Sunday, February 05, 2006

Must See TV: C-SPAN's coverage of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Feb 2, 2006

John Negroponte's (Director of National Intelligence) statement at the recent Senate Itelligence Committe's hearing on Current and Projected National Security Threats to the United States will be looked on by historians as a succinct overview of the challenges our nation faces as the process of globalization, with all its benefits and ills, accelerates.

Fortunately C-SPAN has the complete 3 hour and 42 minute hearing as a video archive (Realplayer required).

After the Director's statement, Senate Democrats on the committee try their darndest to piggy-back on the recent leaks and ask questions of the the intelligence panel members that would reveal secrets, tactics and procedures to our enemies inspite of repeated offers by the panel to discuss sensitive material in closed hearings. The following sums up the grown-ups response to the Democrats seeking political advantage from their questioning:

Mr. Roberts and other Republicans said that the most serious issue was the unauthorized leak of sensitive information on intelligence.

PorterJ. Goss, the C.I.A. director, concurred, asserting that leaks had done "very severe" damage to national security and declared that the leakers would be found.

"I've called in the F.B.I., the Department of Justice," Mr. Goss said. "It is my aim and it is my hope that we will witness a grand jury investigation with reporters present, being asked to reveal who is leaking this information." [From: NYT: Senate Session on Security Erupts in Spying Debate]
Here's Mr. Negroponte conclusion from his statement:


Each of the major intelligence challenges I have discussed today is affected by the accelerating change and transnational interplay that are the hallmarks of 21st century globalization. As a direct result, collecting, analyzing, and acting on solid intelligence have become increasingly difficult. To meet 25 these new and reconfigured challenges, we need to work hand-in-hand with other responsible nations. Fortunately, the vast majority of governments in the world are responsible and responsive, but those that are not are neither few in numbers nor lacking in material resources and geopolitical influence.

The powerful critiques of this Committee, the 9/11 Commission, and the WMD Commission, framed by statute in the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 and taken to heart by the dedicated professionals of our Intelligence Community, have helped make us better prepared and more vigilant than we were on that terrible day in September 2001. But from an intelligence perspective, we cannot rest. We must transform our intelligence capabilities and cultures by fully integrating them from local law enforcement through national authorities in Washington to combatant commanders overseas. The more thoroughly we do that, the more clearly we will be able to see the threats
lurking in the shadow of the future and ward them off.


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