Mr. BUMPERS. Madam President, I send an amendment to the desk and ask for its immediate consideration.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report.
The bill clerk read as follows:
The Senator from Arkansas [Mr. Bumpers], for himself, Mr. Sasser, Mr. Metzenbaum, Mr. Wofford, and Mr. Feingold, proposes an amendment numbered 1041.
Mr. BUMPERS. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that reading of the amendment be dispensed with.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
The amendment is as follows:
At the end of line 9 on page 157, insert the following new section:
`Notwithstanding any other provision of this bill, the amounts appropriated for the program in support of the intelligence community of the federal government for the National Foreign Intelligence Program shall be reduced by $300,000,000; and the amounts appropriated for the programs in support of the intelligence community of the federal government for the Tactical Intelligence and Related Activities Program shall be reduced by $100,000,000.'
Mr. BUMPERS. Madam President, I must say that it took a lot of courage on my part to offer this amendment because, frankly, I am so tired of losing. I am tired of offering the Senate opportunity after opportunity after opportunity to cut spending, with absolutely no success.
I sometimes wonder about the press; they never report this. I do not know why. They never report who is voting for spending cuts and who is not. The reason I say that is because it is really interesting to me to watch the people who make the longest winded speeches around here about spending cuts and who can never find it in their hearts to vote for one.
I offered the Senate an opportunity this morning to cut $17 billion in spending, with absolutely no loss of strategic or military advantage. I got 34 votes. One Senator was very kind and called and told me he voted against me and he apologized. He said, `I realize now you were absolutely right about it.' I think another Senator told me that he misunderstood that it was a motion to table. So maybe I would have gotten 36 votes. That is a lot of votes around here when you are trying to cut spending.
Senator Sasser just offered an amendment to do burdensharing, to let some of the other countries pick up some of the tab. He got 42 votes.
I hear people say, `Well, I cannot support you, but I am for spending cuts, cutting entitlements. You are never going to get the deficit under control unless you cut entitlements.'
What does that mean? I will tell you what it means. It means they are not prepared to tell you what they are willing to cut, because the same person who says `I am for cutting entitlements" may say if we ask: Well, are you willing to cut Medicare? We have already cut $56 billion on the deficit reduction package. The elderly people in this country are terrified about those cuts. They may say: Well, I do not know, we cut about all we can in Medicare. How about Medicaid, health care for the poorest of the poor. They may say: I would not mind cutting that one. How about kicking Aunt Lucy out of the nursing home? No, I would not be for that. How about food stamps that allow some people to eat because of the large debt of the Federal Government and the decision made 25 years ago that no child should go hungry? That is an entitlement. Do you want to cut that one? Usually, you do not get a response to that. No, it is all entitlements, because you never have to say what you are for cutting.
But I will tell you some of the biggest entitlements in this country--the space station, the super collider, National Endowment for Democracy, SDI, intelligence budget, which my amendment addresses, those are entitlements which just go on year after year after year getting healthy increases as we cut Medicare $56 billion over the next 5 years.
So when you vote for this kind of entitlement, you are voting to cut those kinds of entitlements. Go home and tell the elderly, the AARP and elderly that you speak to when you are making your political speeches, go home and tell them that when you voted against about $300 billion worth of spending cuts over the next 30 years --which I offered just in the last 3 weeks--that when you voted against those, you almost guaranteed that we are going to have to cut further on those entitlements that help people, poor people, all people.
Go home and tell the people in education the reason we cannot do more for them is because we cannot find it in our heart to cut a bloated intelligence budget. We cannot find it in our heart to cut $38 billion on the D-5 missile, counting interest, over the next 35 years. We cannot find it in our heart to cut $100 billion on the space station. You think about that.
I hate to be so caustic and acerbic about this, and it sounds self-serving, and I hate to do this and I do not mean it that way. But I sometimes think, having fought against the space station and the collider now for 4 years running, I sometimes think if Senators walked on that floor and the head of NASA walked up to them and said, `Boy, have you guys been snookered; there is not anything like a space station; there is no plan; nothing,' I do not think it would change a vote. I think we would still vote $2.1 billion for the space station.
So, after getting a whopping 34 votes this morning in an attempt to do something about the deficit of this Nation, here I am at the same old stand giving everybody an opportunity to vote for a very modest cut.
Madam President, I originally intended to try to cut the intelligence budget by a billion dollars. Discretion being the better part of valor, I knew I had no chance of that, so I am offering an amendment that would cut $300 million from the national foreign intelligence budget and $100 million from the pentagon's tactical intelligence and related activities, TIARA, a total of $400 million.
I do not know and I will not know for a little while, probably after the vote, if it would have made any difference if I had offered to cut $100 million from the NFIP and $50 million from TIARA. I doubt if there would be any difference in the votes. People are not going to cut spending. They do not want to cut spending, and they are not going to.
Every Member of this body got a letter from James Woolsey, who I personally like and respect, saying, `If you vote for the Bumpers amendment you are going to jeopardize our intelligence ability for years to come.'
Madam President, here is a little unclassified chart. In 1965 through 1994 --I want you to look at this for just a moment--the national foreign intelligence budget is up 100 percent in the 1980's. There is 1980. There is 1990. There is a 100-percent increase in the 1980's in this budget, which the New York Times says is $17 billion.
Incidentally, you know another burr under my saddle is the fact that all these numbers are kept so secretive and when I say what these numbers are I have to say the Los Angeles Times reported it, or the New York Times reported it.
Senator Moynihan is going to offer an amendment on this floor on this bill to make the total intelligence budgets public, and I intend to support him. I would not vote for an amendment that said you have to tell how much you are spending on human intelligence, how much you are spending on satellites. But the Los Angeles Times says that we are spending $28 billion a year on intelligence.
I am not here to tell you whether that is right or wrong. I am telling you what the Los Angeles Times reported. But I can tell you this because this is in the report from the House Appropriations Committee, this budget has gone up 100 percent in the 1980's, and I am saying cut it by $300 million.
The Senator from Arizona, who is chairman of the Senate
Select Committee on Intelligence, is going to say we have already cut it.
Madam President, I hate to anticipate what he is going to say, but that is what he is going to say, and let me answer it before he says it.
They did not cut anything. They just did not give them an increase.
The President of the United States said when he was a candidate that he was going to cut $7 billion out of the intelligence budget in 5 years after he became President, $7 billion.
Do you know what the budget request was this year? It was for an increase of $800 million in this budget, an $800 million increase, according to the House Appropriations Committee.
And our Senate Committee on Intelligence said we are not going to cut you. We are going to leave you level funding the same amount of money you got in 1993. Big deal.
Let me show you another chart, Madam President. This does not impress anybody around here but people who watch C-SPAN are pretty impressed with it. They said, `I did not know that. I cannot believe that.'
You know, I am an old trial lawyer, and I know what the people understand. I know what their native intelligence tells them, and if the American people had been voting on that amendment this morning, it would have been 85 to 15. The American people have got enough sense to know that we are not serious around here about the deficit.
And when the American people see a chart like this that says we spend more on intelligence, according to the August 4 edition of the Los Angeles Times, we spend more money on intelligence than these 10 nations, including Italy, spend on their entire defense budget, and James Woolsey sends a letter to everybody and says, `If you vote for the Bumpers amendment you are going to jeopardize intelligence for years to come.' You want to know how good our intelligence is. You have a great example of it. You saw a bunch of thugs sitting on the Port-au-Prince dock saying you cannot land these American troops in Haiti. Obviously, if our intelligence community had been doing its job, they would have told the President you are going to get a very heated reception in Haiti, and the President would not have embarrassed himself to some extent and the Nation by sending them in the first place.
And George Shultz, former Secretary of State, in his book called `Turmoil and Triumph'--incidentally, he was one of the people I liked in the Reagan administration. Here is what George Shultz says in his book--you know everybody is willing to tell you after they leave office what they really think. You cannot get anybody in politics to tell you what they really think until they leave office.
(Mr. REID assumed the Chair.)
