Congressional Record: July 22, 2003 (Senate)
Page S9667-S9671                       


  Mr. DURBIN. Mr. President, last week there was a historic meeting of 
the Senate Intelligence Committee, of which I am a member. Director 
Tenet of the Central Intelligence Agency came before us. There has been 
a lot written and said about that meeting of the Intelligence 
  I think what is important is we reflect on what has occurred since 
that meeting because I think it speaks volumes about where we are in 
America when it comes to the issue of being

[[Page S9668]]

critical of this administration, its policies, and its use of 
  At issue, of course, were 16 words in the President's State of the 
Union Address last January. This address on January 28 included the 
following statement by the President of the United States:

       The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein 
     recently sought significant quantities of uranium from 

  This sentence was part of a speech delivered by the President, the 
most important speech any President delivers in the course of a given 
year, at a time in our Nation's history when we were asked to rally 
behind our troops and our President to invade the nation of Iraq. This 
was a moment, of course, of great consequence because not only was 
America's foreign policy about to be decided in relation to the Middle 
East, but families across America were going to be asked to send their 
sons and daughters, husbands and wives, and loved ones into harm's way. 
The words have to be measured carefully because the consequences of 
those words are so serious.
  Many people have said, What was wrong with the President's statement? 
The British intelligence was insisting that they had evidence that, in 
fact, Iraq had tried to obtain uranium, fissile material to build 
nuclear weapons from Niger, an African nation. It turns out there was 
much more to the story. In addition to the efforts of British 
intelligence, our own intelligence agencies had been looking closely at 
the same issue and had come to the opposite conclusion. They decided 
that the evidence presented did not make the case. In fact, in October 
of 2002, when President Bush was going to give a very important speech 
in Cincinnati, OH, outlining the reasons he believed we should be 
mindful of the threat of Iraq, White House staffers--Mr. Hadley, who 
was with the security portion of the White House--wanted to include in 
that speech the same reference to this sale of uranium from Niger to 
Iraq. He was cautioned by the Central Intelligence Agency in October 
not to include it because the sources of the information, according to 
the American intelligence agency, were not credible; the claim was 
dubious. So the charge was taken out of the President's Cincinnati 
speech in October.

  Then comes the President's State of the Union Address in January. 
Once again, the same White House staff--I am not alluding to Mr. Hadley 
again, but someone on the White House staff came forward and said these 
words should be included, even after being warned 3 months earlier that 
they were not accurate.
  So Director Tenet came before us last week to explain what happened, 
why words that were disqualified from the President's earlier speech 
were then included in this State of the Union Address. As the Director 
came before us, we knew several things. A week before, the President of 
the United States said the words should not have been included in the 
speech, and Director of the CIA, Mr. Tenet, said he took personal 
responsibility for not removing them; that the Central Intelligence 
Agency, responsible for reviewing that kind of wording in the speech, 
should have stopped the President from using those remarks a second 
time in the State of the Union Address.
  I said publicly and on the floor of the Senate that what Director 
Tenet told us was important, but equally important was the question as 
to what individual or group of individuals within the White House was 
so adamant in their pursuit of including this important language in the 
speech, in the President's State of the Union Address--particularly 
after the White House had been told not to say that in an earlier 
Presidential speech.
  I made that point after the hearing. I certainly did not disclose the 
name of the White House employee given to us during the course of the 
Intelligence Committee hearing. I said, as I believe now, that as a 
result of that hearing it was clear that when we make this inquiry, all 
roads lead to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. We have to really look to the 
White House staff and the role they played in pushing for and putting 
this language in the speech which led the President to mislead the 
American people.
  I have said and repeated, there is no evidence or indication that 
President Bush knew this statement was wrong--none. If that comes out 
at some later time, so be it. I am not making any allegation about the 
President's motive of including it. But I will say this, unequivocally. 
The President was let down by his staff in the White House. They had a 
responsibility to make certain what he said to the American people was 
true, and they knew better. In October, they had been warned by the CIA 
that this information was not accurate, was dubious, could not be 
backed up. Yet they persisted in January in including these same 

