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CONSOLIDATING INTELLIGENCE ANALYSIS: A REVIEW OF THE PRESIDENT'S PROPOSAL TO CREATE A TERRORIST THREAT
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2003
OPENING STATEMENT OF CHAIRMAN COLLINS Chairman COLLINS. Good morning. The Committee will come to order. First I want to disclaim any responsibility for the weather. Even though I am from Maine, I did not bring this weather with me in any way and I just wanted to make that clear while we have all these intelligence experts in the room.
Today the Governmental Affairs Committee is holding its second hearing on the President's proposal to create a Terrorist Threat Integration Center. We are very pleased to have a distinguished panel of administration witnesses to answer the many questions about the mission, structure, and responsibilities of the new center.
The sharing of intelligence among Federal agencies was a serious problem long before the horrific attacks of September 11. But it was the terrorist attacks that focused attention on the serious consequence of inadequate communication and interagency rivalries. As the lead Federal law enforcement agency responsible for collecting domestic intelligence, including terrorism related intelligence, the FBI historically has focused on investigating and developing criminal cases. At times the FBI has failed to share critical domestic intelligence because of concerns that the disclosure of such information could jeopardize its criminal cases.
As the primary Federal agency responsible for collecting foreign intelligence related to terrorism, the CIA also has been hesitant to share information because of concerns that such disclosures would jeopardize its methods and sources.
The result of these barriers has been that far too often critical intelligence has not reached those who really need it. After September 11 it became readily apparent that government agencies must do a better job analyzing and sharing terrorism related intelligence. Congress moved toward that goal in 2001 by passing legislation to facilitate the sharing of intelligence information, and then last year by approving the Homeland Security Act.
The administration has also taken a number of positive steps since September 11. The FBI and the CIA have expanded both their analytical capabilities and their cooperation. But these changes have not gone far enough. Administration representatives have stated that information sharing between the FBI and the CIA still is too often achieved through brute force.” The President is attempting to address these impediments to the timely sharing of critical information by creating the Terrorist Threat Integration Center. Nevertheless, there are many questions that remain about the implementation of the administration's plan.
The first and perhaps most fundamental question is, how will the integration center be an improvement over the existing intelligence structure? We currently have a Counter Terrorist Center within the CIA that has access to all government intelligence relating to terrorism. As CIA Director George Tenet has noted, the center "was created to enable the fusion of all sources of information in a single action-oriented unit.” Frankly, that sounds a lot like the proposed integration center, which raises the obvious question of how the new center will improve the sharing of intelligence information among agencies.
A second key question is, what is being done to ensure that the integration center will streamline and consolidate intelligence analysis rather than create duplication and mission confusion. I have prepared a chart 1 that shows some of the agencies that are now responsible for collecting and analyzing terrorism-related intelligence. As you can see, it is a very confusing picture. Including the integration center in the chart does not make the picture any less complex. It simply adds another box. We need to understand how this additional box will improve the flow of information to the agencies and individuals that need it.
A third question concerns the proper location of the new center. Some experts believe that the Department of Homeland Security should be the hub of all homeland security activities including intelligence analysis. By reading the Homeland Security Act, one could make a compelling case that the new department was meant to be the fusion center for the analysis of intelligence relating to homeland security. Should the integration center therefore be under the control and the direction of the Secretary of Homeland Security rather than the Director of Central Intelligence? We would like to obtain a better understanding of the reasoning behind the administration's decision and how the integration center will interact with the new Department of Homeland Security.
Another important question is, how will the center share appropriate information with State and local authorities, our front line troops in the war against terrorism? It is one thing to analyze intelligence information well, but if the people who need the intelligence do not receive it, then the effort has been of little use.
Still another key issue is the center's ability to overcome historic agency resistance to change. There have already been news reports indicating opposition to the integration center in both the CIA and the FBI. What is being done to overcome agency resistance so that it does not undermine the center's core mission?
1 The chart entitled “Primary Agencies Handling Terrorist-Related Intelligence (With Terrorist Threat Integration Center)” appears in the Appendix on page 119.
Finally, will the integration center adequately address and safeguard privacy and other legal concerns? The President's proposal places the Director of the Central Intelligence in charge of the integration center. In that position he will be responsible for the analysis of domestic as well as foreign intelligence. I understand that the administration has reviewed the legal issues carefully but I want to ensure that the center's activities will not infringe on the Constitutional rights of law-abiding Americans.
At last week's hearing we did not hear of any opposition to the concept of a Terrorist Threat Integration Center, but a number of questions were raised by Members of this Committee and by our witnesses concerning the implementation of this plan. It is my hope that our expert administration witnesses will help us fully answer those questions today. If the administration can achieve its stated goals by the creation of this new center, I believe that the integration center will usher in important new capabilities in the way that our government analyzes intelligence and shares it with those who are responsible for protecting our people and our Nation. But its success will depend on overcoming formidable historic barriers to information sharing and cooperation.
I look forward to hearing from our witnesses today. At this time I would like to ask the Senator from Minnesota if he has any opening comments that he would like to make.
OPENING STATEMENT OF SENATOR COLEMAN Senator COLEMAN. Thank you, Madam Chairman. I think your opening statement did a tremendous job of summarizing areas of concern for a number of us. Just looking at the chart up there I think the question is, is it going to work, and can you make it work? And can you make it work, by the way, not just for those at the top levels but for those at the local level who have to deal with it at the frontline. I come from the perspective of a local citizen.
