Congressional Record: October 3, 2002 (Senate)
Page S9870-S9892

                           CONFERENCE REPORT


                       Use of Force Against Iraq

  Mr. KYL. Mr. President, we have really already begun the debate on a 
resolution to authorize the use of force against Iraq if the President 
deems it necessary. Several Members have come to the Chamber and spoken 
about the issue. We are going to begin that debate formally sometime 
this evening, I believe, and it will continue on through Friday, 
Monday, and then shortly thereafter we will be voting on this important 
  As with the debate 11 years ago when force was authorized and we 
repelled Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait, Members of both bodies 
discussed the issue at a level, frankly, that we are unaccustomed to 
doing. When we are making a decision to send our young men and women 
into harm's way, when we are literally authorizing war, I think a 
degree of seriousness begins to pervade all of our thinking. We address 
these issues with the utmost of seriousness because we are aware of the 
consequences, and they deserve no less, and our constituents and our 
military deserve no less than that degree of consideration.
  When we debate this issue, we will find there are good arguments on 
both sides of the issue, and I realize there will be different nuances, 
so it is not as if there are just two sides to the debate. But at the 
end of the day, we are going to have the question before us: Are we 
going to authorize the use of force?
  There will be some alternatives before us. That debate needs to be 
based upon the very best information, the very best intelligence, the 
very best analysis we can bring to bear, and it also has to be based 
upon a good relationship between the legislative and the executive 
branches because in war we are all in it together. We have to 
cooperate. We have to support the Commander in Chief.
  The last thing we would ever do is to authorize the Commander in 
Chief to take action and then not support that action. Our foes abroad, 
as well as our allies abroad, need to know we will be united once a 
decision is made, and we will execute the operation to succeed, if it 
is called for.
  I am very disturbed at the way that part of this debate is beginning, 
and that is what I wanted to speak to today. There has been an effort 
by some to broadly paint the administration as uncooperative in sharing 
intelligence information with the Senate, and more specifically the 
Senate Intelligence Committee.
  I have been a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee now for 
almost 8 years, and I have been involved in the middle of a lot of 
disputes about information sharing. When we are sharing information 
about intelligence, those issues are inevitable, just as they are 
sometimes with law enforcement. In our democracy, these become very 
difficult decisions because we are a wide open country. We tend to want 
to share everything, but we also recognize there have to be a few 
things we cannot share with the enemy, and the lines are not always 
brightly drawn. Sometimes the executive branch and the legislative 
branch get into tiffs about what information should be shared, what 
information cannot be shared. Again, reasonable minds can differ about 
the specifics of those issues, but what has arisen is a very unhealthy 
war of words about motives and intentions, and we need to nip that in 
the bud today.
  I read a story in the New York Times reporting on a meeting of the 
Intelligence Committee, which I attended yesterday in the secure area 
where the Intelligence Committee meets, under strict rules of 
classification. We were briefed by two of the top officials of the 
intelligence community about matters of the utmost in terms of 
importance and secrecy, and yet there is a three-page story in the New 
York Times which discusses much of what was discussed in that meeting, 
without ever

[[Page S9883]]

attributing a single assertion or quotation. There is no name used of 
anybody who was in that room, and so we do not know exactly who it was 
who went to the New York Times and talked about what went on in our 
  I am not suggesting classified information was leaked. I would have 
to have an analysis done to determine whether anything in the article 
was actually classified information. What was discussed was a purported 
dispute between our committee and the executive branch about the 
release of certain information and the preparation of certain reports. 
I will get into more detail about this in a minute.
  Obviously, somebody from the committee, a Member or staff, went 
complaining to the New York Times and spread, therefore, on the pages 
of this paper a whole series of allegations about motives and 
intentions of the Bush administration relating to the basis for seeking 
authority to use force against Iraq, if necessary. This is exactly what 
will undercut the authority of the President in trying to build a 
coalition abroad as well as in the United States, and it is the very 
people who demand the President achieve that international coalition 
before we take action who are the most exercised about what they 
perceive to be a slight from the administration and who, therefore, are 
being quoted in this story.
  I do not know the names, but there is a limited universe of people 
involved. I am going to go over this article in fine detail just to 
illustrate my point.
  One of the sources cited in the story is a congressional official. I 
will quote the entire sentence.

