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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  January 21, 2014 7:59am-10:01am EST

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>> young air force officer who was to look after me had lots of chats with me which i find very interesting. and he told me he was a liberal, because he wanted to create in my mind an impression i might have gotten from the media that the u.s. air force academy is right wing and full of strange, radical, biblical fundamentalists. so he told me he was a liberal x. be he tells me he was in favor of immigration which i thought was very big of him. but, he said, when people come to this country, they should learn the native language. i didn't think he was speaking about comanche, so i said, yes, i quite agree, everybody should learn spanish. >> is settlement and revolution of the united states. our america, saturday night at 10 eastern and sunday at 9 on "after words," part of booktv
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this weekend on c-span2. and online at booktv's book club, you still have time to weigh in on mark levin's "the liberty amendments." go to and click on book club to somewhere the chat room. to into the chat room. >> did i feel prepared? yes, i did. first of all, i wasn't elected, so it didn't make that much difference. i did notice, though, the difference between being the vice president's wife and the president's wife is huge, because the vice president's wife can say anything. nobody cares. the minute you say one thing as president's wife, you've made the news. so that was a lesson i had to learn. pretty quickly. >> watch our program on first lady barbara bush at our web site, or see it saturday on c-span at 7 p.m. eastern, and live monday our series or continues with first lady hillary clinton.
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[applause] >> vice president joe biden was the keynote speaker monday at the national action network as they marked the martin luther king jr. holiday. the vice president called for the voting rights act to be restored after the supreme court struck town part of the law last -- stalk down part of the law last year. from washington, d.c., this is 25 minutes. [applause] >> let me say in 2008 when the president and vice president was elected, in april of 2009 vice president biden came to national action network's convention this new york. i -- in new york. i said then and i say today that
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there's no one i know on the national stage that has had a more consistent, courageous record in civil rights than joe biden. many people have become friends of civil rights when it was fashionable. joe biden has always been that friend spanning generations. every generation of civil rights leaders in the last three or four decades have the same story, and that's because -- and i'm not aging you, i saw him doing his -- [laughter] he started young. >> thank you. >> but i want him to know how much it means when you can have those from john lewis to us today to those younger guys that are in delaware. a very good friend of mine just elected there, say the same thing when we sit down, that joe
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biden is the real deal. he is not just talking the talk, but he's walked the walk on some things that mattered to us most. martin luther king says you had been a man finish you measure a man not by how and where he stands in the hour of convenience, but where he stands in the hours of controversy. if it's been voter id, joe biden has been there. if it's been voter rights, joe biden has been there. if it's been affordable health care, he's been there. affordable housing, he's been there. he's been there when he knew that it might be controversial, but he knew that it was right. and it is no greater person to have in washington this morning to speak to us on king day at this breakfast than the sitting vice president of the united states, our friend and brother, the honorable joe biden. [applause]
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>> thank you all very much. [applause] folks, thank you. thank you very much. y'all can put this teleprompter down. i don't need a teleprompter. [laughter] well, leave it up. if it'll make you feel better, leave it up. all right. remember what the president said a couple years ago at the gridiron dinner, he said joe biden is learning to speak with a teleprompter, i'm learning to speak without one. but i tell you what, rev, thank you so much for having me here and for those very gracious remarks. you know, look, everybody gets started for a reason. everybody gets started for a reason. and i was a young kid coming from scranton, pennsylvania, where there were very few
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african-americans down to claremont, delaware, and wilmington, delaware. i'll never forget the first conversation my mom trying to explain to me why all the kids that i knew were black got on one bus and passed by the high school. i mean, it really, for me, it was 1954, i as a kid didn't understand it, why they're all going somewhere else. and that was sort of of my first, my first awakening to sort of what was going on at least in my state and an awful lot of southern states at the time. but let me begin by congratulating all the honorees. all of you are well deserving of the recognition, and, reverend sharpton, if you don't mind, i'd like to -- as we used to say in the senate -- take a point of privilege and mention a couple. wade, we've gone back a long way together. i don't want to date you, you were a kid, but we go back 35
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years. we've been in an awful lot of fights together. we fought side by side, i remember, in the first reauthorization when i got to the senate of the voting rights act. and, maria teresa, you've been a leading, leading voice leading us toward a new day on immigration policy. and i'm telling you, we will not rest until we get it done. we will not rest until we get it done. police departments. [applause] and my friend, terry o'neill, what champion for women. what a champion, flat out. what a person who never, never, never quits. and i'm ip debted to her for -- indebted to her for many, many things as an awful lot of americans are, but i'm particularly indebted to her for helping -- i wouldn't have thought we'd be reauthorizing and having a fight against reauthorizing the violence
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against women act. but were it not for terry and a lot of you in this room willing to stick with us, we would be many a different place today. and also for all of your work on pay equity and reproductive rights, terry. thank you very much. [applause] and larry thompson i don't like very much. [laughter] larry stole, larry stole kenny from me. kenny, i mean, it was a hell of a lot better with me, wasn't it? tell me that. [laughter] tell me that. i mean, being at pepsi making all that money, what does that matter, you know what i mean? [laughter] all kidding aside, larry, thank you. you know, you've had an incredible legal career, you've accomplished a great deal, and you've never forgotten, as the old expression dose, where you came from -- goes, where you came from, and you continue to fight for economic justice. and j. david cox. i appreciate everything you're doing. as you know, as wade refer ored
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to me, he's heard people walk up to me and is, rev, i'm a labor guy. my grandfather would say i'm labor from belt buckle to shoe sole. and i want to tell you, afge has done an awful lot to continue to fight for dr. king's legacy of workers' rights. and, rev, each of your honorees is living proof of what president map della -- mandela said. he said a good head and a good heart are formidable by nation. -- combination. it doesn't take a lot more than that. each of these people have more than that, but it doesn't take a lot more than that. i remember as a kid in wilmington my saying, but with i don't know much. i remember senator herman holloway, the first african-american senator in our state -- and, by the way, the coolest bumper sticker was his when he got elected, it said
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proudly for holloway. prowledly for holloway. i remember him saying you don't have to know much, joe, you just have to care a lot. i recently had the honor of speaking to the moral service -- at the memorial service for president mandela at the national cathedral in washington. and it was pointed out to me, in preparation for the speech it was p pointed out to me that i'd be speaking from the same pulpit that was used by dr. king in his final sermon on march the 31st, 1968. and that was a profound sermon. dr. king said, and i quote: somewhere we must come to see that human progress never rolls on the wheels of inevitability. let he emphasize that, never rolls on the wheels of inevitability. he went on to say it comes through tireless efforts and persistent work of dedicated individualings who are willing to be coworkers with god be.
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as my mom would say, doing god's work. that's what all of you are all about. as you fight for economic justice, racial and gender equality and trying to stem the tide of new attempts, new attempts to restrict the right of our people to vote. it's the everyday actions that you inspire that are going to keep the human progress rolling forward and keep it from sliding back. but we have to admit, we have to admit -- i have to admit -- i never thought we'd be fighting the fight again on voting rights. i never believed, i really didn't. i really didn't. the issue that really got me involved in the first place i was the only white kid working
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on the east side, we call it the bucket, reverend. i was a lifeguard in the big city swimming pool, and the guy athletes got the jobs there. and i was one of 17 employees but the only white guy. it was a bit of an epiphany for me. i thought i knew a lot about what was going on, but i really mean this. all of a sudden i was in the midst of the everyday culture of people who lived in the midst of white folks who didn't know any white folks. every day i went to school with them. it was the single most significant thing that happened to me, prepared me for my job. i became friends with an awful lot of these guys, spencer henry, you may remember, great quarter miler at morgan state. guy named lafayette jackson, incredibly successful public housing guy out in st. louis. good, good guys.
