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Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Ms. JACKSON LEE of Texas. I thank the chairperson of the Intelligence Committee and the ranking member and speak in the spirit of bipartisanship, and I congratulate both gentlemen for recognizing that the security and intelligence of America speaks loudly to the idea of bipartisanship.

Just a few hours ago, I was in a classified briefing--for fear of anyone thinking that I will share that classified briefing, I will not. But what I will say is it is clear that intelligence is a key to the peace and security that the American people have experienced since 9/11. Through the work of Members of Congress and the intelligence community, of which we owe a great deal of that gratitude, we have been able to, for now some 11 years plus on our soil, experience the safety and security, although we have had many attempts.

For that reason, I believe this is important work. My amendment says that it is important for the Director to consider the necessary processes to increase the recruitment and training of ethnic minorities as officers and employees of the CIA.

We have done this before. We have encouraged them to do so. And we can say that there have been gradual steps. And we applaud that. But the men and women who conduct this important work certainly deserve our support and all of the resources that we can muster to make sure they are successful in their endeavors. Yet we also ensure that the CIA itself reflects the American population and that of the world. Having agents who can be deployed anywhere at any time is vital to our national security, as well as the ability to interact with foreign nationals who speak the language is truly important. A diverse workforce can make America safer and more secure.

Historically, there's been an exclusion of minorities, particularly African Americans and Latinos, in the highest levels of national security. Let's continue to break that barrier. It's taken decades for minorities to make inroads into America's national security apparatus. And I know that this is a sense of Congress, but I always have faith that people will adhere to a positive statement by this body.

Although the number of CIA employees remains a classified secret, the Agency has released some numbers over the years. In 1966, blacks represented 10 percent of the CIA's total workforce and only 3 percent of the Agency's officers in senior intelligence service, whereas 17 percent of the clerical staff and 22 percent of the Agency's blue collar workforce was African American.

Over this past weekend, we commemorated, mourned, and celebrated our fallen soldiers. I had the privilege of having uncles who went off to war in World War II, one who served as a chief petty officer in the United States Navy. That was the integrated United States Navy. I can tell you that we are better for it when we utilize the talents of all Americans.

In 1992, a declassified study of CIA personnel found that about half of all black intelligence officers reported that they had been victims of racial harassment by the Agency. As of today, of the CIA's core of case officers, which is believed to number more than 1,000, only 11 percent are minorities and 18 percent are women. The majority of the Agency's top managers are still predominantly nonminorities.

According to CIA officials, one-third of the new operations officers hired in 2011 have been women, while just 11 percent have been minorities, as traditionally defined: African Americans, Asian Americans, or Latinos. Twenty percent of all new operations officers are native speakers of a foreign language and 75 percent have advanced proficiency in foreign languages, many because they've lived abroad. Almost half have advanced degrees.

I applaud that and I truly believe, as some may be listening and saying, Aren't we are all Americans? Yes, we are. If we are all Americans, then our CIA, one of our most storied Agencies, needs to join and continue to recruit and improve on bringing in the diverse picture of the face of America because we'll be better for it.
When President Truman integrated the United States military, we became better for it. We celebrate all people who are willing to put the Nation's uniform on and die for their country. Likewise, for this wonderful intelligence Agency, we do the same.

With that, I ask my colleagues to support my amendment, and I reserve the balance of my time.

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Ms. JACKSON LEE of Texas. I thank the gentleman. I thank the ranking member as well.

In closing, let me just pay tribute to Garrett Jones, who served as a CIA station chief in Somalia during peacekeeping operations in 1993 and was cited as an African American officer who was able to work undercover for weeks in North Mogadishu, which his duty officers said would have been all but impossible by Jones' other officers.

We all have a contribution to make. And I look forward to this sense of Congress not being weeded out in conference and reemphasizing the importance of this effort.

With that I ask support of my amendment, and I yield back the balance of my time.

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Ms. JACKSON LEE of Texas. Again, let me thank the chairman of the committee and the ranking member for bringing forward a bipartisan initiative, and I hope that this would add to, again, reemphasizing what we have begun to do and that we will continue to do, and that is to recognize the value of security, but also recognize what Americans hold dear--their privacy, their respect for individual rights, their civil liberties. And so this amendment speaks specifically to the importance of protecting the civil liberties of religious and ethic minorities.

I can cite the moments in history where we have failed. Certainly, the Japanese interment loudly speaks in current, modern-day history of the tragedy of not respecting the civil liberties of Americans. Certainly, if we went as far back as the slave history of America, we can see that those who are on American soil who would have sought well to be Americans, their civil liberties were not protected.

