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    [Senate Hearing 111-857]
    [From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
    S. Hrg. 111-857
    OF THE
    TUESDAY, JULY 20, 2010
    Printed for the use of the Select Committee on Intelligence
    Available via the World Wide Web: http://www.access.gpo.gov/congress/
    63-996 WASHINGTON : 2011
    For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office,
    http://bookstore.gpo.gov. For more information, contact the GPO Customer Contact Center, U.S. Government Printing Office. Phone 202�09512�091800, or 866�09512�091800 (toll-free). E-mail, gpo@custhelp.com.
    [Established by S. Res. 400, 94th Cong., 2d Sess.]
    DIANNE FEINSTEIN, California, Chairman
    CHRISTOPHER S. BOND, Missouri, Vice Chairman
    Virginia OLYMPIA J. SNOWE, Maine
    EVAN BAYH, Indiana RICHARD BURR, North Carolina
    BARBARA A. MIKULSKI, Maryland TOM COBURN, Oklahoma
    BILL NELSON, Florida
    HARRY REID, Nevada, Ex Officio
    MITCH McCONNELL, Kentucky, Ex Officio
    CARL LEVIN, Michigan, Ex Officio
    JOHN McCAIN, Arizona, Ex Officio
    David Grannis, Staff Director
    Louis B. Tucker, Minority Staff Director
    Kathleen P. McGhee, Chief Clerk
    JULY 20, 2010
    Feinstein, Hon. Dianne, Chairman, a U.S. Senator from California. 1
    Bond, Hon. Christopher S., Vice Chairman, a U.S. Senator from
    Missouri………………………………………………. 3
    Mikulski, Hon. Barbara A., a U.S. Senator from Maryland………. 6
    Lieutenant General James R. Clapper,Jr., USAF, Ret., Director of
    National Intelligence-Designate………………………….. 7
    Prepared statement……………………………………. 8
    Prepared statement of Senator Russell D. Feingold……………. 33
    Questionnaire for Completion by Presidential Nominees………… 52
    Article titled “The Role of Defense in Shaping U.S. Intelligence
    Reform” by James R. Clapper, Jr…………………………. 67
    Prehearing Questions and Responses…………………………. 79
    Letter from Robert I. Cusick, Office of Government Ethics, Dated
    June 15, 2010, to Senator Dianne Feinstein, Transmitting Public
    Financial Disclosure Report……………………………… 168
    Letter from Susan S. Gibson, Dated June 7, 2010, to Robert I.
    Cusik…………………………………………………. 177
    Letter from James R. Clapper, Jr., Dated June 7, 2010, to Susan
    S. Gibson……………………………………………… 178
    Posthearing Questions and Responses………………………… 179
    Article titled “Reorganiztion of DIA and Defense Intelligence
    Activities” by James R. Clapper, Jr……………………… 202
    Article titled “The Newly Revived National Imagery and Mapping
    Agency: Geospatial Imagery & Intelligence in 2002 and Beyond”
    by James R. Clapper, Jr…………………………………. 210
    Article titled “Desert War Was Crucible for Intelligence
    Systems” by James R. Clapper, Jr………………………… 215
    Article titled “Defense Intelligence Reorganization and
    Challenges” by James R. Clapper, Jr……………………… 219
    Article titled “Challenging Joint Military Intelligence” by
    James R. Clapper, Jr……………………………………. 227
    Article titled “Critical Security Dominates Information Warfare
    Moves” by James R. Clapper, Jr. and Eben H. Trevino, Jr……. 235
    TUESDAY, JULY 20, 2010
    U.S. Senate,
    Select Committee on Intelligence,
    Washington, DC.
    The Committee met, pursuant to notice, at 2:43 p.m, in Room
    SDG-50, Dirksen Senate Office Building, the Honorable Dianne
    Feinstein (Chairman of the Committee) presiding.
    Committee Members Present: Senators Feinstein, Wyden,
    Mikulski, Feingold, Nelson of Florida, Whitehouse, Levin, Bond,
    Hatch, Snowe, Chambliss, Burr, Coburn, and Risch.
    Chairman Feinstein. The hearing will come to order. This
    room is on the cool side, probably the coolest place in
    Washington today. But I’d like to welcome everyone to this
    hearing. We meet today in open session to consider President
    Obama’s nominee to be the nation’s fourth Director of National
    Intelligence, General James Clapper. So welcome, General
    The position of the DNI, as we call him, the Director of
    National Intelligence, is the senior most intelligence position
    in the government. The DNI is by statute, the head of the 16
    different intelligence offices and agencies that make up the
    intelligence community, the principal advisor to the President
    on intelligence matters, and the official in charge of
    developing the intelligence budget.
    As has been made clear over the first five years of the
    existence of the position, the true extent of the director’s
    authority and the exact nature of the job he is supposed to do
    are still a matter of some debate. As the articles yesterday
    and today in The Washington Post have made clear, the DNI faces
    major management challenges caused by the enormous growth
    throughout those intelligence agencies and other parts of the
    government’s national security complex since 9/11.
    The articles raised several issues such as the high
    infrastructure expansion of buildings and data systems.
    Yesterday’s article specifically names–and I won’t read them
    out, but one, two, three, four, five, six–seven, huge new
    buildings, all of which, as was pointed out, will obviously
    have to accommodate individuals and all kinds of support
    services and positions.
    The article also describes a contractor number that now
    reaches approximately 28 percent to 30 percent of the entire
    intelligence workforce and carries out inherently governmental
    functions, contrary to policies of the Office of Management and
    Budget. The authors count 1,271 government organizations and
    1,931 private companies that work on programs related to
    counterterrorism, homeland security and intelligence.
    Under the past two DNIs and CIA directors, the number of
    contractors has been coming down slightly. And I’m pleased that
    they are no longer being used to conduct interrogation.
    Nonetheless, the use of contractors needs to continue to
    decrease substantially, and I intend to keep pushing on this
    point until contractors are not used for any inherently
    governmental purpose.
    Our original fiscal year 2010 intelligence authorization
    bill contained a requirement that would have reduced the number
    of contractors across the community by 10 percent from 2009 to
    2010. But because of the delay in passing the bill, this cut
    has not gone into effect.
    Like the Post’s articles, this committee has found, as
    evidenced by our report on the Christmas Day plot, that
    intelligence growth has not always led to improved performance.
    Growth in the size and number of agencies, offices, task forces
    and centers has also challenged the ability of former Directors
    of National Intelligence to truly manage the community.
    As a sponsor of the first legislation calling for the
    creation of the position, I have long believed that the DNI
    needs to be a strong leader and have real authority. Clearly
    there is need for a strong, central figure or the balkanization
    of these 16 agencies will continue.
    However, this cannot be just another layer of bureaucracy.
    The DNI must be both a leader as well as a coordinator of this
    increasingly sprawling intelligence community. But the DNI must
    also be, at times, more than that. He must be able to carry out
    Presidential direction and shift priorities based on national
    security concerns and emerging needs.
    In actual practice, the DNI is constrained from directing
    15 of the 16 elements of the community because they reside in
    various federal departments. And the Intelligence Reform and
    Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 states that, in carrying out
    his responsibilities–and this is the rub–the DNI may not
    abrogate the statutory responsibilities of the Secretaries.
    This is often interpreted in real life to prevent centralized
    direction. The 16th agency, the CIA, is not housed within a
    department, but it, too, has demonstrated its ability to thwart
    the DNI’s directives it dislikes by importuning the White
    We understand from former officials in the DNI’s office
    that both problems have greatly frustrated past DNIs’ ability
    to lead. Every day of every week, month by month, the DNI must
    assure coordination between intelligence agencies to eliminate
    duplication and improve information sharing. And, when
    necessary, he must put an end to programs that are not working
    and avoid redundancy and overlap. I increasingly believe that
    this is becoming a major issue.
    The 2010 Intelligence authorization bill reported out,
    again unanimously, in revised form last week, which the White
    House has approved and the House intelligence committee
    supports, contains 10 provisions that would strengthen or add
    management flexibilities for the DNI. Eight of those 10 were
    requested by this or prior administrations. I urge the House to
    pass this bill.
    The primary mission of the DNI is to make sure that the
    intelligence community produces information that enables
    policymakers to make informed decisions. This mission includes
    ensuring that the Department of Defense and military commanders
    have the information they need to carry out military operations
    and force protection. Yet it also covers the full range of
    national security, foreign policy and homeland security
    information needs.
    I want to make sure that General Clapper, if confirmed,
    will wear the mantle of the Director of National Intelligence,
    not just the hat he wears today as Director of Defense
    intelligence, and that he will have the necessary broad,
    strategic focus and support that this position requires.
    So I will be interested in continuing to discuss with our
    nominee the proper role of the DNI, what the mission should be
    and how strong the authority should be to carry out that
    Not in question is General Clapper’s vast experience or
    dedication to public service. He has served his country for
    more than 40 years in a variety of capacities, 32 of those 40
    years in active duty in the United States Air Force, retiring
    in 1995 as a lieutenant general. He has led two of the larger
    intelligence agencies, the Defense Intelligence Agency and the
    National Imagery and Mapping Agency, since renamed the National
    Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, or NGA. And he is currently the
    Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence, a position he has
    held since 2007, meaning that he is one of the few national
    security officials to serve under both the Bush and Obama
    In short, this nominee has as much experience in
    intelligence as any serving or retired official. So, General
    Clapper, I want to be clear that we do not question your
    service, your knowledge or your capability. We only ask that
    you clearly indicate your vision and commitment to head the
    intelligence community this afternoon and work to give it
    direction and prevent sprawl, overlap and duplication.
    Before I turn to our distinguished Vice Chairman, I
    understand, General, that you have family and friends with you
    today. If you’d like to introduce them at this time–well, I
    think I’ll change this and ask the ranking member to go ahead,
    if that’s agreeable, then ask you to introduce your family, and
    then I know Senator Mikulski would like to say a few words, I
    suspect, on your behalf. I call on the Vice Chairman.
    Mr. Vice Chairman.
    Vice Chairman Bond. Thank you, Madam Chair, and as usual, I
    agree with your opening statements, and I join you in welcoming
    General Clapper to the committee for consideration of his
    nomination to serve as the Director of National Intelligence.
    The outgoing Director of National Intelligence, Admiral
    Dennis Blair, deserves our thanks for his many years of service
    to the nation, including his work as the previous DNI. Admiral
    Blair faced a number of unfortunate challenges during his
    tenure, as other administration officials increasingly assumed
    greater control over intelligence community activities. The
    next DNI must have the political clout, the willpower to ensure
    that our intelligence agencies are able to get their vital work
    done without being micromanaged by the Department of Justice or
    the National Security Council.
    It is my hope that the next DNI will assert this needed
    leadership over the intelligence community. Something the
    George W. Bush administration got right in this area was
    placing key people in the jobs who were responsible to the
    Congress. For example, there was no question that John
    Negroponte, and then, most notably, Admiral Mike McConnell,
    were the President’s principal intelligence advisors, as they
    should be under United States law. At that time, the public did
    not even know the names of intelligence staffers on the
    National Security Council. Today, the paradigm has been
    reversed. We have a staffer on the National Security Council,
    who most people in the intelligence community believe acts as
    the DNI.
    He calls the shots and even goes on national television to
    pitch the administration’s viewpoint. A June 6 Washington Post
    article was spot on in describing his role in today’s
    intelligence. This is not good for the country and is contrary
    to Congress’ intent for the IC. If the President would like him
    to act as his principal intelligence advisor and head of the
    intelligence community, then I’ll be happy to co-host his
    confirmation hearing with the Chair. But if not, then this
    template needs to change.
    Turning to you, General Clapper, as the Chair has already
    mentioned, you’ve served our nation well. You have a long
    background in very demanding leadership roles in the military
    and the intelligence community, and I think we all thank you
    for an impressive 46 years of service to our nation in the
    field of, primarily, intelligence. But you know that I have
    concerns about whether you will be able to do what Director
    Blair could not.
    You’ve talked about leaving federal service for some time,
    yet you are now seeking one of the hardest jobs in Washington,
    one fraught with maximum tensions. Frankly, today I ask you to
    tell us why? Our nation is at a critical point. We’re six years
    into this experience of intelligence reform, and I’m afraid we
    have a long way to go. The recent Washington Post top secret
    series highlights what I and others on the committee have been
    saying for a long time. The intelligence community is lacking
    effective oversight. And today, I hope we can focus on whether
    you, General Clapper, will have the horsepower needed in the
    White House to use the DNI as the position for reform and
    management it needs to be.
    The DNI, in the next round, will need to be a fire in the
    gut guy who is willing to break paradigms and trends against
    business as usual. He needs to be someone who is not
    reluctantly accepting the job, but is willing to take on the
    old guard and change broken ways of going about intelligence.
    We don’t need our top spy chief to be a figurehead who cedes
    authority to the Justice Department. Instead, we need a DNI who
    can oversee our nation’s terror-fighting policy.
    We need a DNI who will push the envelope on his authorities
    and advance the institution’s ability to lead our intelligence
    agencies. Just as important, we need someone who can throw some
    elbows and take back control of our intelligence agency from
    DOJ, White House bureaucrats and even the DOD. Also, he must
    establish a clear chain of command between the CIA and the DNI.
    While the 2004 intelligence reform bill was certainly a
    step forward in our efforts to reform the intelligence
    community, it fell well short of what I hoped Congress would
    achieve–namely, as I’ve said many times and said to you, the
    DNI was given a load of responsibility without the authority or
    all the tools needed truly to lead our intelligence agencies.
    The arm wrestling that took place between DNI Blair and the
    CIA director over who would appoint the DNI’s representatives
    overseas was a clear sign to me that we do not yet have the
    right balance, but we have to get it right if we hope to meet
    the national security challenges ahead.
    Now, previously you’ve been inconsistent in whether the DNI
    should be granted additional authorities to lead our
    intelligence agencies. While some have rationalized this
    wavering as an example of the old adage, “Where you sit is
    where you stand”–in other words, you protect the turf of
    whatever institution you lead–I don’t take much comfort in
    that explanation. That’s not the hallmark of the sort of leader
    that we need at the head of the intelligence community.
    You reference in your prepared opening statement that a
    number of Members have raised concerns about your affiliation
    with the Department of Defense. Well, I think that is a valid
    concern. When the President called the Chair and me to inform
    us of your nomination, his first selling point was that you
    were strongly supported by the Defense Secretary and the Senate
    Armed Services Committee.
    I have to tell you, General, that’s not the best way to put
    you forward to this committee as the next leader of the
    intelligence community. We’re happy that the Defense Department
    and Armed Services Committee love you, but frankly, that’s not
    what we’re looking for.
    Now, I am a big supporter of the Defense Department. And as
    I said, my son was in Iraq and three of my staff on the
    committee voluntarily took leaves of absence over the past two
    years to serve in harm’s way in uniform in Iraq and
    Afghanistan, and we appreciate their service like all of the
    members of the armed services.
    But at the strategic level, an overemphasis on DOD within
    the intelligence community can be counterproductive. We’ve seen
    this problem with the State Department, and it’s struggled to
    regain the lead from the Pentagon in smart power activities.
    This is one reason the memo from your office to the Senate
    Armed Services Committee a few weeks ago, which criticized 13
    specific provisions in this committee’s authorization bill, was
    not well received here. You said you felt obligated to afford
    the Armed Services Committee the opportunity to hear your
    criticisms of the bill. We would have appreciated that same
    courtesy being extended to this committee, first and foremost,
    since you are dual-hatted as under our structure.
    It is our bill; you are the DNI, Director of National
    Intelligence. The memo is something that I believe you should
    have addressed to us upfront, and on the record at the end of
    your opening statement today I would hope you might reference
    We have to get the relationship between the IC and its
    overseers right. Congressional oversight is instrumental in
    advancing the DNI’s leadership of the intelligence community.
    Through such oversight Congress can ensure that not only the
    DNI understands the expectations of his position but that other
    agencies recognize the DNI’s leadership.
    General, too much of your previous contact with this
    committee has been too reluctant and reactive. We have to have
    a DNI who works proactively to meet his obligations under the
    law, to keep the Senate Intelligence Committee fully and
    currently informed. And that requires a good and open working
    Today is your opportunity to instill in this committee the
    confidence that you’re up to the task of leading the
    intelligence community while complying with your statutory
    obligations to work with this committee. And I wish you the
    very best, sir.
    Madam Chair, we’ve had far too many DNI confirmation
    hearings in our time together on the SSCI. I believe this high
    turnover rate is a symptom of the inadequate authorities that
    the IRTPA invested in the DNI. If we are unable to address
    those legislative shortcomings in the remaining time in this
    Congress, then I hope this is something you and the next
    ranking Republican will begin to address next year in the new
    And I thank you, Madam Chair and General.