       One congressional official said that the incident has badly 
     damaged Mr. Tenet's relations with Congress, something that 
     Mr. Tenet has always worked hard to cultivate.

  Mr. Tenet is George Tenet, the director of the CIA. Sometimes I agree 
with Mr. Tenet and sometimes I do not agree with Mr. Tenet, but I 
believe Mr. Tenet has the best interests of the United States of 
America at heart when he is working with the President and Congress to 
present information and develop the appropriate approach to the use of 
force, if that is necessary.
  My point was this, though: The article quotes one congressional 
official. What is a congressional official? It is either a Member of 
the Senate or the House of Representatives--though no Representatives 
were in this meeting; it was just a meeting of Senators--or it is a 
staff person hired by the Senate.
  I find it interesting the article quotes a congressional official.
  Most of the article quotes congressional leaders, Government 
officials, or lawmakers. Either a Member of the Senate or a member of 
our staff talked to the press about what went on in the meeting and did 
so in order to damage, or to call into question, I should say, the 
relationship between the Senate and the executive branch, and to 
question whether the administration was being cooperative with the 
Senate in providing information.
  Let me discuss this in detail now. The central theme is identified in 
the first line of the story:

       The Central Intelligence Agency has refused to provide 
     Congress a comprehensive report on its role in a possible 
     American campaign against Iraq, setting off a bitter dispute 
     between the agency and leaders of the Senate Intelligence 
     Committee, congressional leaders said today.

  Those are Senators--not staff but congressional leaders. Only 
Senators were in the meeting. So some Senators said the CIA had refused 
to provide us with a comprehensive report on the agency's role in a 
possible American campaign, and this set off a bitter dispute between 
the CIA and leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee.
  Leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee would be probably two 
people, the chairman and ranking member. Mr. Shelby, the ranking 
member, the Senator from Alabama, will have to speak for himself. The 
chairman is Senator Graham from Florida. I suggest they need to clarify 
what their view is with respect to this story.
  In the first place, it is not true the Central Intelligence Agency 
has refused to provide us with the report described in the story. There 
were two reports requested. As the article discloses, the first report 
has been provided. It was done at breakneck speed. It has to do with 
Iraq's capabilities; what kind of chemical and biological weapons does 
Iraq really possess; how far along is it in developing its nuclear 
capability; what means of delivery does it have; and a host of other 
questions that were put to the intelligence community. It is obviously 
important for us to have the answers to those questions before we take 
  The reality is the information was all there. It had simply not been 
put together in one report, as the committee requested. What we 
requested was something called a national intelligence estimate. A 
national intelligence estimate is not requested by the Congress. A 
national intelligence estimate is ordinarily requested by the President 
or the National Security Council, and it is essentially a document 
which is supposed to analyze a particular country's or region's threat, 
or threat from weapons of mass destruction. It frequently takes a long 
time, up to a year, perhaps, to prepare. The purpose for it is to 
inform both the administration and others such as the Congress that 
would be dealing with the issues, but it is not intended to be an 
operational document; that is to say, to be integrated in operational 
military plans. Nevertheless, even though this is not the normal way 
the document would be prepared, the agency people worked overtime to 
produce, in a matter of several days, a very thorough report. About 100 
pages in length was produced in about 3 weeks, according to the story, 
under very tight deadlines.