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but it was an epiphany for me. and so i got involved in de-- i was no big shakes, rev recommend, in the civil rights. i was just a kid. i got involved in desegregating movie theaters and helping you may remember reverend moyer in delaware and herman holloway organized voter registration drives coming out of black churches on sunday figuring how we were going to move. but you know what? dr. king, if you remember -- you all do -- in '65 wrote from the jail in selma, he said voting is the foundationstone for political action. and ever since that year the voting rights act of 1965 has been the mortar protecting and fortifying that foundation stone. and as you know, the voting rights act was one of the most difficult civil rights bills to ever be won.
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the right of african-americans to vote, all americans to vote is guaranteed by the 15th amendment since 1870, but it was consistently thwarted, mostly by intimidation and insidious practices like the poll tax, the grandfather clause, selectively enforced literacy tests and so much more. but these practices, they persisted and persisted and persisted. they were protected for the better part of a century at the highest level, these practices to keep us from voting. nowhere more effectively was that protection guaranteed than in the united states senate. even in 1957 when lyndon johnson maneuvered the civil rights bill through the senate, for the first time voting rights was the price to get it through. it wasn't the benefit, it wasn't part of, it was the price to get
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it through. the civil rights act of 19 -- bill of 9-- 1964 introduced by president kennedy and passed soon after his death contained some voting rights provisions, but they were limited in scope and effectiveness. this has been the ultimate fight because our opponents know, they know the single most dangerous thing to give us is the right to vote. they know what that is. [applause] so it wasn't until 1965 after the violent images at the bridge many selma were broadcast in every living room in america and dr. king's decades of eloquence and persistence on the importance of voting rights that it finally gained a foothold in america. when white americans all across the nation not in states where they were restricted, but in all
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states said, whoa, wait a minute, this is really happening. that's when johnson, president johnson twisted the arm of the very man who put him in power. read the biography about johnson and what he did with senator russell of georgia, the most persistent and, i'm told, brilliant opponent. rev, i have a desk, i have a table wade's sat at and others of you have that i inherited from john stennis. and in 1972 when i was a kid, 29 years old, showed up in the senate, i did what we used to do
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was, it was the proper form, you went around, and you paid respects to, quote, the old bulls in the senate. and so i stopped in to see john stennis. i never called him john, chairman stennis. and he was sitting at the end of this great big table. it's a miniature version of what's in the cabinet room. and he used it as his desk. he was sitting at the head of the table, he had all these leather chairs around her. he looked at me, and i walked in, and he said, son, sit down. patted the chair, and i sat down. he looked at me and said, son, what made you run, 29 years old? like a damn fool, i answered him honestly before thinking. i said, civil rights, sir. [laughter] swear to god. as soon as i said it, i could feel the sweat under my arms. i swear to god, this is a true story. it's in the mississippi state library. i did it for them to film it. and he looked at me, and he said, good, good, good, good.
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that was the end of the conversation, i left. [laughter] true story. ironically, we became friends because we shared five months in the hospital at walter reeled in adjoining roomed. he had his leg amputated. in the meantime, i'd gotten to know him better. so it came time, his last year after us being 20 years together, he was leaving the senate. and some of you junkies know the way you get a senate office is based on senior the city. the most senior officer of senate gets to choose whatever office is being vacated. i was pretty senior by then, and so my staff wanted me to go down and look at senator thurman's office which was bigger than mine. i didn't to leave. i had robert kennedy's office which i had an emotional attachment to. went downstairs and walking through those inner corridors in the old building. and i walk in, i see her secretary. i believe her name was emma.
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been with him for 35 years or so. and all the boxes were piled up. i said, is the chairman in? she goes, no, you go in and see his office. i walked in, and he was sitting in the same spot. he had come in the side door, only this time one leg and a wheelchair. and he looked at me, and he said, joe, he said, sit down. sit down. and he -- this is god's truth. he said to me, he said, joe, he said, remember the first time you came to see me? and i didn't. ask he recount -- and he recounted the story. i looked at him and said, i was a smart young fellow, wasn't i, mr. chairman? here's what he said to me. he put his hand on the table, and he rubbed it like it was an inanimate objection. he said, you see this table, joe? yes, sir, mr. chairman. this was the flagship of the confederacy from 1952 to 1968.
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he said, senator russell had all of us in the confederate states meet here every tuesday for lunch and get johnson's book or caro's book "master of the senate." there's an actual picture of the table with all the people he talked about at that table. he said, and we sat here every tuesday to plan the demise of the civil rights movement. and he said it's time, joe -- this is god's truth -- it's time, joe, this table go from the possession of a man who's against civil rights to a man who's for civil rights. [applause] and i know it sounds corny, but it was pretty moving. as i got up to walk out, he said one more thing, joe, and i turned around. remember how he used to talk
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with his hand like this all the time? he said, the civil rights movement did more to free the white man than the black man. and i looked at him, and i said, how's that, mr. chairman? he said, it freed my soul. it freed my soul. [applause] well, ladies and gentlemen, ladies and gentlemen, there's a lot of people out there today who are trying to sort of put that soul back in a different place. there's a lot of of people out there who even though we reauthorized the voting rights act in 1965 and the solid south was still voting against the voting rights act at that time, all of them -- strom new month, jesse helms, but by the time after 17 years of being chairman and ranking member not because of me, just because of my longevity there, we ultimately passed the voting rights act
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overwhelmingly. it was overwhelmingly accepted. even strom thurmond voted for the voting rights act in 1982. even in 1989 john stennis knew it was the right thing. in 2006 we authorized it 98-0 in the senate. 390-33 in the house. we thought, i thought we had finally established without any question that not only was the right to vote the most fundamental right of democracy, but it should continue to be individual atlantaly looked at to make -- vigilantly looked at to make sure it was still being protected. because those negative voices did not all disappear in america. but on the very day i was making the speech as vice president celebrating the 75th anniversary of the fair labor standards act, the supreme court ruled that the heart of the voting rights act was no longer needed. no longer needed? despite the fact the federal court had just declared a texas
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voter id law so harsh that it would, quote, impose strict, unforgiving burdens on the poor? no longer needed, despite the fact at least 90 similar bills were being considered in 33 states? like the one in north carolina which imposed a few photo id requirement, shortened early voting, eliminated same-day registration for early voting. in alabama a photo id bill that passed in 2011 because of the voting rights act and mow is the law? justice ginsburg got it right when she said throwing out the existing process when it's working and continues to work is, quote, like throwing away an umbrella in rainstorm because you're not getting wet. and now we're in hailstorm. new attempts by states and localities to limit ballot access without the full rex of the law. folks -- protection of the law. folks, it's time we take stock.
