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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release December 3, 1999


Today I have signed into law H.R. 1555, the "Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2000." The Act authorizes appropriations for U.S. intelligence and intelligence-related activities during fiscal year 2000. This legislation contains numerous provisions that will help to ensure that the U.S. Intelligence Community retains the capability to counter threats to our Nation's security.

This Act contains a provision, known as the "Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act," that establishes a global program targeting the activities of significant foreign narcotics traffickers and their organizations. The new Act provides a statutory framework for the President to institute sanctions against foreign drug kingpins when such sanctions are appropriate, with the objective of denying their businesses and agents access to the U.S. financial system and to the benefits of trade and transactions involving U.S. businesses and individuals. Working with other nations, I intend to use the tools in this provision to combat the national security threat posed to the United States by international drug trafficking.

No nation alone can effectively counter these supra-national criminal organizations. The United States must continue to cooperate with, assist, and encourage other nations to join in coordinated efforts against these organizations. Consequently, as kingpin designations are made under this law, we look forward to working with appropriate host government authorities to pursue additional measures against those designated.

I am concerned about several parts of the legislation as well as segments of the accompanying joint explanatory statement. Although not law, classified language in the statement accompanying the bill, entitled "State Department Restrictions on Intelligence Collection Activities," could, if required to be implemented, interfere with my responsibilities under the Constitution to conduct foreign policy and as Commander in Chief. My Administration is committed to protecting and increasing its foreign intelligence collection capabilities while simultaneously promoting our foreign policy goals. To that end, in July of this year the Department of State issued new, uniform guidance that clarified the contact procedures and guidelines for executive branch personnel (including military attaches) with respect to official representatives of nations of concern. I believe that these guidelines strike an appropriate balance among the competing interests at stake. Accordingly, consistent with my consti-tutional responsibilities with respect to the conduct of foreign policy and as Commander in Chief, I will continue to expect that foreign policy guidance provided to U.S. defense attaches will be treated as a foreign policy matter, and direct that the July guidance remain in effect until such time as I decide otherwise.

The Act also creates a commission to review the roles, mission, and operations of the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), and I am pleased to note that the Director of Central Intelligence will have a representative on the commission. While I support the establishment of this commission, I believe that because the NRO is an element within the Department of Defense, the Department should be represented on the commission. I also recommend that the commission coordinate its review and findings of mutual interest with the Commission to Assess U.S. National Security Space Management and Organization established by the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2000 (Public Law 106-65). Further, H.R. 1555 provides that "[n]o department or agency of the Government may withhold information from the [National Commission for the Review of the National Reconnaissance Office] on the grounds that providing the information to the Commission would constitute the unauthorized disclosure of classified information or information relating to intelligence sources or methods." I do not read this provision to detract from my constitutional authority, including my authority over national security information.


                                   THE WHITE HOUSE,
                                   December 3, 1999.

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