[Congressional Record: September 10, 2002 (Senate)]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
HOMELAND SECURITY ACT OF 2002--Resumed
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report the pending business.
The assistant legislative clerk read as follows:
A bill (H.R. 5005) to establish the Department of Homeland
Security, and for other purposes.
Lieberman amendment No. 4471, in the nature of a
Thompson/Warner amendment No. 4513 (to amendment No. 4471),
to strike title II, establishing the National Office for
Combating Terrorism, and title III, developing the National
Strategy for Combating Terrorism and Homeland Security
Response for detection, prevention, protection, response, and
recovery to counter terrorist threats.
Mr. FEINGOLD. Mr. President, I commend the chairman of the
Governmental Affairs Committee, Senator Lieberman, for recognizing
early on that a major government reorganization should be considered in
light of the tragic events of September 11th and for his leadership in
putting together a basic structure for a new Department of Homeland
Security. I also praise President Bush for supporting the existing
congressional effort to elevate the authority and the status of the
Office of Homeland Security to a Cabinet level position that will be
responsive to the needs of the American people.
As we approach the anniversary of September 11th, Congress has been
diligently working to insure that America has a Department of Homeland
Security that can be responsive to the challenges of the post September
11th world. The Senate has spent the past few months exploring the
bureaucratic obstacles that limited our capacity to identify and
prevent the terrorist attacks of September 11th. We have considered in
hearings whether the steps that have been taken to advance our
country's safety and security since September 11 have been effective,
and whether they adequately protect our most fundamental civil
The Congress has always responded to the challenge to protect this
nation against any and all threats, including terrorism. I am committed
to ensuring that as we build this new agency, we do so in manner that
guarantees that basic fundamental rights are not lost or forgotten in a
rush to be seen as doing something.
As the Senate moves forward in considering this new government
structure, I have been guided by two simple questions: Will this
reorganization make all of us safer? And will it preserve our liberties
as Americans? That inquiry should continue to guide our consideration
for a Department of Homeland Security.
So as we move forward toward establishing a Department of Homeland
Security, it is important for all of us to examine and discuss both the
strengths and weaknesses of the pending proposal.
All of us know that local law enforcement stands at the front line
for security in our neighborhoods and communities. The new Department
should be organized in a manner that helps and doesn't hinder local law
enforcement. The Department of Homeland Security needs to insure that
federal, state and local law enforcement work together with the
necessary information, tools and resources that are required to adapt
and respond to the evolving challenges our first responders are facing.
I am pleased that my bill, the First Responder Support Act, is part
of the present proposal we are now discussing. I certainly want to
thank my colleague from Maine, Senator Collins, for her work in making
our responsibility to first responders a priority in this bill.
The First Responder Support Act will help first responders get the
information and training they need from the Department of Homeland
Security. I am also introducing the First Responder Communication
Support Act to help communities who need communication systems to
enable police, fire, EMS, and relief agencies to speak to one another
in a time of crisis without overwhelming existing communication lines.
Whether people face an act of terrorism or a tornado, in a time of
emergency our first responders need to be able to communicate with one
I am also concerned about our efforts to protect the public from the
use of weapons of mass destruction. The emerging chemical and
biological weapons of the 21st century present new challenges to our
military and to local first responders. The Weapons of Mass Destruction
Civil Support Teams play a vital role in assisting local first
responders in investigating and combating these new threats. The
September 11 terrorist attacks emphasize the need to have full-time
teams in each State.
I have filed an amendment that would require the Secretary of Defense
to establish at least one Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support
Team in each State by September 30, 2003. The cost of establishing,
training, equipping, and operating these new teams would be paid for
from existing fiscal year 2003 Department of Defense resources, thus
requiring no additional spending while providing a critical level of
protection. As we rethink the security needs of our country, we should
support the creation of an additional 23 full-time Weapons of Mass
Destruction Civil Support Teams. Establishing these additional full-
time teams will improve the overall capacity and capability to prepare
for and respond to potential threats in the future. I look forward to
working with Chairman Levin and Chairman Lieberman on this effort.
We must remember that not every law enforcement purpose makes sense.
