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Senate Proceeding on May 23rd, 2011 :: 1:30:05 to 1:58:15
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Dianne Feinstein

1:29:51 to 1:30:12( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: the clerk: motion to proceed to the consideration of s. 1038, a bill to extend spying provisions of the u.s.a. patriot improvement and reauthorization act of 2005 and so forth and for other purposes. mrs. feinstein: i thank the clerk very much. mr. president, as chairman of

Dianne Feinstein

1:30:05 to 1:58:15( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Dianne Feinstein

Dianne Feinstein

1:30:13 to 1:30:33( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: the senate intelligence committee, i want to point out that as of friday, there are three provisions of the foreign intelligence surveillance act which are going to expire. those three provisions are something called the roving wiretaps, the lone wolf

Dianne Feinstein

1:30:34 to 1:30:55( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: provision and the business records authority. because of prior discussions, let me point out up front that this does not include national security letters. just these three provisions -- roving wiretaps, lone wolf and the business records authority. i very much appreciate that the majority leader and the

Dianne Feinstein

1:30:56 to 1:31:17( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: republican leader have come together in agreement to bring this legislation to the senate floor. and because of its importance, particularly at this point in time, i hope we will be able to conclude this business and see that these provisions are extended for four years before friday.

Dianne Feinstein

1:31:18 to 1:31:39( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: many of us strongly believe when it comes to national security, there should be no partisan divide, only strong bipartisan support. and so this measure should receive a substantial vote this afternoon, and the senate will pass it quickly this week before these key authorities expire.

Dianne Feinstein

1:31:40 to 1:32:03( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: but before talking about the substance of the legislation, let me describe the context in which this debate occurs. three weeks ago, on may 1, the united states carried out a risky, complicated but ultimately successful strike

Dianne Feinstein

1:32:04 to 1:32:24( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: against osama bin laden in abbottabad, pakistan. the strike was the culmination of nearly a decade-long investigation to locate bin laden. finding bin laden was the product of multiple intelligence sources and collection methods. it was a seamless effort led by

Dianne Feinstein

1:32:25 to 1:32:46( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: the c.i.a. with important contributions from the national security agency, known as the n.s.a., and the national geospatial intelligence agency as well. the intelligence mechanisms, their kpwhraoed and counter-- ememployed and counterterrorism operations are regularly reviewed by the senate

Dianne Feinstein

1:32:47 to 1:33:07( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: intelligence committee. some are also overseen by the judiciary committee, on which i also have the pleasure to serve. these intelligence tools include the provisions of the foreign intelligence surveillance act, or fisa, and in particular the three provisions that will, if

Dianne Feinstein

1:33:08 to 1:33:28( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: not reauthorize, expire on may 27. again they are the roving wiretap, the lone wolf and the business records sections. the point is we as a nation rely on certain secret sources and methods to protect our national security, and most other nations do the same thing as well.

Dianne Feinstein

1:33:29 to 1:33:50( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: it is also important to note that the strike against bin laden, while a critical strategic blow to al qaeda, is also very likely to lead to reprisal attempts. there have been calls for attacks against the united states after the bin laden strike from al qaeda in

Dianne Feinstein

1:33:51 to 1:34:13( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: pakistan, from al qaeda affiliates in yemen and north africa. and there is very real concern that radicalized americans here at home may contemplate violence in response to extremist calls for retribution. so this is a time of heightened threat. maybe no specific threats, but certainly heightened threats.