Mr. BUMPERS. I remember when Dwight Eisenhower made his great military-industrial complex speech. Do you know when he made it? As he left office. What a dynamite speech that would have been in his first inauguration.
I never will forget, even our colleague, Senator Goldwater, turned to one of the Senators over there and said: `Who drafted this prayer-in-school amendment?' The Senator said, `I did.' He said, `You ought to be ashamed of yourself.'
And I remember General Jones, who was Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff when I came to the Senate. We were still in Vietnam. The Senator from Kentucky came to the Senate the same time I did and he remembers this all well.
This country was upside down over Vietnam. And shortly after that, David Jones retired from the Air Force--I believe he was an Air Force man--and he held a press conference. Do you know what he said? `It is impossible to design a sensible defense system in this country, because all I do is referee interservice rivalry. You give the Air Force $2 billion, you got to give the Navy $2 billion. You give the Navy $2 billion, you got to give the Army $2 billion.' He said, `All I do is referee fights.'
And if Colin Powell holds an exit interview and tells the unmitigated truth, as he is supposed to do in this $6 million book, he is going to tell you essentially the same thing.
Former Secretary of State George Shultz provides a particularly harsh appraisal of the CIA in his memoirs `Turmoil and Triumph.' He repeatedly disparages the political analysis on the Soviet Union by CIA Director William Casey and his Deputy Robert Gates noting, `We had no accurate help from the intelligence community about what to expect.'
Can you believe that a short 4 years ago, two-thirds of the entire intelligence budget went to spy on the Soviet Union and its allies? And today, there is no Soviet Union. But do you know the interesting thing about that spending two-thirds of our intelligence budget on the Soviet Union? Not one person in the CIA ever told the President that the Soviet Union was about to collapse.
But this is really not about the competence of the intelligence community. It is about how much money we are willing to spend on intelligence.
Mr. President, we have another big problem in the intelligence community. We have so many intelligence organizations in this country funded with this $28 billion. We have got spies spying on spies; overlap. The left hand does not know what the right hand is doing. My guess is James Woolsey, in one of his more candid moments, would tell you that.
Who are they? Well, the National Foreign Intelligence Program, that is the CIA, the National Security Agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Reconnaissance Office, even the State Department and the FBI, get in on the act. And we have Navy intelligence, Army intelligence, Marine intelligence. We have intelligence agencies that the public does not even know about. And the national foreign intelligence budget, which I am trying to cut a paltry $300 million, is higher right now than it was at the height of the cold war.
Mr. President, the House froze spending, but freezing is not enough in these times. If we cannot cut $300 million from the National Foreign Intelligence budget and $100 million from TIARA, we might as well hang it up.
Incidentally, do you know something else? Do you know Albert Gore, in the Vice President's reinventing government report, weighs in on this intelligence budget? My amendment goes right to the heart of what Albert Gore talks about.
Mr. President, what are the opponents of this amendment going to say? Well, I tell you, terrorism is so much greater now. We have to spend more money trying to find terrorists. We have to spend more money on this and that and the other. But 3 years from now, we are going to start cutting.
And the Senate will buy it, just like Lucy holding the ball for Charlie Brown every fall. Charlie says, `No, I'm not going to kick that ball now. You'll pull it out from under me and I'll kick and I'll fall.' And Lucy says, `No, I won't.' So Charlie goes out charging and Lucy pulls the ball out from under him and he takes a big spill year after year after year, just like the U.S. Senate.
They will say, `We have this whole intelligence thing under in-house reform and by this time next year, we are going to give you a definitive plan on how we are going to deal with this.' And, like Charlie Brown, we are going to fall for it one more time.
Do you think this is just Dale Bumpers talking? `The intelligence community has, in my view, been greatly overfunded for the past decade. We may well have 10 times too many analysts in the intelligence community today.'
Ten times more than we need. Who said that? Lt. Gen. William Odom, former Director of the National Security Agency.
The House Appropriations Committee said,
The committee notes that during the course of the last decade, budgetary resources devoted to the intelligence community have grown in real terms by over 100 percent. In a time that saw a significant expansion of the defense budget, the budgets of the intelligence community grew at a rate that was 20 times faster in real terms.'
That is right. Defense in the 1980's grew 5 percent in real terms, and the national foreign intelligence budget grew 100 percent--20 times faster and higher than the defense budget.
Here is another quote by William Colby, former Director of CIA. `There is substantial money to be saved. I would say a substantial reduction in intelligence funding is possible and that means several billion dollars.' That, from a former Director of the CIA--several billion dollars can be saved.
Do you know what my amendment does? If we believe press reports, it cuts the budget of the National Foreign Intelligence Program by less than 2 percent. You think about that. You think about a nation that is piling debt on top of debt, where the interest on the national debt alone will soon equal the total amount of income tax, personal income tax, paid by the people of this Nation.
And some people will walk in here and say, `Well, I'm not going to worry about it. That is only $400 million.'
Only $400 million. That is the mentality that brought us a $4 trillion debt.
And, to all of you who have not yet found it in your heart to vote to cut one single dime, at least of the amendments I have offered, I invite you after you vote no on this to stand up and tell us when you are going to start voting to cut spending.
Do not tell me about entitlements. Which entitlements and how much? This morning you had a chance to cut $30 billion over 35 years; $400 million is not much, but you are going to have to borrow that money if do you not vote for this amendment. That will run to well over $1 billion over the next 30 years.
Let me reemphasize what I just said a moment ago. This is not literally true. But every time you vote no on one of these spending cuts, you know that spending cuts are going to have to happen somewhere. So when you vote against a spending cut on the D-5 missile and the intelligence budget and the collider, and all the rest of them, you are voting to cut Medicaid and Medicare and Social Security.
I yield the floor.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The manager of the bill, the Senator from Hawaii.
Mr. INOUYE. Mr. President, I listened very carefully to the remarks of my friend from Arkansas. And once again, I find it very difficult to participate in this debate.
First of all, we are dealing with classified information. I realize some of my colleagues may pooh-pooh that and suggest that is a copout. But there are laws that we must follow, laws that determine classification, laws that determine secrecy.
But I can mention the following without violating the law. Last year, we reduced the request by the intelligence community by 10 percent. That cut was greater than that made on any other agency of our Government. In this fiscal year account, we have reduced the President's request by $1.498 billion. That is quite a bit.
Much has been said in this debate about the effectiveness of intelligence. What my distinguished colleague from Arkansas is alluding to is what we call HUMINT, or human intelligence. The amount we spend on human intelligence in this budget is less than 4 percent.
I cannot give the dollar figures because that would be classified. But when one considers that during the height of the cold war, we were spending more than 4 times that amount, we have cut that down to 4 percent. That is why we were not able to get the necessary intelligence in Port-au-Prince, because the decision was made by the Executive Office and by the Congress of the United States to spend the bulk of the money for high technology.
I wish I could describe some of the systems that we have at this moment, but I am certain all of us are aware that at this moment, above us in the atmosphere are all sorts of devices. If it were not for those devices, the battle in the desert,
Operation Desert Storm, may have turned out a little differently. Those satellites told us where the tanks were. Those satellites told us where the artillery pieces were. Those satellites told us about the Iraqi troop movements. And those satellites saved thousands of lives.
I wish we had more spies in Port-au-Prince who could have reported back to us as to what to expect if our forces landed there. But a decision was made to reduce human intelligence. If I could give you the dollar figures, you would know we are spending very, very little for spies.
I would like to suggest, if this is agreeable with the author of the amendment, that we temporarily set aside this amendment to permit Members of the Senate who may wish to do so to go to room S-207 to look over the budget and see how we are spending our money.
It is difficult for Members of this body to discuss this and debate this issue. I am certain those who are listening to our debate might find this is all mumbo-jumbo. I do not intend to do that, but the laws of secrecy prevent me from describing how we spend these billions of dollars. But I am certain even the uninitiated realize that satellites cost money; rockets that send them up cost money. They cost much, much more than the hiring of spies.
