Senate Democratic Policy Committee Hearing


Friday, October 24, 2003

Mansfield Room (S-207), U.S. Capitol

10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.


“National Security Implications of Disclosing the Identity of

an Intelligence Operative”



   DASCHLE: This meeting of the Democratic Policy Committee will

begin.   Earlier this year, someone publicly and willfully disclosed one

of this nation's most protected and valuable national security

secrets: the identity of an intelligence operative.

   With this act, the person or persons responsible not only placed

at risk the personal safety of an individual, but they also placed at

risk the security of every American.

   The importance of intelligence agents to our national security at this point in

our history simply cannot be overstated. America and our troops are currently

engaged in a war in Iraq and waging a war on terrorism and terrorists around the world.

   Regarding the critical role human intelligence plays in our

larger effort against terror, President Bush recently said, ``The last

several months have shown there is no substitute for good intelligence

officers, people on the ground. These are the people who find the

targets, follow our enemies and help us disrupt their evil plans.''

   Just as there is unanimity in the importance of human

intelligence, Democrats and Republicans agree publicly disclosing

the identities of these assets cause great harm.

   According to Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, quote, ``Leaks put

people's lives at risk.'' And I think that the people in any branch

of government have an obligation to manage their mouths in a way that

does not put people's lives at risk. Folks that leak and put people's lives at risk ought to

be in jail.   Former President George H.W. Bush put it even more succinctly:

``I have nothing but contempt and anger for those who betray the trust

by exposing the names of our sources. They are, in my view, the most insidious of traitors.''


   We are fortunate to have with us today people who have

collectively served their country in the intelligence community for

several decades. We are joined today by Jim Marcinkowski, a former

CIA case officer; Larry Johnson, a former CIA analyst; and Vince

Cannistraro, a former senior CIA officer.

   These three men are here today because they believe that having

the opportunity to serve our nations as intelligence officers was a

great honor. Through their testimony today we will have a better

understanding of the importance of human intelligence assets and the

damage that results when their identities are disclosed.

   As we work to work to examine the full ramifications of this leak

on individual intelligence agents, our intelligence community and our

national security, their expertise will help us to come up with ways

to prevent future threats of this nature.

   These men come here not as Democrats or Republicans but as

Americans. Their presence demonstrates that their commitment to serve

this great nation did not end when they left public service.

   Given the open nature of this discussion -- this is not a

classified meeting or hearing -- we will respect, obviously, the

importance of maintaining our respect for the intelligence data

with which we all work.

   I'm grateful for their appearance today and before I call on

each of them for their comments, let me call first on the ranking member

of the Intelligence Committee, Jay Rockefeller.


ROCKEFELLER: Thank you, Mr. Leader.

   And I'm also very pleased to re-welcome Mr. Marcinkowski, Larry

Johnson and Vince Cannistraro. We were fortunate enough yesterday to

have James Marcinkowski with us in a closed meeting.

And he gave us very, very excellent and important testimony.

   I'm particularly glad that you two other gentlemen join him here.

   These are all men who have enormous experience. In the case of

Mr. Marcinkowski, he has served not only in the military and the FBI,

but the CIA. So he's got a full range -- a prosecutor, a lawyer. He

knows the full gamut of all that's involved here.

   It may seem odd that we're doing this in, kind of, an open

session and yet discussing matters which border on intelligence.

Yet the fact -- as the leader said -- is that intelligence is now simply

integral to the lives of every American.

   Policy and intelligence go back and forth. War-fighting and

intelligence go back and forth. They're joined at the hip. There

isn't a separation between collection and analysis and then policies;

all the same. And it's even so stated in the resolution which created

our Intelligence Committee in the Senate.


   So it plays an enormous role in our lives and that's why this

outing and comments which these gentlemen will have to make on that

and the effect of that become so incredibly important.

   You get something of this sort when somebody is simply exposed.

Then it becomes a public matter in a very, very different way.

   I have to tell you, when I first learned of the leak, I found

that -- I think I used the word ``vile''; today I'll use the word

``revolting'' or both. We immediately requested that the CIA take

action to determine the source of the leak. We have nothing from that

yet. The CIA has since asked, as you know, the Justice Department to

undertake a criminal investigation and that is ongoing.

   On the other hand, I have to tell you that I'm very, very

concerned -- and it is quite possible that Mr. Marcinkowski will say

the same thing -- that this is being carried out by the Department of

Justice headed by John Ashcroft.  I think most of us have called for a special

counsel. We do not do so for political reasons, we do so for

intelligence and national security reasons, that we get an independent

understanding of how this came about.

   I think that's terribly important. I do not think it is possible

for the attorney general to be impartial in this matter.

   And it was clearly, you know, from the White House that these

leaks came, and from high administration officials, however you want

to interpret that.   So we do have an investigation going, and I do not believe that

the Intelligence Committee can therefore, sort of, double-cross or

double-do that investigation. But believe me, while it's going on,

and depending what happens afterwards, we'll be following it very

closely, and then we'll decide what to do after that.

   I also want to say that Senators Biden, Levin, Senator Daschle

and myself requested a damage assessment from the national

counterintelligence executive. That's the crux of what these three

gentlemen are going to be talking about.

   Since this case appears to involve the publication of classified

information, we believe that damage assessment should be immediately

taken so that swift action can be taken so that this does not happen again.

   Finally, as you three men sit here before us, I must tell you

that I'm extremely disappointed by the reaction from the White House.

I'm especially concerned that this apparent leak is attributed to one

of the president's to aides, or a top official, and that it may have

been done for political gain or for retribution. I personally, just

from a personal point of view, believe it was meant to send a message.

   That has the most disastrous effects on the ability of the CIA to

recruit, but more importantly, it has unbelievable effects, which will

be explained, on the ability for people to be secure and to carry out

their lives, in fact to keep their lives.


The president should be committed to finding out who did this.

He should be a part of it. He's been rather tepid; sort of detached

from the process. He should call people in and on his own make very

clear to the American people that this is a matter of extreme

importance to him, intelligence being the root of what it is that alerts the country to danger. 

And danger is amongst us and danger is all around us.

   So in my judgment it's way past time for the president to send

this strong message and I hope that he will do and I hope that he will

be hearing about this hearing this morning.

   The Valerie Plame case seems to be in part, I will have to say,

in conclusion of an unfortunate trend. And that is, intelligence is,

kind of, an interesting thing to leak, to out people, to play with

when, in fact, it's, sort of, the fundamental underpinning of the

national security of the American people and now one can talk, with

the war on terrorism, way beyond that.

   So I want to thank the individuals for coming, I want to thank

Senator Daschle, the Democratic leader, for having a chance to have

all of this -- be able to listen to what these gentlemen have to say.   I thank you.


DASCHLE: Thank you, Senator Rockefeller.   Senator Harkin?


HARKIN: Leader, thank you very much. And again I join in

thanking you for calling this very important hearing today on this

matter of vital national interest.

   I was reading the resumes of each of these men sitting here

before us. I don't know either -- any one of you personally, but I

have certainly read your backgrounds and I just want to thank you --

each one of you -- for the service you've given to our country.