Dianne Feinstein

1:34:14 to 1:34:35( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: and we see attacks in pakistan carried out by the taliban in reprisal for this attack as well. therefore, this is a time when our vigilance must be heightened as well. key officials from the national counterterrorism center, the f.b.i., and the department of homeland security recently described to us in closed

Dianne Feinstein

1:34:36 to 1:34:57( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: session how the respective agencies have heightened their defensive posture over just these very concerns. so clearly this is a time where every legal counterterrorism and intelligence gathering mechanism should be available. it is also a time to seize the

Dianne Feinstein

1:34:58 to 1:35:18( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: opportunity to further disrupt al qaeda. the assault on the bin laden compound netted a cache of valuable information: papers, videos, computer drives and other materials about al qaeda's vision and al qaeda plans. the intelligence community established an interagency task

Dianne Feinstein

1:35:19 to 1:35:41( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: force to go through that material as quickly as possible. and i am hopeful that previously unknown terror plots will be identified and information leading to the location of terrorists found. authorities like the three provisions set to expire this

Dianne Feinstein

1:35:42 to 1:36:03( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: friday may well prove critical to thwarting new plots and finding terrorists. they must be renewed. let me describe the three provisions in more detail. first, the roving wiretap provisions. roving wiretap authority was first authorized for intelligence purposes in the

Dianne Feinstein

1:36:04 to 1:36:25( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: patriot act in 2001. but, as you know, mr. president, it has been used for years in the criminal law. this provision codified in the?? foreign intelligence surveillance act provides the government with flexibility needed to conduct electronic surveillance against illusive targets.

Dianne Feinstein

1:36:26 to 1:36:47( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: now let me explain. in most cases, under fisa the government can go to the foreign intelligence surveillance court, which i will describe in detail later, and present an application to tap the telephone of a suspected terrorist or spy.

Dianne Feinstein

1:36:48 to 1:37:09( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: the fisa court reviews the application and can issue an order, basically a warrant, to allow the government to tap a phone belonging to that target. now we all know in this day and age, there are disposable or throw-away cell phones that allow foreign intelligence

Dianne Feinstein

1:37:10 to 1:37:31( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: agents and terrorists not only to switch numbers, but also to throw away their cell phone to dispose of the cell phone and replace it with another. this roving wiretap authority allows the government to make a specific showing to the fisa court that the actions of a

Dianne Feinstein

1:37:32 to 1:37:55( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: terrorist or spy may have the effect of thwarting intelligence. they make -- in other words, they make one appearance. the government can thus seek, and the fisa court can authorize, a roving wiretap so that the f.b.i., for example, can follow the target without having to go back to the court

Dianne Feinstein

1:37:56 to 1:38:17( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: for each cell phone change. instead, the f.b.i. reports to the fisa court normally within ten days of following the target to a new cell phone with information on the facts justifying the belief that the new phone was or is being used by the target.

Dianne Feinstein

1:38:18 to 1:38:39( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: the justice department has advised congress that the authority to conduct roving electronic surveillance under fisa has proven to be operationally useful in some 20 national security investigations annually. so this provision is both used

Dianne Feinstein

1:38:40 to 1:39:00( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: and very necessary in this day of throwaway cell phones. lone wolf authority allows the government to request, and the fisa court to approve, intelligence collection against non-united states persons who engage in international

Dianne Feinstein

1:39:01 to 1:39:22( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: terrorism but for whom an association with a specific international terrorist organization may not yet be known. so let me explain that for clearly. all other foreign intelligence surveillance searches and surveillances must be focused on

Dianne Feinstein

1:39:23 to 1:39:45( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: a target who the government can prove is tied to a foreign power. so before the government can tap a phone or search a residence, it needs to demonstrate that the person it is after is an employee or spy or otherwise working for or on behalf of

Dianne Feinstein

1:39:46 to 1:40:11( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: another country or terrorist group. the lone wolf provision which was added to fisa in 2004 recognizes that there may be cases where the government suspects an individual inside the united states of plotting a terrorist attack, but it hasn't been able to link that

Dianne Feinstein

1:40:14 to 1:40:34( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: individual to al qaeda or aolz or al shabob or another group. lone wolf authority allows the government to show why it believes another person is engaging in terrorist activity and get a warrant to begin surveillance. this is not done without a warrant from the court.

