tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN February 4, 2014 8:00pm-10:01pm EST
order. i have a new announcements before we start. we had a classified section to discuss our most pressing intelligence issues and the threats from nations and the increase in cyberattack capability. now we turn to our open session where the american people receive the benefit of as much transparency about intelligence as is possible. we are in open section and
should be careful not to talk about classified items. and those who hackle members or are disruptive with clothing and appearance or engage in other activities that distract the hearing will be removed. james clapper, john brennan, micha michael flynn and james comey is here. the illegal disclosures is outmatched by the shocking volume of critical information that cause stolen and likely
disclosed to our enemieenemies. we are not talking about business records or phone data. they go to the core of the ability to defend itself and threaten to capability of the armed forces and long into the future the stolen material will threaten to safety and security of our soldiers and marines in the field. yet, at a time when our intelligence agencies need leadership and clear regulations they have to endure more confusion from the administration. we have written delays in coherence and confusion in policies that do little but make it difficult for intelligence agencies to do their work. important legal programeris are
changed without doing anything wrong. and key covert action has had serious negative consequences to the united states state. the national approach to security has one thing that is concern and that is our allies have no clue what our important things are from day to day. we returned from meetings and to the individual they expressed frustration over the lack of clarity in united states policies when it comes to engagement in rough parts of the world. a senior official highlighted the confusion when stated on serious policy matters he received direction from the pentagon that was different from the direction he got from the state department that was different from the direction me
>> one of the most challenging times in our country's history. i feel the lack of leadership is creati creating growing risk aversion. today,individuals who would have previously been removed from the battlefield by u.s. counterterrorism operations for attacking or plotting against the u.s. interest remain free because of self-imposed red tape. while we are busy pondering more "transparency," our intelligence professionals are left paralyzed because of totally incoherent policy guidance. so let me be the first to say publicly: the president's may 2013 policy changes for u.s.
targeted strikes are an utter and complete failure. those changes, while sounding pretty in a speech, are today, right now, endangering the lives of americans at home and our military overseas. america's adversaries are not slowing down. i asked if he had the conviction for our hard-fought gains and victory or would we walk away.
such operational freedom results in loss of hard fine gains. we are in a fight and our policy should be based on what best protects america. now is not the time to disengage from the world. the drip of classified information designed to undermine u.s. interests will continue, but we must move past false accusations and feigned outrage. we need leadership and clear thinking in this difficult time. and we must get back to business of protecting america. that is why we look to you, the heads of our intelligence agencies, to find innovative ways to reclaim america's rightful position in the world.
it is no small task. before turning to our witnesses for an opening statement, i will yield to mr. ruppersberger for an opening statement. >> thank you, chairman rogers. and the rest of the panal. thank you all for being here today at this important hearing so we can communicate to america what the intelligence committee is doing. first, i would like to acknowledge the leaders of thank you for being here today. throughout 2013, the intelligence community continued to provide policy makers with the vital information necessary to promote the values and interests of america, as well as to protect and defend it. they did so amidst profound challenges, not only abroad, but at home, too. be it in syria or boston, the intelligence community has worked tremendously hard. this past year, the ic has had to work amidst the worst leaks of classified information in our country's history. make no mistake: when we hand over our classified information, our
adversaries and enemies adjust accordingly. we know this has already happened as a result of these leaks. terrorist networks like al-qaeda and foreign countries are changing their tactics to avoid our detection. with this, the work of the intelligence community to respond and uncover threats becomes that much harder. we must not forget that these authorities and capabilities are in place to keep our country and its citizens safe. while the intelligence community has followed the law-that is clear-it is apparent that the public has lost confidence in these programs. i believe we must adopt important reforms to restore america's confidence in what the intelligence community does. we must increase transparency, strengthen oversight and improve safeguards to privacy and civil liberties. i now want to look ahead to the challenges of 2014. the threats we face continue to grow. there is no greater example of this than the threats to america's cybersecurity. while the house passed the cyber intelligence sharing and protection act (or, as we know it, cispa)
last year, cispa has not yet become law, even though we worked very closely with the white house, the intelligence community, critical infrastructure companies, various industries across the technology spectrum, and privacy and civil liberties groups, to greatly improve the bill. this means that the government still cannot fully share cyber threat intelligence with the private sector, and the private sector cannot share cyber threat information with the government. in the meantime, countries and terrorists continue to attack our economic infrastructure, our trade secrets, and our critical infrastructure. we hear about these attacks in the news everyday. early last year, for example, our financial sector suffered a wide-scale network denial of service attack that proved difficult and very costly to mitigate. the retail giant, target, is another recent example of our vulnerability to cyber-attacks. we also have to do far more to expand our bench of cyber professionals and innovators, by investing in early education in science, technology, engineering and math (stem). our adversaries are making heavy investments in the education of their youth, and we must do the same. education is the keystone of security and prosperity in the 21st century.
as far as collection priorities in this year, the intelligence community must remain vigilant on iran. we must recognize that our consistent vigilance and our tough sanctions have brought us to a point where i believe important progress can be made on ending iran's nuclear program. i am hopeful, yet realistic, on where we are and where we can go: with sound intelligence, strong diplomacy, and robust defense, i am encouraged that more can be done to keep a nuclear weapon out of the hands of iran. in syria, unfortunately, there is less cause for optimism. i applaud the agreement to remove syria's chemical weapons; but i am increasingly troubled by the delays. we must keep our attention focused on completing this process, and doing so quickly. at the same time, we must not lose sight of the horrendous humanitarian crisis that continues in syria, and we must remain vigilant against the rise of al-qaeda and other extremists there. the area has become a magnet for terrorists, further destabilizing an already fragile region. we must ensure they do not make their way to
america's shores or hurt our interests and allies overseas. and violent extremists are not just a problem in syria. in 2013, we saw aqap, aq's yemeni faction, and the group's north african affiliate, aqim, pose a very severe threat to the u.s. in august, the threat forced the state department to close 19 embassies across the middle east and north africa in response to an aqap plot that was-thanks to your efforts- intercepted. on the other hand, aqim successfully conducted an attack against western interests in mali and algeria, while somalia-based terrorist group al shabaab committed a brutal attack in kenya. china continues with great concern on their cyber policy and in the east china sea. beijing's so-called "air defense identification zone," which would require u.s. forces to identify themselves and their mission to chinese
forces as they fly near or over certain tiny islands, is a troubling power and land grab. it is also an affront to international law. these moves increase the risk of misunderstanding and miscalculations between washington and china, making the role of intelligence that much more important. in russia, our athletes, and athletes from around the world, will be convening in just a few short days to compete in the 2014 winter olympics. in the past month, we have seen some troubling terrorist activity, and we must keep up our guard. in afghanistan, 2014 marks the year in which combat operations end-but we know our vital national security interests there will not cease. we need to maintain our intelligence efforts there, even after the military withdraws. core al qaeda and the taliban will continue to represent a threat; but we must not forget that afghanistan is more than a front in the counterterrorism war. afghanistan has broader strategic implications. it borders both iran and pakistan, and is close to both russia and china. this year, we must also continue to focus attention on space. we must continue to promote our commercial space industry, and relax those outdated regulations that are hampering our competitive advantage. i cannot emphasize enough that
us companies must also be allowed to compete in a free market. this competition will promote innovation in our space industry. finally, we need to rely on the intelligence community to look where others are not, to lift their gaze beyond the shiny objects of today. we need you to identify long term trends that cut across individual states or groups. these trends, be they environmental, demographic, or technological, are the emerging fault lines of conflict. early action can avoid long term pain. and we need to do all of this, and everything we do, in ways that protect civil liberties. liberty and security are not mutually exclusive. we can and must work to protect both, and we must remain ever-vigilant in this area. i look forward to hearing from you on these challenges facing our country, how you plan to address them, and how you are going to work individually, and together, to do so. and finally, before i close, i want to take a moment to appreciate the men and women of the intelligence community who are working to keep us safe 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. especially with the government shutdown of last fall and the leaks, we
heard a lot of negativity in 2013 directed towards federal employees generally, and our intelligence professionals specifically. this is unfounded and unjust. these federal employees work nights, weekends, holidays, and in some of the most remote and dangerous locations to promote and defend the nation. and they do so not for money, and not for fame-since they must often remain anonymous-but for love of country and dedication to its ideals. mr. chairman, i yield back. >> thank you, mr ruppersberger. dr. clapper the floor is yours. >> my colleagues and i are tear to prevent the worldwide threat assessment as we do every year. i am cover five topics in ten minutes on behalf of all of us.
