Congressional Record: September 30, 2004 (Senate)
Page S10029-S10033


                           Amendment No. 3839

       (Purpose: To strike section 201, relating to public 
     disclosure of intelligence funding)

  Mr. STEVENS. Mr. President, I have filed a series of amendments. I 
would like to address the one on disclosure of intelligence funding.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report.
  The assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Alaska [Mr. Stevens], for himself, Mr. 
     Warner, and Mr. Inouye, proposes an amendment numbered 3839.
       On page 115, strike line 13 and all that follows through 
     page 116, line 23.

  Mr. STEVENS. Mr. President, I direct the attention of the Senate to 
page 115. This is title II. It pertains to the amounts to be disclosed. 
It deals with amounts authorized and appropriated in each fiscal year.
  My amendment follows the recommendation of the administration and, I 
might add, the intelligence community to think twice before we do this. 
It may be that we will want to do this after the NID comes into being 
and we all have a better knowledge of how these funds are going to be 
  This amendment would require a further study of the disclosure of 
funds that are provided for intelligence programs. The basic need for 
this amendment rests on the testimony of the Acting Director of Central 
Intelligence John McLaughlin before the Governmental Affairs Committee. 
He said:

       I would not go so far as to declassify the numbers for the 
     individual agencies. I think that gives too much opportunity 
     for adversaries to understand how we are moving our money 
     from year to year from technical programs to human source 
     collection and to other objectives.

  In the administration's statement of policy, the administration is 
also concerned that the committee bill mandates disclosure of sensitive 
information about the intelligence budget. The

[[Page S10030]]

legislation should not compel disclosure, including to the Nation's 
enemies in war, of the amounts requested by the President and the 
amounts provided for the conduct of the Nation's intelligence 
  I understand that the committee intends to comply with the 
recommendations of the 9/11 Commission with regard to this. But I think 
it is time we slow down a little bit and respond at least in part to 
some of the comments of those people who have spent their lifetimes now 
in our intelligence service.
  I can tell you that I have not spent my whole lifetime there, but I 
have spent some 30 years now in terms of watching over the Defense 
Appropriations Committee and being part of it at least. In terms of 
being chairman and ranking member, it has been now 23 years. This 
concerns me greatly because one of the problems of the appropriators is 
to find ways to have an honest budget but to put the money where the 
enemies of this country, those who want to do us harm, do not know what 
our emphasis is way out into the future.
  I remember when we started transitioning to electronic intelligence 
and how we traveled from place to place to look at these new satellites 
and the things they were going to do and got briefings on capacities. 
Those were developed over a series of years, and they got more 
complicated as they went along. But the money that was involved was 
  To have a disclosure of ``we are engaging in an entirely new effort 
in intelligence'' would be highly unwise.
  I quote from the second page of the administration statement:

       The Administration is also concerned that the Committee 
     bill mandates disclosure of sensitive information about the 
     intelligence budget. The legislation should not compel 
     disclosure, including to the Nation's enemies in war, of the 
     amounts requested by the President, and provided by the 
     Congress, for the conduct of the Nation's intelligence 

  I am deeply concerned about some of the problems of how we find a way 
to maintain the secrets of this country with regard to what we are 
doing in terms of human intelligence. We are building up human 
intelligence at the same time as we are changing the utilization of the 
electronic concept of intelligence. And while I believe the time may 
come when we can find a way to disclose certain portions of the budget, 
I have a real resistance to this proposal that says:

       Congress shall disclose . . . for each fiscal year after 
     fiscal year 2005 the aggregate amount of funds authorized to 
     be appropriated, and the aggregate amount of funds 
     appropriated by Congress for such fiscal year for the 
     National Intelligence Program.

