so they'll get one of their owne people in -- and they've gotten a lot of their own people in -- as delegates who may have to vote for trump or some otherdi candidate on the first ballot, it would be trump, of course, t but after that they're free to vote for cruz. they're very smart. it's something the trump campaign should have been known about, organized for and now is suffering because of that. >> host: okay.y. >> guest: because they didn't. >> we will leave this washington journal discussion to return to live coverage of the senate now. senators considering long-term funding for the faa.
the senator from rhode island. mr. whitehouse: thank you, mr. president. i ask unanimous consent to speak for up to 20 minutes as if in morning business. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. whitehouse: thank you. i'm here for my 132nd time to wake up speech. we are now back from recess, and while we were away, one little thing and three really big things happened. the little thing has to do with the so-called war on coal, which we have heard so much nonsense about in this chamber. there was this article saying
"natural gas has been waging a war on coal for more than a decade, and this is the year it plants the flag." natural gas has been waging a war on coal, not obama, not liberals; natural gas. the article predicts a resulting -- quote -- "wave" -- close quote -- of coal plant retirements. who wrote this? some green lefty publication? actually, it was the "wall street journal's" news department. so, as coal companies go bankrupt left and right, there's the coal story.
natural gas has been wage be the war on coal for more than a decade. spinning this against the president has been easy politics, but false. and that false political strategy has left coal country with what? nothing. a carbon fee could produce revenues that could pour wealth into coal country. but, no, what they got instead was someone to blame, someone to blame wrongly. great job. now, to the three big things that happened during our recess. one, a group of really distinguished scientists, led by legendary climate scientist dr. james hansen, warned us that this climate change thing is likely to be a lot worse than we thought.
there are sweeping synthesis which underwent and involved public peer review process suggest the possibility of greater sea level rise in this century than forecast. it suggest suggests worse, even, storms. and it posits -- and i'll quote them -- "losing functionality of all coastal cities." how about that for a phrase? and as they go on to conclude, obviously, the economic and social cost of losing functionality of all coastal cities is practicall practicallyincalculable. end quote. that was one. two was the great barrier reef, a wonder of the world, hit by the worst coral bleaching ever
measured. for those of you who don't know, uplanders who may not understand what coral bleaching is, it is like cardiac arrest for coral. you are a he not necessarily dead -- you're not necessarily dead yet, but there's a really good chance you will be, and for sure you are in serious trouble, and you'll need time to recover. that's what's happening in the great barrier reef. the third thing is a new study out ever umass and penn state which found that the expected loss of antarctic ice -- and i quote -- "nearly doubles" -- "nearly doubles prior estimates of sea level rise." i'm from an ocean state, i'm from rhode island, "the" ocean state. this is consequential, mr. president. how consequential? here's what one of the authors of the study said. "you're remapping the way i think planet looks from space with those numbers.
not just subtle changes about which neighborhoods are going to be susceptible to storm surge. remapping the way the planet looks from space." and, of course, co2 levels continue to exceed 400 parts per million against a human history where they were always between 170 and 300 until the industrial era drove it up. so that's not great news. but here's what's sickening about it: we don't seem to care here. it's all been in the news. senators read the news. it's not like we're being deprived of information. we just, as an institution, do not care. and that's a defect. that makes us a defective institution not to be able to receive and process information like this. this is institutional failure. and we don't even care about that.
because one might say, you know, i don't really care myself about all this damage, but as a member of this body, i get that the united states senate ought to care institutionally. it's like secondary caring. i'll do my duty. even if i personally don't care about oceans or reefs or coasts or storms, i'm in -- i'm in even though it's not my thing because i know it's important. but we don't even do that. so we really don't care. why? why would we be so blind? we're not all terrible people. some of us actually spend time outdoors and profess to care about nature. so why does the senate as a body collectively not give a hoot? it's a deadly combination of
politics and money. that is what investigation and history will show, and the investigations are under way. the history will not be pretty. we are surrounded by money. senators exist in a world of money, the way fish exist in a world of water. we're so accustomed to it, we barely even notice it. hundreds of millions of dollars every year in lobbying money surrounds us. hundreds of millions of dollars in campaign money every election has to be raced -- has to be raised. hundreds of millions of pac money exerts its influence and we don't even know how much dark money there is around through loopholes the size of the holland tunnel. just one -- one -- dark money group is spending $750 million in the 2016 elections.
it's a disgrace. but it has an effect. the interests that spend hundreds of millions of dollars lobbying us want things. the interests who give hundreds of millions of dollars in campaign money want things. the pacs and the super pacs pointing $750 million in political artillery at us, they want things, somewhat ideological things, but most want money. more exactly, they want things we can do that can be turned into money: licenses, tax breaks, trade advantages, regulations, relief from regulations, you name it. they want it because they can turn it into money. and all of that has a desensitizing effect on our values here. if something can't be monetized, we get trained not to care about it.
values that aren't monetized in the marketplace start to seem weird. who cares about a reef? what's that weird senator doing talking about a reef? what a silly thing to talk about in our serious world. now, someone's favorable fat cat tax rate, that's important. jerking around a perfectly qualified supreme court nominee, that's definitely important. but the greatest crisis facing the natural world as we know it, neh ... and we go along. we go along with that warped value system of it i. it is a lie. it is a moral lie so baying it envelopes us, and we acclimate to t all that money around us slowly anecessary they sighs -- anesthetizes our moral senses and that's how this place becomes meman hall.
it is not just that if you can't cash it in it doesn't matter around here. it is that they come to plunder and we let them. we let them? we even help them, because we become dependent on their money. well, i have a proposition. years ago one of the koch brothers, america's biggest polluters, ran for vice president as a libertarian party candidate. when he ran, he learned something. he learned the perverse math of third parties in a two-party system. the perverse math of third parties in a two-party system is that you only hurt the ones you love. you hurt the party you're closest to by your third party taking votes away from the party closest to your politics.
well, the kochs may be a lot of thirntion but they aren't -- a lot of things, but they aren't stupid. and i think they learned. they learned that a creepy far right third party that can be put in tow to big polluters was not the right method to achieve their purposes. there was a smarter method. invade the republican party, that grand old party of theodore roosevelt. capture it, turn it into the far right party muc of their dreams. that was the smart play. money and secrecy could make it happen. and they're pretty close to having done it. the republican party in congress is as dependent on fossil fuel and polluter money now as a deepsea diver is on his air hose. cut the air hose or pinch the flow, and you've got a diver in
real distress. and when you control a deepsea diver's air hose, he becomes a pretty obedient diver. it's a form of the golden rule: he who wields the gold makes the rules. the political press, by the way, does little to help. it's a game to them. who will say something appalling we can chatter about on the talk shows? who's up? who's down? who said what about whom? it's like a soccer team of 7-year-olds. most everybody runs to the ball or whatever the shiny object of the moment is. and in the midst of them are outfits who masquerade as the political press, but they are -- but they're really polluter p.r. fronts in disguise. they, too, are in tow to the fossil fuel industry. money and secrecy have their way. so here we are in the senate, in the face of this news that i
come in to us over the recess. ineffective, defective, i had lily paying no attention -- idly paying no attention to what is really important as we choice political troistles around -- troifles around. this climate mess we have created is only going in one direction. and when everybody has noticed, when it's way past denying, elected officials who refuse to even look at the problem are going to look pretty foolish, and they're going to have to explain. well, you see, i thought there was this big hoax. really? yes, i thought nasa scientists and noaa scientists were all in on it, along with the u.s. navy and every national lab we fund.
hmmm ... that's a bi hoax. and did i forget to mention? my home state university must have been in on the hoax, too. they were all studying climate change effects actually happening in my home state, but i knew better. great. oh, and every major legitimate scientific society and most of my home state corporate leaders, i figured they were all wrong. oh, okay. and where did you get that idea? oh, from a bunch of guys with financial ties to the polluters. come on, seriously? didn't you think that was a pretty obvious conflict of interest? wow, is that something i should have thought of? oh, but listen, now i want you to reelect me because i'm such a good and prudent and responsible decision-maker.
folks, good luck with that. if you think the party's in trouble now, wait until the day of reckoning comes on climate change. explain the money. explain the money. you don't think people are going to figure out how it worked? explain the talk show science you you believed instead of the the peer-review stuff. explain the quality of your due diligence into the science. good luck with that. explain why you thought nasa -- nasa -- which is driving a rover around on the surface of mars that they flew there and safely landed, probably the greatest scientific and mechanical achievement of our time, they did that, but you say they were
the presiding officer: the senator from wyoming. mr. barrasso: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the quorum call be vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. barrasso: thank you, mr. president. mr. president, a couple of weeks ago was the sixth anniversary of president obama's unpopular health care law. just like every year at this time, that birthday is not one that people actual lip want to celebrate. when you take a look at the reason that americans aren't celebrating obamacare's sixth birthday is pretty obvious. less freedom, unsecure data through the web site, fewer provider choices, offering $1
trillion in new taxes, over $1 trillion in taxes for new families, skyrocketing premiums and deductibles. so it's no surprise that the health care law continues to be very unpopular. americans know that they, the under the health care law law have less freedom to keep their doctor, keep the insurance they have that was right for them and their families because the president says he gets to decide what somebody needs for themselves and the family, not the families getting to decide. we know again, came out over the break, that people's personal data is not secure at healthcare.gov. we know that insurance companies are giving patients fewer choices by limiting the network of doctors people can see. the health care law has added over $1 trillion in new taxes on to hardworking american families. the premiums and deductibles are up. and according to the congressional budget office, obamacare is going to cut the number of hours that americans can work by about two million
jobs over the next decade. so it seems like every day there's more news coming out about how this health care law is unaffordable, it's unpopular and it's unworkable. last week there was a new study that explained one of the reasons why the president's health care law is collapsing. there was a study that came out from blue cross-blue shield. it compared people buying new insurance coverage through the obamacare exchanges to people who already had health insurance through their jobs. the study found that the new obamacare customers went to the doctor 26% more often than other people did, found that they were admitted to the hospital almost twice as often, that obamacare customers have higher costs and that the average medical
spending is about $1,200 higher for people on obamacare than people who get insurance through work. why is it that hospital admissions are up for pao*epl on obamacare? why are doctors visits up 26%? the new obamacare enrollees tend to be sicker and costlier so insurance companies have to raise their premiums. so, people are sicker who are signing up. they go to the doctor more. the insurance company turns around and it raises premiums on everyone else. and that's why so many people are opposed to the health care law because the impact it's had on them personally. so when insurance companies have to raise their rates on obamacare plans, and a lot of money is paid by hardworking taxpayers because it's the taxpayers who are paying for the subs disney on these -- subsidies who have signed up for obamacare and taxpayers are subsidizing premiums on 83% of
the people who buy obamacare insurance. so the premiums go up. taxes have to be made up to pay for it. well, companies can't get enough extra money. they just stop offering policies in obamacare. that may happen. and more people will then lose their insurance coverage. maybe some of the companies will go out of business. familiar with that process because we've seen it. we've seen under the obamacare health care law a majority of the obamacare health insurance co-ops have actually gone bankrupt. the health care law created 23 co-ops and of them, 12 have already gone out of business. premiums were already out of control and it's getting worse. the average premium for what's called the benchmark silver plan in the obamacare exchange is more than 7% higher this year than last year. for people who can only afford this cheaper bronze plan,
premiums are up 13% compared to last year. and over the next couple of months, insurance companies are going to start setting their rates for 2017 and they're going to take into account what has happened in the previous year. so this new study by blue cross-blue shield is just laying the groundwork for even more price increases to come next year. and i think this is one of the things that explains why so many people dislike obamacare. a new poll came out that found that 47% of americans have an unfavorable -- unfavorable view of the health care law. as the kaiser family foundation report shows america's opinion of obamacare is tilting negative. 47% unpopular marks in 2016, today. a year ago -- a year ago -- this
poll said that 42% of the people had an unfavorable view. so there we were a year ago, here we are now. the number keeps climbing. only 41% of the people have a favorable view of the health care law. it wasn't supposed to be this way. six years ago democrats in washington were very confident that the law would be extremely popular today. as a matter of fact, senator chuck schumer from new york went on "meet the press." went on "meet the press" back in 2010 and he said it's going to become more popular. he said "i predict that by november those who voted for the health care law will find it an asset." well, we all remember what happened in the 2010 elections. we all know that democrats who voted for the health care law did not find it an asset. democrats lost six seats in the senate that year and they lost control of the house of representatives. nancy pelosi was out as speaker of the house, and the republicans took the majority.
then in 2013 senator harry reid was making this same predictions about how popular the health care law was going to be. he told a newspaper "the hill" here in washington that obamacare would be, he said, a net positive for democrats in 2014. senator reid forced the health care law through congress when he was the majority leader. and i think that's a big part of why he is now the minority leader. he lost the majority in the united states senate. why? i think in big part because of the health care law and it ignored the needs of the american people. the longer people have to live with this offensive, and expensive law the less popular it it gets. it was never popular to begin with. but today even more than before opinion is, as it says, tilting negative. the new poll also found something i found amazing.
i practiced medicine for 25 years. i've been involved here in the senate for a number of years. i have never seen anything like this. this new poll found that 28% of americans say that this health care law has directly hurt them and their family. the president says, defend and be proud of this law. how can you defend and be proud of something that 28% of the american public tell you has hurt them and their family personally? only 18% of the people who have been polled says the law has directly helped them. it is incredible and it's disturbing. obamacare is hurting far more people than it's helping. costs are going up much faster than democrats promised, as are co-pays, as are deductibles. it is no wonder the law is so unpopular. we know that these rising premiums make the law more expensive for taxpayers, but how much more expensive?
well, the congressional budget office came out with a report last week. it said that over the next ten years the health care law is going to cost $136 billion more than they thought it would cost just a year ago. just a year ago. when they compared what they thought it was going to cost a yearing a, what they think it is going to cost now, $136 billion more. that's despite their actually being fewer people in the insurance exchanges than they expected. they predicted there would be 21 million people buying obamacare insurance this year. in fact, they say it's going to be no more than 12 million. people are doing everything they can to avoid these insurance policies, especially young, healthy people. so why is it going to cost an extra $136 billion? well, one of the reasons is higher premiums, sicker patients. and another big reason is because the law has dumped so many more people into medicaid.
