tv Hearing on Washington D.C. Airspace Security CSPAN April 29, 2015 10:00am-12:01pm EDT
middle and high schools. while they certainly were no supporters of segregation and obviously saw the injustice of having to attend separate elementary schools the african-american community also was very proud of their schools because these were excellent facilities. so while there was support for the idea of integration, there was also some resistance especially from the teachers and the local chapter of the naacp who feared the loss of these institutions and the loss of those jobs. >> watch all of our events from tope can ka saturday at noon eastern and sunday morning at 10:00 on american history tv on cspan 3. the house oversight and government reform committee is convening a hearing to investigate the recent gyrocopter landing on capitol hill that prompted a security scare. the pilot of that aircraft who was arrested says he did it to
protest campaign finance reform. the faa administrator michael huerta along with several other officials who deal with securing the airspace will be testifying. representative jason chaffetz serving as the chair while eel swra cummings serves as the ranking member.elijah cummings serves as the ranking member. >> the committee on oversight and government reform will come to order. without objection the chair is authorized to declare a recess at any time. as we get going i need to first express my thoughts and prayers to my colleague elijah cummings and what the people of baltimore are going through, our hearts and prayers and thoughts are with you and your neighbors and
your friends and your community the police officers and we're proud of you and the way you're conducting this and getting through it and you are a true leader. i would hope the people of baltimore, maryland, would listen to your message and -- but know that our thoughts and prayers are with you. >> mr. chairman, i wanted to take this moment to not only thank you but thank the members of our economy and who have expressed their concern about baltimore. you, mr. chairman, have a kind of unique perspective because you had a chance to visit baltimore with me before you even became chairman. so you had a chance to see what -- what the issues are in our city. so i'm looking forward to working with you and others to try to you know heal some of that pain. i do appreciate you and i will never forget your visit and people in my city will not
forget your visit and thank you for your comments. >> well, thank you. we will be conducting this hearing a little differently today. i'm going to ask unanimous consent that we're going to change the order here. that we will recognize our panel, allow them to give their opening statements and then we will go into recess. we will reconvene we will give our opening statements and then we will get into questions, but given that we have the very historic presence of the japanese prime minister here to address a joint session of congress we're particularly sensitive that, for instance one of our witnesses, its house sergeant of arms, mr. paul irving has to leave us early in order to fulfill his duties. i would ask unanimous consent to forego opening statements for us, we will come back and give them later and swear in the witnesses and begin their testimony. without objection so ordered. we will get as far as we can and recess so members can join the joint session we will reconvene
30 minutes after the conclusion of the joint session to continue our hearing. without objections so ordered. we will recognize our panel of witnesses. the honorable paul irving sergeant of arms mr. irving is accompanied by mr. tom lodge jet, deputy subject of arms whose expertise may be needed. we also have add hirl william gort knee, commander of norad, mr. robert -- help me with the pronunciation -- selas. deputy assistant secretary of defense for defense of civil authorities at the united states department of defense. the honorable michael huerta, administrator of the faa the federal aviation administration, joseph clancy director of the united states secret service, robert plik complain chief of the park police and mr. kim
dine chief of the united states capitol police. all witnesses are to be sworn before they testify. mr. blo j get, you are included as well. we would ask that all members of the panel please rise and raise your rand. do you solemnly swear or affirm that the testimony you're about to give will be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. thank you. you may be seated. let the record reflect that all the witnesses answered in the affirmative. all of your written statements will be entered into the record. we would ask that you limit your verbal comments to five minutes. we're going to recognize mr. irving first. at the conclusion of those remarks we are going to excuse him so he can tend to the duties of escorting the prime minister into the house of representatives. mr. irving you are now recognized for five pins. >> thank you. good morning, mr. chairman. mr. cummings and members of the committee. i appreciate the opportunity to appear before you today.
as sergeant in arms and chief law enforcement officer of the house of representatives i'm fully dedicated to ensuring the safety of the entire capitol complex, a mission performed in close partnership and cooperation with the u.s. capitol police board and member and women of the united states capitol police. before i begin i'd like to extend my thanks to all the men and women of the u.s. capitol police for their capable and professional response to the incident on april 15th. us clog police officers and officials promptly responded to the west front and arrested the individual and ensured the craft was harmless. we are currently working closely with our partners in if he had wall law enforcement, the departments of defense, transportation and homeland security to maintain robust air space security within the confines of the urban environment of the national capitol region. in particular working with our partners to ensure the most efficient and robust early detection, tracking and warning systems, ensure there is consistent and constant interagency communication and early warning communicated in realtime.
improving and ensuring immediate and ongoing communications and alerts to members and staff during a security incident. and honing the counter measures and policies consistent with those counter measures. since is the event i have ordered the chief of the capitol police to utilize the house note fiction system to alert members, staff and to the extent possible visitors in as timely a manner as possible, to alert -- regarding all life safety and potentially threatening events that affect the capitol community. the incident on april 15th reminds us all the greatest asset of the capitol it's very open and accessibility can at times be one of our greatest challenges however, every incident allows us to refine our capabilities and be better prepared. i'm happy to answer questions. thank you, mr. chairman. >> i thank you. please be excused and tend to your duties. we thank you and we look forward to seeing you back at the conclusion of that event. >> admiral, you are now recognized for five minutes.
>> chairman chaffetz, ranking member cummings and distinguished members of the committee i'm honored to be here today. from a national security perspective i want to emphasize the sensitivity of these discussions in it an unclassified environment. an open discussion of even unclassified information could be pieced together to pose a risk to our national security therefore, i cannot go into many of the specific details i deem sensitive in an unlas if i had environment, however, in a closed session i am ready and able to talk to you in much detail as you need. norad's role is to provide air space warning and control, to defend the united states and canada including the national capitol region from owl potential air threats. air space known as the washington, d.c. special flight rules area is monitored by a sophisticated integrated air defense system which is a vast networks of radars, cameras and other detection warning devices. each system is designed to defect, track and monitor specific parameters. the integrated air defense system was implemented following and in in direct response to the terrorist attacks of 9/11 and
has continued to evolve with the threat over time. we are extremely capable of identifying, attracting potential threats to the national capitol region, anything from commercial aviation down to small single propeller. however, a small gyrocopter despite its assessed low threat presents a technical challenge. s this an interagency effort that collectively understands the technical challenges associated with these types of threats and vehicles and with our partners here at the table we will continue to implement technical and procedure solutions to close any seams. i know the committee has questions and i look forward to talking with you today. >> thank you. appreciate it. mr. salas. >> thank you. chairman chaffetz, ranging member couple ins am. i'd like to thank you for addressing the role of secure the air space of washington, d.c.
