learning with professionals - Higgins Counterterrorism Research ...


learning with professionals - Higgins Counterterrorism Research ...

too hard for non DoD to get the assets they needed when they needed them. We didn’t

believe that an “organizational fix’’ like NIMA was the right way to tackle distribution

problems associated with the Gulf War And, we also saw too many cultural differences

between cartographers and imagery analysts for the agency to overcome. 417

It is important to note, however, that the House Intelligence Committee members were

not united in their opposition to the NIMA concept. While Chairman Combest, Staff

Director Lowenthal and most of the Republican members or staffers opposed it as

“another stovepipe,’’ the Democratic members and staffers either supported it, or

remained undecided. The Democrats were more inclined to support the Administration’s

position than the Committee Chairman’s.


In Turf Wars: How Congressional Committees Claim Jurisdiction, David King

explains that committee jurisdictions are like property rights “and few things in Washington

are more closely guarded or as fervently pursued. 418 Turf “battles are about power and

influence in their rawest forms. They are about property rights over public policies….

Within legislatures, jurisdictions distinguish one committee from another. They are, in

almost every sense, a lawmaker’s legislative power base.” 419

The two intelligence committees are not equal in their jurisdictions. Within the Intelligence

Community, resources have traditionally been categorized for budgetary purposes

as national intelligence assets in the National Foreign Intelligence Program

(NFIP) falling , under the supervision of the DCI, or tactical intelligence assets in the

Tactical Intelligence and Related Activities (TIARA) Program, belonging to the Secretary

of Defense. At their creation in the 1970s, the HPSCI was given jurisdiction over

both NFIP and TIARA Programs, while the SSCI was given jurisdiction over only the

NFIP. 420 In 1994, a third category, the Joint Military Intelligence Program (JMIP), was

added to encompass joint or defense-wide intelligence assets. 421 This development

caused a number of turf disputes until a Memorandum of Understanding was signed

between the SSCI and SASC conceding that the SSCI had no formal jurisdiction over

either the JMIP or TlARA. 422 The SSCI can and does make recommendations to the

SASC concerning JMIP and TIARA authorizations, and those recommendations are

usually accepted. (see Appendix D).

417 Lowenthal interview.

418 David King, Turf Wars: How Congressional Committees Claim Jurisdiction (Chicago: University of Chicago

Press, 1997) 11.

419 King, 11-12.

420 Rules of the House of Representatives, 106th Congress, Rule 10, Section D, i-iii. Senate Resolution 400,

94th Congress, Section 3 (a) (4) A-G and Section 14, (a) (4).

421 JMIP assets serve multiple defense consumers outside a single service, such as the Defense Cryptologic

Program. See Dan Elkins, An Intelligence Resource Manager’s Guide (Washington D.C.: DIA, 1997), 17 and Ch 6.

422 Senate Res 400 from the 94th Congress and Memorandum of Agreement, 26 April 1996, between the

SASC and SSCI, Relating to the JMIP and TIARA. See Appendix F for a copy of this MOA.


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