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TESTIMONY OF JAMES GILMORE, III, CHAIRMAN, ADVISORY PANEL TO ASSESS DOMESTIC RESPONSE CAPABILITIES FOR TERRORISM INVOLVING WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION Mr. GILMORE. Mr. Chairman, Ranking Members, members of this Joint Commission, thank you very much for the opportunity to be here today in my capacity as chairman of the Advisory Panel to Assess Domestic Response Capabilities for Terrorism Involving Weapons of Mass Destruction. You have, as you indicated, the written testimony.

Your staff director has given a very able and wonderful summary in which she discussed the work of our panel, which has been existence since the Congress established it by statute back, I believe, in 1998. We began our work beginning in January of 1999. The panel was initiated by Curt Weldon of Pennsylvania, who has a particular concern, particularly about local responders.

But the entire Congress, Members of both Houses, uniformly supported the creation of our panel that began work back in 1999. The mandate was to assess the terrorist threats and potential for attacks targeted against the homeland here of the United States. Concern was expressed by the Congress as to whether the country was willing or able really to respond appropriately if there was an attack, particularly of a weapon of mass destruction.

As your staff director has indicated, we have given three reports, by statute, on time, in December of each year. The first, in 1999, was an assessment of the threat and was one that expressed concern about the potential for an attack of a weapon of mass destruction but indicated, I thought, that it was less likely than a conventional attack, which we thought was very highly likely. That report and all the other reports and staff work has been staffed by the Rand Corporation at the behest of the Congress.

Mike Wormeth is here today. Mike, if you would please indicate your presence to the members. He has been staff director together with others at Rand and have been very able and helpful to all of


The second report built upon the baseline threat, but also indicated some very important policy conclusions in the year 2000. One was that there was a need for a comprehensive national strategy, that a national strategy was necessary to begin to prepare for the very high likelihood that some major terrorist attack would occur on the homeland. The recommendation was not for a Federal strategy and remains not for a Federal strategy. The recommendation is for a national strategy, and that means the inclusion of Federal, State, and local elements in the creation of the national strategy. Second of all, we recommended that there be an improved structure for the ability to coordinate and establish that national strategy. We recommended a national Office of Homeland Security, and of course, that later became the Ridge Office of Homeland Security. We also recommended, by the way, that office be given significant authority, particularly budgets, certification authority in order to enable it to do the coordination work, but also we recommended that it be Senate confirmable and that way we would pull everybody together.

The third report builds on the first two and focuses detailed work in the areas of border security, the use of States and locals particu

larly, the health community in preparation against an attack on bioterrorism, the use of the military, which has been a fundamental concern of our commission, because obviously of its civil liberties implications, and so it has to be very carefully handled. And then finally, cyber terrorism. That gives you the background.

Mr. Chairman, with respect to the issue you have asked us to come to speak to you on today, as the staff director indicated throughout our three reports we indicated concern about the issue of intelligence and intelligence-gathering. I might mention, Mr. Chairman, that our commission was due by statute for three years and was to go out of business in December of 2001. Following the 9/11 attacks, this Congress extended the commission. We were extended for two years. We remain an advisor to both bodies of this Congress and available, and we will be issuing additional reports in December of this year and, of course, next year as well, for the fifth year of our commission.

With respect to intelligence and sharing of information, our concern has been expressed continuously over the life of this commission. We did a survey particularly of State and local agencies, a very large survey; over 1,000 survey questionnaires were sent-almost complete response, almost a uniform response across the country to our commission and we learned a great deal and it allowed us what I believe to be a good national perspective.

First and foremost, our commission has expressed concern about lacking of mechanisms to effectively analyze and share intelligence information horizontally across the Federal structure, CIA, FBI, NSA, not to mention the non-intelligence organizations your staff director has so eloquently talked about this morning, the ability to share that information across the Federal areas. And that, of course, is an impediment because of culture and because of turf concerns which we have identified.

In other words there has, up to this point, not been an ability to draw this information together from disparate intelligence organizations and to do what so many have said in the last number of months; the ability to connect the dots just hasn't been there because of this difficulty.

