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tv   Intelligence Officials Testify on Diversity  CSPAN  January 13, 2022 2:29pm-5:08pm EST

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congressman schiff of california chairs the meeting. thank you for joining us today, without objection, the chair may declare a recess at any time. i want to remind members that today's hearing will be conducted entirely on unclassified basis. all participants are reminded to
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refrain from discussing classified or other information protected from public disclosure. i now recognize myself for an opening statement. i'm pleased to welcome all of you to today's important hearing about diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility in the intelligence community. when the committee held its open world-wide threats hearing in april, i asked each of you appear before this committee in open session to detail your efforts to advance this important mission and i'm very pleased to see that commitment fulfilled. the presence of five senior leaders of the intelligence community at this hearing is a testament to your collective commitment to elevate diversity initiatives and drive real change. as a long time member of this committee i've seen emphasis on diversity in the wax and wane, it is not enough to pay lip service to the goal, we must put forth a concrete strategy to build a diverse i.c. and hold
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accountable to the goals we set. i'm pleased the administration prioritized these issues, 15 days after taking office, president biden issued national security memorandum that acknowledged past shortcomings and identified diversity, equity and inclusion and accessibility as a national security imperative. i agree entirely. put simply, our diversity is our greatest national strength and it is a strength we need to leverage in support of the mission of the intelligence community. for too long, the ic work force has not reflected the diverse talents and backgrounds found across the country and without top caliber officers drawn from all cultures, communities and backgrounds we risk under mining the capacity of the ic to keep pace with the evolving national security challenge as the united states will face in coming years. director hanes at worldwide threats hearing in april testify to increasing complexities and challenges posed by cascading
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threats and correlating necessity for new and diverse expertise into the intelligence community, whether understanding the nuances and language and culture from a signals intercept, with unique and nontraditional perspectives or preparing officer for operational deployment in a foreign country, it is vital we bolster the ranks with personnel who can act with agility and creative in the pace of a rapidly shifting strategic threat horizon, and yet, it is clear we have plenty of work left to do. he remain concerned about inadequate process in recruiting and retaining individuals of diverse backgrounds in the course, core ic collection and analysis missions, for instance cannot help but notice the majority of ic briefers though excellent to appear before the committee are often white and male. we need to recruit officers with diverse backgrounds into the ic and show them there's a path for them to advance and grow their careers to top leadership
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positions. when we're able to successfully do that, we'll inspire future recruits and hire to see do the same. i look forward to hearing your updates on where we are in our diversity equity inclusion and accessibility efforts and how this committee can assist you in accelerating progress. if our resources or authorities are lacking or are other avenues for promoting these initiatives, i know you'll find allies here who are ready and eager to help you. i look forward to hearing testimonies and will now yield to the ranking member for any opening statement, he might wish to make. >> i thank the gentlemen. on its website, the director of national intelligence asserts the intelligence community focuses on, i quote, the missions of cyber intelligence, counter terrorism, the threats posed by state and nonstate actors challenging u.s. and nationalling security interests worldwide. that's a concise description of the intelligence community's
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mission, the ic is a sprawling group of agencies comprising 10s of thousands of people that collectively wield enormous power within our government, they possess extremely sophisticated spying capability and by necessity, operate without transparency required of most government agencies. naturally, this concentration of power, spine capabilities and lack of transparency creates many opportunities for abuse and abuses do happen which is why this committee exists. we were created as an additional level of oversight in response to a raft of intelligence community misdeeds detailed by the church and pike committees in the 1970s. so why do we tolerate such an agreement in a democratic republic? i believe the american people understand the risks but they believe the risks are out weighed by the benefits the intelligence community provides, mainly information about our foreign enemies' intentions and capabilities to protect the
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american people and defend the homeland. in short, the intelligence community mission is to secure information and take actions to deter enemies. when that cannot we done to help us win wars and other direct conflicts with these enemies. the ic, however, seems to be increasingly focused on issues that distract from that mission. the indications ranging from trivial recruitment videos to major intelligence estimateshow an infatuation with left wing dogma and politicized action that is have nothing to do with winning wars, we see this not just in the intelligence committee but the entire national security apparatus, state, military and other bodies. these include the proliferation of seminars given to military service members focusing on the dangers of white supremacy and systemic racism, fox news host tucker carlsen allegedly caught up in nsa's surveillance,
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release of national intelligence estimate on global warning, general milley defending instruction on critical race theory and white rage at west point, state department communications touting international pronoun day, the nsa improper suspension of officer ellis for political reasons, fbi provision of false information for fisa court to spy on political enemy and see list goes on and on. meanwhile the international threat matrix does not take time out as our national security agencys become enthralled by critical race theory and pronoun etiquette, to the contrary, facing challenges a including but not limited to china's increasing aggressiveness toward taiwan along side its systemic campaign toward intellectual property theft, espionage, corporate coercion and cyber
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crimes against the united states and our allies. china's testing of hyper sonic missile, according to press reports took the intelligence community by surprise. the continuing fallout from our withdrawal in afghanistan, including the empowerment of the taliban and long term ties to al qaeda, the decline in u.s. deterrence capabilities, the loss of intelligence streams and u.s. citizens and allies who are left behind. the spread of ransomware attacks on u.s. targets, an unknown number of security threats entering america through our southern border and from refugees from afghanistan, continuing russian aggression towards its neighbors, advances in nuclear weapons programs of north korea, iran and other maligned regimes and could go on but those are the top of the list. unfortunately, we can't counter hyper sonic missile launch with better pronoun usage and a deeper understanding of white
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rage won't rescue americans stranded in afghanistan, i would argue that woke obsessions are the proper jurisdiction of faculty lounge marxist not our intelligence agencies. utterly destructive, severely eroded trust in institutions long bipartisan support, this effect is predictable and incredible as more americans conclude intelligence agencies are just another weapon in domestic political battles. less willing they are to concede these agencies, the huge power they wield. intelligence community, military and other national security bodies have traditionally been color blind meritocacies where the most capability people move up through the ranks. the effectiveness of this organizations will unavoidably suffer when merit is devalued in favor of any other consideration. i urge all the directors here today to stay out of politics and concentrate exclusively on
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deterring our enemies and winning wars. as we learn in afghanistan, america is not unbeatable. we have real enemies and they mean to do us harm. they have no interest in global warming or race, gender intersectionality, they closely watch us everyday to find weaknesses that would enable attacks on our citizens and our homeland. our defense against them rests to a large extent on all of you that are here today, i hope your priorities will match the urgency of this fraught moment in our nation's history, with that i look forward to your testimony and yield the balance of my time. >> thank you, with that, let me now recognize our distinguished panel for their opening statements, beginning with director haines, followed by secretary multrey, and general bariere we ask to keep your collective remark to see around 20 minutes or so, if possible, warm welcome to you all, director haines now recognized.
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>> thank you chairman schiff, members of the committee, thank you for opportunity to join you today. it is truly an honor to be here with my colleagues to discuss the work we have ahead of us to discuss diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility or deia in the ic and while we have leaders in the ic committed to promoting deia, many of them have worked to achieve the progress achieved over the last many years. we know we have a great deal of work ahead of us. thesely leaders know it is not only essential to our mission and values but to who we are as a nation. promoting diversity, ensuring that we reflect the country we serve is a responsibility we carry as public servants. more over it is fundamental to our national security. ensuring that we have an ic work force made up of people who think differently, see problems differently, and overcome
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challenges differently is a prerequisite to our success. their creative makes us smarter, more innovative, more successful and that makes our nation safer and more secure against the array of adversaries and foreign threats we face. currently, however, the intelligence community is not where it needs to be. minorities, women and persons with disabilities are far better represented at the lower gs level ranks than at the senior executive levels, suggesting that better success at recruiting than retaining and promoting and yet, even so, when you look at the recruiting, we consistently see a gap between recruiting and hiring minorities and while we have collected and analyzed far more demographic data than i have time in this statement, let me go over a few points that would be helpful, in fiscal year 2020, the minority percentage in the intelligence community stood at 27%, increase
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from 26.5% in fiscal year 2019. continuing a positive trend since 2016. but as you examine the senior levels of service, the data shows the numbers of minority in leadership get progressively lower, across the ic, percentage of minority at senior executive level stand at 16.4% and odni lag behind the rest of the ic, minorities, 20.5% of our work force, 6.5 below the ic average although the am percentage of minority at the executive level in odni is 1.3% higher at 16.7% and in fiscal year 2020 the percentage of women in the intelligence community stood constant at 39.3%, about the same as the year before, after showing a small gain in fiscal year 2018. within odni, the percentage of women grown incrementally the
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past five years increasing.4% in 2020 over the previous year, while still higher than the ic average, that percentagestill lags behind women in the labor force, so i while the we see positive trends, we need to improve, and here is what we're doing to change the situation but i look forward to your thoughts and advice on this issue and appreciate the committee spending time on this question. earlier this year, we split into two offices, the office of equal employment opportunity and diversity, equity and inclusion, so we would have an office fully dedicated to equity, diversity and inclusion, and also created a new enterprise role, the ic accessibility officer and stood up the odni diversity and inclusion group to address dia within odni. two of our highest organizational priorities are recruitment and that includes
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underrepresented communities and retention of people under represented in our work force, both dr. dixon my principle deputy and i have worked to recruit at colleges and high schools where we can reach those communities and expand our overall application poll. just recently i visited a partner school, florida international university, primarily compromised of hispanic students and dixon visited a university in hbcu st. louis and we know our individual efforts are not enough, we need institutional growth to achieve our goals so taken the following measures. across the ic, empowered adviser bodies such as ic equal employment opportunity counsel and ic chief human capital counsel to focus on these issues, ic elements collaborating in joint out reach and recruiting under represented communities to reach more candidates as you'll hear from my colleagues, ic centers for
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academic excellence program strengthened to increase reach with more formal marketing as, recruiting strategies in coordination with ic elements. also formed new partnerships with academia, government, with organizations like american indian science and engineering society, a nonprofit increasing stem involvement for indigenous people of north america and pacific islands and increasing minority' interest in engineering, with advanced direction to accredited engineering schools. and finally with initiatives like odni's adopt a high school program, not just focusing on college and universities, we are inspiring under represented communities at k-12 levels as well and there's a lot more we can do but need your help with changing policies that hinder program execution. for instance, in a community that prioritizes resources by mission, we found policies for
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recruitment dollars can hinder recruiting, for instance, lackic the resources to send a recruiter to an out reach partner, odni is prohibited from using available resources to recruit them, this is an area we could use help from congress and appreciate the committee's inclusion of the proposal to provide new authorities in the intelligence authorization act. our other organizational priorities, i mentioned is to retain employees after hiring them and learned through poll surveys, exit interviews and retention inquiries why people stay and leave. we found the most common reason people leave the organization is a lack of promotion opportunities, other causes of low retention include lack of fairness and equity in the work place, insufficient mentoring and guidance and lack of identification with the greater organization. we listen to the voices of those surveyed and are addressing these issues with employee-led organizations, taking measures to promote fairness and equity and deliver antiharassment training.
