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House Debate on Intelligence Budget Disclosure

[Congressional Record: July 9, 1997 (House)]
[Page H4948-H4985]


                 Amendment No. 2 Offered by Mr. Conyers

  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Chairman, I offer an amendment.
  The CHAIRMAN. Was the amendment printed in the Congressional Record?
  Mr. CONYERS. Yes, Mr. Chairman, it was.
  The CHAIRMAN. The Clerk will report the amendment.
  The Clerk read as follows:

       Amendment offered by Mr. Conyers: Page 10, after line 15, 
     insert the following new section:

                   SUCCEEDING FISCAL YEARS.

       At the time of submission of the budget of the United 
     States Government submitted for fiscal year 1999 under 
     section 1105(a) of title 31, United States Code, and for each 
     fiscal year thereafter, the President shall submit to 
     Congress a separate, unclassified statement of the 
     appropriations and proposed appropriations for the current 
     fiscal year, and the amount of appropriations requested for 
     the fiscal year for which the budget is submitted, for 
     national and tactical intelligence activities, including 
     activities carried out under the budget of the Department of 
     Defense to collect, analyze, produce, disseminate, or support 
     the collection of intelligence.

  Mr. CONYERS (during the reading). Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous 
consent that the amendment be considered as read and printed in the 
  The CHAIRMAN. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from 
  There was no objection.
  Mr. GOSS. Mr. Chairman, in order to assist Members planning, which we 
are trying to do, I ask unanimous consent that debate on the Conyers 
amendment and all amendments thereto be limited to 40 minutes, equally 
  The CHAIRMAN. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from 
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Chairman, reserving the right to object, I support a 
limitation for this reason: This is precisely the same amendment that 
was offered a year ago, and it received 176 votes. Although we have a 
lot of speakers, I think the lateness of the hour and the fact that 
this bill has been brought under the 5-minute rule requires that we 
accede to the chairman's request.
  Mr. Chairman, I withdraw my reservation of objection.
  The CHAIRMAN. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from 
  There was no objection.
  The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman from Michigan [Mr. Conyers] and the 
gentleman from Florida [Mr. Goss] each will control 20 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Michigan [Mr. Conyers].
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  This amendment is precisely the same one that was voted on last year 
that makes this modest proposal, that the aggregate amounts of all 
intelligence agencies be revealed in the President's budget and in the 
final appropriation for intelligence. It is a simple compilation, and I 
know some people did know this, of 14 different intelligence agencies 
in the military budget. It has been examined with great care by the 
Commission on the Role and Capabilities in the Intelligence Community, 
chaired by the Secretary, former Secretary of Defense Harold Brown, by 
Warren Rudman, and even the gentleman from Florida [Mr. Goss] served 
with some distinction on this committee. They recommend this.
  The Council on Foreign Relations recommends this. In last year's 
Senate bill, this provision was included. I apologize, it is not 
radical, it is not revolutionary, it is embarrassingly modest, the 
aggregate figure of 14 intelligence agencies.
  The President of the United States has indicated that he would accede 
to this request. The ranking member of the Committee on National 
Security has supported us year after year, so we are only doing what 
other allies of ours do on this subject. England reveals their 
aggregate figure, Canada reveals their aggregate figure, Germany 
reveals their aggregate figure, Australia reveals their aggregate 
figure. We are moving in the same way that the Framers of the 
Constitution moved in 1790 and 1793 when they made public disclosure of 
their aggregate sum even though British spying and counterespionage was 
at a very intense level.
  I urge that Members support the measure. I would like to point out 
for those who will be spared this argument of why you do not go up to 
the green room and look at the intelligence figures. First of all, 
there are 14 of them. This is why only four Members have done this. 
Second, you are then bound by the House rules of secrecy and who knows 
what you can or cannot say.
  What we are saying is that for two reasons, we need this amendment 
very badly. One is that we must not undermine the legitimacy of the 
need for secrecy where it does exist. Secondly, unless we reveal the 
aggregate budget, we will not gain the support of the American people.
  For those reasons, I urge that we please support this amendment when 
it comes to a vote.
  Mr. Chairman, I rise today to offer a modest but long overdue 
proposal. My amendment would simply declassify the aggregate amount of 
the intelligence budget. Specifically, it would require the President 
to provide an unclassified statement of the bottom-line number of the 
current appropriated amount and the amount being requested. It would 
not disclose any operations. It would not reveal any agency budgets. It 
would simply provide the American

[[Page H4971]]

taxpayers with information they are clearly entitled to.
  The amendment is modeled after my bill, H.R. 753, the Intelligence 
Budget Accountability Act, a bill with 83 Democratic and Republican 
cosponsors. That bill, and the amendment I am offering today, seek to 
implement a key recommendation of a congressionally-mandated Commission 
on Intelligence Reform.
  The Commission on the Roles and Capabilities of the United States 
Intelligence Community was chaired by former Secretary of Defense 
Harold Brown and former Republican Senator Warren Rudman. Dr. Brown, 
who is now at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and 
Senator Rudman, who served on the Intelligence Committee, both endorsed 
the Intelligence Budget Accountability Act in a letter. Even a former 
Director of Central Intelligence, Stansfield Turner, wrote me a letter 
supporting my bill. I am submitting all these materials for the Record.
  I would also like to point out that the gentleman from Florida who is 
the current chairman of the House Intelligence Committee sat on the 
Brown-Rudman Commission when it recommended disclosure of the 
intelligence budget. When the Commission's report came out, the White 
House publicly declared that ``The President is persuaded that 
disclosure of the annual budget for intelligence should be made public, 
and that this can be done without any harm to intelligence 
activities.'' So my amendment is really a mainstream proposal, with the 
support of Republicans and Democrats in and out of government.
  During my service as chairman of the Government Operations Committee, 
I became intimately familiar with mounds of classified information and 
with secrecy policy. I became convinced that too much secrecy is not 
only counterproductive to our democracy, but it also undermines the 
credibility of our legitimate secrets.
  Another congressionally-mandated study, the Commission on Protecting 
and Reducing Government Secrecy made some of the same observations. 
This Commission was chaired by Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, and the 
gentleman from Texas who served as the chair of the House Intelligence 
Committee last year. It observed in its report that ``Secrecy exists to 
protect national security, not government officials and not agencies.'' 
It also noted that the expansion of the national security bureaucracy 
has far outpaced oversight by the public and the Congress.
  It's time to stop blurring legitimate secrecy that serves our 
national defense with arbitrary secrecy that is used to avoid the 
debate on the balanced budget.
  You will likely hear some of my colleagues today say that once we 
disclose the aggregate figure on the intelligence budget, we'll be 
starting down a slippery slope. This is absurd. The Defense 
Appropriations Committee in 1994 accidentally disclosed not only the 
total figure, but even an agency by agency breakdown. Three years later 
we're still waiting to hear how that harmed our national security.
  You will also likely hear some say today that it is currently within 
the President's power to disclose the intelligence budget, and if he 
wants to he can. Talk about debating the chicken and the egg. That is 
precisely what this amendment would do anyway: require the President to 
submit an unclassified statement of the current appropriated amount and 
the current requested amount.
  Finally, as a member of the Judiciary Committee, I would like to 
mention that the Constitution wanted all arms of the government to be 
fiscally accountable. Article I, section 9, clause 7 states that ``No 
Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of 
Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the 
Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from 
time to time.''
  I think if the Framers could disclose the aggregate figure of their 
secret expenditures after the Revolutionary War, then we sure can 
disclose such a sum after the cold war. I urge a ``yes'' vote on the 
  Mr. Chairman, I include the following:
       Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
     the United States of America in Congress assembled,


       This Act may be cited as the ``Intelligence Budget 
     Accountability Act of 1997''.

     SEC. 2. PURPOSE.

       It is the purpose of this Act to require the publication of 
     the aggregate intelligence budget figure to provide a more 
     thorough accounting of Government expenditures as required by 
     article I, section 9, clause 7 of the Constitution.

     SEC. 3. FINDINGS.

       The Congress finds that--
       (1) article I, section 9, clause 7 of the Constitution 
     states that ``No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but 
     in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular 
     Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all 
     public Money shall be published from time to time.'';
       (2) during the Cold War the United States did not provide 
     to the American people a ``regular Statement and Account of 
     the . . . Expenditures'' for intelligence activities;
       (3) the failure to provide to the American people a 
     statement of the total amount of expenditures on intelligence 
     activities prevents them from participating in an informed, 
     democratic decision concerning the appropriate level for such 
     expenditures; and
       (4) the Report of the Commission on the Roles and 
     Capabilities of the United States Intelligence Community 
     recommended the disclosure of ``the total amount of money 
     appropriated for intelligence activities during the current 
     fiscal year and the total amount being requested for the next 
     fiscal year''.


       Section 1105(a) of title 31, United States Code, is amended 
     by adding at the end thereof the following new paragraph:
       ``(31) a separate, unclassified statement of the 
     appropriations and proposed appropriations for the current 
     fiscal year, and the amount of appropriations requested for 
     the fiscal year for which the budget is submitted, for 
     national and tactical intelligence activities, including 
     activities carried out under the budget of the Department of 
     Defense to collect, analyze, produce, disseminate, or support 
     the collection of intelligence.''.

                          Original Cosponsors

       Pete Stark, Lynn Rivers, Luis Gutierrez, Maurice Hinchey, 
     Sam Farr, David Bonior, Earl Blumenauer, George Miller (CA), 
     Bob Filner, Peter DeFazio, Louise Slaughter, Ron Dellums, 
     Nancy Pelosi, Jerrold Nadler, Jim Oberstar, Cynthia McKinney, 
     Mel Watt (NC), Sidney Yates, Nita Lowey, John Olver, Anna 
     Eshoo, Ed Pastor, Nydia Velazquez.

                         Additional Cosponsors

       Norm Dicks, Barney Frank (MA), Bennie Thompson, Eleanor-
     Holmes Norton, Earl Pomeroy, Sheila Jackson-Lee, Bernie 
     Sanders, Bobby Rush, Jim McGovern, Sander Levin, Lee 
     Hamilton, Bill Luther, John Lewis (GA), Adam Smith (WA), 
     Martin Meehan, Danny Davis (IL), Floyd Flake, Lane Evans, 
     Elizabeth Furse, David Minge, Xavier Becerra, John Tierney, 
     George Brown (CA), Neil Abercrombie, Chaka Fattah, Ron Kind, 
     Debbie Stabenow, Maxine Waters, Diana DeGette, Carolyn 
     Maloney (NY), Tom Allen, Vic Fazio, Ron Paul, Henry Gonzalez, 
     Lucille Roybal-Allard, Tom Barrett (WI), Major Owens, Ted 
     Strickland, William Delahunt, Rod Blagojevich, Carrie Meek, 
     Jim Clyburn, Lynn Woolsey, Dennis Kucinich, William Coyne, 
     Eddie Bernice Johnson, Ellen Tauscher, Chris Shays, Darlene 
     Hooley, Esteban Torres, James Traficant, Charles Rangel, 
     Robert Underwood, John Spratt, David Skaggs, James Maloney 
     (CT), Donna Christian-Green, Joe Kennedy (MA), Alcee Hastings 
     (FL), Julian Dixon (CA), Sam Gejdenson (CT).

                                     House of Representatives,

                                   Washington, DC, March 31, 1997.

  Support Fiscal Accountability: Cosponsor H.R. 753--The Intelligence 
                       Budget Accountability Act

       Dear Colleague: I recently re-introduced the Intelligence 
     Budget Accountability Act. This bill will make public the 
     total appropriations for the current fiscal year and the 
     total amount being requested for the new fiscal year. The 
     intelligence budget includes funding for the CIA, the 
     National Security Agency and other intelligence services. It 
     also includes funding for the intelligence function of 
     agencies such as the DEA and the FBI. If Congress is going to 
     honestly deal with balancing the budget, it only makes sense 
     that it at least acknowledge the tens of billions of dollars 
     it spends on intelligence every year.
       Keeping the intelligence budget secret is unnecessary after 
     the demise of the cold war, unfair to American taxpayers, and 
     inconsistent with the accountability requirements of the 
     Constitution. The Constitution clearly states that ``No Money 
     shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of 
     Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and 
     Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money 
     shall be published from time to time.'' Half a century and 
     hundreds of billions of dollars later, it is time that we 
     begin meeting our obligation to inform the public how their 
     tax dollars are spent.
       Official public disclosure of the intelligence budget is 
     long overdue. Last year's Congressionally mandated report to 
     President Clinton by the Brown-Aspin Commission entitled 
     ``Preparing for the 21st Century: An Appraisal of U.S. 
     Intelligence'' recommended opening up the spy budget. It 
     proposed that ``at the beginning of each congressional budget 
     cycle, the President or a designee disclose the total amount 
     of money appropriated for intelligence activities for the 
     current fiscal year . . . and the total amount being 
     requested for the next fiscal year.'' The Senate Intelligence 
     Committee unsuccessfully sought to implement this 
     recommendation during last year's intelligence authorization 
       A copy of the bill is on the reverse. If you would like to 
     co-sponsor or if you need more information please do not 
     hesitate to contact Mr. Carl LeVan of my staff at 5-5126.
                                                John Conyers, Jr.,
                                               Member of Congress.

[[Page H4972]]

                                Congress of the United States,

                                   Washington, DC, April 30, 1997.

  Former Director of Central Intelligence Stansfield Turner Supports 
              Making the Intelligence Budget Total Public

       Dear Colleague: We are writing to bring a letter (on the 
     reverse) to your attention from Admiral Stansfield Turner, 
     the former Director of Central Intelligence, and to urge your 
     support for the Intelligence Budget Accountability Act of 
     1997. This legislation would declassify the aggregate 
     figure--just the bottom line number--of the intelligence 
     budget for the current fiscal year and the amount requested 
     for the next fiscal year.
       The intelligence budget includes spending for the CIA and a 
     dozen other agencies with an intelligence function. This 
     figure has been classified by the executive branch since the 
     birth of the modern national security establishment in 1947. 
     We believe, like Admiral Turner, that this multibillion 
     dollar budget can be made public without harm to the national 
     security of the United States.
       We hope you will join the growing bipartisan list of 
     members who have decided to co-sponsor H.R. 753. If you have 
     any questions, or would like to co-sponsor, please do not 
     hesitate to call Mr. Carl LeVan in the office of Rep. Conyers 
     at 5-5126.
     John Conyers, Jr.
     Lee Hamilton.
     Bill Luther.
       Members of Congress.

                                            Stansfield Turner,

                                                 February 7, 1997.
     Hon. John Conyers, Jr.,
     House of Representatives, Russell House Office Building, 
         Washington, DC.
       Dear Representative Conyers: I am pleased that you are 
     again introducing legislation to require the open publication 
     of the aggregate intelligence budget figure.
       It has been my opinion since shortly after becoming the 
     Director of Central Intelligence in 1977 that there would be 
     no harm to the country's security in releasing such a figure. 
     I agree fully with the emphasis in the legislation on the 
     importance of all government agencies being accountable to 
     the public. While total accountability may not be feasible in 
     the case of intelligence budget, just one aggregate figure 
     certainly is.
       I wish you every success.
                                           Adm. Stansfield Turner,
     U.S. Navy (retired).

