tv Politics Public Policy Today CSPAN July 8, 2014 1:00pm-3:01pm EDT
syria, sunnis, christians, kurds, other communities, they have to be represented in that judicial process. that's one example. even after bosnia we worked at establishing state court war crimes at the national level with judges from the three major communities, but also with international judges there for six years so when victims came in and looked across the room and saw the investigators or judge, prosecutor or whatever, that was somebody from the other group, they made it. they might not have been confident, fearful, when they see internationals mixed in, they realize it's a good chance those prejudices have been checked at the door. so there are advantages to that kind of international participation, particularly in a mixed sense. we'll see what works here. what i think is important at the very least people recognize this is going to happen and we need
to talk about what as long as elements are going to be part of it. also to strengthen the perception that justice will be here in the hope that we can deter some of the conduct, encourage people to desert, discourage people in the opposition for taking an eye for an eye. >> sure. in this respect, what would be your reaction, your advice, if in the fullness of time we're faced with the following proposition. president bashar al assad and 200 of his closest enablers are willing to leave syria forth with and bring an end to at least one phase of this conflict. in return for imunite from prosecution. is that doable under current
conditions? is it unthinkable? >> first of all -- >> if we were actually presented with a proposition like this? >> well, first of all, i've not seen any evidence that this guy, or the people around them, are ready to go. >> a hypothetical question. >> at any point. that's often what's presented here. well, if you gave the guy a bull tow or a place to go we could get them out. usually that's not the case. we have a situation like sierra leone where they agreed to amnesty. charles taylor helped amnesty with rebels chopping off hands and raping women by thousands and committing such horrible crimes. they got a full amnesty. they agreed to disarm, they didn't disarm. they were out again. that's the problem.
the signal is sent you can get away with it. next time you want to gain or hold political power, you do the same thing confident you're able to walk again. that's now how we enforce the law in the country. that's not how we build the rule of law anywhere in the world. fundamentally from an international point of view, it's one thing to say you can go. at the time they go, there may not be a court with jurisdiction created. you say it's better to go and stop your crimes. it's another thing to then turn around and say, oh, now you have a get out of jail free card for the rest of your life. as a matter of international law, talk about different countries may have different policies and different approaches to this, but as a matter of international law, that's not possible. it would not be binding. it would not prevent a prosecutor like myself going
after charles taylor or somebody else prosecuting in the future. these crimes are too serious for that. >> since you've allowed me the opening of a hypothetical question -- >> in the state department we don't answer hypothetical questio questions. >> perhaps you could give this one a try. if you were were bashar al assad's attorney, and if he was taking your counsel about his personal potential liabilities in all this, what would you be telling him in terms of his liability and what would you be advised him in terms of a future course of action to minimize whatever liability you might have. >> hard to talk hypothetically knowing what we know about the conduct, having seen the documents, of course. >> at the end of the day --
>> as his attorney -- >> the accusations are out there. my advise -- advice always to someone committing the crimes. one, it's not too late to stop. what we say to any hostage holder, don't make it worse for yourself, stop now. without saying we'll forgive you for killing the 15 people you killed, take the hostages. we don't say that we don't make that kind of promise. secondly, consistent with the law of responsibility to the extent the individual begins some kind of process to hold people to account, who committed these crimes, they send a signal perhaps they weren't completely in the know. certainly took action to prevent or punish conduct.
one of the easier roots to convict at the international level is barred. depends on how quick the guy acted. i don't want to say it's completely barred. look, this kind of conduct is not something i support. these individuals who ran prisons should be charge, not in a scapegoat test but a fair one. that's why when people are in negotiations elsewhere, we don't want to talk about this. no, no, no. get in there and say, look, if you want to be in good shape, you should be talking about accountability measures. what are you going to do about these horrible crimes committed? what are you going to do about out of control soldiers or political zell ots or people motivated by religions hatred. what are you going to do about that? to the extent you had plans in
that area, that would increase the chance you wouldn't be a target for prosecution. keeping in mind international prosecutor is vested with discretion about what case is appropriate and what isn't. tendency to go to the person and who is responsible. those that show that not only did they stop the crimes, they also encouraged the crimes, et cetera. obviously challenging given the stage in syria. never too late to get right on that issue. that would help far better than continuing. obviously his hope is that he can kill every last opponent, do what his father did in houma in 1982. we are way beyond that.
this spread beyond that, millions displaced, inflamed. this is not something you can have a military victory like conventional war. this is something that will remain a tense and conflicted situation. so the idea he can kill his way out of this thing, that doesn't work either. >> you mentioned earlier the work of the commission of inquiry connected to human rights council and the reports it's rendered. the fact war crimes and crimes against humanity in syria are not exclusively the province of the assad regime, that there have been other bad actors as well. is there in terms of international law, in terms of judicial proceedings ultimately, is there a decision to be drawn
between state actors and nonstate actors. in other words, if one could get one's hands on him, would he be subject potentially to the same kind of procedures a president of the republic might be, or is there a distinction between public and private here? >> well, in the law book that we file when these international tribunals, basically there's no distinction. keep independent mind the international court for sierra leone, people were prosecuted are leaders are ruf, crf and ruc we prosecuted for crimes they committed when they weren't in state power. and they were found guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity and violations of international humanitarian law. international human rights law works a little differently when it comes to these things.
but when you talk about atrocity crimes, both sides are -- both sides equally subject to those laws. so the leader of isis could be held responsible in terms of the kind of evidence that this organization put out on youtube and other places of cold blooded killing of individuals. in public view, boasting about those killing. at high level clearly aware of them and condoning them. you've got an awfully good case right now, one you could take to a judge tomorrow, if you have a court constituted. >> in that regard, if you think about future prosecutions, is
the state of the existing documentation right now, in your view, sufficient to move forward in various avenues. could you say a little about who is actually involved in documentation of war crimes, crimes against syria? how many cooks are there in the kitchen hour. is there somewhere a coordination mechanism in all of this so that someone at least knows what's coming in. is it all assembled in one place. >> there are efforts to coordinate these things. it's complicated when you don't have a court specifically given jurisdiction over the crime. we want to collect everything available and work closely with syrians. my first engagement with this issue was going out to istanbul and training syrian lawyers and had come just out of the
conflict. someone moving back and forth across borders proofing command for responsibility, responsibility for political leaders and for others. also in clearly communicating to them the importance of abiding by international law for armed opposition. clearly important they respect civilians. because a member of their community killed in cold blad they don't take action against a person of a community received to be supported by assad. that's been something we've encouraged. now in april of 2012, secretary clinton announced we would support accountability of justice and accountability center. that's been established, funded by united states, 40 other countries. it's serving as a clearing house. it's providing guidelines and
expertise to various other groups doing the collection. it's not actually doing the collection itself. it established this sort of network of contacts. one of the groups, the syrian commission on justice and accountability headed by canadian bill wiley but with substantially syrian staff, has been very active, supported by accountability center, now has a subject of $6 million a year. specifically focusing on linkage evidence. if you look at international trials and look at some of those where sometimes the bad guy got away, it was because of the absence not of the evidence someone was raped and murder or thousands of victims but connecting the dots between the retail killer and the person at the wholesale level that's really responsible. you've got to have that kind of linkage. this group focused on linkage and hundreds of thousands from
buildings and political services and security committees as those have fallen to the opposition and been able to get those documents out of the country. it's analyzed them and built cases. a quarter of its dossiers in opposition, isis and others. the trove -- the council in geneva on the 17th, it's collected 300,000 statements of victims and survivors of these crimes, et cetera. and with production of sources, that kind of material can be made available at least for purposes for future prosecution. given the fact what we've done at international level is talk about representative crimes, can't prosecute everything, you prosecute strongest cases you
have of rape, strongest cases you have of enslavement, mutilation, child soldiers, whatever. frankly the trove is already rich enough. i wish the crime would stop today. there would be plenty to go on. it's important to continue to collect this information, certainly sending the signal to anyone out there perhaps tempted by action on the other side to commit these crimes to realize there would be consequences for them, too. >> the tactical situation on the ground in syria these days seems to be not very favorable to the opposition. some people are coming to the conclusion the assad regime has essentially won, that questions of accountability are really not terribly relevant.