The administration's proposal to create the TIPS program appears to be
a way to begin domestic Government surveillance in our communities with
a motto not of ``love thy neighbor'' but ``spy on thy neighbor.'' I am
concerned that if some trained police officers have a difficulty
distinguishing between the proper and improper use of race in law
enforcement activities, we are asking for real trouble if we ask
untrained and fearful ``citizen'' volunteers to report on their
Workers in the Department of Homeland Security who will have the
awesome responsibility of protecting us should have the basic job
protection their fellow Federal workers are granted. No one, including
the President, has shown how simple and basic job security will
jeopardize our national security. I believe we can protect our country
at the same time that we protect our workers. In fact, we can better
protect our country if our workers' rights are well-protected, too.
I am concerned that the administration appears ready to use the
creation of a new Department of Homeland Security as an opportunity to
eliminate or weaken the civil service protections currently in place
for the Federal employees who would be transferred to the new
Department. The civil service system was put into place in order to end
the corrupt patronage system that had permeated Government hiring. The
creation of a new Department should not be used as an excuse to roll
back these protections.
In addition, I support the right of Federal workers to join a union
and am troubled that the administration wants to strip existing union
representation and collective bargaining rights from many of these
workers. I also am troubled by the implication that union membership is
somehow a threat to our national security.
In light of September 11, there has been a tremendous amount of
discussion about the FBI's ability to effectively gather intelligence
information. It has become clear that federal intelligence gathering
agencies, such as the FBI, need to do better in collecting, organizing
and presenting basic information about domestic terrorism. I believe
that important first steps have been taken. In our desire to move
agencies under one roof, however, we should not be afraid to ask if the
move will actually improve intelligence gathering or simply confuse us.
I also want to take a moment to lend my support to the immigration
provisions in the Lieberman substitute. There has been considerable
debate in recent years, and especially since September 11, on how best
to re-organize the Immigration and Naturalization Service, so that we
can protect our Nation from those who would seek to enter the U.S. to
do harm, while we effectively and efficiently address the needs of
businesses, families, students, and visitors who seek to enter our
Nation for lawful purposes.
The Lieberman substitute would wisely keep the service and
enforcement functions of INS together in one Department; elevate the
INS to a separate division within the new Department; keep visa
approval authority within the Department of State; maintain the
adjudication authority for immigration matters within the Department of
Justice; and include a civil rights monitoring and oversight provision
for the important purpose of holding INS enforcement functions
I commend Senator Lieberman for including the ideas of Senators
Kennedy and Brownback, the distinguished chairman and ranking member,
respectively, of the Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Immigration.
These Senators came together to create a bipartisan INS reorganization
plan. Immigrant advocates have long believed that in order to be
effective and efficient, INS requires a strong leader with authority to
coordinate and balance the complementary functions of services and
enforcement. The Lieberman substitute does just that. While we seek to
secure our Nation, we cannot ignore the importance of the flow of
immigrants and visitors to our Nation. They provide the nutrients of
new ideas, labor, and money that grows our economy and our Nation. I
urge my colleagues to support the carefully crafted immigration
provisions contained in the Lieberman substitute.
I am especially pleased that the Lieberman substitute contains an
important provision to ensure that the new Department complies with the
Nation's civil rights and privacy laws. As I have said, I believe that
our consideration of this legislation should be guided by two
principles: will this proposed re-organization make our country safer,
and can we do so while respecting fundamental constitutional rights and
protections? Many Federal agencies have designated offices and
personnel to monitor agency policies and practices to ensure that they
comply with the Nation's civil rights laws. This new Department of
Homeland Security, with its unprecedented array of law enforcement
powers, should be no different.
It is absolutely critical that the new Department include civil
rights and privacy monitoring and oversight functions. I support the
Lieberman substitute's requirement of a civil rights officer and
privacy officer. The civil rights officer would be Senate-confirmed and
would have responsibility to oversee and review Department policies to
ensure that they do not violate the Nation's civil rights laws. The
civil rights officer would refer matters that warrant further
investigation to the new Department's inspector general. The Lieberman
substitute would require the inspector general to designate an official
to receive and review complaints alleging civil rights abuses
and submit reports on a semi-annual basis to Congress that detail any
civil rights abuses by employees and officials of the Department. Like
the civil rights officer, the privacy officer would have responsibility
to oversee and review Department policies to ensure that they do not
violate the Nation's privacy laws.
