Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence

Mike Rogers

Fact sheet on H.R. 4681, The Fiscal Year 2015 Intelligence Authorization Act

2014/12/12

Fact sheet on H.R. 4681, The Fiscal Year 2015 Intelligence Authorization Act

Myth/Fact

Myth:    Section 309 of H.R. 4681 permits the government to acquire, retain, and disseminate nonpublic electronic communications to or from U.S. persons.

Fact:      Section 309 provides no authority to collect any communications whatsoever.  Instead, Section 309 protects privacy rights by requiring the government to adopt procedures to destroy communications collected outside the United States after five years unless the communications relate to terrorists or foreign governments, relate to an imminent threat to human life, or fall into other clearly defined exceptions.  Although the executive branch already follows procedures along these lines, Section 309 would enshrine the requirement in law.  In the Senate Intelligence Committee, Senator Wyden and Senator Udall supported this provision.  

Myth:    H.R. 4681 is significantly different from what the House passed in May 2014.

Fact:      In May, the House passed an intelligence authorization bill for Fiscals Year 2014 and 2015.  The Senate voted on each year’s funding separately.  In July, the Senate passed a 2014 bill, the House concurred, and the bill—which included many of the provisions in the House bill passed in May—became law.  Yesterday, the Senate passed its FY 2015 bill and legislative provisions from the Senate.  That bill, which is now before the House, also contains the FY2015 legislative provisions from the House-passed bill. 

 

Other Bill Highlights:

·        Increased research and development on potentially game-changing technologies

·        New investments in modernized intelligence capabilities that will also have lower operating costs

·        Enhanced investments in military intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance aircraft

·        Enhanced investments to more efficiently task and operate intelligence collection assets

·        Policy and funding direction on sensitive intelligence operations

·        Funding to thwart insider threats

·        Funding to pursue new intelligence capabilities from space

·        Funding reductions to activities that are inefficient or insufficiently justified

 

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Chairman Rogers & Ranking Member Ruppersberger Applaud Passage of FY15 Intelligence Authorization Bill

2014/12/10

For Immediate Release                      Contact: Susan.Phalen@mail.house.gov (Rogers) December 10, 2014                                          Allison.Getty@mail.house.gov (Ruppersberger)

Chairman Rogers & Ranking Member Ruppersberger Applaud Passage of FY15 Intelligence Authorization Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The FY15 Intelligence Authorization bill, H.R. 4681, passed the House of Representatives today by an overwhelming bipartisan vote of 325-100, and now heads to the President’s desk for signature. This is the fifth consecutive Intelligence Authorization bill passed into law since Chairman Mike Rogers and Ranking Member C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger took the helm of the House Intelligence Committee four years ago. Chairman Rogers and Ranking Member Ruppersberger praised the bill’s passage. 

The intelligence authorization bill is one of the critical national security bills the House passes each year.  It provides and allocates resources to critical national security programs, including those that detect and disrupt potential terrorist attacks against the American people.  The total funding authorized by the bill is slightly above the President’s budget request, but maintains fiscal discipline.  

Bill Highlights:

ü  Increased research and development on potentially game-changing technologies;

ü  New investments in modernized intelligence capabilities that will also have lower operating costs;

ü  Enhanced investments in military intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance aircraft;

ü  Enhanced investments to more efficiently task and operate intelligence collection assets;

ü  Policy and funding direction on sensitive intelligence operations;

ü  Funding to thwart insider threats;

ü  Funding to pursue new intelligence capabilities from space;

ü  Funding reductions to activities that are inefficient or insufficiently justified;

ü  Continues to emphasize the value of our space programs, and the need to decrease our reliance on Russian-made engines to carry our satellites into space;

ü  Makes the necessary investments into Research and Development to defend against next generation threats;

ü  Further improves the continuous evaluation of insider threats while safeguarding privacy and civil liberties;

ü  Enables better intelligence and information sharing to prevent foreign fighter flows, especially into and out of Syria;

ü  Enables cutting edge Defense Intelligence Agency technology.

ü  Further refines the Department of Defense Human Intelligence capabilities while supporting community-wide Human Intelligence efforts to better understand the enemies’ plans and intentions.

ü  Establishes increased accountability measures for our most sensitive programs.

Chairman Rogers said, “We rightly demand that our intelligence agencies provide policy makers with the best and most timely information possible on the threats we face. We ask them to track terrorists wherever they train, plan, and fundraise. We ask them to stop devastating cyber attacks that steal American jobs. We ask them to track nuclear and missile threats. And we demand that they get it right – every time. This bill ensures that the dedicated men and women of our Intelligence Community have the funding, and authorities and support they need to meet their mission and to keep us safe.”