  It was presented yesterday. Most of the information had been 
presented before in a different way. But it was put together in one 
  Leaders of the committee expressed their outrage that Director Tenet 
was not there in person to testify. He was with the President at the 
time. The two people who briefed us were very top officials of the 
intelligence community who probably knew more on a firsthand basis what 
was in the report even than Director Tenet. Some Members did not want 
to ask them questions but wanted to wait for Director Tenet to arrive, 
a pretty petulant attitude when we are trying to seriously address 
questions of war and peace.
  The information was before us. No one questioned the veracity of the 
information. We had a good hearing in discussing the various elements. 
That was one of the reports. There was complaining it should have been 
earlier, it should have been done more quickly. As pointed out, 
ordinarily these are the kind of reports that usually take a year to 
put together; it was done in a matter of 3 weeks. Under the 
circumstances, the community is to be complimented.
  The other report requested had to do with the role of the 
intelligence community in military operations, potential military 
operations against Iraq. In effect what was being asked, if we take 
forcible action against Iraq, and any aspect of the intelligence 
community is used in those operations, what is it likely to be? What is 
the likely response going to be? How effective do you think it will be? 
That is what the article means, in the first sentence, when it talks 
about a comprehensive report on its role in a possible American 
campaign against Iraq.
  The intelligence community, wisely, has a standard policy against 
doing analyses of U.S. action that is not overt and tied to military 
operations. We do not know our military plans for military action 
against Iraq if it were to come. Only the President and a handful of 
people involved in those plans know what they are. Thank goodness for 
that. There is so much leaking in this Government--both at the 
executive branch level and the legislative branch level--it would be 
folly in the extreme for operational plans to be discussed broadly 
before an operation begins or during the operation, for that matter. 
That is why we do not present that kind of analysis to anyone. Members 
of the Intelligence Committee ought to know that and ought not to feel 
slighted because it was not presented to us and because it will not be 
presented to us. That kind of information would be directly related to 
the plan of attack that the President may eventually approve.
  We know our leaders get called just before an operation begins and 
once it is begun, we begin to get information about how we will conduct 
the operation. But can anyone reasonably believe the plans of our 
military and intelligence community, in cooperating

[[Page S9884]]

with some kind of action, should be put in a document and released to 
the Congress, even in classified form? If this article is any 
indication, it would be 1 day before it would be in the newspaper. We 
cannot do that, putting at risk the lives of the men and women we may 
send in harm's way.
  One success in the Afghanistan operation was the fact that we were 
able to combine good intelligence with military capability. Without 
going into a lot of detail, everyone appreciates the fact we were able 
to get assets on the ground from whatever source, providing information 
to our aircraft, for example, about very specifically where certain 
targets were. As a result of having that good intelligence, we were 
able to strike at the heart of the enemy, avoid for the most part 
civilian casualties, or collateral damage, and very quickly overthrow 
the Taliban government, and rout or capture a lot of the al-Qaida.
  We do not know much publicly about the interrelationship between the 
intelligence community and the military, but we know they combined 
efforts to make this a successful operation. That is all most Members 
need to know.
  We do not need to know in advance of a military operation how the 
intelligence community is going to be integrated with the military in 
conducting this campaign, what they are each going to do, and what the 
enemy might do in response and so on.
  The article itself alludes to this when it talks about the ordinary 
purpose of a national intelligence estimate. But intelligence officials 
say a national intelligence estimate is designed to assess the policies 
of foreign countries, not those of the United States. I quote:

       "They were asking for an assessment of U.S. policy, and 
     that falls outside the realm of the NIE and gets into the 
     purview of the Commander and Chief," an intelligence 
     official said.

