming days.
  I want to say two more things before I yield the floor. First, we now 
have, I believe, three amendments that have been filed this afternoon. 
This is good news. There will be a lot of amendments on this bill, and 
I am sure we will be on the bill for a considerable number of days. One 
of our colleagues said we might be on this for weeks or months. I 
prefer to speak in terms of days or hours, as Senator Reid prefers. But 
it is good we have these three amendments offered and hopefully we will 
go to a vote on one or maybe two of them tomorrow and begin to move 
forward on this proposal. That is good news.

  Secondly, I am delighted to ask unanimous consent to add Senator 
Durbin of Illinois as a cosponsor to the underlying bill.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. LIEBERMAN. Mr. President, Senator Durbin is a member of the 
Governmental Affairs Committee. He made some very significant 
contributions to this bill, which we will discuss in more detail during 
the debate on information technology systems of our Government when it 
comes to dealing with national security intelligence and the board that 
the bill creates to guarantee while we are improving the security of 
our people in an age of terrorism that their liberty continues to be 
protected as well.
  I am grateful Senator Durbin has joined us as a cosponsor. I yield 
the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The majority whip.
  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, we are not in a quorum call, are we?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. We are not.

                 Orders for Tuesday, September 28, 2004

  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that when the 
Senate completes its business today, it adjourn until 9:45 a.m., 
Tuesday, September 28. I further ask that following the prayer and 
pledge, the morning hour be deemed expired, the Journal of proceedings 
be approved to date, the time for the two leaders be reserved, and the 
Senate then begin a period for morning business for up to 60 minutes, 
with the first 30 minutes under the control of the majority leader or 
his designee and the final 30 minutes under the control of the 
Democratic leader or his designee; provided that following morning 
business, the Senate resume consideration of S. 2845, the intelligence 
reform bill. I further ask unanimous consent that the Senate recess 
from 12:30 p.m. until 2:15 p.m. for the weekly party luncheons.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.


  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, for the information of all Senators, 
tomorrow, following morning business, the Senate will resume 
consideration of the intelligence reform bill. I would like to say to 
Chairman Collins and Ranking Member Lieberman, I think they had a good 
debate today and have gotten a good start, and we will continue the 
amending process tomorrow. The chairman and ranking member will be here 
to work through any amendments, and we hope to have them begin to be 
offered tomorrow. We encourage all Senators to contact the bill 
managers as early as possible and see if we can move forward on this 
very important legislation which the majority leader and the Democratic 
leader wish us to finish before we go home for the elections.

                         Order for Adjournment

  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, if there is no further business to come 
before the Senate, I ask unanimous consent that the Senate stand in 
adjournment under the previous order, following the remarks of Senator 
Snowe or any other remarks of the chairman of the committee.
  Mr. REID. I ask that be amended to the chairman and ranking member.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. McCONNELL. I yield the floor.


