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SEN. ROBERTS: (Sounds gavel.) The committee will come to order. Senator Warner, our distinguished chairman, is temporarily detained.
The committee meets today to receive testimony from George Tenet, the director of central intelligence, and Vice Admiral Jacoby, who is the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, on current and future worldwide threats to U.S. national security.
On behalf of Senator Warner, I want to welcome our two distinguished witnesses. Their testimony on the wide range of threats facing our nation is the foundation for the committee's actions about the types of military forces and also the military capabilities our nation needs to detect and deter, and if necessary defeat those who threaten us.
The chairman in his statement said he wanted to take a moment to acknowledge Vice Admiral Jacoby in what is his first appearance before our committee under his new capacity as the director of the DIA. The admiral is no stranger to the committee, having provided many briefings and updates to the committee while he served as the J2 on the Joint Staff for the past three years. And so, admiral, you did a great job in that position, and we congratulate you as you "fleet up" -- I think that's the word -- to this new challenge during these very challenging times. I can say as chairman of the Intelligence Committee we really appreciated your testimony yesterday, and I appreciated your courtesy when we visited the DIA, and your briefing several weeks ago with Senator DeWine.
The circumstances of this hearing are quite compelling. Our country was brutally attacked by terrorists 17 months ago. Our military is engaged in an all-out global war to defeat terrorism. The threat of war looms in Iraq. The nuclear tensions are on the rise, as testified yesterday by Mr. Tenet, also on the Korean Peninsula, and the threat of another catastrophic attack against our nation and our interests has recently increased.
I am going to simply put the rest of the chairman's statement in the record, without objection, and in the interest of time -- because I know that senators have many questions they would like to ask -- we will proceed to the statements by our two witnesses. Director Tenet, would you proceed please.
I yield at this time -- pardon me -- for this glaring oversight -- to the distinguished vice chairman, ranking member, good friend -- (laughter) -- shotgun rider, defender of freedom in Michigan, Senator Levin.
SEN. CARL LEVIN (D-MI): Oh, you're doing very well.
SEN. ROBERTS: Senator Levin, for any comments he may wish to make.
A Senator from Michigan, and
Ranking Member, Senate Armed Services Committee
SEN. LEVIN: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. As we meet today to receive testimony from the United States intelligence community on worldwide threats on our national security, it is no exaggeration to say that the current threats to the United States are serious, and some of them are imminent. Osama bin Laden is still at large. The al Qaeda network, though weakened and deprived of its safe haven in Afghanistan, has just over the last several months attacked innocent civilians in Bali, in Tunisia, and U.S. service members and civilians in Kuwait and Jordan.
Late last month U.S. coalition forces fought the biggest battle in Afghanistan since Operation Anaconda last spring. Our intelligence and law enforcement agencies are working with allied countries to thwart further attacks in the United States and abroad. But the fact is that we remain vulnerable to al Qaeda and other terrorists. Indeed, the United States is at an alert orange now -- the second highest level of alert, and our military forces are also at heightened force protection levels worldwide.
We remain vulnerable to attack, using conventional explosives, to say nothing of weapons of mass destruction. Earlier this week federal officials even suggested that the public should make precautions for a terrorist attack involving chemical, biological or radiological weapons.
Meanwhile, North Korea, a country that possesses weapons of mass destruction, and has ejected the international nuclear inspectors, has declared that it is resuming operations at its plutonium-related nuclear facilities. North Korea, the world's worst proliferator of ballistic missiles and missile technology, is on the brink of becoming an undisputed nuclear power. By refusing to open a direct dialogue with North Korea, even though South Korea wants us to do just that, we are stoking North Korea's paranoia, and that could lead to additional provocative, and possibly irreversible, action on their part.
Iran's admission that it has been mining uranium underscores our concern that its nuclear energy program is intended for nuclear weapons.
Iraq continues to flout the international community -- not assisting the U.N. weapons inspectors to find and/or account for chemical and biological weapons programs. Disagreement over how to address the Iraqi threat has divided the U.N. Security Council. Moreover, an Islamic extremist terrorist group operating in northeast Iraq, beyond the control of Saddam Hussein, has set up a poison- producing factory.
Surely, surely, there can be little doubt that Osama bin Laden would like to see the United States and Britain attack Iraq. Keeping the world community together through the U.N. Security Council is exactly what Osama bin Laden doesn't want to see. All of us want Saddam Hussein to be disarmed. The best way to accomplish the goal of disarming Saddam Hussein without war is if the United Nations speaks with one voice relative to Iraq. I also believe that if military force is used, the best way of reducing both the short-term risks, including the risks to the United States and coalition forces, and the long-term risks, including the risk of terrorist attacks on our interests throughout the world, is if the United Nations specifically authorizes the use of military force. That's the bottom line for me. The best way of increasing any chance of disarming Saddam Hussein without war, and minimizing casualties in future attacks on the United States if war does ensue, is if the United Nations acts together at the Security Council relative to Iraq.
Supporting U.N. inspections is an essential step if we are going to keep the Security Council together. We can support those U.N. inspections by sharing the balance of our information about suspect sites, by quickly getting U-2 aircraft in the air over Iraq, with or without Saddam Hussein's approval, and by giving the inspectors the time they need to do their work as long as the inspections are unimpeded.
I disagree with those, including high officials in our government, who say U.N. inspections are useless. We heard that before the inspections began. We heard it from Dr. Rice at the White House last week. I am astounded that some of those high officials have gone so far as to refer in a derogatory way to the so-called U.N. inspectors. If these inspections are useless, unless they have Iraqi assistance in pointing out where Iraq has hidden or destroyed weapons of mass destruction, why are we sharing any intelligence at all with the inspectors, and why are we apparently finally implementing U-2 flights to support the inspectors?
It's one thing to be realistic about the limitations to the U.N. inspections, and not have too high hopes about what they can produce. It's another thing to denigrate their value, prejudge their value, be dismissive and disdainful about the beliefs of others on the U.N. Security Council about their value, and to be cavalier about the facts relative to those inspections.
And referring to being cavalier about facts brings me to my next point, the sharing of intelligence information in our possession with the U.N. inspectors. This is an issue that I follow very closely. For the last several weeks, at my request, the CIA has been providing me with the classified details of how much information we have been sharing with the U.N. inspectors in Iraq. We just began sharing specific information in early January, according to Secretary Powell, who is quoted in the Washington Post on January 9th. While I can't go into those classified details in an open hearing, I can say that the information the CIA has provided me made it very clear that we have shared information only on a small percentage of the suspect sites in Iraq, and that we have not shared information on the majority of the suspect sites, which was confirmed by CIA staff.
At yesterday's hearing of the Intelligence Committee, I was astounded when Director Tenet repeatedly and firmly told us that we have now shared with U.N. inspectors information about every site where we have credible intelligence. Then last night, in Director Tenet's presence, and in the presence of Senator Warner, his staff acknowledged that we still have useful information that we have not shared with the inspectors, which is the opposite of what Director Tenet told the Intelligence Committee yesterday in open session. If we haven't shared yet all the useful information that we have with the U.N. inspectors, that would run counter to the administration's position that the time for inspections is over.
When President Bush addressed the U.N. General Assembly on September 12th of last year, he said that, quote, "We want the United Nations to be effective and respected and successful." Well, we have some responsibility to help the United Nations achieve that. Saying to other countries, including allies, that if you don't see it our way you must have some ulterior motive doesn't help. While a number of heads of state and government have called for the U.N. Security Council to take the necessary and appropriate action in response to Iraq's continuing threat to international peace and security -- and some have pledged to contribute military forces to that effort -- others believe that we should give the strengthened inspections the time they need to finish the job.
All groups agree on the necessity of disarming Iraq. Rather than following a course that divides the United Nations and separates us from some of our closest allies, we should at least fairly consider courses of action that will unite the world community against Iraq.
Mr. Chairman, I look forward to hearing more today about the capabilities that al Qaeda, North Korea and Iraq possess. I hope we also hear about the risks that we might face to our homeland and to our military in the Middle East, Afghanistan, and worldwide, in taking action without U.N. authority in Iraq, and not engaging North Korea in serious dialogue, and in not fighting al Qaeda with all our assets whenever and wherever we find them. Thank you.
SEN. ROBERTS: The procedures recommended by Chairman Warner is to make available in the six minutes that will be provided to each senator. Each senator can then make an opening statement at that particular time. In the interest of time, however, we do want to get to Director Tenet and to the admiral. Mr. Tenet, would you proceed, please?
Director, Central Intelligence Agency
MR. TENET: Yes, thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Chairman, last year in the wake of the September 11th attack on our country, I focused my remarks on the clear and present danger posed by terrorists who seek to destroy who we are and what we stand for. The national security environment that exists today is significantly more complex than that of a year ago. I can tell you that the threat from al Qaeda remains, even though we have made important strides in the war on terrorism.
Secretary of State Powell clearly outlined last week the continuing threats posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, its efforts to deceive U.N. inspectors, and the safe haven that Baghdad has allowed for terrorists in Iraq.
North Korea's recent admission that it has a highly-enriched uranium program, intends to end the freeze on its plutonium production facilities, and has stated its intention to withdraw from the Nonproliferation Treaty raises serious new challenges for the region and the world.
At the same time, we cannot lose sight of those national security challenges that, while not occupying space on the front pages, demand a constant level of scrutiny. Challenges such as the world's vast stretches of ungoverned areas, lawless zones, veritable no man's lands -- like some areas along the Afghan-Pakistani border -- where extremist movements find shelter and can win the breathing space to grow; challenges such as the numbers of societies and peoples excluded from the benefits of an expanding global economy, where the daily lot is hunger, disease, and displacement, and that produce large populations of disaffected youth who are prime recruits for our extremist foes.
As you know, and have talked about, Mr. Chairman, yesterday and today, the United States government last week raised the terrorist threat level. We did so because of threat reporting from multiple sources with strong al Qaeda ties. The information we have points to plots aimed at targets on two fronts -- in the United States and on the Arabian Peninsula. It points to plots timed to occur as early as the end of the Hajj, which occurs late this week. And it points to plots that could include the use of a radiological dispersion device as well as poisons and chemicals. The intelligence, as I said yesterday, is not idle chatter on the part of the terrorists and their associates. It is the most specific we have seen, and it is consistent with both our knowledge of al Qaeda's doctrine and our knowledge of the plots this network, particularly its senior leadership, has been working on for years.
The intelligence community is working directly and in real time with friendly services overseas and with our law enforcement colleagues here at home to disrupt and capture specific individuals who may be part of this plot. Our information and knowledge is the result of important strides we have made since September 11th to enhance our counterterrorism capabilities and to share with our law enforcement colleagues -- and they with us -- the results of disciplined operations, collection, and analysis of events inside the United States and overseas.
Raising the threat level is important to our being as disruptive as we possibly can be. The enhanced security that results from a higher level of threat can buy us more time to operate against the individuals who are plotting to do us harm. And heightened vigilance generates additional information and leads. This latest reporting underscores the threat that al Qaeda network continues to pose to the United States. The network is extensive and adaptable. It will take years of determined effort to unravel this and other terrorist networks and stamp them out.
Mr. Chairman, my statement goes on to note what I believe are formidable successes that we have had with our law enforcement partners over the last 14 or 15 months in disrupting this organization. It notes the important role Muslim countries continue to play in the war on terrorism -- in Pakistan to Jordan and Egypt, to the Saudis, to the Indonesians, to the Malaysians, and we cannot forget Afghanistan, where the support of the leadership is absolutely essential.
Mr. Chairman, al Qaeda will try to adapt to changing circumstances as it regroups. It will seek a more secure base so that they can pause from flight and resume planning. We place no limitations on our expectations on what the organization may do to survive.
We see disturbing signs that al Qaeda has established a presence in both Iran and Iraq. In addition, we are also concerned that al Qaeda continues to find refuge in the hinterlands of Pakistan and Afghanistan. Al Qaeda is also developing or refining new means of attack, including the use of surface-to-air missiles, poisons, and air and surface and underwater methods to attack maritime targets. We know from the events of September 11th that we can never again ignore a specific type of country -- a country unable to control its own borders and internal territory, lacking the capacity to govern, educate its people, or provide fundamental social services. Such countries can offer extremists, however, a place to congregate in relative safety.
I told you last year, Mr. Chairman, that bin Laden has a sophisticated BW capability in biological weapon. In Afghanistan, al Qaeda succeeded in acquiring both the expertise and the equipment needed to grow biological agents, including a dedicated laboratory in an isolated compound in Kandahar. Last year I also discussed al Qaeda's efforts to obtain nuclear and radiological materials as part of an ambitious nuclear agenda. One year later we continue to follow every lead in tracking terrorist efforts to obtain nuclear materials.
Mr. Chairman, with regard to Iraq, let me quickly summarize. Last week Secretary Powell carefully reviewed for the U.N. Security Council the intelligence that we have on Iraqi efforts to deceive U.N. inspectors, its programs to develop weapons of mass destruction, and support for terrorism. I don't plan to go into these matters in detail, but let me summarize some key points.
Iraq has in place an active effort to deceive U.N. inspectors and deny them access. This effort is directed by the highest levels of the Iraqi regime. Baghdad has given clear instructions to its operational forces to hide banned materials in their possession.
Iraq's biological weapons program includes mobile research and production facilities that will be difficult, if not impossible, for the inspectors to find. Baghdad began this program in the mid 1990s, during a time when U.N. inspectors were in the country.