   I think that many times those of us who've served in the

military, we tend to think that those who defend our country always

have on a uniform. There are a lot of non-uniform people who give

their lives for this country and who are in the most dangerous of

situations time and time again, in order that we have the information

and the intelligence that we need to defend our country. And so, I

thank you all for your great public service that you've given in the

past and continue to give today.   I have a lot of concerns about what had happened here with this

exposure, but perhaps my biggest concern that I keep talking about on

the floor of the Senate is the chilling effect -- the possible

chilling effect that this might have on those who are out there in the

front lines in the intelligence-gathering service getting this information we need.

   Now, people might dispute this, but I've often said that the most

important thing we have in our battle against international terrorism

is not smart bombs and missiles and B-1 bombers and F-22s and Joint Strike Fighters.

I mean, they're important for other things. But the most important thing is to get the

information first, so we can nip it in the bud, get to these people before they can cause damage. And that means adequate, accurate information and intelligence.

   And I'm concerned about this chilling effect, and if any of you

might address that in your remarks, of what this might mean to agents

in the field and their contacts that they have; and what happens if

one of our agents in a very dangerous place is gathering information

and has contacts, but maybe they'll be outed at some time.

I mean, what does that do to a person's kind of psyche, in terms of how they

operate and how they work?

   And so, I worry about that, not only Ms. Plame herself, whom I

don't know -- I've never met -- but just all of the other agents that

are out there, and what that might means in terms of that chilling effect.

   Lastly, I must state publicly that there almost appears to be a

double standard here emanating at least from the White House. Since

September 11th, the White House has stressed -- rightfully so, I

believe -- the critical importance of human intelligence in tracking

down these terrorist groups and their leaders.

   Until this leak of the CIA covert agent's identity, the

administration quickly cracked down on anyone -- including U.S.

senators, I might add -- who leaked classified information to the press.

   But if the purpose of a leak is to discredit or intimidate an

administration critic, well, that seems to be another story. And in

that case, national security takes a back seat.

   And so, I'm concerned about this, kind of, double standard --

both the chilling effect and this double standard and what this means

to the intelligence services of our country.

   So again, Mr. Chairman, it's a very important hearing. I thank

you for your leadership on this and I especially also want to thank

Senator Rockefeller for his leadership on the Intelligence Committee.


DASCHLE: Thank you very much, Senator Harkin, for your comments.

   And let me ask now for the former chairman of the Senate

Intelligence Committee, Bob Graham for his comments.


GRAHAM: Thank you, Senator Daschle. I will try to make my

comments brief, so that we can get on to the testimony of our three witnesses.

   I'd like to ask two questions: Why is this issue of leaks of the

identity of a covert agent important and what has been done since we

became aware of those leaks? I think it's important, particularly in this period of

the war on terror, because one of the deficiencies that's been counted

as a reason that we do so little about the events that were coming on

September 11th was that we did not have persons within these terrorist

cells who could report as to the capabilities of intentions. That is

an extremely dangerous undertaking. This disclosure of a covert agent

makes it even more dangerous.


   Second, we understand that we are not going to win the war on

terror without strong foreign relationships with those countries that

have the greatest ability to assist in effective pursuit of the war on

terror. Those relationships are damaged by this type of disclosure,

since frequently covert agents are also working with foreign

governments and they have a very high interest in not having that

relationship disclosed.

This undercuts the morale of agents and the

confidence of foreign governments in the activities of the United States.

   It also discloses or further underscores a pattern of selective

intelligence. There are provisions within, for instance, the report

which the Senate and House Intelligence Committees completed almost a

year ago which relates to events leading up to 9/11 which have yet to

be made available to the public. I can state that those currently

censored sections have much less national security importance than the

leak of the name of this covert agent. So it appears as if there is

a, as Senator Harkin said, double standard being used as to what's

made public and what is withheld. Second, what are some of the

questions that we ought to be pursuing?

   These would include who in the White House was aware of

Ambassador Wilson's wife CIA role and why were they made available,

why were they made knowledgeable of that covert relationship? What is

the White House procedures as to how to deal with leaks of

confidential information? When did the White House first become aware

of this leak of information? What actions were instituted by the

White House and what was the result of such inquiries within the White House itself?

   And when was a damage assessment ordered, by whom, the CIA, the

White House or others? What has been learned from that damage

assessment? And what actions have been taken, based upon it?

   Mr. Leader, those are some of the questions that I hope we could

at least begin the process of unraveling this morning.   Thank you.


DASCHLE: Thank you, Senator Graham. They're certainly important questions.

   Before I call upon Senator Lautenberg and Senator Levin, Senator

Rockefeller had a postscript to add to his initial comments.


ROCKEFELLER: It just occurs to me, so clearly, so compellingly

that there's such a parallel between what we are about to hear this

morning and what we are discussing this morning and the work which is

going on in the Senate Intelligence Committee, where it appears, at

least to me -- Senator Levin can speak for himself -- but it appears

to me that there is a very, very clear effort being made to blame

everything on the Intelligence community and steer, by all means, away

from anything that has anything to do with anybody in the administration at higher-up levels or elsewhere.  

This is most unfortunate. I think it's very clear and I'll be glad to talk to about it later.


DASCHLE: Senator Lautenberg?


LAUTENBERG: Very briefly, Mr. Chairman, thank you for doing

this, because perhaps we can clear up some of the history that surrounds this.

   The public has certainly, in addition to ourselves, purportedly

in a position to know what's happening, are dumbfounded by the mystery

that, A, this kind of disregard for life and well-being might be

approved by people in the administration, people at the highest level;

and the intimidation that accompanies this.  What are we functioning as

here, that in matters as sensitive as this, at as critical a time as this, to be willing to

threaten someone in the intelligence service with exposure to life and

limb is shocking beyond comprehension.

   So, Mr. Chairman, I appreciate the opportunity to be here, and

I'm very anxious to hear from our witnesses.


DASCHLE: Thank you, Senator Lautenberg. Senator Levin?


LEVIN: Thank you very much, Leader.

   It's very important that Americans hear the testimony of today's

witnesses. The outing of a CIA undercover agent is a vicious and a

premeditated act. It not only endangers the individual's life and

career, it damages our nation's efforts to protect Americans as a whole.

   And among the many questions which I know our witnesses will

address will be the very broad underlying question of to what extent

does the outing of an agent hinder the ability of the CIA to recruit

foreign assets to address threats to this nation in the future.

   Will people being asked abroad to give us information be less

likely to give us that information secretly if they think that the

person to whom they're giving that information may be publicly

identified at a later time?

   That is a significant security threat to this nation, as well as,

obviously, a personal threat to the individual involved.   Thank you.


DASCHLE: Thank you, Senator Levin.

   With those opening comments, let me first call on Mr. Cannistraro

for his public remarks.  Thank you, Senators, for inviting me here today.

I'll make my comments as brief as possible.

   I think it's very important to understand the context in which

this leak occurred. We had a pattern of pressure directed at CIA

analysts for a long period of time beginning almost immediately after

September 11th in those disastrous events. The pressure was directed

at providing supporting information data for the belief that Saddam

Hussein was, one, linked to global terrorism and, two, was a clear

danger not only to his neighbors but to the United States of America.

   And in support of that argument assertions were made that he was

about to renew a nuclear program and was attempting to acquire uranium

ore in Africa for which he was going to be exploiting it for an enriched weapons program.