Last year, as I indicated, we cut the budget by 10 percent. This year, we further cut that by $1.498 billion. If we adopt this amendment, it will not put the intelligence community out of business. But I agree with the Director of Central Intelligence that it will have an effect on the quality of intelligence that can be provided to our President, to the Department of Defense, and to agencies of the Government.
So I would like to advise the Senate that we are prepared to vote at this moment. I have just received a message from the leader that he would like to have a vote as soon as possible because the Senate needs to proceed with the Somalia debate, and I believe the debate will take about 4 hours.
So if at all possible, I hope we can vote on this in the next few minutes.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Arizona.
Mr. DeCONCINI. Mr. President, while I understand the motivation of the distinguished Senator from Arkansas and others who might support his amendment to seek deeper cuts in the Intelligence budget beyond those recommended by the Intelligence Committee, in my view, such cuts would be unwise and could produce results none of us want.
I want to remind my colleagues of several points which are pertinent here.
First, the Budget for Intelligence activities has, in fact, been steadily declining for the last 4 years. Last year, Congress took the first really substantial cut in 20 years and I supported every penny of it. Indeed, I voted for the amendment offered by Senator Bumpers last year to take a larger cut than that being recommended by the Intelligence Committee. In fact, the level of funding ultimately approved by the Congress last year was below the level being sought by the Senator from Arkansas.
This year, the Intelligence Committee is recommending another substantial reduction in the administration's request. While the level of funding recommended by the committee for fiscal year 1994 remains classified pursuant to executive branch policy, suffice it to say that the amount of funding recommended is less than last year's appropriated level. It will force the intelligence community to restructure its plans at a lower level of expenditure.
We have already imposed a 17.5 percent across-the-board personnel cut in all agencies of the intelligence community by 1997. They are struggling to meet this requirement.
This cut comes on top of substantial reductions already taken within the Department of Defense and other agencies over the last several years which have meant additional consolidation and downsizing of intelligence components.
In short, Mr. President, things are headed in the direction that Senator Bumpers wants. We are cutting intelligence; we are downsizing the personnel force; and we are streamlining and consolidating functions.
At the same time, we cannot ignore that despite the end of the cold war, there are legitimate and continuing demands being placed upon intelligence.
To begin with, it is important to recognize that the focus of United States intelligence during the cold war, namely the military threat posed by the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact allies, though changed, has not entirely disappeared. Three remain in the Russian Republic and the former Soviet Republics of Ukraine and Kazahkstan roughly 30,000 strategic and tactical nuclear weapons. While the governments of these republics are no longer hostile to the United States and presently seem unlikely to become so, control of these weapons, to prevent their loss to extremist states or terrorists, remains a significant concern of the United States.
Indeed, the United States has a serious stake in preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, whether they be nuclear, chemical or
biological weapons, as well as the proliferation of missile systems able to deliver these weapons over long distances. It is clear that several states--some of whom are hostile to the United States or have unstable relationships with neighboring countries--countries like North Korea, Libya, Iran, and Iraq--are attempting to become nuclear states or are developing chemical or biological weapons. Should they succeed in developing these capabilities, other States in the same region may decide they have no alternative but to follow a similar path.
The intelligence community monitors the control and movement of existing weapons of mass destruction and tracks the development and production of these weapons and the systems designed to deliver them. The results of these efforts have been the basis for diplomatic actions by the United States and increasingly are being provided to international bodies charged with monitoring compliance with treaties designed to prevent the spread of such weapons and related delivery systems.
The intelligence community also provides virtually the sole means of verifying many bilateral and multilateral agreements signed by the United States. In addition, the intelligence community plays a key role in terms of advising U.S. diplomats involved in negotiating such agreements.
In a similar vein, the intelligence community is asked to monitor the effectiveness of international economic or military sanctions which might be imposed on other countries by the United Nations or by the United States on a unilateral or multilateral basis. Frequently the results of these efforts have led to diplomatic or military actions to enforce or effectuate the sanctions or embargoes concerned.
A large part of the intelligence community's efforts are devoted to support of U.S. Military Forces, which, with the end of the superpower conflict, must prepare for a variety of new contingencies. While clearly the threat of nuclear devastation has lessened, long-standing ethnic, cultural, and political rivalries previously held in check by the superpower conflict have been unleashed. Regional conflicts have been spawned around the globe, and it has become increasingly difficult to predict where U.S. military forces might be deployed, what their objectives will be once deployed, or what type of military threat they might face. The job of the intelligence community is to anticipate where such deployments might occur and maintain an information base capable of supporting such contingencies.
This function entails not only identifying the capabilities and vulnerabilities of opposing military or paramilitary forces, but also gathering information to be used in planning U.S. operations, targeting data to guide U.S. `Smart' weapons, data to counter enemy radars and sensors which otherwise might threaten U.S. aircraft, and other military support functions.
Once U.S. forces are deployed, the intelligence community typically brings to bear its entire capability in their support, both to achieve the rapid success of the mission and to protect U.S. lives and resources.
Increasingly, the intelligence community is also supporting the operational deployments of United
Nations peacekeeping forces as well, providing intelligence on threats to the safety and mission of such forces. This has recently occurred in support of UN operations in Cambodia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Clearly, where U.S. Forces are participating in U.N. operations, as they currently are in Somalia, the level of intelligence support is substantially enhanced. As our forces there face growing and more serious threats to their safety, having reliable intelligence becomes absolutely critical.
In addition to supporting military operations, the intelligence community also provides support to the planning of U.S. military force structures and tactics, as well as to the research, development and acquisition of military weapons and equipment by the Department of Defense. Even in an era of military downsizing, the intelligence community continues to provide literally thousands of defense planners and contractors with information concerning foreign military capabilities which must be taken into account as they assess U.S. military needs of the future and build the capabilities to match them.
The end of the cold war has also seen increasing recognition of the importance of a strong domestic economy as an element of U.S. national security. This recognition has caused a reexamination of the intelligence community's capabilities and proper role in terms of supporting the competitive position of U.S. industry abroad. While there are clear pitfalls to be avoided in this area, intelligence agencies are increasingly being called upon by Federal agencies which are charged with promoting U.S. competitiveness abroad--principally, the Departments of State, Commerce, and Treasury--to alert them to cases in which there is a need to keep the playing field level for U.S. business interests abroad. Similarly, the Federal Bureau of Investigation [FBI] and other elements of the intelligence community provide information to firms within the United States which indicates such firms may be the subject of an intelligence attack by foreign governments or by persons or companies acting under the sponsorship of a foreign government.
The intelligence community also plays important, though largely unseen, roles in the areas of counterterrorism and counternarcotics.
The FBI Intelligence Division has responsibility for tracking and monitoring possible international terrorist activity within the United States. The CIA and other intelligence agencies are involved in monitoring terrorist activities abroad. Such monitoring includes tracking the movements of known or suspected terrorists, developing information on their training, tactics, operations and equipment, and developing information regarding the relationships between terrorist groups and foreign governments. The information developed as a result of such monitoring is shared by the United States with the authorities of other governments whose nationals or resources might be threatened by terrorist activities. The objectives of such monitoring are to prevent terrorist incidents from taking place, such as the recent action by the FBI to prevent a series of bombings and assassinations in New York City, or to apprehend and prosecute the perpetrators of terrorist acts, such as the recent bombing of the World Trade Center or the downing of Pan AM 103 several years before. In each of the cases cited, the intelligence community played a significant
role in preventing or redressing terrorist incidents involving U.S. citizens or property.
The role of the intelligence community in countering international narcotics activities is also significant but not well appreciated. U.S. Intelligence capabilities are frequently used to determine where narcotic substances are being grown or produced in foreign countries, to determine where narcotics are being shipped or transported, to understand the network used to produce and distribute these narcotics, or to learn where proceeds from their sale are being used or deposited. This information is turned over not only to U.S. drug enforcement authorities, but to appropriate authorities in other governments to identify and locate the individuals involved in such activities and to preclude them from successfully carrying out their plans. Often, there is only an indirect benefit to the United States, and more often than not the role of U.S. Intelligence agencies is not publicly acknowledged by other governments. Suffice it to say, the involvement of U.S. Intelligence often provides the key to a successful raid on a drug installation in a foreign country or a successful interception of narcotics in international transit.
