[Congressional Record Volume 158, Number 172 (Tuesday, January 1, 2013)]
[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E2027]



                               speech of

                           HON. RUSH D. HOLT

                             of new jersey

                    in the house of representatives

                       Monday, December 31, 2012

  Mr. HOLT. Madam Speaker, I regret that this bill, like so many of its 
predecessors over the past several years, does nothing to address some 
the urgent need for real reform in our intelligence community.
  I am particularly troubled by the failure of this bill to address the 
deepening militarization of the Central Intelligence Agency, a process 
that began long ago but that has accelerated dramatically in the post-
9/11 era.
  Throughout most of its history, the CIA has--at the direction of 
successive presidents--veered between two organizational paths. The 
first, and the proper one, is for the CIA to do what President Truman 
intended when he created it: to collect information about the world 
around us, synthesize and analyze that data, and provide it to the 
executive and the legislature for their information and action, as 
appropriate. The other path--the one that has caused the CIA and our 
Nation so much grief--is the path of militarized covert, and not-so-
covert, action.
  Today, it is manifested in a quasi-publicly acknowledged CIA 
assassination-by-drone campaign on which the Administration has refused 
to provide information, despite my own request and the request of many 
other House and Senate members for the information. In the previous 
decade, we saw what happened when lines of responsibility and 
accountability for secret programs were fuzzy or not observed. The 
result was a detainee and interrogation program that was a national 
embarrassment morally, and an albatross politically with our allies 
around the world. The not-so-covert ``drone wars'' are on a similar 
glide path, and this bill does nothing to provide a much-needed course 
correction for the policy.
  This state of affairs is all the more regrettable because there are 
many dedicated professionals working in the CIA and elsewhere in our 
intelligence community who are forced to implement these questionable 
programs and policies. Some would agree with me that the entire 
enterprise is out of control and would benefit from much more focused 
and effective Congressional oversight. If this bill contained 
whistleblower protections for intelligence community employees, some of 
those individuals might well step forward to report what they know, and 
what they believe needs to be changed. But this bill contains no such 
protections, ensuring that the chilling threat of job retaliation 
remains in place. We will not restore true accountability and oversight 
over the intelligence community until such reforms are enacted, and 
which are absent from this bill. Accordingly, I cannot support it.