DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2005
Mr. KENNEDY. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the pending amendment be temporarily set aside.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection? Without objection, it is so ordered.
AMENDMENT NO. 3626
Mr. KENNEDY. Mr. President, I send an amendment to the desk and ask that it be counted under the agreement toward one of Senator Murray's amendments.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered. The clerk will report.
The legislative clerk read as follows:
The Senator from Massachusetts [Mr. KENNEDY] proposes an amendment numbered 3626.
Mr. KENNEDY. 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 as follows:
(Purpose: To require the President to provide to Congress a copy of the Scowcroft Commission report on improving the capabilities of the United States intelligence community)
On page 39, between lines 5 and 6, insert the following:
SEC. 515. (a) Not later than 15 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the President shall submit a copy of the Scowcroft Commission report to Congress.
(b) The report required under subsection (a) shall be submitted in unclassified form, but may include a classified annex.
© In this section, the term "Scowcroft Commission report" means the report on improving the capabilities of the United States intelligence community that was prepared by the presidential commission appointed pursuant to National Security Presidential Directive 5 (May 9, 2001) and chaired by General Brent Scowcroft and that was submitted to the President in or around December 2001.
Mr. KENNEDY. Mr. President, I acknowledge and thank the leadership of the other side for their cooperation in working through this particular situation.
This amendment will require the President to give Congress a copy of the December 2001 Scowcroft Commission report on intelligence reform. A classified annex could be provided is necessary, although some of those who have seen the report say that it contains very little that would be harmful to National security. What is harmful to our security is the continuing refusal by the Bush administration to make the report public.
As my colleagues know, General Brent Scowcroft had a distinguished military career and served as the National Security Adviser to the first President Bush. Because of his broad experience with intelligence and his widely respected intellect and insights, the current President Bush appointed him as chairman of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board.
In National Security Presidential Directive 5, in May 2001, President Bush ordered a review of U.S. intelligence to ensure that U.S. intelligence capabilities are well designed to deal with that wide range of critical challenges facing the Nation. General Scowcroft was named to lead a commission to provide recommendations on intelligence reform as a result of that directive.
However, the report of the Scowcroft Commission, which was submitted 3 months after 9/11, continues to be classified, despite repeated requests from the Congress to release it.
On July 21 this year an article by Shaun Waterman of United Press International, discussing the Scowcroft recommendations was published. As the article stated:
Scowcroft's report, which remains classified, proposed giving the existing CIA Director budget, administrative and hire/fire control over the three largest and most expensive agencies, according to former Office of Management and Budget National Security Chief Richard Stubbings. The National Security Agency, which intercepts phone calls, faxes, emails and the like; the National Reconnaissance Office, which designs, builds and maintains spy satellites; and the National Geo-Spatial Intelligence Agency, which analyzes spy satellite photos, would all be taken out of the Pentagon's control and transferred-along with parts of the FBI-to the control of a modified director post.
That is the end of that report.
Obviously these reformed submitted in December 2001, are very similar to the reforms proposed by the 9/11 Commission in the summer of 2004. In fact, similar proposals on intelligence reform have been made for almost 50 years.
In 1955, a commission led by Herbert Hoover recommended splitting off CIA management duties so that the Director of Central Intelligence could focus on coordinating the entire intelligence community.
In 1976, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence led by Frank Church recommended giving the Director control over intelligence budgets and relieving him of day-to-day CIA management responsibilities.
in 1976, former Secretary of Defense Clark Clifford recommended establishing a National intelligence director.
In 1985, Admiral Stansfield Turner recommended establishing a National intelligence director to oversee the entire intelligence community, with the CIA Director managing only the CIA.
Despite these and other recommendations, needed intelligence reforms were never enacted.
The 9/11 Commissioners were given a copy of the Scowcroft recommendations as background for their work, and the final report from the Commission drew significantly from his recommendations.
Governor Thomas Kean, Chairman of the 9/11 Commission, made this point clearly at a Senate Select Intelligence Committee hearing last Tuesday. He said:
And a number of the recommendations we've made have synthesized things from people like Scowcroft and a number of others who have made similar recommendations. And those recommendations have not been implemented.
Clearly, before we act on intelligence reform later this month, Congress should have benefit of General Scowcroft's recommendations as well. Congress faces a major task in reorganizing the intelligence community, at this time when the threats against our Nation are new and different. We must have the best information, advice and wisdom on this challenge, including a copy of the Scowcroft Commission report.
General Scowcroft, I am told, will be talking to Members of the Senate Intelligence Committee this week in closed session about the report. But the meeting is for committee members only, is classified, and is off-the-record. I understand that none of the committee members will be permitted to read the report.
Frankly, that is ridiculous. Every Member of Congress has an interest in being well-informed before voting on intelligence reform. Every American has an interest too. The 9/11 Commission's report and its 41 recommendations are not classified, and General Scowcroft's should not be classified either.
