H. Rept. 111-384 - 111th Congress (2009-2010)
December 16, 2009, As Reported by the Intelligence (Permanent) Committee

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House Report 111-384 - REQUESTING THE PRESIDENT TO TRANSMIT TO THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES ALL DOCUMENTS IN THE POSSESSION OF THE PRESIDENT RELATING TO THE EFFECTS ON FOREIGN INTELLIGENCE COLLECTION OF THE TRANSFER OF DETAINEES HELD AT NAVAL STATION, GUANTANAMO BAY, CUBA, INTO THE UNITED STATES




[House Report 111-384]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]


111th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session                                                    111-384

======================================================================

 
 REQUESTING THE PRESIDENT TO TRANSMIT TO THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES 
   ALL DOCUMENTS IN THE POSSESSION OF THE PRESIDENT RELATING TO THE 
EFFECTS ON FOREIGN INTELLIGENCE COLLECTION OF THE TRANSFER OF DETAINEES 
  HELD AT NAVAL STATION, GUANTANAMO BAY, CUBA, INTO THE UNITED STATES

                                _______
                                

 December 16, 2009.--Referred to the House Calendar and ordered to be 
                                printed

                                _______
                                

    Mr. Reyes, from the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                             together with

                             MINORITY VIEWS

                       [To accompany H. Res. 923]

  The Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, to whom was 
referred the resolution (H. Res. 923) requesting the President 
to transmit to the House of Representatives all documents in 
the possession of the President relating to the effects on 
foreign intelligence collection of the transfer of detainees 
held at Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, into the United 
States, having considered the same, report favorably thereon 
with an amendment and recommend that the resolution be agreed 
to.
  The amendment is as follows:
  Strike all after the resolving clause and insert the 
following:

That the President is requested to transmit to the House of 
Representatives not later than 14 days after the adoption of this 
resolution a document (which may be transmitted in classified form, if 
appropriate) that provides a summary of the effects on foreign 
intelligence collection of the transfer of detainees held at Naval 
Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, into the United States.

                                PURPOSE

    H. Res. 923 requests that the President submit to the House 
of Representatives a summary, in classified form if necessary, 
of the effects that the transfer of detainees held at the U.S. 
Naval Station at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to the United States 
might have on the collection of foreign intelligence 
information.

                               BACKGROUND

    On January 22, 2009, President Barack Obama issued 
Executive Order 13492, Review and Disposition of Individuals 
Detained at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base and Closure of 
Detention Facilities. The order requires that the detention 
facilities at Guantanamo Bay be closed promptly ``in order to 
effect the appropriate disposition'' of the detainees held 
there.
    On November 13, 2009, Attorney General Eric Holder 
announced that several of these detainees would be transferred 
to the United States for prosecution. The plans to transfer 
these detainees, along with the prospect that other detainees 
may be transferred, to the United States have led some to ask 
whether these transfers would have an effect on the 
government's foreign intelligence collection efforts.
    The resolution asks the President to provide a summary of 
the effects that these transfers might have on U.S. 
intelligence collection efforts.

                       SCOPE OF COMMITTEE REVIEW

    No hearings were held in the Committee on H. Res. 923.

                           OVERSIGHT FINDINGS

    In compliance with Clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee advises that the 
findings and recommendations of the Committee are incorporated 
in the descriptive portion of this report.

                GENERAL PERFORMANCE GOALS AND OBJECTIVES

    Clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives does not apply, as H. Res. 923 does not 
authorize funding.

                   CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY STATEMENT

    Clause 3(d)(1) of rule XIII of the House of Representatives 
does not apply, as H. Res. 923 is not a bill or a joint 
resolution that may be enacted into law.

              COMMITTEE CONSIDERATION AND ROLL CALL VOTES

    On December 15, 2009, the Committee met in open session and 
ordered the resolution, as amended, to be reported favorably to 
the House.
    In open session, the Committee considered the text of the 
resolution, H. Res. 923.
    Chairman Reyes offered an amendment to H. Res. 923, which 
requests that the President provide a summary, in classified 
form if necessary, of the effects of detainee relocation on 
intelligence collection. The amendment was approved by a record 
vote of 10 ayes and 7 noes.
    Voting aye: Mr. Reyes, Mr. Hastings, Ms. Eshoo, Mr. Holt, 
Mr. Ruppersberger, Mr. Thompson, Ms. Schakowsky, Mr. Schiff, 
Mr. Smith, Mr. Boren.
    Voting no: Mr. Hoekstra, Mr. Gallegly, Mr. Thornberry, Mr. 
Rogers, Mr. Miller, Mr. Conaway, Mr. King.
    The Committee then voted to favorably report H. Res. 923, 
as amended, by a record vote of 10 ayes and 7 noes.
    Voting aye: Mr. Reyes, Mr. Hastings, Ms. Eshoo, Mr. Holt, 
Mr. Ruppersberger, Mr. Thompson, Ms. Schakowsky, Mr. Schiff, 
Mr. Smith, Mr. Boren.
    Voting no: Mr. Hoekstra, Mr. Gallegly, Mr. Thornberry, Mr. 
Rogers, Mr. Miller, Mr. Conaway, Mr. King.

      SECTION-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS AND EXPLANATION OF THE AMENDMENT

    This resolution requests that the President submit to the 
House of Representatives a summary, in classified form if 
necessary, of the effects that the transfer of detainees held 
at the U.S. Naval Station at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, might have 
on collection of foreign intelligence information.