                                     House of Representatives,

                                                    April 8, 1997.

 Common Sense Budget Accountability--H.R. 753, the Intelligence Budget 
                           Accountability Act

       Dear Colleague: I am writing to urge your support of H.R. 
     753, the Intelligence Budget Accountability Act and to bring 
     a letter (on the reverse) from Taxpayers for Common $ense to 
     your attention. This important legislation, introduced by 
     Representative Conyers and twenty other Members of Congress, 
     would simply declassify the aggregate figure of the 
     intelligence budget.
       The intelligence budget, which is widely believed to be 
     over $30 billion a year, has been classified for fifty years. 
     Now that the Cold War is over and the war on the deficit has 
     begun, it is time for a fair accounting of our expenses. As 
     Taxpayers for Common $ense point out in their letter, ``the 
     intelligence agencies, just like all other federal agencies, 
     should be accountable to those who pay their bills--the 
       Unaccountable spending has been a demonstrated problem in 
     the past with the intelligence agencies. For example, we 
     learned in 1994 that the National Reconnaissance Office 
     (NRO), which handles spy satellites, was building a luxurious 
     $300 million complex with an extra fourteen acres. Then the 
     public found out that the NRO had accumulated $4 billion in 
     unspent funds, half of which it had simply lost track of. An 
     unclassified bottom line number of the intelligence spending 
     would help end the excessive secrecy that makes this kind of 
     budget banditry possible.
       Certainly if we are serious about balancing the budget, we 
     should know at least in a general way where billions of 
     dollars are spent. Our nation needs to be secure from foreign 
     threats, but our budget process also must maintain a sense of 
     integrity. An official acknowledgment of how much we spend on 
     intelligence would help provide that integrity. H.R. 753 
     meets this criteria by requiring the current requested and 
     appropriated amounts be unclassified.
       If you have any questions or would like to cosponsor, 
     please contact Tim Bromelkamp in the office of Representative 
     Minge at 5-2331 or Carl LeVan in the office of Representative 
     Conyers at 5-5126.
                                                      David Minge,
     Member of Congress.

                                   Taxpayers for Common $ense,

                                   Washington, DC, March 17, 1997.

    Taxpayers ``Need to Know'' Where the Intelligence Budget Goes--
                         Cosponsor Conyers Bill

       Dear Representative: Taxpayers for Common $ense urge you to 
     cosponsor H.R. 753, the Intelligence Budget Accountability 
     Act. Sponsored by Rep. John Conyers, this bill would require 
     that the aggregate intelligence budget figure be disclosed to 
     the public. The intelligence agencies, just like all other 
     federal agencies, should be accountable to those who pay 
     their bills--the taxpayers.
       Disclosing the intelligence agencies' aggregate budget 
     figure does not threaten national security. In 1996, the 
     Congressionally-mandated Brown-Aspin Commission declared that 
     classifying the aggregate budget figure is not a matter of 
     national security and the figure should be disclosed to the 
     public. Both President Clinton and the Senate Intelligence 
     Committee supported the Commission's conclusion. The Conyers 
     bill would simply require that the total amounts requested 
     and currently appropriated for intelligence activities should 
     be unclassified.
       The intelligence agencies should not be allowed to keep 
     their multi-billion-dollar budget a secret. At a time when 
     all federal programs are under increased scrutiny and must 
     meticulously account for their spending, it is only fair that 
     the overall level of spending on intelligence be available to 
     the taxpayers. Taxpayers should know the amount spent on 
     intelligence in order to make informed choices regarding the 
     allocation of government funds.
       In the military, secrets are shared only with those who 
     ``need to know.'' Taxpayers for Common $ense urges that this 
     same standard be applied to the intelligence budget. 
     Taxpayers pay the intelligence budget, and their support and 
     trust is ultimately the strength of the intelligence 
     services. We urge you to defend the taxpayers' ``need to 
     know'' where their money goes by supporting the Conyers bill.
                                                    Jill Lancelot,
     Legislative Director.

                                Congress of the United States,

                                     Washington, DC, May 22, 1997.
     Hon. Harold Brown,
     Counselor, Center for Strategic and International Studies, 
         Washington, DC
     Hon. Warren Rudman,
     Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison, Washington, DC
       Dear Dr. Brown and Senator Rudman: Last year the Commission 
     on the Rules and Capabilities of the U.S. Intelligence 
     Community, which you cochaired, submitted its report to the 
     President and the Congress as mandated by the Fiscal Year 
     1995 Intelligence Authorization Act. One of the Commission's 
     recommendations was the disclosure of the aggregate figure of 
     the intelligence budget. The Intelligence Budget 
     Accountability Act, which we all strongly support, would 
     implement this key recommendation.
       The intelligence budget has been classified by the 
     Executive branch since 1947. The Church Committee, the Pike 
     Committee and the Rockefeller Commission in the 1970's all 
     suggested some level of disclosure. Your Commission 
     specifically proposed that ``at the beginning of each 
     congressional budget cycle, the President or a designee 
     disclose the total amount of money appropriated for 
     intelligence activities for the current fiscal year and the 
     total amount being requested for the next fiscal year.'' H.R. 
     753, a bipartisan bill with 80 cosponsors, is modeled after 
     this recommendation and seeks to implement it precisely as 
     proposed in the Report.
       We believe that secrecy is important to effective 
     intelligence, but it needs to be compatible with a democratic 
     form of government. As the Commission pointed out, 
     intelligence agencies need to be responsible ``not only to 
     the President, but to the elected representatives of the 
     people, and, ultimately to the people themselves. They are 
     funded by the American taxpayers.'' We agree with this 
     observation and would like to hear your opinion of the 
     proposed legislation which is enclosed.
     John Conyers, Jr.
     Ronald V. Dellums.
     Lee Hamilton.
     Christopher Shays.
       Members of Congress.

                                            Center for Strategic &

                                        International Studies,

                                      Washington, DC, June 2, 1997
     Hon. John Conyers, Jr.,
     Hon. Ronald V. Dellums,
     Hon. Lee Hamilton,
     Hon. Christopher Shays,
     House of Representatives,
     Washington, DC.
       Gentlemen: In response to your letter of May 22, I continue 
     to subscribe to the statement that you quote from the report 
     of the Commission on the Roles and Capabilities of the U.S. 
     Intelligence Community, recommending disclosure of the total 
     amount of money appropriated for intelligence activities 
     during the current fiscal year and the total amount being 
     requested for the next fiscal year. H.R. 753 appears to meet 
     this criterion and therefore I believe it would accomplish 
     the purpose of the Commission's recommendations. It is 
     important, in my judgment, that no breakdown of the total 
     into its components be made public. Senator Rudman joins me 
     in this response.
                                                     Harold Brown.
  Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. GOSS. Mr. Chairman, I yield such time as he may consume to the 
gentleman from Illinois [Mr. Hyde],

[[Page H4973]]

the distinguished chairman of the Committee on the Judiciary, a 
gentleman who is well versed on this issue.
  (Mr. HYDE asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
  Mr. HYDE. Mr. Chairman, with some but not a great deal of reluctance, 
I rise to oppose the amendment of my good friend from Michigan. 
Traditionally, the aggregate amount of funds spent to support our 
intelligence agencies has not been disseminated publicly. It is a 
classified amount. However, it is not unavailable to this House. There 
are six committees in Congress that have access to that number, three 
in the House, three in the other body: The Permanent Select Committee 
on Intelligence, the Committee on Appropriations, and the Committee on 
National Security. Those committees are set up to receive this 
information, they are cleared for top secret, and they have the ability 
to absorb it and to do with it whatever is necessary in our democratic 
  The classified records are available to be looked at. The gentleman 
from Michigan [Mr. Conyers] objects to that because you are then bound 
by an oath of secrecy. Well, then do not go look at it, but you have 
got six committees in this Congress to get that information.
  Why do we keep it secret? It is a mistake to think that the 
intelligence budgets of these agencies is a static thing. There are 
bumps. Sometimes it goes up, sometimes it goes down. What does that 
signify? It means we may be working on an expensive new weapons system, 
and that information ought not to be made available to those who wish 
us harm. There is no urgency, there is no need for this to be made 
public other than to tell the rest of the world or give them a hint as 
to what we are doing and perhaps even why we are doing it. The amount 
of money is overseen by six congressional committees bipartisanly. It 
is available to anybody who has a burning need to know by going and 
reviewing the classified annex. And so there is no need to violate what 
has traditionally been the case; that is, keep the aggregate amount 
confidential, keep it classified so that our adversaries, and believe 
me there are some out there, do not have an idea or a clue as to what 
we are working on.
  With good wishes to my friend from Michigan, I just think his 
amendment is wrong and I hope it is defeated.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself 30 seconds, because the 
amicable nature of the ranking member and the chairman of the Committee 
on the Judiciary is very close, and I respect his learned judgment. But 
this time he is up against the Secretary of Defense, the former 
Secretary of the CIA. The gentleman from Florida [Mr. Goss] was on this 
committee as well, the Committee on Foreign Relations in the other 
body, the framers of the Constitution and 176 of his colleagues.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from Washington [Mr. 
Dicks], the distinguished ranking member of the Permanent Select 
Committee on Intelligence.
  Mr. DICKS. Mr. Chairman, absent a clear national security interest, 
information should not be classified. In fact, Executive Order 12,958, 
which governs classification, prohibits classifying information unless 
to do so is required to protect national security.
  I do not think anybody can stand up here tonight and say that 
disclosing the number, disclosing this number, is going to do anything 
to harm national security. I do not believe a case can be made that the 
aggregate budget figure for intelligence meets that standard. The 
arguments that are made in favor of keeping the budget secret have 
little to do with the number in question and more to do with the 
potential damage that could occur if more information were released.

                              {time}  1745

  Some people are afraid that public release of the intelligence budget 
will lead to drastic cuts in intelligence spending. Not only is that an 
improper reason for classification, but I firmly believe we can defend 
the overall amount, as we just did, we spent on intelligence as well as 
we will defend the overall amount we spend on defense. Releasing the 
aggregate budget total changes business as usual, and some people are 
understandably uncomfortable with changing the practices of 50 years. 
But this is not a radical proposition. It is an idea that has been 
endorsed by two panels of experienced and knowledgeable experts serving 
on the Aspen Brown Commission and the Council on Foreign Relations.
  The overall intelligence budget figure is a significant piece of 
information by which the American people can judge the operations of 
their Government. I believe we should tell the American people about 
how we are spending their hard-earned money. We tell them what the 
overall number for defense is; I do not see how we can then argue that 
we cannot tell them what the overall number for intelligence is, and 
frankly I think it would do a lot to clear up much of the confusion 
that we have heard today on the floor about what this number is 
because, as I said earlier, the number that we have heard is 
inaccurate, significantly inaccurate.
  So I rise in strong support of the Conyers amendment. I remember our 
colleague, Congressman Glickman, who was chairman when we were in the 
majority, was the first chairman of this committee to strongly endorse 
this. I think it is time to do it, and I hope we can do it today on a 
bipartisan basis.
  Mr. GOSS. Mr. Chairman, I yield such time as he may consume to the 
distinguished gentleman from California [Mr. Lewis], subcommittee 
  Mr. HYDE. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. LEWIS of California. I yield to the gentleman from Illinois.
  Mr. HYDE. Mr. Chairman, I will be brief.
  I just want to say to my friend, the gentleman from Washington [Mr. 
Dicks], who surprises me that he is for disclosing this amount of 
money, the truth is, of course, the aggregate figures do not tell us 
anything. They give us a rough idea, but the next step is who is 
getting what? If we want to know the aggregate, we want to know who is 
spending it and for what purpose. What is the National Reconnaissance 
Office spending? What is the CIA spending? What is the DIA spending? 
And we want to break it down so it means something. That is the next 
step. The aggregate figure does not really inform us.
  But the gentleman and I know it is the opening wedge in a total lay 
it on the table strategy, what agency is spending how much money, for 
what systems, and for what covert activity and for what satellites, and 
what are we spending overseas? And it never ends.
  And so that is why it ought to remain secret, in my opinion.
  Mr. LEWIS of California. Mr. Chairman, I must say following the 
remarks of both the gentleman from Washington [Mr. Dicks] and the 
gentleman from Illinois [Mr. Hyde] I cannot help but be a bit 
disconcerted by that disconnect, for I am quite surprised at the 
position of the gentleman from Washington [Mr. Dicks] as well. In the 
short time, 4 years, that it has been my privilege to serve on this 
committee, I have become very, very impressed by the fact that America 
is pretty good at what they do. A combination of my service on the 
defense subcommittee of Appropriations and this committee tells me that 
America is more than just leading the world, we are the strength for 
the future of peace in the world, in no small part because of the work 
done by many of these agencies. But there is little doubt that those 
who suggest that the gross number means almost nothing, there is 
absolutely no doubt in my mind that underlying that is the balance. And 
it is not the people here in this room who necessarily want to know 
what may be all of the spending of some of our subagencies involved. It 
is the people who would be our enemies who would like to have that 
  Excellent work being done by the FBI as well as other agencies 
relative to controlling the impact of drugs in our society, a 
tremendous war developing there that will be very important to the 
future of our youth. Absolutely no question that the impact that we are 
beginning to have upon potential terrorists is very important as 
related to this work.
  There are those who love to see what our satellites are all about, 
exactly what they mean and what we are spending. Indeed it is very 
important that we recognize that it is the people who largely wish 
America ill who like to have those kinds of details, and because of 
that I am supporting the

