View Full Version : U.S. Intelligence Reform Bill

Mac Seafraidh
Tuesday, November 30th, 2004, 10:01 AM
Call on Bush to push intel bill

Congressional leaders say a compromise measure to overhaul agencies needs presidential persuasion for passage this year


November 30, 2004

WASHINGTON - Democrats and Republicans are urging President George W. Bush to press holdout GOP lawmakers to get compromise legislation overhauling U.S. intelligence agencies passed this year.

"I would challenge the president now," said Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.). "He says he has political capital. He owns the Congress - the House, the Senate, all of that. There is no reason this bill can't be voted on."

Asked whether Bush was doing enough to twist arms of resisting Republicans, Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), said: "I think he's going to have to sooner or later, and he's going to have to speak with one voice. I think the administration has to speak with one voice on this." Boxer and Roberts commented Sunday on CNN's "Late Edition."

White House press secretary Scott McClellan said yesterday that Bush was expected to send a letter to congressional leaders later this week urging lawmakers to pass the legislation as soon as possible.

"Look, we're going to continue to talk with the speaker and with the majority leader and with leaders of the conference committee and get this thing moving forward," McClellan said.

Two powerful opponents of the deal - Republican Reps. Duncan Hunter of California and James Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin - showed no signs of wavering on a measure intended to put in place recommendations from the commission that investigated the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

Hunter, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, has expressed concerns that the intelligence realignment could interfere with the military chain of command.

Specifically, Hunter said the link between troops and combat support agencies that run intelligence-gathering satellites of battlefield movements would be broken. That would mean "life and death to our people in the field," he said on "Fox News Sunday." Sensenbrenner, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, wants the bill to deal with illegal immigration. "We have to do something about plugging up our immigration laws," he said on ABC's "This Week."

http://www.newsday.com/news/politics/ny-uscong304060127nov30,0,6324813.story?col l=ny-uspolitics-headlines

Mac Seafraidh
Wednesday, December 1st, 2004, 12:04 AM
Key Congressmen Remain Firmly Opposed to Intelligence Bill

By Mary Curtius, Times Staff Writer

WASHINGTON President Bush has personally lobbied him. Families of victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks have publicly blamed him. But with time running out for Congress to enact a bill this year that would put a single official in charge of the nation's intelligence agencies, Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) is standing firm in opposition to the legislation.

As head of the House Judiciary Committee, Sensenbrenner is one of two powerful House committee chairmen who defied the White House and the House Republican leadership to scuttle the bill during November's lame duck session. With a reputation for stubbornness, he is widely expected to stand firm next week when the 2004 Congress returns for one last try at passing the bill this year.

House Armed Services Committee Chairman Duncan Hunter (R-El Cajon) says he opposes the bill because the new national intelligence director could disrupt the link between U.S. combat troops and the real-time intelligence they need to fight wars.

Sensenbrenner's concerns revolve around immigration and law enforcement provisions that his committee wrote into the House-passed version of the intelligence bill.

Although Senate negotiators have denounced some of those measures as divisive, Sensenbrenner insists that they are essential components of a national counterterrorism strategy. He has made it clear that he would rather see no bill than one that does not contain the measures he regards as core.

"Once he stakes out his territory and makes it as public as he has, I would think the chances would be slim to none that he will change his position," said Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.), one of Congress' most outspoken advocates for tightening immigration controls.

Sensenbrenner's positions that states should not be allowed to issue drivers licenses to illegal immigrants, that border security should be tightened, and that asylum standards should be raised have resonated with House conservatives, Tancredo said. They see the intelligence bill as their best bet for enacting far-reaching immigration provisions.

"Let's be realistic about the chances of getting immigration reform through the Senate," as stand-alone legislation, Tancredo said. House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) "can say that the House will pass it, but he cannot promise or deliver the Senate. We believe the opportunity for doing something later will not present itself."

Despite the opposition from House conservatives, the administration is making a final push this week to get the bill passed.

Speaking in Ottawa today, Bush took issue with those who have questioned his commitment to the bill.