this is my fourth appearance before the committee to discuss the threats we face. i made this previously, but it is now more relevant and evident today. looking back over my more than half a century in intelligence, i have not experienced a time bh we are facing more threats around the globe. my list is long. it included terrorism loosely connected and disbursed like the bombing in boston. and the attacks in syria -- the strength in syria is somewhere between 75,000 or 80,000 up to
115,0 115,000. three of the most effective total about 26 thousand insur insurganinsurgaen insurgence. there is a small group of al qaeda veterans who have external attack in europe, if not the homeland. and there are many other chriss and -- crisis -- around the globe like the spillover in lebanon.
the implications of the drawdown in afghanistan. and the detereating status in iraq. the proliferation of mass destruction of weapons. an an assertive russia, a competitive china, a dangerous competing north korea, a challenging iran, potential conflict and extremism in africa. violent political struggles all around in the ukraine and other areas.
the demands for energy, water and food. the increasing sophistication of crime. the magnitude of human traffics. synthetic drugs. potential for pandemic disease as a result of drug-resistant bacteria. we live in a complex, dangerous world. the statements we provided have a review of these topics. my second topic is what is containing extraordinary amounts of time. in the whitehouse and public foursquare. i am talking about the most massive detest in history of edward snowden. and the avalanche published and
broadcasted around the world. i will not dwell on the debate of edward snowden's morals or his irony of the nation he fled to. what i do want to speak to is the nation's senior intelligence officer is the profound damage his disclosures caused and will continue to cause. as a consequence, my view is the nation is less safe and the people are less secure. what he stole has gone way, way beyond domestic surveillance programs. we have lost critical intelligence sources including some shared by valued partners. terr terr terrorists are going to school
on the united states trade craft and the insights they are gaining are making our job much harded. and this involves putting the lives of people at risk and the armed forces, diplomats and citizens. edward snowden for his part claims he has won and his mission is accomplished. if that is so, i call in him and his people to return the stolen documents that haven't been exposed to prevent more damage into the united states. i want to comment on the ensuing fallout. i started in the intelligence
profession 50 years ago. members of my family, brother-in-law and my wife all worked at nsa so this is deeply personal to me and my family. the real facts as the president noted on the 17th of january, that the men and women who work at the nsa, have done their utmost to protect the country and do so in a lawful manner. as i, and other leaders in the company, have said the nsa's job isn't to target the e-mails and calls of citizens. they have performed critical missions i am sure the american people wanted carried out. the affects of the disclosures hurt the entire community, but
just the nsa. the united states has invested billions and the programs are at risk. moreover the impact by the losses cause caused by the disclosures will be amplified with the budget cuts. the intelligence community is going to have less capacity to protect its nation and allies. i am compelled to talk about to negative moral this is having. this leads me to my fourth point. this committee, congress at large, executive branch and most acutely all of us in the intelligence community with the
imperative to accept more risk. we must and will manage together with you and those we support in the executive branch. but if dealing with reduced capabilities is what is needed to insure the faith and confidence of the people, we in the intelligence community will work as hard as we can to meet the expectations before us. and that is my fifth and final point. the major take away for us, and for me, is we must lean in the direction of transparency whenever we can. with greater transparency about the programs, the many people might be more likely to accept them. a major hall mark is transparency. i have tasking with the attorney general to deduct
declassification and develop 702 statues under the foreign is surveillance act to and modify bulk collection of meta data. clearly, we will need your support in making these changes. through all of this, we must, and we will sustain our professional trade graph and integrity. and we must bond together to protect to americans citizens and abroad from the myriad of threats i discussed. we are ready to address the questions and with that i conclude.
>> there is a widespread interest in changing our syria policy. can you talk about the groups that are posing a threat to our allies in the united states that maybe operating in eastern security? >> there are three groups that we are concerned about. two of them are more dedicated to tourist agenda. we are concerned about the use of syrian territory by the al qaeda organization to recruit individuals and develop the capability to cair bring about in syria and use syria as a launching pad. so al qaeda and isil is who i am
concerned about and their ability to attract people from the west, middle east and south asia. >> did you believe there are training camps that have been established on either side of the iraqi or syrian border for the purpose of training al qaeda? >> there are camps in both areas that are used by al qaeda to develop capabilities in the theater and beyond. >> do you that ungoverned space presented a real threat to the united states via al qaeda operation or the west? >> i do. >> what do you make of the trial separation between the al qaeda
in the lavont and the front? >> i think it demonstrates there are groups that are not following the guidance of al qaeda core. one is still in the afghanistan area. and isil decided to go on its own and pursue its independent agenda and that is why a lot of fighting is taking place in syria. it is reflecting the division among the extremist elements. >> does that mean al qaeda and lavont want pursue external operations? do they present an equal threat we should be concerned about? >> i think any group that as origins in al qaeda or associated with al qaeda presents a threat.
