SPEAKERS CONTENTS INSERTS
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[H.A.S.C. No. 10836]
UNITED STATES INTELLIGENCE REFORM
COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED EIGHTH CONGRESS
AUGUST 10, 2004
HOUSE COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
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One Hundred Eighth Congress
DUNCAN HUNTER, California, Chairman
CURT WELDON, Pennsylvania
JOEL HEFLEY, Colorado
JIM SAXTON, New Jersey
JOHN M. McHUGH, New York
TERRY EVERETT, Alabama
ROSCOE G. BARTLETT, Maryland
HOWARD P. ''BUCK'' McKEON, California
MAC THORNBERRY, Texas
JOHN N. HOSTETTLER, Indiana
WALTER B. JONES, North Carolina
JIM RYUN, Kansas
JIM GIBBONS, Nevada
ROBIN HAYES, North Carolina
HEATHER WILSON, New Mexico
KEN CALVERT, California
ROB SIMMONS, Connecticut
JO ANN DAVIS, Virginia
ED SCHROCK, Virginia
W. TODD AKIN, Missouri
J. RANDY FORBES, Virginia
JEFF MILLER, Florida
Page 3 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCJOE WILSON, South Carolina
FRANK A. LoBIONDO, New Jersey
TOM COLE, Oklahoma
JEB BRADLEY, New Hampshire
ROB BISHOP, Utah
MICHAEL TURNER, Ohio
JOHN KLINE, Minnesota
CANDICE S. MILLER, Michigan
PHIL GINGREY, Georgia
MIKE ROGERS, Alabama
TRENT FRANKS, Arizona
IKE SKELTON, Missouri
JOHN SPRATT, South Carolina
SOLOMON P. ORTIZ, Texas
LANE EVANS, Illinois
GENE TAYLOR, Mississippi
NEIL ABERCROMBIE, Hawaii
MARTY MEEHAN, Massachusetts
SILVESTRE REYES, Texas
VIC SNYDER, Arkansas
JIM TURNER, Texas
ADAM SMITH, Washington
LORETTA SANCHEZ, California
MIKE McINTYRE, North Carolina
Page 4 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCCIRO D. RODRIGUEZ, Texas
ELLEN O. TAUSCHER, California
ROBERT A. BRADY, Pennsylvania
BARON P. HILL, Indiana
JOHN B. LARSON, Connecticut
SUSAN A. DAVIS, California
JAMES R. LANGEVIN, Rhode Island
STEVE ISRAEL, New York
RICK LARSEN, Washington
JIM COOPER, Tennessee
JIM MARSHALL, Georgia
KENDRICK B. MEEK, Florida
MADELEINE Z. BORDALLO, Guam
RODNEY ALEXANDER, Louisiana
TIM RYAN, Ohio
Robert S. Rangel, Staff Director
Eric Sterner, Professional Staff Member
Justin Bernier, Research Assistant
C O N T E N T S
CHRONOLOGICAL LIST OF HEARINGS
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Tuesday, August 10, 2004, The Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks on the United States
Tuesday, August 10, 2004
TUESDAY, AUGUST 10, 2004
THE FINAL REPORT OF THE NATIONAL COMMISSION ON TERRORIST ATTACKS ON THE UNITED STATES
STATEMENTS PRESENTED BY MEMBERS OF CONGRESS
Hunter, Hon. Duncan, a Representative from California, Chairman, Committee on Armed Services
Skelton, Hon. Ike, a Representative from Missouri, Ranking Member, Committee on Armed Services
Hamilton, Hon. Lee H., Vice Chairman, National Commission on Terrorist Attacks on the United States
Page 6 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Kean, Hon. Thomas H., Chairman, National Commission on Terrorist Attacks on the United States
Hunter, Hon. Duncan
Kean, Hon. Thomas H., joint with Hon. Lee H. Hamilton
Rogers, Hon. Mike D.
Skelton, Hon. Ike
Turner, Hon. Michael
DOCUMENTS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD:
[The Documents Submitted can be viewed in the hard copy.]
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD:
[The Questions and Answers can be viewed in the hard copy.]
THE FINAL REPORT OF THE NATIONAL COMMISSION ON TERRORIST ATTACKS ON THE UNITED STATES
House of Representatives,
Page 7 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCCommittee on Armed Services,
Washington, DC, Tuesday, August 10, 2004.
The committee met, pursuant to call, at 12:19 p.m., in room 2118, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Duncan Hunter (Chairman of the committee) presiding.
OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. DUNCAN HUNTER, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM CALIFORNIA, CHAIRMAN, COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
The CHAIRMAN. The committee will come to order.
The committee meets today to consider the findings and recommendations of the 9/11 Commission. This will be the first of four hearings the committee has scheduled over the course of the next two days to examine these important issues.
Our distinguished witnesses this morning are the Honorable Thomas H. Kean, Chairman, National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States; and the Honorable Lee H. Hamilton, Vice Chairman.
On July 22nd, the 9/11 Commission reported its comprehensive findings to the American public. It is an excellent account of how we were attacked on September 11th and a fine analysis of what the Nation might have done better to deal with terrorism over the preceding decade.
Page 8 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Let me express my gratitude and that of my colleagues to Chairman Kean and Vice Chairman Hamilton for the tremendous effort they and their fellow commissioners put into this project.
In recent weeks, Washington's professional talking heads in the national media have focused on the report's recommended changes to the government structure, in part because that is a simple winners-versus-losers story that is easy to follow.
That is unfortunate because the Commission looked at September 11th much more thoroughly than the public debate has acknowledged. Its recommendations were much more comprehensive than simply rearranging the deck chairs on the ship of state.
Gentlemen, for the sake of better understanding the context of your work, I hope we will get into some of these other recommendations, as well.
For example, the Commission recommended attacking terrorists in their sanctuaries, noting that it is harder for terrorists to plan and carry out their attacks if they are constantly on the run. I agree with that, but how should we deal with states that harbor terrorists or turn a blind eye to terrorist operations from their soil, but that may not have attacked us on the scale of 9/11?
The Commission has some specific suggestions in the cases of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, but I would like to hear how its broad recommendation applies to states like Iran, which supports terrorism and where diplomacy has failed to deter it from its pursuit of nuclear capabilities.
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The Commission also recommended creating a long-term strategy to win the war of ideas.
How do we do that? Is it enough to ensure that Iraq becomes an example of a successful Arab democracy, or must we also increase the pressure on states that actively export extremism?
Should Radio Sawa broadcast American pop culture into the Middle East, or is it more appropriate to focus on factual news reporting and political commentary?
Ultimately, the answers to those questions will have more to do with winning the war on terror than deciding whether or not the National Intelligence Director (NID) is a term employee inside or outside the Executive Office of the President.
That does not mean that we can or should downplay the Commission's organizational recommendations. The report proposes to break a lot of rice bowls, which can sometimes be a productive activity in Washington. More importantly, it helps us focus on longstanding problems in the Intelligence Community and possible solutions.
The President's support for the creation of a National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) and a National Intelligence Director I believe will eventually lead to improved cooperation and coordination among different agencies.
But we also may want to require senior intelligence officials to rotate through other agencies as a precondition for promotion in their home agency. Alternatively, we might rebuild the educational path for intelligence professionals.
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Both steps did more to break down stovepipes and promote jointness in the military than simply rewiring organizational charts.
Goldwater-Nichols succeeded by incentivizing cross-service cooperation and promoting the unity of command, not by adding layers of decision-makers or making the chain of command more convoluted.
The point is that there are multiple dimensions to the problem that are worthy of further consideration.
I look forward to working with the president, my colleagues in the House and the Senate as we sort through these ideas and move out on a proactive agenda.
And, gentlemen, again, thank you for being with us. And you have presented us with an excellent product and you have presented the Nation with a remarkable challenge, all in the final quarter of the election season, with some very heavy lifting to do. But I think Members of Congress who have the national interest at heart will be able to move a substantial reorganization, if you will, of the intelligence structure.
I know a number of issues arise as we look at the war fight that is taking place in Afghanistan and Iraq, especially with respect to operational control of assets, which assets under the new structure that is proposed would be owned by a national intelligence director.
Page 11 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC And I think it is very important that this committee very, very comprehensively scrutinize and analyze the affects on the war fight with respect to those intelligence assets. I think that is a very important and critical job for us to do here.
And a number of other areas, I think, especially with respect to the utilization of Special Operations Forces and the new role of Special Operations Forces is, again, an area for this committee to very closely scrutinize and analyze.
So we have got a lot of work ahead of us. We want to thank you for starting this debate and meeting this challenge which faces our country.
So we will turn the floor over to you very shortly, but first let me turn to my partner on the committee, the gentleman from Missouri, Mr. Skelton, for any remarks he may want to make.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Hunter can be viewed in the hard copy.]
STATEMENT OF HON. IKE SKELTON, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM MISSOURI, RANKING MEMBER, COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Chairman, thank you very much, and thank you for the four hearings that we will have today and tomorrow.
Let me join you in welcoming Chairman Kean, Vice Chairman Hamilton, gentlemen of great distinction, and tremendously hard work that you have done. You have done a wonderful service for our Nation, so we thank you publicly for that.
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It was a bipartisan product that you have, and we certainly hope that Congress, at the end of the day, will debate and consider your recommendations in a bipartisan spirit.
I think this is a situation where we find ourselves where we must act. We must do something positive. We must take your recommendations, take them seriously and at the end of the day have legislation that makes America all the more safe.
We are playing marbles for keeps. This is not a situation where we can try it and if it does not work try something else. This has to be done correctly.
As Mr. Hamilton noted earlier today, I was in the middle of the Goldwater-Nichols effort that came to fruition in 1986. It started back in 1982, and it took us four-plus years to get it done. We have to do this as well and as clearly and as solidly as we did Goldwater-Nichols.
It is going to be a bit different. It may be more difficult. In Goldwater-Nichols, you had the various services that were not working together jointly. But when we passed the legislation and the service chiefs and the chairman understood the law meant just what it said, the militarythe generals, the colonels, the lieutenant colonels on downsaluted and made it happen.
I am not sure that we have exactly the same situation today within the intelligence communities where they willbecause of the military nature that they had under Goldwater-Nichols, they were able to make it happen relatively quickly.
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And I hope that once we get a product, that the various agencies will take it seriously, understand Congress means what it says, salute and move out. Because, like I say, this is playing for keeps.
Now, the present Congress created this 9/11 Commission to investigate the extraordinary national tragedy. You had an enormous task, and we thank you for doing it.
The protection of American lives is the most sacred obligation of our government. It is one that we here on this Armed Services Committee take very seriously.
Partly for this reason that we must consider the Commission's recommendations so carefully. They are thoughtful, they are comprehensive, and they are certainly worthy of great consideration.
What they make clearest more than anything else is that our system needs change. We must do something and do something positive. We must consider these recommendations carefully but assertively to make sure the important work of this commission is not lost.
At the same time, we must recognize the Commission's mandate, while broad, did not cover all of the national security challenges our country faces in the coming decades. We must ensure the Commission's recommendations, particularly those that involve restructuring much of the Intelligence Community, will make sense for dealing with all of our national security challenges.
Page 14 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The centerpiece of the Commission's recommendations are the proposals to create a National Intelligence Director and a National Counterterrorism Center. These proposals have the potential to significantly affect the Department of Defense (DOD).
We all know about 80 percent of the national intelligence capability resides in the Department of Defense as well as much of the budget for the intelligence program.
Most critically, however, are the men and women on the battlefield who rely on the same intelligence, sometimes the very same assets, as would be required on a national strategic level.
So let me say that we welcome you. We thank you for your recommendations.
One of the issues you make reference to is that we must have the right strategy that uses all the elements of our national power effectively.
For example, I support your recommendation, very strongly actually, that we make a long-term commitment to Afghanistan. That is the real war. That is the genesis of the terrorism that we encountered today. And I think that we have lost sight of what must be done there, and we are failing to act aggressively enough, in my opinion.
The narcotics boom that is fueling the terrorists financing is creating additional instability.
So we must devise a comprehensive strategy that deals with all those issues in Afghanistan as well as elsewhere.
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So with that, Mr. Chairman, I appreciate you calling this meeting.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Skelton can be viewed in the hard copy.]
The CHAIRMAN. Well, Mr. Skelton, thank you for your comments.
And, Governor Kean, thank you.
And, Lee, thank you for being with us this morning.
The floor is yours, sir.
STATEMENT OF HON. THOMAS H. KEAN, CHAIRMAN, NATIONAL COMMISSION ON TERRORIST ATTACKS ON THE UNITED STATES
Mr. KEAN. Mr. Chairman, thank you very much for allowing us to appear and thank you also for a very, very thoughtful statement.
What you said this morning involving breaking down stovepipes, about the idea of having senior officials move around, I think, is very thoughtful and can be very helpful, and I thank you very, very much for that.
And, Congressman Skelton, we want to build on Goldwater-Nichols, create unity of effort across the Intelligence Community, across the entire government.
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Thank you both very, very much for your help.
We are honored to appear before you today. We want to thank you and the leadership of the House of Representatives for the prompt consideration you are giving to the recommendations of the Commission. We are grateful to you and grateful to the leadership of the House.
The Commission's findings and recommendations were strongly endorsed by all commissioners, five Democrats, five Republicans. We share a unity of purpose, and we hope that Congress and the Administration can display the same unity of purpose and bipartisanship as we collectively seek to make our country safer for all Americans, and certainly more secure.
As Chairman Hunter said, we want to concentrate not simply on these recommendations; a lot of recommendations, as you mentioned, that we have made that have not received as much attention that we consider very, very important. And we would be glad to talk about those, if you would like, today.
Terrorism, though, is our number-one threat to the national security of the United States. Counterterrorism policy must be the number-one priority for the President. And that is any president. And that is for the foreseeable future.
We cannot succeed against terrorism by Islamic extremist groups unless we use all elements of national power. And that is military power, diplomacy, intelligence, covert action, law enforcement, economic policy, foreign aid, public diplomacy and, of course, homeland defense. If we favor one tool while neglecting others, we are going to leave ourselves vulnerable and weaken our entire national effort.
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This is not just our view. It is the view of every policy-maker that we have talked to. Secretary Rumsfeld, for instance, testified and told us he just cannot get it done with the military alone. ''For every terrorist we kill or capture,'' he told us, ''more rise up to take their place.'' He told us the cost-benefit ratio is simply against us. Cofer Black told us you cannot get it done with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) alone.
What became clear to us, as we talked to over 2,000 witnesses, is that the institutions of the United States government are still geared to Cold War threats, great power threats. Our government's tool today is not geared to deal with the threat from transnational Islamic terrorists.
We need a unified effort across all agencies of government. And that is why we recommend change.
As part of the 9/11 story, we spent a very considerable time looking at the performance of the Intelligence Community. We identified at least six major problems confronting the Intelligence Community that became apparent as we studied the story of 9/11. And we believe, unfortunately, these problems still continue today.
First, there are major structural barriers to performance of joint intelligence work. National intelligence is still organized around the collection disciplines of the home agencies, not the joint mission.
The importance of integrated, all-source analysis simply cannot be overstated. Without it, it will never be possible to, as we say, connect those dots.
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Second, there is a lack of common standards and practices across the foreign/domestic divide for the collection, processing, reporting, analyzing and the sharing of information.
Third, there is divided management of national intelligence capabilities between the Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) and the Defense Department.
Fourth, the Director of Central Intelligence has a weak capacity to set priorities and move funds and other resources.
Fifth, the Director of Central Intelligence now has at least three jobs: running the CIA, running the Intelligence Community and serving as the President's chief intelligence adviser. Now, no one person can perform those three functions.
