Congressional Record: October 4, 2004 (Senate)
Page S10296-S10358


  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, the Senate will now 
resume consideration of S. 2845, which the clerk will report.
  The bill clerk read as follows:

       A bill (S. 2845) to reform the intelligence community and 
     the intelligence and intelligence-related activities of the 
     United States Government, and for other purposes.


                           Amendment No. 3903

  Mr. ROCKEFELLER. Madam President, I rise today in opposition to 
amendment No. 3903, offered by Senator Ted Stevens. This amendment 
strikes the provision in the bill that calls for the disclosure of the 
aggregate amount of funding requested, authorized, and appropriated for 
the national intelligence program.
  There is one of the fundamental reforms recommended by the 9/11 
Commission and one that I have long supported.
  The proponents of this amendment have made two central arguments. 
First, they suggest we are rushing into this decision without fully 
understanding the implications.
  Second, they suggest that revealing the amount of overall spending 
could somehow damage our national security.
  Let us address the first argument, that we are rushing into this 
decision. I must point out this is not a new debate. The Congress has 
been considering this particular question for at least a decade. In 
1993, the Senate adopted an amendment calling for the disclosure of the 
aggregate amount of intelligence spending.
  Let me repeat that the Senate endorsed the idea 11 years ago.
  That effort and a subsequent attempt to make the top line public, 
which is what we are talking about--the total amount of the 
intelligence budget--in 1997 had the support of Senators Specter, 
Boren, and DeConcini, all of whom served as chairman of the Senate 
Intelligence Committee. We had a full and complete debate in 1993, and 
this issue has been reviewed, debated, and discussed numerous times in 
the intervening years. The argument that we are being rushed into this 
decision is an excuse being used to stop this important change.
  Regarding the second argument, that disclosing the overall budget 
will damage our national security, I cannot cite a better source than 
the Deputy Director of the CIA John McLaughlin who testified last month 
that this important step would reinforce responsibility and 
accountability, not only for those receiving the money but for the 
Congress as well. In addition, Robert Gates and John Deutch, former 
Directors of Central Intelligence, have said that releasing the number 
would not damage national security.
  Arguing that disclosure of the total spending for national 
intelligence would compromise our security and provide enemies with 
useful information about our intelligence programs ignores the reality 
of the current situation. While the number is in fact classified, it is 
widely reported in the press. It also was officially declassified for 
fiscal years 1997 and 1998 by former DCI Tenet.
  Some have argued that the total amount is not the problem; it is the 
budget trends that need to be protected. Again, current practice 
undermines this argument. Every year when we do the intelligence 
authorization bill, the chairmen and vice chairmen in both Houses come 
to the floor and talk about whether we have increased or decreased the 
budget that year. Often those statements include specific percentage 
increases. These discussions and trends disclose nothing about the 
specific intelligence programs being funded.
  The idea that our enemies can somehow determine something about our 
intelligence capability by knowing the total of what we spend is simply 
not accurate. Year-to-year changes in any specific program will not 
move the overall total number enough to give an adversary any 
indication of how that money is being spent.
  In other sensitive national security areas, we disclose much more 
information without doing damage. We currently disclose an enormous 
amount of detail about our defense budget and military capabilities. 
The amount of money we spend on personnel, acquisition, and research 
and development is unclassified. Also available are the amounts for 
specific weapons systems, such as tanks, aircraft, and missile defense.

  Even much of the spending in the defense budget for specific tactical 
intelligence programs is unclassified currently.
  The disclosure of the total of the national intelligence budget is 
simply not an academic debate. This step is critical to many of the 
other reforms in