Dianne Feinstein

1:40:35 to 1:40:57( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: it also allows for court-ordered collection against a non-united states target who may have broken with a terrorist organization while continuing to prepare for an act of international terrorism. the justice department has advised congress that although

Dianne Feinstein

1:40:58 to 1:41:20( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: to date it has not used this authority, lone wolf authority nevertheless fills an important gap in united states collection capabilities, and we have it if we need it. the recent case of khalid wasiri, a saudi national arrested in texas this past february, shows why the lone

Dianne Feinstein

1:41:21 to 1:41:42( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: wolf authority is necessary. aldo wasiri was arrested after the f.b.i. learned that he had purchased chemicals and conducted research needed to make improvised explosive devices. he had also researched bomb targets including dams in california and the dallas residence of former president

Dianne Feinstein

1:41:43 to 1:42:05( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: george w. bush. unlike other recent terrorists, like najibula asiri, wasiri was

Dianne Feinstein

1:42:06 to 1:42:26( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: not identified. he is better described as one of the most recent cases of individuals already inside the united states who becomes radicalized and committed to carrying out terrorist attacks. so it's for this kind of threat that the lone wolf authority is important. and for why we should extend

Dianne Feinstein

1:42:27 to 1:42:48( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: this mechanism. it is also this kind of threat that the intelligence community is now especially worried about, as people inside the united states may be spurred to action in retaliation for the strike against bin laden. if the f.b.i. or department of

Dianne Feinstein

1:42:49 to 1:43:11( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: homeland security or a state or local police officer identifies someone building bombs, it is necessary to move quickly and not take time to research a possible connection to al qaeda before we use fisa authorities to learn what they're up to and

Dianne Feinstein

1:43:12 to 1:43:33( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: when and how they might strike. business records. the third authority covered by this legislation is known as the business records provision and provides the government the same authority and national security investigations to obtain physical records that exists in an ordinary criminal case,

Dianne Feinstein

1:43:34 to 1:43:56( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: through a grand jury subpoena. business records authority has been used since 2001 in fisa to obtain business -- excuse me -- drivers license records, hotel records, car rental records, apartment leasing records, credit card records, among other business records.

Dianne Feinstein

1:43:57 to 1:44:18( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: this is the way in which you track a target. let me note that while the debate over this provision has often focused on library circulation records, the justice department has advised the congress that this authority has

Dianne Feinstein

1:44:19 to 1:44:40( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: never -- and let me stress -- never been used to obtain library circulation records. we had a big debate on this when this came up before, and in fact it's never been used for library circulation records. the department has informed congress that it submitted 96

Dianne Feinstein

1:44:41 to 1:45:01( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: applications to the fisa court for business record orders last year alone. the justice department has further stated that some business records orders have been used to support critically important and highly sensitive intelligence collection activities. the house and senate

Dianne Feinstein

1:45:02 to 1:45:22( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: intelligence committees have been fully briefed on that collection. information about this sensitive collection has also been provided to the house and senate judiciary committees and information has been available for months to all senators for their review.

Dianne Feinstein

1:45:23 to 1:45:44( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: the details on how the government uses all three of these authorities are classified and discussion of them here would harm our ability to identify and stop terrorist attacks and espionage, but if any senators would like further detail, i encourage them to contact the intelligence

Dianne Feinstein

1:45:45 to 1:46:07( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: committee or to request a briefing from the intelligence community or the department of justice. now, i've mentioned several times the role of the foreign intelligence surveillance corps. let me describe what it is and how it operates. this court is a special court.

Dianne Feinstein

1:46:08 to 1:46:28( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: it is a set of 11 federal judges, each of whom is appointed by the chief justice to specifically serve in this role. at least one of these judges is available at all times, 24/7, 365 days a year, seven days a week, for the purpose of

Dianne Feinstein

1:46:29 to 1:46:49( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: reviewing government applications to use fisa authorities, and if those applications are sufficient, approving them by issuing an order or what we call in the criminal law a warrant. the fisa court judges meet in closed session to review

Dianne Feinstein

1:46:50 to 1:47:13( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: classified declarations, and they provide very careful judicial review of the government's applications. they are expert in this specialized area of the law, as is their expert staff. this department of -- the department of justice officials that come before them take all

Dianne Feinstein

1:47:14 to 1:47:35( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: care in making their case and presenting their facts as they do in public court. so the american people should understand that these fisa authorities that we are discussing now, the ability to conduct electronic surveillance and obtain records are subject to strict oversight.