i'd like to acknowledge that aspects of this issue are sensitive to the department of defense from a national security standpoint. i look forward to continuing this can discussion in a classified setting. because i know there is much to discuss i will be brief. to this end there are four points i would like to emphasize today. number one the defending united states as the department of dense's highest priority. number two, the department of defense is well postured to defend the united states. number three the department works very closely with its federal partners and law enforcement to protect the national capitol air space. and last the department continually pursues opportunities to enhance our homeland defense capabilities. the national security strategy makes it clear the united states government has no greater responsibility than protecting the american people. our national defense strategy makes protecting and defending the homeland the department's first priority. to the men and women of the department of defense, military and civilian these specific
words are the reason they serve and the very core for their professional lives -- of their professional lives. every day these fine men and women whether they're serving here at home or some far off location across the globe dedicate themselves to protecting the american people and defending the united states. due to the leadership of the president, the secretary of defense and the congresss stead fast support dod is well post toured with the authorities and capabilities necessary to defend the homeland. under admiral gordon's leadership and command the men and women of norad execute operation noble eagle monitoring the air space conducting military operations to dissuade, deter and if necessary defeat airborne threats. in this effort to secure the skies over our tags's capitol the men and women of the department of defense do not survey loan. they are joined by the counterparts at the department of homeland security department
of transportation, the department of justice and our law enforcement partners in a whole of government approach to protecting the national air space. working together we are built a network of barriers to protect the national air space system against any and all threats. we have improved our threat detection capabilities, integrated our threat responses and refined our procedures to optimize response effectiveness. we continually look for opportunities to improve our defenses. we understand that no party how good we are the adversary remains committed and we can always be better. to this end we're ted dated to continual improvement over our policies procedures and operational capabilities. working with our federal partners we test, we plan we exercise to improve our effectiveness. this is what the nation expects we are committed to meeting this expectation and this is our
obligation. thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today. we appreciate your leadership, mr. chairman and members of the economy, and your support of the men and women of the department of defense. i look forward to your questions. >> thank you. mr. huerta. >> thank you, chairman chaffetz ranking member cummings, members of the committee for the turcht to appear before you today. i'd like to address your questions about the recent gyrocopter incident by explaining the faa's role in airspace security and how we coordinate with other agencies. the faa's mission is aircraft and airspace safety. we operate the nation's air traffic control system in order to operate aircraft. our primary focus is on getting aircraft safely to their destinations and managing the flow of thousands of aircraft and their passengers around the country every day. in addition to the faa's safety mission, we also work very closely with the departments of defense and homeland security on a daily basis to support their aviation security missions,
particularly here in the capitol region. as part of that support we provide them a raw air traffic radar feed so they have situational awareness of what is happening in our national airspace system. to enable our controllers to safely control air traffic the first thing we have to do is distinguish the aircraft that are communicating with controllers from all other objects in the air that are not aircraft. these other objects that the radar defects could be things like vehicles on nearby roadways, flocks of birds weather events or kiets and balloons. air traffic controllers could not do their jobs it if they had to work with an unfiltered radar feed. they would not be able to distinguish the aircraft they're charged with safely handling from other elements on their radar scopes. we require aircraft at that fly in the airspace around washington, d.c. and other large cities to use transponders that broadcast basic information such as the type of aircraft its speed, direction and altitude. when radar defects those air raft it picks up the transponder
information and it displays it on an air traffic controller's radar screen. controllers can see all the flights in the specific area, along with the identifying information from each aircraft. anything that doesn't have a transponder shows up as an image representing a simple small dot on the radar screen and there are typically many of them across a controller's radar screen. to assist controllers on focusing on safely managing air raft we apply filters to eliminate the vast majority of those small dots. safely managing air traffic is their mission and they must be able to do that without distraction. to support nash annual and homeland security the faa shares a realtime unfiltered radar feed with our partners at the department of defense and several oers agencies. we do that so they have the same information we have and so they can apply the appropriate filters for their own mission to protect the airspace. we also embed technical air
traffic staff at a number of northern american airspace defense command stations across the provide to provide additional expertise and support. on april 15 mr. hughes's gyrocopter appeared on our radar as one of those small unidentified elements indistinguishable from all other non-aircraft radar tracks. the national capitol region center called the fa. a at 1:24 p.m. that afternoon to alert us of the flight based on information they received from the u.s. capitol police. after the incident we conducted a forensic radar analysis and looked for an image that might match mr. hughes's gyrocopter. we understood he had taken off from a small airport in get wrees burring, pennsylvania and we had an approximate time so we looked at unfiltered radar data. a trained radar analyst identified a slow moving image that traveled from gettysburg toward the capitol and vanished from radar about the time mr. hughes landed on the west lawn. we now believe that unidentified
radar element was mr. hughes' gyrocopter, but the dot appeared only intermittently throughout that flight. when we got the call from the capitol police we immediately notified our interagency partners on the domestic events network or den, a 24-hour, seven days a week communication line we operate to support a shared awareness among our partners. we initiated the den more than a decade ago to quickly sar information about activity in the air space with multiple agencies. it now includes more than 130 federal and local agencies, as well as major faa air traffic facilities around the country. the den has played a critical role in disseminating important operational information to other agencies as quickly as possible. each agency has a responsible to announce an airspace incident on the den snas they know about it. we've committed to our safety mission at the faa and dedicated to working closely with all of our airspace partners to support
protection of our airspace. we are a listing the department of homeland security in its ongoing interagency review and this is in addition to our own internal review to en sure that fa. a employees followed all the proper procedures and protocols during the event. if we need to make changes as a result of these efforts we will and i will keep the committee informed. i would be happy to take your questions. >> thank you. director clancy. >> good morning, chairman chaffetz ranking member cummings and distinguished members of the committee. thank you for the opportunity to be here to discuss the secret service's role within the broader effort to secure the airspace within the national capitol region. the long standing relationships between interagency partners many of which are represented here today, are critical to ensuring the security of people and places given protection by the secret service and others. the secret service must be prepared to confront and defeat evolving threats, including knows from small myofascial bandanned
and unmanned aircraft systems. as they become more widely available the secret service will continue to work aggressively with our partners to address existing threats and anticipate those to come. existing faa flight restrictions in the ncr were enhanced following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. the faa implemented the special flight rules area which includes within its boundaries the flight restricted zone and prohibited area p 56 or area 56. the white house the vice president's residence and the u.s. capitol are located within the p 56. the secret service's role in the administration of the restricted airspace is limited to issuing waivers to access to the p 56 in consultation with the capitol police and park police. airspace security for the ncr is coordinated by the interagency coordination center. the center was created after the september 11th 2001 terrorist attacks to provide realtime information sharing and tactical
coordination to address potential airborne threats in and around the washington, d.c. area. it is staffed at all times with personally trained personnel assigned to the secret service airspace security branch in addition to representatives from the military the fa. a and selected federal civilian law enforcement agencies. the mission of the secret service air space security branch is to give early notification to the protective details and uniform division and provide realtime information to allow appropriate time to make informed decisions about actions to take to ensure the security of our protect yees and protected site. given the pace at which events have unfold, maximizing the time to react is critical. presently the airspace security branch combines radar feeds from a number of sources to create an image of the airspace. this image is monitored by the detection systems specialist who have military or civilian radar backgrounds. with respect to the history between the secret service and
douglas mark huesghes, hughes first came to the attention of the secret service on october 4th 2013 at that time the secret service obtained information that houston tended to fly a single seat aircraft onto the grounds of the capitol or white house with no specific time frame provided. that same day the secret service relayed the information to our law enforcement partners at the capitol police. the following day special agents from the secret service interviewed hughes who decide owning an aircraft or having plans to fly one to washington, d.c. however, subsequent corroborative interviews revealed differently. further, the investigation revealed no evidence of an interest in persons or places protected by the secret service and information regarding hughes was made available to other interested law enforcement agencies in the national capitol region. regarding events leading up to the april 15th incident i want to be clear. at no time did the secret service receive actionable advanced notice or any
white house is paramount to this agency [ inaudible ] -- >> chairman chaffetz [ inaudible ] -- >> mr. chairman, ranking member cummings and members of the committee, thank you for the opportunity to discuss the united states park involvement in the gier incident in wads. my name is robert mcclain, i am the chief of the united states park police. we were established in 1791 is the oldest uniform federal enforcement agency in the united states.