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the intelligence community sponsors 6 ic networks, employee led organizations that foster work place inclusion and collaboration with ic leaders on improving policies to help connect employees to the community and they include the latino intelligence networks, women's intelligence network, asian american and pacific islander affinity network, african american affinity network, lesbian, guy, transgender affinity network and deaf and hard of hearing ic if you knowity, affinity network, can increase community wide professional development opportunities and work-life balancing programs. also working to remove the structural barriers built up over generations, this community for a long time was known as one that did not value deia, only a while ago had an open stated policy of not hiring anybody who
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was lgbtq plus, plus forcing many of our colleagues to hide if they were if they wanted to serve their country. we have corrected our outdated policies since then and made tremendous strides under both democratic and republican administrations, the policy that barred serve from members of the lgbtq community was abolished, glass sealings smashed, doors opened and ladders climbed and the fact i'm here with you today is another example of the work all of you have done to promote diversity in the government so our progress is real and encouraging but our journey far from over. in the ic, we know how to work together to support the nation's objectives, congress created odni to do this and bringing that approach to our efforts to improve equity, diversity, and this spirit is quintessentially american, to recognize our imperfections and recognize we can do better, see we have the power to make ourselves better, and work toward a brighter vision of what we can be, we are
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resolution in this purpose and know we will be successful. thank you. >> distinguishing members of the committee, it's a privilege to testify on the current state of diversity in the intelligence community and specifically on the status of adversity across defense intelligence enterprise. i want to convey the importance of work force diversity to the department of defense. it's a mission imperative. it's through our people we achieve our greatest accomplishments, over come our greatest challenges and ensure we maintain a competitive advantage. our personnel must be able to serve anywhere in the world, understand the culture, speak
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the language and blend in into the environment. we must understand our partners and allies concerns. we need all hands and all perspectives on deck to protect our national security interest. analysis of the last census predicts by 2030, one if five americans will beyond retirement age and our population growth will be tied to international migration. people who identify as two or more races will be the fastest growing ethnic group.
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a diverse work force provides us with an advantage that other nations do not have. we must find the means to appeal to them and set conditions where they want to remain within our government. the data scientists, artificial intelligence and machinelearn ing analysts, engineers, linguists and other specialists and support personnel that we hire must be creative, imaginative and unconventional to our approach.
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i'd like to highlight those we believe will foster greater intelligence. the primary purpose of this council is to address the most daunting work force challenges. focusing on talent manage. it places heavy emphasis will allow us to apply fact based metrics and to improve our decisions in this area. although secretary of defense team has only been together a brief period, we are working to best identify those practices that we can incorporate into our recruiting and succession
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planning efforts. we continue to recruit highly talented service members and persons with disabilities. chaurm stokes was the former chairman of this distinguished committee. we have a neural diverse federal work pilot program to expand and diversify our tools. they focus on recruitment of individuals who think, communicate and behave differently and due to diagnosis of autism or adhd, because we
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recognize they make contributions to our society. today i want to ensure this commitment has been embraced not only by the members but by leadership across the department of defense. i wish to thank the committee who are holding this hearing and giving us an opportunity to discuss this important topic. >> strengthening diversity and inclusion is among my highest
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priority as director. it's not only the smart thing to do, it's the right thing to do for an agency that represents and defends our society. we can't be effective and we're not being true to our nation's ideals if every one looks like me, talks like me and thinks like me. today at cia, 45% of our work force are female and 26% are minority. last year's new hire were among our most diverse with 46% female and 27% minority. our challenge is not only to strengthen those numbers in recruitment but to reenforce retention and ensure a clear professional pathway to the senior ranks for deserving officers, whatever their
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background. we're making progress. this past spring senior intelligence was the first approved as director was 43% female and 25% minority. a majority of the senior leadership appointments i made are female and nearly a third are minority. we still have a long way to go. as part of this effort, we're going to expand our engagement with colleges and universities identified as minority serving institutions. so far this year we have engaged with 34 msis. we have also selected senior officers to serve as champions for ten of those schools. we plan to provide annual
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tuition assistance of up to 37,000 there are from select students from minority serving student who is apply to the da. the agency must reform our on boarding process and remove barriers to recruiting a diverse work force. for example, our talent center aims over the next two years to reduce the current median time from application to clearance from over 600 days to no more than 180 days. longer waiting times have historically disadvantaged minority applicants, many of whom don't have the means to remain in lengthy pipelines.
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this year's cia was ranked number two in the list of government employers with the best record for accessibility in the workplace by careers in the disabled magazine. we have taken steps to ensure all qualified individuals can apply to cia by addressing needs for reasonable accommodations. we created the position of ability talent broker to help people with disabilities navigate the process. recruiting is essential but it's only a starting point. there has to be a clear path upward. this is why our second overall objective is to increase
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diversity in senior roles. we have assembled a team to strengthen our personnel evaluation systems over the next year. we're also launching a new human resources dashboard that draws on work force and hiring data to help us pinpoint specific diversity and inclusion challenges throughout the pipeline from junior gs levels through more senior levels. in will allow us to make better data driven decisions on where to target our efforts and resources and help keep us accountable. we have added expectations on diversity, equity and inclusion and accessibility to the performance evaluations of all of our officers. we created similar criteria for examining bonuses. on my first day on the job last march, i met with asian american officers after the terrible murders in atlanta to emphasize our shared concerns.
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i stressed repeatedly that our focus on the challenge posed by the people's republic of china is about the chinese leadership, not the chinese people and certainly not people of chinese descent or asian americans. i look forward to working with all of you to shape the cia which embodies the best of america and can best defend our interest in values in a very complicated world. thank you very much. >> chairman schiff, ranking member nunez, members of the
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committee, thank you for the opportunity to discuss a very important topic. as the director of the national security agency, i recognize the critical importance we rely onto help ensure our nation every day reflects the diversity of the country now and into our future. equally important is providing a fair, rewarding and inclusive work environment for on board talent. one of the strengths of nsa diversity of equality and inclusion program is clear and visible engagement of senior leaders across the enterprise in this work. another is our 11 employee research groups of more than 42 chapters and 6500 members. together, they are helping drive my two strategic dei initiatives. the big six, diversity inclusion, equality inclusion focus areas and equity through
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action. these two efforts which build on the work started in 2015, combined focus on accountability, hiring, on boarding and mentoring, advocacy, career development and a more diverse work force that's able to reach their full potential at nsa. our programs are working. we have seen slow but steady increases in representation, minorities, women and people with disabilities in higher grade level. we're on track for reaching or minority hiring goals. civilian population is 26.1% racial ethnic minority. 41.3% women.
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12.4% persons with disabilities and 2.7% persons with targeted disabilities. we're committed to leaning into our areas of improvement. this past july, the careers and disabled magazine named nsa public sector employer of the year for our commitment to recruiting, hiring and promoting people with disabilities. earlier this secretary of defense named nsa the best intelligence community for individuals with disabilities to include an nsa employee was awarded for outstanding contributions to its mission and core values. those successes are markers for our agency as we move forward in the right direction. we still have room to grow. i have established three outcomes to drive us forward. i'm confident they will help us succeed. first, increase representation of under represented populations at all grades of senior ranks.
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secondly, ensuring our personal practices and programs yield fair out comes for all groups and ownership of diversity, equality and inclusion outcomes to create a place where they feel included and valued. chairman and ranking member, i will end my comments here to allow sufficient times for questions. thank you. >> chairman schiff, ranking member nunez, distinguishing members of the committee, it's a pleasure to testify today. this is an issue of great importance to me as a director of dia. dia fills the unique role. officers fulfill the critical mission of providing strategic operational and tactical to our war fighters, defense planners,
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policy makers and the acquisition community. the foundational intelligence that our colleagues across the defense intelligence enterprise, allies and foreign partners provide help to translate national policy into executable military action and inform the joint force. diversity and inclusion are not only important to me personally but critical to our work force and key enabler for mission success. it's part of my strategy to create an agile and active work force that's postured for the global operating environment. it's imperative our work force reflect the mission we seek to protect and bring thought, experience and background. a more diverse, inclusive work force starts with the recruitment. we have developed a more intentional approach to recruitment and build
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relationships with 45 historically black colleges and universities, 35 womens colleges, minority professional organizations and schools with disabilities. people of color in the di work force has increased 14% and representation of persons with disabilities has increased by 2%. dia has been working to become a more inclusive agency. we making progress but we know recruitment efforts are not sufficient to sustain a diverse work force and we have more to do. despite strong hiring numbers, women and people of color are concentrated in non-leadership roles. we are pry your -- prioritizing. to help us understand our diversity profile and what's holding us back, dia stood up a working data group in 201. we have inventory and audited
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various data source, studied trends and begun conducting root cause analysis. held focus groups to interpret the findings. it's my intent that data driven approach will be incorporated into our long term implementation plan. our initiatives have shown dividends and we will prioritize them. the success of our fighters in field and policy makers here at home rest on superior intelligence which depends on our most important asset, our people.
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reducing bias, eliminating glass ceilings and walls and attracting and retaining the most qualified intelligence officers are our priorities. thank you for your continued confidence and support. >> not only do there seem to be barriers, there also appears to be a growing glass wall. are you seeing this trend within your agency? what steps are being taken to increase representation in core mission areas such as analysis and collection, particularly in
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management and senior ranks? if, for example, we look to the percentages that you gave in terms of women and minorities, overall in the agency, if you looked at that in senior management positions outside of administrative admission support fields, what would those numbers look like? >> thank you. yes there is obviously a split that we have seen in administrative and support roles where there's a concentration of essentially both women and minorities in those areas. i couldn't give you for odni, but we should do that what the split would be. what the difference would be between them in the senior ranks. others may have information about their particular agencies and departments. one of the challenges here is you've identified is the fact we
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need to promote throughout the community in all different fields, the diversity we expect to see and something we have been looking at is how we actually do the hiring and whether or not we're actually promoting all fields in that context. when i go to florida international university, for example, which happens to be an ic center of academic excellence, one of the things they do is they take competed grant and develop curricula that promotes ic skills, tries to build out a whole series of workshops and other things that are intended to really develop not just kind of student
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interest in these areas but the skills that would make them, you know, great employees within the intelligence community and promoting that in these spaces helps to allow students to see these are things that i can do as i'm coming into the intelligence community that i may not have thought of before and i may not have been encouraged to do. that's way to ensure we're bringing them into mission in every possible way. others may have comments on this issue. >> director burns, i know this is an ic wide problem. like the time it takes to get someone cleared to join the ic. have you found whether that has a disproportionate impact on diversity? that is that the length of time whether it's six month, a year, 18 months to join the ic has the impact of excludeing many people of color? >> thanks for the question mr. chairman. it's a problem across the
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agency. as i mentioned in my opening remarks that on boarding process that can take as long as 600 days puts us at considerable advantage and recruiting the best talent across american society as a general rule. it's a particular disadvantage for minority applicants as well. many of whom don't have the means to wait through a lengthy on boarding process as well. for both of those reasons, i feel a real sense of urgency about reforming that process and reducing it over the next couple of years to a median of no more than 180 days. i think that's essential for the agency as a whole and minority recruitment and retention. >> director, do you believe there's a lingering barrier to the initiatives at the agency compared to other elements of the ic? >> i think it's a challenge the agency has wrestled with for
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some years. i think we're very focused on the importance of increasing, not just recruiting but retention and demonstrating a professional pathway for deserving officers, whatever their background to the senior ranks. i think those are the key ingredients in a formula to overcome that. i think we have also put a great deal of effort into emphasizing the importance of creating a culture of respect and tolerance as well as i mention in my opening remarks. we recognize it as a challenge but like my colleagues across the ic, we're making a serious effort. i intend to continue that. >> do any of the, i don't know how much of this you can discuss here, but i know the agencies have been implementing your direction rising out of the strategic views does that impact what we're discussing and are you able to share any of that? >> it's the on boarding process that i mentioned before. i think that's critical.