Finally, the President and other key policymakers have a continuing need for secret, non-publicly available information regarding the intentions and capabilities of other governments. To be sure, the world political environment has become far more open and foreign leaders more accessible since the end of the cold war. Communications between the United States and other governments, aided by the explosion of technology in recent years, have become more voluminous, direct, and timely. News media instantly flash images and commentary concerning world events to all points of the globe.
Still, the President needs a capability to assess what other governments are saying. Are events as they seem? Can the President rely upon what other governments are saying privately or what they state publicly? How firm is their position? What is their reaction likely to be if the United States takes a particular action and not another? Are U.S. interests threatened and, if so, how?
The U.S. Intelligence community, by attempting to gather and analyze information concerning the actions or attitudes of other governments which is not publicly available, is often able to provide unique insights to the President and other policymakers. On occasion, this information has provided a reliable basis for a significant U.S. diplomatic or military initiative which would not have otherwise been attempted. This is not to say that the contribution made by U.S. intelligence has always been unique or reliable or actionable. I myself have criticized the intelligence community's analysis regarding the former Soviet Union and Iraq's military strength during the Persian Gulf war. I simply note that at times the contribution of intelligence has been invaluable.
It should also be noted, that intelligence capabilities often require long lead times to establish and cannot easily be reconstituted once lost. This is true for sophisticated technical collection programs as well as for human intelligence activities which rely upon developing and maintaining human collectors with the desired access to information. Neither can be accomplished overnight.
The Intelligence Committee must factor this into its thinking. Decisions taken in 1 year to terminate or drastically reduce programs might mean that certain capabilities would not be available in the years ahead should they be needed. We have to hedge our bets. In some instances, money must be obligated for new initiatives that will enable the administration to cancel older and, ultimately, more costly programs in the future. In other cases, we must reject proposals made in 1 year that might foreclose the consideration of more promising options later on. In short, in arriving at our recommendation for the Senate, the Intelligence Committee attempted to assess the intelligence budget not simply in terms of this year's needs, but with an eye to preserving reasonable, albeit smaller, capability to satisfy the demands of the future where American lives and resources might potentially be at risk.
This is an arcane and complex field. People tend to think of it in terms of spies in trenchcoats. The reality is, it's computers and sensors and rocket launches. It is not for amateurs, and we are indeed fortunate in the Senate to have a group of professionals on the staff of the intelligence committee who scrub the details of all these activities and give those of us who serve on the committee an objective, unvarnished assessment of their worth. These assessments are available for every Member of the Senate to read, Mr. President, at the committee offices, and I encourage them to do so.
My inclination, like Senator Bumpers, is to find a way to cut the intelligence budget. With the defense budget going down, with the end of the cold war, we cannot afford--Nor do we need--as elaborate or as comprehensive an intelligence capability as we once had.
Downsizing must occur and is occurring. But we must be mindful of the continuing security needs of the country: to protect our people and resources, to support our military forces, to provide the President with information. Without a doubt, the United States has the most capable intelligence apparatus in the world, and I want to keep it that way. I think we can do so even in a period of downsizing, but we must be prudent and attack the problem at a measured pace, if the United States is to maintain a capability adequate to support its national security needs, both now and for the future.
I simply do not think it would be prudent to go further and deeper this year. I urge my colleagues to vote against the Bumpers amendment.
Mr. President, I thank the Senator from Hawaii, the manager of the bill, for his enlightening statement of what we have already done in the area of intelligence reduction. I have to oppose the amendment of the Senator from Arkansas.
Let me say in doing so, I stood shoulder to shoulder with the Senator, and he knows so. So it is not that I am here trying to defend something that is important to this committee chairman, that we cannot go ahead and take further reductions.
What we have done is we have reduced the intelligence budget year after year, over the last 3 years. I was part of that. I tried to cut it additionally, and we could not put the votes together. We had to build a coalition. But we have real reductions here.
This amendment is being offered to this defense appropriations bill, and I want to make it clear it seeks to cut the funding level recommended by the committee. We spent months going over this. We spent weeks putting together a coalition to get a further reduction, and that is what we have done.
The amount appropriated for intelligence activity remains classified, as the Senator from Hawaii said. There is a movement to declassify that. I am one who has been converted that maybe we should just get the figure out so we can talk about it so it is not kind of cloaked here like, well, are we really telling the truth? Are we really cutting? I can say we are really cutting.
Suffice it to say, the Defense appropriations bill provides for a level of cuts that is already below those recommended by the Intelligence Committee. The Intelligence Committee made a cut, not just to the cost of living, as the Senator from Arkansas said. I will say that is true. We made an additional cut of 2 percent below last year's level. So we made a real cut in addition to no cost of living.
Sure, anybody can come out here and say we spend billions of dollars on intelligence, and what do we get? We do not have the information, we cannot find Aideed in Mogadishu, so, my gosh, we must have a failure. Or they can say, `Look at Haiti, we do not know what is going on in Haiti.' We knew what was going on in Haiti, and our intelligence gave us some good information on Haiti. They said those generals are not going to give up. They are not going to let the President come back. And what happened? Our President sent our troops over there and they would not let them come back. That is pretty good intelligence.
That is the information we had. We were hopeful that maybe it was wrong or maybe they would back down, and they did not. The cuts being sought by the Senator from Arkansas would mean still further reductions in the amounts being recommended by the Intelligence Committee. In the case of the National Intelligence Program, he wants to cut another $300 million, and in the case of tactical programs, another $100 million. I voted with Senator Bumpers in the past--a year ago--when he offered an amendment to the Defense appropriations bill which called for an additional $1 billion in cuts. I did it because I felt he was right. We did not succeed. But in fact, we have done that now. We are cutting, make no mistake about it. The intelligence part of this DOD bill is a substantial cut. It is not an increase.
Last year, it was cut very substantially. In fact, the intelligence budget ultimately approved last year by Congress was reduced to a level below what Senator Bumpers proposed in his amendment last year. That did not just happen. Then the chairman, Senator Boren, took it upon himself to build a coalition within the Intelligence Committee and, believe me, that is no easy task because there are those who feel we should spend more and more and more on intelligence. I am not one of them. He was able to build that coalition to enact a budget, an authorization bill that reduced it below what the Senator from Arkansas offered last year, and I joined that.
It also projected what it would be over the next 5 years. That was a reduction this year, a real cut of 2 percent. We had some quarrels with the administration on it. The President said $7 billion over 5 years from the year he came in. That is where we are headed and that is our target, so we are going to make them if I have anything to do with it.
We had some quarrels with the Director. We worked them out, not with the Director, but with the committee, which insisted on an additional cut.
We are recommending yet another cut this year, which is another significant cut from the administration's original request and, in essence, holds the line at last year's appropriated level.
The proposed bill would continue for a fifth consecutive year the downward spiral that was already instituted before President Clinton was elected and before his budget came up, which had a growth factor in it for this year, the year we are debating, for next fiscal year, which we are already in.
The Intelligence Committee recommended level is sustained this year. Overall intelligence resources would have been reduced in real terms more than 13 percent compared with what the 1989 appropriations were. That is a significant reduction, not just pie in the sky.
Look at other defense items, particularly some of the ones the Senator from Arkansas has--correctly, in my judgment--gone after, and they have gone up, or nondefense items, such as
the superconducting super collider and space station, and they have gone up.
In addition to those funding cuts, Congress has already levied an across-the-board personnel cut of 17.5 percent in all intelligence agencies, including the CIA, by 1997. We did that last year, and we are implementing that right now, and we are going to get there.