  Then it directs the study of disclosure of additional information. We 
are certainly not opposed to the study. It is the mandate beginning in 
2005. We are going to start, for the fiscal year 2006, disclosing these 
amounts at a time when there is great change in the intelligence 
community. The whole structure of the intelligence community will be 
changed by this bill. To start disclosing where money is going is to 
tell the enemies of this country where our emphasis for the future is. 
It is the future I am concerned about in terms of disclosure.
  In the future we set up reserve accounts, and I will be talking about 
some of those soon. But if we set up reserve accounts, the reserves are 
classified as reserves because that is where they get the money for 
innovation and new developments. We don't have to disclose it. We don't 
have to tell them: Yes, we are going to build new satellites or we are 
going to build other devices that can listen to transmissions in the 
air and on the land and under sea.
  We have a lot of secrets in this country. They are all related to 
intelligence. Let me repeat that. Every one of our secrets is related 
to intelligence. They are highly classified. Many of them are known 
only to the President and a close circle. Part of that circle includes 
Members of Congress who deal with the very high-level, classified 
programs of the intelligence services.
  I urge that the Senate listen to us and listen to the administration 
and to those who have been involved in these activities. Again, I call 
to the attention of the Senate that when we returned and found there 
were a whole series of people who had not been heard on their 
viewpoints--they wanted to express their concerns--we held a hearing 
and listened to the intelligence people, who had great, distinguished 
records in the past. We listened to Secretary Kissinger and a whole 
series of people who wore our uniform and have been the top officers of 
our military. To a person, they do not believe we should move this fast 
on this disclosure item.
  Let us have the study. We are entirely in favor of the study. But to 
mandate the disclosure in the bill we will prepare in 2005, I think, is 
much too early, in view of the changes taking place in the area of 
intelligence. This is where we are going to start to see if there is 
any reaction to those who have had experience in the area, to the 
President, and to those who have reviewed the whole thing. Is the 
Senate going to listen to these people with some experience and say, 
OK, let's study it, but not make the judgment first and then study it?
  This disclosure in the next fiscal year is wrong, until we know what 
the policies of the NID are and what are going to be the policies of 
Congress and how we are going to handle this appropriation. It appears 
to me that the result of this bill will be to fractionalize the 
intelligence appropriation, anyway. Part of it is going to go to the 
Department of Defense; part will be split up into several agencies 
within the NID.
  I think we ought to know first what we are doing before we decide 
what we are going to disclose so we can maintain the secrecy that is 
required in order to prepare for the future. This is not something to 
correct mistakes of the past; this is something to prevent making 
mistakes in the future.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Maine is recognized.
  Ms. COLLINS. Mr. President, I have enormous respect for the Senator 
from Alaska. He is an extraordinary Senator, with many years of 
experience. I do want to assure the Senator from Alaska that, contrary 
to the implication in his statement, the committee did not adopt the 
recommendation of the 9/11 Commission to declassify the aggregate 
budget totals of all the agencies that make up the national 
intelligence program. We did not adopt that recommendation of the 9/11 
Commission because, based on our hearings and the testimony of our 
witnesses, we concluded that that goes too far and might well reveal 
information that would be helpful to those who would do us harm.
  The only declassification in the Collins-Lieberman bill is the top 
line aggregate amount for the entire national intelligence program. It 
does not declassify the specific appropriations amount distributed to 
agencies such as the National Security Agency, or the Defense 
Intelligence Agency, or the CIA, even though the 9/11 Commission 
recommended declassification at that level.

  Declassification, the top line, only that aggregate figure which has 
been estimated in the newspapers many, many times, I believe, will 
improve congressional and public oversight of the intelligence budget. 
It will help us with better decisionmaking on resource distribution, 
and it will make the structure and the management of the intelligence 
community more transparent.
  We asked our witnesses, including the Acting Director of the CIA, 
John McLaughlin, his views. And he, like most of our other expert 
witnesses, told us that as long as the specifics of the intelligence 
budget remain classified, there was no harm to national security to 
declassify just that top line aggregate amount.
  I think we struck the right balance in this regard. What we did is we 
included a study asking the national intelligence director to report 
back to us--to the Congress--on whether further declassification was 
appropriate. But the only step we took was that top line aggregate 
amount. If you don't declassify that in order to have a separate 
appropriation, then you end up, I fear, with the status quo--the money 
going through DOD accounts once again. That greatly weakens the budget 
authority of the national intelligence director.
  Again, I have enormous respect for the Senator from Alaska. I wanted 
to make clear what our bill does and what it doesn't do, because I 
think we have reached the right decision.
  Mr. STEVENS. Will the chairman yield for a question?

[[Page S10031]]

  Ms. COLLINS. Yes.
  Mr. STEVENS. I am looking at the bill. The bill says the President 
shall disclose to the public for each fiscal year after fiscal year 
2005 the aggregate amount of funds authorized and appropriated for the 
national intelligence program. Then I go back to the page 6 for the 
definition of national intelligence programs. It says:

       Refers to all national intelligence programs, projects, and 
     activities of the elements of the intelligence community;
       Includes all programs, projects, and activities (whether or 
     not pertaining to national intelligence) of the National 
     Intelligence Authority, the Central Intelligence Agency, the 
     National Security Agency, the National Geospatial-
     Intelligence Agency, the National Reconnaissance Office, the 
     Office of Intelligence of the Federal Bureau of 
     Investigation, and the Office of Information Analysis of the 
     Department of Homeland Security.