I was pleased to join Senator Kennedy in urging that these civil
rights and privacy oversight provisions be included in the bill. I
thank Senator Kennedy for his leadership on this issue. I also want to
thank Senator Lieberman for his recognition of the importance of these
accountability provisions and his willingness to work with us. These
provisions are an important step toward ensuring that the policies and
practices of the new Department will be consistent with the rights and
protections guaranteed by our Constitution. I look forward to
continuing to work with Senator Lieberman to ensure that the new
Department includes appropriate and effective civil rights and privacy
Finally, notwithstanding our desire to move rapidly to address the
Nation's safety, I believe we still have to ask ourselves if the cost
of the Department is reasonable. I do have budget concerns with regard
to the creation of this new Department. Safety for all Americans isn't
inexpensive, but I don't want this new Department to unnecessarily
aggravate our budget problems.
When the President first announced his proposal for the creation of a
Department of Homeland Security, he indicated that the reorganization
of the existing agencies would not increase costs and in fact should
actually realize savings.
That promise of net savings stands in contrast to the analysis of the
proposal by the Congressional Budget Office, which estimates that the
new Department as proposed by this bill will add about $11 billion in
new costs over the next 5 years on top of the projected net spending
for the ongoing activities of the transferred agencies. And that $11
billion in new costs does not include the cost of developing the
integrated information and communications systems authorized by the
bill--systems with a price tag CBO states could exceed $1 billion.
I am told that when the Education Department and the Energy
Department were created, they both exceeded their initial budgets by at
least 10 percent, and I don't want that to be the case with this new
Department of Homeland Security.
We need an effective, responsive and efficient Department of Homeland
Security. I believe we can do this in a manner that protects the
citizens who will depend on the Department and is fair to the employees
who will be in the agency. In the coming weeks, I look forward to the
debate on the shape and size of the Department with the belief that at
the end of our discussion a better and stronger plan for a Department
of Homeland Security will emerge.
Mr. HOLLINGS. Mr. President, the disturbing thing to this particular
Senator--incidently, Senators are always disturbed--but in all candor,
the best way to recognize 9/11 of last year is to make certain that a
9/11 does not occur again and that we correct the intelligence failure
that brought about 9/11.
With respect to actually assuring us that a 9/11 would never occur
again, we had that debate last Thursday relative to securing the
cockpit of airplanes. We are depending on the White House to weigh in
now with their particular view. In my view, once that cockpit door is
secured, never to be opened in flight, a 9/11 could never happen again.
I speak advisedly. In the month of September of last year, I had the
privilege of meeting with the chief pilot of El Al, the Israeli
airline. That is the one airline in the world--particularly, of course,
in the Mideast, where you have suicidal terrorists--that would be
subject to a hijacking and people taking over the plane and running it
into a building.
They determined years ago the only way to prevent a hijacking was to
not give responsibility to the pilots for law and order on the flight
itself--namely, a pistol and so forth to overpower any kind of
attempted hijacking. Instead, they wanted the pilots to assume the
responsibility that the plane would never go into a building or never
be hijacked or taken to another country.
Over the last 30 years they have shown this is the right rule: Once
the door has been secured, it has never opened in flight.
I can hear the chief pilot of El Al. He said: Senator, I can tell you
here and now, if they are assaulting my wife in the cabin, I do not
open that door. I go straight to the ground, and law enforcement meets
me. And whoever is causing the trouble is off to jail.
As a result, they have not had a hijacking in 30 years. Yes, they
have attacked the ticket counter of El Al in Los Angeles. But
terrorists don't even hardly make an attempt to hijack an El Al plane
because they know that, yes, they could cause trouble with the
passengers but not with the crew, not with the plane itself. There is
no way to take it over.
