Testimony of the Director of Central Intelligence
Before the Government Affairs Subcommittee
(as prepared for delivery)
June 27, 2002
Good afternoon. Mr. Chairman, I am pleased to appear today to discuss how the Intelligence Community plans to support the proposed Department of Homeland Security and all other policy agencies involved in this vital area.
I want to touch on two main areas:
How the new Department fits into the nation's approach to terrorism, and
What the Intelligence Community plans to do to support the new Department.
I strongly support the President's proposal; the nation very much needs the single focus that this Department will bring to homeland security. We have a foreign intelligence community and law enforcement agencies, but we have not had a cohesive body responsible for homeland security. The President's proposal closes that gap while building bridges across all three communities.
It is clear that the new Department will not duplicate the roles of either foreign intelligence or law enforcement. The new department will merge under one roof the capability to assess threats to the homeland, map those threats against our vulnerabilities, and take action to protect America's key assets and critical infrastructure.
In addition to ensuring that all domestic agencies respond in an integrated manner to tactical situations — ensuring a coherent response to specific threats — the Department will also have a much more strategic mission that will require a different kind of analysis — one that has access to both public and private sector data to ensure that the nation's infrastructure is protected.
There may well be some overlap and even some redundancy in evaluating what the nation's foreign intelligence and law enforcement communities provide — and this is welcome.
But, in the end, the Department's most important role will be to translate assessments about evolving terrorist targeting strategies, training, and doctrine overseas into a system of protection for the infrastructure of the United States.
In other words, they will review the intelligence we provide and develop an action plan to counter the threat. It is more than just countering each threat as it comes up. It is building a coherent protective system that provides long-term deterrence.
We often have strategic warning about the imminence of the threat. We work hard to get — but do not always have — the tactical warning that identifies the actual date, method, and site of the attack. The new Department will build a protective system based on our strategic warning that serves to deter or defeat attacks when we lack tactical warning. As a result, the nation will become more systematic, agile, and subtle, matching resources and strategies smartly to vulnerabilities.
We have learned an important historic lesson: we can no longer race from threat to threat, resolve it, disrupt it and then move on. We must also evaluate whether we have put in place security procedures that prevent terrorists from returning to the same target years later. Just because a specific attack does not occur does not mean that a category of targets is no longer of interest to the terrorists.
Will this be easy? No. Is it necessary? Absolutely. The lesson in fighting terrorism is clear. The strategy must be based on three pillars.
Continued relentless effort to penetrate terrorist groups, to steal the secrets that can result in the tactical warning that is often so difficult to attain — the date, time, place of an attack.
Offensive action around the world – both unilateral and with our allies – to disrupt and destroy the terrorists' operational chain of command and to deny them sanctuary anywhere.
Systematic security improvements to our country's infrastructure directed by the Department of Homeland Security that create a more difficult operating environment for terrorists. The objective is to increase the cost and risks for terrorists to operate in the United States and, over time, make those costs and risks unacceptable to them. If there is no strategic security safety net at the back end – in the homeland – then we will be left with a situation where we and the FBI will have to be operationally flawless - in sports parlance - bat 1.000.
We need to play offense and defense simultaneously. A strategic security plan that is based on integrated data sharing and analysis must close the gap between what we and our law enforcement partners are able to achieve.
Equally important, the Department of Homeland Security, working with the FBI and Intelligence Community, will provide state and local governments and their law enforcement entities the education and tools to use the resources at their disposal wisely. This means, training and education that help them understand terrorist practices and what to look for. This means making priority judgments on what is most important to protect
Let me turn to how the Intelligence Community will support this new Department. I see this support in three main areas:
Information sharing covers a broad spectrum of activity, from people to intelligence. Intelligence community experts in many disciplines already have close working relationships with many of the offices being brought together in this new Department. These will continue and will both expand and deepen.
I am committed to assuring that the new Department receives all of the relevant terrorist-related intelligence available. This intelligence falls into two broad categories:
Reporting derived from either human or technical sources. These reports provide the basis for analytical assessments and are disseminated directly to customers.
All-source intelligence assessments or finished analyses. These assessments, prepared by intelligence analysts at CIA or elsewhere in the Intelligence Community, include current reporting of breaking developments as well as longer range, strategic assessments. In addition to receiving these analyses, the new Department may, like other customers, commission individual assessments, or even participate in drafting the assessments.
Information sharing also means locating key people from many agencies in each other's offices. For example, the Counterterrorist Center already has 52 detailees from 15 organizations. Since 1996, the Deputy Chief of the CTC has been a senior FBI agent, and the FBI's presence in the CTC increased from 6 officers to 14 after September 11th. CIA has sent key officers to FBI to establish a counter-terrorist analytic center. In each agency these officers help steer exactly the right kind of information to their parent agencies. The Department of Homeland Security will have similar access.
In addition to this crucially important sharing of information, here are some of the other steps we will take to give our fullest support to the new Department:
In every possible case, we will provide intelligence at the lowest permissible level of classification, including “sensitive, but unclassified.” Support to the extended homeland security audience — especially state, local and private sector entities — will benefit from the release of information in this manner, something that I believe should occur.
Databases can identify and help stop terrorists bent on entering the US or causing harm once they get here. We are examining how best to create and share a multi-agency, government-wide database that captures all information relevant to any of the many watchlists that are currently managed by a variety of agencies.
We need to make sure that the Department of Homeland Security and the members of the Intelligence Community are connected electronically. The Intelligence Community already has in place the architecture and multiple channels necessary for sharing intelligence reporting and analysis at all levels of classification. We will provide the new Department with our technology and work with them as they develop compatible systems on their end. This will make it possible for all levels of the broader homeland security community — federal, state and local — to share the intelligence they need and to collaborate with one another as well.
We will help the Department develop the analytical methodologies, tradecraft and techniques they need, based on our own vast experience in assessing foreign infrastructures.
We will ensure that Homeland Security is a sophisticated customer of all of our products.
We will help the Department develop training programs for new analysts and users of intelligence through an expansion of our own analytical training programs.
This broad-based and dedicated program of support is founded, in large part, on work that has long been underway in the Intelligence Community and on our greatly increased efforts since September 11th.
In closing, let me repeat my pledge on behalf of the entire U.S. Intelligence Community to give our fullest support to the Department of Homeland Security. We see this support not as a change of mission, but as an expansion of our mission. Fortunately, we already have underway many of the programs and processes needed to ensure the highest level of intelligence support.
Our counterterrorism mission for years has been to understand and reduce the threat. The new Department's mission will be to understand and reduce the nation's domestic vulnerability. This calls for an intimate and dynamic partnership between us--as vital a partnership as any in the US Government. It will not be enough for the Intelligence Community to treat this new Department as an important customer. We are committed to bringing the Intelligence Community into genuine partnership with the Department of Homeland Security.