Iraq has established a pattern of clandestine procurements designed to reconstitute its nuclear weapons program. These procurements include, and also go well beyond, the aluminum tubes that you have heard so much about.
Iraq has tested unmanned aerial vehicles to ranges that far exceed both what it declared to the U.N., and what it is permitted under U.N. resolutions. We are concerned that Iraq's UAVs can dispense chemical and biological weapons, and they can deliver such weapons to Iraq's neighbors or be transported to other countries, including the United States.
Iraq is harboring senior members of a terrorist network led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a close associate of Osama bin Laden. We know Zarqawi's network was behind the poison plots in Europe that I discussed earlier, and the secretary also discussed the association of this network with the assassination of a U.S. State Department employee in Jordan.
Iraq has in the past provided training in document forgery and bomb-making to al Qaeda. It has also provided training in poisons and gases to two al Qaeda associates. One of these associates characterized the relationship he forged with Iraqi officials as successful.
Mr. Chairman, this information is based on a solid foundation of intelligence. It comes to us from credible and reliable sources. Much of it is corroborated by multiple sources. And it is consistent with the pattern of denial and deception exhibited by Saddam Hussein over the past 12 years.
With regard to proliferation, sir, I will quickly summarize by saying we have entered a new world of proliferation. In the vanguard of this new world, are knowledgeable non-state purveyors of WMD materials and technology. Such non-state outlets are increasingly capable of providing technology and equipment that previously could only be supplied by countries with established capabilities. Demand creates the market. The desire for nuclear weapons is on the upsurge. Additional countries may seek nuclear weapons as it becomes clear their neighbors and regional rivals are already doing so. The domino theory of the 21st century may well be nuclear.
With regard to North Korea, the recent behavior of North Korea regarding its long-standing nuclear weapons program makes apparent to all the dangers Pyongyang poses to its region and to the world. This includes developing the capability to enrich uranium, ending the freeze on its plutonium-production facilities, and withdrawing from the Non-Proliferation Treaty. If it seems likely North Korea moves to reprocess spent fuel at the facilities, where it recently abrogated the 1994 IAEA monitored freeze, we assess it could recover sufficient plutonium for several additional weapons.
North Korea also continues to export complete ballistic missiles and production capabilities, with related raw materials, components and expertise. Profits from these sales help Pyongyang support its missiles and other weapons of mass destruction development programs, and in turn generate new products to offer its customers.
Indeed, Mr. Chairman, Kim Jong Il's attempt this past year to parlay the North's nuclear weapons program into political leverage suggests he is trying to negotiate a fundamentally different relationship with us, one that implicitly tolerates North Korea's nuclear weapons program.
Although Kim Jong Il presumably calculates the North's aid, trade and investment climate will never improve in the face of U.S. sanctions and perceived hostilities, he's equally committed to retaining and enlarging his nuclear-weapons stockpile.
Mr. Chairman, I want to talk about China. We didn't talk about that yesterday. China's chosen path to long-term regional and global influence runs through economic growth and Chinese integration into the global economy. Beijing calculates that as China's economic mass increases, so too will the pole of its political gravity.
To date, China's successes have been dramatic and disconcerting to some of its neighbors. Despite China's rapid growth, it remains vulnerable to economic fluctuations that could threaten political and social stability. China is increasingly dependent on its external sector to generate economic growth. And without rapid growth, China will fall even further behind in job creation.
The recent congress of the communist party marked a leadership transition to a younger political generation, but also created a potential division with authority at the top. In the light of China's profound policy challenges, an additional leadership challenge.
The former party chief, Jiang Zemin, who was also scheduled to hand over the presidency to his successor in both positions, Hu Jintao is determined to remain in charge. He retains the chairmanship of the party's central military commission. The new leadership contains many Jiang loyalists and proteges.
The next-generation leaders offer policy continuity, but the current set-up probably guarantees tensions among leaders, uncertain of their own standing and anxious to secure their positions.
Such tensions may well play out on the issue of Taiwan, the matter of greatest volatility in U.S.-China relations. For now, the situation appears relatively placid, but recent history shows that this can change quickly, given the shifting perceptions and calculations on both sides.
Chinese leaders seem convinced that all trends are moving in their favor. Taiwan is heavily invested in the mainland, and Chinese military might is growing. From its perspective, Beijing remains wary of nationalist popular sentiment on Taiwan and over arms sales to and military cooperation with Taipei.
As for Taiwan's President Chen, he may feel constrained by internal political and economic problems and by Beijing's charm offensive. As he approaches his re-election bid next year, Chen may react by reasserting Taiwan's separate identity and expanding its international diplomacy.
In this regard, our greatest concern is China's military buildup. Last year marked new high points for unit training and weapons integration, all sharply focused on the Taiwan mission and on increasing the cost for any who might intervene in a regional Chinese operation. We anticipate no slowdown to this trend in the coming year.
Mr. Chairman, my statement goes on to talk about Russia and Iran. I'll enter those into the record. I want to talk for a minute about South Asia, where I think our attention must remain focused.
On the Pakistan-Indian border, the underlying cause of tension is unchanged, even though India's recent military redeployment away from the border reduced the danger of imminent war. The cycles of tension between India and Pakistan are growing shorter. Pakistan continues to support groups that resist India's presence in Kashmir in an effort to bring India to the negotiating table.
Indian frustration with the continued terrorist attacks, most of which it attributes to Pakistan, causes New Delhi to reject any suggestion that it can resume dialogue with Islamabad. Without progress on resolving India-Pakistani differences, any dramatic provocation, like the 2001 terrorist attack on the Indian Parliament by Kashmiri militants, runs a very high risk of sparking another major military deployment.
Mr. Chairman, my statement goes through a number of other hot spots and transnational issues that I will enter into the record with your permission. I would note that with regard to Africa, this is a place where we don't often pay a lot of attention or enough attention to. Sub-Saharan Africa's chronic instability will demand our attention.
Africa's lack of democratic institutionalization, combined with its pervasive ethnic rifts and corruption, render most of the countries vulnerable to crises that can be costly in human lives and lost economic growth. The Cote d'Ivoire is collapsing, and its crash will be felt throughout the region, where neighboring economies are at risk from the fall-off in trade and from refugees (feeling ?) violence.
Mr. Chairman, I'd just like to conclude and respond to Senator Levin's comments about data on inspectors, and I'd like to be quite formal with that --
SEN. WARNER: I want you to have that opportunity. And what I'd like to do is to give it to you immediately following --
MR. TENET: Yes, sir.
SEN. WARNER: -- the admiral's statement.
MR. TENET: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
SEN. WARNER: You will be given the time to reply, and I have a comment myself. Admiral.
VICE ADMIRAL LOWELL E. JACOBY
Director, Defense Intelligence Agency
ADM. JACOBY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Defense Intelligence today is at war on a global scale. We're committed in support of our military forces fighting the war on terrorism in Afghanistan and other locations where that war might take us.
We provide warning and intelligence for force protection of our military deployed worldwide even as they increasingly are targeted by terrorists.
Detailed intelligence is essential long before forces are deployed. This detailed effort, termed Intelligence Preparation of the Battlespace, has been ongoing for many months to support potential force employment in Iraq.
Other Defense Intelligence resources are committed to careful assessment of the dangerous situation on the Korean peninsula. Defense Intelligence is also providing global awareness, meaning we're watching for developments that might require U.S. military employment. These situations range from internal instability and threats of coup that could require evacuation of American citizens, to interdiction of shipments of material associated with weapons of mass destruction.
We recognize that we're expected to know something about everything, and it's a daunting task for those already at war on a global scale.
Beginning with global terrorism. Despite our significant successes to date, terrorism remains the most immediate threat to U.S. interests at home and abroad. A number of terrorist groups,including the FARC in Colombia, various Palestinian organizations, and Lebanese Hezbollah, have the capability to do us harm. But I am most concerned about the al Qaeda network.
Al Qaeda retains a presence on six continents, with key senior leaders still at large. It has a corps of seasoned operatives and draws support from an array of legitimate and illegitimate entities. The network is adaptive, flexible, and extremely agile.
At this point, sir, I'd defer to Mr. -- Director Tenet's comments about the al Qaeda network. We are certainly in concert with the conclusions.
In Iraq, Saddam Hussein appears determined to retain his WMD and missile programs, reassert his authority over all of Iraq, and become the dominant regional power. He recognizes the seriousness of the current situation, but may think he can outwit the international community by feigning cooperation with UN weapons inspectors, hiding proscribed weapons and activities, playing on regional and global anti-American sentiments, and aligning himself with the Palestinian cause. Saddam's penchant for brinksmanship and miscalculation increases the likelihood that he will continue to defy international will and refuse to relinquish his WMD and related programs.
In North Korea, Pyongyang's open pursuit of additional nuclear weapons is the most serious challenge to U.S. interests in the Northeast Asia area in a generation. The outcome of this situation will shape relations in that region for years to come. While the North's new hard-line approach is designed to draw concessions from the United States, Pyongyang's desire for nuclear weapons reflects a long-term strategic goal that will not be easily abandoned.
In the situation, the global awareness area, while terrorism, Iraq and North Korea have our immediate attention, they are not the only challenges we face. We must assess global developments to provide strategic warning to a wide spectrum of potential threats. We continue to generate the requisite intelligence to give our leaders the opportunity to preclude, dissuade, deter or defeat emerging threats.
Mr. Chairman, there are a number of other issues to include, weapons of mass destruction, missile proliferation, international crime, instability in several key states and regions, and assessments with respect to Russia, China, South Asia, parts of Europe, Latin America and the Middle East. These are all important. They're all included in my written testimony. But in the interest of time, I, in my opening remarks here, defer these issues to the question-and-answer session.
SEN. WARNER: Thank you very much, Admiral.
The observations made by my colleague, the ranking member, this morning, I want to discuss my perspective, and then, Director Tenet, we'll listen to you further.
The meeting that we had with the president last Wednesday, the senior members of the House and the Senate, was followed by a brief meeting with Condi Rice, myself, Senator Levin, and possibly there was one other, at which time Senator Levin raised these concerns that he's expressed this morning. It was my clear impression, listening to the national security adviser to the president, that all of the material that we deemed helpful to the inspectors had been or was in the process of being given to Hans Blix, through the Security Council or whatever venue. Yesterday we had the opportunity to resume that conversation, the director, accompanied by Mr. Foley, Mr. Levin and myself, the four of us, for perhaps a meeting of about a half-hour, at which time the discussion resumed.
Now, I don't wish to get into the questions of numbers and so forth, but again, it's clear to this senator that while there have been comments by members of the administration as to their concerns about the likelihood of the inspection process succeeding, and indeed Hans Blix has clearly said that Iraq has not been cooperative, and it's that lack of cooperation that's been at the basic predicate that the administration has expressed these concerns, and that, it seems to me, has been made eminently clear publicly.
Now, I find two things in my judgment. One, I'm satisfied that this administration has in a conscientious way, in a timely way, transmitted this important information to the inspectors in the hopes that their task could have been more fruitful. And secondly, I find absolutely no evidence to indicate that any member of this administration would have used this process of submitting evidence to Blix in any other manner than to help and foster success by the inspectors.
So at this time, Director Tenet, I think it's opportune for you to reply to the --
MR. TENET: Well, I think Senator Levin has raised a very important question, and we spent a great deal of time assembling all of the facts and let me walk you through where we are.
We, the American intelligence community, have had an intelligence exchange with the United Nations on Iraq and WMD and sensitive sites for over 10 years. It's an important point to make. There is, therefore, a very strong common understanding of sites of potential interest to inspectors, whether they were UNSCOM inspectors or UNMOVIC inspectors or IAEA inspectors. When the inspections began, we drew up a list of suspect sites, which we believe may have a continuing association with Iraq's WMD programs. The list is dynamic; it changes according to available intelligence or other information that we receive. Of this set number of suspect sites, we identified a specific number as being highest interest, highest value or moderate value because of recent activities suggesting ongoing WMD association or other intelligence information that we receive.
I said yesterday we have briefed all of these high value and moderate value sites to UNMOVIC and the IAEA. Of the remaining sites of lower interest on this suspect site list, I had my analysts review all of them last night to see what we have shared with UNSCOM, with UNMOVIC and with IAEA. We identified a handful -- one handful of sites -- which may not have been known to the UNSCOM inspectors that we will pass to them.
Now, the important thing to also note is in addition, we continue to provide additional site information to UNSCOM, either in response to their questions on a daily basis -- because they have their own site lists, they receive data from other countries -- or as we continue to receive new information.
It is important to note that our support to UNMOVIC and the IAEA goes well beyond the provision of information on just sites. We've briefed them on the Iraqi declaration; we've briefed them on missiles; we've briefed them on the nuclear program; we've briefed him on BW; on mobile BW; on a whole range of subjects.
Our analysts are in daily contact with their analysts every single day. We take this seriously and professionally. And that's the record as we put it together, sort of try and put this in some context.
SEN. WARNER: Well, if your --
MR. TENET: Questions may remain, and --
SEN. WARNER: Fine. Do you agree with my observation, having listened and carefully observed and participated in these meetings, that we as a nation have conscientiously given them everything as we receive it? As you say, it's continuing to come in --
MR. TENET: Sir, as --
SEN. WARNER: -- in such a way to foster the ability of the inspectors to do their work?