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in 1967 at the southern leadership conference in atlanta, dr. king posed a question, the same one we should be asking ourselves now: where do we go from here? he answered his first question. he said we first must honestly recognize where we are. well, rev and a lot of you know better than i, but let me tell you where i think we are today. i think we're on the brink of bringing 11 million people out of the shadows onto a path to citizenship, making us not only a more humane country, but more economically successful season. [applause] i think we're in the process of guaranteeing that no one who works 40 hours a week will have to continue to live in poverty. we're going the raise that minimum wage. [applause] i think we're in the final stages of income equality between -- [inaudible] not only is it unjust to make 70 cents on a dollar compared to a man, it's stupid economically. [applause]
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it's against our economic interests, and it's way past time we stop arguing about whether every american has the right to adequate with, affordable health care. thanks to barack obama, that fight is over, and we are not going back. [applause] period. [applause] i'm confident that with all these fights as in the past, we shall overcome. but let me remind you all, it all rests ultimately on the ballot box. so keep the faith. or as my grandma would say, no, joey, go spread the faith. it's time to spread it. may god bless you all, and may god protect our troops. thank you, rev. [applause]
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i didn't even see you there. and jeannie, you're both here. good to see you. by the way, jeannie and i, we may not be black -- [laughter] but with i tell you what, we're irish, and we know how to fight. and anthony fox is the real deal too, by the way. it's good to see you guys. i aapologize for not recognizing. see yule later. [applause] see you all later. [applause] [inaudible conversations] >> i didn't see myself as a sort of prophet who has a message for my world, but i do see myself as a person trying to understand my
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place in it and, frankly, situate myself. and i think the idea for the book came to me when i was giving some lectures at the u.s. air force academy in colorado springs. and one of the very nice, very well educated, broad-minded liberal young air force officer who was scheduled to look after me had lots of chats with me which i find very interesting. and he told me that he -- he told me he was a liberal, because he wanted to correct in my mind any impression i might have got from the media that the u.s. air force academy is, you know, very belatedly right wing and full of strange, radical, biblical fundamentalists. so he told me he was a liberal. and he told me that he was in favor of immigration, which i thought was very big of him. but, he said, when people come to this country, they should learn the native language. i didn't think he was speaking
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about comanche or ute, so i said, yes, i quite agree, everybody should learn spanish. >> the settlement and evolution of the united states from a hispanic perspective. our america, saturday night at 10 eastern and sunday at 9 on "after words," part of booktv this weekend on c-span2. and online at booktv's book club, you still have time to weigh in on mark levin's "liberty amendments," read the book and join the conversation. go to and click on book club to enter the chat room. >> did i feel rared? yes, i really did -- prepared. first of all, i wasn't elected, so it didn't make that much difference. i did notice, though, the difference between being the vice president's wife and the president's wife is huge, because the vice president's wife can say anything. nobody cares. the minute you say one thing as president's wife, you've made the news. so that was a lesson i had to
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learn pretty quickly. >> watch our program on first lady barbara bush at our web site, or see it saturday on c-span at 7 p.m. eastern. and live monday our series continues with first lady hillary clinton. >> russia is planning the tightest security in olympic history as it prepares to host the winter games in sochi next month. up next, former deputy national security adviser juan zarate will talk about the geopolitical implications of the game. the center for strategic and international studies is hosting this event morning. this is live coverage on c-span2. [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] >> good morning. good morning, and welcome to the center for strategic and international studies. we'll confine all questions about richard sherman until after the briefing. thank you for being here this morning. we've got some weather coming into washington, so it's great to have such an excellent turnout. this is, obviously, a very timely briefing, and we'll get right to it. i'm joined here by my colleagues from the russia eurasia ram, andy cuppens, who is our -- kuchins and dr. jack mankopf.
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juan zarate was deputy national security adviser during the bush administration, and is our key person on counterterrorism and many other issues. so with that, i'd like to offer andrew cuppens the microphone, and we'll get started. we'll have some brief remarks to open up by our principals here, and then we will open it up to your questions. thank you for coming. >> well, good morning, everybody. welcome to csis. as andrew said, i think we're all glad you braved the rumor of a snowflake in washington, d.c. later today to come here this morning. you know, it's always a good thing before doing a press briefing to just check the news, and so i checked the moscow times and the title of the story was potential suicide bomber reported in sochi. now, you guys have already probably heard about this story
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as two parts. first of all, there's this video that was produced supposedly by the tag tan -- [inaudible] -- dagestan which is part of the caucasus emirates headed by the maybe-alive, maybe-dead doku umarov. and they, supposedly this is a video of the two suicide bombers who took out, conducted the acts in volgograd. maybe, i don't know. i watched the video. you look, but you look at these guys, and i can't -- they look a little bit like wayne and garth in a saturday night live skit. and i do wonder whether some of this is a hoax conducted by folks. imagine yourself this a dorm room in a university, this could be a -- i don't want to take
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this lightly at all, but when i look at this, this is sort of the first thought i had. and then the story of the suicide bomber who's supposedly been spotted in sochi reported by alexander balav, the head of blog sochi.rue, you know, what's the -- how serious this is, it's hard for me to say. but when you read the story, you really kind of have to scratch your head. it says it was unclear whether she was carrying any explosives with her. it was also not immediately clear how a suspected terrorist who was supposedly interrogated by law enforcement officials in the past could get into russia's olympic capital and heightened security. she was, they published a copy of the official letter sent to
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the anti-extremism center asking them to chase subject. that's a good idea. who arrived in sochi on january 10th or 11th. the letter describes her as someone who, quote, limps slightly. her elbow does not bend, and she has a 10-center meter-long scar on her left cheek. how she got past the security does make one wonder whether, again, actually is this really true? or could this be a hoax? and if it's not a hoax, then, you know, how could someone who obviously looks like an extremist actually is an extremist, has been interrogated and identified as an extremist could get through security? it doesn't give one great confidence. anyway, we can talk more about
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that later. but it is unusual, these games are unusual. i mean, how many times has csis actually held a press conference before an olympic games? my suspicion is never. and that's a hint that these are -- and it's a press conference which actually heads of major news organizations actually showed up. so this is a rather unusual event. let me start by saying these games are very, very personal, i think, for vladimir putin. i moon, has any -- i mean, has any winter olympic games in history been so identified or attached to a national leader as these games are to mr. putin? i mean, in 2010 was anybody talking about stephen harper much when the games were in vancouver? or george w. bush in 2002 in park city? actually, ironically, the park city games if they gave any political -- they were politicized for anybody, they were a boost to mitt romney who
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was running the games at the time. but this is pretty unusual. now, you probably have to go back to the 1936 summer games in berlin, hitler's game, the nazi game, to have a games that are attached, that are so politicized in a way. i don't mean in any respect to, you know, compare vladimir putin to adolf hitler or, you know, current russia to nazi germany, but it's just a comment in that the nature of these games, those might have been games where you might have had a press conference at csis if csis had existed. so why in well, i think it goes back to, first of all, when putin personally went to guatemala city, ironically, on july 4, 2007, and he gave a very convincing and impassioned speech to the olympic committee to award the games over the other three finalists at the time in us ally ya and south korea -- austria and south
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korea, and he convinced the committee to award the games to russia. now, and for putin, he's said this on numerous occasions, that he looks upon, you know, holding an olympic games you have to be a country actually that, i mean, to put it in layman's terms, it has its act together. you know? you have to be a major country. this is not a small undertaking to put on an olympic games. so this represents, you know, this is not russia of the 1990s that was, you know, the wild, wild east, you know, where we had images of the russianmafia basically running the country to the extent that it could be run. or that organized crime, actually, i refer to it as disorganized crime. no. this is vladimir putin's russia in which he has restored a sense of order and stability to the country, and the country is suddenly finding itself much more wealthy than it was.
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so the timing. now, in 2007 this is after literally russia became financially sovereign. 2005 russia pays off its debt to the imf early, in 2006 it pays off its debt to the paris club, so russia is financially sovereign which means in putin's mind, and i think appropriately so, that russia is litically sovereign -- politically sovereign. we are actually a real, independent country again. so the timing, he can then go down to guatemala city and do this is significant. remember, or it was 2006 that russia held for the first time the g8 meeting in st. petersburg. now, i should have thought at the time that, hmm, 2014. probably, you know, if russia is hosting those sochi games, that should have been a big hint that probably vladimir putin was going to be running russia in 2014. i didn't quite put that together at the time, but i should have.
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and so thinking into the future, i would think, well, russia has also won the 2018 world cup, fifa world cup. now, that's going to be after the 2018 presidential election. so my bet is that vladimir putin will also be presiding over the fifa world cup in 2018. assuming things go well here in 2014. now, why are the games unique as well? well, first of all, there's the location. for putin this is very personal as well. he spent a lot of time down in sochi in the context of the discussion club, a group that jeff and i have met annually with will putin and other russian leader, several times we've gone down to sochi to meet him at his nice spread down there, shall we say. you know, and sochi, well, it's kind of like a russian california, you know? you can swim this the sea in the morning -- in the sea in the
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morning, and then you can go to the mountains, and they're only 45 minutes away. you don't have to drive three and a half hours, four ours or six hours in traffic to tahoe, and you can ski. you've got this very unique combination. and it's kind of bizarre that russia, a country that's known for being a northern country, is hosting the winter olympics in a subtropical climate. go figure. but the really significant thing about sochi's geography, obviously, is it proximity to the northern caucasus. and this is also a very, very personal issue for vladimir putin. his rise to political stardom in russia, to the national caliber, took place when he was initially prime minister in the fall of 1999 when the second chechnyan war started. and the first chechnyan war, of course, was a representation of the humiliation of russia, where russia effectively lost a civil war on its own territory.
