Congressional Record: October 28, 2003 (Senate)
Page S13349-S13372

                  APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2004--Continued

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Nevada.
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, Senator Leahy asked that I fill in for him 
for the next little bit. We have an amendment to offer. We have no one 
here from the majority, but I am very confident there is no problem 
with the Senator from North Dakota offering an amendment. I ask 
unanimous consent that the pending amendment be set aside so the 
Senator from North Dakota can offer his amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The Senator from North Dakota.

                           Amendment No. 1994

  Mr. DORGAN. Mr. President, I send an amendment to the desk.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report.
  The assistant clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from North Dakota [Mr. Dorgan], for himself and 
     Mr. Schumer, proposes an amendment numbered 1994.

  Mr. DORGAN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that reading of 
the amendment be dispensed with.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

[[Page S13350]]

  The amendment is as follows:

   (Purpose: To urge the President to release information regarding 
           sources of foreign support for the 9-11 hijackers)

       At the appropriate place, insert the following:
       Sec.  . Sense of the Senate on declassifying portions of 
     the Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities 
     Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 2001.
       (a) Findings.--The Senate finds that--
       (1) The President has prevented the release to the American 
     public of 28 pages of the Joint Inquiry into Intelligence 
     Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks 
     of September 2001.
       (2) The contents of the redacted pages discuss sources of 
     foreign support for some of the September 11th hijackers 
     while they were in the United States.
       (3) The Administration's decision to classify this 
     information prevents the American people from having access 
     to information about the involvement of certain foreign 
     governments in the terrorist attacks of September 2001.
       (4) The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has requested that the 
     President release the 28 pages.
       (5) The Senate respects the need to keep information 
     regarding intelligence sources and methods classified, but 
     the Senate also recognizes that such purposes can be 
     accomplished through careful selective redaction of specific 
     words and passages, rather than effacing the section's 
     contents entirely.
       (b) Sense of the Senate.--It is the sense of the Senate 
     that in light of these findings the President should 
     declassify the 28-page section of the Joint Inquiry into 
     Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the 
     Terrorist Attacks of September 2001 that deals with foreign 
     sources of support for the 9-11 hijackers, and that only 
     those portions of the report that would directly compromise 
     ongoing investigations or reveal intelligence sources and 
     methods should remain classified.

