Intelligence Authorization Act for FY 2008

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The Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 (H.R.2082) was a bill in the 110th Congress "to authorize appropriations for fiscal year 2008 for intelligence and intelligence-related activities of the United States Government, the Community Management Account, and the Central Intelligence Agency Retirement and Disability System, and for other purposes." (Official title.)[1]


Article summary (how summaries work)
  • Authorizes classified dollar amounts to be appropriated for fiscal year 2008 for intelligence and intelligence-related activities for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Department of Defense, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, the Department of the Army, the Department of the Navy, the Department of the Air Force, the Coast Guard, the Department of State, the Department of the Treasury, the Department of Energy, the Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the National Reconnaissance Office, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, and the Department of Homeland Security (Sec. 101).[2]



Originally introduced in the House (H.R. 2082), the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 authorizes funding levels for the 13 government intelligence agencies and increases oversight for the U.S. intelligence community. The bill also applies the standards in the U.S. Army Field Manual to the entire government, effectively barring the CIA and other agencies from using tactics like waterboarding in their interrogations (see below).


According to Project Vote Smart, the final version of the bill:

  • Authorizes classified dollar amounts to be appropriated for fiscal year 2008 for intelligence and intelligence-related activities for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Department of Defense, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, the Department of the Army, the Department of the Navy, the Department of the Air Force, the Coast Guard, the Department of State, the Department of the Treasury, the Department of Energy, the Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the National Reconnaissance Office, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, and the Department of Homeland Security (Sec. 101).[2]
  • Requires $39.00 million to be transferred from the Director of National Intelligence to the Attorney General for the National Drug Intelligence Center (Sec. 104).[2]
  • Authorizes $262.50 million for the Central Intelligence Agency Retirement and Disability Fund (Sec. 201).[2]
  • Directs the Director of National Intelligence to implement a multi-level security clearance system for persons proficient in foreign languages or with cultural, linguistic, or other subject matter expertise "critical to national security," and to annually report to Congress regarding the foreign language proficiency of the intelligence community (Sec. 303, Sec. 414).[2]
  • Requires the Director of National Intelligence to submit a report to Congress no later than March 31, 2008, regarding the use and impact of private contractors in the intelligence community, as well as the accountability mechanisms that govern their performance (Sec. 307).[2]
  • Requires the Director of National Intelligence to submit a report to Congress no later than March 31, 2008, outlining plans to increase the recruiting, hiring, and retaining of diverse candidates (Sec. 309).[2]
  • Directs the Director of National Intelligence to conduct vulnerability assessments for major systems, which are defined as significant programs of the intelligence community with projected total development and procurement costs exceeding $500.00 million (Sec. 311).[2]
  • Directs the Director of National Intelligence to present annual reports to Congress regarding the acquisition of any major systems and to notify Congress within 60 days if development costs for any programs significantly exceed the baseline costs (Sec. 313, Sec. 314).[2]
  • Increases the time of potential imprisonment for disclosing the identity of undercover intelligence officers and agents from 10 to 15 years (Sec. 324).[2]
  • Requires the Director of National Intelligence to report to Congress within 45 days after the date of the enactment of this bill regarding the detention and interrogation methods used by the intelligence community (Sec. 326).[2]
  • Mandates that no person in the custody or within the control of an element of the intelligence community, regardless of that individual's physical location or nationality, shall be "subject to any treatment or technique of interrogation not authorized by the United States Army Field Manual on Human Intelligence Collector Operations" (Sec. 327).[2]
  • Requires all members of the Congressional intelligence committees to be fully updated on intelligence regarding the Israeli military action in Syria on September 6, 2007, before more than 30 percent of authorized appropriations may be expended (Sec. 328).[2]
  • Requires the Director of National Intelligence to report to Congress regarding the nuclear intentions and capabilities of Iran and North Korea (Sec. 407).[2]
  • Establishes an Office of the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community to objectively investigate and audit the conduct of the intelligence community (Sec. 413).[2]

Contents

Current status

Summary (how summaries work)
The bill was passed by both chambers of Congress but was vetoed by President Bush on Mar 8, 2008. Democratic leaders in the House attempted to override the veto but, failing to garner any significant Republican support, fell short of the 2/3 majority needed.