  After I made the statement, it was interesting the reaction from the 
White House. The next day, the White House Press Secretary, Mr. Scott 
McClellan, called my claims nonsense and went on to say that because I 
voted against the use of force resolution when it came to the invasion 
of Iraq when it was before the Senate last October, that I was, in 
fact, trying to justify my vote by the statements I was making.
  That was the White House interpretation of my remarks. They did not 
go to the heart of the issue, obviously, as to whether there was anyone 
in the White House staff insistent or persistent when it came to 
including these remarks and what action might be taken by the White 
House to take that staffer off the case, perhaps to remove them 
completely from the White House because they had misled the President. 
No, that was not the issue. The issue was this Senator and my 
credibility. Well, I understand that. Politics isn't a bean bag. I was 
not born yesterday. You have to have a tough mental hide if you are 
going to aspire to this office and be in a national debate. But it was 
interesting, on the first day, when the time came to address the issue, 
instead of attacking the problem, they attacked me. So be it.
  But then there was more to follow. On the following day, on Friday, 
the White House press operation started floating the story that there 
were Senators in this Chamber who were asking for my removal from the 
Senate Intelligence Committee because of the statements I had made. And 
when pressed as to what those statements were, the White House said 
Durbin has disclosed classified information and, therefore, should be 
removed from the Senate Intelligence Committee.
  Now, that is a very serious charge. I can think of perhaps only once 
or twice in my entire congressional career that I have ever heard a 
similar charge. So, of course, the reporters who called said to the 
White House: What did he disclose? And they said two things: First, he 
disclosed the name of the White House staffer who was responsible for 
writing this speech. And, secondly, on the floor of the Senate, at this 
very desk, he said there were 550 suspected sites of weapons of mass 
destruction in Iraq identified by the U.S. Government before our 
  The White House said: Both of those items are classified, Durbin 
disclosed them, and he should leave the Intelligence Committee.
  Well, the facts are these: No. 1, I never disclosed the name of the 
White House staffer--to this day--who was involved in the preparation 
of the speech. And, secondly, the information I gave on the floor of 
500 suspected sites of weapons of mass destruction had been 
declassified a month earlier, declassified and made public. So the 
White House allegations to back up my removal from the Intelligence 
Committee, attacking my credibility, saying that I disclosed classified 
information, were, in fact, false and inaccurate.
  Sadly, what we have here is a continuing pattern by this White House. 
If any Member of this Senate--Democrat or Republican--takes to the 
floor, questions this White House policy, raises any questions about 
the gathering of intelligence information, or the use of it, be 
prepared for the worst. This White House is going to turn on you and 
attack you. They are going to question your patriotism. They are going 
to question the fact of whether or not you are living up to your oath 
of office here in the Senate. And they are going to question as to 
whether or not you belong in this debate on intelligence; whether, for 
instance, you should be a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee. 
I think that is a very serious outcome. It is one that all of us should 
reflect on for a moment.

[[Page S9669]]

  This morning, Paul Krugman has an article in the New York Times. I 
ask unanimous consent the article be printed in the Record.
  There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

                [From the New York Times, July 22, 2003]

                         Who's Unpatriotic Now?

                           (By Paul Krugman)

