tv Politics Public Policy Today CSPAN June 22, 2015 11:00am-1:01pm EDT
influence then that needs to be really carefully considered. i think there are a set of policy tols that an office like that can be given. they can be mandate td certain kind of roles and access. not in an investigation kind of way but in a what they need kind of a way. they can be mandated to have clearance functions of various types. if the office objects to something, it goes up a level. >> security clearance. >> oh, no no, no. >> sec kurnt clearance is different. i am talking about clearance within an executive secretarial kind of functionality sometimes it is called coordination but clearance. they can be off the rise to do some of the kind of things that alice was talking about where this is for the commitment rather than the influence idea, where they have a set of fairly
structured interactions with folks who share the assigned commitment to keep it this there and salient for them. it is very easy to be in the i.c. you walk into a building that nobody else can come into and you do all of your work in this this skiff. it is very easy to get clientitis. it is very easy. if you think of these offices as boundary spanning, it is part of their role to have significant engagement with civil liberty advocates and bring their views into the agency in ways that can be managed and in other ways too. if offices like that hire from civil liberties organizations to the extent they can or if they share a cross government, that's
another way of reinforcing it. you are trying to create a reference set for people inside offices where most of their colleagues are assigned to a different mission. it is very important to always keep your mind and really think fairly strategically about influence and commitment all the time. how can we reinforce that? >> we have a wonderful article on that that you should wear. what's that called? >> the one about i i.c. is called intelligence, legalism and the national security. >> the other one, the offices of goodness? >> influence without authority in federal agencies. that's what it is called. influence without authority. >> it's quite optimistic by the way it sounds. >> it is. it says it is possible to have influence without authority. so i think that that needs to be really considered no fooling in the statutes.
>> what do you think, alex? you are in this role now? what are the gaps that you perceive? what could be done to make you more effective, to make your job -- more effective at your jobs? what tools would be helpful? >> i have to think about that one. it's a very complicated ecosystem to use her term. there is a lot of players, a lot of different moving parts and people focusing on different aspects of the herbissue. that complexity is something we have to manage. there are a couple of ways going about it. one is cut through it, impli phi it impose a new structure this is too complicated, figure out a new way to do it. the other is to recognize that complexity exists and it serves important purposes. it is good our offices are different, good i am different from the lawyers. i am not the intelligence person doing the job. how do you carry out all of the
work we have to carry out? how do you find where to maintainle balance, objection of privacy and civil liberties? it is complicated legally and the oversight structure is complicated. one answer some people tend to have is let's create a new entity, let's create something new. that's fine. we support the idea of an adversarial voice to bring diversity to the court. let's think through what would be -- it would be very helpful personally if people thought through what are the downstream impli case implications. they are going to have to have secure staff and think through all of these issues. that's an example. how are they going to interrelate with all the different players? if we could have greater recognition of all of the moving parts when people start proposing different things that would be very helpful to me. when people enact a new rule, if
it was a clear statement of what the rules should be that would also be very helpful. >> it depends on what the lawyers do. >> people should recognize the resource constraints. if we can do additional layers of reporting, the transparency efforts that i am currently looking on is important and good. it is competing in a world of limited budgets with otherv priorities. we are going to have to tax the people. that may be well and good. i want people to recognize that that's the downstream effect. we are going to have to make sure the resources are appropriately allocated and other people working on these oversight efforts which is what i think is certainly fine. i am happy getting more staff and other people getting more staff. it's either the total pie goes up or a limited pie and those resources get shoveleduffled.