>> isn't there a concern that by this recent significant and unprecedented action from al qaeda core that they will have something to prove and that may escalate any interest in external operations outside of syria given that is one of the reasons they separated in the first place? >> it is near term concern and a long-term concern. >> so you would argue that this is a clear and present danger and a growing danger if we don't have some effort, and we will not say how that might come together, but try to do something to disrupt their ability to plan and train for external operations >> syria presents a number of challenges to the security of the united states in terms of the spillover in neighbors countries and also concerns on the terrorism front. >> and we, again, just returned
from the munich security conference. and a huge expression of frustration about what they believe is an in coherent policy. >> syria is a complex issue with many levels to it. the growing terrorist threats presents a growing threat. >> i want to get the general flynn to the defense and agency report that was issued and made available to the committee which is the first agency to complete the review of the stolen
information. do you believe the leaks will cost american lives on the battle field now or in the futu future? >> i do. >> did the compromise make it ha harder to deal with the ied leaks? >> i believe so, yes >> that has an immediate threat to the soldiers and military people in the combat field today. >> chairman, i believe it does. >> has the world been out at risk? have you had to alter any assignments as a result of this compromised material? >> for the purposes of the task
force study, we assume that edward snowden stole everything he took. and we assume the worst case in how we are reviewing a lot of defense departments actions, events, exercise around the world. so to cut to the chase of your question, i believe we will have to make adjustments into the futu future. >> what services have been impacted? all of them. army, national guard, and so on >> there is going to be an operation to minimize the effecs? >> i believe there is going to have to be >> did it give insight on how we
track them and how we might look at what is vulnerable in the united states military? >> yes, they do. what i don't want to do is get too far in front of where this investigation is going on this issue and also -- >> i am just talking about the material that was stolen. i don't know how you read that report and don't get the conclusion that if our advasaes advantages. >> yes, it could. >> did you believe the russian authorities has interest in exploiting someone with these
documents? >> absolutely. >> and did you agree the nsa contractor might be under the influence of resolution russian intelligence agents. >> i don't have any information on that. there is a possibility. >> do you believe the russians have the capability of gaining the information from the nsa contract contract contractor? >> they have the availability to do that. >> would it be your understanding they would not make an effort? or do we assume they would? >> absolutely, we have to asoom they would. >> how would you rate the
russian intelligence service? >> pretty capable >> would you say they are hostile into the united states? >> there are times when we are in conflicts as we are with the sochi olympics and others times we are not. >> they are not cooperating with the information for the olympics. >> i think as both directors say that is improving. >> that might be a little inconsistent from what he heard last night. he heard information from internal operations is less forth coming if not at all. did something change? >> no, i am saying it is better
now than when i engaged with the russians three years ago on this subject and got stiff armed. and you are quite right they are prone to cooperate with external threats and less so with internal. >> would you expect the russian services to have conversations with this individual already? >> i would find it odd if they didn't >> would you expect someone who is living and being taken care of and in the custody of the fsb to be cooperating with the russians to live there. >> that is possibility. >> have they conducted misinformation campaigns? >> they have. >> does the intelligence company recruit information on behalf of
the american companies? >> they do not. >> would that be against the law? >> it would. >> would spreading that we conduct to our european allies. would that hamper the negotiati negotiations in the trade agreement? >> yes, it would. >> could such lies be another misinformation from russian campaign? would it not be in the interest of them to dismantle the trade negotiations? >> i am sure they would look for any opportunity to achieve a political advantage. >> what percentage of information related to anything other than the meta data program? >> the vast majority of what is at risk bears on many other
topics besides telephone meta data. >> what is given to newspaper outlets versus things kept for other purposes -- what portion do you think that the represents? >> i don't know. that is assessing what he took and what he shared in the media or with a national entity, we don't know that. we do know the 200 articles that have been published around the world which do give us some insight into what was taken. >> do you have an estimate of what the taxpayer's cost would
be to mitigate the last? >> i do not. i think there is more to be revealed here. and so i think we will be accounting for this for months and maybe years ahead.
there have been discussions about selling of access to this material to both newspaper outlets and other places. to the best of your knowledge, is fencing stolen material a crime? >> yes, it is. >> and would selling the access of classified material stome stolen from the united states -- is that a crime? >> it would be. it can be complicated, but fencing or selling stolen property is a crime. >> if i am a news report for fill in the blank and i sell stolen material is that legal because i am a newspaper
reporter? >> if you are hawking stolen jewelry
it is as a crime. >> if i am hawking stolen information for possession of profit, is that not a crime? >> i think that could have first amendment implications. >> entering into a deal to sell stolen material. >> i cannot answer that. >> if there are people helping steal the prevailing information, shouldn't be be concerned? >> we should be concerned about all of the facts surrounding stolen facts. >> interesting over the munich conference where we had individuals telling us individuals were in possession of this information and eager to sell it to other news
organizations. is that a legitimate worry? >> i don't want to get into the the details. we are looking at the totality. >> i have host of other questions but i will make sure others
have a chance to ask questions. mr. ruppersberger? >> we need to debate on what happened with edward snowden and the issues of privacy versus what the intelligence committee is doing for future attacks and steal the american people's information. i believe the public is concerned with the activities of
the intelligence committee. those of us who work in the committee understand the nsa isn't breaking laws and there is more checks and balances in the country more so than any other country. we have a challenge to move forward. we have been working on the cyber-security (to promote cispa)- year after year we are witnessing the cyber threat slowly and steadily encircling us. we just we have -- we just had the target attack and the united states loses -- close to 400 billion dollars of trade
secrets. that doesn't take into consideration destruction attacks when countries like iran or al qaeda can shutdown businesses and shows types of things. i want to ask you, general clapper, we have a long way to go. we have legislation that will be coming before the congress on how we are going to deal with the whole issues of nsa, intelligence committee and what would you like to see congress do as far as helping the intelligence committee do your job but get the information out to the public? i believe we don't want to give up sources and methods, but we have to be more forthcoming in letting the public know what the intelligence committee is doing to protect us from the attacks >> one specific area i think it is clear is we will need congressional support on and
that is modifying in some way section 215 of the patriot act governing businesses meta data on the telephone. we are hoping to get action and come to the congress within a specific area. >> general clapper, my suggestion to you and the administration is you work with congress week-by-week. what we would like to do is not get your proposal and then react. we would like to work with you on that. we worked with the administration on cisp cispa. i would hope we can work this
together. we have a lot of ideas on different side of the aisle. i do have to address this issue: do you feel the obama administration is getting in the way of the intelligence's community to do its jobs? we cannot afford to not get it right. the whole purpose of intelligence is getting information to protect our citizens. so if allegations are out there coming from other areas, can you address them? >> i do not feel the administration or the president is getting in the way of the
community. he gave due credit to the work of the community and the woman of national agency. we have a specific task list that i outlined in my oral statement that we can work away at. i am a believer in as much transparency as we can inject into this whole dialog. but protecting sources, methods and crafts. we will need the support of you and the congress. >> there is issues with our allies because of edward snowden
release and they have a concern on working with us. do you feel there is a problem with our relationship? from what i understand it is more on the political side than the actual intelligence committee? >> we have found after having dialogue with counter parts in the foreign countries. there is a political dimension to this. they each have a domestic agenda they have to contend with. but in the confines of an intelligence discussion the vast majority of the allies want to get on with business. >> your direct of national intelligence and it is important we focus on issues and deal with directly. that is your job. there is one area and not many people talk about it. but we have to continue to keep the eye on the ball as it
related to space. with all of the other issues with edward snowden, syria, and iran, space is one of the most important things we do protect the united states. because of really the actions of our forefathers and president kennedy we became the strongest country because i believe of our investment in the space program. i am concerned that china is conducting test and as the re-field has been troubling to our satellites. countries are working to destroy our satellite on which so much of our daily lives depend on including gps actions. can you describe the counter space threat and what we can do to better protect ourselves and
i am interested in whether chinese leadership fully relies the ramifications of destroying one of our satellites. >> that is why i brought this up at the closed section. first, obviously recognition of the importance the united states places on space assets and i am not speaking of intelligence resources but for many other purposes. other countries recognize that heavy dependence on space obviously. so as we describe last night, there are countries who are pursuing aggressive counter space capabilities that i cannot go into here because of classification restrictions. suffice to say, we have docum t
documented and projected what the threats are and are taking appropriate actions to deal with them. i most certainly think that the russia and china well understand the implications as an act of war to do something destruction against any of our satellite. >> i yield back. >> thank you, mr. chairman. if we could move to another region in the world for discussion. i am interested in as we draw down in afghanistan, pakistan's influence. do you see them stabilizing or destablizi
destablizing? >> their primary concern is india. they have the capability of being a stable force, particularly with the new administration. that is their instinct and they would like to. >> more individuals have been killed at the hands of terrorism than any other country wor worldwide. we work closely with them and sometimes we disagree on how to approach terrorism. but it is a partnership that must get better. >> can you talk about the continued relationship with afghanistan despite the withdraw? >> we hope, whatever the troop size, we have a positive
relationship with the afghanistan government, whatever form that takes. and one of the major interest there apart from the peace stability is the need be to survey counter-terror ism operations. >> what happens if asad doesn't go in syria? >> he is in a strengthening position by virtue of his agreement to remove the chemical weapons. if he doesn't go and in the absence of a diplomatic agreement ensuing i would foresee more of the same.
