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108th Congress Report
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
1st Session 108-168
REQUESTING THE PRESIDENT TO TRANSMIT TO THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
DOCUMENTS OR OTHER MATERIALS IN THE PRESIDENT'S POSSESSION RELATING TO
IRAQ'S WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION
June 23, 2003.--Referred to the House Calendar and ordered to be
Mr. Hyde, from the Committee on International Relations, submitted the
[To accompany H. Res. 260]
The Committee on International Relations, to whom was
referred the resolution (H. Res. 260) requesting the President
to transmit to the House of Representatives not later than 14
days after the date of the adoption of this resolution
documents or other materials in the President's possession
relating to Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, having
considered the same, reports unfavorably thereon without
amendment and recommends that the resolution not be agreed to.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Purpose and Summary.............................................. 2
Correspondence from the Intelligence Committee................... 2
Background and Need for the Legislation.......................... 3
Committee Consideration.......................................... 5
Vote of the Committee............................................ 5
Committee Oversight Findings..................................... 5
New Budget Authority and Tax Expenditures....................5
Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate........................5 deg.
Performance Goals and Objectives................................. 5
Constitutional Authority Statement............................... 5
New Advisory Committees.......................................... 5
Congressional Accountability Act................................. 5
Federal Mandates................................................. 6
Dissenting Views................................................. 7
Purpose and Summary
House Resolution 260, a resolution of inquiry, requests the
President to transmit to the House of Representatives not later
than 14 days after the date of the adoption of the resolution
documents or materials in the President's possession relating
to Iraq's weapons of mass destruction.
Correspondence from the Intelligence Committee
Permanent Select Committee
U.S. House of Representatives,
Washington, DC, June 16, 2003.
Hon. Henry J. Hyde, Chairman,
Committee on International Relations,
Dear Mr. Chairman: I am writing to inform you that the
House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) voted
on Thursday, June 12, 2003 to permit Members of the House who
wish, under appropriate security conditions and House Rules, to
review certain documents provided to the HPSCI by the Director
of Central Intelligence (DCI). The documentation at issue is
that which the DCI provided to the HPSCI in response to the May
22, 2003 letter from the two of us. A copy of that letter is
enclosed with this correspondence. Specifically, we requested
detailed information from the Intelligence Community on the
questions relating to Iraqi WMD and Iraq's ties to terrorist
Please let me know if the HPSCI can be of any assistance to
the Committee on International Relations in this matter.
Porter J. Goss, Chairman,
Jane Harman, Ranking Democrat.
Enclosure: As described
Permanent Select Committee
U.S. House of Representatives,
Washington, DC, May 22, 2003.
Hon. George J. Tenet,
Director of Central Intelligence,
Central Intelligence Agency
Dear Director Tenet: The House Permanent Select Committee
on Intelligence (HPSCI) believes that it is now time to
reevaluate US intelligence regarding the amount or existence of
weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in Iraq and that country's
linkages to terrorist groups, such as al-Qaida. As you know,
the existence of--and danger posed by--WMD in Iraq and the
concern that these capabilities could be transferred to
terrorists groups remains of vital interest. The Committee
wants to ensure that the intelligence analysis relayed to our
policymakers from the Intelligence Community (IC) was accurate,
unbiased, and timely--in light of new information resulting
from recent events in Iraq.
The Committee is interested in learning, in detail, how the
intelligence picture regarding Iraqi WMD was developed and
would appreciate your answers to the following questions: Were
sources and methods that contributed to the community's
analysis on the presence and amount of WMD in Iraq of
sufficient quality and quantity to provide sufficient accuracy?
How was information disseminated and what lines of analysis
developed? Did the analytic assessment change over time? If so,
please explain how analytic conclusions shifted based on what
and when. In addition, did components of the IC or internal
elements of IC agencies express dissenting analytic
perspectives? If so, were those dissenting views properly
weighed and why was that analysis determined to be inaccurate?
The Committee is also interested in understanding how the
CIA's analysis of Iraq's linkages to terrorists groups, such as
al-Qaida, was derived. The Committee would like to know if that
analysis changed over time, what analytic conclusions were
provided to policymakers, including to Defense Secretary
Rumsfeld, regarding the presence of al-Qaida in Iraq, and how
the IC coordinated this analysis?
