« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
Our commission strongly believes that any lesser or more tenuous solution will merely perpetuate bureaucratic confusion and diffusion of responsibility. No homeland czar can possibly hope to coordinate the almost hopeless dispersal of authority that currently characterizes the 40 or 50 agencies or elements of agencies with some piece of responsibility for protecting our homeland.
May I recall to you when we had an energy crisis in the 1970's, a czar for energy was created. It happened to be a former governor of my State of Colorado. It turned out to be obvious within a matter of months that a czar approach to the issues of energy security in this country was not going to work. And whether you agree with the result or not, we ended up with the Department of Energy.
We have heard, particularly before a week ago Tuesday, that Washington bureaucracy will not permit our solution to be adopted. Mr. Chairman, I would like to hear a cabinet officer or bureau head in this government make that argument today. I would like to hear the Attorney General or the Secretary of Transportation or the Secretary of the Treasury explain to the President, and the American people, and the Congress why it is more important to keep that piece of bureaucratic turf in that department than to protect the people of the United States. Bureaucracy matters nothing right now. The lives and safety of the American people are at stake.
Of those who have taken the trouble to read our recommendations and the reasons for them, some have said that we have gone too far in creating what some have called an “Interior Ministry, a rather ominous phrase. Others say that we have not gone far enough to incorporate intelligence, counterintelligence, and military components. There are thoroughly debated reasons of constitutional principle and practical effectiveness that caused us to strike the balance we did.
The Homeland Security Agency should not have police or military authority, it should not be an intelligence collection agency or have responsibility for counterterrorism. It should not be a military agency. It should be the central coordinating mechanism for anticipating, preventing, and responding to attacks on our homeland.
The executive director of our commission, General Charles Boyd, who is here with us today, has, I think, made a very apt analogy to the situation. We are now, where homeland security is concerned, as if we were in the situation before we had a Department of Defense and a Secretary of Defense. Those who argue against an approach similar to ours would essentially be saying the Army should be in one department, the Navy should be in another department, the Air Force in another department, and by the way, we will have a coordinator of those services somewhere in the White House.
We think the logic of our circumstances require a statutory agency under the accountability of one individual. This is a daunting task, but, Mr. Chairman, we owe it to our children to begin. It would be a mistake of historic proportions to believe that protection must await retribution, that prevention of the next attack must await punishment for the last. We can, and must, do both simultaneously. We do not know when we will be held accountable for the next attack on this country. I believe, personally, it will be sooner Chairman LIEBERMAN. Thank you, Senator Hart, very much for very strong testimony.
Governor Gilmore, good morning and welcome. I know you had some difficulty with flight arrangements getting here, but we are very grateful for your persistence.
For the record, Governor Jim Gilmore is, of course, Virginia's chief executive and also vice chair of the National Governor's Association, an Army veteran. He is here in his current capacity as the Chairman of the Advisory Panel to Assess Domestic Response Capabilities for Terrorism Involving Weapons of Mass Destruction.
Welcome, Governor. TESTIMONY OF HON. JAMES S. GILMORE, III,1 GOVERNOR OF
THE COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA AND CHAIRMAN, ADVISORY PANEL TO ASSESS THE CAPABILITIES FOR DOMESTIC RESPONSE TO TERRORISM INVOLVING WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION
Governor GILMORE. Thank you, Senator Lieberman, and also, Senator Cleland, of course who is here, and other Members, for the record. Thank you for inviting me to discuss recommendations of the Advisory Panel to Assess Domestic Response Capabilities for Terrorism Involving Weapons of Mass Destruction and local response, a national panel that was established by the Congress in 1999. We have a statutory duty to report to the Congress and to the President.