Finally, the Intelligence Community is too complex and too secret. Its 15 agencies are governed, in our view, by arcane rules. All of its money and most of its work are shielded from any kind of public scrutiny.
We come to the recommendation of a National Intelligence Director not because we want to create some new czar or some new layer of bureaucracy to sit atop, certainly, the existing bureaucracy. We come to this recommendation because we see it as the only way to effect what we believe is necessary: a complete transformation of the way the Intelligence Community does business.
Page 19 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC We believe that the Intelligence Community needs joint analysis, joint collection and joint management of intelligence operation. The model here, as you have said, is the Goldwater-Nichols reform.
The collection agency should have the same mission as the armed services do. They should organize, train and equip their personnel. Those intelligence professionals, in turn, should be assigned to unified joint commands or, in the language of the Intelligence Community, national intelligence centers.
A national intelligence center on weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and proliferation, for example, would bring together the imagery signals and human intelligence specialists, both collectors and analysts, who would work together joint on behalf of their single mission.
All the resources of the community would be brought to bear on the key intelligence issues as identified by the National Intelligence Director.
We believe you cannot get the necessary transformation of the Intelligence Communityin other words, you cannot smash those stovepipes and create joint centersunless you have that one person, the quarterback, the National Intelligence Director.
We believe that the National Intelligence Director needs authority over all Intelligence Community elements, including authority over personnel, information, technology and security. Appropriations for intelligence should come to him, and he should have the authority to reprogram funds within and between intelligence agencies.
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The National Intelligence Director would create and then oversee the joint work done by the intelligence centers. He should have a small staff, about the size perhaps of the current community management staff.
He would not be like other czars who get the title and yet are given no meaningful authority. The national intelligence director would have real authority. He would control the national intelligence program purse strings. He will have hire-and-fire authority over agency heads in the national Intelligence Community. He will control the information technology (IT). He will have real troops, as the National Counterterrorism Center and all the national intelligence centers would report to him.
We concluded that the Intelligence Community just is not going to get its job done unless there is somebody in charge.
That is just not the case now, and we paid the price. Information was not shared, and we documented it in the book that you have seen. The agencies did not work together.
We have to do better in government. Otherwise we will not make our people safer.
To underscore again, we support a National Intelligence Director, not for the purpose of naming another chief to sit atop of all the other chiefs; we support the creation of this position because it is the only way to catalyze transformation in the Intelligence Community and manage a transformed community thereafter.
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Now, if you read our report, it details a lot of unexplored opportunities to disrupt the 9/11 plot: failure to watch-list, failures to share information, failures to connect those dots.
You have read, I think, the story of Hazmi and Mihdhar in Kuala Lumpur in January 2000. You know, we caught a glimpse of them. We identified those future hijackers. We got them. But we lost that trail somewhere in Bangkok, and domestic officials were not informed until August 2001. They did not know that Hazmi and Mihdhar had entered the United States and were living openly in California. Suddenly we started pursuing late leads, but it was too late. 9/11 happened.
In this and other examples, we find that no one was firmly in charge. No one was managing the case. No one was able to draw relevant information from anywhere within the government; no one able to assign responsibilities across the agencies, foreign or domestic, track progress and quickly bring obstacles up to a level where they could be resolved.
No one was the quarterback. No one was calling the play. No one was assigning roles so the government agencies could execute not as individuals or stovepipes, but as a team.
We believe the solution to the problem rests with the creation of a new institution, the National Counterterrorism Center. We believe, as Secretary Rumsfeld told us, that each of the agencies need to give up some of their existing turf and authority. And what will they get in exchange? A stronger, faster, more efficient government across the whole area.
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We therefore propose a civilian-led, unified, joint command for counterterrorism. It will combine intelligencethat is what the military I believe calls a J2 functionwith operational planningwhat the military calls a J3 functionbut put them both in one agency, keeping overall policy direction where it belongs, in the hands of the President and in the hands of the National Security Council.
Again, we conspicuously and deliberately draw on the military model, the Goldwater-Nichols model.
You know, I think we can and should learn from the successful reforms of the military two decades ago. We want all the government agencies which play a role in counterterrorism to work together in a unified command. We want them to be one team and one fight against transnational terrorism.
The National Counterterrorism center would build on the existing Terrorist Threat Integration Center and replace it and all of the other terrorism so-called fusion centers within the government into one unified center working together.
The National Counterterrorism Center would have the tasking authority on counterterrorism for all collection and analysis across the government, across the foreign-domestic divide. And it is the one that will be in charge of warning.
The NCTC would coordinate anti-terrorist operations across the government, but individual agencies would execute operations within their competencies.
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The NCTC's chief would have control over the personnel assigned to the center, and must have the right to concur in the choices of personnel to lead the operating entities of the departments and agencies focused on counterterrorism, specifically the top counterterrorism officials at the CIA, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Defense and the State Departments. The NCTC chief would report to the National Intelligence Director.
Now, we appreciate this is a new and a very difficult idea for those of us schooled in the government of the 20th century. You know, we won the Second World War and we won the Cold War because of the great departments of government: the State Department, the Defense Department, the CIA and the FBI all organized, but all organized under clear nation-state adversaries.
Today, we face something very different. This is a transnational threat. It respects no boundaries. It makes no distinction between foreign and domestic. The enemy is resourceful, flexible and it is disciplined.
We need a system of management that is flexible and resourceful, as is that enemy, a system that can bring all the resources of government to bear on the problem and that can change and respond as this threat changes.
We need a model of government that meets the needs of the 21st century, and we believe that the National Counterterrorism Center meets that test.
We learned a lot as we studied the story of 9/11. The U.S. Government has access to a vast amount of information, but the Government has weak systems for processing and using that information it possesses, especially when they try to use it across agency lines.
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Agencies live by the need-to-know rule, and they refuse to share. Each agency has its own computer system, its own security practices, and these are outgrowths of the Cold War.
In the 9/11 story, we came to understand the huge cost of failing to share information across agency boundaries. Yet in the current practice of government, security practice encourages overclassification.
We understand the critical importance of protecting sources and methods. We also believe it is vital to share information. There are plenty of penalties for unauthorized disclosure. There is not a single punishment for refusing to share vital information.
We believe that information procedures across the government need to be changed to provide incentives for sharing.
We believe that the president needs to lead a governmentwide effort to bring the major national security institutions into the information revolution. The president must lead the way and coordinate the resolution of the legal policy and technical issues across agency lines so that this information can be shared.
The model is a decentralized network. Agencies would still have their own databases, but those databases will be searchable, this time across agency lines.
In this system, secrets are protected through design of the network that controls access to the data, not simply access to the network.
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The point here is that no single agency can do this alone. One agency can modernize its stovepipe, but it cannot design a system to replace it. Only Presidential leadership can develop the necessary governmentwide concepts and standards.
[The joint prepared statement of Mr. Kean and Mr. Hamilton can be viewed in the hard copy.]
STATEMENT OF HON. LEE H. HAMILTON, VICE CHAIRMAN, NATIONAL COMMISSION ON TERRORIST ATTACKS ON THE UNITED STATES
Mr. HAMILTON. Thank you very much, Chairman Kean.
Chairman Hunter, Ranking Member Skelton, distinguished members of this very important Armed Services Committee, the governor and I understand that it is a very rare thing to call a committee meeting in August, and we appreciate very, very much your sense of responsibility and your sense of urgency. And we commend the Chairman and the Members here for their sense of responsibility.
I want to say what a high privilege it has been for me to work with Governor Kean. All of the commissioners were exceedingly diligent and helpful. The reason the Commission was able to come to a unanimous view is largely due, I think, to the extraordinary leadership of Governor Kean.
Page 26 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I join him in thanking you, Mr. Chairman and Ranking Member, for your statements. I, too, thought they were just very good, and especially appreciated your willingness to look at the recommendations beyond those that just relate to the structure of government. Those are important, but so are the other recommendations.
And we really do look forward to working closely with you in working through some of these exceedingly difficult problems. We do not pretend for a minute to have all the answers. This is complicated business.
Recently this committee and other committees of the Congress have heard testimony from many very distinguished public servants and academics. Some witnesses have been critical of our call for the creation of a National Intelligence Director.
One theme has been that an overall chief will stifle healthy dissent and competitive analysis. That is a very important comment. And I think all of us would be unanimous in the view that competitive analysis is very important.
We think that no one should be satisfied with the status quo. No one can claim that the current structure fosters competitive analysis. Look at the Senate report on the group-think with regard to Iraq.
The current system encourages, we believe, group-think because national analyses are, in most cases, produced by one group of analysts at the CIA. There is no truly national intelligence center.
Page 27 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I do not think I have to tell this distinguished panel how many times the Defense Intelligence Agency's (DIA) views or other analytic perspectives have gotten squeezed out. We deserve better than to have the DIA or the Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) and other important perspectives on national issues reduced to footnotes.
If you like group-think, keep the status quo.
We believe our proposal will both strengthen analysis and enhance competitive analysis. Our proposal creates genuine national centers under the National Intelligence Director, not under the head of the CIA or organized by the DIA.
The DIA and the National Security Agency (NSA) and other analysts would sit right in the middle of the process. Their views would have to be reckoned into the core of intelligence products. Their views would not be shunted to the periphery.
Arguments about competitive analysis sound a lot like arguments against organizing the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the 1940's and Goldwater-Nichols in the 1980's. The argument at that time was something like this: Healthy competition between the services serves the Nation.
Who among you would want to turn back the clock today?
Our military is more capable, more efficient, more effective because of joint commands. Because of joint commands, our military performs far better today.
Page 28 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC So, too, in our view, will the Intelligence Community through joint mission centers. You cannot have joint mission centers if you do not have a National Intelligence Director in charge that has the ability to create them and to lead them.
Further, we believe that not all analysis would fall under the new director. State, Treasury, Energy, the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, the Marine Corps intelligence units would still report to their Cabinet secretaries and service chiefs. They would be independent, able to access all the data as the national intelligence centers operating under the National Intelligence Director.
Further, we believe there would be more competition of views with a focus on open-source information, and the development of a new office or agency to collect and analyze solely open-source information. And that would add to the competition of ideas.
If you look back prior to 9/11, one of the things that struck me is how much of the information was open-source. All of the attacks on the United States we knew about and read about. We certainly knew about the fatwas from Osama bin Laden. And as we say in the report, we just did not get it. We just did not understand it.
That was not dependent upon access to PDBs. All of that was in the public domain; we just did not analyze it.
So open-source information needs to be elevated and brought into the mix and would help add to the competition of analysis.
Page 29 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Another worry voiced about this reform is that it would remove from the Secretary of Defense direct and immediate control over national intelligence assets that are critical to warfighters. That, too, is a very important criticism that we have to meet. That is a legitimate concern.
This is precisely why we believe one of the National Intelligence Director's deputies must be the Defense Department's Undersecretary for Intelligence. It is precisely his job to balance the great, but not limitless, intelligence resources of the United States to satisfy both the needs of the warfighter and the national policy-maker.
The Intelligence Community, as you know, has made considerable progress since the 1991 Gulf War in meeting the needs of the warfighter. Now it is time to harness this same dedication and effort so that the intelligence director can better meet the needs of the national policy-maker and also provide for the needs of the military.
It is unimaginable to us that the National Intelligence Director would not give protection of our forces deployed in the field a very high, if not highest, priority.
So let me try to be clear. The warfighter, under our proposal, must have tactical intelligence support. Our report takes no issue with tactical support. In fact, we believe a clear line needs to be drawn. All tactical intelligence programs should remain with the military.
We do draw a bright line between national or strategic intelligence, on the one hand, and tactical intelligence on the other.
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Another question raised is with respect to the National Counterterrorism Center: Does it interfere with the chain of command or military operations? We think the answer is no.
The NCTC would not break the military chain of command. It would be like the J3 for operations in the joint staff. The J3 is not part of the formal chain of command between the President, the Secretary of Defense and the combatant commanders, but everyone agrees that joint operations planning is essential.
The NCTC would develop joint plans for terrorism operations with military officers directly involved in the planning. If the Secretary of Defense did not like the plan, the plan would change or the head of the NCTC would have to bump the issue up to the National Security Council and to the President.
Others have taken issue with our proposal that the National Intelligence Director and the National Counterterrorism Center be part of the Executive Office of the President.
Our intent with this recommendation is to make the NID and the NCTC powerful forces in the government. We believe that the agencies will work together effectively on terrorism, our most important national security question, only if they are working directly for the President and under the President.
Of course, as a check and balance on this power, we believe both positions must be confirmed, and we believe there must be very robust, strong, congressional oversight.
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But we, as the Commission, do not want to get too fixated on the location of the boxes. The authorities are more important than the boxes.
But if these new positions are not in the Executive Office of the President, where do they go? We do not believe they should be in the Defense Department or the CIA because, as the governor mentioned, putting together a counterterrorism policy requires bringing together many, many aspects of government, the military, intelligence, law enforcement, the Treasury Department, tracing money, homeland defense, diplomacy and a lot of other things.
I think it would be a mistake to subsume intelligence and operations planning under these departments that have very important, but very specific, roles.
We made many recommendations. Let me touch on a few that directly affect the Department of Defense.
The chairman mentioned in his statement a moment ago, the recommendation about no sanctuaries for the terrorists. We agree with the President and the Secretary of Defense that we need to locate Al Qaida operatives, kill or capture them and destroy their organization.
What we would add here is that there are potential terrorist sanctuaries over a good piece of the globe. It is not just the Pakistan-Afghanistan border region. It is the Arabian Peninsula, the Horn of Africa, Southeast Asia, West Africa and even some European cities with expatriate Muslim communities.
Page 32 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Sometimes exactly the right policy tool will be a Predator with a Hellfire missile. But we also need to draw on the many other tools in our policy arsenal.
These tools include building strong diplomatic ties with countries threatened by Al Qaida penetration and building trust and cooperation. Those tools include military, intelligence and law enforcement training. They include targeted foreign assistance programs, drilling wells for water, building schools. They include creating educational and economic opportunity.
We must not overdraw on our military forces. They are stretched thin.
We believe that lead responsibility for directing and executing paramilitary operations, whether clandestine or covert, should shift to the Department of Defense. We believe there should be consolidated capabilities for the training, direction and execution of such operations. Those capabilities are already being developed in the Special Operations Command (SOCOM).
In any operation where weapons greater than sidearms are contemplated, we need military professionals in charge. Those professionals are at the Special Operations Command.
As a government, we should organize, train and equip one paramilitary capability, not two. Many CIA paramilitary operatives are former military and former special forces any way: We need unity of effort within the government to achieve the most effective use of paramilitary covert actions.
Page 33 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Next, we believe the Defense Department and its oversight committee should regularly assess the adequacy of Northern Command's strategies and planning to defend the United States against military threats to the homeland.
We have been assured that NORAD has now embraced the full mission of homeland defense. We believe this committee and the Defense Department need to monitor the development of Northern Command carefully.
In particular, we continue to be struck by the importance of training and exercise. There needs to be a better understanding of standard operating procedures for the military, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and civilian counterparts. We were just minutes away from shooting down the governor of Kentucky over Washington, and we need to do better.
Let me conclude. Mr. Chairman, we believe reforms in the executive branch, reforms in the Congress, as well as many recommendations we did not present this morning on public diplomacy and border and transportation security and foreign policy and national preparedness, can make a significant difference in making America safer and more secure.
We believe that reforms of executive branch structures, in the absence of implementing the other reforms and recommendations in our report, will have significantly less value than the value of these reforms as a complete package.
In short, while we welcome each step toward implementation of our recommendations, no one should be mistaken in believing that solving structural problems in the executive branch addresses completely, or even satisfactorily, the current terrorist threat we face.