Second, Madam Chairman, let me reiterate the other concern that you raised in that you have to, we have to make it work, and you have to make it work in a way that does not infringe upon the rights and Constitutional protections of privacy of law-abiding American citizens. So I think those are the challenges. We need to make this work. We need to work together to make this work and I look forward to the testimony today.
Chairman COLLINS. Thank you very much, Senator Coleman. Your perspective as a mayor will be very helpful as we sort through how this new center should interact with State and local law enforcement officials. That is often a challenge because they do not have security clearances in most cases and because we do not want to overwhelm the center with responding to local inquiries, but at the same time there needs to be some kind of system for sharing essential information and we look forward to your insights in that regard.
I am very pleased to welcome our distinguished panel of administration representatives today from the FBI, the CIA, and the De
partment of Homeland Security. They are leading their respective agency's efforts to create the new Terrorist Threat Integration Center. We understand that the President's proposal is still under development but we very much appreciate your sharing your preliminary insights with us today. We are pleased to be joined by the Hon. Gordon England who is Deputy Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, the first deputy secretary. He previously served as Secretary of the Navy, and before that had a distinguished career in the private sector at General Dynamics Corporation.
Pasquale D'Amuro is the Executive Assistant Director for Counter Terrorism at the FBI. He was appointed by the Director to be the Executive Assistant Director for Counter Terrorism and Counter Intelligence in November of last year. He is the lead FBI official on counterterrorism issues and has had a distinguished career with the FBI since 1979.
Our third panelist is Winston Wiley, who became the Associate Director of Central Intelligence for Homeland Security in May 2002. In this capacity Mr. Wiley is tasked with ensuring the efficient and timely flow of intelligence in support of the homeland security effort. He is also the acting chair of the Terrorist Threat Integration Center Steering Committee. So I very much appreciate his being with us as well.
I am going to start with Mr. Wiley. I understand that Secretary England does not have a formal statement; is that correct, Mr. Secretary?
Mr. ENGLAND. Yes.
Chairman COLLINS. So we will start with Mr. Wiley. Thank you,
OF CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE FOR HOMELAND SECURITY
Mr. WILEY. Thank you, Madam Chairman and Senator Coleman. Let me begin by saying that the statement that I have and that I have submitted for the record is not just my statement. It is a joint statement that we have all participated in pulling together. Indeed, the effort to put together a response to the President's charge to come up with a threat integration center was, from the beginning, seen as a joint effort. The senior steering group, the members of whom are at the table and sitting behind me, saw this as a joint effort and have created an institution that we think represents that. So as I go through these remarks do not think of them just as coming from the Director of Central Intelligence. They, in fact, represent the views of all of us in this effort.
Turning to that, let me say a little bit about how we got here. When the Director charged us with going forward with putting some real meat on the bones of the proposal we knew that the key agencies needed to be involved, and that was the CIA, the FBI, and the Department of Homeland Security. But the Department of Defense, the Department of State, and the Office of Management and Budget would also need to play a role. So they represented the core
1 The prepared statement of Mr. Wiley appears in the Appendix on page 113.
steering group and all of those are here. You have introduced those at the table. John Brennan is the Deputy Executive Director from the Central Intelligence Agency. He represented the CIA while I represented the Director in his community capacity. Cofer Black is the Ambassador at Large and Special Assistant to Secretary Powell for counterterrorism at the Department of State. And Rich Haver from the Department of Defense is with us, and Steve McMillan from OMB.
Again, integration and partnership in the sense of joint venture is what we had in mind from the beginning. The hard work of putting together the proposal was done by subject matter experts from all these agencies and beyond. They reported back to us, and we proposed formally up through the DCI and our respective principals to the President, and that was accepted.
Let me go through some of the points that are in the statement that we have prepared without going actually to the trouble of reading it all into the record. The first has to do with the mission and structure and gets at one of the questions that you had. The goal really is the full integration of U.S. Government terrorist threat-related information and analysis. Bringing together both the foreign intelligence that is collected overseas and what we call the foreign intelligence that is collected domestically by the Bureau and others, so that it is fused and looked at in a comprehensive fashion.
The structure is designed to ensure rapid and unfettered sharing of relevant information
across department lines. We keep using the term joint venture because we feel the TTIC needs to be an institution that has parts of all of the holders of information in that component. The objective is to create value added efficiencies in analyzing the full array of terrorist threat-related information.
You used the term brute force earlier, which is a fair characterization. But what we have to acknowledge is that brute force is exercised every day, and very diligently and carefully by officers of the Central Intelligence Agency, other parts of the TTIC, and the members of the FBI. We do make it work, but we need to make it work better and we need to institutionalize some of the things that are today being done simply because people are so diligent and careful to get them done.
TTIC, the Terrorist Threat Integration Center, will be composed of elements from the Department of Homeland Security, from the FBI's counter terrorist division, from the Counter Terrorist Center at CIA, as well as elements of the Department of Defense, DIA, JITF-CT, NSA, NIMA, and other agencies that have a stake in what TTIC will do. The State Department is a good example of that. TTIC will combine the terrorist threat-related information in a way to provide a more focused and comprehensive government counterterrorist intelligence effort in defining the threat.
I have mentioned that among the most important features for TTIC is unfettered access to all information, all intelligence information, whether it is from raw reports to finished analytic assessments. That is essential in order to be able to pull the work together and has been clearly reflected in the discussions that led up to the Homeland Security Act as well as the other discussions postSeptember 11. TTIC will need to provide all-source threat assess