Good morning. The committee will please come to
order. Today we convene the first public hearing of the House
Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence for the 111th Congress.
Before I welcome our new members I want to remind everybody we're
having this hearing today in what I call the home of Chairman Sonny
Montgomery, someone that championed issues for America's veterans,
someone that's highly regarded and revered, not just in Congress but
by veterans everywhere. So we are very appreciative to Chairman
Filner for allowing us to borrow this very historic hearing room here.
With that I would like to extend a warm welcome to the new
members of the committee, Mr. Smith and Mr. Boren, Ms. Myrick, Mr.
Miller, Mr. Kline and Mr. Conaway. And I'd also like to welcome back
to our returning members from previous service with the committee, my
vice chair, Mr. Hastings, welcome back, and Mr. Blunt as well.
Director Blair, welcome. This morning we're pleased that you are
here, and happy to see you today. We also want to congratulate you on
your recent confirmation and wish you well as you go forward under
these difficult times that we're facing today as a nation.
As the nation's third Director of National Intelligence, you will
be required to continue to refine the role of the DNI and advance the
goals of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004,
while at the same time never losing sight of the threats to our
national security. I think we often make reference that this will be
much like flying a plane and building it at the same time. So we are
definitely prepared to stand with you and support your efforts.
Before we get started I also wanted to thank the director for
meeting with members of the committee yesterday in an informal
session. Feedback that I have gotten has been very positive, and we
intend to do more of those meetings, being mindful and respectful of
the challenges you face and the time limitations that you have. We
deeply appreciate your willingness to do that.
There were a few things about our discussion yesterday that I
personally found very encouraging. First, I am pleased, Mr. Director,
that you are looking carefully at the situation in Mexico and are in
the process of determining whether we need to redouble our efforts in
helping President Calderon and the Mexican government deal with
threats posed by the drug cartels. Second, I am encouraged that the
administration is conducting a comprehensive review of our policy in
Pakistan and Afghanistan. And, third, I was interested to hear your
thoughts on dealing with the detainees at Guantanamo Bay.
When discussion turns to what our options might be with respect
to closing Guantanamo Bay, I think it's important to remind everyone
that the United States has been capable of detaining and holding
terrorists on our soil for many, many years. By way of examples,
today the U.S. prison system holds Ramzi Yousef, who is Khalid Sheikh
Mohammed's nephew, and one of the planners of the first World Trade
Center attack. He was captured in Pakistan, extradited to the United
States, convicted, and he now sits in a U.S. jail.
The U.S. prison system also holds Omar Abdel-Rahman, better known
as "the blind sheep," a participant also in the first World Trade
Center attacks, as well as Zacarias Moussaoui, convicted of
participating in the September 11th attacks, also in a U.S. prison;
Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri, who has been labeled an enemy combatant by
the Bush administration, has been securely held in a Navy brig. Those
are just some of the examples of terrorists that are being held in the
Today I'm going to make a few general remarks and then address
some specific areas of concern for our nation. This is the third
annual threat assessment that I have presided over as chairman of this
committee, and we are in a unique position this year. Although the
new administration is just over a month old, we have seen some major
changes to some of the most controversial issues which impact the
intelligence community. President Obama's executive orders on
detention and interrogation policies and on Guantanamo Bay represent a
significant departure from the previous administration's policies.
I know that many of us have strong opinions on what should be
done in these critical areas. My intention, though, is to give the
president and his new appointees some space to work through these
issues as they propose a way forward. However, I think we all
recognize that we don't have an unlimited amount of time, so I hope
that the executive branch will move quickly on these critical issues.
Director Blair, I am also hopeful that you and the new
administration will bring about an improved interaction between the
executive and legislative branches on intelligence matters. Too often
in the past we've been left in the dark or simply told things too
late, or told only part of the story. You heard some of those
comments yesterday in the informal session. I am truly optimistic
that you would bring positive change in this area as we see our way
One thing that will not change in the new administration is the
strong character and drive of the men and women of the intelligence
community. I have traveled throughout the world, as we mentioned to
you yesterday, and have met with our intelligence personnel and have
consistently come away impressed by the level of their dedication,
their skill, their commitment and their bravery. I know, in talking
with you, you intend to spend some time traveling and meeting these
same men and women around the world that are doing such critical work
for our nation.
I hope that as you meet with them you will deliver to them our
message of gratitude, support and encouragement. In the coming months
we will also be asking you questions about funding and resource needs
for the intelligence community. One of the principal functions of our
committee is to ensure that the men and women working on the front
lines have the tools that they need to combat terrorism and to protect
our national security. We look to you for a frank assessment of what
those needs may be.
With respect to the substance of the threats facing the United
States, I'll outline four very basic principles on which I hope we can
all agree, and we'll seek your comment on them. First, al Qaeda
remains a significant threat. Second, American security policy will,
for years, continue to be driven by Iraq and Afghanistan. Third,
while we will continue to focus on the hot spots around the globe, we
simply cannot forget about growing threats from China, Russia, Iran,
and about long-standing problems in Latin America and Africa. And,
fourth, our nation's cyber infrastructure remains vulnerable to
attack. Our intelligence community must be deeply engaged as we
respond to these threats.
On the subject of al Qaeda, I think it is beyond dispute that the
last few years have seen expansion of the influence of al Qaeda and
the Taliban in the federally administered tribal areas of Pakistan, a
region known as FATA. This simply, in my opinion, cannot continue.
With the freedom to recruit, train and plot new attacks on the FATA,
new safe havens across the globe continue to grow and emerge. Of
particular concern are the expanding al Qaeda networks in the Sahel
region of North Africa and the emerging and intensifying al Qaeda
presence in Yemen. The fight against al Qaeda is not simply a matter
of warfare. We've also go to make progress in countering the
extremist ideology. This committee needs to know what has been done
to counter the extremist message throughout the world. What threat do
we face from radicalization in the homeland? What advances have our
allies made in combating this threat? And, simply stated, what can we
do better to address these threats worldwide?
With respect to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, our national
interest will be tied to the outcome of these conflicts. Our children
and grandchildren will pay the cost of these wars and will either reap
the benefits or suffer the consequences of what we do here.
The past two years have seen some success in Iraq, and thanks to
the heroic efforts of our military, intelligence and diplomatic
personnel, we are very grateful for all of their efforts. At the same
time, while significant progress has been made in Iraq, we are losing
ground to the Taliban and insurgents in Afghanistan who are now
virtually indistinguishable from al Qaeda. These terrorists who have
long found sanctuary in the border area between Afghanistan and
Pakistan not only directly threaten U.S. national security, they
threaten our allies by insisting on spreading their violent and
distorted interpretation of Islam. So as we balance forces from Iraq
to Afghanistan, how will we protect the gains in Iraq while stopping
the slide in Afghanistan?
As I noted at the outset, while we maintain focus on al Qaeda and
on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, we've also got the rest of the
world to worry about. We must continue to focus on the threats posed
by state actors such as Iran and North Korea. As we have recently
read in the open press, Iran placed its first domestically built
satellite in orbit. But the same technology that can launch a
satellite and put it in orbit is also useful for launching missiles.
Coupled with the possibility of Iran's nuclear ambitions, what is the
intelligence community's assessment of this threat? What is the
community's assessment of Iran's openness to increase diplomacy and
engagement with the United States? Similarly, what progress has been
made in the efforts to disarm North Korea? And what more needs to be
done in both these critical and vital areas of the world?
Russia continues to pose challenges to our country. It has
engaged in an aggressive foreign policy designed to provide an
alternative to the United States, and has positioned itself as a
counter to U.S.-led international efforts. Through its military
offensive in Georgia last summer, as well as its continuing
intelligence efforts around the globe, Russia shows that it remains a
threat to U.S. interests and our allies. Do we have, Director Blair,
our intelligence resources adequately deployed to deal with this
resurgence from Russia? In the last Congress I expressed my desire
for the intelligence community to focus on areas that had long been
neglected in favor of other high-priority issues. Latin America and
Africa come to mind. We previously believed threats from these
regions to be much less urgent, but they continue to have the
potential to seriously threaten core U.S. national security interests
and will continue to grow in scope and severity. The security of the
United States is directly affected by events in these important
Like many people on the southwest border of the United States, I
am specifically concerned about the increase in violence and drug
trafficking coming from Mexico. How has President Calderon managed
this issue, and how will it affect the security of the United States?
Colombia's long-term efforts to bring terrorism and narcotrafficking
under control have had great success, yet Colombia continues to be the
primary source of cocaine entering the United States. How can we help
the Colombian government move forward? Africa-based terrorist groups
such as al Shabab and al Qaeda have grown in influence and capability.
How will we address these threats, especially when our resources are
stretched so thin elsewhere?
Finally, a word about cyber security. It is only in the past
couple of years that we have really begun to appreciate the threat to
our cyber infrastructure. This is a problem of enormous proportions,
and I want you to know that we intend to work with you to address this
vital and important national security asset from an intelligence
perspective. There are a host of other concerns that I could address,
such as the ongoing conflict in Israel, the threat of WMD
proliferation, and the security impact of the global economic crisis.
I will leave those subjects for the question period and conclude
by reiterating my thanks to the brave men and women of our nation's
intelligence community, and I want them to know that as chairman of
this committee, I am reminded on a daily basis of their sacrifices as
I look for our work here to be worthy of their commitment and their
efforts. I trust and hope that you will consider us your partners in
So I look forward to a productive hearing this morning and a
productive Congress, and now I'd like to recognize our ranking member,
Mr. Hoekstra, for any opening statement that he may wish to make.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Welcome, Director. It's good to have you here. This is always a very
interesting hearing. It is really one of the few opportunities where
the American people have the opportunity -- they have the opportunity
to see and to hear from you a description of the wide range of threats
that we face as a nation and how we are organized to contain and
defeat those threats. We recognize that much of the information that
we potentially could talk about is of a sensitive nature, and that we
will get into that in closed session.
