Edwards: War on Terror "is a Political Frame and Political Rhetoric"

This afternoon I had the opportunity to catch a speech by John Edwards, who was in Portland promoting his presidential campaign. The point that stuck out most profoundly to me came when Edwards spoke about the so-called "Global War on Terror." Below, you can listen to what he had to say and read a rush transcript:


Click here to download the .mp3

And I don't know how many of you even noticed this or how many of you watched the Democratic presidential debate from South Carolina, but I suspect some of you did. But a question was asked whether you agree with the language - the Bush language, which is what it is - "Global War on Terror." And I did not. And I said, I took that position at the debate...

[Applause]

This is a political frame and political rhetoric. They use it to justify everything they do. They use that language to justify the war in Iraq. They use it to justify Guantanamo. They use it to justify torture. They use it to justify illegal spying on the American people.

[Applause]

It is time for us to quit kowtowing to these people. We have to say what we really believe. Now, are there really dangerous people in the world? Of course there are. We need to be smart and aggressive and intelligent, use intelligence - did I say dangerous people? - we have to use intelligence to fight them and stop them. Everybody recognizes that. But the one thing that's been proven beyond any doubt as a result of what's happened in the last six years is raw power alone will never make you a leader. You actually have to have the moral authority.

On the night of the debate last week, Matt was among the first to notice that while a number of the candidates on stage, including Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, responded affirmatively to the question as to whether or not they believe in the Global War on Terror, Edwards was among those who did not. This difference did not gain a ton of traction in the establishment media, aside from a few pieces (including this one from Time's Mike Allen), but it seems well worth noting.

Today's event, which drew a capacity crowd of about 600 to 700 at an International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) hall in Northwest Portland, was also notable for the fact that Edwards laid out his first television ad of the campaign in which he calls on Congress to send back legislation to President Bush that would set a timetable for the withdrawal of American troops from Iraq.

Tags: 2008, Democratic primaries, Global War On Terror, John Edwards (all tags)

Comments

41 Comments

John Edwards is speaking

the truth about the false metaphor of the GWOT.  His courage may inspire other Democrats who have been intimidated. The Emperor really has no clothes.

Excellent post, Jonathan.

by littafi 2007-05-02 01:43PM | 0 recs
Re: Edwards:

That's it.  I've decided - Edwards '08.

by mlr701 2007-05-02 01:45PM | 0 recs
quick fingers

I think you got your post up just seconds before my diary -- impressive, Singer!

Did anyone else hear him say he doesn't support the judicial doctrine of corporate personhood? That's a pretty big deal, right?

by hubbird 2007-05-02 01:47PM | 0 recs
Re: quick fingers

I heard it, hubbird.  I don't think it was entirely clear that he was against corporate personhood.  Probably, but not definitely.

I'll quote from my comment on your diary here, because I think it was an intriguing answer by Edwards:

The answer on corporations having the same rights as individuals is interesting.  The woman who asked it framed it in a pretty inflammatory manner, which you left out.  She said something along the lines of, "Do you think corporations should be able to have the same constitutional rights as individuals so that they can trample the rights of people?"  I can't remember the quote exactly, unfortunately, but it was close to that.

Edwards then just looked at her and said, in an emphatic and funny way, "No."

However, he didn't elaborate, and I wish he would have.  I assume he knew the question was related to the Supreme Court decision that gave corporations the rights of citizens, but he wasn't explicit about it.  My guess is that the answer means he doesn't support that, but it really wasn't clear, so I would be cautious about claiming that.  Does anyone know for sure whether or not Edwards supports that decision?

by aimlessmind 2007-05-02 03:10PM | 0 recs
This is important

This single issue may decide the 2008 election. If the Repukeliscum can resurrect this issue, they can use it to drive the American Sheeple to support their agenda of "the sky is falling, let me cut taxes"  If Democrats can demonstrate that this is a pile of stinking offal, we are in good shape.

by dataguy 2007-05-02 01:54PM | 0 recs
Frame

Two things.  

One.  A guy posted a diary noting a lot of the times Edwards said "War on Terror" building the political frame for it.  

Two.  Edwards has the question wrong.  The question was "Do you believe there is such a thing as a global war on terror?"

It says nothing about Bush there.  Secondly the questions is very vague.  It could be interpretted 100 different ways and then some.  

by JeremiahTheMessiah 2007-05-02 01:59PM | 0 recs
Edwards used WOT on his own

presidential website, which was noted in the TIME article. Link

by jj32 2007-05-02 02:03PM | 0 recs
Re: Edwards used WOT on his own

baby steps.