neither the regime or opposition can prevail. >> has the regime given up a lot of weapons? >> well they are not out of the country yet, no. >> are they complying with all of the terms? >> in terms of all of the declarations they were required to make, we think they did well. there has been a slow pace of the removal of these as there has been two sip shipments only. it is difficult to parse out what is a general concern versus what is contrived in the interest of pro-longing the process. >> director you called on edward
snowden to return the items that haven't been disclosed. is there reason to believe the russians are in possession of what else he brought? it is a reasonable assumption, but we don't know that. >> it seems you believe this administration isn't political when it comes to intelligence; is that true? >> it is as far as i am concerned, yes. >> and my final question, can anybody at the table tell us when somebody is going to be held for the murders in benghazi? >> i can tell you this is a top priority of the fbi. we have made progress but i cannot talk about the details of that progress. it is a difficult investigation
but one we have invested a lot of resources in. >> when can we expect some movement? >> by movement you mean? >> captured or killed or detained? >> we will do everything in our power and never give ununtil we have the people in custody. >> no matter how long it takes? >> the one thing at the fbi we never do is forget. >> thank you. director clapper, i would like to follow-up on the statement the chairman made and the follow-up questions the ranking member made to his statement. do you feel the country is more at risk for terrorism because of the obama administration's policies? >> i do not.
i don't think it has anything to do with the policies of this administration or any other. i think it has more to do with the transformation, if you will, of the terrorist threat and its defusion and global threat. >> you are not confused by any policies coming from the administration? >> no. >> thank you. shifting to russia, over the course of the last couple years, we have seen russia support syria and provide limited information regarding the boston bombers and provide a save haven to edward snowden and stronghold the ukraine and provide limited coc cooperation to the terrorist
threats into the sochi. do you see russia turning into the cold war post postture of the united states? >> i think there is cleary a desire to return to global status and that colors the behavior of the russian government. and the pursuit of their interest in which they are competitive with us. >> thank you. specifically on the olympics in sochi, do you assess the rusian government is taking adequate precaution to protect olympic athletes and visitors? >> let me pass to matt olsen as he is working on the problem. >> thank you. we are very focused on threats
to the games and we are working the russians and other partners and monitor threats and disrupt them. the primary threat comes from the most prominent terrorist group in russia and it is making its intent clear to seek to bring about attacks in the run up to the games. we think the greater danger is for it to occur outside of the games and the surrounding areas of sochi. we are sharing information with the russian and they are sharing with us. there is always more we could do, but i mind characterize the level of sharing as good. >> do you think of any specific threats targeting the olympics? >> there are a number of specific threats of varying
degree of creditability. this is what we were expecting as we have seen a number of these in the prior events. >> is it safe for americans to travel sochi? >> i would say they should travel the state department guidelines. >> we have an upcoming world cup in the 2016 olympics in brazil. are we fully monitoring the safety situations in regard to those two avept -- events -- daupt ...
of demonstrations and opposition in the eastern part of the country, which i think is an interesting turn of events. thank you. >> i yield back, mr. chairman. >> thank you. mr. connway. >> thank you for being here. can we talk about china's intentions for growing -- tension in their effort in the south china sea and toward japan. all the neighbors the fill
philippines? why are they doing it. and do they have any insight -- if we have a trigger event that occurred shifts running together, planing running running in to each other. some sort of sweer ferns that looks like an act of war. why is china precipitating these and can you talk us about -- >> china sees itself as a global player as well. and they feel they have hi call as reasonable as they may seem to us. in their mind, hi call claim toward the south china sea and over the islands, they have great concerns about our pivot, which in their mind is represent an an attempt to contain them.
they have been aggressive about asserting what they believe is their manifest destiny, if you will. in that part of the world. those create potential flash points here over the i did piewt over the islands and over energy and access to -- in that sort of thing particularly in the south china sea and having traveled to that region recently, i can tell you it's of great concern expressed privately more so publicly on the part of the country you mentioned. >> you talked about the traditional region. to you see china going beyond that area? and -- >> i think over time they will try to project themselves globally. they have an interest in the indian ocean.
they are reaching out and participating in more humanitarian and peace keeping operations. so i think over time they intend to project globally. >> how accurate do you think our estimates are of what the increases in military spending have been over the last several years? >> i'll have to research these assessment of spending. i can -- i did last night to me what has been an impressive modernization program across every sphere that has a military application. including cyber, and all other armed forces. and they place a lot of emphasis of late on combined arms operation which they haven't done in the past. so across the board, whether it's the missiles, subs, aircraft, you name it.
very impressive. military modernization program, which i think is basically designed to -- in their minds, address what they feel are our strengths. our naval strength command and control et. cetera. they looked at us and that's what i think sin influenced a great deal what they do. >> can you give us any insight in to what we perceive is their internal threat? they believe that unrest among the populous is a threat to the regime. >> one of their major tenant, particularly the new regime in china, of course, is internal control, and they go great length to control access to the internet and information exchange among our citizens. thank you, mr. chairman i yield back. >> thank you, mr. connway.