       Some nonrevisionist history: On Oct. 8, 2002, Knight Ridder 
     newspapers reported on intelligence officials who "charge 
     that the administration squelches dissenting views, and that 
     intelligence analysts are under intense pressure to produce 
     reports supporting the White House's argument that Saddam 
     poses such an immediate threat to the United States that pre-
     emptive military action is necessary." One official accused 
     the administration of pressuring analysts to "cook the 
     intelligence books"; none of the dozen other officials the 
     reporters spoke to disagreed.
       The skepticism of these officials has been vindicated. So 
     have the concerns expressed before the war by military 
     professionals like Gen. Eric Shinseki, the Army chief of 
     staff, about the resources required for post-war occupation. 
     But as the bad news comes in, those who promoted this war 
     have responded with a concerted effort to smear the 
       Issues of principle aside, the invasion of a country that 
     hadn't attacked us and didn't pose an imminent threat has 
     seriously weakened our military position. Of the Army's 33 
     combat brigades, 16 are in Iraq; this leaves us ill prepared 
     to cope with genuine threats. Moreover, military experts say 
     that with almost two-thirds of its brigades deployed 
     overseas, mainly in Iraq, the Army's readiness is eroding: 
     normal doctrine calls for only one brigade in three to be 
     deployed abroad, while the other two retrain and refit.
       And the war will have devastating effects on future 
     recruiting by the reserves. A widely circulated photo from 
     Iraq shows a sign in the windshield of a military truck that 
     reads, "One weekend a month, my ass."
       To top it all off, our insistence on launching a war 
     without U.N. approval has deprived us of useful allies. 
     George Bush claims to have a "huge coalition," but only 7 
     percent of the coalition soldiers in Iraq are non-American--
     and administration pleas for more help are sounding 
     increasingly plaintive.
       How serious is the strain on our military? The Brookings 
     Institution military analyst Michael O'Hanlon, who describes 
     our volunteer military as "one of the best military 
     institutions in human history," warns that "the Bush 
     administration will risk destroying that accomplishment if 
     they keep on the current path."
       But instead of explaining what happened to the Al Qaeda 
     link and the nuclear program, in the last few days a series 
     of hawkish pundits have accused those who ask such questions 
     of aiding the enemy. Here's Frank Gaffney Jr. in The National 
     Post: "Somewhere, probably in Iraq, Saddam Hussein is 
     gloating. He can only be gratified by the feeding frenzy of 
     recriminations, second-guessing and political power plays. . 
     . . Signs of declining popular appreciation of the legitimacy 
     and necessity of the efforts of America's armed forces will 
     erode their morale. Similarly, the enemy will be 
       Well, if we're going to talk about aiding the enemy: By 
     cooking intelligence to promote a war that wasn't urgent, the 
     administration has squandered our military strength. This 
     provides a lot of aid and comfort to Osama bin Laden--who 
     really did attack America--and Kim Jong II--who really is 
     building nukes.
       And while we're on the subject of patriotism, let's talk 
     about the affair of Joseph Wilson's wife. Mr. Wilson is the 
     former ambassador who was sent to Niger by the C.I.A. to 
     investigate reports of attempted Iraqi uranium purchases and 
     who recently went public with his findings. Since then 
     administration allies have sought to discredit him--it's 
     unpleasant stuff. But here's the kicker: both the columnist 
     Robert Novak and Time magazine say that administration 
     officials told them that they believed that Mr. Wilson had 
     been chosen through the influence of his wife, whom they 
     identified as a C.I.A. operative.
       Think about that: if their characterization of Mr. Wilson's 
     wife is true (he refuses to confirm or deny it), Bush 
     administration officials have exposed the identity of a 
     covert operative. That happens to be a criminal act; it's 
     also definitely unpatriotic.
       So why would they do such a thing? Partly, perhaps, to 
     punish Mr. Wilson, but also to send a message.
       And that should alarm us. We've just seen how politicized, 
     cooked intelligence can damage our national interest. Yet the 
     Wilson affair suggests that the administration intends to 
     continue pressuring analysts to tell it what it wants to 

  Mr. DURBIN. This morning, in the New York Times, Paul Krugman wrote 
about another episode. I would like to read from it because I think it 
indicates what I have been through over the past several days is not 
  We are aware of the fact that Ambassador Joe Wilson, who has served 
the United States, was called on by this administration to go to Africa 
and to establish whether or not the sale of uranium took place. He came 
back, and it is my understanding he made an oral report to the 
administration questioning whether or not there was any background 
evidence to support the claim that Iraq had tried to obtain or had 
obtained uranium fissile material from Niger. He made the report to the 
administration, which is part of the cumulative evidence of the 
weakness of this assertion by British intelligence.
  And, of course, a week or two ago, in the New York Times, Ambassador 
Wilson published a column indicating the timeline and substance of his 
involvement with this issue, and making it clear that based on the 
request of the administration, he had gone to Africa, came back with 
the information, and told the administration he could not make this 
  Let me read from Paul Krugman's article today about Ambassador Joe 
Wilson and what has happened to him since he went public with the fact 
that he had warned this administration that saying anything about the 
uranium coming from Africa was really not credible, of dubious 
background. Here is what Krugman writes:

       And while we're on the subject of patriotism, let's talk 
     about the affair of Joseph Wilson's wife. Mr. Wilson is the 
     former ambassador who was sent to Niger by the C.I.A. to 
     investigate reports of attempted Iraqi uranium purchases and 
     who recently went public with his findings. Since then 
     administration allies have sought to discredit him--it's 
     unpleasant stuff. But here's the kicker: both the columnist 
     Robert Novak and Time magazine say that administration 
     officials told them that they believed that Mr. Wilson had 
     been chosen through the influence of his wife, whom they 
     identified as a C.I.A. operative.
       Think about that: if their characterization of Mr. Wilson's 
     wife is true . . .

  And Krugman writes that Wilson refuses to confirm or deny it--

       Bush administration officials have exposed the identity of 
     a covert operative. That happens to be a criminal act; it's 
     also definitely unpatriotic.
       So why would they do such a thing? Partly, perhaps, to 
     punish Mr. Wilson, but also to send a message.
       And that should alarm us. We've just seen how politicized, 
     cooked intelligence can damage our national interest. Yet the 
     Wilson affair suggests that the administration intends to 
     continue pressuring analysts to tell it what it wants to 

  End of quote from this Krugman article.
  Mr. President, I am going to ask the chairman of the Senate 
Intelligence Committee and the ranking member to investigate this 
matter. This is an extremely serious situation. If, in fact, 
administrative officials have publicly disclosed the identity of Mr. 
Wilson's wife, who is allegedly, according to these news articles, 
working for the CIA, this is an extremely serious matter. In their 
effort to seek political revenge against Ambassador Wilson for his 
column, they are now attacking him and his wife, and doing it in a 
fashion that is not only unacceptable, it may be criminal. And that, 
frankly, is as serious as it gets in this town.

  I would say to my colleagues in the Senate, understand what this is 
all about. If you come to the floor of this Senate, or stand before a 
microphone, and are critical of this administration for their policy or 
use of intelligence, be prepared for the worst. You are in for a rough 
  Certainly what happened to me was minor league compared to what 
happened to Ambassador Wilson. In my situation, they merely questioned 
my integrity and asked I be removed from the Senate Intelligence 
Committee. In Mr. Wilson's situation, they have set out to destroy the 
career of his wife. That speaks volumes of where this administration 
has gone when it comes to this essential issue.
  People have asked me: Why are 16 words so important? Why does it make 
any difference if the President happened to make a mistake? And maybe 
technically he didn't. He attributed this information to British 
intelligence. Tony Blair was here last week and says he still stands by 
  I think it is important in this respect: We spend billions of dollars 
each year accumulating important intelligence information to protect 
America. We can count on the dedicated men and women in intelligence 
agencies around the United States and around the world to keep us safe. 
They risk their lives to do it. They are as fine and patriotic as any 
man or woman

[[Page S9670]]