[[Page H4974]]

chairman's position. I certainly would urge the ranking member to 
reconsider his position, for America's future is involved in the work 
that we are about in the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Chairman, I yield 30 seconds to the gentleman from 
Washington [Mr. Dicks], the frequently talked about ranking member.
  Mr. DICKS. Mr. Chairman, I want to say to my friend from California, 
Mr. Lewis, and my friend, the gentleman from Illinois, Mr. Hyde, who 
has served on this committee with great distinction, I still go back to 
Executive Order 12958 which governs classification. It prohibits 
classifying information unless to do so is required to protect national 
  Now I do not see how anybody can make a case that this number has 
anything to do with national security. It is the amount of money we 
spend on intelligence, but by disclosing it I do not see how we in any 
way endanger national security, and therefore we cannot classify it.
  It is almost an open and shut case, and that is why I think the 
gentleman from Michigan [Mr. Conyers] is correct in calling for this to 
be disclosed.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself 15 seconds because some may 
be surprised at the gentleman from Washington [Mr. Dicks] but I am not 
surprised at the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Hyde). Mr. Hyde said it 
makes hardly any difference what the aggregate amount would be. He is 
worried about what comes after that. Well, we are not legislating about 
after that, and he is quite right. It does not make any difference.
  Mr. GOSS. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  I think this is, as the gentleman from Michigan has said, a debate we 
have had many times, and I tend to believe that not much has changed 
and the previous wisdom we have had that it is correct, that the matter 
should remain classified. I realize that the gentleman has quoted the 
Aspen Brown report, and in fact I did dissent from the vote on that. 
That was a consensus report. I argued for the position of keeping the 
matter classified. In that particular group of people, it was not seen 
that way. Not all of those people have had the same experience that 
those of us on the Senate committee have had, and there is a legitimate 
disagreement about this.
  The other point I think is very important is that no good deed seems 
to go unpunished, no matter what we do around here. I would point out, 
and I am reading from the committee report, the committee has 
authorized additional resources in the fiscal year 1998 budget for CIA 
classification management, including declassification activities in 
support of Executive Order 12958.
  Now I know that the gentleman from Massachusetts [Mr. Frank] has a 
cutting amendment we are going to hear, and I know the gentleman from 
Vermont [Mr. Sanders] had a cutting amendment. Well yes, we did put 
more money in this bill to get to the declassification question, and I 
certainly believe as part of the declassification question we ought to 
be examining the issue that the gentleman from Michigan [Mr. Conyers] 
has raised. I think it is a very fair debate to ask and we should do it 
in a comprehensive way.
  So I am totally prepared to say that as part of the initiative of the 
gentleman from Colorado [Mr. Skaggs] a very valued member on our 
committee, to deal with declassification, that this should be part of 
that study. I just do not want at this point to create an initiative to 
go forward and say, well, we suddenly made a decision that really is of 
interest in the Beltway, but not for the American people to suddenly 
declassify this matter. It will be of interest to those who have 
interests that are inimicable to the United States of America. They 
would dearly love to have this information. The gentleman from Illinois 
[Mr. Hyde] is right, it is a slippery slope.
  Now I realize that there are some Members who serve on other 
committees who would love to know what a percentage of the NRO budget 
is so they can get their hand on a number and say, surely the interests 
of my committee match this and surely, therefore, we could take a 
little bit here and put a little bit there. But as the gentleman from 
Washington [Mr. Dicks] has said, under 602(b) we are still in line, and 
I think that is extremely important. So my colleagues can rest assured 
that there is not really any opportunity here, there is no pork here, 
this is all proper.
  The other thing I have got to point out on this besides the slippery 
slope and the fact that there is not a clamor across this country to 
have this information, I hardly ever at a town meeting get asked, gee, 
exactly how much money is being spent on intelligence? Sometimes I get 
asked exactly what is intelligence doing, and there is this perception 
that it is all CIA, and as the gentleman from Washington [Mr. Dicks] 
has properly said earlier in this debate today, it is much, much more. 
The CIA is indeed a very minor part of it. I am very happy to say it is 
a minor part of it. I do not think I ought to say specifically what 
that minor part is though.
  The other thing I have got to point out here, the President of the 
United States in fact can go ahead and release information. He has that 
ability. The President does not do that. The President has made the 
choice to keep the matter classified.
  Before we go off and do something like this, I think it should be 
properly studied and have the proper input from our folks in the other 
part of Government, our sister branch of Government. After all, he is 
charged with the national security. It is a matter of the Constitution, 
it is a matter of his specific charge, and he can declassify when he 
chooses with a stroke of his pen. Every President since Harry Truman 
has decided to send us the bill with the number classified. I suspect 
there is a reason for that, and I suspect that we probably ought to 
take the President and his people into consideration before we go off 
in a new direction.
  Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Chairman, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
Colorado [Mr. Skaggs].
  Mr. SKAGGS. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman for the time.
  Our distinguished friend from Illinois has really conceded the point. 
This proposal will not hurt national security. What will it do? It will 
enhance our responsibility to the American public for them to have as 
much information as possible about their government. And I think it is 
irrelevant whether we get asked at town meetings about this. I happen 
to, actually. And what does the American public learn? They have a 
sense of proportion: How much of our resources are we putting to this 
purpose? They have, I would concede, no particular need to know the 
details of particular sub-agencies. But it is a legitimate matter for 
them to have a sense in this large sense what their government is about 
in the intelligence field relative to other things that they spend 
their tax money for.
  Really all that we have by way of argument against this proposal is 
the slippery slope argument. What does that really mean? It means that 
we do not trust future Congresses to exercise judgment about what will 
and what will not protect the national security of this country.
  I think that is a highly rude position to take relative to our 
successors in these jobs. They will be able to figure this out. They 
will know whether or not further disclosures make any sense. I do not 
think that they will err in that judgment, and we can trust them to do 
  On the other hand, the default position always ought to be if this 
information is not going to damage national security, let us make it 
available to the public. The real national security issue here is the 
strength of the democracy and the willingness of the American people to 
trust a government that is leveling with them whenever it possibly can.
  Mr. GOSS. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield for a brief 
  The CHAIRMAN. The time of the gentleman from Colorado has expired.
  Mr. GOSS. Mr. Chairman, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Colorado if the gentleman will yield.
  Mr. SKAGGS. I yield to the gentleman from Florida.
  Mr. GOSS. Mr. Chairman, I believe that the gentleman is exactly on 
the point that if it does no damage then there is no reason to keep it 
hidden. That is a very valid point. But it is a

[[Page H4975]]

point that applies to several other pieces of information, which is 
exactly why the committee has provided at the gentleman's request, 
which I totally agree with, conceded to, applauded in committee, that 
we provide for a study on declassification.
  Does the gentleman believe that this should be outside of the study 
of the declassification that we have provided for, committed funds for 
and I hope we will have the funds when we get through with this process 
to proceed with the study.
  Mr. SKAGGS. If I can reclaim enough time to respond, I believe, as 
the gentleman knows, that funding is for looking at past classified 
information, things that have been sitting in the archives that need 
additional staffing in order to be able to be reviewed for 
declassification purposes. That is the real thrust of the funding that 
we put in the bill for declassification.

                              {time}  1800

  Mr. GOSS. Again, if the gentleman will continue to yield, I believe 
that the question of declassification includes the question of 
classification, because I think there is great abuse there, as the 
gentleman has heard me say. I believe this is comprehensive and should 
be treated as such.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Chairman, I am pleased to yield 2 minutes to the 
gentleman from Massachusetts [Mr. John Tierney].
  Mr. TIERNEY. Mr. Chairman, I appreciate the efforts of my colleague, 
the gentleman from Michigan [Mr. Conyers], and I voice my support for 
this amendment.
  Let me just say that I do not think any of us are not mindful of the 
comments that are made by our colleagues on the other side of this 
issue, but the fact of the matter is that the American public are the 
people that have a burning need to know at least what the aggregate 
number is in this situation.
  The time has come and it is long overdue for us to be able to have a 
debate with real numbers down here about real issues. We are in the 
midst of a debate right now in this country and in this House about the 
amount of money that we are going to be spending on programs, and in 
fact, with spending constraints on a number of programs, we are told 
the money just is not there.
  The budget these days is a zero sum game. The fact of the matter is 
that if this is the case, we should have a disclosure so the American 
public can see what proportion of our budget we are spending on so-
called intelligence matters. It ought to be known how many millions or 
billions of dollars in relation to the rest of our budget is being 
spent in this area at a time when we have schools that are in need of 
repair, when we have cities and communities that are in need of 
development, when we have infrastructure needs that are going unmet, 
roads, bridges, and airports left unbuilt, the restraint of growth and 
missing opportunities for job creation, when we have a debate over 
insuring half of our children and not insuring the other half, and when 
we continue to fail to debate the idea of having insurance available 
for all Americans.
  The Constitution requires that we have a statement and account of 
receipts and expenditures for all the money. I think it is an absolute 
disgrace that we hide here behind secrecy and say that we cannot even 
tell the American public what the aggregate number is on so-called 
intelligence matters.
  In fact, my colleague from across the aisle indicated that the 
President may well have authority to release these numbers. In fact, I 
would agree with the gentleman that he does; that in 1996 he said he 
favored doing just that. Now we see him waiting for us to move, and 
they are over there with others saying we are going to wait for him to 
  The American public wants somebody to move off the dime and tell us 
what those numbers are. He ought to do it, and if he is not going to do 
it we ought to do it, because simply there is no reason in the world to 
say that security is involved.
  Mr. Chairman, we need to move on this matter. The public has a 
burning need to know.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself 15 seconds.
  Mr. Chairman, the argument that the President can do it and has not 
done it but he approves of it is not a reason for us not to go ahead 
and do it. If the gentleman does not object if the President 
declassifies, then why do not we do it? We were only 30 votes away last 
year from doing it.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield 2 minutes to the gentlewoman from California, 
Mrs. Ellen Tauscher.
  Mrs. TAUSCHER. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman from Michigan for 
yielding time to me.
  Mr. Chairman, I rise in strong support of the Conyers amendment. In 
this post-cold-war era it is as important as ever that our Nation 
maintain an efficient, effective, and trustworthy intelligence 
apparatus. With national and economic security threats around the 
world, we must collect accurate information about the activities of 
countries and organizations that jeopardize our stability.
  At the same time, at the end of the cold war we are now provided with 
the opportunity to be more forthcoming about the money and the 
resources we spend on intelligence gathering. The Director of the 
Central Intelligence Agency has already taken steps to make more public 
the activities of our intelligence agencies. The fact that the general 
level of intelligence spending is a poorly kept secret only strengthens 
the argument that it should be publicly disclosed.
  As we attempt to balance the Federal budget, we are forced to make 
decisions about spending priorities. It is important that the American 
people know how much of their money proportionally is being spent to 
support the intelligence community, just as they need to know about how 
much money is spent on Medicare, transportation, and the arts.
  I intend to vote for the Intelligence Authorization Act for 1998. I 
believe it properly funds the important intelligence-related activities 
of the United States. But I also believe that the American public 
deserves to know the aggregate amount we are authorizing for these 
activities. The Conyers amendment is a commonsense proposal that places 
no threat to our national security. I encourage my colleagues to 
support this amendment.
  Mr. GOSS. Mr. Chairman, I yield such time as he may consume to my 
colleague, the gentleman from Florida [Mr. McCollum].
  Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman for yielding time 
to me.
  Mr. Chairman, I oppose the Conyers amendment, which is intended to 
force the disclosure of the aggregate total of the intelligence 
community's budget. I think primarily I oppose it for basic reasons of 
common sense, that it does not make any sense to disclose this number 
and let people who would be our enemies know what it is.
  But as Chairman Goss has noted, there are several reasons to oppose 
it. For example, one could argue that disclosure of the aggregate 
number is the first step on a slippery slope toward total disclosure of 
very highly sensitive security information. Chairman Goss has also made 
a very persuasive argument that the President already possesses the 
necessary legal authority, we have heard that discussed, to 
unilaterally disclose this information without seeking any approval of 
  But I would like to particularly address the assertion by some that 
disclosure is required by the statement and account clause of the 
Constitution; that is, article I, section 9, clause 7.
  Professor Robert F. Turner of the University of Virginia School of 
Law testified before the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on 
the issue of, and this is his quote, ``Secret funding and the 
`statement and account' clause'' in February 1994.
  Professor Turner made a number of legal and historical observations 
on the statement and account clause which are quite pertinent to 
today's debate. He said, ``The Founding Fathers did not view `secrecy' 
as being incompatible with democratic government. One of the first 
measures adopted by the Constitutional Convention of 1787 was a secrecy 
rule--without which James Madison said there would have been no 
  ``Perhaps the first `covert action' in which the United States was 
involved was a 1776 decision by France to secretly transfer 200,000 
pounds worth of

[[Page H4976]]

arms and ammunitions to the colonies for use in their struggle against 
King George. The offer was reported by secret messenger to Benjamin 
Franklin, chairman of the Committee of Secret Correspondence of the 
Continental Congress, and Robert Morris, the only members of the 5-man 
committee then in town. Given the sensitivity of the matter, they 
concluded--and here I quote--that `it is our indispensable duty to keep 
it secret even from Congress.'