mr. . >> correction. i'm sorry. my apologies. thank you, gentleman. i appreciate the hearing. let me be clear director clapper, do you have any concrete intelligence of snowden and the russian government in regard to the stolen documents. >> i want to thank you, director clapper, for your robust deafen of transparency which has been characterized as a potential threat to our security. or dismissed as politics. i prefer to call it democracy. i believe that the national debate on domestic surveillance has been valuable, but u fortunately it was an nsa contract leaker who initiated it
and not the government. the done program is another example of a significant activity that the public is trying to discuss but has been thwarted by a lot of transparency. this year amnesty international and human rights watch conducted serious research and raised legitimate concerns about the consequences of the drone program on u.s. security. yet, the government has not responded. director clapper, what steps can the intelligence community take to increase tran parent sei to the drone program and foster a responsible national debate? >> we're speaking of activities that are conducted covertly. that's one area where being transparent is one of the number of areas we're not going to be able to perhaps be as fully transparent as some might like. when i was at the white house and i was assistant to the president of counterterrorism i
spoke repeatedly publicly about this so-called drones the public aircraft that become an instrument of war. i spoke about it to the extent i could. this is something, i think, has been discussed quite broadly. >> does the intelligence community weigh or consider how signature strikes, strikes against unnamed military-age males may increase the terrorist threat because they could generate hatred for americans and motivate youth to join rather than reject terrorist groups. director clapper -- or director brennan, either one. >> from the intelligence community perspective we are always evaluating and analyzing developments overseas to include any counterterrorism activity we might be involved in to see what the impact is.
i think the feeling is that the counterterrorism activities we have engaged in with our partner, we the u.s. government broadly, both intelligence perspective as well as military perspective have greatly mitigated the threat to u.s. persons both overseas and homeland. >> do you believe that the signature strike model, if adopted by other countries, that are developing an armed drone program can be a threat to the united states? >> well, there could be. i would have to comment on the -- talk about this here the great care that is exercised by the united states. i would hope in being precise about which targets to strike. i would hope as other countries acquire similar capable they follow the model we have for the care and precision we exercise.
>> one other question, as marked up by the committee the fy2014 intelligence authorization bill includes a amendment i sponsored requiring a written plan for each covert action program to prepare ahead of time for the potential leak of that program. it increases the threat to u.s. sources and method if they are caught flat fooded by the league. any covert action can be disclosed unexpectedly. director brennan, without disclosed classified details. does each covert action have or will it have a written plan of action to deal with leaks of significant activities in that program? >> it's one of the issues we take to account whenever there's a covert action program approved and implemented. it takes in to account the implications could be in the event of leaks.
unfortunately there are too many leaks about a lot of things that the united states intelligence community involved in. so it becomes almost part of our business to anticipate those. >> i yeeltd -- yield back. >> thank you. mr. king. >> thank you, mr. chairman. let me thank you for the the outstanding service you govern our country. general clapper, let me thank you for the defense you gave on the nsa. i think it's important to have it on the record time and again. putting in perspective the terrible damage that snowden has caused to our country, to our men and women of the armed services, and americans general. it's unfortune that he's been horrifying some aspect of the media. even some member of congress people in public life and given a distorted version to the american people who somehow think he's a whistle-blower rather than i would say a person who is sold out his country and
put americans in terrible danger throughout the world. as a followup to your conversation with the chairman rogers about russia and also attaching it to snowden. the backdrop of increasingly aggressive russian behavior, diplomatically the role in syria was more than they've had in the region of the world in more than 40 years. seeking economic and weapons transaction with egypt and saudi arabia. more aggressive action in ukraine and intrusive action in scanned knave ya. as pointed out the fact they haven't used the information in the past, can you express your concern about the fact that snowden is basicfully their custody. he is -- i guess we don't know. the fact is that he's only allowed to stay in russia -- i guess the backdrop of
increasingly aggressive behavior. how damaging can any information they get from snowden be? >> did t can be quite damaging, congressman king. and of course, we don't specifically know, but it would be completely out of character having observed the soviet and now russian security services in my 50 years of intelligence. they are very capable and aggressive. so it's beyond belief to me they wouldn't be taken advantage of the opportunity both to exploit and control snowden. i think to your initial commentary, this is, again, a part of russia's image of itself as a global great power. it's long had syria as client in the mideast, and so they have done all they can to sustain
that -- take advantage of the opportunities where they can with egyptians as you mentioned. to extend their influence. as far as what we expect in the future from russia. to me it's significant enough that putin seems to have the idea of a bring back the glory of russia, such as it was. if you attach it to putin. the fact he's a former kgb person particularly interested in trying to extract whatever information they can to use -- as brought out as far as trade agreements, as far as undercutting us for the allies and spreading disinformation through the media as they if for many years. >> i could not disagree with that, sir. >> i yield back. >> thank you. thank you, mr. king.
mr. schiff. >> thank you, mr. chairman. director, you have spoken frequently about the unmanned area vehicles and program the president at ndu in may gave one of the more detailed account of the criteria used in those -- otherwise known as drone efforts. you tried to increase transparency in the program. one way that i think would increase transparency and public accountability is if we could publish an annual report that identified how many combatants were killed through the use of unarmed unmanned vehicle and how many noncombatant were killed.
might be beb official as well. is that something you can support. twhiewld be another effort transparency we can make and would that, in your view, as in mine be a fairly dmin use value to our adversary. >> i think a recommendation that have to go to the administration and a participaten't in the interagency process to discuss the advantages and potential disadvantages of it. it certainly are worth recommendation if you would like to make that. >> can you share any thoughts with us today on the coast of that? if it were done say at the end of the year, if we had categories so you could pin pinpoint any particular incident. is it your sense that the cost in terms of getting our adversary any useful information would be minimal?
>> congressman, i think this is something for you to discuss with the administration and the policy makers and then what we would need to do is take a look at it analytically and determine whether or not it's something that the u.s. government feels as though would be worthwhile to do. there's a lot of debate about you know what is the basis for those determinations and those numbers. it's something i would defer to the administration on. >> thank you. >> the president in his speech in may also indicated there's a wide disparity of view regarding those numbers. i think more transparency and public accountable would be beneficial. director clapper, moving to some of the privacy issues that have come up in the last six months, the tech companies are in a pretty impossible situation.
nay somewhere a business model which includes a lot of international business which is becoming increasingly difficult to come by. there's a sentiment with the recent department which would be help to feel them. can we go beyond that to let them assure the international customers the number of times they're asked to divulge information is very limited compared to the overall number of transactions, and are there other ways we can help them make the international business case because it's very much, i think, in our interest to do so. >> well, first, congressman, thank you for signing the agreement that was recently struck with the providers on categories of disclosure so they can now make and they already have, which i think shows part of the administration's commitment to try to improve
that situation. as also, i think it shows in the role of the population out there infrequently these capabilities are called upon. one of the features of the which was in the speech and in the presidential policy direct was to see what we could do to extend privacy protections to non-u.s. stpts. -- citizens. i think it is unique gnat world. we're looking at that. just like in our own domestic context, we'll have to weigh the risk versus gain and how much that impinges on foreign intelligence. we are working through that. not in a position today to say how it come out. but clearly whenever we can enhance transparency to the benefit of the -- of our commercial partners with we certainly will.