MR. TENET: Sir, my direction to our community and our people was to, quote, "flood the zone", to work with these people on a daily basis to do everything that we can to assist their inspection process. And that's what we're trying to do in each and every day.
SEN. WARNER: And I find no basis by your agency or anyone else in this administration to impede that flow in such a way as to contribute to their inability to discover the evidence that we know as a nation is somewhere hidden in that country. Am I correct in that?
MR. TENET: Sir, I can -- I can tell you -- I can just repeat my statement about what we're doing each and every day. I -- I'll just tell you what our motivation is, what we're trying to do, and the men and women that work for us are trying to do each and every day.
SEN. WARNER: Now, the question is going to be forthcoming here with regard to whether or not in the Security Council there be some suggestions to the effect that we could double, quadruple, or whatever number may be put down on the table, the number of inspectors in the hopes that they can have a greater degree of success. Do you see any evidence that this would contribute to a more fruitful process of inspections?
MR. TENET: Sir, let me -- let me say this. The burden here is not on the inspectors, the burden here is on Iraq.
SEN. WARNER: Correct.
MR. TENET: And everything that Iraq has done since its initial dated declaration, which was wholly inadequate, everything that they've done to clean up sites before the inspectors arrive, to have Iraqi intelligence officers pose as scientists at sites that would be visited, to provide incomplete lists of scientists to be interviewed, you heard Secretary Powell's speech. They have done nothing here to live up to their obligations to facilitate an inspection process. The burden on the Iraqi side is as yet, it is my unprofessional judgment, unmet.
So that's all I can say at this moment, sir. I haven't seen specific proposals about numbers of people and how long it will go. But if you take the history, if you take the fact that this is a country that essentially built a WMD capability while inspections were ongoing inside this country and you take behavior that we've seen, it's frustrating. But the burden has got to be placed where the burden belongs: on him to do what he's required to do.
SEN. WARNER: And should for some reason -- at this time I find no reason -- this option is pursued by which you quadruple the inspectors and indeed, perhaps get some U-2 surveillance and other things, what are the risks associated with added time being given -- and I mean significant added time -- to the inspection process?
MR. TENET: Sir, it's my judgment that if you have a process proceed under the circumstances that I've just talked about to you, with no compliance with what is expected, the expectation on our part is his capabilities will continue to grow. His clandestine procurement networks will continue to operate. He will continue to hide and deceive.
So I'm not very sanguine about where we are in terms of how he's calculated he can wait us out and the games that he's been playing in this regard. So that would be my judgment today.
SEN. WARNER: There's also the option for Iraq to allow quantities of the weapons of mass destruction -- biological, chemical -- to find their way in to the international terrorists -- am I not correct? --
MR. TENET: Sir, we've been --
SEN. WARNER: -- and thereby transported elsewhere in the world?
MR. TENET: Sir, those are always possibilities. We have been very careful about the case we have made and what we've talked about, this poisons network that -- while it may be operating out of no man's land, there's certainly an individual who has been in Baghdad, who is supported by a group of individuals who remain in Baghdad, who facilitate not only this network, of which there have been a large number of arrests in European countries, but also these individuals in Baghdad have their own plots that they may be pursuing.
So I want to be religious and careful about the evidence that we have and what our concerns are. But certainly how chemical and biological weapons may find their way into other people's hands and terrorist groups is an ongoing concern that we're watching very carefully.
SEN. WARNER: Yesterday the Intelligence Committee met, and as a member of that committee, I put this question to you, and you gave an answer. But I think it's important that that same question and answer be put in today's record.
There's been allegations by some world leaders that they do not think Iraq possesses -- that is, possesses -- weapons of mass destruction. In the event -- and there's no decision yet -- that force must be used by this nation and other nations willing to work with us, and in the aftermath of the battle, when the world press can go in and examine the sites and so forth, is it your professional judgment that there will be clearly found caches of weapons of mass destruction, to establish beyond a reasonable doubt that he had them?
MR. TENET: Sir, I believe that we -- I believe that we will. I think that when you listened to Secretary Powell's statement to the United Nations, you noted specific intercepts that told operational units to ensure that the word "nerve agents" never appeared in any communications. So we know that weapons have been subordinated to units, and I believe that we will find R&D. I will -- we will find stockpiles of things he has not declared and weapons he has not declared.
SEN. WARNER: And those pictures that showed trucks moving -- presumably that material to other sites, those sites can be located.
MR. TENET: Well, that's -- it's the hard part of this, sir, of course. It's a big country, and the advantage is always to the hider. But we will do everything we can, if that's where we are, to find these things.
SEN. WARNER: Admiral Jacoby, in the event force is used, what do we know now about the risk of Saddam Hussein employing weapons of mass destruction against forces trying to remove that regime?
ADM. JACOBY: Mr. Chairman, we do not know Saddam Hussein's doctrine for WMD usage. We assess, however, based on his past patterns and availability of weapons in his inventory, that he will in fact employ them. And the assessment is that he will employ them when he makes the decision that the regime is in jeopardy.
Now, the real hard part about that is to identify when he might make that judgment, and of course, that resides with one individual, his perceptions and the information available to him at the time to make such a call.
SEN. WARNER: Well, those risks have been made known not only to the general public, but more specifically, the men and women of the armed forces of our nation, and such other nations that are courageous enough to undertake the risk, should force be necessary, and their families.
ADM. JACOBY: Absolutely, sir.
SEN. WARNER: Senator Levin?
SEN. LEVIN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Do you agree, Mr. Tenet, with what Admiral Jacoby just said?
MR. TENET: I'm sorry, sir?
SEN. LEVIN: Do you agree with what Admiral Jacoby just said?
MR. TENET: Yes.
SEN. LEVIN: I think that that's a critically important intelligence finding as to what we expect or what your intelligence estimate is, Admiral, that Saddam Hussein will do when he determines, Saddam determines, that his regime is in jeopardy, that that is the point that he would then utilize the weapons of mass destruction that many people believe that he still has.
I want to go back to inspections, Mr. Tenet. You've read the letters which your agency sent me, indicating the number of significant sites that had not yet been shared, in terms of information, with the United Nations inspectors; is that correct?
MR. TENET: Probably not all them, sir. I read one --
SEN. LEVIN: No, the key ones that gave us the numbers.
MR. TENET: I read the key one last night, I believe.
SEN. LEVIN: Yeah. And what you're indicating this morning is that that was an error?
MR. TENET: I don't know if it was an error, sir. I'd go look at the language.
SEN. LEVIN: No, the numbers; they're dramatically different from "a handful." Would you agree to that? This morning what you're telling us --
MR. TENET: Yes, sir. Yes, sir. I went back last night and reviewed all these numbers and reviewed all of our data. And potentially we made some mistakes in some of our transmissions, yes, sir.
SEN. LEVIN: Okay. What is very important, it seems to me, is that we give full cooperation to the U.N. inspectors. Would you agree with that?
MR. TENET: I agree, sir.
SEN. LEVIN: Even though you think they're useless unless Saddam cooperates with them; is that correct?
MR. TENET: Sir --
SEN. LEVIN: It's still useful to cooperate with the inspectors.
MR. TENET: Sir, I think we have to do everything that we can do to support them, even though they're getting no support from the person who's supposed to provide support.
SEN. LEVIN: Because even though the burden is on Saddam, they still might prove useful; is that correct?
MR. TENET: Potentially, sir.
SEN. LEVIN: All right. I'm going to just put in the record, to show the difference between your testimony today, which I welcome, and your testimony yesterday, which was so astounding to me, I would want to put --
SEN. WARNER: Without objection.
SEN. LEVIN: -- Mr. Tenet's testimony from yesterday in the record.
MR. TENET: Sir, can I just make one comment?
SEN. LEVIN: Yeah.
MR. TENET: My assertion yesterday about the high-value sites was absolutely right.
And I may --
SEN. LEVIN: High or moderate value, just to correct.
MR. TENET: High or moderate value, yes, sir. My knowledge yesterday was incomplete with regard to the rest of these sites. I took advantage of the line of questioning in our meeting to go back and get our people to do all the work. So I complete that statement. But what I said yesterday was absolutely accurate with regard to high invest -- high value and moderate value targets.
SEN. LEVIN: Without --
MR. TENET: Yes, sir.
SEN. LEVIN: -- pressing this any further, because you've acknowledged that the data which was submitted to me was incorrect -- and we'll go into that in classified session as to whether or not it was, indeed, incorrect. But nonetheless, I want yesterday's testimony to be put in the record --
SEN. WARNER: Without objection.
SEN. LEVIN: -- because of the difference, the clear difference between what was stated yesterday and what has been acknowledged today.
When -- I want to talk to you about the value of U-2 flights. Do we support giving the inspectors what they've asked for in terms of U- 2 flights?
MR. TENET: Yes, sir, I believe we do.
SEN. LEVIN: Even though Saddam isn't cooperative?
MR. TENET: Yes, sir. I think U-2 flights are important. But he's denied -- it's my understanding he's denied UNMOVIC the ability, and we'll see whether he does, to fly these planes.
SEN. LEVIN: Indeed, he has not agreed to those U-2 flights as of at least a couple days ago. And we've acquiesced in that. The United Nations, including us, have not -- have never adopted the resolution which Senator Clinton and I have suggested to Mr. Powell that the U.N. tell Saddam, It's not up to you whether we had useful U-2 flights, that's up to us, the United Nations. We're flying. You attack those U-2s, you are attacking the United Nations. Why should we do that?
MR. TENET: Sir, I think there is an important question here about whether you're going to fly a U-2 and put a pilot at risk in an environment that is not permissive and that he has not agreed to. And I don't think that's an insignificant consideration.
SEN. LEVIN: It is a -- it is a very significant issue. And the underlying issue is much more significant. We're going to put hundreds of thousands of American troops at risk if we attack Saddam. And with some huge long-term consequences as well as the short-term ones that Admiral Jacoby has outlined. That would be done, according to the administration, even without a U.N.-authorized use of force. What we're suggesting is that the U-2 flights be authorized by the U.N. And when you talk to Mr. Blix, as I have, the chance that Saddam Hussein will attack a U-2 when he knows that by doing that he is attacking the United Nations is so slim compared to the risks involved in war, that for us to focus on the risk of a U-2 flight without Saddam's agreement rather than the importance of imposing the U.N. will on Saddam Hussein, it is incredible to me that we have acquiesced in Saddam Hussein's veto of U-2 flights, which you acknowledge will be helpful or could be helpful to the inspectors based on the risk of a U-2 flight. I find that incredible.
In any event, we have asked Secretary Powell -- Senator Clinton and I wrote a long letter about this issue. That may not be necessary any more -- to have a U.N. resolution that, if so, I would hope that this administration will introduce a U.N. resolution, will support a U.N. resolution imposing the U-2 flights which will provide critical information, particularly about vehicles which move around the ground.
Secretary Powell pointed out there are suspect vehicles on the ground. The way to track those suspect vehicles is with U-2 flights. You can't do it with satellites. And yet this administration is saying there's a risk to pilots, U-2 pilots, is the reason not to impose the will of the world community as requested by its inspectors on Saddam Hussein? I find that incredible. And I find it a lack of support for the inspectors, who have asked for the U-2 flights.
I'll give you a chance -- my time is up, but you should have a chance to respond.
MR. TENET: We're out of my -- we're out of my realm a bit, but let me just say the following to you.
When we passed Resolution 1441, there were a series of stipulations and obligations that dealt with surveillance and information flow and all these other kinds of things. Again, I find it, from my perspective, interesting that the burden shifts in the other direction constantly. I do --
SEN. LEVIN: You misunderstand my point. I'm not saying the burden shifts. I want to impose our will on Saddam.
MR. TENET: All I can -- all I'm saying to you, sir, this is something that should have been acquiesced to immediately when we passed the resolution. It never was. And so I understand --
SEN. LEVIN: I must finish this. Of course the resolution says that he is supposed to comply and that he is not supposed to interfere with oversights. What we have suggested specifically is the resolution identify the consequence --
MR. TENET: I understand.
SEN. LEVIN: -- which are -- which is not in 1441; 1441 says he may not interfere with inspections and with overflights. What 1441 doesn't do, and which the resolution we proposed would do, is to say the consequence specifically of attacking a U-2 would be that you are then attacking the United Nations. That's the addition to what 1441 specifically provides.
MR. TENET: I understand, sir.
SEN. WARNER: I think at this point we should put in the record exactly what 1441 says. And I quote it: "UNMOVIC and the IAEA shall have the free and unrestricted use and landing of fixed and rotary- winged aircraft, including manned and unmanned reconnaissance vehicles." Now, what could be more explicit? That's just one of a series of enumerations for what 1441 says to Iraq you must do, and it is but one of a series that he has steadfastly refused to do.
SEN. LEVIN: We have not done what we should do, which is to tell him, "Attack a U-2, you've attacked the world." It's important that we not let him veto, and that we keep the world together. The world will be together on the U-2s. The world will be together. Why aren't we working to keep the world together against Saddam Hussein?
SEN. WARNER: I think efforts are being made by this president, the prime minister of Great Britain and others to keep the world together. But this is just one of a long litany of things that he is not doing.
SEN. LEVIN: And what's the consequence?
SEN. WARNER: Senator Roberts.