>> its park police has primary jurisdiction over federal park land which comprises approximately 22% of the district of columbia including the national wall, east and west potomac parks mack fear son square and many of the small triangle parks in the district. the park police officers who proudly and diligently patrol federal park land every day are trained to identify report and investigate violations of law and suspicious or unusual activity. although the park police has an aviation unit that flies law enforcement, medevac and search and rescue missions within the national park region we do not have primary responsibility of airspace defense over the federal park lands. as such the park police does not
have radar detection capability to monitor that airspace nor does it have the appropriate tools to engage or defend against an aircraft in the air space above those parks. those primarily responsibilities and capabilities rest with other federal agencies. on wednesday april 15th 2015, at approximately 1:20 p.m. a park police officer observed and reported an aircraft, layered identified as a gyrocopter operated by mr. doug hughes. it was rated near the lincoln memorial and estimated it to be approximately 100 feet off the ground and traveling eastbound towards the united states capitol. the officer made a request to the park police dispatch center to contact the united states capitol police. the patrol supervisor confirmed the observation and requested the park police dispatch center notify the park police aviation unit which in turn contacted the national capitol region coordination center to report an aircraft in restricted airspace. another park police officer
observed and followed the aircraft eastbound in his patrol vehicle until the aircraft planned on the west grounds of the united states capitol. the park police officer arrived at the capitol grounds and observed the u.s. capitol police arresting mr. hughes. at that point the park police became an assisting agency to the u.s. capitol police on the scene and at their command post. mr. chairman this concludes my statement. i will be pleased to respond to any questions you and other members may have. >> thank you, chief. you are now recognized for five minutes. >> mr. chairman ranking member cummings, members of the committee, good morning and thank you for the opportunity to discuss the event that occurred on wednesday april 15th and the actions taken by the united states capitol police. i will begin by providing a timeline of the events and willed gladly answer any questions you may have. it is important to note that this is an ongoing criminal investigation. on wednesday, april 15th at 12:59 p.m. an individual from the tampa bay times sent an e-mail to the u.s. capitol
police public information officer stating that a local man was planning on flying a gyrocopter as part of a protest and would be attempting to land on the west front. this individual inquired if the uscp was aware of the flight and if permission had been obtained. no time or date information was provided regarding this flight. at 1:00 p.m. the same individual called the uscp command center and stated to an officer that he had information about a man who was planning to fly a drone on to the mall and on to the west front of the capitol. he stated that he had called the u.s. secret service and they advised him to call the u.s. capitol police. he also states that this man identified as toug las hughes had obtained permission by the secret service and uscp and he was can a ulg to confirm permission had been granted. no time or date or actionable information was provided regarding the flight during this telephone call, either. the officer advised this information that she was not aware of any approvals to land a drone. they were transferred to a sergeant in the command center and this individual repeated
that he had told the the officer, except now he referred to the aircraft as a gyrocopter. the sergeant advised no approval existed for a gyrocopter to land on the capitol grounds, the caller advised the sergeant that hughes live feed to be seen on her website which he provided. at this point in the conversation the conversation concluded and during the conversation no mention was made that the landing was imminent. at 1:07 p.m. the u.s. capitol police public information officer responded to this e-mail by immediately forwarding it to the investigations division and currently the command center personnel went into the provided website, went to the provided website but did not find the live feed noted by the individual from the tampa bay times. the command center notified the investigations division and the public information officer. as the manned center was attempting to verify any air flight information with the us are cp staff at the record nation ken ter the gyrocopter landed at approximately 1:23
p.m. at 1:21 p.m. just prior to the landing an officer posted on the pennsylvania avenue walkway in the west front was approached by a reporter who asked if he had seen a elementary yet. the officer stated he had not seen a helicopter and consulted with another officer who determine if they was aware of any prohibited airspace overflights. they observed the inbound gear over union square. the officers immediately notified the communications center and subsequently reported the landing of the gyrocopter. this information was immediately broadcast over the radio for situational awareness and response. the uscp officers immediately assessed the threats in accordance with department policy and training as uscp personnel quickly facilitated the pochlt of the public on the west front away from the gear. once the gyrocopter rotor stopped uscp officers approached the subject and took him into custody. he did not resist and was compliant. a k-9 unit immediately approached and swept the gyrocopter and showed interest
in the area of the engine and fuel compartment which was expected. command was established at 1:26 p.m., the west front was closed and vehicular traffic restricted between constitution and pennsylvania avenue and maryland avenues. as this was occurring the investigation division provided the commanders in the command center with information about the subject from an internet video publicizing the subject's ownership of the gyrocopter his intention to deliver a box of letters to congress in reference to campaign finance reform and his investigative history with the uscp and u.s. secret service. the command center notified the crcc of this situation. while a k-9 sweep was occurring we directed a brief lock down of the capitol and cdc. the uniformed services commander who was in the command center consulted with the incident commander. usb commander decided to lift the lockdown of the capitol based on the following fact the k-9 had not alerted to the body
of gyrocopter but had shown interest only until the area of engine and fuel compartment. the size of the package area was limited to two backpack size boxes, information provided by the investigation -- and the uscp had established a strong perimeter from the gyrocopter. the exterior of the perimeter stayed in effect due to the extremely short time frame between the lock down order and direction to lift the lock down no messages were sent to the congressional community advising of the lockdown. the uscp hazardous devices section responded at 1:36 p.m., utilized a robot. the robot could not access the two boxes 2:21 p.m. the personnel put on protective gear and took x-rays of the boxes. the gyrocopter was determined to be clear of any hazards at 2:57 p.m. the west front remains closed until the crime scene could be
processed and the gyrocopter removed. it is important to note that while the uscp does not control prohibited airspace over washington, d.c. we do monitor this airspace 24/7 and we are directly linked to other federal agencies related in this controlled airspace. on april 15th this gyrocopter did not register on radar as a threat and therefore was not raised as a concern among our federal partners. we take the monitoring of prohibited airspace seriously which is why we have a designated airspace coordinator and have assigned liaisons to provide required information. information about identified airspace threats allows you to make informed decisions regarding the safety of our stakeholders congressional community and capitol flex. thank you again for the opportunity to discuss this event which occurred on wednesday, april 15th 2015. i am very proud of the professional and immediate actions taking by the united states capitol police in addressing this incident. i would be happy to answer any questions that you may have at
this time. >> thank you. as previously announced the committee is going to recess so that we can -- members will be allowed to hear the prime minister of japan as he addresses the joint session of congress. we have reconvene approximately 30 minutes after the conclusion of that. we appreciate your patience. the committee is in recess. as previously announced the the committee is in recess. the house has recessed for today's joint meeting of congress to hear from the japanese prime minister. we will have live coverage when the hearing returns after the meeting to investigate the recent gyrocopter landing on
capitol hill. the faa administrator michael huerta along with several other officials who deal with securing the nation's airspace will be testifying. bbc will host the final election leaders event tomorrow featuring british prime minister and conservative party leader david cameron. labor party leader nick mill van and nick lang. each leader will answer questions posed by a studio audience. this is a 90-minute event from west yorkshire england. the u.k. general election takes place on may 7th. this weekend the cspan cities tour has partnered with cost communications to learn about
the history and literally life of topeka kansas. >> when the kansas nebraska act was signed in 1854 the very act of so i think of, of just signing that piece of paper was viewed by missouri yans as an act of war. when northerners decided that if popular sovereignty will decide the fate of kansas we are going to send people to settle that was viewed as an act of war by many missouri yans who had just assumed this would all be theirs. there are raids back and forth across the kansas border almost immediately. in may of 1856 john brown, his sons and a couple of other followers dragged five men from tear cabins along the moss keet toe creek and they are shot and hacked to death with broad swords. that fwek tifl leader that area of southern settlers. >> here in topeka if you looked
at the schools just standing outside you would be very hard pressed to determine whether white students or african-american students attended because the school board really did provide all of the same materials that the white schools offered. what is even more interesting for most eem when they come to visit is they find out after graduating from elementary school african-american students attended integrated middle and high schools. while they certainly were no supporters of segregation and obviously saw the injustice of having to attend spraft elementary schools the african-american community also was very proud of their schools because these were excellent facilities. so while there was support for the idea of integration there was also some resistance especially from the teachers and the local chapter of the naacp who feared the loss of these institutions and the loss of those jobs. >> watch all of our events from topeka saturday at noon eastern
on c spchlt 3's book tv and sunday morning at 10:00 on american history television on cspan 3. >> remarkable partnerships iconic women their stories in first ladies the book. >> she did save the for tral of washington which was one of the things that endeared her to the entire nation. >> whoever could find out where frances was staying, what she was wearing what she was doing what she looked like, who she was seeing that was going to help sell papers. >> she takes over a video station and starts running it. i mean how do you do that? and she did it. >> she exerted enormous influence because she would move a mountain to make sure that her husband was protected. >> first ladies, now a book, published by public affairs looking inside the personal life of every first lady in american history based on original interviews from cspan's first lady series, learn about their lives, ambition families and
unique partnerships with their presidential spouses. first ladies presidential historians on the lives of 45 iconic american women. filled with lively stories of fascinating women who survived the scrutiny of the white house sometimes at a great personal cost, often changingist ri. cspan's first ladies is an illuminating entertaining and inspiring read available as a hard cover or e book through your favorite bookstore or online book seller. the constitution project recently honored senator patrick leahy of vermont and rand paul of kentucky. each honoree was recognized for leadership and work in defending the constitution, in particular digital privacy issues, changing the mandatory sentencing policy and national security. this is a little over an hour.