I would like to really just address three specific areas that I
would be interested in hearing you talk about how you will deal with
these. One is what I perceive as a lack of accountability in the
intelligence community. You know, I've been disappointed, sometimes
appalled, by the attitude of certain people within the intelligence
community who mistakenly believe that they are not accountable to
anyone outside of the intelligence community. The shocking disdain
for outside oversight was most recently displayed in one of the
documents produced inside the intelligence community, the report that
was produced by the inspector general and the CIA on the Peru counter-
According to this report, the CIA helped a foreign government
shoot down an aircraft believed to be operated by drug smugglers. The
report also found that the CIA did not follow proper procedures to
protect innocent lives. The CIA's carelessness led to the death of
Veronica Bowers and her infant daughter Charity, two American citizens
who were my constituents. In fact, Veronica Bower's parents are also
the constituents of one of our new committee members, Mr. Miller from
The inspector general also found that certain CIA employees
misled and withheld information from the Justice Department, Congress
and the White House regarding the repeated lack of proper procedures
in this program. In short, CIA officers disregarded the rules. Their
carelessness resulted in the death of innocent Americans, and they
then tried to cover up their carelessness, including perhaps lying to
Congress hasn't been very well in following up on this, and I
don't believe the community has been either. You know, we learned
about the CIA inspector general's report in November. It's February.
It's almost March now. This committee has not had one hearing or one
briefing on the IG report about the Bower shoot down, what happened
after it. No investigations have been launched, no witnesses
interviewed, no reports filed -- nothing. Perhaps if those suspect
flights in Peru involve banned steroids bound for professional
baseball players, this Congress would have paid more attention. With
all the attention generated by the steroids in baseball hearings, we
finally see major league players being investigated and perhaps going
to jail for lying to Congress. What more will it take for the same
thing to happen to CIA employees who may have lied to Congress?
Director, I think it is important that we get to the bottom of
this issue. I think many of us on this committee believe that over
the years it has been too difficult to get information from the
intelligence community on specific areas where they are involved. We
call it the 20 questions, where, you know, unless we ask the specific
right question, we're not going to get the information that we need to
do our job. In this case, specifically the information appears to be
Again, it comes out of the CIA inspector general's report that the
information about what happened in this situation was available, was
in the community, was known to many people within the CIA and within
the community, but yet was never shared with Congress, and the problem
-- not only this particular shoot down, but the pattern of what
happened to this program and how it was run. And I hope that you
aggressively go after this particular circumstance because it's still
hanging out there. The trouble is, you know, it's five, six, seven
years later and there is no accountability. You need to work on
restoring the trust between the community, this committee, Congress
and the American people, and by dealing with this case I think we can
make a -- we can make significant progress in that direction.
Secondly, with the administration's decision to close Guantanamo
Bay, I'd like to hear when the administration is going to lay out a
plan for addressing the threat from radical jihadists, in a
comprehensive way. Tactical decisions are being made regarding the
threat from radical jihadism, but I've yet to hear the administration
outline its long-term strategy for containing and ultimately defeating
the threat. How are you going to ensure that efforts to combat
radical jihadists are properly resourced in light of planned budget
cuts? In what direction do you see the administration leading
America's fight against radical jihadism, and what would you
And finally, your own office, the director -- what will the
Office of the Director of National Intelligence look like? I'm
concerned by what I perceive -- and I think many others on this
committee perceive -- is a dramatic shift away from the Congress's
vision of the size, composition and function of the Office of the
Director of National Intelligence.
When we passed the Intelligence
Reform and Terrorist Prevention Act of 2004, we created a new position
to help manage the community and break down barriers between agencies.
We deliberately broke apart the functions of the old director of
Central Intelligence and gave the CIA its own director. The DNI was
to be a coordinator of the intelligence community, a community
organizer of sorts. The DNI staff was intended to be small and
efficient. It was supposed to stay away from operational management.
In four years, Mr. Director, we now have ODNI that we hardly
recognize. The ODNI under your predecessors became entangled in
management, grew enormous in size, and has amassed too many scarce
intelligence resources for itself. Instead of a lean coordinating
body, we got fat -- layer upon layer of bureaucracy in this community.
We wanted this bill to transform the community, to coordinate the
community -- and I appreciated some of the words that you shared with
us yesterday that -- you know, you said, when I look at the community,
it's working together more effectively than what it was the last time
you saw it. And I feel -- I give the legislation credit and the
leadership of the community, for making that happen and integrating
the various aspects of the community.
The other thing that we saw, though, that we wanted to have
happen was that the ODNI would force key strategic decisions to be
made, and in a number of areas we have seen that the ODNI has not
forced these strategic decisions to be made and instead it has
enmeshed itself in the tactical day-to-day operations of the
community. And how we experience that is things that we used to get
from the community relatively quickly by asking an agency, hey, we
need this information, and getting it a few days later, we now find
that we make the request to the community; a few days later we ask
where is it, and they say, oh, we had to send it over to the DNI's
office because before anything comes back to Capitol Hill, they've got
to sign off on it, and instead of it being, you know, faster, more
efficient, it's another layer of bureaucracy and controls, which has
slowed the process.
So I hope that under your direction you can create the foundation
and the long-term direction for the ODNI that says, this is the
strategic arm of the community that integrates the community and makes
sure that the tough and broad decisions get made, but we are not going
to try to manage the community on a day-to-day basis because that will
just slow the community down. We need a flexible and agile community
that can respond quickly to the threats that are out there. The ODNI
was intended to transform the community and create that type of a
community, not to be another layer of bureaucracy.
So those are the three points that I would hope that we would
hear from -- that we would hope you would address a little bit today.
And with that, Mr. Chairman, I'll yield back the balance of my time.
Thank you, Mr. Hoekstra. And I want to remind our
members and witnesses that we are in open session this morning. If
there is doubt about the classification of a particular subject or
statement, reserve those issues for the closed session that will
follow after this open hearing this morning. Without objection, the
written statement from our witness will be made part of the official
record of this hearing.
This morning, Director Blair, you've heard from the ranking
member and myself framing some of the issues. You come to this
position very highly regarded, highly respected, with a tremendous
management background. I, for one, want to give you the time and the
flexibility to address these critical areas, as I said in my
statement. You have a sense of the frustration from the members from
our meeting yesterday, and also from the ranking member's statement
this morning, that we're here to support you, we're here to make sure
that as you go through this process in taking over from the previous
administration, that you are measured and balanced and give us a clear
accounting and your best judgment, and we're ready to work with you.
With that, you are recognized, Mr. Director, for your opening
Do I have to do something? Oh, there we go. It
seems that it's on now. But it seems that there are two sets of
questions that you're concerned with this morning. My main
preparation for the hearing was to give a sense of the threats, the
opportunities, the strategic landscapes that the United States faces.
There are also a series of questions about the capabilities and
management of the community. I would propose that I first give the
summary remarks that I prepared on the overall strategic landscape and
then perhaps, after that, get into some of these specific issues,
which will also be with us for a long time, and perhaps we'll have
other times to pursue if we don't cover them. Is that satisfactory?
That is satisfactory. You can proceed.
All right then. Then, gentlemen, ladies, my
assessment is based on the work of thousands of patriotic, hard-
working, both collectors and assessors and the many other people in
the 16 intelligence services. The report that I submitted, the
remarks that I'm making involved a lot of work of all of them. And
it's a report not just of threats, but also of opportunities for this
country and a tour of the strategic landscape, which is dynamic and
which is complex. Let me begin with the global economic crisis,
because I believe it already looms as the most serious one in decades.
Since September 2008, 10 nations have committed to new IMF programs,
three European governments have fallen because of economic issues,
Central and Eastern Europe are under tremendous strain, both in terms
of their currency and their internal economies, and unlike the 1997 to
1998 Asian financial crisis, countries will not be able to export
their way out of the crisis in one region of the world because it's so
And the stakes are high. Mexico, which the chairman mentioned,
with its close trade links to the United States, is vulnerable to a
prolonged American recession. Europe and the former Soviet Union bloc
have experienced anti-state demonstrations. Much of Eurasia, Latin
America and sub-Saharan Africa lack sufficient cash reserves and
access to international aid. Our analysis indicates that economic
crisis increase the risk of regime-threatening instability if they
continue for a one or two-year period. Instability can loosen the
fragile hold that many developing countries have on law and order.
There are some silver linings. With low oil prices, Venezuela
will face financial constraints this year, Iran's President
Ahmadinejad faces less-than-certain prospects for a re-election in
July over his -- in June, excuse me -- because of his handling of his
economy. However, the reverse of that is that a serious energy supply
crunch may happen in the longer term if sustained low prices leads to
cuts or major delays in new investments in energy sources in the short
The crisis presents challenges for the United States, since we
are generally held responsible for it. The November G-20 summit
elevated the influence of emerging-market nations -- more than just
the G-8 who, previously, were the main meetings -- but the U.S. also
has opportunities to demonstrate increased leadership.
Our openness, developed skills, workforce mobility put us in a much
better position to reinvent ourselves than other countries. Moreover,
Washington will have the opportunity to fashion new global structures
that benefit all in this crisis. The president certainly talked at
length last night about the steps he's taking in the domestic economy,
and there's much to do in the international economy as well.
Moving now to terrorism, we have seen progress in Muslim opinion
turning against terrorist groups. Over the last 18 months, al Qaeda
has faced public criticism from prominent religious leaders and even
from some fellow extremists. In 2008, these terrorists did not
achieve their goal of conducting another major attack on the United
States, and no major country is at immediate risk of collapse from
extremist terrorist groups. Replacing the loss of key leaders since
2008 in Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas has proved
difficult for al Qaeda. Al Qaeda in Iraq has been squeezed. Saudi
Arabia's aggressive counterterrorism efforts have rendered the kingdom
a harsh operating environment for al Qaeda.