SEN. PAT ROBERTS (R-KS): I got so caught up in listening to putting a tail U.N. insignia on a U-2 and wondering what would happen in terms of the safety of the pilot that I'm not quite ready here, but let me see if I can get organized here.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
We had a very productive hearing yesterday in the Intelligence Committee. I thank the witnesses for returning today to appear before the Committee on Armed Services. I'm also the chairman of the subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities, and I look forward to any guidance that you two can continue to provide us on the appropriate DOD policy and the planning response to the threats America faces.
Yesterday, I listened very carefully. These two very dedicated witnesses described a world in which, and I'm quoting, "economic and political instability and proliferation and extremism combine to regularly produce new and very difficult requirements for America's military." Now, some would say that that is certainly not a very good news situation. But I would like to stress this: It is good news in regards to the threat warning analysis and the better analytical ability that we have in all of the 13 agencies that represent the intelligence community in my personal opinion, and I have visited six and I will visit the rest of the seven along with Vice Chairman Rockefeller. And I think through the tremendous assets that we have -- unequaled assets that we have -- and the dedicated work by those in these agencies, the structural reforms that are taking place -- and we will have hearings in the Intelligence Committee to make sure that those happen and to monitor those -- we have right now better time, real analysis to produce a better threat warning procedure to safeguard the American people.
Now that doesn't mean, of course, that the threat goes away or that we have, you know, other things that we can't do.
I would like to ask you, Director Tenet, to assess the tape yesterday, played for all America and the world, by Osama bin Laden, more particularly in regards to the relationship with Iraq. And the one thing that I would like to point out is that he closed that tape with a prayer, which was really a lament, indicating that his challenges are much more difficult because two-thirds of his operation has either been destroyed or captured. In some ways, I think that's good. But could you assess that tape in regard to the situation between al Qaeda and bin Laden?
MR. TENET: Well, Senator, our linguists and our experts are going through all the Arabic. They were working on it last night. I want to be precise when I come back and talk to you about that.
Obviously, he talked about the crusaders. Obviously, he tried to wrap himself around the Iraqi context. But let me take for the record the question and answer, so that when we get our experts to go through this in Arabic and understand all the historical consequence and allusions and symbols he may raise, and I'll come back to the committee with a very precise answer in that regard.
SEN. ROBERTS: I've got another one you can come back to.
MR. TENET: Yes, sir.
SEN. ROBERTS: We're hearing a lot of these days from other countries in the Security Council, including France, Russia and China, about how they claim to have not been persuaded by Secretary of State Powell's presentation of the intelligence case against Iraq, and these countries now urge us to refrain from attacking Iraq and just, as has been indicated, try to let the inspectors continue about their business. And I'm not opposed to inspectors, with the exception that inspectors are not finders, they're inspectors, and what they are allowed to be found in regards to Saddam Hussein, I think, is important.
I'd like for you to get back to -- I'm not sure that you can say so in a public setting, but please tell us how many of the countries that are currently on the U.N. Security Council have at one point or another provided or permitted their nationals to provide arms or nuclear or biological or chemical technology to Saddam Hussein's government in Iraq. I'd like to know how many of the current members of the Security Council supported easing the economic sanctions against Saddam Hussein since 1998. I'd like to know how many of them also participated in sanctions-busting activities, such as the commercial airline flights to Baghdad. I'd like to know how many of the governments that currently insist we engage in bilateral negotiations with North Korea were also the governments that insisted that the only way for the U.S. to deal with Iraq was also through the United Nations. If you could give me that information in writing, I would appreciate it.
MR. TENET: Yes, sir.
SEN. ROBERTS: Finally, I've been to Pyongyang. I was there four years ago. I have never seen such a surreal theological dictatorship in my life. I think the thought that there could be an uprising on the part of the poor people of North Korea is remote, slim and none, and slim left town.
Now yesterday, in the Intelligence Committee, I asked in the public setting what pressure points could we put on North Korea, in regards to direct engagement, to make him change his mind, in cooperation with China, Japan and South Korea. It has ominous portents in regards to Japan getting back into the business of remilitarizing. That goes back, as the admiral pointed out, to 1952 and the days of Ike. It has ominous portents with our relations to China. I talked to the Chinese ambassador. He said he'll be a good, strong global partner. I have yet to see much evidence of that.
And I'm very worried about South Korea and a generation of people who have actually forgotten the aggression by North Korea.
But what pressure points would suggest -- or that we could suggest in any direct, say, negotiations with Kim Jong Il, whose only card, in my opinion, that he has to play is the nuclear card. Any assessment there?
MR. TENET: Sir, I'll have to come back to you. You know, we're sitting down with our policymakers and reviewing all this at this moment. So let me come back to you on that, in fairness to --
SEN. ROBERTS: Would you -- would you think that he would consider that if he does this, if he has another test, he sends another missile, that he gets attention, and this is the only attention-getter that he can really play, and that similar to Pakistan, our relation to Pakistan -- I'm making a comparison here that may not be accurate -- but would you think that that is mainly his purpose?
MR. TENET: It's one of his purposes, as I indicate in my testimony. He's certainly trying to draw attention in any way he can, and he has a number of routes at his disposal to continue to draw further attention.
SEN. ROBERTS: Okay.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. My time has expired.
SEN. WARNER: Thank you very much.
The senator from Massachusetts.
SEN. TED KENNEDY (D-MA): Thank you very much.
MR. TENET: Thank you, Senator.
SEN. KENNEDY: Mr. Tenet, we have seen Americans called to great concern over these past days. They're being urged to collect water, three days of water, three days of food; plastic sheeting and duct tape. That's happening all over the country, all over the country.
Now let's be cold and frank about it; is that because of the danger of Iraq or is that because of the danger of Saddam -- or of al Qaeda?
MR. TENET: This threat that we're dealing with now, sir, is directly related to al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden at this moment. And that's what the predicate of raising the threat level was, was this specific --
SEN. KENNEDY: So that is the threat that I think, at least for Americans today. Now, when Americans ask me, given that is the threat that they are being called to action for, why isn't the administration giving a fraction of the attention to the dangers that al Qaeda are presenting here at home as they are in terms of the organizing for war against Iraq, what do we answer?
MR. TENET: Sir, I would not agree with that at all. I think that we --
SEN. KENNEDY: Do you think -- do you think the American people --
MR. TENET: No, I think --
SEN. KENNEDY: Let me just ask you the question, then. Do you think the average American person believes that this government is as focused on what the danger is here at home as the efforts that they are making to mobilize the international community and the military in order to engage in a war in Iraq?
MR. TENET: Sir, I can only answer that from where I sit and what I see and what I do every day. And I can tell you that there is, on our part and the people we support, an enormous amount of attention being paid to al Qaeda and this threat every day in a very considered and considerable manner.
SEN. KENNEDY: This is what Mr. -- yesterday Mr. Mueller reported: "The al Qaeda network will remain for the foreseeable future the most imminent and serious threat facing this country. The organization maintains the ability and the intent to inflict significant casualties in the United States with little warning. Al Qaeda has developed a support infrastructure inside the U.S. that will allow the network to mount another terrorist attack on U.S. soil, multiple-scale attacks against soft targets -- banks, shopping centers, supermarkets, apartment buildings, schools, universities, poisoning water and water supplies."
And then: "Al Qaeda will probably continue to favor spectacular attacks that meet several criteria: high symbolic value, mass casualties, severe damage to the U.S. economy, the maximum psychological trauma."
And then finally it gets into: "Baghdad has the capability and, we presume, the will to use biological, chemical, radiological weapons against U.S. domestic" -- "in the event of a U.S. invasion." In the event of a U.S. invasion.
And then it continues along: "Our particular concern" -- this is the head of the FBI -- "Our particular concern is that Saddam may supply" -- may supply -- "al Qaeda with biological, chemical or radiological material before" -- may supply it before -- "or during a war with the U.S. to avenge the fall of his regime." The best testimony that we have from the head of the FBI is the greatest risk to American servicemen is, either before or during a war with the U.S., with the fall of the regime. And Baghdad has the capability to provide the U.S. -- will use the biological/chemical against the U.S. domestic targets in the event of a U.S. invasion.
Now, what is -- let me get back to you. You were very, very clear what you thought was the most imminent threat to the United States, the president did, in -- (inaudible) -- year ago. And I think for most Americans, believe, particularly what they've heard in the very recent times, that this is where it's at. And your reaction to that.
MR. TENET: Let me just take a few minutes, because you raised z number of important points.
Let me put this poisons and gas thing in some context because people aren't -- there are 116 people in jail in France, in Spain, in Italy and in Great Britain who received training and guidance out of the network run by an individual who is sitting in Baghdad today and supported by two dozen of his associates. Now, that is something important for the American people to also understand. Iraq has provided a safe haven and a permissive environment for these people to operate.
And the other things that are very compelling to us, sir, just so I can close the loop on this issue, is we also know from very reliable information that there's been some transfer of training in chemical and biologicals from the Iraqis to al Qaeda. So we're already in this mix in a way that's very, very important for us to worry about. How far it goes, how deep it is is a subject that we'll continue to entertain.
SEN. KENNEDY: All right.
Just on that point, here we have North Korea, that has provided technology and weapons to countries that are directly supporting terrorism, North Korea has, in terms of Iran, in terms terms of Syria, in terms of other countries, have definitely done that. They are on the verge, they may very well have two nuclear weapons. We don't have to get into that. But there is no question that they're going to be producing weapons-grade plutonium, which can be made into nuclear weapons, within the next few weeks. They have provided the weapons to nations which have supported terrorism.
We don't need another review. We don't need another study.
We know that they've done that. Why isn't that a crisis? You refuse to call it a crisis.
MR. TENET: Sir, we --
SEN. KENNEDY: Why isn't that a crisis, and can you give the assurance to the American people that that is getting as much focus and attention as the mobilization in terms of the military for Iraq?
MR. TENET: Sir, my -- if I can answer that, it is a very serious problem. Jacoby yesterday called it a crisis, I called it a serious problem. Let's split the difference. The North Korean --
SEN. KENNEDY: I -- I don't --
MR. TENET: -- North Korean behavior, their proliferation activities, their ballistic missile capabilities all are very serious issues. They also must be dealt with. Policy makers are trying to figure out an approach that deals with the Russians, the Chinese, the Japanese, and the South Koreans. This is a very important issue. We are unfortunately in an environment where we have three or four very tough things to do simultaneously. Each approach to each subject will be different for the policy makers. So you've put yourself -- you highlighted something that must be -- must be -- dealt with and that we are paying attention to and have to move on on, because it has serious consequences as well, sir.
SEN. WARNER: Time is up.
Did you have adequate time to reply to that, in your judgment?
MR. TENET: Yes, sir, I believe I did.
SEN. WARNER: All right. Thank you.
The senator from Maine.
SEN. SUSAN COLLINS (R-ME): Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Tenet, your testimony was that more than a third of the top al Qaeda leadership identified before the war has been either captured or killed.
MR. TENET: Yes, ma'am.
SEN. COLLINS: Obviously and unfortunately, that does not include Osama bin Laden. But do you believe that Osama bin Laden is still in active command of the al Qaeda network, or have we been sufficiently successful that we have disrupted his ability to control the network?
MR. TENET: Ma'am, I'd like to talk about all that in closed session with you.
SEN. COLLINS: You had mentioned that your analysts are just beginning their study of the tape that was released yesterday.
MR. TENET: Yeah.
SEN. COLLINS: Are there any preliminary indications that that tape was intended as a trigger or a signal to cells to attack?
MR. TENET: Ma'am, I think I would say the following to you. You know that in the previous two instances where he made tapes, on October 6 his remarks were made shortly before the French oil tanker Lindberg, the murder of the U.S. Marine in Kuwait, and the Bali bombing; his 12 November statement was 12 days before the bombing in Kenya, the hotel in Kenya. So one of the things we're looking at is, he's obviously raising the confidence of his people, he's obviously exhorting them to do more. And whether this is a signal of impending attack or not is something we're looking at. I can only tell you what the history is. What he said has often been followed by attacks, which I think corroborates everything that we're seeing in terms of raising the threat warning, in terms of the specific information that we had at our disposal last week.
SEN. COLLINS: Yesterday there were media reports that our intelligence has detected the movement of Iraqi Scud launcher equipment next to mosques, that Saddam Hussein has moved explosives to southern Iraq near the oil fields, and that he has positioned some of his military forces among civilian areas. Do those developments suggest that if war comes, that Saddam is going to pursue a scorched earth strategy? Do you believe that those developments are substantiated?
If vice admiral would like to respond, that would be fine, too.
ADM. JACOBY: Senator, there's a pattern over a considerable number of years, and it's being played out today: Saddam intermingling combatants in civilian population. It's part of the strategy to, you know, to blend in -- to use the term human shields -- is part of his approaches. And that continues.
The parts of the question having to do with current disposition of forces, I'd like to take on in closed session, if I could. And I can give you some specifics about where he is in some of the issues that are being presented.
SEN. COLLINS: That would be fine.
Mr. Tenet, I'm also troubled by press reports this week that the Iranian government intends to develop uranium mines in the southern part of its country. While Iranian officials have contended that this step has been undertaken to address civilian energy needs, I'm concerned about the implications for Iran's nuclear arms program. Could you please comment on that?