Would you rather he embrace the term outright?

by adamterando 2007-05-02 02:20PM | 0 recs
Read what Edwards said

Circumstances change.  Yes, we have a real enemy, but it's clear now that BushCo has corrupted that language to mean endless war in Iraq, spying on us at home, Gitmo, etc, all the while having shut down teh program to capture bin Laden.

by philgoblue 2007-05-02 02:26PM | 0 recs
I think Edwards

is growing, and the campaign is making him better. Usually, candidates get more cautious and more conservative the deeper they get into a campaign, but for Edwards's, it seems to be the opposite. He seems to have at least one ear open to what the left is saying. I don't know if that Bonior's influence, or Elizabeth's, or if this is his own doing, but it's exciting to have a canididate moving in the right direction. Who knows where he'll end up?

by david mizner 2007-05-02 02:44PM | 0 recs
Re: Read what Edwards said

Yes, we have a real enemy, but it's clear now that BushCo has corrupted that language to mean endless war in Iraq

Many people knew that invading and occupying a fairly large country in the middle of the most delicate region in the world would lead to "damned if you do, damned f you don't" situation lasting an unspecified length of time (even if it were a Democratic President assuming the Bush/Cheney/Lieberman/Edwards/etal war a couple of years ago, he/she would have been put in a place to deal with the situation as it presented itself and acting in the best interests of the US and humanitarian concern for the people whose land we invaded. Similar situation may hold in Jan'09 as well.) Therefore, this is not a valid excuse, and especially so in Edwards' case.

spying on us at home

Edwards himself promoted creating a new domestic spying agency and wrote a bill S. 410.

Gitmo

On this, Edwards has always been on the right side of the issue, as far as I have seen.

all the while having shut down teh program to capture bin Laden.

Edwards said:


    I reject the false choice between fighting the war on terrorism and containing the threat posed by weapons of mass destruction, specifically the looming danger of Saddam Hussein.
    ...
    When it comes to fighting the war on terror around the globe, we have to keep the big picture in mind, and stay true to our principles.

   -- John Edwards, December 18, 2002. Homeland Security Address, Brookings Institution, Washington, D.C. Link

by NuevoLiberal 2007-05-02 03:31PM | 0 recs
None of that

makes what he is saying now any less true. Give credit where its due.

by okamichan13 2007-05-02 04:20PM | 0 recs
Re: None of that

I have given him credit on Gitmo because I think he has been logically consistent on it all the way through.

I consistently give credit where it is due; I deserve some credit on that.

by NuevoLiberal 2007-05-02 06:51PM | 0 recs
As usual, full of shit.

Edwards himself promoted creating a new domestic spying agency and wrote a bill S. 410.

As noted in the article you link, Edwards would strip the FBI of its responsibility for domestic intelligence gathering and place it in a separate agency, modeled after Britain's MI-5.  That's no more promoting "a new domestic spying agency" than promoting the continued existence of the FBI is promoting a "domestic spying agency."

FWIW, the 9/11 Commission strongly considered the idea, and chose not to recommend it only because the FBI promised reform.  The heads of the 9/11 commission have since said that the FBI has failed in its efforts, which would seem to validate Edwards' criticism.

by Drew 2007-05-02 09:21PM | 0 recs
Edwards Promoter Jingoism

is reflected in your title.

Now,


Civil-liberties groups have other concerns about the Edwards plan. For decades, FBI agents who seek to develop evidence about potential domestic threats have operated under tight Justice Department guidelines; those guidelines require there be grounds to believe targets are engaged in criminal acts. A new domestic spy agency would not be so encumbered, the critics say.  In an effort to insulate himself from such criticism, Edwards had proposed steps to curb potential excesses by a domestic spying agency, such as requiring approval from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court for infiltrating domestic political or religious groups. But some civil-liberties advocates say such steps would be insufficient--the FISA court has historically acted as a rubber stamp, critics say--and that a domestic-intelligence agency such as Edwards has advocated would inevitably be tempted to spy on legitimate dissenters.

"Senator Edwards's proposal ignored the serious civil-liberties problems it would have caused," said Kate Martin of the Center for National Security Studies. She said she hopes the Democratic candidates will await the full report of the 9/11 commission before pushing the idea any further and "not make this a political issue."
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/5388509/site newsweek

by NuevoLiberal 2007-05-02 10:54PM | 0 recs
Continued Obama-supporter bullshit

Is reflected in your suggestion that this would represent a "new domestic spying agency," when it's obvious to any observer that the proposal is a restructuring of the FBI.  

It's telling that you've stepped back from that ridiculous accusation - of course, you still have to assume that his proposals to protect civil liberties are insufficient and insincere.

But I suppose that's the best I can expect.  

In any case, where does Obama stand on this?  Well, looking it up: "[The US should] strengthen and improve intelligence capabilities. We must reform our domestic intelligence capabilities in a manner that balances the risks of impeding on the civil liberties of our citizens and increase international cooperation on all fronts."

Familiar, isn't it?