Congressional Record: September 27, 2004 (Senate)
Page S9756-S9759


  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Fitzgerald). The Senator from Maine.
  Ms. SNOWE. Mr. President, I rise today to speak to the monumental 
issue before us, the most profound, sweeping reform of our entire 
intelligence community in nearly 60 years, 3 years after the worst 
attack ever on American soil. As a member of the Senate Select 
Committee on Intelligence, I welcome this opportunity to discuss 
critical issues I believe must be addressed this year.
  First, I thank the majority leader for his timely action and 
steadfast leadership ensuring that we have this legislation before us 
and we will complete action before we adjourn.
  I also want to recognize my colleague, the chair of the Governmental 
Affairs Committee, the Senator from Maine, Ms. Collins, for her 
exceptional and tireless work over the past 2 months to produce this 
comprehensive legislation to reform our intelligence community, to 
rightly reflect the sense of urgency that this legislation deserves and 
certainly one we should consider. I applaud her for undertaking this 
historic effort and for guiding this legislation through her committee 
on a bipartisan basis.
  As well, I want to express my appreciation to the ranking member, 
Senator Lieberman, for his efforts in bringing us to this day. It truly 
was an enormous undertaking that was assigned to the Governmental 
Affairs Committee, and I want to thank them for all they have done to 
begin this debate this week on the intelligence reform bill.
  As we begin these deliberations, I cannot help but be reminded that 
while the intelligence community reform has unquestionably taken on a 
new urgency, it is simply not a new issue. Since the first Hoover 
Commission in 1949, studies have been conducted, commissions have been 
established, and reports have been issued on how best to structure our 
intelligence community. Yet in spite of the over 50 years of debate on 
this issue, it was the morning of September 11 and all that followed 
that has resulted in us being where we are today on the Senate floor 
debating reform legislation and poised to accomplish what has alluded 
so many for so long.
  To say that September 11 is a seminal moment for our Nation certainly 
would be an understatement. Indeed, that day will forever be etched in 
our minds and our national consciousness, just as it always will 
forever change the way we view the world. It was that day, more than 
any before, that catapulted us into a new era in which our Nation faced 
very different, more pervasive and inimical threats. It was a day that 
revealed in the starkest terms the truism that intelligence is now and 
must always be our best and first line of defense against a committed 
enemy who knows no borders, wears no uniform, and pledges allegiance 
only to causes and not states. It was a day that has proven that the 
intelligence community's old structure and old ways of doing business 
are insufficient for confronting the challenges of the 21st century.
  But if September 11 provided the catalyst for reform, the failures in 
the prewar intelligence on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programs 
provided even greater impetus for a major overhaul of the U.S. 
intelligence community, and that time for change is now upon us.

  For over a year, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence has 
focused intently on reviewing the prewar intelligence of Iraq's weapons 
of mass destruction program, the regime's ties to terrorism, Saddam 
Hussein's human rights abuses, and his regime's impact on regional 
stability. After the indepth analysis of 30,000 pages of intelligence 
assessment, source reporting, interviewing more than 200 individuals, 
the committee produced a report in early July that indisputably begs 
for intelligence community restructuring.
  The report revealed a stunning lack of accountability and sound 
hands-on management practices throughout the community's chain of 
command. This lack of leadership and poor management allowed 
assumptions to go unchallenged, contributed to mischaracterizations of 
Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programs, and led to significant 
lapses in the intelligence community's responsibility to convey the 
uncertainties behind their assessments. In short, there was a lack of 
analytic rigor performed on one of the most critical and defining 
issues spanning more than a decade.
  During our review, we learned that much of what analysts knew about 
Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program predated the gulf war, 
leaving them with little direct knowledge of the current state of those 
programs. The ``group think'' mentality that dominated analysis is just 
one of the intelligence failures this report illuminates.
  Intelligence community managers, collectors, and analysts believed 
that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, a notion that dates back to 
Iraq's pre-1991 efforts to retain, build, and hide those programs, and 
in several circumstances the intelligence community made intelligence 
information fit into preconceived notions about Iraq's weapons of mass 
destruction programs. From our review, we know the intelligence 
community relied on sources that supported its predetermined ideas, and 
we also know that there was no alternative analysis or ``red teaming'' 
performed on such a critical issue. We also now know that most of the 
key judgments in the national intelligence estimate were overstated or 
were not supported by the underlying intelligence.
  For example, the intelligence community insists that Iraq had 
chemical weapons. Yet this was based on a single stream of reporting. 
The intelligence community based its assessment that Iraq's biological 
warfare program was larger and more advanced than before the gulf war 
largely on a single source to whom the intelligence community never had 
direct access and with whom there were credibility problems. The 
intelligence community judged that Iraq was developing a UAV probably 
intended to deliver biological weapons. Yet there was significant 
evidence clearly indicating that nonbiological weapons delivery 
missions were more likely.
  The committee's report also notes the lack of human intelligence on 
the Iraqi target and reveals, as the Joint Inquiry into Intelligence 
Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of 
September 11, 2001, also documented, that our intelligence community is 
averse to undertaking higher risk human intelligence operations, 
compelling our analysts to rely on inadequate, outdated, or unreliable 
  The points raised form an inescapable indictment of the status quo. 
The facts speak for themselves, and they are a significant reason we 
are here today to debate issues of intelligence community reform. The 
men and women, the dedicated professionals of the intelligence 
community, who toil every day to protect our national security, must 
have a decisive, innovative, and centralized leadership and management 
structure as well as the requisite resources to perform this vital and 
often daunting task. While I acknowledge the need to be cautious and 
deliberate, in this era of unprecedented challenges, we must ensure our 
intelligence community is poised to confront these challenges, and we 
must act now. The status quo is clearly not an option.