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We are gratified by the rapid response of the White House to our recommendations. We welcome the President's support for the National Intelligence Director and a National Counterterrorism Center. We likewise welcome the support of Senator Kerry.
We are looking forward to working with you on our recommendations.
We should seize this historic opportunity and move expeditiously. With your counsel and direction, we believe that the Nation can and will make wise choices.
And we are pleased now to respond to your questions.
[The joint prepared statement of Mr. Kean and Mr. Hamilton can be viewed in the hard copy.]
The CHAIRMAN. Well, thank you so much, gentlemen, for a very complete overview and summary of your recommendations in your report.
You know, DOD has a large piece of the intelligence apparatus: obviously, the National Reconaissance Office (NRO), NSA, DIA, et cetera, under the Department of Defense right now, under the Secretary of Defense. And under your proposal, the direction of those strategic assets, if you will, would go to NID.
Now, in reading the report and the shortcomings of 9/11 in which law enforcement agencies missed the evolving plan for the attacks, I do not see any specific mention or instance of a failure or a negligence on the part of a DOD agency with respect to those failures.
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So, on the one hand, I see the description of the failures, and there are major failures, as you have mentioned, Governor, from the time that we locked on to the perpetrators and lost them, as you said. But those failures, as I understand, did not involve DOD agencies.
So my question is, to start out with, have you found any specific instance where there was a failure of the NRO, National Reconnaissance Office, or the NSA, National Security Agency, or the National Geospatial Agency, or the Defense Intelligence Agency, or any of the intelligence commands and the services that you mentioned?
Were there any failures with respect to those agencies in 9/11? Because part of your recommendation for reform does involve transferring control of those agencies from DOD to the National Intelligence Director.
Mr. KEAN. Well, a problem we have is of communication between agencies. I mean, perhaps, one of the best illustrations that hit me when I first heard about it is in 1998, George Tenet got it. And he issued a statement. He said, I am declaring war. And he said all agencies and operations are now going to concentrate on Al Qaida and this threat.
And that is a very important thing, when the head of an intelligence agency declares war. Nobody got it. Nobody got it in other agencies. Nobody got it, even in some cases, within the CIA. We can find no effect, basically, of that declaration of war.
What we are suggesting, I guess, is that if you had that coordinated and that declaration of war had been made under the system we recommend, the military, the diplomatic side, the intelligence side, they all would have gotten it. And the Nation would have moved as one. As it was, with that particular statement, it was like he had never said it. We cannot find any repercussions of it whatsoever.
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So that is the kind of thing we are trying to do. We are not criticizing specific agencies, the Defense Department. But we are saying coordination, with the Defense Department being part of that coordination, is very, very important, we think, to the future defense of the country.
Mr. HAMILTON. Mr. Chairman, I want to say that we do believe that there are a lot of extremely able, competent and patriotic Americans doing their level best to protect the American people.
And we did not take the posture throughout the Commission's work of trying to say, ''Okay, this guy is to blame or this agency is to blame.'' We thought that was a dead-end road.
And so we did not look at the DIA or the NSA or the NGA or the NRO and say, ''It is your fault.'' We cannot do that. I do not have information that would suggest that, that it is their fault.
So the answer to your question is, I do not recall us finding a failure of a DOD agency so far as we know. But we certainly think that part of the problem has been an unwillingness to share the information that a number of different agencies had. And that is what we focus on very heavily.
Now, with regard to the military options, high-level American officials in both administrationsby which I mean Bush and Clinton administrationscomplained about the lack of military options in going after Osama bin Laden and going after Al Qaida.
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And the military did, in fact, develop a number of options, but they were never deployed for a variety of reasons; the chief one being, I think, that the top-level policy-makers never found what they callI know you have heard the phraseactionable intelligence.
So looking back, we often said to ourselves, ''Oh, my goodness, why didn't we use military power earlier on, after the Cole or after some of the other developmentsKhobar Towers and all the rest? Why didn't we use more military power?'' In retrospect, it looks like we should have.
But the people who had the responsibility to make the judgments at those times said: No, we did not have strong enough intelligence to tell us exactly where to go without creating collateral damage and without causing repercussions.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you very much, Lee.
Your recommendations are to leave the intel functions of the services intactMarines, Army, Navy, Air Force, et cetera. But if you look at the operations that have been undertaken in Afghanistan and Iraq, we are all familiar with that image of the Special Forces officer on a horse literally using the capabilities that are delivered to us from a satellite, which is a national asset and a strategic asset, to handle a real-time, time-sensitive operation.
So do you see any problems there? Because that would involve not just the tactical assets that are at the service level, but because we are interconnected and because now we have developed these every effective ways to use satellite capability, for example, to undertake a military operation right here, right now.
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If we give the ownership of that satellite to a director rather than DOD, which it is now chopped out to in times of war, do you see any problems there?
Mr. HAMILTON. Mr. Chairman, we did not intend to make any recommendation which would adversely impact the warfighter. We do not want to do that.
What we are trying to do is increase the capability of the Intelligence Community to identify terrorist threats and to deal with them and to manage them.
And we do not see that interfering with fighting a war, and it should not.
What you have to balance here is, on the one hand, national or strategic intelligence, and on the other hand, tactical intelligence.
And the line at times may be difficult to draw. But we want to draw as sharply as we can a bright line between the national strategic intelligence, on the one hand, and the tactical intelligence, on the other.
The CHAIRMAN. One last thing, and that is that, one thing that you have mentioned in your report that a number of folks have mentioned now is that we have drawn down in decades past, strongly drew down the number of agents, informants, human intelligence that we had, cut it and slashed it fairly substantially.
Probably everybody here would be willing to trade three or four bureaucracies in Washington for one guy in the room or somebody reliable who knew somebody in the room when they made the decision to hit us.
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Is that going to be a strong part of your recommendation, that we rebuild the human intelligence piece of our apparatus?
Mr. KEAN. There is no question about it. And one of the things that was, frankly, appalling to me is when Director Tenet testified before us, and we asked him about rebuilding that capability of the CIA, and he said it would take five years.
We have not got, Mr. Chairman, five years. We have to do it faster than that.
And human intelligence, trying to get people inside some of these operations, is something we did very well 10 years ago, 15 years ago, 20 years ago. We have allowed that capability to wither. And we have to rebuild it. And we have to rebuild it as fast as we possibly can.
We went very heavily into the technological capability, and that is very helpful. Satellites are wonderful. So is the Predator; it is wonderful. That technology, we are using it; but it does not replace human intelligence. It has to be rebuilt, and it has to be rebuilt much more speedily than that five years the Director said.
Mr. HAMILTON. Mr. Chairman, let me just observe here that the demand for better human intelligence is nothing new. We were talking about it 20 years ago when I was chairman of the Intelligence Committee. Maybe we did not do a good enough job at the time. But we have recognized for a long, long time our deficiencies in human intelligence.
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I am all for all of the recommendations to increase our capabilities there. But I do think it is important to recognize the limitations.
Penetrating one of these cells of Osama bin Laden is a very, very tough target. They are very closely held, often have family ties. They certainly have strong religious, linguistic commonalities. You cannot take a guy like me from the Midwest, a graduate of Indiana University, and expect me to be able to penetrate Osama bin Laden's cell.
And this goes to the question of diversity in the CIA. If you are going to have human intelligence, you are going to have to produce fluent speakers in about 20 languages, most of which languages we cannot pronounce, let alone, speak.
And I think the director, although Tom is right in saying that we were all disappointed when we heard that, he is realistic, too, because this is a very tough job, a very important job, but difficult to pull off.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you very much, gentlemen.
Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Chairman, thank you.
Among the considerations, besides the rearranging of boxes and the definitions of capability, history tells us that the people who are appointed to these positions, in particular the National Intelligence Director, must be truly outstanding, intelligent, wise and of course a person of integrity.
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Much as we were blessed to have a George C. Marshall during the Second World War, and hopefully when your recommendations come to pass there are such individuals that will be tapped to do that.
Since you are a member of the Congress, Mr. Hamilton, let me put this question to you. What recommendations or what improvements would you make for Congress to help in the war against terrorism, besides of course passing the proposed legislation?
Mr. HAMILTON. One of our proposals is focused on the Congress exclusively, and I will speak to that.
Oversight of the Intelligence Community is very difficult business. The only place you get independent oversight of the Intelligence Community is in the Congress. You do not get it in the media; they do not have the information. You do not get it in special interest groups; they do not have the information, either. Only you can give robust oversight.
The President has a group that he appoints. And I think they have done some good work, incidentally. But they are not really independent of the President because they are all appointed by the President. We think a robust oversight by the Congress is hugely important to monitor what goes on and to keep an eye on the activities of this vast Intelligence Community, which operates, as it must, in secrecy.
We make alternative suggestions.
Page 42 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC One is to go back to the model of the Joint Atomic Energy Committee, which oversaw, after World War II, the development of our nuclear arsenal. It is a joint committee.
I frankly do not know, Mr. Skelton, if the Congress, if the House and the Senate today would accept a joint committee. I chaired a joint committee some years ago, the Iran-Contra Committee. At the end of it, several senators came up to me and said ''Hamilton, never again will we ever join with the United States House of Representatives on an investigative committee.''
That may be the answer, I do not know, to that proposal. You have to make that judgment, whether it can work.
The other alternative we suggest is a very radical proposal. And the radical proposal is that there be an intelligence committee in both the House and the Senate. And here is the radical part of it: You would have both authorizing and appropriation powers.
We think a lot of good work is done by the Intelligence Committee today. But we think they do not really have power on the budget. And let's be frank, the budget is where you have power. And it is where you can make an agency or a department responsive to your interests.
And if you do not have the budget power, you do not have sufficient clout to bring about transformation.
So we hope that the Congress will look very seriously at how they oversee intelligence.
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Let me give you one other example, Mr. Skelton, that I used this morning when we were visiting. I was on the Senate side, and one of the senators spoke up and said, ''I am on the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. Last year,'' he said, ''we spent ten minutes, ten minutes on the budget for the Intelligence Community.'' That is about $40 billion, as the press has reported.
A day or two later, I was meeting with another group of senators, and I used that illustration. And another senator got up and said, ''Hamilton, you were wrong. You were too generous. We spent five minutes on it.''
Now, the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee has a vast responsibility. I do not know what that budget is. It is over $400 billion. This is a tenth of it. It is a very small part of it. It is a very important part of it.
But you must feel, if I have stated this accuratelyand my information comes from a couple or three senatorsyou must feel that we are not doing a sufficient job of oversight.
And I think the Congress really has to get its act together in strengthening this oversight capability.
Mr. SKELTON. Thank you, Mr. Hamilton.
I have said for some time, the real war lies in Afghanistan.
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On page 370 of your commission report, I would like to read a short paragraph: ''The grave challenges remain. Taliban and Al Qaida fighters have regrouped in the South and Southeast. Warlords control much of the country beyond Kabul.
''The land is awash in weapons. Economic development remains a distant hope. The narcotics trade, long a massive sector of the Afghan economy, is again booming.
''Even the most hardened aid workers refuse to operate in many regions. And some warn that Afghanistan is near the brink of chaos.''
What are your recommendations regarding Afghanistan, which of course is the genesis of all of the terror that we have experienced?
Mr. HAMILTON. Our recommendations are quite simple. And that is that we believe we have to make a long-term commitment to the security and stability of Afghanistan.
Afghanistan is the incubator of Osama bin Laden. Without the protection that the Taliban government in Afghanistan gave to Osama bin Laden, they never would have been able to pull this 9/11 off.
And we must understand what the chairman said, at the very first, the importance of getting after these sanctuaries. So Afghanistan, as you cite from the report, has huge problems today. We believe the American commitment there must be long-term and vigorous, robust to bring about the stability and security of the country.
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Mr. SKELTON. Are we doing enough today?
Mr. HAMILTON. Well, obviously, in the paragraph you cited, there are a lot of problems there. My view is we are not doing enough today there.
But I also think in very recent weeks and months, activity has picked up quite a bit. And so, the game is still in doubt, but we must not let the opportunity slip away to bring security and stability to that country.
Mr. KEAN. I would just say that Afghanistan we talk about very seriously, because it is the country that spawned bin Laden and Al Qaida. But we mention it as one of three countries that we have simply got to stay very engaged with.
One is Afghanistan, because if anything goes wrong there we could go right back to sanctuaries and all those problems. The other is Pakistan, which is very fragile in many ways and yet absolutely essential in this war against terrorism. And the third is Saudi Arabia.
If any of those three countries go bad, in a sense, become really unstable, then this war on terrorism will become much more difficult to fight.
And, of course, if we do not do well in Iraq, that could go to the head of the list.
So we believe very seriously we have got to engage ourselves very strongly not only militarily, but diplomatically and in other ways to try and help those three countries toward stability, because it is in our interests just as much as it is in theirs.
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Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Chairman, I have additional questions, but I will ask them at a later moment.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman.
The gentleman from Pennsylvania, Mr. Weldon.
Mr. WELDON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
And let me thank the Commission panel leaders and the commissioners for their outstanding work and for their excellent recommendations.
However, Mr. Chairman, my own feeling is this is not about recommendations. In fact, we have known what needs to be done for a number of years.
As I told the Commission Chairman when they first unveiled their report to Congress, their primary recommendation is to create a national collaborative center.
It was this committee in 1999 that prepared a nine-page briefing to create what was then called the National Operations and Analysis Hub to assess emerging transitional threats for the policy-maker.
If you read the summary of the recommendations, it is almost identical to what the 9/11 Commission has just now said. But this was done in 1999.
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Now, I will tell you, we made the recommendation over and over again. In fact, on November the 4th of 1999, Mr. Chairman, I had a meeting in my office that was suggested to me by Dr. John Hamre, who was then Deputy Secretary of Defense.
He said, ''Invite in my counterparts in the CIA and the FBI,'' and we did, and we presented this briefing to them, which was prepared, by the way, by the Intelligence Community, some of the more progressive leaders. And the response by the CIA was, ''We do not need that capability.'' That was in 1999.
So, Mr. Chairman, this committee put language in three successive defense billsthree; two of them put out before 2001to create what the Commission is now calling for, a national collaborative center. And the CIA repeatedly said, ''We do not need it.''
In fact, I have here, Mr. Chairman, a response by the agency in a mandate that we gave, conferred by both DOD and the CIA, and this is what they said about this need, which the 9/11 Commission has now just also focused on: ''A single overreaching collaborative solution is not practical.'' Not only they did not want it, they did not even want to consider it.
So the problem is not recommendations, Mr. Chairman. We have letters here that I can put in the record, and I will ask unanimous consent to put them in the record.
We did statements on the floor of the House, in this committee where we repeatedly called for a national collaborative center, and the agency said, ''We do not need that, Congress.''
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We put language in three successive defense bills and the agency said, ''We do not need that, Congress.''
I met with George Tenet personally, as did my colleagues on this committee. They said, ''We do not need that.''
In fact, John Hamre offered to pay for it. He said, ''I do not care where they put it. They can put it under the White House, any place. I will pay for it.'' But the agency said it is not necessary.
In fact, this committee created the Gilmore Commission. Now we have recommendations the Gilmore Commissionwhich we created in 1998, I might addproposed 144 recommendations in 5 documents. Here is one of the documents.
And what were those recommendations? To deal with the emerging threats of terrorism involving weapons of mass destruction; 5 documents, 144 recommendations, created by this committee. In fact, 14 of their recommendations are identical to the 9/11 Commission's 42; they are identical. It is the same thing.
So it is not the recommendations. This committee created a task force in 1998 that told us what to do. Three of these reports were published before 9/11three of them.