>> if people can take their seats, we're just about to get started. good evening. i'm i'm jenny sloan. i'm glad to welcome you to our eighth gala honoring patrick leahy and rand paul and twitter for their work in the criminal justice, detainee treatment and privacy reform. i want to welcome our past champions who are here tonight, judges bill sessions and pat wald abe press and bill shields.
while acrimony seems to per vad so much of politics today the constitution project demonstrates that it doesn't always have to be that way. obviously individuals ideological factions and organizations may and do disagree vehemently about what the constitution means, but for nearly two decades tcp has sur mounted many of his disagreements by sponsoring groups of experts from across the ideological spectrum to seem constitutional consensus. it's the bipartisan and inclusive nature of our work that lends it such credibility and influence. this year we're focusing on three vital areas, first how can we maintain public safety while ensuring that our government exercises its law enforcement and national security powers in a fair humane and constitutional manner. we know that systemic failures
in our criminal justice system come at a high individual, kpik and societal cost and especially since 9/11 the growth of our national security apparatus is threatening some of our most basic rights and protections. our second area of focus is how we should safeguard personal information, privacy and first amendment rights that are increasingly affected by rapid sophisticated and complex technological invasion. finding a balance between privacy and civil liberties and our need for security is a constant long-time struggle. given new technologies it is increasingly easy for the government to monitor our personal lives and it's more important than ever that our constitutional rights still apply in the digital age. our third area of focus is how can we make government more open and accountable. sadly, it seems the government
standard practice now is one of nondisclosure. since an informed citizenry is vital to our representative form of government tcp is working to break down barriers to government transparency, facilitating the oversight we need to monitor what our government does in our name. i'd like to highlight some specific examples of our work before turning to our award. two years ago our bipartisan blue ribbon task force released a 600-page report examining the treatment of suspected terrorists in the clinton, bush and obama administration. the task force and staff of tcp thoroughly examined available public records and interviews and conducted on the ground fact-finding all over the world. our report remains the most comprehensive of its kind. the task force made three alarming findings.
first, that u.s. personnel engaged in torture. secondly, that the decision to torture was made at the highest level of government. and, third that the public record contains no persuasive evidence that torture produced significant information of value. as with all our reports we used this one to further our education and advocacy work. task force members reported sbi tvp staff used their expertise, influence and access to persistently lobby congress and the administration to make public the senate intelligence committee's report on the cia's detention and interrogation program. finally last december a declassified executive summary was publicly released. its findings and recommendations closely mirror many of those of our own task force. unfortunately, the executive branch appears to be largely
ignoring the senate report and some in congress actually want it withdrawn from public view. incredibly representatives of most of the affected executive branch agencies, including justice, state and the fbi admit they haven't even bothered to open their copies. it's long past time to declassified all relevant information about post 9/11 detainee abuses. pcp's polling shows that americans op pose these abuses. we must understand what went wrong so it will never happen again and so our work in this area will continue. [ applause ] >> thank you. task force members and pcp staff have also successfully supported critical steps towards closing guantanamo while both the bush and obama administration made some progress, including a welcome up tick on transfers at the end of last year, detainee
transfers have slowed again and some in congress seem set or even harsher restrictions that will ensure that gitmo remains open. it is an outrage that 122 detainees remain untried at guantanamo, nearly half of them already cleared for transfer by every relevant national security agency. our death penalty work is another example of our consensus building. we have long brought together supporters and opponent of capital punishment to ensure that our country addresses the inaccuracies and injustices that playing the system. last may our death penalty committee issued a comprehensive report and 39 recommendations con chemming the system's flaws from arrests to execution. texas death row is survivor anthony gray stated that had our recommendations been in in place when he was convicted he would not have spent 18 years on death row for a crime he did not
commit. in too many capital cases ex exculpatory evidence is withheld defense attorneys are outmatched, racial disparities persist and people with intellectual disabilities face the ultimate punishment. in recommending a national commitment to improving forensic science the report also fore shadows the fbi's recent acknowledgment that decades of flawed forensic testimony affects the integrity of thousands of convictions. the fbi's microscopic hair analysts overstated matches in 96% of the cases reviewed so far. this includes 32 cases in which defendants were sentenced to death. 14 of whom have already been executed or they died in prison. and then there's privacy. even before the snowden revelations we were working to update various laws that are dramatically outdated in the
face of new technology. our bipartisan committees are demanding disclosure of and strict limits on government snooping and they're demanding that law enforcement obtain warrants to access this information. we're pleased to work not only with the privacy community and government but also with technology companies who are often caught in the middle of these battles. this past year we helped build broad support for reigning in bulk collection of our telephone records and for making the foreign intelligence surveillance court more transparent and accountable. we appreciate senator leahy and his staff for their tireless efforts to ensure that congress adopt these reforms. in all of these areas and more it is our mission to assemble the unlike least of allies to promote consent tus on vexing constitutional questions. we're looking for -- we're looking at for example, the consequences of collecting dna from people who have not been charged with a crime.
we testified before the president's 21st century task force on policing about constitutional principles that policymakers must consider before equipping state and local police with body cameras and military equipment. we just issued a report condemning one of the most mon and overlooked constitutional deprivations experienced by poor people accused of crimes the denial of counsel when a judge determines whether the accused will be incarcerated prior to trial. because of our unusual mission advocates in state campaigns constantly seek our help as they did last december when we assembled over a dozen nationally recognized conservative leaders to plead for clemonsy for scott panetti because of his severe mental illness, mr. panetti's execution fortunately has now been stayed. litigants including many here tonight ask us to organize
brevis in important supreme court cases, brevis that are unusually influential because they are from former judges and prosecutors and national security experts and other prominent and often unlikely voices. you probably just raid about one of those cases, anthony ray hinton who was exxononerated in early april after spending nearly three decades on alabama's death row because his court-appointed lawyer didn't know enough to ask the court for enough money to hire a qualified forensic expert. before turning to our awards i want to thank jones day for once again lending us this amazing space and i want to thank or many sponsors for this evening and especially those at the defender level bloomberg, crook land and ellis and twitter. i want to thank our board of directors for their expertise and support and the tireless pcp staff and i want to particularly
thank the creative lisa bank, jenny donnelly and brian urish for their work. thanks also to all of you who are here and who are here and who support our mission. finally, thank you to our constitutional champions who stand up for the constitution and for the rights of us all. for more about our first honoree, senator patrick leahy, please welcome dave bow, patrick adegbaly, his biography and those of the other speakers are in the program. let me welcome dabo to the stage. >> ordinarily i would ask for that step to come back here. but tonight because we're amongst friends, i will dispatch with that. good evening. it's a great pleasure to be here with you and to be here
celebrating the constitution project's important work. but it's a special pleasure to be here to present an award to my mentor, friend and former employer senator patrick leahy. senator leahy by every mesh, is a constitutional champion. tonight i will speak briefly about some of the reasons why we know that to be the case. as a senator, a former chairman of the judiciary committee, as a ranking member, senator leahy always is a man of principal and commitment and somebody who believes in the rule of law and the constitutional rules that we set for ourselves. most recently tonight with another one of our honorees this evening, senator rand paul, senator leahy is a co-sponsor of the justice safety valve act a measure which is intended to
