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Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs
30 July 2004
THOMAS H. KEAN, 9/11 COMMISSION CHAIRMAN LEE H. HAMILTON, 9/11 COMMISSION VICE CHAIRMAN
SPEAKERS: U.S. SENATOR SUSAN M. COLLINS (R-ME) CHAIRMAN U.S. SENATOR TED STEVENS (R-AK) U.S. SENATOR NORM COLEMAN (R-MN) U.S. SENATOR GEORGE VOINOVICH (R-OH) U.S. SENATOR ARLEN SPECTER (R-PA) U.S. SENATOR PETER FITZGERALD (R-IL) U.S. SENATOR ROBERT BENNETT (R-UT) U.S. SENATOR RICHARD SHELBY (R-AL) U.S. SENATOR JOHN SUNUNU (R-NH)
U.S. SENATOR JOSEPH LIEBERMAN (D-CT) RANKING MEMBER U.S. SENATOR CARL LEVIN (D-MI) U.S. SENATOR DANIEL K. AKAKA (D-HI) U.S. SENATOR RICHARD DURBIN (D-IL) U.S. SENATOR MARK PRYOR (D-AR) U.S. SENATOR THOMAS CARPER (D-DE) U.S. SENATOR FRANK LAUTENBERG (D-NJ) U.S. SENATOR MARK DAYTON (D-MN)
In these hearings, Senator Dayton suggests that the 9/11 Commission was involved in a Coverup of the 9/11 Timeline. his comments focus specifically on the actions of FAA authorities. Included below are relevant excerpts focussing on Sen Dayton's statements. We also include the complete transcript of the hearings.
Chairman, and I , I also want to commend you for holding this hearing in quick response to the 9/11 Commission’s Report. Mr. Chairman, Mr. Co-chairman, I want to say again to you that we are all indebted to you, to the other eight members of the Commission and the staff for this critically important work that you have provided the nation.
It is a profoundly disturbing report because it chronicles in excruciating detail the terrible attack against our homeland, the despicable murder of so many American citizens and the horrible destruction to countless other lives and liberties throughout this nation.
And because of the utter failure to defend them [American citizens] by their federal government, by their leaders, and the institutions that were entrusted to do so and because of serious discrepancies between the facts that you’ve set forth and what was told to the American people, to members of Congress, and to your own Commission by those, some of those authorities.
There’s way too much to cover here but I will begin.
According to your report the first of the four airliner hijackings occurred on September 11th at 8:14 Eastern time. At 10:03 AM, almost two hours later, an hour and forty-nine minutes to be exact, the fourth and last plane crashed before reaching its intended target, the U.S. Capitol, because of the incredible heroism of its passengers, including Minnesota native Thomas Burnett Jr.. During those entire 109 minutes to my reading of this report this country and its citizens were completely undefended.
Yes, it was a surprise attack. It was unprecedented. Yes, it exposed serious flaws and as you noted our imagination, our policies, capabilities and our management designs but what I find much more shocking and alarming were the repeated and catastrophic failures of the leaders of the leaders in charge, and the other people responsible, to do their jobs.
To follow established procedures.
To follow direct orders from civilian and military commanders.
And then they failed to tell us the truth later.
It doesn’t matter whether they were Republicans, Democrats or neither, it matters what they did or did not do. According to your findings, FAA authorities failed to the inform military command, NORAD, the North American Aerospace Defense Command, about three of the four hijackings until after the planes had crashed into their targets at the second World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and the ground in Pennsylv…in Pennsylvania which was not their target.
The direct FAA notification of the military regarding the first plane twenty-three minutes after it was hijacked and only nine minutes before it struck the first World Trade Tower.
NORAD then scrambled one of only two sets of fighter planes on alert in the entire eastern third of the country, one in Massachusetts and one in Virginia but it didn’t know where to send them; because the hijackers has turned off the plane’s transponder so NORAD couldn’t locate them on their radar and they still looking for it when it exploded into its target at 8:46AM.
The second hijacking began, according to your report, one minute later. NORAD wasn’t notified until the same minute the same plane struck the second World Trade tower. It was five more minutes before NORAD’s mission commander learned about that explosion; which was five minutes after thousands [probably millions] of Americans saw it on live television. By this time the third plane’s transponder was off; communication had been severed, yet it was fifteen minutes before the flight controller decided to notify the regional FAA center which in turn did not inform FAA headquarters for another fifteen minutes.
So at that point 9:25 AM FAA’s National Command Center knew that there were two hijacked planes that had crashed into the two World Trade Centers and a third plane had stopped communicating and disappeared from its primary radar yet no one in FAA headquarters asked for military assistance with that plane either. NORAD was unaware that the plane had even been hijacked until after it crashed into the Pentagon at 9:34.
This is just unbelievable negligence. It doesn't matter if we spend $550 billion annually on our national defense, if we reorganize our intelligence or if we restructure congressional oversight if people don't pick up the phone to call one another. If we’re not told if somebody needs a new radar system and doesn’t stall it when it’s provided. And this was not an occasional human or failure. This is nothing but human error and failure to follow established procedures and to use common sense.
Unfortunately, the chronicle is not over. The NORAD mission commander ordered his only three other planes on alert in Virginia to scramble and fly north to Baltimore. Minutes later when he was told that a plane was approaching Washington he learned that the planes were flying East over the Atlantic Ocean away from Baltimore and Washington so that when the third plane struck the Pentagon NORAD’s fighters were 150 miles away, farther than they were before they took off.
By then FAA’s Command Center had learned of the fourth hijacking and called FAA Headquarters specifically asking that they contact the military at 9:36AM and at 9:46AM the FAA Command Center updated FAA headquarters that United Flight 93 was "29 minutes out of Washington, D.C." Three minutes later your document records this following conversation between the Command Center and FAA headquarters.
Command center - 'Uh, do we want to, uh, think about scrambling aircraft?' - FAA headquarters - 'Oh God, I don't know.' - Command center - 'Uh, that's a decision somebody's going to have to make probably in the next 10 minutes.' - FAA headquarters - 'Uh, yeah, you know, everybody just left the room."
At 10:03 United Flight 93 crashed into the Pennsylvania farm soil and nobody from the FAA headquarters had contacted the military. NORAD didn’t know that this fourth plane was hijacked until after it crashed 35 minutes later. The fighter planes that reached Washington seven minutes after that crash they were told by the Mission Commander, "negative clearance to shoot the aircraft" over the Nation’s Capitol.
Yet one week, yet one week after 9/11, in response to initial reports that the military failed to defend our domestic airspace during the hijacks NORAD issued an official chronology that stated that the FAA notified NORAD of the second hijacking at 8:43, wrong, FAA notified NORAD of the third hijacking at 9:24, according to your report wrong, FAA notified NORAD of the fourth hijacking at an unspecified time and that prior to the crash in Pennsylvania Langley F-16 combat air patrol planes were in place, remaining in place, to protect Washington, D.C..
In public testimony before your 9/11 Commission in May of 2003 NORAD officials stated, I assume under oath [ED; they were NOT UNDER OATH], that at 9:16 they had received the hijack notification of United Flight 93 from the FAA. That hijacking did not occur until 9:28; there was a routine cockpit transmission recovered at 9:27.
And in that testimony before you NORAD officials stated also that at 9:24 they received notice of the hijacking of the third plane, American flight 77, also untrue according to your report; which states that NORAD was never notified that flight was hijacked.
NORAD officials testified that they scrambled the Langley, Virginia fighters to respond to those two hijackings yet taped recordings of both NORAD and FAA both reportedly documented that the order to scramble was a response to an inaccurate FAA report that American Flight 11 had not hit the first World Trade tower and was headed to Washington. That erroneous alert was transmitted by the FAA at 9:24AM, thirty-eight minutes after that airplane had exploded into the World Trade tower. Yet NORAD’s public chronology of 9/18/01 and their Commission testimony 20 months later covered up those truths. They lied to the American people, they lied to Congress and they lied to your 9/11 Commission to create a false impression of competence, communication, coordination and protection of the American people.
And we can set up all the oversight possible at great additional cost to the American taxpayers and it won’t be worth an Enron pension if the people responsible lie to us; if they take the records and doctor them into falsehoods, and if they get away with it. For almost three years now NORAD officials and FAA officials have been able to hide their critical failures that left this country defenseless during two of the worst hours in our history.
And I believe that President Bush must call them, those responsible for those representations to account. [clapping in gallery] If the Commission’s accounts are correct, he should fire whoever at FAA, at NORAD or anywhere else who betrayed the public trust by not telling us the truth.
And then he should clear up a few discrepancies of his own.
Four months after September 11th on January 27th 2002, the Washington Post’s Dan Balls and Bob Woodward authored an insider’s retrospective on top administration officials’ actions on 9/11 and thereafter. They reported that very shortly after the Pentagon was struck at 9:34 quote Pentagon officials ordered up the airborne command post used only in national emergencies; they sent up combat air patrol in the Washington area and a fighter escort for Air Force One. Secretary Rumsfeld was portrayed as "taking up his post at the National Military Command Center." And all that reportedly occurred before 9:55AM. Right thereafter "Bush then talked to Rumsfeld to clarify the procedures military pilots should follow before firing on attack planes. With Bush’s approval Rumsfeld passed the order down the chain of command."
This was supposedly taking place according to that article before the fourth plane crashed in Pennsylvania at 10:03. Looks very impressive. The President acting swiftly and decisively; giving orders to the Secretary of Defense and on down the chain of command, combat air patrol planes are patrolling Washington directed by an airborne command post all before 10:03AM; however, according to your commission, President Bush spoke to Secretary Rumsfeld for the first time that morning shortly after 10AM. Based on White House notes and Ari Fliescher notes of the conversation the Commission’s report states that it was a brief call in which the subject of the shoot down authority was not discussed.
The Commission then states that the Secretary of Defense did not join the NMCC’s [air threat] conference call until just before 10:30AM. The Secretary of Defense himself told the Commission he was just gaining situation awareness when he spoke with the Vice-President at 10:39AM. That transcript is on page 23, page 43. My time is out but it reflects the Vice-President’s honest mistaken(ly) belief that he had been given an order, after talking with the President, to shoot down any plane that would not divert, yet incredibly…the NORAD commander
Senator Collins (Chairwomen): The Senator’s time has expired.
Senator Dayton: I am just going to finish this if I may…yet incredibly the NORAD commander did not pass that order to the fighter planes because he was "unsure how the pilots would or should proceed with this guidance." As you say Mr. Chairman, 'the situation is urgent' but we don’t get protected in those circumstances but it’s even worse when it’s covered-up.
COLLINS: The committee will come to order.
Let me begin by thanking our committee members for rearranging their schedules on very short notice to be here today.
I particularly want to acknowledge our Democratic members, all of whom raced down from Boston this morning and have accused me of depriving them of a good night's sleep. This is not a Republican plot.
We are very happy to have you here.
LIEBERMAN: Madam Chairman, if I may so is in a phrase that may have been familiar, on behalf of this side we are reporting for duty.
COLLINS: I also want to welcome our two distinguished witnesses who join us today. I'm very grateful for their work and for their presence as well.
Today the Governmental Affairs Committee begins a series of hearings on the recommendations of the 9/11 commission calling for a restructuring of our intelligence organizations. The task that we've been assigned by the Senate leaders is to examine in depth the recommendations for reorganizing the executive branch and to report legislation by October 1st.
We must act with speed but not in haste. We must be bold but we cannot be reckless.
We must protect not just the lives of our citizens but also those values that make life worth living.
All terrorism involves death and destruction. But the ultimate goal of terrorists is to destroy everything that we treasure and that defines us as Americans: our democracy, protection of the rights of all, adherence to the rule of law, economic opportunity and religious and political freedom.
Those who despise our way of life will stop at nothing to achieve this goal. Osama bin Laden has repeatedly said that Al Qaida makes no distinction between military and civilian targets. He has called the murder of any American, anywhere on Earth, the duty of every Muslim.
COLLINS: The 9/11 commission makes numerous findings as to how we can better protect ourselves and our liberty. These recommendations, ranging from improving educational and economic opportunities in Muslim states to implementing a biometric screening system to improve border security, will be considered by congressional committees in the weeks ahead.
Today, however, our focus is on a key commission finding: that we must reform the structure of our intelligence community.
The commission makes two major recommendations to accomplish this end: the establishment of national counterterrorism center to unify intelligence analysis and operational planning, and the creation of a new national intelligence director to lead our entire intelligence effort which now involves 15 agencies scattered across the federal government.
The center as envisioned by the commission would not be another layer of bureaucracy but rather a means by which our intelligence agencies can share and integrate their expertise, their information and their institutional memories.
The proposed intelligence director would have the authority to allocate resources and control budgets to ensure that the most important priorities are funded in keeping with the policies established by the president and his National Security Council.
This reorganization would represent a fundamental overhaul of our intelligence structure and a sea change in our thinking.
The precise form and extent of reorganization remain to be determined. And we need to make clear, just as the 9/11 report does, that the intelligence failures were not the result of individual negligence but of institutional rigidity.
Massive reorganizations of government are always controversial. They are often met with great resistance among those being reorganized. While turf battles abound in Washington, for the American people it is results that count.
COLLINS: Power struggles for authority and responsibility, however well motivated, cannot be allowed to doom needed reform. Our theme should be, as the commission quotes one CIA official, one fight, one team.
It can be done. Consider, for example, the Goldwater-Nichols Department of Defense Reorganization Act of 1986. It centralized operational authority in the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Initially this restructuring was vigorously opposed by those who clung to the independence of the service branches. The performance of our military since then, in the Gulf War, in Bosnia and in Afghanistan and Iraq, is testament to the wisdom of that unifying reform.
The threat we face today requires the same willingness to innovate, to coordinate information, to share skills and talent and to pursue the overriding mission that helped America meet the challenges of the 20th century.
This committee must do everything in its power to see that America's intelligence structures are rebuilt to meet the challenges of the 21st.
Today we are honored to hear from the two leaders of the 9/11 commission: Chairman Thomas Kean and Vice Chairman Lee Hamilton.
COLLINS: I thank them for their extraordinary service and welcome them here today.
Before calling on the commissioners, I would like to recognize my friend Senator Lieberman for any opening comments that he might have. In addition to possessing tremendous experience and insight, Senator Lieberman brings a decidedly nonpartisan approach to this urgent task. I very much appreciate his assistance in putting these hearings together so quickly. And I look forward to working with him and the other members of our committee as we strive to meet our October 1st goal.
LIEBERMAN: Thank you very much, Madam Chairman. I know that you and I agree -- and I would guess that every other member of the committee does -- that the report of the Kean-Hamilton 9/11 commission presents us, this committee and the Congress, with one of the most important opportunities any of us will have to be of service to our country.
And I take encouragement from your leadership of this committee as we begin the process of responding to the commission's report, because I know it will be nonpartisan. I know that you will, as you always do, put the national interest ahead of partisan interest.
And I think together, we're going to get this job done and get it done with unprecedented thoughtfulness and speed.
Our leadership, Senators Frist and Daschle, late on the day that the 9/11 commission report was issued, charged this committee with the responsibility of examining the reorganization recommendations from the commission. We accept this responsibility with the sense of urgency the commission recommends and the American people rightfully expect.
Vice Chairman Hamilton, reflecting on all the witness interviews that led the commission to conclude that changes were necessary in the way the American intelligence community was organized, has said, and I quote, "A critical theme that emerged throughout our inquiry was the difficulty of answering the question 'Who is in charge? Who ensures that agencies pool resources, avoid duplication and plan jointly? Who oversees the massive integration and unity of effort to keep America safe?' Too often," Lee Hamilton concluded, "the answer is no one."
LIEBERMAN: That's unacceptable. That status quo failed us on September 11, 2001, and it will fail us again unless we begin to work now to institute the reforms the 9/11 commission has recommended.
