Congressional Record: September 26, 2002 (Senate)
Page S9364-S9366

                           HOMELAND SECURITY

  Mr. SPECTER. Mr. President, I have sought recognition to encourage my 
Senate colleagues to pass legislation on homeland security and to send 
it to conference. There are many more agreements, much more agreement 
than disagreement, and the disagreements are relatively minor.
  Last week, I said the Senate was dysfunctional because we had not 
passed a budget resolution. For the first time since the Budget Act was 
passed in 1974, the Congress has not passed a budget resolution. The 
Senate has not passed a budget resolution. Thirteen appropriations 
bills have not been passed. We have been on the Interior bill for weeks 
now and homeland security for weeks. Long speeches. Not getting to the 
point. Not voting. Not moving ahead with the legislation.
  Last week, it was an accurate characterization to say the Senate was 
dysfunctional. This week, the Senate has become a chamber of rancor. It 
is plain that President Bush did not intend to impugn anyone's 
patriotism. He was commenting on two provisions of the homeland 
security bill related to labor-management relations. Even on those 
matters, the differences are relatively minor. The relationship between 
Republicans and Democrats is better characterized by the embrace 
between President Bush and the majority leader at the joint session of 
Congress shortly after September 11, 2001.
  The current controversy may well be giving encouragement, aid, and 
comfort to Osama bin Laden, deep in some cave, and Saddam Hussein, in 
the bowels of some bomb shelter. However, we know who the enemies are. 
The enemies are the terrorists and the enemies are those who pose the 
risk of using weapons of mass destruction.
  I believe it is vital to move ahead with the homeland security bill 
to correct major deficiencies which have been disclosed in the 
intelligence agencies in the United States. We had a veritable 
blueprint, prior to September 11, 2001, and if we had connected all of 
the dots, I think the chances were good that we could have avoided 
September 11. The Congress of the United States and the administration 
have a duty, a solemn duty, to do everything in our power to prevent 
another terrorist attack. We lost thousands of Americans and the 
official word from the administration, articulated by a number of 
ranking executive department officials, is that there will be another 
terrorist attack. It is not a matter of if, it is not a matter of 
whether, it is a matter of where or when.
  I am not prepared to accept that conclusion. I believe the United 
States has the intelligence resources and can muster the intelligence 
resources to prevent another September 11.
  When I served as chairman of the Intelligence Committee in the 104th 
Congress, I introduced legislation which would have brought all of the 
intelligence agencies under one umbrella. There have been repeated 
efforts to accomplish that, not just the legislation I introduced in 
1996. There is on the President's desk a plan submitted by former 
National Security Adviser, General Scowcroft, to accomplish a 
coordination of all intelligence agencies. However, it has not been 
done because of the turf battles between the various intelligence 
agencies. Those turf battles regrettably are endemic and epidemic in 
Washington, DC. They have to come to a conclusion.
  We have the mechanism now, the homeland security bill, to make those 
corrections. We knew prior to September 11, from the FBI Phoenix 
memorandum, about men taking flight training who had big pictures of 
Osama bin Laden. The report was disregarded. We knew prior to September 
11 that there were two terrorists in Kuala Lumpur. The CIA knew about 
it, but did not tell the FBI or INS, and they turned out to be two of 
the pilots on September 11.
  We know from the efforts made by the Minneapolis Office of the FBI to 
get a warrant under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act as to 
Zacarias Moussaoui, which would have given us a veritable blueprint of 
al-Qaida's intention, that certainly it would have led us to the trail 
and could have prevented September 11.
  Then we have the famous, or infamous, report coming to the National 
Security Agency on September 10 about an attack the very next day, 
which was not translated.
  There is much more I could comment about, but the time is limited.
  Mr. REID. Will the Senator yield for a question?
  Mr. SPECTER. OK, on your time.
  Mr. REID. We don't have any time, but I am sure if we need any time--
  Mr. SPECTER. Senator Domenici, who is the only Senator waiting, says 
it is OK, so I will be glad to respond to the question.
  Mr. REID. The reason I want to have an exchange with the Senator is I 
think maybe what the Senator said here today could resolve this 
homeland security matter.
  I believe, as the Senator from Pennsylvania does, that if there are 
differences we have here in the Senate version of the bill, it will go 
to conference with the House. The House and the Senate will sit down, 
the White House people will be involved, as they always are in 
important conferences, and we will come up with a product. I think 
instead of scrumming, as we are here, I think we would be better off, 
as the Senator has suggested, to get a bill out of here, get it to 
conference, and get something to the President's desk.
  So I fully support, as I heard him, the Senator from Pennsylvania. I 
think that is the way to resolve this matter. Get a bill out of here, 
get it to the conference, and, as the Senator said--how much difference 
is there between the two versions of this amendment that is creating so 
much controversy? There are differences, but I am not sure they are as 
big as some think.
  The labor-management issue, which seems to be a big problem, if that 
matter is as close as what the Senator from Pennsylvania said, I think 
it could be resolved in conference.
  Mr. SPECTER. I thank the distinguished Senator from Nevada for that 
question, and I am glad to respond. I had intended to talk a little 
later about the differences. Let me take them up now to emphasize the 
point that the Senator from Nevada has made, that the differences are 
not very big.

