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Senator Graham Calls for Action on Intelligence Reform

January 30, 2004

For information call: 202-224-3041


Senator Bob Graham, the former chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, today called for hearings on proposed reforms of the Intelligence Community in light of findings of “obvious intelligence failures with respect to the existence weapons of mass destruction” in Iraq.

“If 9-11 was a wake up call alerting us to the problems in our Intelligence Community, the misinformation on Iraq’s WMD programs gives us our first report card. The grade we have received is an F. This makes it imperative that the Congress begin the process of reforming our Intelligence Community immediately,” Graham, D-Florida, wrote in a letter to current Intelligence Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kansas.

Graham noted that, while the Intelligence Committee has been reviewing the reporting on WMD, it has not yet addressed the accountability of those responsible for the failures - or the changes necessary to avoid problems in the future. “We can’t spend all our time looking in the rear-view mirror at what went wrong. We need to look through the front windshield to get our focus on what needs to be done to avoid repeating mistakes in the future,” Graham said. “Decision makers need reliable and credible intelligence.”

Graham is the primary sponsor of S. 1520, the 9-11 Memorial Intelligence Reform Act, which was filed on July 31, 2003. Senators John D. Rockefeller, D-West Virginia, and Dianne Feinstein, D-California, are co-sponsors.

The bill includes 17 of the 19 recommendations from the House-Senate Joint Inquiry into the intelligence failures surrounding 9-11. Those 17 require legislative changes to implement, including reorganization of the management of the Intelligence Community, new accountability standards for employees, a top-to-bottom review of classification standards, and creation of a National Terrorist Watch-List Center.

Roberts has not yet scheduled hearings on the legislation.

Graham is planning to deliver a series of speeches on the need for intelligence reform on the Senate floor beginning Monday, February 2.

A copy of Graham’s letter to Roberts is attached.


January 30, 2004

Senator Pat Roberts
Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
211 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Senator Roberts:

The recent revelations of obvious intelligence failures with respect to the existence of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in Iraq are of grave concern. If 9-11 was a wake up call alerting us to the problems in our intelligence community, the misinformation on Iraq’s WMD programs gives us our first report card. The grade we have received is an F. This makes it imperative that the Congress begin the process of reforming our Intelligence Community immediately. To this end I again urge you to hold hearings on S. 1520, the 9-11 Memorial Intelligence Reform Act of 2003.

I sent you a letter on September 3, 2003, urging you to hold a hearings in the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on S. 1520. I introduced S. 1520 on July 31, 2003, and it was referred to your committee. Your Vice Chairman, Senator Rockefeller, and Senator Feinstein are original co-sponsors of this legislation. S.1520 implements the recommendations of the bi-partisan, bi-cameral Joint Inquiry into the September 11 attacks. These recommendations were supported near unanimously by both the House and Senate intelligence committees.

Congress has a special responsibility to take action to reform our intelligence agencies in a way that will reduce the chances of future intelligence failures. As Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence you are uniquely positioned to lead this reform process. Holding hearings on S. 1520 at the earliest possible date are a necessary first step in this process.

If I can be of any assistance, please contact Dr. Bob Filippone of my staff at 202-224-6561.

Sincerely,

 

United States Senator

cc: Senator Jay Rockefeller

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Source: Graham Press Release