  Mr. DORGAN. Mr. President, this amendment is a sense-of-the-Senate 
amendment. I note there are other sense-of-the-Senate amendments in 
this legislation. I will at the end of my statement ask consent that we 
consider waiving points of order.
  Let me describe what the amendment is and why I have offered the 
amendment. I offer this amendment on behalf of myself and Senator 
Schumer from New York.
  The Congressional Joint Intelligence Committee inquiry into the 
intelligence community activities before and after the terrorist 
attacks of September 2001 finished its work. This past summer, when the 
report was finally authorized for release by the administration, we 
discovered that the report, which took 9 months to write and 7 months 
to declassify, contained 28 pages that had been redacted by White House 
  I will quote a couple of people, one who is in the Chamber now. I 
will quote Senator Shelby and Senator Graham, the chair and ranking 
member of the Intelligence Committee while this inquiry was underway. 
As I indicated, 28 pages of this report were redacted by White House 
lawyers. That means the American public cannot see what was in that 
report. We will have no knowledge and no information about what was 
contained in that rather exhaustive report.
  The Bush administration has refused to declassify these pages, citing 
concern for intelligence-gathering "sources and methods." I don't 
think that is an insignificant issue, by the way. I think intelligence 
gathering and the sources and methods for doing so are important. But 
it is also important, it seems to me, to ask the question, Should these 
28 pages have been redacted? Should the 28 pages have been outside the 
view of the American people, given the fact that this report was done 
in order to evaluate what happened leading up to 2001, what was 
happening with respect to our intelligence community, what was 
happening with respect to other countries?
  There has been a great deal of speculation about Saudi Arabia. It is 
assumed that somehow in these pages there is discussion about the 
Saudis. The Saudi Government is implicated by some because 15 of the 19 
hijackers were from Saudi Arabia. Even the leaders of the Saudi 
Government, who some have said are the object of the redacted pages, 
want it declassified. They are angry and embarrassed at being singled 
out and want to defend themselves, and therefore they want this 
  How much of the 28 pages could be declassified? Senators Graham and 
Shelby, the former chair and cochair of the Intelligence Committee who 
directed the report are quoted saying the following: "I think they are 
classified for the wrong reason," the former vice chairman of the 
Senate Intelligence Committee told NBC's "Meet the Press." "I went 
back and read every one of those pages thoroughly. My judgment is 95 
percent of that information should be declassified and become 
uncensored so the American people would know." Asked why the section 
was blacked out, Shelby said: "I think it might be embarrassing to 
international relations."
  Senator Bob Graham of Florida, who was the chairman of the committee 
investigating this, also called for declassification. He said releasing 
the report would permit "the Saudi Government to deal with any 
questions which may be raised in the currently censored pages and allow 
the American people to make their own judgment about who are our true 
friends and allies in the war on terrorism." Senator Graham made that 
request in a letter to President Bush.
  This is a very important issue and it has gone on for months and 
months and months. This report was developed after an extensive amount 
of study and investigation. The report was then published after being 
edited by the Bush administration and the White House. And a rather 
substantial portion of that report--most speculate dealing with the 
Saudis--was censored, classified, or redacted. That is, the American 
people are not permitted to see that which is included in the report on 
those 28 pages.
  Again, the chairman and vice chairman of the committee that led or 
that directed the preparation of this report say most of that 
information of the 28 pages should be declassified, implying, I 
believe, since they are not quoted directly, that declassifying that 
would not compromise sources and methods and not compromise our 
intelligence community.
  My hope is that the Senate, with a sense-of-the-Senate resolution, 
will weigh in on this in a very significant way and say to the 
administration these 28 pages should be made available.
  Now, in the sense-of-the-Senate resolution, I point out that it is 
the sense of the Senate that in light of the findings--and I have a 
series of findings--the President should declassify the 28-page section 
of the joint inquiry into intelligence community activities before and 
after the terrorist attacks of 2001 that deal with the foreign sources 
of support for the 9/11 hijackers and that only those portions of the 
report that would directly compromise ongoing investigations or reveal 
intelligence sources or methods should remain classified.
  In point of fact, those whose expert opinions I respect have said 
they have read the redacted or the censored or classified portions very 
carefully and believe most of it should not have been classified; most 
of it should have been made available to the American people. If that 
is the case, and if the Saudi Government itself has said this 
information ought to be declassified, let us deal with it on the public 
record. Then I believe the American people ought to expect a right to 
see this information.
  My hope is we will have a vote on this amendment, a sense-of-the-
Senate amendment that will allow the Senate in this forum to send a 
message to the President and to the White House that we believe the 
bulk of this 28-page redaction should be made available to the American 
people posthaste.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Florida.
  Mr. GRAHAM of Florida. Mr. President, I commend my colleague, the 
Senator from North Dakota, for having offered this sense of the Senate. 
The sense of the Senate has an additional significance as we face some 
fundamental issues in the closing days of this session.
  First, I will talk about the base concerns. As the Senator from North 
Dakota said, the principal purpose of the joint inquiry was to 
determine what had been the role of the intelligence community in the 
events leading up to September 11. In many instances in the course of 
that pursuit, the committee staff came to unearth FBI reports, CIA 
reports, and other intelligence community reports. We were not in a 
position, either in terms of our staff capabilities or our 
jurisdiction, to then go behind those reports to attempt to validate 
them. These were reports written by

[[Page S13351]]