But despite these setbacks, al Qaeda does remain dangerous.
Yemen is re-emerging as a jihadist battleground. The capabilities of
terrorist groups in East Africa will increase next year. And we are
concerned about the potential for homegrown American extremists,
inspired by al Qaeda's militant ideology, to plan attacks inside the
United States. There are many challenges in that region that
stretches from the Middle East to South Asia, despite the progress
that I mentioned in countering violent extremism. The United States
has strong tools, from military forces to diplomacy, good
relationships with the vast majority of states in the region, and we
will need all of these tools to help forge a durable structure of
peace and renewed prosperity in the region.
The revival of Iran as a regional power, the deepening of ethnic,
sectarian, economic divisions across much of the region, the looming
leadership successions among U.S. allies are all shaping the strategic
landscape in that region. Hezbollah and Hamas, with support from
Iran, champion armed resistance to Israel, a development that
complicates efforts to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian dispute and
undercuts legitimacy of moderate Arab states that support a negotiated
settlement. Battle lines are increasingly drawn not just between
Israel and Arab countries, but also between secular Arab nationalists
and ascendant Islamic nationalist movements inside moderate states.
The Iranian regime views the United States as its enemy and as a
threat. A more assertive regional Iranian foreign policy, coupled
with dogged development of two of the major components of a nuclear
weapons capability, alarms most of the governments from Riyadh to Tel
Aviv. The Levant is a key focal point for these strategic shifts.
Recent fighting between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip has
deepened Palestinian political divisions. It's also widened the rift
between regional moderates, led by Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan, and
hardliners, including Iran, Hezbollah and Syria.
With Hamas controlling Gaza and Hezbollah growing stronger in
Lebanon, progress on a Palestinian-Israeli accord is more difficult.
With Iran pursuing uranium enrichment and Israel determined not to
allow it to develop a nuclear weapons capability, there is potential
for an Iran-Israeli confrontation or crisis. Moderate Arab states
fear a nuclear-armed Iran, but without progress on a Palestinian
settlement, they are harder put to defend their ties to the United
States. Turning to Iraq, coalition and Iraqi operations and dwindling
popular tolerance for violence have helped to sideline the extremists
Fewer Iraqis are dying at the hands of their countrymen than at
any time in the past two years. Nevertheless, disputed internal
boundaries, perceptions of government repression, or potential
increased foreign support to insurgent or militia groups could reverse
political and security progress. Baghdad will also be coping with
declining oil revenues. In Afghanistan, the Taliban-dominated
insurgency forces have demonstrated greater aggressiveness recently.
Improved governance and extended development were hampered in 2008 by
lack of security. Afghan leaders must tackle endemic corruption and
the extensive drug trade.
Progress has been made in expanding and fielding the Afghan
national army, but many factors hamper efforts to make the units
capable of independent action. The upcoming 2009 presidential
election will present a greater security challenge than did that in
2004, and insurgents probably will make a concerted effort to disrupt
it. No improvement in Afghanistan is possible without Pakistan taking
control of its border areas and improving governance and creating
economic and educational opportunities throughout the country. In
2008, Islamabad intensified counterinsurgency efforts, but its record
in dealing with militants has been mixed as it balances conflicting
internal and counterterrorist priorities.
The government is losing authority in the North and the West, and
even in the more developed parts of the country, mounting economic
hardships and frustration over poor governance have given rise to
greater radicalization. The time when only a few states had access to
the most dangerous technologies is, unfortunately, long over. Often
dual-use, they circulate easily in our globalized economy, as does the
scientific expertise to put them together into weapons. It is
difficult for the United States and its partners to track them;
components and production technologies are widely available.
Traditional deterrence and diplomacy may not prevent terrorist
groups from using mass-effect weapons. One of the most important
security challenges facing the United States is fashioning a more
effective nonproliferation strategy with our partners. The
assessments in our 2009 National Intelligence Estimate about Iran's
nuclear weapons programs are generally still valid. Tehran, at a
minimum, is keeping open the option to develop deliverable nuclear
weapons. The halt, since 2003, in nuclear weapons design and
weaponization was primarily in response to increasing international
scrutiny and pressure, so it leads us to believe that some combination
of threats of intensified internal scrutiny and pressures, along with
opportunities for Iran to achieve its security goals, might prompt
Tehran to extend the halt to some other nuclear weapons-related
Turning to Asia, rapidly becoming the long-term focus of power in
the world, Japan remains the second-largest global economy and a
strong ally, but the global downturn is exacting a heavy toll on
Japan's economy. To realize its aspirations to play a stronger
regional and global role will require political leadership and
difficult decisions there. The rising giants, China and India, are
playing increasing regional roles, economically, politically and
militarily. China tries to secure access to markets, commodities and
energy supplies that it needs to sustain domestic economic growth.
Chinese diplomacy seeks to maintain favorable relations with other
powers, and especially the United States.
The global economic slowdown threatens China's domestic
stability, and Chinese leaders are taking economic and security steps
to deal with it. Taiwan, as an area of tension in U.S.-China
relations, has substantially relaxed. Taiwan President Ma,
inaugurated in May, has resumed dialogue with Beijing, and leaders on
both sides of the straits are cautiously optimistic about less
confrontational relations. Preparations for a possible Taiwan
conflict nonetheless drive the modernization goals of the People's
Liberation Army, but at the same time, China's security interests are
A full civilian and military space capability, formidable
capabilities in cyberspace, are rapidly developing. China will
attempt to develop at least a limited naval power-projection
capability, and we've already seen it deployed for peaceful purposes
in an anti-piracy operation off the coast of Somalia. Like China,
India's expanding economy will lead New Delhi to pursue new trade
partners, gain access to vital energy markets and generate other
resources to sustain economic growth. India's growth rate will slow
this coming year, but ample foreign reserves and a sound banking
system will help ensure relative stability there.
Determined efforts by Indian and Pakistani leaders to improve
relations could unravel unless Islamabad, for its part, takes
meaningful steps to cut support to anti-Indian militant groups and New
Delhi, for its part, in turn, makes credible efforts to allay
Pakistan's security concerns. The increase in violent attacks within
India is a cause of great concern to its government, as is instability
in neighboring countries in South Asia in addition to Pakistan.
On the global stage, Indian leaders will continue to follow an
independent course. That we and India are both democracies does not
guarantee congruence of interests. Nonetheless, good relations with
the United States will be essential for India to realize its global
ambitions. Although the Middle East and Asia have highest call on our
attention, our concerns are broader. Russia is actively cultivating
relations with regional powers, including China, Iran, Venezuela.
Moscow also is trying to maintain control over energy networks that
go to Western Europe and to East Asia.
Now, Russian leaders have recently spoken positively about the
possibilities for change in the U.S.-Russian dynamic, but NATO
enlargement, the conflict over Georgia's separatist regions, missile
defense all pose difficulties in the relationship. In Latin America,
populist, often autocratic, regimes pose challenges to the region's
longer-term success. Basic law-and-order issues, including rising
violent crime, powerful drug trafficking organizations confront key
hemispheric nations, as do uneven governance and institution-building
efforts, in confronting chronic corruption.
The corruptive influence and increasing violence of Mexican drug
cartels impede Mexico City's ability to govern parts of its territory.
Unless the United States is able to deliver market access on a
permanent and meaningful basis, its traditionally privileged position
in the region could erode with a concomitant decline in political
influence. Africa has made substantial economic and political
progress over the past decade, and the level of open warfare has
declined significantly, especially in Liberia, Sierra Leone and the
The drop in commodity prices and global recessions, however, will
test the durability of the region's recent positive growth trend.
Even before the current crisis, the 6-percent GDP rate, which Africa
was achieving, although impressive, could not bring about the
necessary structural changes to reduce poverty there, and a number of
intractable conflicts persist in the Democratic Republic of the Congo,
Nigeria, Sudan, Somalia. In Darfur, U.S. peace talks remain stymied
and larger peacekeeping forces are slow to deploy.
Let me finish with the long-term challenges of environmental
security and the threats to our information technology infrastructure.
Adding more than a billion people to the world's population by 2025
will put pressure on clean energy sources and on water supplies. Most
of the world's population will move from rural to urban areas, seeking
economic opportunity, and many, particularly in Asia, will achieve
advanced lifestyles with greater per capita consumption and generation
According to the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
Change, physical effects of climate change will worsen in coming
years. Multilateral policy-making on climate change is likely to be
substantial, and a growing priority within traditional security
affairs. The world sees the United States in a pivotal leadership
role; as effects of climate change mount, the U.S. will come under
increasing pressure to help the international community set goals for
emission reductions and to help others through technological progress.
Finally, threats to our information technology infrastructure are
an important intelligence community focus. Our information
infrastructure is becoming both indispensable to the functioning of
our society and vulnerable to catastrophic disruption in a way that
the previous, analog, decentralized systems were not. Cyber-systems
are being targeted for exploitation, and potentially for disruption or
destruction, by a growing array of both non-state and state
adversaries. Network defense technologies are widely available to
mitigate threats, but have not been uniformly adopted.
A number of nations, including Russia and China, can disrupt
elements of the U.S. information infrastructure. We must take
protective measures to detect and prevent intrusions before they do
significant damage. We must recognize that cyber-defense is not a
one-time fix; it requires a continual investment of hardware, software
and cyber-defenses. In conclusion, then, the international security
environment the United States faces is complex. The global financial
crisis has exacerbated what was already a growing set of political and
economic uncertainties. We, nevertheless, are in a strong position to
shape a world reflecting universal aspirations and the values that
have motivated Americans since 1776: human rights, the rule of law,
liberal market economics, social justice.
