Mr. BURTON of Indiana. I agree with what the gentleman said about our wounded warriors and how we ought to be giving them all the support that we possibly can, but the reason I took this time in opposition is because the chairman and I couldn't reach an agreement to discuss one of the provisions in the bill.
I sincerely feel, Madam Chairman, that we are endangering our capability of getting information from terrorists because we are limiting our CIA and our intelligence officials with this legislation and these procedures that they can use to elicit that information. I know there are some differences of opinion, and I know we have in our hearts the best security that we can think of for the American people, but the one thing that really, really bothers me is we're telling CIA officials--and some of our military people in the field, not with this bill--but we are telling a lot of our intelligence officials and people in the field that they have to be very, very careful and walk on eggs when they are trying to get information from a terrorist, al Qaeda or Taliban terrorist, to make sure that we aren't violating or torturing them in any way. [Page: H893] The American people certainly don't want torture, and there is a big difference of opinion on whether or not water boarding, for instance, is torture. But the fact of the matter is if we have another major attack like the one we had on 9/11, the American people are going to come down like a ton of bricks on the people in this House that put restrictions on our intelligence-gathering capability. They're going to say, why didn't you do whatever it took to secure the safety of the people of this country? And because we are putting this language in this bill, we are saying to the CIA and the other intelligence agencies, you've got to be real careful; you've got to make absolutely sure you don't do something that might get you in trouble and might even put you in jail.
And when you say things like that to the people that are out there in the field risking their lives, what you do is you intimidate them, maybe not intentionally, but you intimidate them and you stop the possibility of getting all the information that we need to protect this country.
Now, I know there is a disagreement; I just talked to some people on the other side. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was water boarded 80-something times, I think, or something like that; and when he first started out, he said, well, you'll find out what's going to happen. And later, after he was water boarded, he said, yes, there was going to be a plane that was going to fly into a building in Los Angeles. Well, that plane, had it flown into a building in Los Angeles, might have killed another 2,000 or 3,000 people.
And so the only reason I came here is to just say, let's don't break the legs of our intelligence officers who are trying to protect this country. It's just too important. We ought to be doing everything we can to back them up to make sure this country is safe. Our intelligence people are telling us right now we're likely to have another attack within the next 6 months or 1 year. So we ought to be giving every intelligence agency and every officer we possibly can all the support they need to stop that.
With that, I thank you very much for yielding and yield back the balance of my time.