Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.) says there are many security issues that potentially should "keep awake at night" members of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, on which she serves as a ranking member.
She noted during a Feb. 2 hearing of the committee that crane operator John Rivera at the Port of Los Angeles recently discovered 32 Chinese stowaways inside a container being carried by a Panamanian cargo ship. While they were caught, she raised the possibility that other stowaways could get into the country--perhaps armed with weapons, or infected with biological diseases.
"The threats we face today are harder to detect but far more dangerous than ever before," Harman told committee colleagues. "Gaining solid intelligence is more critical than ever if we are going to be able to detect and disrupt
those threats before they materialize.
"Gaining solid intelligence means: collecting actionable and accurate information about the
intentions of our enemies; analyzing that information quickly without missing key clues or assuming
something that doesn't exist; and sharing that intelligence with key decision-makers across the
Executive Branch and with Congress."
She said some of the questions that she'd like answered are:
•What are the capabilities of al Qaeda or other terror networks such as Hezbollah or Islamic Jihad?
•How many nuclear weapons does North Korea have - and what are their red lines for using them?
•How does the situation in Iraq impact the strength of Iran - both in terms of a potential regional
Shia alliance and in terms of the capabilities of U.S.-led forces to counter the growing threat
•How concerned should we be with Russia's cooperation with Iran or its emerging relationship with
•Which regions devastated by the Asian Tsunami are becoming fertile recruiting grounds for
•What languages do our case officers have to know?
•Over what nuclear installations or mud huts do we want our satellites to dwell?