MR. TENET: Yes, ma'am. We're concerned, as well. We're going to follow up on all of that reporting. We have some very specific data for the classified session about specifically where the Iranian nuclear program is today. People who are supplying it may not be supplying it. There have been some improvements in Russian behavior in this regard, but all of this is of a piece, and it comes back to my serious concern about how many countries are pursuing nuclear weapons; how many countries are developing an indigenous capability to do so; and the amount of foreign assistance that's available from foreign states and networks that really make this a formidable challenge when you lash it up to ballistic missile proliferation, whether it's medium or long-range ballistic missiles.
SEN. COLLINS: Has Iran been an impediment to the establishment of the new government in Afghanistan?
MR. TENET: Well, I think you know that in the Bonn -- in the diplomatic part of this, when they went to Bonn and set this government up, I believe the record is the Iranians were quite helpful diplomatically in creating this government. I think if the Iranian -- every country on the border of Afghanistan naturally has its own agenda. We initially in the conflict were concerned about Iranian assistance or safe haven or conduit to Taliban and al Qaeda remnants. So remember, you've got two governments -- you're really dealing two faces in a country like Iran. A spiritual leader and then President Khatami and their control of different services often create different pictures of this government's activity inside Afghanistan. But your specific question, they were very cooperative in Bonn, as near as I can tell.
SEN. COLLINS: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
SEN. WARNER: We thank you.
Senator from West Virginia.
SEN. ROBERT BYRD (D-WV): Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Director, a transcript of the bin Laden tape has been available for at least 24 hours. Secretary of State Powell mentioned it yesterday morning. This nation is at a heightened level of terrorist threat.
We don't have the luxury of time to analyze the bin Laden tape today. Surely you have completed at least a preliminary analysis of the tape. What conclusions have you drawn thus far? And please be as brief as you can because my time is short.
MR. TENET: Sir, as I said, I believe that the tape represents an exhortation to his followers. I believe he's trying to raise their confidence. And we know from previous tapes that previous tapes occurred roughly prior to previous attacks that have recently occurred.
So the surface is very concerning to us. And whether there's any other operational signal in this tape or something we can glean at, we'll work on and get back to you on, sir.
SEN. BYRD: Are the reports that the tape is evidence of a connection between bin Laden and Saddam Hussein credible? Let me repeat that: Are the reports that the tape is evidence of a present and/or past connection between bin Laden and Saddam Hussein credible?
MR. TENET: Well, sir, what he says in the tape is unprecedented in terms of the way he expresses solidarity with Baghdad. And he just -- it's interesting, he talks about fighting alongside Iraqi "socialists," who he has generally considered un-Islamic, to defeat the "crusaders." We would be the crusaders, the Israelis would be the crusaders. So I'm trying to get underneath all of that to understand what all this allusion and symbolism is. But on the surface -- that's why I want to be precise when I come back to you -- on the surface, he appears to be making some kind of a linkage here, perhaps for his own purposes, whether he's aligning himself with the Iraqi government, as it appears, or he's speaking to the Iraqi people, I just want to be very precise when I comment on this. But it's a bit alarming that he did it this way.
SEN. BYRD: And how do you feel about the reference to the word "infidel" as applied to the Iraqis?
MR. TENET: Well, it goes back, I think, sir, to historical allusions that he has made about who is pure and who is not pure. Iraq has always been a more secular society. It's a distinction that people have tried to make, particularly in the terrorism world, which I don't think very much of, to tell you the truth. I think these distinctions get blurred very, very easily. So again, I need a little bit more time to do a little bit more work on that.
SEN. BYRD: How much more time do you need?
MR. TENET: Oh, a day or two, sir.
SEN. BYRD: Who is the greatest threat, in your judgment, Mr. Director, to the United States today?
MR. TENET: Well, sir, I think --
SEN. BYRD: And who is the greatest threat looking at the situation, if you can, two years from now, three years from now, or five years from now, Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden or Kim Jong Il?
MR. TENET: Sir, I hope that two or five years from now, al Qaeda is a diminished threat to this country, and I hope that that's the case when we come back to you. Obviously, today, at this moment in time, we're worrying deeply about al Qaeda and what threat it poses to this country.
In two to five years time, someone like a Saddam Hussein may have acquired a nuclear weapon and all of his capabilities would be enhanced, and the relationship with these terrorist networks continue to develop, so they cause us concern.
Kim Jong Il obviously, sir, is a present threat, with his ballistic missile and weapons capability and proliferation potential. So you've got -- how you rack them and stack them is difficult, but you're dealing with, in terms of present and emerging and ongoing, three layers of people that are very difficult and of great concern to the American intelligence community.
SEN. BYRD: Does this concern with respect to al Qaeda permeate the highest echelons of the current administration, in your judgment?
MR. TENET: Yes, sir, it does.
SEN. BYRD: I wonder, then, out loud why this administration did not support amendments that I offered with respect the omnibus appropriation bill that was recently passed by the Senate -- amendments that would increase by -- on the order of $5 billion appropriations to deal with al Qaeda and homeland defense. I'm wondering out loud. Do you have anything -- you might wonder along with me -- about why the administration didn't support that $5 billion?
MR. TENET: Well, sir, I rarely wonder, but I really don't know.
SEN. BYRD: (Chuckles.) Okay.
Now I then came back to $3 billion. I got the same support from this administration with respect to homeland security -- $3 billion. The administration didn't support those amendments. It opposed it.
Now, Mr. --
MR. TENET: If I could -- I can only give you my optic. The administration has been enormously supportive, as has the Appropriations Committee, of what we're doing, in additional dollars you've recently provided us for overseas in the intelligence community and the FBI. So I don't know about the domestic side, sir.
SEN. BYRD: But I didn't ask you about the other, just what you've mentioned --
MR. TENET: Yes, sir. I understand that.
SEN. BYRD: Now, Mr. Director, in regard to Kim Jong Il, it seems to me that's a threat that's as imminent or perhaps more so, directly, to the United States than is Iraq.
Well, if we say to our friends in this world, "If you're not with us, you're against us," I wonder if we're not sowing dragon seed as we look down the road, past the immediacy of Iraq, when we think about the nuclear threat that is presently posed by North Korea. We say to our friends in the United Nations, "If you're not with us, you're against us." I wonder, as we get down the road, how we're going to bring about better cooperation and better union with respect to efforts in the United Nations as we face a more determined and more imminent and more powerful aggressor, in the form of North Korea.
I wonder if we might look at Germany and France and those others who are posing opposition to us today with respect to what we're trying to do in Iraq, if we're not going to need them down the road. So how can we say "If you're not with us, you're against us"? It seems to me we're being somewhat careless and rash as we look ahead.
Now, Mr. Chairman, my time is up. I think it's almost. And so -- to be limited to six minutes, that's not necessarily your fault. But it's not like the old days when we were able to follow a thread of thought to the end. Thank you.
Thank you, Mr. Director.
MR. TENET: Thank you, sir.
SEN. WARNER: Thank you. I say to Mr. Byrd, I take note that we almost have a hundred percent of attendance here this morning.
SEN. BYRD: Yes, we do.
SEN. WARNER: We now conclude the first round here at the completion of all recognitions, and then we'll go into the closed session. I share my -- your views, Senator, but we're doing the very best we can.
SEN. BYRD: Well, I know you're doing that.
SEN. WARNER: I thank the gentleman.
SEN. JOHN CORNYN (R-TX): Mr. Chairman --
SEN. WARNER: The gentleman from Texas.
SEN. CORNYN: In the interest of time, I'll reserve any questions I have for the closed session.
SEN. WARNER: All right. That's very polite.
SEN. JACK REED (D-RI): Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
And thank you, Director Tenet and Admiral Jacoby. I just returned last weekend from Munich and Wehrkunde and talked to German officials and other NATO officials. And one of the stumbling blocks for a more concerted effort with respect to confronting Iran (sic) is a dispute about whether or not there are substantive links between Baghdad and terror groups. And yesterday, in your testimony, and Mr. Director, you cited Zarqawi's presence in Baghdad, but also in the press said he is not under their control, or words to that effect, that he is an independent operator.
MR. TENET: Sir, he is a senior al Qaeda associate who has met with bin Laden, who has received money from al Qaeda leadership. And on my list of top 30 individuals that are required to decapitate and denigrate this organization, Mr. Zarqawi's on that list. The fact that he is a contractor, he does things on his own, but he has an intimate relationship with him, and we classify him as a senior al Qaeda associate well known to all of them.
SEN. REED: I -- I -- the issue is -- and I want to be clear. I understand your response. This issue is his relationship to Saddam Hussein, to Baghdad, to -- if he is operating in concert explicitly with Saddam Hussein, or is there for the -- his own convenience and safety -- can you comment on that?
MR. TENET: The argument -- the specific line of evidence and argument we have made is is they're providing safe haven to him. And we know this because a foreign government approached the Iraqis twice about Zarqawi's presence in Baghdad, and he disappeared. The second troubling piece of this, sir, is, as I mentioned yesterday, the two dozen other associates and two senior Egyptian Islamic Jihad associates that's indistinguishable from al Qaeda because they merged there. And the third piece I'd say to you is Baghdad's not Geneva. It is inconceivable that these people are sitting there without the Iraqi intelligence services knowledge of the fact that there is a safe haven being provided by people to people who believe it's fairly comfortable to operate there. That's as far as I can take the story today.
SEN. REED: All right. Following up, the presence -- all of these individuals you've cited are in Baghdad, based on your information?
MR. TENET: Yes.
SEN. REED: Do you have any information that, beyond providing the safe haven, as you seem to have clear evidence, that the Iraqi regime is facilitating their operations?
MR. TENET: That's what we're trying to understand more of, sir.
SEN. REED: But you do not have that --
MR. TENET: I'll talk about this a little bit in closed session.
SEN. REED: All right.
Now, with respect to bin Laden's statement yesterday, and I know you've responded to Senator Byrd in terms of your desire to look at it more closely, but some of the language, I think, deserves close scrutiny with respect to the supposed collaboration and affiliation between al Qaeda and Baghdad.
This is the text I have: "We wish first on the threshold of this war, the war of the infidels and disbelievers, which the U.S. is launching with a number of its allies and agents, first, the sincerity of intentions for the fighting should be for the sake of Allah only, no other, and not for the victory of national minorities or for the aid of the infidel regimes in all Arab countries, including Iraq," which seems to be a statement not of unconditional support for Baghdad, for Saddam Hussein, for his regime. In fact, he is lumped into the same category that we are, as infidels.
MR. TENET: Well, sir, you're talking about an individual who is a master at deception, an individual who understands all the linkages that are being made all over the world about this. So I just -- let's be careful about placing a lot of credence on distinctions that he's making here in a way that -- you know, I'd like the opportunity to just be careful about it and look at it, but the kind of language and solidarity he talks about with Baghdad is something we want to look at more carefully inside the text.
SEN. REED: I encourage you to do that. But I think you have to at least confront this language and try to put it in a larger context. If that's what you propose to do, then I encourage you to do that.
All right, Admiral Jacoby. You're at an interesting position where you have access to, collaboration with the Central Intelligence Agency, and yet you provide specific support to the war fighters who are planning the targeting of targets in Iraq.
This whole issue of how much information and what type of information has been disclosed to the inspectors, if I asked you to sort of generally comment, if we put the target list that General Franks is developing to attack, issues -- weapons of mass destruction sites and potential sites -- and we laid next to that the information that we're providing to the inspectors, would that be essentially the same list?
ADM. JACOBY: Sir, I haven't tried to do a side-by-side comparison. But we're working from the same shared information on the front end to develop that list, so I would expect great commonality.
SEN. REED: Has anybody done that side-to-side comparison to essentially check not just the judgment of the intelligence authorities but the judgment of the military authorities that are planning this operation?
ADM. JACOBY: I'm not -- I'm not certain whether it's been laid down that way or not, sir.
SEN. REED: Mr. Tenet, are you aware, has anyone done that side by side?
MR. TENET: I don't know, sir.
SEN. REED: Turning to North Korea, it seems increasingly clear that if we do nothing in the next several weeks or months, they will have sufficient plutonium, marketable quantities -- that's a shuddering concept. Are we reasonably confident we're beginning to identify the possible links to terror groups that might attempt to acquire this material, Mr. Tenet?
MR. TENET: I don't have any specific links that I've developed to terror groups out of the North Korean context, sir, at this moment.
SEN. REED: We're looking hard, I presume?
MR. TENET: We always do where we have this kind of capability present.
SEN. REED: You mention in your statement -- and I, you know, agree with you that the frightening potential of nuclear powers emerging. You mentioned they were non-state actors in many cases. You're identifying those. And is it presumptuous to say that our policy would be to preempt those non-state actors before they can give aid --
MR. TENET: Well, sir, I'm not making a policy prescription. But we're working very, very hard to identify companies, people, individuals, things that don't look like states, that deal in chemical, biological, nuclear capability. And we see a number of these popping up around the world that causes us concern.
But the policy would be -- toward that would be not ours. But our job, first and foremost, is to gather as much information as we can to lay down before the policymakers so they can make determinations.
SEN. REED: Thank you.
SEN. WARNER: Thank you very much, Senator.
The senator from Colorado.
SEN. WAYNE ALLARD (R-CO): Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I would like to start out by asking Vice Admiral Jacoby about the conventional forces in North Korea -- artillery, tanks, as well as missiles. What is your assessment of their capability to sustain that force in combat?
