Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi

Statement of Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi on Intelligence Reports of Terrorist Threats

May 16, 2002

House Democratic Whip Nancy Pelosi, the ranking Democrat on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, issued the following statement this afternoon on reports about intelligence briefings given to President Bush about possible terrorist threats:

“Since September 11, Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle have stood shoulder-to-shoulder with President Bush in the war on terrorism. We remain committed to preventing another devastating attack on our country. The House-Senate joint inquiry is essential, not to assign blame, but to identify concerns that need to be addressed so we can lessen the chance of another attack.

The White House and Congressional intelligence committees have different responsibilities. The President, of course, is Commander-in-Chief, while we have oversight over the intelligence community. We also receive information in different ways and at different times from the White House. Over the past two years, the intelligence committees received the same information as the President was reported to have received in his August 7 briefing about a possible threat.

The questions are: What were the changed circumstances on August 7 that prompted the intelligence community to bring to the direct attention of the President information from three old reports on possible terrorist activity? And after raising the issue to such a high level, what actions, if any, were considered appropriate in light of this information?

These are among the critical questions that I expect the House-Senate joint inquiry to answer. The American people expect and deserve no less.”

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