  ``They set forth several reasons for this decision, including this 
one--and again I quote--`We find by fatal experience that Congress 
consists of too many members to keep secrets.'
  ``It should not come as a surprise to learn that the first Congress 
in 1790 appropriated a substantial contingent account for the President 
to use in making foreign affairs and intelligence expenditures, and 
that Congress expressly exempted the President from any requirement to 
inform either Congress or the public how those funds were expended. 
This was the start of a long tradition of 'secret' expenditures.''
  I believe that Professor Turner has demonstrated in his work that the 
Founding Fathers did endorse the use of certain secret funds to support 
the new Nation's intelligence and foreign policy activities. I think 
Benjamin Franklin would agree that the disclosure of the aggregate 
funding amount for the intelligence community would indeed be penny-
wise and pound-foolish.
  I am going to ask at the appropriate time, though I realize it is not 
now since we are in the time for the amendments, to put Professor 
Turner's prepared statement on secret funding into the Record and when 
that time comes in the full House I will do so.
  I again urge the defeat of the Conyers amendment. I ask that the 
Members of this body vote down the Conyers amendment. It is a dangerous 
precedent. We should not adopt it. We do have times and places for 
secrecy, and the intelligence community is one of those places where it 
is absolutely imperative.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Chairman, I yield 2 minutes to the distinguished 
gentlewoman from California [Ms. Pelosi].
  (Ms. PELOSI asked and was given permission to revise and extend her 
  Ms. PELOSI. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman for yielding time to 
  As a member of the Committee on Intelligence, I rise in support of 
the Conyers amendment. This amendment at heart is about accountability 
and the public's right to know. The amendment supports the underlying 
belief that the government of this country is and should be accountable 
to the people of the country.
  In today's world there is no rational reason why the American public 
should be denied information about how much the United States 
Government is spending on intelligence activities. President Clinton 
recognized this fact when in April of 1996 he said that the bottom line 
for intelligence spending should be published. John Deutch, then 
Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, said that same month, 
``Disclosure of the annual amount appropriated for intelligence 
purposes will inform the public and will not in itself harm 
intelligence activities.''
  The continued classification of the total amount spent annually on 
intelligence activity is not only unnecessary, but it is also 
ridiculous. U.S. intelligence spending is considered by many to be one 
of Washington's worst-kept secrets. Estimates of intelligence spending 
appear with some regularity in the press. By continuing to refuse to 
release the amount publicly, Congress is only serving to fuel 
suspicions that the government is hiding something.
  Those who support openness and accountability in government should 
support this effort to make our government accountable in one of the 
last bastions of secrecy, a secrecy that in today's world is 
unwarranted. In a democratic society citizens have a right to know what 
their tax dollars support.
  In fact, inside the Beltway an estimate of intelligence spending is 
widely reported, but ordinary citizens are oddly denied this 
information. I urge my colleagues to support openness and to support 
the Conyers amendment.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself 45 seconds.
  Mr. Chairman, this just in: The reason maybe Chairman Goss' people do 
not ever ask him about it, about this financing of the intelligence, is 
that they do not know that we are not being told. They may not even 
know that he is being told.
  For my dear friend, the gentleman from Florida [Mr. McCollum], again, 
with whom we have had great discussions about American history, in 1770 
and 1773, in those 2 years the intelligence budgets were in the 
aggregate disclosed. If Members need a more recent time, check in 1994, 
when the Subcommittee on National Security of the Committee on 
Appropriations inadvertently released the whole blooming thing and 
nothing happened.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from Washington [Mr. 
Adam Smith].
  Mr. ADAM SMITH of Washington. Mr. Chairman, I, too, rise in support 
of the Conyers amendment to disclose the aggregate budget of the 
Committee on Intelligence to the full public. I think the important 
thing to remember is the presumption should always be in favor of 
  As I listened to the arguments against, I do not hear anything to 
rebut that presumption. I think the American public wants to know as 
much as possible about what we do back here. Part of the reason why 
this institution has the confidence problem it has with this country is 
they figure we are keeping stuff from them, that we do not trust them 
to know what is going on back here, and they feel left out of the 
process. There should be a strong presumption in letting them into as 
much of the process as is humanly possible.
  If there is some special reason here why that cannot be done, fine. 
We can explain it and keep it secret. But no special reason has been 
offered during the course of this debate not to release the aggregate 
figure that we spend on intelligence in this country.
  There have been some camel's nose under the tent arguments about how 
in the future we might authorize the release of something that would 
cause a problem, but that is not good enough. That does not rebut the 
presumption that this body should have to disclose whatever possible to 
the public. I urge support of the amendment.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Chairman, I am privileged to yield 30 seconds to the 
gentleman from California [Mr. Sherman].
  Mr. SHERMAN. Mr. Chairman, we have an extraordinary event in the 
world. The entire world has virtually acquiesced to having one 
superpower. That has never happened in history. It has occurred because 
the world knows that for the most part our decisions are based on 
values and on respect for democracy.
  Democracy begins at home. A revelation of the amount that we are 
spending on security is one of the building blocks of the consensus 
that our power relies upon. Otherwise, it will only be a matter of 
time, if we do not respect our values, before the rest of the world 
questions whether there should be one superpower.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Chairman, I yield such time as he may consume to the 
gentleman from California [Mr. Farr].
  (Mr. FARR of California asked and was given permission to revise and 
extend his remarks.)
  Mr. FARR of California. Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of the 
  Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of the Conyers amendment to 
declassify the size of the Intelligence Budget
  There is simply no reason to keep the size of the Intelligence budget 
  Former CIA Directors, including John Deutch and Bob Gates, say that 
it would not harm National Security.
  This amendment would not reveal what we spend on individual programs, 
only on intelligence as a whole.
  Other countries, like Israel and Britain, already disclose their 
spending on intelligence.
  It simply serves no purpose to keep the size of the intelligence 
budget a secret.
  At a time when the rest of the Federal Budget is being cut, slashed, 
and squeezed, the American people ought to know how much of their tax 
dollars are going to intelligence programs.
  By maintaining needless secrecy, we do nothing for American 
intelligence while keeping secrets from the American people.
  Let's bring some sunshine to Government and some honesty to the 
American people support the Conyers amendment.

[[Page H4977]]

  Mr. Chairman, It is unnecessary after the end of the cold war to keep 
the budget secret. Keeping general information like the budget 
classified undermines the credibility of other information which really 
needs to be secret.
  If we really are serious about balancing the budget, how can we sign 
a secret, multi-billion dollar blank check every year, with such a 
minimal public discussion?
  Since almost all intelligence spending is hidden in the defense 
budget, the American people are not only kept in the dark about 
intelligence spending, they are misled about the real amount of defense 
spending through false line-items in the defense budget. We need budget 
  Porter Goss, the current Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee 
was a member of the Brown-Aspin (later the Brown-Rudman) Commission 
that recommended disclosure of the aggregate figure of the intelligence 
budget. Why should his position change?
  The intelligence budget is the worst-kept secret in Washington 
anyway. Each year it is disclosed dozens of times in the press with no 
harm done to ``national security.''
  Keeping this budget officially secret while watching it discussed 
openly in the press adds to a cynicism that the American public has 
about its government. No-one wants to foster a pessimism that 
discourages participation in our democracy.
  ``The President is persuaded that disclosure of the annual total 
budget for intelligence activities should be made public and that this 
can be done without any harm to intelligence activities.''
  With an open intelligence budget, the Director of Central 
Intelligence and others would be able to better justify the funding it 
receives from Congress. (A counter-argument might be, for example, that 
the CIA will not be able to publicly defend its budget because may of 
its successes are secret.)
  Only a handful of Members of Congress actually go look at the 
intelligence budget (as they are permitted to do). Declassifying the 
new budget request and the current fiscal year's appropriated amount 
for purposes of comparison would contribute to a more informed debate.
  Releasing the intelligence budget would help make it conform to the 
ideals for the framers of the Constitution. The Constitution states: 
``No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of 
Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the 
Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from 
time to time.''
  In 1994, Defense Appropriations Subcommittee hearings disclosed 
almost a complete breakdown of the categories of intelligence spending, 
which added up to $28 billion. Three years later, we're still waiting 
to hear how this disclosure harmed ``national security.
  Similarly, the Brown-Aspin Commission Report recommended disclosure 
only of the aggregate intelligence budget and no further detail, then 
inadvertently specified the CIA's budget at $3.1 billion in a graph. 
(See attached article.)
  The Washington Post reported that the National Reconnaissance Office, 
the intelligence agency which manages spy satellites reported a surplus 
of $3.8 billion that has accumulated over the years from unspent money 
and bad accounting practices! This is partly the result of a lack of 
open discussion about intelligence spending. (See attached article.)
  While HUD, the Department of Commerce and [insert your favorite 
agency] are fighting for their life, isn't it only fair that the 
American people at least know how many of their tax dollars are going 
to intelligence?.
  Taxpayers for Common Sense writes: ``At a time when all federal 
programs are under increased scrutiny and must meticulously account for 
their spending, it is only fair that the overall level of spending on 
intelligence be available of the taxpayers. Taxpayers should know the 
amount spend on intelligence in order to make informed choices 
regarding the allocation of government funds.''
  Other democracies such as Israel, Britain, Australia and Canada 
disclose their intelligence budgets. (FYI: Israel spends less than a 
billion shekels on the Mossad and the Shin Bet combined.)
  Larry Combest, the former Chairman of the Hose Intelligence Committee 
and last year's lone opponent of budget disclosure, was the vice-chair 
(with Senator Moynihan) of the Commission on Protecting and Reducing 
Government Secrecy. While Commission's report, released in March of 
this year, did not deal directly with the intelligence budget, it 
  ``Secrecy exists to protect national security, not government 
officials and agencies'' (page xxiii).
  ``[E]xpansion of the Government's national security bureaucracy since 
the end of World War II and the closed environment in which it has 
operated have outpaced attempts by Congress and the public to oversee 
that bureaucracy's activities'' (page 49).
  There are twelve ranking members who are so-sponsors of H.R. 753, 
ranging the ideological spectrum, including: Representatives John 
Conyers, Norm Dicks, John Spratt, Lee Hamilton, George Brown, Ron 
Dellums, Lane Evans, Sam Gejdenson, Henry Gonzalez, George Miller, Jim 
Oberstar, and Charles Rangel.

                              {time}  1815

  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself the balance of my time.
  May I point out that the arguments, the more we go over them each 
year, the more it becomes clear that there is very little objection to 
revealing the aggregate budget for the 14 intelligence agencies in our 
system. It is a practice that is followed by at least four of our 
allies that I know with no harm. It is like trying to get us to agree 
to a secret that is already open.
  Mr. DICKS. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. CONYERS. I yield to the gentleman from Washington.
  Mr. DICKS. Mr. Chairman, I want to commend the gentleman for his 
initiative. To my friend who says this is a slippery slope, we can say 
what the number is and say, out of that we fund the CIA, the DIA, the 
NSA, NIMA, right down the line. We do not have to tell them what that 
second amount is. I think it would do a lot to help the American people 
understand how many different entities are funded by this budget and 
how much of it is in the Department of Defense. We have heard all kinds 
of misstatements here today on the floor. I think we look kind of 
foolish. Numbers are in the New York Times. They are not that far off. 
They are wrong but they are not that far off. In my judgment, it is 
time for us to let the American people know. I think the gentleman 
deserves to be commended for his initiative.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman.
  The fact of the matter is that for us to say to the American people 
that they really do not need to know this or that nobody is asking me 
about it so we will keep it from them is the shallowest kind of 
presentation to make. We need to know the aggregate amount. I am 
confident for one that this body will not proceed down a slippery 
slope. I do not think this body, no matter what we do on this measure 
today, will further want to break this thing down.
  I am not certain that I would support any further disclosure than the 
revelation of the aggregate amount.
  Mr. DICKS. Mr. Chairman, if the gentleman will continue to yield, I 
certainly agree with the gentleman. I would oppose going to the 
individual amounts, but I think the aggregate will help us with the 
American people.
  Mr. GOSS. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself the balance of my time.
  Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. GOSS. I yield to the gentleman from Florida.
  Mr. McCOLLUM.  Mr. Chairman, I just wanted to make a point that in 
the time for general leave, I am going to ask to have the Turner 
statement with regard to constitutionality inserted right after my 
remarks during this debate. I know this is not the formal place, but we 
seem to need to put a place marker in there. I thank the gentleman for 
yielding to me.
  Mr. Chairman, I include the following for the Record:

Secret Funding and the ``Statement and Account'' Clause: Constitutional 
and Policy Implications of Public Disclosure of an Aggregate Budget for 
            Intelligence and Intelligence-Related Activities

             (Prepared statement of Prof. Robert F. Turner)


       Mr. Chairman, it is a pleasure to be here this afternoon to 
     provide testimony on the constitutional implications of 
     authorizing and appropriating funds for intelligence 
     operations without making the aggregate amount of those funds 
     public. It is a particular pleasure to see you again, Mr. 
     Chairman, whom I have not seen since our work together nearly 
     a decade ago in getting the U.S. Institute of Peace off the 
     ground. I am also pleased to join my old friend Dr. Lou 
     Fisher--who has done landmark scholarship in these areas--and 
     to have a chance to listen to Dr. George Carver, whose work 
     has influenced my own thinking for more than two decades.
       I understand that the Committee is considering a proposal 
     that has been around in one form or other for many years to 
     make public the aggregate sum of money appropriated for

[[Page H4978]]

     the various agencies of the Intelligence Community--money 
     which has for nearly half a century been concealed, if public 
     accounts are to be believed,\1\ largely within the budget of 
     the Department of Defense.
     \1\ Footnotes at the end of article.
       This practice was authorized by Public Law 81-110, the 
     Central Intelligence Agency Act of 1949, section 5 of which 
     authorizes the Agency to ``receive from other Government 
     agencies such sums as may be approved by the Bureau of the 
     Budget [now OMB]'' for the performance of authorized 
     functions, and also authorizes ``any other Government agency 
     . . . to transfer to . . . the Agency such sums without 
     regard to any provisions of law limiting or prohibiting 
     transfers between appropriations.''\2\ It is perhaps worth 
     noting that this process was agreed to in 1949 by voice vote 
     in the Senate and by a vote of 348 to 4 in the House--with 
     only a single Member of either House speaking in 
       Members of this Committee will know the current mechanics 
     of this process far better than I do, but it is my 
     understanding that the precise amounts authorized and 
     appropriated for the Intelligence Community are normally 
     known only to the two intelligence committees and select 
     members of the appropriations committees. I am working from 
     the understanding that all fund provided to the Intelligence 
     Community from the federal treasury have, in fact, been 
     appropriated by law and that the process itself is not 
     contrary to any statute. Thus, the issue I am prepared to 
     address is not whether Congress has agreed to the current 
     funding process; but rather, whether that congressionally 
     established process complies with the requirements of the 
       I do not have a sense that the large majority of Americans 
     are upset at the realization that our government keeps many 
     facts concerning intelligence agencies and their work 
     secret--indeed, I suspect a scientific poll would reveal that 
     most Americans would share my own personal preference that 
     such matters ought not to be made public if there is any 
     reasonable likelihood their disclosure will compromise 
     sensitive sources or methods or in any other manner undermine 
     our security or benefit our nation's enemies.\4\
       This expectation is predicated upon the assumption that the 
     current practice is consistent with the Constitution; for, if 
     the question were worded ``should the Constitution be 
     obeyed,'' the answer would presumably also be a strong 
     affirmative. So it seems to me that, in deciding whether to 
     change the status quo, the Committee has a two-stage process 
     to undertake:
       First, you need to ascertain whether the Constitution 
     requires the publication of the aggregate annual budget for 
     intelligence and intelligence-related activities (or perhaps 
     even a more detailed accounting of those appropriations); 
     and, if the answer is yes, you need to make those figures 
       If the answer to the constitutional question is no, it 
     would seem wise to undertake a thorough policy review to 
     decide whether such figures should nevertheless be made 
     public--and, if so under what constraints or guidelines.
       While I understand that my role here this afternoon is to 
     help you answer the first question, with your permission I 
     will also comment briefly upon the broader policy issues.
     The Constitutional Issues
       Article 1, Section 9, clause 7 of the Constitution 
       No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in 
     Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular 
     Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all 
     public Money shall be published from time to time.
       Many respected individuals and groups have concluded on the 
     basis of this language that it is unconstitutional for the 
     Congress not to publish at least the aggregate sum of 
     appropriations for the Intelligence Community.\5\ I shall 
     address that issue, but with your permission I would propose 
     to first place the issue in the context of the Founding 
     Fathers' attitude toward secrecy in the areas of foreign 
     intercourse and intelligence. I believe there is a great deal 
     of misunderstanding on this point that may confuse this 
     important debate.

         Secrecy, Democracy, and the Early American Experience

       There seems to be a common assumption that the Founding 
     Fathers viewed secrecy in government as a terrible evil, a 
     practice quite incompatible with democratic theory. While it 
     is true that they believed that an informed public was 
     essential to democratic government,\6\ they were practical 
     men who recognized that intelligence and national security 
     matters often had to be kept secret--not only from the 
     American people, but even from their elected representatives 
     in Congress.