[[Page S10325]]

this bill which our floor managers are trying so hard to get done, and 
to some of the proposed congressional reforms we will be discussing 
later this week. Without a separate unclassified budget number, the 
fund for the National Intelligence Program will still need to be 
included in the Defense Department budget. This arrangement will hinder 
effective control by the national intelligence director and will 
restrict our ability to organize in a way to streamline congressional 
oversight, which is what the 9/11 Commission and our floor managers are 
seeking in their legislation.
  To conclude, it will be virtually impossible to have a separate 
appropriations for intelligence without the declassified intelligence 
budget. If we do not take this step and make this number public, we are 
seriously undermining the reforms in this bill.
  I urge my colleagues to oppose the Stevens amendment and support this 
key recommendation of the 9/11 Commission.
  I thank the Presiding Officer and yield the floor.
  Ms. COLLINS. Madam President, I thank the Senator from West Virginia 
for his very eloquent presentation.
  As the Senator indicated, the intelligence budget's aggregate number 
has been made public twice by the DCI. So this is not unprecedented. 
But if the amendment offered by the Senator from Alaska were adopted, 
let there be no mistake of what the effect would be. The effect would 
be that the funding for the National Intelligence Program would still 
be funded through Department of Defense.
  The whole purpose of this bill is to create a national intelligence 
director with significant authority, and the first and perhaps most 
significant of those authorities is the control of the budget. The only 
way you can give the NID true control over the budget is if you have a 
separate account that the NID controls. And we need to do that by 
declassifying the top level number.
  We did not go as far as the 9/11 Commission recommended. The 9/11 
Commission recommended declassifying the top lines of all the agencies' 
budgets within the National Intelligence Program. We did not adopt that 
approach. Instead, we are only declassifying the aggregate number for 
the entire national intelligence budget, a number I note is often 
estimated and reported in the newspapers today.
  But the point I want to make to supplement the remarks of the Senator 
from West Virginia is if we do not do this, if we adopt the amendment 
offered by the Senator from Alaska, we will undermine a key reform in 
the bill because the intelligence budget is so big that if it is not 
going to be declassified, it has to go through the Department of 
Defense. There is no other agency or department that is big enough to 
conceal the total amount of the budget.
  This is going to be an important vote which is coming up this 


  Mr. STEVENS. Madam President, I apologize for not being here earlier. 
I thank the managers of the bill, Senator Collins and Senator 
Lieberman, and their staffs for the work that has been done over the 
weekend, which we will be hearing about soon, trying to meet us halfway 
in terms of some of the objections we have raised to the bill.
  We will soon vote on amendment No. 3903, which the Senator from Maine 
has just discussed, declassification responsibility. This is an 
enormous step to take mainly because of the absolute lobbying and 
pressure from two people from the 9/11 Commission. I have talked to 
other members on the Commission who were not so keen about 
declassification of the entire intelligence budget other than Mr. 
Hamilton and Mr. Kean.
  Clearly, it is a massive step. From President Truman to President 
Bush, every President of the United States has said do not declassify 
the top line of our budget. We have voted in the Senate many times 
since I have been in the Senate as Members have tried to do this, and 
we have uniformly turned down such a proposal.
  Now it is in a bill for the first time. We must take it out. It 
requires 51 votes to take out. In the past, it took 51 votes to pass. 
We are in a different position now than we were before. Very clearly, 
because of the scope of this bill, we are doing something even more 
expansive than amendments that came before the Senate before.
  Again, I call the attention of the Senators who will vote to the 
scope of the definition of national intelligence under this bill. It is 
a sweeping definition.
  I ask that page 6, beginning on line 19, be printed in the Record.
  There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

       (6) The term ``National Intelligence Program''--
       (A)(i) refers to all national intelligence programs, 
     projects, and activities of the elements of the intelligence 
       (ii) includes all programs, projects, and activities 
     (whether or not pertaining to national intelligence) of the 
     National Intelligence Authority, the Central Intelligence 
     Agency, the National Security Agency, the National 
     Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, the National Reconnaissance 
     Office, the Office of Intelligence of the Federal Bureau of 
     Investigation, and the Office of Information analysis of the 
     Department of Homeland Security; and
       (ii) includes any other program, project, or activity of a 
     department, agency, or element of the United States 
     Government relating to national intelligence unless the 
     National Intelligence Director and the head of the 
     department, agency, or element concerned determine otherwise; 
       (B) except as provided in subparagraph (A)(ii), does not 
     refer to any program, project, or activity of the military 
     departments, including any program, project, or activity of 
     the Defense Intelligence Agency that is not part of the 
     National Foreign Intelligence Program as of the date of the 
     enactment of this Act, to acquire intelligence principally 
     for the planning and conduct of joint or tactical military 
     operations by the United States Armed Forces.