23% of the people in the country under the age of 65 are now on medicaid. that's what the congressional budget office says. one out of every four. so is that a success, putting all these additional people on medicaid? the president says it is. well, let me tell you as a doctor who's practiced medicine, taken care of patients for 25 years, putting millions of additional people on to medicaid is not success. it's not what people wanted. it's certainly not what president obama promised. americans deserve better. they deserve better than the to be shoved into this second tier health care system. plus, in terms of government programs and wasting money, a recent study found that of every dollar spent on medicaid, every dollar spent on medicaid, people only get about 20 cents to 40 cents of benefits on every dollar spent. how's that for an inefficient government system?
almost every day we get news about the damage the health care law is doing to families across the country. republicans have offered solutions that would actually keep the promises that democrats made for obamacare. things like letting people keep their doctors, keep their insurance. things like giving people more options for how they could reduce the cost of their medical care. americans have now been forced to try this obamacare experiment, what the democrats wanted, forced to do it for the last six years. obamacare isn't getting any better. it's just getting older. and it's still making things worse for american families. that's why it's so unpopular. thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor and suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
mr. coats: mr. president from. the presiding officer coats: mre senator from indiana. mr. coats: mr. president, it appears to me we're in a dwork and i ask unanimous consent that it be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. coats: mr. president, today marks my 38th edition of waste of the week with our nation $19 trillion in debt. i'm going to continue to come to the senate floor every week the senate is in session to highlight verified and
documented expense examples of waste, fraud and abuse. i turn to organizations, nonpartisan organizations like the government accountability office and other reports that indicate thankfully somebody's looking into how we run this government and coming up with examples of how we can run it better, letting the american people know that we're not wisely and carefully spending their taxpayer dollars and hopefully taking remedial action. last year i detailed an investigation by the nonpartisan government accountability offi office, so-called g.a.o., that discovered that fraudulent applications are being accepted by healthcare.gov. that's the government's health care web site for choosing obamacare plans on the federal exchange. just last month i discussed a new report from the g.a.o. that outlined how healthcare.gov
allowed people to sign up for and receive obamacare benefits without proper verification. they did a test. they made up some names. they filled out the application. they sent it in to healthcare.gov. 11 of the 12 tests came back approved. no verification whatsoever. subsidies started going out to these people. and even after they were notified at the center for medicare and medicaid, it took months to correct and some people collected these subsidi subsidies, these fraudulent subsidies went somewhere. these were -- these were just made-up names. when you look at 11 out of 12, you have got to say something's wrong with the system. and you extrapolated that out, it could be a stunning number of fraudulent claims of applicati
applications certified, subsidies sent to people that don't exist. today i want to discuss even more obamacare problems and this one totals up to $1.16 billion worth of problems. and let me explain. now, we all know that the affordable care act, which i call the unaffordable care act based on its operations so far, directed states to either develop their own state-based exchange to operate obamacare or to use the federal exchange accessible at healthcare.gov. states had a choice which way they would go. but in order to try to get states to set up their own exchanges, the obama administration awarded billions of dollars in federal grants to states if they agreed to plan and develop a state exchange. in six of the 14 states that
chose to develop their own exchanges and received these federal grants -- maryland, hawaii, massachusetts, oregon, new mexico and nevada -- the end results were disastrous. in fact, the g.a.o. found that these state exchanges were given the green light without the systems ever being tested. for example, the maryland exchange web site had more than 600 unresolved defects and massachusetts had over 1,100 unresolved defects. now, i made a little bit of a mistake here. they were tested but they weren't tested correctly. they weren't tested thoroughly. and that's why we come up with these unresolved deficits. and yet the exchanges were given the go-ahead by the obama administration even though these unresolved defects were not realized and not addressed.
in oregon, a state exchange was set up by political operatives and months after the enrollment period began, the on-line oregon exchange couldn't enroll a single person and applicants had to fax in their handwritten materials. talk about a dysfunctional rollout. we talked about on this senate floor. you're in the rush to prove that obamacare was what this country needed and that the government could efficiently and effectively run a health care system, in a rush to prove and get the thing up and going, according to what the promises were, all kinds of mistakes were made. oregon's abysmal failure cost taxpayers $305 million plus an additional $41 million that had to be spent to bring oregon on to the federal exchange. in other words, they failed to set up their state exchange, cost taxpayers $305 million and then they had to spend another
$41 million to transfer it over to the federal exchange. all totaled, the federal government gave these six states $1.16 billion and today none of these six states are independently operating their own individual exchange. now, this was a long time in making. the nonpartisan g.a.o. and the centers for medicare and medicaid services raised concerns about these state exchanges more than a year before they were scheduled to launch. in other words, the warning went out saying, you're not getting your act together. and this was a clear before the process started, and yet that whole year -- we went through that whole year and they still didn't have their act together and it ended up costing the taxpayer $1.16 billion. it's no secret that the obama administration was in a rush to get this system up and going and in the process who knows how
much money has been wasted. who knows the trauma that people have gone through trying to sign up for these exchanges? i think we all remember the -- the classic debacle that occurred in the whole software system and in the whole exchange system. people were calling in. they couldn't get anybody to answer the phone. they couldn't get their applications fulfilled. and all those promises, you know, "your premiums won't go up a penny, count on that," the president said, period. done deal. take it to the bank. if you want your doctor, keep your doctor. take it to the bank. i guarantee that's what's going to happen. costs won't go up. we've all seen deductibles shoot up. we've all seen premiums increase. people didn't -- weren't able to keep their doctor that they wanted. on and on it goes and on and on it continues and it's at the expense of the american taxpayer.
well, maybe it's not surprising. come up here every week and i probably could come up here every day and maybe come up here every hour and detail some waste of the taxpayers' hard-earned tax dollars. so today we're going to add more money to our growing list of waste, fraud and abuse, taking us to $1,158 -- excuse me, yeah, $1,158,765,464. it just keeps adding up. and our colleagues have not taken the necessary actions to
try to deal with these problems. maybe government has just become so overwhelmingly bureaucratic and dysfunctional that we're not able to run this country anymore in an efficient and effective manner. the problem is we're asking people that go to work every day and put in a hard earned number ch hours -- number of hours earning pay and sending money to washington, d.c., only to find that it's wasted over and over and over relentless plunge into ever more debt because we don't have the money to pay for what we do and then we have to issue bonds in order to collect money, in order to pay for that. and all this falls to the taxpayer and most of it is going to fall to future generations. they're going to have a lid on their ability to have the opportunity to make a viable living for themselves and for their children. and we wonder why the american
awish we could have been with tom mcgrady to mark his retirement, the retirement of a good friend and a great legal warrior, pinnellas justice jay tom mcgrady retired. i'm proud of tom and his commitment to the law. over the years he's compiled a tremendous record of success. simply put, he has made a difference. it's probably a bit unusual for a senator from wyoming to speak so highly of a retiring judge in florida. over the years i've had a chance to come to know tom. i feel honored to call him my friend and as often said, his departure from the bench will leave some large shoes to fill. looking back the script for tom's life would have made a great movie. for start irs, he was -- starters, he was born on christmas eve. he turned out to be his parents' favorite christmas gift. as he grew up and explored the world around him and developed his talents and abilities.
his educational pursuits led him to another highlight of his life, high school. because that's where he met and went on to marry his high school sweetheart mary choquette. his interest this the law must have started around that because after graduating from the university of florida with his bachelor's degree, he then got his juris doctorate degree there and then he joined the law firm and started practicing civil litigation. before long he opened up his own law firm. he practiced law for 25 years. he was so good that governor bush appointed him county judge. he was then appointed a circuit judge again by governor bush. whenever tom ran for reelection, he won without opposition. people admired him and greatly appreciated his efforts on the bench so much that no one ran against him. perhaps the best indication of his ability as a judge and the affection of those with whom he served was his unanimous
election by 68 of his judge colleagues to chief judge three times. during tom's service as chief judge, he discovered that his selection came with a number of problems. tom probably called themed challenges. they came packaged together with his new duties. he had to deal with cuts to the court budget. he had to deal with a mortgage foreclosure crisis. he had to deal with a number of other issues. he was also working with a system that relied on old and outdated technologies just to mention a few of the matters that successfully required his attention as chief judge. probably the biggest problem was the shortage of funds to run the courts. things were so bad it looked like drastic measures would have to be taken to keep the courts up and running. he came up with an option to obtain a loan from the governor and the legislature. without it there would have been severe cuts, furloughs and much more.
he received a great reception when he shared the details of the problem with those who would be most affected, the judges and their staff. they appreciated his blunt assessment of how bad things were as tom put it -- quote -- "not because of what i had to say but because i would even come and tell them," end quote. tom's a straight shooter and he knew the best antidote for the impact of bad news is not to sugar coat it but to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. it also helped that tom had established a reputation over the years for being a gentleman and a general -- gentle man and a gentleman and his honest, sincerity, good humor and concern for his colleagues and staffers earned him a lot of goodwill. now that tom has decided to retire and sit back, he'll have more time to share with his family and friends. i know they'll enjoy being with him and having more time to share with him, especially his grandchildren who will love
having papa around a little more often. in the end that's what it's all about, time, time for faith, family and friends. time is the most valuable and precious asset we have and how we choose to spend it and the quality of those activities that consume most of our time says a lot about the quality of our lives. i once heard about a guy who traveled around the world doing research on what people were thinking as they grew older. there were a lot of interesting thoughts they shared but one of itself most frequent comments was about spending more time with family. no one said i wish i'd spent more time at work. so as the old film title says so well, tom has already had a wonderful life. with so much more to come. he's made the most of every moment and every day of it. mary, his sweetheart from high school days is still by his side retired from her days as a schoolteacher. now they'll spend time enjoying all that life has to offer.
tom and mary, you both truly earned it. congratulations, tom mcgrady. you've been a great judge and you've made a difference in more lives than you will ever know. we could all learn a lot from you and the way you have lived your life. god bless you and mary. mr. president, i also want to share a little news about another friend of mine. so i rise to share the news with the senate that joseph medicine crow, a crow war chief and american hero has passed away. if you look in today's "washington post," an unusual event that somebody from the west passing away and getting a major section in the paper. joe medicine crow did that and he earned it in his 102 years. i know it meant a lot to the students of western and american history to see the attention he's received in numerous
publications written about him and his life and his countless contributions to the crow people and to our nation. if you have a chance to read the tributes to joe medicine crow, and i hope you do, you will fully understand what an amazing individual he was. his torian for his people and an important part of american life. he accomplished more in his life than i could ever describe in these remarks. as i read the articles that were so well researched they reminded me of meeting him and getting to know him when he was on the board of all american indian days. that was a gathering that would draw tribal members from all over the united states to wyoming. they'd come to share their history, their culture, that traditions, their sports, their dances, their arts and their crafts. i know that gathering meant a lot to him because one of his top priorities in his life was to ensure the legacy of the crow and all tribes to see that they'd never be forgotten and their way of life would be passed down from generation to
generation. in an effort to bring us all together as one and overcome the racial divides that separate us, a man named f. h. sinclair, a columnist with the sheridan press who is known by his nickname of nekio jones came up with the idea of gathering all the tribes together n sheridan, wyoming to demonstrate these talents and abilities. i grew up there and was fascinated by the event. as you can imagine it took a substantial amount of money to organize and plan the event each year but it paid big dividends for those who were able to attend and all those who heard about it. it was a source of great pride for us all to have this time when we would come together and celebrate the culture of the tribes and the individuals who were so near to us. it provided the kind of exposure and interaction that so necessary to bring people together and overcome prejudice and bias. i could see the difference the gathering made and the impact it
had on those who attended. events like that and the opportunity they provide help us to get to know people who come from different cultures and backgrounds and helps us to understand and appreciate each other. it removes the boundaries that are created by fear and a lack of understanding. it fosters and increases the feeling of community that makes our cities and towns better places to live. i remember how joe served on that board and joe helped with the miss india america pageant that was a part of all american indian days t. was a competition of young women who wore chosen by their tribes based on their knowledge of their tribal culture, their history, and their traditional dress. my mother dorothy indi worked with joe -- enzi worked joe and susie on the particulars that needed to be worked out on the pageant. my mother would chaperone the winner to events during the year. joe medicine crow had a great affection for wyoming and a love
of our land that was never sur spaed. in addition to the crow, joe medicine crow was well known to the wiem arapahoes and that showns -- shashones. he was an ambassador to his tribe and way of life. he was an inspiration to us all. joe medicine crow referred to his life as living in two worlds, in one he worked with the bureau of indian affairs for 32 years. then he returned and fit right back into the other and the culture that surrounded him. it didn't bother him that his life was divided in two worlds. in fact, he said he enjoyed them both. the tributes to him and the way he lived his life have already started coming in from those who already knew him, his family and his friends. he was a military hero serving during the army in world war ii. he was not only a student of history, he was a historian who helped to preserve the stories and the culture of the crow. he also had a great respect for
all the traditions of his people. i'll always find a sense of pride and inspiration in the words he used to describe wyoming. he also said that although sage can be found in so many places in the west, the most sacred sage had to be collected on the tribal lands in wyoming. joe medicine crow has given 102 years of his life and he made the most of every day. he has a record of which we can be very proud. that's why i hope you will seek out the stories about him that made him such an important part of our history. in 2009, president barack obama presented him with the highest honor awarded to a civilian, the presidential medal of freedom. i know it must have meant a great deal to him to be so recognized not for himself but for what he knew it would mean to current and future generati generations. now he's passed on from this life and left behind more accomplishments and achievements that we could possibly imagine.
his life was like that. 102 years of making a difference every day. a difference that will always be remembered and never be forgotten. i yield the floor and -- i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from pennsylvania. mr. toomey: mr. president, are we in a quorum call? the presiding officer: we are not. mr. toomey: mr. president, i want to address an amendment to the f.a.a. authorization bill that senator casey and i are introducing, but before i do that, i'd just like to take a quick moment to celebrate an amazing basketball game last night and an amazing victory for an amazing team, the villanova
wildcats. it just made everyone in pennsylvania so proud. they've had a fantastic season, a fantastic tournament. and last night, i think we witnessed one of the greatest college basketball games ever. and i know that's saying an awful lot. there have been a lot of college basketball games. but the game was unbelievable. you had the two fantastic teams. they were extremely well matched. extremely talented. very well coached on both teams. and they just played a phenomenal game. i don't know how many times the lead changed. i don't think it ever got more than 10 points away from either team. and it was just so much fun to watch all the way through. i thought jay wright has proven once again what a magnificent coach he is. the kids who played demonstrated just amaz amazing teamwork and talent, just all of the attributes we want to see in college athletics, we saw it on display last night.
i can't say enough about the university of north carolina, what a great -- what a great team they were. they played with so much heart and they played so well. and i think we're going to watch the end of that game, the final five seconds of that game for a long, long time to come. i will say when marcus paige took that shot, it looked to me like he was 20 feet behind the three-point line. he had almost been knocked over. he was airborne in a very odd and awkward position because he had just dodged another player. he gets the shot off and somehow it drops. they tie the game and there are 4.7 seconds left. at that point, i thought, well, i'm in for a late night because this is going to be the first of overtimes since it's tied with only 4.7 seconds left. but that was not the way it ended, as you know. the wildcats had a plan and they
executed it brilliantly with a great play to move the ball up the court quickly to get to to chris jenkins, who put up a long three-point shot and released it just before the buzzer went off. the buzzer goes off while the ball is sailing through the air, sinks -- sinks the basket, wins the game with no time left. it was the most dramatic and exciting finish to a basketball game that i can recall. and i just want to take this moment to congratulate the villanova wildcats on an outstanding season, tournament and game last night. congratulations to our new national champions. now, let me turn my attention to the amendment that i alluded to, mr. president, and that is an amendment to the f.a.a. reauthorization bill which senator casey and i are -- bill. what senator casey and i are doing is we're going to introduce as an amendment the
legislation that we've introduced as a free-standing bill and that's the sarasini aviation safety act. 2016. i want to thank senator casey for the really, really good work that he has done on this issue for some time. let me just give you a little bit of the background, mr. president, on the amendment which is based on the legislation that is named after victor sarasini. victor sarasini was a bucks county, pennsylvania, native. he was a navy pilot. and after he left the navy, he became a commercial airline pilot. he was a captain. and he was a captain of united flight 175 which, as you will recall, was one of the planes that was captured by terrorists on 9/11. the fact is, captain sarasini was murdered by the terrorists when they stormed the cockpit, took control of the plane, killed victor sarasini and then flew the plane into the world
trade center. victor sarasini left behind a wife, a we've ellen. she's with us today in the senate and she's been a very, very forceful and effective advocate for greater safety onboard our commercial planes. and victo left behind also two daughters, kirsten and brialle. what the amendment does is something very, very simple. it requires a secondary barrier to the cockpit on commercial aircraft. that's all. what that does is that would prevent unauthorized individuals from getting into the cockpit. simple as that. it's a simple lightweight, incensinexpensive technology rey available. it's made actually from a wire mesh. and it provides a barrier between the passenger cabin and the cockpit door. it would only be engaged when the cockpit door is open.