  That is correct. So there was a misunderstanding of what a national 
intelligence estimate was, on the first part; second, the request for 
the information went far beyond what the administration should have 
been asked to provide and what it could provide. Yet Members of the 
committee were indignant that the administration had stiffed the 
committee, had stonewalled, had refused to provide this information.
  We have to engage in a serious debate about a very serious subject in 
a relatively objective way. We all bring our biases and prejudices to 
the debate. But one thing that should be clear to all of us is that the 
thing that is paramount is the security of American military forces in 
the conduct of an operation. And that cannot be jeopardized by either 
the inadvertent or advertent leak of material that pertains directly to 
those military operations.
  What was being requested here was wrong. And the administration was 
right to say: I'm sorry, we cannot give that to you. The debate should 
not be adversely influenced by this unfortunate set of circumstances. 
We should decide whether we want to authorize force and what kind of 
force is authorized based upon the merits of the argument as we assess 
  No one here should be led down this path that says one of the reasons 
we should not act yet, or that we should deny the administration the 
authority is because they have stonewalled us. They have not given us 
information we need before we can make a judgment.
  As a member of the Intelligence Committee, that is simply not true. 
There are briefings being conducted now--both in an informal way, very 
classified but informally, as well as formally--to Members of this body 
and the House of Representatives, to answer Members' questions about 
Iraqi's capabilities and intentions as we see them and our assessment 
of circumstances. I encourage all Members to get those briefings and to 
ask any question they can think of asking and to try to keep it up 
until the questions have been answered. Some perhaps may not be 
  For the most part, they will learn of the primary reasons the 
President has decided it may be necessary to take military action 
against Iraq. What they will not learn, should not learn, and for 
national security purposes cannot learn, is how the intelligence 
community is going to be working with the military in the campaign 
should one be authorized. Those are operational plans that only the 
President and his military and small group of advisers can be aware of 
before there is military action begun.
  There is other information in this news story that is inaccurate, in 
suggesting that there has been this huge tug of war between the 
committee and the CIA about getting information. In my own personal 
view, a lot of it has to do with lack of communication, lack of clear 
specificity about what was requested. I remember when the original 
request was made, it was a rather routine kind of request, certainly 
not the big deal that some members of the committee are trying to turn 
it into. Information was given orally about when it would be provided 
to us, and information was given orally about the fact that the 
military operations could not be discussed. Yet members of the 
committee seemed to be pretty upset about the fact that we had not 
gotten a formal letter from George Tenet laying this all out.
  The members of the Intelligence Committee who were there apologized 
and said: If we had thought a formal letter was necessary or we could 
have gotten it to you sooner and didn't do that, we are sorry about 
that. But here are the facts. You wanted to know what the facts are, 
and here are the facts.
  So I do not think we should be dissuaded from basing a decision on 
the merits of the case, one way or the other, however we decide to 
vote, on the phony issue of whether or not somebody is providing us 
information or whether they got it to us soon enough or whether the 
head guy came down to testify as opposed to people directly below him.
  As I said, he will be there to testify tomorrow in any event. This is 
all a smokescreen. It may be useful to some people who want to find 
some reason not to support the President other than simply outright 
opposition to taking military action. I understand that. There seems to 
be a popular view that most Americans want to take military action and 
politically people had better get on that bandwagon, so maybe people 
who do not really want to take that action have to find some reason, 
some rationalization, for not doing it.
  But I really don't think that is right. I think a lot of American 
people are where most of us are. We would prefer not to have to take 
military action. We would hope to have a coalition of allies. We hope 
there will be some way to avoid this. But at the end of the day, if the 
President decides it is necessary, we are probably willing to go along 
and authorize the use of force.
  There is nothing wrong with taking the position that at the end of 
the day we are not yet ready to make that decision and therefore not 
vote to authorize the use of force. If that is where Members come down 
and that is what they in their hearts believe, that is what they should 
say and that is how they should vote. But what they should not do is 
try to latch onto an artificial reason for saying no, predicated upon 
some perceived slight by the Director of the CIA or failure to provide 
information quickly enough or in exactly the form they wanted it or 
most certainly on the grounds that the intelligence community has not 
provided the kind of information about operations of the intelligence 
community that they would like to get. That information should not be 
provided, and nobody should base a decision here on the failure to 
obtain that information.
  Let me just speak a little bit more broadly. I will ask unanimous 
consent that at the conclusion of my remarks this particular article be 
printed in the Record.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  (See exhibit 1.)

  Mr. KYL. A lot of people are approaching this issue on the basis that 
there has to be some demonstration that, in the relatively near future, 
Saddam Hussein is going to use a weapon of mass destruction against us 
or else this is not the time that we should take military action 
against him. That is a rational position to take, in a way. If you do 
not think that there is a real threat or that it is imminent, you could 
reach the conclusion that we should not engage in war, or at least 
ought to be continuing to try to engage in diplomacy or whatever.
  But there is another side to the coin. It is the way the President 
has chosen

