[Congressional Record: March 10, 2008 (House)]
[Page H1419-H1420]                       


  The SPEAKER pro tempore laid before the House the following veto 
message from the President of the United States:
To the House of Representatives:
  I am returning herewith without my approval H.R. 2082, the 
``Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008.'' The bill would 
impede the United States Government's efforts to protect the American 
people effectively from terrorist attacks and other threats because it 
imposes several unnecessary

[[Page H1420]]

and unacceptable burdens on our Intelligence Community.
  Section 444 of the bill would impose additional Senate confirmation 
requirements on two national security positions--the Director of the 
National Security Agency and the Director of the National 
Reconnaissance Office. The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks 
Upon the United States (9/11 Commission) observed that the 
effectiveness of the Intelligence Community suffers due to delays in 
the confirmation process; section 444 would only aggravate those 
serious problems. Senior intelligence officials need to assume their 
duties and responsibilities as quickly as possible to address the 
pressing requirements of national security. Instead of addressing the 
9/11 Commission's concern, the bill would subject two additional vital 
positions to a more protracted process of Senate confirmation. Apart 
from causing such potentially harmful delays, this unwarranted 
requirement for Senate confirmation would also risk injecting political 
pressure into these positions of technical expertise and public trust.
  Section 413 would create a new Inspector General for the Intelligence 
Community. This new office is duplicative and unnecessary. Each 
intelligence community component already has an Inspector General, and 
the Inspector General of the Office of the Director of National 
Intelligence has been vested with all the legal powers of any inspector 
general to carry out investigations on matters under the jurisdiction 
of the Director of National Intelligence. There is no reason to commit 
taxpayer resources to an additional inspector general with competing 
jurisdiction over the same intelligence elements. Creating duplicative 
inspectors general, who may have inconsistent views on the handling of 
particular matters, has the potential to create conflicts and impede 
the Intelligence Community from efficiently resolving issues and 
carrying out its core mission. In addition, the creation of a new 
inspector general would add yet another position in the Intelligence 
Community subject to Senate confirmation, contrary to the 9/11 
Commission's recommendations.
  Section 327 of the bill would harm our national security by requiring 
any element of the Intelligence Community to use only the interrogation 
methods authorized in the Army Field Manual on Interrogations. It is 
vitally important that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) be allowed 
to maintain a separate and classified interrogation program. The Army 
Field Manual is directed at guiding the actions of nearly three million 
active duty and reserve military personnel in connection with the 
detention of lawful combatants during the course of traditional armed 
conflicts, but terrorists often are trained specifically to resist 
techniques prescribed in publicly available military regulations such 
as the Manual. The CIA's ability to conduct a separate and specialized 
interrogation program for terrorists who possess the most critical 
information in the War on Terror has helped the United States prevent a 
number of attacks, including plots to fly passenger airplanes into the 
Library Tower in Los Angeles and into Heathrow Airport or buildings in 
downtown London. While details of the current CIA program are 
classified, the Attorney General has reviewed it and determined that it 
is lawful under existing domestic and international law, 
including Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions. I remain 
committed to an intelligence-gathering program that complies with our 
legal obligations and our basic values as a people. The United States 
opposes torture, and I remain committed to following international and 
domestic law regarding the humane treatment of people in its custody, 
including the ``Detainee Treatment Act of 2005.''
  My disagreement over section 327 is not over any particular 
interrogation technique; for instance, it is not over waterboarding, 
which is not part of the current CIA program. Rather, my concern is the 
need to maintain a separate CIA program that will shield from 
disclosure to al Qaeda and other terrorists the interrogation 
techniques they may face upon capture. In accordance with a clear 
purpose of the ``Military Commissions Act of 2006,'' my veto is 
intended to allow the continuation of a separate and classified CIA 
interrogation program that the Department of Justice has determined is 
lawful and that operates according to rules distinct from the more 
general rules applicable to the Department of Defense. While I will 
continue to work with the Congress on the implementation of laws passed 
in this area in recent years, I cannot sign into law a bill that would 
prevent me, and future Presidents, from authorizing the CIA to conduct 
a separate, lawful intelligence program, and from taking all lawful 
actions necessary to protect Americans from attack.
  Other provisions of the bill purport to require the executive branch 
to submit information to the Congress that may be constitutionally 
protected from disclosure, including information the disclosure of 
which could impair foreign relations, the national security, the 
deliberative processes of the Executive, or the performance of the 
Executive's constitutional duties. Section 326, for example, would 
require that the executive branch report, on a very short deadline and 
in accordance with a rigid set of specific statutory requirements, the 
details of highly classified interrogation techniques and the 
confidential legal advice concerning them. The executive branch 
voluntarily has provided much of this information to appropriate 
Members of Congress, demonstrating that questions concerning access to 
such information are best addressed through the customary practices and 
arrangements between the executive and legislative branches on such 
matters, rather than through the enactment of legislation.
  In addition, section 406 would require a consolidated inventory of 
Special Access Programs (SAPs) to be submitted to the Congress. Special 
Access Programs concern the most sensitive information maintained by 
the Government, and SAP materials are maintained separately precisely 
to avoid the existence of one document that can serve as a roadmap to 
our Nation's most vital information. The executive branch must be 
permitted to present this information in a manner that does not 
jeopardize national security. The executive branch will continue to 
keep the Congress appropriately informed of the matters to which the 
provisions relate in accordance with the accommodation principles the 
Constitution contemplates and the executive and legislative branches 
have long and successfully used to address information sharing on 
matters of national security.
                                                      George W. Bush.  
                                        The White House, March 8, 2008.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The objections of the President will be 
spread at large upon the Journal, and the veto message and the bill 
will be printed as a House document.
  Mr. LOEBSACK. Madam Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that further 
consideration of the veto message and the bill be postponed until 
Tuesday, March 11, 2008.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from Iowa?
  There was no objection.