Let me embellish on that thought because we had a debate with respect
to arming pilots with pistols. Many pilots wanted Congress to allow
pistols in the cockpit. The House has passed that, and the Senate on
last Thursday voted for that overwhelmingly.
What should be understood is, you have to remove the responsibility
from that pilot. In other words, let's assume you have that pistol on
the pilots as they walk to and fro; that is another danger. And as they
get in transatlantic flights, that is another forbidden practice--those
kinds of things need to be considered. But more particularly, if a
flight attendant is crying out: They are choking me, they are killing
me, open the door. In my opinion, once that door is cracked open, the
pilot with the pistol might get off a shot or two. But as we saw on 9/
11, there are now teams of suicide terrorists, five-member teams
willing to sacrifice one, two, or three people. The pilot might be able
to kill three of them, but the other highjackers would still be coming
into that cockpit. They would take over that plane once that door is
cracked, with pistols, machine guns, whatever else they have up there.
So it has to be categorical and clearly understood. People have
criticized me for saying this, but as I come into Reagan National
Airport and see the sign, ``Welcome to Reagan National, Washington,
DC,'' I would rather have a reflective sign saying, in Arabic: ``Try to
hijack, go to jail.''
People will say: Why are you saying that in Arabic? I use Arabic
numerals regularly. I invaded Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia.
Incidentally, I have the highest esteem for the country of Tunisia
because I traveled there not too long ago, and they have some 65
percent literacy and 80 percent home ownership. And the Foreign
Minister told me, when I asked: How in the world did you ever do this?
He said: The secret is to let the women vote.
He said: As soon as we allowed women to vote in Tunisia, they wanted
better schools for the children. They wanted nice homes for their
In World War II, I was one of the first in the African campaign with
Colonel Anderson and the 178th Field Artillery. I wasn't in the
frontline unit. I am not trying to fudge on his bravery. But we went
into Tunisia. Now you can go into the city of Tunis itself and what was
the Dust Bowl during the war, looks like a golf course. They have
turned the country around.
But the fact is, it was Muslim extremists who overtook the barracks
in Lebanon, and who blew up barracks in Saudi Arabia. They blew up our
Embassy in Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. They blew up our Embassy in
Nairobi, Kenya. They blew up the USS Cole. Almost nine years ago they
tried to blow up the World Trade Centers. All of those were Islamic
teams that came and caused the blowing up.
So I am justified in saying this. I want those who are blowing us up
to understand: try to hijack and go to jail.
As I relate all these particular incidents, I come right to the point
of my amendment in the second degree to Senator Thompson. I was
working, and my staff was working with Senator Thompson's staff, to see
if it was acceptable to him. He is not with us this afternoon, but we
will be glad to talk to him tomorrow and on Thursday because he and I
have the same intent. I think we have to fix the responsibility.
There is none better in the history of the United States of America
than old Harry Truman. He said: The buck stops here. He put that little
sign on his desk.
That has been the trouble. I don't fault President Bush. He didn't
know anything before 9/11. He was not properly informed. And having not
been properly informed, he could do nothing to have prevented it. So it
is not my role this afternoon, on the floor of the Senate, to find
fault with the President himself.
But I think we have to fix that responsibility for national security
with him. In 1947, and later, as a Presidential directive, and then
later in statutory language, the National Security Council was
instituted. It says: ``the function of the Council shall be to advise
the President with respect to the integration of domestic, foreign, and
military policies relating to the national security so as to enable the
military services and the other departments and agencies of the
Government to cooperate more effectively in matters involving the
The problem is the make-up of the National Security Council. On it
are the Vice President, Secretary of State, and the Secretary of
Defense. It has been in bed some with the Secretary of Treasury. But
there are some others, like the Attorney General who should be
included. The Attorney General has oversight of the Drug Enforcement
Administration, and we know that terrorism is financed by drugs. He has
the Border Patrol and the Immigration Service under him. He has all of
these entities. He would be the chief Cabinet officer as of this minute
for security, unless you get that Secretary of Homeland Security. But
it still is going to be his professional teams that ensure security and
provide the domestic intelligence that the Council needs.