    Chairman Feinstein. Thank you very much, Mr. Vice Chairman.
    Senator Mikulski, it’s my understanding you have a few
    comments you’d like to offer.
    Senator Mikulski. Thank you, Madam Chair. I’m going to be
    very brief, because I know we want to get quickly to the
    I’m one of the people that’s worked hands-on with Mr.
    Clapper. And I would like to just say to the committee, first
    of all, like you, I know we’ve been through four DNI
    confirmations, four DNIs. And if there is a failure in or
    questions about the authority and the functionality of the DNI,
    then it’s incumbent on Congress to look at the legislation, but
    not necessarily fault the DNI nominee for the failures of the
    legislative framework.
    But let me just say this about Mr. Clapper: One of the
    things–look, you all know me as straight-talking, plain-
    talking, kind of no-nonsense. And one of the things in working
    with Mr. Clapper as head of the NGA was, again, his candor, his
    straightforwardness, his willingness to tell it like it is–not
    the way the top brass wanted to hear it–I thought was
    refreshing and enabled us to work very well.
    I think that in his job he will be able to speak truth to
    power–which God knows we need it–and he will speak truth
    about power, which we also need. And I would hope that as we
    say, oh, gee, we don’t know if we want a military guy chairing
    or heading the DNI, Mr. Clapper left the military service in
    1995. He’s been a civilian. He doesn’t come with the whole
    extensive, often military staff that people bring with them
    when they take a civilian job. And I think in my mind he’s
    probably the best qualified to do this job, because he’s not
    only been a night hawk standing sentry over the United States
    of America, but he’s actually run an intelligence agency and
    he’s actually had to run a big bureaucracy. And he’s had to run
    with sometimes very inadequate leadership at the top.
    So we ought to give him a chance and I think we ought to
    hear what he has to say today. I acknowledge the validity of
    the questions the Chair and the ranking member have raised, but
    I think we would do well to approve General Clapper.
    Vice Chairman Bond. Madam Chair, if I may thank my friend
    from Maryland for helping me get my voice back and wish her a
    very happy birthday.
    Chairman Feinstein. Happy birthday, Senator. We did this in
    caucus and gave her a rousing verse.
    Senator Mikulski. I thank you for your gallantry, but
    sometimes state secrets ought to be kept state secrets.
    Vice Chairman Bond. I didn’t mention any years or anything.
    Just the date.
    Senator Mikulski. Well done.
    Chairman Feinstein. Clapper, if you would like to introduce
    your family, please, we’d like to welcome them and then proceed
    with your comments.
    General Clapper. I’d like to introduce my family and
    friends who are with me today. First, my wife of 45 years, Sue,
    who herself is a former NSA employee, my daughter Jennifer and
    her husband Jay. She is a principal of an elementary school in
    Fairfax County and Jay is a high school teacher; my brother
    Mike from Illinois, and my sister, Chris, who just moved to
    North Carolina; and a close friend of ours who is with us
    Chairman Feinstein. We welcome you all.
    General Clapper. Chairman Feinstein, Vice Chairman Bond and
    distinguished members of the committee, it is indeed a
    privilege and an honor for me to appear before you today as
    President Obama’s nominee to serve as the fourth Director of
    National Intelligence. Additionally, I want to thank Senator
    Mikulski for your introduction. It was very thoughtful and
    touching to me personally.
    Being nominated for this position for me was an unexpected
    turn of events. I’m in my third tour back in the government. My
    plan was to walk out of the Pentagon about a millisecond after
    Secretary Gates. I had no plan or inkling to take on another
    position. But as in the past, I’ve always been a duty guy at
    heart, and so when approached by Secretary Gates, followed by
    the President of the United States of America, both of whom I
    have the highest respect for, I could not say no. I’m honored
    that President Obama has expressed confidence in my abilities
    and experience by this nomination.
    I’ve submitted a longer statement for the record, subject
    to your concurrence. If I can deliver one message to you here
    today, it is this: I’ve served over 46 years in the
    intelligence profession in many capacities–in peace, in
    crisis, in combat, in uniform, as a civilian, in and out of
    government and in academe. I’ve tried hard to serve in each
    such capacity with the best interests of our great nation first
    and foremost. Should I be confirmed as Director of National
    Intelligence, I can assure you that will continue to be my
    central motivation.
    We have the largest, most capable intelligence enterprise
    on the planet. It is a solemn sacred trust to the DNI to make
    that enterprise work for the sake of this nation and its
    people. Intelligence is a team endeavor and the DNI is in the
    unique and distinctive position to harness and synchronize the
    diverse capabilities of the entire community and make it run as
    a coherent enterprise.
    I want to repeat something here today publicly that I’ve
    said to many of you privately. I do believe strongly in the
    need for congressional oversight, and if confirmed, I would
    continue to forge an even closer partnership with the oversight
    It’s the highest distinction in my professional career to
    have been nominated for this extremely critical position,
    particularly in this difficult time throughout the world.
    This concludes my formal statement. I’d be prepared to
    respond to your questions, or Madam Chairman, if you’d like, I
    can respond now to your commentary as well as that of the
    Ranking Member.
    [The prepared statement of General Clapper follows:]
    Prepared Statement of Lieutenant General James R. Clapper, Jr.,
    Director of National Intelligence-Designate
    Madam Chairman, Vice Chairman Bond, and distinguished Members of
    the Committee, it is a privilege to appear before you today as the
    President’s nominee for Director of National Intelligence: I am truly
    honored that the President has confidence in my ability to lead our
    Intelligence Community. My deepest appreciation goes out to him for the
    nomination, and. my sincere thanks to all of you, the overseers of our
    nation’s intelligence services, for the opportunity to address you and
    answer your questions here today.
    When President Obama asked me to lead this organization he said he
    wanted someone who could build the Intelligence Community into an
    integrated team that produces quality, timely, and accurate
    intelligence; be his principal intelligence advisor; be the leader of
    our Intelligence Community; and be someone who would tell policymakers
    what they needed to know, even if it wasn’t what they wanted to hear.
    Lastly, he needed someone who knew how to get things done in a
    bipartisan, professional manner.
    While humbled by the nomination, I reflect upon my 46 years of
    experience in the intelligence business and find confidence in my
    ability to serve diligently and competently in the position of Director
    of National Intelligence, should I be confirmed.
    I have heard expressions of concern about my independence; as a
    long-time denizen of the Department of Defense, and whether I might be
    too beholden to it, and, thus, skew things in favor of the military. I
    have been out of uniform for almost 15 years, over six of which were
    completely out of the government. The former Secretary of Defense ended
    my tenure as Director of NGA three months earlier than originally
    planned, because I was regarded as too “independent.” I am a “truth
    to power” guy, and try always to be straight up about anything I’m
    Having said that, I feel my experience in the military–starting
    with my two tours of duty during the Southeast Asia conflict–provided
    a wealth of experience in intelligence which has been expanded and
    honed by the things I’ve done since retiring from military service in
    1995. Thus, I have been a practitioner in virtually every aspect of
    Over the course of my career, I served as a Commander in combat, as
    well as a Wing Commander and Commander of a Scientific and Technical
    Intelligence Center. I have also served as a Director of Intelligence
    (J-2) for three war-fighting commands and led two intelligence
    agencies. I learned every aspect of intelligence collection, analysis,
    operations, planning and programming, and application and in all other
    disciplines–HUMINT, GEOINT, MASINT, Foreign Material, Counter-
    intelligence, and other more arcane forms of technical intelligence. I
    have been widely exposed to the workings of the entire U.S.
    Intelligence Community around the globe.
    I have also worked as a contractor for four companies, with
    intelligence as my primary focus. This gave me great insight into the
    roles as well as the strengths and limits of contractors, how the
    government looks from the outside, and what drives a commercial entity
    as it competes for, wins, and fulfills contracts.
    I served on many government boards, commissions and panels over my
    career. Specifically, I served as Vice Chairman of a Congressionally
    mandated Commission chaired by former Governor of Virginia, Jim
    Gilmore, for almost three years. Based on this experience I learned a
    great deal on how issues are perceived at the State and local levels,
    and helped formulate recommendations, which, in part, presaged the
    subsequent formation of the Department of Homeland Security.
    As the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence, I helped
    exercise civilian control over the military, served as Program
    Executive for the Military Intelligence Program, and developed and
    promulgated standards and policy across the entire range of the
    intelligence, counter-intelligence, and security dimensions of the
    Department of Defense.
    Apart from all this functional experience, I have lived the history
    of the Intelligence Community for that same time span. I think the
    amalgam of this experience–the breadth, depth, and scope–equips me to
    deal with the demands of the DNI–a position which demands extensive
    knowledge of the entirety of the US intelligence enterprise.
    I think, too often, people assume that the Intelligence Community
    is equally adept at divining both secrets (which are theoretically
    knowable) and mysteries (which are generally unknowable) . . . but we
    are not. Normally, the best that Intelligence can do is to reduce
    uncertainty for decision-makers–whether in the White House, the
    Congress, the Embassy, or the fox hole–but rarely can intelligence
    eliminate such uncertainty.
    But in order to provide the best intelligence support to our
    nation, our leaders and decision-makers, the DNI can and must foster
    the collaboration and cooperation of the Intelligence Community.
    Intelligence is a team effort. Given the complexity and diversity of
    the Intelligence Community–we must view it as an enterprise of
    complementary capabilities that must be synchronized. To be specific,
    the DNI will need to serve the President and work with all members of
    the community and the Congress as well as with many others, to be
    successful in fulfilling the President’s vision.
    Madam Chairman, Mr. Vice Chairman, if confirmed, I pledge not only
    to follow the law, but to go a step further and endeavor, as best as I
    am able, to build upon and increase the trust between Congress and DNI.
    That’s not to say we’ll always see things the same way. And that’s not
    to say you won’t question us and hold us accountable where
    appropriate–I expect nothing less. But our objective ought to be the
    same: to give the Intelligence Community all that it needs to succeed,
    consistent with our laws and values. If confirmed, I believe I can do
    that. I have had very positive discussions with CIA, FBI, and other
    leaders across the Intelligence Community, and I am quite encouraged by
    their commitment to making this team work should I be confirmed.
    Additionally, keeping this Committee “fully and currently”
    informed is not an option. It is the law, and it is our solemn
    obligation. I was a young Air Force officer at NSA in the seventies,
    and watched the Church-Pike hearings, which led to, among other things,
    the establishment of the intelligence oversight committees in both
    Houses of Congress. I am a strong believer in the need for an informed
    Congress. I say this not only as an intelligence-career professional,
    but as a citizen. I have interacted with the intelligence oversight
    committees since the mid-eighties in several capacities. If confirmed,
    I would seek to forge a close partnership with the oversight
    Moreover, I would observe that the Congress will be hugely
    influential in ensuring the DNI succeeds. The Congressional DNI
    partnership is crucial in all respects, and this is one of the most
    important–keeping Congress fully and currently informed of
    intelligence activities and receiving your feedback, support, and
    oversight. Indeed, it is my conviction that, partly through the
    Congress, the DNI has a great deal of authority already; the challenge
    is how that authority is asserted. I believe my experience in the
    community would serve me, and the position, well.
    Finally, the men and women of the Intelligence Community are
    courageous, smart and patriotic; if confirmed, it would be my honor to
    lead them in support of our nation’s security. Thank you and I look
    forward to your questions.
    Chairman Feinstein. Well, that is up to you, General. If
    you would like to, proceed; otherwise we can take that up in
    questions. It’s up to you.
    General Clapper. Well, we have Members here waiting to ask
    questions, so I would suggest we go ahead with that, and then
    perhaps I’ll get to these points, or if not later, I will get
    to them subsequently.
    Chairman Feinstein. All right. We will begin with 10-minute
    rounds, and we will proceed in order of seniority and we will
    alternate sides. I hope that’s acceptable.
    General Clapper, as I mentioned in my opening statement, I
    believe that the DNI must be able to be a strong leader as well
    as a coordinator. In the Oxford Handbook of National Security
    Intelligence from February 2010, you wrote, “I no longer
    believe as strongly as I once did in greater centralization of
    intelligence activity or authority, and I realize that the
    individual needs of each department for tailored intelligence
    outweighs the benefits of more centralized management and
    Secondly, in answer to the committee’s initial
    questionnaire, you wrote that the responsibilities of the DNI
    entail “supervision and oversight,” which to me seems weaker
    than “direction and control.”
    Here’s the question: If you were confirmed as DNI, in what
    way specifically will you be the leader of the IC as opposed to
    simply a coordinator of the 16 agencies that make up its parts?
    And can you give specific examples of where you see more
    forceful leadership is necessary?
    General Clapper. Well, Madam Chairman, I think first that
    with all of the discussion about the lack of authority or the
    perceived weaknesses of the Office of the Director of National
    Intelligence, I believe it already does have considerable
    authority, either explicit in the law, the IRTPA, or implicit,
    that can be exerted. It’s my belief that the issue, perhaps, in
    the past has been the art form by which that authority has been
    And it would be my intent to push the envelope, to use your
    phrase, on where those authorities can be broadened. And I
    refer specifically to programming and financial management,
    since that’s the common denominator in this town, as one area
    where, having been a program manager twice in the national
    intelligence program as well as the program executive for the
    military intelligence program, I think I know how those systems
    work and how that can be leveraged.
    When I speak of centralization, I don’t think that
    everything has to be managed and run from the immediate
    confines of the office of the Director of National
    Intelligence. I think Director of National Intelligence
    authorities can be extended by deputizing or delegating, if you
    will, to various parts of the community things that can be done
    on the DNI’s behalf but which do not have to be done within the
    confines of the DNI staff. So I would want to clarify that.
    I would not have agreed to take this position on if I were
    going to be a titular figurehead or a hood ornament. I believe
    that the position of Director of National Intelligence is
    necessary, and, whether it’s the construct we have now or the
    Director of Central Intelligence in the old construct, there
    needs to be a clear, defined, identifiable leader of the
    intelligence community to exert direction and control over the
    entirety of that community, given its diversity and its
    heterogeneity, if you will, the 16 components that you
    Chairman Feinstein. Given our present budget problems, this
    growth of the entire community, which has doubled in budget
    size since 9/11, is unlikely to continue. We’ve all had
    occasion to discuss this with recent heads of individual
    departments. It’s my belief that everybody is well aware of
    that. In fact, the budget may actually end up being decreased
    in coming years.
    So here’s the question: Has this growth, in your view, as
    you’ve participated at least at DIA and other areas, been
    managed correctly? Are there areas where you believe work
    remains to be done to consolidate and better manage prior
    General Clapper. Madam Chairman, I think, with particularly
    the publication of the two articles in the Dana Priest series,
    that it would seem to me that some history might be a useful
    perspective. And I go back to when I served as Director of DIA
    in the immediate aftermath of the Cold War where we were under
    a congressional mandate to–the entire intelligence community
    was–under a mandate to reduce the community by on the order of
    20 percent. And put another way, that meant that one out of
    every five employees that we then had on the rolls had to be
    removed from those rolls.
    The process started before I left active duty in 1995 and
    continued through the 1990s. I left the government, was away
    for six years, came back to then NIMA, later NGA, took over
    there two days after 9/11. And that downward profile was then
    in progress. And we were constricting facilities, fewer people,
    then 9/11 occurred. We put the brakes on, screech, and then we
    had to rejuvenate and re-expand the intelligence community.
    And of course, the obvious way to do that, to do it
    quickly, was through contractors. That certainly happened in my
    case when I was director of NGA for five years in the immediate
    aftermath of 9/11.
    And so I think the questions that are raised in the article
    that you point out about the profligate growth of contractors
    and attendant facilities and all this sort of thing is, in my
    view, part of a historical pattern here, a pendulum that is
    going to swing back and we are going to be faced, I think, with
    a somewhat analogous situation as we faced after the fall of
    the Wall when the charge was to reap the peace dividend and
    reduce the size of the intelligence community.
    With the gusher, to use Secretary Gates’s very apt term, of
    funding that has accrued particularly from supplemental or
    overseas contingency operations funding, which, of course, is
    one year at a time, it is very difficult to hire government
    employees one year at a time. So the obvious outlet for that
    has been the growth of contractors.