i'm wondering in your own discussions with syrian opposition people, does this question come up about the relevance of accountability data. given the sheer quantity of evidence that's been collected, does this in any way inhibit the ability of the united states in the future to work with the assad regime, if the assad regime becomes a more or less permanent feature. there are people out there saying quite frankly we should go back to bashar al assad and strike some kind of deal. what kind of inhibition is created by sheer volume of evidence. >> inhibition created by the truth that happened there and
the fact that truth is undeniable. but fundamentally we have to recognize what we have with this regime and its key actors is that its legitimacy, its ability to serve the public of syria is gone, if ever it were there. frankly in my discussions at a time when peace negotiations aren't moving forward, we'd like them to move forward, people are stronger on the accountability issue, you see it going to the security council in may, because it is so important to clearly get this information out there and have it understood this kind of conduct capital be the conduct that enables someone to maintain power. the matter of whole global system, protection of rights of victims, the matter of protecting the right of civilians, everything that we
work for, everything we struggle to build is put in danger if this kind of conduct is rewarded. all the more reason to emphasize accountability, all the more reason to say people that commit conduct like this have to go and they will face consequences even if they don't go. there will be consequences as we move into the future. >> good. thank you. i'd like to offer the audience the opportunity to pose some questions here. what i would ask is as i designate to you pose a question, please pose a question, be as brief as you can, and please state your name and affiliation. first one in the back there. >> hi, i'm with the foundation. i have two very specific questions. first of all i want to just have a reminder, when referring to
isis, please refer them as a third party to the conflict and not as part of the rebel alliance because their entire strategy so far really clearly indicates they are not interested in the revolution and early goals of the revolution. i think it's fair to see them as a third party on a very complicated scene. the questions i actually have is the intervention in bosnia was justified by using the term acts of genocide. now, can what happened in syria, especially perpetrated by militias and considering evidence of what's happening in detention camps and ethnic cleansing that took part in different parts of the country, can this be classified as genocide.
can this classification give the crimes of our happening more urgency, legal immediacy that puts them above categorization and crimes of mass slaughter. second question, at one point early in the revolution, bashar assad issued a presidential decree. i don't remember the exact number but i can send you the information if you want it. in that decree he actually said all crimes perpetrated by members of the security establishment, soldiers, members of militia allowed to perform at the time, all of the crimes would be granted amnesty. within the conduct of their jobs if a soldier kills, tortures, steals, rapes, all these crimes,
according to the decree, would not be decree, would be am nest city. would that make assad responsible for every crime perpetrated by each and every member of the security establishment since the beginning of the revolution to date? doesn't this membership in the prosecution to have that decree and refer to it. in a sense, you don't even need a chain of command anymore. you have this decree in which the president or country is telling members of security establishment, do what you want, forgiven. >> if i can respond to that, it was a long question, i know i can respond to several at the same time. certainly, first of all, i don't want to indicate isis is part of the rebel alliance fighting for democratic transition in country. obviously we want to see the moderate opposition, including
islam part of a future syria. isis, the way it conducted itself and the exclusion area way conducted every bit of its operations the way it kills anybody that it runs into from any of the other groups group i think is beyond the pale. make it absolutely clear. in terms of your question on the genocide issue. not to get directly into the history of bosnia, as far as the situation in bosnia, the only crime recognized at the international court is genocide is the murder of the 8,000 men and boys, happened in july '95, relatively late in that conflict. before this time, horrendous war crimes, horrendous crimes against humanity. even though i prosecuted genocide in the rwanda context where people were killed based on ethnicity, in other cigs in
cambodia where 2 million were killed, it may not have been a genocide. i don't think we should place crimes on hierarchy. the kind of crimes committed in syria are every bit as serious as those that have been committed elsewhere in situations in which there was a recognized genocide. to have a genocide, you'd have to show a desire to kill all of the sunnis, sunnis in significant part. you'd have to cross that particular line. to sort of focus on that issue, killing of mass civilians on that kind of basis. i think to get caught up in legalisms. fundamentally horrible atrocities requires international response, requires under responsibility to protect. it talks about genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity in the same paragraph. in terms of the responsibility of assad on the basis of the
amnesty, obviously amnesty is evidence of a desire not to punish these crimes it's also a signal you don't want them prevented. obviously if people go out tomorrow, you're saying you're going to give them amnesty the next day. that is very, very good evidence. for command responsibility you have to show he was in effective control of these units. it's not automotive but extremely valuable evidence when it comes to holding a leader responsible as a commander. >> you know, in late -- in that conduct in late 2011, i guess it was president assad sat for an interview with barbara walters. the essential argument, if i recall it correctly from those days, was, look, bad things are happening. but i'm the president of the republic. i can't be responsible for
things happening at the working level. how does that stand up as a defense in a general manner? >> well, it's what you generally hear in a number of these situations, what charles taylor said, milosevic, his case had not yet come to verdict when he died, strong evidence presented. commentators believe he would have been found guilty. but you show through the linkage evidence that you have commands from a high level. you have witnesses who describe situations in which the leader was made aware of certain crimes and certain activities, then you've got evidence like we just indicated that despite these horrors that are out there, that people are receiving amnesty and they are receiving it if they committed a crime. so all of those things would tend to make the statement in
front of barbara walters or the statement in the court eventually not carry much weight. >> does the evidence exist in your view? >> yes. this is a hierarchical regime, baath party structure with the same person on top of it. this is a situation which clearly there is a high command and responsiveness through those change of command. a situation documents have come out of the command center at the highest level. the evidence of the crimes are not notorious. no one account able no matter how horrible, vicious in the
syrian republic. >> lets take up front here. >> hi there, tyler thompson united free syria, part of the public international policy group. i'm happy they are co-hosting today. a lot of familiar faces. thank you, ambassador rapp. i want to know how your office or how the administration in general is using accountability in syria to drive to a political solution. what are the risks in united states interest in pressing harder on accountability? thanks. >> well, as i think i indicated earlier, the issue of accountability to the question of the future of syria, those implicated in syria's violations, blood on their hands, the kind of people not likely to be accepted by folks on the other side whose brothers, sisters, mothers and son they have murdered, that a
future syria has to basically exclude those individuals. even though there may be others that have been in positioned, those that have taken action to end those policies, those kind of individuals are the kind of people that could be leaders in the future of syria. justice is about individual criminal responsibility not collective responsibility. it's not all the people who believe in a future caliphate. thought these people that are responsible for these crimes, specific individuals that have taken on responsibility for acts against civilians. by excluding them, society redeems itself to go forward. in places they have been, like sierra leone and elsewhere, a peaceful transition, after
horrors even in the capital city, it's been a situation where certain top level individuals are held responsible for efforts of others. we think consistent in sir yarks people not in conflict. might not be consistent with papered over solution the next day. we want really peace in syria, real transition, real democracy, which appropriate to that country where people of every community have a voice and a part. >> we have a question in the rear. >> thank you, ambassador, for your remarks. i have actually a short observation i want to share with you. as you mentioned, we involved in documentation on the ground. in the last six months we hired people, fulltime staff to document our staff, not only people documentation of the
group. in this process we've been facing very important challenges. people no longer believe in accountability itself. it's the fourth year. the government of bashar al assad used everything, chemical arms with people. these are people activists, i met with, worked with before i left for longer believes in this. they either left the country or in prison or turn to armed people and don't want to continue this work. especially go to security council and veto easily. people losing interest and losing the faith. i don't want to go forward but i can go far and say that contributed to establish isis and other extremist groups. the international community regardless of how many people killed on the way get killed off, that contributed a lot to force people to pick up arms to defend themselves. then they went to -- how we can help people to stay on track. facing very hard time doing
this. lots of people when you tell them that what says or own says, from washington, under bombs, scud missiles, easy thing to lecture us. >> if i could just add to that, aside from dealing with the question of frustration, now that we're in the fourth year of this catastrophe, are you finding there is a growing sense of pessimism that's actually putting a damper on your ability to collect pertinent information? >> i don't think there's a damper. i'm off to a region the board supports and they were concerned about their funding for the coming year. they now have commitments for the coming year. now, of course, anyone that's gone through this horror that's
lost family members, that's seen the situation go on and on and one horror following another is naturally going to be discouraged as people might have in the darkest days of the balkans wars that went on in four years in bosnia and eight years across the region. at times people said there's not going to be accountability, never going to happen. you can establish a court, get junior people, never get the top leaders. eventually they are there. eventually milosevic is arrested. even 16 years after his indictment, a helicopter flown to the detention center, at the hague, the day will arrive of justice in these situations. i deal with situations in cambodia, latin america, where crimes are committed 30 or more years ago and thins are happening. that's not much to live on at the moment, but that commitment is there and the way in which
our government, the way that others, the way that 13 members of the security council, overwhelming majority any other body in the world vote for a resolution to send us to the icc, that indicates the desire remains. i think it's important for all of us to talk more about the documentation, not to die with a secret or let others die with the secret. the documentation is being built up. it's part of the reason i'm here, that i encourage groups like that to get out and talk about what's being developed. obviously the caesar evidence in january shocked the world. when they came to the security council, those that worked with him and made a concession, the council was speechless, literally shocked by the nature of this kind of evidence.