>> thank you, mr. chairman i yield back. >> thank you, mr. schiff. >> thank you for our panel for being here today. before i start with a few questions a quick comment that recently returned from another trip to africa, and for all of our men and women, director ben man especially for your folks, a heart felt thank you for volunteering to be in difficult circumstances and some places that are not very nice at all to protect the interest of the united states. very motivating. they're extremely patriotic making great sacrifices, and i know they don't often get thanks for what they do. not very many people know about it. if you can pass our thanks for the great job they do. >> absolutely, congressman. thank you for the kind words. >> i'm interested to have your
take on repeat development -- recent developments in egypt and whether the muslim brotherhood we can expect them to have a resurgence if the recent attack there -- do we believe it's the first of many, or where -- can you give us any idea where you think it is headed? >> there are a nurnlt of groups that are active inside of egypt. there's one group that carried out some tax. and credit for a tax inside of egypt, cairo, there are a number of groups in the sinai also operating carrying out some attack against the egyptian security and police installations. there are also a lot of low-level violence being carried out by increasing number of activists some of whom may have relationship with the muslim brotherhood. but there is a growing sense of
the carrying out attacks of violence with guns or ied. so the egyptian government has been trying to deal with that as effectively as they can. the number of attacks has gone up certainly over the past six weeks. and some senior level egyptian officials have been killed a the the hands of these terrorists. >> turning a little bit more to west africa, it seems that some of my recent visits with nigeria, mali, these countries are very anxious understand the threat with terrorists what they pose totaling their own country and the rest of the world. they seem anxious to cooperate with us. they may have limited resources. do we have the resources necessary to prosecute the fight against terrorists in that part of the world? >> one of the things we do to
leverage the capability is work closely with the french. it was certainly the case in mali and other areas. many of us met with the -- who i think has an excellent strategy for how to do the counterterrorism in that area of the world that banned mali as -- across. and the french have a long history there. they have access. they have insight and understanding. and more importantingly, a willingness to use the forces they have there now and strengthen them in pursuit of counterterrorism. so i think our piece of this, our part that have is to do what we can to -- which i committed to strengthen that their engagement through the provision of intelligence.
>> you feel we're dedicating or we are devoting adequate assets to the fight there? >> we can always use more. clearly everything we do in africa certainly the military in form -- this is clearly what the military calls an economy of force operation. so we can always use more resources. and that's why at least from my part, i think leveraging it and partnering with the french is a way to go to compensate for -- as a way of embellishing our effort there. >> thank you. i yield back. >> thank you. thank you. i want to thank the withins today and the work you're doing keep the american people safe and all the people that work under you. director clapper, you menaced in
your opening statement and referenced a couple of times now, the importance, the challenges of cybersecurity and the threat that it poses to our national security. >> i want to focus on that for a minute. here in the united states we obviously have been working hard to create a cybersecurity framework that effectively defends the nation. we are arguably among the global leaders in this regard clearly much more work needs to be done. director clapper, your statement this morning references the cybersecurity is an international problem and i completely agree. so my i believe the united states has an opportunity to leverage the acknowledge cyber expertise in a leading role in efforts to come together to tackle this issue. director, can you describe for us the intelligence community's outreach to the international cyberspace community and what more can be done can we facility
at a time the implementation of international cybersecurity standards to address the threat of today and tomorrow? we look first to our partners, but that extends out to others. had somewhat of a chilling effect on this has been the snowden revolution. i think it had effect domestically and overseas. but that doesn't detract from the importance of our getting on with our partnering, and i'm speaking specifically now of intelligence relationships in
the cyber domain. >> thank you. turning to the issue of the nsa contractor who disclosed classified information as we've heard the damage from the recent disclosure a great impact on national security. and the range of national security secrets comprised for everything i've seen and as you have described is astounding. these actions have replaced our men and women in uniform at risk as well as our other folks who work in the field, and will don't cost us countless resources. how can such activities be compare to the threat we face from more traditional sources such as nuclear proliferation or cybersecurity. how do we quantify these losses? >> that's a tough question, congressman. i don't know i can give you an
answer to that other than the problem is because the potential revelations here affect so many different aspects of our intelligence efforts. and the other problem, frankly, is we don't really know the full extent or the full impact of these revelations. that is a good question. it's just one that for me is impoundable. >> let me add something related to this. i was recently asked today in the radio interview about the nsa contractor and the information that has been released. one of the things i focused on according to us that the vast majority of the data that has been sold and we've been able to assess today had little to do
with just surveillance. most of it is in other areas that comprised national security. can you, in broad term talk about the% age we know of dealing with surveillance and the percentage dealing with other aspect of national security and can you in broad terms, touch on some of the other areas you believe have been comprised by these disclosures? >> well, that is also difficult i can just say that the vast, vast majority what has been potentially comprised goes away -- as i indicated in my oral statement. goes way beyond the revelation about domestic surveillance, which understand primary concern. and so what he potentially accessed what he potentially made off with is tran sends that. it's quite serious.
.. >> they're sometimes appears to be a pattern with the timing of some of these revelations to but i don't think we have enough evidence that would make our case. >> i know my time has expired. wanted thank you all for your appearance today, the work you're doing, and i yield back. thank you, mr. chairman. >> for the purposes of clarification, you call the domestic surveillance. my understanding, there were no
domestic surveillance programs. >> i should put that in quotes, so-called domestic. >> edges something that the press as reference that way, but there are no domestic surveillance programs. >> that's accurate. >> referring to section 215 of the patriot act. >> right. which is not a surveillance program. >> i don't characterize it that way. that is the way it is popularly characterized. i should have said in quotes. >> i just don't want people walking of the committee the unit 10% is dealing with domestic surveillance. >> i was referring to what the context of the question was as to what mr. snowden claimed was his primary concern, which was a domestic surveillance. >> and that just want to make sure that was clarified for the record. mr. unions. >> thank you, mr. chairman. this question is for director flynn and brennan in the release to the files that were found in
abbottabad. i assume you're both aware that less than 2,000 files have been released publicly at this time. you are both aware of that, i'm sure. there has only been less than 2,000 that have been made public >> i'm aware. >> okay. i actually have six specific questions that i will allow you to take for the record. i would like to have both of you independently send those responses to the committee. and we can take these later. one, what is the current status to exploit the be all documents, how many of these documents can be released publicly and how quickly. when will i be briefed on the full exploitation of these documents, what leads on financial supporters of al qaeda have been identified and acted on. five, how often did blogger receive reports from other terrorist groups and how many
messages did he send to other terrorist groups, whether al qaeda or non al qaeda? how would like to move a -- director, would you be willing-answer those questions for the record under clause abutter aren't classified? >> absolutely. i would just offer one comment that everything that we have to that has been exploited, just described is going to school on that to make sure that we are learning from that exploitation. and i would say that we are applying a lot of all we're doing in the current effort against terrorists based upon some of that information. >> thank you. i look forward to your responses to those questions. director, would you be willing to respond to those also? >> i don't know how long it would take to answer those questions, but i certainly will take your questions and follow up. >> thank you.
director, i want to switch to benghazi. are you aware of any claims that e-mails regarding ca involvement were destroyed and are kept from this committee? >> no, i am not. >> okay. were you -- director brendon, were you in tripoli in october of 2012 to review the benghazi attacks as a member of the national security council? >> no, i do not believe -- i don't recall exactly when i was there, but i was not there after the attack. >> sector were of 2012. >> i don't believe that's correct. and now you are familiar with this bomb. the benghazi survivors were made to sign nondisclosure forms. there was some confusion on that issue. have you had time to clarify why they were -- why they had to sign those disclosure forms? and non disclosure forms? >> yes. there were a number of contractors be whose contracts
were being updated. anytime there is an amendment to a contract their is a requirement but for a nondisclosure agreement to be re-signed, which is the case there. it was not to do specifically with any effort to discourage any individual from coming forward. in fact, actively explicitly encourages them to cooperate with this committee and the congress. >> okay. thank you. the director be, general dempsey said the u.s. forces are prohibited from killing the perpetrators of the benghazi attack. there seems to be this confusion about the differences between 48 and men and other al qaeda. i have never heard the term of 48 used in any of my intelligence briefings. could you him publicly say what the definition of court al qaeda is and how that differs from hq
im, 8qi p. >> it refers to what i think we consider no theological center of the original al qaeda movement that refers to the remnants some, to include have salieri, the leader of the global al qaeda movement. and so at least to me that is my working definition is the court al qaeda and its origins in pakistan me and now primarily afghanistan and pakistan. >> if you get communications from those groups across-the-board to carry out attacks, are you then -- are you just a al qaeda affiliate, are you some other terrorist group? are you related to al qaeda?