to me, what would be more helpful is greater recognition of all of those issues as we go forward. >> did you want to speak to this? what would make your job easier? >> obviously the access ish yis and not only the legal issues and having that resolved and being able to move forward an get records without lawyers jump ping p ing in with all the legal objections, timely access to records, getting them promptly. if that means us having to get direct access to records, as more and more systems are now electronic, we have to think of ways to get access in a more timely fashion so we can do our work more timely. there is nothing more debilitating to our staff to do the work and plow ahead and ask the hard questions and not be able to get the records so they can ask those kind of questions. resources are an issue. we have 450 people in our oig. that sounds leak a lot. the justice department has 100,000 plus employees a $28
billion budget or so. we look at everything within the department or almost everything within the department. there are always resource constraints, always resource issues for us. i think the other thing is, we try very hard to follow up on our recommendations, not just put them out there. the reason you see the next reports, all the other follow-up will be done not only in national security but all the other areas we do those so people don't forget and the fbi and others know we continue to watch over them. having the follow-up that occurs with oversight hearings in congress, whether there is follow-up through the administration. that would be very helpful for us. finally, there is the bill in the congress in both the senate and the house. that would give us testimonial authority, much leak we have
documentaries. i think that would be something that would help us with former employees who we can no longer reach if they retire or leave just before the question. >> what if anything, could be done about the herbissue of getting it classified in a more timely way? >> that's a very significant question. one of the challenges we face is we don't have the authority to be classified. it goes through the intelligence community. usually -- frequently our reports touch on agencies beyond the fbi. we are not only dealing with the fbi but other intelligence community agencies over which we are no the intechspector general. it doesn't help us often. we have that relationship with them and we work with them and sit with them in the sense. i say work with them. trying to get these through classified. the biggest challenge we have in this area is often getting the -- getting to the final
stage. it is an iterative process and there is an effort to be a negotiation and it is not going to be a negotiation from our standpoint. we try to take an approach of what we think should be classified and what we end up with oftentimes the first version coming back to us of proposed declassification being classified at a higher level than some of our earlier reports. and then us having to be the ones that go back martial the evidence, martial the information and say, by the way, did you know that the c.i.a. director or the dni or the fbi director or others testified about the following. here is what's already out there. or here is what's been reported publicly and it is that process
that takes months, if not, over a year. >> there needs to be and we've been talking about the leadership at the department about how we can move this along better. this cannot continue. >> i'm going to interpret the mood lighting as a sign that i should move on to questions from the audience. i do now that david medina is still here. i did want to give you the opportunity if you would like to talk a little bit. i consider you and we have three branches of government. you are closer to internal oversight than to congressional or legislative oversight even though you are an independent office. what can you tell us about your experience? open-ended, whatever you have in mind. one thing i thought i might address is the point you raised between the relationship between oversight and advice. we have both of those mandates and as alec has said, hopefully
our advice is val krubl to the agencies as they develop new programs. we also, as margo said, we have something in our statute that requires us to notify congress if an agency comes to us with a proposal and we say don't do it. they do it anyway. oversight is proactive. we can oversee whatever we want. advice is reactive. they have to come to us seek it. we have to create an atmosphere where they are going to want to come to us. we are working out that dynamic. where we are going to end up is just because we give advice doesn't mean we can't do oversight on that same area, that same project. the thing we would not do oversight on is why didn't you follow our good advice? the oversight will be looking at the law and policy and so forth. did you end up with a good solution despite our advice? hopefully, consistent with our advice? its it is a challenge to have both functions. as we develop we can provide
value on both sides. >> any questions? people in the front and in the back. steve winters. i wondered if the panel felt there were any lessons that could be drawn from this couple of decades of experience with the freedom of information act. there is a law school here in d.c. that has very good programs and i am tracing how that works in practice or doesn't work in practice. there, you have this sort of internal situation too, because each department has to have a point of foia compliance officer. apparently, the experience is that some branches of government just don't like to respond to these things particularly well. you get a very bad experience and others are much more forthcoming for whatever reason. so is there any lessons to be drawn from there. that program probably hasn't
worked out as originally conceived. >> i think that the foia system is a really important part of -- i keep calling this an ecology or an ecosystem. i think it is a really important part in a few different ways. one, it enables the public to be a part of the system where otherwise you would have to sue somebody. you already have to sue them because you have to sue them to get them to answer the foia request. it is a very different kind of lawsuit. a function where in the closed world of the i.c. which used to be more closed, is left closed now. just a couple of weeks ago, the cia/ag guidelines were released under 12333. that's pretty cool. that means people can read them and then say, hey we think those are great in these three respects but kind of pathetic in these other ones. wouldn't it be a good idea,
since you are redrafting them everybody, because everybody is on the cia or everybody is on everybody to redraft the guidelines. wouldn't it be good to change them in this way? >> it enables the public conversation from foia that couldn't happen. the foia stuff interacts with these internal offices that is interesting. one of the most interested sets of foia materials are the iob reports. >> intelligence oversight reports. >> which are pretty much all available. >> can you tell people what those are? >> i get this wrong sometimes. inside the iob is inside the executive office of the president. there es ais a set of reports that are both routine and reactive both that have to go to the iob. various kinds of noncompliance, not with fisa so much as with 12 trim 3. some of those go to the iob and
those reports have before foiaed. there is a lot of information in them. it is an internal oversight office that generates the material which then gets released into the public by way of foia. that's a really important dynamic. >> i think your point is that it is not working very well right? sorry. go ahead, alex. >> in some ways you should ask that question to the people submitting the foia request. foia is an essential part of how we are dealing with enhancing transparency. it is particularly enhancing for the intelligence community. we have been working very closely with foia officers in trying to figure out how to manage their set of issues and also working with external open government folks. we are going to want to doñm3 that some more. but there is a couple things about foia that i think are important to understand. one is that it is a forcing mechanism. that's good and bad in terms of from the inside how you manage your own priorities.