"Well, I want a bill," the president said in response to a reporter's question. "Let's see if I can say it as plainly as I can I am for the intelligence bill. I have spoken with Duncan Hunter about the bill. I spoke with Rep. Sensenbrenner about the bill."

Vice President Dick Cheney, Bush noted, met today with the former chairman and vice chairman of the Sept. 11 commission. It was the commission's report on intelligence failures surrounding the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon that triggered the congressional push for intelligence reform this fall.

"I believe the bill is necessary and important and hope we can get it done next week," Bush said.<


Mac Seafraidh
Monday, December 6th, 2004, 08:23 PM
Intelligence Reform Bill

President Bush is pushing to pass an Intelligence Reform Bill before lawmakers adjourn for the year.

The legislation which is stalled in Congress would create a National Director of Intelligence to oversee the 15 agencies of the U.S. intelligence community.

The President's attempt to break a political stalemate on the bill has been met by resistance from powerful house republican lawmakers who want changes in its current version.

Their focus is on measures regarding illegal immigration that some call too loose. They're also concerned that creating a new post for a National Intelligence Director would take too much control away from the military. Now, opponents of the bill are pledging to put up a fight.

Meanwhile, last week, President Bush spoke with two top Congressional leaders about trying to get the bill passed.


Mac Seafraidh
Thursday, December 9th, 2004, 08:22 AM
The intelligence bill: Failure as an option

Thursday, December 9, 2004

Jim Sensenbrenner voted against the final intelligence reform bill. And the Wisconsin Republican's vote was cast with an implacable sense of what's right and what's wrong for this country. For the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee knows this bill is a lousy excuse for bona fide reform.
While the final version of the first major overhaul of this nation's intelligence-gathering apparatus in 50 years corrected one fatal flaw of its own making -- potentially deadly interference with the military chain of command -- it delayed for the proverbial "another day" critical changes in our immigration law.

But intelligence and immigration reform are not mutually exclusive.

Chief among Rep. Sensenbrenner's demands -- that illegal aliens be barred from obtaining driver's licenses. It's a gaping hole that the 9/11 hijackers exploited with fiendish designs and dastardly results; it's an open pathway for terrorists to operate here with impunity.

Fear not, we are told, the 109th Congress will "fix things." With a Bush administration proposing amnesty for illegal aliens and a Senate that Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., says is too chummy with the open-borders lobby? Watch out for flying reindeer, why don't you.

Passage of the intelligence reform bill without concurrent immigration fixes is not a shining example of bipartisan compromise. It is no grand success. It is a legislative failure and a damn poor example of political expediency that will come back to haunt us.


Mac Seafraidh
Monday, December 13th, 2004, 01:05 AM
Intel reform bill: Give it a zero

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Hooray, say the illegal-alien lobbyists and their happy hiring corporate buddies as the Congress again ignored our security and the rule of law with the National Intelligence Reform Act, which soon will be signed by President Bush.
Democrats were certainly delighted to see the key security issues pressed by Reps. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.) and James Sensenbrenner (R-Wisc.) go, in the end, unaddressed.

There are just two things to remember:

1. This legislative abortion gives none of the real protections required and furthermore creates a potential condition for a loss of freedom that will take us ever closer to Orwell's "1984."

2. But it sure costs a bundle of new money -- namely yours.

What did we get in the way of security against terror? Basically nothing. The 4,000 illegal aliens who cross our borders daily via Arizona and New Mexico will be joining others, now more than 12 million with 3 million more coming yearly, in getting driver's licenses and Matricula Consular cards, making identification for proper purposes such as government benefits much more possible while opening opportunities for the terrorists among them to plot further heinous acts.

The bottom line: Another chance to fix a broken system is gone. Until we gain control of our borders by stopping the employment of illegal aliens by our own businesses, we simply won't have fixed anything but our own sure descent to third-class nationhood and the increased chance of a massive terrorist attack.

Donald A. Collins
Washington, D.C.

The writer is a board member of the Federation for American Immigration Reform.