[[Page S9885]]

to look at it. I think, because he has chosen to look at it this way, 
he will go down in history as a very prescient leader.
  Noemie Emery, who is a fine writer, in an article in a periodical a 
week ago, observed that most Presidents have had to fight a war but 
only two Presidents have had to perceive a war. Harry Truman perceived 
the cold war. He instinctively knew at the end of World War II, when 
the Soviet Union was beginning to assert its power in regions of 
southern Europe, for example, and elsewhere, that it was important for 
the United States and other Western allies to stand and say no to the 
further expansion of the Soviet Union and communism, even though that 
was going to mean a longtime confrontation with the Soviet Union which 
might even escalate into a hot war.
  The Marshall plan to assist countries in southern Europe was a part 
of that perception, and we are well aware of all the other events that 
followed that. He perceived the need to stand and thwart the continued 
aggression of an evil power, and we are grateful to him for that.
  Emery said the other President to perceive a war is George W. Bush. 
Of course, September 11, you can say, made that easy. But I submit it 
is not necessarily that easy. Over time, people will begin to wonder 
whether our commitment to a war on terror is really all that important 
if there are not further attacks. If we go another several months, 
hopefully even a year or two, without a major terrorist attack on the 
United States, will the American people continue to believe that this 
is a war worth fighting? Or was it a one-time-only proposition?
  George W. Bush perceived the need to conduct a war on terror because 
he understood that from a historical point of view, over the course of 
the last dozen or 15 years, there had been a whole series of attacks 
against the United States or our interests, and when we in Congress 
Monday morning quarterback the FBI and CIA and say, "You failed to 
connect the dots," I wonder what those same people say about President 
Bush's understanding of the history leading up to September 11. He is 
connecting the dots between the Khobar Towers and the Cole bombing and 
the embassy bombings in Africa. You can even go back further than that, 
bringing it on forward all the way up to September 11. Does an event 
have to occur every 6 months for us to believe this is really a war 
worth stopping or worth winning and bringing to conclusion? I do not 
think so.
  I think the President, when he said to the American people, we are 
going to have to be patient in this war, understood that we would have 
to be patient, that it could take a long time. I have been very 
gratified at the response of the American people in not being as 
impatient as we usually are as a people.
  Americans love to get in, get the job done, and move on. That is a 
great trait of Americans. But the President here is saying be patient. 
So far, I have been very impressed that the American people have been 
very patient. What the President has perceived, that not everybody has 
perceived, is that this is a struggle that has been going on for some 
time and it is going to continue in that same vein for as far out as we 
can see, unless we defeat terrorism.

  So the wrong question to be asking at this time is: Can you prove 
that there is an imminent threat to the United States as a result of 
which we have to take military action against Iraq? That is the wrong 
  There are many fronts in this war on terror, from Lackawanna in New 
York where we get the six people who we think were connected to 
terrorism, to Tora Bora, Afghanistan, where we had to rout out members 
of al-Qaida; to Pakistan, where we are fighting remnants of al-Qaida; 
to places such as Yemen and Sudan and Somalia and the Philippines and 
Malaysia; Hamburg, Germany, where we have had to roll up al-Qaida 
operatives; and then other places in the Middle East where there is 
terrorism going on every day and when there are people such as Saddam 
Hussein building weapons of mass terror who would not be doing that, 
would not be spending the resources and trying to hide them, simply to 
play some kind of game. They are obviously serious people with evil 
intentions. I think everybody concedes that.
  Then the question becomes: Why should you put the burden on the 
President to prove that at a particular time Saddam Hussein is going to 
strike the United States in order to conclude that we have to do 
something about him? It is the same kind of thinking as in the late 
1930s, that, in retrospect, we look back on and say: Anybody could have 
realized that Hitler was somebody who had to be stopped. Why did 
Neville Chamberlain act so foolishly when he came back from Munich and 
said, "Peace in our time"?
  I submit there are people today who are hoping against hope that 
Saddam Hussein will never use these weapons, weapons that are far 
greater than anything Adolph Hitler ever had in terms of their 
potential for destruction and death. I just wonder whether there are 
people who really believe we should wait until something specific and 
objective happens before we have a right to act, or whether 
preventative action is called for. Some call it preemption; some call 
it prevention. But the idea is that with war on terrorism you shouldn't 
have to wait until you are attacked to respond. That creates too many 
deaths, too much misery, and is unthinkable after September 11.