Dianne Feinstein

1:47:36 to 1:47:56( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: a senate confirmed official in the department of justice, the attorney general, the deputy attorney general or the assistant attorney general for national security, one of these three must -- and i stress must -- sign off on every application before it goes to

Dianne Feinstein

1:47:57 to 1:48:17( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: the foreign intelligence surveillance court. federal judges also confirmed by the senate must improve the applications. inspector generals conduct regular audits and oversight as well. and the senate house intelligence and judiciary committees receive regular

Dianne Feinstein

1:48:18 to 1:48:38( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: reports from the department of justice on the use of all fisa authorities, as well as receiving briefings from the f.b.i. and n.s.a. on the implementation of the fisa statute. the three authorities reauthorized by this legislation

Dianne Feinstein

1:48:39 to 1:49:01( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: have been debated extensively on this floor and in this congress since they came up for reauthorization in 2009. every single national security official to come before the congress in the past two years has testified that these provisions are vital to protect

Dianne Feinstein

1:49:02 to 1:49:23( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: america and has urged their reauthorization. it's very hard, i think, to vote no in face of what we have been told in classified intelligence, in hearings, by officials from the attorney general's office and the f.b.i. in fact, the attorney general

Dianne Feinstein

1:49:24 to 1:49:45( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: and the director of national intelligence wrote a letter to leaders reid and mcconnell today, may 23, expressing their strong support for the immediate enactment of the legislation we're now considering, and i ask unanimous consent, mr. president, that this letter be inserted into the record. the presiding officer: without

Dianne Feinstein

1:49:46 to 1:50:08( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: objection. mrs. feinstein: let me point out there are no recent cases of abuse of these authorities. no recent cases of abuse of these authorities, and the oversight system in place is working well, i believe, to ensure they will not be misused in the future. now, other senators may come to

Dianne Feinstein

1:50:09 to 1:50:29( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: this floor and talk about abuses of these authorities, but i ask listen carefully. chances are they're talking about a section not involved here, and that's the section on national security letters. again, national security letters are not touched by these three

Dianne Feinstein

1:50:30 to 1:50:51( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: sections that we are renewing today. and i would say yes, they were abused or misused in years past, according to the inspector general of the department of justice. but corrections have been made since then, but more importantly for today's debate, there's nothing we're taking up today

Dianne Feinstein

1:50:52 to 1:51:13( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: that affects or mentions national security letters at all. i've referred to this now four times. i hope i get it across because it's -- that's what happened last time. people came to the floor, and what they were talking about wasn't really in the legislation we were considering.

Dianne Feinstein

1:51:14 to 1:51:34( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: earlier this year, i was pleased to support legislation authored by senator leahy that would have made several improvements in the foreign intelligence surveillance act in order to better protect privacy rights and civil liberties, but the point i made during the debate in the judiciary committee,

Dianne Feinstein

1:51:35 to 1:51:55( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: which i will repeat again today, is that many of these changes were, in fact, codifying practices the department of justice and the f.b.i. have already implemented. for example, minimization. that was one of the things that was discussed. it's been implemented.