  That involves five different bills in the appropriations process. We 
currently put in any one of those five bills a portion of the 
clandestine activities we are financing with these moneys. So what you 
are going to tell us is, we no longer can use any portion of those 
because we are going to disclose the whole amount in every one of those 
  Listen to me. You have not lived with how we have financed the 
intelligence community. The money is not disclosed. It is put in parts 
of the budget and you don't know where it is. It rests with Senator 
Inouye and me, to be honest about it, and we make sure that is what it 
is. Maybe four people in the House and Senate know where this is. You 
are telling us to disclose it, without regard to where we put that 
money--disclose the money that is in each account and it goes into five 
separate bills. I say that is wrong. Wait until the NID comes into 
office and have him tell us how we can disclose what should be 
disclosed to the public. The public should not ask us to disclose this 
very classified, secret information to protect the future of the 
country through clandestine activities and acquisitions.

  I ask the question, does the Senator understand what her bill does? 
It will disclose the aggregate amount of funds--disclose them all, 
including the very, very top secret items, which probably three or four 
people in the White House, a few people in the CIA, or the DIA, and 
maybe eight people in the Congress would know.
  Ms. COLLINS. Mr. President, I direct the attention of the Senator 
from Alaska to line 16 on page 115, which clearly says that:

       The President shall disclose to the public for each fiscal 
     year after fiscal year 2005 the aggregate amount of 
     appropriations requested . . . for the National Intelligence 

  It does not say that we are requiring disclosure of the 
appropriations for the elements that make up the national intelligence 
  Mr. STEVENS. It says:

       The aggregate amount of funds authorized to be 
     appropriated, and the aggregate amount of funds appropriated, 
     by Congress for each fiscal year for each element of the 
     intelligence community.

  Both authorized and appropriated. That is on page 116, line 9.
  Ms. COLLINS. Mr. President, I say respectfully to the Senator from 
Alaska that that refers to the study on whether there should be further 
declassification. It does not refer to the disclosure. The disclosure 
is only--and it is very clearly stated--of the aggregate amount of the 
appropriations for the national intelligence program.

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Connecticut.
  Mr. LIEBERMAN. Mr. President, this is a very important discussion 
about another critical part of this bill. Obviously, the Senator from 
Alaska has had an extraordinary record of leadership in this and so 
many areas of the Senate. He knows the subject matter. He has lived 
with it a long time. I understand what we are proposing represents 
change. He is quite sincerely concerned about it from the point of view 
of our national security interests.
  I most of all want to assure him we spent a lot of time thinking 
about this. We did not just go for the 9/11 Commission recommendation. 
The 9/11 Commission recommended that we disclose not only the bottom 
line of the national intelligence budget but, in fact, the budget of 
every single agency.
  Their argument, as I am sure the Senator from Alaska knows, was that, 
one, the public has a right to know. Of course, we have to balance it--
what we disclose to our enemies--against national security, but if the 
budgets of those constituent agencies were out in the public, then 
maybe over the years the public and more Members of Congress might have 
decided we were not putting enough money into human intelligence, CIA, 
et cetera, and that we were putting too much into signal intelligence 
and that we would not have had the shortfall many people think we have 
  In our committee, Senator Collins and I decided we were not ready to 
make that leap of disclosing the budgets of the 15 constituent agencies 
of the intelligence community because we thought there was some risk 
involved about signaling the movement of our resources to those who 
wish us ill.
  Incidentally, there were some members of the Commission who felt very 
strongly about the disclosure of the budgets of all the agencies, 
including some former Members of this Chamber who really feel this was 
at the heart of it. We did not think so, and that is why we called for 
the study.
  We think we have, however, achieved something for asking for the 
disclosure of the bottom line because at least that tells the taxpayers 
and all the Members of Congress how much money we are spending for 
  In the course of this investigation, I asked some specific questions, 
obviously in closed settings, about the amount of money we are spending 
overall and for each individual agency. I was surprised at the answers 
I got. I think maybe more Members of Congress should ask those 
  But this is what I think we do achieve by having the bottom line 
disclosed. We are fulfilling a responsibility to the taxpayers to let 
them know how much money we are spending on intelligence because it is 
just the bottom line, without giving any particular guidance to our 
enemies as to where we are putting that money.
  The second point is, one result of this might be when more Members of 
Congress and the public see what we are spending on intelligence, which 
is so critical in the war on terrorism--intelligence is always critical 
in warfare and even more critical today because of the nature of this 
enemy which strikes at undefended targets, innocent civilians, and is 
crazy enough to blow themselves up.
  So the more we can see and hear and know what they are planning, the 
more likely we are going to be able to stop them.
  One conclusion, I say to my friend from Alaska, might be that Members 
of Congress and the public might conclude we are not spending enough on 
intelligence if they see the bottom line.
  Mr. STEVENS. Will the Senator yield?
  Mr. STEVENS. The problem is not that, from my point of view. My 
problem is we are going through a transition and saying for the very 
first year we are going to be asked to disclose the full amounts 
appropriated to the whole intelligence community.
  My amendment strikes all of section 201, in effect. I urge, at the 
very least, that we strike that provision that requires disclosure in 
2005. Let's have the study. I hope the NID will be able to make studies 
and get back to us sometime next year. But why put on us the 
requirement that we must collate and take all the moneys going to the 
intelligence community in 2006 when we are going to be working on that 
and, at the same time, he is making his adjustments in the whole 
  My effort is to protect the clandestine amounts, protect the amounts 
that are necessary for security. Why can we not at least agree to make 
it just the study? We all agree on the study. Maybe the Commission is 
right, and the Senator from Connecticut is wrong and I am wrong. Why 
don't we have the study and find out what the NID people think is right 
and then let us act on 2006?
  Mr. LIEBERMAN. Mr. President, I say to my friend from Alaska, it is 
impossible that he and I can both be wrong.
  Mr. STEVENS. We have been there before.
  Mr. LIEBERMAN. We have been there before.
  Listen, because of who you are and what you stand for, Senator 