Toward December of 2001, intelligence report was received in

Washington that alleged that Saddam Hussein had been attempting to

acquire yellow cake uranium ore in Niger and two other African

countries. The vice president of the United States and other senior

officials in the administration seized on this information as a proof

that Saddam was that clear and present danger and needed to be

addressed immediately in order to eliminate that danger.

   The vice president and his chief of staff went out to CIA

headquarters on a number of occasions -- at least on two occasions --

specifically to address the questions of weapons of mass destruction

and the attempt to acquire a nuclear capability. These meetings, I'm

told secondhand, were contentious, but the vice president insisted

that there must be some support for this reporting of the yellow cake

acquisition attempt. CIA analysts, I'm told, didn't have any

independent data to verify that, but as a result of the insistent

pressure being applied to the analysts and particularly to the

nonproliferation center, the CIA did send, as they've said publicly,

Former Ambassador Joseph Wilson on a fact-finding mission to Niger.

Ambassador Wilson speaks fluent French, had served

in Gabon, knew the political leadership in Niger and was a plausible

choice to go on fact-finding mission, particularly to a place which

was not a critical area for U.S. national security in which we did not

have high-level intelligence representation.

   As we know, Ambassador Wilson's report found no support for the

allegations of a uranium acquisition attempt in Niger. This was,

obviously, not persuasive to the administration officials, both in the

Pentagon, at the National Security Council and in the Vice President's

Office, because public assertions about the renewed nuclear program

were made insistently after CIA reporting.

   The CIA's memoranda went, as you know, to the White House, the

Vice President's Office, to the Pentagon, was distributed widely

within the National Security Council.

   Despite the lack of evidence, the assertions were made

repeatedly. It was obvious that they weren't persuasive. And after

Ambassador Wilson went public, after a series of leaks in the press,

that there was no support for that uranium claim, the leak against

Wilson took place in July of this year and gratuitously, his wife and

her status as a clandestine officer of the CIA was exposed.

   There were, in my view, two purposes in that. One was to trash

Ambassador Wilson and to undermine the findings that he had in Africa,

which were that there was no evidence that the uranium attempt was true.


   And secondly, to demonstrate an underlying contempt for the

professional intelligence community -- CIA in particular.

Many of the people in the administration who were

publicly identified as ideologues and members of the group that

advocated war in Iraq were not happy with the CIA, were not happy even

with DIA -- the Pentagon's own intelligence service -- because it

didn't consistently provide the supporting data for the public

assertions that Iraq was a clear danger.

   So it seems to me that they were trying to not only undermine and

trash Ambassador Wilson, but to demonstrate their contempt for CIA by

bringing Valerie's name into it. Wasn't germane to their argument,

but they brought it in there deliberately, vindictively in, in my

judgment, a dirty trick.   I pass my comments on to my colleagues.


DASCHLE: Thank you, Mr. Cannistraro for your comments.

   And we'll now turn to Mr. Johnson.


JOHNSON: Thank you, Senator.   I have submitted a statement in writing. It's not just my

statement but it is reflective of two other colleagues, Brent Calvin

(ph) and Mike Grimaldi (ph), who were also with me and with Ambassador

Wilson's wife in training. We started training at the Central

Intelligence Agency in September of 1985.

   And we come at this as colleagues of hers. You know, in

Washington people often figure that you have some sort of ulterior

motive for doing these things. And when you look at the case of

Ambassador Wilson, I've heard some ludicrous claims that what he's

really trying to do is position himself for a new job in a Democratic administration.

   I've spoken with Ambassador Wilson and told him, I said. ``If you

want to go back in government you've got to be out of your mind.

You get to take a pay cut. You get to work seven days a week and you

get to be blamed when sometimes things go right.'' So I really don't see the up side.

   We are angry -- as we don't even like to use Ambassador Wilson

wife's in public -- we're angry. It's not like she's a close personal

friend and we've been corresponding over the years. The fact of the

matter was, I didn't realize Ambassador Wilson was married to her

until two days after the story appeared, because when we went to

training we knew each other by last names.

   Bob Gates, when he was at CIA -- I know there are things you can

criticize about former Director Gates, but the one thing that he did

that was really good, he brought the members of the directorate of

operations, intelligence, science and technology, put us together in a career trainee course.

And what that course did was, it has forged bonds which

endure 18 years since. Some of us haven't seen each other in 10

years, but that bond of trust is strong.


   We didn't have to hold hearings after the attacks on 9/11 to

prove to people that we had been damaged by terrorists. And the

reason is the American people and the world watched as the planes hit

the towers, as the towers fell, as bodies were carried out of the

Pentagon.  It was visible; we saw it.

   How do we show the damage done here? We can't. In fact, if we

could reveal the nature of this damage and all of its ramifications,

we would end up compromising the very sources and methods that we are obligated to protect.

   Now, one other interesting thing about the three of us that

submitted this written comment: We're all Republicans. We all voted

for Bush. And we all contributed funds to him.

   Now, that may immediately call into question my judgment in front

of you, but I just wanted to use that as a disclosure, because what

sickens me about this process is the partisan nature that the White

House has allowed it to take on.

   I would not be as angry if I had heard Scott McClellan, the

president's spokesman, on the day that this happened said, ``This is an

outrage and we're going to find out what did it.''

   Instead, what we saw was a partisan assault on Joe Wilson and his

wife. They contributed money to Democratic candidates.

   Well, nobody said anything when Joe Wilson voted for George Bush

Sr. twice and voted for Bob Dole. He wasn't a partisan then. They

didn't send his money back when he sent it to the Republicans.

   And instead of the White House delivering a clear, strong message

that this is as an egregious attack on this country as what happened

on 9/11, they persist in these rumor mills being sent out.

   You see it today in the Washington Times, some FBI agent saying,

``We need to be out finding terrorists instead of investigating this

leak.'' If an FBI agent believes that, that man or woman needs to be

put on suspension, because they don't understand -- they don't

understand the threat that this represents to this country.

   Because the message that's sent is, I think, as the senators have

correctly note, one of intimidation. This is not the first case or

the first time this happened. If you recall late last year, when Undersecretary

Bolton tried to come up to the Congress to testify and provide his

views on the bio-weapons threat in Cuba, he was prevented from doing

so by the intelligence community. And the person who wound up in the

bull's eye was the national intelligence officer for Latin America,

whose name was brought up in the press and there were efforts to have him removed from his position.  

Why? Well, he had worked at the Clinton National Security

Council. And what people don't know about that individual is actually

he started out in Washington working for Congressman Leach, who's a Republican from Iowa.

   But what this man did was he tried to prevent an inaccurate view

of intelligence being presented to the Congress and instead received

the intimidation of pressure to try to have him outed.

   To Director Tenet's credit, Director Tenet protected him.

   But there are some bullies in this administration, and the

essence of being a bully is being a coward. And I expect President

Bush -- having voted for him, I expected something different from him.

I expected him to call him out immediately and not tolerate it.

   We have -- in terms of career-enhancing moves, this is not one of

the smarter things I've probably done. And when people go back

through and try to find out, ``What can we find that's sordid and

unwise and things that Larry has said in the past, where he's opened

his mouth and probably shouldn't have?'' you'll find that.