I guess the problem with Edwards' plan was that it was specific enough to invite criticism.  Clearly, a problem that Obama doesn't have.

by Drew 2007-05-03 01:22AM | 0 recs
Response to an Edwards Jingoist: Part 1

Read the text of the bill posted below. Yes, it is a domestic spying agency with sufficiently broad authority to spy on "United States persons."

Edwards said:


Homeland Security Address

Author:    
John Edwards

December 18, 2002
Brookings Institution

I first proposed a new intelligence agency two months ago. After initial signs of support, the administration has backed off under bureaucratic pressure. That's a huge mistake. Congress and the administration should get to work on the new agency in January. There's no time to waste.

A homeland intelligence agency is only the first step to track down terrorists. "When it comes to combating terrorism," the Hart-Rudman commission notes correctly, "the police officers on the beat are effectively operating deaf, dumb, and blind." There are only 11,500 FBI agents in America, but there are over 650,000 police and sheriffs on the front lines of domestic defense who don't get the respect, the access, or the tools they need to do their jobs. The FBI doesn't respect their street knowledge. It doesn't push urgent information to them, as police chiefs across the country have complained. And with computers decades old, the FBI doesn't provide a simple way for a police officer in North Carolina to find out if the guy he just pulled over for speeding is on a terrorist watch list.

Edwards was hoping, apparently in the spirit of `bipartisanship', to get "support" from Bush on his new spying agency. Make NO MISTAKE about it. This was part of Edwards' own "War on Terror."

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Then there is not just his vote for Patriot act, but also apparently voting against Feingold's amendments to limit its powers:


SNOW: Well, Senator, during the debate about the Patriot Act -- the section that you're talking about is called Section 215. Russ Feingold, one of your colleagues...

EDWARDS: That's correct.

SNOW: ... actually put together an amendment to tighten it up. You voted against that amendment and for the act.

EDWARDS: I did. I think there are some things in the Patriot Act that are actually very good. You know, for example, we've got some -- there were some serious information-sharing problems before September 11th with respect to intelligence, between law enforcement and intelligence agencies. That was changed in the Patriot Act. That's a good thing. Some of the provisions of the Patriot Act updated our ability to use technology. I think that's a very good thing.

And specifically on Russ Feingold's amendment, at least from my perspective, it didn't approach this deficiency in the problem in the law the right way. I think it went further than we needed to go. And I think there has to be the correct balance between making sure that we're prosecuting the war on terrorism and protecting people's civil liberties.

-- Senator John Edwards, D-NC, September 28, 2003. Appearance on 'FOX News Sunday'

There is no question that Edwards was positioning himself as a "tough" hawk for the 2004 election when he was engaged in promoting the war and the associated framework (GWOT frame, the spying agency, etc).

by NuevoLiberal 2007-05-03 05:36AM | 0 recs
Funny

When Obama says exactly what Edwards has said, you don't seem concerned.  But when Edwards says it, OH NOOOOZ!!!1!

Do you really think it helps you to be so fundamentally dishonest?

by Drew 2007-05-03 08:35AM | 0 recs
by NuevoLiberal 2007-05-02 02:47PM | 0 recs
Well then

you should be even happier he's getting it right now, shouldn't you?

Believe him or not, its a discussion that needs to be had and he is the only top tier candidate doing it.

Instead of criticizing edwards when he gets it right, why not encourage others to join the debate instead of ducking it?

by okamichan13 2007-05-02 02:55PM | 0 recs
Edwards' contradictory repositioning

is so sudden and dramatic that it makes him a very high risk nominee (it'll be way worse than the "flip-flopper" pain we've endured in 2004).

See below for more thoughts.

by NuevoLiberal 2007-05-02 03:09PM | 0 recs
That isn't what I asked you

I could care less about your flip-flopper frame.

If he's right now, he's right. and noone else of his visibility now is saying it. and even you should give him some credit.

by okamichan13 2007-05-02 04:19PM | 0 recs
Oh, so that's your concern

that Edwards wouldn't be a good general election candidate. Ha! Keep trying; you might come across a line of attack that works.

by david mizner 2007-05-02 06:06PM | 0 recs
what I know

is how ridiculously self-contradicting Edwards' record on the war is.

It's way beyond "flip-flopping" Kerry ever did. Kerry was a very reluctant IWR voter. Edwards was one of the most aggressive and most enthusiastic supporters of the war, as seen from the extensive link collection in my diary.

We also know about the stupic advice he apparently gave to Kerry/Edwards in 2004, which seems to have influenced Kerry saying he would have voted the same way on the IWR:


"His view was that we shouldn't be having this debate, that we should stick by the vote, and more broadly attack the management of the war," says the first person.

Adds the second source: "He could tell the tide had shifted, but he made one more attempt at having us not change our position. He thought it would show weakness."

Asked about the difference between the advice Edwards was giving in fall 2004 and his stance now, campaign spokeswoman Kate Bedingfield would say only this: "John Edwards's campaign is about looking forward and not backward and bringing about the kind of real change that we need in this country."