ADM. JACOBY: Senator, they have the capability to sustain for a considerable period of time what's basically a very large but also not a high-tech kind of force in being. And so armaments and weapons and ammunition, and so forth, store for considerable periods of time, and they've been hard at building that kind of force capability for many decades.
SEN. ALLARD: I'm going to change the questioning over to Russia and their ICBM force, Vice Admiral. We're aware that that force continues to age. And in your prepared testimony, you mentioned that the SS-27 is several years behind schedule. Do you see a decline in the size of Russia's missile force in the next 10 years? And then also, if you would elaborate on how the Moscow Treaty affects the tough decisions that Russia may have to make in the near future.
ADM. JACOBY: Sir, our assessment is that the force level will decline, and the SS-27 fielding is an example of the kinds of problems they're having that are driving that. Sir, I'd need to take the treaty question for the record and get back to you. I'm not specific on the details and the applications of the details against our assessment.
SEN. ALLARD: Okay. If you'd provide a response --
ADM. JACOBY: We will, sir.
SEN. ALLARD: -- to the committee, I'd appreciate that.
Mr. Tenet, a number of weeks back, Condoleezza Rice had said we were expecting compliance with eliminating the weapons of mass destruction and what not, I think she quoted three countries, but most frequently -- says South Africa opened their country up for inspection, that Ukraine and Kazakhstan had. And I got the impression from her comments that although there were different degrees in how even those three countries opened up, that all three of them were markedly different than what we're facing in Iraq. And I was wondering if you could lay out for the committee the differences between what you saw happening in those three countries and what has happened in Iraq in some fairly explicit terms.
MR. TENET: I apologize, Senator, but I don't have the explicit details of those places right at the tip of my tongue, so I'll come back with a piece of paper.
SEN. ALLARD: I didn't mean to broadside you on that.
MR. TENET: No, that's okay, sir.
SEN. ALLARD: Okay.
Well, Mr. Chairman, I had some other questions for closed session, so I'll yield back the balance of my time.
SEN. WARNER: Senator Akaka.
SEN. DANIEL AKAKA (D-HI): Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. And welcome to our directors.
Mr. Tenet, in your written testimony you mentioned that Libya is developing weapons of mass destruction and that since 1999, Libya has increased -- and I quote -- "its access to dual-use nuclear technologies," unquote. My question to you is, do you have any, any assessment about how long it will be before Libya has a nuclear weapon? And can you share that assessment with us now?
MR. TENET: Sir, we can do that in closed session.
SEN. AKAKA: Fine.
Also -- and this one too, if it needs to be in closed session, will be fine. I have one, Director Tenet, on recent public diplomatic differences with European allies. My question is, have these differences with European allies had an effect on their cooperation with us, or us with them, in the efforts to fight terrorism?
Specifically, are we withholding useful intelligence from them, or vice versa, or other types of cooperation?
MR. TENET: No, sir. In fact, on the war on terrorism, our European allies have been extremely supportive of what we've been doing. We work hand in glove with them. This whole network that I alluded to is something we've worked very closely on with them. So at the level of our intelligence services, our military services, our law enforcement relationships, they're all very, very good. And nothing -- you know, I know there are other issues, but it has not impacted our work with them on terrorism one bit. In fact, all of that is quite enhanced.
SEN. AKAKA: Admiral Jacoby stated, Director Tenet, that he expects an increase in Pakistani and Iranian proliferation. Do you share that concern, and can you indicate at all in public session, well, the direction of Pakistani and Iranian proliferation efforts?
MR. TENET: Sir, we should -- I apologize, but we should talk about this in closed session. I apologize for that answer, but more appropriate there.
SEN. AKAKA: Fine.
Admiral Jacoby, yesterday the Senate Foreign Relations Committee held an open hearing on post-war situation in Iraq. I have pursued a post-war Iraqi plan that I feel that we should have for Iraq. My question to you is, what is your assessment concerning the attitude a post-war Iraqi military will have towards Israel?
ADM. JACOBY: With Israel. Sir, I think what we're going to find -- and now I'm strictly into the assessment. I think what we're going to find is that the Iraqi military is separated, you know, from the regime's positions and policies, and we might find that they feel very differently about the situation in the region than the present regime. But sir, that is something to be discovered down the road, I think.
SEN. AKAKA: Do you envision that the United States would be able to construct an Iraqi military capable of meeting Iraq's legitimate defenses needs which will not still harbor anti-Israeli feelings?
ADM. JACOBY: Our assessment is that we will be able to work to construct an Iraqi military sufficient to meet their defensive needs. On the political orientation, sir, I think that that's something still to be determined as we work through this.
SEN. AKAKA: I -- in reading your segment, I share your concern about general technology proliferation. And I want to commend the work done by DIA's Futures Division. And I know that getting ahead of the curve is becoming harder and yet more critical. As you mention in your testimony, our technological advantage is going to erode, and the long-term trends concerning WMD and missile proliferation are bleak.
It is important that senior policymakers, especially those involved in formulating our strategies for military transformation, utilize assessments by groups like DIA's Future Division. Is there a process to ensure that this takes place? Has Secretary Rumsfeld been briefed by the Futures Division?
ADM. JACOBY: Yes, sir, our Futures Division work gets to him regularly.
My promise to you, sir, is that even in this period of challenges between the stresses of the current situations and the need for predictive assessments for the future, we have fenced off the Futures Divisions, and I'm making every effort to strengthen that effort, which is predictive, it's future threat warning, it's avoidance of surprise and an area where we need increased investment. We're very aware of that, sir, and it's a focus area for me.
SEN. AKAKA: Thank you very much for your response.
Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
SEN. WARNER: Thank you, Senator.
SEN. JAMES TALENT (R-MO): Mr. Chairman, I think I'm just going to reserve till the closed session.
SEN. WARNER: I beg your pardon. That's fine. Thank you very much.
Senator Ben Nelson?
SEN. BEN NELSON (D-NE): Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I thank the directors for being here today. My first question of Mr. Tenet, Director Tenet, is one that perhaps you'd want to address during the closed and classified session. I understand that the International Atomic Energy Agency will issue a report later this month on nuclear -- the nuclear program for Iran. Do you have an opinion, based on the information that is available now, how long it would take Iran to develop a nuclear program on a par with, let's say, North Korea's nuclear program? I ask you first if you have an opinion on that. If you do, you probably want to express it in the closed session.
MR. TENET: Yes, sir, and it's incorporated into my classified statement.
SEN. BEN NELSON: All right.
And then inspectors from the IAEA were expelled from North Korea last fall, as we all know, and shortly thereafter, North Korea withdrew from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. Assuming that these inspectors aren't expelled from Iran, for example, we would still have some international monitoring of Iran's nuclear program as a signatory of the NPT. But as we've learned from the North Korean case, monitoring requires a permissive environment. In North Korea's case, they didn't want to fully reveal the extent of their nuclear program.
This committee has, of course, as well as the Intelligence Committee, has discussed with you and others in the administration the importance of human intelligence but also the importance of proper funding for a satellite and other technological intelligence capability. With the proliferation of nuclear technology and the number of nuclear powers or would-be powers and wanna-be powers growing every day, it's vitally important that decision-makers have reliable intelligence.
Are you satisfied with the level of funding provided in the FY '04 budget for this purpose?
MR. TENET: Sir, we've -- going back to last year, when the president submitted the five-year defense program and the intelligence funding, we've experienced very important growth to sustain our collection capabilities. I think Admiral Jacoby and I would tell you we're carefully discussing how to enhance these capabilities with the secretary of Defense.
We're -- we talked about this a bit yesterday in the Intelligence Committee, the issue of global coverage and the coverage of all the things people would expect us to have knowledge about or information about is a daunting challenge for us. But nevertheless, the secretary and I are working through this very carefully, and we're very pleased with the level of resources we've been provided going forward. But we may come back for more, but we want to do that in a considered way so that when we talk to you about this there's some programmatic content to it.
SEN. BEN NELSON: Thank you.
Vice Admiral Jacoby, I met yesterday with Defense Minister Ramirez from Colombia to discuss the war on terrorism and, of course, the other transnational threats, specifically drug trafficking that we are continuing to encounter.
You mention in your written testimony regarding terrorism that -- terrorism in general, and principally the threat posed by al Qaeda, is the most important priority of the DIA.
My question concerns the FARC and Colombia. The Colombian government maintains that the Irish Republican Army and the Basque Separatists from Spain have ties to the FARC, and argue, therefore, that their internal conflict has wider ramifications for the war on terrorism.
What intelligence do you have, through the DIA, that would link these terrorist groups together, if you can speak about it in open session.
ADM. JACOBY: I can speak to it in closed session, sir.
I would add, you know, the concern with the FARC is a very real one for us with a U.S. presence, official presence in Colombia. Obviously, we have a responsibility for information flow to the State Department, and so forth, and our Marine guards, and so forth, as part of that diplomatic presence, too.
The worrisome part for us was that for many years, the FARC excluded U.S. from their target list. Recently they have changed their statements, although they have not yet executed attacks specifically directed against the U.S. official presence there, that's a concern for us. And so we're worried about a changing situation on the ground in Colombia, and it's getting attention from us at the appropriate level, I believe.
SEN. BEN NELSON: Do you have the access to the kind of information you need to help us be informed on the basis of intelligence that's reliable, credible and helpful?
ADM. JACOBY: We have insights. Do we have access that makes me comfortable that we have the situation well-assessed and in hand? No, sir, I don't have that comfort level.
SEN. BEN NELSON: But that's probably not because of any reluctance to share it. It's because of what, an inability to access it?
ADM. JACOBY: It's certainly not a problem with sharing. It's a level of detail, specificity, time-and-place kinds of threat information for a country as large as Colombia that's the major issue for me.
SEN. BEN NELSON: Thank you.
And thank you, Mr. Chairman.
SEN. WARNER: Thank you very much.
SEN. MARK DAYTON (D-MN): Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
First I want to say, to both of you, thank you for your extraordinarily dedicated service to our country in this critical time.
Director Tenet, I would agree with your testimony that the burden of proof is entirely on Saddam Hussein, and I believed, as you said, that we would find, if we were able to make a complete inspection, that those caches of chemical/biological materials the president outlined in his State of the Union address are largely still there and that those constitute, as the secretary of State evidenced in the last week, even with what's been detected to date, violations of the U.N. sanctions.
The United States has confronted dangerous dictators with weapons of mass destruction for the last 55 years, since World War II. And the essence of the critique you've made today against Saddam Hussein could be applied to Nikita Khrushchev and other leaders of the former Soviet Union in years past -- they're building weapons of mass destruction arsenals, they're making linkages with anti-U.S. and anti- West operatives around the world -- the Chinese leaders in years, decades past, and even North Korea today, which you, Admiral, have cited as the most serious threat to U.S. regional interests in a generation.
But the United States did not launch preemptive strikes to eliminate those threats. Those threats, as a result, remain serious and ongoing, even increasing. They had -- those countries have leaders which at times we distrusted and even rightfully detested, yet no Republican or Democratic president acted to remove them or disarm them. And the primary reason, I believe, was the doctrine of mutual assured destruction; that an attack by the United States would result in an assured destruction of our cities, our countryside, our social networks, and civilian casualties that would be unforeseeable in their numbers.
So when I read reports over the last week that our threat level has been increased and read what Director Mueller testified yesterday or predicted that a U.S. attack would result in retaliatory attacks against the United States within our borders, I asked myself, "Why would we expect otherwise?"
Why wouldn't we expect that Saddam Hussein would retaliate, as we would have if we were attacked in those years past by the Soviet Union or some other enemy, with as much destruction to this country within our borders as possible?
And I would ask to what extent you assess that as an ongoing threat. And is that factored into the decision to proceed militarily against Iraq? And why is Iraq different -- why would Iraq -- if we did proceed with military action against Iraq, why is Iraq different from North Korea today and from all those other threats in years past?
MR. TENET: You're asking, sir -- you're asking some intelligence questions. You're asking a lot of policy questions. And Admiral Jacoby and I should -- I'll give you my view, in any event.
The interesting thing about Iraq, of course, is that Iraq, even though its army is a third of the size that it was 10 or 12 years ago, it's still larger than all the GCC countries and Arab nations combined. The difference with Iraq is -- the issue you've got to remember is in the last 15 years, he's crossed borders twice.
Of concern to us, just from an intelligence perspective --
SEN. DAYTON: When did -- when -- just for the record, so when did those occur?
MR. TENET: At Kuwait, and you had the Iran-Iraq war, and then you had -- sir, I'll get -- the years elude me at the moment.
SEN. DAYTON: But in the last 12 years?
MR. TENET: Fifteen years, sir.
SEN. DAYTON: In the last 12 years, how many borders?
MR. TENET: So --
SEN. DAYTON: Mr. Director, in the last 12 years.
MR. TENET: Well, sir, I'll provide it for the record. I had 15 years in my mind. But in any event, the other thing that you have to -- the other thing, and it's a choice you have to think about, he is going to get a nuclear weapon sooner or later. Our estimate is that with fissile material, he could have it in a year or two. He will enhance his ballistic missile capability with that kind of capability.
And his biological-weapons capability is far bigger than it was at the time of the Gulf War, and he has a chemical-weapons capability that he hasn't declared. And so you put that in the context of a region -- it's actually a little bit different than what you look at in North Korea, because you've got a South Korea with a large American presence and a Japanese, a Russian, a Chinese and a South Korean ally that are a bit different in terms of their strength and overall stature than the countries he faces in this region.