                 The Committee of Secret Correspondence

       The obvious inability of legislative bodies to manage the 
     details of foreign intercourse led the Continental Congress 
     to establish a ``Committee of Secret Correspondence'' on 29 
     November 1775.\7\ Two weeks later, the Committee dispatched 
     Thomas Story as a secret messenger to France, Holland, and 
     England, with instructions to make contact with a network of 
     unofficial ``secret agents'' serving the United States in 
     foreign capitals--people like Silas Deane in France and 
     Arthur Lee in England.
       After meeting with Lee, Story returned to America and gave 
     this report to the Committee, as recorded in a memorandum 
     dated 1 October 1776 found among the Committee's official 
       ``On my leaving London, Arthur Lee, Esq., requested me to 
     inform the Committee of [Secret] Correspondence that he had 
     had several conferences with the French Ambassador, who had 
     communicated the same to the French court; that in 
     consequence thereof the Duke de Vergennes had sent a 
     gentleman to Mr. Lee, who informed him that the French Court 
     could not think of entering into a war with England, but that 
     they would assist America by sending from Holland this fall 
     two hundred thousand pounds sterling worth of arms and 
     ammunition to St. Eustatius, Martinico, or Cape Francois. 
     That application was to be made to the Governours or 
     Commandants of those places by inquiring for Monsieur 
     Hortalez, and that on persons properly authorized applying, 
     the above articles would be delivered to them.'' \8\
       This may arguably have been the very first ``covert 
     operation'' to which the United States was a party, and the 
     secret offer of K200,000 worth of arms was welcome news in 
     America. But it was also recognized as highly sensitive news, 
     and for that reason Benjamin Franklin and the members of the 
     small committee he chaired agreed without dissent that it 
     could not be shared with their colleagues in the Congress. 
     Their memorandum explains:
       ``The above intelligence was communicated to the 
     subscribers [Franklin and Robert Morris], being the only two 
     members of the Committee of Secret Correspondence now in the 
     city, and our considering the nature and importance of it, we 
     agree in opinion that it is our indispensable duty to keep it 
     secret even from Congress, for the following reasons:
       ``First, Should it get to the ears of our enemies at New-
     York, they would undoubtedly take measures to intercept the 
     supplies, and thereby deprive us not only of those succours, 
     but of others expected by the same route.
       ``Second, as the Court of France have taken measures to 
     negotiate this loan of succour in the most cautious and 
     secret manner, should we divulge it immediately, we may not 
     only lose the present benefit, but also render that Court 
     cautious of any further connection with such unguarded 
     people, and prevent their granting other loans and assistance 
     that we stand in need of, and have directed Mr. Deane to ask 
     of them. For it appears from our intelligence they are not 
     disposed to enter into an immediate war with Britain, 
     although disposed to support us in our contest with them. We 
     therefore think it our duty to cultivate their favourable 
     disposition towards us, draw from them all the support we 
     can, and in the end their private aid must assist to 
     establish peace, or inevitably draw them in as parties to the 
       ``Third, We find by fatal experience that Congress consists 
     of too many members to keep secrets. . . . [Emphasis 
     added.]'' \9\
       The memorandum contained the written endorsements of 
     Richard Henry Lee and William Hooper, to whom it had been 
     shown some days later, with the notation that Lee 
     ``concur[red] heartily'' and Hooper ``sincerely approve[d]'' 
     of its contents.\10\

                     john jay and federalist no. 64

       One of the criticisms of American government under the 
     Articles of Confederation was that all functions of 
     government were entrusted to the Congress, which tended to 
     micromanage military and diplomatic affairs and could not 
     keep secrets. Robert R. Livingston agreed to serve as 
     ``Secretary of the United States of America for the 
     Department of Foreign Affairs'' in February 1782, but by the 
     end of the year he had submitted his resignation in 
     frustration. Nearly two years passed before John Jay was 
     chosen his successor as the ``agent'' of Congress in 
     diplomatic intercourse; and he, too, was quickly frustrated 
     by such things as the demand of Congress to receive every 
     proposal submitted by the Spanish Charge during treaty 
       Jay was particularly frustrated by the demands by 
     Congress--which, in the absence of any ``executive'' organ of 
     government, had exclusive control over war, treaties, and 
     other aspects of the nation's foreign intercourse--for access 
     to confidential information and diplomatic letter. Professor 
     Henry Wriston, in his classic 1929 study, Executive Agents 
     in American Foreign Relations, explains:
       It is interesting, in connection with the submission of 
     Lafayette's letters to Congress, to observe that Jay regarded 
     this as a serious limitation upon the value of the 
     correspondence. Congress never could keep any matter strictly 
     confidential; someone always babbled. ``The circumstances 
     must undoubtedly be of a great restraint on those public and 
     private characters from whom you would otherwise obtain 
     useful hints and information. I for my part have long 
     experienced the inconvenience of it, and in some instances 
     very sensibly.'' [Emphasis added.] \12\
       These frustrations were widely shared, and Jay went on to 
     play a key role both in explaining the Constitution as a co-
     author of the Federalist Papers and in interpreting it as the 
     nation's first Chief Justice. He took on the issues of 
     secrecy and intelligence squarely in Federalist essay number 
     64, explaining the benefits of entrusting matters requiring 
     secrecy to the Executive while requiring the approval of two-
     thirds of the Senate before the President could ratify a 
     completed treaty:

[[Page H4979]]

       There are cases where the most useful intelligence may be 
     obtained, if the persons possessing it can be relieved from 
     apprehensions of discovery. Those apprehensions will operate 
     on those persons whether they are actuated by mercenary or 
     friendly motives, and there doubtless are many of both 
     descriptions, who would rely on the secrecy of the president, 
     but who would not confide in that of the senate, and still 
     less in that of a large popular assembly. The convention have 
     done well therefore in so disposing of the power of making 
     treaties, that although the president must in forming them 
     act by the advice and consent of the senate, yet he will be 
     able to manage the business of intelligence in such manner as 
     prudence may suggest.\13\
       Jay added, with an allusion to the shortcomings of the 
     Articles of Confederation: ``So often and so essentially have 
     we heretofore suffered from the want of secrecy and dispatch, 
     that the Constitution would have been inexcusably defective 
     if no attention had been paid to those objects.'' \14\

            washington, the senate, and congressional leaks

       Further contemporary insight into the Founding Fathers' 
     perception that Congress could not keep secrets is found in 
     an informal note made by our first Secretary of State, Thomas 
     Jefferson. Beginning during his service in this capacity, 
     Jefferson made various ``notes''--what he called ``passing 
     transactions''--to assist his memory. These he later combined 
     into three volumes which we today know as The Anas. The 
     following entry is instructive:
       April 9th, 1792. The President had wished to redeem our 
     captives at Algiers, and to make peace with them on paying an 
     annual tribute. The Senate were willing to approve this, but 
     unwilling to have the lower House applied to previously to 
     furnish the money; they wished the President to take the 
     money from the treasury, or open a loan for it. . . . They 
     said . . . that if the particular sum was voted by the 
     Representatives, it would not be a secret. The President had 
     no confidence in the secresy of the Senate, and did not 
     choose to take money from the treasury or to borrow. But he 
     agreed he would enter into provisional treaties with the 
     Algerines, not to be binding on us till ratified here. 
     [Emphasis added.] \15\
       Mr. Chairman, this is an important, if largely forgotten, 
     part of our history. However, in the interest of time, I will 
     mention but one further example of the Founding Fathers' 
     recognition of the value of secrecy: and what example could 
     be more fitting than the Constitutional Convention itself.

                     the federal convention of 1787

       On 29 May 1787, the fourth day of deliberation,\16\ the 
     Constitutional Convention adopted a series of rules as part 
     of the Standing Orders of the House. Rules three through five 
       That no copy be taken of any entry on the journal during 
     the sitting of the House without the leave of the House.
       That members only be permitted to inspect the journal.
       That nothing spoken in the House be printed, or otherwise 
     published, or communicated without leave.\17\
       The great constitutional historian Clinton Rossiter has 
     described this ``so-called secrecy rule'' as ``the most 
     critical decision of a procedural nature the Convention was 
     ever to make,'' and notes that ``in later years, Madison 
     insisted that `no Constitution would ever have been adopted 
     by the convention if the debates had been public.' '' \18\ 
     Indeed, at his insistence, Madison's own important Notes on 
     the convention were not published until 1840, four years 
     after his death and more than half a century after the 
     convention had ended.\19\
       Because the debates of the convention were held in secret, 
     and Madison's Notes were thus not available to the people 
     when they ratified the Constitution, such influential 
     contemporary records as the Federalist Papers and state 
     ratification convention debates probably deserve greater 
     weight in interpreting the document as it was understood by 
     the sovereign American people when it was ratified. 
     Nevertheless, Madison's Notes do provide important details 
     about the give-and-take that produced the constitutional 
     text, and they are certainly worthy of study. The entire 
     debate on this issue occupies approximately one page of the 
     hundreds of pages devoted by Madison to the convention 
     proceedings. It occurred only three days before the end of 
     the debate, seemingly as an afterthought, on Friday, 14 
     September 1787:
       Col. [George] Mason moved a clause requiring ``that an 
     Account of the public expenditures should be annually 
     published'' Mr. Gerry 2<SUP>ded</SUP> the motion.
       Mr. Gov<SUP>r</SUP>. Morris urged that this w<SUP>d</SUP>. 
     be impossible in many cases.
       Mr. King remarked, that the term expenditures went to every 
     minute shilling. This would be impracticable. 
     Cong<SUP>s</SUP>. might indeed make a monthly publication, 
     but it would be in such general statements as wou<SUP>d</SUP> 
     afford no satisfactory information.
       Mr. Madison proposed to strike out ``annually'' from the 
     motion & insert ``from time to time,'' which would enjoin the 
     duty of frequent publications and leave enough to the 
     discretion of the Legislature. Require too much and the 
     difficulty will beget a habit of doing nothing. The articles 
     of Confederation require halfyearly publications on this 
     subject. A punctual compliance being often impossible, the 
     practice has ceased altogether.
       Mr. Wilson 2<SUP>ded</SUP> & supported the motion. Many 
     operations of finance cannot be properly published at certain 
       Mr. Pinkney was in favor of the motion.
       Mr. Fitzimmons. It is absolutely impossible to publish 
     expenditures in the full extent of the term.
       Mr. Sherman thought ``from time to time'' the best rule to 
     be given.
       ``Annual'' was struck out--& those words--inserted nem: 
       The motion of Col: Mason so amended was then agreed to nem: 
     con: and added after--``appropriations by law'' as follows--
     ``And a regular statement and account of the receipts & 
     expenditures of all public money shall be published from time 
     to time.'' \20\
       It is perhaps worth noting that the issue of ``secrecy'' 
     had arisen earlier that same day with respect to publishing 
     the journal of each House of Congress,\21\ and the statements 
     by Gouverneur Morris (annual publication would be 
     ``impossible in many cases''), Madison (on the need for 
     legislative discretion), James Wilson (``Many operations of 
     finance cannot be properly published at certain times'')--and 
     others who supported Madison's amendment--may have been made 
     with this concern in mind.
       That the need to protect certain secret expenditures was, 
     in fact, a primary underlying rationale for the decision to 
     give Congress discretion as to what expenditures could be 
     made public, and when, becomes clearer from a reading of the 
     debates in the state ratification conventions--especially in 
     the Virginia Convention, where both Mason and Madison were 
     present to revisit the original debate. Colonel Mason took a 
     second bite at the apple during the Virginia Convention, 
     arguing on 17 June 1788 that ``the loose expression of 
     `publication from time to time,' was applicable to any time. 
     It was equally applicable to monthly and septennial 
     periods.'' \22\ He then explained:
       The reason urged in favor of this ambiguous expression, 
     was, that there might be some mattes which might require 
       In matters relative to military operations, and foreign 
     negotiations, secrecy was necessary sometimes. But he did not 
     conceive that the receipts and expenditures of the public 
     money ought ever to be concealed. The people, he affirmed, 
     had a right to know the expenditures of their money. But that 
     this expression was so loose, it might be concealed forever 
     from them, and might afford opportunities of misapplying the 
     public money, and sheltering those who did it. He concluded 
     it to be as exceptionable as any clause in so few words could 
     be. [Emphasis added.] \23\
       As had been the case in Philadelphia, Mason lost this 
     debate. But, by raising the issue again, this time in public 
     debate, he made a useful contribution to our understanding of 
     the ``original intent'' behind this clause. We now know that 
     the reason Congress was given this discretion was to protect 
     ``matters which might require secrecy,'' that Mason 
     acknowledged that secrecy was sometimes necessary in military 
     and diplomatic matters, and that--even after he warned that 
     this ``ambiguous'' language might allow Congress to keep some 
     secret expenditures ``concealed forever''--Mason's colleagues 
     at the Virginia convention were not persuaded to strengthen 
     the clause and deny Congress this discretion.

            the early practice of confidential expenditures

       Of particular value in trying to understand the original 
     constitutional scheme are the acts of the First Congress, 
     elected in early 1789. Two-thirds of its twenty-two senators 
     and fifty-nine representatives had either been members of the 
     Philadelphia Convention of 1787 or of state ratifying 
     conventions, and only seven of them had opposed ratification. 
     Therefore, their actions are entitled to special weight. As 
     Chief Justice Marshall observed in 1821, in trying to 
     determine the intent of the Founding Fathers ``[g]reat weight 
     has always been attached, and very rightly attached, to 
     contemporaneous exposition.'' \24\
       It is therefore noteworthy that the First Congress 
     appropriated a ``contingent fund'' of $40,000--a considerable 
     sum at the time \25\--for the President to use for special 
     diplomatic agents and other sensitive foreign affairs needs. 
     The statute expressly provided:
       ``The President shall account specifically for all such 
     expenditures of the said money as in his judgment may be made 
     public, and also for the amount of such expenditures as he 
     may think it advisable not to specify.'' \26\
       Note the language here--the President was not required to 
     account to Congress ``under injunction of secrecy'' for 
     sensitive expenditures, he was required simply to inform 
     Congress of the sums expended so that the fund could be 
     replenished as necessary. Congress was not to be told the 
     details, as the Founding Fathers had learned first hand the 
     harm that could be done by ``leaks.''
       It is perhaps worth noting that the contingent account was 
     not only replenished, within three years it was increased to 
     the level of one million dollars--much of it reportedly was 
     used for such expenditures as bribing foreign officials and 
     ransoming hostages.\27\
       In this era of Boland Amendments and massive appropriations 
     bills packed with ``conditions'' it may be difficult to 
     realize that the Founding Fathers envisioned something quite 
     different; but it is important, from time to time, to remind 
     ourselves of the original plan. In an 1804 letter to 
     Secretary of the Treasury Albert Gallatin, President Thomas 
     Jefferson summarized the practice during the nation's first 
     fifteen years:

[[Page H4980]]