I have served as chairman of this advisory panel, Senator Lieberman, and it has been my privilege to work with experts in a broad range of fields, many from outside of the Washington Beltway, including current and former Federal, State and local officials, specialists in terrorism, such as L. Paul Bremer who is here to speak in just a few moments who has chaired his own commission and has been a faithful member of our commission, people from the intelligence community, the military, law enforcement, emergency management, fire services, health and medicine, and public health. And this is the unique quality of the congressional panel that was assembled. It includes the local and State responders as a primary force and input into our panel which I think makes us unique and different.
I might take a moment to say that one of our panel members, Ray Downey, the deputy fire chief for the City of New York, is listed as missing, as he was trying to help people in the City of New York at the World Trade Center, when he was lost, together with about 300 other firefighters in the City of New York, and we will miss him on our panel.
Our panel has had time. We have been working for almost 3 years. We have been able to deliberate quietly and without any type of pressure of crisis. For many generations to come, Senators, September 11, 2001, is a day that is going to stand out in the history of the United States, and indeed I think the entire world, as the day that the tyranny of terrorism attacked American freedom.
The criminals who committed these acts on the people of the United States in New York and in Virginia sought a decisive strike that was designed to remake the world and the post-Cold War period. Sooner or later those who inflicted these injuries will feel the full weight of justice and the free world's combined efforts to hold them responsible, and I believe no one can exceed the President's eloquence in this matter, as we heard last night.
This brings me quickly, Senator, to the work of the Advisory Panel and the work that lies ahead for the Congress, the Executive Branch, and for our States and for our communities. To date, our panel has issued over 50 specific recommendations in two reports. The first report was issued in December 1999 and the second was issued in December of the year 2000.
In quick summary, the first report was devoted to the assessment of the threat, concern over the issue of who was to be in charge of any particular response effort, and an increased concern, particularly to recognize that weapons of mass destruction, while less probable, could not be dismissed, but that in the meanwhile, that a conventional attack was nearly inevitable. This was our conclusion in December 1999.
The next report, in December 2000, recognized that there was not a national strategy, that there was an absolute essential to have a national strategy, including State and local people, and to make sure that there was, in fact, a separate approach on response itself, particularly emphasizing State and local people in combination with FEMA and other Federal agencies, and of course recommendations for enhancing and improving our intelligence capabilities.
I want to focus your attention today, Senator, on two central recommendations concerning the role of government organization and inner-agency coordination in this war against terrorism.
In our December 2000 report, we proposed at that time the statutory creation of a new national office for combatting terrorism, to coordinate national terrorism policy and preparedness in the Executive Branch located in the White House. The President has done this last night.
Our recommendation was that the director of this office should be a high-ranking official appointed by the President; that, foremost, that the office should have the responsibility to develop a comprehensive national strategy to be approved by the President. The issue is the need for the central direction on this issue among the different complex, solid, different issues, including budgetary concerns, a need for the development of the national strategy, as the President said last night, but including Federal, as the President said, State and local response. Otherwise every agency up and down the line, vertically and horizontally, will assert its own authority in, of course, an uncoordinated way.
Senator this is an important distinction here with our panel and others. Our proposal is an office located in the White House reporting directly to the President of the United States, not a separate homeland agency that competes against other agencies or even other cabinet secretaries. Instead, this office will invoke the direct authority of the President to coordinate various agencies, receive sensitive intelligence and military information, and deal directly and international counterterrorism programs. This defines the difference between our panel and that of Hart-Rudman.
The central point is this: America needs a White House-level office for a White House-level crisis, and that is the plan that the President adopted last night.
Senator the Annual Report to Congress on Combatting Terrorism of July 2001 points out that we spend about $10.3 billion per year now. Approximately 8 percent of that goes to preparedness and response. About $300 million, only, is designated for State and local government concerns.
Our third report, which is due December 2001, will now be accelerated in an executive summary, although completed on time in December 2001. We propose to accelerate our meetings and to accelerate our report for the benefit of the Congress to which we report and the President. We will, at that time, define five areas of further study in our third year: Health and medical, use of the military, cyber security, local and State response, and border security, as well as filling out some of the additional points on intelligence and other matters.