  Mr. STEVENS. My point is this: Included in intelligence are the top 
secret plans of this country. They are the planning for future devices 
and concepts that deal with interception of information. They deal with 
the ability to identify individuals. They deal with so many classified 
areas that I may be violating some rules by mentioning the two I 
  All the money we put in this bill, hide in the intelligence bill, to 
stop anyone from knowing about it, has to be disclosed under this 
direction, to include everything, any program, project, or activity of 
any one of these agencies.
  I plead with Members to think about classification. This is not 
routine classification of who is an employee of the CIA. That is bad 
enough, come to think of it. These activities are so far reaching, and 
with so many agencies, including the defense agency that deals with 
research activities. It has projects it is working on, which are so far 
out that may prove to be viable. They are part of the intelligence 
budget. They are classified. They are down in the black portion of the 
bill and are kept classified because we do not want anyone to know what 
we are researching and what we are developing. It would be included in 
  No amendment we ever looked at before would have done that, but 
because of the definition of intelligence in this bill it becomes all 
inclusive and there is no alternative.
  Sometimes I think maybe I am just not able to communicate totally 
what I am thinking about this bill. It is far reaching to the point of 
having the ability to destroy intelligence capability to plan for the 
  There is no question about the right to know everything--except the 
secrets of the country. Aren't we allowed to

[[Page S10326]]

have some secrets? Do we have to disclose a number that encompasses the 
financing of secret activities, some so classified they are not even 
top secret; they are code word? You have to be cleared for the word. 
You have to be totally cleared. And there are very few people cleared 
for these activities. I don't think there are many people in the Senate 
who are cleared for code word activities.
  Should we tell them what we are spending for code word activities? We 
do not even tell them the word--but we will have to print in the Record 
now, disclose in the top line of the intelligence budget, all of those 
  I will speak later about it. Again, I implore the managers of the 
bill to think twice about this precedent we would be setting, reversing 
the votes in the Senate--reversing because now it requires 51 votes to 
take it out. In the past, it was 51 votes to get it passed.
  This has shifted the burden from the intelligence people who want to 
protect the Intelligence Committee to the people who do not understand 
it, do not wish to really understand it. I am not being accusatory of 
my two friends. They have worked hard and are trying to understand, but 
some of us have lived a lifetime in trying to understand it. This 
amendment has to pass.
  If we want to disclose the budget to the extent that it is not 
classified in terms of top secret or above, that is another matter. We 
can disclose a portion of the budget that is in the secret category, 
but when we get to top secret and above--no. If we include that, count 
me out. I cannot believe we would do that. I hope the Senator will 
listen to us later.

  Mr. BURNS. Will the Senator yield?
  Mr. STEVENS. I am delighted to yield.
  Mr. BURNS. As I looked at this amendment and thought of making 
available the information of how much we spend on intelligence--not 
only are there operations we have to take into consideration, lives of 
people are on the line. We make them more vulnerable every day in their 
work, gathering intelligence.
  Mr. STEVENS. The Senator is absolutely right.
  Mr. BURNS. And I ask the Senator, has anyone determined what it does 
to the human assets, the people? They are the best we have. Are they 
willing to work for this agency to get the best intelligence we need?
  Mr. STEVENS. The problem is, once we make available this top line 
they wish to disclose and then start through the budget on what you can 
find easily, pretty soon you come down to the portion of the budget 
that is in the classified sector, and then you start to pick it 
apart. You know what will happen. It will keep getting question after 
question after question.