    Now, if you go back even further in history, at least in my
    mind, you think back to World War II where we had the arsenal
    of democracy, which turned out ships and planes and trucks and
    jeeps in unending numbers and that’s actually how we won the
    war. In a sense, we’re doing somewhat the same thing
    analogously today; it’s just a different war. It’s much more of
    an information-driven war, where intelligence, instead of being
    as it was in my day, my first tour in Vietnam in 1965, where
    intelligence was a historical irritant, it now drives
    So it’s not surprising, in my view, that intelligence is so
    prominent and that we have so many contractors doing so many
    things. I think the article today is in some ways testimony to
    the ingenuity, innovation and capability of our contractor
    base. That’s not to say that it’s all efficient; it isn’t.
    There’s more work that needs to be done there. I think this is
    a great area to work with the oversight committees.
    What is lacking here are some standards. Should there be
    limits on the amount of revenue that would accrue to
    contractors? Should there be limits on the number of full-time
    equivalent contractors who are embedded in the intelligence
    community? And I think those are issues that I would propose we
    work together on if I’m confirmed as the DNI. And I would
    start, frankly, with the Office of the DNI, which in my
    sensing, at least, I think has got a lot of contractors and we
    ought to look hard at whether that’s appropriate or not.
    With respect to the buildings that have accrued, most of
    the buildings that–and NGA is a case in point, a $2.1 billion
    facility that will go in at Springfield, Virginia, at the
    former engineering proving ground at Fort Belvoir. I was very
    instrumental in that and that, of course, came about because of
    the BRAC, the base relocation and consolidation round that
    occurred in 2005.
    So the NGA facility, the consolidation of the central
    adjudication facilities at Fort Meade, the consolidation and
    then the co-location of the counterintelligence facilities at
    Quantico, at DISA, going to the Defense Information Support
    Agency at Fort Meade, all came about because of the BRAC
    In the case of NGA, what the business case was, we got out
    of leased facilities which over time cost more than a
    government-owned facility, not to mention the quality of life
    working conditions that will demonstrably improve for NGA.
    Chairman Feinstein. One last quick question. It’s my
    understanding that a contractor costs virtually double what a
    government employee does and has cost that. We have set as a
    mark 10 percent reduction a year. I don’t know that that’s
    quite achievable. I know the CIA has tried to do 5 percent.
    What is your view on this as to what would be a practical
    and achievable number to aim for the reduction of contractors,
    assuming they’re 28 percent to 30 percent of the entire
    workforce today?
    General Clapper. Well, ma’am, I think that we need to try
    to come up with some organizing principles about where the
    contractors are appropriate and where they are not, since there
    are wide variances in terms of the percentages and prevalence
    of contractors in various parts of the community. In the case
    of the military services, with the exception of perhaps right
    now of the Army, which I think is understandable, it’s a fairly
    low percentage of contractors that are working in intelligence.
    In the case of the intelligence agencies, the percentage is
    higher and, of course, one agency in particular, the NRO, which
    has classically, traditionally been heavily reliant on
    contractors, not only for acquisition, but for operations.
    So I think I’d want to try to come up with some organizing
    principles, some standards that would determine–some formulas,
    if you will, that would determine where contractors are
    appropriate and where they are not rather than just keying on a
    fixed percentage, which could, in some cases, be damaging or
    So I certainly agree with, again, it’s time for that
    pendulum to swing back as it has historically. I’m just
    reluctant to commit to a fixed percentage because I’d want to
    see what the impact was in individual cases.
    Chairman Feinstein. Well, we will ask you for that
    assessment as soon as you’re confirmed.
    Mr. Vice Chairman.
    Vice Chairman Bond. Thank you, Madam Chair.
    General, let me pose a hypothetical that has some base in
    reality. Let’s pretend you are the DNI and you worked for years
    with the oversight committees to produce an intelligence
    authorization text. It’s safe to say the administration’s OMB
    director writes to the committees saying the President will
    sign the text, and let’s pretend that an Under Secretary of
    Defense, Intelligence–in a sense, it would be your successor–
    sends a discussion draft to the majority staff of the Armed
    Services Committee alerting them to provisions in the text that
    need modification because they conflict with longstanding
    authorities of the Secretary of Defense.
    Let’s also pretend that you did not clear this, the Under
    Secretary did not clear it with you, the DNI, or the
    intelligence oversight committees.
    How would you view this action of your dual-hatted Under
    Secretary of Defense, Intelligence? And how would you view his
    meddling in this operation? And how do you think you as the DNI
    would react to the USD/I doing this?
    General Clapper. Well, I probably would have chastised him
    for not having provided a copy of the staff paper that was
    exchanged in response to requests from the House Armed Services
    Committee staff. And in retrospect, it would have been better
    had I seen to it that a copy of that went to the two respective
    intelligence committees. That happened anyway at the speed of
    light without my taking any action, but that would probably
    have been the more appropriate course.
    I have been for the last three years the Under Secretary of
    Defense for Intelligence and I considered it my responsibility
    and my obligation to defend and protect the Secretary’s
    authorities and prerogatives to the maximum extent I could. If
    I were confirmed as the DNI, I will be equally assiduous in
    ensuring that the DNI’s prerogatives and authorities are
    protected and advanced.
    Vice Chairman Bond. Well, we would hope so. Now, in our
    discussion–we had a good discussion last week–I believe you
    said that the Senate Intelligence Committee should have
    jurisdiction over the Military Intelligence Program budget,
    which is currently under the jurisdiction of the Armed Services
    Would could you clarify that for me? Do I understand that
    General Clapper. Well, I’m probably risking getting in
    trouble with the Senate Armed Services Committee, who
    apparently likes me now, so—-
    Vice Chairman Bond. You used up a chit or two there.
    Senator Levin. I’d continue to worry if I were you, General
    General Clapper. It would be better, frankly, and I guess I
    don’t want to get into jurisdictional gun battles here between
    and among committees, but from my viewpoint, having done this
    in several incumbencies, it would be better if the oversight
    were symmetrical. In the House, the House Intelligence
    Committee does have jurisdiction over the Military Intelligence
    Program, and it’s a different situation here in the Senate. And
    I will leave that—-
    Vice Chairman Bond. That’s very clear and I appreciate
    that, and you have, as anyone around here knows, entered into
    the most deadly minefield in Washington, D.C.
    General Clapper [continuing]. Yes, sir.
    Vice Chairman Bond. So step carefully, but we appreciate
    you taking that step.
    A very important question about habeas. A number of habeas
    decisions have resulted in release of Guantanamo Bay detainees,
    government-conceded in some cases; in others, the government
    argued against the release and recently the government won a
    case on appeal.
    We know the recidivism rate for Gitmo detainees is now
    above 20 percent. Do you agree with the public statement of the
    national security staffer who said that a 20 percent recidivism
    rate with terrorists isn’t that bad?
    General Clapper. He was comparing it, I believe, to what
    the recidivism rate is here in the United States. I think in
    this case a recidivism rate of zero would be a lot better. That
    would be a great concern. I think it is incumbent on the
    intelligence community institutionally to make the soundest,
    most persuasive, authoritative and accurate case possible when
    these cases are addressed, when decisions are being made to
    send people back to host countries.
    A particular case in point in Yemen, as we discussed in
    February at a closed hearing when Steve Kappes and I appeared
    before you, that’s something you have to watch very carefully
    in Yemen because their ability to monitor and then rehabilitate
    anyone is problematic at best. And these decisions were made,
    as we also discussed, sir, this is an interagency thing, a
    process in which intelligence is an important but not the only
    input to that decision.
    Vice Chairman Bond. Would you agree that the committee
    should be given the intelligence assessments on Guantanamo Bay
    detainees which we have not fully received yet?
    General Clapper. As far as I’m concerned, yes, sir, you
    should have that information.
    Vice Chairman Bond. I have some concerns, and I would like
    your views on having the DNI sit in a policymaking role for the
    purposes of voting on the disposition of Guantanamo detainees.
    Is that over the line of intelligence gathering and getting
    into a policy area?
    General Clapper. I don’t know the exact mechanics of how
    those meetings work, but I would say as a general rule I don’t
    believe intelligence should be in a “policymaking” role. I
    think intelligence should support policy. It should provide the
    range of options for policymakers, but I do not believe
    intelligence–other than for intelligence policy, but not
    broader policy–should be involved.
    Vice Chairman Bond. But I assume you would not hesitate if
    the intelligence agencies’ conclusions point to a different
    direction than the ultimate policy decision, that you would
    share your honest assessments with the oversight committee in
    our confidential deliberations.
    General Clapper. Yes, sir, I would.
    Vice Chairman Bond. All right. One of the questions we have
    is whether there should be a statutory framework for handling
    terrorists’ habeas corpus challenges, a redefinition under the
    new circumstances of the law of the war, because we are in a
    different kind of battle than we have been. Do you think we
    need a new law on habeas with terrorists who don’t belong to
    any nation’s army?
    General Clapper. Sir, that’s one I think I would need to
    take under advisement. It’s kind of a legal issue, a little out
    of my domain. Off the top of my head, I’m not sure I can answer
    Vice Chairman Bond. If you’re confirmed, we would ask that
    you work with your legal counsel and with us to see if
    something is appropriate, if you would have any
    In your meeting with me last week you said that the
    Department of Justice, in my words, meddling in our
    intelligence agencies was not an acute problem. I respectfully
    The DOJ prevented IC agencies from complying with their
    statutory responsibility to share intelligence with the
    committee on the Times Square attack, and the DOJ did not defer
    to the IC in decisions about whether to Mirandize terrorists. I
    think those are acute.
    If you are confirmed, what input do you expect to have over
    the decision whether or not to Mirandize a terror suspect?
    General Clapper. Well, we hope to be consulted and in the
    decisionmaking process if such a situation arose.
    Vice Chairman Bond. Have you ever had an opportunity to
    discuss these issues with the Attorney General?
    General Clapper. I have not.
    Vice Chairman Bond. What do you think ought to take
    precedence–making sure defendants’ statements can be used in
    court, or obtaining needed intelligence to thwart future
    General Clapper. Well, obviously my interest, or the
    interests of intelligence institutionally, is in gaining
    information. How the detainee is treated legally, that’s
    another decision that I don’t make, but my interest is in
    procuring the information.
    There is some commonality here between a straight
    intelligence interrogation, say done by the military or agency,
    versus interrogations done by the FBI, in that in both cases
    the interrogator is trying to achieve or develop rapport with
    the detainee or the person being interrogated. That is a major
    factor for the FBI, for example, when they are interrogating,
    even in preparation for Mirandizing somebody. So again, I think
    the interest of intelligence is in gaining the information.
    Vice Chairman Bond. Do you believe there are legitimate
    reasons for Department of Justice instructing entities within
    the DOJ or elsewhere in the intelligence community not to share
    intelligence information otherwise under the jurisdiction of
    this oversight committee?
    General Clapper. Sir, I’m not sure I understand the
    question. I’m sorry.
    Vice Chairman Bond. Are there situations, do you see any
    situations in which the Department of Justice can or should say
    to an intelligence entity, or even to the FBI, don’t share that
    intelligence with the intelligence committee?
    General Clapper. I can’t think of a situation like that, or
    something I wouldn’t be very supportive if that were the case.
    Vice Chairman Bond. I can’t either. Thank you very much.
    Chairman Feinstein. Thank you, Mr. Vice Chairman.
    Senator Wyden.
    Senator Wyden. Thank you very much, Madam Chair.
    Mr. Clapper, it is well known that the world of
    counterterrorism and homeland security is a sprawling
    enterprise. Yet yesterday the Washington Post made what I
    believe is a jaw-dropping assertion, and I would like to get
    your comment on it. It is a really extraordinary assertion of
    fact, and they said here, “No one knows how much money it
    costs, how many people it employs, how many programs exist
    within it, or exactly how many agencies do the same work.”
    Now they made this as an assertion of fact. Do you agree
    with that?
    General Clapper. Well, no, sir, I really don’t. The
    statement implies that this is completely out of control, and I
    believe that it is under control because in the end the common
    denominator for all this is the money that is appropriated,
    whether it’s intelligence or for other purposes. The money is
    appropriated with fairly specific strings attached. There are
    allocations on a program-by-program basis. I know I’ve been the
    recipient of that.
    And in the end the intelligence community can do many
    things, but printing more money is not one of those things we
    can do. So that does serve, I think, as a means of control over
    the allegedly profligate intelligence activities.
    Senator Wyden. Let’s take the various judgments made in
    that assertion. Is it clear how many people are employed?
    General Clapper. We can certainly count up the number of
    government employees that we have, absolutely. Counting
    contractors is a little bit more difficult.
    I was a contractor for six years, after I left, in the
    interval after I left active duty.
    And when you have–I would sign off, depending on which
    company I was working for, I might charge to four or five
    different contracts. So you have different parts of people, if
    you will, so it gets to be a little more difficult to actually
    count up, on a head count, on a day-by-day basis, exactly how
    many contractors may be doing work, all or in part, for a
    contract in intelligence.
    Senator Wyden. I have to cover a lot of ground here. So the
    answer to that is, it’s not clear how many people are employed.
    Is it clear how many agencies do the same work?
    General Clapper. Well, again, this is a determination that
    Dana Priest made, that agencies—-
    Senator Wyden. I’m asking for your—-
    General Clapper [continuing]. I don’t believe that, sir. I
    don’t believe, as a general commentary. There are cases, as
    there have been in the history of intelligence, where there has
    been a conscious decision to have some duplication. One man’s
    duplication is another man’s competitive analysis. So there is
    a certain amount of that that does go on, which I do think is a
    healthy check and balance.
    That’s not to say, sir, and I would not assert that this is
    completely efficient and that there isn’t waste. There is. And,
    you know, the community does work to try to eliminate that.
    Senator Wyden [continuing]. Let me ask you about another
    important area to me, and that’s the relationship between the
    director and the Central Intelligence Agency.
    And let me use a hypothetical–a short one–to get your
    assessment of how you’d deal with it. Supposing a particular
    foreign government has solid intelligence on al Qaeda but has
    refused to share it with the United States. You’ve dealt with
    the government before, and in your professional judgment, the
    best way to get the cooperation is to fly there, confront them
    directly, insist that they share the information.
    And let’s suppose, just for purposes of this hypothetical,
    the CIA disagrees with your judgment: They would say, “No,
    Clapper, that’s not the way to do it. The best way to get the
    foreign government’s cooperation is to be patient and wait six
    months before asking for the information.” What would you do,
    so that we can get some sense of how you would see your job
    interacting with the CIA?
    General Clapper. If I felt, for whatever reason, that the
    only way to secure that information would be for me personally
    to engage with that foreign government, I would do so. I would
    certainly, though, consult and discuss that with the director
    of the CIA.
    Senator Wyden. But ultimately do you believe that you would
    have the authority to overrule the CIA director?
    General Clapper. I do.
    Senator Wyden. The third area I want to ask you about, Mr.
    Clapper, involves the contractor issue. We’ve talked about it
    in a variety of ways.
    One of the areas that I have been most concerned about is
    that I think that this is a real magnet for conflicts of
    interest. Often you’ve got a situation where one of the biggest
    potential sources of conflicts is when you have expertise on a
    particular topic residing mostly in the contractor base rather
    than the government workforce, and you get into a situation
    where the contractors are being asked to evaluate the merits of
    programs that they’re getting paid to run.
    I’d like your judgment as to whether you think this is a
    serious problem, and if so, what would you do about it?
    General Clapper. It is a problem, sir, that you have to be
    on guard for.
    When I served as director of NGA for almost five years,
    half the labor force at the time, of NGA, was contractors. And
    you do have to safeguard against–you have to have a mechanism
    for watch-dogging that to prevent this conflict of interest,
    where you have contractors who can gain an unfair advantage, in
    terms of competing for more work and this sort of thing. So you
    must be on the look-out for it. I don’t think it is a
    widespread thing, but it does happen and you must have the
    management mechanisms in place to ensure that doesn’t happen.
    And to me, that’s the crux here on contractors and their
    management, is the maintenance of a cadre of government
    employees who do have the expertise to assess and evaluate the
    performance of the contractor. And when you’re in a situation
    where the contractor has a monopoly of knowledge and you don’t
    have a check and balance in your own government workforce,
    you’ve got a problem.
    Senator Wyden. I think you’re going to find that it is a
    more widespread problem than you see today. But I appreciate
    the fact that you’ve indicated that you understand that there
    are conflicts there, and you want to be watchful for it.
    The last area I want to get into is the question of
    declassification abuse. And it just seems to me that so often
    the classification process, which is supposed to protect
    national security, really ends up being designed to protect
    political security, and you and I have talked about this on the
    And I would just like to get your assessment about how you
    would weigh the protection of sources and methods with the
    public’s right to know. Because as far as I can tell, there
    really isn’t a well-understood process for dealing with this.