I want to thank both Chairman Kean and Vice Chairman Hamilton for their remarkable leadership. The commission has far exceeded the hopes Senator McCain and I had for it when we pushed for its creation in the months early after September 11th.
If you'll allow me your service, gentlemen, it reminds me of a favorite quote from Thomas Jefferson: "Citizens who love their country on its own account, and not merely for its trappings of interest or power, can never refuse to come forward when they find that the nation is engaged in dangers which they have the means of warding off," end of quote.
That's what you've done.
Your nation, our nation, was and is in danger. And while we're safer than we were on September 11th, we are still not safe, as your report concludes.
You and your fellow commissioners put your private lives aside and stepped forward to document for the nation the story of September 11th and the bold actions that are needed now to confront and defeat the continuing danger of terrorism.
I know it was nearly two years of difficult, painstaking work for all the commission members and staff, and we are grateful and proud that in these fractious times your commission was able to carry out its work in a thoroughly nonpartisan fashion and produce a unanimous report.
LIEBERMAN: You have created the model Congress must follow as we respond to your recommendations.
Our thanks also go to the families of the victims of 9/11 who have played such a steadfast role in demanding answers to the difficult questions surrounding the attack so lives could be saved in the future.
The only answer those family members will not accept was no, as in "There will be no commission." They insisted that there be a commission.
So I conclude, if I might, that Jefferson would be proud that our nation still produces citizens like Tom Kean, Lee Hamilton, the other members of the commission and the families of the victims of 9/11.
I have long believed that if we as a nation are ever going to make sense of what happened on September 11th, we need to look back honestly, not with rancor, not with rumor, not with fear, but with clear eyes and honest hearts. Your extraordinary work enables us now to do just that.
You answer better than anyone has the two questions that we all want answered: How could the 9/11 attacks have happened? And how can we prevent, to the best of our ability, anything like 9/11 from ever happening again?
This 587-page report does not close the book on 9/11. Rather it now opens a new chapter for Congress and the White House to write as we fulfill our responsibilities to create the 21st-century intelligence and homeland defense systems your report calls for. In this mission we should all feel the same sense of urgency the commissioner have expressed.
Chairman Kean, you said, and I quote, "This system is not fixed. Our biggest weapon of defense is our intelligence system. If that doesn't work, our chances of being attacked are so much greater. So our major recommendation is to fix that intelligence system and to do it as fast as possible."
LIEBERMAN: That is why we are holding these hearings today, unprecedented for the speed and the time at which they've been called.
Our staffs will be working this summer to have legislation ready for the Senate's consideration by the end of September. When the Senate returns on September 7th, just days before the third anniversary of 9/11, we're going to be well on our way. And many other congressional hearings will flow.
Today, this committee, I hope, will focus mostly on the commission's recommendations for the creation of a national counterterrorism center, a national intelligence director and some related issues like information sharing.
As always, as we begin our work, history can inform our judgments. I go back to 1924 when General Billy Mitchell predicted that a war with Japan was coming and that it would begin with an attack on Pearl Harbor. He even predicted the time of day the attack would occur. Then came December 7th, 1941.
Sadly, we also had warnings years before, as you document, before 9/11, of the mounting terrorist threat and gaps in our governments intelligence preparedness. Then came September 11th, 2001, and again we showed we were unprepared.
We cannot let another attack succeed because of our own inaction. And we meet to begin these deliberations at a time when our nation has been given fair and factual warning that our terrorist enemies intend to attack again.
Your commission's recommendations offer us a chance to seize control of our future and defend America. We must act now and not put this over to the next Congress.
LIEBERMAN: Jefferson, again, once warned that, "Lethargy is the forerunner of death to public liberty." In the case of terrorism, lethargy can also be the forerunner to the death of thousands of innocent Americans.
That's why we must not go slow or protect the status quo. It's time to act to fulfill our congressional responsibilities in an age of terrorism to provide for the common defense and ensure domestic tranquility.
And I'm confident that this committee, working across party lines in the national interest, can lead the way.
Thank you very much, Madam Chairman.
COLLINS: Thank you, Senator.
We'll start with Governor Kean.
KEAN: Madam Chairman Collins, Senator Lieberman, members of the committee, it's a great honor to appear before you today to open our public testimony in behalf of the recommendations in the final report of our 9/11 commission.
We also want to thank the leadership of the United States Senate. Both the majority leader and the Democratic leader have shown your strong support for our work. We commend them. We commend you for your leadership.
And I might just say a word on that. We didn't envision -- we hoped for speed because we have this strong sense of urgency, but you have even exceeded our expectations. This is remarkable. I'd like to thank this committee very much, as well as the United States Senate. This is in the interests of our country. Thank you for you service.
The United States government must take all the steps it can to disrupt and defeat the terrorists and protect against and prepare for terrorist attacks.
Our recommendations to address the transnational danger of Islamist terrorism rest on three policies: to attack terrorists and their organizations, to prevent the continued growth of Islamic terrorism, and to protect and prepare for terrorist attacks.
The long-term success of our efforts depend on the use of all elements of national power. We must use 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 still going to leave ourselves vulnerable, and we will weaken our overall national effort.
Our recommendations about what to do encompass many things: foreign policy, public diplomacy, border security, transportation security, protection of civil liberties and setting priorities for national preparedness.
We also make, of course, several recommendations on how to do it, how to organize the United States government to address the new national security threat of transnational terrorism.
We understand and appreciate the topic of today's hearing, governmental organization.
KEAN: We will address in detail some of our key recommendations in this area.
But I would be wrong if I didn't pause for just a moment to make clear that changes in government organization are vastly important but are still only part of what we need to do. If we do not carry out all important recommendations we have outlined in foreign policy, in border security, in transportation security and other areas, reorganizing government alone is not enough to make us safe and more secure.
I know there's a fascination in Washington sometimes, I guess, with bureaucratic solutions: rearranging the wiring diagrams, creating new organizations. And we do recommend some important institutional changes. We will articulate and defend those proposals. But, of course, reorganizing government institutions is only part of the agenda that's before us all.
Some of the saddest aspects of the 9/11 story are the outstanding efforts of so many individual officials straining, often without success, against the boundaries of the possible. Good people can overcome bad structures; they shouldn't have to.
We have the resources, and we have the people. We need to combine them more effectively to achieve that unity of effort that we are all seeking.
This morning we will address several major recommendations on how the executive branch, we believe, can simply work better.
They have to unify strategic intelligence and operational planning against Islamic terrorists across the foreign-domestic divide with a national counterterrorism center.
They must unify the intelligence community with a new national intelligence director.
They must unify the many participants in the counterterrorism effort and their knowledge in a network-based information-sharing system that transcends traditional national boundaries.
KEAN: And we must unify our national effort by strengthening the ability of the FBI and homeland defenders to carry out their counterterrorism mission.
Now, we'll address each of these in turn.
The national counterterrorism center: Our report details many unexploited opportunities that we could have used, really, to disrupt that 9/11 plot: the failures to watch list, the failures to share information, the failures, as so many have put it, to connect the dots.
The story of Hazmi and Mihdhar in Kuala Lumpur in January 2000 is a telling example. See, there we caught a glimpse of the future hijackers, but we lost their trail in Bangkok.
Domestic officials were not informed until August 2001 that Hazmi and Mihdhar had entered the United States and were living very openly. They started then to pursue some late leads, but on September 11th, time simply ran out.
We could give you any number of other examples, and will if you would like, where we find no one was firmly in charge of managing the case. No one was able to draw relevant intelligence from anywhere within the government, assign responsibilities across the agencies -- and that's foreign or domestic -- track progress and quickly bring these things forward so they could be resolved.
In other words, as we've said, no one was the quarterback. No one was calling the play. No one was assigning roles so the government agencies could execute as a team and not as individuals.
We believe the solution to this problem rests with the creation of a new institution, the national counterterrorism center.
KEAN: We believe, as Secretary Rumsfeld told us, that each of the agencies needs to give up some of their existing turf and authority in exchange for a stronger, faster and more efficient government-wide joint effort.
We therefore propose a civilian-led unified joint command for counterterrorism. It would combine intelligence -- what the military, I gather, call a J2 function -- with operational planning -- which the military calls the J3 function. We put them together 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.
We consciously and deliberately draw on the military model, the Goldwater-Nichols model. We can and should learn from successful reforms in the military that were done two decades ago.
We want all the government agencies that play a role in counterterrorism to work together, to have one unified command. We want them to work together as one team in one fight against transnational terrorism. The national counterterrorism center would build on the existing Terrorist Threat Integration Center and replace it and the other terrorism fusion centers within the government with one unified center.
The NCTC would have tasking authority on counterterrorism for all collection and analysis across the government, across the foreign and domestic divide. It would be in charge of warning.
The NCTC would coordinate anti-terrorist operations across the government, but individual agencies would continue to execute operations within their competencies.
The NCTC would be in the Executive Office of the President. Its 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, FBI, Defense and State Departments. The NCTC chief would report to the national intelligence director.
KEAN: Now, we appreciate, and we talked about this on the commission, that this is a new and difficult idea for those of us schooled in the government that we knew in the 20th century.
We won the Second World War and we won the Cold War because the great departments of government, the State Department, the Defense Department, the CIA and the FBI, were organized against clear, nation- state adversaries.
Today, we face a transnational threat. That threat respects no boundaries and makes no distinction between foreign and domestic. The enemy is resourceful, it's flexible and it's disciplined.
We need a system of management that is as flexible and resourceful as the enemy we face. We need a system that can bring all the resources of government to bear on the problem and that can change and respond as the threat changes.
We need a model of government that meets the needs of the 21st century. And we believe that the national counterterrorist center will meet that test.
I will now introduce my vice chairman, really my co-chairman, Lee Hamilton who has not only been a wonderful colleague, but has taught this country boy from New Jersey a tremendous amount about that whole subject.
HAMILTON: Thank you very much, Chairman Kean.
I want to say the success, whatever it may be, of the commission is very largely attribute able to the remarkable leadership of Tom Kean. And it's been a high privilege for me to have the opportunity to serve with him.
Madam Chairman, Senator Lieberman, the distinguished members of the committee, let me also join the chairman in expressing my appreciation to the Senate leadership, to you Madam Chairman, to Senator Lieberman, for your initiative in starting these hearings so quickly and responding to our recommendations. We are deeply grateful to you for your leadership. It's been quite remarkable.
As part of the 9/11 story we spent a lot of time looking at the performance of the intelligence community. We identified at least six major problems confronting that community.
HAMILTON: First, there are major structural barriers to the performance of joint intelligence work. National intelligence is still organized around the collection disciplines -- HUMINT, signals and all the rest of it -- of the home agencies; it is not organized around the joint mission.
The importance of integrated all-source analysis cannot be overstated. It is not possible to connect the dots without it.
Second, there is a lack of common standards and practices across the foreign-domestic divide for the collection, processing, reporting, analyzing and sharing of intelligence.
Third, there is a divided management of national intelligence capabilities between the director of the CIA and the Defense Department.
Fourth, the director of central intelligence has a very weak capacity to set priorities and move resources.
Fifth, the director of central intelligence now has three jobs: running the CIA, running the intelligence community and serving as the president's chief intelligence adviser. No person can perform all three responsibilities.
And finally, the intelligence community is too complex and too secret. Its 15 agencies are govern by arcane rules, and all of its money and nearly all of its work is shielded from public scrutiny. That makes sharing intelligence exceedingly difficult.
We come to the recommendation of a national intelligence director not because we want to create some new czar or a new layer of bureaucracy to sit atop 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 works.
You have a chart before you of our proposed organization. It is on page 413 of the book, the report. It's on the posterboard.
Unlike most charts, what is most important on this chart is not the top of the chart, it is the bottom. We believe that the intelligence community needs a wholesale, Goldwater-Nichols reform of the way it does business, as the chairman indicated.
The collection agency should have the same mission as the armed services do. They should organize, train and equip their personnel. These intelligence professionals in turn should be assigned to unify joint commands or, in the language of the intelligence community, joint mission centers.
We have already talked about a national counterterrorism center.
HAMILTON: A joint mission center on WMD and proliferation, for example, would bring together the imagery, signals, and HUMINT specialists, both collectors and analysts, who would work together jointly on behalf of the mission. All the resources of the community would be brought to bear on the key intelligence issues as defined by the national intelligence director.
So when we look at the chart, from the bottom up, we conclude you cannot get the necessary transformation of the intelligence community, that is smashing the stovepipes and creating joint mission centers, unless you have a national intelligence director.
He needs authority over the intelligence community. He needs authority over personnel, information technology, security. Appropriations for intelligence should come to him. And he should have the authority to reprogram the funds within and between intelligence agencies.
The national intelligence director would create and then oversee the joint work done by the intelligence centers. He'd be in the executive office of the president. He'd have a small staff, a staff that is really an augmented staff of the present community management staff of the CIA. He would not be like other czars that we have created in this town over a period of years who really have not had meaningful authority.
The national intelligence director would have real authority. He will control national intelligence program purse strings. He will have hire and fire authority over agency heads in the intelligence community. He will control the IT. He will have real troops as the national counterterrorism center and all of the joint mission centers would report to him.
We have concluded that the intelligence community is not going to get its job done unless somebody is really in charge. That is just not the case now. And we paid the price. Information was not shared. Agencies did not work together. We have to and can do better as a government. To underscore again, we support a national intelligence director not for the purpose of naming another chief to sit on top of the other chiefs; we support the creation of this position because it's the only way to catalyze transformation in the intelligence community and to manage a transformed community afterward.
HAMILTON: What we learned in 9/11 is that the U.S. government has access to a vast amount of information. But the government has weak systems for processing and using the information it possesses, especially across agency lines.
Agencies live by the need-to-know rule and refuse to share. Each agency has its own computer system and its own security practices, 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 practices of government, security practices encourage over- classification. Risk is minimized by slapping on classification labels. There are no punishments for not sharing information.
We believe that information procedures across the government need to be changed to provide incentives for sharing. We believe the president needs to lead a government-wide effort to bring the major national security institutions into the information revolution.
The president needs to lead the way and coordinate the resolution of the legal policy and technical issues across agency lines so that information can be shared.
The model is a decentralized network. Agencies would still have their own databases. But those databases would be searchable across agency lines. In this system, secrets are protected through the design of the network that controls access to the data, not access to the network.
The point here is that no single agency can do this alone. One agency can modernize its stovepipe, but cannot design a system to replace it. Only presidential leadership can develop the necessary government-wide concepts and standards.
The other major reform we want to recommend to you this morning concerns the FBI. We do not support the creation of a new domestic intelligence collection agency, the so-called MI-5.
We believe creating such an agency is too risky to civil liberties, would take too long, cost too much money and sever the important link between the criminal and counterterrorism investigative work of the FBI.
We believe Director Mueller is undertaking important reforms.
HAMILTON: We think he's moving in the right direction.
What is important, at this time, is strengthening and institutionalizing the FBI reforms. And that is what we are recommending.
What the FBI needs is a specialized and integrated national security workforce consisting of agents, analysts, linguists and surveillance specialists. These specialists need to be recruited, trained, rewarded and retained to ensure the development of institutional culture with deep expertise in intelligence and national security.
We believe our other proposed reforms -- the creation of a national counterterrorist center and the creation of a national intelligence director -- will strengthen and institutionalize the FBI's commitment to counterterrorism intelligence efforts.
The NCTC and the NID would have powerful control over the leadership and the budgets of the counterterrorism division and the office of intelligence respectively. They would be powerful forces pressing the FBI to continue with the reform that Director Mueller has instituted.
Taken together, then, we believe these reforms within the structure of the executive branch, together with reforms in Congress and the other recommendations referred to by the chairman, can make a significant difference in making America safer and more secure.
We believe that reforms of the executive branch structures are vitally important, and we're immensely pleased that this committee is focusing on those reforms today as a way of making America safer. We are especially pleased that your committee is taking the lead with regard to this.
And with these words, we close our testimony, and we would be pleased to respond to questions.
COLLINS: Thank you, both, for excellent statements.