>> well, there are -- and not sure i understand the question, but there are designated affiliate's, i think five of them. 8qap which we now regard that franchise, if you will, in yemen "we regard know as the primary threat of all the franchisees. >> said think you understand the question. let me be more clear. the reason that we have not been able to get the benghazi attackers is because they are not designated al qaeda. >> a don't think that has any bearing on the investigation and hopefully prosecution of the perpetrators of the man as he attacked. >> take you, mr. chairman, i yield back. >> of libya in october of 2012. i just checked with my staff. >> thank you. thank you, a director. >> mr. hines. >> thanks you, mr. chairman.
a vigil in for being with us today. i hope he will convey my thanks to the dedicated people you leading organization. another is people have suffered a blow to their morale as a result of the disclosures we have been talking about. and while the route by which we got to this discussion was awful involving a clear violation of u.s. law and almost certainly putting americans a risk, i do believe it is an important cover station for our democracy to have, as painful as it may be given the circumstances. i also rejected it is simply a p.r. exercise in convincing americans that all is well. this is complicated stuff. forget what we say and do, two federal judges have ruled in opposite directions on the legality of the 215 minute beta program. privacies civil liberties oversight board spoke three to two. this is a good debate which i want to set aside for the moment in favor of a question of
utility of the 215 omitted data program. also an area in which there's been a great deal of misinformation initially propagated by some of my colleagues, that 70 events were disrupted by what rapidly became single digits. director, a question for you, and testimony in the senate in answer to question he said for the fbi, the primary value of this program is agility. allows us to do in minutes what otherwise take as ours. is that the strongest a sense of the utility that can be mounted? is there something else are we should keep in mind? >> it is the primary utility for the fbi. its agility is in the greatest value. it is a useful tool for that reason. >> i might add to that, i think as i have said before, i don't think plot's foiled is necessarily the only metric that could be used as to the potential value of section 215
met a data which is an important tool by them. last summer when we had been a number of diplomatic facilities in the mideast that were closed because of what appeared to be potential terrorist threats, it turned out them some number of selectors that pointed in the direction of the united states were using this tool and/or able to eliminate the fact that there was no terrorist alexis and there was no domestic plotting going on. so bad at least in my mind be additional metric fell apart from the pure plus foil. and, of course, the program is conceived as a result of 9/11 and the inability to track of foreign communicant who is communicating with someone in the united states. it is kind of low probability
but potentially very high impact to. >> thank you. director, i would like to follow-up with you on a different topic. we touched on a yesterday in closed session. pertaining to a run, are we seeing compliance on the part of a run with respect to their obligations? put another way, are we seeing any evidence of noncompliance? >> so far they are complying with the agreement. the evidence to that is in the initial iae a declaration of compliance with the provisions of the j.p. away. that is not to say that they will take in advantage of that which is now prohibited. they will. and certainly is combination of the more intrusive iaea inspections and surveillance double little we're able to doom, we will be watching for that. >> thank you. do we have intelligence which suggests that the regime is in any way knifepoint acting in
good faith at this point? any sort of collection which would suggest there is deception? >> no. , you told senator came on the senate side your opinion there right now of the imposition of more sanctions would be counterproductive. let me ask a slightly different question. the president in the state of the union said he would veto sanctions. but what about resolutions or other measures that would have come out of the congress is threatening additional sanctions, how would you feel about that? >> as i said to senator kay when he asked the question, the iranians are students of us and our government. they clearly understand how the system works some. and so whom from their vantage i think right no impositions of additional sanctions would be a poke in the eye. and they understand the implicit threat is there any way.
if the congress decides they're not -- for whatever reason not in compliance and they want to impose more sanctions. it is kind of a policy of paying. i think from the iranian perspective right now says they do appear to be complying with the provisions of the jpoa, that possibility behold in reserve. >> to the iranians believe currently that if there were a violation that the united states government would be serious and rapid in imposing additional sanctions? >> welcome as there are various opinion pockets in this country about things, so are there. i don't think there is a monolithic view among the iranian decision makers about that. >> great. as see my time is up to about thank you for appearing. i yield back paribas. >> thank you. mr. westmoreland.
>> thank you, mr. chairman. thank all of you for coming back today to testify to this. general fled, afghanistan, what is -- or maybe matt wants to address this, too. what is our counter-terrorism -- what kind of -- where are we at with our counter-terrorism right now in afghanistan? >> matt is probably best to talk to the group's and the scale and the skill, of the terrorist threat. i would say from the posture of certainly the intelligence effort that we have going on there, we have a significant continuing -- continually significant intelligence effort focused on the most serious threats that we are facing, our forces are facing. and we will, as has been highlighted in some of the comments below we will continue
to have that intelligence capability until such decisions are made about the size of the force. >> congressman, i would just add from let terrorism perspective in afghanistan, probably our biggest concern is the number -- and small number, but a number of 48 individuals who are in afghanistan into over the longer term may seek to provide a basis to reconstitute some degree of capability it. there are individuals in northeastern afghanistan who are connected with court al qaeda. >> i guess my question, what has happened. in fact, we mentioned earlier about the terror training camps in both iraq and syria. of course we know they are in libya also, the eastern part there. it seems like we evidently just don't have the will to stick to
try to, you know, make what we are doing killed because we lost a lot of great men and went in the effort that we have had in afghanistan. and it seems like with the approach said karzai has taken it might make your ability to get intelligence less because the pullout the we're going to do. i think the afghan people see what's happening. and so the fact that we have a date certain, the fact that we're pulling out, as that hindered your intelligence anyway as far as maybe some assets or never that we have there? >> we have the very active and robust counter-terrorism program inside of afghanistan working very closely with the afghan
services, the in bsn others. so there is complications associated with uncertainty as far as what the presence is going to be like going forward. we rely heavily on our u.s. military colleagues for the type of support that we need in order to continue our mission. and it's not just in afghanistan , but the whole border area. it is not just al qaeda, but others who pose a serious threat to our forces. this is something that we have to rely on intelligence and with our fd and colleagues to be will the toward those threats. >> of the opinion of anybody there of the panel, you don't think we're losing credibility with some of these assets that we've got, the fact that we leave they could be in great danger? >> i think there is great concern in the area about the future holds.