so why is this necessary? it's necessary because it is still entirely possible for terrorists to hijack commercial aircraft. back in 2001 after 9/11, congress took a step to make commercial aircraft cockpits more secure. they machine dated the installation -- mandated the installation of reinforced doors. and these reinforced doors are much stronger than what doors used to exist. it's very, very difficult, almost impossible to impeach those doors when they're closed. but the threat remains because on every long flight and many short flights, the doors are open at some point during the course of the flight. pilots often get up and they get out of the cockpit. they have to go to the restroom or they go to get some food or a flight attendant goes in to check on the pilots or to bring them something that they want. and that moment when that door is open, that door is no longer
a barrier. and therein lies the danger, there is the moment of opportunity for terrorists. mr. president, the f.a.a. fully acknowledges the serious nature of this risk. in april of 2015, an f.a.a. advisory said the following -- quote -- "on long flights, as a matter of necessity, crew members must open the flight deck door to access lavatory facilities, to transfer meals to flight crew members, or to switch crew positions for crew rest purpos purposes. the opening and closing of the flight deck door, referred to as door transition, reduces the protective antiintrusion/antipenetration benefits of the reinforced door. during this door transition, the flight deck is vulnerable." of course, it's not only the f.a.a. that was able to figure this out. the terrorists understand this as well.
the 9/11 commission report said this -- and i quote -- "khalid sheikh mohammed told them" -- and the "them" in this case referred to the terrorists he was instructing -- "khalid sheikh mohammed told them to watch the cabin doors at takeoff and landing to observe whether the captain went to the lavatory during the flight and to note whether the flight attendants brought food into the cockpit." i continue to quote -- "the best time to storm the cockpit would be about 10 to 15 minutes after takeoff when the cockpit doors typically were open for the first time. further point made by the 9/11 commission report, "they had no firm contingency plan" -- this being the terrorists -- "had no firm contingency plan in case the cockpit door was locked. they were confident the cockpit doors would be opened and did not consider breaking them down a viable idea." now since then we've made the doors even more durable.
it would be even more difficult to actually destroy the door or break down the door or otherwise open a closed door. the problem is when the door is open. and this is not just a theoretical risk, mr. president. since 9/11, there have been at least 51 attempts at cockpit breaches worldwide. five attempts have been successful. one successful attempt occurred in 2006 on turkish airline flight 1476. terrorists were successful in entering the cockpit after a flight attendant opened the door to ask the pilots if they needed anything. so it seems to me unacceptable when we have a readily available solution to continue to take this risk. it's just common sense to install secondary barriers on commercial planes. these are inexpensive, several thousand dollars to install. they are lightweight. they are easy to use.
they very compact when they're not engaged. and the only people who would really be inconvenienced by these secondary barriers would be terrorists. had the secondary barriers, these kinds of barriers, been installed on 9/11, it would have made the job very, very difficult for the terrorists to ever get into the cockpit. so, mr. president, i want to urge my colleagues to support this amendment. i think this is a sensible amendment. the substance of this has been approved in the house. we ought to pass it here on the senate floor and pass this f.a.a. reauthorization underlying bill. and if we do that, in time our skies will be that much safer. thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor.
the presiding officer: the senator from iowa. mr. grassley: a significant number of americans believe that the supreme court is highly politicized. its approval rating has fallen over the years. not surprising, its approval rating has dropped most drastically in recent years following the president's appointment of justices justices sotomayor and kagan. there are four justices who vote in a liberal way effectively every case that the public follows. there are two justices who stick to the constitutional text and
who vote in a consistently conservative way. one justice votes mostly, but not always, in a conservative way and one justice votes sometimes with the conservatives and sometimes with the liberals. all of the liberals were appointed by democrats. the conservatives and swing justices were appointed by republican president. but in a speech shortly before justice scalia's death, chief justice roberts maintained that the public wrongly thinks that justices view themselves as republicans or as democrats. of course it's irrelevant to the public how the justices view themselves.
what's troubling is that a large segment of the population views the justices as political. it's appropriate and instructive then to ask why the public takes this view and whether or not that view is warranted. i believe the public's perception is at least sometimes very warranted. the chief justice ruled out that this perception has anything to do with what the justices themselves have done. instead he attributed it to the senate confirmation process. as he sees it, senators -- quote -- "frequently ask us questions they know it would be inappropriate for us to answer. thankfully, we don't answer the questions." end of quote. the chief justice also stated --
quote -- "when you have a sharply divided political divisive hearing process, it increases the danger that whoever comes out of it will be viewed in those terms." you know, if the democrats and the republicans have been fighting so fiercely about whether you're going to be confirmed, it's natural for some members of the public to think, well, you must be identified in a particular way as a result of that process. that's the end of the chief justice's quote. now, on the one hand, the chief justice identified precisely why it would be bad for the court and the nominee to move forward in the middle of a hotly contested presidential election campaign. as you've heard me say, it would
be all politics and no constitution. and of course that was the thrust of another senator a few years back, chairman biden's argument in 1992. but in another respect, the chief justice has it exactly backwards. the confirmation process doesn't make the justices appear political. the confirmation process has gotten political precisely because the court itself has drifted from the constitutional text and rendered decisions based instead on policy preferences. in short, the justices themselves have gotten political. and because the justices' decisions are often political and transgress their
constitutional role, the process becomes more political. in fact, many of my constituents believe with all due respect that the chief justice is part of this problem. they believe that the number of his votes have reflected political considerations, not legal ones, and certainly there are academics who agree. there was a recent "new york times" article, and in that article academics appealed to the chief justices' political side. these academics ask him to intervene in the current supreme court vacancy, suggesting that it could be a so-called john marshall moment for chief justice roberts. now that's a political
temptation that the chief justice should resist. i can't think of anything any current justice could do to further damage respect for the court at this moment than to interject themselves into what chairman biden called the political caldron of an election-year supreme court vacancy. in his recent speech, the chief justice said -- quote -- "we're interpreting law and not imposing our views." further quoting, "if people don't like the explanation or don't think it holds together, you know, then they're justified, i think, in viewing us as having transgressed the limits in our role." end of quote. again, with all due respect to the chief justice, tens of
millions of americans believe correctly the supreme court has transgressed the limits of its role. tens of millions of americans believe correctly that too many of the justices are imposing their views and not interpreting the law. that's a major reason why we should have a debate about the proper role of a supreme court justice, and we need to debate whether our current justices are adhering to their constitutional role, as the chief justice remarked. although many of the supreme court decisions are unanimous or nearly so, the justices tend to disagree on what the chief justice called, in his words, the hot-button issues. we all know what kinds of cases
he has in mind when he talks about hot-button issues: freedom of religion, abortion, affirmative action, gun control, free speech, the death penalty. and you can probably name a lot of others. the chief justice was very revealing when he acknowledged that the lesser known cases are often unanimous and the hot-button cases are frequently 5-4. but why is that? the law is no more or less likely to be clear in a hot-button case, than in other cases. for those justices committed to the rule of law, it shouldn't be any harder to keep personal preferences out of a politically charged case than any other case. in some cases, the justices are
all willing to follow the law. but in others, where they're deeply invested in the policy implications of the ruling, those cases tend to turn out 5-4. the explanation of these 5-4 rulings must be that in hot-button cases some of the justices are deciding based on their political preferences and not as they should be, on the law. but if hot-button cases are being decided by politicians in robes, then the supreme court has no more of a right than the voters to be the final word. the chief justice regrets that the american people believe that the court is no different from the political branches of government.
but again, and with respect, i think he is concerned with the wrong problem. he would be well served to address the reality, not the perception, that too often there is little difference between the actions of the court and the actions of the political branches. so, physician heal thyself. in case after 5-4 case, the justices that the democrats appointed vote for liberal political results. now this can't be a coincidence. democrat presidents know what they want when they nominate justices. justiceswho will reach politically liberal results regardless of what the law
requires. this of course is what our current president means when he says that he wants justices to look to their heart to decide the really hard cases. that's an unambiguous invitation for justices to decide the hot-button cases based on personal policy preferences. that of course isn't the law, and it is not the appropriate role for the court. it's no wonder then that the public believes the court is political. and what democrat presidents want in this regard is what they get. even before justice scalia's death, leading scholars found this supreme court to be the most liberal since the 196's.
justices appointed by republicans are generally committed to following the law. there are justices who frequently vote in a conservative way. but some of the justices appointed even by republicans often don't vote in a way that advances conservative policy. and now contrary to what the chief justice suggested, a major reason the confirmation process has become more divisive is that some of the justices are voting too often based on politics and not on law. if they're going to be political actors after they're confirmed, then the confirmation process necessarily is going to reflect that dynamic. for instance, just last week
after one of my democrat colleagues met with judge garland, this senator said, after discussing issues like reproductive rights -- and this is a quote -- "i actually feel quite confident that he is deserving of my support." end of quote. obviously i don't know what they discussed during that meeting, or what judge garland said about reproductive rights. and to be clear, i'm not suggesting anything inappropriate was discussed. but my point is this: if justices stuck to the constitutional text and didn't base decisions on their own policy preferences or what the president asked based on their heart or on empathy for a particular litigant, then
senators wouldn't deem it necessary to understand whether the nominee supports reproductive rights or not. with this in mind, is it any wonder then that the public believes the court is political? if we want the confirmation process to be less divisive. if we want the public to have more confidence that the justices haven't exceeded their constitutional role, then the justices themselves need to demonstrate that in politically sensitive cases, their decisions are based on the constitution and the law and not on political preferences or not on what comes from the heart, or not because of some empathy. so here we are about the public -- here's where we are about the public's perception of
mr. mcconnell: madam president? purchase the majority leader. mr. mcconnell: i ask consent that further proceedings of the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i can unanimous consent the senate be in a period of morning business with senators permitted to speak therein for up to ten minutes.
the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i now ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to executive session to consider the following nomination, calendar number 434 only with no other executive business in order. the presiding officer: is there an objection? without objection so ordered. the clerk will report. the clerk: nomination, the judiciary, john e. sparks of virginia to be a judge for the united states court of appeals for the armed forces. mr. mcconnell: i know of no other debate on the nomination. the presiding officer: is there further debate? if not, all in favor say aye. those opposed? the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. the nomination is confirmed. mr. mcconnell: i ask consent the motion to consider be considered made and laid upon the table, the president be immediately notified of the senate's action and the senate resume legislative session. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the judiciary committee be discharged from further
consideration of s. res. 406 and the senate proceed to its immediate consideration plaintiff the clerk will report. the clerk: senate resolution 406, recognizing the girl scouts of the united states of america on the 100th anniversary of the girl scout gold award and so forth. the presiding officer: is there an objection to proceeding to the measure? without objection. mr. mcconnell: i further ask that the resolution be agreed to, the preamble be agreed to and the motions to consider be considered made and laid upon the table with no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to the consideration of s. res. 413 submitted earlier today. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: senate resolution 413 designating april 5, 2016 as gold star wives day. the presiding officer: is there an objection to proceeding to the measure? without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the resolution be agreed
to, the preamble be agreed to and the moationz to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table with no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: so madam president, i now ask unanimous consent that when the senate completes its business today it adjourn till 10 a.m. wednesday, april 6. following the prayer and pledge, the morning hour be deemed expired, the journal of proceedings be approved to date, and the time for the two leaders be reserved for their use later in the day. further, that following leader remarks the senate resume consideration of the motion to proceed to h.r. 636. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: no further business to come before the senate, i ask that it stand adjourned under the previous order. the presiding officer: the senate stands adjourned till senate stands adjourned till
beggars can have a better opportunity to flesh out all of the issues that we discussed. i would be glad to take any questions. >> how much he could have within his demographic. >> it is my understanding that senator grassley has agreed to meet with judge garland. let's see if after that meeting senator grassley still holds to the decision that there should not be hearings. i believe the majority
leader and senator grassley are very sincere in their belief that the next president should make this decision. i don't happen to agree with that, and i believe we should follow the normal order and proceed with public hearings. >> the constitutional order. >> i found the judge to be extremely straightforward. he answered all of my questions and a lengthy meeting. i brought up issues ranging from second amendment cases to executive overreach to the role of the court to perceptions of the court, and he gave thorough, impressive responses to all of my questions. >> you had an opportunity to vote.
>> who would you vote for if you had the opportunity? >> it is premature for me to reach that conclusion. whenever there has been a nominee to the supreme court, il after the public hearings are held before reaching a decision. that only proves because after public hearings you have a far better sense of the nominee. we covered a lot of ground in our meeting, but obviously public hearings with many senators posing questions allows for far more in-depth review of the qualifications, decisions, philosophies of the nominee. >> how disappointed are you? >> in my time in the senate,
i have always found that whether it is legislation, nomination, or treaties comeau we are best served by following regular order. it produces better bills. make sure the nominees are fully vetted, and that, to me, is the way we should proceed. i am not optimistic that i will be changing my mind on this issue, but i think if more of my colleagues sitdown with judge garland that they are going to be impressed with them. >> build on that answer by asking if you will try to recruit more republicans? >> i have already spoken out and expressed my views. so my views are not a secret
to my colleagues. i would encourage all of my colleagues to sit down with judge garland. i believe that is how the process should work and works best when we have these one-on-one meetings followed by public hearing. >> what about the strategy of mcconnell in terms of how likely it is hillary clinton could become president? has that happened? >> i don't want to comment on the majority leader's strategy. that is really a question is should be directed to him. i will say that from the conversations that i just had, i found that judge garland was -- he has the humility about him. he has clearly thought very
deeply about the issues confronting the court. there was not any questions that he could not handle. and he has a long record of accomplishment as a jurist on the dc circuit for 19 years. it would be ironic if the next president happens to be a democrat and chooses someone who is far too judge garland's left. but we really don't know what is going to happen. i think what we should do is follow the normal process with the nominee that has been sent out by the president. that, to me, is the best way to proceed. >> likely be impressed.
do you think you could change some of your colleagues mind? >> it has always been hazardous to predict what one's colleagues are going to do or how they will react. all i can do is report on my meeting. imeeting. i found judge garland to be well informed, thoughtful, impressive, extraordinarily bright, and with a sensitivity that i look for to the appropriate role that the constitution assigns to the three branches. thank you. >> thank you. >> and democratic senator jeanne shaheen met with supreme court nominee eric garland today. senator john bozeman sat
down with judge garland this afternoon sending a tweet, i conveyed to judge garland my position that the next president should fill the vacancy. more meetings are scheduled over the next several days. >> we showcase our student camera winners. the annual video documentary competition for middle and high school students. this year's theme is road to the white house. one of our 2nd prize high school winners is oklahoma. a junior once presidential candidates to discuss disability and employment. >> the most serious crisis facing this country is the
lack of decent paying jobs. we have unemployment, they talk about it at 6 percent. the fact is, it is double digits. our labor participation is the worst since 1968. >> i don't have the education and skills required. >> as americans we are all about getting our hands dirty. throughout our country's history has been one group left behind. >> the unemployment rate for adults with development of disabilities is 73 percent. your unemployment rate is much higher than the national average. >> development of disability is something that uses one or more of your life skills. and it occurs during the developmental stages of life which is zero to the age of 22.