We're now going to begin a 10-minute round of questions for each member. I would note that the only lights are right here, and they're a little bit hard to see, but we'll try to help make sure that everybody gets the full 10 minutes.
Congressman Hamilton, I'd like to start my questioning with you because of the role that you played as chairman of the House Select Committee on Intelligence, as well as the many other hats that you've worn.
Some observers suggest that the overall effect of the intelligence reorganization that the 9/11 commission has recommended would be to diminish the influence of the CIA, to considerably increase the importance of the Pentagon and to give the White House more direct control over covert operations.
Former CIA Director Robert Gates, for example, has said that the recommendation to place the new national director of intelligence within the executive office of the president troubles him because that official would oversee the intelligence operations both inside the United States and abroad.
He cites the problems caused when the White House directly ordered covert activities, noting Oliver North's role in the Iran- Contra scandal, as well as the Watergate scandal, where the CIA helped those who broke into Daniel Ellsberg's office.
COLLINS: He's gone even further than that and said that the commission's recommendation in this regard reflects a lack of historic perspective.
I'd like to give you the opportunity to respond to those specific comments which, as you know, are shared by some others within the intelligence community.
HAMILTON: Madam Chairman, we think that counterterrorism is the paramount national security concern of this nation today. And we think it will be that for as long as any of us are active, for a long time. And we think it really is a unique kind of a challenge because it cuts across so many areas of our government and our nation's life.
We found that the principal problem leading to 9/11 was that the agencies simply did not share information. And so we have set up this structure to encourage that sharing.
Now, why do we put the national counterterrorism center in the executive office of the president? That's one of the questions you raised. You raised a lot of difficult questions.
We do it for two principal reasons. One is that terrorism, as I've indicated, is our most important national security priority for this president or any president. And to be very candid about it, it is inconceivable to me that a president of the United States would want his highest national security priority handled somewhere else in the government that is not under his direct control.
Now, keep in mind that counterterrorism policy involves so many different things. I mean, it's diplomacy, it's military action, it's covert action, it's law enforcement, it's public diplomacy, it's tracing money flows in the Treasury Department.
And we have to organize ourselves in such a way that we can integrate and balance all of these tools of American foreign policy to deal with the threat of counterterrorism. That kind of thing can only be coordinated and done in the White House under the president's direct control.
HAMILTON: Where else would you put it? Do you want to put all of this authority in the CIA? Do you want to put it all in the Defense Department? When you're dealing with all of these other aspects of counterterrorism policy, I don't think so.
Now, the second reason we put it in the executive office building is that the national counterterrorism center, it's not just an intelligence center, but it's a center for operations. And it is going to be directing agencies, many agencies of the government, working together on counterterrorism.
And those activities are going to involve the CIA, they're going to involve the FBI, they're going to involve the Defense Department, they are going to involve the Department of State and other areas of the government as well.
You cannot coordinate those activities from a single department. You have to do it in the White House, I believe.
Now, all of us have a different idea of how this government works best. But we concluded that we had to put this authority in the White House just because it's such a cross-cutting kind of an issue.
Is there a danger to that? Oh, sure. That's the Iran-Contra problem. I had a little experience with the Iran-Contra problem. So I'm alert to anything where you concentrate power. We do have to be careful about that.
Now, one answer to that is another part of other recommendation is congressional oversight. It has to be robust. And so everything kind of fits together here.
And, incidentally, among other things, I think it's a small thing, perhaps, it hadn't been too much noted in our report, we do recommend the establishment of a board in the executive branch to keep an eye on government intrusion, if you would.
But there's no magic solution here with regard to the concentration of power. But I think we do have some real checks and balances in it.
And, incidentally, Mr. Gates was an outstanding CIA director. Anything he has to say, even if he's critical of us, deserves a lot of attention, because he's a very knowledgeable person.
COLLINS: He is, indeed, which is why I wanted to give you an opportunity to respond to his concern.
Governor, should the national intelligence director have a term as the FBI director does to help insulate that individual from political pressure?
COLLINS: Or should the director serve at the pleasure of the president? Because after all, that individual would serve as the president's principal adviser on intelligence matters. What are your thoughts on that?
KEAN: Well, we had left it -- and we talked about this some in commission -- we left it really as "serve at the pleasure of the president, " and I think for a number of reasons.
First of all, if the served term you would, as you've just said, perhaps be having somebody who is the president's chief adviser on intelligence, somebody the last president -- and may not agree with that president -- had picked. And that didn't make a lot of sense to us.
It seemed to us that as long as you had the lever of confirmation by the Senate and the fact that this individual would report to the Congress and testify before the Congress, that it was probably better to let him serve at the pleasure of the president.
COLLINS: I support the concept of the national intelligence director. And I agree with the committee's recommendation that that would be a much needed improvement over the current system. I was surprised, however, that the commission did not recommend that the director be a member of the Cabinet or at least Cabinet-level.
This individual's going to have to deal with the secretary of defense, the secretary of state, the secretary of homeland security. Wouldn't it be helpful in dealing with cabinet members for that individual to have the stature of a Cabinet member?
KEAN: We basically decided and, again, after a lot of discussion that it should not be Cabinet-level. And the reason was that this is an operational position. It's not a policy position. This individual would be carrying out policy and carrying out directions and coordinating intelligence and moving policy.
KEAN: We believe that, as you move through the various government agencies, that if this is the president's chief adviser in this area of counterterrorism, which is probably the most important priority that the next president will have for some time, that his authority as he moves among various government departments will be pretty clear. It will come directly from the president of the United States. But because it was not policy, it was operational, we did not make him a member of the Cabinet.
HAMILTON: If I may add to that...
COLLINS: Please do.
HAMILTON: ... the governor is absolutely right, of course. One feature in our thinking here is, it just takes a long time to set up a department.
If you look at Department of Energy -- some of us were around when that was set up a long time ago, 20, 25 years ago -- it's still having problems in organizing and functioning as a department.
The Department of Homeland Security is a major reorganization of government just getting under way, and it has excellent leadership, but it has growing pains.
So we were reluctant to say, "OK, let's come along and set up another whole department of government."
Intelligence is a support function, and it is a support function for the president. It's a support function for each of the key departments of government, all of them. And we did not think you should have a department of government performing a support function. And that's, as Tom has indicated, the principal reasons.
COLLINS: Thank you.
LIEBERMAN: Thanks, Madam Chairman. Let me join you in thanking the members of the committee first for changing their schedules and coming back so quickly.
And a measure of the sense of urgency in the Congress is that we also have a non-member on the committee, Senator Bill Nelson of Florida, who cares enough about this to be here with us today. And I thank him for attending the hearing.
Gentlemen, in your report, you document more completely and, I'd say, more unnervingly than I've seen anywhere before, the lost opportunities to have done something that might well have prevented September 11th from occurring: the failure of the agency to share information, the failure to connect the dots, et cetera.
LIEBERMAN: We're coming up to the third anniversary of September 11th. A lot has been done by Congress, by the executive branch, to try to fix some of that. But clearly in making the recommendations you have, you believe much more substantive reform is necessary.
To document the urgency of your recommendations, I wonder if you could answer a few questions that go to the status quo today, post- September 11th. For instance, maybe you have anecdotes or examples you could cite of continuing failure to share information or continuing inability to, without a quarterback, as you say, to coordinate the resources of the federal government in the battle against terrorism.
KEAN: I can say that, as we proceeded with our work, we ran into numerous occasions where we found out information that one agency had, and sometimes highly classified information, but nevertheless something that should have been shared with other agencies in this fight against Islamic terrorism. And it wasn't. It still wasn't. As of the last example of that, I think was perhaps three weeks or a month ago that we were all amazed to find something that, again, was boxed into one silo and wasn't being shared across the larger community.
LIEBERMAN: Congressman Hamilton, do you have any examples of the continuing problems today that should propel us to respond to your recommendations?
HAMILTON: Well, Senator, that's a very hard thing to tie down. I think you're absolutely right when you say that a lot has been done. I don't have any doubt about the sincerity of the officials, their willingness, their desire to make substantial improvements. And if you talk to any of these officials, they'll give you a list of 10 or 15 points that they have done.
Now, have they actually been implemented all the way? That's where it gets tough to check. But we all pick up the paper. We read about the governor of Kentucky flying in here. That was a problem. I saw a report the other day, I'm sure it's available to you, about the mistakes we continue to make in screening airplane passengers.
We all know about the cargo problem coming in.
HAMILTON: So we find a desire to move ahead, but the whole government just is not acting with the urgency we think is required across the board, whether it's screening for cargo or checking airplane passengers or checking the air space or whatever. Lots of good things have been done, but much, much more needs to be done. And what seems to us to be lacking is that real sense of urgency.
LIEBERMAN: Congressman Hamilton, let me go back and quote in part from you. I quoted earlier in my opening statement: "A critical theme that emerged throughout inquiry was the difficulty of answering the question: 'Who was in charge?' Too often the answer is no one."
Who is in charge today?
HAMILTON: The answer you get -- and we asked that question in multiple forms -- is always the president. But of course the president has enormous responsibilities, and it's not a very satisfactory answer.
So I think you then get the second answer is: Well, the top officials, the FBI director, the director of CIA, secretary of defense and others have good working relationships and they meet together frequently. And I think they do and I think there is some genuine sharing back and forth that is an improvement over the pre-9/11 period. But I think you have to institutionalize that.
I do not find today anyone really in charge.
You can't possibly argue today that the CIA director is in charge of the intelligence community. That just doesn't stand up.
LIEBERMAN: Let me ask a more targeted question -- and I thank you for that. And the answer both of you have given argues for the urgency with which we should approach our response to your recommendations.
Clearly one of the main goals of our current counterterrorism policy is to find and capture or kill Osama bin Laden. Is it clear to you that anyone is in charge of that search in our government today?
HAMILTON: Well, my impression is that the military is in charge, the Defense Department. We have I think it's somewhere between 10,000 or 15,000 -- I'm not sure the exact number -- military forces in Afghanistan. They are not engaged in securing the country. That's a NATO responsibility which has some problems with it.
But our troops there are in the southern party of the country on the border now.
HAMILTON: And I believe the search is, my impression is really, very much under control of the military now.
A lot of intelligence assets are in place to try to locate Osama bin Laden and his team. I do not have a feeling that -- we're not critical of this at all. We did not get into that in great detail, but that's my sense of it.
LIEBERMAN: Governor, do you want to add anything to that?
KEAN: In a sense, what's going on now with Osama bin Laden, went beyond our mandate. I mean, we had to set some limit to the time of our research and our work. And I have the same information, really, that Lee Hamilton just gave you, but I don't have anything further.
LIEBERMAN: So I don't want to continue too much on this point, but the military, to the best of your knowledge, is in charge for the search of Bin laden. Hopefully, presumably, they're cooperating with the intelligence agencies and others.
But in the reform that you would recommend it would be clear who is in charge. The national intelligence director would be in charge in marshaling all of the resources of the various agencies to pursue and capture or kill or kill Bin laden.
Let me ask you a very different kind of question about our mission on this committee. I take it to be the charge from Senator Frist and Senator Daschle that we're to consider and act legislatively on any of your recommendations that deal with the executive branch of government and would be benefited by legislation.
In listening to your statements when the report was issued, I concluded that you felt that the two top priorities were the creation of a national intelligence director and a national counterterrorism center.
I want to ask you, and I think our goal here is to prioritize and just go through as many of these recommendations as possible and adopt them as quickly as we can: What would you two list as the other urgent recommendations that should be priorities of ours after the national intelligence director and the national counterterrorism center?
KEAN: Well, one that may not be in the -- the very difficult ones that are not in the purview, possibly, of your committee involve the Congress and ways to improve oversight. They're very, very important.
Most of our recommendations don't require a lot of money, frankly, to implement. One that does is border screening: to move ahead a little faster with biometric identification, ways in which we can secure our borders, national standards for driver's licenses and means of identification, things that would make us safer in terms of people who are moving around this country and without clear forms of identification, or get into this country without proper means of doing so.
LIEBERMAN: Is that something, governor, that you were talking about legislative appropriations or would we be considering that a priority to authorize by statute, to give the executive branch more authority than they have now to set up the kind of screening system that the commission has proposed?
KEAN: I'm not sure whether it would take -- what it would take. I'm not an expert on how much of this is authorization and how much you can empower the president to do, but I think it would certainly take appropriations. Remember, that's the one part of our report that really is going to take some money.
HAMILTON: It's not an easy question to answer: How do you implement these recommendations? I'm very pleased that you have focused on the two big ones. They clearly are the two big ones. The third one, the reform of the Congress on oversight, we think is right up there very close to those two.
From that point on, I think many recommendations kind of merge in my mind. Some of them could be handled, like the border security problems, largely with an infusion of money. The big cost in our recommendations is really border security and not the organizational change that we've been talking about thus far. I think a lot of things can be done by executive order. Now, there's always a question whether it's better to do it by statute.
HAMILTON: And usually, given my background, you'd expect me to say that it's better to have a statute in back of it. But I read in the paper that the president is thinking about some actions. And I'm quite sure he will move on in some areas by executive order.
LIEBERMAN: My time's up, but just very briefly, I believe I also heard you mention, Lee, the FBI changes as a priority.
HAMILTON: They're important. The information sharing across agencies...
HAMILTON: ... very important, really has to be done by the president. I don't think that can be done by the Congress. It's setting common standards across the executive branch. And the FBI, I do not think, requires -- I don't believe it does -- legislative action. I think it can continue to be done by the director.
HAMILTON: The president may want to weigh in there with an executive order. I don't know. But I think that could be done by the executive.
KEAN: But the FBI recommendations do, at least in our mind, really call for very strong congressional oversight. We applaud what the director is doing, Director Mueller. He is moving in exactly the right direction.
But we have a tremendous fear, after looking very hard at the FBI, that when he and his top two or three people may move on, that a lot of the FBI would like to move back to just the way they were. They'd like to go back, if you like, to breaking down doors again. And they did that very well over a number of years, brought a lot of people to justice.
But we're asking them to have this other function now, of finding and disrupting plots against the United States of America. And we want to make sure that the people who are in that line of work have the same recognition within the FBI, have the same chances for advancement, have the same chances to assume eventual leadership in the organization and are not downgraded.
And we worry that if there's not executive action and strong congressional oversight, that the FBI, after this leadership departs, could start moving back in the other direction again.
HAMILTON: We do not have strong views about how you implement. I really think that's your job, more than ours, and the executive branch. We defer to you as to the best way to implement these, and we did not try to spell out the implementation.
LIEBERMAN: That's very helpful to us. Thank you very much.
I think I can speak for the chairman and say that we're very honored that the Senate leadership has give us responsibility for the executive branch changes you recommended. We're very grateful that the Senate leadership has not given us responsibility for the legislative branch changes.
COLLINS: I concur.
VOINOVICH: Thank you, Madam Chairman, for holding this hearing.
Chairman Kean and Vice Chairman Hamilton, thank you for your extraordinary service to our nation during these difficult times. Your work has been invaluable in providing discerning insight into the pre- and post-September 11, 2001, world. And I commend you for your exemplary bipartisan cooperation.
What we do with your recommendations will have a major impact on our national and homeland security and ability to respond to Osama bin Laden's 1998 declaration of war against the United States of America and our response to Islamic extremism, which threatens world order and the well-being of the United States of America.
Madam Chairman, the 9/11 commission's recommendations to establish a national intelligence director and a national counterterrorism center would constitute, as we all know, an unprecedented restructuring of the U.S. intelligence community.
VOINOVICH: However, we must not only focus on the organization and structure of the intelligence community, but also address the capacity of its component agencies to execute their missions in terms of their human capital management and information technology.
Governor Kean, you said good people can increase bad structures. But they shouldn't have to.
I would like to say that good structures without good people with good interpersonal skills cannot be successful.
We had a coach at Ohio State named Woody Hayes that used to say: "You win with people."