    And in the absence of well-understood process the political
    security chromosome kicks in–and everything is just classified
    as out of reach of the public and the public’s right to know is
    So how would you go about trying to strike that balance?
    General Clapper. Well, first, I agree with you, sir, that
    we do overclassify. My observations are that this is more due
    to just the default–it’s the easy thing to do–rather than
    some nefarious motivation to, you know, hide or protect things
    for political reasons. That does happen too, but I think it’s
    more of an administrative default or automaticity to it.
    And in the end it is the protection of sources and methods
    that always underlie the ostensible debate about whether to
    declassify or not. Having been involved in this, I will tell
    you my general philosophy is that we can be a lot more liberal,
    I think, about declassifying, and we should be.
    There is an executive order that we are in the process–we,
    the community–are in the process of gearing up on how to
    respond to this, because this is going to be a more
    systematized process, and a lot more discipline to it, which is
    going to also require some resources to pay attention to to
    attend to the responsibilities we have for declassification.
    Senator Wyden. Would you be the person–and this is what
    I’m driving at–who we can hold accountable? Because I think in
    the past there has been this sense, on classification issues,
    it’s the President’s responsibility. Then you try to run down
    who at the White House is in charge.
    I want to know that there is somebody who’s going to
    actually be responsible. I appreciate your assessment that—-
    General Clapper. If it is for intelligence. Now,
    Senator Wyden [continuing]. On intelligence issues.
    General Clapper [continuing]. Yeah, exactly, because it’s
    broader than just intelligence. But certainly if it’s
    intelligence, yes, I believe ultimately the DNI, if I’m
    confirmed, is the guy in charge.
    Senator Wyden. Thank you, Madam Chair.
    Chairman Feinstein. Thank you very much, Senator Wyden.
    Senator Hatch.
    Senator Hatch. Well, thank you, Madam Chairman.
    General Clapper, I want to thank you for your long years of
    service to this country. You have really an impressive
    experience in the intelligence world, experience that I think
    you can draw on to help you in this job, and I think there’s no
    question that we’re grateful that you’re willing to serve
    Now, I appreciated your courtesy call last week. When I
    asked my first question, why you could possibly want this job,
    you responded, two points: First, you said I was not the first
    to ask that; and second, you said you were taking the job out
    of a sense of duty. So I personally appreciate it.
    Another thing I believe you told me in our meeting was that
    you had no intention of shaking up the DNI structure, that you
    intended to make it work as it is. Recognizing the weak
    authorities and large responsibility of your office, you told
    me that the DNI can enhance its authority if it has the support
    of the oversight committee, and you’re certainly right about
    And to have our support, you’re going to have to spend a
    lot of time here sharing with us your problems and propose
    solutions. Chairman Feinstein initiated a series of meetings
    with your predecessor, and I was always grateful for that
    participation. I know Vice Chairman Bond would agree with me
    that one of the reasons we managed to pass the FISA Amendments
    Act–a politically prickly piece of legislation–was because of
    the long hours that then-DNI McConnell had dedicated to the
    passage of it. Now, you’re only the fourth DNI, but there are
    lessons that I know that you have learned from your
    predecessors, and I appreciate it.
    Now, reform and transformation has as much to do with new
    ways of thinking as it does with new boxes in an organization
    chart. Congress is good at legislating new boxes, but it’s much
    harder to legislate cultural change within organizations.
    We’ve seen that new ways of thinking about threats,
    capabilities, doctrine and training are hard to adapt in well-
    established bureaucratic cultures. You need leadership at the
    IC to do this, and that of course means you. Do you believe
    that organizational culture is important in the IC? And how do
    you define intelligence culture? And along with that, do you
    believe that cultural change is important? And how would you
    address that?
    General Clapper. Great question, sir. If I may sir, clarify
    something that I may not have made myself clear on before—-
    Chairman Feinstein. There we go.
    General Clapper [continuing]. First of all, Senator Hatch,
    I probably should clarify, if I didn’t make clear when I said
    that no intent to shake up the DNI, that actually I do have
    that intent.
    What I meant to say or to clarify that remark is that I
    don’t–I am in the mode of making the model we have work rather
    than going through the trauma of yet another reorganization,
    whether it’s to some other structure. And I believe that the
    model that we have, with all its flaws and the legal
    ambiguities in the IRTPA can be made to work. And that’s
    certainly my intent, and I wouldn’t have taken this on at my
    age and station in life if I didn’t think that were the case.
    Senator Hatch. Well, that’s the way I took it, anyway.
    General Clapper. A very important point–and Senator Bond
    alluded to this in his opening remarks; I’d like to get back to
    that–is that–and I have said this to the President, and we
    spoke again about it this morning–is the fact that the manner
    in which the DNI relates to the oversight committees, the
    manner in which the DNI relates to the President are very
    important. And both the optic and the substance of those
    relationships can do a great deal to compensate for the
    ambiguities of the law and the perceived weaknesses of the
    That’s why I’m so intent on forging a partnership
    relationship with the oversight committees, because you play a
    huge role. You play a huge role in compensating for those
    ambiguities. And so it would be incumbent upon me as the DNI,
    if I’m confirmed, or anyone else who serves in that capacity to
    ensure there is that constructive partnership relationship with
    the oversight committees. So I do want to make that point
    The President again assured me–and I asked him
    specifically–about his support for the position as the leader
    of the intelligence community. And he affirmed that when we
    spoke this morning on the phone.
    Cultural change, I have some experience with that,
    particularly at NGA. I was brought on specifically to implement
    the mandates that the NIMA commission, a commission which did
    great work, mandated by the Congress, on reorienting and
    refocusing and bringing the vision to life of what the original
    founding fathers and mothers of NIMA had in mind.
    And so I learned a great deal the hard way about how to
    forge cultural change in a large bureaucratic institution in
    intelligence, which is the case with NGA. And I’m very proud of
    the way NGA has evolved and how it has turned out as an agency.
    And I think it’s moving to the new campus here in another year
    or so will further bring that cultural change about.
    There is, indeed, a unique culture in the intelligence
    community, and there are in fact subcultures very much built
    around the tradecraft that each of the so-called “stovepipes”
    And that term is often used pejoratively, whether it’s the
    SIGINT stovepipe or the GEOINT stovepipe or the HUMIN
    stovepipe. Well, that’s also the source of the tradecraft which
    allows us to conduct those very important endeavors. The trick,
    of course, is to bring them together and to synchronize them,
    mesh them, and to bring together the complementary attributes
    that each one of those skill sets bring to bear.
    So there is an important dimension. And you’re quite right.
    It’s one thing to enact laws, draw wiring diagrams, but the
    cultural aspects, I think, are quite important. And that’s
    where I think leadership is huge, and that’s something that you
    cannot legislate.
    Senator Hatch. Well, that’s great. Have you read the July
    2004 report by this committee cataloging and analyzing the Iraq
    WMD intelligence prior to 2002? Did you have a chance to read
    General Clapper. Yes, sir. I’m very familiar with that, and
    I’m also very familiar with the WMD National Intelligence
    Estimate. My fingerprints were on it. I was then a member of
    the National Intelligence Board, so I’m very familiar with what
    were the flaws in that NIE. I believe there have been
    substantial process improvements to preclude, hopefully, such
    an event from occurring again.
    But I will tell you that was an indelible experience for me
    in how we did the country a great disservice with that National
    Intelligence Estimate.
    Senator Hatch. What do you believe explains the failure of
    the intelligence community in assessing the presence of WMD in
    Iraq in 2002? And do you believe the lessons from these
    failures have been learned inside the intelligence community?
    And if you do, why do you believe that?
    General Clapper. Well, sir, I think that had a profound
    impact on the intelligence community at large. I think we have
    learned from that. The whole process used with the NIEs today
    is quite different. These were actually improvements that
    started under George Tenet’s time when he was still the DCI,
    and they’ve continued to this day.
    And so I think one of the first things we do, which we
    didn’t do with that NIE, was that the standard practice when
    you meet to approve an NIE is to first assess the sources that
    were used in the NIE, which was not done in the case of the
    infamous 2002 WMD report.
    The use of red-teaming; the use of outside readers, with
    their input included in the NIE; the use of other options; what
    if we’re wrong; confidence levels; the degree of collection
    capability gaps or not–all of those features are now a
    standard part of national intelligence estimates drawn
    primarily from the egregious experience that we had with that
    particular NIE.
    And I thought the report you did laid out exactly what went
    wrong. I can attest, since I was there, it was not because of
    politicization or any political pressure. It was because of
    Senator Hatch. Well, thank you.
    And now, General Clapper, the administration and the
    previous one made great efforts to explicitly state that our
    response to global terrorism was not against Islam. In my
    opinion, the fact that the vast majority of adherents to Islam
    are nonviolent would certainly underscore that point.
    Now, do you believe that ideas and ideology have a role in
    motivating violent extremist terrorism? And, if so, do you
    believe that we have adequately analyzed the ideological
    component? And one last thought, do you believe that closing
    down Guantanamo would undermine terrorist ideology in any way.
    And if so, why?
    General Clapper. Well—-
    Senator Hatch. That’s a lot of questions, I know.
    General Clapper [continuing]. On the first issue of the
    ideological dimension here, I think that’s a very important
    one. My experience there most recently was my involvement in
    the aftermath of the Fort Hood shootings. And the question that
    has certainly been a challenge, a huge challenge, for the
    Department of Defense is the discernment of self-
    radicalization, when people take on an ideology, internalize it
    and use that for radical purposes.
    And I will tell you, sir, in my view, we have a challenge
    there in how to discern that, how to explain that to others,
    particularly a 19- or 20-year-old soldier, sailor, airman or
    Marine. How do you discern if before your very eyes someone is
    self-radicalizing, and then what do you do about it.
    I think with respect to the second question on a closure of
    Gitmo, I think that will–when we get to that point, I think
    that probably would help the image of the United States, if in
    fact we’re able to close it.
    Senator Hatch. Okay. I think my time is up.
    Chairman Feinstein. Thank you very much, Senator Hatch.
    Senator Mikulski.
    Senator Mikulski. Madam Chairwoman, first of all, I want
    you to know, I’ve really enjoyed listening to the questions
    raised by you and the Ranking and the other members. Once
    again, we’re learning from each other.
    Senator Feinstein, I would just like to suggest to you,
    with the presence of Senator Levin–presuming you’re in charge
    in November, but whoever is–that the first area of reform has
    to be with Congress. My concern is that DNI, whoever he is–and
    I hope it’s General Clapper–appears before so many committees
    and so many subcommittees–I think by my count, it’s over 88
    different committees and subcommittees between the House and
    the Senate–that the oversight–that’s one thing.
    And the other, that we really press for the reform of the
    9/11 Commission that we establish the Intelligence
    Appropriations Subcommittee. I think Mr. Clapper makes a great
    point, that it does come in appropriations. I have it in the
    FBI; Inouye has DOD. It’s not the subject of this conversation
    here, but I think we need to just get together among ourselves
    and discuss how reform starts with us, meaning the Senate and
    the House.
    Chairman Feinstein. If I might respond, with respect to the
    Appropriations Committee, the three of us that serve on it–
    yourself, Senator, Senator Bond and myself–we have all
    supported that. The problem is, we’re only three out of a
    couple dozen members, and it’s those couple dozen members that
    need to be convinced.
    Senator Mikulski. Well, I think they will be.
    But, picking up, General Clapper, Dana Priest has done her
    series, and I believe that once again she’s done a great
    service to the nation. It was Ms. Priest who brought to the
    public’s attention the terrible stuff going on at Walter Reed.
    Secretary Gates and the President responded, and we dealt with
    it. I’m not saying there is a scandal within the intelligence
    community, but it has grown.
    And my question to you, if confirmed, will you look at the
    series in the Post and others that have raised similar ones,
    for a review of the allegations, flashing yellow lights, about
    the growth and duplication, et cetera, and make recommendations
    to the executive and legislative branch for reform?
    General Clapper. Yes, ma’am.
    Senator Mikulski. Well, and thank you, because I think it
    would give us an important guidepost.
    The second is, I’d like to go to the issue of
    cybersecurity. As you know, you and I have worked on signals
    intelligence, but cybersecurity is a–we’re part of a task
    force chaired by Senator Whitehouse, Senator Snowe, and myself.
    And we’ve looked at four issues–governance, technology,
    technology development, maintaining our qualitative edge in
    that area, workforce, and the beginning of civil liberties and
    Governance has befuddled us. Governance has befuddled us.
    We know how to maintain our technological qualitative edge.
    We’re making progress on how to have an adequate workforce. But
    what we see is overlapped turf warfare, turf confusion. And I
    wonder, as DNI, what role do you have, and what role will you
    assume in really straightening out this governance issue?
    Congress has the propensity to create czars. We’ve got
    czars and we’ve got czars by proxy. You know, a czar–we have a
    White House now on cyber, a very talented and dedicated man. We
    have you as the DNI; you’re a czar by proxy. But we don’t give
    those czars or czars by proxy any power or authority. Now, we
    get into cybersecurity, and I think the governance structure is
    mush. There’s no way for clarity, there’s no answer to who’s in
    charge, and there’s no method for deconflicting disagreements
    or turf warfare. Do you have a comment on what I just said.
    General Clapper. Well, first, I think I’ll start with, the
    commentary about NSA–I know an organization near and dear to
    your heart. NSA must serve, I believe, as the nation’s center
    of excellence from a technical standpoint on cyber matters. I
    think the challenge has been how to parlay that capability, the
    tremendous technical competence that exists at NSA, in serving
    the broader issue here of support, particularly to supporting
    the civilian infrastructure.
    The Department of Defense’s response has been to establish
    Cyber Command by dual-hatting the Director of NSA, General
    Keith Alexander, as the commander. So in a warfighting context
    in the Department of Defense, that’s how we organize to do
    I think we need something to fill that void on the
    civilian–if you will–the civil side. Now, there’s some 35
    pieces of–there are legislative proposals, as I understand it,
    throughout the Congress right now. I think the administration
    is trying to figure out what would be the best order of march
    or combination.
    I think, though, the bill that Senator Bond and Senator
    Hatch have sponsored, without speaking specifically, but it
    certainly gets to what I would consider some sound organizing
    principles and having somebody in charge, having a budget
    aggregation that—-
    Senator Mikulski. But what will your role be in this, as
    General Clapper [continuing]. Well, I think the role of the
    DNI is to ensure that the intelligence support for cyber
    protection is provided and that it is visible to the governance
    structure, whatever that turns out to be. I do not believe it
    is the DNI’s province to decide what that governance structure
    should be, but rather to ensure that it gets sufficient and
    adequate and timely intelligence support.
    Senator Mikulski. But what advisory role do you play to the
    President? There’s Howard Schmidt, a great guy. We’ve met with
    him and so on, but he has no power. So we have what has been
    stood up with the United States military–excellent. I think we
    all recognize that. But when it gets to the Department of
    Homeland Security, when it gets to the FBI, when it gets to the
    civilian agencies, and also it gets–what gateways do the
    private sector have to go to who to solve their problems or to
    protect them, it really gets foggy.
    General Clapper. Well, one solution, I believe, is in the
    legislation that has been proposed by Senators Bond and Hatch
    on this committee.
    Senator Mikulski. I’m not asking for your comment on
    legislative recommendations. I’m asking what is the role of the
    DNI to help formulate, finally, within the next couple of
    months, the answer to the question, who is in charge? What is
    your role? Who do you think makes that decision? I presume
    you’re going to say the President.
    General Clapper. Well, I guess—-
    Senator Mikulski. How is the President going to get to
    that? Is he going to be having, you know, coffee with Brennan?
    Is it going to be you? Is it Howard Schmidt? Is it what?
    General Clapper [continuing]. I do not believe it is the
    DNI who would make the ultimate decision on the defense for
    cyber–and particularly in the civil sector. I don’t believe
    that is a determination or decision that should be made by the
    DNI. I think I should play a role there.
    Senator Mikulski. Again, what role do you think you should
    play, with whom?
    General Clapper. For the provision of adequate intelligence
    support, what is the threat posed in the cyber domain, to this
    nation. And I think that is the oversight responsibility of the
    DNI, to ensure that that is adequate.
    Senator Mikulski. I think maybe we’ve got a little–well,
    then let’s go to the role of the DNI with the civilian
    agencies, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security. What
    authority do you have in those domains?
    General Clapper. Well—-
    Senator Mikulski. And bringing them in more, now,
    particularly the FBI, which has, I think, done a great job. In
    fact, I think it’s all been great, because here it is 2010,
    July 20th, and there’s not been an attack on the homeland.