who has ever served this country in uniform. And they try to bring this 
gathered information together, to sift through it, establish what is 
credible and what is not, and to alert the policy leaders--the 
President and others--as to the steps we need to take as a nation to 
defend ourselves.
  That is always an important job, but in a war on terrorism it is 
essential. That intelligence becomes increasingly important. Without 
that intelligence data, how can we possibly protect this Nation from 
another 9/11?
  Second, there is a question as well; that is, not only whether we are 
gathering accurate intelligence but whether that intelligence that we 
have gathered and that information is being accurately and honestly 
reported to the American people. What is at issue is not just the 
intelligence data but the honesty and credibility of the policymakers 
who use it and portray it.
  The question we have before us is whether the intelligence 
information in this important statement about nuclear weapons in Iraq 
was somehow spun, hyped, or exaggerated. If that is true, what was the 
motive? How far up the chain does it go? Is it only one zealous White 
House staffer who was trying his best to put this information in a 
speech or is it more? It is an important question. It is one which I am 
certain the administration doesn't want to face. But in this age where 
intelligence is more important than ever, it has to be faced.
  Let me go into the chronology of how the White House has responded as 
we have questioned whether those 16 words should have been included in 
the State of the Union Address. This is over a span of about 5 or 6 
  On June 8, 2003, on Meet the Press, National Security Adviser 
Condoleezza Rice said that the uranium claim in the State of the Union 
address was "mistaken," but that the White House had not known about 
intelligence doubts until afterward. Rice claimed, "We did not know at 
the time--no one knew at the time, in our circles--maybe someone knew 
down in the bowels of the agency, but no one in our circles knew that 
there were doubts and suspicions that this might be a forgery." Since 
then, it has been shown that the National Security Adviser Condoleezza 
Rice was indeed aware of deep doubts regarding this claim. In fact, the 
CIA prevented one of Dr. Rice's chief deputies from including the 
uranium reference in an October 2002 speech the President gave in 
  When Dr. Rice said on June 8, 2003, on "Meet the Press" that, "We 
did not know at the time--no one knew at the time in our circles" that 
there were opportunities and suspicions that this might be a forgery, 
that ran in direct contradiction of the simple facts that have been 
disclosed. The CIA had advised the White House and the national 
security portion of the White House not to include the same words in 
the speech 3 months earlier.
  Let us go to July 7, 2003.
  Prompted by a New York Times op-ed article in which Joseph Wilson, 
former U.S. ambassador to Gabon, contended that the Bush administration 
ignored--and possibly manipulated--his findings regarding an Iraq-Niger 
uranium connection, the White House acknowledged that Bush should not 
have made the claim because of concerns about the intelligence behind 
it. Then White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer tried to shut down 
the story in its tracks, insisting it was old news.
  On July 10, 2003--Four days into the controversy, as Bush was dogged 
with questions while visiting Africa, Secretary of State Colin Powell 
said there was no intention to deceive and called the outcry 
"overwrought and overblown and overdrawn." In defending the process 
by which the President allowed such a statement in the State of the 
Union speech, he said "There was sufficient evidence floating around 
at the time that such a statement was not totally outrageous."
  Is that the standard? It was not totally outrageous?
  Frankly, it is interesting that a few days after the President's 
State of the Union Address when Secretary of State Colin Powell was in 
careful preparation of his presentation before the United Nations 
Security Council, he consciously decided not to include that same 
reference in the speech to the United Nations Security Council. He knew 
better, and he knew that the standard of credibility of America is not 
whether something is or is not totally outrageous.
  On July 11, 2003: first Condoleezza Rice, then President Bush 
himself, pointed fingers at the CIA for not removing the claim while 
vetting the speech.

       There was even some discussion on that specific sentence, 
     so that it reflected better what the CIA thought. And the 
     speech was cleared. Now, I can tell you, if the CIA, the 
     director of Central Intelligence, had said, "Take this out 
     of the speech," it would have been gone, without question.

  President Bush said:

       I gave a speech to the nation that was cleared by the 
     intelligence services. And it was a speech that detailed to 
     the American people the dangers posed by the Saddam Hussein 

  At that point, July 11, CIA Director George Tenet made his statement 
concerning this particular episode. He said in a statement that CIA 
officials reviewing the draft remarks of the State of the Union 
"raised several concerns about the fragmentary nature of the 
intelligence with National Security Council colleagues. Some of the 
language was changed." The change included using British intelligence 
as the source of the information. The CIA, however, continued to doubt 
the reliability of the British claim, and in fact doubted the 
credibility of the statement made by the President of the United 
States, which is certainly asserting the same claim.
  Between July 11 and July 14, a new line of defense was established by 
the White House. Dr. Rice and Secretary of Defense Don Rumsfeld 
appeared on three Sunday talk shows to offer a new explanation: Bush's 
remark was technically accurate because he correctly described what 
British intelligence had reported:

       It turns out that it's technically correct what the 
     president said, that the UK did say that and still says that. 
     Even though the words should not have been included in the 
     speech, they're not necessarily inaccurate. The British say 
     they believe that it is accurate, and that may very well be 
     the case. We will just have to wait and see.

