FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the incoming Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Senator John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV, and Senator Kit Bond, the incoming Vice Chairman, outlined a series of planned hearings in January, and in the coming months. The hearings, which are both open and closed to the public, are aimed at providing greater oversight of the most pressing national security matters facing the country.
“The Senate Intelligence Committee has an enormous responsibility to help guide and oversee programs aimed at keeping Americans safe. The agenda I have put forward, in consultation with Vice Chairman Bond, reflects my determination to conduct vigorous and effective oversight of the nation’s intelligence programs. It is an ambitious agenda, but an achievable one,” Rockefeller said. “It is our duty to ask tough questions about sensitive and critical programs, and to constructively work with the Administration when changes are needed. The only way to ensure that the nation gets the best intelligence possible is through proper oversight.”
Senator Bond said, "The Intelligence Committee's most important responsibility is to ensure strong and effective oversight of the intelligence community. These hearings are a critical step to reforming our intelligence operations and enhancing our ability to detect and disrupt future terrorist attacks. I am eager to move forward, working with Chairman Rockefeller and the rest of the committee, to see that our men and women on the frontlines of America's intelligence operations have in place the support, the resources and the programs they need to do their job effectively and keep our homeland secure from terror attacks."
The Senate Intelligence Committee will hold the following hearings in January:
Date: January 11
Topic: Annual Threat Assessment hearing (OPEN and CLOSED)
Witnesses: DNI, FBI, CIA, DIA, State/INR
Date: January 17
Topic: Iraq’s regional neighbors and their influence on the war (CLOSED)
Date: January 18
Topic: Current, emerging and future terrorist safehavens (CLOSED)
Date: January 23
Topic: Intelligence Reform I (OPEN)
Date: January 25
Topic: Intelligence Reform II (OPEN)
Rockefeller noted that, "We begin this year with a full plate. We have unfinished business that requires immediate attention, specifically the Fiscal Year 2007 Intelligence Authorization Bill and the remaining sections of the Committee’s review of prewar intelligence on Iraq. At the same time, we must look to the future, including a review of worldwide threats and hearings to assess the war in Iraq and the war on terror. The Committee will examine intelligence that supports those ongoing conflicts -- both in the short- and long-term – and will assess our ability to deal with emerging threats whether they are from international terrorism, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, or elsewhere.”
"Additionally, we will take an in-depth look at the structure of the Intelligence Community beginning with an assessment of how well intelligence reform is working and whether changes in law are needed. I look forward to working with Chairman Rockefeller and the rest of the Committee to address these and other critical issues in a constructive and bipartisan manner," Bond added.
In the coming months, the Senate Intelligence Committee will also hold a series of closed hearings looking at the following: the effectiveness of our foreign and domestic counterterrorism programs; the NSA warrantless surveillance program; the CIA detention, interrogation and rendition program; Pakistan/Afghanistan regime stability and counterterrorism activities; covert action programs; human intelligence programs and activities; signals and imagery intelligence programs and activities; and Iran, North Korea and China.