At the end of the day, you have to make a determination about how to best deal with this problem. At the end of the day, you have to ask yourself whether, after 10 or 12 years of dealing with a U.N. process that he has fundamentally failed to comply with, whether you want to wake up in three or four years and face the prospect of the issues that I've kind of walked through. Those are valid and important issues for people to debate. All we can do is lay down the facts of what the concerns are, and you all make the --
SEN. DAYTON: My time is limited, so let me just go on. Yesterday or today's Washington Post reported your remarks yesterday or your testimony as, quote, "Signaling that the Bush administration has concluded that without enforcement, the era in which countries were encouraged by treaties and self-regulation to avoid developing nuclear weapons may be coming to an end. Such a conclusion would buttress the administration's new national-security doctrine, which envisions preemptive strikes against potential nuclear powers as well as bolster the administration's case for developing nuclear defenses."
Is this, in your view, the policy that we're entering into, launching preemptive strikes against potential nuclear powers?
MR. TENET: Actually, sir, when I wrote the statement, I had no policy in mind other than to attempt to objectively say to you --
SEN. DAYTON: No, that policy has been ascribed to your remarks.
MR. TENET: Well, sir, I didn't talk about policies yesterday. I basically said that my concern was the non-proliferation treaty regime was being battered in a way that continues to undermine a foundation that we've used for many, many years.
And the question is, given my concern that nuclear proliferation will loom larger, do we have the right regime in place? Is the battering of this regime -- what should it be replaced with? How active should we become? Those are policy questions others have to answer. But I was just reflecting on my look at the world and the concerns I have.
SEN. DAYTON: Let me ask one last question, please. Regarding the Iraq-al Qaeda connection, I again would tend to agree with what I understood your assertion today being, that that linkage is -- the evidence you've presented here has increased. But it seems to have increased since the administration announced that it intends to go to war.
Prior to last October, the reports -- well, the reports I've received, and I've sat in quite a number of briefings, of those connections were far more tenuous than the ones that you've presented today. There's that old Arab saying, "The enemy of my enemy is my friend." And it doesn't surprise me that Saddam Hussein has been reaching out in the last months to as many prospective allies as he could possibly find in the face of a possible U.S. invasion, and it's not surprising that bin Laden would seize on this crisis to exploit it to advance his anti-U.S. and anti-Israel agenda. But that's the reality that we have today, as based on your reports, whether we like it or not. And that, it seems to me, increases the specter or the likelihood that an attack against Saddam Hussein by the United States is going to be portrayed, wrongly, but portrayed by bin Laden and others as an attack against an Arab nation, and, as you said, a repetition of the Crusades, and that we're going to see the kind of retaliations that we saw on 9/11 as part of their effort to foment this rebellion against what they view as the infidels.
MR. TENET: Well, let me just comment on one of your points. This is an iterative business and very dynamic in the way it changes. If you go back and look at my testimony to this committee, I think, in October, when we talked about WMD, and you look at the classified terrorism section, it mentions Zarqawi. It mentions the EIJ operatives. We already signaled. What has happened since that time period, sir, is an explosion in our knowledge and understanding and depth, additional sources, people we have at our disposal, work with our European allies. This thing moves every day. It's very, very dynamic.
But you said something that I have to push back on, because we don't cook the case for anybody to make a policy. We never do that. We would never do that, and we would never allow it. I would never allow it.
SEN. DAYTON: I wasn't implying that, sir. I was -- what I understood it to be was that the amount of contacts, the degree of connection between those two entities has increased in the last few months compared to what they were prior to, say, October of this year.
MR. TENET: Can I just finish, sir, add one more point to it? It's important. There's a history here. We've provided some interesting papers to the committee about contacts that go back to the Sudanese time period in the mid-'90s and an extensive paper on all this.
You know, it's a tough issue that you're constantly trying to connect the dots on. And in the terrorism environment -- remember, everybody (to ?) connect the dots. There are lots of dots here that people have to be careful to connect in the right way and be quite dispassionate about how you portray it. But this is a serious issue. and we've got to be very mindful of it.
SEN. DAYTON: I just want to, for the record, make it clear. I credit you, in both recent appearances and in --
MR. TENET: I apologize.
SEN. DAYTON: No, I just want to be clear about it -- and in those classified briefings, for being as forthright, candor, and giving us the information that you had and acknowledging, as you say, there's a constantly shifting set of information.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
SEN. WARNER: Thank you, Senator. Senator Bayh.
SEN. EVAN BAYH (D-IN): Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Gentlemen, I've got six minutes and six questions, so I'm going to move expeditiously. And if I could ask you to do the same, I would appreciate it.
Admiral, I hope you won't take it personally if most of my inquiries are for the director.
ADM. JACOBY: (Inaudible.)
SEN. BAYH: And Director, I hope you won't take that personally either. (Laughter.)
My first question, Director, is I know we have finite resources, and there's a debate today about how many crises we can handle simultaneously, and handle them well. My direct question to you is, is there anything that we could do to combat al Qaeda or to apprehend or kill Osama bin Laden that we are not doing because of the current focus on Iraq?
MR. TENET: No, sir.
SEN. BAYH: I want to follow up on a question that was asked, I think, by Senator Akaka with regard to intelligence cooperation from Germany, France, Belgium and some of the other countries with which we have a difference of opinion with regard to Iraq. And there's a concern expressed, as you know, that our focus on Iraq may drive a wedge between us and our allies when it comes to combating the war on -- or carrying out the war on terrorism.
I understood your answer to be that there has been no undermining of the intelligence cooperation with those countries and that that has not undermined our efforts to combat terrorism. Is that correct?
MR. TENET: That's correct, Senator.
SEN. BAYH: With regard to Iraq and the potential action, there have been concerns expressed that this action will lead to additional recruits for al Qaeda or other potential terrorist organizations. Obviously that's a concern. You never want to do anything to create a more fertile field for the creation of extremists who might turn against the United States.
My understanding has been, however, that a lack of manpower has not been their problem, that there's been no shortage of operatives to carry out attacks, that it has been other things that have constrained their attacks upon the United States. Is that a correct view?
MR. TENET: Sir, they trained thousands of people in those camps in Afghanistan. Manpower isn't the issue. The real issue is brain power, money, infrastructure, support, leadership. That's what you have to focus on. There are lots of foot soldiers in there who are willing to volunteer. They trained -- tens of thousands of people who were trained in those camps. So it's not a manpower question as much as the other issues I alluded to.
SEN. BAYH: Right. So that while that's not a concern that you dismiss --
MR. TENET: No, sir, you can't dismiss it.
SEN. BAYH: -- that's not an element that has led to either more or fewer potential attacks on the country, a lack of manpower.
MR. TENET: No, sir.
SEN. BAYH: With regard to Iraq and al Qaeda, you might not be able to answer this in open session, but let me phrase it in a way that might enable you to do so. And if you can't, I'll understand. There have been press reports to the effect that there have been al Qaeda sympathizers in our country. There have also been press reports to the effect that there have been Iraqi operatives in our country. I want to ask you about all that. I just am curious -- Senator Byrd mentioned and others have mentioned the alarm in the country today. What level of assurance do we have that we've identified all these folks? What's the probability that there are some out there, we just don't know they're here?
MR. TENET: In terms of terrorists, sir, or --
SEN. BAYH: Well, either Iraqi agents or al Qaeda operatives. You don't know what you don't know. I'm just wondering --
MR. TENET: I can't give you a guarantee that Bob Mueller and I have identified everybody in this country who may be affiliated with a terrorist organization. All I can give you is my certain knowledge that over the last 14 months, we're better off than we were in terms of our knowledge and our operations and our sharing of data. So I can't give you that assurance, sir, that we've laid them all down.
SEN. BAYH: I appreciate your giving it the best shot you can.
SEN. WARNER: Senator, might I say that we'll provide for you the transcript of yesterday's Intelligence hearing, at which time the director of the Federal Bureau addressed that question and elaborated.
SEN. BAYH: Thank you, Chairman. Two final quick questions. Again, this one, I understand, may be more appropriate for the closed hearing, but there have been a lot of public reports to the effect that North Korea probably has a nuclear device already. What kind of probability do you think exists that they currently have a nuclear device?
MR. TENET: Sir, I think we've unclassified the fact that they probably have one or two plutonium-based devices today.
SEN. BAYH: And probably -- I mean, that's more than 50 percent. I mean, between 50 and 100, where would you put that?
MR. TENET: I think one or two is a very good judgment.
SEN. BAYH: And how about their -- they've fired missiles over Japan. What is the likelihood that they currently have a missile capable of hitting the West Coast of the United States?
MR. TENET: (Confers off mike.) I think the declassified answer is yes, they can do that.
SEN. BAYH: So in all likelihood, they have nuclear warheads and an ability to deliver them to the West Coast of the United States; obviously very, very troubling.
My final question, gentlemen, to switch gears again -- Admiral, you raised it, but Director, I would like to address it to you. And it's an attempt to -- Director, it's an attempt to look beyond the --
MR. TENET: Sorry, sir.
SEN. BAYH: That's all right. It's an attempt to look beyond the horizon a little bit and anticipate other threats that might be out there. It was raised by Senator Nelson, and that's the issue of the FARC. There have been some troubling elements recently; this bombing the other day in downtown Bogota, the fairly secure, hardened target. Our increasing involvement there -- I think appropriately so -- however, it's not just against the war on drugs; it's now to combat the insurgency more directly.
There is a large Colombian population in the United States. People move from Colombia into and out of the United States fairly frequently. I was at a conference on Colombia in December where an individual indicated he had met with FARC officials who had U.S. passports. So you combine urban bombings; them beginning to focus on us as a direct adversary and a significant flow back and forth between Colombia and the United States, including FARC operatives in this country. Am I correct -- am I justified in being worried about this threat, thinking that, looking down the road, this is something that could come home here to the heartland in a very direct way?
MR. TENET: Sir, I actually asked that question this morning, because we had a discussion about Colombia and how Uribe is doing. And there was an extant question about whether you extend that targeting here. The question was, specific targeting against Americans in Colombia and American facilities, since the FARC is looking -- well, obviously taking it to the urban environment. Obviously we see the health club that really touched off a vulnerable point. But --
SEN. BAYH: I'm concerned about the prospect eventually, down the road, that if you game this out, this could very well come home to --
MR. TENET: Let me come back to you with an answer to that. I haven't thought through that very well.
SEN. WARNER: Thank you, Senator. Director Tenet, do you wish to refine your reply to a very important question regarding the North Korean delivery system and probability of a warhead and whether those systems are coupled? I think it's important the record --
MR. TENET: Senator, let me let it stand where it is until we --
SEN. WARNER: Until we --
MR. TENET: Yes, sir. Let it stand where it is. I don't want to get classified and unclassified things (bundled up in my head ?).
SEN. WARNER: Correct. And such a further addition that you may contribute, we'll --
MR. TENET: Yes, sir. I will correct the record today.
SEN. WARNER: -- put in the record, madam recorder, in response to the question asked by Senator Bayh.
SEN. HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D-NY): Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And I want to thank you, Director Tenet and Admiral Jacoby, for the hard work that you and your teams are doing. I just have several questions that have not been addressed yet.
In his State of the Union, President Bush proposed a terrorist threat integration center, a central location, as I understand it, where all foreign and domestically generated terrorist threat information and intelligence would be gathered, assessed and coordinated.
As I further understand it, it would include elements from the CIA, the FBI, the new Department of Homeland Security, and the Department of Defense, but that the director would report to the director of Central Intelligence. So far, is that a correct description?
MR. TENET: Yes, ma'am.
SEN. CLINTON: One of the difficulties that I see us struggling with is the coordination between national agencies and sources of information with state and local law enforcement officials. I'm particularly concerned not only about what goes down but what comes up and the fact that our front-line defenders, with respect to any terrorist attacks here on our own shores, are local law enforcement personnel.
What steps are being taken, as you design this department, to ensure first that our local law enforcement officials will receive the information they need in a both timely and thorough enough manner, and secondly, that you will be receiving information?
This is, as I just think about it, an overwhelming task. And, you know, I have to say, clearly here in this committee we're focused on the external and international emerging threats and their connections with what goes on here at home. But I really do believe we have not given adequate support to our local law enforcement first responders, and we've got to have an intelligence and information- gathering system that works far better than it ever used to in the past when, frankly, there were lots of conflicts as to what information would or wouldn't be shared. So where are we in the planning of that, Mr. Tenet?
MR. TENET: It'd be good if Director Mueller were here, but I'll tell you what I know.
SEN. CLINTON: Well, you will be the overall director, right?
MR. TENET: This is an analytical component. And essentially what we want to do is, one, get all the threat information together, much as we do this morning, and have a law enforcement feed and an intelligence feed, since it's all seamless, to make sure we have the right data bases; a terrorist tracking data base in one place that's available to state and local governments, to police forces, what we collect overseas, what we can hand over.
The third thing that we think we have to do a heck of a lot more -- but you put your finger on something -- is give state and local police departments texture and understanding of what they look for, how they use their intelligence division, how they use the officer on the beat. This is a daunting challenge. This is something that the director of the FBI is taking on because of his rather direct relationship.
What we're trying to do in creating this kind of an integrated analytical center is say there are lots of things that we can pass -- for example, we have an excellent relationship with the New York City police department and the Washington police. Obviously New York and Washington are special places.