>> it is unacceptable for over 80 percent of adults with disabilities to the unemployed. >> the state of oklahoma, billions of dollars in lost annually when you have folks that are not gainfully employed by andy goes beyond just the individual with a developmental disability. many times you have family caregivers that have to leave the workforce to provide the day-to-day support for their loved ones. you have now lost two incomes. >> have been some efforts made to lessen the problem. >> in 2010 the president wrote an executive order to increase the number. you may progress. new hires totaled about 16,000 which is a 15 percent
increase. and at no point have people with disabilities been hired at a higher percentage than they were. that is progress. but it is also true we have not fully reached our goals. >> and you believe the nonprofit organization, we have one thing that we do, to create independence. we help adults with disabilities become more independent by employing them, teaching them job-training skills so that they can go in the community and work alongside people without disabilities and earn a wage and become contributing members of society. >> at any other company have christmas parties, social gathering.
we just so happen to be adults with disabilities. >> i come out to a new leaf and work with people in the developments with disabilities. teach themteach them a life skill i am passionate about, filmmaking. >> the goal is to go out and pitch commercial media. candidates don't often talk about people with developmental disabilities is usually these people don't vote or have the funds to help her campaign. where does the funding come from? >> the government is better funded, and they have that ability. it just has to be a priority. many of our folks don't have
the ability to drive to the capitol or state capitol to be effective lobbyists. >> the main reason people care is that if you are an adult with a disability and you are on social security you will be in the poverty level. you only earn between 50700 dollars a month. why shouldn't they are living so that they don't have to rely on government assistance? they want a country full of people who can work hard and get ahead and move up the economic ladder. >> pleader not this is disincentive for going to work. >> social security income, if you go to work you lose a dollar for every to the you make. there are better ways to provide incentives and to
remove those barriers that are there for people with disabilities, and i think the government could invest in more progressive employment strategies for people with developmental disabilities rather than continuing to invest in workshops, if they were invest in innovation, things like customized employment which is shown great promise for putting people with significant disabilities to work. >> the country thought that women should not be employed , did not have the skills. now women are employed every day command look at the impact they are making. >> they have money, they will be able to buy things. >> i like working here. gives you a chance to
interact with people and a chance to really find out. >> i have an opportunity to be part of a conversation that the president has with young leaders. we're leaving talent on the table. and that is something we can't afford to do if we are going to grow and grow our economy. we cannot afford to leave talent on the table. >> once they are able to find jobs they are no longer a tax burden. you are filmmaker. ready to make some motion pictures. >> watch on the prize-winning documentaries,
>> this hearing will come to order. want to welcome witnesses. we thank you for your thoughtful testimony and are looking forward to hearing it. an opportunity to ask a number of questions. this hearing originally was planned, we will be talking about an issue, just by a security and the threats that we face, with the unfortunate tragic events in brussels they felt we would expand it. still pick up on some of those bio threats as well. it would like to hold the hearing and take a look at what is the root cause is driving this activity in europe and the implications here in america. in january 2016 we had a foiled plot in milwaukee, wisconsin against the
masonic temple by an individual. i would say this was a success story on the part of the fbi and those individuals that works to foiled plot. in the complaint filed, i have four. they are disconnected, but it reveals what is on the minds or the mind of an individual that julie plots to slaughter innocent human beings. this is what he was quoted as saying, i am telling you that if this is executed it will be known all over the world. people always -- people will be scared, and the operations will increase. we are marching in front of the war command we will illuminate everyone. now, in his plotting he was trying to accomplish calling 100 people.
and in the complaint he would be 100 percent happy if he was able to kill 30. these threats that europe is facing an america is facing because of islamic terrorists are real. they are growing. and the purpose of this hearing was really to look at the root cause of the problems, see what we can do to try and keep this nation as safe and secure as possible. i also have to say we did reach out the day after the hearing to the fbi, dhs, the national counterterrorism center to have witnesses appear before this committee today. unfortunately, nobody agreed to testify, which is disappointing to me. press conference on additional funding which we want to support the
department having the tools and resources they need to keep this nation safe. a good way to secure those resources would be to come forward like this to layout the reality. i'm disappointed we don't have government witnesses, but i appreciate the fact that you have come here today and are willing to testify. >> thank you, mr. chairman. it is good to see you, witnesses. thank you for your preparation and for joining us. our thoughts and prayers remain with the families of the victims and those who died. my hope is that something good can come from this. this hearing is a part of the process. as with the terrorist attacks, places around the world like pakistan, the boston marathon our own countries, but what happened
in brussels, exposing yet again the vulnerability that we face in places that are hard to defend, walls, trains, train stations, airports and the like. with today's 247 new cycle americans are seeing these attacks unfold in real time. we can see the devastation of these attacks cause, the pain we inflict on the victims. so americans are understandably uneasy, concerneduneasy, concerned for their safety, the safety of their families and friends and neighbors. it is important for us to remember that the most potent weapon that terrorist like those have is fear. they want to scare us and attorney against one another and against our neighbors in this country. they want to make us afraid. we might feel safer if we
saw more obvious security, but those measures, and a very high price and do not necessarily deter terrorists many would argue that turning every public place into a fortress would restrict americans own personal freedom. we need to be smart about how we confront these are evolving terror threats and continually sharpen our deck through the use of robust intelligence and our ability to share information. finding these tools and ensuring is an important responsibility and also the local level. we have a responsibility as well and recent losses have
been severe. lost at least 40 percent of the territory. twenty key leaders in recent months. putting the chief propagandist. they carry a strike that led to the death of isi s finance chief. they continue to to enhance the capabilities of the counterterrorism forces. forces captured ramani and battle sees the stronghold. and with the cease-fire in syria holding, more guns are being turned. being pushed back on its heels. consequences may very well be that the group out of desperation will seek to project a façade of power to
fight terrorist attacks against unprotected targets in new york in the united states. we must not let these cowardly acts to turn our resolve. they are ready and able to stop similar tax year at home and other places. i want to mention the last thing, the tragedy in brussels in the eu, lessons for us to learn. and for us the need to better understand what happened, what we can do to help deter attacks and better defend their own people.
>> so ordered. if you all stand and raise your hand. >> the testimony you will give will be the truth, wholekemal truth, nothing but the truth so help you god. our 1st witness is mr. juan zarate. chairman of the financial integrity network, the center of sanctions and illicit finance. senior advisor at the center for strategic and international studies. >> chairman, thank you very much. ranking member, distinguished members of the committee, thank you for inviting me to testify today. i wanted to be here to discuss the current terror
threat environment in europe and security implications for the us. in the wake of the horrific attacks this is a critical moment to take stock of what i consider to be the quickening terror threat along with a continued threat from an intent by affiliates at the west. have continued outpace expectations and surprise authority. dangerously, failing to understand and anticipate has led to misguided assumptions have now been shattered. isi s has intended to confront the west using western operatives flowing into the contact zone by the thousands and intended to inspire similar tax. his both these capabilities over time and taken advantages to implant operatives in europe.
this should not come as a surprise. witness parts of the foreign fighter pipeline and a turkish syrian border crossing. this was a final stop. passports were for sale and such matters should exchange the passports for cash. at that time those in passport was for sale of $8,000. european authorities are now coming to grips targeting heart of europe with dozens of operatives. the immediate threat of european networks. trains to deploy european back into the heart of europe to perpetrate the
sophisticated tax. second, isi s ands and al qaeda have taken advantage of long-standing radicalized groups in europe. in the criminal, prison, another radical networks. third, europe suffers from long-standing deep pockets radicalization affecting the national embedded particular communities and neighborhoods. served as micro- savings and have persisted. now, i have been able to take advantage of the weakness in the european system. the best authorities are overwhelmed. fortunately, the united states is not face the same kinds of threats from isis and al qaeda that europe does, but these threats are
real for us citizens abroad and in the homeland. let me describe them quickly, the most immediate threat is to our citizens and interests in europe. isis would like to target americans wherever possible. a gap that could allow an operative into the country unknowingly. the lack of information and real-time information sharing our major impediments to western security. new technology and methodology could spur innovation and finally the mustard gigi impact whether it ultimately weakened are
strengthened european resolve. >> we need a strong year. the us must therefore work closely and to disrupt isis and al qaeda safe havens continue to build layers of defense. we should never underestimate the ability of our terrorist adversaries to innovate and adapt. >> senior fellow and director of the center for
new american securities. before post white house she served as principal director >> thank you chairman. thank you for the opportunity to testify. >> any successful strategy is going to require changes. let me start with belgian. the attacks have confirmed what experts have been dating for years, the belgian has on the largest
homegrown extremists problems in the west. have traveled in recent years and 20 percent of those individuals now have returned to european soil with sophisticated training and unknown intention. in part in confident but also crippling budgetary constraints also has not had a functioning federal system for some time now. uncover and dismantle has been severely hampered. pretty radicalization of muslim minorities has become a priority.
they can counter radicalization. suffered from a chronic lack of investment. if most glaring problem is his inability to share information among its member states. someone a turkey had warned the belgians about as they were reporting them to the netherlands. that information was not followed up on. strengthen cooperation. we have worked together to enhance our intelligence sharing. worked to save our border control.
serious gaps remain. the concerns obviously were more pronounced. the nsa had been tracking the number of world leaders, most notably chancellor merkel. the best name recognition which would enable us to enhance our intelligence sharing. belgium is going to have to make a lot of changes. there going to have to overhaul their surveillance. major transportation hubs and certainly invest more in a small security budget.
going to have to do more. there going to have to address the isolation of the muslim minorities in existence of the border. there tending to focus on homeland security measures but we have to ensure europeans are working with us in faraway places. for that reason i would urge more europeans to join us in the anti- isis coalition. lastly we had to get past the differences on data protection and privacy. going to require significant
us leadership. some occasionally urge the united states to pull back, but to be frank this is a threat that we face together with the biggest hand and currently have to play his eu us counterterrorism operations. >> thank you. our next witness is mr. david bernstein ross. senior fellow at the foundation for defense of democracies and adjunct professor at georgetown university's space program. he is also the chief executive officer, consulting firm focused on the challenges proposed by violent nonstate actors. >> thank you. this very great time. obviously is bound four months to major attacks.
it is a watershed for a variety of reasons but one is it is the 1st time a european jihadist network has succeeded and not only carrying out one major attack within bearing the brunt of law enforcement resources if you look at what has been said only now four months after paris other starting to get their heads wrapped around. according to a recent report about 22 members of this network are so large. others have not been able to verify the specific number but it seems to be roughly accurate. one analogy i use a lot is that of startup ferns versus regulating entities. i use this not to be cute or
trite. today it is clear that startup firms have inherent advantages over larger competitors. able to innovate quickly, shift the strategy quickly while larger firms are often encumbered by their own weight with too much bureaucracy, unable to maneuver at the same kind of speed as the smaller adversaries. julie did a good job talking about the kind of problems that occur that help to allow the brussels attackers to succeed. but we go back through them, one thing that looms largest bureaucracy, lack of internal coordination and organizational structure that is not suitable for the challenges of the 21st century.
one thing that have allowed him to be free, restrictions in belgium, what time rates can occur. other instances in which intelligence was not acted upon. not picked up after turkish authorities revealed he had been arrested in ghazi attempts. the major way that obviously is the european officials should have raised a red flag. authorities have been all but waving their hands around. basically all the resources were used to try to deal with the problem. likewise in france and britain, there are many indications that this is overwhelmed system. europe should be encouraged
to undertake a much more disruptive pace. our experience with the mob. indicted and convicted not for being a monster killer, not for being a bootlegger rather for not paying taxes on his illegal income. it was said that he would arrest a monster 1st betting on the sidewalk. within european jihadist networks which are identifiable and under surveillance, there is often financial fraud and other small crimes they can pick people up. this is not ultimately a perfect solution, but in the short term we had two major attacks and more would be attackers for a large right now. it is important to disrupt and pin down the networks
are trying to monitor. in the longer term the problem is important. they need to be reforms, and we need to be very much surprised of those that affect the united states. the agreement is all that fell apart and in the past european interpretation has detracted and serve as a barrier from our own measures that we have tried to take to uphold border security. we need to understand just how much the system is in play and recommend that something good can come from something awful and that can be we should push for necessary reforms within europe and in the transatlantic relationship to better protect our own homeland. thank you. >> thank you. our final witness, a robert a fox fellow from the foreign policy research institute program on middle
east and senior fellow with the program on national security, served as us army infantry officer and special agent on the joint terrorist task force. executive officer at west point.point. thank you for your service and testimony. >> thank you. thank you, chairman johnson, ranking member, members of committee. 2012 many researchers and i want thousands of young men to join the ranks of those fighting against the aside regime. they have eventually coalesced around the islamic state. i personally have a list of names that we knew were operating because all you had to do was watch them on twitter and they tell you they were there. they would turn on their location beacon to let everyone no they were there. we have known these boys were there for a long time and should have ended know they were always going to
come home. this was not probable. it was inevitable. we are flat our feet, this has happened over. we are now on the defense and reacting rather than preemptive. so today the situation in europe, terrorists operating without borders and counter terrorists operating with all borders. isis has done what al qaeda never did, achieve the level of violence because they have a volume of foreign fighters, passport holders, citizens or people who have resided there have traveled together cementing long-standing relationships with desperate communities and traveled to gain unprecedented combat experience. they did not senior the battles that these two have seen and brought that experience home, not only
more connected socially and ideologically but more criminal than pious and have less reservations about committing violence and operate within autonomy we never saw with al qaeda. the issue a little bit of commanders intent, pick targets they know well, don't pick large, symbolic targets. they plan those plots and put them together almost, it seems like, at random. they move faster and communicate more freely. when we look at the situation we have them operating without borders, way over capacity. not only that, they have uneven capability. they all have significant experience in terms of counterterrorism intelligence, that is not shared the smaller countries.