In fact, Mr. Chairman, this committee has been in the forefront of what needs to be done, so much of what is in the 9/11 report does not surprise me.
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The problem we have, Mr. Chairman, in a nutshell, and I can sum it up, is the arrogance of the entrenched agency bureaucracy. That is the problem.
The arrogance of the entrenched agency bureaucracy does not want to hear from the Congress. They will find a way to manipulate through the legislative process, using the White House or using various committees. The end result that they want to achieve, even when we know what needs to be done, that is the problem.
In fact, Mr. Chairman, it is kind of funny, one of the commissionersand his name will remain anonymousmade a quote and he said in a recent hearingactually, it was before the Committee on Government Operationshe said, it is remarkable and shocking that a senior member of this Congress and this Administration first learned of the Iranian connection from us, not from the Intelligence Community, meaning the 9/11 Commission.
So, Mr. Chairman, I would ask for unanimous consent to put this 170-page document in the record in a classified form.
Mr. Chairman, this is the work of this committee for the past 18 months, that documented in memo after memo from two Iranian informants in Paris that Iran was undermining Iraq.
This information did not come from the 9/11 Commission. This information was sent to the CIA, the DIA, in fact every member of the Senate and House intelligence committees repeatedly. In fact, it was through this effort that we told the Administration that the Iranians were funding Sadr eight months before Sadr's name was even public.
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It was through this work that we told the Administration that Iran was crashing in a nuclear program one year ago. It was through this work that we told the Administration that Iran sent three teams through China into North Korea to acquire nuclear technology.
It was through this documentation that this committee did that we talked about the training by Iranians of terrorists that were looking at attacking a nuclear power plant with the first three letters of S-E-A, which could have been Seabrooke or Seattle.
And in fact, last August, a year ago, the Canadians caught several pilots in a small plane casing out an alleged plot to attack a nuclear power plant, probably Seabrooke.
Mr. Chairman, the problems are not recommendations. Yes, there are great recommendations here, there are 144 great recommendations here. They were great recommendations when we first proposed to create the National Collaborative Center in 1999. The problem, Mr. Chairman, is the arrogance of the entrenched agency bureaucracy.
Now, I am not on the Intelligence Committee, and I will tell you why I am not on it: Because the agency likes to manipulate the Intelligence Committee's activities, and I will say that publicly.
And I do not care whether it was headed by George Tenet or by previous directors, Jim Woolsey or some of the other great people who led that agency.
Page 51 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC This Congress makes great recommendations, and has consistently from both Democrats and Republicans dating long before 9/11. The problem is not recommendations. It is an agency bureaucracy that does not want to respond to the obvious of what needs to be done.
Mr. Chairman, the facts are what they are. And once again, this committee has done outstanding work, long before 9/11, that would have allowed us to better deal with the tragedy of September 11.
And that is why on September 11 I said live on CNN, ''Today the government failed the American people.'' Because we knew what should have been done. This committee put those recommendations into writing, and the agency bureaucracy repeatedly said, ''We do not need that. It is not necessary. It is redundant.''
And so, I think in taking the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission, we better understand that the problem is going to be far more difficult than just knowing what needs to be done. It is going to be dealing with an agency system of entrenched bureaucrats who think they have all the answers and all the solutions, and they do not want to hear from the other end of Pennsylvania Ave.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman.
Mr. KEAN. I have just one comment.
Page 52 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC We do not disagree with you at all, Congressman. In fact, we drew in a lot of good ideas. And I certainly do not disagree with you on how hard this is with the bureaucracies.
We were told by a number of, sort of, wise heads in a sense around this town as we started to move toward these recommendations: These are hard, very, very hard. People before you have tried to do this kind of thing, and they have failed.
A historian called me the other day and said, you know, you have one chance every generation to reform governmentone chance.
This may be our generation's chance, because of the timing, because of the recommendations of the Commission, because of support from Members of the United States Congress, because of support from the President, Senator Kerry.
This may be the time. This may be our one chance to reform government.
I guess what we are saying as a Commission, is we recognize what you have done, and we commend you for it. For some reason, that was not the time. You could not get it done.
Now has to be the time, because if we do not get this done now, we are facing more terrorist attacks; the American people will be less safe rather than safer.
And we do not think we can go with the status quo; that it is not an option.
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So we think now is the moment. If not now, when?
And I hope we can move together now in a nonpartisan or bipartisan sense to get these recommendations implemented and other recommendations, which members of this committee may come up with and may help with the overall recommendations already in our report.
Mr. HAMILTON. Mr. Chairman, I would just observe that we do not claim originality on our recommendations. We have built on the shoulders of a lot of people, many of whom are sitting before me.
And we have built on the shoulders of a lot of Commissions that have preceded us, including the ones that Mr. Weldon mentioned, and including the recommendations he made in, I think he said, 1999.
So there is a lot of truth in what he says, and we are putting them forward because we were asked to do so by law. But we have no claim to originality.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman.
The gentleman from Hawaii, Mr. Abercrombie.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Thank you very much.
Mr Chairman, I think both of you mentioned in the course of your remarks the Northern Command. I want to bring that up as a case in point here about coordination.
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I think there was a mention also of the word czar. I hope we can avoid that word from now on. Certainly from our point of view, I think we should.
Czars do not have too good a record in this world. And I think they are also subject to a lot of inbreeding. [Laughter.]
So maybe we should just let that slide.
Because I also think from a position of trying to inform the public, it skews the imagination in a direction that I do not think you really want to go in, or certainly that we want to go in.
Now, the reason I mentioned that in the context is Northern Command, the chairman knows very well that I have been, at least one, and I think there are others who when this Northern Command came up asked: Well, just what is this for? How is this going to work?
And one of the disappointments, let me saybecause, as you know, both of you have been on the receiving end of a lot of praise so far, soone of the disappointments I had was the assumption that you had that the existing agencies maybe should all just stay there.
Now, maybe that is not the final implication of what you were saying. But this agency, this Northern Command sprang out of nowhereand if you go back to the first part of your report, where you are going to have, you know, the NORAD, the FAA, all of the information all floating around, going in different directions, NORAD saying the things that they said happened did not happen; things that they said did not happen did happen.
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And now the NORAD has transmogrified itself into the Northern Command. And the question I ask over and over and over in this committee is: Just exactly what is your authority? Who is in charge? Has posse comitatus gone out the window?
If NORAD was in charge up to the borders, you mean nobody ever thought of the idea that maybe a plane might leave Montreal or Vancouver and fly over the border?
If the Library of Congress can put forward analysis to us that the likely attack in 1998, they were saying this, on the United States would be commercial airliners flying into the World Trade Center, and NORAD does not know it, what the Northern Command does is beyond me.
The question that I have here at this point is: Do you have recommendations with respect to how this coordination is supposed to take place between the United States military and civilian authority, if you will, based on whatever intelligence comes into effect?
Because the focus of this committee in many instances has been outside the borders of the United Stateshow do we react to terrorist threats, no sanctuary anywherewhereas your Commission is about 9/11, it was an attack in the United States.
I represent the one area previous to 9/11 that was attacked, the territory of Hawaii, and I see certain, I am sorry to say, parallels taking place here.
Page 56 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Just how do we coordinate and obey our own constitutional imperatives, coordinate the United States military and a response internally in the United States with the imperatives of coordinating intelligence and understanding what should be taking place at an operational level in the event of some kind of attack?
Where the Northern Command comes in, this is beyond me. I still cannot figure out what the hell they do except draw down from the other commands.
When I asked them about that, I said, ''Where are you going to get your personnel?'' They said, ''From the other commands.'' I said, ''You mean the other commands were overstaffed?'' ''Oh, no, no, no, not at all.''
And so, it just goes on. It keeps on rolling on.
Mr. Weldon has made that point.
So how do you deal with that under what you are proposing with the national intelligence chief?
Mr. KEAN. First of all, there is no question that on the date of 9/11, we were still focusing on Cold War priorities. We were all ready for an attack, but we were ready for an attack that was going to come from the direction of the ex-Soviet Union. Had planes come from that direction, there is every chance we could have known about it early and been able to intercept them.
Page 57 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. HAMILTON. We had absolutely no preparation on that day. In fact, we had cut down the number of people we had ready to respond to anything that happened internally in the United States. Hopefully, much of that has been corrected.
When we talk about the Counterterrorism Center, there is of course representatives of the Department of Defense and the military. The idea from the Counterterrorism Center is to coordinate together so that we do not have stovepipes, whether they be military or civilian, and the intelligence agencies that are civilian can coordinate with the military.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Governor, because the time is short, if you will let me interrupt. I agree with that. My point, what I am trying to get with this illustration is that if I understand what you want to do, you want to get the coordination of information on a horizontal basis from the point of view of policy, from the point of view of direction, so that at the operational level, whether it is NORAD or Northern Command, whatever it is, they will be able to make operational decisions in the event of an incident or something taking place.
Absent that, I do not see that we will not be doing much besides rearranging deck chairs, up at first class maybe. But down in the hole, down in the engine room, we will still be in the same position.
Mr. HAMILTON. We do want operational coordination, and we recommend it in the report, training exercises together, all those things that would make us ready in case of
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. But would you agree, Mr. Hamilton, that does have to be resolved, that operational side of homeland defense and the United States military? We have got to figure out a way to deal with that without getting sidetracked into arguments about whether the warfighter is going to be interfered with in terms of intelligence and application of intelligence.
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Mr. HAMILTON. Yes, I agree.
You asked the question: Who is responsible for defending us here at home?
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Yes.
Mr. HAMILTON. And the answer we give is two.
Number one is the Northern Command.
This committee, as I perceive it, has the responsibility to see whether or not the Northern Command is, in fact, defending the United States of America, the Continental United States of America.
And the second answer, of course, is the Department of Homeland Security. Their responsibility is to protect us here at home.
The Northern Command, prior to 9/11, looked upon their responsibility basically as defending against foreign attacks, and not really looking inward.
We have been told repeatedly that they have adjusted to that, that they have
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. They did not adjust very well to the governor of Kentucky flying into Washington.
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Mr. HAMILTON. Those are the kinds of things that make you a little nervous. They tell you they have done a lot of things. And I believe they have. But something like that happens, and you wonder how effective they have been.
So we believe then that both NORAD and the Northern Command and the Department of Homeland Security have the responsibility here.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Who is in charge?
Mr. HAMILTON. Well in terms of, the coordination would have to take place, I believe in the National Counterterrorism Center.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Give me just ten seconds more, just ten seconds, Mr. Chairman. My time is up.
See, that is where I think we have to make decisions about a national intelligence chief and so on, so that these kinds of situations can be addressed and a decision made as to who is going to be in charge up and down of the line and crossways.
Mr. HAMILTON. Well, that is exactly right.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Thank you.
Mr. HAMILTON. You see the problem you are identifying is the stovepipe problem.
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Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Yes.
Mr. HAMILTON. And we must deal with the stovepipe problem. You have a lot of very good people doing very good work in their area. I think the classic illustration of this was on the Moussaoui case, which you all know aboutthe Minneapolis fellow who was engaged in flying school, and the FBI was investigating him in Minneapolis.
But the headquarters in FBI did not know anything about it. It came to the attention some way of George Tenet at the CIA, and we asked him what he did about it. This was in August before the September attack. And he said: Well, I have asked my people to work with the FBI people. And we asked: Mr. Tenet, did you mention anything to the President? He said no. And his response was: It is an FBI case.
Now, I do not think he was wrong in that. As things existed then, he saw his responsibility very narrowly. I do not mean that critically. I think he was acting according to law and policy and everything else. But he said: This is an FBI case.
Now, just think what would have happened if we had had some kind of mechanism to bring all together the information that the FBI had, that the State Department had, that the CIA had on Moussaoui. And somebody sat there and said: Okay, this is my responsibility; I have to manage this case. We have got bits and pieces of information here, there and yonder. Somebody has got to put it together, take charge of it, manage it.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Well, right now, the Northern Command is not doing that.
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Mr. HAMILTON. Well, it takes more than just the Northern Command.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. I understand that. But that is the problem. Our response right now has beenand Northern Command, the best answer you can get out of them is, ''We coordinate.'' What the hell they are coordinating is beyond me.
The CHAIRMAN. Let me remind my colleagueI think we have had a good question and answer. We have got a lot of folks who came back from their districts to make this hearing, so we need to move on and work this five-minute rule.
But I appreciate the question. Thank the gentleman.
The gentleman from New Jersey, Mr. Saxton.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Let me begin by thanking you, Chairman Kean, Vice Chairman Hamilton, for the great job you have done over the last year and a half. It has been a great effort, and your success in coming to an unanimous conclusion on a number of recommendations is very much appreciated by the members of the committee. A job well done, and thank you.
I serve, as you may know, as Chairman of the Terrorism, Unconventional Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee here on the Armed Services Committee. And as such, I recognize that while we have a long way to go, there are some things that we have done right over the years, and we want to make sure that any changes that we make subsequent to your recommendations do not have an adverse effect on the things that we think we have done right.
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In 1980, a failure known as Desert One gave rise to some changes that took place during the 1980's in the military, namely the adoption of legislation that created the Special Operations Command. Today, 49,000 men and women serve as members of the Special Operations Command, and they are the point of the spear in our military operation in the war on terror.
Two of your recommendations potentially have an effect on the Special Operations Command. And so, I am interested in your opinions. Obviously, you would not do damage to the ability of the Special Operations Command to do its jobnot intentionallynor would we.
But there are some things that we need to talk about. First, the Chairman, Chairman Hunter, has already mentioned the possibility of working or acting to deteriorate the tactical intelligence capability of our warfighters and, in terms of this specific discussion, the members of SOCOM.
We want to make sure that that does not happen. It is extremely important for us in modern warfare, particularly in the war on terror, not only to have accurate, pinpoint information on where the bad guys are, but also in a timely fashion, because they move fast.
Operating through a director in Washington could haveI am not saying it wouldbut could have a delitorious effect on the ability to have pinpoint intelligence in the most speedy fashion. And so, I am interested in your opinions on that.
Second, you have made a recommendation that I think Vice Chairman Hamilton touched on that I would like to draw attention to. The recommendation is to transfer lead responsibility for directing and executing paramilitary operations, whether clandestine or covert, to the Department of Defenseshift it away from the CIA to the Department of Defensethere should be consolidated for the capabilities for training, direction and execution of such operations already being developed in the Special Operations Command.
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And then, the recommendation goes on to say we cannot afford to do this in two different places; we have got to do it in one, and SOCOM is the place to do it.
I would just point out that in the CIA, there is a much different compensation system than there is in SOCOM. Senior non-commissioned officers (NCO) in SOCOM make little under $50,000. And my understanding is that people who are doing similar work in the CIA are making about twice that. And so, there is an issue there that we have to address.
Second, the CIA culture and training are significantly different. In order to get an operator in SOCOM, someone is probably in the military for about nine years; then they become an operator. I do not believe the CIA training is anywhere near that rigorous. And so, there is another issue there to be considered.
Also, I understand that the CIA reports on a continuous basis to the two select committees, one which the Vice Chairman chaired some years ago, so he is very familiar with that.
And so, would the intention be for SOCOM then, with regard to these paramilitary operations, to be responsible for that kind of reporting to the Congress?
And finally, the CIA paramilitary takes part in operations known as espionage. SOCOM does not.
And so, there are some issues here that we have to deal with. And I am interested, A, then, in your response to the intelligence issues. Because I know there is not an intent to diminish the capability of SOCOM by affecting intelligence operations that they currently conduct, but I do not see any assurances to that effect in your recommendations; and then, these other issues, including CIA compensation, CIA culture and training, CIA reporting to Congress, and CIA paramilitary activities involving espionage.