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russian troops performed miserably. in the second war and particularly in the beginning, russian military forces, the security forces performed better than they had, and the perceived success of those early strikes on the terrorists in opposition, the second chechnyan war, were a big boost for putin's popularity. it was where putin also kind of bonded with the russian people with his, you know, his kind of macho way of being. you know, he said famously i'm going to wipe them out in the outhouses, you know? well, you know what? okay, guess what? russia, you've got to -- get the vernacular. what putin was saying is russia is a rich language -- russian's a rich language, and it's also a rich language of four-letter words. russians, they call it mot. it's tied to the word mother. hear what i'm saying.
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so think of what he said, it was basically i'm going to f them up in the blank houses or in the beep or -- okay? i heene, really, that's what he was saying. much more kind of earthy. yeah, i'm going to mess these dudes up. and he saw this as part of his mission, that he was going to deal with the separatists and later terrorist groups, this threat in the northern caucasus. originally in chechnya. because he saw it literally as a mortal threat to the russian nation. so the biggest -- his mo is he brought stability and the fact that, hopefully, an olympic games for the first time in history could be held in such proximity to a conflict zone. now, it's a relative low-level insurgency going on in the north caucasus today. again, it's a unique aspect, and
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it's why we're having this press conference here. and if you can successfully hold these games next to this area, which putin saw as his mission as russia's leader to bring stability to, then, yes, he's been successful. so he's got a lot, he's got a lot riding on it. just a quick word about the controversy over the lgbt legislation which has attracted so much controversy, the law and propaganda against pedophiles and homosexuality. you know, many have asked the question why in the world, why putin and the russians, you know, implement this piece of legislation on the eve of this big international event when they know it's going to attract a lot of, you know, negative attention and press. well, you know what? the legislation, in my view, is
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not really addressed to the international community. putin doesn't really care, frankly, about what the international community thinks about this. although in his press conference, you know, he will defend it in kind of comparative terms that, look, actually our legislation, you know, is quite liberal when you compare it with most of the rest of the world, etc., etc. it's aimed at a domestic audience. it's done for domestic political reasons, i think, support his constituency. now, let me say a quick word finally about the terrorist, which that would be a good segway over to juan, because i'm going on too long. the terrorist threat is very real. regardless of what is true or not true about this video and this female terrorist, etc. and, obviously, the tragic terrorist acts in volgograd that took place a few weeks ago at the end of 2013 attest to that. but i think what we're talking about right now really aren't separatists, okay?
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even though umarav is head of the caucasus emirates which talks about establishing a separate us hammic state -- islamic state, i don't think that's the ideology that motivates these people. i think they're motivated by a global jihadist ideology which is common to that of al-qaeda and others around the world. this is what motivated the tsarnaev brothers who bombed the boston marathon who were also for dagestan in the northern caucasus last year. now, umarav himself, he may have been a chechnyan nationalist 15, 20 years ago but, again, if he's still alive, he utilizes a global jihad ideology. this is what you'll see, you know, in his, what he said, particularly it goes back to july 13th threatening the games
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and with other subgroups affiliated loosely with the emirates, this loose network. so with all that, you know, putin's got a lot riding on the games. and sochi is the holy grail, i would think, for a terrorist, islamic jihadist terrorist, individual or group, to go after. and so in a way we have kind of the ultimate showdown. because putin's got a lot riding on it. this is a very juicy target, you know? this is sort of in american vernacular, it's high noon at the o.k. corral, and in russian terms it's -- [speaking russian] in spanish terms it's mano a mano. in nfl football this is richard sherman versus michael crabtree last sunday, right? who's going to prevail. the question, though, and this is where i leave it to juan who really knows something about
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these groups and individuals is one of operational capabilities. i mean, sochi is supposedly under lockdown. although you read a story like this, and you go, really? [laughter] you know, but you don't necessarily are to hit sochi to spoil the games. this is my concern when, my response to the sol go grad bombings -- volgograd bombings a few weeks ago. a series of attacks would virtually terrorize all of russia and spoil the games, and that would be a great tragedy. finally, just a word about umarav. is he dead? i'm kind of skeptical about that. i mean, the reportings of mr. umarov's death had been many in the past. one would think in particular if he were taken out by the fsb, the russian authorities, they would want to, you know, show the video of his dead body to bring greater sense of calm about the games themselves.
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but, you know, whether he's dead or not, i'm not sure how much that would actually make a difference in that i don't think that umarov is as much sort of operational capacity as, let's say, ten years ago. and the network so loose itself that maybe the absence of his leadership would leave others possibly, okay, competing to carry out or have, be able to claim taking the responsibility for carrying out the act which would gather all of the attention. ..
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you and your team, really a pleasure to be here. what i wanted to address was more specifically the terrorist threats and give you some perspective, in particular from my vantage point when i sat at the white house, the treasury department when we worried about security of every olympic games post 9/11. reality is the security at the olympics whether in the united states or in london or athens or in sochi, become a principal concern for policymakers around the world. because the olympics become such
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a target-rich environment for terrorist groups, including those that have designed not just globally but perhaps locally and regionally. i think the security concerns with respect to sochi are even greater, and even more justified in this regard. and let me explain why. the terrorist groups led by the caucasus emirate but not solely and their affiliates come but also central asian groups like i am you and i j. u., had a clear intent to try to disrupt the sochi olympics are least embarrassed the russians and in particular vladimir putin who have so personalized the olympics and success of them as andy describe the intent has been declared. doku umarov this past summer has been very clear about the desired to of major attacks on the olympics or at least major disruptions your significantly in july he lifted a ban on the attacks on civilians which in
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many way opens up the targets set for terrorist groups to attack softer targets, transportation hubs, civilian sites. and particularly have a desire to engage in these attacks. as seen through their video postings, their blogs and their communications. so the intent is clear and it's there and it would've been obvious even absent the open declaration, but the open declaration really made it very clear for authorities. they also have the capability. we've seen it with the three attacks in volgograd since september. we've seen this in the past attacks, in particular those directed by umarov since 2009, the high speed attack between moscow and st. petersburg, the airport attacks and other attacks that have predated. what's interesting and important here is that the caucasus embers and every scripts and operatives demonstrated multiple modalities
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in terms of attack. that is to say, they can use a variety of means to attack, not just a variety of targets to focus on. and so they've used suicide bombers to include the now famed black widows. they've used teams of operatives. they've used assaulting. they have factored against airplanes and mentors and trains, hospitals, security sites. so the modality and the capability sort of match here and they have a target-rich environment and they've demonstrated the ability to organize different types of attacks based on the opportunities available to them. and that's why the reports of a singular black widow giving into sochi becomes concerning. in part because a singular actor intent to disrupt but it could also be she is a part of a broader series of suicide bombers who have been dispatched
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to attack a different sites. said no doubt the russians are following not just report of a singular actor but multiple threads threads and individuals that they are concerned with. last week they had the opportunity, the olympics as we all know centerstage, the world media will be trained on the olympics, both the activities, social activities around it. in addition you have the proximity. rather brazen on the part of putin in a sense to place the olympics so close to the caucasus and to give those who are used to operating in this environment the opportunity to plan attacks not just in sochi but in the immediate environment. and as andy rightly said, the terrorists in this context, for purposes of destruction and embarrassment, the message would have to get into the inner rings of security within sochi to have
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a declared successful attack. they need only create a sense of care or disruption in the immediate environment or even in the transportation hub, as we've seen in volgograd, to create a sense of instability. i would daresay if you saw successful attacks significant enough, even in the far abroad from sochi, you would begin to see debates in delegation circles as to whether or not to withdraw athletes and to stop participation in the olympics. and that would be disastrous for the success of the olympics. a final point in terms of why this threat is so unique at this time, and i think it has gone relatively unreported but i think it's critically important as an excellent to the threat. and that is the fact as andy said we are talking about the movement of a set of actors who view themselves as part of a global jihad movement.