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diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility is another important priority. we have launched a series of efforts, some of which i mentioned in my opening statement aimed at recruitment as well as strengthening retention and demonstrating a pathway to the senior most ranks of the agency. in the appointments that i mentioned to our senior leadership team and the seven months i've been director, i'm proud of the fact over half of those are female and nearly a third are minorities as well. that's a significant step in the right direction. >> before i hand it off to the ranking member, i would just request the various agencies, i'd be interested to see what your numbers look like and percentages look like within the administrative and human resource fields compared to within analysis and collection and with that i'll hand it off to the ranking member. >> i thank the gentleman. i want to turn to you to speak
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about political discrimination in the work force. first of all, i'd like to ask you some questions about naval officer lieutenant commander michael ellis whom you placed on administrative leave on president biden's inauguration day who withdraw. a report was released last week. the ig report details you went to great lengths to oppose the hiring of ellis. some of your concerns about ellis, quote, had no basis in fact, unquote and other concerns quote appear to be inappropriate ly injecting partisan politics. unquote. will you make these e-mails public? >> certainly, ranking member. >> thank you. >> we know democrats in congress were pressuring you to oppose ellis' hiring and they got the dod inspector general to open the investigation into it.
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did anyone from the biden administration pressure you to stop ellis' hiring? >> no one pressured me. >> did you speak to susan rice? >> i did not. >> did you speak to jake sullivan? >> i did not. >> in hopes of delaying ellis hiring, you asked theist personnel of management to review the matter but they told you they don't do that. the previous nsa general council did not undergo an opm review. you demanded a different process for ellis but in the end you didn't have the authority on ellis hiring. mr. nay had that authority, is that correct? >> he has the authority to hire the nsaogc. that's correct. >> nevertheless, the ig report found that mr. ney asked to direct you to appoint ellis. after receiving that direction, you finally appointed him as general council.
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just five days later, you placed the lieutenant commander ellis on administrative leave. one of your justifications for placing ellis on administrative leave was to wait for the results of the inspector general investigation of his selection process was improper. do you accept the ig's finding? >> ranking member, i accept the ig's finding. i think it's important to talk about what the findings stated which is the fact that mr. ellis had two significant security allegations -- >> i'm glad you're getting there. we'll get to that. we're coming to that. i'll give you an opportunity to discuss that. the ig found there was no improper political influence by president trump.
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did you believe there was political influence? >> i did not. what my concern was at the time wads the process upon which i was being advised that the individual had to have a merit based review. this is what caused a bit of the confusion. later on we found out the dod cleared up there was not a need for a merit based review. >> you don't dispute the ig's finding on this question? >> i do not. >> these allegations of improper political influence came from anonymous sources who told the washington post, among other things, that you opposed lieutenant commander ellis' hiring.
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it's a cute trick. you were being forced to hire ellis against your will an you were improperly trying to delay his hiring by citing an ig investigation. your deputy mr. barnes informs you of two allegations that ellis mishandled classified information. the first alleged incident involved a state department official who made the allegation to mr. barnes -- who made the allegation to mr. barnes about that supposed incident. who? >> i don't know, ranking member. i'm not aware of who made that allegation. >> okay. then there was a second one.
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who made the allegation on the second supposed incident? >> again, ranking member, i do not know who made the allegation of it. again, the allegation came from my deputy director indicating that there had been reports that there was mishandling of documents, to include the copying of nsa sensitive materials and the distribution of those materials. >> so mr. barnes would know who these people are. >> correct. >> could you have mr. barnes provide us the names of those people who made these serious allegations? >> so we'll certainly look into that, ranking member. >> i'll take that as a yes or a no? >> again, i would like to be able to -- to talk with my counsel to make sure that that is something that we can do given the investigation that is taking place. >> so you are forced to hire ellis. your attempts to stop him failed. and it suddenly brought to your
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attention that allegations were made against mr. ellis by two people. and i'll fill you in, both of whom worked for you. yet on january 19th, ellis shows up for work and he receives a security clearance. and the next day, shortly after president biden is sworn in, you place ellis on administrative leave. so on january 19th, you are aware of these supposed security incidents, and you approve lieutenant commander ellis's clearance. and then the next day just after the biden team is installed, you decide that ellis is no longer fit to serve. the ig report says you dropped the investigation of ellis after he withdraw as nsa general council. so you open investigation based on allegations made by your subordinates. the career of lieutenant commander naval officer for political reasons.
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you accuse him of mishandling classified information. so hopefully you can get those names to the committee. but i want to talk about mishandling of classified information. i want to change the topic. the last open hearing i asked you if you'd ever recalled an intelligence report by senior -- by a senior government -- if you have ever recalled an intelligence report by a senior government or military official. i want to give you an opportunity to clarify your answer from the last hearing. have you as director of nas recalled a report on a basis that was embarrassing to a senior military leader or government official. >> i have not. >> are there any repeat offenders which have had to provide signals intelligence -- are there any repeat offenders or offenses where signals intelligence is embarrassing to a senior military leader?
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have you done this since the last hearing? >> ranking member, i'm not sure i understand the context of your question. >> well, let me try to clarify it for you. you are saying that you have never recalled any intelligence reports that could be embarrassing to senior leaders within the military or the ic or any other government agency. >> i directed the recall of reports based upon several reasons. one of them is the distribution of these reports, if they are incorrect. secondly, if the trade craft is bad and if the trade craft is brought to my attention that this is not something that should be within our analytic reports, that is certainly something they v agreed to recall a report. >> any senior military leaders ask you to recall a report? >> never. >> you just did it on your own. >> i did it as the director of the national security agency as these matters come up and are brought to my attention. this is not the only report that
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i've directed a recall on. >> okay. final question here. and you'll back my time. obviously you are familiar with the tucker carlson situation of that's been in the news. the nsa inspector general is reportedly investigating attorneys generals the nsa swept up tucker carlson's communications. are you and your staff fully cooperating with that investigation? >> certainly and we've also cooperated with this committee to provide the information that we've known about this and shared all the relevant details. >> with that i yield back, mr. chairman. >> before i move on want to make sure you had a chance to answer the question you had sought time for. anything further you want to add? >> there is nothing further, chairman. thank you. >> thank you mr. chairman and thank you tour witnesses, good to see you all and bring the conversation back to the reason that we're here. why are we here?
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is this some scratching of a faculty lounge itch as the ranking member suggests? is this some effusion of white liberal guilt? it is not. it is not. we are here because our responsibility, our duty is to field the most competent, capable and lethal national security team we can. a generation ago the cia was mocked for being pale male yale. now, maybe you believe that an ic comprised of white males is the result of a perfectly merit cratic system, maybe you believe that white males have some racial or ethnic or genetic advantage over other, if you do, there is a word for that. i don't believe that we believe that.
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i believe that if we have an insufficiently diverse ic, we and if we fail to tap that talent, we are falling down on our duty to field the most competent, capable team that we can. mr. haines, i'm looking at some stats here that show a trend that i've seen in other institutions, which is easier to recruit a diverse talent pool than to promote them to most senior levels. going from gs9 to gs15 you see a very steady dropoff of the percentage of minority staff. two questions and i know it is complicated but do your best in three minutes. do we have good data? i've read in the report that exit interviews are optional. that would suggest to me that maybe we don't have good data. secondly, as much as we do have good data, can you just spend a
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minute or two on elaborating on why you think we lose diversity as people climb the ranks. >> absolutely. thank you very much representative himes for the question. the question whether or not we have good data, i will tell you that we need more data. so i think we're working to do that from the ic perspective. odni is looking to try to help with ensuring we have the resources allocated to that and the is systems in place. and that is something that needs to be done. additionally odni had not done a barrier analysis.
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and we are now in process of getting a barrier report done that was overdue. so there is lot of room for improvement in this. in the context of the work that has been done what we've found out from surveys and exit interviews that will be done is that the primary reason people give is lack of promotion opportunity, as i mentioned. so that is a key question for us and it certainly is, comes back to, you know, one of the original points that you are making i think. so that's something that we're looking at. i would say too that, you know, as we look at on the recruitment side, we have attracted more minorities, for example, to apply. right? but we're not actually seeing them get hired as i pointed out in the same percentages that
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they are applying. right? so you see a roughly 10% gap there, that is pretty significant and we're looking aggregate this across a range of issues. question is why is that happening? and part of the question we're trying to answer is through data. like basically talking to those candidates about their process, what is happening during that process, trying to ensure that folks who are hiring managers, for example, are undergoing unconscious bias training, other things that might be helpful in that context. doing a variety of things to try to ensure that we're going to both pull the data so that we can better understand it and do what we can to improve that situation. >> let me interrupt. i don't want to end this conversation without having a sense for what you think is driving the dropoff in senior levels. are we talking about mentor ship? culture, prejudice? and i don't know we don't have much time but i'd love to come
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away from this conversation with sense of your diagnosis. >> what we're hearing is lack of promotion opportunities, lack of fairness and equity in the workplace. insufficient mentoring and guidance and lack of identification with the greater organization. those are things coming up in the data and my last point was to that, which is we don't have the data that would help us see whether or not that gap between applicants and hiring is happening in promotion boards as people are going through the ic. and that is another key place where wee need to dig in and see whether or not we're seeing the same percentage drop in a sense that gap as we're going through the system in a sense. >> thank you. mr. chairman, yield back. >> mr. turner. >> thank you mr. chairman, thank you all for being here. director haines i want to thank you for your reference to historical black colleges and universities. i am vice chair of a historical black college and university congress and serve with anthony brown as co-chair of the house national security division and inclusion caucus. we've passed a number of bills in the national defense authorization act relating to coordinations between the department of defense and historical black colleges and universities for internships,
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mentoring, recruiting and as has been discussed assistance in acquiring clearance while still in school to give people a leg up in order to be able to get positions. i have four pages of questions i'm going to ask on from the dod representatives about the implementation of those laws and then the request to the rest of the ic as to how they can look to administratively perhaps implement some of these recommendations that i'm going to submit that to the record. i want to show my support for the ranking member's questions concerning michael ellis. i too received from len carlson of the dod oig, the conclusion that none of the witnesses in the hiring process indicated that there was any pressure from
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the white house or any political pressure whatsoever. very concerned about political influence. and then i want to know that i have before when we raised this issue that nancy pelosi personally sent a letter requesting that he not be installed. so when the white house was found to have no interference, we have all of us in our files the letter from the speaker herself indicating her opposition. i also want to note a letter october 21st, led by a ranking member concerning the impacts of vaccine mandates upon our staffing. chris stewart will be asking questions which i support on the impact on our workforce of diversity with vaccine mandates. and then i want to ask each of you a yes or no question. we're doing an investigation. some of us on the armed services committee and intelligence
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committee. we're very concerned about what has happened in afghanistan and specifically the issues of what occurred on august 29th where a drone strike killed innocent people. i've had opportunity to question secretary austin, general milley, general mckenzie, secretary of state deputy sherman, our concern is on intelligence and operationals failures, what the protocols were, with the intelligence review and analysis. i got a fairly simple question for you. it is going to be yes or no. i'm looking for individuals who were involved in a specific time period from the time period where the target was identified until the shot was taken. and i'm going to ask whether or not you were directly involved and specifically the question is, during that time period
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where the target is identified to the time that the shot was taken, were you directly involved in either reviewing the intelligence or advising dod concerning shot doctrine parole protocols or providing oversight or in the chain of intelligence. again your direct involvement, not just subordinated and about review intelligence, advising dod, shot doctrine protocols, providing oversight in the time period the shot was first identified until the shot was taken. general berrier, start with you and go down the line. were you directly involved? >> no. >> secretary? >> no. >> director? >> no. >> director? >> no. >> general? >> no. >> okay. did you have direct subordinates not down the chain of line, direct subordinates under you who were involved during that time period? >> no. >> no. >> no. >> no. >> congressman, i need to take that for the record just to be fully sure on it. >> that's fine. one last question. we're very concerned about the protocols that occurred that day in determining to take the shot. we've heard from the intelligence community. we've heard from dod. are you or is anyone directly
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under you involved in reviewing the protocols that were utilized that day in determining that the drone strike would be taken? >> no. >> no. >> no. >> no. >> no, congressman. >> thank you so much. appreciate it. yield back. >> mr. carson. >> thank you chairman. limited opportunities for a promotion is cited in ic employee exit surveys as a top reason for ic employees resigning from their agencies. what are you doing to address this source of frustration amongst departing officers and especially those with diverse backgrounds? also what steps are your agencies taking to appeal to applicants with diverse national origins, heritages, especially
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those who may have influencesy or proficiency in critical lajs and cultural skills? are there specific barriers these groups face coming into the ic? are there disclosures on fs86 forms? and what areas of improvement have you identified? in terms of disclosures, would something like participation in the protest at college or blm rally be impediment to the kind of acceptance into the ic as opposed to others who have participated in protest who is have still been accepted and even become executives. would that be a hindrance to someone of color? >> sir, do you want me to start or -- >> let's rock and roll. >> okay. sounds good. thank you very much. so first of all, what steps are we taking with respect to the top concern that's been named, as you've identified, which is about lack of opportunity for promotion.