Whether we can succeed will depend on actions we take here at
home: restoring strong economic growth, maintaining our scientific and
technological edge and defending ourselves at reasonable cost while
preserving our civil liberties. It will also depend on our actions
abroad, not only how we deal with regions, regimes and crises, but
also in developing new, multilateral systems, formal or informal, for
effective international cooperation in areas such as trade and
finance, in neutralizing extremist groups using terrorism, in
controlling the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction,
developing codes of conduct for cyberspace and space and in mitigating
and slowing global climate change. Mr. Chairman, that concludes my
remarks and I'm happy to turn to questions.
Thank you, Mr. Director, and I will save my
questions for later and yield my time to the vice chair of the
Thank you very much, Mr.
Mr. Chairman, let me congratulate you on holding this
hearing and Mr. Director, Admiral, as others have welcomed you, so do
I. I will not take a lot of time. I'd like to make a statement and
then to give you something to get back to me on that I consider of
critical importance to your mission.
There is a lot of discussion regarding Guantanamo, and there will
continue to be a lot of discussion regarding Guantanamo. Admiral,
when I was president of the parliamentary assembly of the Organization
for Security and Cooperation in Europe -- and I'm fond of seeing if
you can say that, you ought to be the president of the organization --
(chuckles) -- but there are 56 countries that are represented by
parliamentarians in that organization.
After Abu Ghraib, what I found was a continuing harangue,
specifically directed at Guantanamo more than anything. And then,
with the considerable information that appeared in the public realm
regarding renditions, Guantanamo continued to loom large. A
delegation for France and Belgium came to me as president and said
that they wanted to go to Guantanamo. It took me a year, but I
appointed a taskforce within the organization led by the then-
President of the Belgian senate, a woman named Anne-Marie Lizin.
I contacted the Defense Department and Secretary Rice and they
assisted in allowing Ms. Lizin and her entourage visit Guantanamo.
They did so on two occasions -- came back, reported to Secretary Rice
and then to the organization -- and it ameliorated some of the concern
that members in the organization had -- the mere fact that they had an
opportunity to see it. Now, we have persons at Guantanamo that are
going to raise genuine concern among the American citizenry as to
where they're placed.
That said, I'm of a mind that we need to rethink Guantanamo and
allow, among other things, as I said to you yesterday, that it be made
manifestly clear why certain individuals are required to be held
somewhere, no matter whether it's Guantanamo or a prison in the United
States or in places where our allies or others may take them. But as
long as our allies know these things and as long as the
nongovernmental organizations know these things -- if Amnesty
International and the Red Cross are permitted to see the actual
circumstances, then I believe that Guantanamo, different than most,
can stay open with a greater understanding in the world as to why the
individuals are being held there.
At least it's a different thought concerning how we go forward
and contain individuals that simply cannot be released to the general
public and cannot be released in many places, in many instances, in
countries where they are likely to cause harm to U.S. interests and
our allies. That said, you and I -- I returned to this committee
after a considerable amount of service, having taken myself off for a
year, returning now for what will be a final two years. So you and I
are three-and-a-half weeks on the job, and it's a steep learning
And I don't expect that you have had an opportunity to do
everything that I believe, knowing your background, that you are going
to be able to do and accomplish in this job. However, I do wish that
in your examination, that you pay specific attention to something that
many members on this committee, and many members past on this
committee, have continuously brought to the attention of the
intelligence community, and that is diversity -- diversity writ large
-- diversity as it pertains to the number of women in the intelligence
community, diversity as it pertains to the number of blacks, Latinos,
Asians, Native Americans and every category, writ large, again,
dealing with the subject of languages, specifically.
And the great need that we have, now, to examine the clearance
mechanism and methodology that we employ so that we can find the
necessary persons to match up with the circumstances of the day. That
also includes -- thank you, Mr. Chairman -- that also includes
cyberspace. I hired a young man, 23 years old, at an entry-level
salary that could run circles around many persons that are in the
intelligence community dealing with cyber-technology. We need to be
able to pay these kids and bring them in and give them long-term
retention, because there is going to be a problem.
I hope I have said something. I don't need an immediate
response. But this is something you will continue to hear from me.
If I continue to see nothing but white people come in here and nothing
but men come in here, then you are going to see a continuing harangue
from me, you and everybody in the intelligence community. Thank you,
Thank you, Mr. Hastings. Mr. Hoekstra?
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Director, I didn't
hear you address some of the questions that I had brought up about --
you talked about the worldwide threats that are out there but you
didn't talk about how the community was going to be organized to
confront these threats, to get the information, provide this committee
and Congress and the administration that they might need to structure,
your visions for the ODNI and how you're going to repair and rebuild
the trust between the community and Congress -- could you address
those couple of points?
Yes, sir. Let me turn to some of these
organizational issues and management issues. First, on diversity,
raised by Congressman Hastings, in my first week on the job, I met
with Pat Taylor, who is our director of (qualifications ?) and
diversity. She showed me the figures in terms of minority and gender
representation in the intelligence community. They're not bad, but
they're not as good as they ought to be when you compare them to the
federal workforce, the workforce at large and the population at large.
I also share the point that you and Chairman Reyes have made that
diversity, for the intelligence community, is not simply a matter of
something nice to have; it's something essential to have because of
the diversity of environments in which we have to operate in which
people that look like me are very conspicuous and people who only
speak Russian and English, like I do, are not that useful. So we're
very much on that, and we have good programs, including connections
with learning institutions that can provide the sorts of skills that
we need and we included in our management evaluations of our managers
in the community from the executive lever right down. So I look
forward to continuing to talk to you on that -- to all of you on that
-- because it's something that's important to me and I think it's the
right thing to do.
On the question of accountability, Congressman Hoekstra, every
time a new administration comes into a job, it inherits a number of
cases from the past. In my case, just to cite a couple, there's the
Algerian chief-of-station who is being prosecuted by the Justice
Department right now for actions that he took. You mentioned the
Peruvian investigation. There are several others that are going on.
Of course, there are questions about the interrogations that were done
by the CIA in the previous regime, and I think we have to deal with
those in a prompt and fair manner and I pledge to you that we will.
Ninety-nine percent of the people in the intelligence community
want to do the right thing for the right reason, but in an
organization of the tens of thousands that we have, I'm not naive
enough to believe that somebody out there somewhere isn't screwing up.
And I think what's more important is how you handle these, the example
you set, and therefore, the culture that you build into the community
over time. And I will tell you that my background has to do with
accountability. I intend to exercise it; I intend to exercise it
through the leaders of the organization in the community.
I don't dive down into an organization and pull a case up to my
level if it's being handled correctly where it should be, which is by
the directors of these 16 agencies.
But I pledge to you that we will
have a culture of accountability in the organization. And I know I've
heard many individual concerns, all of which I will look into. On the
size of the DNI staff, I have -- I'm getting a feeling for it right
now. I'm getting a feeling for the magnitude of the challenges. I
will tell you that coordination can happen with ex cathedra
pronouncements and with simply giving out orders, but integration is
often harder and takes staff, in order to understand what the carrots
and sticks are at the working level where it counts and how you build
the right structures to get integration across the community.
Things like common security systems, common personnel standards,
don't just happen by me signing an intelligence community directive;
they have to be checked on and they have to be followed up. So there
is a staff requirement for all of these integrative functions, which
were in the IRTPA Act of 2004. And I'm getting a feeling, now, for
whether we have the right amount of staff to do that, whether we can
do it through just getting reports from the organizations themselves,
rather than checking on them. I do feel strongly that we should not,
from the DNI level, be involved in operations, and I think we're not.
The only operations that I think we should be involved in are
directing collection, for example, when we have to make decisions
among competing priorities across INTs and across targets, and
somebody's got to make a call that you put the satellites on this, you
put the human intelligence on this, and that's my job. And I need
some staff to do that, so it's a complicated situation. But as we've
talked previously, I don't think that many layers of bureaucracy and
fat organizations are successful; I think they should be as lean as
they need to be to do the job and I look forward to talking with you
On Guantanamo Bay, we had a lively discussion yesterday, and I
certainly gained more perspectives on it than I had when I walked in
the door. But I do need to emphasize that the intelligence community
is playing a role in this issue of Guantanamo; it is not running the
show. The show is run by the three executive orders that the
president signed a couple of weeks ago that assigns most of the
responsibility to the Department of Justice, with major chunks of it
with the Department of Defense and major chunks of it to me.
I also would point out, in the executive order, that enabling
legislation will be taken in consultation with the Congress, so there
will be plenty of opportunity for both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue to
decide these tough questions, and they are tough questions. The more
I read about it, the more I realize how few easy answers there are.
And we're going to have to make some calls -- they are calls of the
entire executive branch and, of course, they need support from this
body as well.
Thank you, Mr. Director. Thank you, Mr.
Thank you, Mr. Hoekstra. Mr. Tierney? Mr. Tierney
is not here? Then, Mr. Thompson.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Director, thank you very much for being here. I had a couple of
comments and a couple of questions. I want to reiterate the
chairman's comments regarding gang activities south of our border and
would like to hear from you a commitment to work in a coordinated
effort with all of the pertinent intelligence community -- relevant
intelligence community -- folks.
We've got a tremendous problem, not only with gangs, as the
chairman brought up, but also with illicit drug trafficking and the
fact that we have cartels now growing marijuana in this country using
the money to purchase guns, ammunition, bringing it back across the
border to continue with their cartel wars that also have a spillover
effect into this country. And my sense is that we can do a lot more
in regard to a coordinated effort to get ahead of this and would like
to make sure that we move in that direction.
You had mentioned in your statement -- or maybe it was the
ranking member -- said that we wanted to create a lean and coordinated
body when we developed your office. And there has been a number of
people -- you heard about it yesterday in our briefing and you heard
it again today. Many of us feel that we've really strayed from that
And I want to add onto that list. I think that we have in fact
created duplications that hamper our ability to do some of the things
that we need to do.