  But the people who risk their lives, who are foreign nationals, are 
paid from this budget. We are really going to put in there how much we 
are paying people around the world to spy for us? Are we naive enough 
to think we are not paying people? It would be in there. Unless the 
Senator disagrees with me, there is one little exception: unless 
someone decides otherwise. I am not sure what that means because it 
only refers to that one section. It is related to national 
  Now, national intelligence is intelligence that is covered by section 
5. It does not refer to counterintelligence or law enforcement 
activities conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It does 
not say it does not cover counterintelligence or activities of the CIA 
or the DIA, but it does for the FBI.
  I think the problem is, the definitions of these programs are so 
specific now to this bill. But this one covers the disclosure of the 
total amount. That is what I object to.
  Mr. BURNS. Madam President, I have drawn the conclusion that 
basically this destroys the network. And we wonder why we do not have 
human resources on the ground in some areas in the world and, yes, even 
in our own country. I will tell you, if this is disclosed, this will be 
one of the main reasons that we will have.
  Mr. STEVENS. Let me tell the Senator one thing before I quit. I 
remember one morning I woke up and the New York Times had a picture of 
the Predator on the front page, and it disclosed that it was capable of 
carrying the Hellfire missile. If there was anything that was totally 
classified at that time, that was it, and there it was out there on the 
front page. Do you know what. About a week later, we missed several 
people in Afghanistan on whom we were trying to use the Hellfire 
missile. They knew it was already there. They knew it was armed by that 
time. Before that, it had not been armed and before that no one had the 
capability to arm it. But we developed a way to arm it, and there it 
was on the front page of the New York Times.
  Now, this concept of leakage of the intelligence community's 
activities starts from the top line. I do not understand why we should 
reverse the history of this Senate. The Senate has never voted to 
disclose the intelligence budget--never.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Connecticut.
  Mr. LIEBERMAN. Madam President, I have great respect for the Senator 
from Alaska. He has always contributed to our country in so many 
different ways. I have great respect for his long experience in matters 
of defense and intelligence. I assure him of this.
  He raised the question about whether the Senator from Maine and I 
understand what we are doing. Let me assure him, we understand. We have 
spent a lot of time studying this issue. The 9/11 Commission has spent 
a lot of time studying this issue. We disagree with the amendment of 
the Senator from Alaska. We have a difference of conclusion about 
policy, but we understand exactly what we are doing.
  What we are doing is saying that the billions of dollars that are 
spent every year on intelligence is the people's money. Unless there is 
a national security reason not to tell them what the bottom line is we 
are spending, they have a right to know. One of the consequences of 
that is that there will be more accountability.
  Acting Director of Central Intelligence John McLaughlin said to our 

       I think it would make some sense to declassify the overall 
     number of the foreign intelligence program. It would 
     reenforce responsibility and accountability.

  This is nobody who was pulled in out of nowhere to run the CIA. He 
spent his entire career, more than 30 years, in intelligence.
  Mr. STEVENS. Will the Senator yield?
  Mr. LIEBERMAN. No. I would like to----
  Mr. STEVENS. But you are using foreign intelligence. This is national 
intelligence. He talked about foreign intelligence.
  Mr. LIEBERMAN. Excuse me, he talked about national intelligence 
before our committee. It is the bottom line, a gross number.
  The colloquy between the Senator from Montana and the Senator from 
Alaska was interesting but bore no relevance whatsoever to the proposal 
in our bill. Do you think we would make this recommendation if we 
thought it would compromise the security of anybody in our intelligence 
  Let me ask you this: How would it? It is the bottom line. It is not 
even the 15 constituent agencies of the intelligence community. This 
does not compromise anybody's security any more than the Defense 
Department budget compromises the security of our soldiers, or the DEA 
budget, which is public, Drug Enforcement Agency, compromises the 
security of any of our drug enforcement agents, or the FBI budget. 
People in DEA and FBI are involved in very dangerous work.
  Anyway, it is only the bottom line.