Congress should not be forced to rely on sketchy press reports for information on an issue with such important consequences for our National security and our ability too fight the al-Qaida terrorists. It is irresponsible for the administration to keep Congress in the dark.
We hope to complete action on legislation to implement the 9/11 Commission recommendations before we adjourn. Given the enormous stakes for our Nation, it is unconscionable that the President has not already made an unclassified copy of the Scowcroft report available to us.
There is bipartisan support for release of the Scowcroft Commission report and recommendations. In July, the Democratic leader asked the President to declassify the report. During an August 16 Senate Armed Services Committees hearing on the 9/11 Commission recommendations, Senator WARNER, our distinguished Chairman, indicated that the Congress should have the report. He said:
For the record, the Scowcroft Commission report has not been released by the White House. So there has been some public discussion of its major points, so we're going to look into seeing whether or not we can have greater access to it.
Senator Roberts, the Chairman of the Intelligence Committee, also seeks the Scowcroft Commission report. At the same hearing, he said:
I just had a talk with Brent Scowcroft last Thursday, and even at my age, I begged him on hands and knee to release the report to the Intelligence Committee and to the Armed Services Committee.
At our August 17 hearing, Senator Roberts said he agreed that "it would be very helpful" if the Scowcroft recommendations were released.
Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has also indicated that he can't see any reason why the Scowcroft Report should not be declassified. When he testified in the Senate Armed Services Committee last month, he said:
I've been briefed on the Scowcroft Commission report. I don't see any reason why there shouldn't be a process going through and see what portion of it can be declassified. I don't know who classified it in the first place. It wasn't the Department of Defense, to my knowledge. . . .
Why does the administration refuse to declassify the report and make it available to Congress? Why would the administration knowingly put the Congress in the position of acting on an intelligence reform proposal with enormous consequences for our National security, without having an unclassified copy of this crucial report?
The obvious reason is that the administration is desperate to avoid embarrassment about the President's mishandling of intelligence reform.
The Scowcroft report and recommendations are nearly 3 years old. They were submitted to President Bush in December 2001-just 3 months after the devastating attacks on September 11. Now, finally, we are about to enact long-overdue reforms to enable our intelligence community to deal more effectively with terrorist threats and other threats to our security.
The President needs to come clean. He should release a declassified copy of the report to the Congress so we can act responsibly on intelligence reform. The American people can decide for themselves whether the President has dragged his feet on intelligence reform for nearly 3 years, despite his current rhetoric about the need for change.
I urge the President to declassify the Scowcroft Commission report immediately, and that is what my amendment would do.
BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT
Mr. KENNEDY. Mr. President, will the Senator allow me to respond?
Mr. COCHRAN. I am happy to yield to the Senator.
Mr. KENNEDY. Mr. President, I think the Senator is quite correct in terms of understanding that with an appropriations bill there are rules about whether we have legislation, et cetera, on appropriations, and that is done for good reason. The Senator has outlined some thoughts. The authorization, as the Senator knows, has already been passed and is now in conference.
Let me mention this point, because we looked very carefully at this issue.
The Scowcroft Commission deals with the amendment. There is the requirement that all amendments be related to the text of homeland security. The Scowcroft Commission report deals with collection, analysis, and dissemination of intelligence. The Department of Homeland Security plays an important role in these matters, and the Office of the Under Secretary for
Information, Analysis and Infrastructure Protection is funded in this bill. On page 74, it says it is responsible for collecting and disseminating terrorist threat information, fusing and integrating data with foreign intelligence to produce a comprehensive picture of threat, and developing and implementing an action plan to mitigate terrorist threats and national vulnerabilities. The Scowcroft report addresses issues that would have a substantial impact on the way this office and all intelligence officials at the Department of Homeland Security conduct their work, and the quality of intelligence to a large extent determines whether the Department of Homeland Security is able to perform its mission and protect the public from future terrorists.
On page 29 of the bill, $157 million is provided for intelligence functions in the Office of Director of Information, Analysis and Infrastructure in the Department of Homeland Security.
Then section 504 of the bill specifically provides funds made available by this act for intelligence activities are determined to be specifically authorized by the Congress.
This is legislative language authorizing the operation of a portion of the intelligence community.
I want to say to the Senator that we thought long and hard about the appropriateness of this amendment. Reading through the legislation itself, it appeared these matters were directly in line with a number of at least some portions of the Scowcroft Commission report. Particularly since we have such a sense of urgency in ensuring that we are going to try to get it right with the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission and the Scowcroft report, given the fact, as I mentioned earlier, that Secretary Rumsfeld, Chairman Warner, Chairman Roberts all indicated they thought it would be of use and value, it seemed to me this could be something we can all get behind and support.
I thank the Chair.