And I would like to hear from you a very honest assessment of how
we break down some of that duplication, some of those barriers, and
how we could maybe redesign or re-coordinate our efforts to put those
bodies in the field and make sure that we are able to meet our
intelligence mission and not get bound up in bureaucracies that
duplicate efforts and stop us from being able to do our oversight
work, which -- and I just want to remind you our oversight function is
something that we work in partnership with the intelligence community.
We're not here in an adversarial role. The work that we do helps you
do a better job and make sure that our country is safe and our
interests are in fact safe.
And then lastly, I just want to touch on the GAO report. And I
don't know that everything that is brought up and the answers that we
need can be discussed in this open hearing. But I want to lay them
out. If you can in fact respond, I'd appreciate it. If not, you have
between now and when we move into the closed session to at least think
about it. But the GAO report was pretty critical on our policies in
Pakistan. And it stated, and I'll quote, "the U.S. government has not
met its national security goals to destroy terrorist threats and close
the safe haven in the FATA and has not developed a comprehensive plan
reflecting the integration of multiple U.S. government agency
And I'd like to know what it is that we're not doing, why it is
we haven't been able to develop this comprehensive plan, what you see
as the stumbling points in us getting there, and would be interested
in knowing what you need in order for us to get there. And then
lastly, again on the GAO report and the recent news out of Pakistan,
open-source reporting on the Taliban in the Swat Valley and the recent
cease-fire that's been established. And my read on that is it's going
to give the Taliban some breathing room. And I would like to know
what your assessment is on that and if in fact it will allow the
Taliban to come back and be even stronger. And if so, what does that
mean for our future in Afghanistan, especially with reports that we're
moving more U.S. troops in there now and how that plays in regard to
this cease-fire. And we seem to be acquiescing to a group that
clearly is not in our best interest -- does not have our best interest
Mr. Director, if you will take a couple of his
points and then answer the rest for the record so that we have enough
time for members to --
Very -- I'll just go quickly. An integrated
Pakistan strategy is what we are working on right now in the
administration. We are part of it in the intelligence community. I
agree with you. We need to eliminate duplication. And as I said to
Ranking Member Hoekstra, we'll be in dialogue with the committee about
that. And I couldn't agree with you more that helping Mexico work
against the drug gangs is high on our list of priorities. And we will
be putting additional emphasis on it.
REP REYES: Thank you. Mr. Thornberry.
Thank you, Chairman.
Director, in your statement, you say that sustained pressure against
al Qaeda in the FATA has the potential to further degrade its
organizational cohesion and diminish the threat it poses. So what
happens if there is not sustained pressure, if it is relaxed in some
They get stronger.
And does the threat that it poses to us grow?
You say a few pages later in the statement that
al Qaeda leaders use this tribal area as a base from which to avoid
capture, produce propaganda, provide training, and the rest of things.
So is there any doubt in your mind that this tribal area of Pakistan
is the focus of al Qaeda leadership; it's where they are and where
they run their operation from?
Right now, that is where their headquarters is,
And they've operated from other places in the past.
In Africa, there are al Qaeda affiliates, in the Maghreb, in northern
Africa, in Yemen, in Iraq. And so, the most convenient and hospitable
place for them right now is the place that you described. But we are
concerned about their ability to move around. It's kind of like
toothpaste in a tube.
But based on your previous answer, my
impression is that you believe it's important to keep that pressure on
in this area, understanding that if we put enough pressure, they may
squirt out some place else.
And that would be better for us. When they're
moving, they're more vulnerable.
Okay, that'd be better. Let me switch briefly
to Iraq. The president said last night -- he talked about ending the
war, withdrawing troops. The press reports today say that by August
2010, all combat troops will be out of Iraq. Or that's the decision
that the president has made. My question is, is there any -- I
understand that 19 months was talked about in the campaign -- my
question is, is there any intelligence basis to say August 2010,
that's the date that we can have all our combat troops leave and the
Iraqis can handle their security on their own?
There's an intelligence basis for the decisions
that the administration is in the process of making and hasn't quite
announced yet. And I'd be happy to talk about those a little later on
in closed session, sir.
Okay, well, just thinking back, my perception
is that in the course of Iraq, situations have changed on the ground
and we were slow to recognize it and even slower to change our
strategy to deal with it. I guess my concern is that if we get locked
into some sort of campaign promise, somebody has got to be willing, if
facts warrant, to walk into the Oval Office and say, Mr. President,
this would be a disaster if we hold on this arbitrary timetable. And
it seems to me the only -- one of the few people who can do that is
you. Are you and do you think the intelligence community is willing
to take into account the facts on the ground and give that unvarnished
truth, if indeed facts do change?
Sir, I think the intelligence community has two
roles in this policy process. Number one is where we are with a lot
of policies with this new administration: When you make them, the
intelligence community is to be in there telling what the situation is
on the ground, what are the likely consequences of policies. And your
intelligence community has been playing very strongly in that position
Once the decision is made and the policy is announced, you know
what your objectives are. You know what the timescale is. Then, the
job of the intelligence community is to monitor the situation on the
ground and say, is that policy working? Is it achieving the things on
the ground that it said it was going to? And I can assure you, I will
have no difficulty in being able to bring those judgments forward. And
I would say the primary reason for that is that this president
welcomes it. He doesn't want to walk into boxed canyons without
somebody pointing them out to him.
Well, I'd just say we all welcome it. And we
all need that -- the best judgments that our community can provide.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I yield back.
Thank you, Mr. Thornberry. Mr. Boren.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I
want to congratulate you, Director Blair, on your new position. I
know you'll do a fabulous job. I have a few points and then a couple
questions. You talked a little bit about energy in your opening
statement. After this hearing, I'm going to the Resources Committee.
And I'm going to be visiting with some of our energy executives in the
United States, one being based in Oklahoma, that is drilling some
It seems to me that some of the rhetoric that's come out of the
administration could be detrimental to our national security in
exploring all the natural resources that we have in the United States,
especially natural gas, which is a big component, I think, protecting
us in using as a transportation fuel. And as you mentioned, the
prices have gone down and that's good right now. But at some point,
demand is going to pick back up and we're going to be in the same
position that we were when we had $147-a-barrel oil. So that's one
Second point, Guantanamo. I've visited Guantanamo with then-
Chairman Duncan Hunter of the Armed Services Committee.
there were some problems. Yes, I understand that there was a public
relations issue. But my concern is by closing that facility and not
really having a plan to do something with these individuals, we are
setting ourselves up for failure. And so those are my two points.
Don't need an answer on those.
The questions I have, I'm really focused on Africa. And a new
member of the committee, that's where I'm going to be turning my
attention and AFRICOM. Two questions, one, the intelligence community
has a shallow bench of experts on sub-Saharan Africa. How will the
establishment of AFRICOM enhance the intelligence community's ability
to understand and analyze developments in the region? That's the
number-one question.. And the second question is about Zimbabwe.
What do you think is happening on the ground there? And what are we
doing to prevent any disaster if there's a real breakdown there? And
what kind of humanitarian efforts can we do to stop that?
Sir, on the first question, any time that there
is a executive branch action body like out of the Department of
Defense or the Department of State, it's a good thing for us in the
intelligence world because it gives us somebody who is asking the
questions. It really helps us focus our intelligence assets. So
AFRICOM, I think, will be good because they're out there doing things
to protect American interests. They will be asking hard questions of
the intelligence community. And that helps us more than just sort of
a general appreciation, which you need but which doesn't really take
you too far.
On Zimbabwe, I'd like to get back to you in more detail, since I
don't have a personal deep knowledge of that country. And I would
like to reply a little bit later, if I might.
Okay, I look forward to working with you in the
future. And I yield back, Mr. Chairman.
Thank you, Mr. Boren. Mr. Miller?
Thank you very much, Mr.
I too will be working with my colleague, Mr. Boren, in
focusing on the continent of Africa as well and the new command that's
been stood up there. But I'd like to go back, if we could, to
Guantanamo. Can you tell me any operational reason that Guantanamo
needs to be closed?
I can tell you, as an intelligence assessment,
that the damage it has done to the international American reputation
makes it difficult for us to achieve objectives in other areas.
That's a political reason but not an operational
I mean, it's a realistic reason. Countries
won't deal with us. Our popularity is down. We don't have blue chips
to trade for other things we want in other areas.
Thirty days ago, the president did sign the
executive order to close Guantanamo. What consultation was done with
the intelligence community prior to the signing of that?
Full consultation, meetings with the officials
at the CIA, representatives in the drafting committees that draft the
executive orders. There was good consultation.
In looking at your opening statement, I didn't see
anywhere in the statement -- and if I missed it, I apologize -- that
you talk about a potential or the potential for a threat by bringing
detainees from Guantanamo to the United States. And I -- hopefully,
you're not asserting that there is no threat, or have you given any
thought to the consequences of bringing them here? And not
necessarily the people from the inside breaking out but the
possibility of people on the outside wanting to come into the
communities and disrupt things at the facilities.
You mentioned that yesterday, Congressman
Miller. And I've been giving some thought to it. The primary
objective of al Qaeda in the United States now is another spectacular,
large, people-killing attack. That's what they seem to be thinking
about. I will have to go back and see if the -- where the idea that
you mentioned of a trying to break in, rescue one of their colleagues,
kill a lot of people, is something that is worthwhile. But thank you
for bringing that to my attention.
Thank you, sir. And moving to Pakistan, the
Zardari government, does he have the full support of the Pakistani
army right now?
President Zardari? The Pakistani army?
Of the army.
I talked with General Kayani about two days ago.
And he supports his president, so that much is sure. And that much is
What is the intelligence community's assessment of
the stability right now in Pakistan that you can give in an
I'd rather give details in a closed session, if
I might, Congressman Miller. But it is one of the countries that we
feel is dealing with a larger number of problems than most. It's a
very important country, as you know. So there is a cause for quite a
bit of concern when you have that combination of importance and
pressures -- economic pressures, governance pressures. We talked
about the terrorist pressures in a rough part of the world. So it is
a country that we need to watch closely.