  The President, based upon good intelligence, has concluded that 
Saddam Hussein has a very large stock of very lethal weapons of mass 
destruction. By that, we mean chemical agents and biological agents 
which have been or can be "weaponized"; that is to say, there are 
means of delivering those agents that can cause massive amounts of 
casualties; that he has been working to acquire a nuclear weapon.
  All of this is in open, public debate. And there is no doubt about 
any of it. The only doubt with respect to nuclear weapons is exactly 
where he is in the process. Of course, we don't know because he hasn't 
allowed us to inspect the places in his country where we believe he is 
trying to produce these nuclear weapons or, more specifically, the 
enriched uranium that would be a part of the weapons.
  For 4 years now, we have had no inspectors in the country, and before 
that most of the information that we got was based upon information 
from defectors--people who came out of Iraq and told us: You guys are 
missing what Saddam Hussein is doing. This is where you need to look. 
This is what you need to look for.
  When our inspectors then demanded to go to those places, one of three 
things happened. Either they said, no, you can't go there; that is a 
Presidential palace or whatever it is, or they went there and as they 
were walking in the front door satellite photos showed people running 
out of the backdoors with the stuff, or in the couple of cases we 
actually did find evidence of these weapons of mass destruction. Of 
course, at that point, Saddam Hussein said: Oh, that's right. I forgot 
about that. But whatever the defector said, that is all there is.
  So he was confirming exactly what we already knew and gave us nothing 
more than that. Yet there are those who believe through some kind of 
new inspection process that we are going to learn more than we did 
before; that this will be an adequate substitute for going in and 
finding these weapons of mass destruction in an unrestricted way.
  Saddam Hussein first said, You can have total access with no 
conditions, and he immediately began tying on conditions, the basis of 
which are laughable. You can't go into the Presidential palaces. They 
are grounds or areas with 1,000 buildings the size of the District of 
Columbia. We are going to send three inspectors in there? OK. There is 
the District of Columbia with all the buildings, and so on. Have at it.
  We are not going to find anything. We are going to be running around 
for years. So inspections are merely a means to an end. They are not 
the end. The goal here is not to have inspections. The goal is 
disarmament. And we know from intelligence that he has certain things 
he has not disarmed; that he hasn't done what he promised to do--both 
to the United States and the United Nations; that he hasn't complied 
with the United Nations resolutions. In fact, we see his violation of 
those resolutions almost every day. We don't have inspectors in there 
anymore who he was harassing and precluding from doing their job.
  But we do have aircraft flying in the no-fly zones and having 
American pilots and British pilots shot at every

[[Page S9886]]

month, necessitating our taking those SAM sites and radar sites out 
of action by military force. So, in a sense, this is unfinished 
business from the gulf war which has never stopped. At a low level we 
have been trying to enforce the resolutions ever since the end of the 
gulf war. Our effort to rid many of these weapons of mass destruction 
is but the latest chapter.

  We made the decision in 1998 that Saddam Hussein had to go. We voted 
on a resolution here, and everybody was for it in 1998. If it was the 
right thing to do then, why is it no longer necessarily the right thing 
to do? He has had 4 more years to develop these weapons and to get 
closer to a nuclear capability.
  We now have a group of terrorists in the world who we know talk to 
each other, help each other, and give each other safe passage and 
access and places for training, and so on. We are developing 
information on connections with these terrorists and the State of Iraq. 
All of this has happened in the meantime. But now, suddenly, it is not 
the time.
  If we establish too high a burden of proof here we are going to be 
fiddling until we become absolutely sure it is time, and then it will 
be too late. That is why I believe the President is on the right track 
to say we don't know exactly when, where, or how but we know that this 
is a man who has very evil intentions and is working very hard to be 
able to strike at us. We can't let it happen. We can't wait until he 
has hit us to get him.
  For those reasons, and a variety of others that I will be talking 
about, I believe it is important for us to go into this debate with a 
view towards supporting the President, and the action that he has 
called for publicly and in the resolution that he has negotiated with 
congressional leaders and which has been placed on the floor.
  I believe at the end of the day we will conclude that the President 
should be supported and that we should authorize the use of force, and 
that we will have intelligence satisfactory for all of us to back up 
this resolution. And the final point--going back to the original point 
of my conversation today--that it is a phony issue to somehow demand 
that the intelligence community provide us with information to which we 
haven't been given access. We have gotten all that we need to have 
access to. Our Members have asked for that information, and they can 
get it. The only information that they can't get is information that 
should not be provided anybody, including you, Mr. President, myself, 
and the distinguished minority leader who now joins us on the floor.
  I will have more to say later. I know the minority leader has some 
things he would like to say. At this point, I yield the floor.