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so as i mentioned to representative himes, one of the issues that we're looking at is getting further data, first of all, on whether or not there is the same gap that we see in hiring between applicants and those that are hired in minority spaces in the context of promotion boards, and digging in to try to understand whether or not there is an in effect challenges the barriers in the process that need to be addressed and that is one piece of what we're doing. additionally what we're trying to do is work through the affinity networks that i noted in my opening statement and with employee resource groups across the ic to better have an opportunity.
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first of all i meet with them every month. so going through different affinity networks to talk talk to them about the issues this that they are seeing, so they can talk to me about what they are perceiving as challenges among the communities within the workforce that they are addressing. we support their doing variety of events and outreach so as to be able to lift up some of the challenges so that we can try to address those questions as they come about and to support those communities as much as we can in the context of their work. so it is an ongoing process. i think we need more data. we need to better understand what is in fact happening, but we're also trying to communicate
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as much as possible to address what we're finding. another aspect of appealing to diverse communities and getting out to those communities, we're doing a variety of things. and you will hear different ways which all of my colleagues are approaching this. one, including geographical diversion as you identified. our ic centers for academic excellence are really -- it is a program that's been around now a couple of years and it provides long-term partnerships with u.s. colleges and universities through competitively awarded grants. they are designed to increase awarenesses of the ic mission and culture. and to so do so ethically and geographically diverse communities. so we are working to expand that program as much as possible so as to be able to get out to areas that don't normally see us in a sense, don't necessarily have contact with folks who are in the ic. and we are also working through our recruitment process in order to try to make sure that we've got recruiters that are actually able to be more thoughtful about what are the different issues that will come up in recruitment
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for specific populations. questions they might have, for example, about the application process that would be concerning. and i will tell you just flat out, participation in a peaceful protest is certainly not an issue in relation to ic hiring. so let me let other people have an opportunity to respond. >> the only thing i'd add, congressman, as a specific example of outreach, is we did a program in june, this past june over a couple days at the agency in partnership with the national society of black engineers. not only do we have intense interest in improving minority hiring, we have intent interest in hiring people with stem skills as we well. about 150 students took part and helped to generate a couple of dozen applications to the agency after that as well. i just offer that as one example. >> congressman, the thing i would add would be in terms of identifying subjectivity in our promotion processes where individuals go to boards. and if you participate in some of these boards as i have over the many decades if you will. you hear comments and you hear questions and you hear things talked about that aren't objective. they don't get directly at the qualifications of an individual. it is more would somebody's chemistry fit with another group's chemistry, if you will.
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so ensuring we identify those type of things and making sure they are not part of the process i think is very important. agree with the barrier identification piece that's talked about. i think that is very important and then we're working very closely within the department of defense with the personnel and writing on how do we have better outreach to various hbcus, msis and as undersecretary cisneros stalks about hispanic institutions too to ensure we have the right outreach there, the right social ways of engaging with these individuals. so we have a concerted effort going on within the pentagon. welcome the opportunity to come back and brief you on that sir. >> certainly. lastly, wrapping up. how are you -- for example, pita is designated by many as a hate group. and there are people. the southern poverty law center. >> i think their process is very flawed because you have one or two people making a designation
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as to who is and who is not a hate group when they really have an ax to grind with certain individuals. do you discriminate against someone who has a religious affiliation and that religious affiliation or their belief system may have very destructive views as it relates to blacks and jews and their origin stories. do you discriminate amongst them even though their affiliation isn't necessarily listed amongst hate groups. do you comb through someone's social media and they had a position ten years ago being brilliant of u.s. policy or police brutal. >> the department of defense within our organization we're focusing more on behavior than we are on group representation, if you will. so if someone is a member of a group that may not necessarily indicate that they are actually doing things that are detrimental to what we consider to be the mission or our readiness or their ability to
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serve. so we're really trying to focus on those behaviors that we are concerned about, and less on what somebody's past affiliation or association with a group might be. >> thank you chairman. i yield back. >> dr. wenstrup. >> thank you mr. chairman. i do want to start associating myself with the ranking member's concerns and questions concerning michael ellis. but from there, you know, the intelligence communities need for diversity and and other characteristics are very clear. as well as a common thread of selfless, apolitical, patriotic service, with honesty, honor and integrity, along with a willingness to uphold and defend our constitution. i think that's pretty clear. but nothing has been as diverse and inclusive as covid-19. killing and affecting human kind across the globe. honesty and transparency have been at a minimum for many that should have been able to shed the most insight about covid-19.
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seemingly, the honest factual scientific opinions of many experts have been ignored or given way to those that claim there is nothing to see here, move along. director haines i want too thank you in advance for reaching out to schedule a meeting with me on this topic and the relationship between this committee and the intelligence community. i appreciate that. you know some call gain of function experiments the production of a chimera. in this case that means experimentally combining components from two viruses into one for the sake of making it more infectious to the general public. the terms are interchangeable. using what i have learned or not learned from the intelligence opportunities i have by the virtue of being on this select committee, as well as what i have learned from my own open source research, i wonder if vanity fair or the intercepts foyer request involving eco
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health alliance and drastic a science data research group have all done a deeper dive than our own intelligence committee. a member of the drastic team told vanity fair i can't be sure that covid-19 originated from a research-related accident or infection from a sampling trip. but i'm a 100% sure there was a massive cover up. you know in 2012, dr. fauci was asked about this type of research and he said the benefits of such experiments and the resulting knowledge outweigh the risk. 2015, dr. ralph barrett and dr. xi -- of china, published their work to create a chimera using coronaviruses. dr. fauci's e-mails of january 31, 2020, virologist christian anderson e-mails dr. fauci suggesting coronavirus may have been gently engineered and next day on february 1st, dr. fauci e-mails his deputy with the headline important and sends the article about creating a chimera from a coronavirus. april 18th of 2020, peter dasic of u.s. funded eco health alliance working with chinese
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doctors e-mails and thanks dr. fauci for publicly saying there is no evidence this was genetically engineered. he does so without any evidence it came from any other source. peter dasic also got a letter published in the lancet. ands the reported 26 of the 27 who signed the let had connections to the wuhan lab writing this with no evidence that it came from nature. january of '21. doctor scientifically concludes a 99.8 project covid came from the lab versus nature. dr. ralph barrack in january '21 says it is possible to create this without any evidence that it was altered. we also know these facts. china removed all access to their database containing the genetic sequencing research. china did not report what they knew or when they knew it, including the virus spreads human to human. china levied sanctions on australia just for calling investigations and transparency. we know no covid-19 virus has
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been found in nature. not in wet marketing or lives, as hundreds of animals have been tested except maybe the humanized mice in research at the wuhan labs. peter dasic was the only w.h.o. executive on the review team. to me it is reasonable to conclude that considering this research at the wuhan lap and his involvement that his interest in discovery or lack thereof may align with china's. there is much unknown. much unrevealed. the question is who should be the investigators and who should be investigated. it is more information emerges peter dasic and the wiv find themselves at the center of this debate. why was peter dasic the only american pointed to this mission? i want to finish with. this as "washington post" editorial board asked about peter dasic. they and why did he not disclose
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his 2018 proposal to darpa for research on bat coronaviruses with the wiv and others which called for engineering and modification on to spike proteins of chimera viruses that would make them infect human cells in the way the pandemic strain did. what does he know about the databases of viruss that the wiv took off line in 2019 and never brought back? does he know what research the wiv may have done on its own during or after their collaboration? what was being done at wiv in the months before the pandemic? mr. dasic must answer these questions before congress. his grants were federal funds and it is entirely appropriate for congress to insist on accountability and transparency. he might help the world understand what really happened in wuhan. these with good questions and comments from the "washington post." i suggest that this committee should be investigating and holding hearings on the origins of covid-19 and any cover ups and do so in coordination with our intelligence community.
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my only question, can i get that commitment from our chairman and from you, director? mr. chairman. i have great respect, honestly, for both your knowledge on these issues and your passion on the question of trying to get to the origins of covid. and as you know, we have done a lot of work on this question and have briefed committee members on our analysis. and i'm -- we're happy to provide additional briefings on that. you know, as the chairman and the committee sees fit. >> i do look forward to our conversation that is scheduled. mr. chairman. >> me, too, sir. >> i'm happy to consider your request. >> thank you, i yield back. >> ms. speier.
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>> thank you, mr. chairman, and thank you all for your presentations this morning. let me start with you, general nakasone. that particular inspector general's report found that you had done nothing wrong, is that correct? >> that is correct, congresswoman. >> and is it also true that the general counsel for the nsa is the only general counsel of the ic that is not confirmed by the senate? >> i'd have to check on that, congresswoman. i know that our general counsel is not confirmed by the senate -- >> my understanding is that it is not confirmed as the only ic general counsel that is not. if you could get back to me. >> will do. >> i'm curious to what extent that is problematic as it relates to the ic community in general.