frankly, there is a lot more where that comes from. we need to show the authenticity of it and the depth and strength of that evidence and continue it. fundamentally it's unanswerable. we continue this effort and make it as visible as possible. as we have seen in other situations, the tide will turn. >> could you say a little more about what you refer to as the caesar evidence, these photographs. what is the actual provenance of this material? how does it arrive, where is it now, what is the status in terms of determining authenticity. >> let me describe what i can say about it at this stage. i think it may be possible to say more in the near future. but we're familiar with a particular individual who is one of several police photographers who was tasked with taking
pictures of persons killed in syrian government custody. these body were brought to a central location from 24 other facilities in which they had been tortured to death in a variety of ways. ligature, strangulation, burning, bruising, starvation, evisceration, the most horrendous things you can imagine. with four or five pictures taken of each victim. the total trove of documents, of pictures, is in the tens of thousands. we're looking now at some 28,000. there's at least an equal amount that still is to be analyzed. but if it is as it appears thus far, we're talking about more than 10,000 individuals being killed in custody over the period from 2011 to 2013,
including largely men, but also some very, very young men and boys and also women. and that kind of evidence in terms of the ability to analyze it, in terms of there hasn't been an ability to photo shop it, hasn't been staged. it's possible through scientific and forensic methods to discount that. thus far the indication is that it would be impossible to have fabricated this kind of material. having personally seen00 of the images of twisted bodies with real wounds and real human beings of every shape and size, this is not phony evidence. it's shocking to me as a prosecutor. i'm used to evidence not being so strong, to there being
greater ambiguity in it. this is solid evidence of the kind of machinery of cruel death we haven't seen frankly since the nazis. >> sir? >> thanks. i'm from the university of oxford and international law research and policy. i guess i very quickly have two questions. the first is who shapes these investigations and to what extent eskews investigative trajectory. you talked about the caesar evidence, investigation sponsored by qatar, in effect, a party to the conflict and syria. how -- they only looked, of course, at this evidence of torture. i think no one would discounsel the seriousness and gravity of that evidence.
does that dilute, you know, the legitimacy and your ability to then make calls for accountability taken seriously are all parties to the conflict when you have a party to the conflict in effect sponsoring investigation which only looks at crimes committed by one side. the other issue is you spoke to the prosecution of charles taylor. that takes us away from what you call command responsibility and towards this issue of aiding and abetting, which is, in effect, largely what taylor was prosecuted for. if there's to be accountability in syria, then you have, of course, on one side the russian government supplying weapons to the assad regime. and those weapons being used allegedly to commit crimes. on the other side you have saudis and qataris arming the
opposition. to what extent to any prosecution of national crimes committed in syria be taken seriously were both supporting akers. of course if you watch these frontline documentaries, which show evidence of the opposition also being trained by the united states government in qatar, then perhaps elements of the u.s. government come onto the radar screen. that brings us back to the issue of who is prompting the question of accountability. and for yourself, i have absolutely no doubt in the integrity of you personally to be pushing for account able. what obstacles do you then face yourself when you finally get down to where the rubber meets the road in terms of pushing your own government and other government you might work with to genuinely and independently pursue justice for crimes in syria. >> thank you for your questions,
chris. in terms of caesar investigation published in january in which my the trial leader of the milosevic case, that was indeed financed through a london law firm by the qatari government. that included sampling through a period of time some of the images, they had at least 28,000 to look at, and also from what i've seen in their work, they did a very good job and a very fair job. my interest has been trying to make sure all of the document, all of the photos are available and they are available to law enforcement offices. the commission of inquiry now has those documents. it's an unbiased commission
appointed by the u.n. in which members expressed different views about responsibility of different actors. there will be anability to evaluate this entire trove not in a way it's determined by one state or another. that's one of the things i've wanted to see done. thus far, the conclusions others reached i think have held up quite well but more needs to be looked at. that's ongoing. in regard to question of criminal responsibility leaders, obviously in the charles taylor case and many cases you don't have a direct line of command, you're looking at the kind of evidence you may have. there may have been orders but you don't have orders. may be forms of direct responsibility. we have horrible crimes committed by a group provided
significant aid by a particular political actor. there are ways, as we saw in the charles taylor case, when that support is substantial, when it's knowing and when it, in fact, enables those crimes that you can obtain criminal prosecutions and convictions, as we saw in taylor. in other situations in which individuals may be supporting armed groups intending to win military victories, not intending to kill civilians and taking efforts to prevent that kind of conduct and train people in ihl and lay out the people they train, then you're into a different situation. certainly the question of supporting proxy forces in the world is one you have to exercise due diligence on it, no doubt about it because of prosecutions, shouldn't be
enabling. on the other hand there's armed conflict in the world. the area of war crimes prosecutions and international humanitarian law is about situations where there are conflicts and where horrible things are happening. the point is protect civilians, the innocent, those outside of combat. many horrible conflicts there has been that kind of protection for all intents and purposes. this one isn't. that's something we've got to change. in terms of independence, anyone that takes up the role in international court has to swear the oath i swore twice to prosecute without taking instructions from any organization or any government. people in national system at the end of the day have that same expectation, system based on the rule of law, independence. obviously as you know in sierra
leone, prosecuted the side, chairman who fought forresteration was controversial but his group committed mass attacks against civilians that he had specifically incited. though he passed away before the judgment, two of his co-leaders were eventually convicted and serving sentences. it needs to be recognized all sides need to be investigated. that's not to say individuals who act out of passion. there's always going to be situations in the battlefield where the innocent are killed, which is horrendous from a human standpoint. when you're talking international, you're talking about groups and others and governments that have targeted people by the thousand. just because if dollar million people killed over here and ten
people killed over here, one doesn't have even handed prosecutions by treating them the same. you prosecute massive criminal activity. it's not just a political gain to balance it all. >> sir. >> i'm from brooklyn institution. world war ii, oss had a philosophy which they tried to spread around as many as they can. that is dealing with serious energy, there are no rules. do you think that philosophy still applies? >> i don't think that philosophy applies.
i know for a period of time bill donovan served to justice jackson at nuremberg. he eventually left but not because they want to prosecute people. a personal conflict, i think, truth be known. the idea there are rules in armed conflict is basis of nuremberg prosecution. as jackson said in his eloquent opening, if we try to hold them to different rules, then we apply to ourselves. we raise a poison chalice to our own lips. these rules have to apply to all the. and tactic in which one goes out and brutally rapes or murders innocent civilians are not tactics by which one gains success in conflict. it's a way that in the end any kind of battlefield victory is
only a pyrrhic one. in the end you lose the peace. you have a hostile population on your hand. as we clearly understood in afghanistan and elsewhere, diminution of civilian casualties, caused intentionally, caused by the nature of bombardment, is a key aspect of our doctrine. we don't want innocent people dying even unintentionally. it's going to happen in conflict. the idea we would do it intentionally runs counter to these rules and runs counter to good tactics. now, obviously if you're talking about commando operations to go in and kill this leadership and right chancery, you can target
people responsible. once you would say can't do that, wouldn't be chivalrious. even those political reporters, we don't target those. so there are rules. it's important they be observed. the united states, since nuremberg, has been a leader in making sure those rules are applied. of course they fundamentally are in the geneva conventions which have been ratified by every state in the world, even some have geneva convention. these are universal rules and rules like genocide convention and crimes against humanity code are part of customary international law, if not conventional international law and applicable to everybody on this planet, even us. >> yes? >> i'm a summer associate at
public international law and policy group. you touched briefly on different judicial models that could be applied in syrian pros, ranging from domestic to more hybrid or international approaches. i was hoping you could expand on that a little further, in particular tribunals have criticism levied against them for being fairly remote, national judicial process or generally domestic population consequential muting of justice for victims that many scholars believe is critical for sustainable peace building. i was wondering if you think potential -- should hybrid model be pursued and if so, how do you think that could be realistically addressed? >> well, you raise a justified concern. i spent almost six years at the rwanda tribunal, 500 miles from rwanda, a whole different culture and part of the continent. and we were more isolated from that crime scene. we wen over there all the time.