You know, one of the -- I think, one of the biggest
disappointments that I've had in watching what's happened in
Afghanistan in particular is our feeble, at best, attempt to eradicate
the poppy crop. We have spent hundreds of millions of dollars. And
now, it appears that opium and the level of poppy production has
reached all-time levels. Can you give me an idea as to why we cannot
get a handle on that issue?
I've watched various campaigns over the years
against both opium crops and against cocaine problems. And it seems
that they are -- they have to be multi-pronged. There is no silver
bullet. They have to be prolonged. And trying to find that right
combination is difficult and you fail more times than you succeed. So
I would basically say it's a hard problem. When the profits are so
high, the alternatives are so few and so many people are on the take
because of the money involved. So I think it's a hard problem that we
haven't found the right key to yet.
Thank you, sir. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Thank you, Mr. Miller. Mr. Schiff?
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr.
Director, thank you for being with us. I wanted to follow up a bit on
our conversation yesterday on the detainee issue and also on Somalia.
I will be sharing with you and your staff, as we discussed, some
legislation that I intend to introduce later this week or next week.
But I wanted to just amplify a little bit more on it. I think that
the people detained at Guantanamo should be given another status
review, not use the same military commissions and tribunals that were
established under the last administration, but by expanding the
jurisdiction of the military courts martial to do status reviews. I
think it's a natural venue to do that.
I also think that those who are determined to be unlawful
combatants and are therefore subject may be prosecuted on top of their
combatant status. Those prosecutions could by and large go forward in
the military courts martial. Some may be appropriate to be tried in
federal district courts. I would think the body would be better
suited for trial in the military courts martial.
But there will nonetheless be both detainees at Guantanamo who
will be determined to be unlawful enemy combatants and therefore can
be legally detained without charges based on their status for the
duration of the conflict or until they're no longer a threat. And the
question becomes, where should they be detained? And what I would
like to throw out -- and this is one of the options that my
legislation would allow, among many others -- is to establish a NATO-
run detention facility in Afghanistan, to internationalize the
detention of unlawful enemy combatants. It is a coalition effort in
There is no reason the United States should be solely responsible
for the detaining of unlawful combatants. I think it would address a
lot of the international issues that you alluded to, in answer to Mr.
Miller's questions, if, because of the black eye of Guantanamo, we
can't get cooperation from allies in intelligence operations. That's
not a theoretical or political impact; that's a very real impact in
our ability in the war on terror.
I think the idea of establishing a NATO detention facility also
has the advantage that we're not just dealing with Guantanamo
detainees; we're also going to be dealing with prospective detainees.
And while all the focus right now is on what do we do with the
hundreds of people at Guantanamo, the reality is, both in Iraq and
Afghanistan and down the road, probably elsewhere, we're going to have
people being detained as unlawful combatants who won't be brought to
Guantanamo anymore, and if they are detained, for example, in
Afghanistan, who should be detaining them?
Now, it may be that some, we will want to detain; it may be
others, we would want to detain in an international setting. So I
would throw out that as a possibility. There are many of our NATO
allies who are not able, politically or otherwise, to subject their
troops to combat operations. This could be a valuable service they
could provide. It wouldn't be easy, being in charge of detaining very
dangerous people, but it would be a very valuable service that they
So I throw that out there. I also wanted to touch on, I think,
your thoughts both on that, as well as this -- wanted to follow up on
Somalia, which, as I mentioned to your colleague at CIA yesterday, is
something I've been concerned about for a number of years as -- if I
had to choose the next best alternative or the next, you know,
greatest candidate for the next Afghanistan, it would be Somalia. I
think our intelligence efforts to ascertain who in Somalia we can work
with and who, truly, is affiliated with al Qaeda are going to be very
important -- not lumping all of the Islamic parties there together.
But I'd love to get your thoughts on both those issues.
Yes, sir. As you know, one of the three
executive orders is directed to exactly the question that you raised:
What do we do going forward, that is with new detainees that we may
capture or with the ones who are, after some fashion, it's determined
that they should not be released? The Justice Department heads that,
we participate in it and we will ensure that the imaginative ideas
that you described are in the mix. And I've heard some other
excellent ideas from other members of Congress and I really appreciate
the thinking that's gone on here as well as in the task forces, and
we'll make sure that's in.
On Somalia, I think you're making the exact point that
Congressman Thornberry made, which I very much agree with, that you
can't just look at one place here when you have all of these other
potential spots, and frankly, Somalia has been a no-man's land here
for what, 10, 15 years. The Ethiopians came in; it was a tough row
for them and they're just completing their withdrawal. It's a
patchwork of a country now with some law and order in the North and
none in the South.
So I think that it's part of our -- yes, it's against al Qaeda,
but in general, bad things happen in these ungoverned areas of the
world and we have to look at the Somalias, the Yemens, as well as the
FATA areas and have a comprehensive approach to improving conditions
in them so that they aren't breeding grounds for, not only al Qaeda,
but for human misery and potential starvation -- the sorts of things
that drew us into Somalia 20 years ago. So it's something that is on
the radar screen; it needs to be part of the strategy and I thank you
for bringing attention to it.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Thank you, Mr. Schiff. Mr. Conaway?
Thank you, Mr.
Admiral, welcome aboard. I just got here as well, so
looking forward to this service. You mentioned a phrase a while ago
-- al Qaeda in America -- is that -- did you mean, like, al Qaeda in
Iraq? Is there actually a formalized organization of al Qaeda in
America here or were you just saying it?
I must have either said it wrong or --
You said the intent of al Qaeda in America is to
Oh, oh, I'm sorry. The intent of al Qaeda in
America as a target --
Okay, thank you.
But there are, in fact, al Qaeda sympathizers in
this country who would be involved in such an attack. So no, we
haven't formed a phrase like that but it is a real problem.
All right. America-bashing is a very popular
sport -- always will be -- I mean, envy is something that I think it's
involved. You know, currently Guantanamo Bay is kind of a lightning
rod for any excuse to not do something that somebody would really want
to do anyway. But we do away with Gitmo, which I disagree with, but
let's do away with that. There will be other things that we do in our
own best interest that our allies and many of our enemies will be able
to point to and say, well, but for that, we would do what you want us
We would take over the prison in Afghanistan, but for whatever.
Should we make it a practice of constantly deferring to, quote,
unquote, "world opinion," to do things that aren't in our best
I'm going to step out of my intelligence role
for just a second, because I've been sort of in the operational role,
and say there's going to be a certain amount of America-bashing going
on because we are the most powerful country. I think, though, that
you shouldn't make yourself an easy target for things that you can fix
-- that when you do act unilaterally, it ought to be for a really good
reason. And you'll find, in many cases, that other countries will
rally around strong leadership properly directed towards common goals,
so no, we should not be run by international opinion polls, but we
should be protecting our country's interests.
Okay. And I understand there's a tension there,
but as long as we can't use that as our own excuse to do something
that's not in our own best interest, simply because somebody else
somewhere doesn't like us. The president mentioned last night he's
intending to dismantle the Cold War weapons systems to pay for
everything else that's going to get done under what he's doing.
Anything in the IC community or the intelligence community that is
Cold War weapons system-like that he's intending to dismantle or to
take a dividend out of?
Unfortunately, many of those Cold War systems
are aging out, like satellites and things like that, and need to be
replaced. And we're in the midst of some tough decisions, on electro-
optical satellites in particular, that we have to make. I can assure
you that as we make those decisions, we're looking to the future and
not to the past, in terms of -- and for intelligence, there's a
fundamental difference -- in the Cold War, the enemy was hard to find
and easy to kill; in the new situation, it's hard to -- I mean, it was
easy to find and hard to kill -- (laughter) -- al Qaeda in America,
But in the old war, we knew where the enemy was, we just had to
bring a lot of firepower to bear. Now, the burden on intelligence is
very much higher because of the smaller, individual nature of the
targets -- their ability to hide and move across borders, so it takes
a different kind of intelligence system to do that.
In that regard, and again, you've only been there
a very short period of time, are there gaps that you would feel
comfortable talking about in this forum where additional resources
are, in fact, needed to protect this country so that that intent of al
Qaeda in -- al Qaeda's intent in America is not fulfilled?
Yes, sir, there are gaps. I'd rather talk about
them in closed session, if I might.
All right. Admiral Blair, I'm looking forward to
working with you. Thank you for it, and I yield back.
Thank you, Mr. Conaway. Mr. Langevin?
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Director, thank you for being here and for your service.
I want to turn my attention to the issue of cyber-security. We had
a brief conversation about it yesterday, but for the committee and for
the public, I want to get your thoughts again on this issue. I have
paid a lot of attention to it. I appreciate the fact that you raised
it in your opening statement here this morning.
As I mentioned to you yesterday, I've spent the last two years
both chairing a homeland security subcommittee on emerging threats in
cyber-security and then, was one of the four co-chairs of this year's
SAIS report on cyber-security for the 44th presidency, and I'm pleased
with the finding of that report and hoping that the administration is
going to adopt many of the recommendations that are contained in the
report. I know that right now, the administration is doing a 60-day
review of its cyber-security strategy, and I applaud the appointment
of Melissa Hathaway and the director in the NSC for cyberspace.
It's my hope that that position will actually be elevated and
will be a special assistant to the president. But can you give us at
least a preliminary overview of how you believe the cyber-security
strategy will be structured, and in particular, where will it be
housed? The previous administration put a lot of the focus and
responsibility for securing us in cyberspace in the Department of
Homeland Security. While I have great respect for the men and women
that work in the department, it is clearly a department that is
struggling to stand itself up and, in my opinion, was not the proper
place to house the major responsibility for cyber-security.