So it is hard to say we have a bloated organization here that is mushrooming out of sight. The Senator from Arkansas will say we have intelligence agencies and do not even know where they are. If he wants to know where they are, come down to the Intelligence Committee. We will give him everything we have, and we have a lot. I think we do know where they are. We know what they spend. I spend a lot of time, as do members of that committee, reviewing what they spend their money on, and sometimes we disagree.
The cuts being recommended this year by the committee are deeper than those which were passed by the House. The House wisely defeated two floor amendments to make further cuts, and they were defeated by big margins. So we are talking about the amount of cuts here, not whether or not we have cuts. The Senator from Arkansas wants another $400 million. Believe me, if I could stand up here in good conscience and say, `Yes, let's do another $400 million,' I would do it. But we have looked at this as carefully as we can. It has taken a lot of time, and we have a real reduction here. We should go no further.
The President sent a letter to the chairman of the House committee saying he vigorously opposed the further cuts, as did Jim Woolsey. Actually, the Director of the CIA wanted an increase of 3 percent, and he was able to finally convince the administration and OMB to suggest that in the budget. We did not give that to him. The administration continues to tell us overall cuts of $7 billion over the next 4 years, and I believe that we will meet that, and that is exactly where the bill before us sits today to do just that. The cuts to intelligence incorporated in the DOD appropriations bill, in fact, represents the approach that the President said he wanted in his campaign.
I must say he got a little diverted in his budget request for this year. We, in the committee, have forced it, as this bill in the Subcommittee of Defense has forced it, to maintain that $7 billion cut.
The problem with this amendment is that it would impose a level of cuts beyond those recommended by either the Intelligence or the Appropriations Committee that cannot readily be absorbed by the National Foreign Intelligence Program. When you are dealing with classified numbers, it is easy to say, `Oh, just cut it, there are just billions of dollars and hundreds of people out there that we do not need, analysts,' and read a letter from a former CIA Director that said there are substantial or billions that can be cut. That is right, and that is exactly what we have done. We have cut billions of dollars, and we are going to continue to do that.
I regret that the Senator from Arkansas feels he needs to put his tremendous prestige as a leader of further reductions, that this Senator has joined on, because I take some pride in what we have offered to this body. In fact, the distinguished chairman of the subcommittee and the ranking member said we are going to make further cuts. So this is not a legitimate target for the criticism that has been leveled against it.
I invite Senators, any of them--and I have talked to the Senator from Arkansas--to come down to the Intelligence Committee. We have analysts there, we have auditors there that work for the Senate, work for him, and they are prepared to show you the books. We have the books. They are not cooked. Someone may say, `Oh, the books from these agencies are cooked.' They are not cooked down at the committee. We pride ourselves in that independence. We have done audits on some of these different programs, and we have found mistakes, and we have made corrections.
I do not say for a moment that more cannot be done, but they are doing it right at this moment. That is what the Senator should do; come down and satisfy himself so at least he is satisfied, if he loses tonight, that we are making cuts. Do not step out and say we are just building up, we are just adding more money to intelligence, it is out of control, because it is not.
This amendment, in my view, cuts too deeply at a time that we have already made substantial cuts. I urge my colleagues to defeat the amendment offered by the Senator from Arkansas.
Mr. METZENBAUM addressed the Chair.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Ohio is recognized.
Mr. METZENBAUM. Mr. President, I rise in support of the amendment by my esteemed colleague from Arkansas, Senator Bumpers. But in doing so, I wish to pay my respects to the distinguished chairman of the Intelligence Committee.
Senator DeConcini has been assiduous in his efforts to bring reason and logic to spending in connection with the intelligence budget. His chore has not always been an easy one because, realistically speaking, there are only so many votes on that committee that would be willing to go further than the cuts which have already been made under his leadership.
But the fact is additional cuts can and should be made, in this Senator's opinion. So I rise in support of the amendment of the Senator from Arkansas. But in doing so, I pay my respects to the Senator from Arizona, who truly has provided some very strong and able leadership in attempting to bring some logic and reason to the intelligence budget.
In all candor, I must say that the previous chairperson of the same committee, Senator Boren, also was receptive to making cuts. But it is tough to make cuts when you have a solid block of Senators, none of whom is willing to consider any cut whatsoever, and a divided block of Senators on our side of the aisle, some of whom are willing to make cuts and others who are not. So when you are the chair of a committee under those circumstances, you try to find some middle ground so that you can achieve a majority vote. The Senator from Arizona has done that and done that very well.
Notwithstanding that, this Senator believes further cuts in the intelligence budget should and could be made and that we owe it to the American people to make those cuts.
The Senate Intelligence Committee may have held the line against increased spending on intelligence, but the fact is there is ample room for further reductions.
I must say that the amounts proposed by the Senator from Arkansas are rather modest in amount, and I believe that if they eliminated just some of the waste that has been testified to in hearings I have sat through--and I must say I have sat through some hearings and said this is unbelievable, this is incredible, that you are spending these kinds of dollars; you do not know what you are spending them on and are not providing the kind of intelligence you should be providing.
My colleagues in this body are well aware that the American people cannot be told the total amount of money appropriated for U.S. intelligence because it is classified.
So while Senator Bumpers may call for a $300 million cut in national intelligence and a $100 million cut in technical
intelligence, we cannot stand in the Chamber and explain publicly how large or small a dent that will make in those budgets. Whether it is a 5-percent or 50-percent or an 80-percent or 100-percent cut, we are not allowed to talk about that. We can discuss, however, some of the reasons why a floor amendment is needed.
That is why the Intelligence and Appropriations Committees of the Congress cannot make the sort of reductions many of us know are warranted and should be made. The U.S. intelligence community is a gigantic institution. It employs literally tens of thousands of persons in the Central Intelligence Agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, the National Reconnaissance Office, the Central Imagery Office, and both large and small units in our military forces and in several executive branch departments.
Over the past few years the intelligence community's military personnel in particular have begun a gradual but significant drawdown. The impact of this drawdown and of the withdrawal of U.S. military forces from many overseas locations has been to prompt some very useful reorganization and streamlining of the military intelligence system.
Civilian personnel levels are also under pressure, but only to a lesser extent. Perhaps because the end of the cold war made some of our military preparations so clearly and obviously unnecessary, we have been much more willing to end people's military careers than we have been to give pink slips to civilian personnel.
But personnel cutbacks, sensible as they are, only scratch the surface of the intelligence budget. If you want to effect real savings in intelligence, you have to cut not just personnel levels but also systems and institutions.
Are there places to make such cuts in the intelligence budget? Of course there are. There can be no argument about that. But there is nothing we can cut that will not cause some pain somewhere. Reducing the intelligence budget is like pulling teeth these days, and there is no painless dentistry in this process.
One example: Our intelligence system still devotes millions of dollars to maintaining systems which were originally designed to learn all there was to know about the former Soviet Union and to rush that information back to U.S. analysts and military leaders. We could do without much of that information.
But for every program of that sort, there is a general or an admiral somewhere who worries he might need that information in the event of a war.
The generals remind us that war is hell and war costs lives, as we have seen recently in Somalia, and no military commander wants to sacrifice lives, especially if some more spending on intelligence could reduce such risk. So every commander wants more in intelligence and every commander complains about the shortfalls in the intelligence he gets, just as General Schwarzkopf did after the gulf war.
The Intelligence Committees listened to those complaints, as we must. The problem is we do not and really we cannot balance those claims off against the other claims on our National Treasury. Another $1 billion here or $2 billion there might save tens or hundreds of lives in the next war, it is argued. But how many lives could we save before the next war if those same billions were spent on better health care or more affordable housing or improved education or more law enforcement or safer cars on the highways, or even that audacious idea of cutting the deficit, cutting the deficit and moving closer toward a balanced budget.
The Intelligence Committees cannot make these tradeoffs and the Budget Committee cannot do that either since the intelligence budget is secret and is largely hidden in the defense budget. So it is here on the floor of the Senate that we must make such hard choices.
Let me give you a second example. We spend billions of dollars on intelligence--be it from Russia or Bosnia or Somalia or Haiti--that gives us little more than what we learn from CNN. And that often does not get to us as fast as CNN does.