belgium is a primea prime example, but many others have had for fire recruits like they have never seen. and they have much more limited capacity to deal with these. they have a lot of rules around intelligence sharing, data privacy the prevent them doing technical collection and human intelligence the way we would. so when you look at this patchwork that we have in terms of bureaucracy there is no fbi type apparatus. they are great and you excellent coordination and research but cannot cross the border as fast as a terrorist can. my fellow, my fellow appeared today talked about the dangers to americans abroad, but the most dangerous result is that every success that the islamic state has in europe breeds more success at home. a successful attack in his
temple, brussels inspire someone here in the states has no connection to start to move forward. we have seen that in san bernardino and philadelphia police shooting. success breeds success. every time we stand by and watch your suffer an attack it inspires people at home. while we should look at defensive measures in terms of what we can do i would tell you we have to go with the office in europe the way we did here. i would push to help the european union put together a counterterrorism task force, not a committee, hearing, another bureaucracy but an aggressive approach. looking at the terrorist theory. for every eight you see there are three or four times as many that are helping to support. we saw that with paris. the other thing, intelligence sharing.
pushing to them and helping them integrate, and the last part is better risk assessment. we tended issue travel warnings after an attack, but we could sit right now and tell you where the foreign fighters are the more the targets have been hit and which ones are most likely. thank you for having me. >> i want to start with you. you mentioned the key point, most testimony has been on defense. even in talking about offense you're talking about how america go on offense to help european defense. i want to talk about actually going on offense, this has been building and was inevitable. and as we watch the events unfold we are pushing isis back in iraq but they are gaining territory in syria, getting into afghanistan,
having vocal romp and other organizations affiliate themselves. this is growing. i want to talk about effective offense. i want to give some indication, a state department report, study terrorism. that me caveat, i realize statistics are uneven. but if you take a look at prior years after september 11 on average the largest measure, on average there were less than 5,000 fatalities due to terrorism. in 2012. in 2012 report shows about 15,000. 2014 about 43,000. i realize the measurement is difficult. but it gives us some indication on how global terrorism is a growing threat. so if we are going to be on
defense i don't see how it will succeed. just speak about a real offense to wipe out this threat and how long it will take. >> what i would say is i do like how we are approaching. we have started to take action against the islamic state in libya. the 2nd most important. we don't have to pursue special operations, aggressive joint terrorism task force operations and robust intelligence sharing across europe, north africa, , north africa, and the middle east for as long as we live. we will have to. this will not go away. there is no beginning or end. i think the notion that we need to put forth in our country and particularly in europe is that a constant offense is the only way to keep them on the defense. i would say that the foreign
fighter task force tracking is the most essential thing we should be doing and should have done. this is what i call countering terrorism now. we had a massive ingress of foreign fighters to afghanistan that later mutated into al qaeda 20 years ago. we then had a massive ingress into iraq and afghanistan which mutated and now we are looking as the islamic state being squelched. there will always be some militant organization there and therefore this will mutate into what could be a more dangerous situation. those are washington terms with her around because it gives people labeled understand it. the very well need to be facing five to seven regional terrorist notes with varying degrees of connection. they communicate and
cooperate when they need to and don't and may choose different parts of the ideology to pursue mostly based on local political environments. the one thing you can look at is the lack of governance. we thought the arab spring would bring about the opportunity for democracy to grow, and as a democratic nation for some reason we help everyone vote but not after. we have safe havens the stretch where they can operate. the islamic state label, they will pick that up and use it when convenient, but they will pursue their own objectives. the dangerous part is creating the capacity and capability. how do we track that many threats? >> when we witness isis rollup, that indicates an
organization that is strategic, has a game plan and execute. that is no fly-by-night. now there setting up training centers to train the next generation, can anyone speak to the real danger? >> this will happen routinely because there is a lack of governance. we have gotten into a situation where we say let's deploy massive military force a great expense ultimately creating a security vacuum and retreat to the other end, hoping that they will keep everyone down. and between in the middle is how we work with foreign nations. and if you look at our competitors around the world they are picking proxies as they see fit to pursue the interest they want. our greatest problem is we don't really know what we want but that we don't want anything bad to happen. if all you know is what you
don't want you will never get what you do. we have not picked out what our strategic objectives are we are constantly in a patchwork of moving and chasing. it is a great testament to counter terrorists who have gone where the threat is, special operations forces have pull off amazing feats, but that alone won't get us there. we will always be vulnerable. right now libya and north africa is the place we need to be concerned about. a natural expansion point for them. yemen is another big issue. >> very quickly, mr. garten steen ross talked about the big bureaucratic organization versus small startup company. i know exactly what you are talking about. in your testimony you talked about innovation. one of my concerns comeau we no two of the terrorists
involved, and their apartment we found surveillance. can you speak to the dangers and what might be on their minds? >> one of the dangers you see is that they have been adapting quickly new methodologies. in the field the use of tunnels and multiple sophisticated attacks and prongs as part of their attack vectors, use of chemical weapons reports just today of another chemical attack and certainly a real question as to whether or not they have ambitions to engage in wmd terrorism. they set up the unit to develop chemical weapons capabilities and are using it. >> they have the labs. >> that is right. just a touch on the conversation, one of the major differences from the
safe haven of today is that we are not talking about the jungle on the mountain and deserts, the safe havens of old. they're talking about real cities, real urban environments. maccoll and yemen, real cities with real resources, financial systems, all of which they are taking advantage of, much of which we are blind to and one of the major dangers is the safe haven and inkblots that are emerging, qualitatively different. youyou have seen this not just in the context of wmd but with naval attacks in egypt, the attack on the civilian aircraft of the sinai. you will continue to see adaptationo the extent
they have fighters to train car resources to apply, space in which to plan and leadership that is intent to attack the west. >> we have to take those resources, that territory away from them. >> thank you so much. this is an exceptional panel of witnesses. thank you for joining us. i spent a number of years my life in the navy. i remember being in southeast asia. have a cartoon up on the wall. it was a depiction of a man on a very small island trying to climb up a single tree surrounded by alligators with the caption under the cartoon, it's hard to remember that your job was to clean the swamp when you're up your eyeballs now a gators.
up to their eyeballs in alligators. we're trying to help them. how we go about draining the swamp? a minute on root causes please. >> i think 1st and foremost being open and honest about where these pockets of radicalization have existed. these are not new. there is a developed radicalized environments that have allowed radical clerics to recruit and pipelines of generations to continue to be enlisted and mobilized. first and foremost, identifying the hotspots. because if you look at a map you will see that there are particular not just countries or regions but neighborhoods particular segments of communities that
are most at risk come of the neighborhood out of morocco that has produced the vast bulk of foreign fighters heading back to the iraq war , there are pockets that need to be identified and in many ways focused on for law enforcement and intervention purposes. thenpurposes. then you have the general problem of emigration and assimilation. so working with european authorities on understanding how we can help them integrate populations better so that you don't have a new generation of radicals. >> ii would ask you to hold it there. >> sure. yeah. the integration challenges and norm us. about 13 million came in the 1960s and 70s to respond we will labor shortage. many did not expect to stay.
they have several grievances. access to educational opportunities, wisely discriminated against. so the nature of the challenge is enormous. this is not just in belgium the several countries across europe. what makes this particularly challenging is the fact that european public opinion is worsening. european citizens are incredibly worried about their own employment numbers and opportunities have a complete loss of faith in executions like the european union. we have seen the rise of populist parties that are more discriminatory, more anti- immigrant. just as they need to double down on these integration programs you're finding a resistance to push back from european society. i can't stress how challenging this will be. >> i find that with looking at answering questions like
this is useful to look at it through the eyes of the adversary. trying to grow larger and stronger in europe, the 1st thing is weak law-enforcement. secondly, given the integration problem that was just mentioned in this massive influx of migrants who have trouble integrating , the problem already exists. there is potential for recruitment especially if you could trigger a nativist backlash. every time you carry out an attack that increases hostility and they want to destroy what they regard as the zone between isis in the european population are european can exist. one of the things that is
happening is other parties are not addressing these issues. they are the ones who will be listening. understanding is an important part of it. so i would focus on the issue of whites attractive. i would focus on two messages. that really is about how you change the narrative. the 2nd is the message, right now we are watching the vectors we. they are killing the defectors are internal spies
for people that are starting to ask questions. it is importantit is important to put that in the line of young people. they are believing one narrative. you need to offer them another. i would focus on the legions within the islamic state were very much pushing away the foreign fighters, not giving much. how can you drive a wedge between them. focus on vectors in their messages. they were in iraq and syria. and then i would absolutely, they use the adversaries, they're would not be a google search that happened. add to that, 82 percent of the town's in the 80s to
afghanistan and iraq ten years ago. i can tell you. it is not a matter of knowing where to go but whether we will push in those places. >> sec. johnson has been before us.us. one of the issues he is pushing is a partnership to counter violence. smart policy. >> lead. trying to provide policy guidance for the next administration.
these are issues not just of safe havens abroad the questions of identity. one thing we need to look at , your last question, the last element is family and networks. their critical to the support able to intervene. absolutely. pursue those types of programs and work with our european partners. we can share lessons learned and see what works and what doesn't. >> thank you. the early efforts will certainly be awkward. some of the benefits will be learning from what does not work.
>> i would not put much effort into it to be honest. there is value from building trust. i don't think they will be a great weapon in thwarting. parents are the worst ones. so i think it is good for community policing purposes in general,general, but i don't think it will get the problem. >> senator. >> i want to thank the chairman.chairman. let me just say, the fact that we had a major terrorist attack and can't get before this committee, the department of homeland security, fbisecurity, fbi for the national counterterrorism center to me speaks volumes. come and make their case. i want to back the chairman up. i would like to ask each of you one of the things that i
heard coming loud and clear, the lack of intelligence sharing in europe and the problems we have with the lack of intelligence sharing. as you know, the european countries, we have over 38 countries that are part of our visa waiver program. to be a part of the program you have to essentially meet certain basic standards information sharing, enter into an agreement with the us to report lost or stolen passports and most importantly have an agreement to share information. as i here your testimony i see a huge glaring flag because at the end of the summer we passed a law which i'm gladly did that essentially said the individuals who had traveled
to iraq and syria, he ran command also the homeland security secretary which has added other countries like libya to the list, but here's the problem, if we don't have good information sharing, we can put that in place all we want, but if we don't know that someone travels, if you look at what happened in paris, one of the individuals had come over from greece with a fake passport, we also know now with the situation from belgium that the information they came from turkish authorities was not properly acted upon. i would have to think they were not sharing that information. so what does this mean in terms of what we should be doing to protect our citizens with the lack of information sharing? it's a priority with
information sharing between us and the transatlantic, better information sharing among europe, but our citizens need to understand what we need to do to protect our citizens to make sure that someone does not travel to iraq and syria that we are unaware of. >> senator. >> great questions. as you mentioned, lack of information sharing,sharing, lack of real-time information sharing, lack of detail as well as gaps of information. i think that you have seen the terrorists have adapted around it. they're infiltrating refugee flows.
they have used methodologies of returning in the europe using backpacker roots so as to avoid connections. it is really two things we need to do. we have to gain more intelligence our own, be aggressive about what we are doing on the ground as well as along the routes where we suspect pipelines are active -- active. we know exactly where that is where they continue to move in and out. i am hoping and expecting we are on them like a hawk trying to get information and understanding where they are flowing elsewhere. we need to spur the europeans, we need to collect them together whether in a task force model or some other fashion. >> one of the things i called upon his what do you
think nato could be a helpful avenue? >> they could be, but what you need of the intelligence services. the french and british a very good at this. the germans are good. what you need is some mechanism to knock heads. something to the fact that they are shared our real-time basis. not shared within the european union. we have developed a protocol to understand. in a sense we are going to have to catalyze a lot of this and a lot of what my fellow panelists have talked about. they're goingabout. there going to have to take a leadership role. >> yes. >> that is an excellent question.
i had to that, the us in the number of bilateral relationships, the cooperation with europe is completely uneven.uneven. some are wonderful, others in complete disrepair. there are improvements that need to be made, intelligence sharing with europe, but the emphasis should be put on europe and inside the cotton. they are not going to move forward with an eu wide implementation. it's implementation. it's ridiculous. they are waiting to see who the next president is. we should push them to advance this agenda. in a recent piece david ignatius put it best. the europeans are interested in our intelligence, but they have this distaste for collection. we have to break past this
to say enough is enough. we needenough. we need to make progress on these issues and work through the issues. >> i see mr. watts wanting to comment. he made a statement saying you believe we need better warnings. >> one thing that the us can do for the european union is , we just spent a decade buildinga decade building the national counterterrorism center call these integration functions up in the cross.cross. we do it from the federal, state, and local level. we know how to do that with partners. that is something we can help them do. how to develop those relationships. they are all bilateral. why should we provide the french and the uk the same intelligence? they need to somehow synchronize their systems. my fear is european
countries don't want to deal with data privacy issues. how we communicate, a communicate, a way to say this is a risk profile. this is what you are facing. do you want to wait to see what happens? is there way we can work with those countries, germany, denmark, all of those? i don't know that can be achieved. that never will allow you to put together the picture. >> i know my time is up. >> thank you. >> the question about visa waiver and ensuring our own borders.
u.s. customs and border protection is ultimately the last line of defense. when the search doesn't correlate, itand ultimately comes down to the counterterrorism response. billick for terrorism response team have enough resources? the training that they need to undertake the kind of human intelligence collecting at the border to see if someone is suspicious and have enough professionalization an incentive to get the best and brightest to stay in the program as opposed to going to another agency, something that is entirely appropriate >> i think you all and would say, i think we have to take a leadership role. i don't see another country that will be able to bring
everyone together and get them back. >> the theory is, 38 countries on the program right now. a threshold of information sharing. anyone want to express an opinion? are they had that threshold level? >> i think it is worth revealing. the highest levels per capita. i think it is only appropriate. >> without prejudice.
butbut i think a healthy review and some skepticism. >> i don't know what the levels are. so with the countries that have the most foreign fighters per capita. moved down the list from there. >> thank you. thanks to all of you for joining our panel. this has been helpful. as i've never before, i share concerns that have been expressed about the lack of support for force protection members. and just a couple of examples, the us military recently ordered military
family members to exit turkey. it was day department that ordered the departure of family members and staff and recently the wife of an air force officer was killed. if we can focus on belgian, reports are suggesting the dod has about 1300 military personnel or dependence. of course we all know my own tomato., home tomato. i would like to start with you. if the rest of the panel can answer, do you share my concern about us force protection in europe? what do we need to do to make sure force protection is adequate and how do we move forward? >> i would start off in terms of concern, i am
concerned. what we have seen is too big a tax. now counterterrorism is out aggressively. we know also there are other parts of the network that are still at large. if you believe you are being closed in on, what do you do? rapidly put together a hasty attack. there is no target better than a military person deployed overseas. the target of opportunity. so an inspired recruit or someone in the network that knows you are on your last few minutes, this is a great target of opportunity. there is a huge risk for that if they can operate as cells or groups, they will pick targets of opportunity. the most vulnerable will be
state department employees and department of defense employees. i think that it is a concern. in terms of how you protect them, it is extremely challenging. try to protect them in place , but more active defense measures in place with increasing diplomatic security, very tough to do. the other part is remove them from the countries. talk about removing 1300 servicemen and women, that is a major signal with impacts in europe. i don't know that i have the right answer, but, but i think we can do risk forecasting much better. we wait for an attack to happen. great. i am already here. we know where these foreign fighters are coming from. we can map that out.
there is the risk. and then where we have seen attacks, high-traffic locations. some ways, popular western venues. this looks a lot more like what we used to see in the middle east and north africa. i think we can indirectly send some signals to europe command i would make it public. just like you see with disease control maps with these are the places we are worried about the most. >> that is good. >> senator, thank you. i would look not just at risk mapping but intelligence gathering. family members and soft targets.
i would not worry so much about the hard spaces and other sites. those are always targets. they have a hard time executing. i worry more about the soft targets, and understanding where they may be surveilling, doing counterintelligence is important to understand the specific risks around personnel and family members.members. from a cyber perspective some of the followers and adherence of isis try to do is expose military personnel and family members. there is a real effort to at least threaten if not put at risk family members and personnel outside the bounds of classic security.