your priorities are being set by litigation deadlines which are coming in because of whatever foia request is the first in the cue and the first in the court. with limited resources, you are on something of a treadmill to answer the next foia litigation. when i come in and say, wouldn't it be great if we had greater transparency. that's fine, alex, as long as you take care of these foia requests in our cue. those foia requests have increased post in the last couple of years as you can well imagine. that cue has grown longer and the people are running harder and harder to release those documents. the other thing about foia is that you look for records. you look for government documentation that already exists. i can't create an explanation that i think would be transparent and understandable. as a result, you get a lot ofwa> technical documents redacted text inside of them. they can be very difficult to understand in context and oftentimes, the foia requester is a particular researcher or subject matter expert. they may understand it because
it fits within all the other prior releases. if it is posted for the general public, it is hard to make sense of this. it is a document in isolation. it is an essential part of what we need to do for transparency. not enough. we have to figure out ways to better explain ourselves with context and in the manner that is more understandable to the public. >> i don't know whether to call on who. you guys take turns down here down in front. you guys have a microphone? >> go ahead and i can translate. >> there is somebody who has a mike up there. >> okay, down here, please. >> sorry, iy realize you had a mike. >> could i ask the panel how they would respond to the previous panel in which a case of agency abuse was very
graphically described? how would you help her? >> we are talking about the first panel of the morning where diane mourk was speaking. were you folks? >> yeah. i know you weren't there. anybody who is here want to talk about that? >> when somebody has a concern about the legality ar the appropriateness of the program it is essential we have a mechanism in place. i am not speaking specifically about that situation. i am no the trying to address the specific facts. i am going to give it a more general answer. it is really important for us to put in place trusted mechanisms that employees can rely on to bring their concerns to the appropriate folks. the two things we are focusing on internally are making sure people understand what those trusted mechanisms are and
making sure we have safeguards to protect that employee from possible retributed acts. i'm not saying that is working perfectly. there are challenges in making sure that works correctly. i also think it is important to understand that in some okay cases if the person who is the best person to receive the information, the concern of the employee, already has, already knows the program and has approved of the program it is unlikely that that person is going to change his or her mind. so the other avenue we are going to be pursuing is to what extent can transparency help in that rar. to regard. to what extent can an employee request that this information be made publicf through authorized channels. there is a mechanism the executive order for declassification review the executive order on
classification. we are looking at that, exploring that. is there a way we can streamline that process so that an employee who has a concern and says, i want this to be transparent. i understand all the people involved have reviewed and approved it. i think the american people should hear about it. to what extent can we put in a declassification review. >> hi. i'm a student here studying international relations in the master's program. i would be curious to know if any of you in your research or your own work or maybe by looking at other countries and trying to look at this comparatively, have you ever seen another country that strikes a better balance, in your opinion, between civil liberties and securities thats ha a wonderful security situation in terms of homeland security but at more expense of civil lynniberties in terms of strengthening oversight and maybe you could talk about that country or a group of countries and how that can be a model of
something that america can aspire to? >> i think it would be lovely if there were a country out there from which we could learn how to strike that balance better and there may well be countries that in their operations strike it better. i don't really know how i would know that honestly. i don't know how any of us would know that. but, i don't think there are countries that are experimenting more than we are with the oversight mechanisms. when you talk to people from other countries we have all been talking about the failings of our system. they are somewhat astounded at the levels and variation of oversight. so, no. the answer is no. >> we know less about the other side. i suspect there are no countries experimenting more with methods of surveillance than ours is
the, not breth of surveillance or whether human rights are protected but in terms of surveillance to conduct surveillance to build back doors and that kind of thing. i think my understanding is that the intelligence community in the united states is a better resource than the intelligence agencies of all the rest of the world combined. it is a little bit of apples and oranges sometimes when you try to compare to other countries. i realize that question was not necessarily posed to me. let's see. there are lots of folks with their hands up. back there with the peach shirt, orange. >> i'm lara bell. i'm at the state department. so i work with some of these guys and i agree with your answer to the last question. comparative surveillance laos es something i am looking into and studying. i have found none better. would i say germany is fairly comparable. germany's laws were somewhat inspired by ours starting with the national security act of 1947. the question i wanted to ask, because we can always make ours better, with regard to internal oversight, we have talked a lot
about the challenges of oversight with respect to the need to handle classified information reresponsible i believely. nobody has drilled down on the substantial differences in handlely required for top secret versus secret. this is something i run into. i am a person who is normally part of these policy deliberations if there is going to be a broad-based policy deliberation. it has to be somewhat broad. i have a top secret clearance. i have had one for many years. i have two computers at my desk. one i can process information from unclassified up to sbu. i can e-mail alex and he with can exchange ideas and stuff. i can switch over to the other computer and go up to secret but if i want to process top secret information, i can't do that electronically. you have to be on the j-wick system to do that. if i want to handle top-secret information, i have to keep it in a special safe. i can only discuss it in a special room. i am often going over to inr, which is our intelligence