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said this in many ways was born out of the chechen conflict and insurgency of the '90s and early 2000, but these groups have been animated and populated by global jihad the actors, many of whom have interacted with the leadership of the caucasus emirate's, many of whom have gone on to fight including now in places like syria. and you think is critical important to keep in mind that the russians have taken a very open and active role diplomatically in supporting assad, which has brought russia back into the center as a far any for the global jihad movement. and you have begun to see that narrative play out in some of the terrorists discourse, and i think that becomes important as an accelerant because russia is not just an actor in regard to the chechen in our other
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insurgencies or fights but is also a global actor in the context of the global jihad in narrative. and syria in many ways is their key accelerant to that both in real terms and in ideological terms. what are the concerns for the u.s. in this regard? i think he started to hear more and more about this from u.s. lawmakers and security officials. but there are threefold. the obvious fact have a real terrorist threat. these are not just imaginings or either sort of one off threat threats that have to be chased down as often the u.s. has to do but these are realtors threats that expose athletes, sponsors, u.s. citizens that are going to attend the events. you always have the question of venue security and trend will do has raised very good questions how secure are the reins of security around the sochi venues and sites. but how well are they secured
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what you can secure the venues but how do you secure it well enough with the athletes and sponsors are safe? if you secure that and you secure well enough, ingress and egress, transportation in and out. and so the security question emerge, very important questions, and there's a growing sense of lack of confidence in that security, even despite the russian assurances. and lastly, perhaps most important, you started your including from chairman rogers of the house intel committee, concerns of lack of visibility and cooperation from the russians. azeris mentioning digital e4, we started the remarks -- as i was mentioning to jill before, most countries are prideful went to secure the olympics, manages themselves and to succeed for national pride and other reasons. with the u.s. offering support and help in a variety of ways.
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most countries don't accept the support initially because they can do it themselves, but as you get closer to the day of the event, most countries begin to accept more and more of the assistance because the reality, the daunting task of securing the olympics and, frankly, of the threat to western athletes and sponsors becomes more real. that i don't think is happening in the russian context. the reverse is happening. the russians have grown more and more concerned over the threat and our concern over the perception of insecurity and, therefore, have not wanted to about the united states and other security services in on the ground to assist. in an olympics like london, as you can imagine, u.s. worked very closely with the british security officials to create cohesive demand centers, response plans, et cetera. that in my estimation is not happening in the context of
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sochi and that is creating concern. concern. while yesterday your u.s. u.s. officials speak openly about those concerns. in addition that's why you start to see reports today in the press about contingency plans u.s. is making for potential worst-case scenario, transport, aircraft, naval aircraft, naval resources and warships being placed offshore in the worst case scenario if, for example, your wounded athletes our citizens you needed to get them out. so you're going to see a lot more about where the u.s. is trying to vector and take into account the fact we don't have on the ground cooperation and resources as we have in the past. now, very quickly, the challenges for the russians and for the international community because i think this is not -- in the olympics is an international event, despite the fact it's been so personalized by putin and the russians.
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but the russians have to not only secure the sites as they're trying to do with physical security and intelligence and the vetting of individuals but they're going to want to disrupt as much of possible any terrorist activity. this is why you've seen the reports of the death of doku umarov. regardless of whether not it's true, it's an attempt to demonstrate the russians are doing something to disrupt these activities. and i agree with andy that with respect to the individual i think it matters much less to whether or not he is alive no with respect to the secure the of the olympics because i think all the terrorist groups that want to attack the sochi olympics know they want to attack the sochi olympics and will try to do so. they need to secure the site and they need to worry about the perception of security. i think this is key because, again, you could have the rosalie minor terrorist attack during the opening ceremonies or
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something in the general environment and begins to affect the sense of security for the olympics. in many ways the terrorists win in terms of the perception. a quick final note we often forget that it is squarely in the minds of the security officials, you have not just the winter olympics in february which of the paralympics in march. and so you have two sets of events that are critical internationally. that require the russians to engage in security, not just in the month of february but of february through march. and i would daresay that the terrorists probably would prefer to attack the sochi olympics in february, but if they could launch significant answers attacks against the paralympics are the environments around it they would probably do that if successful. so this is a two month endeavor for the russians that is going to be fought with real threats and real concerns for the russians, the u.s., and others
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who have olympians at the site. >> great. and with that would like to open it up to your questions. questions, please. jill. >> thank you. i'd like to follow up on that u.s. side of it. what does the united states do, to your knowledge, what does the state plain terms of any type of cooperation in potentially coming in and getting americans out of there, either people are competing for tourists, or officials? and what does the u.s. do if we do not have permission on the ground? let's say, how do they work that out in advance? you were mentioning that. what's the next step for the united states, it's happening? >> ideally in the olympics which
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would have is state department diplomatic security officials, fbi, other u.s. security officials, who are cleared to the very seniors or cleared into a command center or in some way integrated into the on the ground security. i am no longer in government so i don't know what the status of that is, but i would guess they given the public comments that we've seen, the u.s. government probably is not getting a lot of clearances for individuals from the state department, from the fbi and others to be on the ground at particular sites. that's different from security for individual teams and such, but i would venture to say that we are doing the best with what we can on the ground and what you've seen and started to see publicly is contingency planning, which would be led by the state department to try to determine what happened in the worst-case scenario. and that's why you've seen the reports of movement of u.s. military assets and personnel in this regard.
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and so you would have state department leading that planning, trying to determine how best to get citizens in and out in case of an emergency. and you would hopefully have pre-cleared plans and clearances for ingress and egress in the case of an attack in russia. but i would assume that the russians are going to want to control any of that, any security service in any country is going to want to have full capability and control over what happens after an attack or a worst-case scenario. and so it's likely the case the u.s. doesn't have preclearance to move choppers in our assets in an event of an emergency. that would probably have to happen as events unfold. >> go to this gentleman right here. if you could identify yourself, that would be great.
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>> could you tell us a bit about what you know about the syrian more -- [inaudible] fighting in parts of syria, do they move back? i don't know, are they being killed of there? are they kidding stronger as they link up with jihadists groups in other countries left is that significantly affecting the situation around the olympics? >> i think the syrian foreign fighter problem, in particular the flow of caucasus-based fighters in and out of syria amplifies the concern, i think. and part of this is again the ideological and narrative dimensions of what this does to animate the threat. but also populate sort of the
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environment with other actors who are trained, tested, and perhaps willing to attack. keep in mind that the syrian conflict has now attracted more foreign fighters than we saw in the iraq conflict, and more than what we saw during the afghan days. this is a very sixth threat. we've seen plenty of reporting of western european services, north african services, gulf services, very concerned about the flow of fighters in and out of syria. the one thing i would say is, concerned that officials should have come at least as the survival rate appears to be much higher in the syrian foreign fighter conflict, whereas in iraq were result was foreign fighters -- fighters would flow in, they would not flow out. that's not mr. the case in syria were you foreign fighters starting fullback. what that means for the russian
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services ability to monitor who is moving in and out of syria, i don't know but it's early something they should be concerned about. >> just a follow up the. there are reports of hundreds of foreign fighters from the north caucasus in syria itself. so there's -- how many are there, it's impossible to say but there are many there. this is one really big reason, and i think it's been underestimated over the past two plus years, for why putin has held this position on syria as he has picked because when he looks at who are the most effective fighters in syria, he sees the same kind of individuals and groups, sometimes literally the same individuals and groups, that he's been dealing with in the north caucasus, or that he and his central asian colleagues are
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dealing with back in he late 1990s, in particular coming out of afghanistan. and that is in particular why this is, the issue is deeply, deeply personal for him. and their sum, i think if -- is the syrian conflict had receded and foreign fighters were leaving syria, i think there's no doubt in my mind at least that would increase the danger that those from the north caucasus or others, maybe even not from the north caucasus would return their an increase the threat, increase the threat, the threat there. a month or two ago at the airport in east temple transferring, and -- istanbul, and he heard russian spoken by people who clearly looks like what you would imagine, a
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foreign fighter in syria would look like, and it was rather unnerving since he himself at the time was transiting into, not the northern caucasus but the south caucasus. >> bill douglas. [inaudible] >> counterterrorism or something of this magnitude. can you all speak to their ability to handle large-scale events like this? >> jeff? [laughter] well, putin in his press conference just the other day, you know, noted that know, russia has not had the
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experience securing an event of magnitude of the sochi olympics. so the answer is no. you would have to go back to moscow olympics in 1980, you know, for i think an international event of this magnitude, which quote unquote russians had to deal with. and, of course, that was in the context of just having invaded in fact afghanistan. which, of course, led to the, centrally the creation of the mujahideen and much of the problem we see here today. so the simple answer is no. you know, juan can speak to this
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much more effectively. we never know the number of successes in preventing terrorist attacks. we only know about the failures, but simply the fact we saw significant failures in volgograd three times in the recent, the end of last year, october, and two in december, closer to sochi also at the end of the year, and, you know, the daily bombings and problems that the art in the north caucasus. now, not at the frequency of what we're seeing in iraq right now. there were 25 car bombings and a, approximately, but -- car bombings a day. magnitude for sure is a no. the capacity of the fsb is very, very hard, hard to say.