Bill history

Initial debate and passage

Introduced on May 1, 2007, the House passed a version of the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 (H.R. 2082) less than two weeks later.


The Senate soon followed suit after a modest amount of internal debate, approving a similar version of the intelligence bill in a voice vote on October 3, 2007.[3]

Anti-torture provisions inserted during conference committee

When the bill came out of conference committee on Dec. 6, 2007, it had a provision barring the CIA and the rest of the federal government from many interrogation tactics criticized as "torture" and "abusive" by civil liberties groups, including Waterboarding. The provision was inserted by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.).[4]

The inserted provision would limit the CIA to the 19 interrogation tactics in the U.S. Army Field manual, effectively banning waterboarding, exposure to extreme temperatures and other techniques used on War on Terror detainees after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the U.S. It bans a total of eight interrogation techniques: mock executions, beatings, electrical shocks, forced nakedness, sexual acts, causing hypothermia and heat injuries.[5]

Congress had banned such attacks from being used by the military through the Detainee Treatment Act of 2006. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) had sponsored the Act, but opposed the conference committee ban because, he said, it applied military standards to intelligence agencies. McCain said that waterboarding was forbidden under current law but asked the Bush administration to clarify the matter by declaring it illegal.[5]

The House approved the conference committee
Same for all scorecards:

Scored vote

Scorecard: National Journal 2007 House Scorecard

Org. position: {{{Vote position 1}}}

Description:

"Approve the conference report on the fiscal 2008 intelligence authorization bill, including restrictions on some interrogation practices. December 13. (222-199)"

(Original scorecard available at: http://www.nationaljournal.com/voteratings/house_votes.htm)

Before the Senate voted In February, there were two weeks of debate over the CIA's use of waterboarding on three al-Qaeda prisoners in 2002 and 2003. The Department of Justice was also expected to tell the House that "there has been no determination by the Justice Department" was legal or illegal. The Bush administration had also just announced that it planned to put six War on Terror detainees from Guantanamo Bay - five of which had been subjected to the CIA tactics - on trial for involvement in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.[5]

The Senate approved the conference report by a 51-45 vote on Feb. 13, 2008.


Same for all scorecards:

Scored vote

Scorecard: Americans for Democratic Action 2008 Senate Scorecard

Org. position: Aye

Description:

"Adoption of the conference report on a bill to authorize classified amounts in fiscal 2008 for 17 U.S. intelligence activities and agencies, including the CIA, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and the National Security Agency and for the intelligence portion of the fiscal 2008 emergency supplemental for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It would prohibit the use of any interrogation treatment not authorized by the U.S. Army Field Manual on Human Intelligence Collection Operations against any individual in the intelligence community’s custody."

(Original scorecard available at: http://www.adaction.org/pages/publications/voting-records.php)

Scored vote

Scorecard: National Journal 2008 Senate Scorecard

Org. position: Aye

Description:

"Approve the conference report on the fiscal 2008 intelligence authorization bill, including a provision prohibiting interrogation techniques not authorized by the Army field manual."

(Original scorecard available at: http://www.nationaljournal.com/njmagazine/cs_20090228_4813.php)

Veto by President Bush and failed House override

As he promised,[5] President Bush vetoed the legislation on March 8. His veto applied to the authorization for the entire intelligence budget for the 2008 fiscal year, but he cited the waterboarding ban as the reason for the veto.[6]

On March 11, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) attempted but failed to lead the House in a vote overriding the veto.


Articles and Resources

See also

References

  1. OpenCongress’ info page on Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 (H.R. 2082).
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 Project Vote Smart’s info page on Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 (H.R. 2082).
  3. OpenCongress info page on H.R.2082.
  4. "ACLU Cheers House and Senate Intel Bill Conferees for Including Provision Prohibiting Torture and Abuse" (press release), American Civil Liberties Union, Dec. 6, 2007.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Dan Eggen, "Senate Passes Ban On Waterboarding, Other Techniques," The Washington Post,February 14, 2008.
  6. Dan Eggen, "Bush Announces Veto of Waterboarding Ban," Washington Post, Mar. 8, 2008.

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