So that homeland security intelligence, wherever you have it--if you
have it at a Bureau or an office of homeland security in the White
House, or a Department of Homeland Security with a particular
assimilating and analytical role of intelligence, or as a department in
Congress itself--wherever you have it, you still are going to have to
take whatever analysis, whatever finding, and fuse it at the National
Security Council level.
If you were President of the United States, or I were President of
the United States, I would only have one particular briefing, one
report on my desk. Every hour the President gets them now with respect
to political intelligence. He knows what the polls show in Nebraska and
what the trends are in South Carolina. He has political polls on
November given to him every hour just about. So they are constantly
I want intelligence polls taken and reported to the President of the
United States and fused at the National Security Council. The National
Security Council has that responsibility. The particular Department of
Homeland Security does not amend that particular statute. In fact, we
could pass a Department of Homeland Security in the next 10 minutes and
you could have a 9/11, because the very things that went wrong on 9/11
would go wrong again. The very Departments that failed, starting with
the CIA is not included in the new Department. The Central Intelligence
Agency knew about all of these things I have related. An article in
this week's Newsweek says that they knew they had persons who roomed
with the suicidal terrorists of 9/11 who commandeered the planes
themselves. We know of attempts made to run a plane into the Eiffel
We know from the Philippines incident that the CIA knew they had
planned to run a plane into the CIA building. You can go down the
litany--all of this was known before 9/11. The CIA didn't even
correlate it, didn't pay attention to it, and certainly didn't pass it
on and give it in the briefings to the National Security Council. I can
hear Condoleezza Rice, the Director of the National Security Council,
saying, ``We never got anything specific.''
I want to be sure they get something specific. The Department of
Homeland Security bill, now being debated on the floor of the Senate,
could pass and you would not have any of the Departments included that
failed on last September 11.
The CIA failed. The FBI had reports from the field that something is
wrong. The field teams said people were coming in and getting flight
training, and we ought to be looking into it. It didn't get past the
second level. You have Coleen Rowley, from Minneapolis, saying in her
memo that they could be flying a plane into the World Trade Towers. We
knew the World Trade Towers were vulnerable. They had already attacked
them in 1993. Here was a memo again that they didn't pay any attention
to. She came all the way to Washington and talked to the folks in the
FBI. Nothing was done. We know, of course, the National Security Agency
had something that said ``Tomorrow is zero hour.'' That was in Arabic.
People tell me that I will hurt somebody's feelings if I put up a
sign in Arabic that reads: try to hijack and go to jail. They say that
is typecasting, profiling. Well, I mean to profile. I want it
understood. That is exactly what occurred--in Arabic, ``Tomorrow is
zero hour.'' They got that on September 10 of last year, but they
didn't translate it at the National Security Agency until September
12--after the tragedy.
Here we have everyone running up and down saying we are going to make
sure 9/11 never happens again. Not with this bill. You might tinker
around with what we already have on course.
Incidentally, of the 170,000 proposed staff for this Department, we
already have 110,000 of them together in one Department--the
Transportation Department. We had a hearing this morning with Admiral
Loy of the Transportation Security Administration. It is a blessing we
have him, because he knows what he is doing. He is moving and working.
He has the airports, the authority, Republicans and Democrats--
everybody pulling together. He solved the biggest problem we have had
with respect to airline security. But he has the seaport security, the
rail security, and Amtrak--the rail stations, the tunnels, and
everything else of that kind; they are all in one Department. We
haven't been waiting.
If you had just the homeland security bill and it had an up-or-down
vote this minute, without any amendments, I would have to vote against
it. I don't want to mislead my constituents and say that I have voted
for homeland security, because I know with that bill I have not voted
for homeland security; I haven't done anything about the intelligence
failures of 9/11 of last year.
