NATIONAL DRUG INTELLIGENCE CENTER
(Senate – October 15, 1990)
Mr. HEINZ. Mr. President, in his January 1990 `National Drug Control Strategy,’ President Bush announced his intention to create a National Drug Intelligence Center [NDIC] to, in his words, `consolidate and coordinate all relevant intelligence gathered by law enforcement agencies and analyze it to produce a more complete picture of drug trafficking organizations.’
The NDIC is an integral part of the strategy’s intelligence agenda which is an important chapter in the strategy’s seven-point plan.
The NIDC’s anlayses will be provided as appropriate to drug enforcement agencies at the Federal, State, and local level.
The NDIC will be under the direction of Attorney General who will appoint an advisory board, members of which will be drawn from relevant Federal agencies.
This is an important initiative in our efforts to develop a comprehensive strategy to overcome the drug crisis. The metaphor of war has often been invoked in describing these efforts. As any military strategist will attest, an effective intelligence infrastructure is essential toward the goal of winning a war.
I inquire of the distinguished chairman of the Department of Defense Appropriations Subcommittee whether he is aware that the House version of the legislation provides $10 million through the National Foreign Intelligence Program in startup funding for the NDIC?
Mr. INOUYE. Mr. President, I am aware of this provision in the House version.
Mr. HEINZ. Mr. President, is it the intention of the distinguished chairman to urge Senate conferees to recede to the House on this matter?
Mr. INOUYE. Mr. President, I appreciate the Senator from Pennsylvania’s interest in this matter. The NDIC would be an important tool in our efforts to track the movement of drugs and a necessary link connecting the various information gathering agencies. I am sympathetic to the goals of the provision and will keep the thoughtful comments made by the Senator from Pennsylvania in mind during the conference with the House.
Mr. HEINZ. Mr. President, I thank the distinguished chairman for his comments. I ask unanimous consent that the section of the 1990 National Drug Control Strategy that discusses the need for a National Drug Intelligence Center be printed in the Record at this point. I yield the floor.
There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in the Record, as follows:
An Intelligence Agenda
In drug investigations, interdiction activities, and especially efforts to dismantle drug trafficking organizations, Federal, State, and local drug enforcement agencies depend on intelligence to understand and effectively combat the illegal drug trade. Intelligence information can tell us about the structure, membership, finances, communications, and activities of criminal drug organizations, in addition to the specific details of particular drug smuggling or money laundering operations. This intelligence information is crucial for formulating sound policy and conducting drug supply reduction activities because it enables us to learn about the groups that traffic drugs, to discover the points at which they are most vulnerable to attack, and ultimately to disrupt and dismantle them.
The United States relies on two principal sources to gather drug-related intelligence information: the national law enforcement and foreign intelligence communities. The greatest challenges to these intelligence bodies are, first, to capitalize on the opportunities to collect potentially useful information and, second, to analyze, coordinate, and disseminate that information so that it aids our national drug control programs. The pages that follow describe major initiatives that will address that challenge.
NATIONAL DRUG INTELLIGENCE CENTER
In order to coordiante the collection and the production of intelligence information regarding drug trafficking, the Administration will create a National Drug Intelligence Center (NDIC) to consolidate and coordinate all relevant intelligence gathered by law enforcement agencies and analyze it to produce a more complete picture of drug trafficking organizations. The finished products prepared by the Center will then be distributed as appropriate to drug enforcement agencies at the Federal, State, and local level.
The NDIC will serve other key drug intelligence functions by developing and maintaining computer databases and other drug intelligence systems for the entire law enforcement community; providing intelligence and direction to law enforcement agencies that allow them to focus their own intelligence gathering activities on key drug trafficking targets; establishing collection requirements for law enforcement intelligence; serving as an exchange point for classified drug intelligence between the law enforcement community and the foreign intelligence community; providing guidance for domestic and foreign drug intelligenc collection; assessing interagency intelligence efforts; and promoting information sharing among various law enforcement agencies.
NDIC will closely coordinate its efforts with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FINCEN), which is the Treasury Department’s central mechanism for the collection, analysis, and dissemination of all drug-related financial intelligence. A fuller discussion of FINCEN activities is found in the `’International Initiatives’ chapter of this report. NDIC will also work closely with the El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC), which will remain the principal national archive and processing facility for tactical drug law enforcement intelligence.
The NDIC will be under the supervision of the Attorney General, assisted by an Advisory Board comprised of representatives of the Office of National Drug Control Policy and involved Federal Departments, including the Departments of Justice, Treasury, Defense, and Transportation. The Attorney General will appoint the Director and Deputy Director of the NDIC with the concurrence of the Advisory Board. The NDIC Director will report directly to the Attorney General and create the necessary links to serve the strategic intelligence needs of policy making and law enforcement agencies at all levels of government.