   But at the end of the day, we're here because we're Americans. I

think that the level of partisan -- I call it poisonous partisan

politics in this town has sunk to a level that it has got to stop.

And unfortunately, it's a curb on both sides.

   The shame, I guess, we should feel when we live in a society

where someone like former Senator McGovern is vilified as an appeaser

and sellout when he was in the belly of a bomber flying over Europe,

and he's the appeaser and yet we have President Nixon who's upheld as

this combat veteran who wasn't in combat. We find a book out now by

Ann Coulter calling -- you know, if you're a Democrat, you're almost a

traitor.   What happened to Ambassador Wilson's wife is symptomatic of that

partisan poison and it has got to stop. And that is my bottom-line plea to you

and to everyone that's listening in this town.


DASCHLE: Thank you very much, Mr. Johnson.   Mr. Marcinkowski?


MARCINKOWSKI: Senators, good morning. It's truly an honor to

appear and for you to take the time to delve into this, I think,

unprecedented and most important event.

   The times we live in, according to Defense Secretary Donald

Rumsfeld, he states we have entered what may very well prove to be the

most dangerous security environment the world has ever known. It's

because of the danger of that environment that the discussion

involving the exposure of this clandestine intelligence officer is

vitally important to the national security.

   I'd like to speak about two separate issues: first, the act of

the exposure itself and the damage that that has caused; and perhaps a

little more disturbing is the myths that have been reported in the

media that tend to downplay the dangerousness of this situation.

   To my knowledge, the United States government has never before

released the name of a clandestine officer. Until recently, there was

never even a debate on whether it was wrong and whether it was

harmful. Yet, we sit in this room today and there's questions that

people are asking about, ``Is this OK?'' It is not OK.


Many of us who have spoken in outrage over this incident were

Ambassador Wilson's wife's classmates in training at the Central

Intelligence Agency. And the vitally important message that I bring

to you this morning is simple, yet devastating.

   My classmates and I have been betrayed. Together, we have kept

the secrets of each other's identities a secret for 18 years. Each

and every one of us have kept that secret, whether we were in the CIA,

in other government service or in the private sector.

   But this issue is not just about a blown cover. It is about the

destruction of the very essence, the core of human intelligence

collection activities: plausible deniability, apparently, for

partisan domestic political reasons. There are only two entities that can definitively

identify a clandestine officer: either that officer him or herself or

the government for which they work.

   When operating overseas or even working in the United States, the

cover of a majority of case officers may be a mere fig leaf.

Someone may suspect or even presume that a particular person is a CIA officer,

but that officer still has the ability to deny that connection.

   That plausible deniability, combined with the personal skills of

the individual officer, provides the security for the officer in all of his or her contacts.

   Blown cover probably happens more than anyone would like. The

deliberate exposure and identification of Ambassador Wilson's wife by

her own government was unprecedented, unnecessary, harmful and dangerous.

   While there may be a damage assessment conducted in this specific

case, there is a host of incalculable damage that flows from the

exposure itself: damage to our ability to assuage the security

concerns and personal safety of our current and potential agents

overseas, damage to our reputation to maintain confidentiality with

foreign friendly governments who share intelligence with the United

States, damage to our image in attracting our own talented people to

come work for the CIA, damage to the credibility of this country's

efforts to safety the well-being of its own citizens.

   And perhaps striking at the heart of the matter, regardless

whether this incident falls within the purview of the criminal law,

what moral message has now been sent as to how this government will

respond to the misdeeds of the keepers of that public trust?

   The arguments made in the media, in an apparent attempt to

downplay the effects of this incident, demonstrate a complete lack of

understanding of undercover operations. It defies logic to pretend

that anyone involved in this exposure did not know they were dealing

with someone who was an employee of the CIA, which is by definition a spy agency.

To have any effectiveness, the agency relies upon

secrecy. Not even the janitor at the agency probably should report

that he or she works for the agency, since that would or could make

that person a target of a hostile intelligence service – unnecessarily.

   It's been reported that Ambassador Wilson's wife status as a CIA

employee was not important to the initial story. If the identity wasn't important, then why was that information in the story? The disclosure of identity was evidently newsworthy, since it was included and it was reported by the national media.

   The agent known to the senior official is -- the fact that a

senior official is implicated in the story makes it important and

therefore he must have been a knowledgeable person. The agent's

identity was obviously included to give the entire report more

credibility and to maximize the effect of the other information included within the story.

   It's been said in some of the media that the act itself wasn't

deliberate. How can anyone pretend that the disclosure of a CIA

employee's identity to a reporter could be done by accident?

   The fact is that the release of this information by a senior

official was deliberate and done for a purpose.

   It is equally clear that the purpose of the senior official was

certainly not to advance the national security interests of the United

States. Reasonable minds cannot differ as to the deliberate nature of

this action by the senior official.

   Anyone who would care to portray this action as mere negligent,

as opposed to deliberate, should also be prepared to explain how

anyone so completely inept as to divulge the information by accident

ever became a senior official in any organization, let alone an

organization who has charge of running the United States.

   It must be assumed that a senior official would have at least a

rudimentary working knowledge of the media, an understanding of what

is on or off the record, what information is on background and so forth.

The fact that such basic ground rules, if you will, were not used to protect the identity of Ambassador Wilson's wife exceeds any reasonable definition of gross negligence.

   Disclosure was not an accident. It was a cynical effort to

advance an interest deemed so important by this senior official as to

potentially place lives at risk. The interest being advanced by this

disclosure was certainly not national security.

   Somehow the issue of disclosing the names of intelligence workers

must be dealt with. It is my hope that the Congress can work together

in a nonpartisan -- never mind bipartisan, but a nonpartisan manner to

get at the heart of what before was common standards that this was

bad. We're beyond that now. We're questioning whether this release

was harmful, whether it should have been done. What harm is flowing

from it? Those questions weren't asked before so this is the issue of a first impression.

   And I'm hoping that the members of the Congress, as well as

members of the presidency, can resolve this issue so it never happens again.


DASCHLE: Thank you very much, Mr. Marcinkowski, for your comments.

   And I thank each of the members of our very distinguished panel

for your eloquence and the passion with which you've expressed yourself this morning.

   We have about a half-hour before we have to exit this room. In the interest of a accommodating all of our senators, I'm going to suggest that each of us ask a question. And if there is need for a

follow-up, perhaps a follow-up that that will accommodate all of our

members as we consider the time constraints under which we're working.

   Let me begin by asking the panel -- each of you can reply if you

wish. The motivation, as described by each of you, appears to have

been two-fold: first, perhaps to punish by outing a CIA agent, for

whatever reason to punish that person; and the second perhaps was to

influence the actual assessment of the intelligence community itself

with regard to a specific instance. Both of those are egregious

demonstrations of intervention at the worst possible level.

   I'm still trying to gather a better judgment as to the impact,

the assessment that you'd have with regard to each of those

motivations. What happens to the intelligence community?

   I saw in the paper today where now it appears that the

intelligence community will probably have 100 percent of the blame if

the report from the community goes forward. And I'm wondering whether

they were influenced at all by political pressures to make some of the

judgments they were and whether we're still seeing the ramifications

of that as we consider Iraq.