I personally think it needs to be coordinated out of the White
House with both policy and budgetary authority across a range of
responsibilities in government. But can you share with us, at least
on a preliminary basis, your vision for how our cyber-security
strategy will be conducted -- what it will look like -- and also talk
to us about what you see as where the greatest threats would come
I have been stung by the amount of penetration across federal
networks in cyberspace, U.S. assets, as well as the amount of data
that has been ex-filtrated from our own government networks. It is
absolutely stunning and an issue that had been ignored for many years
at our own peril. We're finally paying proper attention to it, but
I'd like you to share your thoughts on some of those issue. Thank
Thank you very much. I think there's one key
aspect of this future cyber strategy which this committee and your
counterpart in the other body can really help us with, and that is the
role of the National Security Agency outside of the intelligence, its
intelligence functions. I agree with you; the Department of Homeland
Security is finding its footing in this area. The National Security
Agency has the greatest repository of cyber talent. With due respect
to Congressman Hastings' 24-year-old new hire, there are some wizards
out there at Fort Mead who can do stuff.
I think that capability should be harnessed and built on as we're
trying to protect more than just our intelligence networks or our
military networks as we expand to our federal networks and to our
critical infrastructure networks. And the reason is that because of
the offensive mission that they have, they're the ones who know best
about what's coming back at us and it's defenses against those sorts
of things that we need to be able to build into wider and wider
I think there is a great deal of distrust of the National
Security Agency and the intelligence community in general playing a
role outside of the very narrowly circumscribed role because of some
of the history of the FISA issue in years past, a general distrust of
having -- I mean, the NSA is both intelligence and military: You
know, two strikes out in terms of the way some Americans think about a
body that ought to be protecting their privacy and civil liberties.
I think you all know that the fact of the matter is that the NSA
-- in fact, the entire intelligence community operates under very
strict rules. Sometimes people don't follow them, but we find them
and we hold them to account. So I would like the help of people like
you who have studied this closely and served on commissions, the
leadership of the committee and finding a way that the American people
will have confidence in the supervision, in the oversight of the role
of NSA so that it can help protect these wider bodies.
So, to me, that's one of the keys things that we have to work on
here in the next few months.
And I know my time was expired, but I just want
to say that I agree with your assessment about the NSA. I think that
a great disservice was done to the hard-working men and women at the
NSA and in the intelligence community because of the FISA issue and it
was more the issues that took place at the very top and at levels in
our government and not the hard-working men and women who work there.
They do have great capabilities and great professionalism and they do
have a very strong role to play, need to have a very strong role to
play in securing us in cyberspace.
So I look forward to our continued discussion and work on this
issue. Thank you.
Thank you, Mr. Langevin. Before I go to Mr. Kline,
I just want to remind members, we'll probably be voting between 11:00
and 11:30. We should be able to complete the open hearing before then
and then we'll reconvene for the closed session at the Capitol and
lunch will be available for members. Mr. Kline.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Good
morning, director, welcome. I want to pick up, if I can, with the
discussion we had yesterday to the extent that we are comfortable
talking about it in this open forum.
And this is the issue of interrogation techniques. Much public
relations discussion about those for the last few years, arguably some
uncertainty about what those techniques should be. I think most
Americans thought that the president of the United States, President
Obama, had cleared that up and announced that everybody was going to
use the Army Field Manual, everybody in the intelligence community,
everybody in the military was going to use the Army Field Manual for
determining what those interrogation techniques could be.
Could you talk about whether or not that perception is correct
and what the status is of dealing with the question of interrogation
Yes, sir. I would like to clear that up. The
executive order specifies that the Army Field Manual will be the basis
for interrogation techniques used across the government, that is, by
the intelligence community as well as by military interrogators. But
it also specifies that that manual will be reviewed so that it meets
the unique requirements both of intelligence. So that's the --
Thank you. I just wanted to kind of get that on the
record because I believe what your answer is, is that we do not know
right now what the interrogation techniques are. And the intelligence
community is not bound by the strict interpretation of the Army Field
Manual, which was the widely held public perception.
And so there is an evaluation process that's ongoing. Is that
correct: to modify or expand --
To review. But right now, pending that review, the
Army Field Manual techniques do apply to the intelligence community.
So you're correct in that, right now, today, tomorrow, it is the
portions of the Army Field Manual which, as you know, is a human
intelligence manual, of which interrogation is a part, not the whole,
but those procedures govern intelligence community interrogations that
will be adjusted pending the results of the review, pending
adjustment. Okay, thank you very much.
Let me move to domestic intelligence, if I could, sort of picking
up on Mr. Hoekstra's comments and others that the Congress is viewed
-- and I think the 9/11 Commission Report called on -- your office to
be a coordinating office to break up the stovepipes that so hampered
us on 9/11, where we had rules that forbade the FBI from talking to
the CIA and so forth.
And, now, I'm from Minnesota and we're very much aware that a
refugee from Somalia left Minnesota and went overseas and blew himself
and others up. And so there is a question about the radicalization of
some in this country. Minnesota happens to have a very large Somali
population. Certainly not all those Somalis are radical, by any
stretch of the imagination, but clearly there is concern.
We see about it constantly in the papers back in Minnesota. That
story is prominently displayed. There are some fears in Minnesota.
And I think that we should all be alert to that.
But that raises the question of, what do we do about that?
That's an issue here in the United States, but we have now a number of
organizations: Department of Homeland Security, FBI, CIA and others.
How is your organization now equipped? How do you feel like it's
doing? I know you just got there, but in that ability to cross those
lines so that we are not caught with our feet sort of nailed to the
I am -- that's a high-priority problem and I've
looked into it in some depth in my first few weeks on the job because
of the importance. And I'd like to provide details in closed session,
but I think you would be pleased as to the flow of information between
the FBI intelligence agents, who have the authority to operate in this
country, and the rest of the intelligence community, which gathers
intelligence and takes action overseas.
The vehicle for that exchange -- at the cap of it is the National
Counterterrorism Center. And I urge you to come out for a visit when
you can because you will find that the exact domestic international
connection that you are questioning, you'll see how it's done
physically with the role of FBI analysts interspersed with roles of
analysts from other communities. And individuals are tracked very
closely. So I -- the structure is very much there in place and, in
addition, there are other ways to communicate down to state and local
levels. You will hear different stories from people who operate at
state and local levels. The old joke, we're from Washington and we're
here to help you, is alive and well in many -- but I think if you poke
at it, you see a steady improving trend.
I would say it's one of those things that I feel sort of good
about, but you just don't feel really good about it because of the
possibility that you're missing something and the memory that we all
have of what happened in 2001. But we can talk about that more, but I
think it's basically a good-news story, sir.
Thank you. And I'm looking forward to that visit.
Again, welcome aboard. I yield back.
Thank you, Mr. Kline. Ms. Schakowsky?
Mr. Chairman and ranking
member. First let me thank you so much for having this open hearing.
I think it is incredibly useful for the American people to hear what I
think, Director, has been a very constructive dialogue that we've been
able to raise a lot of concerns. You've been able to respond to a lot
of them. And even when you can't, I think the fact that we've
outlined and somewhat demystified what the intelligence community is
doing, that the American people get a chance to see you and understand
much better your functions and who you are as a person.
And I want to encourage you, Mr. Chairman, to consider this kind
of format going forward more extensively than we've used it in the
past. And I wanted to suggest, Director, that we also look at the
issue of classification more carefully. There have been times when
we've been presented with documents and information where we've kind
of -- members have kind of shaken their heads and wondered why is this
I think the more that these issues are aired where we can, the
better off we are as a nation. And I know that the president has made
transparency a hallmark of his administration. And I think that does
require looking at classification.
I wanted to ask a number of questions. Maybe you could answer
them here and maybe not. One is about the issue of the prison at
Bagram in Afghanistan. I know that there's been a ruling about that,
that those who are incarcerated cannot challenge their incarceration.
I'm concerned that there are, in fact, some innocent people in Bagram
and I just wonder what the future is there for those who are detained
by the United States.
And, secondly, you outlined as the primary near-term security
concern of the United States the global economic crisis and its
geopolitical implications. I know that the president has emphasized
the need for the United States to act to prevent humanitarian crises,
which I think may -- we may see growing now around the world, the idea
of economic refugees and all kinds of instability that may be created,
humanitarian crises that go beyond that like the one that we see in
What I'm wondering is, how can intelligence capabilities provide
early warning of humanitarian crises so that U.S. policy-makers, the
intelligence community, can devise strategies to prevent or respond to
Ma'am, on Bagram, I think the exact same sort of
issues are there as -- not the exact same -- but many of the same
issues there as are being sorted out in relation to Guantanamo. And I
think those principles will have to be applied to those who are
detained there. So that will have to follow in due course: the issues
of process, the issues of long-term detention for those who need to be
On the humanitarian situations, we have an actual unit within the
intelligence community whose job it is to monitor the world for
disasters that rise to that level. A great deal of that information
is available from other organizations that are not involving secret
intelligence, but there are some things that we can do with our
collection mechanisms. That's put together and we provide routine
warnings of that so that we're not caught unawares.
Thank you, Ms. Schakowsky. Mr. Ruppersberger.
Yeah, I'd like to get
back into the area of cyber-security. Mr. Langevin brought up the
issue. It's something extremely important to our national security,
to our business community, to our privacy generally.
There was a comment that people do not really trust some of the
things that happened at the NSA. And it's unfortunate. I have been
-- NSA happens to be in my district and I chair the subcommittee that
oversees them. And they are some of the finest, hardest-working
people. And if they could talk and let the public know what internal
mechanisms they have to protect Americans and to follow the
Constitution, we'd be a lot better off. But they couldn't even defend
themselves when all of the FISA issues were going on.