>> very good. thank you. >> i echo these concerns. having one of the emerging tactics is talking and killing its foes. basically taking them out of the government's fear. and when i was in germany fairly recently i saw servicemembers in contravention to regulations leaving the base still wearing the uniforms. that is the concern. making family members and members of the military aware of the few things is important. making them aware of how much information they are giving up on social media.
a lot of the information isis got was easily cleaned up from hacking bye-bye going to social media accounts in finding out information. ultimately this is a high-level concern that fits with what the organization has done in the direction is moving in. >> i appreciatei appreciate that very much. when my husband was serving in saudi arabia in the late '90s he was'90s he was considered a combatant commander. part of a combatant command. members of those -- is family members cannot live in saudi arabia. next-door he had a noncombatant commander who is family's could live there. it was ironic to us.
i don't think terrorists distinguish, but this is something that the us needs to take seriously and make sure that we are protecting servicemembers as well as civilian serving overseas. thank you very much for being here today. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i am sure we will continue to find this hearing very interesting and appreciate your expertise. i would like to pick up on those questions related to the community. what we have seen, the attacks in paris and brussels, they were home-grown, radicalized in their own country, foreign fighters came back. already back. already talked about some of the conditions in the european neighborhoods that these individuals are exposed to. to the fact that we also have a very vibrant muslim
and arab american community, could you comment on what you see as the differences between the us and europe and what lessons because we thankfully have not seen those here in our country, what lessons can be learned from the united states that may be helpful to the europeans? what is happening here? is it different? elaborate on why that would be a good lesson for others. >> senator, thank you. fortunately, i do think there is a difference. first, a difference of numbers. the cases brought by the fbi or foreign fighters, the numbers are quite low per capita. in terms of foreign fighters, we are looking at probably 200 or so.
given that we don't have full information and that american who recently turned himself into the kurdish authorities was not known the us authorities. we don't have a full picture, but the numbers are much smaller than what we see. second, muslim american communities are incredibly diverse. spread geographically and well integrated. and historically they have done incredibly well socially and economically. per capita income numbers are very high, and the notion of integration has been natural and organic. the last thing i would note is that very notion of an american identity is a common form or definition of individuals and communities. the fact that anyone for many race, creed, or religion can call themselves american.
first or 12 generation is incredibly powerful. the notion that there is actual gravity to the idea of the american ideal is a counterweight to the counter narratives of these terrorist groups and even the dream of the islamic caliphate which is animating summative fight. one thing i would argue is we have got to make sure we recognize, embrace our diversity, tackle the challenges of communities we have seen a higher percentage of individuals going to fight and ensure that you don't have the ghettoization or the sense of targeting of muslim american communities or any other community. that is a bedrock of american power and identity and will hold us in good stead against the ideology. >> thank you. >> one is exactly right.
i agree 100 percent. we benefit from the fact that it is easy to have a hyphenated existence. muslim american, scottish american. in europe many from north africa, for example they don't feel part of society. there is no path for them forward. it makes them susceptible to someone who comes along your social media. this will be your home. france is not your home, you're not going to go to morocco either. let us provide that. that is an entirely different challenge them
what we have here in the us. up to say we don't have folks who are susceptible, but it is a different challenge. >> thank you. >> you can see some of this their out statistically. it has been a few years since i've looked at statistics about demographics. the last time i looked into this the average muslim in the us holds to a higher level of employment. i would also caution, there are lessons that europe could learn, but the us is fairly unique in its identity as being a nation of immigrants. i travel the world a lot as is everyone on the panel.
i cannot think of many other societies are in canada where you don't have integration problems. from any sort of class, in general throughout the world you have a much more rigid set of identities that we have in the us. and so i would not think of them being a quick fix, but rather i see this as a systemic problem that will be with us for decades to come. most countries do not integrate new populations the way the us has been successful in doing. >> i would like to shift a little bit to show why europe's problem is worse now than ever. that is about the physical relationship, the way your group people india ranks. the best recruiter of the marine is a former marine.
that indirect channel which builds of physical relationships that motivate you and get you going. right now europe has foreign fighters leaving syria and iraq. they have the other problem, so they want to go but can no longer. you have these catalysts, for foreign fighters that we see in the paris in belgium attacks, almost half-and-half.attacks, almost half-and-half. some that are veterans and some recruits working together. they are in these disenfranchised communities. we don't have the foreign fighters coming back the way that we see in europe, and most of our recruits are virtual recruits, 90 percent of them online. they don't have a direct connection. they were to build one which takes longer, is more difficult command you get a different style of recruit. more social, and this is a different dynamic, so we are lucky with the exception of
minneapolis comeau we don't have that same dynamic. that allows us to detect them online as well as on the ground much faster. they set off signals that are easier to detect whereas in europe and got a huge problem. a lot of the recruitment is never happening online. >> thank you. i appreciate your response. we certainly have to be vigilant, have strong intelligence make sure we are being offense of interactions. ultimately a strong issue we have is our american values and the special place where we are a nation of immigrants everyone can come and have opportunity to pursue the american dream. if we let that slip we truly are vulnerable. >> thank you. thank you for this hearing. seemed like you were
downplaying the effectiveness of efforts to counter the propaganda. do you think that is not as perform a pathway? >> i do not believe -- at least comparing states and europe is a little bit challenging, but i believe it is an indirect way to get the motivations. part of the reason i believe they are recruited is because they are disenfranchised community. and they are not connected socially or listening to what the parents are saying. he just saw two weeks ago where a mother in europe found out that her son was in the islamic state because the records were divulged online. so parents are not really good at knowing what young people are doing.
that is just normal. they seem to not be aware or not be on board. iboard. i think it is a good effort for a lot of reasons. break down the borders between them. if you want to get the problem right now you have to change how they view opportunities to become a jihadist. foreign fighters are extremely fickle recruits. we watched online for years. they would go to yemen until things were going well. i went to molly until the french invaded. syria has gone on for more years. we are advancing on these cities in the way we set our strategy, achieving success. ..
the key point is to focus on the individuals were wanting to join rather than going through the community. i'm not sure they're the best for it. i would rather change the image than the method. >> were in iraq and syria right now which is undermining some recruitment efforts but focusing back on trying to show that isis is making victory and pushing a more fertile ground for trying foreign attacks, so you are really taking the efforts of separating two buckets into one, these communications with family members, trying to create better networks within the muslim communities, versus the propaganda they're feeding these young people trying to make sure we are countering that propaganda with our own exposing for the frauds, and chance that they are.
>> i think it is a funnel. usually we talk about vulnerable radicalizing committed recruits. there's more at the vulnerable stage that's where community program like you suggested, there's radicalizing people we are ready nor connected to foreign fighters. they they look like they're mobilizing, they're taking on the image on the talk of those that want to join. then the the committee, they are trying to do an attack at home or trying to make their way into syria or iraq. i would focus more effort on the bottom. >> right, that's law-enforcement and i agree, but you're telling me you don't have as much confidence in former radicalized folks have come back and have now converted back to sanity, engaging them in telling the truth to others that are in that second part. >> i'm a big fan of them. that's where i focus towards the radicalizing members.
what i am not so interested in is this massive vulnerable audience for we try to, i call pushing let's buy the world a coat method where we say let's work out reach out to you and integrates all some your problems. i feel like those are good problems to do it regardless, but to focus with atrocities, focus on crimes happening in iraq and syria and focus on the radicalizing audience. sometimes we get one part right and not focus on the right place. i would rather look at those that are closely connected to for fighters and their communities and that is where i would aim the message. >> do attach to that? >> i would note, i have a slightly different view. you need multiple lines of effort. you have that military, the law-enforcement, but i think you have to invent since some of the
cde measures. the research shows that upon someone off the path of radicalization you have to give them an alternative path, they have to have a network of individuals that they trust, a mom, teacher, parent, neighbor that can persuade them to make the right choice. they have to have some element of doubt of going down this path. some of the cde measures are trying to do just that, to provide a network of individuals that can lay a hand on someone as they are wavering. some of of them are two-part to go back. for the young kids that are on the brink of packing it in and taking a flight to turkey, that will then cross into syria, we have to look at some of these programs to be sure not all of them produce real results. we have to definitely scrub, understand what what is working and what is not. we have to keep trying and working with our allies whether that is the folks in uae or our european allies. it is an an important component of the wider strategy. >> so the program like think again and turn away, that were
not really successful. really finding the ones that are working, investing in those and not undermined in the law-enforcement efforts and the like. buy new ones that are targeted. just out of curiosity, in a few minutes i've left, this is a great night i had going to bed listening to npr, it was a good article my staff sent to me about why some neighborhoods are very radicalized and some are not. you have a moroccan neighborhood where they are, then you have turkish neighborhood that is not. but yet they have some of the same characteristics. not. not integrating it into european society. why would you say that? >> that is a great question, one that bears a lot more investigation. you have these hotspots of radicalization. you also have the situation, senator and this is part of the difficulty of the cde efforts, one who bears the scars of doing work in the space for a number
of years i can attest to it. the reality is, you have family members themselves going up in the same home, the same neighborhood. one goes off to fight, the other doesn't. and does not fall prey to the ideology. the question is why? i think sociologists, archaeologists, anthropologists, anthropologists are all looking at this. it's a social science search on this to figure out what is the difference. one of the things to the point earlier is the personal connection between the radicalized hers, the ideologues, and the lineage of ideological and operational networks. i think were you have seen these groups continue to persist, where they continue to produce radicalized individuals and for fighters, conflict after conflict, year after year it's in the communities where people are actively trying to recruit as part of their mission. you see it more and norway, preachers in the u.k., france
and belgium, where you have this ideological lineage that embeds and communities. that then becomes a a hot bed. that is one factor. scientists are trying to figure this out because within families themselves can we figure out exactly what radicalized as one individual versus another. >> in the terms of time i will stop here. the radical light is growing and creating more combustible fuel for radicalization. does that concern you about rhetoric here in the united states that might be potentially doing the same? >> i am very worried about political developments inside europe where we have seen the rise of anti-immigrants and countless countries across the european continent and what it is doing to fuel the grievances that these muslim communities have against the societies in which they live. similarly, we have to be careful here about our own rhetoric and
axes discrimination, and alienation. we need to be in inclusive as possible. we have to recognize that we're dealing with a very small percentage even in europe of the muslim community. it is not fair to say that all of the muslims inside europe are susceptible to radicalization. we have to keep that in check. most are partly i am watching developments inside your very loosely, trying to to figure out how this will unfold and change their approach in the coming months and years. we have to watch ourselves as well. >> we cannot move to a position where we are propagating and echoing others. we are americans, all americans, muslim, christian, jewish, agnostic, we are all americans. to the extent our political discourse drives the sense of alienation and divide that is not only destructive but and divide that is not only destructive but dangerous. >> think very much. >> senator booker, senator portman. >> thank you mr. chairman.
thank you for holding this hearing. once again you have a great panel, sorry we do not have a ministration officials here because when you have had them before as we have learned a lot about what is going on, frankly think we have been constructive and giving them ideas about what should be happening. in addition to what is happening both on the international side, the global threat, here at home and certainly winning the hearts and minds which is been a good conversation today. in ohio, people worry. they see what happens in brussels, they remember, they remember pears, they remember san bernadino, we're told by national security efforts in washington that the threats are increased in the united states. we face an an increased threat today. listening to the conversation i would wonder if you would agree with that. some of you seem to think that recruiting is down, that ice is it is not been as successful because of military victories. by the way, a lot of military
victories are now by the syrian army right now. we have to remember that and there some consequences to that that me create additional refugee flows if that makes any sense, which i think it does. so my question to you is, do you think that somehow the threat is -- and i would like to dig deeper into the sense of the ideology. i think there's more consensus, even though it is not entire consensus it is what we do globally, but what we should do to protect the homeland. there is less about how you actually get that the hearts and minds. one data point that has been reported to us, and maybe you would dispute this, but it is very interesting as it relates to our conversation about what is happening here in the muslim community and how we can prevent young people the recruits from joining misguiding cause.
38% of u.s. citizens have been charged with isis related offenses, are converts. so we sometimes talk about the loan well. the lone wolf is sometimes the muslim or a convert, but often it is a convert. i cannot agree more that we need to do more in the muslim community, understand what the point about priorities, but i would tell you the first fighter that i believe was arrested here he was somali,, i've talked to the somali community and part of the reason that we are able to apprehend him was because of the cooperation between the police and the somali community. that's very important. is this figure accurate? almost 40% of those women arrested here on isis related charges are converts? what is that mean in terms of dealing with this issue? is it even broader than the imports of going into the muslim communities and having the relationship in the communities, providing that alternative happen letting people know that
as mr. watson, will i thought these people are villains rather than heroes. so, those are my two questions. one. one, what you think about the threat overall? what you think about dealing with the challenge we have in this country a people who are becoming radicalized and in particular those who are converts to islam, becoming radicalized? >> thank you senator. great question as always. first, i think that the scope, scale and sophistication of terrorist threats are more significant now than ever before. part of it has to do with the diversification of the nationalities of individuals involved. part of it has to do with the expanse of the geographies with isis establishing provinces, with several of these geographically now applying to isis to be a part of it. we have seen attacks in southeast asia as part of the application process.
so the geographic scope, the diversity, the numbers in the sophisticate nation of the numbers are increasing. in addition, this is this is a group that is thinking about the next generation. you see recruitment of women, the attempt to engage in education and schooling. all as a way of bringing a new generation of jihadists and radicals as part of an isis two-point oh, perhaps. finally, the idea of the caliphate, even though it's diminishing in iraq, the fact that is beginning to spread in other parts of the world, the very notion of it being a reality in persisting continues to animate the movement is a very dangerous waste. i mention southeast asia, you see the reanimation of terrorist networks that we have worked so hard with our southeast asia partners and australians just press. now resurrecting because the idea an animation of the caliphate is driving some of these things.
