Congressional Record: September 24, 2002 (Senate)
Page S9096-S9099

                HOMELAND SECURITY ACT OF 2002--Continued


  Mr. DeWINE. Mr. President, approximately 3 hours ago, the Senate 
passed the Lieberman-McCain amendment to create an independent national 
commission to investigate the events leading to and following the 
September 11 terrorist attacks. I voted in favor of that amendment. I 
come to the floor this afternoon to briefly explain why and explain 
what I hope that commission will do and what I hope it won't spend a 
lot of time doing.
  I believe that commission should focus on what the joint Senate-House 
Intelligence Committee's investigation focused on in looking at the 
September 11 tragedy.
  As a member of that committee, I have argued that we should be 
looking at not just what led up to September 11, not just finding out 
what the failures were, but also, and much more importantly, looking 
toward the future

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and trying to determine what we can do to change, what we can do to 
improve our intelligence operation, our intelligence network.
  I believe that should be the same focus of the national commission. 
The national commission will inherit the work our joint committee has 
done. Shortly, we will be done with our work. The national commission 
will not only have our work, but it will have other information 
available to it. It will have the information that has been dug up by 
some very good reporters. It will have additional information, and so 
the foundation clearly will be laid.
  The commission will not have to spend a lot of time rehashing the 
errors that were made. What I hope the commission will spend most of 
its time on, though, is the future. I would like to talk a little bit 
about that future this afternoon and what I think we need to do.
  Knowing what failures have occurred in the past certainly is vital, 
but it is not enough. Knowing what we should do in the future is really 
what is important. The creation of this independent commission presents 
us with the opportunity to build on our current congressional 
intelligence investigation.
  One of the reasons I did vote in favor of this commission is that I 
believe our Senate and House intelligence investigation stopped too 
early. We had a deadline. I thought the deadline was a mistake. I still 
think it is a mistake. Because we have that deadline, we have not been 
able to focus on the big picture issues of where we need to go in this 
  The language of the McCain-Lieberman amendment that was adopted this 
afternoon clearly provides the commission with the opportunity to get 
into these big picture issues.
  I quote from that amendment. The amendment specifies the commission 

       . . . identify, review, and evaluate the lessons learned 
     from the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, regarding 
     the structure, coordination, management policies, and 
     procedures of the Federal Government.

  There is more to that. Those are words that I think are very 
important because those words, if this becomes law, will give this 
commission a great opportunity to look at these big picture issues 
about which I am talking.
  What am I talking about? Let me give some examples. I believe the 
commission should take a serious look at the role of the Director of 
Central Intelligence. I believe it is time to give the DCI the 
necessary authority and the ability to truly direct our overall 
intelligence operations. Quite simply, we need to empower the DCI to do 
the job.
  We all know the facts. Currently, the DCI, while he is in charge of 
our intelligence, only controls about 15 to 20 percent of the budget. 
This is an issue that has to be examined, and it has to be looked at, 
no matter how people come down on this issue. I know it is a 
contentious issue, and it may divide this Senate, it may divide the 
commission, but we need to look at it.
  We had the opportunity in our joint committee the other day to hear 
from Sandy Berger, Anthony Lake, and Brent Scowcroft on a panel. All 
three of them said with various degrees of language that we need to 
make a change in the DCI, we need to make the DCI more powerful, we 
need to enable him to get the job done. That is an issue at which we 
should look.