So, Mr. President, that is the attempt of my particular amendment--to
get the National Security Council beefed up. By beefing up, I mean the
President did put out an order in February after he took office last
year. You ought to see that particular order. It has included in
various forms of the Council, the Overseas Private Investment
Corporation, the Peace Corps, and everybody else. It was so inclusive
as to really confuse rather than fix a responsibility, that the buck
I want to make it absolutely certain that this particular National
Security Council needs to be beefed up, irrespective of whether we pass
a Department of Homeland Security, irrespective of whether they put an
Office of Homeland Security in the White House, as is presently
constituted with Governor Ridge, or whether they call it a bureau--and
I certainly would go along with Senator Thompson with respect to the
matter of confirmation. I know if I were President, I would not want my
staff subject to the confirmation and to have to respond to the
Congress. You elected me the President, you have given me the
responsibility, and the buck stops here. My Chief of Staff, head of my
Security Council, and everything else like that, are my choice, and I
have my team, and I don't have to worry about the politics over in the
legislative branch as to confirmation and being responsible to
subpoenas coming over. We cannot subpoena the Director of the National
Security Council. We should not be able to just subpoena willy-nilly.
They can say we just have to plead executive privilege.
Be that as it may, I think the distinguished Senator from Tennessee
is off on the right track. He wants to make sure we don't have all this
bureaucracy; in other words, if you are going to have a Department
collecting intelligence, you have the CIA collecting intelligence, you
have the National Security Council collecting intelligence, and you
have got domestic intelligence collected by the FBI.
You have the office in the White House trying to correlate and work
with it, but even that correlation has to be fused with international
with foreign policy. There is only one place, and that is the National
Security Council, as the Congress has already determined and as
determined by none other than President Truman himself back in 1947,
``The buck stops here.'' I do not want to have another buck stop in an
office here and a department here and another agency there and a CIA
agent and a defense intelligence agent over here. We have intelligence
coming out of our ears. The reason this is not understood is we do not
have an independent Presidential commission investigating 9/11.
I was moved the other evening when we heard former Vice President
Mondale emphasize the need for that particular initiative. I joined in
that some months back, and I did so advisedly. The reason I do it is
when you have the House and the Senate investigate intelligence, you
have a political split. It is 50 Republican and 50 Democratic. Having
served for 8 years on the Intelligence Committee I can tell you that we
had categorical sworn testimony to a certain effect, that was known by
the White House, and we had it on two occasions to verify it, but we
never could make that public because of 50 percent being Republican.
They just did not want it to surface because it was critical.
Incidentally, that same Intelligence Committee staff is not subject
to a polygraph. I want to emphasize that for the simple reason that one
cannot get a job with the Secret Service unless they are polygraphed.
They cannot get a job with the Central Intelligence Agency unless they
are polygraphed. They cannot get a job with the FBI unless they are
polygraphed. More particularly, they cannot get a job out there as a
Capitol policeman unless they take a lie detector test.
I was told that certain information was not revealed to me by the
CIA, as a member of the committee, because my staff--not my personal
staff but the staff of the Senate Intelligence Committee--had not had
the proper clearance.
I will never forget I had a constituent who was arrested in another
country, and I was trying to get him out of that arrest. I had to
struggle to do it. The country involved said he was an agent of the CIA
or had gotten briefings from the CIA. They categorically denied it. It
was a year and a half to 2 years later, I went into one country and
talked with the station agent. He said: Oh, Senator, you are from South
I said: I certainly am. How is that?
He said: Well, I debriefed so and so. He was one of the best we ever
That is how I found out about the lie saying that they never knew
anything about him.
I served on the Hoover Commission in 1954 under GEN Mark Clark and
President Herbert Hoover investigating the intelligence activities of
the United States of America. It was the Joe McCarthy days. We went
into the CIA, the CID, the Army, Navy, air intelligence, Secret
Service, Q clearance, and the Atomic Energy Commission, and all the
rest of the intelligence divisions.
I have a slight background in intelligence. There is a lack of
coordination. In addition to having the buck stop here, you have to
have that coordination, and only the President of the United States can
get that coordination. He has to get those involved on the Council. I
have talked to Director Mueller of the FBI because I oversee his
appropriation. He says he has gotten CIA fellows over there. But then I
hear reports that they are not always exchanging the information.