But America has made great progress, and I think it is important as we look at new populations that come to this country that we particularly focus on this whole concept of religious liberty. It is a concept that sometimes is very difficult to adhere to. I may not agree with your faith and your religion, but you have the right to practice it as long as you're not doing harm to the American people.

For example, President George W. Bush in 2001 told the American Congress during that very difficult time that terrorists practice a fringe form of Islamic extremism that has been rejected by Muslim scholars and the vast majority of Muslim clerics, a fringe movement that perverts the peaceful teachings of Islam.
And so this particular faith certainly has been one that has been most noted. I think we have all come to the conclusion that we should protect the civil liberties of those who practice their faith under the Constitution of the United States, which the First Amendment guarantees the right to the freedom of access, freedom of movement, freedom of religion, freedom of speech.

I would hope that in the intelligence community, as they do their work fighting terrorism, fighting the potential of those terrorist cells that may find themselves on our soil, that they will recognize the right of individuals to practice the faith and the aspect of the faith that follows the tenets of their faith and not categorize those individuals simply because of their faith that they might be intending to do us wrong.

There are many incidences where we have the kind of treatment of individuals because they happen to be of a particular background, particular ethnicity, racial background, and then, of course, faith. But I want to speak to this amendment so that people will know that it is a broad base, because many times we have disagreement with a number of subsets of different faiths, whether it's Protestant, whether it's faith that we are used to addressing.

So it is a statement that says that the civil liberties of all Americans will not be deprived through the necessity of protecting this land through our intelligence community on the basis of their religion and ethnic minorities.

We know that in some jurisdictions there have been incidences of individuals that believe that their privacy has been intruded upon. I would hope that in the framework of the fine work that the intelligence community has to do that there is no intimidation of making sure that civil liberties can be protected.

Many of us have debated a number of bills on the floor of the House dealing with privacy questions. I think it is important in this sense of Congress to always restate that we are committed to national security, but we're committed to the civil liberties of those within our soil--American citizens.

With that, I ask my colleagues to support my amendment, and I reserve the balance of my time.

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Ms. JACKSON LEE of Texas. Let me capture what the chairman said. I like the terminology that says the American people must have faith in their intelligence community, but faith in the principles upon which we live. And they must know that the Constitution is a living, breathing document. And we as Members of Congress must as well.

So, again, I make a plea that this sense of Congress is a reaffirmation, but also an encouragement and a statement that should be in this bill that we respect the civil liberties of racial, ethnic, and religious minorities, and in fact so will our intelligence community.

With that in mind, I would ask my colleagues to support the amendment and also ask that it be maintained even in conference, the reaffirmation of this important instruction as the civil liberties protection officer operates and does the work that they need to do. I ask my colleagues to support the amendment, and I yield back the balance of my time.

Mr. Chair, I rise to debate my amendment #8 to H.R. 5743, ``Intelligence Authorization Act,'' which is a Sense of Congress that the intelligence community should take all appropriate actions necessary to protect the civil liberties of religious and ethnic minorities.

We can obtain vital intelligence without compromising our civil liberties. As you know, risks to civil liberties are inherent in the very nature of domestic intelligence. This is because intelligence necessarily operates in secret and as a result, it is difficult to subject intelligence activities to the checks and balances that the Framers of the Constitution realized were essential to prevent abuses of power. Even judicial reviews of intelligence activities are often given deference.

Intelligence is the information we use to identify and locate individuals involved in planning terrorist acts. This information must then be used to prevent any potential attack and can be done in ways that are legally permissible.

Domestic intelligence community left unchecked could pose significant dangers to open government, individual privacy, and civil liberties. My amendment is designed as a limitation for a reason. We need a bill that is strong on civil liberties, and includes protections against infringement of our constitutional right to privacy.

My amendment serves as a reminder that the American people have put their faith in the intelligence community and in Congress to protect not only their security but the very essence of what makes America great ..... our freedoms.

Thomas Jefferson in 1787 stated that ``[A] bill of rights is what the people are entitled to against every government on earth, general or particular, and what no just government should refuse.''

The September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on America have forced serious reflections about the institutional framework of civil society and the commitment to democratic principles. Although the balancing of the protections of citizens' rights and liberties against their peace and security is a continuous constitutional struggle. Especially during war and national crisis.

According to Justice Sandra Day O'Connor ``We're likely to experience more restrictions on our personal freedom than has ever been the case in our country ..... it will cause us to re-examine some of our laws pertaining to criminal surveillance, wiretapping, immigration and so on'' (New York Times, Sept. 29 2001).