it made our work less significant for the victims and effective communities. in sierra leone we managed to do it in country in a mixed court with 60% of employees see air lyre -- sierra leonians. i mean, i think that you benefit by being as close as possible to the scene of the crime. the other thing we were able to do was an outreach program where every community in the country, even a country without television, without newspapers that print more than 500 issues, at the time it was done more than 90% of the people knew what the court was doing and thought it had been a force for peace and stability. we couldn't have done that if we'd been 1,000 miles away. now, when we moved taylor to the hague, we still tried to make up for it by having the outreach meetings, by showing the videos and we made up for it to a
point, but better to be there and better to involve and seek the leadership of people within that country. the bosnia follow on court, the state court war crimes chamber i use as a model. nothing is perfect but with nation judges in sar yea hoe. it delivered judgments for genocide at 1/20 the cost of the judgments in the hague. of course, that kind of model would depend upon a future syria like a future bosnia. i mean, do you want a bosnia in syria? obviously bosnia is a divided country and not perfect in terms of how it's been able to resolve its political issues, but you could end up with something like that in a future syria with different communities having substantial autonomy but then maybe a state institution that
included all of the various groups to try these cases. if you could get there, that would be a whole blot better thn where we are. and it would be my preferred alternative. i think there are advantages to having internationals involved in the court, and it's particularly when it comes to those survivors and the sort of sense that they have of whether it's going to be fair that when they look in a particular group of judges and they say they're from the other group or the other sect, the other ethnic group, they may not trust it, and when you have internationals there, you can relieve that to a point. you also can both benefit, the nationals in a sort of working by learning, learning a lot about international law, and the internationals learn a lot about the local culture and situation. so if we could get there, that's where i'd like to go. now, of course, at the moment not possible, so we were looking
at having cases tried in the hague if we'd won in this french resolution, but it wouldn't have been -- if you know the icc, they have not charged more than four people in any situation in the world. they might charge a couple more here, but it would only go after top people so there will still be a need for a fair and independent court to try not everybody but the hundred or more who have been leaders of syria's atrocities, and that we should look to appoint in the area. greater challenge is what happens if the conflict goes on and on and on, where do you have justice? that's one of the things that stump people is they look at the legal and policy basis to get a court operating, but there are ideas that are out there. we haven't embraced any specific idea except to continue constantly our efforts to find a way to show that there will be companiability and to begin the
process of accountability. >> just out of curiosity, steve, what kinds of ideas are out there for near-term fixes while the conflict goes on? >> well, you know, and the problem of vocalizing particular ideas is it begins to look like the u.s. is embracing them, but as i noted earlier, you have this senegal example where senegal made an agreement with the african union to try a case it had jurisdiction over in chad, et cetera. so it's possible for a country with jurisdiction to enter into an agreement with an international organization potentially to have a court, and then that court can be managed not just by that country and that international organization. you can have a broader donors committee that works to make sure that it's independent and fair. those are decisions that would have to be made by the countries
that might be interested in pursuing it, and obviously whatever anybody does in that area, one would want to make sure that it's not something that opens the way for these kind of things to be created for political ends in the future. it's got to be something that's not one country's justice, a neighboring country's justice. it's got to be justice for the people of syria based on international standards. but other ideas, i mean, the idea of the u.n. general assembly, we generally view the security council as responsible in these areas of peace and security. it has had the establishment of international courts for yugoslavia and rwanda. it's called for the creation of the sierra leone court, et cetera, so the security council is the place, but in the cambodian context in the context of an agreement with a sovereign country, cambodia, the u.n. general assembly passed a
resolution asking the secretary-general to do that kind of negotiation. those are two precedents. in the end, you know, cambodia has some critics in terms of whether it's sufficiently independent because of the negotiation that occurred, but legal recognized structures that the united states contributes to and has evolved to the management of were created through those mechanisms. every one of the things i have talked about today that have come up in the last 20 years were unthought of, unheard of before we established the icty and ictr. and so one has to think about how to do this. what is unthinkable is that you could have 162,000 people dead and not have accountability. >> absolutely. yes? >> thank you. mohammed gannon. the opposition has set up a transitional justice commission. they're also looking into some
of these issues. have you reached out to them? are you working with them? is the united states government funding them? that's number one. number two, in the entire history of the united nations, there's one precedent only of the general assembly overruling the united nations security council, the war on korea. but at the time, of course, a major member on the united nations security council, the united states, was interested, and they ended up carrying out the bulk of the operation and ended up being an american war. you know, given the deadlock at the united nations security council, could this happen again or would it be feasible or is this, you know, sort of like would that be on overstretch? thank you. >> well, on the question of transitional justice, certainly we support and are very interested in the work of the interim government and i have read what it's proposed and very much view that kind of work as essential to the future of
justice in syria, and if there are ways we're not assisting or helping, i'd like to hear them because i really appreciate that kind of effort. in this area of the u.n. general assembly, there are others in the state department that could speak to the international law involved, but in these particular areas we view the security council, sad as it is with the veto and the ability of china and russia to block resolutions like the one on the icc, as the organ with responsibility. as i noted, the only time that there's been involvement by the u.n. general assembly was in the cambodian context where the security council was not seized and there was some opposition to a cambodian court, and the general assembly, including many of the regional countries wanted to see this done, and they asked the secretary-general to become
involved and even intervened a second time when the negotiations weren't resulting in an agreement. but keep in mind that wasn't the u.n. general assembly acting itself. that was the secretary gem thne then reaching an agreement with a member state, cambodia. the idea of the general assembly acting on its own is not something we've seen in the justice area, but as i said, the cambodian precedent is out there and is one that people could look at, but that requires not op opposition group or something like that. it requires sovereign states or state to be involved. >> questions? steve, in terms of your own work plan, what's next? what are you looking at 90 days out from now? >> well, you know, i don't want to change the subject of south sudan, central african
republican, democratic republic of congo -- >> that is a question. how much of your time is actually spent on syria. >> libya, these situations are out there. i'll in cambodia on the 7th of august where the judgment will be announced in case 21, the first judgment against the former chief of state and the former number two on pol pot for at least the initial crimes committed during the '75 to '79 khmer rouge period and trying to make sure that the resources are there to finish the work of that court. and then we've got, you know, we've got fugitives. there are people -- rwandans that were key to the genocide and we're on the 20th anniversary. i'd like to get those guys in custody. every time you pick up a guy like that, it's a signal to somebody, they're going to be at your door in 20 years.
do you want that? those efforts are out there. it's trying to do what we can to strengthen these institutions. i was thrilled two days ago, the former chief of staff of the rwandan defense staff force made famous in "hotel rwanda," he was convicted -- his conviction for genocide and other crimes was affirmed with a 30-year sentence on friday. so there are all of those things that are happening out there. but in syria it consists of making sure that just because there were two votes against it in the security council on the 22nd of may that the signal isn't there's no hope for accountability. the signal is there will be accountability, that we will find a way with working with the syrian people, working with our partners to ensure that these crimes won't go unanswered whether they're committed by the regime or whether they're committed by isis, whether they're committed by others, and that the day of justice will
arrive as sure as it has for others like charles taylor. >> i think these words, the days for justice will arrive, good way to conclude. i think this is something that certainly in the context of syria not only in syria but definitely in syria, we really all need to believe this and, more importantly, in our own ways we need to work for it. thank you all very much for taking the time to join us this afternoon, and please join me in thanking ambassador steve rapp for a wonderful presentation. [ applause ] coming up this afternoon here on c-span3, live coverage of a senate hearing on european
energy and russia's exportation of its natural gas reserves. it's scheduled to get under way in about a half hour at 2:30 eastern time. again, live here on c-span3. and tonight the house veterans affairs committee holds another in a series of hearings looking into the treatment of veterans at va health care facilities. this one specifically examining the whistle-blowers who report on inadequate services to veterans. live coverage at 7:30 eastern over on c-span2. you will also be able to weigh in with your thoughts on both our facebook page and on twitter using #cspanchat. the site selection committee recommending cleveland as its choice to host the 2016 republican convention preponderance priebus reacting saying in part a cleveland convention offers our party a great steppingstone to the white house in 2016.
this selection located in a key battleground state will be presented to and voted on by the full republican national committee when they meet in chicago in early august. the privacy and civil liberties oversight board last week met to vote on its report concerning the government's collection of electronic communications as authorized under section 702 of the foreign intelligence surveillance act or fisa. section 702 gives the nsa authority to collect certain international communications which in some instances include information from or about americans. this meeting is about half an hour. >> good morning. welcome to a meeting of the privacy and civil liberties oversight board. it is 10:00 a.m. and the date is july 2nd, 2014. we are at the j.w. marriott at 1331 pennsylvania avenue northwest, washington, d.c. this hearing was announced in the federal register on june 20th, 2014.