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director haines, my understanding is that the position of chief officer for ic diversity, equity and inclusion has not yet been filled. is that true? >> congresswoman, yes. a posting, i think it may have just closed or may be closing the next week or so. >> so it is not an issue of having difficulty filling it. it is that the time frame has not been exhausted. >> no, ma'am. >> okay. for each of you, i would like for you to return to the committee information about the numbers of -- the percentages of latinos within each of your services both in the analyst area and in the administrative area, because, to me, based on what i've seen historically, it is the most underrepresented universe in the ic, and yet it
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represents 18% of the population in this country. so i think as we look at areas where you have to do additional work, it is particularly important to do it in the area where we can see more latinos being hired. director burns, you indicated that in having executives evaluated for both bonuses and promotions, you are now looking at their ability to and effectiveness in promoting diverse persons into the senior ranks. is that true? >> that is correct, congresswoman. as well as -- >> and has anyone who has been evaluated under that new rubric been found to be inadequate in
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their efforts and not been promoted? >> there's at least one example that i know of in terms of a bonus where -- where there was, umm, you know a reaction against performance that didn't live up to those standards in terms of not just promotion but also creating an inclusive atmosphere. but i'd be glad to get back to you with more -- >> i would appreciate that. director haines, i actually think this is really important to do across the ic. are you committed to doing that to make sure that in senior management we see the diversity we need and that we evaluate those who are making those decisions and either not promote them or not provide bonuses if they do not succeed in promoting those who should be successful in that regard? >> thank you, congressman. yes. our personnel evaluations include this as one of the factors.
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and absolutely committed to it. an additional question that's come up is whether or not we should be asking people in interviews, for example, whether or not they have a plan for diversity and inclusion. and that is something that we're looking at as something that should be potentially included. >> i want to underscore the fact, the importance of not just having that looked at, but that there will be repercussions if they are not successful in helping to elevate persons in that regard. >> yes. >> let me also ask about s.t.e.m. talent to all of you. i am very concerned that we are not attracting the s.t.e.m. talent into the ic that we desperately need as we move forward. and i am exploring and would like for you to consider and then report back to me whether or not we should be creating an rotc-like entity in colleges for the ic. because without doing something
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like that, i feel we're going to fail in that regard. and with that i yield back the balance of my time. >> mr. stewart. >> thank you, chairman. and thanks to all of you. i recognize your many years of service and your commitment to serving and protecting our country. before i go into my topic, i'd like to again identify with the ranking members' really legitimate and deep concerns regarding mr. ellis' situation that's been described. on september 9th, president biden ordered all federal department and agencies to, and i'm going quote, implement a program to acquire covid vaccinations for all federal employees, outcome if they don't comply removal from federal service. now i want to be really, really clear. i am vaccinated.
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i have always encouraged others to become vaccinated. but let me give you an example of i think that is illustrated with our concerns on the topic here. i recently talked to a young woman. she's african american. she works for a relevant agency that you all represent. she's already had covid and she has antibodies because of that. she's expecting her second child, and she has very, very difficult pregnancies. she does not want to take the vaccine. her doctor has encouraged her not to take the vaccine while she's expecting, and yet she's facing termination in the next few weeks if she doesn't. and she asked me for help. and i don't know what to say to her. and i'd be curious to what any of you would say to this young person. i have here in my hand multiple studies from the cdc and others that indicate for various reasons, and for some reasons we may not understand, the minority community is vaccinated at a significantly lower rate than are whites.
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perhaps a mandate is a good idea and we can discuss that. but if we're going to fire critical employees, including from the minority community, a community that we're trying to recruit and retain, not find reasons to terminate, i think we should discuss that. and discuss the implications of that. what happens when we fire a significant portion of employees. and by the way as you all know because we've asked the question last week, it is not a small percentage. it may be 10, 20, 30, 40%. we hope it's not that high, but that's about where we are. pretty close. what's the impact on our minority personnel? who, as i've indicated, are vaccinated at a lower rate. how do we replace them when you know it takes 12 to 24 months to recruit and then go through the security screens. these are the questions i think we should answer and have a conversation about. so with that in mind, i guess i
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would ask all of you. director haines, i'll maybe begin with you. what's implications, what's the outcome on our national security if we have to terminate a significant number of employees including minority employees? does that concern you? and how do we address that? and it is not a train wreck that is coming years from now. it's within a few weeks. >> thank you, congressman. i think, to start with, for the woman that you mentioned, i would indicate that if she is concerned about a medical exception that she should apply for one and we have -- >> director, she has. she has and she's been denied that up to this point. and she didn't appear optimistic that it would be approved. >> we take our guidance in that context from the centers for disease control, opm and basically the folks who do the medical process for that.
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so that has been my experience, and certainly if there is anybody that needs help, we can look into this if there is a medical concern. i think that the second piece to your larger issue, we're finding -- at least i look at odni and numbers quite small in terms of those who have indicated they are not vaccinated and we have, you know, database. >> i don't want to interrupt you. it is relatively small in odni but not nearly so small in other agencies. >> we'll let other people speak for themselves, i think. and it is something where we're not anticipating that it is going to be an issue for mission. i think in terms of the minority issue that you identified, there is vaccine hesitancy in minority populations at a greater rate than there is in others. and it is something that we have been addressing. i haven't -- what we've done is
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looked to try to promote it across the board as obviously the administration has more generally and to ensure that everybody has the best information that they can on these issues and we are pursuing that, you know. >> my time is up and i want you to know i'm going to submit questions for the record for all of you. because this is enormously important. and we seem to be walking blindly towards it. we may fire a meaningful portion of our intelligence community, including a disproportionate number of our minority intelligence officials. what is the impact on our minority hiring? what's the impact on our national security? and a list of other question. and again it just doesn't seem like we've given it nearly the thought and the consideration we should. i'll follow up with questions with that, mr. chairman i'll yield back. >> mr. quigley. >> thank you mr. chairman.
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mr. chairman, we are simply going to have to retitle what we call our hearings. next time we do this we need to title it diversity and oh my god anything but diversity. because today we have continued what we have heard much of our lives, that -- that somehow inclusivity and diversity works against merit and that they have nothing to do with each other. it implies that diversity is unequal to quality. and we know that any notion that increased inclusion works against merit is just plain wrong. indeed inclusiveness enhances and is critical to capabilities. but who am i to say these things? so i'll quote someone else who actually has been in the worst of the fields. he wrote in 2018, "i've served many years in war zones where incorporating the principle of inclusion was critical to our success. the u.s. is arguably facing more complex and serious threats to
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our national security than any time in our history. the art of intelligence is about fostering an inclusive environment, which means actively incorporating different ideas, viewpoints and backgrounds to understand these threats and to present policy makers with the best options with dealing them. the most enlightened leaders embrace this approach and swivel their judgments based on the input they actively seek. our country's unique and rich melting pot is a exceptional competitive advantage and force multiplier for our intelligence community. socially and ethically diverse groups enhance creativity, innovation and performance. a lesson the cia teaches about the power of inclusion or our differences make us stronger, defenders of our core ideals of freedom, liberty and democracy." so who wrote this? in 2018?
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daniel hoffman. a former chief of station with central intelligence agency with a combined 30 years of distinguished government service, included high-level positions, not only with the cia but also with u.s. military, u.s. department of state, u.s. department of commerce. his assignments including tours of duty in the former soviet union, europe and war zones in both the middle east and south asia. so i hope we can talk about such issues as we go forward. because apparently if we can't appeal to your heart, our only choice is to appeal to your brain. upton sinclair when he wrote "the jungle" was appealing to our heart, looking at horrible working conditions. when president roosevelt read "the jungle," he said, i've been poisoned. he said, i aimed at their heart.
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i'll hit a little bit lower. so i don't know how else to do this but the use this distinguished panel to remind us that if we can't appeal to your heart, our brain tells us that to function in an incredibly complicated, gritty, diverse world, the skill set out there must be used that can work in that field. and a lot of them in most of those areas, they can't look like me. in the brief time i've left you, directors, is there anything you want to add to that? >> no, i just was going say, congressman, i entirely agree with dan hoffman and the quote you raised. he's a very fine career officer and i think he's absolutely right. you see this in the hard places around the world where our colleagues are doing hard jobs today trying to operate in very complicated environments. we are, just as dan hoffman said, our diversity is huge asset. diversity of language, of understand of other cultures and ability to do our work overseas.