                STATEMENT OF FEDERAL MANDATES STATEMENT

    H. Res. 923 includes no Federal mandates.

                  STATEMENT ON CONGRESSIONAL EARMARKS

    Clause 9 of rule XXI of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives does not apply, as H. Res. 923 is not a bill or 
a joint resolution.

                  CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE ESTIMATE

    In compliance with clause 3(d)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee estimates that 
implementing the resolution would not result in any significant 
costs. The Congressional Budget Office did not provide a cost 
estimate for the resolution.

         CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW MADE BY THE BILL, AS REPORTED

    H. Res. 923 makes no changes to existing law.

                             MINORITY VIEWS

    The potential relocation of hardcore al Qaeda terrorists 
into the United States has significant ramifications for both 
national security and the security of the individual 
communities to which detainees from the Guantanamo Bay 
detention facility may be moved. Accordingly, we have been 
gravely disappointed at the failure of this Administration to 
keep the Congress fully and currently informed with respect to 
its intentions in this regard. It is unfortunate that it is 
necessary to file a Resolution of Inquiry to try to obtain even 
basic information on the potential hazards and consequences of 
such a move, and it is disappointing that the Committee would 
water down such a resolution by allowing the Administration to 
provide only the information it chooses instead of conducting 
meaningful oversight.
    While we support any effort to obtain further information 
from the Executive Branch on this subject, we cannot endorse 
this resolution in its current form. We hope that the so-called 
``most open and transparent Administration in history'' will be 
more forthcoming going forward, and that the Committee will be 
more willing to do the oversight work it is charged under the 
Constitution.
    As introduced by Ranking Member Hoekstra, H. Res. 923 
requested the President to produce to the Committee all 
documents that relate to the potential effects on intelligence 
collection that may result from bringing Guantanamo detainees 
to the United States. The potential loss of such intelligence 
collection should be central to any consideration of whether to 
relocate detainees from the existing facility at Guantanamo 
into the United States.
    This matter is extremely timely. The Obama Administration 
has recently announced that it intends to move hardcore al 
Qaeda terrorists to the United States for detention, even 
though right now that use of funds is prohibited by law and 
even though it has refused to brief either this Committee or 
the Committee on Armed Services in advance with respect to its 
intentions. In fact, we learned that this move was impending 
when a draft Executive Order was made public--not by the ``most 
open and transparent Administration in history,'' but instead 
by an Internet Weblog. The decision was made even though the 
relevant Committees of Congress still have not been consulted.
    The American people have a right to know what kind of 
hardcore terrorists are being brought to their neighborhoods, 
what kind of threats they pose, and the serious questions that 
do not yet appear to have been addressed that must be answered 
before taking such an extreme step. One of these questions is 
the impact that such a move could have on intelligence 
collection, including potential warning of future attacks on 
the United States, or intelligence that could affect the safety 
and security of the American communities in which these 
terrorists will be relocated. The resolution also would require 
fuller disclosure and transparency on potential intelligence 
losses.
    We have asked repeatedly for briefings on this matter, 
beginning almost immediately after the President's Executive 
Order to implement his campaign promise to close Guantanamo by 
the end of the year--a promise that almost certainly will not 
be kept. For almost a year now, there has been little but 
stonewalling and a refusal to discuss the hard questions. We 
have asked until we are blue in the face. There have been no 
answers. We hope that all Members of this Committee would want 
any information that is available to conduct oversight on this 
topic, because we currently have almost none. This resolution 
should not be contentious or controversial, and all Members of 
the Committee should have supported it on a bipartisan basis.
    Instead, the Committee on a partisan vote adopted an 
amendment to water down the Resolution of Inquiry. It now 
requests only an Administration-prepared ``summary'' of the 
information instead of the documents themselves. This 
completely defeats the purpose and Constitutional function of 
Congressional oversight. We simply cannot outsource our 
responsibilities to the Administration. The Committee has to 
conduct vigorous and independent oversight, and the amendment 
accomplishes neither.
    The lack of transparency is not limited to the 
Administration. We also must note that on December 8, 2009, 
Republican members of the Illinois delegation--including 
Representatives Manzullo, Shimkus, Biggert, Kirk, Johnson, 
Roskam and Schrock--requested access to classified information 
held by the Committee that should be highly relevant to any 
decision to bring Guantanamo detainees to the State of 
Illinois. Ranking Member Hoekstra reinforced this request in a 
followup letter dated December 11, 2009 and made an independent 
motion under the Committee Rules that a redacted version of the 
classified material be made available to these Members. The 
Committee Rules explicitly require such requests to be 
considered at the ``earliest practicable opportunity'', and yet 
the Chairman refused to schedule the matter at the Committee 
business meeting considering this request.
    The Committee Rules nowhere authorize consideration to be 
delayed for the purpose of consulting the Executive Branch, 
which was the reason cited for the delay. The information is 
highly material to the decision that will directly affect 
citizens in the districts of each of these Members of Congress. 
Simple fairness demands that we consider this request 
immediately, yet that was not done as we believe was required. 
Accordingly, we wish to note this point of order and our 
objection for the record.
    The decisions that have been announced on Guantanamo 
detainees need to be fully considered in sunlight, not forced 
upon an American people who have not been given access to all 
of the facts. This Committee has a right to know on behalf of 
the American people, and we will continue to press for some 
meaningful transparency.

                                   Peter Hoekstra.
                                   Elton Gallegly.
                                   Mac Thornberry.
                                   Mike Rogers.
                                   Sue Myrick.
                                   Roy Blunt.
                                   Jeff Miller.
                                   K. Michael Conaway.
                                   Peter T. King.