as chairman of the privacy and civil liberties overboard i will be the presiding officer. all five members ever present rachel brand, elizabeth collins cook, james dempsey and patricia wald. all in favor of opening the meeting, please say aye. >> aye. >> upon receiving unanimous consent to proceed, we will now proceed. after the meeting has been adjourned, we will not be having a press conference but individual members of the board will be able to meet with press. the board is convening to formally adopt its report on the surveillance program adopted to section 702 of the foreign intelligence surveillance act. section 702 permits the attorney general and the director of national intelligence to jointly authorize surveillance of targeted persons who are not u.s. persons who are reasonably believed to be outside of the united states with compelled assistance of electronic communication service providers in order to obtain foreign
intelligence information. although u.s. persons may not be targeted under section 702, communications of or concerning u.s. persons may be acquired. the section 702 program is extremely complex. it involves multiple agencies collecting multiple types of information for multiple purposes. overall the board has found the information collected has been valuable and important to protecting national security and producing valuable foreign intelligence information. the program is operated under a statute that was publicly debated and the text of the statute outlines the basic structure of the program. the operation of the section 702 program has been subject to judicial oversight and extensive internal supervision and the board has found no indication of intentional abuse. outside of this fundamental core, certain aspects of the 702 program do raise privacy concerns and push the program close to the line of constitutional reasonableness.
such aspects include the scope of incidental collection of u.s. person's communications, the use of about communications acquired through the interstanet, and th use of such queries to seven information collected under the program for the communications of certain u.s. persons. with these concerns in mind, the report that we are voting on today offers a set of policy proposals that should strike a better balance between privacy and civil liberties and national security and are designed to push the program more comfortable into the sphere of reasonableness ensuring that the program remains tied to its constitutionally legitimate core. a key goal of our study is to improve public understanding of how the program operates. therefore, before discussing our proposals, way tonight start by dispelling some incorrect notions about the program's operation. first, it is not a bulk collection program. the program only targets
communications of particular persons. last year approximately 90,000 targets were assigned in the program, but it is not a widespread collection of information other than for those who are targeted based on the belief that they're nonu.s. persons outside the united states with foreign intelligence value. second, non-u.s. persons are not targeted when the program has -- government has only a belief that 51% likelihood this they are non-u.s. persons overseas. there is no 51% test. the government is obligated to exercise a standard of due diligence in making determine nations based on a totality of the circumstances. if there is conflicting information indicating whether a person is in the united states or is a u.s. person, the user must be determined to be a non-u.s. person in order to be targeted. third, americans' e-mails are not searched for key words that may be used such as osama bin laden that would gather e-mails
that were discussing things of contemporary events as opposed to matters of foreign intelligence. only specific selectors such as e-mail addresses may be used. an important mission of the board so to educate the public and enhance public debate by making the prays of counterterrorism programs public consistent with national security concerns. during the process of preparing this report, we sought and obtained declassification of facts about the still highly classified program in order to allow us to put in context how the program operates. as a result, over 100 new facts were declassified by the government to provide needed context for the program's operation. i want to extend the board's appreciation to the personnel at the office of director of national intelligence, the department of justice, nsa, fbi, and cia who worked constructively with the board in this process. it's the most comprehensive public description of how the section 702 program operates and we believe this description will
advance the public's understanding of the program. turning back to the report, it was adopted unanimously. the board also unanimously offered ten recommendations to strengthen privacy safeguards and to address these concerns. they are in a number of categories. first is the targeting process. the board calls for the government to clearly articulate the foreign intelligence basis for its targeting decisions. second regards the role of the foreign intelligence surveillance court and the board calls for the government to submit a sample of tasking sheets and query terms so the court can consider them in improving the continued operation of the program. in the parts of the prime minister known as upstream or about, the board calls for a periodic assessment to make sure that the best technology is being used to filter out purely domestic communications and urges the develop of technology that would permit policy decisions to be made concerning whether so-called about collections should be limited.
in the area of accountability and transparency, the board calls for declats if ication consistent with national security of fbi, cia, and nsa minimization procedures and have the government provide more insight into the extent to which it acquires and utilizes communications of u.s. persons. with regard to efficacy, the 3w50rd asks the government to develop a comprehensive methodology for assessing the efficacy. in regard to queries, in the case of u.s. person querreys conducted by the fbi, the board agrees the fbi should update its miniization procedure to make it clear in criminal matters its agents routinely query the database. the board agreed limits should be placed on the fbi's ability to use and disclose 702 data. three additional statements are included in the board's report representing different board
member's approaches to limiting the fig's use and dissemination of 702 information. one position is there should be enhanced internal review of that process. another that this question while not pressing now should be addressed before it becomes urgent and a third that yet such query should be subject to court approval. the board takes the position that the nsa and cia should be permitted to query section 702 data using u.s. person identifiers only based on a statement of fact that is the query is reasonably likely to return foreign intelligence information as defined in the foreign intelligence surveillance act. judge wald and i would have gone further and we have separately proposed two additional recommendations that were not adopted by a majority of the board. the first is designed to ensure that communications by americans are properly purged if they do not have foreign intelligence value or constitute evidence of a crime. the second is that foreign intelligence queries using
americans' identifiers should only be made with court approval. board members brand and cook take the position that oversight of such queries is already rigorous and judicial review is not necessary or appropriate. again, all the board's recommendations are based on policy grounds and in our view none of them require legislation to be implemented. as part of the study, we conducted two public hearings and one public workshop and the board also solicited public comments throughw ww.regulation.gov. dozens of comments were received and we have reviewed all the comments. we appreciate the public input. at every step of the way the board has received full cooperation of the intelligence community. while the board highways report was subject to classification review, none of the changes that resulted from that process affected our analysis or recommendations. the entire report that the board is going to vote on today is unclassified. there is no classified appendix.
pursuant to the board's statutory duty to advise the president and elements of the executive branch and congress, the board briefed staff from the house and senate intelligence and judiciary committees on june 2nd regarding the board's tentative conclusions and senior white house staff on june 17th. as i have indicated previously but also want to reiterate, in the course of conducting this study and also our study of the 215 program, we found nothing but hard working men and women in the intelligence community who are dedicated to protecting this country and we've seen no evidence of misconduct. the 215 and 702 reports fit into the board's broader mandate to balance national security with privacy and civil liberties in overseeing existing programs and providing advice on new programs. it's not our institutional job to always oppose or critique counterterrorism programs but to objectively analyze them. we'll soon be holding a public meeting to discuss where the board goes from here in the near term and get input on the board's long-term agenda.
the board has sufficient staff to work on more than one project at a time and we're looking forward to both expanding our oversight function but also our advice function as well. i want to thank board staff who were invaluable and worked tirelessly to study the programs, analyze them, and to make sure that the classification process went smoothly. i'll now give individual board members an opportunity to address themselves starting with miss cook. >> thank you, david. i wanted to also start with thanks to the incredible work of the staff. for all intents and purposes, we have been building this airplane as we have been flying it, and it takes extraordinary skill and dedication to do that, so thank you. i would also commend the chairman and in particular our executive director for, again, at the risk of flying this metaphor too far, their remarkable work piloting the plane.