[[Page S9365]]

  I agree with the Senator from Nevada that we ought to send the bill 
to conference. When we had prescription drugs on the Senate floor, I 
voted for the Republican measure, Grassley-Snowe, and then I voted for 
the bill put up by the Democrats, by Senator Graham of Florida. It 
seemed to me the important thing was to get the matter to conference so 
that the issue could be resolved with finality.
  The two pending issues which are outstanding on labor relations, the 
difference between the bill offered by Senator Gramm and the bill 
offered by Senator Lieberman, with the Breaux amendment, boil down to 
this: It is the President's authority to waive the provisions on 
collective bargaining in the event of a national emergency.
  Now, listen closely to what the President must do under existing law:

       The President may issue an order excluding any agency or 
     subdivision thereof for coverage under this chapter, 
     collective bargaining, if the President determines that, A, 
     the agency or subdivision has as a primary function 
     intelligence, counterintelligence, investigative, or national 
     security work; and the provisions of this chapter cannot be 
     applied to that agency or subdivision in a manner consistent 
     with national security requirements and considerations.

  This is what Senator Breaux wishes to add:

       The President could not use his authority without showing 
     that, No. 1, the mission and responsibilities of the agencies 
     or subdivision materially changed and, No. 2, a majority of 
     such employees within such agencies or subdivision have as 
     their primary duty: Intelligence, counterintelligence, or 
     investigative work directly related to terrorism 

