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modern information technology, more information is to be shared among various databases.
Finally the strategy calls for the adoption of standards for information that is in electronic form and is relevant to homeland security. According to the strategy, terrorist-related information from the databases of all government agencies with responsibilities for homeland security is to be integrated. The Department of Justice, the FBI and other Federal agencies, as well as numerous State and local law enforcement agencies, will then be able to use data-mining tools to apply this information to the homeland security mission.
In recent years, a number of commissions established by the Congress have also reported on the ability of the United States to respond to terrorist events and have recommended that steps be taken to encourage closer cooperation between the intelligence and law enforcement communities. One of the mechanisms established by Congress, the Advisory Panel to Assess Domestic Response Capabilities for Terrorism involving Weapons of Mass Destruction, looked very closely at the issues relating to the sharing of counterterrorism intelligence with State and local officials. The Advisory Panel was established in 1999 and was chaired by then-Governor James Gilmore of Virginia, who will be appearing here as a witness here this morning.
The Advisory Panel issued three reports in 1999, 2000, and 2001. In its first report, the panel reported that State and local officials had expressed the need for more intelligence and for better information-sharing among entities at all levels regarding potential terrorist threats. The reports stated that while the panel was acutely aware of the need to protect classified national security information and the sources and methods by which it may have been obtained, it believed more could be done to provide timely information up, down and laterally at all levels of government to those who need the information to provide effective deterrence, interdiction, protection and response to potential threats.
The panel's second report stated that the potential connection between terrorism originating outside the United States and terrorist acts perpetrated inside the United States means that foreign terrorism may not be easily distinguished from domestic terrorism.
In its third and final report, the panel described the results of a survey it had commissioned that substantiated the view that State and local entities are in need of threat assessments and better intelligence concerning potential terrorist activities. The premise of the panel throughout its work has been that all terrorist incidents are local, or at least will begin that way.
The panel recommended that a Federal office for combating terrorism establish a system for providing clearances to State and local officials and that the FBI implement an analytic concept similar to the CIA's reports officers to do a better job of tracking and analyzing terrorism indicators and warnings.
Finally, the General Accounting Office has also completed a number of reports for Congress that focus on combating terrorism, information-sharing and homeland security. In addition, GAO's written statement for the record for today's hearing emphasizes the need for commitment by the leadership of the FBI, CIA and other agencies to transform the law enforcement and intelligence communities and achieve the most effective information-sharing possible to combat terrorism.
In summary, the joint inquiry staff believes that much information of great potential utility to the counterterrorism effort already exists in the files and databases of many Federal, State and local agencies, as well as in the private sector.
However, that information is not always shared or made available in timely and effective ways to those who are in a position to act upon it, add it to their analysis and use it to better accomplish their individual missions. Our review has found problems in maximizing the flow of relevant information both within the Intelligence Community as well as to and from those outside the community. The reasons for these information disconnects can be depending on the case, cultural, organizational, human or technological. Comprehensive solutions, while perhaps difficult and costly, must be developed and implemented if we are to maximize our potential for success in the war against terrorism.
Mr. Chairman, that concludes my statement.
Chairman GRAHAM. Thank you, Ms. Hill for another excellent staff presentation.
We will now turn to our panel of distinguished witnesses who were previously introduced. I would like to ask each to take their place at the table. Each of our committees has adopted a supplemental rule of this joint inquiry that all witnesses shall be sworn. So I would ask our witnesses to rise at this time. Anyone else who might be called to testify at this hearing, if they would rise and take the oath also.
Chairman GRAHAM. The full prepared statements of the witnesses will be placed in the record of these proceedings. I will now call on the witnesses to give their oral remarks in the following order. Governor Gilmore, Ambassador Taylor, Mr. Manno, Mr. Greene, Mr. Andre and Commissioner Norris.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Gilmore follows:]
Chairman, Advisory Panel to Assens Domestic Response Capabilities for Terrorism Involving Weapons of Mass Destruction
Joint Hearing of the
October 1, 2002
Mister Chairmen, Senate Vice Chairman, House Ranking Member, and Members
of the Committees, I am bonored to be here today. I come before you as the Chairman of
the Advisory Panel to Assess Domestic Response Capabilities for Terrorism Involving
Weapons of Mass Destruction. Thank you for the opportunity to present the views of the
The Advisory Panel was established by Section 1405 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1999, Public Law 105–261 (H.R. 3616, 105 Congress,
2nd Session) (October 17, 1998). That Act directed the Advisory Panel to accomplish
several specific tasks. It said:
The panel shall
1. assess Federal agency efforts to enhance domestic preparedness for
incidents involving weapons of mass destruction;
2. assess the progress of Federal training programs for local
emergency responses to incidents involving weapons of mass
weapons of mass destruction, including a reviow of unfunded
Deeds of maritime regions;
respect to Federal agency weapons of mass destruction response
for weapons of mass destruction incidents; and
funding effective local response capabilities.
That Act requires the Advisory Panel to report its findings, conclusions, and
recommendations for improving Federal, State, and local domestic emergency
preparedacss to respond to incidents involving weapons of mass destruction to the
President and the Congress at three times during the course of the Advisory Panel's
deliberations on December 15 in 1999, 2000, and 2001.
The Advisory Panel's tenure was extended for two years in accordance with
Section 1514 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2002 (S. 1358,
Public Law 107-107, 107Congress, First Session), which was signed into law by the
President on December 28, 2001. By virtue of that legislation, the panel is now required
to submit two additional reports one on December 15 of this year, and one on
December 15, 2003.
Mr. Chairman, the events of September 11 and its aftermath have changed
the lives of Americans for generations to come. But those attacks had special
meaning for this Advisory Panel.
This Advisory Panel is unique in one very important way. It is not the
typical national "blve ribbon" panel, which in most cases historically bave been
composed almost exclusively of what I will refer to as "Washington Insiders"
people wbo bave spent most of their professional careers inside the Beltway. This
panel has a sprinkling of that kind of experience
former Member of Congress
and Secretary of the Army, a former State Department Ambassador-at-Large for
Counterterrorism, a former senior executive from the CIA and the FBI, a former
director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, the head of a national academy on
public bealth, two retired flag-rank military officers, the head of a national law caforcement foundation. But what truly makes this panel special and, therefore, causes its pronouncement to carry significantly more weight, is the contribution
from the members of the panel from the rest of the country:
Three directors and onc deputy director of state emergency management
These are representatives of the true “first responders"—those heroic men and
women who put their lives on the line every day for the public health and safety
of all Americans. Moreover, so many of these panel members are also national
leaders in their professions: our EMS member is a past president of the national
association of emergency medical technicians; one of our emergency managers is
the past president of her national association; our law officer is president-elect of