Still, though the Edwards campaign would prefer not to look back, his counsel in the 2004 campaign raises this question: Is today's John Edwards really the candid candidate he would have voters believe? Or is his supposed candor itself just more political positioning?
link

I know what I can defend; only what is logically defensible.

Based on your Obama-bashing writings, you are comfortable spinning anyway you want, and so you may see things differently than I do.

by NuevoLiberal 2007-05-02 06:48PM | 0 recs
Re: Oh, so that's your concern

I've seen the childish name-calling of "Flip Flopper" kill one campaign already.  I'd hate to see it happen again so soon, I'd rather not give Republicans such a wide opportunity so soon after they had just used it.  

by JeremiahTheMessiah 2007-05-02 07:12PM | 0 recs
Re: Oh, so that's your concern

So you and Neuvo choose to make the attack for them?

Nice.

by okamichan13 2007-05-02 07:46PM | 0 recs
Re: Oh, so that's your concern

Actually I'm pointing out I'd rather have the best chances going in to 2008.  I'm not much of a risk taker.  If you'll read what I said, I never went, "ZOMFG JOHN 'FLIP-FLOPPIN' EDWARDS.  LOOOOOOSING Elections for the DEMOCRATS ZOMFG"

I was pointing out that if he's the winner of the primary, expect to hear it.  You have to research yourself in a race and put light on what's going to be said so when they say it, it'll already be said and uninteresting.  

by JeremiahTheMessiah 2007-05-02 07:52PM | 0 recs
Kind of like "moral leader"

On one hand, the netroots give him shit for pausing to figure out what the hell that question meant.  Yet, here, you give him shit for knowing what they are asking and refusing to support a Bush frame.

Sometimes a guy just can't win.

John Edwards

  1. First to say he would "push through" anyone who fought Universal Health Care.
  2. First to say he supported full public financing of campaigns.
  3. First to denounce the McCain Doctrine of Escalation.
  4. First to denounce the framing of a Global War on Terror.
  5. First to say his Iraq War vote was a mistake.

And, no I don't want to hear about Kucinich.

by Robert P 2007-05-03 05:57AM | 0 recs
The ad is good....

....but just before the event they asked if they could film me reading the exact same text. I think they're going for more of a true woman-on-the-street feel for the web site version of the ad. Hope it shows up there someday!

by mouse 2007-05-02 02:14PM | 0 recs
Re: The ad is good....

The campaign is doing exactly that. They are getting people to film their own message, upload it to YouTube, and then they will edit the messages together for a new ad.

by clarkent 2007-05-03 03:38AM | 0 recs
Damn if Edwards isn't

beginning to sound like one of them nasty liberals.

He's not about to start blasting Empire and imperialism, but for a leading presidential candidate, this is really good.

We seem to be witnessing the blossoming of a genuine progressive leader. You can sit back skeptically and cast doubt, or you can help to elect the most progressive president in a generation or two.

by david mizner 2007-05-02 02:38PM | 0 recs
A couple of extra bits:

Edwards pops the question to the Repub debate:

http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0 507/A_question_from_Edwards.html

Wonder if it will get asked?

Time also is picking this up: Edwards Rejects the "War on Terror"
http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/ 0,8599,1616724,00.html?cnn=yes

and nothing stronger than a zealous convert:
"Edwards comes Full Circle"
http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/story?id= 3125215&page=1

by okamichan13 2007-05-02 02:49PM | 0 recs
Jonathan, in light of Edwards' promoting the GWOT

frame vigorously and incessantly for three long years, namely the 2002-2004 period,, I wish that you had asked John Edwards exactly what he did and didn't know (and knew but chose to proceed the way he did with the "GWOT" frame and the war) back then has supposedly changed since then regarding this frame. Edwards is welcome to call bullshit on the frame, but it should be rememebered that he is at the same time calling BS on his own recent former self (promotion of the frame up until just 2.5 years ago.)

The ever growing mountain of Edwards contradictions make him a high risk choice for the nomination.

If he has indeed had some of sort of "moment of zen" experience that might explain his 180 degree repositioning from his former self, maybe he should establish his credibility in a lower position (such as NC Governor or going back to the US senate) first before running for President.

Barack Obama should not have raised his hand to that framing question asked in a barzen manner. He should have instead called BS on Brian Williams' incessant wingnut framing of "debate" questions. See here eg.

by NuevoLiberal 2007-05-02 03:06PM | 0 recs
EDWARDS FOR IT BEFORE HE WAS AGAINST IT...AGAIN?

As recent as September 28, 2006 Edwards believed that there indeed was a war on terror:

"In its zeal to score a political victory before Congress adjourns for the midterm elections, the Bush administration and the Republican leadership are playing politics with our national security by pushing through a deeply-flawed bill that would undermine our long term ability to win the war on terror.