In March of 2001, former Defense Secretary James Schlesinger, a member of the U.S. Commission on National Security in the 21st Century, remember that was the Hart-Rudman Report, testified before this committee and said that, quote: "It is the commission's view that fixing the personnel problem in the national security establishment is a precondition for fixing virtually everything else that needs repair in the institutional edifice of the U.S. national security policy.
As the members of this committee know, I've been focused on addressing the federal government's human capital challenges. The Office of Personnel Management just released a report pursuant to legislation I introduced to review the personnel system for federal law enforcement agents who are critical to keeping us secure at home.
The 9/11 commission, your commission made several recommendations in the area of human capital. And it's critical that they are not overlooked if we proceed with legislation to create new leadership and operational structures in the community.
Now, we've been just talking about the FBI. And the commission did not recommend a dedicated domestic surveillance agency to strengthen the FBI's existing capabilities.
Others have suggested creating an agency within the FBI that would only focus on terrorism.
My concern is this: Shouldn't there be a federal agency which focuses solely on catching the terrorists who have infiltrated the United States and are plotting the next terrorist attack?
And the question is: Will the FBI, which will be investigating organized crime and others and civil rights issues, be able to do the mission?
VOINOVICH: We had a hearing in another committee I belong to -- and that's the Foreign Relations Committee -- on organized crime and corruption. At that hearing, we heard about the Russian mafia's operation in the United States of America.
I asked the question: With your new counterterrorism responsibilities, do you have the human resources to deal with that problem? And the answer came back: No.
And so it seems to me that if we're talking about concentrating on terrorism, that we should be very careful in terms of tasking agencies and making sure that if we've tasked them with more than what they've traditionally done that they have the resources to get the job done.
I'd like your response to that.
KEAN: I think there's no question about that. I mean, you cannot task an agency without giving them the resources.
We believe that the FBI, under the present director's reforms, if they are carried out fully -- and they still have some ways to go -- can perform both functions as long as it is understood that both functions are a high priority of the agency.
But you're absolutely right. You've got to give them the resources. There's been an appalling lack of language skills in the FBI and an appalling lack of a number of other skills that we need in the agency to perform the kind of functions you've just elaborated.
So I would answer yes, I guess is...
VOINOVICH: The other thing that bothers me, as George Tenet said before your commission, that it would take at least five years to rebuild the CIA directorate of operations, and an important part of that process would be bringing in new people with the right skills and background.
In your examination of the intelligence community, how would you assess their workforce? You've heard from many of these people. Did you get into the quality and the numbers of their workforce?
KEAN: Yes. I found Director Tenet's answer is unacceptable because we haven't got five years. We simply haven't got five years.
Now, I know, and we all know, that there has been a lack over the years in what we call human intelligence. We've spent a tremendous amount of the budget on mechanical -- not mechanical devices, but new high-tech devices from satellites to the Predator, which are all useful but do not take the place of human intelligence on the ground. And we did not, in my opinion and I think in the commission's opinion, put enough resources into some of those. And those are the areas which we've got to rebuild.
I think we've got to look at our recruiting techniques, whether or not they are too limited in a sense, whether we're overlooking some people in this country who already have those language skills and could be helpful in this operation.
KEAN: Now, we are not sanguine about the CIA's present capability based on a human capability to do its job.
HAMILTON: I really appreciate your emphasis on the human capital and the training of our people because I think you recognize and I hope we recognize how critically important it is to have well-trained people. I want to say that the national intelligence director, as we perceive that responsibility, would have very large personnel responsibilities. He or she is going to establish standards for education and training and make assignments across these national intelligence agencies. And you would put in that one person major responsibility for improvement of your personnel.
The second point I'd make with regard to the FBI is that, while we think they're moving in the right direction, they've got a long way to go in terms of having a specialized, integrated, national security workforce. We all know that the culture and the shape of the FBI over a period of years has been law enforcement. If you want to get ahead in the FBI, you do it on the law enforcement side. That's where the FBI has made its name.
And the intelligence side, which is important, has not had the same kind of emphasis. And what we want to see in the FBI is a national security workforce or intelligence workforce that is highly trained, highly specialized and has all of the skills that are necessary.
VOINOVICH: What you need to do, though, is to have a personnel system that's flexible, that's competitive, that you can attract the best and brightest people into those agencies, and also to be able to keep the people that you have that are getting the job done.
VOINOVICH: And we have a real, you know -- we have a budget problem. We have a growing deficit here. And you say that what you're suggesting here isn't going to cost a lot of money. I think that it will cost a lot of money if we are going to staff those agencies with the right people, with the right skills and knowledge.
And I think one of the things that this Congress is going to have to consider is where we are allocating resources. We just put a whole bunch of money into armament around here. We just spent all kinds of money on all the new gadgets that you've said and everything else, and I think we ought to start looking at taking some of that money and putting it into intelligence, into diplomacy and some of the other things that you talked about.
Because this war against terrorism is not going to be won, necessarily, with more bombers and with more missiles and some of the other things that we've been talking about doing here.
HAMILTON: One of the very important things here is diversity. To be very blunt about it, the kind of people you need, in many aspects of the CIA today, are not people like me who come out of the Midwest, who are white, who don't speak languages and graduate from Indiana University. Maybe they come from Ohio State University.
But you've really got to have diversity. You've got to have people that speak these languages. And most of these languages we can't pronounce, let alone speak the language.
VOINOVICH: Well, Congressman, after 9/11 I thought the most incredible thing that happened is that the State Department, the CIA, the FBI said, "Is there anybody out there that can speak Arabic and Farsi?"
And I thought to myself, as a former governor and commander in chief of the Ohio National Guard, and we had fought the Persian Gulf war, that 10 years later, the lightbulb would've gone on in somebody's head and said, "We need to go out and attract people who can speak Arabic and Farsi, so that we can deal with this new challenge that we have."
KEAN: Senator, the two things that we need, the two biggest needs are analysts and linguists. Those are the two things we don't have. You're absolutely correct.
But part of this concern is what underlays our recommendation, that the counterterrorism forces be combined and not duplicated across the government, fusion centers across the government, to pool expertise in this national counterterrorism center. We think that would go some way to meeting the kind of problems which you rightly outline.
VOINOVICH: Thank you.
COLLINS: Thank you.
LEVIN: Thank you, Madam Chairman.
And thank you, both, for your great service to this nation before, during and after your service on this commission. You're going to continue to fight for the reforms that you've proposed, and I think that is a further testament to your dedication to this land. And we're all appreciative of it.
I believe a top priority of reform must be greater independence and objectivity of intelligence analysis which is provided to our policy-makers, intelligence analysis and threat assessments which are not influenced and not tainted by the policies of whatever administration is in power.
LEVIN: This has been a problem throughout the course of recent decades, right up to current time.
When you propose, as you do -- well, first of all, do you agree that a high priority should be the objectivity and the independence of the analysis, both threat analysis and intelligence analysis?
KEAN: Yes, absolutely. And we believe that has to be, continues to be a high priority no matter which agency that information is coming from.
LEVIN: And how does placing your director, your proposed director, in the White House, even closer than the current CIA director -- and there was plenty of issues about just how independent that threat analysis and intelligence analysis was -- but putting aside that question for the moment, how does putting the director even closer to the policy-maker do anything other than to make this problem even a more difficult one?
HAMILTON: Well, I think it's a tremendous problem. I think all of us recognize that the separation of intelligence and policy is very, very important. Those of us who have dealt with it know that it's also impossible to achieve completely. You're always going to have interaction here. And you want to build I guess some barriers or some walls so you don't have excessive politicization.
But I think it's unrealistic to think that you can build any kind of a structure where you have none at all.
LEVIN: Well, but that's not the issue, is it? You're tearing down a wall. You're not...
HAMILTON: Let me respond in this way.
First of all, under the present structure, you cannot say you get good competitive analysis. That's what you just issued your report on: groupthink. And that means you don't get competitive analysis.
So the way we're doing it now isn't working if you want competitive analysis; that's number one.
Number two, the same kind of arguments were made when the competitive analysis, they sound an awful lot like the arguments against organizing the Joint Chiefs of Staff when Goldwater-Nichols came into play.
LEVIN: We, today, have the best military in the world. And it performs far better today because of joint commands than it did when you had separate commands. Now, we want to do the same thing in the intelligence area. The third point would be that not all of the analysis is going to fall under the director.
If you look back over recent experience, where did you get the most independent analysis? You got it from INR. You don't change that at all. State, Treasury, Energy, Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine, will all still function like they do today. You have exactly the same situation. Now, in other words, they would be independent. And there is one other thing we add that will increase your competitive analysis. And that's a little tiny word in this chart over here that says "open sources."
If you look back over the experience of 9/11, we have said that the American people, not just the leaders, did not get it, did not have the imagination. The reason our criticism is so broad is because almost all of the information was available in open sources.
And so we want to elevate open sources in this process in intelligence because we think it's critically important to have these people expert in the cultures and the languages and so that we've already talked about. In addition to...
HAMILTON: Senator, I don't see any reduction of competitive analysis in what we've said. I think it's a problem today. And I think what we've suggested will increase the prospect for competitive analysis, which is what you want.
LEVIN: I think that is a major question for anybody who's restructuring to consider as to whether or not you're going to increase or decrease further the independence of those analyses and those assessments.
LEVIN: There's another issue here too, which is created when you move the head of intelligence into the Executive Office of the President, and that is that you point to congressional oversight as being the antidote or the check and balance on that in part, but the closer you'll move decision making and conversations to the White House, the more privilege the White House always claims to those conversations and those decision.
And you put great emphasis on oversight. And, by the way, I couldn't agree with you more on the failures of oversight, the need for additional oversight.
But by moving it into the Executive Office of the President, moving that intelligence director, because that is closer to the president and the privileges which presidents, particularly this president, have claimed, aren't you making congressional oversight more difficult?
KEAN: When we were meeting with people from the executive branch and briefing them on these recommendations, one of the president's staff said to me, "You recognize that any conversation this person has will be subject to congressional hearing?" And I said, "Yes."
And that person said, "Well, you know, that means they might not be included in every conversation." I said, "So be it."
But the understanding of the commission, and I think the understanding of the executive branch -- we briefed them on this -- that there would be no executive privilege involving this individual because they'd be subject to Senate confirmation and Senate hearings. And they would not be one of those officials that the president appoints directly without Senate confirmation. And that's the area, I gather, where executive privilege is always invoked.
HAMILTON: The point I want to make is that the agencies remain as they have been under our proposal.
HAMILTON: They have their investigative powers, they have their legal responsibilities, their constitutional limitations. Their authorities really do not change.
What changes is that the national intelligence director has enough authority to ensure that you share information back and forth.
I think, Senator, the concentration of authority is always worrisome, and you've really got to look at it very, very carefully. And that's why we try to build in, as much as we can, checks and balances. But I do not think our recommendations fundamentally change the balance of power, if you would, with respect to the executive.
LEVIN: One of the things that you do here, for the first time, is that you would give the national counterterrorism center head the authority to assign operational tasks to other agencies. So that you could have this second person in command, below the national intelligence director, actually tasking, for instance, Defense Department personnel.
HAMILTON: That's right.
LEVIN: Would you agree with that?
HAMILTON: Yes, yes.
LEVIN: Now, that, does it not, create a problem of disunity of command, for instance, inside the Defense Department? You would be getting someone inside the Defense Department getting a tasking requirement from, presumably, inside his own department, inside his own commander or her own commander, at the same time someone from outside that department can task that person in the Defense Department to carry out a certain task.
HAMILTON: One of the national intelligence directors -- he has three deputies, and one of them is the deputy for military intelligence. And his job is exactly the question of serving the military requirements and balancing the needs of the military and the national policy-makers.
The Army, the Navy, the Air Force, the Marine Corps intelligence elements are going to remain exactly where they are today, under the secretary of defense, just like the elements remain for the State Department and the Treasury and the others.
But there's no magic solution here and every move you make has some advantages and has some disadvantages.
We think the advantages, number one, of sharing information and, number two, of having someone in charge of managing the situation is critical, and you don't have that today, Senator.
HAMILTON: If you go back to the example I think the chairman used in the opening statement of these two fellows running around in Bangkok and then later on the West Coast, we had all kinds of information about those people over here, over there, over yonder within the federal government.
What didn't happen was, we didn't put it all together and nobody took responsibility for managing the case.
Intelligence doesn't usually come to you and say, "OK, the World Trade Center is going to be hit at 9 o'clock in the morning." That's not the kind of intelligence -- you might get that if you're lucky. Ordinarily you'd get 15 or 20 or 30 pieces of information and somebody's got to put it together and somebody has to manage it.
LEVIN: One other thing, if I can just conclude with this, we went into that case in great detail at the Joint Committee on Intelligence between the House and the Senate.
There people who had responsibility to report the presence in the United States of those two men. They knew they came here from Bangkok. The CIA knew it. There were people in the CIA who were responsibility for reporting this to the INS and to the FBI. They failed in their jobs.
And then we had people here, in the FBI, in the bin Laden desk, who received information from local FBI offices who did nothing with that information, who failed to do their job. And nobody was held accountable for failing to do their jobs.
And that's something, it seems to me, that is critically important, and I don't see a lot in your report on holding people accountable. Because there we had people whose jobs they were -- had jobs to notify the INS, notify FBI that those two guys had entered the United States. They knew it, failed to do it.
And when I asked that question of the CIA director and asked the same question of Mr. Mueller about the FBI reports just falling in cracks inside the United States, the answer was, "They'll let us know what action will be taken in terms of holding individuals accountable for those failures."
So, yes, we've got to address that issue. The accountability issue is an important one.
KEAN: Absolutely, Senator.
And, you know, one of the things we found -- and you probably did in your inquiry also -- is was not just problems of sharing from agency to agency, it's problems sharing within the agency that was such a problem.
We hope this structure will force that sharing of information and also put somebody in charge.
LEVIN: Thank you.
COLLINS: Senator Coleman?
COLEMAN: Thank you, Madam Chairman.
I'd like to focus a little bit on where we were, where we're at today and then, most importantly, where we have to go tomorrow.
I read this and it makes by the way very compelling reading. It can almost be fiction, but it's nonfiction.
But in part what struck me in reading about the day 9/11, the absolute inability to grasp as it was happening what was happening, the inability to grasp, even as planes hit the towers, the lack of understanding that, "We've got a problem with planes being missiles."
COLEMAN: So we're still getting ID and tag, you know, by folks in the air when others think there's been a command to intercept because we can't imagine the unimaginable.
I would sense -- and this goes back to Senator Voinovich's concern -- after the 1991 Gulf War, we never thought about getting human capacity on the ground to increase intelligence capability. That's helped us understand that.
So we came from a place where we cut back on intelligence, we didn't develop the human capacity to allow us then to think the unthinkable.
Where we're at -- and I want to press this and I don't want to leave this hanging because a comment was made about not operating with a sense of urgency.
And the very point is the comment about Director Tenet and the time that it would take to develop the capacity that we didn't develop over the '90s -- in fact, we cut back with over the '90s -- the human capacity -- the ability for folks who understand the Islam frame of mind who could speak Farsi and speak Arabic. Is his estimate of five to seven years -- are you saying that reflects a lack of urgency on his part?
HAMILTON: I think it reflects the difficulty of the job.
I think if there's one thing we all agree on, it is we need more human intelligence. And I was on the Intelligence Committees when we got quite fascinated with the fancy technology and we put a lot of money into it. I don't think that was a mistake. But on the other hand, looking back on it, you can say we didn't put enough emphasis on human intelligence so far as the congressional oversight was concerned.
But, Senator, one of the things that really impresses me on human intelligence is I think our expectations often get too far in front of us.
HAMILTON: It's very difficult work.
If you're thinking about human intelligence, and you mean you're going to put a fellow in the cell of Osama bin Laden, which is very few people, it's just exceedingly difficult to do, because of the suspicious nature of that cell.
