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Occurrences in the Congressional Record

Entry Title Date
Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act Of 2015—Motion To Proceed August 5, 2015
Susan Collins, R-ME
"I just wanted that to be clear. I think it is significant that those members of the Intelligence Community do believe we need to go further in this arena."
Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act Of 2015—Motion To Proceed August 4, 2015
Dianne Feinstein, D-CA
"No. 6, the Department of Homeland Security, not the Department of Defense or the intelligence community, is the primary recipient of cyber information. In the managers’ amendment, we strengthen the role the Secretary of Homeland Security has in deciding how information sharing will take place."
Faith Through The Bible June 24, 2015
Louie Gohmert, R-TX
"The U.S. military and Iranian-backed Shiite militias are getting closer and closer in Iraq, even sharing a base, while Iran uses those militias to expand its influence in Iraq and fight alongside the Bashar al-Assad regime in neighboring Syria. Two senior administration officials confirmed to us the U.S. soldiers and Shiite militia groups are both using the Taqaddum military base in Anbar, the same Iraqi base where President Obama is sending an additional 450 U.S. military personnel to help train the local forces fighting against the Islamic State. Some of the Iran-backed Shiite militias at the base have killed American soldiers in the past. Some inside the Obama administration fear that sharing the base puts U.S. soldiers at risk. The U.S. intelligence community has reported back to Washington that representatives of some of the more extreme militias have been spying on U.S. operations at Taqaddum, one senior administration official told us. That could be calamitous if the fragile relationship between the U.S. military and the Shiite militia comes apart and Iran-backed forces decide to again target U.S. troops. American critics of this growing cooperation between the U.S. military and the Iranian-backed militias call it a betrayal of the U.S. personnel who fought against the militias during the 10-year U.S. occupation of Iraq. “It’s an insult to the families of the American soldiers that were wounded and killed in battles in which the Shia militias were the enemy,” Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain told us. “Now, providing arms to them and supporting them, it’s very hard for those families to understand.” The U.S. is not directly training Shiite units of what are known as the Popular Mobilization Forces, which include tens of thousands of Iraqis who have volunteered to fight against the Islamic State as well as thousands of hardened militants who ultimately answer to militia leaders loyal to Tehran. But the U.S. is flying close air support missions for those forces. The U.S. gives weapons directly only to the Iraqi Government and the Iraqi Security Forces, but the lines between them and the militias are blurry. U.S. weapons often fall into the hands of militias, like Iraqi Hezbollah. Sometimes the military cooperation is even more explicit. Commanders of some of the hard-line militias sit in on U.S. military briefings on operations that were meant for the government-controlled Iraqi Security Forces, a senior administration official said. This collaboration with terrorist groups that have killed Americans was seen as unavoidable as the U.S. marshaled Iraqis against the Islamic State, but could prove counterproductive to U.S. interests in the long term, this official said. The militias comprise largely Shiite volunteers and are headed by the leader of the Iraqi Hezbollah, Abu Mahdi al- Muhandis. He was sanctioned in 2009 by the Treasury Department for destabilizing Iraq. Al-Muhandis is a close associate of Qasem Suleimani, the Iranian Quds Force commander, who has snapped selfies with the militia leader at key battles. Other militias that have participated in the fighting against the Islamic State include the League of the Righteous which, in 2007, carried out a brutal roadside execution of five U.S. soldiers near Karbala. The group to this day boasts of its killing of U.S. soldiers. In an interview in February, a spokesman for the militia defended the killings and said his militia had killed many more American soldiers. Members of these groups have also been deployed by Iran to defend the Assad regime in neighboring Syria. James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence, confirmed in a June 3 letter to seven Republican Senators, which we obtained, that “Iran and Hezbollah have also leveraged allied Iraqi Shia militant and terrorist groups, which receive training in Iran, to participate in the pro-Assad operations.” The militias also stand accused of gross human rights abuses and battlefield atrocities in Sunni areas where they have fought. The State Department heavily criticized Iran’s support for the Iraqi militias and those militias’ behavior in its annual report on worldwide terrorism, released last week. Further down: With the deadline approaching for a nuclear deal that would place up to $150 billion in the hands of Iran, the U.S. is now openly acknowledging in its annual report on international terrorism that Iran is supporting a foreign legion, comprising Afghans, Iraqis, and Lebanese fighters to defend Iranian interests throughout the Middle East. But the U.S. response to this is inconsistent. In Iraq, America is fighting alongside Iranian-backed militias. In Syria, U.S.-supported forces are fighting against those same militias. The tragedy of this policy is that the Islamic State has been able to hold and expand its territory in Iraq and Syria, while Iran has been able to tighten its grip on Baghdad."
Cbrn Intelligence And Information Sharing Act Of 2015 June 23, 2015
Martha McSally, R-AZ
"Specifically, this budget neutral bill requires the Office of Intelligence and Analysis at DHS to support homeland security focused intelligence analysis of CBRN threats, including emerging infectious diseases, working in coordination with the Department’s National Biosurveillance Integration Center and the intelligence community."
Intelligence Authorization Act For Fiscal Year 2016 June 17, 2015
Earl Blumenauer, D-OR
"Mr. Chair, today I will vote against H.R. 2596, the Intelligence Authorization Act for FY2016, because this bill continues the expansion of our intelligence community and includes harmful policy riders that will only serve to make America less safe, not more."

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