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and the same is true with analysts in headquarters as well. their ability to understand what is going to be most important about pieces of intelligence to convey to policy makers. so i think it is -- i've always thought throughout my career first at state and now with the cia, that diversity is a huge national security asset for the united states. and i see it every day at cia. >> thank you. and i just want to add my concurrence to that. when i first came in, we went through an exercise with the leaders of the intelligence community to identify what are our priorities. and we talked about substance and we talked about the fact that china is a critical priority for the intelligence community. but top of the list for which there was absolutely uniform support among every leader of the intelligence community and all the people on this panel were part of that, was talented and diverse workforce. recruiting and retaining a talented and diverse workforce. and i think it is just fundamental to our success in
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the future that we actually bring that workforce forward. because they are the ones that are going the need to address the challenges that we're facing. and there is nobody that saw any tension between diverse and talent. it is absolutely fundamental and together. >> i would just add very quickly, congressman, i had the honor of serving with dan hoffman a number of locations and just within the last year, last six months, dan and i have exchanged emails on a number of topics. he's a fine man. he's going through a lot of challenges in his personal life but a great american. and we should listen to the words he's saying in that regard, sir. >> thank you mr. chairman. i yield back. >> mr. crawford? >> thank you, mr. chairman. everybody agrees. i would like to associate myself with the comments of the ranking member with regards to the unfair treatment of lieutenant
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commander ellis and acknowledge the comments and the concerns voiced by mr. stewart. dr. haines, i held a scale-up in my district and, director, i want to thank you for your personal involvement in facilitating that event. it was very well-attended. the presenters, mr. orlando from ncsc and of course the fbi were the primary presenters along with cisa. but thank you for your direct involvement in that. it was very well received. switching gears now, i want to move to some questions to the panel. does anyone on the panel disagree that the intelligence community views the ongoing border crisis as a national security threat? do any of you dispute that a wall or a fence enhances security? is it true that each of your agencies are protected by walls or fences or some infrastructure that each of your agencies take measures to control physical
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access? that's true? does anyone disagree that eliminating fences or walls around your agency would present both physical and counterintelligence threats to your agencies? is it the responsibility of the united states government to control access to the united states? is that a yes? thank you. i'm deeply concerned there is a security double standard in the biden administration and in the democrat majority. the president is protected by walls such as the white house fence and the brand-new fence around his beach house. in fact, the speaker, i think, would like to have a permanent wall constructed around the capitol complex. yet despite their need for walls to protect themselves the president and congressional democrats are blocking completion of the border wall which is desperately needed to protect the american people. there are also growing calls by the administration for deploying the national guard to assist
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with the supply chain crisis yet the same administration is refusing to mobilize the national guard to help fortify our border. and so, to the panel, let me ask you this. is it possible for a terrorist to cross the border? yes? is it possible for transnational criminal organizations to smuggle drugs and weapons across the border? yes. is it possible for human smugglers to move caravans up to and across the border? yes. are these threats increasing, decreasing, or staying the same? could we agree that those threats are increasing? i don't hear any dispute on that. so last year there were over 1.7 million apprehensions along the southwest border. in the past few months the world witnessed 10,000 plus haitians, uh, camped out on the texas border. there is open source reporting of approximately 60,000 more on the way, not including migrants
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of other nationalities. umm, mr. chairman, i would suggest that we have a classified hearing on the ic's capabilities to collect and share intelligence relevant to the western hemisphere and threats to our border. is that something that you would entertain that request, mr. chairman? >> i would be happy to entertain the request. thank you. >> thank you. and then i've got a little bit of time left so i want to direct some questions to director haines. and again, thank you for your assistance with facilitating the event that i mentioned before. i would just ask you, how is odni posture to support more ci outreach events such as the one you helped facilitate in my district? >> thank you, sir. i think -- first of all, thank you for facilitating the one that you did in arkansas. from my understanding from the director of the national counterintelligence and security center that participated, it
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went very well and i think was hopefully effective for the folks that attended. this is something that we do as a matter of course. we look to facilitate these types of events. we have done them around the country. many times they're facilitated by members of congress. we work with the fbi in those circumstances and also with the department of homeland and we try to do it in a way that is useful and just basically providing information that helps to educate both state and local authorities as well as the private sector and others who have an interest in these issues. so i look forward to doing additional ones as people see. >> excellent. we have members on both sides of the aisle that would like to replicate that event. i would ask finally are there other members focused on such outreach? >> we report on them regularly, yes, thank you. >> excellent, thank you. my time has expired. >> mr. swalwell. >> i thank the chairman for this important hearing. this is an important topic. but i think the most urgent and
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important issue facing the workforce today are the terrorizing attacks happening globally which are referred to as anonymous health incidents. i guess my first question, dr. burns, considering we are not doing this to our own people, they are not doing this to themselves, public reports suggest they're happening in an escalating fashion worldwide. can we stop calling them incidents and call them attacks? >> what i know, congressman, having talked to dozens and dozens of my colleagues who have been victimized, is that real harm is being done to real people. and we take each report very seriously. i know all of my colleagues do across the intelligence community. i think we've worked very hard to improve care, the care that our officers and sometimes their family members deserve. and we have mounted an extraordinarily vigorous effort
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to get to the bottom of the questions of who and what may be causing these as well. and so we're going to work as hard as we can to come up with -- to get to the bottom of this and come up with answers to those questions. and i know that's a conviction that's shared amongst all of my colleagues on this panel. >> director, we don't often have open hearings, but perhaps the individuals or the country responsible for these attacks are watching. and i wonder if you have a message for those who are conducting these attacks as to what we will do when we find out who is doing this. >> well, congressman, as i said, we take extraordinarily seriously the harm that's being done. and we are determined to get to the bottom of this. and i don't think anyone should doubt the sense of urgency that we have or our determination to do that. we owe it to you, we owe it to
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the president, to be disciplined and objective and balancing that with our compassion and our sense of urgency as well. and that's what we're determined to do as well, as we conduct this very serious investigation. >> and we owe it to the victims across the ic, the state department. and i know you're doing that, and it took about ten years to find and hunt down osama bin laden, with, you know, a workforce that was dedicated to it. i hope the same effort is being made to find out who does this. when we do find out who does this, i think you'll find bipartisan support that this is going to be a response that is beyond, if it's a foreign country, just closing down a couple of consulates, that it is going to have to be a very, very severe response. >> congressman, we're taking this very, very seriously, as i said. in fact the senior officer who is leading our task force on this played a central role in the successful hunt for bin laden more than a decade ago.
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so i think that's a pretty clear situation of our determination, our sense of purpose on this. >> thank you, director. you know, we may not be able to persuade our colleagues or at least the ranking member of the value of diversity as far as it just being the 21st century, it's the right thing to do. it relates to equality. but operationally, general nakasone, would you agree that if your folks are listening in on, you know, say, a counter narcotics investigation, you're aiding the intelligence community, that perhaps having a native spanish speaker would be helpful? yes or no? >> yes, congressman. and if i might, let me give you an operational example that depicts this. during the afghan retrograde, we did a tremendous amount of support to our forces forward. a lot of that was down out of
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national security in georgia, of which we had several of our linguists that came from afghanistan, born there, became citizens of our country, served within our military, in fact one that was significantly injured, and were tremendous linguists in terms of understanding not only the words that were being spoken but the texture and the context that goes behind that. that's the power of diversity. that's why it's so important to us as an agency, and that's why i think it's so critical to our intelligence community. >> thank you, general. and director burns, we can't talk a lot about your successful operations, but we've been briefed on them in the committee. would you agree there are many, many operations that only a woman could conduct? >> yeah, no, i think our most successful operations are ones where we draw not just from the exceptional tradecraft of our officers but also from our diversity as well. >> thank you. i yield back. >> mr. mullen. >> thank you, mr. chairman. first, i would like to associate
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my -- our ranking member's remarks with michael ellis, i think it's very important that we get those answers. with that being said, you know, most, if not all, of you a very familiar with my intimate involvement with evacuating americans out of afghanistan. the ongoing evacuation process that is trying to take place. and i want to speak a little bit to director burns and director berrier about what led up to the complete failure and chaos that took place prior to our complete pullout of afghanistan in april -- or august 30th. it is reported that we -- that 130,000 people, the state department reported that 130,000 people were evacuated prior to the final departure, 30 august. how many of those were amsets,
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american? >> congressman, i don't know the answer to that. >> director burns, how many of those were americans? >> i'll get you the exact number. >> how do we not know this? and this just goes to the bigger question, we evacuated 130,000 people. that was touted as a success. at the same time, why my team and myself was trying to get americans out, we had them at the gates, trying to get the gate opened and we couldn't get americans through the gate. we touted it as a success. in fact the word came out that every american that wanted out could get out. then the word came back that the president said that, well, there's roughly 100 people still left that wanted to get out. this was on august 31st. and we're telling -- you're telling me today that we still don't know how those 130,000 people that the state department
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touted as a success of evacuation, that we don't know how many were actually americans? that seems, i mean, really odd to me. >> no, congressman, i think the number -- i mean, the number of u.s. citizens, as i understand it, and we'll confirm the exact number for you, was well over 6,000. but we'll get the exact number for you. >> and see, this is the problem with the chaos in the amount of problems here. since 31 august, the number has changed from the amount of americans that we said were left there. currently my team is in possession of 124 amsets and lprs, currently, as we speak right now, we are in possession of 120 to 124 amsets and lprs. and this is what i was told this week about the evacuation. by the state department. when you get them out, we'll help you get them to america. when you get them out of
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afghanistan, we'll help you get them to america. a lot of that has to do with the fact that we don't actually know because the numbers are always changing. let me run through some numbers. on august 31st the president said there was 100 to 200 americans still in afghanistan who had some intentions to leave. i can tell you every single one that my team has worked with has literally been willing to do everything they could to get out. everything they could to get out. including an lpr with their 3-year-old daughter who died of an infection after us trying to get her out for two weeks, two weeks, and we had her at hkia and we couldn't get the state department to open the door. we had her at the border of tajikistan and the tajikistan ambassador literally told me, i'm sorry, mr. mullin, but i was told not to assist you in any way. that was a quote. quote.
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and seven days later the 3-year-old died. and yet we still don't have a handle on how many americans that were in there. for instance, late last week, the state department estimated there was at least 176 -- now, these aren't round numbers. these are exact numbers. at least 176 who still want to leave among the 363 total american citizens in afghanistan. now, that was -- those aren't round numbers, those are exact numbers. then yesterday the pentagon said the number of americans in afghanistan is still at 439. why is there a big difference between what the state department is saying and what the department of defense is saying? director berrier, down? >> congressman, i don't have an answer for you. >> director burns? >> the first thing i'll say, very much appreciate the efforts
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you've made and our officers have worked very hard as well, working with colleagues from state and elsewhere to ensure that u.s. citizens who are speaking to be evacuated are evacuated. and that's continuing right now. i know from my own experience -- >> director burns, i'm going to stop you there for just a second. then why is it i can't get help getting these other 124 out? i have 124 identified with paperwork. we've been holding on to them for three weeks. why is it that we can't put pressure on tajikistan, pakistan, to say, hey, let them cross? why is it i was told if i fly them out which i'll have to raise money to do, we'll fly them the rest of the way to america? if they were serious about it, why can't i get a charter and get them out? i can get them to the border and get them across. i can do that work. so when you say you're working as hard as you can, then why can't we move them? >> well, congressman, we're absolutely determined, the
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president has made clear, all of us, not just on this panel, but at state and elsewhere, to ensure that americans get out. and i'm glad to follow up with you. i know my colleagues are, to help ensure that that happens, because we're determined to do that. >> please do, because i have 124 that's ready to come home. i yield back. >> mr. castro. >> thank you, chairman. thank you, all of you, for your testimony today on the important issue of diversity in the intelligence community. thank you for showing up. i think we probably went four years, the last four years, without any of the folks in your position showing up on this topic. so thank you. i have a question for director haines. last year the gao conducted a review of the progress towards a more diverse workforce finding the percentages of minority staff were still, quote, well below benchmarks in the federal workforce and civilian workforce. the gao also found only 3 of 17 intelligence community elements had current, complete strategic plans.
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what has changed since then? and are you using the gao recommendations as part of your own strategic plan? and then, also, i'm working off of the packet that i assume you all handed over to us on page 5, the demographic diversity in the ic, and following up on the point that representative speier made, the most underrepresented group in the intelligence community and in the federal workforce is the latino community by far. latinos make up about 18.6% of the population and 7% of the ic. i mean, it's a huge gap. so what specifically -- and i would ask you, because that's the largest gap by far, to prioritize hiring, recruiting, promoting latinos in the intelligence community. so if you could address those things and then i've got at least one more question, hopefully. >> thank you very much, representative castro. and i really appreciate your own
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work on these issues. so first of all, in response to the gao report, there was an effort, as i understand it, before i arrived, so i'm not responsible for it, but to do at the odni a joint strategy to advance diversity and inclusion in the intelligence community. it's a document we're still working off of. it was done and developed during 2019 and issued 2020, and it stretches forward from 2020 to 2023. i think we're working on,a sense, enhancing the ambition in that space. with respect to hispanics, i couldn't agree more. i think you're absolutely right. and when i look at odni in particular, within the senior executive service, we are at 3% hispanic. i mean, it is really striking and just very challenging, and something we need to address. so it is known, you know, it is not a coincidence that the first university that i went to for
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recruiting was florida international university, which has a mostly hispanic student population. we worked with florida universities in that area to expand the outreach of my visit. i am working very hard in this area, and absolutely agree that it has to be a priority in the context of our recruitment. >> i appreciate that. i appreciate the efforts at cia and what's being done over there. >> congressman, may i comment? >> sure, please. >> congressman, so at the national security agency, we have a focused effort right now at nsa texas, located in san antonio, working with not only our cryptologic center down there, but the broader academic community where we have, i think, a tremendous population upon which we are going to hire from. this poses a tremendous opportunity for us and i look forward to coming back to the committee to talk about our successes. >> thank you. just the last point on this, as a member of this committee, i'm
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asking you to close that gap in latino presence in the intelligence community, because it is a huge gap, and it's exclusionary. director haines, a second question for you, if i can find it here. i understand that the odni is currently in the process of making a determination on whether holding white supremacist views would deem an individual unsuitable to hold a security clearance. where are you on that decision and what is the odni doing on whether people holding views contrary to u.s. values don't get a national security position in government? >> thank you, representative. i'm not aware of us having a particular decision before us, but we have done a lot of work on these issues in relation to vetting and security. i can send you some information on this. >> sure. thank you. with that, i yield back, chairman.