from the standpoint of what the television is going to do after 2014. and that's why it's important that the bilateral security agreement be signed so that we can continue. >> do you think that the afghan national army and their security forces are capable of continuing on, i guess, with the fight against al qaeda, so of the other issues, people that are in afghanistan commanded you feel like there is going to be terror camps that are eventually going to be set back up and afghanistan where we will be basically back where we were pre 9/11? >> well, that is a concern.
i think over time the afghan national army in particular will have its challenges, principally because of the loss of a lot of the neighbors. the u.s. i think in this scenario, there will be a will to maintain certainly the security of the major city areas where that alabama will continue the general trend toward growing stronger in the countryside. clearly having gone through this before the television, i would think -- i'm surmising year, think twice about allowing the resurgence of al qaeda back in afghanistan and the reestablishment of training camps. i think that -- i think it would pause before they would allow
that to happen. >> i yield back. >> i would just add that, you know, there has to be -- and i know this is in discussion, but the international commitment to sustain the capability of this afghan national security force that has been built by the international community over the last decade plus -- obviously there are concerns that may not be there. i know that in our estimate we believe that that is one of the major concerns that they have. sort of tactically the kind of capabilities the leno or at the forefront of the prairies we are addressing a things like -- as the director mentioned, these enablers, intelligence capabilities, mobility, fire, command-and-control support. these are all important issues, but as a force you're actually demonstrating in some respects a
pretty good ability to secure some of the areas that they operate within. >> thank you. >> take you, mr. chairman. i would like to thank our panelists as well as the individuals you director for your service to this great country. director, my question is really about our preparedness. and so my question is how would you characterize the probability of a al qaeda sponsored or inspired attack against homeland today as compared to 2001? >> well, our assessment is that it is a much lesser capability to affect the capability of al qaeda to melt a complex, a large attack the of the scale of 9/11 is greatly degraded we still regard and have come to regard still the 8qhp, the terrorists
in human still pose the most dangerous and external threat to us and then enter early in the most frequent threats force still continues to be homegrown violent extremists. >> hal has sequester affected the preparedness of your organization and budgetary constraints generally? >> well, it is having an effect. as i said in my oral statement, the combination of the compromises, decisions we have made and then the budget reductions occasioned by sequestration or sequestration like reductions is the cumulative effect of all of this is what i worry about. and the reduction in our capacity. it is not as great as it was a year or two ago, and if we
continue these cuts it will continue to have a negative impact. >> that particular capability that is most at risk for vulnerable. >> the most important asset -- and this has been a consistent tennant of mind as long as i have been in this job, our most important resources are people. that's why i'm so concerned about the cumulative effect on the morale of the workforce with sequestration, furloughs to the shutdowns, pay freezes on top of everything. so one of the things 252 of the things i'm concerned about is the continued ability to recruit the kind of people that we need and attrition which is around 4% , pre steadily over the last 34 years. so if those two factors begin to be affected -- and that think that will be emblematic of our
challenge. the thing i worry the most about is the impact on people. >> if i may, congresswoman, i would just say from a prepared his perspective the integration of the intelligence community under the directors lead, exemplified by the agencies. cia, dna, and in ctc have made as much better prepared, both from the perspective of sharing intelligence and green to bear all the capabilities of these organizations to identify and destroy a potential terrorist threats. again, the integration of this committee from a prepared his perspective is a real change until years ago. >> thank you. i would like to turn to cyber security. i guess fbi director whom. last year the threat assessment hearing led with a discussion about cyber and its significance as a threat to our security. as you know, the news routinely
report cyber fraud and cyber crossbands. most recently the purging of security in -- i guess it started in neiman-marcus and know michael's. but the threat not only is domestic, but also international with threats to our sovereign nation. in my home state of alabama the private sector in our higher education institutions have come together. in fact, auburn university leads in lme a consortium of several other institutions. in the work in concert to try to give ongoing our reach as well as guidance with respect to cyber. my question is, how would you see cyber ranking in the overall threat to global threat today. >> i think there's a reason.
it touches everything we worry about. terrorism, counterintelligence, claims of all kinds because it is the place where all of our lives are, monday, secrets, control systems, social lives. and so it is the way bad people, nations, groups, and us. it is nearly everything it touches everything. the notion of borders is an anachronism when you're talking about a photo. >> how is the government interacting with other private sector and higher education to try to come up with some solutions? likewise, do you think that the failure of congress to come together and pass a bill with respect to cyber, how has that affected our prepared list? >> we as a government have done much better working to deal with the threat. gutless better at working with the private sector, including education institutions, but we really do need guidance for the private sector as to the rules of the road.
we need them to share information. we need to be able to share commissions with them. >> has our inability to pass information affected? >> it has made it harder. we need that guidance. >> in queue. i yield back. >> thank you, mr. chairman. a first of all want to thank you . he stopped the bomb plot. did fantastic job, and the thank you for the effort. charged mof support to a designated terrorist organization. endo you will continue to prosecute that effectively. do you think that there risks today increase islamic radicalization and the united states is real? >> yes. >> and has the political ramifications -- we talk about this a lot.
are the political ramifications, the fallout from these leaks, do you think that the actions the political actors might take would present some risk that you could not catch the next terry low in? >> there is always a risk that we will throughout the babies with the bath water. we just the to make sure we have a clear right discussion about the trade us associated with changes. >> i think that is a yes. there is some chance that we will take action that would cause terry low and to be able to complete his actions if we get these policy decisions wrote >> there's always a chance. >> thank you. the director clapper, has russia of violating the 1987 median range ballistic missile treaty? >> we believe there is cause for concern. this is best left to a classified setting. >> thank you. director brennan, new york article where president obama was presented with the fact that the loser is no and control of the bad guys after lots of
american lives lost in the fighting in and around the province. the president's response was that when asked about it, if a jayvee team puts on liquor uniforms, that does not make them come bryant. is there such a thing as gb al qaeda? >> i am concerned about all al qaeda. they're dedicated to kill innocent men, women, and children. >> you would never characterize a member of al qaeda is being somehow a junior varsity participant? >> i characterize them as a murderous organization. >> thank-you. director, when you capture those killers and benghazi will you consider taking them to u.s. naval station one tunnel they? >> that is not a judgment for the fbi to make, but it sure all options will be looked at. >> the last time we brought the bad guy out of libya who had lots of affirmation about terrorists all around the world, in a matter of days he was
returned to the united states and had lawyers. i am confident he was read his miranda rights. you think we lost their virginity to gain intelligence that we could have and we handled this in a combat nanette differ way? >> because his case is pending, he is now being tried in the southern district of new york, i don't want to talk about his case in particular. more time is always of a less. >> do you think having less than a couple of weeks to conduct a series of interviews with someone who was a senior member of al qaeda coming to you think that is sufficient to garner all the intelligence information he had about the al qaeda organization and the impact that has on american lines, do you think that was enough time? >> again, i need to stay awake from the particulars. >> generically. you have him for two weeks. is that enough time to get the information that you would like to have?