I will never forget the day I walked out of a closed hearing of the Intelligence Committee, and it was a very
critical issue that was before us. We all knew we were sworn to secrecy. It was an issue the American people wanted to know about, but we knew none of us could speak publicly about it. My wife, whom I called after the hearing, said, `What happened?' I said, `I am in no position to tell you.' And she said, `Well, didn't this, this, and this happen?' I said, `How do you know?' She said, `I just heard it on national TV.'
That has happened time and time again; I have come out of intelligence briefings and learned more about what was happening in the particular area than I learned from the intelligence briefing, and I learned it from the national TV. It is not necessarily because of waste or inefficiency in the CIA or other intelligence agencies, but I must say that there is an unbelievable amount of that.
I cannot forget the day I sat in an Intelligence Committee hearing and learned about a particular project that was involved in a particular community in this country, and nobody in the community knew anything about it. But it was a fact that there was $1 million a year being spent on it, and there was not anybody--it was not a matter of being covert. It was a matter of a public facility involved, and yet the fact is the public facility was not even noticed, notwithstanding the fact that it was a very, very public facility.
It is simply a fact of life that all of the intelligence officers in the world cannot always tell you what is going to happen everywhere at once. But our Government keeps trying to find out everything, often acting in the short run as though money were no object. And whenever our foreign policy fails to anticipate some development, the first whipping boy is the so-called `faulty intelligence.' So the intelligence agencies throw more and more money at problems even though they know full well that often it does very little good.
Again, we could look to the Intelligence Committee to pull the plug on this approach, but that is awfully hard to do. Nobody on the Intelligence Committee wants to come down to the floor and tell their colleagues, here is a budget that will give us less foreign intelligence next year than we get today. Just as nobody wanted to put a cap on the military during the cold war, so nobody wants to put a cap on our ability to anticipate events in a world of great instability.
But how much can we afford? What is the limit as to what we should spend on intelligence?
Can we really afford every satellite that our intelligence services would like to launch? Can we really afford to let each military service run its own science and technology analysis center? Can we really afford all the high-volume communication lines that we might like to have so that every type of intelligence information can be shot instantly around the world to every U.S. military commander and civilian policymaker?
Our committees do a serious job of trying to make sure we get what we pay for in U.S. intelligence, although I am frank to say that I think further budget cuts would result in still greater efficiency. But the committee simply cannot make the cosmic decisions. They cannot be expected to decide how much is enough when the perceived costs of any mistake in judgment are so high.
That is up to all of us together, Mr. President, and Senator Bumpers has done us all a favor by proposing this amendment. He is affording us all the opportunity to consider the Nation's priorities.
The amount in question, $400 million, may seem small. But it is our one chance to say that there was no blank check for intelligence, that every sector must share in the pain of restructuring the American economy.
This is our one chance to decide that the needs of our people at home are, in the long run, more vital to the national security than is the insatiable demand for information on foreign capabilities and intentions--matters that may still be of deep concern to us, but that are now much less likely to threaten our survival than they did in past decades.
I share the view of my colleague from Arkansas that we can no longer afford the high intelligence budgets of the past. And I urge my colleagues to think hard about what else the last $400 million of that budget can be used for, be it for good works or simply for reducing the budget deficit. If each of us thinks hard about that, we can pass this amendment and make Government spending a little more sensible.
Several Senators addressed the Chair.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The minority leader is recognized.
Mr. DOLE. Mr. President, I understand the distinguished majority leader will be in very briefly to get a unanimous consent agreement which is very important. We would like to get that so we can continue to debate the pending amendment. It deals with the Somalia issue; two amendments.
I wonder if my colleagues might object if I put in a brief quorum call so the majority leader might come in and make the request. It is going to be a 4-hour debate. If we do not get started on that. We could be here a long time.
I hope we can lay this amendment aside.
Here is the majority leader now. I can say to the majority leader that the agreement has been cleared on this side.
I yield the floor.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The majority leader is recognized.
Mr. MITCHELL. Mr. President, I will now propound a unanimous-consent request. If approved, I will then have a statement to make on the subject matter of it.
I now ask unanimous consent that Senator Bumpers' amendment and the committee amendments be laid aside, if necessary, and that Senator Byrd be recognized to offer an amendment on Somalia in his behalf and in behalf of myself, Senator Dole, and others; that upon the reporting of the amendment, Senator McCain be recognized to offer his amendment relative to the immediate withdrawal of United States troops from Somalia; that there be 4 hours for debate on the two amendments, with the time to be equally divided and under the control of Senators Byrd and McCain; that no other amendments or motions be in order until these two amendments are disposed of; and immediately upon the reporting of Senator McCain's amendment, Senator Byrd be recognized to speak for up to 30 minutes from the time under his control; that upon the completion of Senator Byrd's opening remarks, Senator McCain be recognized to speak for up to 30 minutes from the time under his control; that at the conclusion or yielding back of all time Senator Thurmond be recognized to move to table Senator McCain's amendment; that upon the disposition of Senator McCain's amendment the Senate vote on, or in relation to, Senator Byrd's amendment; and, that the preceding occur without any intervening action or debate.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
Mr. BUMPERS. Reserving the right to object, Mr. President, I did not hear the first part of request. Did it include setting my amendment aside?
Mr. MITCHELL. Yes. It did.
Mr. BUMPERS. Until when?
Mr. MITCHELL. Until these two amendments are disposed of which would be 4 hours.
Mr. BUMPERS. Could I prevail upon the majority leader? I think we only have about 15 minutes left on this amendment, to go ahead and dispose of it?
Mr. MITCHELL. Mr. President, I suggest the absence of a quorum.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
The assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
Mr. MITCHELL. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for the quorum call be rescinded.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
Mr. MITCHELL. Mr. President, I modify my prior request as follows:
That Senator Warner be recognized to address the Senate for 2 minutes in opposition to the Bumpers amendment; that thereafter, Senator Sasser be recognized for 2 minutes to address the Senate in support of the Bumpers amendment; that immediately following the conclusion of Senator Sasser's remarks, Senator Inouye be recognized to move to table the Bumpers amendment; and that upon the disposition of the Bumpers amendment, the agreement which I previously stated then immediately take effect.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
Mr. METZENBAUM. Mr. President, reserving the right to object, and I do not intend to object. I just want to express my own keen sense of disappointment that, as I understand it, under this proposal the issue before us is whether or not we withdraw immediately under the McCain amendment or withdraw by March 31 under----
Mr. DOLE. No later than.
Mr. METZENBAUM. No later than March 31. I do not intend to stand in the way of going forward with that vote. I know the leader indicated that subsequently there could be another amendment bringing the date forward. I think that would be a sort of vain act if the Senate has acted that we do it on the March 31 date.
I just want to say that I wish we would have had a chance to vote on the original Byrd amendment. I think we should be bringing our troops home at an earlier date. I am aware that a number of respected Members of this body have been in negotiations on this subject with the White House. I respect that fact and do not intend to challenge that. I respect each of the Members who have been negotiating on this subject. But I do say that I wish we had a chance to vote on an earlier date. I will not object.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
Without objection, it is so ordered.
Mr. MITCHELL. Mr. President, I want to reiterate what I said to the Senator from Ohio and what he has just said. This agreement does not preclude any Senator from offering an amendment on Somalia. If the Senator from Ohio wants to offer an amendment after these amendments are disposed of setting any dates he wants or setting any other condition, he is free to do so. No Senator should be under any misimpression that anyone is precluded from offering an amendment as a consequence of this agreement.
The second point I want to make is that there have been negotiations over a 2-day period. I have described them generally in prior statements here on the floor with Senator Dole, and an agreement has been reached, as a result of which Senator Byrd will offer an amendment on his behalf, my behalf, Senator Dole's, a number of other Senators, including Senator
Warner, Senator Nunn, Senator Pell, who is here, Senator Thurmond, and others who participated in these discussions. I believe that the debate will be a good and vigorous and informative one, and that all Senators will benefit from participation, as will the American people.