   But of those two motivations, could you elaborate a little bit

more on the repercussions of political intervention to change

assessments made by the community and the impact of punishing one

individual for whatever actions she may have taken?


CANNISTRARO: I think that the jury is still out, in terms of how

good the CIA intelligence was on the subject of Iraq and its

capabilities. And I'll leave that the intelligence community to look at in detail.

   What I do know, however, is there was a pattern of pressure

placed on the analysts to provide supporting data for objectives which

were already articulated. It's the inverse of the intelligence ethic.

   Intelligence is supposed to describe the world as it is and as

best you can find it, and then policymakers are supposed to use that

to formulate their own policies. In this case, we had policies that

were already adopted and people were looking for the selective pieces

of intelligence that would support those policy objectives.

   The outing of Valerie's name and her position has a chilling

effect within the agency itself, Senator. And I think Jim and Larry

have spoken eloquently of that chilling effect.

   What it means, however, is that it is going to be very difficult

to get young men and women to dedicate their lives to this particular

kind of intelligence work, which is an unofficial cover, living abroad

in a capacity in which you are not identified as a member of the U.S. government.



   Better to provide the access you need. Senator Graham talked

about our inability to penetrate Al Qaida before 9/11, and that was a

well-spoken comment, because that was one of the egregious deficiencies at CIA: its lack of a non-official cover program that was robust and its ability to target very difficult things like close-

knit terrorist groups and penetrate them.

You obviously can't do that with people inside embassies affiliated with the U.S. government.

   That means living in some pretty dangerous parts of the world,

living without the protection of the U.S. government.

   What we've done with the outing of Valerie is raise the doubts in

young people's minds: ``Is this the kind of life that I want to do?''

   There are a lot of dedicated people out there and a lot of people

rallied to the flag after 9/11. They wanted to help the country.

Enlistments went up in the military, for example. Applications to CIA went up significantly.

   But what this raises is the questions: ``Can we protect the

identity of people living dangerous covert lives?''    To me, it doesn't even make any difference what Valerie was doing at the time of the outing. It's what she had done before. It was her chosen

career path was an unofficial cover clandestine operative abroad.

Whether she ever was going back to that was irrelevant to the

question; she was outted -- as everyone has acknowledged -- as a vindictive act.

   But again, a vindictive act because the agency -- CIA and DIA and

some of the other portions of the intelligence community -- were not

providing support for policy statements that Saddam Hussein was renewing his nuclear program.


DASCHLE: Thank you, Mr. Cannistraro.


JOHNSON: On the political side of that, when I started training

as an analyst I was trained by a man named George Allen; not the football coach.

   George's role had been -- he was in the Westmoreland trial. He

was in charge of the analysis at CIA when the Vietnam body count

issues came up. And he talked to us about how to fend off political pressure.

   It is true that there is inevitably going to be a struggle. It

doesn't matter whether it's a Democratic administration or Republican

administration, the intelligence community is always going to be

bringing some bad news downtown. And it's important to understand

that I think that's one of the dynamics at work here.

   I was right in the middle of the Central American war. I was an

analyst in the Central American area. Even though I strongly

supported that policy I found myself at times being accused of being a Communist sympathizer.

   I'll just give you an example to illustrate it: We were at

what's called a warning meeting and I made reference to the Contras

and was stopped by the fellow running the meeting, he said, ``No, no,

you can't call them Contras, you have to call them the democratic

resistance.'' And you know my mouth always gets me into trouble, I

said, ``But President Reagan calls them the Contras.'' And they said,

``But yes, he's the president.''   The person I'm talking to is in my chain of command.

They write your evaluation, your fitness report. How willing are you to step out

and speak your mind when someone writes the fitness report and says,

``Well, you know, you don't appear to be cooperative.'' Well, the

reason you're not cooperative is you keep poking the fingers in the

eye sometimes, because I think the role of the intelligence community

is to try to be an honest broker for the president.

And I took my job very seriously then that to tell the president --

it didn't matter whether they're Republican or Democrat -- to tell them the truth.

   They may not like the truth, they may not be able to handle the

truth, but at least I felt, ``I do my part; they can never say, 'I didn't know.'''

   And, unfortunately, part of what has happened in this process --

and it's not just unique to Iraq. I mean, it's gone across other areas.

   When you're looking for the connection, as Vince noted, that

Saddam and Osama were working together and it's not there, you find

that, in fact, there's the unusual connection of a stronger link

between Osama and Iran, but they don't want to hear that. They want

to see the link with Saddam and it wasn't there. I mean, Saddam was

sponsoring terrorism, but the terrorist attacks were going against

Israel and Iran. And that didn't fit in with the world view.

   So, that effort to intimidate is sometimes subtle, but it exists.


MARCINKOSWKI: Just briefly, the fact that there is intimidation

out there and the result of a political act is the exposure, trust me,

if you're a case officer on the street, there are people around the

world that are looking at the actions of the United States government,

especially in these times of electronic mass media. These people are

very bright. They pay attention to what happens in this country.

   And when you're on the street trying to guarantee someone's security and they see an incident in the United States that we don't care or we're thinking that it's a nonchalant act, and, ``Well, there wasn't really a lot of damage done,'' they're going, ``Wait a minute. Wait a minute. I've been meeting with you for years and years and years. Are you going to be exposed? Because everybody knows I'm meeting with you.''   That's definitely a concern. You can't politicize the act of the exposure. And I think that's what's happened here. And that's what makes it so egregious.


DASCHLE: Thank you, gentlemen.   Senator Rockefeller?


ROCKEFELLER: I'd ask all three of you gentlemen: The word goes

about that there were 100 analysts that have been interviewed for the

work that the Senate Intelligence Committee is doing, and that none of

them, at any point, ever expressed any pressure being put upon them or

talked about or hinted or anything of that sort. Are the three of you -- in your

experience, would it be your judgment that those analysts would be by themselves or that

they might, perhaps, be accompanied by somebody, a congressional

affairs person or somebody who works for the CIA who would be

listening very carefully to what they had to say which, obviously, they would know?


CANNISTRARO: Yes. I've had some experience in that, Senator.

And it's clear that when the analysts are being interviewed, there is

always some senior person there with us, congressional affairs person,

someone from the General Counsel's Office. And that could be

construed by the person who's doing the testifying as subtle pressure

not to be too candid, not to be too frank.

   I've read the newspaper reports, but I've also talked to former

colleagues of mine who are still active and who lived through some of

this period of what I would call intimidation and pressure. Yes, they

say it's intimidation, they say it's pressure.

   The fact that it's manifested by a very senior official, vice

president of the United States -- the first time in my 27 years in

intelligence, the first time I have ever heard of a vice president of

the United States going out to CIA and sitting down with desk-level

analysts. President and vice president coming out, making a speech,

cutting a ribbon? Absolutely. A commemoration ceremony.

   But sitting down and debating with junior-level analysts, and

pushing them to find support for something he personally believes,

that Saddam was trying to acquire uranium, that, to me, is pressure and that's intimidation.

   Analysts are generally a feisty lot. They don't often just roll

over and play dead. But they are also political animals and they're

also career minded. And they're not going to say, ``Well, Mr. Vice

President, you're full of it.'' And they say, ``Well, you know, we

haven't found anything.'' ``So, well, you're not looking hard enough.''