i wanted to take this opportunity to briefly discuss some of the recommendations we have made. we concluded that the section 702 program is legal, valuable, and subject to intense oversight. our recommendation should not be viewed as an indication of concern about the current operation of the program. instead, they are targeted and focused recommendations for relatively slight changes at the margins of the program. first and foremost, our recommendations as to queries using u.s. persons identifiers and about collection are not driven by a concern that u.s. persons' rights are being violated. instead, the recommendations are designed to prevent the section 702 program from transforming over time from a foreign intelligence program to a means of effectively surveilling u.s. persons. we have seen no evidence of a backdoor, so our recommendations are designed to make sure one is
not built. second, the current requirements for the foreign intelligence purpose of the targeting rationale are the natural by-product of the statutory structure as well as the historical underpinnings of the section 702 program. section 702 was designed to move away from requiring the extensive justification necessary for a traditional fisa and for good reason. we are not recommending a return to a full traditional fisa packet, just a statement of facts, which will have the effect of increasing the rigor of the analysts' approach and the oversight process. i also wanted to emphasize the board's conclusion as to the value of the program for the government's counterterrorism efforts, to say nothing of its larger foreign intelligence benefits. this program has assisted the government's efforts to learn more systematically about the
membership, leadership structure, priorities, tactics, and plans of international terrorist organizations. it has enabled the discovery of previously unknown terrorist operatives, provided the locations and movements of known suspects, and allowed the discovery and disruption of plots directed against the united states and foreign countries. a program can have substantial value separate and apart from plots thwarted and the section 702 program is an example of that. finally, i believe the greatest value of the board's report may very well be in dispelling the misunderstandings and misconceptions about the section 702 program rather than the recommendations themselves. restoring public trust and confidence can be a matter of education and transparency and does not always require a change in the government's operations. i hope we will now focus on
building out our advisory capacity. the last year has been largely devoted to oversight, but our mandate is two-fold. as we continue to build the permanent, meaningful federal agency envisioned by the 9/11 commission and congress, we have the opportunity to really think about how best to protect privacy and civil liberties in light of the need for counterterrorism programs, and i look forward to that process. >> judge wald? >> thank you. i, too, thank everybody who was engaged in getting this fairly mammoth and complex report out in record time. i want to take just a few minutes to put in context why the chair and i wrote an additional statement dealing with u.s. person queries. as diligent readers of the report will recognize, this is a very complex program, and its
main thrust is to be able to collect the communications of foreign non-u.s. personings who a are based abroad. in that process, however, the communications of u.s. persons may and are collected where they are communicating with the foreign target. in many cases the u.s. person may well not know, probably in most cases, may well not know that they are communicating with a foreign target. since we are a privacy oversight board, our focus was on the privacy of the u.s. persons who communicate with targets, in many cases not knowing that they are targets. now, if those communications themselves on their face contain foreign intelligence, it seemed to us quite reasonable as well as to the other members of the board that the government be able to use -- have access to
that foreign intelligence. however, the fact is that in the vast scope of the numbers of communications of u.s. persons that are collected without their knowing it in this process, there will be much private and confidential information which under normal rules would be protected as privacy and with an aura of fourth amendment, whereas these are policy recommendations. the fact is that everybody in this, and this is in the main body of the report, recognize that americans have a fourth amendment -- some fourth amendment interest, protected interest in their private communications. so to get -- to cut to the chase, the two recommendations that we felt were needed additionally were, one, right now these -- when u.s. persons' communications come in, they may
contain a lot -- could contain a lot of private, confidential information which is not at all relevant to foreign intelligence. at the current practice, those are not purged in any regularized fashion. the minimization requirements which we propose be made more restrictive say that the analysts upon review, but there's no duty to review ever, should be purged, taken out, but only if clearly they cannot be of any foreign intelligence value, and the standard, and this is in the regular report, the standard that's used is what we call kind of mosaic standard. the analyst has to decide, but even if right now there appears to be no foreign intelligence value, is it conceivable that in some distant future or some other analyst or somehow it
might become relevant? we don't think that should be the standard. we believe that there should be a duty to at the point any query is made of u.s. interests, u.s. persons' interests, that there should be a purging process going on which takes out the information which is not of foreign intelligence value, and we think as set out in our statement, that that's what the original definitions in the fisa regulation that's still applied to 702 and the thoughts of the original drafters meant to happen. so aside from the purging process, very quickly, the other recommendations we had were for some kind of. >> you judicial oversight and in this case it has to be fisa. we think that the fisa court should have to approve a query as being of potential foreign
intelligence value. the same thing would be true in the case of the fbi when they send these things through to see if there's any evidence when they're making an assessment or investigation of a regular crime. there ought to be some judicial approval of the fact that it's reasonably likely to come up with foreign intelligence value. perhaps it's my own experience as a judge, but i do feel that some kind of outside, noninvolved approval ought to be necessary before the private information of the u.s. persons, which is not of intelligence value, should be made accessible in these queries. >> miss brand. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i echo your thanks to our staff who tirelessly worked to write this report and shepherd it through the preclearance review
process. turning to the substance of the report, i think it's significant that the board with our varied background and perspectives unanimously concluded that this program at its core is statutorily authorized, constitutional, and highly effective. i believe that our targeted recommendations for changes to the program will further protect civil liberties and privacy without impacting the effectiveness of the program. i don't plan this morning to address the separate statement of chairman medine and judge wald. i would encourage you to read the separate statement miss cook and i published, but i want to make two brief points this morning to dispel some of the common misconceptions that have surrounded this program in the recent months. first, as our record made clear and the chairman has already said, this is not a bulk collection program or a dragnet. we can't stress that often enough. under section 702 the government may only target individual,
non-u.s. persons located outside the united states whom the government believes will have foreign intelligence information. so it impact that, the government may never target americans for surveillance under section 702 no matter where they're located in the world. the government must select specific targets for surveillance and collect only the communications of those targets and even when selecting a particular foreigner abroad, the government must believe he or she is likely to possess foreign intelligence information. second, i'd like to dispel any notion that this program is likely to give the government a complete picture of an american's private life. chairman medine already referenced this. this is the fact that if a targeted foreigner abroad communicate was a u.s. person, that communication will be collected. that's an aspect of the program that was understood by congress when it enacted section 702 and it's unavoidable under the
program. concerns have been raised about the extent of incidental collection. we spent a lot of time as a board looking at that. but the fact is that the government doesn't know exactly how many u.s. person communications are collected under section 702. so to address that we've made reld dations that the government take measures to extent the amount of incidental communications. we look forward to seeing the results of that inquiry and deciding whether any additional recommendations to the program should be made on that basis. but it's already clear based on what we do know that the chance that any given american will have any of his or her communications collecteded under section 702 much less a significant number of them is remote. if the individual is in communication with a particular foreigner abroad who has been targeted for surveillance under section 702, then, yes, his communications with that individual will be collected, but none of his other communications. and if an individual is regularly in contact with a number of targeted foreigners
abroad, such that is significant number of his communications were being incidentally collected, then that connection could be very important for the government to know. examples such as the case discussed in our report. so i hope these facts and the rest of the board's report will dispel some of the misconceptions of the program and i look forward to working with the go of the to implement some of the recommendations we've made. >> mr. dempsey. >> thank you, mr. chairman. obviously echoing and supporting the comments of all the board members both about the work 6 of our staff in getting this report to conclusion i would say as a person who sort of values his weekends, there were far too many weekend and evening e-mails associated with this report, but that's what it takes to produce something like this and i appreciate the time that people put in on this. i think there are a couple overamping points that are very important to recognize here.
one is the chairman said everything we wanted to say is in this unclassified report. there's nothing that we really wanted to say to explain this program that we were not able to say, and in the process of producing the report and pushing it through an interagency review process of classification as the chairman said, 100 additional discrete facts about the program were declassified for release. and i think there's a very important lesson there about intelligence and national security in the post-9/11 world that our government -- any government i believe, but our government can talk about programs of this nature, of this importance and that it can be done in an unclassified way.