restore a measure of fairness and discretion to judges as they seek to sentence people in the context of mandatory minimums. in a post-9/11 world, senator leahy lent his voice to the rule of law and the tension we face with the need to keep our nation safe. he has been in all of the discussions, has been a central figure in the legislation that we contemplate and has elevated our commitment to our principals even in the most harrowing times. but one unmistakable aspect of senator leahy' leadership with respect to the constitution is that he is not just somebody who voices the important principals of the constitution, but he acts in bipartisan fashion to make sure that laws are enacted to vindicate those principals. in the context of the voting rights act, senator leahy was a tireless voice in the 2006
reauthorization and helped to get that legislation signed. i had an opportunity to collaborate with senator leahy and his staff, and i know that it would not have been signed but for his efforts. in another context senator leahy made sure that there is access for post-conviction people who are sentenced to capital crimes to have dna testing done, to bring a greater measure of fairness where people face the most severe penalty that our criminal justice system metes out. senator leahy it is a happy evening for me to be here and to raise trip ut tobute to you. it must have been named with men like you in mind. i thank you for your leadership for your commitment for your example, for your friendship for the opportunity to stand with you in good times and more
listened to the opening on this, we're dealing with people here who have actually read the constitution. what a wonderful, wonderful feeling that is to do that. and you are a hero in our family. you are a hero to so many of us here. i know christine is here and david, kevin from my office. we think of you as a hero. you once said that the goal of the constitution was to form a more perfect union was inspirational but also as aspirational. i know that i speak for many in this room when i say that your dedication serving the public good and defending the constitution on behalf of all americans is an fended the constitution
for all americans even if it might cost you in your own career. you stood up for the constitution. i can't think of anything that i admire more in a person. and i would admire you even if your middle name wasn't patrick. but i admire you for doing that. [ applause ] and i think everybody here knows what i'm talking about. that's why we all admire you. a few years ago i chose to stay at the helm of the senate judiciary committee. i did that because i thought it allowed me to defend the constitution constitution. and, judge, thank you for being here. that's why it's such an honor to be recognized by the
constitution project tonight. we have worked arm in arm so many years. we worked to defeat legislation that was there to limit the right of federal hab us corpus. can you imagine? we fought them and we won. we fought to end torture and detention. not because just alone it's the wrong thing to do but it is basically unamerican. and we fought it. we fought to provide adequate funding for public defenders something i believe strongly in and i spend eight years as a prosecutor. i want to see good public defenders. and we passed the innocence protection act. think of the number of people who are on death row who are now free, and the person who actually committed the crime is behind bars. doesn't that speak to what
america should be? we're going to continue to work. we have to push our great nation to live up to the ideals of the constitution. that's not just a goal. it's not something that happens automatically. i think our founders knew, you have to fight tore that every single day. persistent determination. unrelenting commitment to core american values. it also means that sometimes you got to admit we make mistakes. our nation has faced times of great fear and stress. we sometimes reacted in ways that strayed from our core principals of democracy and freedom. by the greatness of our country we can learn from those and make sure we don't repeat them. we shouldn't hide from the errors of the past. we have had them. other countries may try to hide
them them. we are america. don't hide them. admit them. learn from them and get better. that's why the founders designed the constitution that contained a way to improve it. each generation has done just that. we have improved that original document by gainuaranteeing freedoms and protecting freedoms we hold dear, by acknowledging the fact that all human beings are human beings. all, no matter who they are, men or women no matter the color of their skin no matter who they are, we're all americans, we're all human beings. and we're reminded this as we prepare to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the 13th 14th and 15th amendments, the second
founding commemoration reminds us of our efforts to form a more perfect union. every generation has to do that. we made great progress in the last 2 1/2 centuries. things that we accepted when the constitution was written we wouldn't accept today. women were considered second class citizens. can you imagine? the fact that we would segregate based on the color of our skin can you imagine? and, judy, you spoke of the grave errors we made, the recent decades of the cia's use of torture and secret prisons in the wake of the september 11th terrorist attacks. these things were done to make us safer. they did not make us safer. i would argue they demeaned the greatest nation on earth.
it was wrong. it should never happen. [ applause ] it was wrong and president obama ended the program the day he took office. it's only in the last year we fully understood what happened. we had the work of the senate committee on intelligence and i commend dianne feinstein on this. in the constitution project task force, we finally found out what happened. it wasn't easy to shed light on this. but when we did, we demonstrated the rest of the world we're different. we're a great nation in part because we're always trying to do better. our government has gone too far in intruding on americans' privacy rights in the name of countering terrorism, something senator paul and i have talked about many times. in 2013 we learned nsa had been
engaging in the correctionllection of private telephone records for years, relying on flawed interpretation of section 215 of the usa patriot act. he would we found out it did not keep us safer from terrorist attacks. i asked, how many terrorists attacks? they said 52. we started talking about -- maybe 20. well, 12. well, eight. well, there was one that we were involved in after the fbi had found the people. now, 215 expires in a few short weeks. some want to just expand it. i'm going to work with both republicans and democrats for some real reform. i think we have to end this bulk
collection program once and for all. it's not what we are as americans. it does not make us safer. and it is foolish. to give this to the next generation. [ applause ] and then we passed mandatory minimum sentencing laws. that has not made us safer. it has driven our federal prison population to historic highs and nearly 800% increase in 30 years. a third of our justice department's budget is in the bureau of prisons, not in going after criminals, not in stopping terrorists. these laws do not help us. i oppose all mandatory minimums. [ applause ]
let's restore discretion to judges. you will find this is something that will unite people on the right and the left. rand, i think you will agree with that. senator rand paul and i introduced a justice safety valve act. it restored discretion to judges sanity to our sentencing system. it's not because judges will be right every single time. of course, some of them make a mistake. but to pass a law and say, one size fits all is foolish. it's wrong. it doesn't help our country. and as a former prosecutor, i'm opposed to it. the president has power under the constitution to offer clemency to those harmed by mandatory sentences. they have very little time left in the administration. i hope the president will step up with this and say, let's change this. but i have spoken too long. i'm preaching to the converted on so many things.
but it's nice. [ applause ] it's nice to be with the converted. it's nice to share this award with my dear friend rand paul. it's nice to have people who actually care about the constitution. thank you very much. [ applause ] >> thank you so much, senator leahy. and now to present the award to senator paul i would like to introduce my dear friend, one of my oldest friends, julie stewart, who is the president and founder of families against
ma dan mandatory minimums. i want to tell one story. that is that her husband who is here somewhere, he is the dean at the university of baltimore law school. and i went to their wedding how many years ago? 20-some odd years ago. and even at that time, one of their vows was that they would always work together to obtain criminal justice reform. it was a strange wedding vow. but from ron and julie, it's what they do. and it's who they are. and i can't think of a better person to present the award to senator paul. [ applause ] >> i didn't expect that. yes, our vows did involve sentencing. some of you in this room were there. thank you. thank you so much for the
tremendous honor you have given me in introducing senator rand paul, one of the recipients of the 2015 constitutional champions award. if you look up senator rand paul's official bio as i did to prepare for these remarks you will read he was born in pittsburgh. he was raised in texas. he went to baylor before he went to medical school at duke. that's what they want you to believe. but i'm not buying it. after looking at senator paul's record, i have decided that there's a different theory of his true origins. i believe senator paul was created in a secret laboratory by scientists working for general sloan. for years they have championed the separation of powers that prevents overreaching presidents from infringing on our basic freedoms.