"To win the war on terror, we must preserve our moral authority to lead the world.  If we are to succeed in spreading democracy abroad, we must defend the fundamental principles of democracy at home."  

John Edwards, 9/28/06

http://blog.johnedwards.com/story/2006/9 /28/12224/6829

The GOP will eviscerate Edwards on this "change of heart" just like they did in 2004!  When will he learn?  A Democrat who appears weak on security/terror is unelectable.

by ChicagoDude 2007-05-02 03:29PM | 0 recs
Re: EDWARDS FOR IT BEFORE HE WAS AGAINST IT...AGAI

You getting very tiresome.

by adamterando 2007-05-02 03:32PM | 0 recs
why people laughed...

In the midst of the audio, there's a spot where he's making a serious point and everybody laughs, and he says "Did I say 'dangerous people'?"

What you can't hear is that when said 'dangerous people' an infant in the tenth row suddenly burst into tears..... everybody laughed, etc.

Just thought I'd explain that for folks hearing this over the tubes.

by karichisholm 2007-05-02 03:39PM | 0 recs
Re: why people laughed...

Thanks for clearing that up. I hadn't listened to the audio, just read the quote. That part where he faux-questions himself reads oddly without the context you provided - and now listening to the tape, makes perfect sense.

by Rob in Vermont 2007-05-02 07:25PM | 0 recs
Re: why people laughed...

Well, also someone yelled out "George W. Bush" right after Edwards said "dangerous people".

by Jonathan Singer 2007-05-02 07:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Edwards: War on Terror

We are influencing Edwards, so I see no need to complain when he catches on to what we've been saying, and starts talking like us. He's using our language, at any rood (gang, frame), + listing all the items we care about with anger and tears.

TIME interview:
"This political language has created a frame that is not accurate and that Bush and his gang have used to justify anything they want to do," Edwards said in a phone interview from Everett, Wash. "It's been used to justify a whole series of things that are not justifiable, ranging from the war in Iraq, to torture, to violation of the civil liberties of Americans, to illegal spying on Americans. Anyone who speaks out against these things is treated as unpatriotic. I also think it suggests that there's a fixed enemy that we can defeat with just a military campaign. I just don't think that's true."

http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/ 0,8599,1616724,00.html

Also, for laughs:
Edwards talking vs. Bush talking about the GWOT:

Bush speech: "Now we're involved in a -- I call it a global war against terror. You can call it a global war against extremists, a global war against radicals, a global war against people who want to hurt America. You can call it whatever you want, but it is a global effort."

Moral of the story: It's nice to have a president who is intelligent.

by mrobinsong 2007-05-02 03:59PM | 0 recs
Edwards on CNN Situation Room:

RUDOLPH GIULIANI (R), FORMER MAYOR OF NEW YORK: If one of them gets elected, it sounds to me like we're going on defense, where we got a timetable for withdrawal of Iraq. We're going to wave the white flag there. We're going to try to cut back on the Patriot Act. We're going to cut back on electronic surveillance.

We're going to cut back on interrogation. We're going to cut back, cut back, cut back. And we will be back in our pre-September 11 mentality of being on defense.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: All right, strong words from Giuliani.

What do you say to him?

EDWARDS: Fear-mongering. It's the same old fear-mongering that they have been engaged in for years.

Hey, what I would ask Americans is, do you feel safer than you did when George Bush was elected in 2000? Do you feel safer today? Are you happy with what's happened in Iraq?

Because what Giuliani, McCain, Romney, all of them, the best I can tell, are saying is, they are going to continue on this same course. I mean, the question for the American people -- and I think the answer is going to be obvious -- the question for the American people is, do they believe we can be smarter and still be aggressive about protecting this country?

And I think they're going to answer that question in a resounding way, come November of 2008.

http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0 705/02/sitroom.01.html

by okamichan13 2007-05-02 06:52PM | 0 recs
John Edwards' Domestic Intelligence gathering

bill text. Posting the full text for reference (here for the discussion above):


S.410

Foreign Intelligence Collection Improvement Act of 2003 (Introduced in Senate)

S 410 IS

108th CONGRESS

1st Session

S. 410

To establish the Homeland Intelligence Agency, and for other purposes.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

February 13, 2003

Mr. EDWARDS introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Select Committee on Intelligence

A BILL

To establish the Homeland Intelligence Agency, and for other purposes.

     Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS.

     (a) SHORT TITLE- This Act may be cited as the `Foreign Intelligence Collection Improvement Act of 2003'.

     (b) TABLE OF CONTENTS- The table of contents for this Act is as follows:

           Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.

           Sec. 2. Findings and purpose.

TITLE I--HOMELAND INTELLIGENCE AGENCY

           Sec. 101. Short title.

           Sec. 102. Definitions.

Subtitle A--Establishment

           Sec. 111. Homeland Intelligence Agency.