  It is true the Breaux amendment does add a requirement for the 
President to exercise his authority. It is true that there is an 
additional requirement, and the President does lose a little power. 
However, the requirements of existing law which relate to intelligence, 
counterintelligence, and investigation are very similar to the 
provisions of the Breaux amendment which again relate to intelligence, 
counterintelligence, or investigative work directly related to 
terrorism investigation.
  The President must make an additional showing. However, it is a 
showing which is very much in line with what the President has to show 
under existing law.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator has used 10 minutes.
  Mr. SPECTER. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent for an additional 
5 minutes.
  Mr. DOMENICI. Reserving the right to object, what is the order 
following the distinguished Senator from Pennsylvania?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. There is no order of speakers.
  Mr. DOMENICI. I ask unanimous consent that I follow him for up to 15 
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection? The Chair hears none, and 
it is so ordered.
  Mr. DOMENICI. I thank the Chair.
  Mr. SPECTER. I thank my colleague from New Mexico.
  Mr. President, the other provision which is in controversy relates to 
the flexibility which the President is seeking on six categories. The 
Breaux amendment would allow the President to have the flexibility 
under four of the categories, and then in the event of disagreement 
between management and the union, the controversy would go to the 
Federal Services Impasse Panel.
  There are seven members of that panel and all have been appointed by 
President Bush. It is customary for that panel to change when the 
administration changes. The four categories which are in the Breaux 
bill allow for performance appraisal, classification, pay raise system, 
and labor-management relations, all of which the President wants, and 
only the limitation going before the impasse panel, which should not be 
an obstacle, and then the other two are adverse actions and appeals.
  So that if you boil it all down, our area of disagreement is really 
very minor. The bill which is going to come out of conference is 
obviously going to take up these issues. We know as a matter of 
practice when there is a Presidential veto or a firm statement about a 
Presidential veto, invariably the Congress relents on an individual 
  So it would be my hope that we could yet resolve this controversy. I 
talked to Senator Breaux, Senator Gramm of Texas, and Senator 
Lieberman, and the parties are very close. I have not yet stated a 
preference for either position. I am being lobbied on both sides. It is 
a very major matter for my constituency on both sides, a very large 
labor constituency in Pennsylvania, and very grave concern on my part 
that the President's powers not be diminished in a way which would 
impede his efforts on a Department of Homeland Security.
  When you take a look at where we are with the various problems of 
lapses in security--there have been a parade of witnesses before the 
joint intelligence committees of the House and Senate. We counted some 
of these, not all. In view of the limited time, Mr. President, I ask 
that there be added at the conclusion of my comments a recitation of a 
number of other warnings which were given, which could have provided a 
veritable blueprint.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  (See exhibit 1.)
  Mr. SPECTER. Our job is plain, it seems to me, and that is to move 
ahead, to have a reconciliation, a rapprochement. Let us not have this 
as a chamber of rancor. Let us not have a dysfunctional Senate. We have 
many bills which are now pending in the conference committees, which 
have not been acted upon--the energy bill, the Patients' Bill of 
Rights, the voting machine correction bill, the terrorism reinsurance 
bill, the bankruptcy bill, and others, which are awaiting conference. 
We have a very heavy duty to the American people to complete the 
people's business, and we need to finish the appropriations bills and 
not have a continuing resolution.
  I think it is becoming apparent to the American people that we have a 
dysfunctional Senate. We have to move away from that. We have to let 
our enemies--the terrorists and Saddam Hussein--know that the Democrat 
and Republican Party system is better characterized by that famous 
embrace between the President and Senate majority leader at the Joint 
Session of Congress shortly after September 11.
  I intend to return to the floor to talk in more detail about the 
Breaux amendment, but I think it is plain by an analysis of what the 
Breaux amendment does that it ought to be resolved and it ought not to 
stop this Congress in legislating. It would be a travesty and a tragedy 
if we were to go over into next year without having a homeland security 
bill so that we can correct the major problems in the intelligence 
function of this country.
  I again thank my colleague from New Mexico and yield the floor.

                               Exhibit 1

                          A Virtual Blueprint

                             NSA Intercepts

       The NSA intercepted two messages on the eve of September 11 
     attacks on the world Trade Center and the Pentagon warning 
     that something was going to happen the next day, but the 
     messages were not translated until September 12. The Arabic-
     language messages said, "the match is about to begin," and 
     "Tomorrow is zero-hour." They came from sources--a location 
     or phone number--that were of high enough priority to 
     translate them within two days but were not put in the top 
     priority category, which included communications from Usama 
     bin Laden or his senior al Qaeda assistants.


       In January 1995, the Philippine National Police discovered 
     Ramzi Yousef's bomb making lab in Manila and arrested an 
     accomplice named Abdul Hakim Murad. Captured materials and 
     interrogations of Murad revealed Yousef's plot to kill the 
     Pope, bomb U.S. and Israeli embassies in Manila, blow up 12 
     U.S.-owned airliners over the Pacific Ocean, and crash a 
     plane into CIA headquarters. Murad is a promoter of the same 
     radical interpretation of Sunni Islam ideology as Usama bin 
     Laden, who emerged during this time frame as promoting this 
     radical ideology.
       NOTE: This provided a data point on a terrorist group 
     discussing a plan to use an aircraft as a weapon in the 
     possession of the Intelligence Community.