                               Exhibit 1

                [From the New York Times, Oct. 3, 2002]

   C.I.A. Rejects Request for Report on Preparations for War in Iraq

                            (By James Risen)

       Washington, October 2.--The Central Intelligence Agency has 
     refused to provide Congress a comprehensive report on its 
     role in a possible American campaign against Iraq, setting 
     off a bitter dispute between the agency and leaders of the 
     Senate Intelligence Committee, Congressional leaders said 
       In a contentious, closed-door Senate hearing today, agency 
     officials refused to comply with a request from the committee 
     for a broad review of how the intelligence community's 
     clandestine role against the government of Saddam Hussein 
     would be coordinated with the diplomatic and military actions 
     that the Bush administration is planning.
       Lawmakers said they were further incensed because the 
     director of central intelligence, George J. Tenet, who had 
     been expected to testify about the Iraq report, did not 
     appear at the classified hearing. A senior intelligence 
     official said Mr. Tenet was meeting with President Bush. 
     Instead, the agency was represented by the deputy director, 
     John McLaughlin, and Robert Walpole, the national 
     intelligence officer for strategic and nuclear programs.
       The agency rejected the committee's request for a report. 
     After the rejection, Congressional leaders accused the 
     administration of not providing the information out of fear 
     of revealing divisions among the State Department, C.I.A., 
     Pentagon and other agencies over the Bush administration's 
     Iraq strategy.
       Government officials said that the agency's response also 
     strongly suggested that Mr. Bush had already made important 
     decisions on how to use the C.I.A. in a potential war with 
     Iraq. One senior government official said it appeared that 
     the C.I.A. did not want to issue an assessment of the Bush 
     strategy that might appear to be "second-guessing" of the 
     president's plans.
       The dispute was the latest of several confrontations 
     between the C.I.A. and Congress over access to information 
     about a range of domestic and foreign policy matters. Just 
     last week, lawyers for the General Accounting Office and Vice 
     President Dick Cheney argued in federal court over whether 
     the White House must turn over confidential information on 
     the energy policy task force that Mr. Cheney headed last 
       The C.I.A.'s rejection of the Congressional request, which 
     some lawmakers contend was heavily influenced by the White 
     House, comes as relations between the agency and Congress 
     have badly deteriorated. The relations have soured over the 
     ongoing investigation by a joint House-Senate inquiry--
     composed of members of the Senate and House intelligence 
     committees--into the missed signals before the Sept. 11 
       Mr. Tenet in particular has been a target of lawmakers. 
     Last Friday, Mr. Tenet, a former Senate staffer himself, 
     wrote a scathing letter to the leaders of the joint 
     Congressional inquiry, denouncing the panel for writing a 
     briefing paper that questioned the honesty of a senior C.I.A. 
     official before he even testified.
       A senior intelligence official said Mr. Tenet's absence at 
     the hearing today was unavoidable, and that no slight was 
     intended. The official said that he missed the hearing 
     because he was at the White House with Mr. Bush, helping to 
     brief other Congressional leaders Iraq. The official said Mr. 
     Tenet had advised the committee staff several days ago that 
     he would not be able to attend. Mr. Tenet has promised to 
     testify about the matter in another classified hearing on 
     Friday, officials said.
       One Congressional official said that the incident has badly 
     damaged Mr. Tenet's relations with Congress, something that 
     Mr. Tenet had always worked hard to cultivate.
       "I hope we aren't seeing some schoolyard level of 
     petulance," by the C.I.A., the official said.
       While the House and Senate intelligence oversight committee 
     have received classified information about planned covert 
     operations against Iraq, the C.I.A. has not told lawmakers 
     how the agency and the Bush administration see those 
     operations fitting into the larger war on Iraq, or the global 
     war on terrorism, Congressional officials said.
       "What they haven't told us is how does the intelligence 
     piece fit into the larger offensive against Iraq, or how do 