The second point that I wish to address to you this morning, and that is the area of border security as a prime example of the need for White House coordination. As you know, on September 11 hijackers entered the United States. The question is how did they get in. Senator, as was previously read, we have 100,000 miles of national coastline; 2,000 miles of land bordered with Mexico; 4,000 miles with Canada; 500 million people cross our borders annually; 127 million automobiles cross annually; 11.5 million truck crossings annually; 2.1 million rail cars; 200,000 ships annually dock; and 5.8 million containers enter annually, less than 3 percent are adequately inspected.
The answer calls for interagency coordination. If America is to be secure, we must coordinate immigration enforcement and border securities at all levels of entry in the United States, air, sea, and land. It will require unprecedented coordination between the appropriate agencies.
Our report on this one single issue of the five we will address in our new report will propose that border and immigration agencies all be included in intelligence collection analysis and dissemination process, that there be an intergovernmental border advisory group within the Office of Combatting Terrorism, a coordinated plan for research and development, particularly with sensors and warning systems, trusted shipper's programs to begin to address the issue of containers, and full coordination with Mexico and Canada, and we will have identical and more comprehensive detail in the other four areas as well, as we conclude our report back to the Congress and to the President.
Senator we must start preparing the Nation to defend freedom within our borders today. There is certainly not a moment to spare. The President and the Congress face solemn decisions about how to proceed, and there is certainly little time for deliberation. This is not a partisan political issue. It transcends partisanship. It is about the preservation of freedom and the American way of life. be prepared now. We must take bold action to defend our freedom at home and abroad.
Thank you very much.
Chairman LIEBERMAN. Thank you, Governor. We appreciate your service and your testimony. I look forward to a question and answer period.
Our next witness is Ambassador Paul Bremer, formerly Ambassador-at-Large for Counterterrorism in the Reagan and first Bush administrations. He is clearly one of our Nation's leading experts on terrorism and, in fact, as I mentioned earlier, chaired the National Commission on Terrorism. He was also a member of the Gilmore Commission.
Ambassador Bremer, thanks for being here, and I look forward to your testimony. TESTIMONY OF HON. L. PAUL BREMER, III, FORMER AMBAS
SADOR-AT-LARGE FOR COUNTER-TERRORISM, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE AND MEMBER, ADVISORY PANEL TO ASSESS THE CAPABILITIES FOR DOMESTIC RESPONSE TO TERRORISM INVOLVING WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION
Mr. BREMER. Senator, I will be brief because the governor has summarized our report. I am just going to make two or three points.
I think there is a lot of value in both of these panels. These are not mutually exclusive. There are some things that can be borrowed from one or the other. There is a fundamental difference on the structure. And I think one of the reasons there is a difference on the structure has to do with one of the most important trends in terrorism, which we saw dramatically last week, and that is the fading distinction between domestic and international terrorism.
As you said in your opening statement, Mr. Chairman, since 1985, our government, has been divided between the State Department being responsible for international terrorism and the Justice Department being responsible for what we call domestic terrorism. This is a nice distinction. It just does not happen to be one that terrorists follow, as we saw last week. And one of the places where this is the most dramatic the governor has just referred to, and that is in the question of immigration and border controls.
The State Department is responsible for issuing visas to people overseas, but it is the INS which is responsible for deciding whether somebody gets into the country and then monitoring, to the extent the INS can, whether that person remains in their visa status in the United States. The intelligence involved in this problem of immigration control is not seamless; that is to say, there are lots of databases around, they are not all interactive.
For example, the consular officer who issues a visa, until today, does not have access to important FBI databases dealing with people who are suspected criminals. There is legislation in the bill which was sent up yesterday, by the Attorney General, does try to deal with this issue, but it is just an example of the fact that you cannot make a distinction any longer between international and domestic terrorism.
Indeed, I think that is one of the problems with trying to set up