agents of these appropriate intelligence agencies, but we could not, 
from primary sources, validate them. The FBI, primarily--and some other 
intelligence agencies, as well--were tasked to do exactly that, to find 
out if their own documents in many cases could be substantiated.
  Those requests were made approximately a year ago. Still, today, many 
of those requests have not been answered. The administration has said, 
either directly or in some cases through intermediaries, that our 
report is deficient in that there is not second- and third-party 
confirmation of the statements we include. We included exactly what the 
FBI or CIA or other agencies had written. We asked the appropriate 
agencies, primarily FBI, to pursue these to determine if they were 
substantiated, and in many instances that has not occurred.
  There is also an issue not of micro but of macro importance: This 
report makes a very compelling case, based on the information submitted 
by the agencies themselves, that there was a foreign government which 
was complicitous in the actions leading up to September 11, at least as 
it relates to some of the terrorists who were present in one part of 
the United States.
  There are two big questions yet to be answered. Why would this 
government have provided the level of assistance--financial, 
logistical, housing, support service--to some of the terrorists and not 
to all of the terrorists? We asked that question. There has been no 
  My own hypothesis--and I will describe it as that--is that in fact 
similar assistance was being provided to all or at least most of the 
terrorists. The difference is that we happened, because of a set of 
circumstances which are contained in these 28 censored pages, to have 
an unusual window on a few of the terrorists. We did not have a similar 
window on others. Therefore, it will take more effort to determine if 
they were, in fact, receiving that assistance. That effort has, in my 
judgment, been grossly insufficiently pursued.
  An even more serious question is what would lead us to believe that 
if there was this infrastructure of a foreign government supporting 
some of the 19 terrorists, that as soon as September 11 concluded, as 
soon as the last flames were put out at the Pentagon, the World Trade 
Center and on the field in Pennsylvania, all that infrastructure was 
immediately taken down? Again, this is my hypothesis: I don't believe 
it was taken down. I believe that infrastructure is likely to still be 
in place assisting the next generation of terrorists who are in the 
United States.
  Those are very fundamental questions, and if the public had access to 
these 28 pages, they would be demanding answers.
  As I mentioned in the beginning of my remarks, there is another issue 
which is going to emerge in the next few days. We had a long debate in 
this Chamber on the supplemental appropriations bill, the bill 
providing $87 billion for the reconstruction and occupation of Iraq. We 
had a long debate as to whether some of that reconstruction money 
should be in the form of loans rather than, as the President has 
insisted, all of it being in grants.
  What is one of the practical effects of making all of the U.S. money 
which will go into the reconstruction of Iraq a grant? The answer to 
that question is that one of the consequences, ironically, will be that 
we will make all of the countries which currently have loans to Iraq 
that much more solvent because we will have, without any request for 
repayment, made a significant investment in enhancing the economic 
viability of Iraq and, therefore, the ability of whatever government is 
placed in ultimate control of Iraq more capable of repaying those 
  There is a further irony that some of those countries, which are 
disclosed in the 28 censored pages as having been complicitous with the 
terrorists, are among the list of those creditors of Iraq that are 
going to get this indirect economic benefit. I believe the Members of 
Congress, who are going to be called upon to vote on whether we should 
grant this indirect benefit to a country that has been less than 
supportive of our Nation's war on terror, ought to know that before we 
vote and then find out later the full consequences of what we have 
  So there was an issue as to why these 28 pages should have been 
released when the report was initially completed in December of 2002. 
Those issues remain today. And there is the additional issue of whether 
we are going to inadvertently grant a significant financial benefit to 
a country that has been to say less than our ally in the war on terror 
would be a gross understatement.
  I commend the Senator from North Dakota for having offered this sense 
of the Senate. It is a very important issue. I hope this Senate will 
adopt the sense of the Senate. If not, if the President continues to 
refuse to allow the American people to have access to this information, 
then I hope the Congress will be willing to use some of the authorities 
that it has to declassify information. Because the higher interest is 
not in placating this administration's unwillingness to be forthcoming 
on the issue. The higher interest in this democracy is that the people 
have access to relevant information which is not an issue of national 
security but which is a significant issue in terms of understanding the 
consequences of decisions that we have and will soon be making.
  I urge adoption of the sense of the Senate and again express my 
admiration to the Senator from North Dakota for having presented it 
this afternoon.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from North Dakota.
  Mr. DORGAN. Mr. President, let me make a few additional comments. My 
colleague from Florida is in a very unique position. Having worked with 
his colleague from Alabama, Senator Graham and Senator Shelby provided 
a great public service as they initiated this inquiry.
  The inquiry, as described by my colleague in part, is an evaluation 
of whether there were other governments that participated in supporting 
groups of terrorists who committed acts of terror against this country. 
The answer to that question is very important. My colleague indicates 
that if such a program were in place or had been in place by another 
government to support groups of terrorists, what leads us to believe 
that parts of that program are not continuing to still operate and, 
therefore, continue to threaten our country?
  The very important question with this sense-of-the-Senate resolution 
is: Should we not have the ability to know, should full disclosure not 
be the routine rather than the exception? Should the 28 pages that have 
been withheld from the American people be made available to them so we 
all are able to evaluate exactly the same set of information?
  My conclusion is, yes, absolutely. It ought to be done sooner rather 
than later.
  I have been intending to offer two amendments to this appropriations 
bill. One dealt with this sense of the Senate which I have just 
offered. The second dealt with a sense of the Senate with respect to 
the cooperation that is now being received or lack of cooperation by 
the 9/11 Commission, the other commission that is headed by former 
Governor Kean that is looking into 9/11 and the relationship of a 
series of issues, both prior to 9/11 and following, by our intelligence 
community and others.
  One of my great concerns is reading in the newspapers just in recent 
days about the 9/11 Commission. This is a blue-ribbon commission. One 
of our former colleagues, Senator Cleland, is on the Commission. It is 
a commission that has to finish its work by May of next year. It has a 
relatively short timeframe. Now we hear that they have had to issue a 
subpoena to one of the Federal agencies to get them to cooperate giving 
information to them. There were other stories yesterday and the day 
before. They are concerned about not getting information from the White 
  We are not going to be satisfied until we have everything we need to 
do our job. Governor Kean says--he is a former Republican Governor from 
New Jersey--this is not about politics. It is about a blue-ribbon 
commission having access to all of the information so it can do its 
  I find it unbelievable that any agency or crevice or any corner of 
this Government would not open its records and provide full and 
immediate cooperation with the 9/11 Commission. That is the least we 
should expect of every single