           Sec. 112. Mission.

           Sec. 113. Officers.

           Sec. 114. Inspector general.

           Sec. 115. Office of Privacy and Civil Liberties Protection.

           Sec. 116. Office of Federal, State, and Local Law Enforcement Coordination.

           Sec. 117. Seal.

Subtitle B--Authorities

           Sec. 121. Personnel training.

           Sec. 122. Dissemination of information.

           Sec. 123. Guidelines on collection of foreign intelligence and counterintelligence inside the United States.

           Sec. 124. Coordination with Central Intelligence Agency overseas.

           Sec. 125. Treatment as element of intelligence community.

           Sec. 126. Inclusion within National Foreign Intelligence Program.

           Sec. 127. Foreign intelligence surveillance activities.

           Sec. 128. Annual reports.

Subtitle C--Transfer of Functions

           Sec. 141. Transfer of functions.

           Sec. 142. Reorganization.

           Sec. 143. Transfer and allocation of appropriations and personnel.

           Sec. 144. Incidental transfers.

           Sec. 145. Effect on personnel.

           Sec. 146. Savings provisions.

           Sec. 147. Transition.

           Sec. 148. References.

Subtitle D--Conforming Amendments

           Sec. 151. Executive schedule.

           Sec. 152. Department of Homeland Security Act.

           Sec. 153. National Security Act of 1947.

TITLE II--FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION

           Sec. 201. Termination of functions and responsibilities of Federal Bureau of Investigation as element of the intelligence community.

           Sec. 202. Office of Foreign Intelligence Coordination.

           Sec. 203. Improvement of coordination of counterintelligence activities.

TITLE III--SURVEILLANCE MATTERS

Subtitle A--Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Reports

           Sec. 301. Short title.

           Sec. 302. Additional matters in annual reports on surveillance under Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978.

Subtitle B--Participation in Religious and Political Groups for Foreign Intelligence and International Terrorism Purposes

           Sec. 311. Participation in religious and political groups for foreign intelligence and international terrorism purposes.

Subtitle C--Effective Date

           Sec. 321. Effective date.

TITLE IV--EFFECTIVE DATE

           Sec. 401. Effective date.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS AND PURPOSE.

     (a) FINDINGS- Congress makes the following findings:

           (1) In the wake of the terrorist attacks on the United States of September 11, 2001, the Select Committee on Intelligence of the Senate and the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence of the House of Representatives conducted a joint inquiry to examine the performance of the elements of the Intelligence Community of the United States Government before those attacks.

           (2) The findings of the joint inquiry revealed that the Federal Bureau of Investigation had failed to merge properly and perform effectively its dual missions of law enforcement and the collection, analysis, and dissemination of foreign intelligence inside the United States.

           (3) This failure by the Federal Bureau of Investigation contributed to the inability of the United States to predict and prevent the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

           (4) The current and proposed changes in personnel and procedures at the Federal Bureau of Investigation since September 11, 2001, are not likely to result in a significant improvement in the collection, analysis, and dissemination of foreign intelligence inside the United States because the law enforcement responsibilities of the Bureau are inconsistent with, and will continue to undermine, its ability to be an effective intelligence agency.

     (b) PURPOSE- It is the purpose of this Act to create a new element of the Intelligence Community of the United States Government, within the Department of Homeland Security, whose primary mission will be the collection and dissemination of foreign intelligence and counterintelligence inside the United States, including the plans, intentions, and capabilities of international terrorist groups operating in the United States. The mission of such entity, the Homeland Intelligence Agency, shall be conducted with appropriate respect for the privacy and civil liberties of United States persons.

TITLE I--HOMELAND INTELLIGENCE AGENCY

SEC. 101. SHORT TITLE.

     This title may be cited as the `Homeland Intelligence Agency Act of 2003'.

SEC. 102. DEFINITIONS.

     In this title:

           (1) CONGRESSIONAL INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEES- The term `congressional intelligence committees' has the meaning given that term in section 3 of the National Security Act of 1947 (50 U.S.C. 401a), as amended by section 353 of the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2003 (Public Law 107-306).

           (2) APPROPRIATE COMMITTEES OF CONGRESS- The term `appropriate committees of Congress' means--

                 (A) the Select Committee on Intelligence and the Committee on the Judiciary of the Senate; and

                 (B) the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives.

           (2) UNITED STATES- The term `United States', when used in a geographic sense, means any State of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, any possession of the United States, and any waters within the jurisdiction of the United States.

           (3) INTELLIGENCE-RELATED DEFINITIONS- The terms `intelligence', `foreign intelligence', and `counterintelligence' have the meaning given such terms in section 3 of the National Security Act of 1947 (50 U.S.C. 401a).

           (4) SURVEILLANCE-RELATED DEFINITIONS- The terms `foreign power', `agent of a foreign power', and `United States person' have the meaning given such terms in section 101 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (50 U.S.C. 1801).