i think we are in a more dangerous, animated time for global terrorism speemac, the threat in the united states? how would you respond to that question. >> i would first note that we have a lot more ones and twos rather than community recruitment in the states. of those ones and twos as you have pointed to, many, many of them have deep, psychological issue. maybe not part of this radical ideology for very long. so how do you detect them if they're not part of the community and if they are new to the movement. many of the converts that find islam and then go to the extreme form of islam and then mobilize to support isis, that can happen months or years. that is a tipoff that there is something something else going on there. the only real way to do that is online, electronic surveillance. that is that is your best bet at picking these people up. their self radicalizing, there are motivating in ways that are difficult to detect. they don't have a community to detect them, you don't have a law-enforcement issue to put detect them. so how
do you do that? your best chance is chances online and that comes to how comfortable are of americans are watching it. i'm upset that i'm no longer in government and i can sit house and watch extremist online and know that they are radicalizing toward isis and law-enforcement in many ways have many more hurdles to hop over in order to monitor that sort of information. oftentimes i can provided to them easier than they can do it themselves. i think it is how do we work through the system, that that 40% worries me more because i also feel like they have a propensity to violence higher than the rate of many others, especially in the homeland. >> those are good points. our time is expiring. one thing we didn't get into earlier in terms of the cde issue is what is going on, on online. our inability to counter that narrative in a effective way is a concern, even at our center in ohio recently we've been doing some of this and that is very important.
it seems to me we should be increasing our efforts even though this committee is talked about this with the administration officials, i think we have talked in a constructive way to nudge toward this in a more sophisticated way to go online where the individuals who maybe are converts, maybe lone wolves are finding this information. it's not a physical contact. the unmanned cincinnati who wanted to come here and was a convert was working on my to become not just a convert but become radicalized. i think this is an area where we have unfortunately a real gap in terms of our ability to project. any thoughts on that, on my messaging and how to counter message question. >> i would just know that we have seen different stages and how isis has taken the fight away from the region and into europe an os where including the united states. they first wanted to inspire attacks, then they have tried very hard to enable them and now
they are working to direct the attacks. our efforts to counter their efforts have to be driven toward every single one of those efforts, three law-enforcement, through military, to get them back home in the safe haven where they exist. also the cde efforts we have talked about. you are exactly right. the online presence in their ability and their sophistication online is something that should be worrying all of us a great deal. >> if i could add one thing because i failed to mention it earlier with senator bookers question there are online cde programs and one is called one-to-one interventions, online interventions. they have they have done that in the u.k., moonshot is the group that did it. it sits outside the government, i think that is an effective example of how you can do cde in the online space. what tends to happen with investments though is that is more expensive because you are
talking resources one-one and we tend to shy towards it might reach a thousand, i would rather i would rather go heavier on those closest to getting on the airplane are showing appear with an explosive device and it invest heavier in those cde programs. >> so intervene those individuals first. that's the challenge. thank you very much. >> mr. watts i want to go back and you indicated as a private citizen you can see more to identify these individuals than government officials can. talk about the handcuffs that are actually on the government officials from trying to do what we need to do. >> i think it is to pull. for example i teach at the new jersey state police allowed to undo a lot of programs with intelligence led policing counterterrorism. you can show them these accounts
that are out there, wide-open it comes down to two issues. what are the rules around me collecting this information on private citizens? law-enforcement, intelligence all have different comfortable comparability with it and are not sure if they should pursue it. the second is the capacity to do it. state and locals locals could benefit a lot from detecting people online but have the least capacity to do it. the federal government has the most capacity, the best technology, those sorts of assets but may have trouble communicating that issue to state a locals. the other part i would tell you zip i have to go into government location into a briefing, it is almost impossible to use the technology just to access the information. offer good reasons. cyber security, things like that, physical security. but you almost cannot get on the internet to observe it, it becomes a barrier and it becomes a barrier and you start to look for other ways to do it. where is that my house, can apply my doors, i can, i can just watch what is going on or i can collaborate with others
online to watch it and we can set up basically our own database where we take attract people. as soon as the gets introduced into the government weathers bureaucracy, capability, or access, data privacy reasons, everything tends to go sideways and it becomes very archaic to do. >> tc's solution to that that see a solution to that that still protects market civil liberties? >> i do. i think there needs to be some sort of legislation or regular should put forth that says if i is a private citizen can observe this activity on mine, then the federal government can opt serving on mine. it does nothing for us in terms of health being the government and accessing that information. i think a more forward approach saying the best way we can secure our nation and safeguard you is if we watch what is going on online. if people people are talking about committing or mobilizing toward violence, we need to talk to them. if you cannot see that information or if it's coming very delayed it's really hard to have a law-enforcement approach. >> you talk a little bit about
what the goal is, we held a hearing based on graham woods, what isis really wants. my conclusions is two things. world domination, they they want to set up the apocalyptic final battle, with somewhat conflicting goals. i want to ask panels, what is behind this? this is baffling to americans, al qaeda in the narrative was that just wanted the west out of the middle east. this is different. so can ever speak to that? i want to go down the panel, what you think there after questioning. >> i think the next evolution of violence in sunni extremists and ideology, they have given life a manifestation to what once was the mythology of reestablishing the islamic caliphate. first and foremost they want to establish not only caliphate but demonstrate they can govern and actually this is a place, this is part of the narrative where
it is healing place where you can practice true islam. this is part of the attractiveness. they morph the al qaeda narrative which is the west is at war with islam into this caliphate and the way we are government it is the only place where you can actually live as a true muslim. it is that in and of itself that is the core of their message. that animates outward because their job dennis to kill and convert infidels and to project out. they understand that the west, along with our allies the proxies will not allow them to do this long term. >> you also talked about as long as that caliphate existence fires and plans different types of actions. i was interested in you talking about the application process. it sounds like a gang initiation. can you speak to that, give us us examples. >> what you have seen is
different terrorist groups, the moment that caliphate was announced there is a moment of strategic decision for al qaeda as well as the al qaeda affiliates and violent extremist groups. they had to determine, we going to be a part of this? to we believe in it? this is part of the strategic renting and division you see between al qaeda core and the islamic state. what a number of groups have done to include the ally with al qaeda was to then send messages to the islamic state initiated membership. pledging allegiance in the first instance and then applying to actually be an official province of the islamic state. this is a reality for them. they see this as a governing reality. you see this emerge in libya, and egypt, and afghanistan, pakistan, and saudi arabia, and yemen. these are very real individuals thinking they are part of something bigger than themselves that has dangerous implications
because they have to prove they are worthy which is why you seen these attacks in places like jakarta with people trying to be a part is broader caliphate. it is an amazing movement and resurrecting networks both funding and operational that we have long suppressed. >> so the inescapable conclusion to this from my standpoint, if you want to go on offense rather than continue to be on defense where defense is incredibly difficult, almost impossible, is don't you have to destroy the caliphate? don't have to deny them that territory? >> i agree with that. it's been mentioned including by clint earlier in the hearing that messaging diffuses their image. their image which i call a winners message is very important. the ammunition is there to do that. absolutely, if they lose their caliphate, they have some explaining to do as one would
say. you have at least a couple of different kinds of people recruiting to the islamic state. those heavily italy are logical and those more criminal as rain before. but for both of them, if the caliphate is lost, those are more ideological will understand that the loss of the caliphate really destroys isis interpretation of isis. those that more criminal will just see them as losers. ultimately they they have experienced a lot of losses. right now they are not weak in terms of messaging, but one thing that our messaging apparatus has done poorly as broadcasting those losses. losses in afghanistan, and algeria and a lot of that goes back to the bureaucracy question that is race. that if you look at them messaging apparatus, it's how
things are tweet approved, further there's limitations where they cannot go beyond their immediate theater, again messaging is all about reality and reality is a caliphate remains, we have been nibbling away at it, has been described the network is growing, they are actually gone from aspiring to directing, so the reality is they are not losing yet. they have not lost yet. i would argue that until there or overtly losing where the reality is such they will continue to inspire the to grow. >> i agree with you entirely but i would add one thing. ultimately, isis is understood in particular the potential of social media to mobilize people to carry out attacks. part of that is their image of strength.
they have and have had more of an image of the strength in certain theaters than is justified. if you look back of how you looked at how they convince them to join is contrary to the facts on the ground that they controlled areas of libya which they never did. as i start to lose more it's in our interest to amplify that message of the losses because that will hit hard. in addition addition to losses on the ground they will have more trouble -- and that's why think we have to get our messaging right. as you say, when when you do start to lose the caliphate we want to be able to put that out in a message that is effective. >> i will give you a chance to have some final thoughts at the end of this. i want to be respectful of my ranking member's time. >> i very much interested in the question we just had with the chairman and i was going to pursue that myself. i think that responses very well. one of the things we have not touched on today is the real
security in this country. china and a bunch of our colleagues in the last week had an opportunity to write on some of the most beautiful, comfortable, attractive, timely trains that everett non-in quite a a while. i write a train a lot. and we are in the northeast region, down from new york city to washington today was compared to what i was used to in china, is eye-opening. it was not encouraging me just say. they're doing doing a good job over there investing in infrastructure and we are not. speaking of rail, i want to ask you to rate the security of our rail system in order to the security of our aviation system. what lessons do you think we might learn from the brussels attack that might relate to rail security?
>> i would say rail, as compared to air is always going to be far less. we have eyes had a very open system of rail, as do almost all countries. i think it is a logical place, when i say rail i don't mean just amtrak, the, the subway system in the u.s., the vulnerability there is impossible to defend against. that is why the active, the best defense is an active defense, it's the investigation, it's running down leads. not sure that even if we wanted to secure that there is a good way that we could do it. i think it is a feasibility issue, in terms of access that anyone can really get to the amtrak system or subway system, whatever rail system it might be. yes, i don't have a good answer for. i see it as a vulnerability worldwide, not worldwide, not just here in the u.s. >> thank you. >> i think there's two problems in terms of trying to put more
real security in place. with one exception, talk about that at the end. the problem is, number one the more you harden it, like with checkpoints and the like the more you defeat the purpose. the reason why subways are so effective is that you can hop on, doesn't take you hours to get across town. you don't have to wait in a tsa line. if you had to, them far fewer people would take the subway. the second thing is the very problem we have seen in the brussels airport which is, even if you have a checkpoint, terrace can attacked right outside the checkpoint. that is just an in solvable problem, if you move the checkpoint outside for example, then you just have a line a line of waiting passengers outside and that actually put carson to play, car bombs can be used. the one exception is good human policing. that is what amtrak tries to do. you have teams with dogs who will be going round amtrak to make sure nothing is amiss. it's far from being as effective as our line security but that is
the last line of defense for real security. >> i would note that i was in brussels two days before the attack and in addition i took at the train over to london. they have hardened their real security because of differences that exist between the u.k. and that mainland europe. but it did create an untenable chokepoint and vulnerability. i felt as i stood there, not knowing was coming days later of course that you had this huge, massive of people waiting to go through security to wait on a train to go through the tunnel over to london. i agree with the point that in some ways some of these fixes can make a bad situation worse. the only other point i would add, is in europe on the aviation security points we have a dire situation and that path to security checkpoint, those areas are regulated and mandated to meet a certain level of 80 deviation security standards. before the checkpoint each individual country can handle security as they wish, which as
you can imagine creates an array of standards and levels of security across european airports. i think europeans are going to have to have some sort of discussion on how they want to collectively set standards on how they handle those areas before the checkpoint. >> senator, just want to point out one thing, i think the deploying more behavioral analysts and i think the tsa has tried to do that in airports and training facilities. the other thing i i'd say is new technology is coming online that allow for better detection, to a certain extent as you mentioned earlier senator, even prediction around anomaly, and anomaly detection. some of the system information, dhs, dhs is invested in some of this as you know. darpa has done so as well from dod, some of these technologies,
the applied to other layers of security could perhaps give you a better sense of what the threat may be. the long intent is intelligence and targeting and risk mitigation in an open system. that is what we have in our train system. >> thank you. could you just quickly give me one particular important issue for consideration on which you think there is unanimous agreement? >> i would say if you give me the indulgence, one is a .. you made earlier which is the prediction and prevent paradigm which is really defied the post- 911 environment for the u.s. it really has to be operational and applied in the european context. they talk about it, they talk about your being at war, but they have to move to an operationally preventative mindset. we have to help them get there. the. the second thing if i could start, for dhs's purposes,
moving towards systemic defensive key critical infrastructure, you just asked about the train system, water, electrical grid, financial system, we need to build resiliency and redundancy around the system. we know that nunnally terrace but state terrorists and actors are looking for vulnerabilities in the system. that is something something only dhs can help drive in the country. >> europe pulled recently in light of the wake of the paris attack it created this new european counterterrorism center. what happens often when these new issues inside of the e.u. is they become largely informational. we have to work with them to ensure this new counterterrorism center is in backed operational. >> inc. you. >> i think there is unanimous agreement that the sanctity of our intelligence process is important in the fight against isis. a senator johnson said to
privatize is the best way to craft a saver feature from their mass casualty attacks. to that extent extent i think it is extraordinarily disturbing to read the new report in the daily base that you have now not only allegations by numerous analysts, dozens of them about politicalization of -- but reports that retell ration. it's disturbing to me that they downplayed the whistleblowers. if our intelligence processes are fallen apart, and you have actual retaliation ongoing where the leadership is not acting on it, then we have a tremendous problem in our own system. >> okay, thank you. >> more action than talk. we saw paris, we saw brussels four months later, some of the same attackers, nothing is happened. anything short of moving for, not a working group group or
committee in europe, talking about putting together actual resources in a plan with stated objectives in europe about how they're going to deal with the threat of the islamic state have to happen within 30 days, within two weeks. at savviest this problem is not going to go away. it is going to be around for a while. >> you been an exceptional panel. i mentioned to the chairman that there is another panel in a few weeks where we will have security and others in on behalf of the ministration. in a way, the way this panel sets up the next panel very well. thanks so much. >> by the way, i want to clarify at the opening, i did not invite secretary johnson. i think that's been misreported. we just invited senior officials from dhs, fbi, and the national counterterrorism center. >> thank you mr. chairman. i think and it hurts me to say
this but thank you senator booker for allowing me to go. i would just say that the fbi's not here because they're in the middle of an investigation. i think of a 26 you're going to have a hearing which will be a very good hearing, and homeland security and nct will be here because the fbi cannot be here. we'll get to to that but i think it's important. secretary johnson is going to be pushing, by the way think you all for your testimony, secretary johnson is going to be pushing for new airport security provisions authorized legislation and is going to be coming to the senate. there is been a lot of conversation today about the eu, and how certain countries are not doing what they need to do to get the information they need and all of that. which is a problem. i don't how to solve by the way without writing a big old that check that isn't going to help south our debts here. security is important, make no mistake about it. they will have to step up and away, by, by the way the visa
question that was about taking potential countries off that list, mr. chairman i appreciate you asking that question. maybe maybe we ought to bring some folks in here who know what reasonable is an what is in and who's not cutting the mustard and make some recommendation. i think that's appropriate when it comes to security of this country. i want to talk about airport security. you get get to tell me your opinion. the security we have in the airports in this country where it needs to be? >> senator, i think it can always be better. i think our security is better than most places around. >> so let me ask you this, and i agree with you. we have four full body scanners and magnetometers, can any of you tell me why we have full bodies gainers, art magnetometers good enough?