       ``The Constitution has made the Executive the organ for 
     managing our intercourse with foreign nations. . . . The 
     Executive being thus charged with the foreign intercourse, no 
     law has undertaken to prescribe its specific duties. . . . 
     [I]t has been the uniform opinion and practice that the whole 
     foreign fund was placed by the Legislature on the footing of 
     a contingent fund, in which they undertake no specifications, 
     but leave the whole to the discretion of the president.'' 
       When Jefferson used his contingent account to fund a 
     paramilitary army of Greek and Arab mercenaries to invade 
     Tripoli and pressure its Bey to surrender American hostages, 
     no one seems to have complained that Congress was not 
     informed in advance of the operation.\29\ Jefferson's 
     successor, James Madison--a man of some familiarity with the 
     meaning of the Constitution and its ``Statement and Account'' 
     clause--found that he needed additional funds to underwrite a 
     covert action to gain control over disputed territory between 
     Georgia and Spanish Florida in 1811, so he asked Congress to 
     enact a ``secret appropriation'' of $100,000 for that 
     purpose. The need for secrecy having passed, the secret 
     appropriation was discretely made public years later, in 
       The modern practice arguably dates back to 1941,\31\ but 
     official congressional sanction was provided by the Central 
     Intelligence Act of 1949.\32\ Over the years a variety of 
     efforts have been made to change the practice, without 
     success.\33\ The political forces behind the current effort 
     are considerable--but so much of the rhetoric is premised 
     upon the need to ``obey the Constitution'' that it is 
     difficult to gave the sentiment on policy grounds alone.
       In reality, these constitutional concerns are ill founded. 
     The record behind Article 1, Section 9, clause 7 of the 
     Constitution--whether viewed on the basis of ``original 
     intent'' or with the gloss of historic practice--clearly 
     establishes that Congress is not required to publish either 
     an aggregate figure of the money it makes available to the 
     Intelligence Community or a more detailed accounting at this 
     time. All of these sums, I gather, have been taken from the 
     Treasury ``in consequence of appropriations made by law''--
     and most apparently have been identified already in broad 
     terms to the public as appropriations for purposes of 
     national security or national defense.
       James Mason, to be sure, objected to the argument that the 
     need for ``secrecy'' required that Congress be left with 
     discretion in this area; but in both the federal and state 
     conventions he made his case and failed to carry the day. The 
     First Congress appropriated a contingent fund for which the 
     President did not even have to disclose his expenditures to 
     Congress; and Madison himself--the ``father'' of our 
     Constitution and the author of the successful amendment to 
     the ``Statement and Account'' clause--sought and received a 
     ``secret appropriation'' that was not revealed to the public 
     for many years.

                  the view from the federal judiciary

       Any remaining doubts which might exist should be put to 
     rest by a review of the handling of this issue by federal 
     courts. The issue came before the Supreme Court in United 
     States v. Richardson,\34\ but the Court found it unnecessary 
     to reach the merits because the Complainant lacked standing. 
     However, in the course of his majority opinion, Chief Justice 
     Burger reasoned in a footnote:
       ``Although we need not reach or decide precisely what is 
     meant by `a regular Statement and Account,' it is clear that 
     Congress has plenary power to exact any reporting and 
     accounting it considers appropriate in the public interest. . 
     . . While the available evidence is neither qualitatively nor 
     quantitatively conclusive, historical analysis of the genesis 
     of cl. 7 suggests that it was intended to permit some degree 
     of secrecy of governmental operations. . . .
       ``Not controlling, but surely not unimportant, are nearly 
     two centuries of acceptance of a reading of cl. 7 as vesting 
     in Congress plenary power to spell out the details of 
     precisely when and with what specificity Executive agencies 
     must report the expenditures of appropriated funds and to 
     exempt certain secret activities from comprehensive public 
     reporting.'' [Emphasis added.] \35\
       Even more significant is the District of Columbia Circuit 
     Court of Appeal's 1980 decision in Halperin v. Central 
     Intelligence Agency,\36\ a very useful case for which we are 
     indebted to Mr. Stern's predecessor at the ACLU, my litigious 
     friend Morton Halperin. Following the Supreme Court's holding 
     in Richardson, the D.C. Circuit affirmed the District Court's 
     summary judgment in favor of the CIA. But it went further, 
     addressing the case on the merits, and holding in the 
     alternative that ``Congress and the President have 
     discretion, not reviewable by the courts, to require secrecy 
     for expenditures of the type involved in this case.'' \37\
       The Halperin court engaged in a detailed review of 
     Madison's Notes and the state convention debates, concluding 
     that: ``Madison's language strongly indicates that he 
     believed that the Statement and Account Clause, following his 
     amendment, would allow government authorities ample 
     discretion to withhold some expenditure items which 
     require secrecy.'' \38\ While noting George Mason's 
     argument that ``he did not conceive that the receipts and 
     expenditures of the public money ought ever to be 
     concealed,'' \39\ the court concluded:
       ``But the Statement and Account Clause, as adopted and 
     ratified, incorporates the view not of Mason, but rather of 
     his opponents, who desired discretionary secrecy for the 
     expenditures as well as the related operations. . . .
       ``Viewed as a whole, the debates in the Constitutional 
     Convention and the Virginia ratifying convention convey a 
     very strong impression that the Framers of the Statement and 
     Account Clause intended it to allow discretion to Congress 
     and the President to preserve secrecy for expenditures 
     related to military operations and foreign negotiations. 
     Opponents of the `from time to time' provision, it is clear, 
     spoke of precisely this effect from its enactment. We have no 
     record of any statements from supporters of the Statement and 
     Account Clause indicating an intent to require disclosure of 
     such expenditures.''\40\
       Since the Supreme Court elected not to address the issue on 
     the merits in Richardson, the Halperin case remains the 
     authoritative judicial interpretation on this subject.

                    opinion of the attorney general

       Finally, Mr. Chairman, although I have not seen it, I 
     understand that Attorney General Griffin Bell was asked by 
     President Carter to consider this issue in depth and to 
     prepare an opinion for the President. He concluding that the 
     current Intelligence Community funding practices are not in 
     conflict with the Constitution.\41\

                            issue of policy

       Mr. Chairman, I believe that the text of the Constitution, 
     the clear intentions of the Founding Fathers, and more than 
     two centuries of consistent practice, support the conclusion 
     that the current practice of concealing appropriations for 
     intelligence activities in the budgets of other agencies is 
     constitutional. As I have indicated, that conclusion has the 
     support of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, and, I am 
     informed, of the Office of the Attorney General. I believe 
     you may rest comfortably on this point, and the only reasons 
     for departing from traditional disclosure practice would be 
     of a policy nature. At this time I would like to turn briefly 
     to some of those considerations.

                      a presumption of disclosure

       Perhaps first of all, in a free society there ought to be a 
     presumption in favor of openness and the diffusion of 
     knowledge and information. This may reflect my parochial 
     prejudices as a product of Mr. Jefferson's University, but I 
     am reminded both of his caution against trying to remain 
     ``ignorant and free,'' \42\ and more directly his statement 
     that the University of Virginia would be ``based on the 
     illimitable freedom of the human mind,'' and would not be 
     ``afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead, nor to 
     tolerate any error so long as reason is left free to combat 
     it.'' \43\

                       overcoming the presumption

       Having said that, I would argue that the most compelling 
     arguments to overcome that presumption of openness are those 
     legitimately based upon the security of the nation. As John 
     Jay noted in Federalist No. 3, ``Among the many objects to 
     which a wise and free people find it necessary to direct 
     their attention, that of providing for their safety seems 
     to be the first.'' \44\ Similarly, the Supreme Court noted 
     in Haig v. Agee that ``it is `obvious and unarguable' that 
     no governmental interest is more compelling than the 
     security of the Nation.'' \45\

                 comity and deference to the president

       In addition, I urge you to recognize that the management of 
     intelligence matters was recognized by the Founding Fathers 
     to be at the core of the President's responsibilities; and, 
     toward this end, I would urge you not to decide to disclose 
     these figures if the President asks that they be kept 
     confidential. To do otherwise would depart from two centuries 
     of precedent. I don't know the preferences of the current 
     Administration on this issue, but I urge you to give them the 
     weight that comity among the branches would warrant.

                        balancing the interests

       Ultimately, if the President does not object, I would 
     suggest that you apply a balancing test in reaching your 
     decision. You are entertaining a motion to depart from a 
     practice dating back in some respects to the earliest days of 
     our country, and in others to the creation of the agencies 
     you are charged with overseeing. The proponents of change 
     ought to be expected to justify a departure from these well-
     established practices--and their constitutional arguments are 
       Ask yourselves first, what real benefit to the American 
     people or our system of government will likely result from 
     disclosing the aggregate intelligence budget. How meaningful 
     will this one figure be to our citizens? Presumably the sums 
     are already disclosed under the broad ``National Defense'' 
     budgetary category. Will any identifiable good be served by 
     publicly identifying a portion of that larger sum as being 
     earmarked for ``intelligence and intelligence-related 
     activities?'' Would the result of these efforts not be, to 
     borrow from the argument Rufus King made in objecting to a 
     mandatory annual statements, ``such general statements as 
     would afford no satisfactory information.'' \46\

            an aggregate figure will not satisfy the critics

       You can be certain that releasing a single, aggregate 
     figure will not satisfy those who are demanding meaningful 

[[Page H4981]]

     about the Intelligence Community. In 1974 a student note in 
     the New York University Journal of International Law and 
     Politics, for example, concluded that ``Not only may the 
     Constitution mandate the reporting of CIA expenditures to 
     Congress as a whole, but it may even require publication of 
     the CIA budget.'' \47\ Similarly, a 1975 note in the Yale Law 
     Journal argued that ``Even a lump-sum appropriation and 
     disclosure would prevent both Congress and the public from 
     fixing or analyzing internal priorities within the CIA; it 
     would also be impossible to determine if there has been 
     waste, corruption, or spending prohibited by statute or by 
     the Constitution.'' \48\ The observation would seem sound, 
     and once you start releasing details it will probably become 
     more difficult to draw any bright lines. Ultimately, the very 
     existence of a separate intelligence committee may be called 
     into doubt as your colleagues and the critics demand more and 
     more details and become frustrated with your inexplicably 
     selective cooperation.

               exposing your budget to ``shark'' attacks

       It strikes me that the most likely result of such a 
     disclosure from the standpoint of the American taxpayer is 
     that this large chunk of money will become highly vulnerable 
     to attack as the budgetary belt is tightened. While Americans 
     may overwhelmingly favor having an effective intelligence 
     service and a strong defense establishment, when it comes 
     down to your being pressured to cut jobs and benefits 
     programs in your districts or taking a few million here and 
     there from this gross ``intelligence'' account--money which 
     will have little clearly identifiable short-term benefits to 
     constituent groups--the intelligence budget is going to be 
     placed at risk.
       And then, I suspect, you are going to be asked to 
     ``justify'' such a large budget--and you are either going to 
     have to start ``telling secrets'' or you will face amendments 
     to cut your aggregate budget by 2% here and 3% there so the 
     money can go for health care, education, and other special 
     interests that have far more extensive and effective PR 
     operations than do the agencies you are charged with 
     overseeing. I don't think any of us want to have the CIA or 
     NSA ``propagandizing'' the American voters to pressure 
     Congress for adequate funding; and because of that handicap I 
     suggest that you have a special responsibility to the 
     American people not to allow their intelligence services to 
     be compromised in order to appease more politically powerful 
     special interest groups.
       Candidly, I don't see much in the way of identifiable 
     benefits from disclosing the current aggregate Intelligence 
     Community budget. Perhaps they are there--but the burden of 
     proof ought to be placed upon those who are advocating the 

   intelligence community budget figures ought eventually to be made 

       This is not to say, however, that these figures ought to 
     remain perpetual secrets. On the contrary, I can think of no 
     reason why the sums made available to the Central 
     Intelligence Agency and other components of the Intelligence 
     Community in the 1940s, 1950, and 1960s ought not be made 
     public at this time (if that has not already been done). I 
     don't know whether the delay ought to be three decades, two 
     decades, or even less--but I would be inclined to defer to 
     the judgment of the President and the DCI in making such a 
     policy decision.

                     lives and freedom are at stake

       Finally, if you can identify genuine benefits to the 
     American people of disclosing this information, you need to 
     ask what harm might reasonably be foreseen to result from 
     such a change--and to weight any such harm against the 
     perceived benefits. Perhaps I am in the minority today, but I 
     believe that when the security of the nation may be at stake 
     we ought to act with a presumption of caution and secrecy. 
     The fact that the rest of the world follows that practice is 
     not proof of its wisdom--but it should give us justification 
     to pause, at least briefly, before moving off in a radically 
     new direction.
       Some experts have argued what has been called the 
     ``conspicuous bump theory''--suggesting that a foreign 
     intelligence service might be able to confirm the existence 
     of an expensive new program or technology by spotting a 
     change in the CIA or Intelligence Community budget. Former 
     DCI William Colby--a man of great wisdom and integrity, who 
     has decades of relevant experience on which to judge--has 
     suggested that the introduction of the U-2 program produced 
     just such a ``bump'' in our budget.\49\
       I am not privy to the future plans of the Intelligence 
     Community or the current details of its budget, and I can 
     certainly not identify any particular development that might 
     be compromised by publishing an aggregate figure--but I can 
     certainly conceive of such a development. Indeed, I can 
     conceive of a decision of such a development. Indeed, I can 
     conceive of a decision by the United States to curtail 
     intelligence spending dramatically--requiring the termination 
     of programs in many Third World countries--and I can project 
     that public release of figures showing a dramatic drop in 
     funding might well lead a potentially hostile foreign leader 
     to conclude that he no longer needed to abide by his NPT 
     commitments because the Americans no longer had adequate 
     resources to keep good track of his activities.

                  the intelligence ``jig-saw puzzle''

       The business of intelligence gathering is in many respects 
     much like putting together a jig-saw puzzle. If you are 
     looking at the United States, you certainly want to subscribe 
     to the Congressional Record and Aviation Week & Space 
     Technology, and also to attend scientific conferences and 
     carefully review the latest Statistical Abstract and some of 
     the thousands of other government publications that might 
     reveal some of the many pieces to the puzzle. When you see 
     areas where you are missing key pieces, perhaps you pay off a 
     secretary, seduce a file clerk, break in to a hotel room 
     while an international conference is in session to rifle a 
     briefcase or two, and perhaps eavesdrop on a few million 
     telephone calls. Much of your efforts are fruitless, but more 
     and more of the puzzle falls into place as each week goes by. 
     The ones that remain ``critically important'' are the ones 
     you do not have.
       That makes the counter-intelligence function a difficult 
     one; because, without knowing what pieces of the puzzle one's 
     adversaries have already acquired, it is virtually impossible 
     to identify any size piece as being ``vital'' to U.S. 
     security interests. And yet, quite possibly, almost any 
     single piece of the puzzle could be the critical part that 
     allows our enemies to break an important code and do us harm. 
     Thus, the tradition has developed that the intelligence 
     business ought, even in a democracy, be cloaked in a web of 
       Over the years, this Committee and your Senate counterpart 
     have taken testimony from a number of former DCIs and other 
     experts asking what specific harm they could identify that 
     would result from disclosing the aggregate intelligence 
     budget. Many, if not most, of them, I gather, have said they 
     could not point to clearly identifiable harm. Others have 
     urged you not to make the figures public.
       I wonder if it might have been useful to ask them another 
     question. Ask them how much they would pay to have the annual 
     aggregate intelligence budget figures for countries like the 
     former Soviet Union, Cuba, Libya, Iran, Iraq, or North Korea. 
     Would these figures be of interest to them? Might the trends 
     in these figures over a decade or more be helpful to them? If 
     they say ``no,'' then I would be less concerned.