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>> mr. kelly. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i first want to say i associate myself with the remarks made by ranking member nunes as to michael ellis. i think that diversity and gender, race, culture, language, and thought is huge, a huge force multiplier for our intelligence community. i also know from 35 years of experience in the dod, that often the things that we do measure policies and procedures that make us feel good but they do not measure results and effectiveness. so i hope that you guys will do things and have marks that make sure we are effective in what we're doing that we're not just following policies and procedures. while not a panacea to the ic's recruiting and retention challenges, the unique characteristics of the careers you offer, that is the opportunity to conduct activities otherwise forbidden seem to be a compelling factor to join. this should include minority populations.
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director nakasone, general nakasone, focusing on diversity recruiting, are we -- are the -- does our recruitment align with the demographics graduating from our colleges and universities? >> congressman, i think you've identified an area we can do better at. this is where i would say is that i'll speak only for my agency. we have had a tendency to only recruit from a certain part of the united states and emphasize a certain part of the united states. and i emphasize a certain part of the united states. and so, you know, while we have been very focused on the east coast, we have to be much more broader across our nation. >> i agree. and i hope y'all will take that for the record. that's really important. general nakasone, i have a few questions, and i'm going to ask you to make a few statements to just ask that you answer yes or no to these and if you want to further elaborate, i'll allow that at the end. do you agree that the termination of the dual hat is
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highly unlikely to naturally occur without a significant and compelling mandate to do so, and i'm talking about the nsa and commander of u.s. cyber com. >> can you ask the question one more time? >> yes, do you agree that the termination of the dual hat status is highly unlikely to naturally occur without a significant and compelling mandate to do so? >> i would agree. >> and do you agree that cyber power requires a diversity of tools, techniques, and procedures and that having too sizable organizations leveraging the same tools, techniques, and procedures, poses an unacceptable risk to both? >> i do not agree. >> do you agree that support to u.s. cyber com has eroded nsa's ability to support national requirements? yes or no. >> i do not agree and i would like to come back on that one, congressman. >> do you agree that an overemphasis on the nsa relationship may in fact retard u.s. cyber com as an effective military committee? >> i do not agree, no.
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and i would like to come back on that one. >> do you agree that the benefits derived from the dual hat commander u.s. cyber com and director nsa have long been achieved? >> i do not agree. >> do you agree there are processes in place that encourage and facilitate collaboration across all levels of the mission? >> and i would imagine you're speaking between the national security agency and u.s. cyber command? >> yes. >> at times. >> and do you agree that encouraging each organization to focus upon their respective unique mission areas is the next logical step and that this will be facilitated by splitting the leadership rows? >> i do not agree. >> general nakasone, each of the eight statements i asked you about were included in an unpublished assessment. the assessment was commissioned by deputy secretary of defense robert warrick and was
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authorized by the co-chairs of the defense science board task force on cyber. whether or not you agree with each of those conclusions, do you believe the co-chairs responsible for this assessment possess the independence, experience, and expert knowledge necessary to undertake the assessment requested by deputy secretary warrick? >> i would agree they have certain experience. i would however, congressman, say that experience is based upon time. >> and as director of nsa and commander of u.s. cyber com, are you aware of a specific data plan for termination of the dual hat provision? >> i am not. >> i understand that u.s. cyber com reached full operational capability four years ago. can you tell me what fully operational capability means? >> there were a set of standards, congressman, four years ago that the command had to achieve and they achieved those based upon a numeric rating. >> and i recognize that the assessment was commissioned by
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dod and not nsa but i'm concerned that it was placed on the shelf for years our staff director requested a copy of this assessment in july upon learning of its existence but the committee received a copy only after the markups for the 2020 budget, 2022 budget was completed. and i support the provisions of the iaa which provide additional reporting on these issues and we can hope to continue this discussion, mr. chairman, but i want to give you an opportunity to expand, and, with that, i yield back after his answers, mr. chairman. >> thank you, congressman. and i appreciate the opportunity to comment a little bit more fully. when i took over the role of both the director of the national security agency and command u.s. cyber command i had committed in my testimony to do an evaluation of the worth of the dual hat. i think the most important thing that i would add to this is the fact that the way that we approach that evaluation was the fact that it wasn't necessarily what's best for the national security agency, what's best for
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u.s. cyber command, what's best for the nation. in three plus years, what i have seen, congressman, is the fact that the roles, missions, and responsibilities of u.s. cyber command and the national security agency are even more so converging in a domain, cyberspace, that requires three things. it requires speed, it requires agility, and it requires unity of effort. the successes that we've been able to have across the 2018 elections, the 2020 elections, and the recent ransomware attacks on our nation, are based upon those ideas of being able to react with speed, react with agility, and react with unity of effort. and i think, and this is from my experience both operationally, as the commander, and as the director of nsa, that that would not have been possible with two separate organizations under two separate individuals. in terms of the question regarding the capabilities of the national security agency, the data that i would welcome and the data that i would be more than happy to provide is,
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across our mission sets, whether or not it's adversaries, in signals intelligence, whether it's our crypt analytic abilities, our abilities to break code and make code, our ability to provide technical talent, our abilities to provide indications and warnings to support the military forces, our abilities at the national security agency have never been better, in my opinion. and i think that's backed up by the customers that we serve. the last thing that i would say on that, it's not just about the mission, though. it's also about the people. and if you take a look at the intelligence community climate assessment that has been taken over the past several years, what you will see is that nsa ranks among the tops in the ic for our ability to do it. the final thing i would put on there, congressman, is the fact that over the past several years we've had record recruiting years, an ability to track the best and brightest in our nation that want to come to work for our agency. and so i will yield back to the chairman. >> thank you.
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mr. welch. >> thank you very much. i thank the panel. first of all, the fact that all of you are here, as the chairman said, is an indication of how absolutely seriously you take this. i also want to acknowledge the wonderful work over the years of my colleague, congresswoman speier, for staying absolutely focused on this, thank you, congresswoman. i want to go to the heart of the matter, which director haynes, i think you raised. is there any conflict between diversity and competence in mission success? do you want to speak directly to that? >> honestly, i think there is no tension and in fact i think there are mutually supporting of each other, which is to say that, you know, i think as all of us have reflected, we believe, you know, in intelligence work in particular, you need a diversity of perspectives in order to actually understand the world.
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and the reality is, we need that diversity in the ic to do our job most effectively. we want that talent. we see how important that talent is. and it is critical for us to be pursuing these together. i don't think we can get to either without the other. >> okay, thank you. mr. moultrie, you have had an extraordinary career serving in our country in cia and dod. i think 36 years? >> yes, congressman. >> you know, you've been incredibly successful, and i suspect things were an awful lot different when you were starting out for african americans than they are today. and i would like you to speak to your personal journey and what changes have been made and what you have seen given your responsibility about the benefit of a diverse workforce in intelligence agencies. >> yes, congressman. thank you for that question. i think it gets to the heart of
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the matter in terms of what opportunities are provided to individuals who are dedicated to serving their country, not just people who may have served in uniform as i did, but individuals who want to be a part of something that's bigger than themselves, who understand the issues, who can get the security clearance and all those things. we provide them with opportunities if they're a little bit different from us. and i was afforded those opportunities. i think that's what's really been instrumental in helping me. and that's one of the things i've tried to do with others. to the point that director haines was just speaking to and general nakasone spoke to earlier about, is diversity and the mission at odds, i would say absolutely not. i would say they're completely in sync and they're even additive, because in places, some of these things i can't go into in open hearing, but in places where we've had coups and places where we've had tremendous unrest, the only reason we know about these things is because we've had linguists who are from these countries, who speak the language.
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they understand the culture. and they can talk to us about here's what's happening in my country, in my former country, here is what we need to do about it. that's happened much more than we can ever talk about in open hearing. and those things are insightful, not just for our leaders and policymakers but also for our most senior decision makers in this country. >> thank you. and general berrier, the military has been a wonderful place for folks who didn't have opportunity to get opportunity to start appreciating and understanding and recognizing skills they didn't even know they had. what's the importance to you in your mission about diversity? >> congressman, thank you for the question. it's extremely important for dia, it's vital. we need the diversity of thought, the diversity of background to be able to make the kinds of assessments and judgments we're making and providing to the department of defense. if we don't have diversity, if we all look like me, it's not going to work. we need the diversity of background to provide the best we can. >> thank you.
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i know general nakasone and director burns, you feel the same way. but the final area that maybe the two of you could comment on is, what are the pipelines? you have to be really creative, like going down to florida state, going to places where there are people who don't traditionally get the interview opportunities. can you suggest any additional things that would be helpful, where additional congressional authorities might be helpful for you to be successful? >> congressman, while i can't suggest additional authorities, what i can offer are some of the examples we've seen and the benefits we've been able to accrue from a broader supply chain. so we have a large supply pool that comes out of our high school work study program, an ability to bring young people in in their junior and senior year, clear them and have them work at our agency and see what we do as a possibility of then going forward.
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and the second piece that i would add is, the director of summer program. so every year, over 2,000 people apply to be a director of summer intern. we bring people to our agency and work very difficult problems to get after the issues of science, technology, engineering, mathematics. we hire 80% of those people who are already cleared and understand how we do business at nsa. >> thank you. >> the only thing i would add, congressman, we try to be as creative and energetic as we can in outreach. we just started a scholarship program, a fellowship program which i mentioned earlier, which is aimed at applicants coming from in already serving institutions as well. that's already proving, i think, to be a huge asset for us. >> i just want to end by expressing my gratitude for the hard work and seriousness of purpose that you're displaying to this effort. thank you. i yield back.
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>> mr. fitzpatrick. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you all for being here. i want to direct my original questions to dr. moultrie. sir, in september of this year, several media outlets reported about calls general milley had with a general in the chinese army in october of 2020 and january of 2021. according to these press reports, general milley initiated these calls after he had reviewed classified intelligence about the chinese government's assessment of the likelihood of an american attack. he reportedly spoke with the chinese to assure them that their assessment described in our intelligence was wrong. so according to these reports, he reviewed classified information, he called a chinese general, and he addressed the underlying content of that intelligence directly with the chinese military. that clearly raises potential counterintelligence concerns. sir, my first question, has the government initiated a counterintelligence investigation related to general milley's discussion with the chinese military? >> not that i'm aware of.
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>> has odni issued a damage assessment related to general milley's calls with the chinese general, particularly whether he may have directly or indirectly revealed any sources or methods? >> no. >> do you know of whether the calls general milley had with general lee were recorded? >> not that i'm aware of. >> according to press reports, dod provided a summary note of his calls with chinese general lee to the ic. did you receive those summary notes? >> i did not. >> i would like to direct this question to director nakasone. and i also want to reassert that i associate with the ranking member's remarks regarding michael ellis. sir, the ranking member had asked about the alleged security violations of mr. ellis and who at the state department was involved in making those allegations. do you know who made the allegations?