then seemingly out of nowhere and ophthalmologist from kentucky comes as champion of liberties so well versed in the constitution. he shatters the status quo by standing on the floor of the senate for 13 hours to order -- in order to remind colleagues and fellow citizens of the importance the necessity and the near sanctity of the rule of law. how did that just happen? and the constitution project has fought government surveillance and intrusions of individual privacy. and yet in a few years senator rand paul has become a leading critic of nsa surveillance programs and all other unconstitutional government snooping schemes. go figure. closer to my heart of course the constitution project has sought to build bipartisan support for criminal justice reform, including the elimination of harsh, ineffective mandatory sentencing laws. and as if on cue rand paul
enters the senate and co-authors with senator leahy a reform proposeal cause the justice safety valve act that would restore discretion over sentencing where where it belongs, not in the politicians' hands but in the hands of the courts across this country. my theory doesn't sound so strange, right? there's one more thing. the constitution project has always believed safeguarding constitutional values can only be done by bringing together people from diverse political parties and spectrums. to find consensus solutions. they are right. how lucky that they are to have found senator paul, a leader who proves you can be passionate and still pleasant. a champion who expresses bold ideas in a plain spoken and civil manner. thank you, senator paul, for reminding all of us politicians advocates and citizens alike that we can disagree without
being disagreeable. i have had the privilege of working with senator paul in support of mandatory sentencing are he form reform. have i been i have been there meetings with him where he said they can't support white collar sentencing reform. they must support reform for all people of all colors, including non-violent drug offenders. [ applause ] i saw senator paul's commitment when he crossed the capital to meet with house members of both parties to express his opposition to an unjust but very popular mandatory sentencing proposal. senator paul's support for criminal justice reform has received a lot of media attention. but it's what's done behind the scenes that he has -- that he is doing without being watched without being seen that has impressed me the most and made me -- makes me grateful that he
is on my side. senator paul is without a doubt a champion of the constitution. and so even if you don't believe as i do that they created him for this award i think you will agree that this award was made for him. ladies and gentlemen, it is my pleasure to introduce senator rand paul. [ applause ] >> thank you. it really is an honor to be here with the constitution project, to share this award with senator leahy or to get an award the
same night as senator leahy. thank you for making this happen. martin luther king wrote in the letter from jail about what an unjust law was. martin luther king wrote it's a code that a majority passes on a minority but does not make binding on themselves. for too long in this country the law was overtly unjust based on the color of your skin. this time it's fortunately and for the most part we have abandoned injustice da jour. i believe we suffer injustice defactor. there's injustice within the criminal justice system. it still exists. i don't think this is a conscious effort. we have had discussion of this. the fbi director recently talked about how we have to be very, very careful of racial, you
know insensitive or reeshlly profiling people. i think that's important. but when we see the disparities, i don't think the disparities are coming from an overracism. nevertheless, there's a disproportionate impact. there's something going awry in the criminal justice system when you look at those incarcerated. i was always someone who was kind of doubtful about the war on drugs. i became more aware of the racial implications of this after i read michelle alex's mass incarceration the new jim crow, which is an indictment of our criminal justice system. despite evidence that white kids and black kids use drugs at about the same rate, three out of four are black or brown. i think we miss the boat if we say, this is racism. i think that more likely the ultimate source of this is that poor people tend to live close
together. there's more crime in cities. the police are there all of the time. the police aren't in the suburbs. it adds up. day in and day out. the answer isn't just racial sensitivity training. the answer isn't more african-american police officers, although it's probably part of the answer. that's not the ultimate answer. i think the ultimate answer is in understanding the war on drugs has gone too far. we have treated the war on drugs and addiction and the problems that our kids have as an incarceration issue and not an addiction or a health issue. i think we need less incarceration of people of all races. the injustices evidence in our prisons i think largely fail if we begin to dismantle the overzealousness on the war on drugs. as i went to ferguson, as i went to chicago detroit, and all of our big cities i have sensed an
under current of unease. it's not just sort of the instances that have happened. it's not the particular instances of a shooting. although, those haven't helped. it's that it's day in day out. it's kind of like what martin luther king talked about being two americas. one where you feel that you can be treated and life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is there and everything is fair and you have a chance and other people who feel like they still have no chance. in ferguson, in many cities in missouri, 30% of the revenue coming in is from tickets and fines. who gets these? poor people. 21,000 people live in ferguson and yet there were 32,000 arrest warrants last year. mostly for petty fines. child support everybody thinks we have to pay child support. what if you have been in prison for three years and you get out and make $8 an hour and you owe $3,000? should we put you in prison because you can't keep up with
to me it's about the faces and stories. "rolling stone" did a great expose of this. timothy tyler was 23 years old. he was naked in the desert. here is the thing. something could have set him straight in life. there could have been another choice. he went to prison for life. he was 46 years old now. he has been in jail for 23 years. he might be in jail for another 40 years. he made a mistake. for goodness sakes couldn't we give him a second chance? this is why i want to compliment the president on. he has getten people out of prison. i don't know the numbers. but he has commuted sentences for people who that have been affected that are crack cocaine users in for 15 years when the white kid in college got six months or nothing.
he has done a job to equalize this. we need to change the laws. a while back we changed it from 100 to one disparity to cocaine. it's 18 to one. let's make it one to one. there's no reason we can't fix that. [ applause ] people are rotting in prison from these mandatory minimums. the federal judges, three-fourths of them, the majority appointed by republicans, everybody is saying they don't want mandatory minute mup s mums. the judges need to be given back discretion. i think justice will only occur when we repeal once and for all all mandatory minimums. [ applause ] i just want to stipulate that "the washington post" and i don't always agree. they're not always my best friend. but i'm here to pay a compliment to the washington post for doing a great job.
we will be -- it will be a great disservice if we lose our newspapers. if the major newspapers that do investigative reporting, the reporting in "the washington post" on civil asset for fit tur is changing minds. we're talking about it. i know senator leahy was there talking about it. but the stories are what get me. a man has a nice home in philadelphia. his teenage son selling $40 worth of illegal drugs out of it. what do they do? they evict the family from the house. they take the house. without a conviction. it's insane. too often this is a grandma in the inner city who is the only stabilizing force in the family whose grandson is selling marijuana out of the house and they take the house. we have to do something about this. to my mind, it's thoroughly unamerican that the government could ever take your stuff,
could ever take your property without a conviction. and i think we have to change it. the sooner the better. [ applause ] senator leahy mentioned the collection of phone records. millions of people's phone records are being collected. to my mind, with a fourth amendment says you need to name an individual, i don't know anybody named mr. verizon. i think your records when held by a third party -- this has never been fully adjudicated. when your records are held by a third party and you have a privacy agreement with them, i think you do not give up your private property interest in your records. you maintain an interest in the records. [ applause ] one unapologetic senator, who i have had a few rounds with, said if you are not talking to terrorists, why are you worried?
he says he would sensor the mail if he could. really? this senator goes on to say that when you are an american citizen and they ask for a lawyer, you just tell them to shut up. really? have we stooped so low that that is our standard? have we fallen so low that is our standard? if you have nothing to highs, you have nothing to fear? it's a long way from innocent until proven guilty. our founding fathers would be mortified. i think justice will predominate when the accused is always afforded a lawyer, always afforded due process and always afforded a trial. [ applause ] the new yorker also did an expose that affected me profoundly. a 16-year-old kid accused of a crime. sent to jail. for three years in reichers with
no trial. republicans, we're great with the second amendment. something has to stand up for the fourth, fifth and sixth, which says you get a speedy trial. [ applause ] he was kept in solitary confinement. cory booker and i have a lot of getting rid of the solitary confinement for kids and keep this from happening. the bill of rights is for the least among us, for those who don't dress and act like everyone else. the bill of rights is not so necessary for the prom queen. the bill of rights is not so necessary for the high school quarterback. although, we will give them that, too. but it's for the least popular among us. the bill of rights is especially for the unpopular for the persecuted, for the minority. to me a minority is not just the color of your skin. it could be the shade of your
ideology. it could be the shade of your religious faith. what should motivate us all to protect and defend a system that finds justice and protects everyone, whether you are rich or poor, black or white until then i want to be one of those who remains vigilant and wary of those who would trade liberty or justice for a false sense of security. thank you. [ applause ] >> thank you so much, senator paul. and now for our last award, i would like to introduce marty bare ron, who is the executive
editor of the editor of "the washington post." he is not supposed to be in the paper very much. in the past couple of days he has been in the paper for something very good, which is the pulitzer that "the post" just won and for something very bad, which is the fact that "the post" bureau chief in iran is still in prison and about to go on trial. the statements from marty describe quite accurately how terrifying that situation is. congratulations for the pulitzer. please come to the podium. thank you. [ applause ] >> thank you very much. senator paul it has been -- these few moments of friendship have been a wonderful thing. [ applause ] earlier this year, many leading
media professionals gathered to address what we saw as an emerging crisis in free expression. it wasn't just that the rights of the press were under assault in countries around the world, including our own, free expression itself was under threat. we wanted the circle advocates for free expression to widen. we needed more than media organizations to take up the cause. especially the broader business community. after all, free expression means more accountability, less corruption, the open exchange of ideas. so it gives me enormous pleasure this evening to recognize a business that has consistently taken a stand in favor of free expression for many years, twitter. twitter's present and future depend on the flow of ideas information and opinion.police pleased
that this award goes to twitter on an issue that was the heart covered by "the washington post." in service of the surveillance system the government has compelled large technology providers, including microsoft google, gentleman hugh yahoo! aol to turn over private data. it touch off debate about the proper balance between national security and individual privacy. as the aclu and human rights watch have noted surveillance carries profound implications for press freedom, the public's right to information and the right to counsel. in the subsequent furor over those disclosures, many technology companies sought to tell the public more.
