The White House, President George W. Bush Click to print this document

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
December 28, 2001

President Signs Intelligence Authorization Act
Statement by the President

Today, I have signed into law H.R. 2883, the "Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2002." The Act authorizes appropriations to fund United States intelligence activities, including activities essential to success in the war against global terrorism. Regrettably, one provision of the Act falls short of the standards of comity and flexibility that should govern the relationship between the executive and legislative branches on sensitive intelligence matters and, in some circumstances, would fall short of constitutional standards.

Section 305 of the Act amends section 502 of the National Security Act of 1947, which relates to executive branch reports to the Congress under the intelligence oversight provisions of the National Security Act. Section 305 purports to require that reports submitted to the congressional intelligence committees by the executive branch on significant anticipated intelligence activities or significant intelligence failures always be in written form, with a concise statement of facts pertinent to the report and an explanation of the significance of the activity or failure.

Section 502 of the National Security Act as amended by section 305 of the Act shall be construed for all purposes, specifically including for the purpose of the establishment of standards and procedures under section 502(c) of the National Security Act by the Director of Central Intelligence, in a manner consistent with the President's constitutional authority to withhold information the disclosure of which could impair foreign relations, the national security, the deliberative processes of the Executive, or the performance of the Executive's constitutional duties. Section 502 shall also be construed in a manner consistent with the statutory responsibility of the Director of Central Intelligence to protect intelligence sources and methods and other exceptionally sensitive matters.

December 28, 2001.

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