    General Clapper [continuing]. I think the FBI has done
    great work, and I spent some time with them in the last week or
    two. And I think the transformation that they are effecting to
    become an effective part of the intelligence community has been
    actually very–is very impressive. I think they have a rigorous
    management process to ensure that this takes place at the
    They too have a cultural challenge that we spoke of earlier
    in the preeminence of the law enforcement culture in the FBI,
    which is still important, and how they bring along their
    intelligence arm and their intelligence capabilities to match
    that in terms of its prestige and stature within the FBI; that
    is a work in progress, and they acknowledge that. But I think
    they’ve made great headway.
    And I think the conversations that I’ve had with Director
    Mueller, who’s been marvelous and very supportive of making the
    DNI function work. The FBI is one of the elephants in the
    intelligence living room, if I can use that metaphor. It has a
    huge responsibility and a huge contribution to make, and I
    intend to work with the FBI closely if I’m confirmed.
    Senator Mikulski. Very good.
    Madam Chair, I think my time is up.
    Chairman Feinstein. Thank you very much, Senator Mikulski.
    Senator Snowe.
    Senator Snowe. Thank you, Madam Chair, and welcome, General
    You certainly bring an illustrious career and
    qualifications to bear on this particular position, and it
    certainly comes at a critical juncture, once again, for this
    position and for this office that we continue to struggle with
    in terms of its definition and the type of leadership that
    should be brought to oversee the intelligence community.
    And that’s what I’d like to explore with you this afternoon
    first and foremost on an issue that I have been advocating,
    actually, even since before we passed the legislation that
    created the position for which you have been nominated and even
    before the 9/11 commission report, and that was to have a
    community-wide Inspector General. Because I think that one of
    the issues that has evolved from all of this in creating this
    vast department is being able to look across the spectrum
    And one of the things that’s developed in all this and the
    number of reports that have been issued by this committee, and
    of course most recently, which was the scathing review of what
    happened on the Christmas Day attempted attack and the systemic
    breakdown both in terms of policy, follow-through, information-
    sharing, technology, to name a few, across the agencies. And
    clearly, it is something that I think underscores the serious
    and fundamental problems that we continue to have, and
    obviously we’ve got an unwieldy bureaucracy before us with this
    In addition, of course, with The Washington Post series
    that was written by Dana Priest this week, I think it’s also a
    manifestation of many of the problems that continue to exist.
    And certainly we’ve had many definitions of the type of
    leadership that has been brought to bear in this position,
    whether it’s an integrator, a coordinator, a facilitator, and
    whether or not we should have a strong acknowledged leader that
    oversees all of these agencies who’s going to exert that
    And so I would like to explore with you today in terms of
    whether or not you would support a community-wide Inspector
    General. That is pending in the current legislation between the
    House and Senate. It’s in conference at this point. I have
    fought tooth and nail for it in the past because I happen to
    think that it could initiate, conduct investigations and,
    frankly, could produce the types of reports that were put
    forward by The Washington Post this week in illustrating the
    redundancies, the inefficiencies, and also producing, I think,
    the type of information that is sorely lacking because you
    cannot reach across the spectrum across all agencies in terms
    of ascertaining what types of problems have emerged and how you
    solve them. And that’s where this Inspector General could come
    in and play a critical role.
    That’s what I argued from the outset because I do believe
    it will break down the barriers and stovepipes and the
    parochial concerns and the turf wars that have evolved and
    emerged. I mean, I think that that’s indisputable. And so I
    believe that you would find this as a tremendous asset in
    having someone that can conduct an overview and examine those
    issues independently and to give you I think the vantage point
    of seeing the forest through the trees, and many of the issues
    that arose in this Washington Post series and other problems
    that have emerged and certainly in the problems that have been
    identified in the Christmas Day terror bomb plot that was
    identified by this committee in its very extensive analysis
    certainly could have been averted if we had somebody at hand
    who was looking across the spectrum.
    So I would like to have you respond to that, because I
    noticed in your pre-hearing questions you said that you support
    a strong and independent Inspector General and will ensure the
    Inspector General has access to appropriate information and
    cooperation from the Office of DNI personnel. But you limit it
    by virtue of the wording of your statement to imply that the
    access only would be accorded to the 1,500 or so personnel that
    reside within that office, as opposed to all the other agencies
    and most notably the Department of Defense that obviously has
    the preponderance of the personnel and certainly the
    overwhelming majority of the budget.
    General Clapper. Well, Senator Snowe, first of all, I guess
    at some risk, but I would refer to my military background in
    having served as a commander and used IGs. I think they are a
    crucial management tool for a commander or a director. The two
    times I’ve served, almost nine years as director of two of the
    agencies, DIA and NGA, I considered an IG crucial. So I feel
    similarly about a community-wide IG.
    My only caveat would be to ensure that I use the IG who–
    they have limited resources as well–would do systemic issues
    that apply across more than one agency, and using the agency
    IGs or the department IGs, in the case of those that don’t have
    large agencies, to focus on agency- or component-specific
    issues. But I think there’s great merit in having a
    communitywide Inspector General.
    Senator Snowe. So, in the responses that you submitted to
    the House Armed Services Committee in which you said that a
    community-wide IG would overlay the authority for the IG for
    the entire community over all matters within the DNI’s
    responsibility and with similar authority of the DOD and the IG
    of the Armed Services and certain DOD combat support agencies,
    that, obviously, you were suggesting that it would duplicate
    those efforts.
    General Clapper. No. What I’m saying now is that I do think
    there is merit in having an ODNI IG, a community-wide IG, who
    can look across intelligence as an institution for systemic
    weaknesses and problems and identify those.
    All I would try to foster, though, is a complementary
    relationship rather than a competitive one with either agency
    IGs, particularly in the case of DOD, or the DOD IG, which also
    has an intelligence component.
    So I would just try to use–marshal–manage those resources
    judiciously so they’re not stepping on one another, but I think
    there is great value in having a community-wide Inspector
    General to address community-wide issues.
    Senator Snowe. Well, I appreciate that because I think that
    that would be critical and a useful tool to ferret out a lot of
    the inefficiencies, anticipate the problems before they
    actually occur, and, obviously, redundancies and the waste.
    Was there anything that surprised you in The Washington
    Post series this week?
    General Clapper. No, ma’am.
    Senator Snowe. No? I mean, they saw the redundancy in
    functions and so on. Do you think—-
    General Clapper. I didn’t agree with some of that. I think
    there was some breathlessness and shrillness to it that I don’t
    subscribe to. I think she’s extrapolated from her anecdotal
    experience in interviews with people.
    I must say I’m very concerned about the security
    implications of having–you know, it’s great research, but just
    making it easy for adversaries to point out specifically the
    locations of contractors who are working for the government,
    and I wouldn’t be surprised, frankly, if that engenders more
    security on the part of the contractors which, of course, the
    cost will be passed on to the government.
    Senator Snowe [continuing]. Well, are you going to evaluate
    this, though, on that basis? I just think it is disturbing to
    think in terms of the number of agencies and organizations of
    more than 1,200, for example. I mean, nothing disturbs you in
    that article from that standpoint?
    General Clapper. Well, it depends on what does she mean by
    an agency. It’s like in the Army. You know, an organization can
    be a squad or a division. So, you know, I think she’s striven
    for some bit of sensationalism here. That’s not to say that
    there aren’t inefficiencies and there aren’t things we can
    Threat finance is a case in point. She cites, I think, some
    51 different organizations that are involved in threat finance.
    That is a very important tool these days in counternarcotics,
    counterterrorism, weapons of mass destruction because it is, in
    the end, the common denominator of how money works and how
    money supports these endeavors. If I’m confirmed, that’s one I
    would want to take on with Leslie Ireland, the new Director of
    Intelligence for the Department of Treasury, because it’s my
    view that Treasury should be the lead element for threat
    finance. So that’s one area I will take to heart.
    But I think the earlier discussion is germane to the number
    of contractors and what contractors are used for, and this
    article certainly brings that to bear.
    Senator Snowe. Well, I just hope that you won’t dismiss it
    out of hand.
    General Clapper. No.
    Senator Snowe. Because I always think that it’s worthy
    when, having other people who are doing this kind of work at
    least to examine it very carefully, very thoroughly, obviously.
    I mean, I think just given the mega bureaucracy that has been
    developed, we certainly ought to be looking at it, and
    certainly, this committee as well. So I hope that you are going
    to give it that kind of consideration it deserves.
    One other question. On the April paper, the response that
    you gave to House Armed Services Committee and the information
    paper, you mentioned these grants of unilateral authority,
    referring to the Intelligence Authorization Bill, that it was
    expanding the authority to the DNI are inappropriate,
    especially for personnel and acquisition functions. You said
    that some intelligence community efforts could be decentralized
    and delegated to the component.
    I’m just concerned, on one hand, that you would subscribe
    to sort of embracing some of the cultural and territorial
    battles that we’re trying to overcome. When you’re using words
    such as “infringe” or “decentralize” to all of the other
    agencies, to have them execute many of those functions, it
    concerns me at a time in which I think that your position
    should be doing more of the centralizing with respect to the
    So I’m just concerned about what type of culture that you
    will inculcate as a leader, if you’re suggesting
    decentralizing, infringing upon other agencies’ authority at a
    time when, clearly, you should be moving in a different
    direction to break down those territorial barriers.
    General Clapper. I agree with that, but I do not think that
    everything in the entire intelligence community has to be run
    within the confines of the office of the Director of National
    Intelligence. I do think there are many thing that can be
    delegated to components in the intelligence community that can
    be done on behalf of the DNI and with the visibility of the
    DNI, but does not have to be directly executed by the DNI at
    its headquarters staff, which I believe is too large.
    Senator Snowe. Thank you.
    Chairman Feinstein. Thank you very much, Senator Snowe.
    Senator Whitehouse, you’re next.
    Senator Whitehouse. I yield to Chairman Levin.
    Chairman Feinstein. Please go ahead.
    Senator Levin. Madam Chairman, first, we thank Senator
    Whitehouse for that courtesy, as always.
    General, let me ask you first about information sharing. In
    your answers to the committee’s prehearing questionnaire, you
    state that you believe obstacles remain to adequate information
    sharing. You said that the obstacle was cultural. Our
    congressional investigations by a number of committees of
    recent terrorist attacks reveal, for instance, the CIA will not
    share its database of operational cables with the DOD’s Joint
    Intelligence Task Force for Counterterrorism or with the NSA’s
    counterterrorism analysts and watch center.
    NSA itself feels it cannot allow non-NSA personnel to
    access the main NSA signals intelligence databases on the
    grounds that these personnel cannot be trusted to properly
    handle U.S. persons’ information. Can you comment on that
    question, on information sharing among agencies?
    General Clapper. Well, sir, it continues to be a problem. I
    think we’ve got a challenge, I guess. It’s better than it was.
    It’s better than it was before 9/11, but it needs improvement.
    I think NSA is, understandably, very conscientious about the
    protection of potential data on U.S. persons. They’re very,
    very sensitive to compliance with the FISA, as they should be.
    So that does, that is one inhibitor to full and open and
    collaborative sharing that we might like. That’s an area that I
    intend to work, if I’m confirmed.
    Senator Levin. You also said that you’ll achieve progress
    in information sharing by the “disciplined application of
    incentives, both rewards and consequences.” Why do we need
    incentives? Why don’t we just need a directive from the
    President by executive order, for instance, or otherwise? Why
    do we need incentives, rewards and consequences?
    General Clapper. Well, that’s one way of inducing change in
    culture, is to provide rewards for those who collaborate and, I
    suppose, penalties for those that don’t.
    Senator Levin. Should they be needed?
    General Clapper. And obviously, directives are effective,
    Senator Levin. Should they be needed? In this kind of
    setting, where this has been going on so long, should—-
    General Clapper. Yes, sir. That’s an area, if I’m
    confirmed, I’ll certainly look at to see if there is a need for
    further direction, or what other remedy there might be.
    Senator Levin [continuing]. Now, you also indicated,
    relative to a related subject which has been very much on our
    minds here in the Congress, the need for a single repository of
    terrorism data. Your statement in the prehearing questions is
    the following. “An integrated repository of terrorism data
    capable of ingesting terrorism-related information from outside
    sources remains necessary to establish a foundation from which
    a variety of sophisticated technology tools can be applied.” I
    gather that does not exist now?
    General Clapper. I think, sir, and I, at least, this is my
    own observation watching from somewhat afar, the Christmas
    bomber evolution. And I believe what is needed, and this is
    from a technology standpoint, is a very robust search engine
    that can range across a variety of data and data constructs in
    order to help connect the dots. I think we still are spending
    too much manpower to do manual things that can be done easily
    by machines. And if confirmed, that’s an area I would intend to
    Senator Levin. Do you know if it’s true that NCTC analysts
    have to search dozens of different intelligence databases
    separately, that they cannot now submit one question that goes
    out to all of them simultaneously? Is that true, do you know?
    General Clapper. I don’t know the specifics, but that’s
    certainly my impression, and that’s why I made the statement in
    response to your previous question. I think what’s needed here
    is a very robust, wide-ranging search engine or search engines
    that can do that on behalf of analysts so they don’t have to do
    that manually.
    Senator Levin. I want to go to some structural issues now.
    The Intelligence Report and Terrorism Prevention Act says that
    the director of the CIA reports to the DNI. Is that your
    General Clapper. Yes, sir.
    Senator Levin. Is that clear enough? Is that the reason for
    some complications in this area?
    General Clapper. Well, I think it’s–yes. That language is
    clear, but there’s also language in there about, for example,
    the governance of foreign relationships, which are the province
    of the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, and they
    are to be “overseen” by the DNI, and so that is an area of
    ambiguity, I think.
    Senator Levin. Is section 1018 of the Act, which says that
    the President shall issue guidelines to ensure the effective
    implementation and execution within the executive branch of the
    authorities granted to the Director of National Intelligence,
    and these are the key words, in a manner that respects and does
    not abrogate the statutory responsibilities of the heads of
    departments, have those guidelines now been–were they issued
    by President Bush?
    General Clapper. Well, yes, sir, they were essentially
    promulgated in the revision to Executive Order 12333. And in
    that, Secretary Gates and I and Admiral McConnell, at the time,
    worked to attenuate some of the ambiguities created by the
    famous section 1018. The specific case in point is the
    involvement of the DNI in the hire and fire processes involved
    with intelligence leaders who are embedded in the Department of
    Senator Levin. And are you satisfied with those guidelines?
    General Clapper. I am at this point. Yes, sir. My view may
    change, if I’m confirmed.
    Senator Levin. Do you know in advance that your view is
    going to change?
    General Clapper. No, I don’t.
    Senator Levin. But as of this time, you’re satisfied with
    those guidelines?
    General Clapper. Yes, sir, I am.
    Senator Levin. Now, in answer to our committee’s prehearing
    questionnaire regarding the DNI’s role with respect to the DIA,
    NGA, NSA and NRO, you said that the DNI supervises their
    performance, sets standards and formulates policies governing
    these agencies and ensures that they fulfill their missions.
    You noted multiple times that three of those agencies are
    combat support agencies, which means that they provide critical
    wartime support to the combatant commands.
    And my question is the following: Do you believe that that
    authority which you mention is a shared authority with those
    agencies or is this exclusive in the DNI?
    General Clapper. You mean the combat support agency?
    Senator Levin. Those agencies, yes. Do you believe, for
    instance, that they must ensure that they fulfill their
    missions, that they supervise their performance? Is this a
    shared responsibility or are you, if you’re confirmed,
    exclusively responsible for those functions of supervision and
    ensuring that they—-
    General Clapper. I believe that is a shared responsibility.
    I think obviously the Secretary of Defense has obligations and
    responsibilities both in law and executive order to ensure that
    the warfighting forces are provided adequate support,
    particularly by the three agencies who are designated as combat
    support agencies. Obviously the DNI has at least a paternal
    responsibility to ensure that works as well.
    Senator Levin. Was that word “fraternal”?
    General Clapper. “Paternal.”
    Senator Levin. Paternal, not fraternal.
    General Clapper. Institutional obligation. I’ll amend what
    I said.
    Senator Levin. All right. Now, in your current position
    have you taken a look at the Haqqani network? Have you
    determined whether or not they have engaged in terrorist
    activities that threaten U.S. security interests and, if so, do
    you support them being added to the State Department’s list of
    foreign terrorist organizations?
    General Clapper. Sir, I’d rather not answer that off the
    top of my head. I’ll take that under advisement and provide an
    answer for the record.