  On that note, I do happen to believe that we must create a national 
intelligence director and certainly that it

[[Page S9757]]

would be a significant leap forward, and that is why I commend the 
committee for embracing this type of reform.
  I also commend Senator Feinstein for her leadership on this issue, 
and I am pleased to have joined with her several months ago, before the 
release of the September 11 Commission Report, in championing this idea 
of establishing a critical position, to be filled by a single person, 
independent from the day-to-day responsibilities of running a single 
intelligence agency and whose sole responsibility is to lead and manage 
the intelligence community. I believe our perspectives on the Senate 
Intelligence Committee and the work we did for more than a year and a 
half on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program gave impetus to this 
notion and this idea that we clearly had to embark on major 
restructuring of the intelligence community.
  I happen to believe that creating this central position is a 
significant component in the larger imperative of overall intelligence 
community reform because it simply just does not make sense today to 
have one person who is the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency 
also responsible for the entire intelligence community of the other 14 
agencies. Rather, we need a national intelligence director whose 
dedicated leadership will ensure that consistent priorities are set and 
implemented, and that all the gears of our intelligence gathering, 
analysis, and reporting are synchronized and not ad hoc.
  In fact, Dr. David Kay, who is the former director of the Iraq Survey 
Group, said such management changes in the intelligence community could 
have resulted in a very different national intelligence estimate than 
we received on Iraq weapons of mass destruction program. He noted that 
failures of analytic tradecraft, culture, management, and mismanagement 
of the information flow could have been alleviated with proper 
management and leadership.
  Indeed, I asked Dr. Kay when he came before the committee in August:

       We know what went wrong. Could it have been a very 
     different product?
       Could we have had a very different product in the NIE, if 
     we had changes, organizationally, that we are speaking of?

  That is a question posed of Dr. Kay. He responded:

       It could have been a very different product, in my 

  That is a very telling and significant statement. He said the 
national intelligence estimate, the estimate upon which we predicated 
war, upon which we made our decisions, based on the assessments that 
were included in that national intelligence estimate, could have been a 
very different product if we had an entirely different type of 
organization within the intelligence community.
  I happen to believe that creating a national intelligence director 
would also facilitate a better atmosphere of objectivity, an element 
that has been sorely lacking in the intelligence community. Separating 
the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency from one specific 
organization would better allow the other 14 intelligence community 
agencies to be heard in the debates about the validity and veracity of 
intelligence information and analyses that have a direct effect on our 
national security.
  A director of national intelligence would level the playing field 
when it comes to the competition of ideas and intelligence analysis. 
Currently, as the head of both the CIA, as well as the intelligence 
community, the DCI is the principal intelligence adviser to the 
President. This provides the CIA with unique access to policymakers. 
Although the goal of this structure was to coordinate the disparate 
elements of the intelligence community in order to provide the most 
accurate and objective analysis, this report reveals that in practice 
this arrangement actually undermines the provision of objective 
  Indeed, this committee's report on Iraq concluded:

       The CIA continues to excessively compartment sensitive 
     human intelligence reporting and fails to share important 
     information about [human intelligence] reporting and sources 
     with Intelligence Community analysts who have a need to know.

  Further the report concluded that:

       The CIA, in several significant instances, abused its 
     unique position in the [intelligence community], particularly 
     in terms of information sharing, to the detriment of the 
     [intelligence community's] prewar analysis concerning Iraq's 
     [weapons of mass destruction] programs.

  One agency should not be able to control the presentation of 
information to policymakers, nor should an agency be able to exclude 
analyses from the other agencies. As the committee's report on the 
prewar intelligence on Iraq reveals, the Director of Central 
Intelligence was not aware of dissenting opinions within the 
intelligence community on the potential use for the aluminum tubes, 
despite the fact that the intelligence community had been debating the 
issue for well more than a year.
  Since the Director was not aware of all the views of the intelligence 
agencies, he could only pass on the CIA's view to the President. This 
has to change. Policymakers must be aware of all views of all 
intelligence agencies on such crucial matters.
  Some might say consolidating the leadership of the entire 
intelligence community under a national intelligence director might 
actually stifle healthy competition, that central planning will deprive 
decisionmakers of a full range of intelligence. I echo what Chairman 
Kean and Vice Chairman Hamilton have said:

       Competitive analysis is very important . . . no one can 
     claim that the current structure fosters competitive 
     analysis. Look at the Senate report on group-think with 
     regard to Iraq. The current system encourages, we believe, 
     group-think. . . .