[[Page S13352]]

agency. They have had to subpoena information from the FAA and yet they 
are not getting information from the White House that they are 
requesting. Kean said in an interview that he will resume negotiations 
with the White House this week and hopes to reach a resolution one way 
or the other on documents the panel is seeking. The Commission has the 
power to issue subpoenas and Kean says he does not rule out sending one 
to the White House.
  Why should we read this in the papers? I don't understand it. There 
ought not be any agency, including the White House, that does not fully 
cooperate in every respect immediately with the request for information 
from this 9/11 Commission.
  We have had two studies, one initiated by the Senate Intelligence 
Committee. That is the one that was the focus of my first amendment. 
The second was to have been the focus of the second amendment. Both 
were sense of the Senate--first, to declassify the information so that 
the American people will be able to see what was there. Don't censor 
this material; give the American people information. The second is to 
say to all Federal agencies, cooperate with the 9/11 Commission fully, 
completely, and immediately.
  Now, my understanding is, having consulted with the majority, they 
will raise a point of order against the amendment I have offered just 
moments ago because it is "legislating on an appropriations bill." My 
second amendment would be the same. They would make a point of order 
against them, and the point of order would stand, I expect. So when 
such a point of order is made, I will regret it. I understand those are 
the rules of the Senate. But on the very next piece of legislation that 
comes to the floor--and I believe one is coming later this week that is 
an amendable vehicle and is a nonappropriations bill--we will vote on 
both of these sense-of-the-Senate amendments.
  I might also say that while a point of order will be raised on these, 
there are sense-of-the-Senate provisions, I believe, in the underlying 
bill, or sense-of-the-Senate provisions to be added to it. I will not 
raise similar points of order. My hope is that all Senators will join 
me in understanding that this is not partisan or political, it is about 
this country's interests--our interests in preventing future acts of 
terrorism, our interests in finding out what happened, what went wrong, 
and how we can improve the intelligence-gathering system in this 
country. Who did what? Were foreign governments involved? If so, which 
ones and to what extent? These questions need to be answered. Both of 
my resolutions are designed to do one thing--provide more information 
to the American people, No. 1; No. 2, to ask every corner of our 
Government in every official working of this Government to decide that 
they will completely, cooperatively, and immediately work with the 9/11 
Commission to provide the requested information.
  We ought not to have to come to the Senate floor to ask why the White 
House, the FAA, or this or that agency has not already fully cooperated 
with the 9/11 Commission. It is in this country's interest to see that 
  Mr. President, I ask for consideration of my amendment.
  Mr. McCONNELL. Was consent requested, Mr. President? I am sorry, I 
didn't hear.
  Mr. DORGAN. I asked for consideration of my amendment. I ask 
unanimous consent that we waive points of order and have my amendment 
be considered.
  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I object.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Objection is heard.
  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, in accordance with the precedent of May 
17, 2000, I raise a point of order that the amendment is not germane.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The point of order is sustained. The amendment 
  Mr. McCONNELL. Thank you, Mr. President.