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Mr. HAMILTON. Mr. Saxton, on pinpointing the information, the intelligence for the tactical commanders, we do not want to recommend anything that will decrease the effectiveness of tactical intelligence. I do not think we say anything in our report that suggests we want to weaken our tactical intelligence.
So I think that any interpretation of our report to that effect is erroneous. And our intent is to strengthen, not to weaken, tactical military intelligence.
With regard to the paramilitary question, we do not see why you need to build two Fort Braggs. You are developing todayand we visited the Special Operations Command forcesyou are developing an extraordinary group of military fighters. And it is not necessary to duplicate that.
And so, where you have a covert action that is militaryand I do not know how you define ''military,'' but one way to define it is if you have to carry more than a sidearm, for examplewe think that responsibility should be with the warfighters, the Special Operations Command. All other covert actionspropaganda, for example; there are a great variety of themshould be with the CIA and not the DOD.
Now, this is an issue that has been kicked around for a long, long time. And there are different views on it.
I must say that, in looking at the covert actions that were presented to Presidents Bush and Clinton prior to 9/11 by the CIA, we were not impressed with those covert actions, principally because they relied upon proxy forces.
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And we in this government literally kicked around for months and months and months covert actions using proxy forces. And they never did work out. And we lost a number of opportunities, we believe.
So looking back, we say to ourselves, and this is for the benefit of hindsight, if we had had Special Operations Forces, that could be inserted immediately, I think our chances of wiping out some of these nests would have been much, much greater than it was.
Now, you raised a lot of questions, frankly, I did not know about. I did not know the difference on this compensation. We did not look into that, to be very blunt with you.
And our recommendation was limited to the paramilitary covert actions.
The CHAIRMAN. Okay. I thank the gentleman.
And just one point to our guest that Mr. Saxton touched again on this idea of assets in theater, using them for tactical operations. We used the example of the Special Forces folks bringing stuff down from satellites.
And also, you have things like Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM) and other precision systems that operate not on tactical system, but operate on what are known as strategic systems. Because we have broken down that barrier, if you will, and you now operate across a spectrum.
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So that is the question, Lee. It is a little different from the question you have answered with respect to tactical system. You do use these systems that are under some of the agencies that would be brought under a National Intelligence Director. Some of those systems are used for tactical operations, simply because that is what they use.
Mr. HAMILTON. We obviously believe that the Special Forces need real-time support. And one of the key jobs of the National Intelligence Director is to have a deputy who has the job of balancing the national and the technical needs. And that is where you would get the coordination.
Now, keep in mind that the military often needs more than just tactical intelligence. And you have to have a place where that can come about. And we think it is in the National Counterterrorism Center.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank the gentleman.
And the gentleman from Massachusetts, Mr. Meehan.
Mr. MEEHAN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
And I want to thank the Chair and the Vice Chair for the presentation today.
And thank you and the Commission for the way you have gone about conducting your business on this report.
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This is a very divided country right now, politically. It is an election year. And I think the Commission has done a great job in terms of conducting itself in a bipartisan way, with some very difficult issues in a difficult atmosphere.
And it is really become challenging in this country to make difficult public policy decisions in an environment that is enclouded by politics. And many of us have watched closely the Commission conduct their business. And I have to say I am very impressed with the ability of the Commission to conduct business and issue this report that is unanimous and bipartisan.
We lost 200 people from Massachusetts on 9/11, and I have worked closely with those families. And as all of us know, the families are really the reason why we are able to get this Commission to begin with. They really pushed it because they wanted answers. And what they have here in this Commission report is a candid, comprehensive narrative of the events leading up to 9/11.
I remember talking to one woman in my district, who was the wife of Captain John Ogonowski. He was the pilot of American Airlines Flight 11, probably the first one to be killed on September 11. And I remember talking to Mrs. Ogonowski.
And she said to me, ''You know our Intelligence Community failed us. I am trying to pull my life together. I have three young daughters, and we will move on. But our Intelligence Communitymy husband woke up that morning and was defenseless, did not have any of the information that was probably out there. And he was a Vietnam War veteran, great background, smart, tough.''
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I am wondering, number one, did the commercial pilots have any information vis-a-vis potential terrorist threats? And number two, do we have any mechanism in place now to see to it that commercial pilots get information on potential threats?
Mr. KEAN. I do not believe those pilots had any information whatsoever that day that we have been able to find.
And the training they had was totally wrong for the enemy we faced, because what the pilots, as were the crews, were trained to doif somebody wanted to hijack a plane, those people were trained to say, ''Go ahead,'' because they thought that was the best way to preserve the life of the passengers. And they would land in Havana or some other place, and presumably the passengers were let go and were able to go home.
That is what the industry had trained their pilots to do up to that point. So they were totally unprepared for this kind of an enemy, of people who would sacrifice their own lives to kill as many Americans as they possibly could. That was beyond their comprehension. And so they went into that totally untrained.
And I think, by the way, our view is that one of the best weapons we have now against anything like this happening again is not just the cockpit doors being hardened, or not because some people are able to carry guns, or because of the sky marshals, but it is, in fact, to alert passengers.
Those passengersif you see somebody trying to light their shoe or form some other action, there are going to be people all over his back. People are going to jump him. And that is probably some of the best protection we have today, a very alert citizenry and very alert people who fly.
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But to answer your question, I do not think those pilots had any training for what happened to them whatsoever.
Mr. MEEHAN. Well, what is interesting about 9/11 is, actually, by the time you got to the fourth plane, just by virtue of talking on cell phones people on that plane, they knew what the threat was. They did not have a CIA; they did not have intelligence. They knew because they were talking with the people, and they took the plane down.
And you look at, are we safer? Could it happen today? Well, within a matter of 35 minutes to 55 minutes, the Americans who were on that flight got enough information to make a decision that they should have.
Yet Captain John Ogonowski got up on September 11thand when I say he was smart, he was tough, he was a Vietnam veteranhe could have been prepared for that. He had no training.
And I hope that we instill that training now.
I want to make another point, that Mr. Weldon, I thought, had some eloquent remarks.
We listened to the Hart-Rudman Commission before this committee and through other committees in the Congress, one of an asymmetric attack against the United States from terrorists. There were all kinds of reports that have gathered all kinds of dust, reports out of this committee and elsewhere.
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I was most impressed with the fact that the members of the Commission had said that they are going to commit themselves to getting the Congress to take action, getting the President, the American people behind this report. Because I think you have seen all too often instances where good work is done, like this report, and all it does is end up gathering dust on a shelf somewhere.
So I think you ought to keep it up. I think you ought to bring this campaign all across the country in a bipartisan way, without politics, to make sure that we implement the things that Congressman Weldon talked about and that this report talks about. Because the future safety of this country is so dependent upon it.
So I give you credit for having the courage to stand up and say, we are going to go across America until this has passed.
Mr. KEAN. Congressman, can I just say that when I was asked to take this job, the first thing I did, because I do not come from this townI did not know as much as any of you, or certainly my tutor and friend here, Lee Hamiltonso I read those reports. I read Hart-Rudman. I read the wonderful report the Lockerbie Commission did. I looked at the reportyou know, the first thing we did when we were appointed was to be able to read the report of the joint congressional committees. I read all of those reports.
And the thing that just echoed in my mind was: Why weren't any of these recommendations implemented? Why was nothing done in spite of these good Commissions and these good reports?
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And that was very much in my head and I know in the head of Lee Hamilton and the head of a number of other people on the Commission when we took our job, was how to do this job in a way that would engage the American people along the way, would be transparent.
And our best allies from day one were the families. I mean, without them, we probably would not have been created. They were supportive. They did not always agree with us, and they would tell me over the phone very definitely when they did not. But they worked together with us.
And it is not only the members of the Commission who will be working to get these recommendations implemented. These families agreed to work on it. And that is a wonderful, wonderful force. And I cannot tell you how grateful I am to every one of them.
Mr. MEEHAN. Yes, they have been great.
The CHAIRMAN. All right, thank the gentleman.
Let me exercise some prerogative here. We have folks who have come from a long distance. Our members have shown up and done away with their schedule so they could participate in this hearing.
We are not going to make it time-wise if we have a five-minute shot from a member and then maybe a five-minute comeback from the commission.
Page 72 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Let's try to package the question and response into five minutes. And I apologize to folks that really want to engage extensively, because I know we all do, but let's try to do that so everybody gets an opportunity.
The gentleman from New York, Mr. McHugh. Naturally, it had to start on your watch here, John.
Mr. MCHUGH. Yes, I was going to say, Mr. Chairman, I would have been much more appreciative of that reform after
But I appreciate
The CHAIRMAN. John, your time is up. [Laughter.]
Mr. MCHUGH. Gentlemen, let me add my words of admiration and appreciation to both of you and, of course, the entire Commission for the great work you have done. We are all in your debt. And I say that not just as a committee and a Congress, but as a Nation. And thank you for your continued focus on these very important issues.
Obviously we have a challenge here in this Congress to try to extrapolate the very precise recommendations you have made into legislative proposals and, hopefully, legislative successes.
Page 73 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC And I listened very carefully to my former colleague, the Vice Chairman, Mr. Hamilton's comments about there being a total lack of intent to, in any way, compromise the tactical intelligence available to our men and women on the battlefield. And I certainly want to make it clear I never thought for a moment there was any such intent.
But I think there is a real challenge before us to meld your intentions with your practical effects. You have heard the comments of Mr. Saxton and the chairman, that that bright line that you speak about in your testimonyclear line, to quote you preciselymay not exist in terms of defense, tactical versus strategic, intel apparatus.
We have to find a way to do what you have suggested, at least in my opinion, because the stovepiping, the lack of integration of the intelligence information across the broad range is a real problem and needs to be addressed. But in the defense arena, that tactical/strategic difference is not a very clear one.
So I just want to state that for the record.
For my questionand I posed it to your two colleagues, Senator Kerrey and Secretary Lehman, last week when they appeared before the Government Reform Committeeobviously, part of the problem that our intelligence communities were facing collectively was that of being prohibited by law from sharing information on certain aspects. There are those who feel the wall, as it has been called, was overstated, but it certainly existed to a certain real extent.
We tried to address that through the Patriot Act. Senator Kerrey said he probably would have voted against anything that was called the Patriot Act, without having read it. But nevertheless, major portions of that act are going to expire next year; they sunset.
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We need to, as well, address that challenge, as it integrates itself into all of these necessary breaking down of the stovepipes and the walls between us.
I am just curious what your personal opinions are, with respect to the provisions of the Patriot Act and the need to ensure that our defense and other intelligence agencies can share information freely.
Mr. KEAN. Well, I will say that my personal opinion is that the shattering of that wall by the Patriot Act was one of the best things that happened, as far as the defense of this country. That wall was a real hindrance to the kind of sharing that we all know now has to be done if we are going to help to prevent another 9/11.
The Patriot Act is so extensive and there are so many provisionsyou know, I know you are all going to go over every one of thembut that particular provision is the one that stands out to me as the one that, as far as our study of 9/11, was the most helpful.
Mr. HAMILTON. Everyone we encountered supported tearing down the wall between law enforcement and intelligence. And the Patriot Act's great contribution I think was just that.
We do not pretend to be experts on the Patriot Act. We think a number of the criticisms made against the Patriot Act really have very little to do with the Patriot Act. And we certainly recognize the need to bring law enforcement, if you will, into the digital age. And I think the Patriot Act did that, as well, but we did not try to make a line-by-line analysis of the Patriot Act.
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But we think its contribution, with regard to tearing down the wall of separation, was very significant.
I want to say on this question of tactical intelligence and national intelligence, it is a difficult one, and we certainly want to work with you. This is the committee that has expertise in that area.
As I understand it, you now have three appropriation bills that deal with intelligence. One is the Nathional Foreign Intelligence Program (NFIP), and the second is tactical intelligence and related activities (TIARA)I do not know what all these acronyms stand for, but you would knowthat is basically tactical intelligence, and the other is Joint Military Intelligence Program (JMIP).
I think the line that I am speaking about here, the bright line on the budgets, is fairly clear with regard to the NFIP. That is national intelligence and strategic intelligence. And that, we believe, belongs with the National Intelligence Director and the National Counterterrorism Center.
With regard to the tactical, TIARA, that is clearly DOD.
Now where you run into some murky areas is in this third appropriation, JMIP appropriation.
And quite frankly, what would have to happen there is you would have to go through that appropriation almost line by line to see what goes over here to DOD and what goes over here to the National Intelligence Director.
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We did not try to do that. But I think that is the kind of analysis that would be needed.
That is a little more detailed than we got into.
Mr. MCHUGH. Thank you both very much for your observations.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman.
The gentleman from Texas is recognized for five minutes.
Mr. REYES. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
And, gentlemen, thank you so very much for the benefit of your insight on these very important matters.
I also want to thank you for standing with the families, because as we all know, it was through their efforts that the Commission was created, and in a larger sense, also through their efforts and yours that we are having these hearings during our recess period at this point in our history.
And I also want to thank you for being a loud voice and saying that the status quo is not acceptable, that we must have change and that we can do better, because that is a clear message that we have been hearing consistently from everyone of the members of your commission.
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And you are certainly right in focusing on Congress and the issue of whether we are safer today.
I was struck by your comments, Mr. Chairman, in terms of having read the previous reports and citing that as an example of some of the recommendations that you have made.
But more than that, the difference between your commission and the previous commission, I thinkand I have only been in Congress eight yearsbut having had the benefit of reading those reports, serving on both the Intelligence Committee and the Armed Services Committee, the difference with your commission is that you are committed to making us do something about the recommendations.
And I applaud you very much for that and the commitment that each one of you, obviously in a very bipartisan manner, have taken a pledge to have us do better, to have us do the changes that are necessary.
I also wanted to praise my good friend and colleague, Mr. Weldon. Because as you focus, appropriately, on Congress and the role of oversight, we are frustrated in that we do not have a lot of say in the agenda. We do not have a lot of sway in some of the oversight issues that a lot of us are very supportive of doing more in certain of the cases that we have responsibility in. And we have not been as diligent as we would want to be.
But when you have a chairman of one of our powerful subcommittees cite the fact that we have, even in instances when we have brought forward some of these issues like the national collaborative center and others that he cited, and still we get stonewalled and stiff-armed, it is very frustrating for individual Members of Congress.
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This morning in The New York Timesand this is the question that I havethere is a lead story that says that new leaders are emerging for Al Qaida.
And in that context, having had the benefit of all of the work that you have done, of all the research that has gone into it and a great job by you and your staff in this commissionand earlier today I told you that this is proof positive that a lot of good things can come about in a bipartisan mannercan you react to this story and give us your opinion, both of you, gentlemen, if you would, about the new leaders that are emerging for Al Qaida?
Because, in a sense, they may be much more committed and much more dangerous than anything we have faced up until now.
And thank you, again.
And, Mr. Chairman, thank you for the time.
Mr. KEAN. Yes, there is no question that that is happening. And we covered that a bit in our report.
What has happened to Al Qaida is it was once central command and control. It was no question. And we detail in the report about bin Laden, about the arguments he had on occasion with Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. And he made the final decision. And under his command, 9/11 was carried out.
Page 79 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Right now, we do not believe that bin Laden has effective command and control because he is in hiding. And if he communicates too directly, we are going to hear him. We are going to find him. And so we do not believe that command and control system is operating the way it used to.
What has happened to Al Qaida is it has morphed into a number of organizations that are somewhat loosely affiliated under the banner maybe of Al Qaida, but they are decentralized. And they are working by and large on their own to do various plots, trying to hurt us in every way they can.
