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CRISIS RESPONSE REQUIREMENTS FOR HOMELAND
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES, MILITARY PROCUREMENT SUBCOMMITTEE, Washington, DC, Thursday, November 14, 2002.
The subcommittee met, pursuant to call, at 9:12 a.m., in room 2118 Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Curt Weldon (chairman of the subcommittee) presiding.
OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. CURT WELDON, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM PENNSYLVANIA, CHAIRMAN, MILITARY PROCUREMENT SUBCOMMITTEE
Mr. WELDON. This subcommittee will come to order.
This morning, the Military Procurement Subcommittee meets to receive testimony from Governor James S. Gilmore on the soon-tobe-released fourth annual report to the President and Congress from the Advisory Panel to Assess Domestic Response Capabilities for Terrorism Involving Weapons of Mass Destruction, more commonly known as the Gilmore Commission.
Good morning, Governor. We thank you for taking your valuable time to be with us. I apologize, but we have a number of conflicts at this very moment. Both the Democratic Caucus, which started at 9:00, and the Republican Caucus, which starts at 10:00, are causing a number of our Members not to be here, especially on the Democrat side. They are having very critical elections, and we understand why Members have to be there for those elections.
You have hung in there with us for four years, working this important issue, and we greatly appreciate your service to the Nation. And I would like to remind our colleagues that it was this committee that actually created the Commission back when it wasn't the most politically correct to be talking about. So while we hear a lot of praise for Hart-Rudman and some of the other commissions, it was this committee and this particular Commission that long before September 11, was out there, assessing what needed to be done to better prepare us to deal with the kinds of attacks that we saw on September 11.
In your first report to Congress in 1999, you cite the need for a truly integrated national strategy to guide national domestic preparedness. At that time, you called for fundamental changes of the Federal Government to support State and local authorities, and you suggested a federal clearinghouse for preparedness information. You also cited a need for the intelligence community to better use information technology to obtain and share data on potential terrorist threats.
security bill and the President k or two, there will be a big Oval ake the additional steps as a Conization and the appropriation, that
doomed to failure. We currently ommittees that have a piece of the juDepartment of Homeland Security. It have 88 committees and subcommitis going to be in itself a very difficult w Agency.
orefront of that, and we appreciate that. any of us in the Congress will be pushing. ady said he is going to consolidate the apwhat I think we have to do is based on the u all have been putting forth, and that is rization process as well.
ir being here. The gentleman from MisGene Taylor, is not here. And he is very d in this issue. I am going to ask unanian put whatever comments he wants in the distinguished ranking member, Mr. Skelton, terest in this area.
k of their appearance here does not indicate erested. They are. I have had discussions with just, unfortunately, this two day period we are ning. We wanted to give you the chance to come country and present your outline during this very d, which is why we scheduled this hearing at this e. But I want you to understand that our colsides of the aisle do want to work with the Comint to continue their support, and appreciate the have been providing for us up until this point in
Governor, I will, without objection, place your entire the record, and you may use whatever time you might we get to questions.
NT OF HON. JAMES S. GILMORE, III, CHAIRMAN, ADPANEL TO ASSESS DOMESTIC RESPONSE CAPABILIOR TERRORISM INVOLVING WEAPONS OF MASS DETION, AND FORMER GOVERNOR, COMMONWEALTH OF NIA
rnor GILMORE. Mr. Chairman, thank you very much for the unity to appear before you and Members of the subcommittee orning. I certainly recognize that there are some organizaissues at work that are preventing some Members from here this morning. But, nonetheless, I appreciate your affordus the opportunity, and me the opportunity, to make this ord, which we believe will be useful for you and other leaders the Congress as you go forward in the days and the months ead.
I want to thank you for the opportunity to be here. I certainly want to thank Congresswoman Davis for her presence here today,
cover of our Comm.tion for years
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on September 11th But aches Lum Puse $20 tave moved on to pasic earson away. And I think that the work we are an
w that all events are local, that al-hazEZIS that there are policy and organizaKCE addressed, not just simply more money and Natura and organizational and policy issues with, and we have done that with the assistance or such. This Commission has asked a major re
o staf our Commission, and the RAND Cor
poration has done this from the very beginning and continues to do so to this day.
Our first report issued in 1999 was an assessment of the threat. At that time, we assessed that there was less possibility of an attack by a weapon of mass destruction in this country, but the Commission's deliberations took the issue so seriously that we knew we could not take it off the table and that it had to be up on the public agenda for discussion.
On the other hand, we concluded that the chances of a conventional attack, the hijacking of a train, the hijacking of an airplane, the explosion of a bomb were very highly probable inside the homeland. This was not considered in 1999 to be something that was very much on the forefront of discussion at that time.
In the second year, in the year 2000, we did major policy work. We recommended that there be a national strategy. We pointed out that a Federal strategy is not a national strategy; that a national strategy requires people at the Federal, State, and local level to be coordinated in order to do proper preparation, prevention, and response. We recommended in that year of 2000 that there be a special committee, or consolidation of committees, within the Congress in order to be able to provide proper oversight in enabling legislation for any potential Federal effort, that there be emphasis on intelligence sharing, health care, and, above all, national standards so that we could begin to organize ourselves so that we were prepared to respond as a nation. Our focus was on State and local, health and medical, immigration and border in the third year, cyber security and the use of the military.
Mr. Chairman, if you those who read our reports and the entire body of work over all these years, all will see a constant focus on the concern for the civil liberties of the people of the United States. The enemy would like to push this country into a position where we are so effective in our response that we begin to diminish what we are as Americans, and so there has been a constant concern for this issue. The introductory letter in the second report, in the year 2000, focuses on this very much.
With that preliminary, Mr. Chairman, the current deliberations that we are doing in Year four, we are just about to complete our work. In the report that we are publishing on December 15th, we will focus chapters on the strategy and structure necessary for the government to be in a position to respond-in short, the national strategy, the types of organizational efforts that have to be made, the use of the military, health and medical, critical infrastructure protection, and agroterrorism. Those are the concerns that I think our Commission is focusing on right now.
With respect to the issue of strategy and structure of government, I have a bit of an announcement to make in this forum this morning, because the Congress yesterday has just passed the Department of Homeland Security bill; and it is going to require further discussions in organization, and in the weeks ahead, additional legislation will no doubt come forward.
We have concluded that we wish to release the principal recommendations in the area of strategy and structure today to the Congress in our advisory capacity. A copy of that is at the desks of the Members, and I know that the staff people will make it