``Well, you know, we'll go out and try again and find something.''

 But that pressure is unrelenting. And even when

you don't find something, and you report back and the vice president

says, ``It's true, he's renewing his program,'' and says it on the eve

of the invasion of the war; or when other people -- officials in the

government demand that those 16 infamous words are in the State of the

Union address about the nuclear program; and the director of Central

Intelligence has sent memoranda on that subject to the deputy chief

of the National Security Council; when the head of the Nonproliferation

Center has gone out to the National Security Council and debated the

relevant officials who have responsibility for WMD and are unable to

convince them and those words still appear, that's pressure. That

means they're not going to take no for an answer. It means that,

``We know what we believe. And if you don't find it, you're just doing an

incompetent job.''   I'm not making a judgment about how CIA's job was done, how

professional it was, but it was at least an honest attempt. It may

not have been adequate; I don't know. But at least they said what

they thought was true, rather than try and just give them what exactly

they wanted. And I think this is at the heart of this outing of a CIA

clandestine officer.


JOHNSON: Very briefly, I think what -- we're not trying to

present the image that CIA are a bunch of very sensitive violets that

have to be protected from these nasty politicians, and that Vice

President Cheney or President Bush don't have a right to ask hard

questions. They absolutely have a right to ask hard questions.

   But I know in the past when we were faced with, ``OK, we've got an

intelligence development that I as an analyst think is relevant and it

should be brought up,'' you take it to your branch meeting. And then

it starts moving up the food chain. And unlike a newspaper or

magazine, where you may have to go through two or three editorial

reviews before getting a thumbs up or thumbs down, in some cases out

at the agency you're looking at five levels.

   And I know in those levels, ultimately the agency is trying to

serve the policymaker. And like any good editor who's putting out a

magazine, if your readers don't like what you're giving them, you

change it because every morning you come back and say, ``What did the

president think about article X, Y or Z? And what did they say?''

   And that's part of the reason this investigation in Niger got

launched. Vice President Cheney said, you know, ``What about this?''

   CIA, like an unruly dog looking to go out for a walk, will go

loping off after the mission. But when you're faced with this --

they're not interested downtown.

   I mean, I know of one particular instance in the field of

terrorism that several years ago -- without mentioning the particular

area or the particular group, but let's put it this way: It's clearly

relevant to the war on terrorism today -- an analyst tried to get the

story out about this terrorist group which has been responsible for

the deaths of several hundred people. And the managers shut them down

because they didn't want to hear that downtown.

Now, that was under President Clinton. And as I said,

this happens under both. And my goal here is not to try to beat up

one administration or the other. It's happened under both. It's a

pressure that's there. But it shouldn't be allowed to stand.


MARCINKOWSKI: Just quickly, if you interrupt the information

flow or try to influence in any way, you do so, to your detriment.

Perhaps, that's why we're sitting here today.

   As a lawyer, I prepare a case to go to trial, I want to know all

the facts. And I want to know the ugly facts because -- guess what?

-- when I get into that trial, I'm going to either -- I know them

now or I'm going to find out then. So this is, in many regards, self- created.


DASCHLE: Senator Harkin?


HARKIN: I have a lot of questions, but our time is so limited.

I guess listening to you all, it just -- and I'm not on the

Intelligence Committee, I've not served on the Intelligence Committee.

But listening to you, it just seems that we need some other kind of a process here.

   Another committee on which I do serve, that covers the National

Institute of Health, some years ago some of the budget requests from

NIH was being politicized. And so, we enacted into law what we call a

bypass budget. In other words, the -- it (inaudible) to certain

agencies at the NIH. Rather than going through Health and Human

Services and the White House, they have a bypass budget, comes

directly to us, without all the politicization, so we can look at what

the people in the field are actually saying about what research ought to be done.

   That's been enacted into law. I'm wondering if maybe such a

thing -- I don't know how the Intelligence Committee works. But it

seems to me there ought to be some way for unvarnished data and the

kinds of information that you in the field collect,to somehow get to

the relevant people up here on these committees without going through

that politicization process you've talked about, Mr. Johnson, which I

can only believe happens in every administration, as you've said.  

Somehow, we need to get this information. And I don't know if

that kind of thing would ever work or not. And perhaps, it does and I

don't know about it and we can't talk about it. But I throw it out

there for your consideration and Senator Rockefeller's consideration

and others who are on the Intelligence Committee.

   The last point I wanted to make was, again, Mr. Cannistraro, I

want to be perfectly clear on this as much as I can. I read your

testimony and I heard you say it again that the vice president and his

chief of staff, Lewis Libby, visited the CIA headquarters to engage

the CIA analysts directly on this issue of uranium acquisition in Africa.

   You call it, ``an unprecedented act for the vice president to

engage desk-level analysts resulted in a contentious give-and-take.

Vice president insisted that CIA analysts were not looking hard enough

for the evidence.'' Again, in all of your years you've never seen a vice

president or his chief of staff come down and engage in that kind of activity?


CANNISTRARO: No, I haven't, Senator.

   The vice president gets the president's daily brief every morning

and he's briefed by a senior-level CIA official who goes out to the

White House and does the briefing. So he has no need in going out and

debating with desk-level analysts.


HARKIN: To the best of your knowledge, do you know that the vice

president has some other sources of information from defense intelligence...



CANNISTRARO: Well, I think that underlies the purpose of the

visits is that the vice president, as well as other senior officials

in the administration, were convinced of this because they were

getting separate information. They were getting information from an

intelligence operation that has been described in various ways.

There are euphemisms being used to describe it, but there was an

intelligence collection operation at the Department of Defense in the

undersecretary of policy's office and they were getting intelligence

information from other people outside the intelligence community;

information which was not vetted with the community, which was not

coordinated with the intelligence community, not even with DIA.

   And much of this information we now know, in retrospect, was

fraudulent. Some of it was fabricated, some of it was just so

speculative it should not have ever risen to the level of being

reported. But a lot of this information made its way into

policymakers' public statements.

   Yes I think look there was an underground war going on within the

administration, certainly between the Pentagon and the CIA. I'm a

private citizen now and so I think I can comment on it as an observer

outside government, but it was very clear to me that was going on.

   Part of it was the underlying contempt for the CIA by

professional ideologues who believed that the agency was a squishy

place that came up with soft judgments and didn't look hard enough for

the information. Their mantra was: ``You're not going to find

anything unless you know what you're looking for.'' Well, if you know

what you're looking for, you are going to find it because you're

predisposed to find it. And that's against the intelligence effort.

   But I think that's the fundamental problem here is that

policymakers at the NSC, at the Defense Department and the White

House itself already believed in something and they were looking for the

supporting intelligence data. Sometimes they got it. Many times they did not get

it. And when they didn't get it it was again subjected to criticism and contempt.

   There's no question that, you know, intelligence agencies and

policy-makers should have a dynamic relationship; it's not that their

assumptions should not be queried or second-guessed. That's fine.

Policy-makers should be keeping the intelligence community on its toes.

