[Congressional Record: June 19, 2006 (Senate)]
[Page S6063-S6064]                  


      By Mr. REID (for himself, Mr. Biden, Mr. Levin, and Mr. Durbin):
  S. 3536. A bill to ensure oversight of intelligence on Iran, and for 
other purposes; to the Select Committee on Intelligence.
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, we live in a dangerous time, and that is an 
understatement. The threats to our freedom are many. They range from 
terrorist attacks such as those that hit our shores on 9/11 to rogue 
nations with nuclear ambitions such as North Korea and Iran.
  It is important that we, as a country, address each of these threats. 
Recent history is rife with examples of what happens if we fail to do 
so. The threats don't go away; they only get worse.
  This is a fact we can see in today's headlines about North Korea's 
new missile tests--they have not fired a missile since 1998; and from 
all reports we have been able to pick up on the news, they are now 
fueling another missile just prior to launch--and also in Iran, where 
efforts to halt the country's nuclear program have been delayed and 
complicated by the administration's, I believe, failures in Iraq.
  This weekend, the Washington Post reported that top Bush 
administration officials ignored an offer from Iran in 2003, when 
American leverage in the region was at its height. The offer from Iran 
was to curtail its nuclear activities. This is very troubling.
  Paul Pillar, the former head of Middle East analysis for the 
intelligence community, said that the U.S. position regarding Iran is 
``inherently weaker now'' because of Iraq, and that ``there have been a 
lot of lost opportunities.'' One expert analyst said the 
administration's mismanagement ``strengthened the hands of those in 
Iran who believe the only way to compel the United States to talk or 
deal with Iran is not by sending peace offers but by being a 
  Today, I am introducing legislation which would improve Congress's 
oversight of the administration's efforts on Iran--the Iran 
Intelligence Oversight Act. The legislation will ensure that Congress 
is fully engaged in the Iran debate, and it will also push the Bush 
White House to develop and implement the right policy for dealing with 
  All of us are painfully aware of this Congress's unwillingness to 
hold this administration accountable for its mistakes and misjudgments. 
There has been virtually no oversight on anything.
  I have said before that there has been a lack of a legislative branch 
of Government. The executive exists, the judicial branch exists, but 
the Founding Fathers' view to have three separate but equal branches of 
Government has not been in existence for the last 5\1/2\ years. The 
reason the President has not had to veto a single bill is he has gotten 
anything he wants from this Republican Congress.
  The Senate Intelligence Committee has led the way in terms of 
stonewalling and rubber-stamping the Bush administration. Nearly 3 
years into its investigation of the White House's politicization of 
Iraq intelligence, we still don't have a report.
  Unfortunately, the committee record on Iran is not any better.
  U.S. News and World Report had a quote earlier this spring from the 
committee's chairman, saying:

       [W]e have not made the progress on our oversight of Iran 
     intelligence, which is critical.

  U.S. News further said the panel had done only piecemeal scrutiny of 
the spy agencies' work on Iran, quoting a Republican staffer as saying:

       There is no organized committee staff effort to look at 
     Iran right now. . . . It's all sort of on hold.

  That is really too bad.
  Perhaps Tehran will be kind enough to wait for them, but the Senate 
should not. The Senate must be engaged as we move our diplomacy forward 
with Iran. We must take seriously our responsibility to insist on a 
thorough review of the facts, a full debate of the threat, and full 
consultation as events move forward.
  The legislation I am introducing today would put in place the 
rigorous oversight necessary to hold the administration accountable for 
its rhetoric and its all too frequent tendency to spin and distort the 
  The act requires the administration to give Congress and the American 
people solid answers to three questions.
  First, what is the judgment of the Government's professional 
intelligence analysts about the threat of Iran, and what tools are most 
likely to influence the Iranians to change their ways?
  Second, what are the President's policy objectives with Iran, and 
what is his strategy for achieving these objectives?
  Currently, we are only left to guess.
  To the best of my knowledge, Congress has not yet been briefed on any 
of the key details of the deal offered to Iran a few weeks ago. The 
Iranians have been briefed, the Europeans have been briefed, the 
Russians have been briefed, the Chinese have been briefed--but not the 
U.S. Senate.
  Congress needs to be in on the takeoff, not asked to board the plane 
for the crash landing.
  Third, this legislation asks the question: What is the process for 
making sure that senior administration officials do not publicly 
mischaracterize the evidence and the challenge of Iran?
  Much of what we heard from the administration in the run-up to Iraq 
about mushroom clouds, yellow cake, and aluminum tubes turned out to be 
overstated or based on intelligence that was known to be very, very 
  I am told that the most famous of the Vice President's speeches on 
Iraq--the August 2002 VFW speech that set the rush to war and 
dramatically overstated the threat from Iraq--was never even cleared by 
the intelligence community.
  With my legislation in place, and with vigilance from Congress, we 
will be one step closer to ensuring this kind of misleading information 
does not happen regarding the threat posed by Iran.
  I want to be clear: President Bush must take seriously the challenge 
of Iran, as I know he does, but the way to success will be a policy 
based on the facts. Under my legislation, the administration will be 
held accountable for anything less.
  Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the text of the bill be 
printed in the Record.
  There being no objection, the text of the bill was ordered to be 
printed in the Record, as follows:

                                S. 3536

       Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
     the United States of America in Congress assembled,

[[Page S6064]]


       This Act may be cited as the ``Iran Intelligence Oversight 


       (a) Submittal to Congress of Updated National Intelligence 
     Estimate on Iran.--
       (1) Submittal required.--As soon as is practicable, but not 
     later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this 
     Act, the Director of National Intelligence shall submit to 
     Congress an updated National Intelligence Estimate on Iran.
       (2) Notice regarding submittal.--If the Director determines 
     that the National Intelligence Estimate required by paragraph 
     (1) cannot be submitted by the date specified in that 
     paragraph, the Director shall submit to Congress a report 
     setting forth--
       (A) the reasons why the National Intelligence Estimate 
     cannot be submitted by such date; and
       (B) an estimated date for the submittal of the National 
     Intelligence Estimate.
       (3) Form.--The National Intelligence Estimate under 
     paragraph (1) shall be submitted in classified form. 
     Consistent with the protection of intelligence sources and 
     methods, an unclassified summary of the key judgments of the 
     National Intelligence Estimate should be submitted.
       (4) Elements.--The National Intelligence Estimate submitted 
     under paragraph (1) shall address the following:
       (A) The foreign policy and regime objectives of Iran.
       (B) The current status of the nuclear programs of Iran, 
       (i) an assessment of the current and projected capabilities 
     of Iran to design a nuclear weapon, to produce plutonium, 
     enriched uranium, and other weapons materials, to build a 
     nuclear weapon, and to deploy a nuclear weapon; and
       (ii) an assessment of the intentions of Iran regarding 
     possible development of nuclear weapons, the motivations 
     underlying such intentions, and the factors that might 
     influence changes in such intentions.
       (C) The military and defense capabilities of Iran, 
     including any non-nuclear weapons of mass destruction 
     programs and related delivery systems.
       (D) The relationship of Iran with terrorist organizations, 
     the use by Iran of terrorist organizations in furtherance of 
     its foreign policy objectives, and the factors that might 
     cause Iran to reduce or end such relationships.
       (E) The prospects for support from the international 
     community for various potential courses of action with 
     respect to Iran, including diplomacy, sanctions, and military 
       (F) The anticipated reaction of Iran to the courses of 
     action set forth under subparagraph (E), including an 
     identification of the course or courses of action most likely 
     to successfully influence Iran in terminating or moderating 
     its policies of concern.
       (G) The level of popular and elite support within Iran for 
     the Iran regime, and for its civil nuclear program, nuclear 
     weapons ambitions, and other policies, and the prospects for 
     reform and political change within Iran.
       (H) The views among the populace and elites of Iran with 
     respect to the United States, including views on direct 
     discussions with or normalization of relations with the 
     United States.
       (I) The views among the populace and elites of Iran with 
     respect to other key countries involved in nuclear diplomacy 
     with Iran.
       (J) The likely effects and consequences of any military 
     action against the nuclear programs or other regime interests 
     of Iran.
       (K) The confidence level of key judgments in the National 
     Intelligence Estimate, the quality of the sources of 
     intelligence on Iran, the nature and scope of any gaps in 
     intelligence on Iran, and any significant alternative views 
     on the matters contained in the National Intelligence 
       (b) Presidential Report on Policy Objectives and United 
     States Strategy Regarding Iran.--
       (1) Report required.--As soon as is practicable, but not 
     later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this 
     Act, the President shall submit to Congress a report on the 
       (A) The objectives of United States policy on Iran.
       (B) The strategy for achieving such objectives.
       (2) Form.--The report under paragraph (1) shall be 
     submitted in unclassified form with a classified annex, as 
       (3) Elements.--The report submitted under paragraph (1) 
       (A) address the role of diplomacy, incentives, sanctions, 
     other punitive measures and incentives, and other programs 
     and activities relating to Iran for which funds are provided 
     by Congress; and
       (B) summarize United States contingency planning regarding 
     the range of possible United States military actions in 
     support of United States policy objectives with respect to 
       (c) Director of National Intelligence Report on Process for 
     Vetting and Clearing Administration Officials' Statements 
     Drawn From Intelligence.--
       (1) Report required.--As soon as is practicable, but not 
     later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this 
     Act, the Director of National Intelligence shall submit to 
     Congress a report on the process for vetting and clearing 
     statements of Administration officials that are drawn from or 
     rely upon intelligence.
       (2) Elements.--The report shall--
       (A) describe current policies and practices of the Office 
     of the Director of National Intelligence and the intelligence 
     community for--
       (i) vetting and clearing statements of senior 
     Administration officials that are drawn from or rely upon 
     intelligence; and
       (ii) how significant misstatements of intelligence that may 
     occur in public statements of senior public officials are 
     identified, brought to the attention of any such officials, 
     and corrected;
       (B) assess the sufficiency and adequacy of such policies 
     and practices; and
       (C) include any recommendations that the Director considers 
     appropriate to improve such policies and practices.