bureau. maybe you have a weekly reading sentence and they will bring out a few hard copy things of interest to you and most are real will i boring. if you happen to take notes, you have to leave the notes in the room. to what degree does that create a sort of separate ecosystem for policy deliberation. to what degree does that present a challenge for oversight? if you are going to set up a bunch of people to play an adversarial role handling top secret information it is more logistically challenging than you might even think. >> so one of the lessons from 9/11 was that we needed to share information better across the intelligence community with other government agencies. we have been working very hard on that. one of the initiatives under that is to write things to a lower level of classification so that more people can see it.
now, that doesn't mean that that happens on a regular basis and also what could happen is you could have one paragraph in a larger document that is top see krelt secret as you pointed out. that means that entire document has to stay in the appropriate and accredited system for that document. hopefully, one of the things we will work on and certainly would help address that is to really take another look at these existing policies we have for information sharing and find new ways to make sure that people are actually implementing those policies so that the situation you described doesn't come up as often. we have to recognize that people talked about secrecy and overclassification. with we have to keep secrets and do it appropriately. it is human nature to try to avoid risk. the risk that i think someone else mentioned is a risk of not properly classifying a document could mean you could have given away a secret.
that's a big problem. all the issues in other forms would come about. there is a natural human tendency to air on the side that you are talking about. there is a legal reason. if i'm trying to protect this as the core secret and i give everybody information all around in this particular area, the large circle except for that hole, it is more likely that an adversary will infer what your secret is. therefore, there has been a strategy and an approach. it is evidenced by glomar can't confirm or deny a range of activities to prevent that gaming on the adversary is to infer that. that is something we are also going to have to address. the bottom line is that it's an important issue. we have to figure out how to find ways to appropriately
classify the information. >> i just want to add one thing. this is the benefit of the internal oversight technique. the benefit is that you get everybody properly cleared. you give them access to the sciff. you put their desk in the sciff and then they can do their job in the right environment. one of the really major obstacles to congressional oversight is the sort of only in a sciff, only in person. you can't bring any staff. you can't take any notes. you can't. all of those can'ts are really inconsistent with the way members of congress actually function. they are not inconsistent with the way that people in executive agencies function. people in executive agencies work in buildings with no windows without strenuous complaints. actually, you can do a top secret sci kind of environment and still have internal offices. i actually think it is one of the reasons that there has been
this push on creating such offices rather than being a disadvantage. >> there is no need to know issues, no issues with internal overseers being told they don't have a need to know and can't be read into. >> i wouldn't say no need to know. i would just say it is manageable. >> the irony of the access issues we have had beginning in 2010, we have had access to among the most sensitive documents in the fbi. we did the post 9/11 review. we did the president's surveillance program review, which, at the time was among the most classified programs in government. we had a skiff. we have a skiff near my office. we have a skiff where the lawyers are that have done these reviews. we have access to the records. that's not the challenge. that isn't necessarily. it is an inconvenience. it can delay things. it can cause other issues. it is not really a core problem that we have. >> we have time for one more question. i want to ask somebody who hasn't had a chance to speak
yet. okay. sir. >> thanks so much for this panel. i have a lot of pressure now, because i have the last question. i really enjoy sort of hearing a bit about the different, frankly, the different models represented on the panel and with david in terms of executive internal oversight and she referenced a phrase institutional design. i guess my question would be or i ask you to imagine you have a magic wand and based on your experience if you could share with us what you think are the core elements in terms of institutional design of a strong oversight mechanism for the executive. also based on your experience what are the sort of oversight mechanisms in your shop that have been set up that are
frankly challenges to being an effective internal oversight agency? >> for magic wand answers i defer to -- >> i think by setting it up as a magic wand it is too high a bar. there is no magic wand. that said, to my mind, some of the reviews that we know have been incredibly important areó those that have pushed back against government secrecy. in answering this at the level of how you do that, certain features, for instance independence, the idea that you do not need to go through the white house before you testify or submit your reports for clearance, those kind of elements. whistle blower protections. the whole basket of mechanisms that can improve transparency
are really crucial. for me that goes back to the fact that at the end of the day, we need -- congress supports the public to be more informed in order for them to have a role in setting what the rules ought to be in the first place. the one other thing i want to say is that i really feel that there is much more that public advocacy organizations rg civil rights transparency minded organizations on the outside can do. we have talked about the need for police patrol continuous oversight, not just fire alarm oversight. i think that requires as well to the civil rights advocacy community. to the extend that external organizations are watching g÷ continuously what the internal institutions are doing rather than just reacting when the cia i.g. steps down because of problems or so forth. i this that i level of external accountability all inf'ñ overseeers is incredil important. >> alex? >> we are watching you.