>> i think the full body scanners allow you to determine if there are other types of explosives and things of the body of the person that are trying to. >> a good answer. so we have airport that you not have full body scanners in them, just magnetometers, are we opening up ourselves to security risk? >> potentially. i think what tsa has tried to do under the former director knowledge of this director is apply a risk-based modeling approach. say we have limited resources so where do we apply them and what airports are most vulnerable. >> so that risk-based is probably based on population, the number of people going through? do you think the terrorist would know that? >> they would. there constantly probing for vulnerabilities. as mentioned earlier they are working outside the rings of security, they're trying to infiltrate through them. they're trying to get access with insiders in side the system as we have seen in the past with radicalized individuals who work
on the tarmac or within security. >> 's that's good. that's exactly the point i made to others that they will go toward their weakest link and they will find it and eventually go there. so even though you base it initially on volume, we need to make sure that we have them otherwise why would we have the scanners. that me ask you about perimeter security. what happened in belgium did not happen on the other side of the tsa checkpoint, that's what they call them in belgium. it happened outside where there is lots of people. is there a solution for that in our system that you can see that would not be cost prohibitive? >> senator, is just and roman saw post-brussels and saw the measures they are employed for
some of the terminals were american care carriers and americans are likely to travel. they had played a couple of key checkpoints for vehicles and passengers moving into the terminal and they had a lot of visible security both on the ground and overhead. i can imagine seeing this in major u.s. airports at time of heightened threats where you can apply vehicular searches and checks at particular sites without causing too much commercial or vehicular and traffic disruption. more random checks around points, for example example check in. perhaps even more behavioral analysis and canines and others deployed in key airports. it is difficult. it's. it's difficult without disrupting traffic and commercial activity. >> look, i think there's some merit to doing that, i guess the question is does anybody know
what kind of appropriation it would take to maybe not have it all the time but have it enough so you would not know? >> i do not not know senator. i think part of this has to do with local authorities, port authorities and others that have to deploy resources as well as the federal government. i don't know know what the numbers look like. i think you could probably do it with relatively little preparation if you took the behavioral protection team center past the checkpoints and move them in front in some airports. the fact is that we have these detection teens and they are a good idea, but what they do is by design pretty limited. >> okay. okay, that's good. >> i would only add one thing. which is that we would go all out on passengers in terms of screen. the real vulnerabilities that we've seen in the last two terrorist attacks around airport security is really about and
they blow up an airplane in flight. so we saw al qaeda and they did that through an insider, was on explosive device used in somalia which it seems, it's not real clear about an insider. i think it buys going to invest now toward airport security, i would not look so much about re- hardening the security lines in the passengers looking at other vantage points were extremist might use. >> which gets my next question which is, are we certifying, are we testing, however you want to put it, the folks who work with the baggage, worked for the airlines, work and security? are we doing enough there? >> that, that, i honestly's or have no idea. i think that really goes to water risk portfolio is in the offense part of it which is the investigation. >> is certainly appreciate your testimony in you being here for the questions, thank thank you for what you do.
>> thank you. did you attend the dhs hearing that we had? >> the it was a good hearing. i'm a big supporter of canine defense. i i think that would be money very well spent. >> i just want to drill down one more time, obviously we are attacking al qaeda and affiliates, isis discovered field of play everyday around this country. i'm happy in syria and iraq that we are shrinking the territory and starting to make considerable gains. i love that he said it's a matter of when, not if. i do believe that is the case. that is one level, obviously where looking at places like libya, algeria and others were were starting to set up other
outposts. the second is to undermine the terrorist network, this is a lot of what we talked about today which could be clearly, i agree with the panel that we need to be a lot more aggressive, holding to task our european partners that they are sharing communication transit clinically but not within europe, and even within their countries they have pre-911 problems that they have not worked through pretty clearly there's more work to do and i believe that we are very vulnerable because the visa waiver program. far more so then the refugee program which takes a year or two years, these waiver program to me something we should be a lot more aggressive with our posture. i think that obviously we have a lot of work to do. i want to get back in my final few minutes, the efforts which i
now realize, let me just say that it's not talking about the law-enforcement but the other efforts going on to stop people from falling prey. if i look again, i'm concerned about what's happening in the field of battle, i'm concerned about visa waiver program, terrorist networks, terrace networks, most are concerned about homegrown radicalization right here at home. i do agree again is a set by the panel that this is not something that is a matter of when, i think we will be dealing with it for a very long time. so our ability to prevent the radicalization of people is critical as one tool, in addition to detecting them on the like. but but the sense the tool is creating stronger violent extremism in our communities. i'm curious if, here we have the
>> your investment should be the reverse. we invest on the heavy engagements which maybe is a cleric that does that and that could be online. and how do we underline the message of make villains not martyrs? that is that radicalizing population and that is where we use defecters and peers do that. the lowest investment is the broad, winning over the community focus. i feel like ten years ago we were the reverse. we were really focused on let's go out out in the communities and make people feel good about the security efforts. >> thank you very much.
the two bold ones quickly and go as quickly as you can because juan is hoping to get off. >> the first is fast messaging and that is what is working and what is not. the second thing is i would pay attention to self-image and what makes a hero in multiple parts of the world. i was talking to a colleague in east africa that said for a hero here you can be a rapper, you can be like a business man, and you can be an isis fighter. you cannot be a member of the armed forces. if you think about the u.s., anyone can be a hero. a soccer coach, a senator can be a hero, member of the armed forces, police man, firefighter. the rest of the world that is not necessarily the case. i would think about self image.
isis is tapping into people's self image and giving them a route to become a hero. >> thank you very much. >> dod has invested in this office in california and silicone valley with the idea to tap conventional technology to throw at military problems and challenges our service men and women are facing all over the world. the state department is opening a tiny presence in silicone valley and i think utilizing the office to do the same thing but use existing technology and challenge all of the amazing whiz kids out in company to apply some of this technology and know-how to the challenge is probably one of the better ways in which you can use this little, i think, it a two-man office at this point. but trying to use that state department presence to tap into what already exist and apply it it the sophistication we are
seeing in terms of encryption, surveillance, document forgery and the list goes on and on i think would be a wise investment. >> senator, happy to be on the right in this one. three things, senator and i would commend the partner for naming george salline as the head of this task force. he understands theal chachgs ahead. >> we neat a networks. you need the sisters against violent extremism and the clerics and everyone in the muslim community to be part of creating an identity for the 21st century for these individuals and communities. we need to analyze the networks which is a huge challenge for the federal government because
we don't like to give up control, and hard on the funding side. how do you give microgrants to the one-on-one efforts. that is a challenge but we have to figure it out. we have to find out the precursors for the ideology. we have to have a hospitable environment for these radical ideology. where are the manifestations? how do you counter online? how do you deradicalize for people coming back and how do you leverage them? and third and finally, this is where community engagement is important, how do you define opportunity in these communities and individuals? the government can't define
that. families, friends and communities have to play a role. at the end of the day, the problem of radicalization is often the problem of identity. >> mr. chairman, thank you for that. >> this has been an exceptional discussion. the goal is laying out the reality and finding the first steps to solve it which is admitting you have a problem. i want to commend my colleagues for asking good questions and the staff for assembling the panel. this has been a great hearing. i will give you a chance to make a concluding comment. try to make it brief. one thing i didn't get answered was the concern about the nuclear surveillance so if anybody wants to address critical infrastructure. i am highly concerned about it.
we saw the cyber attack against ukraine. we saw the physical terrorist attack in california. if you have something to add there, i would concerned about it. but don't feel obligated. otherwise a concluding comment. >> thank you for the privilege to be here and honored to be with this expert panel. let me reiterate on the dhs mission. i think it is more critical now than any time. it has less to do with attacking individual groups and it is the role of the dhs to make sure our infustructure is secure and resilliant and redundant. i think dhs has a critical role, whether it is online or physically, to make sure our systems are secure and redundant. that goes a long way in deterring terrorist attacks. the second point i would make, senator, which i didn't make
earlier and that is i don't think we can downplay the strategic impact a small attack by isis cyber could take. i think we run danger if we run the threat of whether or not it is directed to the homeland, we run the rusk of missing the adaptations in the threat and the strategic impact overtime of what these groups can do to our society, laws and function of economy. >> by the way, i could not agree more. i don't want to give anybody ideas but certainly in my mind a bunch of coordinated smaller tasks could have a devastating impact on the economy. ms. smith. >> let niasia ellme say these a paris and brussels couldn't have come at a worse time for europe as a whole. they are facing severe count
counterterrorism threat but they are also facing russia and they are facing a refuge crisis and they have facing the potential exit of one of their largest members. it is in america's interest to help fortify the project. we are not a member of the european union and couldn't do everything for them but it is in our interest to support the european project which in many ways is an american project. we have to invest and do what we can to help them with these real security challenges. >> thank you, ms. smith. mr. ross? >> since you raised the issue of nuclear security specifically i will start there. i think one area we should look to in general is where in the security apparatus are there obvious vulnerabilities. there are two in europe and in
belgium in particularly. cars at belgium nuclear facilities with still by law prohibited from carrying weapons meaning they are vulnerable to a coordinated armed attack. second thing is there are significant question about if they are doing enough to screen their personal. a man i highlight in my written testimony went to syria as a foreign fighter, he died in 2014. he had been a technician at a nuclear powermrapt from 2009-2012 and had access to sensitive areas of the reactor. this called into question whether their screening is sufficient to personal who have access to sensitive areas. this hearing puts the finger on if we are well-suited to the challenges of the 21st century and in particular i would focus on system design. when you look at the european security apparatus we have put
our finger on a number of problems there and one problem is a pathwork of systems and no law enforcement body is in agreement. the u.s. system is better than the european system but it has its problems and messaging is one of those problems here. the question i would say is is your internal system designed to keep up with the small foes? are we ready to keep up the startups that will be challenging us and trying to kill our citizens? >> thank you. mr. watts? >> what do we want with counterterrorism? we had al-qaeda before and now we are talking about islamic state. today we are talking about europe but i think we are likely to be talking about north africa in six months and yemen is on the rise as well.
we go through accelerated peaks and valleys, flush them out and get upset when they come back a year later. i don't think we have a good handle on it and we get emotional points where we react and take aggression. what are the four or five things we can do over the horizon. i don't think there is any end to the islamic state because i think there will be something else with another name in five or tens year like it was kwooild al-qaeda tens years ago. i feel at a practitioner level, national counterterrorism, fbi, they are pursuing terrorism on a day to day bases but what steady state do we want to achieve?
>> first of all, i could not agree more. we have to have a commitment to offense and be relentless. we cannot back off. this is going to be a generational problem but i think you have to do it step-by-step. the fact a caliphate exist and they hold that territory is incredibly dangerous and that is one, among many, first steps. we have to defeat the caliphate and isis. but i agree, it already has spread. but you have to cut it off right now and continue to be relentless. don't back up because it is going to be a long term struggle. i want to thank you all. the hearing record is open until april 20th at 5 p.m. this hearing is adjourned.
[inaudible conversations] >> here is our primetime lineup. we will get result from wisconsin's presidential primary live on c-span at 9 p.m. eastern. here on c-span2 in ten minutes, senators question a state department official about implementing the iran nuclear deal. on c-span3, the supreme court nominee makes the rounds on
capitol hill meeting with senators today. >> this week on c-span, the supreme court cases that shaped our lives come to life in a 12-part story. >> this is a story about power during times of war. it puts before the court central theme about conditions and presidents in times of emergency can do things that are not in the constitution. >> chief justice renquiest said the case is becoming decided by the culture.
>> only one of four nations that allow abortion after fetal liability and yet it hasn't settled the issue. >> tonight we will look at the case of brown v board of education. a case that stated racially segregated schools were unequal and unconstitutional. >> obama renews calls for congress to limit tax inversion. this is a day after the treasury department imposed their toughest curbs yet to combat those transaction where u.s. companies take a foreign address often through a foreign merger. here is some of what the president said about that: >> in the news over the last couple day, we have had another
reminder that tax evasion is a big global problem. it is not unique to other countries because there are folks in america taking advantage of the same stuff. a lot of it is legal but that is the problem. the laws are so poorly that they allow people with enough money and lawyers to wiggle out of things ordinary citizens have to abide by. they have access to offshore accounts and they are gaming the system. middle-class families are not in the same position to do this. a lot of the loopholes come at the expense of the middle class families because that lost revenue has to be made up somewhere. it means we are not investing as
much as we should in schools, making college more affordable, putting people back to word, building roads and infrastructure, and creating opportunities for our children. this is important stuff and the new actions by the treasury department build on steps we have already taken to make the system fair but i want to be clear, while the treasury department's actions will make it more difficult and less lucrative only congress can close it for good. only congress can make sure that all of the other loopholes that are being taken advantage of are closed. >> also at the news briefing president obama spoke about presidential candidate donald trump's plan to build a wall on the southern border. >> mr. president, the republican frontrunner outlined his plan. >> oh, no.
>> what would be the implications of his plan? are his foreign policy proposals already causing damage? >> the answer to the latter question is yes. i think that i have been very clear i am getting questions from foreign leaders constantly about some of the lankier suggestions being made. identify i have to emphasize it is not just mr. trump's proposals. you are hearing concerns about mr. cruz's policy as well. the implications to ending remittance, many from legal immigrants, and individuals who are sending money back to their families are enormous. first of all, they are impractical.
we just talked about the difficulties of trying to enforce huge outflows of capitol. the notion we will track every western union bit of money that is being sent to mexico, you know, good luck with that. then we have got the issue of the implications for the mexican economy which in turn if it is collapsing it sends more immigrants north because they cannot find jobs back in mexico. but this is just one more example of something that is not thought through and is primarily put forward for political consumption. as i tried to emphasize throughout, we have serious problems here. we have big issues around the world. people expect the president of the united states and the elected officials in this country to treat these problems seriously, to put forth policies
that have been examined, analyzed, are effective, where unintended conscioequences are taken into account. they don't expect half-baked notions coming from the white house. we cannot afford that. >> you can see all of what president obama said at the news briefing today at cspan.org. >> every election cycle remines us how important it is for citizens to be informed. c-span is a vehicle for empowering people to make good choices. seven course, five star meal of policy. i sound like a nerd but it is true. >> it is a home for political junkies and a way to track the government as it happens whether it is capitol hill or the
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coming up on c-span2, a senate foreign relation meeting on the iran agreement. followed by land mark cases focusing tonight on brown v board of education. and then u.s. cyber command admiral michael rogers before the senate armed services committee. >> thomas shannon briefed lawmakers on the foreign agreement with iran for the senate relations committee today. this is about two hours.
>> foreign relation committee is called to order and i want to thank our witness for testifying. ambassador shannon, we congratulate you on your appointment and look forward to working with you. we look forward to hearing your thoughts on the jcpoa. there is bipartisan frustration with the perception that previous commitments made by the administration are not squaring are reality. secretary kerry said the missile ban would stay in place and testified the same language in the previous embargo is in the agreement with respect to launches. we challenged him when the
called upon language was put in place saying we felt that we weakened the agreement. as it turns out, we were right and that is concerning. now our european friends wrote a letter saying it was inconsistent, instead of saying violation, of supporting iran's position. so that was very disappointing. it was confirmed launches were a violation of the resolution in december saying the called upon language would violate u.n.2231. the security council doesn't view it that way obviously. there is speculation iran will get transactions with the u.s. dollar and we would like your