Ranking Member Ruppersberger said, “The Intelligence Authorization Act is the single most effective oversight tool we have.  It ensures that our intelligence agencies spend money only on programs Congress is informed of, approves, and can continuously oversee.  At the same time, it ensures that our intelligence professionals have what they need to keep us and our allies safe.  This is a strong, bipartisan bill that I am proud to support. I look forward to the President signing this bill into law.” 

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Chairman Rogers’ Statement on the release of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence’s Study of the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program

2014/12/09

For Immediate Release                     Contact:  Kelsey Knight December 9, 2014                                            Kelsey.Knight@mail.house.gov

Chairman Rogers’ Statement on the release of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence’s Study of the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program

“I regret that the Senate Intelligence Committee has publicly released this report.  Though it is wholly appropriate for the congressional intelligence committees to conduct rigorous review of classified programs, I fear that publicizing the details of this classified program – which was legal, authorized, and appropriately briefed to the intelligence committees – will only inflame our enemies, risk the lives of those who continue to sacrifice on our behalf, and undermine the very organization we continuously ask to do the hardest jobs in the toughest places.  In the months and years after 9/11, the men and women of the CIA answered America’s demand for action by leaving their families and risking their lives to protect the rest of us. For that, they deserve America’s highest praise and thanks.”

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Fact Sheet - House Intelligence Committee’s Benghazi Report

2014/12/04

December 4, 2014                        Contact:  Susan Phalen                                                                      Susan.Phalen@mail.house.gov

Fact Sheet

House Intelligence Committee’s Benghazi Report

Certain press articles about the House Intelligence Committee’s Report on Benghazi do not accurately represent the Committee’s Report or take into account the full scope of the evidence the Committee received.  Statements by individual eyewitnesses, in particular former security contractors who were in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11-12, 2012, do not present the complete picture of what happened that night.  The Committee’s Report is based on the totality of the evidence it received and all the testimony of witnesses taken under oath and on the record.  The facts described in the Report comport with the findings of other committees in Congress, including the Senate Intelligence Committee, the House Foreign Affairs Committee, the House Armed Services Committee.  The Committee stands by its final bipartisan Report that was formally adopted by a voice vote of Committee members. 

·        The former security contractors who are telling their version of events in the media do not represent the totality of the two CIA rescue teams.  Some individuals remain unnamed.  Some security officers continue to serve the CIA in dangerous places around the world, and thus cannot disclose their testimony publicly. 

·        The totality of the evidence indicates that the CIA team departed for the State Department facility 21 minutes after first learning of the attack at 9:42 pm.  While Mr. Paronto testified that he believed the call came earlier, the totality of evidence, which includes other eyewitness testimony, FBI reports from the initial eyewitness interviews, time-stamped video footage, and CIA emails and cables, shows that the notification came at 9:42 pm. 

·        It was a tactical decision of the leadership on the ground to attempt to gather more information about the attack at the TMF before authorizing the team’s departure.  There is no evidence to suggest that, absent the delay, the team could have saved Ambassador Stevens and Sean Smith.    

o   The CIA Security Chief led and participated in the rescue mission with the other officers.  The Team Leader’s presence in the car supports the conclusion that the security team did not depart without authorization or contrary to orders.

o   The Chief of Base and the CIA Security Chief were in charge and made sound decisions to let the team depart after gathering more facts and trying to raise additional and more heavily armed friendly militias to assist the team.

o   This was not a standard military rescue operation.  The CIA was not responsible for the security of the State Department Temporary Mission Facility, and the Chief of Base and CIA Security Chief had to consider other factors, including the safety of the remaining CIA personnel under their command at the Annex.

·        The Committee did not receive any evidence that individuals in Washington, Tripoli, or elsewhere influenced the decision of the Chief of Base or the CIA Security Chief about when and whether to allow the security team to head to the TMF.

·        The Report described information from testimony and briefings from Ambassador Kennedy and NCTC Director Olsen that the Diplomatic Security officer repeatedly entered the smoke-filled building to search for Ambassador Stevens.  Their testimony was based on available evidence, including time-stamped video footage.  The Committee did not interview the Department of State officer, but our report is consistent with reports from the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the Interim Joint House Committee report on the Benghazi attacks.  The security contractors were not at the Temporary Mission Facility at the time of this event. 

·        The Committee did not downplay the ferocity of the terrorist attacks at the Annex that night.  The CIA security team and their DoD colleagues professionally defended the facility with great skill and honor. 

·        The Tripoli team assisted in the defense of the Annex that night.  Glen Doherty was a member of the Tripoli Team.  Some press articles seem to draw a divide between officers defending from the rooftops and the other officers protecting the Annex.  The rooftop positions were not the only defensive positions at the Annex that night.  