  In my view, to accomplish the task we have just discussed, the 
national intelligence director should be equipped with the authority 
commensurate with the responsibilities with which he is vested. We can 
no longer afford to have the Intelligence Committee unable to direct 
those resources.
  As the Chairman of the 9/11 Commission indicated--he said in response 
to another question I posed when he testified before the Intelligence 
Committee with regard to George Tenet raising the red flag about the 
threat from al-Qaida:

       . . . a problem we have of communication between agencies . 
     . . one of the best illustrations that hit me when I first 
     heard about it is in 1998, when [the Director of the Central 
     Intelligence Agency] George Tenet got it. What we are 
     suggesting, I guess, is if you had that coordination and that 
     declaration of war had been made under the system we 
     recommend, the military, the diplomatic side, the 
     intelligence side, they all would have gotten it.

  If you can imagine when the Director of the Central Intelligence 
Agency had been talking about a major threat to the United States back 
in 1998, raising a red flag, going around Washington talking to 
whomever in order to get attention, to draw attention to this 
tremendous threat that al-Qaida and Osama bin Laden posed, that they 
were declaring war on the United States, and he could not get anyone's 
attention, never, ever again should we be in a position where the 
Director of Central Intelligence, now the director of the national 
intelligence community, should not be able to get the attention of the 
executive branch or of the Congress or of policymakers across the board 
within the intelligence community because he doesn't have the power to 
redirect resources or to redirect the attention or to make sure there 
is a collective focus on such a major threat.
  There are a number of authorities that this legislation before us 
will provide the national director of intelligence. I think it is 
absolutely vital and critical that the national intelligence director 
have strong authority to redirect resources with respect to budget and 
personnel. There is no question that we must have a director of 
national intelligence who is vested with the kind of power and 
authority to command a centralized organization. This is not just about 
moving boxes around. It is vesting the authority within this individual 
to command the direction of the resources and the decisionmaking that 
is absolutely vital to establish the kind of strategic thinking across 
the intelligence community that heretofore has not been present.
  Some have argued that providing the national intelligence director 
with these authorities equates to the loss of intelligence support to 
our warfighters.

[[Page S9758]]

I do not dispute the fact that any successful intelligence reform must 
respect the military's necessity to maintain a robust organic tactical 
intelligence capability and to have rapid access to national 
intelligence assets and information.