And in some ways, you are right, a decentralized organization is tougher to deal with than one that has a direct command and control. So I think we are aware of that. This is intelligence we have had now for some time. We talk about this in our report.
And our intelligence agencies have got to be more alert, if anything, to this new threat, and the fact that Al Qaida is not one organization anymore, it is a whole number of organizationsagain, loosely affiliatedthat we must fight.
Mr. HAMILTON. I look upon it as a very ominous developmentpredictable, ominous, the emerging leaders.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman from Maryland, Mr. Bartlett.
Mr. BARTLETT. Thank you both very much for a very thoughtful analysis of the recommendations.
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You mentioned a number of clues that we missed. Two terrorists we lost in Bangkok, and I wonder how many other potential terrorists we lost track of overseas. They may number in the hundreds.
You mentioned that we did not note that some of these people were taking pilot training. We have a large number of foreign students who are studying biology. Any one of them could become a bioterrorist. A large number of them are studying chemistry; they could be developing chemical weapons, with that knowledge they gain. A large number of them, and these number in the thousands in each of these, who are studying physics, and they could be building weapons, directed energy weapons.
You mentioned that we missed some false statements on a couple of visa applications. I suspect there are just thousands and thousands of people who are in this country because of false statements on their visa application.
You mentioned the no-fly list, that we missed some people on that. This list could be very, very large.
You mentioned that we had not hardened the aircraft doors. I might note that neither have we done very much to secure our water supplies in this country, which are very vulnerable.
We have done essentially nothing to harden our electronics, which are very vulnerable to directed energy weapons or to a nuclear electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack.
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Containers still enter our country with only a tiny percentage of them inspected. And the trucks coming across the Mexican border, the same can be said of that.
The point I am trying to make is that the threat out there is absolutely enormous. A terrorist looking at us must feel a little bit like a mosquito at a nudist convention, just so many attractive opportunities out there.
Your focus on reorganization is good, but the point I would like to make is that will not make us secure. And if that is what we do and ignore the other things that we ought to do, then we will not have served our people well.
We need to be focusing on what we can do to make ourselves less vulnerable, not this enormous focus on what we can do to catch some people who would like to exploit this vulnerability. I am very concerned that we not create a false security.
I would like also a little attention directed to reducing the threat. Why do they hate us? Everybody in the world envies us. One person in 22 that has 25 percent of all the good things in the worldof course they envy us.
But much of the world, that envy turns to emulation. They want to see what can they do so they can be like us and live as well as we do. This part of the world, they hate us. I would like to know why. And maybe we can do something about this.
If we had the organization suggested, I am not sure that we would have prevented 9/11, because there would have been many, many competing opportunities to connect the dots, but which dots should they have connected?
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I think that there is just an enormous amount of information out there that it is going to be frightfully difficult to know which dots to connect, even if we have this fusion center.
And I would just like more emphasis on making our system less vulnerable so we are less attractive.
Would you comment?
Mr. KEAN. I cannot disagree, Congressman, at all. I think you are absolutely right.
If we do nothing except create the head quarterback, in a sense, in a counterterrorism center, that is a help. That will make us safer, but not safe.
We have a whole range of recommendations here, in any number of areas, hitting a number of the points you mentioned just now, and we believe in them all.
Some of them have gotten very little attentionvery little attention.
I mean, for instance, we make a recommendation that the most vulnerable time in this country is among transitions between presidents, because it takes so long now for the appointment and confirmation process to take place, that some of these people who are top aides in this area, protecting our safety, if they do not get appointed and the president does not have these people to work with, it makes us very vulnerable as a country.
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We make recommendations about building safety. I mean, when people went down in the World Trade Center, they had never been in the stairways before, and the stairwell went like this, they did not know it and they ran into walls.
And if there had been national standards for thoseI mean, there are a whole series of recommendations here. Some of them have gotten a lot of publicity, such as the intelligence ones. Others have been little noticed.
But there are a lot of recommendations here we believe as a whole will make our citizens a lot safer. And while we are talking today mainly about intelligence, we would love to talk about any of the others you want, because I think they go to answer a number of your questions.
Mr. HAMILTON. I think I would only add, one of the things that has impressed me frequently is how much of the defense of the homeland depends upon the individual alertness of the American citizen.
A classic example is one the chairman gave a moment ago. I do not think anybody is going to sit down on an airplane and let somebody light a match and put it to his shoe. That is just not going to happen.
But let's take your example about a guy studying chemistry or physics or learning to fly an airplane. The associates of that person, fellow students, faculty members, have an obligation here to inquire why these people are seeking certain kinds of knowledge, for example, building explosives.
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And we just have to depend on this as a kind of first line of defense on Americans who are alert to the possibility of terrorist activity among us.
Now, second, you asked: What dots do you connect? And that is an excellent question. The way intelligence comes to us with regard to threats is not that we find out that a certain person is going to fly an airplane into the World Trade Towers at 9 o'clock in the morning on 9/11.
Intelligence just does not work that way. You get bits and pieces of information all over. You learn a little bit about these fellows in Bangkok. You learn a little more about them in San Diego. You learn a little bit about this fellow up in Minneapolis who is going to flight school.
And you have to pool this information. And someone has to sit there and put his feet up on the desk and look out the window and think about it and what the connections are and whether or not those connections have serious implications to them.
And if they think they do, then they have to take charge and manage the case. And that is what has been missing in our connecting of the dots. Nobody has brought it together, pooled it and thought about it and then said: Okay, this is my responsibility. I am going to manage this case and follow it up.
And I think that is what is really missing here. You are exactly right to stress the importance of connecting the dots and which dots make all of the difference.
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We collect this vast amount of information in the United States government; 99.999 percent of it is useless. It is of no value to us. But it is picking out the gems and putting it all together that is the huge challenge of intelligence.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman.
The gentleman from Washington, Mr. Smith.
Mr. SMITH. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I just have about one area of questioning.
I certainly want to thank both of you and the entire panel for doing an outstanding job under, you know, highly difficult circumstances. You put out a great report. And you are to be commended for the work that you did.
And I want to focus on the National Intelligence Director and the typical criticism which we have heard a little bit here today.
And, you know, whenever you have a bureaucratic situation, we understand there is stovepiping. There are too many people out there. So the solution is we need to create an agency to oversee all of it.
And in essence at the end of the day, you have created another stovepipe, because bureaucracies are tenacious. And they are not going to let go of what they have just because you came in and said, you know, these guys are in charge of you now. You just sort of spread the whole process out.
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Now, the way you set this up, I think there is potential to avoid that problem and actually have somebody in charge. But the question I have is, it strikes me that if you are going to create the National Intelligence Director, you have got to give him the authority that both of you mentioned: budget authority, hiring and firing authority.
You know, then there is nothing the bureaucracy can do, because this new guy is in charge. I think that is one of the weaknesses in the Homeland Security Department.
It is doing some good things, don't get me wrong. But it took a while for us to figure out exactly what, you know, Mr. Ridge's authority was. Who did he have authority over? What was shifted? What was moved? It was not as clear.
I was not going to mention this directly, but the President's recommendation is to, in essence, create the National Intelligence Director, but, as I see it, not give him that authority, not give him that budget authority. And the question is, isn't that worse?
I mean, wouldn't you be better off not doing it, if you are simply going to create another position and in essence create another stovepipe without that ironclad authority to say ''I run your budget, I run your people, you must give the information to me''?
If we create a situation, we have that other person out there, but they do not have that authorityand the President's recommendations are certainly in somewhat rough draft form.
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But as I initially look at it, that would be my concern, that he would sort of make the worst of both worlds here, and I am wondering if you could comment on the importance of that aspect of it.
Mr. HAMILTON. We believe the National Intelligence Director must have power. And power comes from the budget. And power comes from personnel. And power comes from being able to set common standards across the Intelligence Community. Power comes from controlling the information technology of the Intelligence Community.
And if he does not have that power, then we do not think it is going to be very effective.
Mr. KEAN. To answer directly, we would not recommend its creation without power.
Mr. SMITH. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman from Nevada, Mr. Gibbons.
Mr. GIBBONS. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
And to each
The CHAIRMAN. Oh, excuse me, Mr. Gibbons, you are almost up, but I have an announcement I had better make.
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And that is this: that we want to make sure everybody gets a chance at a question, we are going to askand I know the panel has to stop at a 3:30 hard-stopwe are going to go to 3:30, instead of to 3, and we are going to push the other panel, the succeeding panel, off.
But before we do that, I understand that there are a couple of calls that have to be made, and we are going to take a fastwe will take a five-minute break with the Commission.
And I will tell you what, Mr. Gibbons, since you have started that question, gentlemen, if you can entertain Mr. Gibbons's question, then we will take that five-minute break.
Mr. GIBBONS. I like that, Mr. Chairman, and I will try to be swift, as well.
And I want to thank you gentlemen for the hard work that you and your commission has done. I think you have changed the audience for a lot of the recommendations that have been going on over the last many years about our intelligence agencies from just being Congress to the American people. And I think that is a great service that you have committed.
I have just one question, and I do want to join with my colleague, Mr. Weldon, in his assessment of what happens here in Congress.
Page 89 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. Hamilton, I think you are right on the money, when you said it was an outrageous proposal to put budget and authorization authority in a single committee.
Because what I have looked at and watched over the last eight years has been an agency which comes to the authorization committee, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, where we drill down and deal with these issues year after year and make recommendations, only to find that the agency bureaucracy goes behind, goes to the appropriation committee and gets them to appropriate those changes that they want, regardless of what the authorizing committee wants, as well.
So I think what you have suggested may be a very controversial issue, but one which may have a great deal of merit. And I certainly think we ought to entertain at least consideration of something like that.
My question is, on the proposal that you have made, in your commission report, with regard to separating out the NFIP from the JMIP and TIARAnow, NFIP, National Foreign Intelligence Program; that is Title 50; and the TIARA or JMIP, Joint Military Intelligence Program and the Tactical Intelligence and Related Activities, that is Title 10those programs' spending.
NFIP would remain under the National Intelligence Director under your plan, while the JMIP and TIARA portions of the budget would remain under the Secretary of Defense.
My question: Placing NFIP under the National Intelligence Director, JMIP, TIARA remaining under the Secretary of Defense, how can the National Intelligence Director coordinate and collaborate intelligence efforts with budget authority under two different bosses? Who has control?
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Mr. HAMILTON. First of all, Mr. Gibbons, thank you very much with regard to the comments about the oversight.
Second, I think I said that NFIP would be under the National Intelligence Director; TIARA, clearly under the DOD. And I just was not sure about JMIP because I think you have to go through that line by line and make a judgment, and we did not do that as a commission. So I think that is an area that needs to be worked out.
Now, with regard to coordination, I think that because the National Intelligence Director will in effect overseewell, he will have three deputies: One will deal with homeland security or domestic intelligence; one will deal with defense intelligence; and the third, foreign intelligence.
And the DOD will have the person who heads up the Defense intelligence. That is where you will get the coordination, in the NCTC.
Mr. GIBBONS. Just to follow up, Title X does incorporate both the JMIP and the TIARA portions of the budget in Title X.
Mr. HAMILTON. As it exists today, that is correct. And what you have today is three appropriation bills. We are recommending two on the appropriating side.
Mr. GIBBONS. Mr. Chairman, I realize the shortness of our time. And I will yield back the balance of my time.
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The CHAIRMAN. Well, I thank the gentleman.
And, folks, let's take a short break, a five-minute break or so. And we thank our guests for bearing with us.
The CHAIRMAN. Okay, folks, we will resume.
The gentlelady from San Diego, Ms. Davis, is recognized.
If the gentlelady from San Diego will excuse the chair, the gentlelady from California, Ms. Sanchez.
Ms. SANCHEZ. I thought for a minute you were playing hometown favorites, Mr. Chairman. [Laughter.]
The CHAIRMAN. Well, you caught me. [Laughter.]
Ms. SANCHEZ. Well, she is a nice lady, so I do not mind.
Thank you to both of the commissioners who are before us. I want to tell you that this is one of the best reports that I have read. It is a very good read, an easy read. And I would recommend it, in fact, to every American to read this report. I think it was that good.
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In fact, I had a little bit of trouble reading it because, as I was reading it over the weekend with a lot of family members around, every time I put it down, one of them would pick it up and then they would start getting into it and they would not give it back.
It is just amazing; the work you have done is just amazing. I commend all of the commissioners and all of your staff, of course.
I have a line of questions that I want to ask you that are different, I think, than most of the Members on this committee, and part of it stems from the fact that I am probably one of the few Congress Members who have lived in the Middle East.
And your report emphasizes the need to promote progressive ideals of liberty and opportunity throughout the Middle East in order to counter what are really incredibly negative views, in particular from Muslims, to those of us in the United States.
Your report specifically states that we should offer an example of moral leadership in the world committed to treat people humanely, abide by the rule of law, and be generous and caring to our neighbors.
Based on the information you have gathered and received, how do you think that the invasion of Iraq has played in furthering this goal?
And what have you seen in your time as you were going around and asking everybody what we are doing to ensure that a potential recruitment for Al Qaida, while this war that we have gotten ourselves into is really not creating a stronger Al Qaida against us?
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Mr. KEAN. Iraq is well outside our mandate. We did not get into Iraq except as it was related at all to Al Qaida before 9/11.
What we did say in the report and what we do believe is that our policy toward the Middle East has got to be different than it is today and that we are not just looking at it from a point of view of the United States being a great military power. But if we do not want, for instance, Muslim children to go to these schools, which many of them teach hate, then there has to be an alternative.
Many of them go to those schools because there are not any other schools they could go to, and they are too poor to afford anything else. All right, then we have to do everything we can to help those nations develop a system of schools which gives those people an opportunity for a decent education.
We think we have got to supply, as a matter of American policy, many more exchanges, whether they are cultural exchanges, educational exchanges, where we get to know them better, they get to know us better. We have got to present a different face.
We believe we have to have a consistent message. We are not quite sure what our message is now to the people of the Middle East and to Muslim nations. That message has to be refined; it has to be consistent, and we have to do everything we can as a country using, again, all our vast resources to get that message across as to who we are and what we really want.
Because I have seen those same polls as you have, or same information, in the Middle East. And when you take a nation who has gotten second only to Israel in foreign aid and Egypt, and find out that most nobody supports the U.S. or is friendly toward us in polling of that country's citizens, we are doing something wrong.
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And I think we have got to address, therefore, the whole, broad issue of American policy and promote the kind of ideals and a kind face that we mention in the report: who we are, who we really are, not who they think we are.
And only then, we think, by changing policy in that direction, will we stop creating converts to Al Qaida, or at least stop creating people with sympathy to Al Qaida. That is very, very important.
The war in Iraq was, you know, beyond our mandate, and so we really did not get into it at all.
Mr. HAMILTON. We believe that you have two kinds of problems in dealing with the Muslim world.
One is you have the followers of Osama bin Laden. They probably are hopeless, so far as American foreign policy is concerned. You can only deal with them in very tough steps. It is not likely that we are going to convert Osama bin Laden. He wants to kill us, and our objective is going to have to be to remove him and his followers.
We think that is a very, very small part of Islam. The challenge for American foreign policy is really not so much the Osama bin Laden and his adherents. The challenge for American foreign policy is the great number of Muslims who probably admire Osama bin Laden, who are not, however, violent and do not want to kill us, but who, as you point out in your question, do not hold us in very high regard because they see a number of American policies they do not like.
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They think we support repressive governments, for example. They certainly do not agree with us on the Israeli-Palestinian question.
And what we have to do, and this is a very long-term effort, is to try to engage them. And one of the things we noticed is that there is not a good mechanism today for dialogue with the Muslim world.
You have the Arab League and you have some other things. But they do not work very well. And we have to figure out a way to engage these people.