they wanted to reveal statistics on broader law enforcement requests than they were publishing. the department of justice resisted. it ultimately agreed to allow pub publication of certain requests even as it continued to insist on a number of restrictions. twitter, however, felt the compromise did not go far enough. it did not join in the settlement. it wanted to be still more forthcoming. to describe government requests in more informative detail and to say openly whether it had received no requests of a certain type. the government did not consent. so twitter sued in federal court arguing that its first amendment rights were being violated. twitter, the company said in its filing, is a unique service
built on trust and transparency. people, it said, expect to share information "without undue fear of government surveillance." the government prohibition, twitter argued, represented an unconstitutional prior restraint of free speech. and i'm proud to say that "the washington post" is among the media organizations that filed a friend of the court brief to support twitter. this is a battle that has just begun. but twitter has indicated that it's in this for the long hall. the great thing is that it is fighting and fighting hard. so it is now my honor to present the 2015 constitutional champion award to twitter, incorporated. accepting the award on twitter's behalf is collin, croll twitter's vice president of public policy. [ applause ]
>> thank you very much marty. thank you, jenny sloan and the constitution project. it is with deep appreciation and gratitude for the work that the constitution project does that day in and day out year after year, in protecting civil liberties that twitter accepts this award. i'm here to accept the award on behalf of my colleagues at twitter. it's also a special honor for us
to be recognized for these issues along with senator paul and with senator leahy as well. senator paul has been a vocal advocate of constitutionally protected freedoms. and as he just shared with all of us, he, too, is in it for the long haul in protecting these freedoms and has been quite active also on our platform and participated in a twitter q and a. and senator leahy has an unparalleled record of defending civil liberties from his position in the senate and the senate judiciary committee. and twitter proactively supported senator leahy's legislation, the usa freedom act, in the last congress and we will be back along with our sister companies as part of the reform government surveillance coalition and actively involved
families to far away loved ones, neighbors to each other in times of crisis and just about every combination is kie verse as the community itself. twitter users have the power to make their own experience but they are also exposed to the ideas and perspectives of others. one of the wonderful things about twitter is often a discovery engine for our users. you will find content on there
that you might not otherwise run into or expect to find. so a person's time line can be filled with inspiring content and searing commentary. it can be filled with breaking news. twitter is often an important window into breaking news around the world. for journalists and activists and individual citizens it's a medium that bares witness to history and also bares witness to aprosty. that is something that's an important feature of the platform platform. so like the rest of the internet twitter has seen posted content of painful content, natural disasters, tear tearerist,tear er iftterrorism, government repression repression.
it's a place where people can find connectedness, find information, conversation and where empathy can be shared. so the key thing in thinking about that for us at twitter is to recognize that our role is the provider of this open platform for free expression is to recognize that that speech is not our own. that speech is the speech of our users. and so -- as the public sharing of the thoughts and opinions of those who come to twitter seeking to share such content with the world, it's precisely because it's not our own content that we feel that we have a duty to respect and defend those voices. and to allow our platform to be a place and remain a place where users can discuss whatever they want, whether we agree with it or not. whether we agree with what they're saying agree with their perspective, the platform is open.
the platform in any debate is neutral. the platform doesn't take sides. so that openness that instantaneous connection to ideas and perspectives and breaking news events is something that we are continually working on to innovate on and protect, improve and enhance as a user experience on the platform. why would we care about government surveillance and privacy issues here in washington? and beyond. it's because these issues now go to the heart of what twitter is all about. it reflects an interest in our core values as a company, as a collection of individuals who are working at twitter. but it is also something that reflects the fact that twitter itself is compelling because our users' voices make it compelling. for that reason, defending and respecting the user's voice has been a core value and animates
our efforts around freedom of expression. we also believe that the work we do to defend and respect the user's voice is an important part of what brings people to twitter instead of perhaps going to some other platforms. as a result, for us, it's not only good ethical practice but we believe it's good business practice. it's a good business plan for us. so our efforts to reform government surveillance practices and provide greater transparency stem from this core understanding of our business and our platform. one of the great things i love about the company and drew me to the company to work for was that it has always been willing to put its money, time resources, employee efforts and basically put its mouth, its tweets and people and resources where these issues come to the fore.
some of this occurs on work you will never hear about. some of this work will be on things like pushing back on a warrant or noticing a user about a subpoena request for their user information and providing links to resources so they can seek pro bono counsel. some of this work is public but often doesn't get a lot of coverage. things like resisting production and fighting motions to compel user data from plaintiffs trying to identify a twitter user using a pseudonym who may have been sharing personal commentary or opinion about a ceo or some controlling authority, a politician somewhere in the world. so those are things that are important to twitter and for things that we work on. and some of you have already heard and have about referenced here the lawsuit twitter versus holder. our deputy general counsel
explained, it's our belief that we are entitled under the first amendment to respond to our users' concerns and to the statements of the u.s. government officials by providing information about the scope of u.s. government surveillance, including what types of legal process have not been received. and we should be free to do this in a meaningful way rather than in broad, inexact ranges. so our lawsuit continues. we're committed to seeing it through. the next step will be a hearing on may 5th on the government's motion to dismiss parts of the case. and we have appreciated the outpouring of support that we have received here through amica's efforts and the washington washington post, the electronic frontier foundation and many
others who agree that this issue concerns core first amendment. we appreciate the opportunity to take those issues and challenges and concerns to the northern district of california. even as we continue our court proceeding we will be engaged here in washington. there's a lot going on on these issues here this spring. we will continue to build our business in a way that makes us proud and constantly reaffirm our commitment to defending and respecting the user's voice. i had mentioned at the beginning that i was accepting this award on behalf of my colleagues. i wanted to just by name mention several of them. viga gati colleagues on the legal end, trust and safety in california, dell harvey, ben lee, ammie keating as well as the team -- the twitter team in
washington who are here at the event, will cardie mary ann, lou wexler are here as well. i wanted to acknowledge them, their work and recognize that this is a company-wide commitment to these issues. again, i thank jenny sloan and the constitution, marty for the introduction introduction. thank you all very much. [ applause ] >> we're almost done. i'm chair of the board for tcp. my job is to thank all of you for coming tonight to support their work and to support our three honorees this evening. once again, our friends at jones day have arranged for a fabulous
venue and great weather. the thing that i like most about this event is that as jenny and her team at the constitution project do in all of their work, they bring together people from across the spectrum and find agreement. and the remarks you heard tonight from our three honorees are just a perfect illustration of the type of things that the tcp does and what they stand for. so it's been a wonderful evening. i want to make sure to thank all of our sponsors who helped make this event happen. everyone who turned out for this lovely evening. and as you come away from this, first of all, don't forget to stop and have some gelafo fgelato.