                           Phoenix Memorandum

       The FBI paid too little attention to a July 10, 2001 
     memorandum written by an FBI agent in Phoenix urging bureau 
     headquarters to investigate Middle Eastern men enrolled in 
     American flight schools. The "Phoenix Memo" cited Usama bin 
     Laden by name and suggested that his followers could use the 
     schools to train for terror operations.
       Federal authorities have been aware for years that a small 
     number of suspected terrorists with ties to bin Laden had 
     received flight training at schools in the United States and 
       Pakistani terrorist plotter Murad, who had planned to blow 
     up airliners over the Pacific,

[[Page S9366]]

     trained at four U.S. schools in the early 1990s.

                           Crawford Briefing

       President Bush and his top advisers were informed by the 
     CIA in early August 2001 that terrorists associated with 
     Usama bin Laden had discussed the possibility of hijacking 
     airplanes. The top-secret briefing memo presented to 
     President Bush on August 6 carried the headline, "Bin Laden 
     Determined to Strike in US," and was primarily focused on 
     recounting al Qaeda's past efforts to attack and infiltrate 
     the United States.

                      Moussaoui & Minneapolis FBI

       Minneapolis FBI agents investigating terror suspect 
     Zacarias Moussaoui last August were severely hampered by 
     officials at FBI headquarters, who resisted seeking FISA 
     surveillance and physical search warrants, applied erroneous 
     probable cause standards, and admonished agents for seeking 
     help from the CIA.

                              Kuala Lumpur

       The CIA tracked two of the Flight 77 (Pentagon) terrorists 
     to a Qaeda summit in Malaysia in January 2000, then did not 
     share the information as the terrorists reentered America and 
     began preparations for September 11. The CIA tracked one of 
     the terrorists, Nawaf Alhazami, as he flew from the meeting 
     to Los Angeles, and discovered that another of the men, 
     Khalid Almihdhar, had already obtained a multiple-entry visa 
     that allowed him to enter and leave the United Stats as he 
     pleased. The CIA did nothing with this information. Instead, 
     during the year and nine months after the CIA identified them 
     as terrorists, Alhazami and Almihdhar lived openly in the 
     United States, using their real name, obtaining drivers 
     licenses, opening bank accounts and enrolling in flight 
     schools--until the morning of September 11, when they boarded 
     American Airlines Flight 77 and crashed into the Pentagon.