  Dancing on the head of a pin, the Secretary of Defense, moving back 
and forth between whether this statement is accurate or not, says that 
the British intelligence discredited by our intelligence agency said 
maybe we have to take a wait-and-see attitude and see maybe if they are 
right and maybe if they are wrong.
  Again, is that the standard for statements by the President of the 
United States in preparation for a war where we are about to risk 
American lives? I certainly hope the standard is much higher.
  On Monday, July 14, White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer 
emphasized that the British could be right. He said:

       We don't know if [British intelligence claims were] true 
     but nobody--but nobody--can say it was wrong. The fact of the 
     matter is whether they sought it from Africa or didn't seek 
     it from Africa doesn't change the fact that they were seeking 
     to reconstitute a nuclear program.

  That was a statement made in his Monday press briefing. Now they are 
basically saying it really doesn't make any difference whether what we 
said was truthful or not. According to Ari Fleischer, we all knew they 
were setting out to reconstitute a nuclear program. But it turned out 
that this was one of the two major pillars the Bush administration was 
using to argue that nuclear weapons were a threat from Iraq.
  First, the aluminum tube controversy, which went in circles many 
times as to whether or not these tubes would be used for nuclear 
weapons or conventional munitions and the fissile material and uranium 
coming from Africa. What we have here is a situation where they are 
trying to build the case, and build it with the shakiest evidence 
already discredited by the CIA and other intelligence agencies.
  Between July 10 and July 18, there came a new strategy from the White 
House on the issue. Scott McClellan, who succeeded Fleischer as White 
House spokesman, also tried to dismiss questions. Over four days, he 
told reporters 20 times that the particular question they were asking 
had already been "addressed."
  On July 16, 2003, Scott McClellan said claims by Senator Durbin that 
White House officials applied pressure on the CIA to keep the uranium 
reference in

[[Page S9671]]