·        The mortar fire that hit the roof of the CIA Annex was the deadly portion of the attack, but it was not the only component. Terrorists attacked with RPGs and smalls arms fire and attempted to breach the Annex. The security teams successfully defended against the assault despite the devastating mortar effects to those officers on the rooftops.  Time-stamped video evidence conclusively shows that the Libyan Shield militia left the CIA Annex before the mortar fire began.  

·        Eyewitness testimony was consistently critical of the conduct of all but one of the Diplomatic Security agents.  The Report accurately reflects the testimony the Committee received.  

·        As the Report indicated, the Department of Defense directed a Predator drone to Benghazi well before one security contractor said he requested it.  The CIA security officers in Benghazi should have known that no close air support was available because that information was widely disseminated via cable traffic.  The assertions by some contractors about the availability of air support are not representative of the totality of eyewitness testimony and indicate that some may not remember the read-outs of the Emergency Action Committee meetings or the official cable traffic from CIA on the security for the CIA Annex.   Further, the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) exhaustively investigated the military posture during the attacks and their response to the attacks in Benghazi.  The HASC accounted for all Spectre gunships in the U.S. inventory, and the HASC report speaks for itself. 

·        There is no evidence showing that the CIA intimidated or prevented any officer from speaking to the Congress or telling his story.  All officers testified to the Committee that they were not intimidated.  As the Committee report explained, the non-disclosure agreements specifically allow for persons to speak with the Intelligence Committees and outline the requirements for pre-publication review.  Further, both the House and Senate Intelligence Committees are aware of the Tripoli officer’s complaint to the CIA Inspector General, the IG’s actions in that regard, and have documentation related to that claim.  That correspondence is, however, protected by law from disclosure.  

The “BOLO” report was only one of hundreds of intelligence reports indicating the increasing threat environment to U.S. and western facilities in Benghazi.  The BOLO is emblematic of strategic warning.  The Committee’s report outlined all of the tactical intelligence about potential plotting to attack U.S. facilities that day.

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Ongoing Intelligence Activities

2014/12/04

HVC-304 (Closed) Read More

Chairman Mike Rogers Farewell Speech from the House Floor

2014/12/04


Ongoing Intelligence Activities

2014/12/01

HVC-304 (Closed) Read More

Business Meeting

2014/12/01

1)  Member access requests

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Chairman Rogers Questions Obama Administration on Negotiations with Iran over Nuclear Program

2014/11/24

For Immediate Release                           Contact:  Susan Phalen November 24, 2014                                                Susan.Phalen@mail.house.gov

Chairman Rogers Questions Obama Administration on Negotiations with Iran over Nuclear Program

“The Obama Administration's Iran nuclear negotiations have done little to advance the security of the United States and our allies, but they have benefited Iran. As these negotiations drag on, Iran continues to enrich uranium, is free to pursue some nuclear-related R&D, and has been handed access to previously frozen assets and an easing of sanctions. At the same time, the United States has received little in return but a promise to keep talking. Iran has not provided the U.N. complete access to its military research facilities, has not fully disclosed its past activities, and continues its work on ballistic missiles. The few restrictions on its nuclear program to which Iran has agreed are reversible. Moreover, as its draws out the talks, Iran has propped up the Assad regime, supported Hizbollah, and benefited from a separate nuclear deal with Russia. While the White House longs for a deal, Iran strengthens its hand. It is time for the Administration to reconsider its entire approach to Iran.”

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Statement by Chairman Rogers on House Intelligence Committee's Final Benghazi Report

2014/11/22

For Immediate Release                     Contact:  Susan.Phalen@mail.house.gov November 22, 2014

Statement by Chairman Rogers on House Intelligence Committee's Final Benghazi Report HPSCI Report Examined Intelligence Aspects of Benghazi Attacks

As the Committee's bipartisan report makes clear, the House Intelligence Committee's investigation into the Benghazi attacks focused on the Intelligence Community's activities before, during, and after the attacks in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11-12, 2012.  The bipartisan panel concluded that there was no stand down order issued by or to intelligence community personnel, and there was no denial of air support to intelligence community officers on the ground.  The officers present testified to that effect.  The Committee did receive evidence about the activities of the Defense Department, State Department, and White House personnel, which are explained in both the report and the additional views.  But the Committee does not make final conclusions about other agencies to the extent they were not the focus of the Committee's investigation.

All members of the Committee were given an opportunity to provide written comments on the Committee's work and the report.  All of the additional views that were submitted are attached to the report.  Several Republican members of the Committee, including Chairman Rogers, wrote additional views to provide further comments on the motivations and actions of some senior officials.  Similarly, the Minority Members provided additional comments.  The Committee urges those commenting on the report to read both the report and the additional views. 

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