       Mr. Chairman, let me close with the observation that this 
     is an important issue. Other than making us feel good--a 
     byproduct, perhaps, of the strange but all too prevalent 
     belief that keeping secrets from our nation's enemies is 
     somehow ``un-American,'' ``dirty,'' or even ``evil''--I don't 
     believe that publishing the aggregate intelligence budget is 
     going to benefit very many Americans. It may make a few super 
     hawks feel relieved that we are throwing enough money at the 
     problem,\50\ I suspect Oliver Stone and others who believe 
     that the United States is an evil force in the world may buy 
     a few extra cases of Malox, and some of your constituents may 
     even accept the allegation that you will have somehow ``saved 
     the Constitution'' \51\ by passing such a disclosure 
     requirement. But most Americans simply don't know enough 
     about the Intelligence business, about how this money is 
     actually being spent, to be able to evaluate a figure 
     presumably in the tens of billions of dollars.
       The most likely consequence of publishing an unsupported 
     aggregate figure is that it will become a sitting duck for 
     colleagues seeking accounts to cut in order to satisfy the 
     demands of special interest constituent groups without 
     further adding to the deficit. You will then be forced to 
     choose between further breaking down the intelligence 
     budget--and then being asked, at minimum, to provide public 
     justification for any future increases--or watching the very 
     important sum of money you are charged with overseeing ripped 
     apart as some of your colleagues go on a feeding frenzy. 
     Members of Congress who do not understand the important 
     business of intelligence--and, equally importantly, who know 
     that this large account can't be publicly defended without 
     disclosing details that its champions will not wish to reveal 
     to our nation's enemies--are likely to argue that their pet 
     ``pork'' project can easily be funded by just taking a few 
     hundred thousand dollars from this vast ``intelligence'' 
     account--charging the DCI with finding a little more ``fat'' 
     to trim from his presumably bloated bureaucracy. It could 
     give a whole new meaning to the term ``graymail''--defend 
     your budget on the merits in public by compromising secrets, 
     or watch large chunks of it vanish before your eyes.
       The Intelligence Community could easily suffer the fate of 
     the prized sausage the fabled German butcher is said to have 
     left displayed unguarded on his counter while he swept out 
     one afternoon. He returned to find that a tiny slice had been 
     taken while he was away; but, noting its small size, he 
     concluded it really didn't matter all that much. An hours 
     later, when he returned from his storeroom, he found another 
     piece was gone. This continued for several days. Each missing 
     slice, after all, was quite modest in size and could hardly 
     be said to have destroyed the value of the whole. Little by 
     little, the prized sausage vanished. Pretty soon, only a 
     small piece of string was left--and that wasn't worth 
     fighting for either.
       In a very real sense, the Intelligence Community budget is 
     as defenseless as the sausage in the fable. We don't want the 
     CIA ``propagandizing'' the public to pressure Congress for 
     additional funds, and we know they can't discuss the 
     important details of their work without harming their 
     effectiveness even if they wanted to do so. They provide

[[Page H4982]]

     ``services'' to Americans of incalculable value, by helping 
     to keep the world peaceful and identifying threats to our 
     security sufficiently early that we can address them without 
     having to expend the lives of our young men and women in 
       Thanks to our Intelligence Community, we learned about the 
     existence of Soviet missiles in Cuba in 1962, and about 
     dangerous nuclear weapons and ballistic missile threats from 
     North Korea three decades later. Each of you could probably 
     add numerous other examples, because you have been entrusted 
     with special access to information that must be denied to the 
     rest of us. But, when the sharks come, you will be precluded 
     by your promise of secrecy from mentioning those examples in 
     public debate. How can you possibly expect to convince your 
     colleagues not to earmark a couple of hundred thousand 
     dollars for a new public building to honor the beloved Tip 
     O'Neil, a few million dollars for a powerful committee 
     chairman's favorite hospital--perhaps to fund some promising 
     AIDS research--or perhaps to pay for the unanticipated 
     earthquake relief needs in Los Angeles?
       It would not surprise me if some of your constituents would 
     vote to shut down the entire Intelligence Community if the 
     money saved could rescue one small child trapped in a well, 
     to ease the suffering on a pediatric cancer ward, or to take 
     a real ``bite'' out of crime. After all, the Cold War is 
     over--and many Americans couldn't find North Korea on a map 
     without great effort. One of the nice things about being 
     outside the policy process is that most Americans don't have 
     to worry about long-term strategic solvency or the risks 
     that lurk around the corner in an increasingly complex and 
     not yet safe world. They elected you to represent them in 
     deciding how to allocate the nation's limited resources, 
     and in this regard I would remind you of the famous 1774 
     speech to the Electors of Bristol, in which Edmund Burke 
     observed: ``Your representative owes you, not his industry 
     only, but his judgment; and he betrays instead of serving 
     you if he sacrifices it to your opinion.''
       Because of your membership on this important Committee, you 
     have a special duty--not only to the constituents in your 
     individual districts, but to all of the American people--to 
     oversee and pass judgment upon the work of the Intelligence 
     Community. This system has worked well, in general, by having 
     your colleagues rely upon you to make recommendations based 
     upon the special information to which you are given access. 
     Most of your colleagues hesitate to second-guess your 
     judgments, because they know they lack your expertise. Simply 
     gratuitously tossing out an aggregate budget sum--a figure 
     presumably in the tens of billions of dollars--may well break 
     some of the mystique that has helped guard these critically 
     important funds from the sharks in the past.
       As I have said, the potential consequences are great. 
     Imagine the lives that might have been saved had we been able 
     to prevent the Pearl Harbor surprise attack. Consider what 
     might have happened had we not learned of the Soviet nuclear 
     missiles in Cuba. How many more Americans might have died in 
     the gulf during Operation Desert Storm had it not been for 
     the information we were able to gain from our overhead 
       Information provided by the American Intelligence Community 
     reportedly helped to convince the International Atomic Energy 
     Agency that North Korea was violating its treaty commitments 
     under the NPT--and that may allow us to avoid a nuclear 
     confrontation in East Asia that could either engulf U.S. 
     forces in South Korea or, in the alternative, provoke Japan 
     to become a nuclear weapons State and undermine the Nuclear 
     Non-Proliferation Treaty. As we meet here today, American 
     intelligence assets are presumably monitoring the efforts by 
     Libya to build new poison gas facilities that could fuel 
     further terrorism and undermine our interests and the cause 
     of peace in the coming years.
       Mr. Chairman, the job which you and your colleagues on this 
     Committee have accepted is not an easy one. Today, the 
     American people are still rejoicing at the end of the Cold 
     War. They are turning inward, looking for ``peace 
     dividends.'' But you have a greater responsibility than 
     simply pandering to their short-term desires. You must decide 
     what national resources ought to be allocated to the 
     intelligence functions, and then you must try to protect 
     those funds in a very competitive budget process.
       If you err, and the nation is left unprotected, American 
     soldiers may well pay with their lives for your frugality. 
     The stakes in this game are high: they are measured in human 
     lives and individual freedom. In this regard, you may wish to 
     keep in mind that the American people are not very forgiving 
     when their elected representatives fail in their duty to 
     protect the nation's security--even when their actions are 
     initially fully in accord with the public opinion polls. Few 
     of the isolationists who tied President Roosevelt's hands in 
     the 1930s in the name of ``peace'' and ``neutrality'' 
     survived the elections following Pearl Harbor, an event which 
     itself might have been prevented by a serious national 
     intelligence collection effort.\52\
       In the backlash to Watergate and Vietnam two decades ago, 
     the American public turned against the Intelligence 
     Community--egged on, I would add, by irresponsible charges 
     from the Hill that the CIA had become a ``rogue elephant.'' 
     \53\ Our elected representatives responded by cutting back on 
     funding and reducing intelligence assets in several areas--in 
     particular we reduced money for HUMINT in such 
     ``unimportant'' areas as El Salvador. I need not emphasize 
     that by 1981 that cutback had proven to be a costly 
     mistake--both in terms of undermining our efforts to 
     assist a neighbor resist an externally-supported Leninist 
     insurgency and our campaign for important human rights 
       When Iranian militants seized American hostages in Tehran 
     in 1979, the American people wanted quick action. Support for 
     the CIA shot up dramatically in the polls. Some of the 
     reductions that had been made in the mid-seventies seemed 
     hard to explain, and the voters turned out an administration 
     in Washington that had, for the most part, been very much in 
     tune with the neo-isolationist sentiments of the Nation prior 
     to the ``wake up call'' from the Ayatollah Khomeini
       The Cold War is now over, but, if anything, the world is a 
     far more complex reality than was the case when Moscow held 
     the strings to many of its problem children. The existence of 
     radical regimes like those in North Korea, Iraq, Iran, Libya, 
     the Sudan--to name a few--combined with the growth of ultra 
     nationalism in Eastern Europe, the growing threat of 
     proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and our own 
     obvious vulnerability to international terrorism, make it 
     more important than ever for us to have a strong and 
     effective Intelligence Community. Human lives are at stake in 
     the decisions you make--not only those of our soldiers, but 
     also those of secretaries and office workers who may find 
     themselves in situations like the World Trade Center bombing.
       You invited me here to address the rather technical 
     question of whether the Constitution requires the publication 
     of an aggregate budget figure for the Intelligence Community. 
     My answer is that it clearly does not--a view consistent with 
     more than two centuries of established practice, and one 
     shared by the federal judiciary and at least the Carter 
     Administration's Justice Department. In contrast, it is worth 
     noting that in 1977, when your colleagues in the Senate 
     studied this issue and concluded that the aggregate budget 
     should be released, they relied upon three law review 
     articles (all written in the wake of Watergate and the 
     emotions of the Church and Pike Committee investigations) in 
     concluding that ``the legal commentators outside the 
     government who have studied this clause and publicly 
     commented have concluded that it requires disclosure of at 
     least an aggregate figure for intelligence activities.'' \54\ 
     What they did not disclose--and what most of the Senators 
     quite probably did not realize--is that each of the three law 
     review articles were nothing more than ``Notes'' written by 
     law students.\55\
       The Constitution clearly does not require you to release 
     current aggregate appropriation figures for the intelligence 
     community at this time. Whether to do so is entirely within 
     the discretion of the Congress. That leaves you with the 
     policy question of whether to publish such a figure for other 
     reasons. For the reasons already stated, I urge you to 
     consider the pros and cons of that issue very carefully 
     before making a decision. I honestly believe it would prove 
     to be a tragic mistake.
       Thank you, Mr. Chairman. That concludes my statement.

     \1\ Perhaps the most detailed public account I have seen to 
     \2\ 50 U.S.C.A. Sec. 403 f (a).
     \3\ Douglas P. Elliott, Cloak and Ledger: Is CIA Funding 
     Constitutional?, 2 HAST. CONST. L. Q. 717, 731-32 (1975).
     \4\ I have not had time to search to see if such polls have 
     been taken, but I recall that during the height of the Gulf 
     War the polls showed overwhelming support for the 
     restrictions placed by the military upon the press.
     \5\ The ``Church Committee' concluded ``that publication of 
     the aggregate figure for national intelligence would begin to 
     satisfy the Constitutional requirement and would not damage 
     the national security.'' Quoted in, SENATE SELECT COMMITTEE 
     PUBLIC INTEREST 2 (95th Cong., 1st sess., Sen. Rep't 95-274 
     (1977). The ``Rockefeller Commission'' identified this as an 
     issue warranting congressional consideration. COMMISSION ON 
     PRESIDENT 81 (1975). There have also been several ``Notes,'' 
     written by law students, reaching this conclusion. See, e.g., 
     Fiscal Oversight of the Central Intelligence Agency: Can 
     Accountability and Confidentiality Coexist?, 7 N.Y.U.J. INT'L 
     L. & POLITICS 493 (1974); The CIA's Secret Funding and the 
     Constitution, 84 YALE L. J. 608 (1975); and Douglas P. 
     Elliott, Cloak and Ledger: Is CIA Funding Constitutional?, 2 
     HAST. CONST. L. Q. 717 (1975).
     \6\ Presumably every school child is familiar with 
     Jefferson's famous maxim that, ``If a nation expects to be 
     ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects 
     what never was and never will be.'' 14 WRITINGS OF THOMAS 
     JEFFERSON 384 (Mem ed. 1903). Only slightly less popular is 
     Madison's warning that ``A popular Government, without 
     popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a 
     Prologue to a Farce or a tragedy; or, perhaps both. Knowledge 
     will forever govern ignorance. And a people who mean to be 
     their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power which 
     knowledge gives.'' 9 THE WRITINGS OF JAMES MADISON 103 
     (Gaillard Hunt, ed. 1910).
     \8\ ``Verbal statement of Thomas Story to the Committee,'' 2 
     NORTH AMERICAN COLONIES, Fifth Series, 818-19 (1837-53). For 
     reasons of readability, I have departed from the practice of 
     italicizing most of the proper nouns followed in the 
     \9\ Id. at 819.