Now, we cannot solve all of the problems of these societies. They go back decades, if not centuries. But I think the important thing is that the United States be true to its own values, that we try to offer an agenda of opportunity for these people, and that we try to give them a better vision for their life.
Why do these people, or some of them, turn to such unbelievably violent tactics? We all know that a very high percentage of the young men cannot get a job. And they have no way of achieving the good life, as you and I would define it, and so they turn to violence. We have to show them that there is an alternative, that our alternative is better than Osama bin Laden's alternative, which leads them to violence and to death.
And we want to present an alternative that leads them to hope and opportunity. And we have to have, therefore, a foreign policy that is cognizant of these problems and tries to present the best face of America.
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Now, how do you do that? Well, robust public diplomacy, increased scholarships, increased exchanges, some support for education in the Islamic world, more economic openness and development, some kind of a contact group for international cooperation: All of these things have to be done and are vitally important to winning the war on terror or terrorism.
And that is why we think, because everything I have said is so difficult and so complicated, that it is a generational problem.
Ms. SANCHEZ. Thank you.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I see my time is done.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank the gentlelady.
The gentleman from Virginia, Mr. Schrock.
Mr. SCHROCK. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
And, Governor, Congressman, thank you very much for being here. And I can think of no better reason to return to Washington than to have a discussion and debate on this magnificent report that you have put together.
This is kind of an interesting day for me. This is the first day since I have been on this committee where I have agreed both with Mr. Weldon and Mr. Abercrombie at the same time, which usually does not happen. But this is a rare day. [Laughter.]
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Let me comment on something my colleague from Texas, Sylvester Reyes, said that I totally agree with. You know, I think Sylvester Reyes and I probably felt, this card and this pin meant something, meaning we are supposed to hold these agencies accountable for what they do.
And when he says we have been stonewalled, he is not kidding. We really have. And I think that is a sad commentary.
And your report clearly states that we have to get our act together, do a little reorganizing here if we are going to make this thing work. And the reason I think we are paying so much attention to this, and we did not pay attention to the Gilmore report and others, is because 9/11 happened.
As Mr. Weldon said, all of these things were in the Gilmore report, but we did not have two towers down in New York and a damaged Pentagon to get our attention. But I think everybody has got their attention now.
During my two and a half decades in the Navy, and since I have been here, I have had many service secretaries and service chiefs tell me that four years is barely enough time for them to learn the job, because it seems it is a heavy and important responsibility to trust someone who only expects to be in that position for just maybe four years.
I would like to get your thoughts on the idea of the National Intelligence Director who could be in place for maybe a six-or eight-year period.
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I support the decision that the President made to create the NID along the lines that you all recommended. And I also support his decision to place that director outside the White House organization for a variety of reasons, the foremost of which is I believe it should be an independent and powerful office with meaningful budget control and planning capabilities and influence over the entire Intelligence Community, which I feel you can do better outside.
In your minds, is it desirable that the terms of the National Intelligence Director overlap different administrations so as to take advantage of institutional knowledge and experience?
Mr. KEAN. That is a very good question and one we thought about a great deal.
We finally came down on the side of it being at the pleasure of the president, because we felt the president had to have absolute confidence in that man or woman. I mean, that had to be somebody who the president relied on absolutely. And if there was any lack of confidence in any way, whether they were left over from a previous administration or for whatever reason, that it would not work, just would not work that well. He would not be who we wanted him to be.
So for that reason, we came down on the side of it being at the pleasure of the president.
Mr. SCHROCK. So you felt there was no chance of the president, whoever he might be, to manipulate that person and pull strings and maybe get the message out they want?
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Mr. KEAN. Well, you worry about that, and it is a good question. But we thought the other danger was worse, in a president not having
Mr. SCHROCK. Yes.
Mr. KEAN [continuing]. Not having confidence in that person.
My hope is that if you, in your wisdom, decide to support this recommendation, that the concentration both in the press and in the Congress as to who that person will be is going to not end up with the man or woman who is very capable of being manipulated, because it will require confirmation obviously.
Mr. HAMILTON. We believe that there should be a very sharp linewe have been talking about lines here a few times this afternoonbut we believe there should be a very sharp line between the intelligence on the one hand and policy on the other.
Now, none of us here are naive. We understand that these two things get mixed up from time to time, and you cannot draw a wall and say, intelligence is over here and policy is over here. It is just not possible.
But it is important to try to protect, as much as you can, the separation between policy and intelligence.
Page 100 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Now, how do you do it? We believe that the dangers of politicization of intelligence arise from the functions and the relationships that go with the President's intelligence adviser and his contacts with the president, his relationship with the President.
It does not matter, in our view, where that person sits. He can sit in Langley; he can sit in the White House; he can sit in the CIA; he can sit in Indiana. It does not really matter. You want to try to protect against it; how do you do that?
First of all, you have to have an intelligence director who is a person of utter integrity, who sees his job as a professional to give the president the facts as the Intelligence Community understands them; not what the President wants to hear, necessarily, but what are the facts. He is a support officer, not a policy officer.
The second thing is that those of you that are policy-makers have an obligation to ask tough questions of the policy-makers in the executive branch. And therefore, we feel there is no substitute in trying to minimize the politicization of intelligence. There is no substitute for very tough, rigorous congressional oversight.
Mr. SCHROCK. Thank you both.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman.
The gentlelady from California, Ms. Tauscher.
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Ms. TAUSCHER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And I commend you and Ranking Member Skelton for doing this.
I am thrilled to see all of you in August. I had not expected it. But I think this was a very, very worthwhile endeavor, and I appreciate the fact that we are going to have hearings the rest of the day and tomorrow, too.
Governor Kean, and our dear colleague, Lee Hamilton, I cannot tell you how thrilled I am to have the chance to thank you publicly. I have two constituents who have family members who died on Flight 93 in Pennsylvania.
And I just think that your staff has done a phenomenal job. I think both of you having political experience, but taking your medication on time and being out of the political life, you have a scope of knowledge and experience.
Many of your staff are former Hill staffers of great renown and tremendous ability. And they have, I think, worked us through. I wholeheartedly endorse what you are recommending.
My fears are that we cut this short. I think it is vitally important, a lesson learned in the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, which the president at first tried to make Tom Ridge his adviser, was that you cannot have someone in that job go begging.
Page 102 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC They cannot be talking to people to try to get, you know, a seat on an airplane or 15 people detailed to them or a ride in a car. They have to have hiring authority. They have to have budget authority.
And you know what I really think? You need to have somebody, God forbid, if anything again happens in the kind of category of September 11th that we fire, not someone who is putting their hands over their chest pointing to seven other people, saying: Well, you know, we were all to blame, but you cannot get rid of seven of us, can you?
We need someone who is ultimately responsible, as we all were, but also culpable. So I think what your recommendations are, are very, very important.
Now, I have two questions.
One, we have to navigate this issue, obviously, of protecting our warfighters. And this committee has a very heightened sensitivity to that. We are clearly interested in understanding how to do that. So we have to have more information and more hearings on that, Mr. Chairman.
Second, we have another intelligence failure that we have very little information on, and that is the Iraq intelligence. And I am all for doing lots of change and reform. But I am not for only getting it half right in a rush to take the window of opportunity that we know we have.
The commission the president has appointed to look at the failures of the Iraq intelligence has not even formed up or hired a staff yet. They are at least a year away.
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How do we make sure that what we do, to do right by you, the families of September 11th, in closing the loopholes to prevent another September 11th kind of attack, puts us in the position to complete the reforms necessary to make sure that we do not have another series of intelligence failures like we did in Iraq?
Mr. KEAN. Well, again, we did not get into the Iraq problem, other than the reports we have seen so far, talked about about a failure of group-think. And we believe that our recommendations will go a long way to preventing that kind of thing happening again.
We took the facts we had up until the time we did our report. And every recommendation we have is, in a sense, a lesson learned. If you take any one of our recommendations, we will point something to you that happened in the September 11th story which led us to make that recommendation. So we believe our commendations as a whole are worthy of your consideration.
And we also believe there is a sense of urgency. We really do not believe we can afford to wait. We know what happened with these other reports and these other recommendations. And the longer you wait, the more things fade and the more things disappear.
And nobody wants to have anybody up here a year from now saying: You know, if we had adopted this recommendation or that recommendation maybe this next event would not have happened.
Page 104 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC We believe all of our recommendations are designed to do our best to prevent another tragedy.
We are not going to make America totally safe. You cannot do that in this world. But we can make Americans much safer. And we believe these recommendations, particularly taken as a whole, will do that.
And based on, you know, ten people, all of whom served in government for a long timewith the exception of this guy, most of them served in Washingtonand, therefore, know something, we believe they should be adopted. And the country will be better off if they are.
Ms. TAUSCHER. Congressman Hamilton.
Mr. HAMILTON. I think the committee has helped us in understanding the importance of the tactical military intelligence. And I think some of our recommendations can be refined. And we certainly want to work with you to do it.
We are protecting not only the warfighter, however. We also want to protect the American people. How do you do it? We think the lesson that comes out of all of this is that you have to have joint analysis from all of these different analysts we have around government. It has to be pooled. It has to come together.
You have to have joint operational planning. You have to have somebody in charge up here. You have all of these tools of American foreign policy to deal with terrorism: diplomacy, military action, covert actions, drying up the funds through the Treasury, law enforcement, prosecution, public diplomacy. And what we do not have in the government is a place where we figure out how to use all of these in an integrated and balanced way.
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And that is what this national counterterrorism center is all about. This center becomes a place where the president turns to for advice on how to conduct counterterrorism policy in this country.
We do not have that today. You can look to the Defense Department and say, ''Okay, Mr. Secretary, we want to take military action.'' You can look to the Secretary of State and say, ''We want to do this in regard to Afghanistan.'' You can look to the Secretary of the Treasury and say, ''We have to do this on the money.'' But it does not all come together.
You have to integrate it, balance it, and that is what is missing here. In order to protect the American people, you have to have joint analysis, you have to have joint planning, you have to have somebody who will manage the case, someone in charge. And that is what we are trying to get at here; that is our principal hope.
Ms. TAUSCHER. Thank you.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank the gentlelady.
The gentleman from Ohio, Mr. Turner.
Mr. TURNER OF OHIO. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Page 106 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Governor, in your opening comments, you were talking about a counterterrorism policy effort and its elements. You were talking about the number of recommendations that relate to our efforts with Islamic extremists groups. And one of those elements you identified was homeland defense.
Intelligence gathering efforts are important for us to have information upon which we can act. But intelligence gathering itself will not protect us. Our other systems have to be able to act in responding to that intelligence.
When you look throughout the report, you can look at the preventive function, you can look at the protective defense function, you can look at the emergency first responders, and of course the crime solving, terrorist event solving functions.
And in reading the report, when the Commission relates its interaction with NORAD, page 34 had a significant impression on me as you went through that the elements of where NORAD would state what occurred on that day. And then the statements follow from the Commission of, ''This statement was incorrect.'' And then the next paragraph it says, ''This statement was also incorrect.'' And the next statement from NORAD, and in the following, ''These statements were incorrect as well.''
And then the Commission goes on to say that, ''NORAD officials have maintained that they would have intercepted and shot down United 93, we are not so sure. We are sure that the Nation owes a debt to the passengers of United 93,'' which is what you described of the American spirit, where the passengers took an effort to take that plane down.
Page 107 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC In looking at the recommendations of almost 500 pages of your report, and looking at the failures on the defense side, and once an event is undertaken, we may not have had enough intelligence, always, to stop an event. But once an event is being undertaken, our defense function needs to work; our military function needs to work.
Of the 500 pages, most of the recommendations that we continued to focus on are still on the intelligence gathering, what do we need to know? But the other aspect of what do we need to do in protecting ourselves only has a page of the 500, and in it it reflects that there needs to be additional review and oversight.
I wondered if you could elaborate further on what your thoughts are on our military response capability, what additional things might be needed, in your experience on the Commission in looking at that day, our ability or failure of ability to have military response.
Mr. KEAN. There were so many problems on the day, with what the President told us; he called it the ''fog of war.'' Misinformation was all over the place. The President himself, he told us, had misinformation coming to us about the nature of the attack, what was being attacked. At one point he was told there was a plane headed for Camp David. At another time he was told Air Force One was going to be under attack. All this misinformation.
And then he told us of the failure of communications aboard Air Force One, where he was not able to communicate properly, the commander in chief, which was appalling to us and, I am sure, to you.
He says that has been fixed, that the communications aboard Air Force One now would not have the same problems.
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As far as the Air Defense Command, they are now, they told us again, they said they have fixed the various problems. They told us that they can now react within minutes of a potential attack.
Now, again, the governor of Kentucky gives us pause. Because if that is true, then how did he almost get shot down in that circumstance? We were assured that those particular problems that we identified on 9/11 could not occur again, both because of the placing of the planes, the fact that we are not vectored out to sea anymore, we have now got people to protect the homeland, and that they believe thatnow there are problems, I do not think they are fixed yet.
Transponder is one of them. You know they turned off the transponder on the airplane, they became invisible to the radar to try and find them. Somebody turns off a transponder, there is still a problem. They have not got the transponder fixed so that you cannot turn it off. It is probably something they should do.
So every problem is not fixed. But they assured us that the kind of problems that we identified on that particular day have now been fixed.
Mr. HAMILTON. Well, the way I reacted to your question is that I think you have to look at the capabilities of every department of government and how they have improved since 9/11. And I think there have been a lot of improvements.
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Prior to 9/11, the CIA really did not have, at least from our point of view, a very impressive capacity to conduct paramilitary operations. I think they are better today. I think they can be even more improved if we do what we recommend and create the paramilitary covert actions in the Defense Department.
If you look at the Defense Department prior to 9/11, the fact of the matter is they just simply were not very fully engaged on terrorism in this country at that point in time. And now I think that has shifted dramatically with the Northern Command and where they are concerned.
If you look at the FBI prior to 9/11, they simply did not have the capability to link the collective knowledge of their agents in the filed to their own national priorities at the time.
There have been dramatic changes in the FBI. We think they are headed in the right direction. We think they have a long way to go. We do not make extensive recommendations with regard to the FBI. We do not support new domestic intelligence agencies.
If you look at the FAA capabilities, they clearly were weak, prior to 9/11. They have improved, too. But it is hard for us to judge how effective the steps taken have in fact been made.
If you ask any of these agencies that I have talked about and many others, what they have done since 9/11, they will come back, and they will give you a list of 15 or 20 things. And I do not have any doubt at all about their good intent. They are really trying.
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The question is: Are those steps sufficient? And would they work? Or are they just on paper? And that is hard to judge. It is a very difficult assessment to make. But capabilities really need to be strengthened across the board.
The other big thing that we think is really lacking is management. No one, and I have made this point before, really takes charge and sees all aspects of the problems, collects all of the intelligence, and says, ''Okay, I am in charge here. This is the way we are going to deal with this case. And these are the steps we need to take, operationally speaking, to deal with this.''
The national counterterrorism center that we recommend is not a policy-making body. That is up to the president and it is up to the NSC. They are not an executing body. The departments execute.
What they do do is analyze the intelligence and plan the operation. You meld together the intelligence from across the government, foreign and domestic, and you put together operational plans.
And it is at that point that we are, frankly, copying the militarythe J2, J3 concept. We think that same kind of a concept where you meld the intelligence with the planning, operational planning, that has to be done in one place, we believe, as it is in the military.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank the gentleman.
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The gentleman from Texas, Mr. Turner.
Mr. TURNER OF TEXAS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Governor Kean, Mr. Hamilton, thank you so much for being with us and for your leadership in this very important task.