I will speak to the substance of the amendment which I have been involved in, of course, with the other Senators in preparing it, and why I think the Byrd-Mitchell-Dole, et al amendment should pass.
Mr. President, I now want to make clear that the prior agreement to which I earlier referred in a statement today, which stated that no amendments or motions on the subject of Somalia, or the basing or command of United States troops overseas, be in order unless they have been cleared by the majority leader, after consultation with the Republican leader, was intended only so we could complete the discussions and get the Somalia matter before us. After we complete the discussion and dispose of these two amendments, pursuant to this order, it is my intention to seek unanimous consent to vitiate this aspect of the prior order so that there would be no restraint on Senators in that regard.
I thank all of my colleagues for their patience and courtesy in this matter, and I yield the floor.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator is recognized for 2 minutes.
Mr. METZENBAUM. Will the majority leader yield for a question?
Mr. MITCHELL. Yes.
Mr. METZENBAUM. Do I understand the procedure will be that we will debate this issue for 4 hours with no intervening amendments? That should take us to about 11 or 12 o'clock. If any Senator wishes to offer an amendment thereafter, is it the majority leader's thought that that would have to be offered 11 or 11:30 tonight or whenever the time has expired?
Mr. MITCHELL. No. We are going to continue on the bill.
Mr. METZENBAUM. Tomorrow?
Mr. MITCHELL. Tomorrow. I hoped we could pass it tonight, but it obviously takes a lot of time to get things done here. It will be tomorrow and maybe Monday and maybe thereafter.
Mr. WARNER addressed the Chair.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the order, the Senator from Virginia is recognized.
Mr. WARNER. Mr. President, I rise in opposition to the amendment of the Senator from Arkansas. It is my privilege to serve on the intelligence committee, and I have so served for some 5 years. Now I share the responsibility of the leadership of the committee, as the committee's vice chairman, with my distinguished colleague and friend from Arizona, Mr. DeConcini, the committee's chairman. The Senator from Arizona has very ably stated many points which I feel are sufficient grounds for the Members of the Senate to accept the position that this is a very unwise amendment.
Mr. President, I would like to add two additional facts. As we proceed to cut back in our national security on many fronts, primarily in the Department of Defense budget, intelligence becomes a force multiplier. It enables the men and women of the armed services to have information essential to the performance of their duties--addressing subjects of vital importance, such as regional instabilities, arms buildups, and tactical military information--and particularly as it relates to missions in high-risk areas, such as Somalia or Bosnia.
So this intelligence force multiplier is extremely valuable and essential in a dangerous world, especially when the United States is reducing the size of its Armed Forces. This amendment would tend to undercut the ability of the various agencies engaged in intelligence to provide that service to the men and women in the Armed Forces.
I ask unanimous consent that a letter dated October 5, 1993, from the Director of Central Intelligence addressed to the Senator from Virginia be printed in the Record.
There being no objection, the letter was ordered to be printed in the Record, as follows:
THE DIRECTOR OF
Washington, DC, October 5, 1993.
Hon. John Warner,
Dear Senator Warner: The Senate will shortly take up H.R. 3116, the DoD Appropriations Act for FY 1994. I am very much concerned about an amendment that may be offered to reduce intelligence spending below the level already approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee. I believe that approval of such an amendment would have a harmful effect on our ability to provide accurate and timely intelligence to the President, our military and other policymakers. Furthermore, the Administration is on record as opposing further budget cuts to intelligence.
I certainly recognize and support the urgent need to reduce the budget deficit by cutting back on expenditures. Intelligence cannot be immune to such reductions. That is why the President has pledged to reduce the combined national and tactical intelligence budget request by $7 billion over fiscal years 1993-1997 when compared with that of the previous Administration. The Senate Appropriations Committee has further recommended reducing our budget request for FY 1994 by several hundreds of millions of dollars below this Administration plan.
Some will argue that even these further reductions do not go far enough, and that the end of the cold war justifies a much reduced intelligence capability. I strongly disagree. The threats to this country, its friends, and allies from terrorists and from third-world countries seeking weapons of mass destruction and the means to deliver them are very real and growing. This reality has recently been brought home by the bombing of the World Trade Center, the plot to bomb other buildings and assassinate prominent U.S. officials, and weapons proliferation in the Mid-East and elsewhere. Intelligence has been instrumental in preventing terrorist attacks and in slowing the efforts by countries hostile to the U.S. to acquire weapons of mass destruction. Now is not the time to weaken that intelligence capability through further budget reductions.
It is true that the cold war is over. But to take one example, the demise of the Soviet Union has had no effect on international narcotics cartels, which continue to pour poison into this country. Furthermore, the dissolution of the Soviet empire has left in its wake wars of nationalism and ethnic strife. With a smaller military force, our ability to use, or credibly be able to use, military power to deal with these regional issues is very heavily dependent on accurate intelligence. Stated another way, intelligence is a tried and true force multiplier. Additional cuts could result in delay and disruption of a sensible plan for the consolidation and modernization of our important satellite systems and leave our deployed military forces at risk.
Collecting intelligence on terrorism, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, foreign economic policy, and narcotics cartels, as well as on explosive regions and hostile military forces, is neither easy nor inexpensive. Indeed, it is much more difficult and costly to collect and piece together intelligence on a number of these subjects than it was to follow many of the activities of the old Soviet Union. I believe our new emphasis in intelligence is critical to the national security of our country.
I hope you share my desire to make prudent, but only prudent, reductions to the previous intelligence funding plan while still maintaining an intelligence community and resources capable of supporting our policymakers and military forces as they meet the national security challenges of the 1990s. I would appreciate your support in the upcoming debate on the intelligence budget.
R. James Woolsey.
Mr. WARNER. I want to read a portion, one paragraph:
The threats to this country, its friends, and allies from terrorists and from third-world countries seeking weapons of mass destruction and the means to deliver them are very real and growing. This reality has recently been brought home by the bombing of the World Trade Center, the plot to bomb other buildings and assassinate prominent U.S. officials, and weapons proliferation in the Mideast and elsewhere. Intelligence has been instrumental in preventing terrorist attacks and in slowing the efforts by countries hostile to the United States to acquire weapons of mass destruction. Now is not the time to weaken that intelligence capability through further budget reductions.
My time has expired. To accommodate the leadership, I yield the floor.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Tennessee.
Mr. SASSER. Mr. President, once again it is time for the Senate to address the question of spending for this Nation's intelligence community. It is also time to ask whether or not it is necessary in this post-cold war era for our intelligence agencies to continue to operate under a cloak of budgetary secrecy.
We spend a great deal of money on intelligence programs. Of course, the exact amount remains classified. However, it is widely known that intelligence programs represent a sizable element of the Federal budget. The popular media places the aggregate cost of intelligence; that is, funding for the CIA, NSA, and tactical defense intelligence programs--at around $28 billion, roughly 10 percent of the Defense budget.
I will not confirm nor deny this figure. The true amount remains secret. Nevertheless, it is fair to say that in these days of shrinking budgets and hard choices, the intelligence budget remains sizable. It is certainly larger than funding for infants, women, and children. It is certainly larger than head start. We spend more on intelligence than we do on diplomacy and foreign aid combined. The Federal Government spends more on intelligence than it does on education.
Mr. President, now is the time to review these priorities.
This amendment will cut $400 million from the intelligence
budget. This is a real savings--a real reduction in the deficit.
Will this cut endanger our national security? No, it will not. Intelligence budgets grew by healthy margins in the 1980's. If these agencies are crippled, it is by their own design, not a lack of budgetary resources.
In fact, this amendment may lead to a more open and healthy debate on intelligence spending. Until now, these programs have remained almost totally outside the budgetary process. As a secret budget, the intelligence programs have remained largely free from public scrutiny.
Ostensibly, this secrecy protects our intelligence sources and methods. The argument goes that if we publish information about the intelligence budget, a foreign intelligence service might be able to glean trends in U.S. intelligence from this data.