Dianne Feinstein

1:51:56 to 1:52:17( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: so the departments are listening, and they have taken action where there have been problems. so i would like to say to my colleagues that the executive branch has heard and has acted to address concerns about intrusions into american civil liberties. the office of the inspector general and the department of

Dianne Feinstein

1:52:18 to 1:52:38( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: justice has indicated that it intends to conduct audits and inspections to ensure that the implementation of fisa is in full compliance with the law and its reports will be carefully reviewed by this congress and by the concerned committees. a major priority of the

Dianne Feinstein

1:52:39 to 1:53:00( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: intelligence committee in this house is to conduct regular oversight on the use of fisa authorities, and we will continue to do so after passage of this legislation. now, just about every administration official to testify on the use of fisa

Dianne Feinstein

1:53:01 to 1:53:21( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: authorities has also noted the importance of having the stability that comes with a long-term extension. since december of 2009 when we reauthorized it, the congress has passed three short-term extensions, one for two months, one for one year and one for

Dianne Feinstein

1:53:22 to 1:53:43( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: three months. so by lurching from one sunset to another, we run the risk that these intelligence authorities are going to expire, and here we are once again because they expire this friday. and i hope members will think about that. i hope members will think if

Dianne Feinstein

1:53:44 to 1:54:04( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: they want to produce an amendment, look, this thing goes out of place. what if n.s.a. and other agencies have to stop? what if they miss something? what if something happens? that's a responsibility that

Dianne Feinstein

1:54:05 to 1:54:25( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: rests on the heads of nrch these two -- of everyone in these two bodies, both the house of representatives and the senate of the united states. even short of that, by providing one short-term extension after another, two months here or a year there, we create significant uncertainty in the intelligence community as

Dianne Feinstein

1:54:26 to 1:54:48( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: investigators aren't sure whether these tools will continue to be available to them. i can tell you, as one who tries to read the intelligence rather assiduously, we are not out of harm's way and no one should believe that. people are plotting every day as

Dianne Feinstein

1:54:49 to 1:55:09( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: to how they can send someone in the -- into the united states or convince someone in the united states to attack this country, and the only thing we have to prevent this from happening is intelligence and an f.b.i. that is now able to institute

Dianne Feinstein

1:55:10 to 1:55:31( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: surveillance and tracking on possible targets in this country. mr. president, we have come, in my judgment, a long way since 9/11, but we cannot leave this country vulnerable. we must keep our guard up, and we must see that the intelligence mechanisms that are

Dianne Feinstein

1:55:32 to 1:55:52( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: available to this country are able to be utilized. so this legislation now extends the use of these sunsetting authorities for four years, to june 1, 2015, and in view of the time that we're living in, i

Dianne Feinstein

1:55:53 to 1:56:14( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: believe this is appropriate, it's keeping with past practice and it's vital to the protection of the united states of america. the patriot act was enacted in october, 2001, and several provisions were up for review and reauthorization four years

Dianne Feinstein

1:56:15 to 1:56:36( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: later, in december of 2005. after some significant debate, some of the original patriot act provisions were made permanent, and some were reauthorized for another four years until the end of 2009. the lone wolf authority that

Dianne Feinstein

1:56:37 to 1:56:58( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: expires later this week was first enacted in the intelligence reform act of 2004 and placed in the same sunset cycle as the roving wiretap and business records authorities. under the model established in the patriot act and a subsequent reauthorization, a four-year

Dianne Feinstein

1:56:59 to 1:57:19( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: extension from the end of may, 2011, to june 1, 2015, is based on sound congressional practice. so these issues have been debated and redebated and should be very familiar to members, especially those on the

Dianne Feinstein

1:57:20 to 1:57:45( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: intelligence and judiciary committees. so i hope we're now going to act in the best interests of protecting the people of this country from another terrorist attack by passing this legislation so that our intelligence professionals can continue to keep this nation secure. thank you, mr. president.

Dianne Feinstein

1:57:48 to 1:58:08( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from indiana. mr. coats: mr. president, tomorrow morning, a joint session of congress will welcome the prime minister of israel, benjamin netanyahu. it will be the first time that mr. netanyahu has addressed us

Dianne Feinstein

1:58:09 to 1:58:15( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: as a joint session and only the second time any israeli prime minister has addressed a joint

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