We look forward to your response by 1 July 2003.
Porter J. Goss, Chairman,
Jane Harman, Ranking Democrat.
Background and Need for the Legislation
House Resolution 260 is a resolution of inquiry, which
pursuant to rule XIII, clause 7, of the Rules of the House of
Representatives, directs the Committee to act on the resolution
within 14 legislative days, or a privileged motion to discharge
the Committee is in order. H. Res. 260 was introduced and
referred to the Committee on International Relations on June 5,
2003, and was ordered reported unfavorably by the Committee on
June 17, 2003.
Under the rules and precedents of the House, a resolution
of inquiry is the means by which the House requests information
from the President of the United States or the head of one of
the executive branch departments. According to Deschler's
Procedure, it is a ``simple resolution making a direct request
or demand of the President or the head of an executive
department to furnish the House of Representatives with
specific factual information in the possession of the executive
On June 5, 2003, Mr. Kucinich of Ohio introduced H. Res.
260, a resolution of inquiry requesting the President to
transmit to the House of Representatives documents in the
President's possession relating to Iraq's weapons of mass
The resolution requests that the President transmit to
Congress ``specific evidence'' for 10 claims by senior
administration officials ``relating to Iraq's weapons of mass
destruction.'' These officials include the President (three
statements), Vice President (two statements), Secretary of
Defense (three statements), and ``the White House
spokesperson'' (two statements).
Prior to the introduction of the pending resolution, on May
22, 2003, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
(HPSCI) formally initiated a more comprehensive review of these
issues than could occur in response to the simple production of
documents and material as called for in H. Res. 260. Chairman
Porter Goss and Ranking Democrat Jane Harman wrote to the
Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) ``that it is now time to
reevaluate U.S. intelligence regarding the amount or existence
of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in Iraq and that country's
linkages to terrorist groups, such as al-Qaeda.''
Requesting that the DCI respond by July 1, 2003, the HPSCI
says it intends to ``ensure that the intelligence analysis
relayed to our policymakers from the Intelligence Community was
accurate, unbiased, and timely.'' Its broad review will include
an evaluation of the quality and quantity of sources and
methods, an assessment of how and what analysis developed and
whether it changed over time, and a study of any dissenting
views that were developed in the intelligence community.
In a press release of June 12, 2003, Chairman Goss and
Ranking Member Harman announced their ``bi-partisan
commitment'' to continue the HPSCI's ``serious, focused, and
comprehensive review'' of these issues, and provide additional
details on how they plan to do so. They note that the DCI has
offered the full cooperation of the Intelligence Community to
assist the HPSCI in its review. In fact, the DCI has already
begun to provide a significant volume of information,
containing highly classified information, to the HPSCI. It was
done weeks ahead of the requested date of July 1.
The HPSCI plans to continue its oversight of these
intelligence issues as it has conducted oversight through the
years. It will hold committee hearings, closed and open, as
Most importantly in terms of evaluating the necessity of
the request set out in H. Res. 260, however, is that the HPSCI
voted to grant, under appropriate security conditions and House
Rules, access to any Member of the House who wishes to review
the documentation provided to the HPSCI by the DCI in response
to its letter of May 22, 2003. The HPSCI Chairman and Ranking
Member recently forwarded to the Chairman and the Ranking
Member of the House International Relations Committee a copy of
their May 22 request and informed the committee of HPSCI's vote
granting access to Members of the House.
The DCI's ongoing and timely transmittal of relevant
intelligence information to the HPSCI and the HPSCI's vote
granting access to the information to any Member of the House
render moot as a matter of substance this resolution of
inquiry. The HPSCI is especially well-suited to handle these
highly classified documents and conduct this review. For the
International Relations Committee to duplicate the HPSCI
efforts in collecting the same documents would be a needless
duplication of effort. It is not in the interest of the
International Relations Committee nor the Congress to collect a
second set of intelligence documents relating to these matters.
Any Member who avails himself or herself of the opportunity to
see the materials HPSCI is collecting will see at least the
same materials that would be produced under this resolution,
and in all probability more.
The documents and material being collected by the HPSCI are
available for review by Members, consistent with House Rule
XXIII, the Code of Official Conduct, which governs access by
Members to classified information.