   ``Are you looking for this? Are you looking for that?'' You know,

``Put more resources here. Put more resources there. Reexamine your

assumptions.'' That's fine. I've seen it that happen. I saw it happen

in the Reagan administration. Saw it happen with Bill Casey, who was

originally accused of distorting intelligence for policy-makers.

   Never, never did Casey ever drop to the level that we've seen

today. He fought with analysts about the subject of whether the Soviet Union was involved with supporting terrorism. The analysts challenged him and challenged him quite effectively, and Casey backed off. That doesn't seem to happen today.


DASCHLE: Senator Graham?


GRAHAM: I'd like to pick up on the comments that you just made.

   Earlier this week there was published reports of a memo prepared

by Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld for some of his inner circle, raising

questions, among other things, about the state of the war on terror.

He questioned whether we has a plan for victory and whether we had

what he called benchmarks or yardsticks to evaluate how we would proceed.

   What would you, from your experience, see the role of the

intelligence agencies in trying to answer those questions? What

should be our plan for victory against terrorism? And how well are we

pursuing that plan? And where do we currently stand?

   And then what would be the effect of this kind of intimidation on

the ability of the intelligence community to enhance the judgment-

making of officials, for instance, at the Department of Defense, in

answering those questions that are so central to the security of the American people?


CANNISTRARO: Well, I think, from reading the memo, I think

Secretary Rumsfeld was asking the right questions. I don't see anything wrong with that.

   But he does have a motivation: He believes there ought to be a

new agency under the purview of Secretary Rumsfeld himself that's

dedicated to foreign anti-terrorism. And that should include CIA,

paramilitaries and special forces, et cetera.

   It's not the question of whether that's a good idea or not a good idea.

I mean, you can always refine the structures for

dealing with terrorism, and lots of improvement can be made. The

question is how you do it and is that sufficient.

   I mean, to me, as a, kind of, an anti-terrorism expert, it's a

mechanistic approach. It's like moving boxes around on a chart and

say, ``We can do this better and that better.'' You might be able to

make things more efficient, but that doesn't get at the heart of the problem.

   He asked the question, ``Are the madrasas putting out more

terrorists, recruiting more terrorists than we're eliminating?''

The answer is yes. And part of it is our own fault.

   I mean, you know, when you have headlines all across the Islamic

world about General Boykin at the Defense Department making what they

believe are anti-Islamic comments, and that plays into the widespread

public opinion in the Islamic world, as well as in Europe, that the

war on terrorism really is a war on Islam, what are you doing?

You're providing more motivation to recruits. You're giving the madrasas

more incentive to recruit more people to go out and commit suicide bombings.

   I mean, you know, you can't kill all the potential terrorists in

the world. And that's the problem with the mechanistic approach.

   Yes, you have to go after it. You have to try an eliminate it.

But you have to understand that there are other motivations that we

ourselves sometimes contribute to that make the problem worse.

   It's been well said that, you know, Saddam was not linked to

global terrorism before the war in Baghdad, but Iraq may be linked to

global terrorism now. But it's something we made. We made that happen.

   And I think we have to understand those factors before we can

really address the problem.   Larry may have a different view, but...


JOHNSON: Not necessarily different, but on the one hand, what's

stunning is for Secretary Rumsfeld to say that they don't have any

idea of the metrics of measuring terrorism and where we stand in the

process. That's what the counterterrorism center should be doing, for

starters. If they're not doing it, the Senate and the House need to

ask why, because that should be done.

   Because at the end of the day, I think part of what Secretary

Rumsfeld is frustrated by is that the Department of Defense is

designed to defeat entrenched, organized armies that have

infrastructure, that have significant bases. And what we're facing

when we look at the terrorist threat, despite the hype -- and I know

I've been frequently criticized for what some would describe as a

boneheaded op-ed that appeared in the New York Times before September 11, 2001.

But the rhetoric we use -- and our government officials

are using about terrorism -- if it's true, I ask ``Why aren't we having

attacks every day, every week or, heavens, every month?''

   I'm not saying terrorism is not a threat. I think terrorism is a

threat. I think we need to take it seriously.

   But I got to tell you, when I listen to General Myers, chairman

of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, describe the war on terrorism, this

terrorism threat, as the greatest threat to the United States since

the Civil War, I wondered why members of the Senate and House didn't

stand up and say, ``What are you talking about?''

   You know, we went through 40 years with nuclear missiles being

aimed at us from the Soviet Union. Fifty-three million people died in

World War II. These are not Larry Johnson's statistics; these are

statistics prepared by the Central Intelligence Agency, published in

``Patterns of Global Terrorism.'' Since 1968, deaths from international

terrorism worldwide are fewer than 16,000.

   Now we need to put it into context. It's a threat, but these

terrorists are not the Soviet Union with nuclear missiles. They may

try to get nuclear weapons. They may try to get chemical weapons and

biological weapons. But I think somewhere in here we need to find the

balance. And if the analysts are not being asked to provide those

metrics -- you know, they shouldn't recommend the policy. That's not

the role of the analysts.


   The analysts are sitting there and saying, ``Let us present the

situation to you. Let us show you what you should consider looking

at. And let us show you what factors will make it worse or could make

it better. And then you, the policy-maker, you make the decision

depending upon what you want because you were elected to do so.''

   That's the way -- I guess I'm naive. I think that's the way the process should work.


DASCHLE: Senator Lautenberg?


LAUTENBERG: Yes. Your comments, I assume, are not publicly

introduced for the first time, your views.


JOHNSON: Correct.


LAUTENBERG: I want to just clarify something. I mean, the

accusations are stark, and I respect what you're saying, because we've

had a chance to look at what's been taking place here and try to

understand, as impossible as it is, what is taking place and what you

see on the surface, the intimidation, the risk to the individual.

Is that risk, by the way, being exaggerated at all?

Was she potentially a target for -- could she be? Has it ever

happened in the history of the CIA?


MARCINKOWSKI: Senator, I think you have to start from a standard

level of dealing with foreign countries.

   For example, Americans in certain countries, because they're

American, are targets of insurgents perhaps for kidnapping purposes

and otherwise. And when you look all around the world, some space --

countries in South America that is the case.

   And then you slowly move up there. How about an American that's

overseas that's known as the Central Intelligence Agency person, now

we kidnap that person? OK, we're not talking ransom now. What's the

United States' response going to be?

   This isn't a tourist from, you know, Main Street in the middle of

America. All of a sudden, this person has seriously higher value and

at least in the mind of the United States government.

   So you keep rising to the level of an undercover officer who's

actually in contact with other people in a clandestine relationship.

All those people they come into contact with are certainly in danger.

   Certainly, Ambassador Wilson's wife now will have a harder time

picking her vacations spots, at a bare minimum, because of the

exposure itself. And it's going to have that ripple effect on all the

people that she came in contact with.



LAUTENBERG: Mr. Chairman, if I -- just for a one-word answer,

has anybody from the administration or the professional intelligence

community here been in touch with you to suggest that maybe your views

are so radical as not to be believable?


MARCINKOWSKI: No one has been in contact with me from the intelligence community.


LAUTENBERG: From the intelligence community or the administration?


MARCINKOWSKI: No. The only comments I get are private ones

among friends who are still in the intelligence community who support what I've said.


DASCHLE: Senator Levin? I'm sorry (OFF-MIKE) just exactly what had been said.