                               Bin Laden

       On February 26, 1993, a bomb was detonated in the parking 
     garage of the World Trade Center in New York City. On June 
     24, 1993, the FBI arrested eight individuals for plotting to 
     bomb a number of New York City landmarks, including the 
     United Nations building and the Lincoln and Holland tunnels. 
     The central figures in these plots were Ramzi Yousef and 
     Shaykh Omar Abd al-Rahman--both of whom have been linked to 
     Usama Bin Laden and are now serving prison sentences.
       Following the August 1998, bombings of two U.S. Embassies 
     in East Africa, Intelligence Community leadership recognized 
     how dangerous Bin Laden's network was and that he intended to 
     strike in the United States. In December 1998 DCI George 
     Tenet provided written guidance to his deputies at the CIA, 
     declaring, in effect, "war" with Bin Laden.
       Concern about Bin Laden continued to grow over time and 
     reached peak levels in the spring and summer of 2001, as the 
     Intelligence Community faced increasing numbers of reports of 
     imminent al Qaeda attacks against U.S. interests. In July and 
     August 2001, that rise in intelligence reporting began to 
     decrease, just as three additional developments occurred in 
     the United States: the Phoenix memo; the detention of 
     Zacarias Moussaoui; and the Intelligence Community's 
     realization that two individuals with ties to Usama Bin 
     Laden's network--Nawaf Alhazami and Khalid Almihdhar--were 
     possibly in the United States.
       In June 1998, the Intelligence Community learned that Usama 
     Bin Laden was considering attacks in the U.S., including 
     Washington, DC, and New York. This information was provided 
     to senior U.S. Government officials in July 1998.
       In August 1998, the Intelligence Community obtained 
     information that a group of unidentified Arabs planned to fly 
     an explosive-laden plane from a foreign country into the 
     World Trade Center. The FBI's New York office took no action 
     on the information. The Intelligence Community has acquired 
     additional information since then indicating links between 
     this Arab group and al Qaeda.
       In September 1998, the Intelligence Community obtained 
     information that Usama Bin Laden's next operation could 
     involve flying an aircraft loaded with explosives into a U.S. 
     airport and detonating it; this information was provided to 
     senior U.S. Government officials in late 1998.
       In October 1998, the Intelligence Community obtained 
     information that al Qaeda was trying to establish an 
     operative cell within the United States. This information 
     indicated there might be an effort underway to recruit U.S. 
     citizen Islamists and U.S.-based expatriates from the Middle 
     East and North Africa;
       In the fall of 1998, the Intelligence Community received 
     additional information concerning a Bin-Laden plot involving 
     aircraft in the New York and Washington, DC, areas;
       In November 1998, the Intelligence Community learned that a 
     Bin Laden was attempting to recruit a group of five to seven 
     young men from the United States to strike U.S. domestic 
       In the spring of 1999, the Intelligence Community learned 
     about a planned Bin Laden attack on a U.S. Government 
     facility in Washington, DC. Additionally, in 1999, the threat 
     of an explosive-laden aircraft being used in a suicide attack 
     against the Pentagon, CIA headquarters, or the White House, 
     was noted in a Library of Congress report to the National 
     Intelligence Council.
       In late 1999, the Intelligence Community learned of Bin 
     Laden's possible plans to attack targets in Washington, DC, 
     and New York City during the New Year's Millennium 
       On December 14, 1999, an individual named Ahmed Ressam was 
     arrested as he attempted to enter the United States from 
     Canada with detonator materials in his car. Ressam's intended 
     target was Los Angeles International Airport. Ressam, who has 
     links to Usama Bin Laden's terrorist network, has not been 
     formally sentenced yet.
       In March 2000, the Intelligence Community obtained 
     information regarding the types of targets that operatives in 
     Bin Laden's network might strike. The Statue of Liberty was 
     specifically mentioned, as were skyscrapers, ports, and 
     airports, and nuclear power plants;
       Between late March and September 2001, the Intelligence 
     Community detected numerous indicators of an impeding 
     terrorist attack, some of which pointed specifically to the 
     United States as a possible target. Among these are:
       Between May and July, the National Security Agency reported 
     at least 33 communications indicating a possible, imminent 
     terrorist attack--none of which were specific as to where, 
     when, or how an attack might occur, nor was it clear that any 
     of the individuals involved in these intercepted 
     communications had any first-hand knowledge of where, when, 
     or how an attack might occur. These reports were widely 
     disseminated within the Intelligence Community.
       In May 2001, the Intelligence Community obtained 
     information that supporters of Usama Bin Laden were 
     reportedly planning to infiltrate the United States via 
     Canada in order to carry out a terrorist operation. This 
     report mentioned an attack within the United States, though 
     it did not say where in the U.S., or when, or how an attack 
     might occur. In July 2001, this information was shared with 
     the FBI, the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), 
     U.S. Customs Service, and the State Department and was 
     included in a closely held intelligence report for senior 
     government officials in August 2001.
       In May 2001, the Intelligence Community received 
     information that seven individuals associated with Usama Bin 
     Laden departed various locations for the United States;
       In June 2001, the DCI's Counter Terrorism Center (CTC) had 
     information that key operatives in Usama Bin Laden's 
     organization were disappearing while others were preparing 
     for martyrdom;
       In July 2001, the DCI's CTC was aware of an individual who 
     had recently been in Afghanistan who had reported, "Everyone 
     is talking about an impending attack." The Intelligence 
     Community was also aware that Bin Laden had stepped up his 
     propaganda efforts in the preceding months;
       In the late summer 2001, the Intelligence Community 
     obtained information that an individual associated with al 
     Qaeda was considering mounting terrorist operations in the 
     United States. There was no information available as to the 
     timing of possible attacks or on the alleged targets in the 
     United States.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New Mexico.
  Mr. DOMENICI. I say to Senator Specter, I am sure you had some more 
to say and I apologize, but it seems like the harder I try to get time 
here the worse it works out for me.
  Mr. SPECTER. It is the Senator's turn, and I am anxious to hear what 
the Senator has to say.
  Mr. DOMENICI. I thank the Senator.