But we need to be able to pass to Milwaukee and Seattle, and every place else in this country, texture, understanding, text. You don't have to give up sources and methods or the human operator, but you need to give those men and women the opportunity to say, "What are we looking for when we go to orange?"
And there's an enormous amount of data we've started doing that we can push out the door about chemical and biological attacks, what to look for, how to protect. I mean, there's an enormous amount of data.
So one of our objectives is to have a place where we can push this out to law enforcement. The Bureau can do the proper front end, but that we design more product for our state and local officials to understand what the threat specifically is without having to give up very much.
SEN. CLINTON: Well, this is an issue that concerns me greatly, and I look forward to continuing to receive updates on how this is occurring.
Secondly, Director Tenet, last month the BBC reported that British officials believe al Qaeda successfully built a crude radiological device, commonly referred to as a dirty bomb, in Afghanistan. What intelligence do we have regarding the veracity of this report from British intelligence? And Admiral Jacoby, if you have additional insight into this, I would appreciate hearing it.
MR. TENET: I would say that BBC and British intelligence may be two separate entities. We know they had a keen interest in developing a radiological device. And our whole thought process, analytically and operationally is to prove the negative, that you didn't get one or you didn't get a nuclear weapon. Now, I have never seen any reporting that suggests they successfully tested a radiological device from any source -- foreign, our own, the British -- I've never seen that reporting.
SEN. CLINTON: Do you agree --
MR. TENET: I can go back and check, but I have never seen it, Senator.
SEN. CLINTON: Do you agree with that, Admiral Jacoby?B. JACOBY: Yes, Senator. And we found nothing in our operations in Afghanistan that would lead us back up that trail to suggest that they had achieved it.
SEN. CLINTON: And finally, if I could, following up on Senator Bayh's point about the FARC, last week the leader of Hamas, which obviously we know has carried out numerous bombings in Israel, released an open letter that said Muslims should threaten Western interests and strike them anywhere. This is a very new development, as I understand the history of Hamas, which has primarily been focused on fighting the Israeli government and the Israeli people. To what extent does Hamas pose a direct threat now to Americans both here and abroad?
MR. TENET: Well, you're quite correct about where their targeting has been focused on. I would have to go back and talk to Bob Mueller about what he perceived to be that threat here. But the way you isolated it at the beginning is exactly right.
Now, all of these groups -- you know, a group like Hamas in particular operates in a constrained geographic region where they have comparative advantages. But obviously the concern would be how they migrate those here. And I'll come back to you on that, Senator. I just don't know enough.
SEN. CLINTON: Thank you very much.
SEN. WARNER: Thank you very much, Senator. Senator Pryor.
SEN. PRYOR: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I have just a couple of quick questions about al Qaeda. And, Director Tenet, I would like to direct those at you if possible.
First is a follow-up on Senator Bayh's very good questioning about al Qaeda and their capabilities and the manpower that they have. And you mention that there were -- there are two facts. One is that we have disabled, if I can use that term, a lot of their leadership, and also secondly that they also trained potentially thousands of troops, if you can call them that, or thousands of foot soldiers or believers, whatever you want to say, in Afghanistan and other places around the world. Is al Qaeda at the present time growing?
MR. TENET: I think that the most important point I would make is because you've taken the sanctuary away, and the ability to train in unlimited capability, and unlimited resource with impunity, you have hurt the ability of the organization to grow -- there is no doubt about that -- to train and deploy people. Whether people are motivated by the message and, you know, are comfortable with them, or it's a different category. But I would say once you took the sanctuary away and you put them on the run and you made them be at greater risk, you have jeopardized their ability to grow with trained operatives.
SEN. PRYOR: Do they have a new sanctuary?
MR. TENET: A new sanctuary? Nothing that rivals what we once saw in Afghanistan -- nothing. What we are trying to do is find where they may migrate to in the same kind of mass and scope.
SEN. PRYOR: And is it your perception that as some leadership is removed from the picture other leadership is developing?
MR. TENET: Well, that's in -- I'd like to talk about that in closed session.
SEN. PRYOR: And the last thing I have on al Qaeda is, you know, we hear a lot about it -- for years really, but certainly after September 11th. There's not an American today that doesn't know a little something about it. And I assume that in your view it would be categorized as the most dangerous terrorist organization with regard to America's national security.
MR. TENET: They are the most dangerous terrorist organization that has attacked the United States. But I'll tell you that Hezbollah, as an organization with capability and worldwide presence, is its equal, if not a far more capable organization, if you can believe that. It is a very capable organization. So we've got --
SEN. PRYOR: That actually was my question: Is what is number two? Or what would be --
MR. TENET: Well, I'd actually put Hezbollah -- you know, I actually think they are a notch above in many respects in terms of in their relationship with the Iranians and the training they've received puts them in a state-sponsor-supported category with a potential for lethality that's quite great.
SEN. PRYOR: Do they have or are they -- I assume they're organized a little differently than al Qaeda, but it sounds like they're also kind of a loose-knit organization out there. And do they have a safe haven?B. JACOBY: Actually Hezbollah is much tighter, much more structured, much more organized --
SEN. PRYOR: Have more command and control?B. JACOBY: Yes, sir, I would say in sort of a traditional sense, whereas al Qaeda is more of a loose network. And I might add that one of the things in your first question about numbers -- we certainly learned in the U.S.S. Cole attack that there are a few al Qaeda operatives there that ran the operation, but they drew from this larger group of mujaheddin who they had fought with previously, who are not sworn to al Qaeda --
SEN. PRYOR: Right.B. JACOBY: -- did not have allegiance. But when we get into a discussion about relative numbers, back to what the director was saying, the training camps are gone, but the people who would share beliefs and join up for a specific operation are yet another aspect of this whole problem.
SEN. PRYOR: Does Hezbollah have a primary training facility or training region, or a safe haven as we talked about before?
MR. TENET: Southern Lebanon is a place of great concern, obviously, sir, where they have massed.
SEN. PRYOR: Okay, thank you.
SEN. WARNER: Thank you, senator.
SEN. BYRD: Mr. Chairman, Senator Pryor apparently has a little of his six minutes left, would he yield to me?
SEN. PRYOR: I'll be glad to yield.
SEN. WARNER: Well, senator, you asked for some time -- you asked for a minute or two. Senator Levin and I are prepared to grant that.
SEN. BYRD: I'd like to reserve on that, if I could just briefly. He's asking about the training of al Qaeda --
SEN. WARNER: Well, if you wish to follow-up.
SEN. PRYOR: Be glad to.
SEN. BYRD: I wonder if al Qaeda has any training camps or camps in this country. I seem to remember, and I don't have the newspaper report in front me, in today's newspaper reports I seem to remember something that's attributed to you to the extent -- you, director -- to the extent that there are al Qaeda training camps in this country. Am I right or wrong?
MR. TENET: No, sir, I don't believe you are correct -- not attributed to me. And I don't believe the director of the FBI would say we ever found anything like that in this country.
SEN. BYRD: So there's nothing that you know about?
MR. TENET: Nothing that I know about. Nothing that I know about, sir.
SEN. BYRD: Thank you.
SEN. WARNER: Senator Byrd, do you wish a minute to conclude? And then we'll go immediately into our executive session in 219.
SEN. BYRD: Well, thank you, Mr. Chairman. And thank you for conducting these hearings. And I take this opportunity also to align myself with Mr. -- our ranking member and his prepared remarks earlier. I think I subscribe to those about 100 percent.
The director has said more than once that the burden is on Iraq, not on the inspectors. This response has come in answer to a question as to the efficacy of having more inspectors in Iraq. There are some nations that are advocating that we increase the number of inspectors. And I believe I heard the director say that in response to that proposal that the burden is not on the inspectors but on Iraq. Am I correct in having heard you say that?
MR. TENET: Yes, sir, I believe I said that.
SEN. BYRD: Well, is it not true, Mr. Director, that if the inspectors are increased that this in itself would increase the problems for Saddam Hussein in his attempts to deceive the inspectors and deceive the United Nations. Would it not also provide additional information to the people of the world and the people of this country who are about to send their sons and daughters into Iraq? Would it not serve some good purpose, even though somewhat of the burden may be, if we use a political answer? And the rhetorical answer -- yes, the burden is on Saddam Hussein -- not on the inspectors. But would it not provide some additional information to the people? Would it not make it more difficult for Saddam Hussein to continue in his course of deception?
MR. TENET: Sir, I doubt it. I would respectfully disagree. I think his practices and the way he's organized himself and the very elaborate regime that he has in place, I am doubtful it will make much of a difference.
SEN. BYRD: Well, it seems to me that common-sense reasoning -- I don't claim to have all of the common sense on my side, but it seems to me that common-sense reasoning would indicate that if more inspectors are put in it's going to increase the burden upon Hussein, Saddam Hussein. But aside from that I think we also have a burden. I think there's not only a burden on the inspectors and on Saddam Hussein, but I think this country has a burden -- a burden to attempt to do whatever it possibly can do, particularly at this junction, to avoid war. Wars kill people. And it seems to me we have a burden -- this country has a burden to bend over backwards -- and it has done some of that already, but it seems to me it must do more. So I think when we talk about the burden with respect to inspectors being not only on the inspectors but on Iraq, we should see our own burden that bear before the country and the judgment of history. We need to do everything we possibly can to avoid war.
Now, having said that, let me congratulate you, Mr. Director, on your work. I read a book, "Bush At War," by Woodward, and as I read that book I came to believe that you were virtually the central hero.
MR. TENET: Don't believe everything you read, Senator.
SEN. BYRD: Well, I don't -- and not everything I hear either -- (laughter) -- in response to questions. But you performed admirably in that book, if I may, with respect to the defeat of the Taliban. And whatever is true about that book concerning you, I want to compliment you on.
I only have one other question, Mr. Chairman. Let me just ask it this way: The director has on more than one occasion this morning has said he has not had time to analyze the recent information that has come to light, and in -- Osama bin Laden -- and he's indicated he might need another day. Might we have another hearing when the director has had a little more time to analyze this information? Might we not have another hearing? I think the American people are entitled to know what his responses to those questions and other questions --
SEN. WARNER: Our colleague makes a very good point. May I suggest we take the interim step of analyzing the submissions from the director of central intelligence, and then in consultation with our ranking member and yourself and others we will take that into consideration.
SEN. BYRD: Sure. I thank my chairman. He's always so accommodating and responsive. I think we have a burden in this Congress to inform the American people. And it's not any fault of the chairman or the ranking member, but I think we have been recreant in our duty as a Congress to ask questions and to inform the American people as we are about to take this very critical step that we see looming just ahead. I think we -- and this committee has more -- has a responsibility to do everything that it can -- so does the appropriations committee. We -- I don't think we as a Congress have fulfilled our responsibilities to the American people.
SEN. WARNER: But I think our distinguished colleague would recognize that just in the past few days a number of hearings have been held -- the Foreign Relations Committee yesterday -- Senator Levin and I participated as members of the Intelligence Committee, today. I think the consultation with the -- between the administration and the Congress -- and I have urged, as you know, to reach the highest attainable high-water mark of any president -- I believe we are reaching that.
Now, Senator Levin, you had a comment that you wished to make.
SEN. LEVIN: I have a very quick question and then a comment. It really relates to this issue of where the director said we are not worried about the number of foot soldiers out there in the terrorist movement. Let me tell you I am, and Admiral Jacoby apparently is.
MR. TENET: I didn't mean to imply that, senator. I --
SEN. LEVIN: You did more than imply it. You said it.
MR. TENET: Well, let me correct the record then.
SEN. LEVIN: I just want to read you what Admiral Jacoby said, and then let me see if you agree with this. "Much of the world is" -- this is in today's written testimony -- and it just says so much. And I wish you had had time to read this paragraph. So I'll read it.
" Much of the world is increasingly apprehensive about U.S. power and influence. Many are concerned about the expansion, consolidation and domination of American values, ideals, culture and institutions. Reactions to this sensitivity to growing Americanization can range from mild chafing on the part of our friends and allies, to fear and violent rejection on the part of our adversaries. We should consider that these perceptions, mixed with angst over perceived U.S. unilateralism, will give rise to significant anti-American behavior." Do you agree with the admiral?
MR. TENET: I'd like to think about it.
SEN. LEVIN: All right. I would like to put in the record, Mr. Chairman, the article from the Washington Post of Friday, February 7th, and these are the two quotes in particular. One, "Senior U.S. officials said that although the Iraqi government is aware of Zarqawi's group's activities, it does not operate, control or sponsor it." And, second, the paragraph which says, "Senior administration officials said that although Zarqawi has ties to bin Laden's group, he is not under al Qaeda control or direction. Quote, 'They have common goals,' one intelligence analyst said, but Zarqawi is outside bin Laden's circle. He is not sworn al Qaeda."
Now, because the time has run today, and because the director did comment on both of those yesterday at the Intelligence Committee, I would ask that in addition to these quotes from this article being made part of the record that the testimony of the director commenting on those quotes from yesterday's Intelligence Committee hearing also be made part of the record.
SEN. WARNER: Fine, without objection.
SEN. LEVIN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
SEN. WARNER: I likewise will put into today's record certain items -- two, in specific, New York Times articles written by Thomas L. Friedman -- excerpts from those I think very perceptive opinion pieces.
We will now adjourn this hearing and reconvene in 219 in executive session. (Sounds gavel.)