The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Kucinich Opposes Intelligence Authorization

20,000 Surface-to-Air Missiles Unsecured in Libya


Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) today took to the House Floor in opposition to the Intelligence Authorization Act of 2012.

See video here. Congressman Kucinich's remarks follow:

"I rise in strong support of the dedicated public servants of our intelligence community. Their work to ensure national security is to be commended. However, I must oppose the Intelligence Authorization Act of 2012.

"Ten years after 9/11, the United States continues to use its intelligence and defense apparatus in ways that undermine the rule of law at home and abroad. There are plenty of examples in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. A recent PBS Frontline feature featuring a top CIA official was at the agency for over 34 years was quoted as saying, 'the Obama Administration changed virtually nothing with respect to existing CIA programs and operations.'

"Last month the Associated Press reported that the New York Police Department was using domestic surveillance methods in conjunction with the Central Intelligence Agency to spy on local communities in a way that significantly undermines civil liberties.

"The United States continues to use drones for targeted assassinations under the color of international law.

"Earlier this year we rubber stamped three provisions of the Patriot Act that allows the government to conduct surveillance and demand records from innocent Americans with impunity, even for activities associated with First and Fourth Amendment rights.

"Yesterday it was reported in The New York Times and other publications that Russian heat-seeking missiles 'could shoot down civilian airliners have gone missing from warehouses in Libya.' Now, think about this. Who has control over Libya right now? The CIA, everyone knows this, the CIA was involved in the overthrow of the government of Gaddafi. Now, whether you agree with the overthrow or not, that's not the point here. Didn't we know about these weapons warehouses ahead of time? There's one news report that said there might be as many as 20,000 surface-to-air-missiles that could be in jeopardy of being lost, missing, gone to the black market in who knows whose hands. And it's the rebels that are running things there now and I'm also concerned about that because of the stories of Al-Qaeda's connection to the rebels from the beginning of the insurrection.

"Despite the drones, intelligence personnel were on the ground and nearly $1 billion we spent on the war in Libya, no one seems to know who took the missiles or who has them. How was this allowed to happen? And who needs to be held accountable? And that's the debate we should be having exactly today over this legislation. What happened to the missiles?"

Kucinich's assertion that the CIA was involved in war in Libya was, surprisingly, met with denials by Members of the Intelligence Committee, despite the fact that the CIA's involvement has been widely reported: CIA Deploys to Libya as White House Authorizes Direct Assistance to Rebels and Reuters exclusive: Obama authorizes secret help for Libya rebels.

Dennis Kucinich is an American politician. A U.S. Representative from Ohio from 1997 to 2013, he was also a candidate for the Democratic nomination for president of the United States in 2004 and 2008.