   Senator Levin?


LEVIN: There is a lot of troubling evidence that the

intelligence that was given to the policy-makers was exaggerated, was

shaped probably to meet their goals and their policy goals.

   There's also in the case of the -- and by the way, that's why it

is so important, it seems to me, that we not only look at the

intelligence that was given to them and whether it was exaggerated,

but also as to how that intelligence was used by the policy-maker.

Did they exaggerate or embellish or shape further, beyond what was

given to them? That's the missing half in the Intelligence Committee investigation.

   So far as Senator Rockefeller has pointed out, the Intelligence

Committee chairman has refused to permit a review of how intelligence

was used by the policy-makers. The investigation or review, so far,

is limited to how was the intelligence produced and created.

   That's just a statement on my part and I see by your nodding your

heads, that I think you would probably agree with that, if I can use your nods for an answer.

My question is this, however. It's ironic that in the

case of the uranium, with all of the pressure that was put on those

analysts, that apparently they did not cave, because the 16 words

don't say that, ``We have learned.'' The 16 words were highly deceptive

in that State of the Union message, because it says that the British

have learned that Iraq is trying to get -- or was trying to get --

uranium from Africa, knowing, as at least our intelligence community

knew, that we didn't believe it ourselves.

   So the formulation in the State of the Union message had to

create the impression that we believed it by quoting a British belief

that we didn't believe ourselves.

   So that that pressure, in that case at least, did not succeed,

and the policy-makers found a way to create the impression without

having as its basis the material from the intelligence community in the United States.


 It's an irony in this case, and it reinforces why it's so

important that we look at the policy-makers' use or misuse of the

intelligence that was given to them, as exaggerated or as shaped as

that was, because of pressure put on them or a desire to please the policy-makers.

   Now my question: You've indicated that you know people upon whom

pressure was placed to reach certain conclusions. Have those people

been contacted by the Intelligence Committee? And, if not, because

the chairman of the Intelligence Committee the other day said, ``We

haven't found any evidence of pressure.''

   I don't think it was appropriate for him to reach any such

conclusion or statement, given the fact that the investigation's not

complete, there's no draft report that's been shared with the

committee and so forth, but that's a different issue.

   If you know people who felt that pressure, have those folks been

contacted? And, if not, would you be willing to give those names to

the Intelligence Committee so that they can contact those people?

   I think I will start with you, Mr. Cannistraro.


CANNISTRARO: No, I think your comments are well taken, Senator.

   I do know people. I would consult with them first whether or not

they'd want their names passed to the committee for independent

contact. I'd get their permission first. But, yes, I will -- I'll be happy to ask, yes.


LEVIN: Thank you.


CANNISTRARO: I think in one case you may have already had access

to one person, but we can discuss that later.


LEVIN: Thank you.   Mr. Johnson?


JOHNSON: Same answer. I would, though, encourage the

Intelligence Committee, you make sure you're talking to folks at the

Defense Intelligence Agency.


LEVIN: Well, the names of people specifically, I would hope

would be shared with the Intelligence Committee staff so that they can

do that. We need to have those specific names.


JOHNSON: Right. I'll get the specific names, if they'll be willing to divulge them.


LEVIN: Mr. Marcinkowski, do you still have those contacts?


MARCINKOWSKI: Not on the analytical side. Most of my contacts

that remain are on the operational side, so I have to say no to that.


LEVIN: Thank you.


DASCHLE: Thank you.

   We are virtually out of time, but Senator Rockefeller, the ranking member of the Intelligence Committee, asked if he could have the opportunity to pose one more question. And so, we will accommodate that request.    Senator Rockefeller?


ROCKEFELLER: Thank you, Mr. Leader.

   In my opening remarks, I said something which I feel very, very

strongly about. And that is that it is improper for the attorney

general of the United States to be conducting, through the Department

of Justice, an investigation of what this press conference -- which

is, sort of, like a hearing -- is all about, and that's Valerie Plame.

And that's being investigated by John Ashcroft who was appointed by

the president of the United States and by some very good people,

presumably, who work for John Ashcroft.

   Nevertheless, the question remains: Is that the proper way to

find out who it was who outed and put at risk Valerie Plame and

potentially so many of her former friends and contacts? In your judgment, is that proper?


MARCINKOWSKI: Senator, I would answer that question from the

view of perception of how that is going to be viewed in the small

legal community that I'm involved with. There's some problems with

the Executive Branch investigating itself.

   And it's not so much because of this incident but I think it has

to be taken into context of other events that have occurred. And I'll

give you an example.   Sometime early this spring, Chief Justice Rehnquist made some

comments that the federal sentencing guidelines may appear to be

intimidating to certain judges. That was reported in the media; his

remarks at a convention of some sort. Later in the summer, I believe,

Attorney General Ashcroft sent out a letter to all the U.S. attorneys

across the country asking them to report on judges that may not be

following those particular guidelines. And again, it was reported

perception-wise as Mr. Ashcroft reaching out to the federal judiciary;

again perceived intimidation. Now as you look at that fact of the attorney

general being perceived as reaching out to the judiciary where he has

no control over judges that are appointed for life, the question

becomes, ``Is the Justice Department capable, being run by John

Ashcroft, to investigate?'' He's not prepared to influence them.

   Whether he does a fair job, an honest job, and he comes to the

right conclusion I think will be irrelevant. There will always be the

questions if he does it himself, political or otherwise: Was a fair job done?

   The perception is always going to be there that there's going to

be a remaining question because somebody put something under the table

or somebody's playing cat-and-mouse with the truth. It's going to be there.

We've seen it in so many cases. You can expect that to happen again.

   So I just point that out. For reasons of perception, I don't

think you're ever going to get away from that.


ROCKEFELLER: Do you agree?


JOHNSON: Yes. I agree with what Jim said. I believed in the

special prosecutor when Bill Clinton was on the chopping block. I

think what's good for the goose is good for the gander. It was a

necessary reflection that I didn't trust Janet Reno.

   I'm from Missouri. It's not that I don't trust John Ashcroft,

but, you know, I think at the end of the day, unless they come up with

a guilty party, then it's going to leave this lingering suspicion that

this administration was playing politics.

   I think the problem here is some. It's not all. There are some

who are overcome with their zealotry that have been cutting corners.

And I think it's important for President Bush to get them under control.


CANNISTRARO: I would think that the attorney general should, at

a minimum, recuse himself from the investigation. There are career

people at Justice Department who can handle it well, but they really

need to have a wall placed between themselves and the attorney general.

   And then you need the leadership at the White House to encourage

people to come forth. That hasn't been there. Clearly, there's been

a disposition to exculpate people in advance, as we've seen with three

people who are named and claims made that they had nothing to do with

it. So the investigation hadn't even started at that point.

   So clearly you need some change in the structure.


DASCHLE: Thank you.

   This has been an enlightening and therefore a very productive

hearing. I want to thank each of our witnesses. It is not easy to

come forward as you have and to speak as forcefully and clearly as you

have. But I think we can say, on behalf of the Senate and the

country, we're very grateful to each of you for your presentations and

for the commitment you continue to make.   I thank my colleagues as well.

   This hearing of the Democratic Policy Committee is adjourned.