[[Page S10032]]

and I will certainly think about this. We think we have struck a good 
balance in just asking for disclosure of the bottom line, no details, 
beginning public consideration of what we are spending on intelligence, 
and this study we ask for in 180 days, 6 months, and then we can make 
some judgments beyond that.
  I yield the floor. I thank the Senator. This is an important 
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Virginia.
  Mr. WARNER. Mr. President, I believe I am a cosponsor of the 
  Mr. STEVENS. Yes, Mr. President, the Senator is, along with Senator 
  Mr. WARNER. This is a debate we had many years on the floor of the 
Senate. It has been a debate we have talked about so many times, and 
there has been a consistency in the voting in the Senate to recognize 
the wisdom not to release the budgets.
  As yet, with all due respect to our managers and others, I have not 
heard an absolutely convincing argument to turn back at least several 
decades that this has been an issue of debate on this floor. What is it 
in the public interest or, most importantly, our national security 
interests that requires us at this time to reverse positions that have 
been taken by this Chamber, together with the other body, over the 
period of several decades that I have been privileged to serve here?
  My concern is that this world today is so rapidly changing, and with 
the advancement of electronics and so many devices to determine what we 
in an open society are doing, why put the roadmap on the table for all 
to begin to search?
  It has been my experience that if you put out half a loaf, it will be 
followed by a request to get the other half of the loaf. Were this 
provision to prevail, we would be back here in a very short time, some 
colleagues with the best of intentions, saying: Why don't you put it 
all out? Why should we have any of it secret? That, coupled with the 
fact I have in my lifetime never seen a period where there is greater 
uncertainty about the security of this country--because of the 
progression of weapons of mass destruction, because of the progression 
of terrorism, and the proliferation of individuals who are willing to 
give up their lives to do harm in this country and other parts of the 
world--I just do not think at this point in time, without following, I 
think, the sage advice of our distinguished President pro tempore, we 
need to reverse what this Chamber has considered and decided upon year 
after year that I have been here.
  So I urge colleagues to support the amendment of the senior Senator 
from Alaska. I intend to strongly do so.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Alaska.
  Mr. STEVENS. Mr. President, I heard the last part of the comments of 
the Senator from Connecticut. I suggest we put this aside and see if we 
can come to some conclusion.
  The Senator makes a good suggestion of putting a time limit on the 
study and getting us to the point where we might be able to follow this 
suggestion by the fiscal year 2006 bill. That bill will, in all 
probability, move through the Congress, I would say, by the May, June, 
and July timeframe. With the 180 days, I am afraid the Senator may be 
referring to the start of the fiscal year. That bill goes through the 
House and Senate. These are the first bills--Defense and Homeland 
Security, and Intelligence. Obviously; It is going to be in the first 
three without any question.
  So the 180 days is going to be June, and this bill will be moving 
through the House before that time.
  We probably could catch it before they finish in terms of if there is 
a recommendation we need, but I would urge my colleagues to consider 
repealing the requirement for disclosure and say that we urge the NID 
to give us the earliest possible date for that disclosure, when it 
could be done in the national interest.
  We are putting a lot of control and power in this person. Let's have 
him tell us when and if it should happen rather than direct it now. 
Make the study and leave it up to him to recommend to us, at least to 
what extent we should disclose, commencing in fiscal year 2006.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Connecticut.
  Mr. LIEBERMAN. Mr. President, I want to read a few sentences from the 
9/11 Commission Report on page 416 which I think are relevant. It says:

     . . . Opponents of declassification argue that America's 
     enemies could learn about intelligence capabilities by 
     tracking the top-line appropriations figure. Yet the top-line 
     figure by itself provides little insight into U.S. 
     intelligence sources and methods. . . .