  Second, I believe we must seriously examine the long-term resource 
issues that confront us, not just now but over the long haul--over the 
next decade, maybe over the next two decades, or three decades. Are we 
providing the resources we need for our intelligence community? And are 
we providing them in the right way? Do they know they are going to have 
the necessary resources, as much as anybody can ever know year to year 
with Congress? But do they have some indication those resources are 
going to be there so they can get the job done? How much resources do 
they, in fact, need to protect us?
  Maybe a good way of looking at it is to say, if tomorrow we were 
struck again and we are all in shock again, what would be our reaction? 
What would we do to the budget then? Maybe we need to ask ourselves 
that question and go ahead and do it now.
  The next question I hope the commission looks at is: Do we have the 
human resources available within the agencies themselves? Are we going 
to get the necessary people because ultimately it comes down to people. 
We have good people. They are doing a good job. They are working 14, 
15, 16 hours a day, but there is only so much they can do. How many 
more people do we need? My guess is we need a lot more people based on 
what I have seen. In the counterterrorism center, for example, in the 
CIA, FBI, we need a lot more people.
  Do we have the right technology is another question the commission 
should look at, and do we have enough of it to get the job done in the 
new world in which we live? The technology the FBI has is not good. If 
any major business in this country had that technology, somebody would 
be fired; a lot of people would be fired. It is shameful. It is wrong. 
It is not fair to the employees, and it is not fair to the American 
people. We are, frankly, responsible for that. We are responsible for 
that failure. We have an obligation to change that. That is another 
issue at which this commission should look.
  The commission should ask us and the American people: What is our 
long-term commitment to intelligence?
  Finally, I think the commission needs to examine the Foreign 
Intelligence Surveillance Act, the FISA statute, and determine what 
changes are necessary to make sure we are getting intelligence from 
this source to help prevent future attacks. We made improvements in 
FISA. The Patriot Act was an improvement. Quite frankly, Congress has 
been derelict in its duty over two decades to have good oversight over 
FISA. It has been a hidden court, as it was designed to be; a secret 
court, as it was designed to be. Yet we have not figured out some way 
through the Intelligence Committees to have good oversight to find out 
how the law we wrote as representatives of the American people is truly 
being interpreted.
  For the first time we have a court decision that has come out of the 
FISA court. It is not public, but we can at least look at it. It is the 
first one, to my knowledge, that has been published in 2 decades. I do 
not happen to agree with the decision, but we can look at it. It is 
being appealed. We will have an opportunity to see what the court of 
appeals says about that, but at least that part of the debate is out 
  We must continue to look for ways to fulfill our oversight 
responsibility in the Congress. That is an issue that the commission 
should look at as well.
  These are a few of the issues I think the commission needs to look 
at. Let me say, however, it is not just the commission's 
responsibility. I voted for this amendment, not because I felt it would 
be solely the commission's responsibility to look at these issues; I 
believe the Senate Intelligence Committee has an obligation to look at 
these big-picture issues in the months and years ahead. I believe the 
House has the same obligation. I simply believed that with an 
additional commission issuing reports in 6 months, 12 months, 18 
months, that would be an added voice, an added set of eyes, more 
expertise, to look at some of these issues this country should be 
  Ultimately, we need a serious national debate about all of these 
issues and so many more, even those that are outside the realm of the 
intelligence community. In examining the intelligence component, if we 
have learned anything from September 11, it is that our security, our 
safety, and the safety of our loved ones, is intrinsically linked to 
the quality of that intelligence. So we must do all we can to improve 
the quality of that intelligence. The ability to share that information 
with the appropriate agencies is involved with our national security. 
As Members of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees, as Members 
of this Senate, we have an obligation to examine these issues. We must 
debate them. The proposed commission can certainly play a productive 
role in these debates and in these investigations. Therefore, I was 
pleased this afternoon to support its creation.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Nevada.
  Mr. REID. I ask unanimous consent that following the cloture vote on 
the Lieberman amendment tomorrow, if cloture is not invoked, the Senate 
remain on the homeland defense bill and

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Senator Gramm of Texas be recognized to offer an amendment; that there 
be two hours of debate equally divided between Senators Gramm and 
Lieberman or their designees; that at the conclusion of that time the 
amendment continue to be debatable and Senator Daschle or his designee 
be recognized.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, the amendment we have been waiting for for 
some time will be offered in the morning, or as soon as the vote is 
completed, as the unanimous consent request indicated.
  It appears the two managers have some amendments they can clear on 
this homeland security bill. That being the case, we will stay on the 
bill. When the amendments are cleared, we will go to a period for 
morning business until Senators have said all they wish to say, and 
then we will recess until tomorrow. We hope this is the beginning of 
the end of this bill. I think we have made progress to get to this 
point. As I have indicated, we have been trying to get this amendment 
now for about the second week, so finally we are there. This is a big 
amendment. We will determine how it is going to be disposed of sometime 
  I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.