As both of you know from previous times that we have visited, one of the great concerns I have is that this Congress and the American people will not comprehend the comprehensive nature of what you have laid out. Because I know from your comments when you say every element, every recommendation is important and every one of those recommendations should be acted upon in order to succeed in overcoming the threat of international terrorism, I know you mean it.
And I know that when you look at the scope of the recommendations, there has been a lot of, you know, interest in the last few weeks on the intelligence reform. Got a lot of news coverage. And today we are talking about a few other issues pertaining to the military.
But I went through your 41 recommendations, and I count five that touch upon military. I count seven that touch upon intelligence. I count 21 that deal with homeland security and closing some of those security gaps that we know still remain. I find ten that deal with your global strategy to prevent the rise of future terrorists, which I think is a critical element of this effort.
Page 112 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC You have one stand-alone that deals with transition, Presidential transition. And I am very hopeful that as we move forward that we can continue to join with you in talking about the importance of every one of these 41 recommendations, because we have a historic opportunity here: a bipartisan group unanimously recommended that we adopt these recommendations to make America safe.
And our terrorist enemies are not waiting, and we cannot wait either. And I am convinced that it is very important for all of us to understand the scope of what you have done. And as each of you has pointed out, it is important in overcoming the terrorist threat to use all of the tools in our arsenal; not just the military, the diplomatic, the intelligence, the covert action, the law enforcement, economic policy, foreign assistance for things like educational improvement and economic partnerships in the Muslim world and homeland security.
And it really calls for the kind of change that I think this country went through in the Cold War. And I have not done this, but I am going to. I am going to go back and look at the size of the Federal budget at the beginning of the years of the Cold War and I am going to see how much investment we made in all those armaments and missiles to make this country safe.
And having done that, to make a comparison to the investments of the day: You know, we have an $800 billion discretionary budget that we will vote on and 13 appropriations bills. We have increased defense spending this year, as compared to the year prior to 9/11, by $100 billion.
We have increased Homeland Security spending, not only within the Homeland Security Department, but generally the FBI strengthening, those things, we have increased that spending by $20 billion this year, as compared to the year immediately prior to 9/11.
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Now out of an $800 billion budget, $20 billion, though it is a lot of money, is not a large portion of that $800 billion budget. And I think what you are calling up on this Congress to do is to re-order our priorities in terms of the way we manage and run our government. And we are not in the best position to do it.
I mean, the truth of the matter is, of that $800 billion budget, this year alone the deficit is larger than half of that, over $400 billion, so we do not have a lot of cushion to fall back on. So it is going to require some hard choices, tough decisions.
And I would invite you to comment on that because I know in your effort you have tried to lay out a strategy. You have laid out 41 recommendations. But both of you come out of the political world and you know that it is going to require a lot of commitment. It is going to require a great deal of thinking out of the box to change the government that takes that $800 billion every year to run. It is going to take some changes in where we allocate those dollars to accomplish the objectives that you have laid out for us.
And I would welcome your comments on that.
Mr. KEAN. Congressman, I cannot disagree with anything you said. In fact, I agree with it wholeheartedly. This is an enemy of whose nature we have never confronted before in this country. I mean, we, historicallywell, in the history of the world, we have always been dealing with nation states back to the earliest times. We know how to deal with those.
Page 114 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC And these are not nation states. These are what are described as entrepreneursI mean, in a sense. They are doing things totally differently in ways that we did not anticipate. And they got ahead of us; 19 out of 19 people penetrated every single one of our defenses.
We had a story which goes back all the way to World Trade Center I. I mean, we now know that these people were involved in every thing from Black Hawk Down through eight or nine different thingsthe embassies and the people who were captured in Jordan and the attempt to shoot down ten planes in the Philippinesall these things.
In the middle of it, they stand up and say, ''It is the duty of every Muslim to kill every American, whether they be a civilian or military.'' And we know they have the capability to do it. Nobody put all that together. Nobody came before this committee and said that to you.
This is something startingand these people hate us and have the capability to do us and they have already killed an X-number of Americans over 10 to 12 different incidents, and they have tried to involve the L.A. airport and a lot of other things. Because if they had, you would have acted differently.
We have now, through this tragedy, been forced to put it all together. And we believe we have to think anew. And we have to act anew, as a government and as a people to confront something that is totally new in the enemy we face.
What we are recommending, with one exception, is not going to be tremendously expensive in the budget. The exception will be how there is a new means for identifying people when they travel and come into this country. That is going to be expensive.
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If you want to implement that, it is going to cost some money. We think you ought to implement that, because I think it is one of our best defenses. But that is going to cost a lot of money.
The rest of these recommendations are not cost-free, but not very costly in terms of the Federal budget.
But we think this is something brand new that we are confronting as an enemy. And if we do not do new things to confront that enemy, if we do not get ahead of them instead of letting them stay ahead of us, then we are going to have future tragedies. I think there is no questions about that.
Mr. HAMILTON. Mr. Turner, I appreciate very much your observations about comprehensive nature of the recommendations. The governor and I often say that we think our recommendations must be dealt with as a package.
I do not think we mean by that that you have to accept every line that we have written. We understand that our proposals can be refined and sharpened and improved.
But what we do mean is that if you think you are solving the problem by moving a few organizational boxes around, as we have recommended, that is not going to do the job.
If you think you are going to solve the problem of counterterrorism by increasing certain military capabilities or law enforcement capabilities, that is not going to do the job, either.
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You have to look at this thing comprehensively, or you are not going to get it done. And comprehensively means all of these areas of government that you identified in your questions. That is what we mean by a package.
And one of the things that concerns us is that this town gets fixated on structural change. And maybe we have been fixated on it a little too much, because we have talked about it a lot.
But structural change, while we think it is important, and we think it will reduce the risk of injury and death to Americans is not in itself going to solve this problem. You cannot organize yourself out of this problem. You have to deal with it and all of its aspects. It is a transnational threat. It goes across a great variety of U.S. governments.
And those of us who have our thinking arising out of the Cold Warand that is certainly true in my casethis proposal we are putting forward is not easy for you because we are recommending a whole different way of dealing with a national threat.
The Cold War served us very well. We had a Department of Defense over here. We had a Department of State over here. We had a Department of Treasury over there. And we were organized properly.
We are not organized properly today for this kind of a threat. And that is why we are trying to get at it.
Page 117 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The second thing I want to say about your comment is, with regard to priorities. You all understand that the most difficult task in government is setting priorities.
You have limited resources. Where do you put the resources? And the great problem that we confront in counterterrorism, as with many, many other problems is, we want to do it all. And we do not have the resources to do it all.
So, for example, in homeland security, you have to make some judgments. What are the primary threats? I can list ten threats, maybe more, from terrorism.
And my instinct is, well, we have to prepare ourselves against all of them. We cannot. We do not have the money to do it.
I can list thousands of terrorists that I think targets might like to hit. Every one of you know your communities and your district better than anybody else. And you can identify in your communities the targets that a terrorist would want to go after.
We would like to protect them all. You have to make priorities. And it is a very difficult thing for you to do and for government to do: set priorities.
If you ask me what is the number one threat from terrorists, I do not have any difficulty answering that question at all. The nightmare is a nuclear weapon in the hands of a terrorist. That is my number one threat.
If you think we suffered a lot of casualties on 9/11, it is nothing to the casualties you would have in this town or in New York or any place else in the country with a nuclear weapon going off. I would put that at the top, if it were me, alone.
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Now, you get into all kinds of disagreements with regard to what I thinkas to what the threats and the targets are that ought to be protected. But I think the government has to begin to make those decisions.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank the gentleman.
The gentleman from Minnesota, Mr. Kline.
Mr. KLINE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
And thank you, gentlemen, for being here today, for your wonderful testimony, and a really terrific report.
There is so much here. And I have enjoyed the discussion today. And I was, frankly, very heartened in the exchange that we have had about the discussion of intelligence for the warfighter, tactical intelligence, strategic intelligence.
I think it is very important that those of us on this committee understand how that is going to work and make certain that we are not damaging that intelligence.
Because, as we have discussed, sometimes the company commander in the field is getting his intelligence from what we think of as strategic or national assets. I am eager to work with my colleagues and you on that.
Page 119 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC My time is limited so I want to try to understand something.
We talked about boxes in organization here. And as both of you know, that is how government and how we think here. We have wiring diagrams, and organizational boxes, and it is very important who reports to who.
And you have talked a great deal about unity of effort, and I agree that that is something we absolutely need. But there is another principle, unity of command, that I am a little bit unclear about here.
One of your recommendations would be that one of the national incentivized director's deputies be the Defense Department's undersecretary for intelligence. I am sort of interested who he really works for, or who she really works for. Who is writing the report; who is responsible for firing them, for promotions and that sort of thing? Unfortunately, that is how we think around here, how would that work out? Who is the real boss there? Who is in charge?
Mr. KEAN. He would work for the Secretary of Defense, with the appointment made with the concurrence of the National Director of Intelligence. We understand the importance of an arrangement that says both the intelligence needs of both the military and the national policy.
We believe the proposal, we think, is going to achieve that purpose. It is three deputies. A deputy for military intelligence is one of them.
Mr. HAMILTON. We do not remove the Secretary of Defense from direct, immediate control over the intelligence assets that are necessary for the warfighter. That stays exactly as it is today, and must stay the way it is today.
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Now, as I suggested a moment ago, I think the questions that are being asked here are helpful to us and cause me to think that we need to refine some of our thinking in this very important area, and we will try to do that. In many ways, you are the experts on it. We are not.
Mr. KLINE. I just think that it isknowing how people work, if two bosses call a meeting at the same time, which one you go to is sort of aI understand I am getting into the weeds, but nevertheless it is important in understanding who really is in charge. And I was struck, Governor, when you were talking about the DCI. You said he got it and was declaring war on terrorism, and yet he could not get other agencies to respond.
And you said something I found very interesting. He could not even get everybody in the CIA to respond. And it is very clear that there was power thereto use Mr. Hamilton's wordsand yet he still could not get it done.
So I applaud the work. I am looking forward to working with you and my colleagues on these recommendations. But you have put forward something that is very hard. And we are dealing with entrenched bureaucracies here, that Mr. Weldon mentioned earlier. And it is important that we be clear, at least in my judgment, that we be clear on how this organization is going to be structured so that there is no doubt about sort of who is in charge.
Mr. HAMILTON. Absolutely.
Mr. KLINE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
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Mr. HAMILTON. These organizational problems are difficult. Double-hatting is not an unusual phenomenon in the government. And you are right, it sometimes makes ambiguous the line of command here.
And the intelligence assistant secretary in the Defense Department would be double-hatted in a sense. But he is working principally for the DOD secretary.
Mr. KLINE. Thank you very much.
And thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman.
And Mr. Hill, the gentleman from Indiana, will be recognized next.
But let me say that we understand we have a hard stop at 3:30. Our guests have accommodated us by staying with us for some 3.5 hours now. And I know all our Members have come back from important engagements and appointments and business in their districts to attend this very important hearing.
What I can offer to our members who have not had a chance to ask the panel questions is this: As we go into the second panel, which is the Department of Defense panel that will be here after a ten-minute recess, is that we will take upand I conferred with Mr. Skeltonwe will take up with the membership who are pending their questions right now. They will take up the next line of questioning. So Ms. Miller will be next after Mr. Hill.
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My apologies to members that have not had a chance to ask our witnesses questions. What I would like to ask of Mr. Hamilton and Governor Kean is if you would accommodate us at a future time, we would like to have an opportunity for all the membership to have a chance to talk with you.
And we understand that what we are talking about is not something that lends itself to quick answers. And so, the depth of your answers I think has been very appreciated by the members. Nonetheless, it has run out of time. So we greatly appreciate you staying with us as long as you have.
So, Mr. Hill will be the last questioner for this panel, and then we will continue down the line with the next panel that comes in.
Mr. HAMILTON. And we are available, Mr. Chairman, in the future.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you very much. We will work with you and we will get a time. And we will start again when we take up again with our two witnesses, we will start with the folks that did not get a question before.
Mr. HILL. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Page 123 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC And, Mr. Chairman, my colleagues on the committee may or may not know that I had the arduous task of following Lee Hamilton in the Congress of the United States. I am still trying to get out of his shadow in the 9th District in Indiana. It is like following Abraham Lincoln. [Laughter.]
But I have a great deal of respect for my friend and colleague, Mr. Hamilton, and, Governor, you, as well. Thank you for your service to the country.
In the report, the chapter on global strategy, the commission says, and I quote, ''our efforts should be accompanied by a preventive strategy that is as much or more political as it is military. The strategy must focus clearly on the Arab and Muslim world in all its variety,'' unquote.
Now, you do not say much more than that. If you could give us some more details about when it would be appropriate for a military preemptive strike, please?
Mr. HAMILTON. Well, the quick answer, Mr. Hill, would be when a threat is imminent to the United States. I know there has been an enormous amount of talk about preemptive military strikes. And I think that President Bush has articulated that more robustly, perhaps, than other presidents have done.
But I have never had any doubts that a presidentand I have worked with nine of them, or maybe eight; eight or nine of themwould, if he believed that the United States was imminently under a threatand the word imminent is the operative wordwould use military force in order to protect the American people.
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In other words, with all of the debate we have had about this business of preemptive action, preventive war and so forth, I really do not see all that much change in American policy.
Every president I have known would use military force to prevent an attack on American citizens if he thought the threat was imminent. I think that is the policy today, and I think it has been the policy for a long time.
Now, you get into huge quarrels, of course, as to what constitutes imminent threat. And judgments vary, and that is where intelligence becomes really crucial. But the statement of the Commission that we have to prepared to act, to prevent, not just in the military sense, but in a diplomatic sense, as well, is why we recommend that Afghanistan and Pakistan have to be secure and stable in order to try to prevent a sanctuary being developed in those countries.
So preventive policy means both military and diplomatic.
Mr. KEAN. We had a terribly tough decision to makeboth presidents, President Clinton and President Bushgoing to Afghanistan. Bin Laden was there. Al Qaida was gathering strength. They had already attacked and killed Americans in various parts of the world. And we tried through diplomacy for any number of years to negotiate with the Taliban.
Now, as it turned out, the Taliban cared more about preserving bin Laden than preserving themselves as a government.
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But we negotiated over and over and over. We tried to get the Saudis. And they did try to help with those negotiations. We tried to work through Pakistan, which has some interests, because it liked the Taliban better than it liked some other governments that had been there in the past.
And then we finally had to make some decisions. And the decisions were whether we would use military options, either through covert action, or troops on the ground, or a cruise missile trying to land on bin Laden.
And we detail in the report all the worries the two presidents went through as to when and if to use that force against, which was a nation state, Afghanistan, and when it was justified. And they made the determination, those administrations, that they did not have what they call actionable intelligence to go after simply bin Laden, and that they did not have the means or the ability to go after a nation state, Afghanistan.
Now, whether that decision should have been different is something we can look at with hindsight. But they did make that decision. And it was a very difficult one, I think, for both administrations.
Mr. HILL. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I see that my red light is on.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman.
Page 126 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC And, gentlemen, thank you for being with us today.
And one of the great assets of our country is leaders like yourselves who devote yourselves to the public interests when there are lots of things that would be more enjoyable and more convenient and less time-consuming.
The Nation, I am sure, is very grateful for your leadership, as well as that of all of the commission members. We appreciate you very much. And we want to continue to work with you.
And so thank you for being with us today. And thanks for the time you have devoted to us.
Mr. KEAN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. HAMILTON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. This hearing is adjourned. And we will take up the next one in ten minutes.
[Whereupon, at 3:45 p.m., the committee was adjourned.]