                    Amendment No. 3903, as modified

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. There will now be 2 minutes of debate equally 
divided on the Stevens amendment No. 3903.
  Mr. STEVENS. Mr. President, could we have order?
  Determining classification is the responsibility and duty of the 
chief executive of the United States, the President, who is also 
Commander in Chief. Presidents Truman through Bush has determined that 
the overall intelligence budget top-line figure is, and shall remain, 
classified, and I believe we should not overrule that judgment.
  The foundation of an effective intelligence capability, is secrecy. 
Secrecy protects not only the information that we collect, but also the 
brave people that put themselves at risk to do the collection of it. We 
are an open and a free society that generally abhors secret dealings by 
our Government. But in the case of intelligence collection and 
analysis, secrecy, is absolutely necessary.
  Some of my colleagues argue that the American people have a right to 
know how much of their money is being spent to defend their Nation's 
security through intelligence-gathering operations. I assert today 
that, through its elected officials, the public interests are being 
effectively served.
  Some argue that disclosing the total budget amount will instill 
public confidence and enable the American people to know what portion 
of the Federal budget is dedicated to intelligence activities. This 
bill recommends that the overall intelligence budget should no longer 
remain classified. I believe that the total budget figure is of no use 
to anyone but to those who wish to do us harm.
  For example, what do the numbers tell our adversaries or potential 
adversaries in the world? In any given year, perhaps, not a great deal. 
But while watching the changes in the budget over time, and using 
information gathered by their own intelligence activities, 
sophisticated analysts can indeed learn a great deal.
  Trend analysis, as you know, is a technique that our own analysts use 
to make predictions and to reach conclusions. There are hostile foreign 
intelligence agencies all over the world that are focused solely on 
gathering every bit of information that they can about our own 
intelligence-gathering operations and our capabilities. Their ultimate 
goal is to exploit weaknesses and to deny access and to deceive our own 
intelligence collectors. Denial and deception is already a serious 
concern for the intelligence community, and providing our enemies or 
potential enemies with any insight as to what we spend on intelligence 
will only make it worse, not better.

  No other nation, friend, or ally, reveals the amount that it spends 
on intelligence. It would set a terrible, dangerous precedent, because 
right after the aggregate budget was revealed, that number doesn't say 
much and so the calls would be quickly for more information.
  This is a slippery slope. Reveal the first number and it will be just 
a matter of minutes before there will be a call to reveal more 
  I want to remind my colleagues that we voted on a similar measure in 
1997--the amendment failed by a vote of 56-43. There have also been 
five votes in the House--all of which have failed. Let us not change 
our records now.
  The President of the United States and every President since Harry 
Truman has requested that the Senate not declassify the amount our 
country spends on intelligence. I believe we should listen to what he 
tells us. I have amended my original amendment to request that only a 
study be done on this important issue. That the national intelligence 
director have the time to investigate this important topic and let

[[Page S10330]]

him, with the President, decide what the safety needs of our Nation are 
to be.
  Based on the recommendations of our colleagues here in the past, I 
hope you will accept this change and support this amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The time of the Senator has expired.
  The Senator from Connecticut.
  Mr. LIEBERMAN. I rise respectfully to oppose the amendment of the 
Senator from Alaska. The 9/11 Commission recommended that we disclose 
not only the bottom line of what we spend on intelligence but the 
budgets of each of the 15 constituent agencies.
  The Governmental Affairs Committee decided that we could respond and 
respect the public's right to know by putting out the bottom line 
number. That means X billion dollars. No details about what goes to 
what agency or certainly not what goes to what program or what 
personnel. But we were not ready to order the disclosure of the 
intelligence agency budget specifically, and we asked the national 
intelligence director to come back to us with a study.
  That is a good balance. The Senator from Alaska would prohibit public 
disclosures of the bottom line. The public has a right to know at least 
that. One thing they might conclude from that is that we are not 
spending enough on intelligence in the war on terrorism as compared to 
other things we are spending on.
  We worked hard on this. It is balanced. It respects the right to 
know. The families of people lost on 9/11 oppose this amendment, as I 
  I move to table and I ask for the yeas and nays.
  Ms. COLLINS. Mr. President, I would also point out that if we do not 
disclose the top line, the result is the intelligence budget is still 
funded through the Department of Defense. So if we are trying to give 
the national intelligence director real budget authority, we have to 
disclose that top line. We are not disclosing the top line of the CIA, 
the DIA, the NSA; it is only the aggregate figure for the entire 
national intelligence budget. Otherwise we are not reforming the 
process. The funding will have to go through the Department of Defense.
  Mr. STEVENS. Mr. President, I send a modification to the desk.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The amendment is so modified.
  The amendment (No. 3903), as modified, is as follows:

                     amendment no. 3903 as modified

       On page 115, strike lines 15 through 25 and insert the 
       (a) Study on Disclosure of Aggregate Amount of 
     Appropriations Requested.--The National Intelligence Director 
     shall conduct a study to assess the advisability of 
     disclosing to the public the aggregate amount of 
     appropriations requested in the budget of the President for 
     each fiscal year for the National Intelligence Program.
       On page 116, line 1, strike ``(c)'' and insert ``(b)''.
       On page 116, strike lines 21 through 23, and insert the 
       (c) Report.--Not later than 180 days after the effective 
     date of this section, the National Intelligence Director 
     shall submit to Congress a report on the results of the 
     studies carried out under subsections (a) and (b).

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Connecticut.
  Mr. LIEBERMAN. I move to table the amendment and ask for the yeas and 
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  There is a sufficient second.
  The question is on agreeing to the motion.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk called the roll.
  Mr. McCONNELL. I announce that the Senator from Oklahoma (Mr. Inhofe) 
is necessarily absent.
  I further announce that if present and voting the Senator from 
Oklahoma (Mr. Inhofe) would vote ``aye.''
  Mr. REID. I announce that the Senator from Hawaii (Mr. Akaka), the 
Senator from New Jersey (Mr. Corzine), the Senator from North Carolina 
(Mr. Edwards), the Senator from Florida (Mr. Graham), the Senator from 
South Carolina (Mr. Hollings), the Senator from Massachusetts (Mr. 
Kennedy), and the Senator from Massachusetts (Mr. Kerry) are 
necessarily absent.
  The result was announced--yeas 55, nays 37, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 196 Leg.]


     Graham (SC)
     Nelson (FL)


     Nelson (NE)

                             NOT VOTING--8

     Graham (FL)
  The motion was agreed to.
  Mr. STEVENS. Parliamentary inquiry.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Cornyn). The Senator from Alaska.
  Mr. STEVENS. If I give notice of reconsideration of that vote, what 
happens under the cloture vote as set for tomorrow?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. If the vote is reconsidered, the amendment 
will be pending.
  Mr. STEVENS. I give notice of reconsideration.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Alaska.
  Mr. STEVENS. Mr. President, I regret seriously I was unable to make 
my statement in full. I was not notified of this time limit when I left 
on Friday. I came back and found it. The statement of my amendment 
there was not a statement of my amendment. It was a statement in 
opposition to my amendment. I was unable to tell the Senate that the 
statement of policy of the President of the United States supports this 
amendment. I think the Senate should reconsider tomorrow and think 
again about this amendment.
  Is there a time limit on me right now?
  Mr. LIEBERMAN addressed the Chair.
  Mr. STEVENS. Mr. President, I have the floor. Is there a time limit?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Chair advises the Senator that he cannot 
move to reconsider as he did not vote on the prevailing side.
  Mr. LIEBERMAN. I move to reconsider the vote. I was on the prevailing 
  Ms. COLLINS. I move to lay that motion on the table.
  Mr. STEVENS. Mr. President, I object.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The question then is on agreeing to the motion 
to table.
  Mr. STEVENS. Mr. President, is that debatable?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. It is not debatable.
  The question is on agreeing to the motion to table.
  The motion is agreed to.
  Mr. STEVENS. I object.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The motion to reconsider is laid upon the 
  The motion to lay on the table was agreed to.