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but i think to get back to juan's point earlier, you know, the fact that the russians have been reluctant him to embrace support for united states, i think partly the reasons, intelligence cooperation is a very, very delicate matter in the best of times. we had pretty effective intelligence cooperation with the russians after 9/11. in fact9/11. in fact, i think at the time the russians were probably providing us, you know, more high quality operational intelligence and we were able to provide them, but we know that the relationship and the level of trust between the two countries has deteriorated significantly since then. and that's a problem for sure. and then it is the sort of, the nature, the russians kind of psychology, it's not just the
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russian psychology but maybe more so, like we can do this on our own and we don't need your help. and then for putin, this is such a sore spot because, like we did not recognize, in his view, soon enough, at a think as a legitimate beef about this, that the nature of the threat, even in the mid '90s, in the first chechnya war, when it was mostly a movement of national liberation, there was a significant foreign element their. fighters also sources of financing and training for them. that factor was much more significant in the second chechnya war, and it really rankles him deeply, deeply that this was not adequately recognized, and there's a harping on the double standards
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that only accentuate i think some of the chip on the shoulder, so to speak, about this for him. now, i think the state department did a very smart thing a few years ago in actually putting doku umarov on the list of recognized terrorist groups and individuals, but someone said in russia that was too late, too little and too late. and, finally, we have to look at what happened with the tsarnaev brothers, you know, the fact that there was inadequate communication between u.s. and russian intelligence services tracking and following these guys, and when the elder brother had gone to dagestan, really the
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heart of the sort of islamic threat region in the north caucasus, for six or seven months, you know, have effectively with a tracking? we just don't know. and not knowing doesn't lead to confidence. [inaudible] >> information sharing between the united states and russia, and/or both speak with my suspicion is that it is both. >> i would just add two things on this topic. one, you've heard a lot of discussion of this in the russian press recently in terms of the capacity of security services. they are essentially structured differently from the way that security systems in the west are structured. their main goal is regime security rather than public security, let's say. and, obviously, with high
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profile, very politically significant event like the olympics, those two things are connected but nevertheless i think the goal of the security state that putin provides over, and, indeed, in which putin came, is very much directed more at inflating the regime from pressures coming from outside rather than it is toward securing the public in general. and i think one of the challenges that apparatus faces in the conduct of the olympics is trying to make that pivot to do more of a public security role precisely because of the political importance it has. and i don't know about the capacity to do that. the second point that i would just emphasize here, this is something we haven't talked about but i think it's really important in a lot of contexts related to the 11th is corruption. -- to the olympics. the discussion in russian has a lot come in the lead up to the games is always focus on the
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element, not of money that's been misappropriated, misplaced, going into contracts and offshore bank accounts by almost all accounts is going to be the most expensive olympic games ever, upwards of $50 billion, as much as a third of that may of just simply been embezzled or storm. what does this'll have to do with security? i think operationally the security services can be supremely effective. but they are only in the macro sense as effective as the weakest link. in a lot of cases the weakest link is corruption. if you think about some of the successful attacks that had been carried out in russia over the last decade or so, one that really, is really striking i guess is, when to be no chechnya suicide bombers blew up russian aircraft and about what to say 2007 or so. i don't remember exactly --
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2004, okay. essentially what happened was these women bribed their way through the security checkpoints. they bribed the guards at the airport to let them onto the plane, even though they hadn't gone through the proper procedures. they were searched, and then they detonated the suicide bombs when they were on board. so the system can be set up in a way that's designed to focus on these kind of threats, but it only takes one person, one corrupt guard who is willing to look the other weigh way in exce for a bribe of one kind of another to have the entire thing come apart and for a successful attack to be pulled off and you think that's one of the real unknowns as we think about how secure the olympics are going to be. >> that's a very important point. and just note that one of the planes that was targeted i in te 2004 attack was headed to sochi,
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interestingly. the one thing i would say about the russians hud services is that they are ruthless and effective when they want to be. and if you look at the history of u.s. designation of individuals, terrorists from the caucasus region or otherwise, most of those individuals end up dead because the russians kill them. so the russians can be ruthless and effective when you want to be. there are huge limitations and to think they will be challenged here. >> i'm with voice of america. my question is to anybody who takes it. in their latest statement,. [inaudible] took responsibility for volgograd come but also attack
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the sochi including chemical weapons. how serious is this threat, in your opinion? is there any connection to syria, in your opinion lacks thank you. >> -- in your opinion? thank you. >> i think part of this is building the perception of security, and some you have to sort of modulate one's reaction to anything that terrorist groups indicate, but you have to take it seriously, of course. and i know one of the concerns that russia and u.s. officials have had for a long time is the ability of groups in the caucasus to get their hands on wmd, whether it's chemical weapons or nuclear components, and that has been a source of great concern for a number of years. i think the fact that syria is a cauldron of conflict and jeb tentacle weapons available to the actor's there, certain kinds of that concern.
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but i myself have not seen anything in the open-source reporting or otherwise that would suggest that sort of a caravan of chemical weapons moving to sochi four attack. but it's the kind of thing have to take very seriously, and that that is something u.s. authorities are looking at in terms of threat vectors. >> excellent question. although i thought you going to bring up -- i'm sure somebody will. you know, it was very striking to me, you know, in the diametrically opposed responses of u.s. and russian officials to the august 21 brutal chemical weapons attack in syria. the largest one that had been, has been perpetrated, by a long
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shot. and it puzzled me a lot. and in thinking about it, trying to think of, well, what could be a plausible, you know, case were actually the two sides aren't fundamentally disagreeing so much. and the plausible case i suppose would be that actually, you know, the russian government response that the -- the assad forces had no incentive to use chemical weapons since they knew that was the only contingency which would possibly bring upon an american military strike, you know, there's a logic to that for sure, but there's a corollary logic to that as well i think that if the opposition
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somehow could gain control of some chemical weapons in syria and make it appear as though assad's forces had carried out the strike, there would be a huge incentive for them to do that. because of course that would not only bring on the american military strike that much more american international support for them, fighting with the assad government. knowing at the time that before our agreement on the chemical weapons initiative, the diffusion of chemical weapons sites around syria, there are so many sites, it just seems that, you know, gosh, you know, it would only take again, you know, one person or one group to get a
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hold of one site, amongst 44 maybe even more than 40 that existed, have access to the weapons are so i think, you know, supporting what juan is saying. we have to take this very, very seriously, because of the trends of the transnational nature of the groups, individuals are fighting in syria. certainly this is the one issue, in fact this is a moment at which the u.s.-russian relationship begin to turn around somewhat last year over chemical weapons initiative, and subsequently talks about the iranian nuclear weapons program. but whether it is true or not what they are saying, it's certainly clearly will have to be taken very, very, utmost seriousness.