  I would argue that providing the national intelligence director with 
the authorities commensurate to his responsibilities, by providing him 
the ability to better coordinate and manage the entirety of our 
Nation's intelligence operations, could improve national support to our 
military operations, both strategically as well as tactically.
  One of the national intelligence director's greatest responsibilities 
will be to secure national intelligence support to our warfighters and 
ensure that strategic information of tactical importance is 
expeditiously delivered to our soldiers, seamen, airmen and marines. 
There is no question but that the men and women of our Armed Forces 
deserve and must continue to receive the best, most timely actionable 
intelligence. So I believe that creating this position will also 
improve the accountability within the intelligence community, an issue 
that also has been a focus of mine for the past 20 years.
  I saw firsthand the consequences of serious inadequacies in 
accountability during my 12 years as a member of the House Foreign 
Affairs International Operations Subcommittee and as chair of the 
International Operations Subcommittee of the Senate Foreign Relations 
  During the 99th Congress back in 1986, I worked to bring to the State 
Department an accountability review board as part of the Omnibus 
Diplomatic Security and Anti-Terrorism Act of 1986. I think about those 
times because accountability becomes a critical component as we ensure 
that our agencies are responsive to the threats that are posed to 
America, to Americans, to American interests here as well as abroad.
  As a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, I look back to that 
time. That is why I think it so critical to ensure that in every phase 
of the new challenges that we are facing we also incorporate the kind 
of accountability that compels our policymakers, our officials, and 
agencies responsive to those threats. As a member of the Senate 
Intelligence Committee, I continue to see that there is a stunning lack 
of accountability within the community.
  The committee's review of the pre-war intelligence on Iraq's weapons 
of mass destruction is replete with information-sharing failures, 
analytic failures, and collection failures. It is imperative that these 
failures, many of which were identified in the Joint Inquiry into 
Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist 
Attacks of September 11, are not repeated. As former United Nations 
weapons inspector Dr. David Kay told the Intelligence Committee at one 
of our reform hearings, `` . . . intelligence reform without 
accountability will not achieve the objective we all share to avoid 
repeating the clearly avoidable tragedy of 9/11 and the equally 
avoidable failures in analysis that marked the Iraq WMD program.''
  That is why back in 1986 we created an accountability review board in 
the State Department because of embassy security, because of the threat 
posed by terrorists back in the 1980s. We had the Inman Report in 1983, 
and we responded to that. We redesigned embassy security, both 
physical, perimeter security, intelligence security, and we didn't want 
any more lapses and failures in that regard. That is why we set up the 
accountability review board--so we can ensure that these measures put 
in place are implemented and strongly enforced.
  I think the same is true here. We have to ensure there will be 
accountability. In the aftermath of the World Trade Center bombing in 
1993, there was a failure of information sharing among the agencies. 
Again, it was another lapse in failure among agencies. Even after 9/11 
we are now examining failures again of information sharing--replete 
with failure.
  It seems to me that we have to redesign the system to ensure that we 
have the kind of accountability we should demand rightfully of those 
who are in positions of authority to implement these responsibilities 
and obligations. That is why I think it is critical that we incorporate 
these types of reforms which will be essential.
  I concluded after my examination of what went wrong with our pre-war 
assessment concerning Iraq's WMD program and the reality posed to the 
military phase of Iraq that one way to prevent these lapses in the 
future is to inject more accountability into the intelligence 
community. That is why I introduced legislation in June to create the 
office of inspector general for intelligence.
  The intelligence community lacks a single, overarching intelligence 
communitywide investigative entity that bridges the gap between and 
among all the various agencies in order to identify problem areas to 
ensure critical deficiencies are addressed before they become crises or 
tragedies, and to develop and ensure the implementation of the most 
efficient and effective methods of intelligence gathering and 
  What is required, in my view, is an inspector general for the entire 
intelligence community. The agencies now have their own individual 
inspector generals. But I happen to believe that this newly created 
office would assist in instituting better management accountability and 
would help the national intelligence director resolve problems within 
the intelligence community.
  I am very pleased that the legislation we are debating today 
includes--again I thank the leadership of the chair of the committee, 
Senator Collins, for including a provision to create an office of 
inspector general for the entire community. That inspector general has 
the ability to initiate and conduct independent investigations, 
including investigating current issues within the intelligence 
community, not just conduct ``lessons learned'' studies, not just a 
retrospective, but prospective to identify the problems that may be 
there, may be present in the intelligence community, and to have that 
strategic view of what is going wrong and make sure we can also prevent 
and preempt the problems before they take place.

  This new office will seek to identify problem areas and identify the 
most efficient and effective business practices required to ensure that 
critical deficiencies can be addressed before it is too late, before we 
have another intelligence failure, and before lives are lost.
  In short, an inspector general who can look across the entire 
community will help improve management and coordination, and 
cooperation and information sharing among the intelligence agencies--
again, another dynamic that will help to ensure and enforce the kind of 
information sharing that clearly has been lacking up to this point.
  The inspector general also will help break down the barriers that 
have perpetuated the parochial, stovepipe approaches to intelligence 
community management and operations.
  Again, I commend the work of the authors of this underlying bill, 
Senator Collins for her dedication, and Senator Lieberman for working 
together to include this recommendation of creating the inspector 
general in the office of the national intelligence director.
  The authors of this bill have crafted extensive language creating and 
defining this vital agent of accountability. I look forward to further 
working with them to complete the creation of an independent IG, and to 
ensure that proper accountability to the director of the national 
intelligence, to the President and to Congress, and ultimately to the 
American people is carried forward.
  In addition, I hope I can work with the committee on several other 
issues and amendments to enhance this legislation.
  For example, as I have been reviewing this legislation, and as we 
look at the pre-war intelligence, it was apparent that the intelligence 
community relied on forces that supported this predetermined idea and 
found there was no alternative analysis or ``red teaming'' performed on 
critical issues, allowing assessments to go unchallenged year after 
year, and certainly for more than a decade with respect to Iraq.
  While this bill includes provisions for an analysis review unit, I 
also think we must consider the ability for the community to look at 
alternatives in that