But the second point is equally as important and the least discussed. And it is the concern that we have expressed about the inability to share information, not just horizontally, but vertically, up and down the line, Federal, State and local-the inability to share information with governors, the inability to share information with State emergency operations people, State police, localities, police chiefs, fire commissioners, fire chiefs, health care community people, emergency operations organizations.

This is just as important as the horizontal focus that has been so key to the Congress. Our studies have indicated that to the extent that there has been intelligence-sharing, it has been ad hoc. It has been without a real systematic approach. And what would you expect. With the Intelligence Community, it is within the culture, if not within the statute, that you don't share information. If you do, you are even subject to criminal penalties, not to mention the danger of sharing information and the danger to people who provide it, and the capacities of the United States in order to gath

These are the fundamentals. But these things must be overcome by an appropriate system of sharing information, clearing people, training, exercising and establishing so that people who need the information can, in fact, get it. There is a lack of an overarching strategic approach on this matter up to this point.

I will close, Mr. Chairman, by saying we also should point out that a lot has gone right, not just gone wrong, but a lot has gone right. September 11 demonstrated that our citizens arose in a very brave way. Our local responders, who almost always will be the first people on the scene, performed heroically in Virginia and New York.

I was Governor of the State at the time of the Pentagon attack. I was well aware of all that. I visited people in the hospitals. I visited our State troopers and awarded them because of their good work. And we have a lot to say about that.

The last point I will make Mr. Chairman is this: We are a free and open society. That is what we are and this is what makes us Americans. Therefore, we will always be at some level of risk. The challenge that we face is sharing information, establishing a national strategy and putting together the systems necessary to make this country safer while simultaneously and at the same time protecting our freedoms and our values that make us Americans. Our commission believes that we can share information, create it and share it with relevant stakeholders without impinging on any of these American values.

Chairman GRAHAM. Thank you very much, Governor.
Ambassador Taylor.

[The prepared statement of Ambassador Taylor follows:]


October 1, 2002

Ambassador Francis X. Taylor
Coordinator for Counterterrorism
Department of State

Mr, Chairman, Committee Members:

I would like to begin by thanking you for this opportunity to discuss an issue of vital importance to America's efforts to combat terrorism, and that is the way we share terrorist-related information within the U.S. government. Information is a key weapon in the global war on terrorism. Having timely and accurate intelligence is essential to disrupt terrorist activity and dismantle terrorist infrastructure. Information is also one of America's key defenses to deter threats and prevent terrorist acts before they happen. It is in its unique offensive and defensive capacities that having access to intelligence and analysis proves critical to fighting terrorism.

I am accompanied today by a wide range of experts from our department. We share in your interest to improve those systems which are designed to ensure that all levels of our government receive critical information necessary to defend America's interests at home and abroad. We owe it to the thousands of innocent Americans who lost their lives nearly a year ago to better these systems, and we look forward to continuing to work with you to do this.

I have served as the State Department's Coordinator for Counterterrorism since July 2001. I will never forget the chilling call I received at my desk on September 11: two planes had struck the World Trade Center towers. America and the world would never be the same. A call soon after from Deputy Secretary of State Armitage summoned me to the State Department's Operations Center, beginning a non-stop effort to help coordinate the U.S. government's response to the attacks.

Without the constant flow of up-to-the-minute data and analysis from the intelligence community, we would not have been able to provide the President, Secretary Powell, and other senior leaders the vital information they needed to formulate a coordinated response. I take my hat off to the many unsung heroes within the Intelligence community and our government, who overcame their personal suffering and dedicated themselves to their work, providing the best intelligence and analysis possible given the difficult circumstances. The relationships forged in those harrowing days has not waned between many State Department employees, myself included, and our friends and colleagues in other agencies in the Intelligence community.

The Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism serves as the lead for coordinating international counterterrorism policy within the U.S. government and with foreign governments. The Office of the Coordinator is a major intelligence consumer, rather than an intelligence producer, and our

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