|July 24, 2003
Statement for the Record of
V. Phillip Lago
Deputy Executive Secretary
Central Intelligence Agency
Information Sharing with the Department of Homeland Security
Subcommittee on Intelligence and Counterterrorism
House of Representatives Select Committee on Homeland Security
Good afternoon Chairman Gibbons, Ranking Member McCarthy and the Members of the Subcommittee on the Intelligence and Counterterrorism of the House Select Committee on Homeland Security.
I appreciate the opportunity to join my colleagues from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the state and local law enforcement community to discuss information sharing with the Department of Homeland Security.
At the outset, let me be clear that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is committed to providing all of the information required for the Department of Homeland Security to execute the mission assigned to it by the Homeland Security Act of 2002. In fact, there are significant initiatives underway within the CIA and across the intelligence Community aimed at providing intelligence support to the national effort to protect our homeland. This support is evolving over time, and through an interactive partnership we are all learning as we go.
The CIA and DHS have a very unique relationship. While our mission has always been to collect information upon foreign threats to our nation and, as directed by the President, take appropriate action to negate or reduce that threat, we now also have the responsibility to support DHS in its new mission to protect the homeland. Our missions are complimentary, and reflect the intent of Congress in both the National Security Act of 1947 and the Homeland Security Act of 2002. We work together to ensure that no gaps exist in our defenses. For many years, the CIA has had relationships with several of the major organizations that were brought together to form DHS. As DHS stands up and evolves, our relationship with it is also evolving. Under Secretary Libutti and Acting Assistant Secretary Parrish have already made great strides in defining the type of information that the department needs to ensure it can perform its mission. We have been addressing those issues, we are addressing those issues today, and we will continue to address them in the future. One of the truths about the future that I am sure of is that this relationship will continue to evolve and change over time as we, as a nation, continue our discussions on how to keep the homeland secure while protecting civil liberties.
Let me quickly walk you through the evolution of our relationship with DHS. Shortly after the attacks of 11 September 2001, Director Tenet designated a focal point for coordinating DCI support to this vital mission. CIA has taken an active interest in identifying the needs of the homeland security community and improving the availability of information on terrorism. For example, the CIA significantly increased the number of reports and products that not only had compartmented information but also versions that could be released in collateral or unclassified formats. The CIA sponsored numerous, non Intelligence Community individuals for expedited security clearances to ensure that critical personnel in high-risk areas could have access to information. We provided officers to certain FBI Joint Terrorism Task Forces to help prevent the terrorists from finding a seam in our defenses. When the President named, then Governor Ridge as his Homeland Security Advisor, and established the Office of Homeland Security, we made immediate contact with Governor Ridge and contributed personnel and resources to help stand up this vital office.
We went through our next budget cycle projecting the need for us to support Governor Ridge and an Office of Homeland Security that would have about 300-400 officers. In early 2002, we announced the creation of the position of Associate Director of Central Intelligence for Homeland Security (ADCI/HS) including a small staff to help focus CIA and Intelligence Community support to this Office. Shortly after the announcement, the nation evolved in its planning and established a Department of Homeland Security with over 170,000 officers. Clearly we had to resize our efforts. Initially, CIA officers were assigned to both the former Office of Homeland Security and the transition team for the new Department. Since the activation of DHS on 1 March, CIA has expanded the range of products and services provided to DHS. CIA officers are assigned to the Directorate of Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection (IAIP) and other elements of DHS, working to provide both a core analytic capability and establish an infrastructure for the care and feeding of the new Department. These officers have supported tasks as diverse as information analysis, information system management, security oversight, and watch center operations management.
In addition, CIA provides DCI Representatives to both the Homeland Security Advisor and Secretary Ridge. The representatives are senior officers who serve as the primary conduits for the Homeland Security Advisor, Secretary Ridge, and their staffs to raise issues of concern and identify topics of special interest for the Intelligence Community to address, as well as providing a mechanism for providing DHS requirements to the Intelligence Community.
Secretary Ridge and his senior advisors receive daily intelligence briefings. The Senior Executive Intelligence Brief (SEIB) is also available to numerous officers at the department.
CIA is responding to intelligence requirements issued by DHS in addition to the standing intelligence requirements received from several organizations and components that were incorporated into DHS. We will continue to provide information directly to DHS/IAIP, in addition to information provided via the DHS representatives at TTIC and to DHS component agencies, while working with the Department to better synchronize and streamline the disparate requirements that were generated from legacy agreements.
DHS is on the distribution list for all of CIA’s raw terrorism reporting, which it began to receive directly immediately upon the implementation of their communications system. Prior to that capability existing, CIA reporting was sent via indirect channels. In addition, all subordinate organizations continue to receive CIA reporting based on their requirements -- as they did prior to the creation of DHS -- via their existing communication chains, to ensure that the information is received by the action elements as well as DHS headquarters.
Finished intelligence products and analysis are also shared with DHS and their components. CIASOURCE provides direct, immediate access to the Directorate of Intelligence’s finished intelligence products. Access to these products is determined by the reading requirements established by the requesting organizations. In the case of DHS, we are providing intelligence products based upon two distinct categories of requirements. Prior to the creation of DHS, CIA had established relationships with a number of organizations that were incorporated into the new Department. These organizations included the U.S. Secret Service, the U.S. Coast Guard, the old U.S. Customs Service, the Transportation Security Administration, the Federal Protective Service, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the Immigration and Naturalization Service. Although these organizations are now part of DHS, we continue to satisfy their intelligence requirements that were established before the activation of DHS. In some cases, such as the new Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (BICE) and FEMA, these requirements lists are more than 80 pages in length. In addition, the Intelligence Directorate of the U.S. Coast Guard is separately a member of the Intelligence Community and has access to intelligence products available to the Intelligence Community.
We are committed to providing all necessary and relevant intelligence to the Department of Homeland Security. It is our intent to create a dialogue with DHS and help drive out a meaningful, manageable way to flow information, in both directions. We will not simply throw information over the wall and walk away declaring that our job is done. Our goal is to develop a full and interactive partnership with the DHS.
In addition to our multiple avenues of support to DHS Headquarters elements, we also support the work of the Terrorist Threat Integration Center (TTIC), a shared partnership including DHS, CIA, FBI, DOD and the Department of State, by providing: CIA staff officers assigned to TTIC -- including managers, analysts, and support personnel -- the CT-Link information system, personnel positions, and funding, as legally permissible. The TTIC partner elements use these resources, in part, to carry out the mission of directly supporting DHS and other organizations. Also, the Community Counterterrorism Board and its community warning function, with eight staff positions, has been transferred from the DCI’s Counterterrorist Center to TTIC. The mission of TTIC does not transfer our responsibilities to report directly to DHS.
Thank you for this opportunity to describe CIA’s role in the evolution and support of DHS. I would be pleased to answer your questions.