[[Page H4983]]

     \10\ Id.
     \11\ An excellent discussion of this period is contained in 
     RELATIONS 18-22 (1929).
     \12\ Id. at 23. The internal quotation is cited to a letter 
     from Jay to Thomas Jefferson (then Minister to Paris) dated 
     24 April 1787.
     \13\ The FEDERALIST, No. 64 at 434-35 (Jacob E. Cooke, ed. 
     1961) (J. Jay) (emphasis added). Jay's contribution to 
     understanding the Constitution in this essay can not be 
     understated. Discussing Jay's subsequent role in explaining 
     the meaning of the Constitution--and, specifically, this 
     essay--University of Washington Professor Arthur Bestor 
     (hardly a champion of strong executive power) has observed: 
     ``In this contribution to the Federalist Jay was of course 
     examining the completed Constitution, not offering 
     suggestions to those about to frame it. As an interpretation 
     of the original intent of the document. Jay's essay is of the 
     highest importance. His diplomatic experience commencing with 
     his appointment as minister to Spain in 1779; followed by his 
     participation, as one of the commissioners, in the 
     negotiation of peace with Great Britain; and continuing, from 
     1784 on, with his service as Secretary of the United States 
     for the department of Foreign Affairs--fitted him better than 
     anyone else to judge the intended effect of the new 
     Constitution both on the actual process of negotiation and on 
     the character of the relationship that would have to be 
     maintained between executive and legislative authorities.'' 
     Bestor, Separation of Powers in the Domain of Foreign 
     Affairs, 4 SEATON HALL L. REV. 527, 532-33 (1974). Professor 
     Gordon Baldwin concludes: ``John Jay, an experienced attorney 
     and diplomat, suggested that intelligence gathering 
     arrangements are within the sole power of the President. In 
     his view, they are a purely executive function linked to the 
     treaty negotiation process, and the information so gained 
     need not be reported to Congress.'' Gordon Baldwin, 
     Congressional Power to Demand Disclosure of Foreign 
     Intelligence Agreements, 3 BROOKLYN J. INT'L L. 1, 17 (1976).
     \14\ Federalist No. 64.
     \15\ The Complete Anas of Thomas Jefferson 72-73 (Franklin B. 
     Sawvel, ed. 1903). This document also appears in 1 The 
     Writings of Thomas Jefferson 191 (Paul Ford, ed., 1892).
     \16\ The Convention was to begin on the second Monday in May 
     (14 May), but a quorum did not arrive until the 25th.
     \17\ 1 Max Farrand, The Records of the Federal Convention of 
     1787 at 15 (1966).
     \18\ Clinton Rossiter, 1787: The Grand Convention 167 (1966).
     \19\ Farrand, The Records of the Federal Convention, supra 
     note 17, at xv.
     \20\ James Madison, 2 ``The Journal of the Constitutional 
     Convention,'' in 4 The Writings of James Madison 456-57 
     (Gaillard Hunt, ed. 1903). With only minor changes in 
     punctuation and typography, this same debate appears in 2 Max 
     Farrand, The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787 at 
     618-19 (1966).
     \21\ 4 Writings of James Madison 449-50; 2 Farrand, Records 
     of the Federal Convention 613.
     \22\ 3 Farrand, Records of the Federal Convention 326.
     \23\ Id.
     \24\ Cohens v. Virginia, 19 U.S. (6 Wheat.) 264, 418 (1821).
     \25\ Not being privy to the budgetary figures for the Central 
     Intelligence Agency I can not say with certainty, but I 
     suspect this 1790 appropriation provided the President with a 
     larger portion of the federal budget than is today allocated 
     to the CIA.
     \26\ Act of 1 July 1790, 1 Stat. 129 (1790).
     \27\ Ed Sayle, The Historical Underpinnings of the U.S. 
     Intelligence Community, 1 International Journal of 
     Intelligence and Counterintelligence 9 (1986).
     \28\ 11 THE WRITINGS OF THOMAS JEFFERSON 5, 9, 10 (Mem. ed. 
     1904). For a discussion of Jefferson's theory that the 
     ``executive power'' clause of Article II, section 1, had 
     vested in the President the entire business of external 
     intercourse save for the expressed grants to Congress and the 
     Senate (such as the power of the Senate to approve 
     nominations and treaties, and the veto given Congress over a 
     decision to initiate an offensive ``war'')--a view shared by 
     Washington, Hamilton, Jay, Marshall, and others--see ROBERT 
     RULE OF LAW IN U.S. FOREIGN POLICY 47-107 (1991).
     \29\ I discuss this incident in some detail in a forthcoming 
     \30\ 3 Stat. 471 (1818).
     \31\ President Roosevelt appointed ``Wild Bill'' Donovan as 
     ``Coordinator of Information''--which led directly to the OSS 
     and CIA--on 18 June of that year, and funding for the 
     Manhattan Project apparently began around 9 October. See TIM 
     \32\ 63 Stat 208, Pub. L. 81-110, codified at 50 U.S.C.A. 
     Sec. 403 et seq.
     \33\ The most noteworthy of these, perhaps, was the effort by 
     the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence to change the 
     practice in 1977. While a majority of the committee voted for 
     that end, the dispute was apparently so heated that no one 
     brought the measure to the floor.
     \34\ 418 U.S. 166 (1974).
     \35\ 418 U.S. at 178 n.11.
     \36\ 629 F.2d 144 (D.C. Cir. 1980). Another useful case from 
     the same circuit is Harrington v. Bush, 553 F.2d. 190 (D.C. 
     Cir. 1977), in which the court rejected on standing grounds a 
     similar challenge brought by a Member of Congress, and in the 
     process concluded with respect to the ``regular Statement and 
     Account'' clause: ``This clause is not self-defining and 
     Congress has plenary power to give meaning to the provision. 
     . . . Since Congressional power is plenary with respect to 
     the definition of the appropriations process and reporting 
     requirements, the legislature is free to establish exceptions 
     to this general framework, as has been done with respect to 
     the CIA.'' Id. at 194-95.
     \37\ 629 F.2d at 162.
     \38\ Id. at 155.
     \39\ Id.
     \40\ Id. at 156.
     \41\ Letter from President Carter to the Senate Select 
     Committee on Intelligence, quoted in SENATE SELECT COMMITTEE 
     \42\ Quoted supra, note 6.
     \43\ 15 The Writings of Thomas Jefferson 303 (Mem. ed. 1903).
     \44\ Federalist No. 3 at 13-14 (Jacob E. Cooke, ed. 1961) 
     (emphasis in original).
     \45\ 453 U.S. 280 (1981).
     \46\ See supra, text accompanying note 20.
     \47\ Fiscal Oversight of the Central Intelligence Agency: Can 
     Accountability and Confidentiality Coexist?, 7 N.Y.U. J. 
     Int'l L. & Politics 493, 521 (1974).
     \48\ The CIA's Secret Funding and the Constitution, 84 YALE 
     L. J. 608, 633 n.137 (1975). Keep in mind that the Church 
     Committee said ``publication of the aggregate figure . . . 
     would begin to satisfy the Constitutional requirement . . . 
     [emphasis added].'' See supra, note 5.
     \49\ Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Report on 
     Whether Disclosure of Funds for the Intelligence Activities 
     of the United States is In the Public Interest 8.
     \50\ Without further details, no one will be able to make an 
     intelligent judgment about the wisdom of the expenditures 
     contained in the aggregate figure; and I predict that if you 
     do release such a figure you will be forced to break it down 
     further (at least by agency or category) within a few years.
     \51\ If your primary interest is in upholding the 
     Constitution, I can suggest any of a number of measures 
     Congress might take toward that end--such as repealing the 
     1973 War Powers Resolution, which even Senator George 
     Mitchell admits is unconstitutional, or repealing some of the 
     hundreds of new ``legislative vetoes'' that have been enacted 
     after the 1983 Supreme Court decision (INS. v. Chadha) 
     declaring such measures to be unconstitutional. See, e.g., 
     Robert F. Turner, Repealing the War Powers Resolution: 
     Restoring the Rule of Law in U.S. Foreign Policy (1991).
     \52\ See, e.g., 95 Cong. Rec. 1948 (1949) (remarks by Sen. 
     Tydings), cited in Douglas P. Elliott, Cloak and Ledger: Is 
     CIA Funding Constitutional?, 2 Hast. Const. L.Q. 717, 729 
     \53\ To be sure, the Intelligence Community engaged in 
     activities that most of us today would consider improper--but 
     even Senator Church ultimately acknowledged that the ``rogue 
     elephant'' metaphor he coined was inaccurate and the 
     Community has been following instructions from the nation's 
     elected political leaders.
     \54\ Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Report on 
     Whether Disclosure of Funds for the Intelligence Activities 
     of the United States Is in the Public Interest at 4 n.6.
     \55\ The student Notes in question are cited supra, note 5.

  Mr. GOSS. Mr. Chairman, this is one of the situations where there is 
a lot of misinformation, a lot of perception, a lot of misperception 
frankly. There clearly is a slippery slope here, because the gentleman 
from Michigan's amendment talks about the annual statement of the total 
amount for intelligence expenditures. The problem with that is that if 
we give a number and we say these are intelligence expenditures, then 
we have to start defining what is intelligence. It is not exactly what 
other people think it is going to be. We will have to start paring out 
different programs and different functions to determine what we mean.
  Are you talking about the amount we spend on national security? That 
should surely be a big number. It is required in the Constitution. That 
is something the Federal Government does. Are we talking about the 
intelligence function in national security? And if so, what does that 
number mean and what specifically does it include and what does it 
leave out? What is intelligence? Is the State Department gathering of 
information or reading Le Figaro, is that part of intelligence? Is that 
open source intelligence or not? You have to start making further 
descriptions and definitions. That is the slippery slope.
  Mr. DICKS. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. GOSS. I yield to the gentleman from Washington.
  Mr. DICKS. Mr. Chairman, I think this bill is intelligence. We are 
the ones that just authorized it. So that is pretty much what it is.
  Mr. GOSS. Mr. Chairman, I quite agree. The gentlewoman from 
California said one of the worst kept secrets in Washington is the 
intelligence budget. One of the worst kept secrets in Washington is, 
what is the intelligence part of the intelligence budget? What is the 
intelligence part of the defense budget?
  Some have said that we are hiding something from Americans. We are 
not trying to hide anything from Americans. We are trying to keep some 
secrets from our enemies. That is true. We are trying to do that. But I 
would point out to those who say we are trying to hide something from 
Americans, we have a representative form of government. This is 
democracy at its finest in the world. Those of us here represent those 
of us abroad in our land.
  Those of us on the committee are charged with the responsibility of 
oversight. It was not always such good oversight. It is very good 
oversight now, and we are accountable. I would say we are hiding 
nothing from the Americans because there is no American that I would 
look at right in the eye and say, we are spending the money as wisely 
and as well as we can and as appropriately as we can. Fifteen men and 
women, good and true, making that decision about what our intelligence 
needs are at this time, I have no problem with that. I think that is 
entirely reasonable.
  When I go beyond that and start talking about specifics, I start 
removing some of the confusion the enemy seize out there. I think 
confusion to

[[Page H4984]]

our enemies is not a bad thing. It is somewhat Biblical, in fact. I 
think it has worked very well over in the past. I do not see the game. 
If it is accountability, the accountability is there. We already have 
  The final point of the gentlewoman from California, the President is 
somehow waiting for the signal; whoever made that statement, perhaps it 
was not the gentlewoman from California, let me tell my colleagues that 
it was President Clinton himself who classified the number when he sent 
his budget submission to Congress in March. It was not the Congress. We 
do not have the authority to classify anything. It is the executive 
branch that classifies things.
  We are putting money in our bill to examine the question of 
declassification because we are properly concerned about it. That also 
in my view means abuse of classification. I know that takes place. So I 
would suggest the right way to deal with this is to go to the 
comprehensive study we have called for in our bill, that we have 
provided for in our bill, authorized funds for and I hope we will get 
those funds from the appropriators, and I believe we are and that we 
proceed in an orderly way. That way we protect national security. We 
provide for accountability. And we give the President and his people 
the opportunity to chime in on the debate.
  Mr. Chairman, I urge a ``no'' vote on the Conyers amendment.
  Mr. STARK. Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of the Conyers amendment 
to H.R. 1775, the Intelligence Authorization Act of 1997.
  There is no reason for the intelligence budget to be classified 
information. How can we justify a multibillion--or is it more--blank 
check every year without adequate oversight and minimum public 
  If this Congress is serious about balancing the budget, we should not 
throw money into an unaccountable hole. Since almost all of the 
intelligence spending is hidden within the defense budget, we are 
misled about the real amount of intelligence spending through false 
line items in the defense budget. We must have budget integrity.
  The intelligence budget is routinely reported by the media without 
compromising national security. When the Government keeps this open 
secret clandestinely hidden, the American public grows increasingly 
cynical about their Government.
  I believe that our intelligence community could better justify the 
funding they receive from Congress with a disclosed budget. In the same 
vein, the intelligence community could help to balance the budget by 
submitting their funding to the same scrutiny faced by domestic 
  This amendment is about accountability and the public's right to 
know. There is no reason to keep this information from a full and open 
  I urge my colleagues to support the Conyers amendment.
  Mr. FARR of California. Mr. Chairman, I rise today in support of the 
Conyers amendment to declassify the size of our Nation's intelligence 
  It makes no sense to keep the size of our intelligence budget a 
secret. It would not threaten our national security. Several former 
Directors of the Central Intelligence Agency and the bipartisan Brown-
Aspin Commission have agreed that disclosure of the aggregate 
intelligence budget would not reduce our Nation's security. In fact, 
many other countries disclose the amount they spend on intelligence, 
with no impact on their own nation's security.
  But what such secrecy does do is keep our own citizens in the dark. 
At a time when so many programs are being drastically reduced in the 
name of deficit reduction, the American taxpayer isn't even told how 
much is being spent on intelligence programs.
  I am a proud cosponsor of H.R. 753, the Intelligence Budget 
Accountability Act, which would declassify the aggregate intelligence 
budget. This is long overdue, and I urge adoption of the Conyers 
amendment to the Intelligence Authorization Act to accomplish this 
important goal.
  The CHAIRMAN. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Michigan [Mr. Conyers].
  The question was taken; and the Chairman announced that the noes 
appeared to have it.

                             Recorded Vote

  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.
  A recorded vote was ordered.
  The vote was taken by electronic device, and there were--ayes 192, 
noes 237, not voting 5, as follows:

                             [Roll No. 254]


     Barrett (WI)
     Brown (CA)
     Brown (FL)
     Brown (OH)
     Davis (FL)
     Davis (IL)
     Frank (MA)
     Hall (TX)
     Hastings (FL)
     Jackson (IL)
     Jackson-Lee (TX)
     Johnson (WI)
     Johnson, E. B.
     Kennedy (MA)
     Kennedy (RI)
     Kind (WI)
     Lewis (GA)
     Maloney (CT)
     Maloney (NY)
     McCarthy (MO)
     McCarthy (NY)
     Miller (CA)
     Moran (VA)
     Peterson (MN)
     Price (NC)
     Smith, Adam
     Watt (NC)


     Barrett (NE)
     Davis (VA)
     Franks (NJ)
     Hall (OH)
     Hastings (WA)
     Johnson (CT)
     Johnson, Sam
     King (NY)
     Lewis (CA)
     Lewis (KY)
     Miller (FL)
     Moran (KS)
     Peterson (PA)
     Pryce (OH)
     Schaefer, Dan
     Schaffer, Bob
     Smith (MI)
     Smith (NJ)
     Smith (OR)
     Smith (TX)
     Smith, Linda
     Taylor (MS)
     Taylor (NC)
     Watts (OK)
     Weldon (FL)
     Weldon (PA)
     Young (AK)
     Young (FL)

[[Page H4985]]

                             NOT VOTING--5


                              {time}  1851

  Mr. BOB SMITH of Oregon, Mr. BOB SCHAFFER of Colorado, and Mr. GILMAN 
changed their vote from ``aye'' to ``no.''
  Mr. MANTON and Ms. EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON of Texas changed their vote 
from ``no'' to ``aye.''
  So the amendment was rejected.
  The result of the vote was announced as above recorded.

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