    Senator Levin. All right. Now, during the previous
    administration, we got conflicting prewar intelligence
    assessments from the intelligence community and the
    administration said in public and what the intelligence
    community was willing to assert in private. Do you believe that
    the importance of Congress as a consumer of intelligence
    products and advice is no less than that of senior officials of
    the administration? Do you owe us? Do you owe us, if you’re
    confirmed, all of the unvarnished facts surrounding an issue,
    not just the facts that tend to support a particular policy
    decision, and do you believe that Congress, as a consumer of
    intelligence products, is entitled, again, to no less than that
    of senior officials of an administration?
    General Clapper. I believe that and not only that, but it’s
    required in the law. The IRTPA stipulates that the DNI is to
    attend to the proper intelligence support to the Congress.
    Senator Levin. On an equal basis.
    General Clapper. Yes, sir.
    Senator Levin. Thank you. Thank you, Madam Chairman.
    Chairman Feinstein. Thank you very much, Senator Levin.
    Senator Chambliss.
    Senator Levin. Thank you.
    Senator Chambliss. Thanks, Madam Chairman. And welcome,
    General. As I told you in our telephone conversation after the
    President nominated you, I’m not sure why you want to come back
    before this committee again for this job because, as you stated
    in your article you wrote recently, this is probably the
    toughest job in the intelligence community, and your
    willingness to serve, particularly with your background in the
    intel community, says an awful lot about you, and we’re
    fortunate to have you.
    Obviously, though, General, there’s some problems out there
    within the office of the DNI, within the community itself that
    are going to have to be addressed. And these issues are very
    serious. They’re not just matters of the size of the
    bureaucracy and I’m not sure what all they are. But again, as
    you and I talked, there are going to have to be some major
    changes. We just can’t afford for another Christmas Day
    situation or a New York Times bomber situation to occur because
    we were fortunate there and it was not necessarily the great
    work of the intelligence community that prevented a very
    serious situation occurring within the United States.
    You do bring a wealth of intelligence background to this
    job, but so did the three predecessors to this job. You
    probably have more experience than all of them. But still, you
    have been involved. And these are friends of yours. They’re
    individuals you have worked with, you’ve associated with and
    somewhere along the line there have been some apparently
    systemic failures that are going to have to be addressed to
    individuals that you have worked with. So it’s not going to be
    any easier for you than for any of your predecessors.
    My question is, knowing that we can’t afford for another
    situation like Christmas Day or the New York Times Square
    situation or the Fort Hood situation to occur where we had an
    awful lot of signs and where nobody connected the dots in spite
    of the statute being very clear as to who is to connect those
    dots, and that’s going to be under your jurisdiction, what
    specific changes do you know now that you think need to be made
    as we go forward to make the community better, to make the
    office of the DNI stronger and to make the colleagues that
    you’re going to be working with on a day-to-day basis more
    responsive to you as the chief intelligence officer of the
    United States?
    General Clapper. Sir, first of all, thanks for your
    introductory comment. I appreciate that. I think that I–or at
    least I would hope I can bring to bear this experience I’ve had
    over the last 46 years of having run a couple of the agencies,
    having been a service intelligence chief, having spent two
    years in combat getting shot at, what the value of intelligence
    is, that understanding of the intelligence community
    institutionally and culturally, that I can bring about a better
    working arrangement.
    I think, in my book at least, to be very candid, I think
    our most successful DNI to this point was Admiral Mike
    McConnell precisely for the same reason, because he had some
    experience in the business. He had run an agency, NSA, and had
    done other things in intelligence. And I think that does give
    one an advantage, an understanding where the problems are,
    where the skeletons are, if you will, and where the seams are
    and how to work those issues.
    I think that is in fact the value added, potentially, of
    the DNI, is to get at those seams and to work those issues
    where I perhaps don’t require a lot of time learning the ABCs
    of intelligence. So I can’t at this point list you chapter and
    verse. I certainly will want to get back–if I’m confirmed–get
    back to the committee on specific things. I do have some things
    in mind but some of the people affected don’t know what those
    are and I certainly didn’t want to presume confirmation by
    announcing those ahead of time. But certainly, if confirmed,
    I’d want to consult with the committee on what I would have in
    Senator Chambliss. And have you, as a part of your
    communication and conversation with the President, prior to
    your nomination and maybe subsequent there to, engaged him in
    the fact that there are some changes that are going to need to
    be made and you’re going to have to have the administration’s
    General Clapper. Yes, sir, and I had done that in writing
    before I was nominated. Whether it was me or someone else as
    DNI, at Secretary Gates’ suggestion, I wrote a letter to the
    President and made that point clear.
    Senator Chambliss. And you mentioned that letter to me and
    that you had hoped that the White House would at least share
    that with the Chairman and Vice Chairman. Do you know whether
    that’s been done?
    General Clapper. I don’t know, sir. I don’t know that
    actually the request has been made to the White House.
    Senator Chambliss. Okay. Well, General, I’ve known you for
    a long time, seen you operate, and you are certainly well-
    qualified for this job. It is going to be a tough job, but I
    hope you know and understand that this committee’s here to help
    you and we want to make sure from an oversight standpoint that
    you’ve got the right kind of policy support and political
    support from this side of Pennsylvania Avenue. And we know soon
    that it will be there from the other side. So we look forward
    to working closely with you.
    General Clapper. Sir, I appreciate that. And that is
    absolutely crucial. I don’t believe oversight necessarily has
    to be or implies an adversarial relationship. And I would
    need–if I’m confirmed, I would need the support of this
    committee to bring about those changes that you just talked
    Senator Chambliss. Well, thanks for your willingness to
    continue to serve. Madam Chairman, I don’t know whether we’ve
    formally requested that, but I think certainly we should.
    Vice Chairman Bond. I would join with Senator Chambliss if
    we can make that request.
    Chairman Feinstein. Fine. Certainly can. Thank you. Thank
    you, Senator Chambliss.
    Senator Feingold.
    Senator Feingold. Thank you, Madam Chair. Congratulations
    again, General Clapper, on your nomination to this critically
    important position. I agree you are clearly well qualified for
    Madam Chair, I’d like to put a statement in the record.
    [The prepared statement of Senator Feingold follows:]
    Prepared Statement of Senator Russell Feingold
    General Clapper’s nomination comes at a critical moment for the
    Intelligence Community and for our national security. Reform–of the IC
    and of congressional oversight–is long overdue. To save taxpayer
    dollars, I have supported in this committee, and incorporated into my
    own Control Spending Now bill, provisions requiring reporting on long-
    range budget projections for the IC, the costs of acquisition systems,
    cost overruns, and the risks and vulnerabilities of intelligence
    systems. We must also ensure that the GAO has access to the IC and that
    there is accountability for impediments to auditing.
    At the same time, we cannot afford so much overlap and redundancy
    when there are still parts of the world, as well as emerging threats,
    about which we know very little. This is why the Senate has approved,
    as part of the intelligence authorization bill, legislation I proposed
    to establish an independent commission that will address these gaps by
    recommending how to integrate and make best use of the clandestine
    activities of the IC and the open collection and reporting of the State
    Intelligence reform also requires reform of the oversight process.
    That is why I have introduced a bipartisan resolution to implement the
    recommendation of the 9/11 Commission to grant appropriations authority
    to the Intelligence Committee, as well as a bipartisan effort to
    declassify the top-line intelligence budget request, a requirement if
    there is to be a separate intelligence appropriations bill as called
    for by the 9/11 Commission. Finally, we must eliminate once and for all
    the “Gang of Eight” briefings that leave the full committee in the
    Since our meeting last week I hope you had a chance to
    review the congressional notification requirements in the
    National Security Act. Have you had a chance to do that?
    General Clapper. I have, sir.
    Senator Feingold. And do you agree that the so-called Gang
    of Eight notification provision applies only to covert action
    and not to other intelligence activities?
    General Clapper. Sir, you’re quite right. Section 502 and
    503 of the National Security Act of 1947 do only call out
    covert action as requiring more limited notification. In the
    opening statement, however, of Section 502, it does allude to
    the protection of sources and methods, which I think in the
    past has been used to expand the subject matter beyond covert
    action, which would require a limited notification.
    That all said, I will be a zealous advocate for full
    notification and timely notification to the Congress.
    Senator Feingold. I appreciate the statement and the spirit
    of it. I just want to point out that when you refer to that
    preliminary language, that language is in both sections, but
    the additional language about the Gang of Eight notifications
    in the section on covert action means, in my view, that limited
    notifications were not intended for other intelligence
    General Clapper. Yes, sir, but as I say that, that opening
    verbiage has been interpreted to expand that and I’ll tell you
    what my personal attitude is, but at the same time I don’t feel
    it’s appropriate to preempt what the President might want to
    decide. So I’ll tell you my attitude again is I will be a
    zealous advocate for timely and complete notification.
    Senator Feingold. And I appreciate that. I just want to say
    for the record, I think that is an incorrect interpretation,
    but obviously you’re not alone in your view that that can be
    done. But I really feel strongly that’s incorrect.
    Senator Feingold. While many of the operational details of
    intelligence activities are justifiably classified, I believe
    the American people are entitled to know how the intelligence
    community, the Department of Justice and the FISA Court are
    interpreting the law. Do you agree with that general principle?
    General Clapper. Yes, sir, in general, I do.
    Senator Feingold. And I have identified a number of areas
    in which I think the American people would be surprised to
    learn how the law has been interpreted in secret. As you
    consider these types of requests for declassification, will you
    keep this principle that you and I just agreed upon in mind?
    General Clapper. Yes, sir, I will.
    Senator Feingold. One of the issues that has arisen in the
    context of your nomination is the Department of Defense’s
    perception that provisions of the intelligence authorization
    bill may be in tension with the secretary’s authorities, but I
    want to focus for the moment on the reason these are in there
    in the first place and why I’ve incorporated them into my own
    bill, which I call my control spending now legislation. They
    would improve accountability and help save taxpayer dollars.
    General, at our meeting last week, you told me that not all
    problems require statutory solutions. So how as DNI would you
    go about fixing the cost overruns and other problems that this
    legislation is designed to address?
    General Clapper. Well, I would continue to support the
    management mechanisms that have been established, specifically
    an agreement on acquisition oversight signed by, I think, then-
    Director McConnell and Secretary Gates. That said, of course,
    acquisition is, in general, a huge challenge, whether it’s in
    intelligence or elsewhere. And so I don’t have any magic silver
    bullets here to offer up because if I did, I wouldn’t be here
    to solve these significant acquisition problems.
    It does require systematic program reviews. It requires, I
    think, integrity on the part of program managers to ensure that
    they are honestly reporting out their problems and identifying
    issues early enough so that remedies can be afforded.
    Senator Feingold. The intelligence authorization bill would
    also establish an independent commission that would recommend
    ways to integrate the intelligence community with the U.S.
    government personnel, particularly State Department personnel
    who openly collect information around the world. This reform
    was first proposed by Senator Hagel and myself and I think it’s
    critical if we’re going to anticipate threats and crises as
    they emerge around the world.
    Would you be open to a fresh look and a set of
    recommendations on this issue from this commission?
    General Clapper. I would.
    Senator Feingold. In responding to yesterday’s Washington
    Post story, Acting Director Gompert defended overlap and
    redundancies in the intelligence community. But given finite
    resources and budget constraints, to what extent should we be
    prioritizing efforts to understand parts of the world and
    emerging threats that no one is covering?
    General Clapper. Well, you raise a good point, sir, and we
    did discuss earlier that in some cases one man’s duplication is
    another man’s competitive analysis. So in certain cases, I
    think, as it was during the Cold War, when you have an enemy
    that can really damage or mortally wound you, that’s merited.
    I think in many cases what was labeled as duplication, a
    deeper look may not turn out to be duplication; it just has the
    appearance of that, but when you really look into what is being
    done particularly on a command-by-command basis or intelligence
    analytic element on a case-by-case basis, it’s not really
    I think the important point you raise, though, sir, has to
    do with what about the areas that are not covered, and that has
    been a classic plague for us. I know what the state of our
    geospatial databases were on 9/11 in Afghanistan, and they were
    awful, and it’s because at the time the priority that
    Afghanistan enjoyed in terms of intelligence requirements.
    So we can’t take our eyes off the incipient threats that
    exist in places, an area that I know you’re very interested in,
    for example, Africa, which is growing in concern to me,
    Senator Feingold. Thank you, General. What is your view of
    GAO access to the intelligence community?
    General Clapper. Well, sir, the GAO–in several
    incumbencies over my time the GAO has produced very useful
    studies. I would cite as a specific recent case in point the
    ISR road map that we’re required to maintain and the GAO has
    critiqued us on that. I’ve been very deeply involved in
    personnel security clearance reform. The GAO has held our feet
    to the fire on ensuring compliance with IRTPA guidelines on
    timeliness of clearances and of late has also insisted on the
    quality metrics for ensuring appropriate clearances.
    So I think the GAO serves a useful purpose for us.
    Senator Feingold. I appreciate your attitude on that as
    well. Meaningful intelligence reform is also going to require
    some reform of the oversight process. Is it time for the Senate
    to grant appropriations authority to this committee, as the 9/
    11 commission recommended? For that to work, however, there has
    to be an unclassified topline intelligence budget request that
    would allow for a separate appropriations bill.
    Would you support the declassification of the President’s
    topline intelligence budget request?
    General Clapper. I do support that. It has been done. In
    fact, I also pushed through, and got Secretary Gates to
    approve, revelation of the Military Intelligence Program
    budget. I thought, frankly, we were being a bit disingenuous by
    only releasing or revealing the National Intelligence Program,
    which is only part of the story. And so Secretary Gates has
    agreed that we could also publicize that, and I think the
    American people are entitled to know the totality of the
    investment we make each year in intelligence.
    And sir, I was cautioned earlier by members about delving
    into congressional jurisdiction issues. I prefer not to touch
    that with a 10-foot pole other than to observe that it would be
    nice if the oversight responsibilities were symmetrical in both
    I’ve also been working and have had dialogue with actually
    taking the National Intelligence Program out of the DOD budget
    since the reason, the original reason for having it embedded in
    the department’s budget was for classification purposes. Well,
    if it’s going to be publicly revealed, that purpose goes away.
    And it also serves the added advantage of reducing the topline
    of the DOD budget, which is quite large, as you know, and
    that’s a large amount of money that the department really has
    no real jurisdiction over.
    So we have been working and studying and socializing the
    notion of pulling the MIP out of the department’s budget, which
    I would think also would serve to strengthen the DNI’s hand in
    managing the money in the intelligence community.
    Senator Feingold. Thank you for all your answers, and good
    Thank you, Madam Chair.
    Chairman Feinstein. Thank you very much, Senator Feingold.
    Senator Burr.
    Senator Burr. Thank you, Madam Chairman.
    General, welcome. We’re delighted to have you here, and I
    think you’ll be the next DNI, hopefully sooner versus later–
    and I say that for the Chair and the ranking member. I hope
    we’ll move this as expeditiously as we can. And, as I’ve
    publicly said, I think that you bring to this position a rich
    experience that many have covered, as well as yourself, that
    benefits one’s ability to be successful, and our intelligence
    community needs that desperately right now.
    I’ve got to say, as it relates to the members’ references
    to The Washington Post article–or articles, plural–it pains
    me, because I don’t believe that what happens within the
    intelligence community is something that needs to be as public
    as it sometimes is. It disturbs me as we promote Unmanned
    Aerial Vehicles on TV, and we do it with the full knowledge of
    knowing that we give away something every time we do it. I
    think the American people understand that if you have
    sufficient oversight in place, you trust the individuals that
    you’ve chosen to put in those roles.
    So I see this explosion of publicity about what happens
    within our intelligence community really as a blow to us, the
    oversight committee, and the inability for us to work
    effectively with those within the community. So I hope you
    understand, at least from myself, that I believe the committee
    has to be robust in our oversight.
    It’s not a reflection of the leadership of our committee, I
    might say to the Chair and ranking member. I think it’s an
    overall level of cooperation between the intelligence community
    and the committee, and I hope that we will work as partners to
    make sure that the trust of the public, but also the trust of
    our colleagues, is entrusted in this committee, that we’re
    doing our job and that we’ve got our eye on the right thing.
    Now, you said earlier that the DNI needs to be a leader of
    the intelligence community and provide direction and control.
    Can you define direction and control for me in this context?