So don't misunderstand me: I'm all for human intelligence. And I'm disappointed, like the governor is, when I heard the five-year estimation by George Tenet. But I'm not too surprised by it.
And no one should expect that this is a silver bullet. And human intelligence is very tough to do.
COLEMAN: I mean, I think it's fair to say that there are not silver bullet here.
COLEMAN: There are -- as the report lays out, we do not believe it possible to treat all terrorist attacks against Americans -- every time and everywhere the president should tell the people. We can't promise that a catastrophic attack like 9/11 won't happen again, no matter what we do.
I used to be a prosecutor. In law enforcement we would try to cut the odds; we'd put bad people away to cut the odds. But we'd never guarantee the safety of every citizen. You can't do that.
I just want to -- again, this lack of urgency; is there any sense that Tom Ridge has a lack of urgency as he approaches his job of homeland security? Or Director Mueller, is there any sense that he has a lack of urgency approaching his job?
KEAN: No. I would say they have no lack of urgency.
What I think we have to do, though, is instill that same urgency in the American people. The understanding that this is something -- that these people are planning to attack us again and trying to attack us sooner rather than later, that every delay we have in changing structures or changing people or whatever it is to make that less likely is a delay the American people can't tolerate.
KEAN: And I think we, as former members of the commission now, as private citizens, you, obviously, as the leaders of our country, have got to get that across to people.
There's a lot of priorities out there, but this one cannot again submerge the way it did some years ago.
COLEMAN: I ask this question because this is a political season and this should not be a political football and I could just see it headlined: "Chairmen Say Lack of Urgency." Though it's not Mueller and it's not Tenet and it's not Ridge, and I presume it's not Condi Rice...
KEAN: No. And we didn't say that in our report, any of those people.
The sense of urgency is there, but a sense of urgency must be extended, magnified, made an important part -- I mean, one of the things we note in our report -- the last presidential campaign, we had all these warnings all the way from World Trade Center I through Black Hawk down, which bin Laden was part of, to all the attacks abroad and at home, the ones that were stopped and the ones that succeeded -- all that laid out.
We went through all the rhetoric of the last presidential campaign, terrorism was mentioned only once.
Anyway, the only point I'm making is: The more sense of urgency we can get and establish...
COLEMAN: Including for the American public to understand that the world has changed. We live in a post-9/11 world, and our reality has changed and if we can get back on that track.
Just a practical reflection on the recommendation for a national intelligence director and creation of a national counterterrorism center, which I support in concept. But the practical piece I'm looking at is this: Chairman Hamilton talked about Homeland Security takes a long time to set up. We're still in the process of setting that up.
How do we deal with the risk -- I'm worried about as we move forward with other structural change, do you fear us creating any gaps? Do you fear us -- is there some things that we should be looking at in the interim?
COLEMAN: I'll raise the question about Homeland Security. I would actually think most Americans would think that the director of homeland security is the person now, today, responsible. Because we know that the threat of terrorism is no longer just an international issue; it's also a domestic issue. So we would think, I think the average person thinks Tom Ridge has that responsibility. But clearly, structurally it's not there.
Help me understand how we, in moving forward -- if we were to move forward with a national intelligence director, a new counterterrorism center, what do we do to make sure that we don't have any interim gaps that we don't actually weaken our capacity during that period of time?
HAMILTON: Anytime you make a transition or change, a major change like we're suggesting, there are some risks involved. You have to weigh it, however, against the risk of doing nothing. And we believe that the risk of not moving is much greater than the risk of moving, even though there are some risks of moving.
So I guess that's the way I'd approach your question.
We are recommending major structural change. And as you go through that, we all know there's a real difficult period and there are some risks...
HAMILTON: Until you get it working like you ought to get it.
COLEMAN: Governor Kean, did you want to respond to that?
KEAN: Just, Senator, that you're right, obviously, about the risks. But we came to a conclusion, all 10 of us, from what we studied, that the present system is unacceptable and doesn't work. Just that simple: does not work. And the American people will be less safe if we continue in the present structure than if we start to move to the kind of structure we've suggested.
COLEMAN: The one thing that you're not recommending is a new domestic intelligence agency. You're stilling willing to say, "We will leave that with the FBI."
But, really, I saw two caveats there: one, only if the national counterterrorism center is created. So would it be a judgment if for whatever the reason the sense was that we don't go in that direction, would you then be recommending a new domestic intelligence agency or some shift away from the FBI, in the absence of that structural change?
KEAN: If we don't make this structural change, my hope is that Congress and the people who decide not to do it will make a whole series of recommendations to replace what we've recommended.
KEAN: What we're basically saying is, "We've done the best we could. We had debate that went on for a year on the commission. We brought in every member of government. We talked to a number of so- called wise men around this town who had served in positions of government. This is the best we can come up with."
We're not saying it's the best anybody can come up with. If people can come up with something better, God bless them. But what we're saying basically is, "This is the best we could do, and if people don't like it, please come up with something new. Do not leave what's there now."
HAMILTON: I have real doubts about an MI5, period, whether or not you do what we recommend. I don't think it fits in this country.
And interestingly enough, the MI5 people who we talked with don't think it'll fit here either because the two countries are so very different.
You've got an FBI today that is accustomed to carrying out very sensitive intelligence collection with respect to the rule of law and compliance with the law. That's a very valuable asset and you don't want to lose it.
So put me down on the side of being opposed to the MI5, period.
COLEMAN: Very brief, one other area -- actually my time is concluded, and with that I will thank you, Madam Chairman.
COLLINS: Thank you.
DURBIN: Thank you very much, Madam Chairman. I've been in Boston and I've lost my voice. I don't know why.
But thank you for this hearing, and I'm glad that you did it in a timely fashion. I want to salute the chair for bringing us together.
Let me also salute both of you publicly, which I've done by press release but I wanted to do it in person, for your contribution to our country. You've done an excellent job. And it is painful to concede, but I must concede: I think you did a better job than a congressional committee could have done. Yours was truly a bipartisan effort. In a political season you were as apolitical as you could be and still be honest about your conclusions, and I thank you for that.
DURBIN: I'm one of the few on this -- maybe the only member of this committee who happens to be on this committee, the Intelligence Committee and the Appropriations Committee, so I've, sort of, seen all of this coming together in a variety of different ways.
And I would have to say to you that I think you were sparing in your criticism of Congress when it comes to our oversight role. I think you could have come down a lot harder.
You said that it was the single most important and most difficult thing that needs to be done, to reform congressional oversight. But I can tell you candidly that the Senate Intelligence Committee, with 30 or so staffers who work extremely hard and do a fine job, are not sufficient to the task. With all of the intelligence agencies and all of the responsibilities we have, we cannot give adequate oversight with that limited number of staff people.
I don't know if a joint committee is the best approach. It is an old concept, as Congressman Hamilton said at one of our briefings. It goes back 40 or 50 years. But we need to find a way to create, as you suggest, a nonpartisan staff -- a nonpartisan staff -- up to the task and a committee that understands its responsibility.
And we shouldn't overlook it. As we start pontificating about the executive branch, we ought to be introspective as well. Thank you for challenging us.
I also think that you were somewhat sparing in your criticism of our technological capacity. You have conceded that we need to move into new technology, imaginative, creative technology -- biometric screening and things of that nature. And I think you're exactly on point when you suggest that.
But I have to say that it's been my experience, having focused on one small aspect of this war on terror that we are woefully behind, and that is the development of technology in our government.
It is incredible to me how far behind we were on 9/11. And you must have seen this as you looked at the antiquated computer system at the FBI, for example, incapable of word search, incapable of e-mail, incapable of access to the Internet, incapable of sending photographs over their computer system. The photographs of the hijackers were sent by overnight express to the regional office of the FBI; computers couldn't send them.
Well, Bob Mueller is a fine selection by the president and a good man as head of the FBI in my estimation, and he is trying, through trial and error, to improve this system.
DURBIN: But the system, to give you a notion, is so woefully behind, that a year ago the inspector general gave us an update on our effort to integrate the collection and sharing of fingerprints between the FBI and the Immigration and Naturalization Service, now part of the Department of Homeland Security.
We wanted them to be able to share fingerprints of suspicious people, so we suggested in 1999 that's what they should do. And the inspector general told us last year he thought that by the year 2008 they would be capable of doing that, a mere nine years after identifying this as a priority.
So understand my skepticism when you start talking about biometric screening. Existing fingerprints at two federal agencies cannot be shared today for the safety and security of America, leading me to my point, and one of yours as well.
I think that we have to look on this as Franklin Roosevelt viewed Pearl Harbor, World War II and the need for an atomic bomb. He said, "We've got to break through all of the bureaucracy then in Washington, bring together the private sector, academia and the public sector, and create a Manhattan Project and build some atomic bombs." General Groves did it in a thousand days, had the bombs that ended the war through the Manhattan Project.
We are 1,053 days after 9/11, and we have to ask ourselves, where is the Manhattan Project in technology for our government?
It is something I have been preaching on here in this committee with little or no success. There is bureaucracy fighting me off: "Please stay out of this, we do this ourselves." And yet the reality of sharing fingerprints and even envisioning biometric screening says to me that we need to be as bold in our thinking as Franklin Roosevelt was about the atomic bombs when it comes to the technology to fight this war on terrorism.
DURBIN: I would appreciate your thoughts on that.
KEAN: Thank you, Senator. I like the way you talk, from my point of view.
We are fighting people now who are different than anybody we have ever thought before in our long history. They are, if you like the expression, entrepreneurial. They are coming at us in ways we never have envisioned before. When we examined the hijackers who have succeeded, 19 out of 19, they tested our defenses and they overcame every one of them one by one.
Now, when we met privately with President Clinton, one of the thing that he said to us was, you know, it takes defense always a couple of years to catch up with offense. Well, we're into a couple of years now and we can't really afford it any longer.
And I think it's a combination. It certainly is the kind of technology -- you talk about, a government can't be behind in that. It certainly is the human intelligence that we were talking about before. We cannot anymore afford not to have that. It is the language skills and so many, many things.
And the trouble is, because it's a new war and a new enemy and a new way of thinking, we've got to think anew and act anew in ways we have never conceived before.
And if we don't do that -- that's what we've talking about a little bit in our report, of an imagination, about the fact that, you know, somebody maybe should be sitting there reading Tom Clancy in some says to envision the enemy and understand them and come at them.
But you're absolutely right, Senator.
DURBIN: Yes, zero in -- and, perhaps, Congressman Hamilton can help respond to this.
Zero in on technology for a moment and acknowledge the obvious, and that is that even if we have a president with the will to change, even if we decide that the person in charge is Cabinet-level/not Cabinet-level, but coordinating the agencies, there seems to be at the lower levels bureaucratic resistance, turf protection, the cliche, the old stovepipes, and also the inability for us to think in fresh and modern terms about the potential of technology.
DURBIN: Every agency is inventing its own form of database and technology. The idea of merging and marrying information is critical to our national defense. There's political resistance to it. There's technological resistance to it.
I think we need something like a Manhattan Project that says, "Step aside. We don't have time for this battle. We have to be prepared. We need intelligence as our first line of defense in terrorism and the strongest weapons in those arsenals for the intelligence agencies will be information technology. Now, let's build -- let's have our new Manhattan Project and build these arsenals of intelligence."
HAMILTON: Well, I think you'd have been a very good member of the commission, Senator, if we'd have had that kind of advocacy at the time.
Look, in the national intelligence director, we give him a lot of authority. And one of the authorities we give him is to set information and information technology policies across the board. That's what you don't have today.
Your illustration of the fingerprinting is a classic illustration of stovepipe, absolutely classic illustration of it. We should have featured it in the report and we didn't.
How do you deal with that? Well, you have to make these agencies share their information across agency lines. And you can only do that if you get an integrated technology system.
And you have to have someone in the government other than the president -- everybody says it's the president's responsibility, but presidents can't do everything. You have to have somebody in the government who has the authority to set your information technology policy and speaks with the authority of the president.
And that's why you have a national intelligence director in our recommendation, and that's why you put him in the Office of the President.
If you've got him stuck out here somewhere in center field, he's not going to have the authority. He has to have the authority that comes with the presidency of the United States.
And I just think you have made, more eloquently than we've been able to make, the case for the national intelligence director to have the authority.
DURBIN: Thank you.
Thank you, Madam Chair.
COLLINS: Thank you.
SPECTER: Thank you very much, Madam Chairwoman.
I'm glad to see these hearings proceeding today.
SPECTER: And in the face of the 9/11 commission report and the Senate Intelligence Committee report a few weeks ago documenting the failures of intelligence on Iraq, that we are finally appearing to move to place under one unified commander something which I think has been evident for a long time.
I believe that we can move ahead with legislation knowing what we are doing without a long period of time because there's a lot of experience in the Congress as to what the problems are. I think there is no doubt that had all of the information been in one central pool, that 9/11 could have been prevented. The Phoenix FBI report didn't reach the proper source. The two terrorists who came in, known to the CIA from Kuala Lumpur, passed by Immigration. The Zacarias Moussaoui matter in and of itself would have provided a total unraveling.
And it was in this room in early June of 2002 that FBI Director Mueller finally faced up to some very basics when Special Agent Coleen Rowley had written that 13-page single-spaced report. So that finally, we are coming to a point where we're talking about a single commander.
We face an incredible culture of concealment in the intelligence agencies.
And I'd like to put in the record just two memoranda. One, when I chaired the Intelligence Committee, took the testimony of a long- standing CIA agent who'd been there for 40 years, who'd passed on to both the president and president-elect in January of 1993 information which came from the Soviet Union which was tainted; that is it had been controlled by the Soviet Union. And this CIA operative did not tell the president or president-elect that it was tainted, because he said if he had, they wouldn't have used it.
SPECTER: And he said, in his own extraordinarily arrogant way -- arrogance is a quality around here in superabundance; might even be on this committee, even closer to home -- this CIA operative didn't tell anybody in the agency.
Madam Chairman, I'd like this made a part of the record.
COLLINS: Without objection.
SPECTER: And one other memorandum which has been made a part of the public record on the concealment in the FBI; a memorandum from Director Freeh which recites a situation where a member of Attorney General Reno's staff had commented to the FBI that, with respect to the investigation of campaign finance reform, there was a lot of, quote, "pressure" on him and the Public Integrity Section regarding the case because, quote, "the attorney general's job might hang in the balance," close quote.
And this should have been disclosed to the oversight committee, Judiciary. It finally was when we issued a subpoena in the spring of 2000. So that we are dealing with an extraordinarily difficult matter.
I think that Congressman Hamilton's exactly right on the separation of policy from intelligence. I wonder if any consideration had been given by the commission, Congressman Hamilton, to the creation of a 10-year term, so that the director would overlap presidents and would have that insulation on the analogy of the director of the FBI, removable for cause but otherwise secure, notwithstanding executive pressure or executive influence.
HAMILTON: I think we gave very little consideration to it. I recall one discussion where it came up. It was not pursued. It was not rejected, but we did not make it part of the recommendation.
I often think that the analogies to the position we're creating here would be the U.S. trade representative, the OMB director.
And if you're thinking about independence, this is not in the commission report, but one of the remarkable positions in the federal government is the chairman of the Fed, who has an unusual independence there, how that's created. He has a term that is not coterminus with the president. But we did not get into that in the commission.
SPECTER: Well, I think that's something this committee will take up and certainly something that is very much on my mind.
SPECTER: With respect to the structure, on what might be called dual-hatting, as I examine the table of organization, you have the deputy is in the FBI, the deputy is in the Department of Defense. And it seems to me very difficult to have the director of national intelligence in charge and you say in your joint statement that he will control the purse strings, he will have hire and fire authority over agency heads in the intelligence community.
My own preference -- and I'm not in concrete on it -- would be to take the bull by the horns and take the counterintelligence unit out of the FBI and put the counterintelligence unit under the national director.
You don't have the same consideration with the CIA, because the CIA is not under anybody else. But have the national director in charge of the CIA.