secondly, the report unanimously finds that the program fits within the statutory framework that was publicly adopted by congress. in this way there's a major contrast between this program and the 215 telephony met metad program which a majority of the board concluded was not statutorily authorized. this program was the program that was debated by congress and written into the statute, and i think that as well carries a very important lesson about intelligence and national security in a democratic society, that the statute on the books can describe the governmental powers that are being exercised. thirdly, as to
constitutionality, i remember when section 702 was being debated, there was a lot of questions being raised about whether a program targeting non-u.s. persons overseas, people who under current court interpretations have no fourth amendment rights under our constitution, whether a program targeting a non-u.s. citizen abroad implicated the constitution at all even though it clearly was going to intercept some communications to and from people inside the united states. the government now recognized -- that debate in my opinion is over with, whether this program implicates the constitution. the government position is, yes, this program does implicate the fourth amendment rights of americans, that this program must be analyzed through a constitutional lens, and our report is premised on analyzing this program through the lens of the fourth amendment in so far
as the program collects communications to and from u.s. citizens and others in this country. and i would really urge anybody, including members of the public, i really think we tried in a pretty clear way to spell out the constitutional analysis by which a program like this should be analyzed and i think really provide a lot of important clarity to how to think about the application of the fourth amendment to the constitution in the context of intelligence collection programs that collect communications to and from americans. as to some of the controversial aspects of the program, among the most controversial aspects are the so-called abouts collection and to somewhat a lesser extent, the so-called multicommunication transactions
or mcts. on both of those, the board found after our really digging deep, deep, deep into this that both of those involve almost technological necessities or by-products of the way that the program is operated and the way the technology associated with the program operates. and we concluded as to both of them that as of now it is not possible to avoid technologically speaking not possible to avoid even abouts collection. we're not talking keywords. we're not talking collections about an american in that sense. we're talking collection of communications that are about the selector that is being searched for, targeted. we spell all this out in great detail in the report, and say
that more work is needed to be done on the technology associated with abouts collection and with upstream collection in general, and we urge the government to work with telecommunications service providers and with other independent technologists to develop the technology that will at least allow us to segregate those communications. then you can have sort of the policy debate about how -- >> watch this event in its entirety at cspan.org. we leave it now to take you live to capitol hill for a senate subcommittee hearing examining europe's energy reliance on russia. subcommittee chairman chris murphy of connecticut recently traveled to bulgaria where he urged the country to halt its construction of a pipeline that would allow russia to transport its natural gas to europe. >> this is not a new topic for this committee, but russia's
annexation of the crimean peninsula has brought a new sense of urgency and focus to this debate. we're happy to have two great panels here today. i and senator johnson will give some very brief opening remarks. we'll introduce our panel, let you give some summary of your remarks, and questions and then seat our second panel of experts. russia's status as a regional power is, frankly, commensurate only to their ability to blackmail and threaten europe with russian gas and oil as the weapon of choice. europe imports about 30% of its gas and 35% of its oil from russia. political decision making in europe is dictated in part by the realities of running a continent on power supplied by one ornery, capricious, and unpredictable neighbor. the question is how much longer will europe put up with this reality and what can the united states do in the context of the transatlantic relationship to
help europe break free of russian energy dependence? the european commission's most recent energy security strategy reflects concerns that overdependence on russia may expose them to coercion, threats, and higher prices. the strategy proposes action to increase europe's own energy production, decrease demand, pursue renewable energy alternatives, and diversify its supplier countries and routes. the strategy is admirable, but in today's hearing we will ask whether there is really political will and the funding to implement it, and we'll ask whether some energy strategies in europe like reducing carbon emissions actually increase rather than decrease dependence on russian gas. we'll want to know how non-eu countries like ukraine and moldova fit into europe's plans for energy independence. and we will principally examine what role the united states can
play in the energy future of europe. this is a complicated issue because complex questions of market dynamics and national sovereignty cloud the role sometimes the united states can play. it makes sense to examine what role the united states natural gas is wean europe off of russian gas. so longs a the price in europe is cheaper, u.s. gas will flow with the market. even when the united states is willing to lead, there's a question of whether our leadership is wanted. during a recent trip to bulgaria, senator johnson, senator mccain, and i stood with the prime minister as he announced a work stoppage on a gas pipeline opposed by the eu that would increase european dependency on russian gas. it was a break through but one that was immediately criticized by some due to u.s. involvement. it struck me when it comes to showing leadership on an issue like global energy security, america stands to be criticized if we don't lead and criticized
if we do. so i look forward to hearing from our panelists today on all of these questions and with that, let me recognize senator johnson for his opening remarks. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i'd like to thank the witnesses for, first of all, your thoughtful testimony. i have received it ahead of type and had a chance to go through it and, mr. chairman, you mentioned the word twice, reality, realities. i come from business background. i have done a lot of strategic planning and that's always the first step. you have to recognize the reality of the situation. once you have done that, tough set achievable goals and once you have set those achievable goals, you develop a strategy. so what i'm hoping to hear out of the testimony today and i think we have a pretty good shot at it because it looks like that's what you want to talk about is let's recognize what the reality of the situation is, if we're going to talk about russia, we first have to recognize what gives vladimir putin power is his oil and gas resources and europe's quite honestly growing dependence on those. so let's spend a lot of time
talking about the reality of the situation, then let's start talking about what are achievable goals and what are the priorities in which we need to address those possible achievable goals? thank you for holding this hearing. look forward to the testimony. >> no overly excessive introductions here. we're very happy to have two administration witnesses with us. our first panel is amos hochstein and hoyt yi, denty assistant secretary of state for european and eurasian affairs. both of your written statements will be included in the record. please summarize in five minutes. we will be joined by other members of the committee. as always, a busy day here. thankful for your testimony. why don't we -- amos, why don't we start with you. we'll go to mr. hochstein and then mr. yee. >> thank you, chairman murphy and ranking member johnson and
members of the subcommittee. i appreciate the opportunity to be here today to discuss european energy security during this critical time. the department of state and the administration as a whole are committed to improve europe's energy security and we're working closely with our partners in this effort. let me begin with an update on the energy crisis in ukraine. ukraine has been negotiating with russia and the european union to resolve the issue of price, debt, and future payment for ukraine's gas imports from russia. russia, unfortunately seized supply of gas to ukraine on july 16 showing little willingness to continue negotiations until ukraine pays off its debt. the situation is urgent. while production is sufficient to cover summer demand, without russian gas, ukraine will not be able to meet its consumption needs when the heating season returns. although the united states is not party to the trilateral gas negotiations, we are working closely with ukraine and the eu to identify solutions that will bring an end to the current crisis and make the ukrainian and eu gas supply system nor
resilient in the system. eu energy commissioner, his cabinet and dg energy have done an incredible job and we are in weekly contact with him and his staff as well as with the minister of ukraine on this issue. looking forward, part of the answer for ukraine's energy security is its integration into the eu energy market. before it th integration can happen, it's essential ukraine reform its energy sector. if it does not, if corruption and inefficiency continue along with crippling energy subsidies for consumers, ukraine will be right back where we all started just a short while ago. we're working to develop and implement programs to increase efficiency. our bureau at the energy resources bureau at the state department is overseeing products to boost gas production from existing fields. we're also working to build the government's capacity is manage the implementation of production
sharing contracts for unconventional gas production and development. to address energy efficiency, the program is designed to enhance ukraine's energy security as well as reduce and mitigate emissions resulting from the poor use of energy resources in ukrainian municipalities. fortunately, flows of gas through ukraine to europe have not been impacted yet. russia and ukraine have both promised not to disrupt transit and the short-term impact of this cutoff has been relatively small in europe but that is because it is not in the gas intensive heating season and because we've just gone through a relatively mild winter so stocks are unseasonably high. but it's critical that countries with storage capacity use these summer months to aggressively increase their supplies. we're working with the department of energy as they coordinate an evident to assist the most vulnerable countries to assess contingency plans in case of a shutoff. mr. chairman, the lack of immediate alarm in europe cannot lead us or the eu to become
passive in addressing a long-term solution. while the media and others have focused on energy security in europe only for the last several months, as you stated in your opening statement, this committee, the congress, and the administration have been working on this for quite some time. as early as the late 1990s we were heavily engaged in negotiations that made the bct pipeline a reality despite the skepticism of experts who said the oil would never throw to european markets. our european energy security efforts intensified after russia cut off glass supplies to ukraine and european customers in '09. we've intensely focused on energy security in europe advocating energy diversification particularly in central and eastern europe. we work hand in hand with the commission and with our other allies and energy envoys in eastern and central europe. in fact, we just returned from hungary and croatia last week.
energy diversification is critical. it includes having broad fuel mix and diversifying the roots and the sources of imports. russia will and should remain essential player in the region as a producer and as an exporter, but alternative supplies and additional delivery roots will promote competition. without u.s. engagement, the southern gas corridor would not be on the verge of becoming a reality. we agree with our european allies on the critical need for europe to improve its energy infrastructure by constructing new pipelines, upgrading existing pipelines, upgrading interconnecters, building newl ng terminals. we applaud the recent announcement of the hundrgarian interconnector. lithuania and poland are completing their terminals. a proposed terminal on kirk island in croatia would bring in
supplies from the south. with the completion of reverse flow from hungary, co-asia could become a gas import hub. hungary can provide an important link for alternative gas supplies to ukraine from croatia. and when we were in croatia and hungary last week, we ern couraged the two countries to work more closely. we're working with our colleagues in the eu to advance in infrastructure buildout and we support the efforts to identify and help fund the most critical projects. we also commend them for their legal reforms. the passage of the third energy package that made sure that regulatory frskt was in place to make sure that destination clauses were not crippling their own energy security were put in place and now is the time to make sure that they are implemented. as vice president biden said in budapest, the development of secure, diverse, and interconnected energy market in europe is the next big step for our european colleagues to
initiate in a great project of european economic integration. thank you, mr. chairman, ranking member johnson. i welcome your questions. >> mr. ye e. >> thank you, chairman murphy, ranking member johnson for inviting us to testify before the subcommittee on european energy security and for the personal interest you have taken in this issue. the ukraine crisis has demonstrated security has multiple dimensions. vulnerabilities can come in many forms. the threat of military intervention, the danger of over dependence of energy from an unreliable and at times hostile neighbor or the cancer of corruption that weakens institutions and undermines security and sovereignty. russia's provocative actions in ukraine have reaffirmed the continued importance of territorial defense. in response, all nato members have reaffirmed our collective commitment to preserve security and territorial integrity in the
nato area. the united states has led in this effort. we've deployed 750 troops to estonia, latvia, lithuania, poland, and romania. we've stepped up our fighter jet deployment and maintained a continued naval presence in the black sea. as the president announced in poland last month, we are seeking congressional approval for $1 billion of european reassurance initiative to build on our current efforts. just as the united states has strengthened its presence in the region, each of the other 27 nato allies has committed personnel and resources to nato's reassurance efforts. in the run up to the nato summit in wales, we are encouraging all members to sustain this demonstration of aligned solidarity and to reverse the worrying slide into defense budgets. the united states is working hard with central and eastern european countries and the european union to shore up energy security. we've been working to help ukraine reform its gas sector,
increase energy efficiency, develop domestic sources including shale gas production and integrate more fully into european energy markets. we're also working with our european allies to increase ukraine's access to gas through reverse flows. at the same time the ukraine crisis has given new impetus for countries across europe to step up efforts to diversify their energy sources and supplies, boost storage, develop networks of interconnects and reverse flow capacity. as we work with our european allies, the united states is devoting greater resources to fight corruption in the region. in the wake of the situation in ukraine and russia, it is time that we treat corruption as a threat to national security and sovereignty. corrupt elites and oligarchic interests are reaching across international boundaries to support each other. they hollow out border security and military services leaving countries vulnerable and exposed to outside interference.