And I've been there for a period of time. I go there a lot and
I've never seen anything that violates the Constitution. With that
said, one of the biggest issues we do have to deal with is the public
and educate the public what cyber is about. And I think, in order to
do that, we have to tell some of the stories that have happened with
cyber attacks, how Russia literally closed down Estonia's banking
system because there was a battle about the statue that Estonia was
taking down; when they went and attacked Georgia how they cyber-
attacked and got into their communications systems and banking systems
There are a lot of classified issues, but I can say there have
been many newspaper articles about attacks in our Pentagon, about
NASA, about how possibly China, Russia, if they have been able to
attack NASA that they have been able to save billions of dollars in
research that we have done, our business community and business
secrets. And if you have a server, say, in a bank in North Dakota, a
rural area, and that bank does one transaction with Bank of America,
the bad guys could get in through that server and literally shut down
a lot of Bank of America.
These are stories that the public needs to know because the
public doesn't have a clue, in my opinion, how serious this cyber
attack is. The good news is that President Obama has been briefed now
since he's been running. He gets it, he understands it. You have
people -- I know Mr. Schiff and I have been at the NSA being briefed
on this issue. Mr. Langevin has a lot of expertise in this area.
So we plan to really, from the technical point of view, look at
some of the issues that are there. But in your job -- and where I
really want to ask the question -- do you feel the mechanism in place,
and I believe it's a good move to bring Melissa Hathaway who probably
has much knowledge on cyber and also General Alexander, who is as good
from a technical point of view as anybody in this country.
With those two people working with us and the president and the
administration, I think we can come a long way.
But where do you feel, in your role as DNI, that we need to go to
deal with this cyber issue? And including with that is billions of
dollars of money that are going to have to be put out there and
partnerships between the Verizons and the Microsofts, the AT&Ts. And
I'd like to hear your opinion, what you can do in an unclassified,
where we need to go: Is the threat real and what are your
I agree with you that we need to have open
descriptions of some of the damage that has been caused by recent
attacks. And I'm sure, having seen the inside story, you know that
that's a fairly complicated process to sort all of that out,
particularly attribution. And I think it's important to write these
stories more on the fact of what happened than who the individual
perpetrator was for that one because there can be many, as you know.
It could be al Qaeda; it could be other
countries. One thing I'm going to point out, though, that I think is
important since this is a public hearing, we don't own the Internet.
So it's not as if we're controlling the Internet; we just have to
protect ourselves from these invasions.
I think you have that right. Yes, sir. We play
a big role in the Internet. As you know, it's an international body
that governs it. I think, on the second point you make, is also
absolutely vital, is that this has to be a public-private ownership.
Partnership to move forward because the owners
of most of the servers and fiberoptic cables and all are private
companies. On that front, I think there is also -- there is also good
news because through some of the initiatives that General Alexander,
whom you know, started, we have good relations with the big IT
software developers and vendors in a body that's actually organized,
that we in the intelligence community and others play a role in to
tackle these problems together.
And I think both common solutions -- and also, frankly, I'd like
to bring in some business executives into government to take jobs on
the inside, to help us with their knowledge on the outside. So I
think all of those are essential to solving this problem.
Well, there's a lot of work to do and I look
forward to working with you.
Thank you, Mr. Ruppersberger. Votes have just been
called and I would remind members that the new policy is they'll go
two minutes beyond the 15 minutes. At least that's what we've been
told. We've got Mr. Holt and then Ms. Eshoo.
HOLT (D-NJ): Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
And, Mr. Director, again, congratulations. You have a lot of the
skill and background necessary to do a good job in this position. And
we wish you well, want to work with you.
Since this is an overview today, I'd like to ask an overview
question about the relationship between the intelligence community and
Congress. The 9/11 Commission recommended strongly that Congress show
more oversight of intelligence activities. So let me ask several
questions. I'll ask them all at once and then you can -- I mean, do
you think that vigorous congressional oversight benefits the efficient
functioning of the intelligence community or could you operate better
without congressional questioning about the workings and the
activities of the IC?
I think of that as a softball question, but it's important to
answer, I think. And do you and the DNI staff think that in recent
years Congress -- and by that I really mean the duly sworn members
with responsibility for intelligence -- that Congress has received all
of the information and cooperation it needs to conduct full and
appropriate oversight? More specifically, was it appropriate not to
brief members about President Bush's domestic electronic surveillance?
Was it appropriate not to brief all members about certain covert
activities in the Middle East and Latin America? Was it appropriate
not to seek advice in these areas?
Would you do anything different?
For those questions, I'm reminded of that song,
"Some kind of help is the kind of help that help is all about and some
kind of help is the kind of help we all can do without." And I think
vigorous effective oversight of the right kind is nothing but good for
our community. And we -- I think we're working it out. We're a new
administration. There are some new members of the committee. There
are some veterans here and, I think, as a background, the thing I
should say is, my pledge is to make it as good a partnership as
possible. And I think if you talk to those who serve on your
counterpart committees who have dealt with the Armed Forces, you'll
find that my reputation is one who probably says more rather than less
to members of Congress because I understand who pays the bills and who
has the oversight responsibilities.
So, more specifically, was it appropriate in those
circumstances that I mentioned? I think you know what I'm talking
Right. And on that question of fully and
currently informing the committees, I follow the law, Congressman
Holt. It says that this committee will be fully and currently
informed of intelligence activities.
So you would do it differently. In other words, it
was inappropriate, you're saying, not to brief Congress about that
surveillance program? It was not appropriate not to brief all members
about these covert activities that I think you and I know what we're
I'd really rather talk about going forward
rather than looking back because that's what I can affect, sir. And I
will be leaning forward. I'll be leaning on the side of consulting
more rather than less. But there is a category of sensitive covert
actions which, as you know, is covered by a separate article of the
statute which I am also aware of and which I feel has to be observed.
And judgment is required always.
Yeah, which -- what I'm talking about, I just want to
set some benchmarks here because what I'm talking about, you know, we
were not briefed at all: no one, not a committee member, not a
committee chair, no one. Was that appropriate?
There is no case that I know of in which no one
should be briefed about an intelligence activity in this Congress.
That helps. How am I doing on time, Mr. Chairman?
Less than a minute.
Less than a minute. Well, let me ask for the record,
then, you've listed a number of specifics. If you were to look at all
of the risks, threats, events that might affect Americans and
multiplied the likelihood of these events occurring times the number
of Americans affected, what would you rank as number one, two and
three? And is the allocation of resources within the intelligence
community -- how does that match for those three?
So whether we're talking about climate change or theft of nuclear
weapons from Russia or Pakistan and the use of those weapons or a
series of al Qaeda terrorist attacks on the U.S. --
If you can hit just a couple of those because I want
to leave time for Ms. Eshoo so we finish up the open session.
I'll just say quickly that the greatest threats
I think do lay in that convergence between non-state actors and
weapons of mass destruction. And, you know, what would be the factors
on likelihood and casualties? I think we probably ought to talk about
it in closed session, but it's people who are not deterrable getting
hold of weapons that can cause a lot of deaths.
So if you could look at the top three later and tell
us how you think the match of resources, the allocation of resources
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Good
morning, Mr. Director. The last question really segues very well into
mine: I think the ultimate nightmare and intelligence community
challenge is nuclear weapons and materials falling into the hands of
those that want to destroy us, which leads me to Pakistan.
I think that Pakistan poses an enormous challenge to us, along
with Afghanistan. And I think that they are tied together in many
ways. So I have two quick questions about it. And I think we can
follow up on this in other forums, probably classified as well. But
A, A.Q. Khan was released by the Pakistani government from house
arrest earlier this month. I was shocked and appalled when that was
announced. So my question to you is, does he still pose a
proliferation threat in the eyes of the intelligence community? Do we
know about any restrictions that may still be in place relative to
this man that a colleague of mine dubbed the Johnny Appleseed of
nuclear materials and information? And do we know what level of
access he still has? So that I'd like to ask you.
And my second question, which you can answer maybe for the record
later on is -- and you touched on it earlier, I believe, who is on
climate change. There are many of us that have worked very hard on
this issue and to the credit of your predecessor, he agreed to -- for
the intelligence community to produce an NIA. I'd like to know what
your plans are for the ongoing effort within the intelligence
community and what the resources are that you're going to commit to
this, because there isn't any question in my mind and many experts'
minds that the destabilization that is brought about as the result of
climate change has a nexus to the intelligence community and vice-
On those two questions, ma'am, on A.Q. Khan, I'd
rather answer in closed session in more detail. But it deserves an
answer in open forum, which is that there are restrictions on him
imposed by the government and that they primarily involve insuring
that he is not connected to the network that he used before for the
proliferation activities that you referred to and I can tell you in
detail. But he's not a head of a laboratory, which is in the business
that he was in before.
On climate change, I think that the way the intelligence
community is approaching it now is correct. That is, we are not
funding scientific research on the important questions involved in it.
We are looking at, with the range of predictions that are being made
by science, what would be the national security effects of this on --
But there's a whole pool of expertise that has
existed within the intelligence community. And so I think maybe we
need to follow up on that on how you're going to capture that and keep
it moving. I don't think it's -- it just rests under a statement of
recognition that this poses a threat. That's not good enough. And we
have tremendous resources. So we can follow up on that. Thank you,
Thank you, Ms. Eshoo. And there is less than four
minutes left but 400 members yet to show up to vote. So we will at
this point conclude and adjourn the open hearing.
Mr. Chairman, since there seems to be a moment, may I
follow up on --
Very briefly. There is precedent for making the
intelligence community resources available for climate change studies,
the so-called MEDEA Project. To what extent is that approach being
revived? To what extent should it be revived? Making available the
various resources of the intelligence community?
That's a good question. Let me look into that
and get back to you and Congressman Eshoo, please, since I don't have
that on the tip of my fingers.
Thank you, Mr. Holt. And thank you, Director Blair.
And with that, the open hearing is adjourned. And we will reconvene
after votes for the closed session at the Capitol.