Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013

Floor Speech

By:  Adam Schiff
Date: May 31, 2012
Location: Washington, DC

Mr. SCHIFF. I thank the gentleman for yielding, and

I want to rise to congratulate our chairman, Mr. Rogers, and our ranking member, Mr. Ruppersberger, for their extraordinary work in putting this bill together, and the incredible and bipartisan operation of the committee. This work product and the committee operations I think were a model that many of the rest of the committees on the Hill would do well to follow.

I rise in strong support of H.R. 5743, an authorization bill that gives our intelligence community the tools they need to keep America safe.

I'd like to focus on the technical aspects of the bill, specifically the intelligence community's future investments in key overhead technologies. This is a good bill, as it makes necessary budget cuts without affecting the mission of the intelligence community. And there is one issue in particular I would like to highlight.

Since 9/11, we have been investigating the potential advantages of persistent video. Current systems that simply snap pictures miss critical dynamics of the adversary. Standard pictures limited to capturing isolated points in time can't tell where a bad actor came from or where they went after they committed an act of terror.

Hypothetically consider: What if we could use a video and video a hostile area 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and during this period a roadside bomb occurred? With a variety of capabilities, we could simply rewind and watch the perpetrators as they planted the device and trace their locations both before and after the device exploded. Independent of the source--whether space, ground, or air--we simply can't do that with still photography. Similarly, such a capacity might help us identify proliferators of nuclear and missile technology.

I favor an approach that invests in new technologies that go beyond our past and present capabilities. In my role as ranking member for the Technical and Tactical Subcommittee, I work to ensure that cost, schedule, and performance are met as we strive to explore this potential advantage for national security.

Mr. Chairman and Ranking Member, again, I want to thank you for the opportunity to express my views on this bill. I support it wholeheartedly and recommend its passage.