On the Defense Intelligence Agency it's a little tougher, because defense has a role which goes beyond counterintelligence, and you have to have tactical control.
And, Congressman Hamilton, you said that when you deal with the Department of Defense, that it would be the same as today, but I don't think that is really true if the new national director has budget authority and has the authority to hire and fire.
Let me ask you, Governor Kean, why not take the bull by the horns? You might encounter some additional resistance on the turf struggles, and I expect that to be fierce. And I expect that to be fierce not only from the CIA; the acting director has already fired a salvo right amidship on you. And the FBI director, in a very anticipatory defense, has come out agreeing with your recommendations, so nothing more needs to be done to the FBI.
SPECTER: And wait until you get involved with the Department of Defense. And then you have the committees, and the Armed Services Committee has a vested interest in the authority of the Department of Defense and the Intelligence Committee, et cetera, et cetera.
But why not go to the core, right to the roots and take these agencies and really put them under this new national director so they serve one master and one person in control?
KEAN: I believe we were very careful to recognize that we were in the midst of a war. And we recognized that change had to occur in order to pursue that war correctly for this century.
But I believe we were not -- the kind of change you suggested, we just didn't discuss, really.
SPECTER: Well, he's recommending a much more radical approach than we tackled.
HAMILTON: We think the national intelligence director overseas three principal areas: one is defense, one is homeland security and one is foreign intelligence. And we do think it's necessary to get coordination among those three under one head, the national intelligence director. And that's the way we set it up as we did.
We understand that there is going to be some opposition to this proposal. My sense, in listening to you, if I understand it properly, and I may not, that the opposition would be far greater.
SPECTER: Well, I think the opposition is going to be far greater. When Senator Lieberman and I put in the bill for homeland security 30 days after 9/11, there was enormous resistance.
It was only when FBI agent Colleen Reilly (ph) blew the lid off of the FBI that we made progress. So then we fought very hard to have the secretary of homeland defense creating a new agency. This is a perfect time to give him the authority to direct. And it's all over the congressional record. We argued this vociferously in the fall of 2002.
But I think the pressure is going to be tremendous.
My time is up. The concluding comment: I think now with the threat, we've been told by the director of the FBI and the secretary of homeland security that we're going to be attacked some time between now and November 2nd.
SPECTER: That's a pretty awesome matter. I think we don't focus on it enough. We sort of block it, put it aside.
HAMILTON: We draw this short distinction between tactical and strategic intelligence. And we understand that tactical intelligence must stay with the military, and that's why we don't make any changes, really, with regard to the service intelligence. We do put the DIA in this organizational chart, but the distinction we draw is between strategic and tactical.
SPECTER: Well, I think tactical is right.
I'll conclude here, Madam Chairwoman.
I think tactical is right. And the other could go under the new national director.
But to conclude the thought that I was on, I believe there's going to be a lot of pressure. And it is really the existence of this threat that we're going to be attacked which makes it imperative, building up public pressure.
And I commend you gentlemen and the commission for this report, which is focusing a lot of attention. Those of us who have been pushing it may have the assistance now to get it done.
HAMILTON: Thank you, Senator.
COLLINS: Before calling on Senator Dayton, I want to note that the distinguished chairman of the Armed Services Committee, Senator Warner, has joined us, in addition to Senator Bill Nelson. And we thank them both for their interest in these proceedings today.
DAYTON: Thank you, Madam Chairman. And I also want to commend you for holding this hearing and the swift response to the 9/11 commission's report.
Mr. Chairman, Mr. Co-Chairman, I want to say again to you that we are all indebted to you and to the other eight members of your commission and your staff for this critically important work that you've provided the nation.
It is a profoundly disturbing report, because it chronicles in excruciating detail the terrible attack against our homeland, the despicable murder of so many American citizens, and the horrible destruction to countless other lives and liberties throughout this nation.
And because of the utter failure to defend them by their federal government, by their leaders and the institutions that were entrusted to do so, and because of serious discrepancies between the facts that you've set forth and what was told to the American people, the members of the Congress and to your own commission by some of those authorities, there's way too much to cover here, but I will begin.
According to your report, the first of the four airliner hijackings occurred on September 11th at 8:14 a.m., Eastern Time. At 10:03 a.m., almost two hours later, an hour and 49 minutes to be exact, the fourth and last plane crashed before reaching its intended target, the U.S. Capitol, because of the incredible heroism of its passengers, including Minnesota native Thomas Burnett, Jr.
During those entire 109 minutes, my reading of your report, this country and its citizens were completely undefended. Yes, it was a surprise attack, it was unprecedented. Yes, it exposed serious flaws in, as you've noted, our imaginations, our policies, capabilities and management designs.
But what I find much more shocking and alarming were the repeated and catastrophic failures of the leaders in charge and the other people responsible to do their jobs, to follow established procedures, to follow direct orders from civilian and military commanders. And then they failed to tell us the truth later.
DAYTON: It doesn't matter whether they were Republicans, Democrats or neither. It matters what they did or did not do.
According to your findings, FAA authorities failed to inform the military command, NORAD, the North American Aerospace Defense Command, about three of the four hijackings until after the planes had crashed into their targets at the second World Trade Center, the Pentagon and the ground in Pennsylvania, which was not their target.
The direct FAA notification of the military occurred regarding the first plane 23 minutes after it was hijacked and only nine minutes before it struck the first World Trade tower.
NORAD then scrambled one of only two sets of fighter planes on alert in the entire eastern third of the country, one in Massachusetts, one in Virginia, but it didn't know where to send them, because the hijackers had turned off the plane's transponder so NORAD couldn't locate it on their radar.
And they were still looking for it when it exploded into its target at 8:46 a.m.
The second hijacking began, according to your report, one minute later. NORAD wasn't notified until the same minute that the plane struck the second World Trade tower. And it was five more minutes before NORAD's mission commander learned about that explosion, which was five minutes after the thousands of Americans saw it on live television.
By this time, the third plane's transponder was off. Communication had been severed. And it was 15 minutes before the flight controller decided to notify the regional FAA center, which in turn did not inform FAA headquarters for another 15 minutes.
So at that point, 9:25 a.m., FAA's National Command Center knew that there were two hijacked planes that had crashed into the two World Trade Centers and the third plane had stopped communicating and disappeared from its primary radar, yet no one at the FAA headquarters asked for military assistance with that plane either.
NORAD was unaware that the plane had even been hijacked until after it crashed into the Pentagon at 9:34.
This is just unbelievable negligence.
DAYTON: It doesn't matter if we spend $550 billion annually on our national defense, if we reorganize our intelligence, or if we restructure congressional oversight, if people don't pick up the phone to call one another, if we're not told that somebody needs a new radar system, or doesn't install it when it's provided.
And this was not an occasional human error or failure. This was nothing but human error and failure to follow established procedures and to use common sense.
And, unfortunately, the chronicle is not over. NORAD mission commander ordered his only three other planes on alert in Virginia to scramble and fly north to Baltimore. Minutes laster, when he was told that a plane was approaching Washington, he learned that the planes were flying east over the Atlantic ocean, away from Baltimore and Washington, so that when the third plane struck the Pentagon, NORAD's fighters were 150 miles away, farther than they were before they took off.
By then, FAA's command center had learned of the fourth hijacking and called FAA headquarters, specifically asking it to contact the military at 9:36 a.m. And at 9:46 a.m., the FAA command center update FAA headquarters that United flight 93 was, quote, "now 29 minutes out of Washington, D.C." Three minutes later, your document records this following conversation of the FAA command center to the headquarters.
Command center: "Uh, do we want to, uh, think about scrambling aircraft?"
FAA headquarters: "Oh, God, I don't know."
Command center: "Uh, that's a decision somebody's going to have to make probably in the next 10 minutes."
FAA headquarter: "Uh, yeah, you know, everybody just left the room."
At 10:03, United Flight 93 crashed into Pennsylvania farm soil, and nobody from the FAA headquarters had contacted the military.
NORAD didn't know that this fourth plane was hijacked until after it crashed 35 minutes later.
The fighter planes had reached Washington seven minutes after that crash, and they were told by the mission commander: negative clearance to shoot the aircraft over the nation's capital.
Yet one week, yet one week after 9/11, in response to initial reports that the military failed to defend our domestic air space during the hijacks, NORAD issued an official chronology which stated that the FAA notified NORAD of the second hijacking at 8:43 -- wrong.
FAA notified NORAD of the third hijacking at 9:24; according to your report -- wrong.
FAA notified NORAD of the fourth hijacking at an unspecified time, and that prior to the crash in Pennsylvania Langley F-16 combat air patrol planes were in place, remaining in place to protect Washington, D.C. -- all untrue.
In public testimony before your 9/11 commission in May of 2003, NORAD officials stated, I assume under oath, that at 9:16 they had received the hijack notification of United flight 93 from the FAA.
DAYTON: The hijacking did not occur until 9:28. There was a routine cockpit transmission recovered at 9:27. And in that testimony before you, NORAD officials stated also that at 9:24 they received notice of the hijacking of a third plane, American Flight 77, also untrue according to your report. It states that NORAD was never notified that that flight was hijacked.
NORAD officials testified that they scrambled the Langley, Virginia fighters to respond to those two hijackings. Yet tape recordings of both NORAD and FAA, both reportedly documented that the order to scramble is in response and an inaccurate FAA report that American Flight 11 had not hit the first World Trade Tower and was headed to Washington. That erroneous alert was transmitted by the FAA at 9:24 a.m., 38 minutes after that airplane had exploded into the World Trade Tower.
Yet NORAD's public chronology on 9/18/01 and their commission testimony 20 months later covered up those truths. They lied to the American people, they lied to Congress and they lied to your 9/11 commission to create a false impression of competence, communication, coordination and protection of the American people.
Now, we can set up all the oversight possible at great additional cost to the American taxpayers and it won't be worth an Enron pension if the people responsible lie to us, if they take the records and doctor them into falsehoods and if they get away with it, because for almost three years now, NORAD officials and FAA officials have been able to hide their critical failures that left this country defenseless during two of the worst hours in our history.
And I believe that President Bush must call those responsible for those representations to account.
If the commission's accounts are correct, he should fire whoever at FAA, at NORAD or anywhere else, betrayed their public trust by not telling us the truth.
And then he should clear up a few discrepancies of his own.
Four months after September 11th, on January 27th, 2002, The Washington Post, Dan Balz and Bob Woodward authored an insider's retrospective on top administration officials' actions on 9/11 and thereafter.
They reported that very shortly after the Pentagon was struck at 9:34, quote, "Pentagon officials ordered up the airborne command post used only in national emergencies. They sent up combat air patrol in the Washington area and a fighter escort for Air Force One."
DAYTON: Secretary Rumsfeld was portrayed as, quote, "taking up his post in the National Military Command Center." And all of that, reportedly, occurred before 9:55 a.m.
Right there after, quote, "Bush then talked to Rumsfeld to clarify the procedures military pilots should follow before firing on attack planes.
"With Bush's approval, Rumsfeld passed the order down the chain of command," closed quotes.
This was supposedly taking place, according to that article, before the forth plane crashed in Pennsylvania at 10:03.
Looks very impressive. The president's acting swiftly and decisively, giving orders to the secretary of defense and on down the chain of command.
Combat air patrol planes are patrolling Washington, directed by an airborne command post, all before 10:03 a.m.. However, according to your commission, President Bush spoke to Secretary Rumsfeld for the first time that morning shortly after 10 a.m.
Based on White House notes and Ari Fleischer's notes of the conversation, the commission's report states that it was a brief call in which the subject of shoot-down authority was not discussed.
The commission then states that the secretary of defense did not join the National Military Command Center's conference call until just before 1030 a.m.
The secretary, himself, told the commission he was just gaining situational alertness when he spoke with the vice president at 10:39 a.m. That transcript is on page 43.
My time is out, but it reflects the vice president's honest, mistakenly belief that he had given an order after talking with the president to shoot down any plane that would not divert. Yet, incredibly, the NORAD command...
COLLINS: Senator, your time has expired.
DAYTON: I was just going to finish with this if I may.
Yet incredibly, the NORAD commander did not pass that order onto the fighter planes, because he was, quote, "unsure how the pilots would or should proceed with this guidance."
As you say, Mr. Co-Chairman, the situation is urgent (inaudible) and it's even worse when it's covered up.
FITZGERALD: Thank you, Madam Chairman.
And Madam Chairman and Senator Lieberman, thank you both for holding this hearing so promptly.
Governor Kean, Congressman Hamilton, thank you for your service to our country. I'm very much aware of how much time and effort and wisdom you have brought to bear and all of the members of the commission have brought to bear.
I talk with Governor Thompson from time to time, and I'm well aware that you were doing this without compensation. And for somebody like Governor Thompson, who has a very high billable hour rate, it could be a big sacrifice. So I want to thank all of the members of the commission.
I think your recommendations are very good. I think one of my recollections immediately after 9/11 is some finger-pointing going on between the CIA and the FBI, the CIA pointing out that they did not have responsibility for domestic counterterrorism intelligence operations and then the FBI pointing out that they didn't have responsibility for the terrorists abroad.
FITZGERALD: We long ago gave the FBI the responsibility for domestic counterterrorism intelligence efforts, because when our intelligence officers are operating domestically within the United States, dealing with U.S. persons and U.S. property, the Constitution applies and we have an entirely different set of guidelines that come into play, guidelines that the CIA doesn't necessarily abide by when they're operating abroad.
But this separation between domestic intelligence and foreign intelligence has created these stovepipes and this lack of sharing. And I guess back in the '70s -- many have pointed to the Church Commission, which came down hard on apparent abuses of domestic intelligence operatives back in the '70s and the '60s and beforehand. And they really made sure that the CIA had nothing to do with spying on citizens or persons within our borders.
But in attempting to funnel these two separate stovepipes, domestic intelligence and foreign intelligence, into one overall head, I'm wondering if we've hit upon, with your commission recommendations, the optimal recommendation.
In effect, would not our national intelligence director, who would have responsibility for counterterrorism operations, have the same powers of a CIA director if the CIA had responsibilities for counterterrorism intelligence within the United States?
FITZGERALD: Governor Kean, if you'd like to address that?
KEAN: Well, right now, as Chairman Hamilton has said, that the CIA director has basically an impossible job. It's three different things, and in our experience, no CIA director we've looked at has been able to do all three well. But they've tried.
We believe that it's a combination of the center and the national intelligence director, together, that makes the sense. What we're trying to do is force the sharing of information, then make one person responsible, somebody's responsible, not only to the president, but to the Congress and to the American people.
He would not have -- these big agencies would do the same thing they do now. I mean, nobody would -- the CIA would not be dealing with domestic intelligence. The FBI would not be dealing with foreign intelligence. They'd simply be sharing information.
As I understand it, what we've proposed is the overall director would be able to task and, once information was shared, would be able to direct what more information was needed.
But the two -- he would not -- the agencies would not be mixed, if I understand your question, in their responsibilities. He could not task the FBI to go do something abroad or the CIA to do something in this country. It would be the sharing of that information and then the direction of how that sharing ought to be used to get future information or to take that information to the president or wherever else it needed to go for action.
FITZGERALD: Are the commission members convinced, though, that domestic intelligence must be separated and must be in a different agency than the foreign intelligence-gathering in the counterterrorism area? Why couldn't we have that in one agency? Wouldn't that solve the stovepipe problem and the lack of sharing of information?
KEAN: Well, I don't think we would've -- we understand the sharing of domestic and foreign intelligence. We think that if you combine the two, given the methods that we use abroad, ungoverned often by the laws of the United States if we're operating in other places, the way the FBI operates, because they're dealing with current intelligence, dealing with American citizens very often, is fundamentally different.
FITZGERALD: And do you see Justice Department supervision of domestic intelligence as a necessity because of the different guidelines with the U.S. Constitution coming into play?