as you think about what you heard from senator leahy and senator paul and collin, remember these issues affect all americans. senator paul said that a lot of what you think about in the bill of rights and criminal justice reform is for the downtrodden. but the work in terms of protecting privacy and those subpoenas to mr. verizon and to twitter certainly affect all of us. i don't use twitter. i'm sorry. my kids do. so it aaffectffects our kids. we should care about this. it's fantastic there's an organization here in washington like the constitution project that brings people together to address these issues. the last thing i have to do before i thank you and bid you good evening is remind you, tcp can't do this without your help. obviously, the folks who sponsor, who bought tickets
tonight, people who respond to the campaigns throughout the year the foundations that support tcp help make this happen. i would ask you, there's an envelope you got on your way in. you can put something in it on the way out or stick it in the mail. please do what you can to help tcp and for all of the lawyers in the room, i know there's plenty of you here, we're always looking for volunteers to help with our work. please reach out. thank you all. have a great evening. [ applause ] >> the house oversight and government reform committee is in recess so members can attend
the joint congress to hear from the japanese prime minister. the committee is investigating the recent gyro-copter landing on capitol hill. the faa administrator and other officials will be testifying. secretary of state john kerry recently discussed the need for trade policy to impact the global economy. and address key issues like nuclear proliferation and combating violent extremist. he spoke at an event hosted by the atlanta council. this is about an hour. >> good morning. take your seats. here about to we're about to get started. can you hear me? is that all right? do we need more volume? we're all right? all right. good morning, everyone. i'm fred kemp. you are all joining us for what
i hope will be a historic moment. secretary of state john kerry will be joining us at 10:00 a.m. this morning to provide kie noteeynote remarks for the launch of our new trade and national security initiative. we're also building a business coalition for trade and security to help highlight the geopolitical implications of the obama administration's ambitious global trade agenda to draw attention not just to the benefits of action but to the costs of inaction and failure. and so any of you who are interested in getting more information on that please contact me and my office directly. the secretary will discuss the vital importance of trade in securing the fru turuture of u.s. leadership in the world, making stronger partners of our allies and strengthening their
economies which helps us here at home. american leaders have understood the strategic logic of trade at least since franklin roosevelt signed the trade agreement act of 1934. which through its five years ultimately included 19 trade agreements. don't forget what a historic moment that was in the history of the 20th century. many years in a world war later, president kennedy called the trade program "an expression of america's free world leadership." president kennedy made a lot of news around the world in 1963 with his speech as he stood up for the defense of free west berlin. less remembered was his speech the same week a bit earlier at the st. paul's church in frankfurt where he talked about the equally vital need for an economic alliance. it almost sounded like a call
for an economic nato. said kennedy, "indeed economic cooperation is needed. throughout the entire free world by opening our markets to the developing countries of africa, asia and latin america by contributing our skills by stabilizing basic prices, we can lep help assure them freedom and growth." he ended this with, this is an atlantic responsibility. we gather at a moment of newed alan tick responsibility. the idea of trade being geo politically important isn't a particularly new one. but we do have an important new infliction point, which we here at the atlantic council -- i have said this often -- feel is as important as the end of world war i in 1919 the end of world war ii in 1945 and 1961 in berlin, the end of the cold war in 1989. what galvanizes our work as the
atlantic council is a conviction that each moment of history, it has been u.s. leadership among our friends and allies, or lack that has shaped the future. it is certain if we done lead others will fill the void as we have seen in ukraine and syria. they will be less benevolent. as you all know, president owebama likes basketball. he has referred to the last two years of his second term as the fourth quarter of his presidency. as the clock ticks down, he is making big bets on foreign policy front on iran in particular and cuba and elsewhere. yet for all the publicity, those efforts have gained, their completion would not do as much to shape a new world order and ensure its norms of behavior through this defining moment as the obama trade agenda. which could bring two-thirds of the world's economies under a set of strictures that are very friendly to what we have tried to create with our allies after
the end of world war ii. that's what we're here to discuss today. timing couldn't be better. while secretary kerry makes his arguments here u.s. here, u.s. trade representative michael fro man is in japan negotiating to close the remaining gaps on the transpacific partnership. and the u.s. and eu are hosting the ninth round of ttip talks in new york city. last week, a bipartisan trade promotion authority bill was introduced in the senate. republicans ted cruz and paul ryan endorsed it in "the wall street journal" yesterday. so with that scene set let me turn to a press of individuals who are uniquely qualified to talk about the connection between american economic strength and the place of these trade investment agreements and national security, and i'll also ask them to come to the stage as i introduce them. for our audience and online, we
welcome your participation in this dialogue. our twitter hash tag today is #actrade. so brief introductions. caroline atkinson for international economic affairs at the white house. no one better qualified to address these issues and provide insight into the obama administration's trade efforts. general jim jones -- and you can start making -- both of you, to the stage. chairman on international security and atlantic council board director, former national security adviser to barack obama, former supreme ally commander of europe, there is perhaps no one who has been a more consistent spokesman about the connection between national competitiveness and national security.
ambassador paula dobrianski, also a board director. she'll provide a republican view on this democratic president's legacy moment. and can give us insight into how the trade initiative is being viewed from the other side of the aisle. in many ways it was midterm elections. this is the one legacy moment that gets made easier by the last midterm elections rather than harder. she served as undersecretary of state for democracy and global affairs. and we're delighted to be joined by australia's ambassador to the u.s. kim beazley representing an allied nation with whom we already have a free trade agreement and a key partner in the transpacific partnership. he's a road scholar, former deputy prime minister, so he can bring all those to bear and former prominent member of the australian parliament. so let me sit down and get this
conversation going. the panelists don't have prepared comments, so what i'll do is i'll ask them questions down the line, but just to make it as informal as possible, if you see even in this opening round that one of the speakers has said something you'd like to comment on feel free to jump in and we'll do it in a little less formal of a fashion. so for caroline, you know, how much of a legacy moment is this for the president see this in the context of everything else he's trying to get done in the world, and how are you going to get democratic members of congress to give you the backing you need to get it through? because i think i'm right, but that's more of a question at the moment than it is republicans. >> well, thank you very much, fred. and i want to say even though these are not formal remarks thanks for your leadership in having this session, and with all these terrific panel
members. i believe this is a really important moment of course for the president and the president's legacy, but more important for america and american leadership around the world. this notion of -- that you expressed of trade that will link allies and partners covering 2/3 of global gdp, not just through market access but with setting standards by which trade will be conducted in this enormous area, first in asia, the fastest growing region in the world, and then with europe with our allies. it is really an important moment both for our economy because it will be good for american workers and companies, and others and consumers. but also for our leadership in the world. you mentioned about democrats, and you pointed out at the beginning that there was a bipartisan bill introduced last week.
overnight, the senate finance committee reported out a mark-up of tpa along with some other bills, with a 20-6 majority, which is very strong. >> congratulations. >> thank you. >> i know many people are working very hard on this. including, of course, the president. so i think we've seen the president's leadership. he has been very clear very much out there arguing for why this is a good deal for america. it's also very important for everybody in america and for our allies and partners. >> so talk to me a little bit more about that bill and then we'll get into the geopolitical arguments. if you look at the 20/6 vote obviously that's not a vote for tpp, it's a vote for tpa. what will be harder in the tpp, the transpacific partnership. who does one have to convince and what do you think are the most important arguments, both for people, for workers of america, and how -- it's very
interesting. most often administrations make economic arguments around trade. we're talking now about national security arguments, geopolitical arguments. talk about how -- you know, who needs to be convinced what are the questions about tpp that need to be satisfied, and how does the geopolitical argument work? >> i think the first argument is an economic one. so people need to be satisfied that tpp will be good for america, and will be good for american workers and american families. we believe and the president believes that it will be. we know that exports support in our economy 11 million jobs. we know that export growth has accounted for 1/3 of the growth that we've had since the crisis in 2009. and research shows that jobs supported by exports tend to be better paid than other jobs by as much as 18% more than other
jobs. so all of these elements are ones that are very good for american families. beyond that, the tpp itself includes not just market access, but a wide range of so-called disciplines that will spread from our values and our standards on labor, labor rights on the environment on protection of intellectual property, which helps to promote the innovation that makes the american economy so strong and many other areas that will make it much more than an ordinary trade agreement. my colleague michael froman always refers to it as a 21st century agreement, setting norms for the 21st century. and it's also being referred to as, you know a progressive trade agreement in the sense that it supports american values. so the economic argument americans need to be convinced that this is good for them, and actually recent polling suggests
that a majority of americans do believe that exports are good for them and that trade can be good for them. but, of course, there is a lot of concern about globalization, stagnant wages. those concerns are very real. which is partly why we need to make sure that we are in the lead establishing a level playing field. we believe once you've got that level playing field through these rules, america can do well and can, you know, beat the other countries in terms of being able to sell our goods. on the geostrategic first of all, our economic strength and leadership is an attractiveness the products that we make and sell, the openness of our economy. kim was speaking earlier about how much american investment in asia, all of these aspects of our economy help to build our partnerships with other
carriers and tpp. and that's kind of frivolous, but an underlying serious question, you gave a speech to the national defense industry -- industrial association, where you said that the administration should broaden the national security council's role to emcompass more matters. are we just not looking comprehensively enough at first how we define national security, and how we use our national security tools and so -- and this i think grabs nicely off of the aircraft carrier tpp values. >> i think this is really an exciting time. and i'm fully enthusiastic about what the administration's trying to do here. i think we have a great u.s. trade rep in mike froman and i think the secretary's use of global diplomacy or commercial diplomacy is one of the