Our efforts to provide for the safety and security has required Americans to accept certain restriction on their freedoms--more surveillance of their papers and communications, more searches of their belongings, possible detention without a writ of habeas corpus, and proceedings by military tribunals without the standard protections of due process of civil courts.

I realize that we must give our intelligence community the proper tools to protect us while upholding the civil liberties of Americans.

We must always recognize that the American people are being asked to trade off civil liberties and personal freedom for a greater sense of security from the threat of terrorist.

It is no answer to these legitimate concerns that police officers or member of the intelligence community who monitor political or religious meetings, compile dossiers on political activists, or infiltrate lawful protest organizations are complying with the Fourth Amendment and are doing no more than any member of the public could do on his or her own. When government acts, it has a special obligation to respect constitutional rights--which include the First as well as the Fourth Amendment--an obligation not imposed on private citizens. My amendment is a Sense that it is the intent of this body to protect the civil liberties of the very groups that may be monitored as a direct response to our concerns about a terrorist attack. We must be led not by fear but by reason!

The challenge to our intelligence community is the same as the challenge for the nation as a whole. Securing the Nation's freedom depends not on making a choice between security and liberty, but in designing and implementing policies that allow the American people to be both safe and free.

Increased threats of terrorism after September 11, 2001, lightning-fast technological innovation, and the erosion of key privacy protections under the law threaten to alter the American way of life in fundamental ways.

Terrorism threatens--and is calculated to threaten--not only our sense of safety, but also our freedom and way of life. Terrorists intend to frighten us into changing our basic laws and values and to take actions that are not in our long-term interests.

While the government has both the power and the obligation under the Constitution to defend the nation and its security, these powers cannot be exercised in a manner that contravenes individual constitutional liberties. Among others, these include the First Amendment's guarantee of freedom of speech, religion, and association, and the Fourth Amendment's protection against unreasonable searches and seizures. In addition, as with all government powers, national security and intelligence gathering powers should be subject to checks and balances, including meaningful judicial review and probing oversight by the Congress.

The internment of thousands of Japanese serves as a reminder for why we must protect the civil liberties of religious and ethnic minorities.

JAPANESE INTERNMENT--A LESSON ON THE IMPORTANCE OF PROTECTING CIVIL LIBERTIES

One week after the Pearl Harbor attack, President Franklin D. Roosevelt promised to preserve constitutional freedoms, ``We will not, under any threat, or in the face of any danger, surrender the guarantees of liberty our forefathers framed for us in our Bill of Rights'' but it was not long after that speech that the War Department was concerned about a foreign threat to the west coast.

Congress held hearing and in 1942 the Congressional Subcommittee on Aliens and Sabotage recommended ``the immediate evacuation of all persons of Japanese lineage and all the other, aliens and citizens alike, whose presence shall be deemed dangerous or inimical to the defense of the U.S. from all strategic areas''. President Roosevelt signed the Executive order 9066 calling for the evacuations ..... Roosevelt justified the action as ``war requires every possible protection against espionage and against sabotage to national-defense material, national-defense premises .....''

The result: More than 120,000 Japanese Americans, the majority of whom were American citizens or legal permanent residents were placed in internment camps violating their civil rights to be treated with fairness and equality, without discrimination and their Fifth Amendment right to due process.

It was not until 1988 that victims received a reparation check and an apology from President Reagan. ``The United States unjustly interned, evacuated, or relocated you and many other Japanese Americans ..... and unfairly denied Japanese Americans and their families fundamental liberties during World War II ..... the Nation's actions were rooted deeply in racial prejudice, wartime hysteria, and a lack of political leadership.''

My amendment stands as a reminder that we must not repeat the mistakes of our past.

PROTECT PERSONAL PRIVACY

When the Bill of Rights was written, protecting personal privacy was largely an issue of protecting the integrity of physical property--and so the Fourth Amendment speaks of the people's right to security in their ``persons, houses, papers, and effects .....''

Today, our most intimate conversations, correspondence and records are apt to be recorded digitally, rather than contained in paper records secured in private homes and offices. Likewise, the most routine details of daily life--credit card purchases at a drug store or bookstore, passage through a toll booth or subway station, the television shows recorded by a digital video recorder--now leave electronic footprints scattered across a myriad of computer databases.

Today, the transformation of our society from one dependent primarily on the privacy of ``persons, houses, papers, and effects'' in the physical world is accelerating exponentially. As the result of this transformation, a host of previously anonymous behavior and private information can now be captured and linked to a specific person without any trespass into the person's home or office.

