Tuesday, September 14, 2021

The latest developments from U.S. Congress

Introduction

There have been some recent, interesting, developments within various Committees of the U.S. Congress which have created waves of excitement within the global UAP researcher community. However, there has been quite a bit of misinformation and careless reporting, about exactly what will eventuate. Living in Australia, with a limited understanding of the U.S. Congressional system, places me at a disadvantage when it comes to a good understanding of exactly what the processes are. However, in this blog post I have tried to report accurately on what the numerous pieces of Congressional documentation which I have found, actually say. The limitations of tweets on Twitter, and brief comments on Facebook pages, about the new documentation, shows yet again that they are not a very good way of conveying the complexity of Congressional processes. U.S. researcher D. Dean Johnson has been trying very hard to educate us all on these processes, so I apologize in advance if any errors creep in. Always happy to correct them. 

The Senate 

S.2610 - Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal year 2022, was introduced by sponsor Senator Mark Warner on 4 August 2021. Warner is Chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. The Committee prepared a report, S. Report 117-37 dated 10 August 2021. 

Section 345 of that report reads:

"Section 345. Support for and oversight of Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force.

Section 345 directs the DNI and the Secretary of defense to require each IC element and the Department of Defense to make data relating to unidentified aerial phenomena available immediately to the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force and to the National Air and Space Intelligence Center. Section 345 further requires the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force to submit quarterly reports to Congress on its findings."

Elsewhere, in the Congressional documentation, Calendar 116, for S. 2610, we find:

"SEC. 345. SUPPORT FOR AND OVERSIGHT OF UNIDENTIFIED AERIAL PHENOMENA TASK FORCE

(a) DEFINITIONS - In this section:

(1) APPROPRIATE COMMITTEES OF CONGRESS - The term 'appropriate committees of Congress" includes

(A) The Congressional intelligence committee.

(B) The Committee on Armed Services of the Senate.

(C) The Committee on Armed Services of the House of Representatives.

(2) UNIDENTIFIED AERIAL PHENOMENA TASK FORCE - The term "Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force" means the task force established by the Department of defense on August 2020, to be led by the Department of navy, under the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security.

(b) AVAILABILITY OF DATA ON UNIDENTIFED AERIAL PHENOMENA - The Director of National Intelligence and the Secretary of Defense shall each, in coordination with each other, require each element of the intelligence community and the Department of defense with data relating to unidentified aerial phenomena to make such data available immediately to the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force and the National Air and Space Intelligence Center.

(c) QUARTERLY REPORTS TO CONGRESS -  

(1) IN GENERAL - Not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act and not less frequently than quarterly thereafter, the Unidentified Aerial phenomena task Force or such other entity as the Deputy Secretary of Defense may designate to be responsible for matters relating to Unidentified Aerial Phenomena shall submit to the appropriate committees of Congress quarterly reports on the findings of the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force or such other designated entity as the case may be.

(2) CONTENTS - Each report submitted under paragraph (1) shall include, at a minimum the following:

(A) All reported unidentified aerial phenomena-related events that occurred during the previous 90 days.

(B) All reported unidentified phenomena-related events that occurred during a time period other than the previous 90 days but were not included in an earlier report. 

(3) FORM - Each report submitted under paragraph (1) shall be submitted in classified form. "

The House of Representatives

House of Representatives report 117-118 , dated 10 September 2021, is a report of the Armed Services Committee, House of Representatives, on H. R. 4350, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal year 2022. In section 1652 there is the following:

"Establishment of Office to Address Unidentified Aerial phenomena.

This section would establish an office within the Office of the Secretary of Defense to carry out the mission currently performed by the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force and would require an annual report."

Union Calendar No. 83 provided us with more details on section 1652.

"SEC 1652. ESTABLISHMENT OF AN OFFICE TO ADDRESS UNIDENTIFIED AERIAL PHENOMENA.

(a) Establishment - Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Defense, in consultation with the Director of National intelligence, shall establish an office within the Office of the Secretary of defense to carry out, on a department wide basis, the mission currently performed by the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force as at the date of the enactment of this Act.

(b) Duties - the duties of the office established under subsection (a) shall include the following:

(1) Developing procedures to synchronize and standardize the collection, reporting and analysis of incidents regarding Unidentified Aerial phenomena across the Department of defense.

(2) Developing processes and procedures to ensure that such incidents from each military department are reported and incorporated in a centralized repository.

(3) Establishing procedures to require the timely and consistent reporting of such incidents.

(4) Evaluating links between Unidentified Aerial phenomena and adversarial foreign governments, foreign governments or non-state actors.

(5) Evaluating the threat that such incidents present to the United States.

(6) Coordinating with other departments and agencies of the Federal government as appropriate.

(7) Coordination with allies and partners the United states, as appropriate to better assess the nature and extent of Unidentified Aerial Phenomena. 

(c) Annual report - 

(1) Requirement - Not later than December 31, 2022 and annually thereafter, until December 31, 2026 the Secretary of Defense shall submit to the appropriate committees a report on Unidentified Aerial phenomena.

(2) Elements - each report under paragraph (1) shall include, with respect to the year covered by the report, the following  information.

(A) An analysis of data and intelligence received through reports of Unidentified Aerial Phenomena. 

(B) An analysis of data relating to Unidentified  Aerial Phenomena collected through:

(i) geospatial intelligence.

(ii) signals intelligence.

(iii) human intelligence and

(iv) measurement and signals intelligence.

(C) The number of reported incidents of Unidentified Aerial Phenomena over restricted air space of the United States.

(D) An analysis of such incidents identified under subparagraph (c)

(E) Identification of potential aerospace or other threats posed by Unidentified Aerial phenomena to the national security of the United States.

(F) An assessment of any activity regarding Unidentified Aerial Phenomena that can be attributed to one or more adversarial foreign governments.

(G) identification of any incidents or patterns regarding Unidentified Aerial Phenomena that indicates a potential adversarial government may have achieved a breakthrough aerospace capability.

(H) An update on the coordination by the United States with allies and partners efforts to track, understand and address unidentified Aerial phenomena.

(I) An update on any efforts understanding on the ability to capture or exploit discovered Unidentified Aerial Phenomena.

(J) An assessment of any health related effects of individuals that have encountered Unidentified Aerial Phenomena.

(d) Task Force- Not later than the date which the secretary of defense established an office under subsection (a) the secretary shall terminate the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force.

(e) Definitions - in this section:

(1) The term "appropriate congressional committee" means the following:

(A) The Committee of Armed Services , the Committee on Foreign Affairs; the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence of the House of Representatives; The Committee of the Armed Services; the Committee of Foreign relations; and the Select Committee on Intelligence of the Senate. "

What does it all mean?

In short, there are Congressional members with a serious interest in the topic of UAP, who are providing legislative framework for future work. Although the general sentiment of the Senate and House of Representatives comments are similar, there are slight different approaches in terms of what they require, and the when. 

As U.S. researcher D. Dean Johnson reported in a tweet dated 12 September 2021:

"More likely than not, a single set of UAP-related requirements applicable to both military and intelligence community components will be hammered out during the months ahead."

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