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>> good morning. i am from "usa today." and are, i was one if you could elaborate more on the hoax element of this and whether we might expect to see more sort of reports coming out of the next few weeks before the opening ceremony? and also what are your expectations for protests, for human rights, anti-gay legislation, that type of thing? particularly in the zone that is set up outside the park, far from the park. >> well, sorry. in my opening remarks i was too flippant. i think, although that is -- when i look at the picture, i look at the video, you know, it does make -- this could be a total hoax. someone just having fun, like the intern at ttd you news, san francisco who fed a report of
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the teleprompter after the asian airliner kind of crash landed in san francisco about the names of the pilots, suppose with the first one's name was why so low, et cetera. someone trying to be funny, but not really funny. i think we're going to see -- i would expect to see more reports like this for the reasons that juan collaborated, simply to enhance the insecurity around the games. now, there have to be, for that to really be effective i think to do, some terrorist attacks have to accompany it, but i would expect to see more of this in the weeks ahead. i can only say that i am very,
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very relieved at least at this point we haven't seen any more attacks of the magnitude of what we saw in volgograd three weeks ago. because my greatest fear, i think that they're probably all of us, that could be the beginning of just a series of attacks that take place on a weekly basis, or even more frequently that would effectively destroy the greens -- again, whether sochi was attacked itself or not. and on the lgbt issue, you know, of course and tried to sort of deflector that -- deflect that in his press conference, although in doing so it only kind of i think probably enraged many in the lgbt community more, and supporters more with the way
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he, look, no one is going to get thrown in jail, this kind of legislation is actually more liberal than in many other places, and really what we're only talking about is propaganda about this that's being disseminated. but finally, just leave our children alone. you know, the effect he was trying to address the problem, to defuse the problem, i don't think that was an effective way of doing it, shall we say. all i can say is i hope that the russian authorities have learned enough from the response they have seen, you know, to the issue over the last few months that they will handle it with the utmost care and do the best
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not to inflame the issue in responding to any kind of sort of act or demonstration or statements that take place. but after following russia for so long, sometimes i feel that you can never underestimate their capacity to cut their nose off to spite their face, but maybe just as something more enlightening to say on this. >> well, i don't know, but on this question of hoaxes or threats that may or may not actually be real or may or may not lead to attacks. you know, i think this gets back to the point andy made at the beginning how these particular games are such an important political project for putin personally and for the russian regime more broadly.
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there's a particular narrative that putin and the government gt are trying to get across and they're using the olympics in order to advance that narrative, about how russia has recovered, about how its back on its feet, about how they've succeeded in bringing stability not only to russia but specifically to the north caucasus, which has been such a volatile area for the last two decades. and so to the extent that the jihadists, the insurgents, whatever you want to call them, succeed in changing that narrative, succeed in getting the discussion surrounding the olympics not to be that rush is back on its feet, that putin has brought stability, but rather that there is this instability, there is this insecurity and that's what everybody is focusing on, and i think it gets at undercutting that message that the government is trying to get across, regardless of whether it is a successful attack. if there is a successful attack, that changes the narrative even more but even if there's this kind of low-level chatter that
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basically takes the attention of everybody who's going to sochi and is looking at the olympics off of the attempts to use this to bolster the prestige of the regime, then in some sense that's a success for these insurgents as well. >> i'll just add to that. you know, i think there's -- putin has been very successful i think in the eyes of many in his foreign policy, in the past year. successful sochi olympics kind of accentuates it but it takes the eyes of other issues that are going on inside russia. because things are going inside russia are quite problematic when you look at one of putin's most -- the most important reason for putin being popular and rush is because russians are living more prosperously than they ever have in their history, at the expense of this remarkable period of growth from 1990-2008. had to get out of the financial crisis, came back to a level of
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about 4% of growth, which is okay, not what they wanted to be but since putin has become president, russia's economic growth has fallen close to zero. in 2013 it was 1.3%. the last quarter of 2013 it was close to zero, and incomes were falling. so the sense he has brought prosperity to russia, you know, the olympics go badly, you know, then, you know, they are disgruntled and people are looking around and saying actually this guy, things aren't going so well economically right now in russia. if you want to have a dip in the oil price, which is so important for the performance of the russian economy, then one can actually start imagining a scenario where his leadership is really under much more pressure than one would have imagined. so there's also i think sort of an element of, have the world focus on a successful russia.
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they will come to russia and see what the new rush is like. it's completely different from what the old soviet union was like. this is not your father's buick. this is the new russia. this is one reason why they spent so much money, even though a lot of it has been embezzled or whatnot, you know, as a showcase. >> just one quick point to the question on protests is a very interesting -- interest in what an important one. in planning for the security of anything, whether it's a g20 meeting or the olympics, you've got to account for multiplicity of disruptions, potential disruption. and so do the extent there's been planning, i'm assuming there's planning around everything from dealing with low-level criminality all the way to high end terrorism and in between there are disruptions tied the demonstrations or unanticipated gatherings of individuals that could be disruptive and could then
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combined with other threats to greater problem to your question is a good one because we've been focused on the terrorist threats, security around that, by any security service that's looking at a major event like this is looking at a full suite of potential disruption. it has to be taken into account, both singly and in combination. >> we have time for just a couple more. >> charlie ericsson with hispanic and news services here in washington. [inaudible] might cause the united states to withdraw, from your perception, from the olympics? and secondly, what do you know about what preparations mexico and latin american countries are taking to ensure the safety of
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their athletes? >> do you want to do this in spanish? no. i don't know specifically what the latin american countries are doing. usually what happens in events like this is you have a reliance on the host country to provide the adequate security, the communications. usually most delegations have their own security officer, protocol. the u.s., certainly the best in class in that regard, and probably the most demanding international player in terms of security for its athletes and citizens. to answer your first question, i think absent an actual attack what would be disruptive to u.s. participation in the olympics, the only thing i could imagine is if there were a very serious, credible set of threats directed at u.s. athletes or at venues u.s. athletes would be
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attending. combined with a sense the russians aren't sharing enough information about what's being done to counter it, and a sense we have an inability to counter it ourselves. and so if there's a real sense of series risks to our athletes, that is imminent, and that is material, and that can't be countered, then you start to see a discussion in the situation room about what should be done. but that kind of decision is taken incredibly serious but nobody wants to see the olympics disrupted the polling the american athletes out would be disastrous for everybody i think, and would give the terrorists a victory. so you would want to take that decision very carefully and only in the most serious of situations. >> with that i would like to thank everybody for coming out this morning. this briefing will be archived at you can follow our twitter feed
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at csis for updates and we'll have a transcript out later which will -- which we will release on twitter at csis and her homepage, thanks very much for coming this morning. [inaudible conversations]
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>> [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] >> wrapping up this csis event on secure the issues in the upcoming winter olympics in sochi, russia. if you missed any of this we will have it shortly for you to
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view online anytime at the ap reporting russian secret officials say they are hunting three so-called black widows on the loose in the country who could be targeting the olympics. one of the three potential be no suicide bombers is believed to be in the olympics there so check the women are the wives of previous suicide bombers. we do have some other life events to tell you about coming up today. the federal government is shut down today due to heavy snow that is expected in washington. much of the midwest and east coast up to 10 inches of snow could fall in d.c. that will not deter the u.s. senate from holding a brief role from a session set to happen at 10:30 a.m. eastern. also, the white house briefing is scheduled for 1 p.m. eastern. spokesman jay carney live coverage on our companion network c-span, again starting at 1 p.m. eastern. also, live, new jersey republican governor chris christie is being inaugurated for the second time. he defeated barbara buono in the fall. we will bring live coverage of
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the swearing in and the inaugural speech beginning at noon eastern on our companion network c-span. >> i have a message for my world. i do see myself as a person trying to understand, trying to situate myself. the idea of the book came to me when i was getting lectures at the u.s. air force academy in colorado springs. very nice educated, broad-minded liberal young air force officers have lots of chats with me which i found very interesting. he told me, he told me he was a liberal. sort of strange, radical, physical fundamentalist.