Because the HPSCI is in the process of collecting the
documents and materials relating to Iraq's weapons of mass
destruction, and the HPSCI voted to grant Members of the House
access to the documents, the Committee deemed the resolution to
be moot and accordingly ordered it reported unfavorably.
The Committee did not hold hearings on H. Res. 260.
On June 17, 2003, the Committee met in open session and
ordered unfavorably reported the resolution of inquiry H. Res.
260 without amendment by a record vote of 23 ayes to 15 noes,
with 3 voting ``present.''
Vote of the Committee
A motion to report H. Res. 260 unfavorably to the House was
agreed to by a record vote of 23 ayes to 15 noes, with 3 voting
Voting yes: Hyde, Leach, Bereuter, Burton, Gallegly,
Ros-Lehtinen, Ballenger, Royce, King, Chabot, Houghton,
McHugh, Tancredo, Smith (MI), Pitts, Flake, Davis,
Green, Weller, Pence, McCotter, Janklow, Harris
Voting no: Ackerman, Menendez, Sherman, Wexler,
Engel, Delahunt, Lee, Crowley, Hoeffel, Blumenauer,
Berkley, Napolitano, Schiff, Watson, Bell
Voting ``present'': Rohrabacher, Paul, Faleomavaega
Committee Oversight Findings
The Committee held no oversight activities under clause
2(b)(1) of rule X of the Rules of the House of Representatives.
New Budget Authority and Tax Expenditures
Clause 3(c)(2) of House Rule XIII is inapplicable because
H. Res. 260 does not provide new budgetary authority or
increased tax expenditures.
Performance Goals and Objectives
The rule requiring a statement of performance goals and
objectives is inapplicable.
Constitutional Authority Statement
Pursuant to clause 3(d)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules of the
House of Representatives, the Committee finds the authority for
this resolution in article I, section 1 of the Constitution.
New Advisory Committees
H. Res. 260 does not establish or authorize any new
Congressional Accountability Act
H. Res. 260 does not apply to the legislative branch.
H. Res. 260 provides no Federal mandates.
When H. Res. 260 came before this committee, members faced
three options: to report the resolution unfavorably, to report
it favorably, or to report it without recommendation. By
choosing to make an unfavorable recommendation, the majority of
this committee sent a message to the American people that the
important questions raised in this resolution of inquiry were
not worth pursuing.
H. Res. 260 posits a number of questions that are, in fact,
of vital interest to this committee, Congress, and the American
public. It calls on the Administration to provide documentation
substantiating a series of claims made by the President, Vice
President, and other officials last fall regarding their
certainty as to Iraq's possession of weapons of mass
The Administration is in the process of providing much of
this information to the Select Committees on Intelligence, and
Members of Congress have been granted access to independently
review the tens of thousands of documents that are expected to
That very volume, however, will make it extremely difficult
for individual members to uncover answers to these questions.
Nor does this mechanism provide any public accounting: the
American people have a right to know the answers, although much
specific intelligence information will obviously need to remain
Moreover, questions of war and peace fall very much within
the domain of the Committee on International Relations. That is
why H.J. Res. 114, authorizing the use of force against Iraq,
came before this committee and was reported out on October 3,
2003. Furthermore, multiple referrals on matters of overlapping
jurisdiction among committees are routine within the operating
procedures of the House of Representatives. It is the hope of
the undersigned that this committee will continue to explore
pre-war U.S. policy with Iraq and the events and decisions that
contributed to that conflict.
The questions raised in this resolution deserve a non-
partisan, public accounting that still observes all necessary
security precautions. By reporting this resolution unfavorably,
however, the International Relations Committee sends a signal
to the American public that growing reports that pre-war
intelligence may have been slanted to suit a particular
interpretation or otherwise distorted or less complete than was
presented are unworthy of congressional scrutiny. Such is not
the case, and therefore we respectfully offer our dissent from
the majority report and express our opposition to the decision
to report this resolution of inquiry unfavorably.
William D. Delahunt.
Gary L. Ackerman.
Donald M. Payne.
Eliot L. Engel.
Joseph M. Hoeffel.
Grace F. Napolitano.
Diane E. Watson.