Our laws are struggling to catch up. So far, the courts have left largely immune from Fourth Amendment scrutiny a range of highly personal information--including financial records, medical records, and library and book records--on a theory that there is no reasonable expectation of privacy in information in the hands of third parties. See, e.g., United States v. Miller, 425 U.S. 435 (1976).

Today, we live a world in which a personal calendar or journal--once stored in paper form in a home, office, or briefcase--is now as likely to be stored on a personal digital assistant connected to a server owned by a third party. In such a world, the courts should reconsider the idea that information held by third parties lacks constitutional protection.

In United States v. United States District Court (``Keith''), 407 U.S. 297 (1972), the Supreme Court decided that wiretapping was subject to the Fourth Amendment even if it was conducted for national security purposes. That case involved a domestic terrorist conspiracy to bomb the office of the Central Intelligence Agency in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Still, without dismissing the real national security threat posed by such illegal activity, the Supreme Court rejected Attorney General John Mitchell's claim of a clandestine domestic intelligence gathering power that would allow the executive branch to wiretap without court review or congressional authorization.

Such an unchecked power, the Supreme Court observed, would inevitably pose dangers to lawful dissent: ``Though the investigative duty of the executive may be stronger in such [national security] cases, so also is there greater jeopardy to constitutionally protected speech. ..... History abundantly documents the tendency of government--however benevolent and benign its motives--to view with suspicion those who most fervently dispute its policies. ..... The price of lawful public dissent must not be a dread of subjection to an unchecked surveillance power.'' Keith, 407 U.S. at 313 314.

Safeguards also must exist to protect First Amendment freedoms of speech, worship and association. When conducting counter-terrorism and counter-intelligence investigations, the Department of Justice operates under guidelines approved by the Attorney General. The purpose of investigative guidelines is to ensure that intrusive investigative techniques are used to monitor terrorists, spies, and foreign agents, not political or religious organizations engaged in lawful dissent. These guidelines recognize that such techniques, which are left largely unregulated by the Fourth Amendment, pose a risk to First Amendment freedom of association.

The Supreme court has recognized a ``vital relationship between freedom to associate and privacy in one's associations.'' NAACP v. State of Alabama, 357 U.S. 449, 462 (1958). Where individuals participate in unpopular political or religious organizations, members of those organizations fear--often with good reason--``economic reprisal, loss of employment, threat of physical coercion, and other manifestations of public hostility.'' Routine, intrusive government investigations of lawful, but unpopular, political organizations would clearly pose a serious risk to the First Amendment because their members would fear that such information, if leaked, could be used against them.

It should be the Government's burden to establish, to the satisfaction of Congress, that intelligence gathering initiatives do not pose a threat to fundamental American values. Congress can decide simply to forbid the policy from going forward at all because it cannot be implemented consistently with fundamental American civil liberties. Support my amendment!

RACIAL PROFILING/RELIGIOUS PROFILING

The Department of Justice, DOJ, banned any use of racial profiling in 2003. Despite this, racial profiling still occurs; there are some who claim racial profiling led to the 50 percent decrease in violent crime. In reality, racial profiling is against our basic values, it does not work, and it actually hinders effective law enforcement. That opinion is shared by law enforcement professionals and legal scholars, as well advocates of populations most likely to be targeted by profiling. The overwhelming weight of statistical data supports this position.

As the Ranking Member on the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Transportation and Senior Member of the Judiciary Committee, I am aware of the injustices that are faced by minorities in this country due to racial profiling. In Homeland Security I had to sit through a hearing on the Radicalization of our Prisons, the need to watch Muslim Americans, and certain Somali Americans.

In the days following the devastating attacks of September 11, 2001, this country came together in an unprecedented and inspiring display of unity and patriotism. Americans of differing ethnicities, background and religions came together in support of the nation.

In his address to a joint session of Congress on September 20, 2001, President George W. Bush told Congress, the American people, and the world that ``terrorists practice a fringe form of Islamic extremism that has been rejected by Muslim scholars and the vast majority of Muslim clerics; a fringe movement that perverts the peaceful teachings of Islam.''

The Homeland Security Committee continues to focus on the Islamic faith and those who follow it, as a threat to national security. We set the example that the Intelligence Community follows. We must stand up to violations of a person's civil liberty, but most especially for religious and ethic minorities. It is clear that Muslim Americans since 9/11 have been singled out and targeted for their religious beliefs.

Racial and religious profiling is against our basic values, it does not work, and it actually hinders effective law enforcement. That opinion is shared by law enforcement professionals and legal scholars, as well advocates of populations most likely to be targeted by profiling. The overwhelming weight of statistical data supports this position.