HAMILTON: I want to be clear that what we recommend, I think, is close to what you're driving at. Because we have in place the national intelligence director, and he oversees three areas: homeland intelligence, foreign intelligence and defense intelligence. So there is one person in charge of domestic, defense, foreign intelligence.
Now, he has three deputies to head up each of those areas, but there is one person in charge. And there is, to that extent, a pooling of intelligence information, a sharing of it.
And I think it meets what your concern is. Because one of our principal feelings is that, in dealing with counterterrorism, you must get away from this division of, foreign intelligence is over here and domestic intelligence is over here and never the twain shall meet. That's a prescription for disaster, we think.
HAMILTON: Now, we also are concerned, of course, with the civil liberties question very much here. And the authorities of the Justice Department and the FBI remain exactly the same. They have the same limits and protections on civil liberties that you have today.
The difference is that you have the communication, the coordination and the planning that would better, we believe, under this proposal.
I just want to commend the interest that I think you expressed with regard to civil liberties. It's an enormously important aspect of all of this. While we don't have specific recommendations with regard to civil liberties -- except one, and I'll mention that -- civil liberties was a major factor throughout in our considerations.
We believe that the civil liberties -- you need an oversight board in the executive branch as a king of an added check on executive authority. And that's a very important board.
Now, the other thing, of course, would be congressional oversight. But we want to try to create, within the executive branch itself, a concern about civil liberties and privacy.
FITZGERALD: Now, I noted with interest in your report that you talked about the lack of information sharing prior to 9/11, but contrasted that with the period in the weeks leading up to the millennium when information somehow was flowing fairly freely between agencies with responsibility.
And it seems that for some reason there was this sense of urgency that Congressman Hamilton said initially it's so important. There was that sense of urgency under our existing structure around the time of the millennium, and information was shared, but then we had no sense of urgency in the summer of 2001 and information wasn't flowing freely between the agencies.
In attempting to make one person accountable for intelligence here, are you trying to create a permanent sense of urgency in that there would be one person who's responsible, and that person is always going to be on alert?
FITZGERALD: Is that what the effort here is, to create a permanent sense of urgency?
KEAN: We would hope that would be one of the results is that this would be somebody in charge, at the president's side, testifying before the Senate and the Congress, communicating the problems and the sense of urgency on a continual basis.
You mentioned the millennium alert. It is instructive, because senior officials, because of the tremendous information we had at that point of things that might happen, were engaged on a near daily basis. The FBI at that point shared information, no question about it. The public was alert. There was a lot -- remember the stuff in the newspapers about what might happen.
We think that that kind of sharing and that kind of alert probably helped us get through this millennium period without incident. The NCTC would ensure, we believe, a high level of attention to terrorist information across all agencies and ensure information sharing at this point by the FBI and as needed we could then engage also the attention of the public.
HAMILTON: I'm glad you mentioned that, Senator. That's a success story, the millennium incident. And it, I think, reinforces the case we try to make.
It worked in that case because there was sharing of information. There was a real focus at that moment. We were really concerned about terrorism hitting the country at the millennium, at the change. And it worked.
It didn't work on 9/11. And it didn't work most other cases. But it worked there.
COLLINS: The senator's time has expired.
FITZGERALD: Well, thank you very much. Thank you, Madam Chairman.
COLLINS: Senator Carper?
CARPER: Thank you, Chairman Collins.
To our witnesses today, our co-chairs, thank you very, very much for being here. I said to Senator Lieberman earlier that during the 10 years I served in the House, Congressman Hamilton was one of my mentors, and he provided just wonderful leadership by example. And I'm not surprised at the kind of job that he's done in this capacity as well.
Governor Kean who preceded me as governor of Delaware -- our terms did not overlap as governors, but each of the new governors who are elected are assigned a mentor to serve them and to help show them the ropes.
CARPER: And he was a mentor to many of the governors who preceded me. And I just want to thank you both for the terrific previous service that you've provided. And I reaffirm again your abilities and the qualities that you hold.
Congressman Hamilton, you mentioned earlier that the kind of people that ought to be in charge of sort of following up and making these decisions and running the show in our intelligence operations are not necessarily white males from Indiana who speak only English. And I just want to say, for this senator from Delaware, I just want to thank you for writing a report in English that even I could understand.
And to repeat the executive summary, I was just, frankly, amazed, and so gratified that it was approachable and digestible as it was. And I commend you and your team for that.
HAMILTON: I'm not sure Tom and I can take credit for that. I think our staff deserves...
CARPER: Well, pass it along, please.
As you know, we work in a difficult environment around here, a highly contentious, politically charged environment. New and difficult issues every week. And sometimes we don't make much progress on them.
Yet you have been asked to take on probably as difficult and complex an issue as one could approach. You've done it in a highly charged, politically charged environment. Yet you've been able to deliver to us and to the president, the American people, a comprehensive report that's understandable, that's clear, which enjoys unanimous support of all the folks who served with you on the commission.
And I would just ask you, honestly, bluntly, directly, how did you do it?
HAMILTON: Well, the chief credit for that should go to Tom Kean, because of his remarkable leadership qualities. He's a very wise man, but he's also a very patient man.
But to be more specific, Senator, the focus first was on agreeing to the facts. And we continually asked ourselves, Do we have the facts straight? Do we all have agreement on the facts?
HAMILTON: If you don't have agreement on the facts, you can't get very far, and that was the very strong emphasis throughout the early part.
Then with regard to trying to build a consensus, it took a lot of patience by the chairman.
I don't know how you build consensus except talking it out. It's a very tedious process. It just takes time. You have to deliberate.
Tom, you may have some thoughts about this.
But I think what Tom did as chairman was to give all commissioners a chance to express themselves in great detail.
We went over the language -- you complimented us on the language. We went over the language of this report three, four, five, six times to try to get it right, all of it, all 13 chapters, and that takes an enormous amount of time.
Tom, you may want to add to that.
KEAN: I would certainly give credit -- you know, Lee Hamilton, you know what he's like, you know his reputation. When you have somebody like that to work with, consensus becomes much more easy, because when Lee spoke everybody obviously listened, and he was always a maker of consensus.
I think one of the things that helped an awful lot is that we got to know each other very, very well. And as we got to know each other, you know, those Rs and Ds we see on each other started to get dimmer and we started talking much more about issues and much more about the report and our recommendations and debating the facts.
It was tremendously helpful, I think, that some of the commissioners held informal parties at their homes where the commissioners attended to get to know each other even better, we could get to know each others' families.
And as you work together like that, I'd say the last two months it was seminars. I don't think people even remembered what party people belonged to. They were so passionate on the issues and the recommendations and that we get it right.
It was a question of time, it was a question of dialogue, it's a question of getting to know each other, and it's a question of trust. We trusted each other in the end and were able to come together.
CARPER: Madam Chairman, my colleagues, I would just say we've just heard a little tutorial, and not a bad one, for how to run this place a lot more effectively going forward.
You've provided great leadership and examples in the past, and you've certainly done that again in this instance.
My recollection, I might be wrong, but my recollection is that when the idea of a commission, 9/11 commission, was first floated, our president was not embracing of the idea, at least initially. I even heard that there were times when there questions about whether or not the commission was getting the information that you had requested and in any kind of sense of urgency that you had sought it.
Now we have a situation where, as our party's convention has just concluded in Boston, where our nominee, Senator Kerry, has pretty much endorsed your commission's report in its entirety and has called for its adoption and enactment pretty much in its entirety.
We see and hear President Bush not only having embraced the idea of the commission but now rushing to implement as many aspects of it as he can through executive order. And I'm wondering, as the elections in November approach, what's going on here.
Maybe more important than that and the question I'd have of you is: We have a way of saying in Delaware during my administration there, carpe diem -- it's the only Latin I know -- seize the day.
CARPER: And there's something to be said for seizing the day, particularly when it's so hard to get anything done around here.
And we have the momentum. We have the unanimity from your commission. We have very Democratic presidential candidate, a Republican incumbent president who is saying, this is what we ought to do and want to do.
The answer is, part of me says: Well, let's seize the day.
Is there any danger from rushing to judgment?
KEAN: I think there is always a danger of not doing things with due deliberation. We believe very hard and very strongly in our recommendations, because we worked on them very, very hard. And we had a lot of debate and a lot of give and take. And we came up with what we though was the bet.
It may not be the best. Maybe you all can do better. But there is a moment here. It's a moment when, hopefully, people can come together because we haven't got a lot of time.
We made hard recommendations. I mean, we didn't go the easy road. We talked to reorganizing government to talk about doing some things in the legislative body. These are very hard things to do. And we recognized that they were hard things to do.
Yet it is an emergency, and enemy out there that is planning as we meet here to attack us.
And so I hope carpe diem is the right way to go, seize the day. But seize the day, as this party always does, with deliberate speed and with due deliberation; that would be my recommendation.
CARPER: When governors succeed governors, there's a transition period and, hopefully, a time of interchange when the governor is, sort of, briefed by the person that succeeded him or her.
And I understand a similar kind of thing happens when presidents succeed one another. And I had heard that former President Clinton shared with President Bush his own concerns about the rising importance and urgency of addressing the issue of terrorism.
CARPER: And in the conversations that you had, the testimony that you had with President Bush or President Clinton, was that ever approached?
KEAN: Yes, there was a conversation. There was a little bit different recollection between the two presidents about what occurred, but it was a long time ago. There definitely was such a conversation.
One of the things, by the way -- you bring up the transition -- that hasn't gotten much attention in our recommendations and should, we think one of the times the United States is most vulnerable is during that transition between presidents, because one set of very important people who have responsibilities in this area are leaving and another set are coming in.
Sometimes nominations take a long time. It takes a long time to find the right individual, and it takes a long time to get that individual cleared and then confirmed and all of that. During that time, these agencies are vulnerable and without leadership, in many cases.
And we have a very strong recommendation here that presidents have a day certain, probably before their inauguration, when they come up with these most important positions involving the defense of this country and that they give those -- expeditiously give those names to the United States Senate. And the United States Senate treat these nominations unlike other nominations, in that they recognize the speed which we need those people in place.
And that's an important recommendation that I bring up as you mention transition, because I don't think it's gotten really any attention at all, but we do think it's important.
CARPER: Last quick one, if I could.
COLLINS: The senator's time has expired, and our witnesses are on a really tight time frame.
CARPER: Madam Chair, could I just ask, just a word on rail security? We have all this emphasis on air security, and I know your report touched on -- if I could, just one quickly on rail security, if you would please?
KEAN: Well, since I've been living on Amtrak these last two years...
... between New Jersey and Washington, I have concern over it.
No, I think we have a lot further to go on rail security, on cargo security.
KEAN: There are a number of other areas that we have to move on. We don't believe -- we didn't get into it except to recommend further measures be taken. But you know, we are not where we should be on rail security, there's no question about it.
HAMILTON: We note that about, I think, 90 percent of the funding or something has gone to aviation, very little to rail.
CARPER: And I would add, that which has been appropriated, very little has actually trickled down to do the work for which it was intended.
Thank you. Thank you both very, very much.
COLLINS: Senator Lautenberg?
LAUTENBERG: Thanks, Madam Chairman. And my thanks to you and to Senator Lieberman to getting this burning issue into the starting gate.
When you're this low in seniority, your intelligent comrades have already asked many of the questions that you've been saving up for several hours to ask. But we've got them.
And, Madam Chairman, I want to say that when I see Governor Tom Kean, who will continue earning the respect of the people in New Jersey as he has in the past for his balanced hand and for even defending me once in an election campaign.
When it was asserted that I was going to come to Washington and make some money on the side, Governor Kean sprang up and he said: I disagree with Frank on lots of things, but I know he's not coming to Washington to make some money on the side. He would have been better off if he stayed up front and made it up there.
But we thank you, Tom Kean, and you, Lee Hamilton. The two of you I think presented kind of a model that perhaps we can learn from in terms of our negotiations here.
But one thing you said in response to Senator Carper's questions, and that is getting to know one another and the time to discuss things. There is a tendency here, as you know from your legislative experience, Lee, that the issues that get very hot jump out in front and the next thing you know the cameras start. The actions follow not always very thoughtfully enough.
So while we have a good start here, I think we have to allow sufficient time to do it thoroughly. And you haven't recommended how the structure develop so much as the direction that it ought to go in.
I think it was Senator Specter talked about something before, that also was part of my concerns, and that is: Should this individual who's responsible be term-identified so that we remove as much as possible the fact that that person is going to be influenced by presidential contact in a way that elongates their service.
LAUTENBERG: And I've been through the same thing with the FAA, as an example. I think the FAA should not be a political -- the administrator should not be a political appointment. Whenever you get anything that takes as long as it does to solve those complicated problems of technology and personnel and training, I think that someone ought to know that they've got an assignment, be it six years, eight years, 10 years, I don't know what the term ought to be.
And the Federal Reserve, Congressman Hamilton, you know, has that condition.
So I would hope that that would be part of an examination.
I want to -- I spoke to Governor Kean one time. I don't know whether you remember. I called to ask whether or not you were getting the data that you wanted, because there was some talk about subpoenaing records. And that kind of disappeared.
And just to get things in perspective, the original date for your delivery of this report was in early May, was that it?
KEAN: No, it was June the 28th -- May the 28th, yes, May the 28th.
LAUTENBERG: And there was a lot of pressure on you to complete your work and just -- let me put it in my terms -- just get it done with. But you persisted in wanting to have enough time to complete the job.
And when was it finally agreed that you would have more time to do this? It was due May 20th, did you say?
KEAN: Yes, the Congress passed that bill in -- it was your bill, I don't remember the date you passed it, what, very early March we were given the understanding. We were by the way a month late getting started because of the appointments of Mr. Kissinger and Mr. Mitchell and their withdrawal.
LAUTENBERG: Right. Exactly.
And I had the feeling that this thing was still being sort of rushed through.
LAUTENBERG: And one of the other things that was discussed, and that is, we don't know what the final role of technology is going to be in intelligence gathering. You know that at Fort Monmouth in New Jersey there is so much wonderful work being done on information gathering, on access to data. And we have to permit these things to be included in the equation that we finally develop.
And I would ask this: June 16th, the 9/11 commission reported in its findings that there was, quote -- I quote here -- "no collaborative relationship between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaida."
Yet, the next day on June 17th, the president said, and here I quote, "The reason I keep insisting that there is a relationship between Iraq and Saddam and Al Qaida is because there was a relationship between Iraq and Al Qaida." In the same week, Vice President Cheney said that Saddam had long-established ties with Al Qaida.
Given your findings, do you believe that these statements by the president and the vice president at that time added to a clarification about Iraq and Al Qaida, or was it further misinterpreted?
KEAN: Well, first let me clarify one thing. There was some thought, at one point, that maybe the White House or the vice president had information that we didn't have. We've clarified that. We believe that there is no information that we don't have, that we're all sharing the same information base.
And secondly, there is a relationship between Al Qaida and Iraq -- not as far as 9/11 goes. There was no collaborative relationship there at all. But we have documented in the report a number of contacts, spanning several years, evidence that the two sides discussed some possible cooperation, including a report of Iraq maybe offering a safe haven to bin Laden when there was some question whether he could stay with the Taliban.
But nothing concrete seemed to emerge from those contacts. We found -- the word we used in the report is, "We have found no evidence of a collaborative operational relationship," and we certainly see no evidence at all that Iraq cooperated in any way with Al Qaida in developing and carrying out the attack on the United States.
LAUTENBERG: Then the statement, "long-established ties with Al Qaida," doesn't exactly square with your interpretation of things.
KEAN: There was a relationship, but it wasn't -- we used the word "collaborative, operational relationship" because that's what we don't find.
LAUTENBERG: I think that what was intended was something different.
I would ask another question, and that is: Your report finds that we must openly confront the problems in the U.S.-Saudi relationship. And you cite our failure to clamp down on Saudi- financed organizations and those institutions that promote jihad against Americans.
Do you think that the administration is doing enough to confront Saudi Arabia about their activities? Have they kind of let Saudi Arabia off fairly easily, would you say?