  Here is a point that one of the members of the Commission, again a 
former member of this body, made from the 9/11 Commission Report.

       The U.S. Government readily provides copious information 
     about spending on its military forces, including military 
     intelligence. The intelligence community should not be 
     subject to that much disclosure. But when even aggregate 
     categorical numbers remain hidden, it is hard to judge 
     priorities and foster accountability.

  That is in defense of disclosing the 15 individual agency budgets.
  I say to the Senator from Alaska, who knows this better than I--and I 
am honored to serve on the authorizing Armed Services Committee--we 
give a fair amount of detail of the budget in terms of military 
  Mr. STEVENS. Will the Senator yield?
  Mr. STEVENS. Unfortunately, that is not a part of the report. That is 
a comment after the recommendation. It sort of demonstrates the extent 
of the knowledge they had about what they were dealing with in the 
recommendations, because that is not true. We do not disclose the 
amount we appropriate for defense intelligence. We disclose the amount 
in the budget that we support defense intelligence agencies with pay, 
facilities, and offices, but the amounts of their programs are not 

  What I am saying to the Senator is, as we approach this, I think 
there is a growing desire to know how much money we are spending. The 
Senator may be right. Maybe people want us to spend more. I have wanted 
to spend more for a long time.
  Mr. LIEBERMAN. I know that is true.
  Mr. STEVENS. The problem is people ought to know what they are 
talking about before they change the system. In these budgets are both 
moneys for acquisition and for salaries, and somewhere in there is some 
money that everybody knows, in the intelligence community, where it is 
and what it is for.
  In the Defense authorization bill there is a classified portion of 
that budget.
  Mr. LIEBERMAN. Sure.
  Mr. STEVENS. I am not even sure, other than the chairman and ranking 
member, if the Senator knows what is in there. I am saying so 
apologetically, but the system that requires secrecy in this country on 
some things is kept secret. This disclosure prematurely might trigger 
someone saying ``watch that'' in answering the question, and that would 
be bad because if they answer the question about what they knew was in 
there, that would disclose what they did not know was in there.
  Mr. LIEBERMAN. A final response on this point. The Senator from 
Alaska says correctly if one looks at the overall budget of a given 
military agency, it does not tell what they are spending on different 
programs. So I want to assure the Senator from Alaska that under the 
committee's proposal, not only do we not talk about what is being spent 
on specific programs and specific intelligence agencies, we do not talk 
about what is being spent in those agencies. We talk about the one 
number, the conglomerate bottom line or top-line number, and I think 
that only gives a general idea of what we are investing in 
intelligence, far from any specific information about what we are 
investing in particular kinds of intelligence, signal, human, image, 
let alone specific programs.
  I would not do this if I thought it would jeopardize our national 
security. In fact, that is why we did not call, as the Commission 
requested, for disclosure of individual agency budgets because we 
worried it might, and that is why we are asking for a report from the 
national intelligence director.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Maine.
  Ms. COLLINS. Mr. President, I will quote Acting CIA Director John 
McLaughlin from our September 8 hearing on this very issue. He said:

[[Page S10033]]

       If there is a separate appropriation for the foreign 
     intelligence program, the national intelligence program, as 
     distinct from the current arrangement where that 
     appropriation is buried in the larger Defense Department 
     bill, I think it would make some sense to declassify the 
     overall number for the foreign intelligence program.

  That was typical of our witnesses.
  I also note that the top line has been made public on occasion in the 
past. It was made public in 1997 and 1998 by the DCI.
  At this point there are numerous Senators who are asking what the 
plan is for today and who are trying to catch planes. I ask for the 
regular order with respect to Lautenberg amendment No. 3802, and I ask 
unanimous consent that there be 2 minutes on each side prior to a 
motion to table the amendment. I further ask for the yeas and nays.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Mr. STEVENS. Reserving the right to object, it is my understanding 
that that would set aside the pending amendment and take up that 
procedure. We would come back to this amendment. Or is there another 
amendment in the queue by regular order?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. There is no other amendment in the queue by 
regular order.
  Mr. REID. I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. HOLLINGS. I ask unanimous consent that the order for the quorum 
call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. HOLLINGS. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent the pending 
amendment be set aside so I can call up my amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.