But which foreign intelligence services are we worried about. The Director of our CIA now meets directly with his counterparts in Russia. Are we worried that the French or the British or the Japanese might be able to glean some useful information from the public disclosure of our intelligence budget?
No, I believe the real purpose of this secrecy is to shield the intelligence community from the rigors of open debate on the merits of spending for these programs. You see, Mr. President, secrecy serves to exclude almost all critics from reviewing these programs.
In the depths of the cold war, maybe this was necessary. But in this new world order, with both domestic and defense budgets shrinking--and spending decisions becoming more and more difficult--it is time to debate the merits of intelligence spending, and to see if these resources can be put to a more productive use.
This amendment would start this process by simply curbing spending on intelligence programs ever so slightly. This amendment cuts less than 1 1/2 percent of intelligence spending. Less than 1 1/2 percent. Funding for intelligence programs, even if this amendment is passed, will remain robust.
This amendment will give us some breathing room and some savings. It will encourage a reevaluation of the role of the intelligence community in the new world order. Mr. Woolsey, the new head of the CIA, has advocated a new look. But any such action must be taken in light of a realistic budgetary environment. This amendment makes that budgetary environment clear. Future spending levels for these programs are going to have to be constrained.
In conclusion, Mr. President, I would like to state that many men and women have served our intelligence agencies with distinction over the years. This amendment is not aimed against them. Even the former chief of the National Security Agency, Lt. Gen. Bill Odom, has stated that even a pretty healthy cut in the U.S. intelligence budget would not hurt the ranks of intelligence. I share this view.
There savings are possible, necessary, and desirable. This amendment does not threaten our national security. It will not gut our intelligence agencies. It is a good amendment and I am pleased
to join with my friend from Arkansas in sponsoring it to reduce the expenditures for the intelligence community by $400 million.
Let us be clear exactly what this amendment does. This amendment is going to reduce expenditures for intelligence activities by about 1 1/2 percent--a 1 1/2 percent cut; that is all it does.
Prior to the collapse of the Soviet Union, we were advised that 80 percent of the funds spent in the intelligence community went to develop intelligence about the Soviet Union. Now the Soviet Union is gone. It is no more. Yet, we are still told there can be no substantial cuts in the intelligence budget.
Now, we are simply here this evening trying to make the most modest reduction in this largely cold war relic. Make no mistake, Mr. President, it is not a mystery as to why the intelligence budget remains a secret. If we can lay this budget out here and debate it and discuss it in full view of the American people, then I think they would clearly see that many of these expenditures are grossly exaggerated.
A very distinguished American, Lt. Gen. Bill Odom, retired, former Chief of the National Security Agency, who, by the way, was the only member of the old intelligence community who advised against going into Somalia, that I am aware of--he was opposed to it. He is the only one I am aware of. Lieutenant General Odom said that even a pretty healthy cut, as he put it, in the U.S. intelligence budget, would not hurt the ranks of intelligence. I share this view, Mr. President.
Mr. MURKOWSKI. Mr. President, I rise in opposition to the amendment offered by the Senator from Arkansas [Mr. Bumpers].
I had the opportunity to serve on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence for 8 years--serving as its vice chairman for the 2 years prior to this past January.
And I had the rare privilege of serving in that capacity at a rather momentous time in history.
During my tenure as vice chairman, we witnessed the fall of the Soviet Union.
And we began the transformation of our Nation's intelligence community from one focused against a single, monolithic threat. To one focused against a wider variety of smaller threats characteristic of a more complex but still dangerous world.
While I was vice chairman we also experienced Desert Shield and Desert Storm.
We saw our intelligence capabilities tested, and saw most of our intelligence systems and procedures validated.
But Desert Storm also revealed some weaknesses.
For example, we were not adept at disseminating some of our best signals intelligence [SIGINT] and imagery to the battlefield where it could be employed.
In the wake of these events, Senator Boren, the distinguished chairman of the committee for much of the time I served, worked closely with members on a bipartisan basis.
We instituted needed reforms, pursued some reorganization initiatives, and made some real spending reductions in line with the different threats and requirements of the post-cold war world.
We worked to make intelligence leaner, more accountable, and more effective--and we were even able to save a few billion dollars in the process.
I know that Senators DeConcini and Warner, who succeeded Senator Boren and I as chairman and vice chairman of the Intelligence Committee, have continued in that effort.
I also know that Senators Inouye and Stevens, the floor managers and distinguished leaders of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, have also given great thought and attention to our intelligence requirements.
But I respectfully suggest to my colleagues that the budget cutting in this area can easily go too far.
The budget that President Clinton sent to Congress already contained over $8 billion in cuts to the National Foreign Intelligence Program [NFIP] over the years 1993-97 compared with the post-cold war budget projections of President Bush.
The Senate Intelligence and Appropriations Committees have made additional cuts beyond these--and now we have Senator Bumpers offering even deeper cuts.
I would remind my colleagues that Senator Bumpers offered a similar amendment last year. The Senate rejected it by a vote of 35-57.
If we rejected the idea then--when the world seemed a somewhat less dangerous place than it does to many of us today--then we should certainly reject it now.
Mr. President, I believe we've cut intelligence spending enough. Indeed, after witnessing the events of the past several weeks, I am concerned that we may have cut too much already.
It's true that the Soviet threat has transformed. But we still live in a world where intelligence targets are uncertain and diverse:
We must remain alert to terrorist threats such as the one we witnessed with the bombing of the World Trade Center.
We must monitor and bring increased international scrutiny on the efforts of nations attempting to acquire new weapons of mass destruction and the means to deliver them.
We need to develop some new approaches in dealing with vast amounts of open source data emerging from formerly closed societies.
We must correct the intelligence shortcomings revealed in Desert Storm, and do a better job getting intelligence into the hands of the war fighter.
We must continue to restructure and upgrade our human intelligence efforts. We have some superb technical collection methods--but there is no substitute for human intelligence, particularly when we are dealing with low-tech adversaries such as Somali warlords.
Achieving these goals requires commitment, perseverance, and resources. Our Nation's intelligence community has the commitment and the perseverance--but it's up to us to provide the resources.
Mr. President, it is true that we no longer face a superpower threat in the form of the old Soviet Union.
But it is also true that we will still have to deploy and fight our military forces in the future to face threats or protect vital interests we can't even envision today.
Our smaller military forces are more, not less dependent upon intelligence. Deeper cuts in intelligence will further diminish our capabilities and might place deployed U.S. forces at risk.
Intelligence is sometimes an easy target for spending cuts, Mr. President, because its failures are widely discussed--but its successes are kept quiet to protect key sources and confidential methods.
So I urge my colleagues, Mr. President, to resist this easy target and oppose the Bumpers amendment.
If we adopt the Bumpers amendment--
We curtail collection on some high priority targets;
We defer the improvements that Desert Storm showed we needed; and
We go well beyond the cuts that make sense.
I urge my colleagues to oppose this amendment, and I yield the floor.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Hawaii is recognized.
Mr. INOUYE. Mr. President, pursuant to the agreement, I move to table the Bumpers amendment and I ask for the yeas and nays.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
There is a sufficient second.
The yeas and nays were ordered.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The question occurs on the motion of the Senator from Hawaii to table amendment 1041, offered by the Senator from Arkansas.
On this question, the yeas and nays have been ordered, and the clerk will call the roll.
The bill clerk called the roll.
Mr. FORD. I announce that the Senator from California (Mrs. Feinstein] is necessarily absent.
The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mrs. Murray). Are there any other Senators in the Chamber desiring to vote?
The result was announced--yeas 64, nays 35, as follows:
So the motion to lay on the table the amendment (No. 1041) was agreed to.
Mr. MITCHELL. Madam President, I move to reconsider the vote.
Mr. INOUYE. I move to lay that motion on the table.
The motion to lay on the table was agreed to.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The majority leader.
Mr. MITCHELL. Madam President, pursuant to the--may we have order, Madam President?
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senate will be in order in order for the majority leader to be heard.