[Congressional Record Volume 161, Number 175 (Thursday, December 3, 2015)]
[Page S8374]

                       TRIBUTE TO DANIEL J. JONES

  Mrs. FEINSTEIN. Mr. President, I wish to praise today the work of Mr. 
Daniel Jones, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee staff, who 
is leaving the Senate tomorrow.
  Many of us enter public service for the simple goal of making a 
difference. After knowing Dan for 9 years, I can say that he is one of 
the few people working here on Capitol Hill who has helped make 
history. Without his indefatigable work on the Intelligence Committee 
staff, the Senate report on the CIA's Detention and Interrogation 
Program would not have been completed, nor would its executive summary 
have been released to the public, an effort that led to the recent 
passage of critically important and long overdue anti-torture 
  Dan came to the Intelligence Committee in January 2007 from the 
Federal Bureau of Investigation, where he served as an intelligence 
analyst. In his first 2 years on the staff, he played a key role in 
overseeing counterterrorism efforts and the FBI's transition from a 
pure law enforcement agency to an intelligence agency--a transition 
that has proven instrumental to the Bureau's ability to identify and 
thwart numerous terrorist attacks over the past several years.
  However, his service and focus shifted following the revelation in 
December 2007 that the CIA had previously destroyed interrogation 
videotapes that showed the brutal treatment and questioning of two 
detainees, Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri. Then-Chairman Jay 
Rockefeller assigned Dan and fellow staffer Alissa Starzak to review 
the CIA cables describing those interrogation sessions. For the next 
several months, Dan worked at his full-time job at the committee while 
also working nights and weekends at CIA headquarters, poring through 
the cables.
  The report that he and Alissa produced in early 2009 was graphic, and 
it was shocking. It demonstrated in documented fact and in the CIA's 
own words treatment by the U.S. Government that stood in contrast to 
our values and to what the committee had previously been led to 
believe. The report sparked a comprehensive investigation by the 
committee, with a 14-1 vote in March 2009, that Dan led and then saw 
through to its completion.
  While carrying out the investigation into the CIA program, Dan also 
co-led the committee's investigation into the attempted bombing of 
Northwest Flight 253 over Detroit on Christmas Day 2009 by Umar Farouk 
Abdulmutallab. Five months later, the committee produced a bipartisan 
report that found 14 specific points of failure that resulted in 
Abdulmutallab being able to board the flight and attempt to detonate 
his explosive device at the direction of al-Qaida in the Arabian 
Peninsula. The report also made both classified and unclassified 
recommendations to improve our counterterrorism efforts.
  But back to the investigation on the CIA Detention and Interrogation 
Program--to say that Dan worked diligently on this study is a gross 
understatement. He, along with other committee staff, worked day and 
night, often 7 days a week, from 2009 through December 2012. He became 
an expert in one of the most unfortunate activities in the history of 
our intelligence community, going through more than 6 million pages of 
materials produced for the study, as well as immersing himself in the 
anti-torture provisions in U.S. law, as well as human rights materials, 
and the background of other similar historic Senate investigations. 
Throughout this period, Dan regularly briefed me on the team's 
findings. Each time, I noted the obvious toll that this was taking on 
him physically, but he always remained committed to concluding the 
  From the end of 2012 through the end of 2014, Dan stewarded the 
report through two bipartisan committee votes, a lengthy period of 
review and meetings with the CIA, and an 8-month long redaction review 
leading to the release of the executive summary of the study on 
December 9, 2014. He then played a key role in enacting reforms 
following the release of the executive summary, in particular the 
passage of a provision in this year's National Defense Authorization 
Act that will prevent the future use of coercive interrogation 
techniques or indefinite, secret detention in the future.
  While Dan is known most for his leadership on the CIA detention and 
interrogation review, his public service doesn't end there. Before his 
Federal service, Dan taught for Teach for America in an inner-city 
school in Baltimore, MD, and he has served on the board of his alma 
mater, Elizabethtown College. His dedication to service is also 
demonstrated by his two master's degrees, a master's of public policy 
from the Kennedy School of Government and a master's of arts in 
teaching from Johns Hopkins.
  I want to use this opportunity to thank Dan Jones for his 
indispensable work over the past 9 years and to wish him the very best 
as he moves on to future endeavors.