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News Link • Surveillance

DNI Satellite Squabble

•, BY: Bill Gertz
 The office of the Director of National Intelligence and Senate Democrats tried and failed on Tuesday to limit U.S. satellite imagery-sharing with Israel in a bill passed out of committee that would boost security cooperation with the Jewish state.

According to congressional aides, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved the U.S.-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act of 2012 after a markup session. The action followed weeks of work by Senate staff on the House version introduced several months ago. The bill has broad bipartisan support and was passed by the House last month. It is expected to pass the Senate as well.

Hours before the bill was passed by the Senate committee, an ODNI official pressed Democratic committee staff to change the wording of one provision to exclude the phrase “including satellite intelligence” from one of several security improvements between the United States and Israel.

The phrase was part of a section of the bill on the “Sense of Congress” that stated, “Expand already close intelligence cooperation, including satellite intelligence, with the Government of Israel.”

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