KEAN: Well, we have a section in the report on Saudi Arabia and some of our recommendations in that regard.
There has been certainly a change in the Saudi Arabian attitude toward terrorism and particularly Al Qaida. We believe right now, and every evidence we have from the commission is that right now the Saudi government is doing everything it can to work with the United States government to find and destroy Al Qaida, because they have recognized that Al Qaida is, if anything, just as much if not even more anxious to wipe out the royal family and their governance of Saudi Arabia than they are to attack us. It's the same.
So by necessity we've become greater allies.
The problem we had before 9/11 was not that the Saudi government was involved but that there were obviously Saudi financing and Saudi help from wealthy individuals that was getting in, sometimes through charities from Saudi Arabia, that were getting into Al Qaida and helping bin Laden do what he was doing.
LAUTENBERG: Is it fair to say, however, that was induced by the increasing awareness of their own domestic problems and when it came to America problems, there certainly was no forthrightness between the Saudi Arabian government and our needs to find information? Is that fair to say?
KEAN: Yes. What we suggest very strongly in the report -- and this relationship forever has been about oil. You know, we got the oil and anything else was probably all right, we ignored some other things on our side.
It can't be that way anymore. We've got to have a much more intelligent collaborative relationship with Saudi. We've got to encourage them toward the reforms, which I think both of us probably now realize are necessary in that country. We've got to have a whole different policy and a different face. And it can't be just about oil anymore; it's got to be a different relationship.
There are three countries we go into: Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan and Pakistan. There are three of our most important relationships. If any of those were to change drastically in the wrong direction, this country would have very, very serious problems in the region.
So we do recommend very special work in the area of diplomacy -- not just military -- area of diplomacy, cultural exchanges, educational help in particularly those three countries.
LAUTENBERG: That ought to be the condition for all of our relationships, I think.
Thank you very much, Madam Chairman.
COLLINS: Senator Pryor?
PRYOR: Thank you, Madam Chairman.
Before I get started, earlier did you announce that senators could put their opening statements in the record?
COLLINS: Without objection, any statements will be submitted.
PRYOR: Thank you, Madam Chairman.
PRYOR: Also I want to thank you and Senator Lieberman for your leadership on this issue, and certainly you two who led this commission and the commissioners and certainly the staff. We all know that the staff is just absolutely critical in getting this done. But I really want to thank you all, everybody involved in this process for what you've done. This is an excellent report in every way, and it's very, very helpful for us in the Senate and the Congress and just in government generally.
I want to touch on a recommendation you make. It's on page 396 where you talk about threat-based assessments domestically. And I'm not going to get into chapter and verse on it, but that's where the reference is.
I want to be clear on this because this is something that in this committee we've spent some time talking about in the last year and a half since I've been on the committee.
There's a natural balance that you have to strike, and sometimes even attention. And I think there are some who would argue that, you know, basically we need to look at population as the predominant criteria in keeping Americans safe. And then folks from rural states say, "Wait a minute. We have needs too. We have infrastructure, we have targets, we're part of the system and terrorist could enter the system through our states."
I'd like to get your sense of that balance and how in the Congress should we strike that balance?
HAMILTON: Well, we come out pretty decisively I guess on one side of that question. And we think that the assistance that would be made available to improve protection in a given community and to improve response should be distributed largely on the basis of the assessment of the threat.
Now, that's not a precise science. But it is I think reasonably clear that most of the threats that we're familiar with are aimed at high-visibility targets in the United States. And we do know, I think, that they want to do as much damage as they possibly can with each strike, and they want to strike at the symbols of America.
So we think that the largest threats are in New York and in Washington. That doesn't mean there are no threats elsewhere. But that's where most of the threats are. Therefore, money is distributed to deal with the aftermath of those threats, or protecting against those threats, should be based largely on that assessment of risk.
HAMILTON: And we specifically say, as you have noted, that this is not a general revenue-sharing program. This is a program that has a very specific purpose to it, and so that's where we came down on that issue.
Now, you're from Arkansas and I'm from Indiana, and I know some of the pressures that operate here on the American politician, so that advice may not always go down well.
We're not suggesting that the other communities have no interest in this or have no claim to it. We just think the major focus of the resources should go to the high-risk areas.
KEAN: And how you do that would be up to the Congress, obviously. Because, I mean, we recognize you can have a rural area and you can have a nuclear plant. You can have a rural area and in that state is a container port. I mean, there are number of facilities -- it isn't just in population.
But what we suggest is, where we know from the chatter and the results and the evidence that the terrorists are the greatest risk -- the greatest risk of attack is that probably that's where the majority of the funds ought to be targeted.
PRYOR: Thank you.
Mr. Hamilton, earlier you said -- and I can't exactly quote it -- but basically you said that the principal problem with 9/11 was that the agencies did not share information. And the commission report makes this recommendation of restructuring certain things within the government.
Are you two convinced that we need to do the restructure and that we cannot achieve the same thing by just forcing the existing apparatus -- if we could call it that -- to share information with itself and have one person designated by the president and/or Congress to have some directional and sort of allocation-of-resources-type of oversight over these various agencies?
HAMILTON: Well, the latter is what we're really talking about, the national intelligence director.
HAMILTON: You have to smash the stovepipes. And you have to force it. And we don't know any way to do that except to put someone over it who will not only put out an order, but follow it on a day-to- day basis and make sure that it's done, and whose responsibility it is to get it done.
We think institutional change is essential to bring about the kind of transformation you need in the intelligence community. And if you don't have the institutional change, we don't think it's going to happen. Or if it will happen, it will happen for a year or two, and then people will forget about it.
KEAN: What you suggest is happening right now, I think, in the sense that I think people are aware of the problem, and I think from the top, there's a lot of effort, the top, for these agencies to try to get sharing of information.
It's still not occurring. And the reason it's not occurring is the culture of these places is old, and it's deep.
And people aren't used to it. And they don't like it. And they still treasure these nuggets that they have. And they want to use it for their own cases and their own possibilities. And it's not getting shared right now. It really isn't.
PRYOR: And I agree with that. And I guess one concern I have is: The last thing I want to do is just create another bureaucracy. And I think that homeland security has done a lot of great things. I think they're getting a lot of things right.
But I also think that there exists within this brand new federal agency those cultures and those turf battles and some of that. And so I guess if I'm looking at homeland security as a model, even though it's a good model, in many respects, I'm not sure it's the model that I would, you know, want to follow in moving our intelligence in this direction. Do you all have any comments on that?
HAMILTON: We do not want to create new bureaucracy here, any more than I think anyone else does.
We do not think we are recommending a significant net increase in personnel, for example.
The current community management staff in the CIA would become the core staff of this national intelligence director. And what we're really doing here is breaking down the bureaucracy with this proposal. We're not adding to it.
HAMILTON: Now, if we were just adding to the bureaucracy, we ought not to do it. Nobody wants to do that.
This national counterterrorism center replaces a number of fusion centers across the government. It's going to become the center point. We're going to knock out a lot of fusion centers. And it will become this fusion center, as your chairman said the other day in conversation, a super TTIC, I think you called it. That's a good description. I think TTIC is a good concept, but it needs to be very much strengthen from what it is.
So I don't think we're creating new bureaucracy here. The model that we're actually following is a private sector model. One of the models we looked at very hard is GE, and much of what we've done is patterned after that.
Well, let me ask specifically how some of this works, because, you know, as I look at your flow chart and read some of your findings and conclusions in the report, I guess I still have some questions about, do some of these intelligence agencies stay within their agency they're in right now?
For example, in the Department of Defense there are a number of intelligence agencies. Do they stay there, but then at some point or some way report to the NID, the national intelligence director, or are they actually working for the NID? I mean, how does this work?
HAMILTON: Well, the FBI would report to the deputy NID, national intelligence director, on homeland intelligence.
HAMILTON: The DIA, the NSA, the imagery places, the satellite images, they would report through the deputy NID for defense intelligence. And the deputies, of course, report to the national intelligence director. That's the flow for information.
PRYOR: But doesn't that put some of these folks, or maybe all, in a position of having two bosses? For example, they'd have the secretary of defense or they would have, you know, some other boss and the NID.
HAMILTON: There is some of that. I think that's correct. You cannot avoid that, I don't believe. You have it today.
But the chain of command here, with regard to counterterrorism, is very clear, I believe.
PRYOR: Well, again, thank you all for your work on this. You've just done a great service to this country.
COLLINS: Thank you.
And last, but certainly not least, the senator from Hawaii.
AKAKA: Thank you very much, Madam Chairman. I'd like to take the time to commend you, our chairman and ranking member, for acting so swiftly in calling hearings on the 9/11 commission report. You did it so swiftly, it took me this long to get here.
I would ask permission, Madam Chairman, that my statement be placed in the record.
COLLINS: Without objection.
AKAKA: I also want to express my welcome and gratitude and my deep appreciation to Governor Kean and my good, good friend Lee Hamilton. I wish we had the time to talk about our years there in the House -- also, your fellow commissioners and of course your staff for your honest nonpartisan approach.
Let me start by emphasizing an observation made on page 340 of your report where you observe, and I quote, "America stood out as an object for admiration, envy and blame. This created a kind of cultural symmetry. To us, Afghanistan seemed very far away. To members of Al Qaida, America seemed very close. In a sense they were more globalized than we were," unquote.
I think you have identified -- you -- have identified both the problem and its solution. We in Hawaii are proud of our multicultural society, our acceptance of one another and our position as a gateway to Asia. Throughout your report you point out the gaps in our human capital resources to provide both analysis and federal agents for this global war on terrorism.
As you mention, it takes up to seven years to bring a CIA operations recruit to full performance. The total number of undergraduate degrees granted in Arabic in 2002 was six. And when the CIA created a strategic assessments branch in 2001 at its counterterrorist center, the CIA had trouble finding 10 analysts to serve it.
As your report observes, Americans need to think globally.
AKAKA: But in order to do that, we need to improve the workforce we have today and recruit the workforce we will need in the future.
Our current counterterrorism institutions, as you know, are seriously understaffed. The Terrorist Threat Integration Center, as you mentioned, TTIC, which has the primary responsibility for terrorism analysis and for the day-to-day terrorism analysis provided to the president, is seriously understaffed and is having trouble attracting qualified people.
As Congress reviews the commission's recommendations for institutional organization, we must fashion programs to ensure the intelligence agency community can attract and retain the necessary professional workforce.
We must ensure that we are training the right people in the right way to combat future threats. Right now, several agencies are detailing analysts to serve in TTIC. Robbing Peter to pay Paul is not the best solution.
We need to plan for training the intelligence analysts of tomorrow that it is true that today's war on terrorism will take generations to fight.
I would appreciate any additional insights you might have on this problem. We must do more to ensure that there are more than six undergraduate degrees in Arabic and that our future workforce can think globally. And this committee has been looking seriously at this problem also.
So I'm asking for any of your insights on this problem.
KEAN: Well, I think there are a lot more now, in Arabic, at all our universities. The one which I'm familiar with as the university president, Arabic, which was not a great subject that attracted a lot of students, is attracting more students now.
We also have to take advantage I believe, personally, as a college president, we have in my university just a wonderful group of Muslim students who help us through these subjects.
KEAN: They're totally loyal to the United States. They're Americans. They just happen to be of that ancestry or that faith.
I don't think we make very good use of them. They're just as anti-terrorist as we are. They want to get this subject solved just as fast as we can. They're in as much danger as we are. And I don't believe we make much use of them.
As far as the TTIC center, I think because the center is really not very powerful right now, it is not the place people want to go. People detail from these various other agencies -- this is anecdotal from talking to a number of people in the agencies -- TTIC isn't where they want to go because it doesn't lead to advancement, it doesn't lead to success, it doesn't lead to where you want to go in the agency.
I believe that what we recommend here, a really powerful TTIC with real responsibility and real power, would attract some of the brightest and best in the agency. This would be the place people would want to serve. And I think it would attract some much more able people to serve in that regard.
But I couldn't agree with you more. And if the Congress wants to, at some point, to fly some funds to those in the higher education business to help us promote the study of some of these other subjects, globalism and that part of the world in particular, we will do the job.
HAMILTON: Senator, I think that one of the criticisms made of our report is that we think the CIA director separate from the national intelligence director. We do that because we think the present CIA director's job is much too broad and really impossible.
But we also do it because we think the CIA director has an enormous task to achieve some of the things you're talking about in your statement. We want him to rebuild analysis in the CIA. We want him to rebuild, we've already talked about this, HUMINT, the human intelligence. We want him to build stronger language capabilities within the CIA, the very thing that you're talking about.
HAMILTON: And we want him to recruit a whole new generation of officers that represent diversity. Your state is the leader, of course, for all of America with respect to diversity. And we think that those are not minor matters. We think the national security of the United States is tied up in the ability of the CIA director to make those kinds of changes in the CIA. And so we think that's a separate position. And one of the reasons we think it's a separate position is the very thing that you're mentioning. Somebody has to take leadership and work to develop that diversity.
AKAKA: Thank you.
As you note in your report, the Goldwater-Nichols Act requires military officers to serve tours outside their service in order to win promotion.
There appears to be no parallel requirement within the intelligence community.
Legislation reported out of this committee, and passed by the Senate last year, S. 589, the Homeland Security Federal Work Force Education Act, would establish a rotation assignment program for mid- level federal employees in national security positions. This bipartisan legislation is awaiting action in the House.
My question to you: Do you or would you support requiring rotational assignments as a key consideration in promotion within the intelligence community?
HAMILTON: I don't know that we make a specific recommendation with respect to that, but at least my personal answer would be yes, because you've got to get people with a broad view and get away from a very narrow focus.
I think any -- and you folks know a lot more about this than we do -- but any step like that which will broaden the horizons, if you would, of your employees and get them to think beyond the purposes of the specific agency is desirable.
KEAN: I would agree.
AKAKA: Thank you.
My time has expired.
AKAKA: Thank you, Madam Chairman.
COLLINS: Thank you, Senator.
I want to thank our distinguished witnesses for being with us today. You have performed an invaluable service to your country, and your service continued today by your rearranging your schedules to be here.
I know that the hearing went longer than your schedules really allowed, and I appreciate your patience with that as well.
It's been extremely helpful to the committee to have you here today, and I appreciate your participation and the participation of the committee members.
The record is going to remain open for five days. And our next hearing will be on Tuesday, August 3rd, starting at 10 a.m.
Senator Lieberman, do you have any brief closing comments?
LIEBERMAN: Thanks very much, Madam Chairman.
Let me add my thanks to Governor Kean and Congressman Hamilton. It's been a very good hearing. It's the beginning of the next stage in this process.
Some understandable, direct questions were asked about some of the proposals. I for one think you stood your ground very convincingly, certainly to me.
And what comes back to me is what was said earlier on, which is that your conclusions is that when it comes to intelligence, there's still no one in charge. It's fine to say the president is, but it's not fair to this president or any president to expect him to be in charge on a daily basis, 24-7, of intelligence.
So I think the urgent need is there. You've made very strong proposals. And I thank the chairman for the pace of our consideration. We look forward to coming back next week for more detailed consideration.
Thank you very much.
COLLINS: Thank you.
This hearing is now adjourned.
NOTES: [????] - Indicates Speaker Unknown [--] - Indicates could not make out what was being said.[off mike] - Indicates could not make out what was being said.
PERSON: SUSAN M COLLINS (94%); GEORGE VOINOVICH (57%); TED STEVENS (57%); NORM COLEMAN (57%); PETER FITZGERALD (56%); ARLEN SPECTER (56%); ROBERT FOSTER BENNETT (55%); JOHN SUNUNU (55%); RICHARD SHELBY (55%); CARL M LEVIN (54%); DANIEL K AKAKA (54%); CRAIG THOMAS (53%); RICHARD J DURBIN (53%); FRANK R LAUTENBERG (52%); MARK DAYTON (52%);
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