Subtitle A--Establishment

SEC. 111. HOMELAND INTELLIGENCE AGENCY.

     (a) ESTABLISHMENT- There is established the Homeland Intelligence Agency.

     (b) ELEMENT OF DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY- The Homeland Intelligence Agency is an element of the Department of Homeland Security.

     (c) MISSION- The Homeland Intelligence Agency shall carry out the mission specified in section 112.

SEC. 112. MISSION.

     (a) IN GENERAL- The mission of the Homeland Intelligence Agency shall be to support the Director of Central Intelligence in discharging the responsibilities of the Director as the head of the intelligence community under section 103 of the National Security Act of 1947 (50 U.S.C. 403-3) in the manner as follows:

           (1) By serving as the primary entity within the United States Government responsible for collecting foreign intelligence on the plans, intentions, and capabilities of international terrorists and terrorist groups operating inside the United States.

           (2) By conducting operations to collect foreign intelligence and counterintelligence within the United States, including foreign intelligence and counterintelligence regarding United States persons, through human sources and by other lawful intelligence collection means.

           (3) By conducting operations to collect foreign intelligence and counterintelligence through the use of electronic surveillance and physical searches pursuant to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (50 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.) in accordance with the provisions of that Act.

           (4) By conducting analysis, including identification and assessment, relevant to the mission of the Agency to address threats to the United States posed by foreign powers, agents of foreign powers, and such other foreign persons or entities as the President may prescribe.

           (5) By assisting the Under Secretary for Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection of the Department of Homeland Security in carrying out activities under section 201(d)(1) of the Department of Homeland Security Act (Public Law 107-296), relating to the identification and assessment of threats to the United States.

           (6) By participating with the Central Intelligence Agency in the Terrorist Threat Integration Center.

           (7) By ensuring the prompt and efficient dissemination of foreign intelligence reports to appropriate consumers in the United States Government, including reports derived from collection conducted pursuant to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (50 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.).

           (8) By facilitating the sharing of information between the Agency and other elements of the United States Government, State governments, and local governments.

     (b) NATURE OF RESPONSIBILITIES- (1) The Homeland Intelligence Agency shall have primary responsibility within the United States Government for the collection of foreign intelligence and counterintelligence inside the United States.

     (2) The Agency shall have sole responsibility within the United States Government for the collection of foreign intelligence and counterintelligence under subsection (a)(3).

     (c) LIMITATIONS- Except as otherwise provided in sections 114 and 115, the Homeland Intelligence Agency shall have no police, subpoena, or law enforcement powers.

SEC. 113. OFFICERS.

     (a) DIRECTOR- (1) There is a Director of Homeland Intelligence, who shall be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. The Director shall be the head of the Homeland Intelligence Agency.

     (2)(A) The Director serves for a term of two years, beginning on October 1 of odd-numbered years.

     (B) An individual may be reappointed as Director.

     (3) The Director shall perform such duties and exercise such powers relating to the mission of the Agency as the President shall prescribe.

     (b) DEPUTY DIRECTOR- (1) There is a Deputy Director of Homeland Intelligence, who shall be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.

     (2) The Deputy Director shall perform such duties and exercise such powers as the Director of Homeland Intelligence shall prescribe.

     (3) The Deputy Director shall act for, and exercise the powers of, the Director when the Director is disabled or there is no Director of Homeland Intelligence.

     (c) INSPECTOR GENERAL- (1) There is an Inspector General of the Homeland Intelligence Agency, who shall be appointed as provided in section 114.

     (2) The Inspector General shall perform the functions set forth in section 114.

     (d) DIRECTOR OF OFFICE OF PRIVACY AND CIVIL LIBERTIES PROTECTION- (1) There is a Director of the Office of Privacy and Civil Liberties Protection of the Homeland Intelligence Agency, who shall be appointed as provided in section 115.

     (2) The Director shall be the head of the Office of Privacy and Civil Liberties Protection under section 115.

     (3) The Director shall perform the functions set forth in section 115.

     (e) GENERAL COUNSEL- (1) There is a General Counsel of the Homeland Intelligence Agency, who shall be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.

     (2) The General Counsel is the chief legal officer of the Homeland Intelligence Agency.

     (3) The General Counsel shall perform such functions as the Director of Homeland Intelligence shall prescribe.

     (4) Notwithstanding any provision of the Department of Homeland Security Act, the General Counsel of the Homeland Intelligence Agency shall not be subject to the direction, supervision, or control of the General Counsel of the Department of Homeland Security in performing functions under this title.

SEC. 114. INSPECTOR GENERAL.

     (a) APPOINTMENT; REMOVAL- (1) There is an Inspector General of the Homeland Intelligence Agency, who shall be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.