that is why we are empowering our embassies to work with governments, civil society, and the business community across central and eastern europe and the balkans to develop tailored action plans best suited to local conditions. multilaterally, we are addressing corruption in the g-8, the g-20 and the oacd. we're reporting regional law enforcement and we're encouraging all of our european partners to ratify and implement the u.n.'s convention against corruption. our national interest is vested in a europe. which countries are confident their borders are respected and secure. their access to energy is reliable and ready, and their government is transparent and accountable to the people. we remain to work in a bipartisan manner to achefer these objects. >> thank you to both of you for your testimony. mr. hochstein, you talked about the things that ukraine needs to do in order to reform its energy
markets. this is the most energy inefficient country in the entire region and i'll direct the question to you but happy to have mr. yee respond as well. the reforms they need to need take are dramatic and the effective of those reforms done too precipitously is perhaps too destabilizing in a country that doesn't need much more instability. the vector between what gas prices are today and what they would be without the subsidy is enormous. the amount of money they have to spend on reengineering this wildly inefficient soviet energy architecture is essentially almost a rip down and build back up proposition. so, how do we ask ukraine to do this without requiring them to spend money they don't have, and impose price increases on citizens who are right now looking for reasons to be
confident rather than angry at their new government? >> mr. chairman, those are great questions, and it's a very difficult task to do. but it must be done because if we don't as i said in my testimony, if we don't reform it, if we just pour money into this and make sure there's reverse flows and gas comes in, as i said before, we are going to be back at this problem right, you know, again very shortly. this is an opportunity, it's a moment in time for ukraine to walk away from its past and part of its past was a highly corrupt, inefficient system that kept using instead of using energy as a resource for stability and security, it was the opposite. and so we can take this moment in time and as you said, not dramatically tear it all done and build it back up in a moment -- during a crisis but put in place some fences around the energy sector so that it is free of corruption. that you can always do. to start talking about the subsidy reform, not as an
overnight bring it to marketplaced pricing but see how to do this effectively to begin that process. how do you look at the entire apparatus of their energy sector so that it reflects good management? and if we can do that, and make it open and transparent and effective an efficient, we can reduce their cost over time because efficiency rates go up. second, they won't get further into the hole by having the subsidies drag them down. third, they'll encourage new investment of international oil companies and other parts of the energy sector worldwide to actually be interested in investing in the sector. fourth, they'll be able to see growth in their production levels. their natural gas production levels can be much higher if they use new technologies and a modern way of doing it and work on the unconventional side.
if we put together a regulatory framework that understands how to do the shale gas exploration in a safe, secure manner, we can bring in the foreign direct investment into that, grow it and at the end of the day have additional gas sources of their own to contribute to the new reverse flows and new energy diversification to do elsewhere. in addition to bringing other forms of energy so that the system is more resilient. so for that i agree it's hard to do it all at once. you have to be careful about it. i think that's what we're trying to do. >> mr. yee, talk to me about how europe thinks and talking about this issue. you know, we're encouraged by developments like the third energy package which recognizes the immense problem allowing gasprom to control the transmission. for every step faurds there's
step backwards. there's some openly opposing and the way they're conducting their business, a country like germany who just this week announced that they're moving forward or passed. i can't remember. new legislation that will effectively end for the foreseeable future any potential of developing their own shale gas. there's often seems to be a lack of urgency in europe about this question. a lot of talk in brussels. but then not always corresponding action at the individual member state level. >> thank you for that question, mr. chairman. i would agree that there are different voices that we're hearing in europe about the specific remedies and measures that need to be taken to address problems of energy security and also ukraine's particular case of energy security. one thing, though, that i think all the members of the european union, all the countries that i deal with in europe share is a
desire for energy -- an energy diversification, the desire for less dependence on single sources, less dependence on russia so while they might disagree on the means and some of the measures and the time frames, there is a general consensus on the need to do something to increase energy security through diversificati n diversification. one thing we do here is an interest in developing alternative pipelines, alternative routes. we may not always agree on which are the best ones but we have a discussion with europeans, an open dialogue on the need of alternative routes, alternative -- in addition to alternative sources so the countries which are most directly dependent on russia, most dependent on russian gas, for example, might be the less -- might be slightly less eager to talk about discontinuing south stream or routes that we feel may not be commercially as viable or in the long term best solutions for
europe, but we are having success in discussing with europeans the need to diversify, the need to devise alternative sources. >> germans have openly been the most skeptical about sanctions on russia with respect to action in ukraine. they are in the process of dismantling their nuclear fleet which is a big part of energy independence and diversification. they're making a commitment against internal energy resources you should their ground. their potential for rather large shale deposits they're going to leave in place. it's very hard for the eu to move without an active germany on this questions, and what is your feeling about specifically the german government's commitment to leading when it comes to some of these questions of eu energy security?
>> thank you for that question. our sense is that certainly germany understands its responsibility as a leading economy and a leading -- a leader in europe and european union and the need for them to show leadership on the issue of energy independence. i think the difficulty of a consensus reflects the different situations of the european union members each of which has an own set of challenges. we are seeing from germany an interest in discussing with us, discussion with the commission on ways to find solutions to these problems. certainly, in its approach to russia, recently chancellor merkel in her meetings with foreign minister lavrov and with the french foreign minister have made clear expectation that there has to be a -- there has to be some progress in ukraine and russia's approach to
ukraine's -- to the situation in ukraine. we also have discussions with the european commission together with german and european members on how we can factor in all the different challenges, all the difficulties that european union members face, whether it's an over dependence on the gas or geographical limitations on what can be done in terms of alternative routes. >> senator johnson? >> secretary yee, in your testimony you mentioned corruption. when senator murphy and i went through poland, ukraine, romania and bulgaria, that was an echo of the situation. the legacy is corruption throughout the yeern european nations. in the visit of poland, i think our sense was probably made the most progress in terms of limiting corruption and i think
probably doing better economically as a result of that. i want to talk a little bit about romania because i think we were both impressed with charlie butler there or butcher and he arranged a meeting initially with us, our first meeting in romania with the chief prosecutor general of corruption laura kovesia. incredibly impressive and courageous woman battling corruption in romania. we don't have an ambassador for romania. the term was basically coming up. the administration at all addressing that situation? because i think the only way romania proceeds in terms of reducing corruption is to have a strong u.s. presence continue to put pressure on the romanian government to certainly protect miss kovesia and can you speak about the administration's plan
for american representation to romania? >> thank you, mr. ranking member. yes. the administration is working to identify an ambassador for romania. working as quickly as possible to identify the right candidate. we also agree with you, senator johnson, that dewayne --- butchs doing an impressive job and need an ambassador and working to get that in place as soon as possible. regarding the prosecutor and the overall effort to fight corruption in romania, american leadership has been critical. i think our good relations, working relation with the government and even when we disagree with the government of mr. ponta is such that we're able to express concerns, objections. when there are steps taken by officials, business people, business people that are clearly in violation of romanian law, in