[[Page S9759]]

area as well. It is very important to have that type of dynamic within 
the intelligence community, to think out of the box, to think 
creatively and innovatively and not just be confined to the assumptions 
that have been carried over, to preconceived notions that were so 
inherent in all of the pre-war assessments with respect to Iraq's WMD 
  This bill also mandates that the national intelligence council 
produce national intelligence estimates. I believe this process must be 
made a little more automatic and transparent and a little ad hoc. I 
believe that the national intelligence council should report to us what 
they can do to streamline that process.
  I also believe we should have the National Counterterrorism Center 
report to us in a year about what they are doing and whether they are 
meeting the mark. This bill already requires a report from the national 
director of intelligence. But I think it would also be important to 
hear from the Director of the National Counterterrorism Center the 
lessons learned in the establishment of capability before we move to 
set up other centers. The creation of a national intelligence director 
and improving the community's accountability through the creation of an 
inspector general are but two of the many issues in the ongoing debate 
on intelligence community reform. Indeed, it has been an extremely 
challenging year for the intelligence community and those who work in 
it, one in which we saw every aspect of the intelligence process come 
to the fore at one time or another.
  From the tactical collection and analysis of on-the-ground 
intelligence by our battlefield commanders in Iraq that led to the 
capture of Saddam Hussein, to the global search for the information 
that led to the exposure of Aq Khan's nuclear proliferation network, to 
the decision to commit troops to the field in Iraq, it became obvious 
to every American that timely and quality intelligence is imperative if 
we are to be successful in defeating the forces that have pledged 
themselves to the destruction of America.
  I think all of these events highlight how abundantly crucial it is to 
ensure that we have the leadership with the requisite authority to 
ensure that the collection, analysis, and dissemination of intelligence 
information is as synchronized, accurate, and as comprehensive as it 
possibly can be, and that it represents the very best judgment of the 
intelligence community when it is provided to the national policymakers 
who rely on that information to make the most profound of decisions.
  Of course, intelligence reform must include reforming oversight of 
not only the intelligence community. Ideally, this should have occurred 
in tandem. Congress must not abrogate its responsibility to seriously 
tackle the oversight issue. As 9/11 Commissioner Lehman said, it is 
like one hand clapping, if you only do the executive branch this year. 
Hopefully we will be able to pursue those initiatives shortly as well.
  In the final analysis, it is apparent to me that the intelligence 
structure put in place over 50 years ago was one that focused primarily 
on developing intelligence to counter a military threat that is no 
longer sufficient for confronting the asymmetrical threats we are now 
confronting in the 21st century--a century in which our enemies no 
longer make distinctions between our battlefields and our backyards.
  So, therefore, we must develop a lighter and more agile intelligence 
capability that can keep pace with the kind of enemy we are now 
fighting--one that is elusive, one that does not need a large land-
based military capability to bring the fight to us.

  This legislation will bring America the agility we require, the 
ability to reform our intelligence apparatus into an adaptable 
organization prepared to anticipate and prepare for future threats.
  I look forward to working with my colleague again, the Senator from 
Maine, who I congratulate again for bringing this most timely, this 
most forthright, comprehensive, very sound framework for intelligence 
reform and working with them on the issues I might propose with my 
refinements and enhancements to the underlying bill.
  I hope in due course of this week or the following week, however long 
it takes before we adjourn, to complete this process, to pass this 
legislation, not only in the Senate but the overall Congress, so the 
President can sign this legislation because clearly it must be done 
forthwith. This is something the American people and the future of this 
Nation deserve.
  I yield the floor.
  Ms. COLLINS. Mr. President, I congratulate the senior Senator from