     (2) The appointment of the Inspector General shall be made--

           (A) without regard to political affiliation;

           (B) solely on the basis of integrity, compliance with the security standards of the Homeland Intelligence Agency, and prior experience in the field of foreign intelligence or counterintelligence; and

           (C) on the basis of demonstrated ability in accounting, financial analysis, law, management analysis, public administration, or auditing.

     (3) The Inspector General may be removed from office only by the President. The President shall immediately communicate in writing to the congressional intelligence committees the reasons for any such removal.

     (b) SUPERVISION- (1) The Inspector General of the Homeland Intelligence Agency shall report directly to and be under the general supervision of the Director of Homeland Intelligence.

     (2) Notwithstanding any provision of the Department of Homeland Security Act (Public Law 107-296), the Inspector General of the Homeland Intelligence Agency shall not be subject to the direction, supervision, or control of the Inspector General of the Department of Homeland Security in performing functions under this title.

     (3) The Director may prohibit the Inspector General of the Homeland Intelligence Agency from initiating, carrying out, or completing any audit, inspection, or investigation if the Director determines that such prohibition is necessary to protect vital national security interests of the United States.

     (4)(A) If the Director exercises any power under paragraph (3), the Director shall submit an appropriately classified statement of the reasons for the exercise of such power within seven days to the congressional intelligence committees.

     (B) The Director shall advise the Inspector General at the time a report is submitted under subparagraph (A), and, to the extent consistent with the protection of intelligence sources and methods, provide the Inspector General with a copy of such report. In such cases, the Inspector General may submit to the congressional intelligence committees such comments as the Inspector General considers appropriate.

     (c) DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES- It shall be the duty and responsibility of the Inspector General of the Homeland Intelligence Agency--

           (1) to provide policy direction for, and to plan, conduct, supervise, and coordinate independently, inspections, investigations, and audits relating to the programs and operations of the Homeland Intelligence Agency to ensure they are conducted efficiently and in accordance with applicable law and regulations;

           (2) to keep the Director of Homeland Intelligence fully and currently informed concerning violations of law and regulations, fraud and other serious problems, and abuses and deficiencies that may occur in such programs and operations, and to report the progress made in implementing corrective action;

           (3) to take due regard for the protection of intelligence sources and methods in the preparation of all reports issued by the Inspector General, and, to the extent consistent with the purpose and objective of such reports, take such measures as may be appropriate to minimize the disclosure of intelligence sources and methods described in such reports; and

           (4) in carrying out such responsibilities, to comply with generally accepted government auditing standards.

     (d) REPORTS- (1)(A) The Inspector General of the Homeland Intelligence Agency shall, not later than January 31 and July 31 each year, prepare and submit to the Director of Homeland Intelligence a classified report summarizing the activities of the Inspector General during the six-month period ending on the preceding December 31 or June 30, as the case may be.

     (B) Not later than the dates each year provided for the transmittal of a report under subparagraph (A) in section 507 of the National Security Act of 1947 (as amended by section 153 of this Act), the Director shall transmit the report to the congressional intelligence committees, together with any comments the Director considers appropriate.

     (C) Each report under this paragraph shall, at a minimum, include--

           (i) a list of the title or subject of each inspection, investigation, or audit conducted during the period covered by such report;

           (ii) a description of significant problems, abuses, and deficiencies relating to the administration of programs and operations of the Agency that are identified by the Inspector General during such period;

           (iii) a description of the recommendations for corrective action made by the Inspector General during such period with respect to significant problems, abuses, or deficiencies identified in clause (ii);

           (iv) a statement of whether corrective action has been completed on each significant recommendation described in any previous report under this paragraph, and, in a case where corrective action has been completed, a description of such corrective action;

           (v) a certification whether or not the Inspector General has had full and direct access during such period to all information relevant to the performance of the Inspector General's functions;

           (vi) a description of the exercise of the subpoena authority under subsection (e)(5) by the Inspector General during such period; and

           (vii) such recommendations as the Inspector General considers appropriate regarding legislation to promote economy and efficiency in the administration of programs and operations undertaken by the Agency, and to detect and eliminate fraud and abuse in such programs and operations.

     (2)(A) The Inspector General shall report immediately to the Director whenever the Inspector General becomes aware of an allegation of serious or flagrant problems, abuses, or deficiencies relating to the administration of programs or operations of the Agency.

     (B) The Director shall transmit to the congressional intelligence committees any report received under paragraph (A) within seven calendar days of receipt, together with any comments the Director considers appropriate.

     (3) In accordance with section 535 of title 28, United States Code, the Inspector General shall report to the Attorney General any information, allegation, or complaint received by the Inspector General relating to violations of Federal criminal law that involve a program or operation of the Agency, consistent with such guidelines as may be issued by the Attorney General pursuant to subsection (b)(2) of such section.

by NuevoLiberal 2007-05-03 05:09AM | 0 recs

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