And yet, there are still those who insist that it is a valid tool for crime fighting and anti-terrorism work. They insist that if you have nothing to hide, you have no reason to mind answering a few simple questions, that it is a minor inconvenience. I find that inexplicable.

It is more than a minor inconvenience to have the police or FBI come into your workplace, to question you in front of your coworkers, and put your job at risk. It is more than a minor inconvenience to be stopped on the street, to be pulled over on a pretext, so that police officers can find a reason to question you. When the use of force or threat of force by police officers is dramatically increasing, it is more than a minor inconvenience to be more likely to be pulled over and put in that position, because of the color of your skin.

Thirty two million Americans have reported that they were the victims of racial profiling. That is thirty two million Americans humiliated, intimidated, and treated as second class citizens in service of a policy that does nothing to keep us safer.

In past years, I have supported measures that would end this practice. I look forward to hearing from the witnesses about how we can end this ineffective, un-American practice, whether through training, executive orders, or through legislation we craft in Congress.

RACIAL PROFILING AND TERRORISM

``DRIVING WHILE ARAB''

The events of September 11, 2001, have had a profound impact on racial profiling. Following the terrorist attacks, law enforcement agents have subjected individuals of Arab or South Asian descent, Muslims, and Sikhs to racial profiling. While national and local statistics are not yet available, anecdotal accounts how Arabs, Muslims, and Sikhs have endured racial profiling.

For example, in the months following September 11th, a new type of racial profiling has developed: ``driving while Arab.'' Arabs, Muslim, and Sikhs across the country were subjected to traffic stops and searches based in whole or part on their ethnicity or religion.

On October 4, 2001, in Gwinnett, Georgia, an Arab motorist's car was stopped, he was approached by a police officer whose gun was drawn, and he was called a ``bin Laden supporter'' all for making an illegal U-turn. On October 8, 2001, two Alexandria, VA, police officers stopped three Arab motorists. The officers questioned the motorists about a verse of the Koran hanging from the rear view mirror, and asked about documents in the back seat. The police officer confiscated the motorists' identification cards and drove off without explanation. He returned 10 minutes later, and claimed be had had to take another call.

On December 5, 2001, a veiled Muslim woman in Burbank, Illinois, was stopped by a police officer for driving with suspended plates. The officer asked the woman when Ramadan was over, asked her offensive question about her hair, and pushed her into his patrol car as he arrested her for driving with suspended plates. The woman was released from custody later that day.

DEPORTATION WITHOUT DUE PROCESS

A particularly egregious form of terrorism profiling occurs when Arab men and women are detained and deported without due process.

Since September 11th, hundreds of Arab and Muslim individuals have been detained on suspicion of terrorist activity. Practically none of these individuals was involved with terrorism. However, many were detained for weeks and eventually changed with minor immigration violations.

Based on these minor immigration violations some were deported. In one case, two Pakistani immigrants were arrested and detained 45 days for allegedly overstaying their visas.

In another case an Israeli was detained for 66 days before being charged with entering the United States unlawfully.

In a particularly shocking case, a French teacher from Yemen, who was married to an American citizen and therefore eligible to become a citizen himself, was reporting for duty as an army recruit at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, on September 15, 2001. The man was apprehended by Federal agents, separated from his wife and interrogated for 12 hours. The agents accused him of violating immigration laws, conspiring with Russian terrorists, spousal abuse, and threatened him with beatings. The man was given a lie detector test which proved he was telling the truth when he denied being associated with terrorists.

CONSEQUENCES OF RACIAL PROFILING

The consequences of Racial Profiling for minority groups in the United States, for Arab, Muslim and Sikh groups, and in the immigrations context are dire for individual who are both innocent and guilty of criminal activity.

In the case of the innocent, for every person in possession of drugs apprehended through profiling, many more law-abiding minorities are treated as if they are criminals.

Racial profiling increases the stops and arrests of minority groups. Frequent stops and arrests of minorities generate more extensive criminal histories, and result in longer sentences.

Racial profiling results in increased arrests and convictions of minorities. In many states, a felony conviction can impact a person's ability to exercise their basic social rights. In 46 States and the District of Columbia, convicted adults cannot vote. Thirty-two States disenfranchise felons on parole, while 29 States disenfranchise felons on probation.

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Ms. JACKSON LEE of Texas. I do not rise on the gentlelady's amendment. In the statement I made on amendment No. 7, I indicated that the CIA officer's name that was undercover, that was not the CIA's undercover agent's name, which I would not give. It was the section station director's name, Mr. Garrett Jones. The CIA agent was undercover and remains unnamed. But he was an African American who did his duty because of his background.

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