    General Clapper. I think what’s intended in the term
    “direction and control” is that the DNI, I think, is
    ultimately responsible for the performance of the intelligence
    community writ large, both the producers of intelligence and
    the users of intelligence which are represented in those 16
    And I believe that under the, obviously, the auspices of
    the President, who I believe intends to hold the DNI–whether
    it’s me or somebody else–responsible for that performance, and
    that that therefore empowers the DNI to direct the intelligence
    chiefs as to what to do; what the focus should be; what the
    emphasis should be, or, if that should change; if there needs
    to be–if we need to establish ad hoc organizations to perform
    a specific task; if we need to have studies done, whatever it
    I believe that inherent in the DNI–at least the spirit and
    intent of the IRTPA legislation–was that he would, he or she
    would direct that and be responsible for it.
    Senator Burr. Do you believe there will be times where the
    DNI has to be a referee?
    General Clapper. I think there could be times when–yes, I
    Senator Burr. This has already been covered, General, but
    I’ve got to cover it just one more time. I believe that this
    committee is to be notified quickly on any significant attempt
    to attack, once an attack’s carried out, or there is a
    significant threat that we have credible evidence of.
    Do I have your commitment today that you will, in a timely
    fashion, or a designee by you, brief this committee on that
    General Clapper. Absolutely, sir. Of course, it carries
    with it the potential of it not being exactly accurate, because
    my experience has been most critics are wrong. But I believe
    that what you ask is entirely appropriate and reasonable.
    Senator Burr. And General, do you have any problem if this
    committee asks for a level of raw data to look at on pertinent
    threats or attempts–at sharing that raw data with us?
    General Clapper. I don’t have a problem with it
    philosophically, sir. Just that I would want, as the DNI, if
    I’m confirmed for that position, would want to ensure that at a
    given time, to give you the most complete picture I can, which
    is as accurate as possible. And oftentimes with raw–so-called
    raw material, it’s erroneous or incomplete or misleading. So,
    with that caveat, I don’t have a problem with it, but I just
    want you to understand what you’re getting when you get that.
    Senator Burr. I accept that caveat, and I think most
    members would. I think that the raw data is absolutely
    essential for us to do the oversight role that we’re charged
    with. It’s certainly not needed on every occasion, but on those
    that it might play a role, I hope you will, in fact, provide
    Now, you covered the history of the intelligence community,
    especially as it related to the 1990s, and how that affected
    our capabilities post-9/11. Would we have been able to meet the
    intelligence community needs had we not had contractors we
    could turn to, post-9/11?
    General Clapper. No, sir.
    Senator Burr. Do you believe that we’ll always use some
    number of contractors within the intelligence community?
    General Clapper. Yes, sir, I do.
    Senator Burr. And I know this has been a focus of a lot of
    members about downsizing the contractor footprint, and I’m fine
    with that. But there’s a big difference between downsizing and
    eliminating. And there’s a tremendous talent out there that,
    thankfully, we were able to tap into.
    I would hate to see us become so adverse to the use of
    contractors that we would sacrifice potential. And I applaud
    the effort to try to downsize the footprint of them, but hope
    that we leave the flexibility to use them where it’s
    General Clapper. Absolutely sir. I couldn’t agree with you
    And I worked as a contractor for six years myself, so I
    think I have a good understanding of the contribution that they
    have made and will continue to make. I think the issue is,
    what’s the magnitude? And most importantly, regardless of the
    numbers of companies, the number of contractor employees, is
    how the government, and specifically the intelligence
    community, how do we manage them; how do we ensure that we’re
    getting our money’s worth?
    Senator Burr. Lastly–and it’s covering ground already
    discussed–you indicated that not all of the intelligence
    community efforts need to be exclusively managed out of the
    ODNI, that they can be decentralized and delegated where
    Do you have any concerns that that might undercut the
    authority of the DNI?
    General Clapper. No, sir, I don’t. And I’ll give you a
    specific case in point:
    When I came into this job, early on–in fact, in May of
    2007–and I prevailed upon both Secretary Gates and then-DNI
    McConnell to dual-hat me as the Director of Defense
    Intelligence, a position on the DNI staff, as a way of
    facilitating communication and bridging dialogue between the
    two staffs. And I think the record will show that we’ve worked
    very well together.
    I would propose to–Director Blair, to his great credit, I
    thought, breathed life, great life into that concept–and I
    would propose, if I’m confirmed, to do the same, and have the
    same relationship with my successor, if I’m confirmed for
    this–as USD/I, if I’m confirmed for DNI. And I think that same
    approach can be used in other relationships, perhaps with the
    Department of Homeland Security, just to cite an example off
    the top of my head.
    All I’m saying is, I don’t think that everything has to be
    executed from within the confines of the Office of the Director
    of National Intelligence, that there are things that can be
    delegated and done on behalf of the DNI, as long as they are
    visible to, and with the approval of, the DNI.
    Senator Burr. General, I thank you for your candid answers.
    In our telephone conversation, I said to you that your
    tenure as DNI would determine whether the structure we set up
    actually can work, will work, or whether we need to rethink
    this. I believe that we’ve got the best chance of success with
    your nomination, and I look forward to working with you.
    Thank you, Madam Chair.
    General Clapper. Thank you, sir.
    Chairman Feinstein. Thank you, Senator Burr.
    And finally, Senator Whitehouse. Thank you for your
    courtesy to your colleague, too.
    Senator Whitehouse. Thank you, Madam Chair.
    Welcome, General Clapper. Near the bitter end.
    I’d like to go back to cybersecurity and ask you about five
    topic areas within it.
    The first is the information that the public has about
    cybersecurity. Are you comfortable that the public is
    adequately aware of the scope and severity of the cybersecurity
    threat that the country faces?
    General Clapper. Candidly, no, sir. I don’t think there is
    a general appreciation for the potential threat there.
    I think there is widespread knowledge in the cyber
    community, meaning the cyber industry, if you will. I think
    there’s a less acute awareness, perhaps, out there in what I’ll
    call the civil infrastructure. But I think the general public
    is not aware of the potential threat, no.
    Senator Whitehouse. The reason that I ask that is that it’s
    difficult in a democracy to legislate in an area where the
    public is not adequately aware of the threat.
    So I hope that, as we go forward through the 35, 40, 45
    pieces of legislation that are out there, that you will help us
    bring to the attention, in a–you said we do over-classify, I
    think we particularly over-classify here–that in areas where
    it really doesn’t adversely affect national security, there’s a
    real advantage to getting this information out to the public.
    And I hope you’ll cooperate with us in trying to do so, so that
    we’re dealing with a knowledgeable public as we face these
    legislative questions.
    General Clapper. I will, sir. And I believe that it is, in
    fact, incumbent on the intelligence community to help provide
    that education to the maximum extent possible without the undue
    revelation of sources and methods.
    Senator Whitehouse. The basic sort of protective hardware
    that is out there right now could protect the vast majority of
    cyber intrusions that take place. Do you agree that trying to
    establish and monitor basically what I would call rules of the
    road for participation in our information superhighway is an
    area that could stand improvement?
    General Clapper. If you mean, if I understand your
    question, sir, sort of conventions or rules that, in order to
    participate, this is what was required, and at sort of minimum
    levels of security. Is that—-
    Senator Whitehouse. Yes. For ordinary folks who are getting
    on, to be aware that their laptop, for instance, is
    compromised, and willing to do something about it, and that we
    put a structure in place so that you can’t do the cyber
    equivalent of driving down the road with your headlights out,
    your tail lights out, your muffler hanging, at 90 miles an
    General Clapper [continuing]. Well, I personally agree with
    that. I think there’ll be a sales job, a marketing job required
    to get people to buy into that.
    Senator Whitehouse. And in terms of if you sort of step it
    up to America’s business community, do you feel that the
    private sector or the business community is adequately situated
    with respect to their own independent self-defense against
    cyber attack? Or does the networking of private business, say
    by industrial sector, and the relationship with government need
    to be improved so that our major businesses can protect their
    critical infrastructure better?
    General Clapper. Sir, I’m not technically fluent here, but
    my general sensing is that, given the sophistication of some of
    our major adversaries, nation-state adversaries, I’m not sure
    that, given the rapidity with which new ways of accessing
    computers, I’m not sure that they’re as current on that–those
    sectors to which you refer are as current as they could or
    should be.
    Senator Whitehouse. And if we’re to the point where a
    private business which provides critical American
    infrastructure–a major bank, a major communications entity, an
    electric utility, some other form of infrastructure upon which
    American lives and property depend–were to be the subject of a
    sustained and damaging cyber attack, are you confident that, at
    the moment, we have adequate authorities for the government to
    be able to step in and do what it needs to do in a clear way to
    protect American lives and property?
    General Clapper. Again, I’m not expert on this, but my
    general sensing is, no, we’re not. I think the whole law on
    this subject is a work in progress. It’s still an issue,
    frankly, even in a warfighting context.
    Should we have a declaratory policy or not on what we would
    do? I would be concerned about the rapidity of response and–
    which I think is the key, and I think if you speak with General
    Alexander about that, who I do consider an authority, that he
    would raise that same concern.
    Senator Whitehouse. And lastly on this subject, are you
    confident that the rules of engagement for our covert agencies
    in addressing attacks and intrusions that take place on our
    cyber infrastructure are adequate and fully robust for the
    challenge that we face, or is that another area of work in
    General Clapper. Yes, sir. It’s a work in progress, and I
    think perhaps best left for detailed discussion in a closed
    Senator Whitehouse. I won’t go any further than that in
    this session, but I did want to get your general perspective on
    I’ve only been in the Senate for three years. You are my
    fourth Director of National Intelligence already. You gonna
    stick around?
    General Clapper. Yes, sir. I will. I wouldn’t take this on
    without thinking about that.
    And I do think my experience has been that it does take
    time to bring these changes about. When I was asked to take
    NIMA in the summer of 2001, I was specifically asked would I be
    willing to stay for five years, and I agreed to do that. Didn’t
    quite last that long; ran afoul of the previous Secretary of
    Defense. But I believe that kind of commitment is required.
    I also would be less than forthright if I said that I’m
    going to sit here and guarantee that the intelligence community
    is going to bat a thousand every time, because we’re not. And I
    think I am reasonably confident I can make this better. I don’t
    think I’m going to be able to cure world hunger for
    intelligence, just to be realistic.
    Senator Whitehouse. And I’m not going to hold you to this.
    It’s not intended to be a question of that variety, to pin you
    down; it’s intended to be a question to sort of illuminate the
    areas that you’re most focused on.
    Going into this job now, and knowing what you know now,
    when it comes time for you to go–and let’s hope it’s five
    years from now–what now would you think would be the most
    important things that, at that later date, you would like to
    look back on as having accomplished?
    General Clapper. I think, for starters, that I kept the
    nation safe. I think, obviously, this is somewhat a high-wire
    act with no safety net. And I think that’s probably the thing
    that will keep me up at night, is worrying about that. So, for
    whatever my tenure is, if the intelligence community has at
    least contributed to preserving the safety of the nation and
    its people, then I think that would be the main thing I’d worry
    Senator Whitehouse. Well, I wish you well. You’ve got a
    hell of a tough job in front of you, if you’re confirmed. And
    any support that we can give you, obviously we’d like to do.
    There are significant questions about what the role of the
    DNI should be, what its authorities should be to complement
    that role. Some of that is a chicken and egg question, that you
    have to settle on one to resolve the other. And we really look
    forward to working together with you to try to get this settled
    for once and for all.
    General Clapper. Thanks, Senator.
    Senator Whitehouse. Thanks, Madam Chairman.
    Chairman Feinstein. Thank you, Senator Whitehouse.
    Senator Nelson.
    Senator Nelson. Thank you, Madam Chairman.
    Good afternoon, and thank you, General, for your public
    The Congress created this position in order to try to exert
    some control over the multiple intelligence units that were at
    times going off in their own directions. And in the compromises
    that we had to make in enacting this legislation that creates
    the post that you seek, a great deal of control was still left
    within the Department of Defense at the insistence of then-
    Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld.
    How can you bring the Department of Defense intelligence
    operations in under your orbit so that you can function
    General Clapper. Well, sir, I don’t anticipate a problem
    I think I know the Department of Defense pretty well, and
    that is where roughly two-thirds of the manpower and the money
    for the National Intelligence Program is embedded. And I would
    argue or suggest, respectfully, that having run two of the
    agencies in the Department of Defense and having served as a
    service intel chief actually will help empower me to, you know,
    sustain having I’ll call it a positive relationship with the
    Department of Defense components. I’ve been there, and done
    that, got the t-shirt, so I think I know how to take advantage
    of that.
    Senator Nelson. Well, the old adage, he who pays the piper
    calls the tune, and a lot of that Defense intel activity does
    not have to report directly to you on the appropriations. How
    do you get into that when somebody wants to go off on their
    General Clapper. Well, I would intend to further
    crystallize the relationship that Secretary Gates, and then-DNI
    McConnell established in May of 2007 designating the Under
    Secretary of Defense for Intelligence as the Director of
    Defense Intelligence.
    I have fostered, with the two DNIs I’ve served with in this
    job, a close working relationship on synchronizing the two
    programs–the National Intelligence Program and the MIP. In
    fact, Director Blair and I, you know, twice, two rounds,
    testified together on those two programs.
    We’ve had an aggressive program effort, which has been
    going on for a couple of cycles now, to further synchronize and
    deconflict the two programs, and to coordinate between the NIP
    and the MIP. And I would certainly want to continue that with
    my successor in the USD/I job, if I am confirmed to be the
    Director of National Intelligence.
    I don’t think, frankly, although there’s much made of it
    sometimes, I think it’s somewhat hyperbole about the strained
    relationship between the DNI and the Department of Defense. I
    just don’t think that that’s–I haven’t seen that. And I have
    certainly endeavored, working with Secretary Gates, to actually
    enhance and strengthen the role of the DNI. The DDI is one such
    approach. And certainly Secretary Gates and I worked during the
    revisions to the Executive Order 12333 to actually strengthen
    the position of the DNI.
    Senator Nelson. Why don’t you share, for the record, what
    you shared with me privately about your forthcoming
    relationship with the Director of the CIA?
    General Clapper. I’ll provide that for the record. Yes,
    Senator Nelson. Well, I mean, share it now.
    General Clapper. Well—-
    Senator Nelson. Basically, you saw the relationship was
    strained. There was a little dust-up between the two in the
    immediate past DNI. How do you intend to smooth that out?
    General Clapper [continuing]. Well, just to continue, sir,
    with my comments earlier, as you know, the intelligence
    community is, as you know, composed of 16 components, 15 of
    which are in someone else’s Cabinet department. And actually
    the most strained relationship has been with the one component
    that isn’t in someone’s Cabinet department, and that is the
    Central Intelligence Agency.
    That has been true regardless of who the incumbents were.
    It has nothing to do, really, with the people involved. All of
    them are good people. I have had some excellent discussions
    with Director Panetta about this, and I think I’m very, very
    encouraged and pleased by his support. He’s been extremely
    gracious and supportive, and I think he wants to make this
    arrangement work as much as you do.
    Senator Nelson. Will you participate in the President’s
    daily morning brief?
    General Clapper. I will participate–I plan to participate,
    yes, sir. I don’t plan to give it, necessarily, but I plan to
    participate in it.
    Senator Nelson. Will the Director of the CIA participate as
    General Clapper. He could, depending on the subject matter,
    I suppose. But I wouldn’t–I certainly wouldn’t object to that.
    Senator Nelson. Do you get the sense that that was a little
    bit of contention since suddenly what had been historically the
    role of the CIA Director was suddenly not the role once the DNI
    was established?
    General Clapper. That obviously has been a challenging
    transition. It’s my belief and my observation from somewhat an
    outside perspective that that is an arrangement that has
    evolved for the better, since increasingly more input finds its
    way into the PDB from other than the CIA.
    The CIA will continue to provide the lion’s share of the
    finished intelligence analysis that goes into the PDB. But
    under the new structure and the new set-up, under the auspices
    of the DNI, it is much more–it’s much broader and involves
    more of the community. I recently reviewed some statistics that
    bear that out.
    Senator Nelson. Recently we’ve had some cases of homegrown
    terrorists–the Colorado folks, the Times Square folks, the
    Fort Hood person. Do you want to comment for the committee
    about what you think ought to be done?
    General Clapper. Well, I think, sir, this is a very–we did
    speak about this earlier–a very serious problem. And I was
    pretty deeply involved and intensely involved in the Fort Hood
    aftermath, particularly with respect to the e-mails exchanged
    between the radical cleric Aulaqi and Major Hasan.