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he told me he was for immigration, which -- when people come to this country, they should learn the nation's language. i don't think he was talking about coming she. so i said yes, i quite agree. everybody should learn spanish. >> the evolution of the united states from hispanic perspecti perspective, "our america" saturday night at 10 eastern and sunday at nine on "after words," part of booktv this weekend on c-span2. and online at booktv's book club, he still time to weigh in on mark levine's liberty amendment. go to and click on book club into the chat room. >> did i feel prepared? yes. first of all i wasn't elected. it didn't make that much difference. i did notice though the difference between the vice
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president's wife and the president's wife is huge, because the vice president's wife can say anything. nobody cares. the minute you say one thing as the president's wife, you've made the news. so that was a lesson i had to learn. pretty quickly. spin watch our program on first lady barbara bush at our website, or see it saturday on c-span at 7 p.m. eastern and live monday our series continues with first lady hillary clinton. >> late last week u.n. secretary-general ban ki-moon of member states that the priorities of the new year would include providing more humanitarian aid to war-torn countries, protecting women and children from trafficking come into disarming nuclear weapons. secretary bond said he was greatly concerned about the immoral actions of individuals with great power and he hopes new heroes of peace will emerge in 2014. this is about 25 minutes.
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[inaudible conversations] >> i called to order the meeting of the plenary to hear a briefing by the secretary-general of the united nations on his priorities were 2014. i take this opportunity to welcome secretary-general and the deputy secretary-general, and the cabinetry, and took spend all represented here today my warmest wishes for the new year. i would also like to express the appreciation of the membership
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for the secretary-general's readiness to brief member states on an annual basis regarding his priorities in the new year. as you all know, this practice of briefing members has been welcomed by assembly and its pronouncement on the revitalization of its work and reflects the importance of the role of the general assembly as the chief deliberative, policymaking and representative organization of the united nations. i look forward to the continuation of this valuable practice in 2014. i now invite the secretary-general of the united nations, his excellency ban ki-moon, secretary-general. >> excellencies, distinguished
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delegates, ladies and gentlemen, happy new year to you all. i wish you and your countries prosperity and peace in the year ahead. i thank you for this opportunity to address the general assembly about our common future. excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, -- [speaking in native tongue] >> translator: with the decision we took in the framework of ongoing crisis in syrian, in sudan, and the central african republic and in the democratic republic of the congo. i appeal for measures to be adopted in order to respond to the underlying threats, promote
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development and to protect the earth. i would like you to go beyond national interests and consider our collective future. we are able for the spirit of this world session she. i've seen the proof of it over the last year. >> you, the member states, adopted the arms trade treaty. we would like to see this historic pact come into effect this year. you held the first ever high level meeting on disabilities and development. 135 member states endorsed the declaration of commitment on eliminating sexual violence in conflict. the high level dialogue on migration and development adopted a pathbreaking declaration. states also adopted the first environmental instrument in more
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than a decade, the minamata convention on mercury. i mentioned these major accomplishments so we may be inspired to overcome the challenges ahead. excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, i have just returned from a syrian refugee camp in the kurdistan governor rate of iraq. i have previously already visited the refugee camps in jordan and turkey. the deputy secretary-general also visited one in lebanon. the people they are dependent on our solidarity to survive. but more than supplies and services, they need peace. from iraq, i went to the second international humanitarian pledging conference on syria in kuwait. his highness, the emir of kuwait, proved his country to be a global humanitarian center.
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's contribution of a half a billion dollars set and inspiring done. your governments and other partners pledged generously more than $2.4 billion. these funds will help us give hope to families. and they will continue to regional stability by helping syria's neighbors to cope with the economic, social, political and security difficulties of hosting more than 3 million refugees. humanitarian aid can feed a hungry child, which is important enough, but it can also indirectly stop a car bomb by reducing social tensions. the conference in kuwait respond to the humanitarian dimensions of assyria crisis. we are also addressing disarmament and peace. the joint opcw-u.n. team is
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meeting tight timeline to rid syria of chemical weapons. we are intensifying efforts to bring the parties together for the international conference on syria in switzerland next week. in montreux, we will present to launched a political process, move to a transitional governing body with full executive powers, and stop the violence. excellencies, there are two situations that require a heightened and focused attention of the international community, two situations where grave violations of human rights are taking place where there is a great danger of mass atrocities, something we've seen too much of in the past. the crisis in south sudan has reached tragic proportions. the united nations has opened our peacekeeping bases the
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people in imminent danger, providing protection and shelter to tens of thousands of civilians. many of them are alive today only because they made it in time to the unmiss camps. we are doing our best with inadequate facilities. conditions are extremely difficult. the situation is volatile. as we help the civilians, we are promoting a peaceful resolution of the conflict. i commend the leaders of igad and the african leaders for their mediation efforts and urged the parties to end the violence through political dialogue. the office of the high commission -- commissioner for human rights is monitoring human rights violations. excellence, ladies and this -- ladies and gentlemen, -- [speaking in native tongue]
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>> translator: i am also deeply concerned about violence in the central african republic, especially information reporting atrocities against civilians. i warmly welcome the initiative and the contribution of the african union, the economic community of west african states, central african states, rather, and france. the international community must redouble its efforts to assist the people of the central african republic to reestablish peace and stability as quickly as possible. i appeal to your generosity. when we hold the conference organized by the european union on monday in brussels here in central african republic, or anywhere else where atrocities are permitted, the authors of
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these crimes must be held accountable for their acts. ladies and gentlemen, last year the united nations organization and its partners negotiated a new framework agreement for peace, security and operation in the democratic republic of the congo and in the great lakes region. we are currently working on the basis of the progress made in stabilizing the eastern part of the democratic republic of the congo. and we are taking advantage of the innovation in peacekeeping within a broader political context and strategy. the intervention brigade of the mission helped break repeated cycles of violence.
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i traveled to the great lakes countries with the president of the world bank in order to support the achievement of the goal described in the framework agreement, which is fighting the underlying threats and by improving living conditions in the entire region. we also traveled to mali and to the sahel with the same message, that peace and development go hand in hand. turning to egypt, i am closely following the referendum process. the united nations intends to support that transition led by egyptians which will respect the democratic principles and protect the rights of all. countries in transition can draw
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inspiration from the imminent adoption of a new constitution in tunisia, which is a decisive step for the people of tunisia, and which sets an example for other states. >> excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, the coming year will be critical for resolving the israeli-palestinian conflict. i strongly support the current negotiations and urge the parties to make the courageous commitments needed to end the occupation and achieve a two-state solution. the situation in gaza remains a serious concern, with a great potential for devastating escalation. i call on the authorities in gaza, israel and egypt to do everything possible to prevent this, and to alleviate the dire humanitarian situation.
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in northeast and southeast asia, i hope that through dialogue, leaders can overcome their tensions, find common understandings about historical and other issues, and move towards more harmonious relations. all involved must refrain from any provocative acts or statements. this year, our last mission in sierra leone will complete its work and withdrawal, and stating how far the country has come, and the valley of sustained efforts to keep, consolidate and build peace. excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, we must focus greater attention on the interrelated threats of organized crime, terrorism, i received, extremism, and trafficking in drugs, people in arms. and we must continue striving to
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achieve a nuclear weapon free world. this year's nuclear security summit at the hague is an important opportunity. last year, we maintain our focus on human rights and the rule of law. at the 100th anniversary of the peace palace at the hague, we stressed the importance of international law and the accomplishments of the international court of justice and criminal tribunals. also last year, we marked the 20th anniversary of the vienna declaration on human rights, which paved the way for the creation of high office -- the office of the high commissioner. ..
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>> we must also confront the alarming increase in the number of states that are incapable of delivering development and stability to their people. i'm deeply concerned about countries where transitions have faltered. we must strengthen our state-building tools. i'm also troubled by manifestations of enmy ty between different


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