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>> congressman, i do not. >> so you can't provide any details on the accuser? >> i cannot, congressman. >> okay. undersecretary moultrie, on september 23rd we wrote to the dod about this issue that i referred to earlier regarding general milley asking for materials related to these calls including a list of all calls general milley had with the chinese officials during this time. copies of the underlying intelligence that reportedly prompted general milley to reach out to the chinese general all recordings, transcripts of the calls, the prep materials and notes of the calls. unfortunately dod has not given any of those to us as of yet. can you commit, sir, to ensuring that we will receive them promptly so that we can assess the counterterrorism concerns ourselves? >> sir, that's not my area. i will take your questions back to the department and make sure those questions are heard by the department.
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>> thank you. lastly, i want to turn to the issue of artificial intelligence and machine learning. we are significantly behind, and this is based on my assessment, having been to the majority of the agencies in the ic, having come from the ic myself, that our challenge with ai and machine learning is not a technological one, it is a process and bureaucratic challenge of a system that is very archaic in many regards. what are we doing as part of the ic to partner with the private sector, number one, but, more importantly, to look at the processes that we have in place, the architecture of the framework of how our agencies are operating, that we're going to be able to pivot to keep up with china and focus on the technological developments that we need to make to totally transform the ic, totally transform the department of defense?
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>> congressman, if i might, i would like to invite you to the national security agency for us to talk a little bit about the infrastructure, the data, the tools, and the personnel, the training that goes into that. i think that will provide a good foundation for where we're headed. and i think for the most part we are leading much of what is going on in the commercial sector as well. >> congressman, i would also like to invite you back to dni to give you an overview of our program which is infusing the latest and greatest. we've got a great innovation office that's taking the best of what the industry can offer and i think we're applying that well. >> congressman, i will add from the ic perspective we have a science and technology director that works with the directors at each of the elements within the ic. i agree we have a lot of work to do and this is a space we're
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working on. >> i would add a major effort for ai across the department of defense and we invite to you the dod. >> all i would add, congressman, i mentioned the example of vastly accelerating our onboarding process. a lot of that has to do with applying ai and machine learning in our own processes as well. i couldn't agree with you more about the importance of doing more and more of that. >> great. my time has expired. i want to thank you all for your service, a very hard job that you have, but it's very important. so we appreciate you. i yield back. >> representative demings. >> thank you so much, mr. chairman. and thank you to all of you for being here today to discuss diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility in the ic community. i really do believe that there are hundreds of thousands, maybe more, of talented young men and women, the brightest and the
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best, who are waiting for us to create opportunities for them to serve our great nation in this very special way through the ic community. they don't all look like me and they don't all look like you. they look like america. and that's something i believe every member of this committee should celebrate. so i want to thank you for the work you've done. i know that we still have work to do, but i've been pleased that we're at least moving in the right direction. director burns, if i could start with you, you talked about the sense of urgency as it pertains to the onboarding process. and the obstacles that the 600 days, that usual period that it takes, create for some of the young men and women that i referred to. you talked about you thought that 180 days would be more ideal. what will it take to get to that?
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>> it's going to take a sustained effort, but we're determined to accomplish that over the next couple of years. what it takes is applying artificial intelligence and machine learning, ensuring that we have an electronic, not a ee have electronic and not a manual process. we cut any corners on security clearances but we have a deep responsibility there, but we can accelerate the process by taking advantage of new technologies. and we learned some of this, you know, over the course of the pandemic experience. in other words, what are the kinds of things we can do virtually to help to speed the process -- >> of course as a former police chief i would never suggest we cut security clearances, but i believe you indicated this diversity, inclusion and accessibility is like i think you said your second objective in terms of priorities. and so i'm just trying to understand how do we get to the point of opening doors for the
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talent that's out there so we can improve the function of the ic community? >> well, i think, ma'am, it involves continued progress and a sense of urgency at every stage and recruiting in the onboarding process, in retention and mentoring, and especially in demonstrating there's a clear professional pathway all the way to the senior most levels of our agency for officers whose performance warrants that, whatever their background. and that's what we're determined to achieve. >> thank you. dr. haines, you talked about promotions cited as one of the top reasons for women and other minorities leaving the ic community. at the police department we used to say that police departments should reflect the diversity of the communities in which we serve and that diversity should be reflected at all rank levels, which means the decision makers should be a diverse community as
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well. could you talk just a minute about why did you decide to create a new senior ic officer role for dei and accessibility? and what was missing under the prior structure in your view? >> i'll answer that question and i would love to add about the onboarding process. in answer to your question, i setup the separate office for the following reasons. one is i wanted to have an absolute focus, frankly, on diversity, equity and inclusion. someone who is, you know, 24/7 so to speak focused on that issue that's number one. number two, i find both the eeo, the equal employment opportunity office director and the person focused on diversity will report directly to me. so neither one of them are in a sense getting down further into
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the work chart, but both of them have to work for different purposes and i think it's critical for the person focused on diversity, equity and inclusion to have an opportunity to develop those partnerships. also equal opportunity office is one that is intended to be in a sense a kind of taking complaints from folks on compliance issues and so on, and i think that is really something i want to preserve the independence surrounding. those are some of my reasons. i don't think it's an easy choice in some respects. and we have a separate person working on accessibility. on the onboarding case i would just say it is an ic wide issue.
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overall the average amount of time it takes from application to onboarding we provided in a report to you and congress is 419 days across the ic. 189 days of that was the security clearance process. there is a lot of room for improvement. as director burns indicated there's a lot of technological pieces and also a variety of administrative details we've been working trow to see how we can improve the fact fill out a form on the low side, if there's a mistake it has to come back to the low side, gets redone, goes back up to the high side. it's astonishing how much time some of these things take. among the things we've been working on is trying to shorten the process without cutting corners on security clearances. and for example now in the third quarter of fy 2021, the average amount of time it takes to get an initial top secret clearance is down to 143 days. so we're working in the right direction. we still have a lot of work to do across the board, and we're
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inspired, frankly, by dr. burns idea going to 180 days, and we're working to do that as a community. >> time goes quickly when we stay on topic. thank you all so very much and thank you for the work you're doing. take care. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and i want to thank all of you for being here all morning and your commitment and dedication to the intelligence community and your service. i also want to associate myself with the comments of mr. nunes as it related to michael ellis and the inquiring questions he raised. i think it warrants answers, and i hope that can be accomplished. i want to follow-up on mr. stewart's questions as it related to the federal vaccine mandate. and maybe, director burns, i'll start with you. is the agency prepared to terminate hundreds if not thousands of cia employees, case officers and intelligence
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professionals if the vaccine is not abided by? >> well, congressman, i'd say several things. first, we're fortunate to have about a 97% vaccination rate for our career officers. so it's a very high proportion of officers who have been vaccinated. second, you know, we follow the law. we're operating with a federal mandate here, which makes the term and condition to be vaccinated. both medical and religious waiver possibilities and we have a number -- i think it's a little around 250 sort of pending religious waiver applications which we take very, very seriously. >> but also the mandate as i understand it affects contractors and subcontractors and people you work with throughout the ic community,
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correct? >> yes, sir. >> and -- and i know you mentioned 97%, but if there are hundreds that you would have to terminate, you're going to follow the law as you just indicated and terminate them at the appropriate time, correct? >> we'll follow the process that's been laid out under the law, but potentially it could come to that, yes, sir. >> so and is it fair to say that termination of those hundreds of people or whatever the number is, would have irreparable harm or would have a devastating effect on the agency and your mission? is that fair to say? >> no, sir. i think we're going to be able to fulfill our mission just as the american people expect and with a very high vaccination rate. we take very seriously those officers who apply for those kind of waivers, as i said. but i'm confident we'll be able to continue to fulfill our mission very effectively. >> and just walk me through the process. if i understand it, november 22
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22nd is the date the vaccine -- that they have to have the information in, and then there's a suspension period and the termination begins. how does it work with the agency when you have assets and professionals all around the globe, when they don't do that. do you bring them back? how does that termination process work? >> well, i'd be glad to describe the process in more detail, but there is a process that's laid out across the federal government that we'll follow. but as i said given the very high vaccination rate across the agency, i don't anticipate there's going to be a lot of these cases we'll have to sort through. but we'll take it very seriously and give every officer involved in that process every opportunity to pursue alternatives. >> in terms of -- i do think there are as you look at the legal issues here and the constitutional issues on the mandate, obviously this was not a law that was passed. this was an executive order.
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there are multiple cases pending in the circuit courts right now i believe will be consolidated, eventually go to the supreme court. will it make sense to ask for a delay. the last executive order the biden administration did on the mandate as it related to housing and evictions wound up there. would it make sense to ask for a delay so you don't have to go through this process of throughout the ic of terminating employees? >> the only thing i could comment on, congressman, from the perspective of cia to say we're going to follow the law and the processes laid out in the federal government. my role as i said as is the role of my colleagues on the panel is to follow the law and the procedures laid out. and that's what we're doing. >> i assume it's not in your
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interest to terminate long-term employees of your agency. >> no, it's -- it's in our interest to try to retain every employee, every career officer that we can, but we have an obligation to follow the law, an obligation to protect the health and safety of our employees as well. >> i understand that completely. i guess what i'm saying is it would seem to me none of you want to go through this process of terminating employees, contractors, subcontractors. that's going to come pretty quickly in the next month. this is going to end up in the supreme court working with the white house to have that done so we don't have to deal with this issue. and we're not talking about -- and i think the ic is different, right? and the employees, this is national security issue, an issue that affects all of you and us globally. and i think thinking about a
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dedelay or exemption for the ic until the u.s. supreme court decides on this makes a lot of sense. i yield back. >> that concludes our questions for today. >> i do want to say because so much time was devoted to mr. ellis on the hearing on diversity, equity and inclusion, which that really has nothing to do with the hearing i do not associate myself with the remarks of the ranking member. i think he was a terrible choice, a political and partisan choice for a serious position of general counsel of nsa. and i think the security issues, confirmation issues are serious. and i do not associate myself with any of the comments that have been made about mr. ellis by members of the minority. i want to thank you all for your participation today and for the efforts you're making to make the ic a more diverse workplace. i share the conclusions i think you all do that this will
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improve the quality and capabilities of the ic. that's vital to the mission of the ic. and we look forward to following up with you in greater detail on the information we have sought that cannot be discussed in open session. but once again i appreciate all of you being here today. i think it's a testament to the priority you all place on these issues within the ic. as my colleague said this is the first time we've had a hearing like this with all the agency heads represented today for many years. so thank you for the priority you're putting on this personally. we'll be following up with you without objection. members are here by granted up to three legislative days to submit questions and your answers will be made part of the formal hearing record. with that the committee stands
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adjourned.
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sunday, february 6th on in depth, georgetown university professor will be our live guest to talk about race relations and inequality in america. her many books include the failurefes of immigration, place not race and her latest white space, black hood and join in the conversation live sunday, february 6th at noon eastern on book tv on c-span 2. >> so how exactly did america get up to its neck in debt?
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