    And what it points out, in my view, is a serious challenge
    that I don’t have the answer for, and that is the
    identification of self-radicalization, which may or may not
    lend itself to intelligence detection, if you will. And this
    requires, you know, in the case of the Department of Defense,
    some education on how to tell people, or instruct people, or
    suggest to people how they discern or identify self-
    radicalization that’s going on right in front of them with an
    And to me it’s almost like detecting a tendency for suicide
    ahead of time. It’s a very daunting challenge and we cannot
    necessarily depend on intelligence mechanisms to detect that
    self- radicalization.
    Senator Nelson. On page 23 of your testimony, you consider
    counterintelligence to be under-resourced. You want to share
    with us why and also where you would increase the resources?
    General Clapper. I think, given the profound threats posed
    to this country both by nation-states and others who are trying
    to collect information against us, and we have some very
    aggressive foreign countries that are doing this, I’m not
    convinced that–and this is more intuitive or judgmental or
    impressionistic–that we have devoted sufficient resources to
    counterintelligence in the Department of Defense, certainly,
    which is a major player in counterintelligence, or with the FBI
    or CIA which are the three poles, if you will, involved in
    And this is something I intend to explore to see what we
    can do to expand resource investment in counterintelligence.
    This is particularly crucial in the case of cyber. We have the
    same challenge in cyber for counterintelligence as we do more
    Senator Nelson. Madam Chairman, are we going to do a
    classified session at any point?
    Chairman Feinstein. We can if there is a request. We will
    not do it today, however.
    Senator Nelson. Thank you, Madam Chairman.
    Chairman Feinstein. You’re very welcome. Thank you,
    General Clapper, let me just say I think you’ve done very
    well. I think what comes through very clearly is your expertise
    in the specifics of intelligence. I think that’s appreciated
    and I think it’ll make your job a lot easier. I do have a
    couple of questions, and I know the Vice Chairman has a couple
    of questions. So I’d like to just continue this a little bit
    longer, if I might.
    Have you had a chance to take a look at the 13
    recommendations we made on the Abdulmutallab situation?
    General Clapper. Yes ma’am, I have, and I had an excellent
    session with Mike Leiter last week on this very topic, so he
    kind of went over that with me.
    Chairman Feinstein. Okay, then the problem clearly is for
    me, still, connecting the dots. Huge expenditures in computer
    programs, often bought separately by various departments,
    organizations, et cetera, can’t connect in certain critical but
    very simple areas. I would like to suggest that that be high in
    your portfolio and that you take a very careful look at it,
    because I would think we are spending billions of dollars on
    high technology which, candidly, doesn’t work nearly as well as
    it should, particularly in this area, where an identification
    can be really critical and one letter or one number should not
    make a difference. Do you have a comment?
    General Clapper. No, I agree with you. As I alluded to
    earlier, I think, despite all the huge investments in IT that
    we’ve made, that we still depend too much on the minds of
    analysts to do things that we ought to be able to harness with
    our IT to connect those dots.
    Chairman Feinstein. Okay, the second is PREDATOR-REAPER
    oversight. I think this is an area that we have been very
    concerned about, and this committee is taking that oversight
    very seriously and has been very active in seeing that this is
    carefully done, that the intelligence is excellent. And I’m one
    that believes that the CIA in particular has had a remarkable
    record, with very good intelligence, and in some ways really
    the best of what can be. I just hope that you will have this at
    a high level for your own oversight.
    General Clapper. Absolutely.
    Chairman Feinstein. Thank you.
    The third is Afghanistan. I read a quote by Major General
    Michael Flynn earlier in the year that said–and I’m
    paraphrasing–that eight years into the war, the intelligence
    community is only marginally relevant to the overall strategy.
    U.S. intelligence officers and analysts can do little but shrug
    in response to high-level decisionmakers seeking knowledge.
    Would you take a look at that and perhaps talk with him and see
    where we are, if we are in fact lacking?
    General Clapper. Well, I already have had extensive
    dialogue with Mike Flynn when the article first came out. And a
    careful read of it I think is–I think it’s a Pogo article. We
    weighed the enemy, and it’s ourselves, because what the article
    really talks to is the situation in Afghanistan, much of which
    is, I think, under his control.
    I think what occasioned the article was the change in our
    strategy from a classic CT or counterterrorist mission to a
    much, much broader counterinsurgency mission. And it’s true. We
    did not have the intelligence mechanism there to make that
    shift that quickly. I think what he’s really getting to is the
    cultural, the human terrain–if I can use that phrase–
    perspective and insight that’s required to understand the
    village dynamics down to the very nitty-gritty level. And so
    that’s what his complaint was about.
    As I told him, if he felt that they had too many
    intelligence analysts at the brigade combat, at the BCT level
    and he needed more down at the battalion or company level, it’s
    up to him to move them. We’re certainly not going to sit back
    here in the confines of the beltway and orchestrate
    intelligence in Afghanistan. He’s the senior intelligence
    officer; that’s his responsibility, and we back here will
    certainly support him.
    Chairman Feinstein. Okay, and finally, contractor analysis.
    Could you put that high on your agenda? I very much appreciate
    what you said. And that was that it all depends on what, where,
    the necessity, the type of thing. And I think we need to get
    that under control, and we do not currently have it under
    control. We need to know where, from an intelligence
    perspective, contractors should serve a vital use, and where
    they do not.
    As you know, the cost is about 70 percent more than a
    government employee, so it is a very expensive enterprise as
    General Clapper. Yes, it is. And of course, per our earlier
    discussion, you know, the reason why we got to where we are and
    the sudden re-expansion of the intelligence committee after 9/
    11 and intelligence being an inherently manpower-intensive
    activity, so the natural outlet for that was contractors, whom
    we can hire one year at a time, which you can’t do with
    government employees. And you can also get rid of them more
    quickly, so the expansion or contraction.
    So, for example, the Army right now has about 6,000
    contractor Pashtu linguists. Well, I’m not sure we want to keep
    them on as government employees when the need for Pashtu
    linguists hopefully goes down in the future. So I think rather
    than rote numbers or percentages, I think what we need to–and
    I do intend to get into this, if I’m confirmed–what are the
    ground rules, the organizing principles that govern where it’s
    proper to use contractors and where it’s not.
    Chairman Feinstein. Well, we will schedule a meeting in
    your ascendancy to come in and brief us on that, so be
    prepared. But I’d like just quickly to tell you what my
    intention is.
    I’m going to request that all members submit questions by
    noon tomorrow and ask you to answer them as quickly as you can.
    And as soon as we receive the answers, Members have a brief
    opportunity to digest them, we will schedule a markup. If we
    can do it in a week or ten days, that’s fine; hopefully we can.
    Is that agreeable with you?
    General Clapper. Yes, ma’am. I would hope that whatever
    action is taken would be taken before the Senate adjourns in
    Chairman Feinstein. Well, we will certainly strive to do
    that, and the questions become a vital part, first of all, of
    us getting them, and secondly, your responding. But you’ve been
    very prompt in your responses, and I’ve no reason to believe it
    would be otherwise, so we will try to do our best to
    accommodate that.
    Let me just end by saying I think you’ve performed really
    very well. And once again, your expertise in this area is very
    much appreciated and I think will be very well used.
    General Clapper. Thank you.
    Chairman Feinstein. Mr. Vice Chairman.
    Vice Chairman Bond. Madam Chair, thank you for making it
    clear that we will have more questions for the record. I
    frankly have some questions for the record. I’d like to have
    your fuller explanation because they seem to be inconsistent
    with previous positions and some are not clear. I do want to
    have those.
    Madam Chair, if it’s possible, Senator Nelson said that he
    would like to have a closed hearing.
    I think there are some things that you are interested in
    that might be best covered in a classified hearing, and I have
    a couple of areas of overlap between military and civilian that
    I prefer not to discuss in an open session. So we will do that,
    and I would join you saying that the nominee has certainly
    stayed with it for a long time. We appreciate that.
    Chairman Feinstein. He says he does not need one. But if
    you do—-
    Vice Chairman Bond. Well, we might be able to have some
    classified questions at least then that we can submit for
    response, because there’s just a couple of things that probably
    I’d prefer not to discuss in an open session.
    But let me go back. A general question you’ll be asked in
    writing–and I think it’s good to have on record–will you
    cooperate with both the Chair and the Vice Chair, as well as
    with our staffs, by promptly responding to written and phone
    inquiries, sharing information, being proactive in sharing it
    with us?
    General Clapper. Yes. Yes, sir.
    Vice Chairman Bond. That’s something we talked about, and I
    wanted to–we mentioned that. I wanted to make sure that the
    staff knows that on both sides. And we will look forward to
    your full answers, but I want to go back–I was going down a
    road talking when I ran out of time on the first round.
    Talking about Guantanamo detainees and their release, when
    I communicated to the national security advisor that members of
    this committee had been told that the CIA and the DIA did not
    concur in sending a particular detainee back to Yemen, the
    national security advisor told me that those agencies would be
    reminded of the administration’s decision.
    Now, as I think we discussed once before, the
    administration’s decision is their decision, but if there is an
    implication that the intelligence committee should not be told
    honestly and frankly of advice that you give to the
    policymakers–whether it’s accepted or not–that troubles me.
    So will you commit to providing the committee the honest and
    forthright recommendations and assessments that you make,
    regardless of whether they are accepted ultimately by
    General Clapper. Yes, sir, I would. Again, as we discussed
    before, this is an interagency process. Intelligence is a very
    important, but not the exclusive, determinant. And it would be
    my view that intelligence should be as thorough and accurate as
    possible on making such assessments. And I don’t see any
    problem with, once we’ve spoken our piece and if that was
    ignored, that’s the process. And I certainly have no trouble–I
    wouldn’t have any trouble conveying that to the committee.
    Vice Chairman Bond. Good, because in case you’re advised of
    the position, we want the intelligence regardless of what the
    position may come up with.
    Let me go into another interesting area. You gave a
    conference speech in 2008 to GEOINT, which my staff managed to
    track down. And you said that at that point, “I hope the next
    administration will give some thought, I mean the Congress as
    well, to maybe another look at the National Security Act of
    1947, maybe a Goldwater-Nichols for the interagency.”
    But in the answers to the committee’s questionnaire you
    said you had no plan to recommend to the President any dramatic
    change, but rather look to improve it. There are some of us
    that think the Goldwater-Nichols recommendation was similar to
    what came out of the Project on National Security Reform that
    General Jones, Susan Rice, Jim Steinberg participated in before
    they joined the administration. The administration apparently
    has not gone along with that. As your recommendation–did your
    recommendation change as a result of the administration’s
    position, or do you think we need to take another look at the
    National Security Act of 1947?
    General Clapper. I think–what has been discussed about it,
    and I don’t exactly remember the GEOINT discussion. I think it
    had to do with the discussion that was at the time. I remember
    specifically former chairman of the JCS, Pete Pace, who was a
    proponent for a Goldwater-Nichols for the interagency, which
    could–you know, that might have merit.
    I do think it’s a different proposition, as Secretary
    Gates, I think correctly, points out, that Goldwater-Nichols in
    its original form, of course, only applied to one department.
    So perhaps the principles of Goldwater-Nichols could be applied
    perhaps in an interagency context.
    Vice Chairman Bond. Well basically, that’s what the DNI is;
    it’s an interagency agency. And that’s maybe–well, we will
    discuss that further. But are there any particular aspects of
    Goldwater-Nichols you believe should apply to the interagency?
    General Clapper. Well, one of the benefits of Goldwater-
    Nichols–and I was around and was probably part of the legion
    of people that wrote papers in the Pentagon against it at the
    time in the early 1980s, but now of course it is the accepted
    norm. And what it meant in the department was placing a very
    high premium on jointness and on joint duty. And so that is one
    of the principles that was taken on, particularly by Director
    McConnell, which I certainly agree with.
    And we are experiencing a lot of mobility in the
    intelligence community so that people get out of their home
    stovepipe and move to other parts of the community. So that’s a
    principle of Goldwater-Nichols that I think applies in the
    intelligence community and, for that matter, could apply in the
    Vice Chairman Bond. You suggest in answers to the committee
    questionnaire that the area of greatest ambiguity in IRTPA is
    the relationship with and authority of the DNI over the CIA.
    What do you think is ambiguous in the law?
    General Clapper. As I cited earlier, the IRTPA does
    stipulate that the Director of CIA–Director of the Central
    Intelligence Agency–is in charge of foreign intelligence
    relationships. And of course, that’s what gave rise to the
    dispute between DNI Blair and the Director of CIA. And I think
    the law says that the DNI oversees those foreign relationships,
    whatever that means. So I think that is an area of ambiguity.
    Vice Chairman Bond. All right. Three changes that I think
    might go a long way–I think you’ve addressed at least one of
    them–would be giving the DNI milestone decision authority for
    all intelligence programs funded 50 percent or more by NIP; two
    would be changing the non-abrogation language in section 1018;
    and the third is appropriating NIP funds directly to the DNI,
    rather than through DOD and other departments.
    What are your feelings on those three measures–1018,
    milestone authority over—-
    General Clapper. Well, I think there is an agreement now,
    which took the form of a memorandum agreement that was signed
    by Secretary Gates and Director McConnell that governs
    milestone decision authority. And of course it is a shared
    arrangement, depending on the predominance of the funding,
    whether it’s in the department or in the NIP.
    Non-abrogation, section 1018, was addressed in the revision
    to Executive Order 12333. And there was some language appended
    to that that basically amplified the process for potential
    resolution of disputes, if in fact they had to go to the White
    So at this point, I’m not prepared–as a nominee,
    certainly–to make any recommendations about amending section
    On DOD funding, I have been a proponent for taking the NIP
    out of the DOD. Now, that carries with it some baggage, if you
    will, in terms of the staffing mechanisms and processing, but I
    think the long-term impact of that would be to actually
    strengthen the DNI’s authorities over the National Intelligence
    Given the revelation of the top line appropriated number of
    the National Intelligence Program, the original reason for
    burying that number in the Department of Defense budget kind of
    goes away. And I have similarly argued–and the Secretary has
    approved–publicizing the Military Intelligence Program for the
    sake of completeness, both for the Congress and the public to
    know the totality of the investment in intelligence in this
    Vice Chairman Bond. Finally, you mentioned that you had
    looked over the bill that Senator Hatch and I had on setting up
    a national cyber center and a cyber defense alliance. Are there
    any further thoughts that you have to share about that bill or
    where we should be going on cyber?
    General Clapper. Well, sir, there are, as you know, many–I
    think there’s 34, 35 legislative proposals now in play which
    address a whole range of cyber, cyber-related issues. So I
    don’t want to preempt the administration on picking and
    choosing which bill they like.
    I do think, though, there are some appealing features in
    the bill that you and Senator Hatch are sponsoring, which is
    putting someone clearly in charge, having an identifiable
    budget aggregation, co-location either physically or virtually,
    I think. So those features–I have not read the bill itself but
    I’ve read about it–I think are appealing.
    Vice Chairman Bond. And the other thing, the importance
    that–I think the thing that was different, the cyber defense
    alliance would be a means for the private sector to come
    together with government agencies and each other, protected
    from FOIA and antitrust or other challenges, to discuss and
    share information on the threats that were coming in. And if
    you have any further information on that, I would appreciate
    hearing it, either now or later.
    General Clapper. Sir, I would recommend–if you haven’t
    already–some dialogue with the Deputy Secretary Bill Lynne,
    who has been very much in the lead for engaging with the
    civilian sector, particularly the defense intelligence base, on
    doing exactly this. And he’s done a lot of work, given this a
    lot of thought. So I would commend a dialogue with him.
    Vice Chairman Bond. All right. Well, thank you. And we’ve
    talked with many, many different private sector elements who
    are concerned that they don’t feel comfortable, don’t know
    where to go, or how to get information and share it. And I
    think they can be very, very perhaps helpful to each other and
    to the government in identifying the threats that are coming
    Well, thank you very much, General. As I said, we’ll have
    some questions for the record. And I think there may be some
    classified questions for that, and we’ll wait to hear a
    response. And thank you for the time that you’ve given us.
    Chairman Feinstein. Thank you very much, Mr. Vice Chairman
    and General Clapper. I think we’ve come to the end of the
    Again, for all staff, if you can let your Members know,
    please get the questions in by noon tomorrow. General Clapper
    will address them as quickly as possible. We will then make a
    decision whether we need a closed hearing. Perhaps these
    questions can be asked in a classified fashion in writing. If
    not, we will have a closed hearing, and we will try and move
    this just as quickly as possible.
    So, well done, General, and thank you everybody, and the
    hearing is adjourned.
    [Whereupon, at 5:43 p.m., the Committee adjourned.]
    Supplemental Material
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    Find this story at 20 July 2010