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Outline of Team 6 Proposed Investigative Hearing(s) on Intelligence Collection in the United States

Team 6 is focused on answering core questions regarding the collection, analysis, and dissemination of foreign intelligence within the United States. Team 6 is answering these questions by conducting a systematic review of how the various agencies with these responsibilities have performed these responsibilities in the past, what changes they have made since 9/11, and whether these changes are sufficient to address previous inadequacies. As the Front Office has conceded, the extent of the review we are undertaking is probably unprecedented. The findings of our review will likely be of interest to a broad range of people, including victim's families, policy makers, and the public at large. Thus, we believe that any hearing centered on Team 6's work should focus on the results of our investigation as opposed to merely selecting out some issues at random in order to have an earlier hearing. Proposed hearing: Overarching Questions: How was foreign intelligence information regarding terrorist activity in the United States collected, processed, analyzed and disseminated on September 11, 2001, and how effective was it in protecting the United States from terrorist attack? What is the state of the intelligence collection and dissemination process in the United States today and how effective will it be in identifying and preventing future terrorist attacks? How can our intelligence capabilities within the United States be improved upon?

POTENTIAL TOPICS AND ISSUES I. Intelligence Collection and Analysis A. Who is collecting and analyzing the dots and how well are they doing it? B. Which federal agencies have what responsibilities. Role and effectiveness of state and local counterterrorism agencies (e.g., CATIC). Private sector involvement in collection (e.g., data mining and technology issues).

Resource Issues: Technology, Budget, Personnel.

C. II.

Effectiveness of current legal authorities in assisting collection.

Information Sharing A. Information sharing and coordination within the Intelligence Community Effectiveness of the NJTTF, the TTIC, the Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection Directorate at DHS, and an evaluation of how well they work together. Effectiveness of other means of information sharing among members of the intelligence community (e.g., direct communications, detailing staff across agencies, etc.).


Information sharing within the FBI (i.e., between Headquarters and the Field Offices). Information sharing between the FBI and state and local law enforcement agencies (i.e., effectiveness of the JTTFs).



Civil Liberties and Public Perception Concerns A. B. Public reaction to a new "domestic spy agency" in the United States. Tradeoffs presented by new counterterrorism legal authorities and proposed security enhancements.

Timing of the Hearing: As the Team 6 Investigative Timeline indicates, Team 6 has developed a thorough investigative plan that includes initial background briefings by key agencies, site visits to FBI field offices, interviews of FBI headquarters officials, interviews of DOJ officials with responsibilities for intelligence collection and counterterrorism law enforcement inside the United States, interviews of officials at other federal, state, and local agencies with responsibilities in these areas, visits to selected foreign government officials with domestic intelligence collection responsibilities, and contacts with nongovernmental experts such as academics, civil libertarians, and private sector data mining company executives. We also propose to interview a number of former intelligence and law enforcement officials, selected judicial branch officials such as FIS A Court judges, and other non-executive branch persons. Our goal is to use the information we obtain from these interviews and from our review of the extensive documentary information that we have requested from the intelligence and law enforcement agencies to prepare for a meaningful Commission hearing on intelligence collection inside the United States and counterterrorism law

enforcement. As our investigative timeline indicates, we will not complete that work until early 2004. While there may be some benefit to the Commission from holding a hearing on some of these topics in the fall, two points concerning any such hearing should be noted. First, in the Fall of 2003 we will not yet be at a point in our investigation that the results of our work can inform a public Commission hearing. In fact, we have not been able to obtain documents or schedule interviews as quickly as we had planned to do when we prepared our investigative timeline. As a result, in the Fall we will still be at a very early stage of our investigative effort. It would be premature to use the information we will have collected by that time in a public hearing. (For example, we will have interviewed some FBI field office personnel by that time, but we will not have interviewed the entire breadth of Field Office personnel who we plan to interview and will not have yet interviewed any FBI headquarters supervisory officials. It would not be appropriate to hold a public hearing that is essentially a referendum on the FBI's performance without including the views of headquarters supervisory officials.) For these reasons, a fall hearing on Team 6 issues would almost certainly have to focus on topics that are not included in our investigative timeline. A second, but equally important issue, concerns staff resources. If the Commission holds a public hearing in the fall that focuses on matters that are not covered in our investigative timeline (such as a more policy-based hearing on legal authorities and issues), the preparation for that hearing will divert staff resources from the work that is described in our investigative timeline. This not only will delay our investigative work but may make coordination of our work with other teams who wish to interview some of the same officials even more difficult. Third, an abstract hearing on legal authorities that is not directly tied into how the intelligence community is actually operating would not add much value to the public debate on these issues. For these reasons, Team 6 recommends that the Commission have an in-depth, substantive hearing on intelligence collection within the United States in February 2004. The overarching theme of the hearing would be on the current state of intelligence and law enforcement collection inside the United States, and how it has evolved since the September 11, 2001 attacks. The witnesses would also be asked to address the current problems with the system, and to propose recommendations for reform, including whether the government should create a new agency with primary responsibility for foreign intelligence collection in the United States. The witnesses would all be individuals whom we interviewed during the course of our investigation, and could include current and former FBI and DOJ officials, state/local authorities, and outside experts. Given the number of people that we will have interviewed by that point, it should not be difficult to identify those who would be the best witnesses for this type of hearing (and the Commission would have the benefit of the record of our prior interviews of the witnesses).

The hearing, and in particular the questions directed to the witnesses by Commissioners, would be driven by the information we will have collected and analyzed during our investigation. We believe that as a result of the breadth of the investigative record we will have compiled by that time, this hearing would be unique and would go well beyond what congressional hearings and studies of prior commissions have contributed to the issue of intelligence collection inside the United States. This type of hearing would serve several important purposes. First, it would help inform the public and the media about these issues. Second, given that it would be an investigative hearing, it is likely that additional information of value would be developed during the course of the hearing, which could be used to further our own investigation. While there have been a number of public hearings on the FBI reforms and on changes in the law since September 11,2001, those hearings have generally not been investigative in nature. They necessarily have focused more on the policy and legal changes since the attacks as opposed to the actual workings of the process. Moreover, the few hearings that have taken place which were investigative in nature, such as the hearing in which GAO and NAP A testified about the results of their investigations of the FBI, have been far more limited in scope.1 We will be able to examine these issues in depth and in the context of broader issues related to the current state of intelligence collection in the U.S. only if we hold a hearing or hearings in early 2004 that are predicated on the full results of our investigation.

1 GAO conducted an investigation of the FBI's post-9/11 reforms, and NAPA examined the state of the FBI's information technology program.