     these extra demands on our intelligence capabilities affect 
     our commitment to the war on terrorism in Afghanistan," said 
     one official.
       Congressional leaders complained that they have been left 
     in the dark on how the intelligence community will be used 
     just as they are about to debate a resolution to support war 
     with Iraq.
       Congressional leaders said the decision to fight the 
     Congressional request may stem from a fear of exposing 
     divisions within the intelligence community over the 
     administration's Iraq strategy, perhaps including a debate 
     between the agency and the Pentagon over the military's role 
     in intelligence operations in Iraq.
       Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld has been moving to 
     strengthen his control over the military's intelligence 
     apparatus, potentially setting up a turf war for dominance 
     among American intelligence officials. Mr. Rumsfeld has also 
     been pushing to expand the role of American Special 
     Operations Forces into covert operations, including 
     activities that have traditionally been the preserve of the 
       Congressional leaders asked for the report in July, and 
     expressed particular discontent that the C.I.A. did not 
     respond for two months. Lawmakers had asked that the report 
     be provided in the form of a national intelligence estimate, 
     a formal document that is supposed to provide a consensus 
     judgment by the several intelligence agencies.
       The committee wanted to see whether analysts at different 
     agencies, including the C.I.A., the Defense Intelligence 
     Agency, the National Security Agency and the State 
     Department, have sharply differing views about the proper 
     role of the intelligence community in Iraq.
       But intelligence officials say that a national intelligence 
     estimate is designed to assess the policies of foreign 
     countries--not those of the United States. "They were asking 
     for an assessment of U.S. policy, and that falls outside the 
     realm of the N.I.E., and it gets into the purview of the 
     commander in chief," an intelligence official said.
       Committee members have also expressed anger that the C.I.A. 
     refused to fully comply with a separate request for another 
     national intelligence estimate, one that would have provided 
     an overview of the intelligence community's latest assessment 
     on Iraq. Instead, the C.I.A. provided a narrower report, 
     dealing specifically with Iraq's program to develop weapons 
     of mass destruction.
       Lawmakers said that Mr. Tenet had assured the committee in 
     early September that intelligence officials were in the midst 
     of producing an updated national intelligence estimate on 
     Iraq, and that the committee would receive it as soon as it 
     was completed.
       Instead, the Senate panel received the national 
     intelligence estimate on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction 
     program after 10

[[Page S9887]]

     p.m. on Tuesday night, too late for members to read it before 
     Wednesday's hearing.
       The committee had "set out an explicit set of requests" 
     for what was to be included in the Iraq national intelligence 
     estimate, said one official. Those requirements were not met. 
     "We wanted to know what the intelligence community's 
     assessment of the effect on a war in Iraq on neighboring 
     states, and they did not answer that question," the official 
       A senior intelligence official said the 100-page report on 
     Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program was completed in 
     three weeks under very tight Congressional deadlines, and the 
     writing had to be coordinated with several agencies.

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The minority leader.
  Mr. LOTT. Mr. President, I believe in just a moment the Senate will 
be ready to move to completion on the Department of Justice 
authorization conference report.
  Mr. President, I say to Senator Kyl from Arizona, who has been 
speaking for the last several minutes, that I appreciate his speech and 
his very effective and diligent work. He cares an awful lot about 
national security, about our defense capability, and about our 
intelligence communities, and his position on what we need to do in 
Iraq. It is not easy being a member of the Intelligence Committee 
sometimes. It takes a lot of extra meetings, a lot of briefings, and an 
awful lot that you can't talk about. For a Member of the Senate, that 
is tough. But Senator Kyl certainly does a good job in that effort.