That information exchange and getting it all to the one Commander in
Chief to make a decision as to whether or not we have intelligence, for
example, with respect to a need to invade Iraq, that has to be
centralized, not at the Department of Homeland Security, not at an
Office of Homeland Security, but fused at the level of the National
Security Council, reporting directly to the President of the United
I have included in this amendment, in an advisory capacity to the
Council, the Director of the FBI--as is the Director of the Central
Intelligence Agency. He is also in an advisory capacity. But that one
summary intelligence report that is put on the President's desk early
every morning has to have the fused intelligence of domestic as well as
There is this idea now that we can beef up and fix that
responsibility. I am very much concerned, as I have tried to point out
with respect to this particular amendment--I am in step with the
distinguished Senator from Tennessee. He is trying to avoid further
bureaucracy and further politics with respect to confirmation. You
never have the Director of the National Security Council confirmed or
the chief of staff. The Presiding Officer of the Senate or this
particular Senator would never have our chief of staff or
administrative AA assistant confirmed by the Senate. That is just more
bureaucracy. I agree with Senator Thompson on that. But it still does
not fix that responsibility of the buck stopping there and that has to
be at the National Security Council level with the President of the
United States, and nowhere else. There has to be one place in case we
ever have anything that is even like 9/11, instead of people running
around finger pointing, saying: This Department said, no, but the CIA
did not do it, but the FBI, well, the National Security Agency guy, no,
we did not find out from defense intelligence.
They knew. They should have told. We have intelligence, tens of
billions of dollars according to what I read in the newspapers. We have
all kinds of entities running around with intelligence. Here we are
going around and saying we are going to avoid a 9/11 by the institution
of a Department of Homeland Security.
So this particular Senator has been working in that field. Namely, we
passed 100 to 0, all Republicans and all Democrats, airport security.
We got together and we reported out of the Commerce Committee, and it
passed the Senate 100 to 0, all Republicans and all Democrats, seaport
security. It is hung up over in the House with respect to the
conference. I have at the desk rail security in an Amtrak bill by a
vote of, I think it was, 20 to 3 out of the committee. So I have been
working in this field. I sat down last fall with the new Director of
the FBI, Bob Mueller. We gave him $750 million. We said: Straighten out
your computers, get those all working, reorganize your department,
institute domestic intelligence.
We never wanted to do that. We shied away from domestic intelligence.
With the McCarthy days and the witch hunts, the un-American activities
and all, we do not want to go down that road. But the terrorism war
requires an intelligence effort at the domestic level. Fine, you can
have a Department--we have it going right now, to tell the truth, and
we are trying to reorganize it under a new Secretary.
According to GAO, it is going to take 5 to 6 years to get it
organized right, so we are going to have to depend on what we have.
I have been working in that particular field and just got through
with a hearing this morning with the new Administrator of the
Transportation Security Administration in the Department of
Transportation, and I think we are on course. But we are behind the
curve with respect to seaport security. We are behind the curve with
respect to rail security, with respect to actual intelligence security
and correlating it. This bill absolutely leaves out all of the failures
of last year, 9/11, and includes therein all of the good operative
entities; namely, that there was nothing wrong with the Coast Guard
that would be included in the new Department, there was nothing wrong
with FEMA or the agriculture office that would be included in the new
As they said in the Navy during World War II: When in danger, when in
doubt, run in circles, scream and shout.
We are running around here. We have a Department going, and it is
supposed to govern. I voted for homeland security. You did not. This
bill could pass in the next 10 minutes and it would not correct the
failings of September 11. My amendment to the Thompson amendment would
fix that responsibility at the National Security Council, so the buck
would stop there. The President of the United States would have to know
what is going on. If he could not find out, this President would get
rid of him.
I yield the floor.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Connecticut.
Mr. DODD. Mr. President, I listened very carefully to the comments of
friend and colleague from South Carolina. Once again he makes a great
deal of sense. I look forward to being supportive of his effort.
My colleague from Connecticut, Senator Lieberman, is doing a
remarkably fine job managing a very complicated piece of legislation.
He deserves great deal of credit for taking on that responsibility. I
have not had a chance to speak on the bill as of yet, but I don't want
to miss the opportunity of congratulating him and thanking him, and all
of our colleagues, for the work he has done and to thank Senator
Hollings for his tireless efforts on related matters.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Nevada.
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