the speech were "nonsense" and accused skeptics of trying to 
"politicize this issue by rewriting history." At the same time, the 
White House tried to redirect the debate onto the overall danger posed 
by Saddam's chemical and biological weapons--uranium or not--and onto 
Bush's resolve in acting to confront that threat.
  On July 17, 2003, McClellan cautioned that Senator Durbin--and 
possibly other Democrats--were "lying about the little things" 
related to CIA Director George Tenet's testimony before the Senate 
Intelligence Committee. The "little thing" was whether Tenet has 
named names of these responsible at the White House.
  Although I refused to disclose any names mentioned by the CIA 
Director, I will say this: I stand by my statement.
  Let me explain for a moment the issue at hand. We have made it clear 
that Director Tenet would appear before the Intelligence Committee. 
That was public knowledge. The fact is that Director Tenet sat at the 
committee table in the Senate Intelligence Committee with several 
people from his agency. What he said, of course, was given to the 
members of committee. Questions from members of the committee were 
directed to appropriate members of the staff, and he would indicate 
which member might give an answer to a question.
  I took great care in commenting about his testimony to limit any 
reference to anyone in the room, specifically to Director Tenet, so 
that I would not even disclose the names of the CIA employees who were 
in the room. Perhaps I was over cautious. But that caution on my part 
was then used against me by the White House. Because when we asked 
Director Tenet pointblank who was the White House staffer responsible 
for the State of the Union Address--in fact, it has now been publicly 
disclosed by the CIA and others--he turned to Alan Foley, an assistant 
who worked on the speech, and Allen Foley gave the name to the 
committee with a nod by Director Tenet. So my caution and care not to 
even disclose the name of Alan Foley who sat at the table with the CIA 
Director was turned and used against me by the White House, saying that 
I was lying to the American public as to whether Director Tenet 
disclosed the name.
  The fact is, Director Tenet was testifying. He turned to Mr. Foley, 
his assistant, who said the name. Whether Director Tenet repeated the 
name, only the record of the hearing can reflect. But what I was 
establishing was the fact that the identity of the person involved was 
disclosed during Director Tenet's testimony. I stand by that.
  On July 18, on Friday, the White House press staff began leaking word 
that one of the leading White House opponents, Senator Durbin of 
Illinois, had released classified material regarding names of those 
involved in the controversy and the number of suspected WMD sites in 
Iraq. As a result, the White House said some Senators were 
contemplating having me, Senator Durbin, removed from the Intelligence 
  Our office pointed out to reporters that no classified material had 
been released by this Senator. I had refused to name the White House 
staffer or characterize specific witness testimony. And the number of 
suspected Iraqi WMD sites, 550, which I disclosed on the Senate floor, 
had been declassified this year in June. It is public information.
  The White House, when they were confronted with the fact that their 
accusations against me were not true said, they would "Look into 
  After attacking my honesty and integrity and suggesting I be removed 
from the Senate Intelligence Committee, they were unable to produce any 
evidence of the disclosure of classified information. I have gone to 
great lengths to avoid that, and I will continue.
  Then on July 18, that same day, the White House took the rare step of 
declassifying and releasing eight pages of a 90-page top secret 
national intelligence estimate that was used to write the questioned 
portions of the State of the Union Address. Instead of putting a lid on 
the controversy, the document showed prewar divisions within the U.S. 
intelligence community that were glossed over by administration 
spokesmen. The State Department, for instance, termed the reports that 
Saddam Hussein was shopping for uranium in Africa as "highly 
  That is the chronology. It is an important chapter in our political 
history. It is an important chapter in the history of the collection 
and use of intelligence here in the United States.
  I am glad the Senate Intelligence Committee will continue its 
investigation. It is my understanding the chairman and ranking Democrat 
have said they will call White House staffers before the committee to 
ask what led up to this situation and why we are in the position we are 
  I can recall times in the past when the Intelligence Committee and 
its members had been challenged as to whether they disclosed classified 
information and called on to take polygraphs for fear they may have 
said something that was top secret and should not be public knowledge. 
I understand the concern of the administration. That should be the 
concern of every American. We have to take care not to disclose 
classified information.
  But I have to ask the obvious question: How can this administration 
declassify things, drop certain items into the press that are 
complimentary and positive from their point of view and get away with 
it and not be held to the same standard as members of the committee? 
When we are in a situation where we are given a body of information and 
draw a conclusion from that but cannot speak to that publicly, while 
the administration discretely drops into the public domain information 
they think is helpful to their side of the case, that is a one-sided 
argument. It does not serve this Nation well, and the administration is 
pushing the envelope when they do it.
  I am glad the Senate Intelligence Committee is going forward. There 
is a lot more we need to do. I will say to my colleagues in the Senate, 
please do not back off from our responsibility. We have a 
responsibility to the people who elect us and to the American people at 
large to hold this administration--indeed, every administration--
accountable for honesty and accuracy when they speak to the American 
people, particularly in areas of the discussion of intelligence 
information which could lead to military action which could, in fact, 
endanger the lives of Americans and their families. That is our most 
serious and sacred duty. We should not back off of it because of 
threats from the White House or efforts by the White House to silence 
  I yield the floor.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Senator from Delaware.
  Mr. CARPER. Mr. President, before Senator Durbin leaves the floor, I 
want to say that the concerns he has raised are serious and grave. They 
deserve serious attention, not just of this body but of the people in 
this country. I thank him for bringing them to us today and join him in 
voicing the gravity of the situation. The kind of actions he has 
described, if they are true, should not be permitted. They should not 
be countenanced.
  (The remarks of Mr. Carper pertaining to the introduction of S. 1443 
are printed in today's Record under "Statements on Introduced Bills 
and Joint Resolutions.")
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Enzi). The Senator from Iowa.