>> i want to know what barbara thinks. >> i agree with that. i this i that the closest thing there is to a magic wand is?p public discussion. are as much public awareness on the level of policy as we can create is good. then, the public, which is really4ql'áe channeled through organizations that developfo$ñ expertise and contacts and attention and so on, they can really pay attention to what, hopefully, are their allies within government and what those people are doing and hold them to account and hold their feet to the fire. the other thing that i would say is that we need to not allow the executive to substitute legality for virtue. i think that's really, really important. we need to -- when somebody stands up and says i don't know
why you are 6etá it was legal. you need to stand up and say, you didn't answer my question. maybe it wasn't legal. if it was legal, that doesn't mean it was good. we need as a public to hold the executive branch to account for doing the right thing not just legal thing. those two things are for me what i would say. >> just briefly, in terms of internal watchdog i think you have got independence, for example, my position. i can't be removed by the it attorney general. i can only be removed by the president. you have to have transparency. you have to be able to be transparent, which in some instances is harder for us than others. that is one of the principles we stand for and strive for and continually try to accomplish. we have an independent budget
line. we can't have our resources taken away from us. our budget line is separate from the department's budget line. in addition to access to information, as i mentioned, we need to mention whistle blowers. we haven't talked much about that. we need to have employees comfortable to come to us if they have concerns about how programs are operating, whether they are in compliance with the rules, regulations practices, whether they are being abused. that's something that is very important. we have worked very hard to do. before i got there, i have tried to redouble our efforts in that regard. it is very critical employees be willing and able to come to us. it is one of the advantages of being internal. if you look at study after study on individuals, employees, whether they are a nongovernment
agencies or government agencies, what you hear over and over again is they want to get it right within their organization. they want to go to their supervisor and get it right. if they can't have that happen, the next step if they keep going up the chain, they can always go to another2í#entity that's within2)vnp@ñ their organization that's independent but still isn't going outsigh.de. >> you have argued for stronger protections. >> we have argued forl: stronger7jx@;añ protections. >> alex, are you good? >> i will just say in my view, if i had4 i have time tod7z think aboute7ps it, we would have having more appropriate, more transparency with the caveat it bm3u appropriate while protecting secrets so that the public debate we are having here and we have been having over the last couple years continues and is better informed and focusedcq and nuanced on the things that we arew' actually doing or
considering doing rather than some speculation about what we might be doing. it is certainly appropriate to raise thoseimg!ñ concerns. i agree that the civil liberties advocacy engagement is important. we should make that very much an on going process so that we can have a better dialogue about what it is that we are currently doing and what the concerns are about those actions as opposed to speculation. >> i have gone a little overtime. we are not going to take a break before the next panel. i want to make sure you all know that. sorry to push you through. i want to thank the panelists for being here. >> we wanted to have one final panel again recognizing the important work of the staff in these instances of the church committee staff. basically, throw it out there
what we got right, what we got wrong. what did we miss and talk about and not talk about and do next. let me introduce you. first of all, judge paul michelle, the former assistant council to the church committee. one of the things about that, the year i have spent working with these incredible people, is how incredible their diversity of experience is. both before and after their church experience, church committee experience. he was an assistant watergate special prosecutor, worked in the integrity department of justice, nominated by president ronald reagan to the federal circuit court of appeals, became the chief judge in 2004 before hel½h finally retired in 2010. peter fadden he was the washington chief of staff. for senator frank church and founded and was executive director of the senator of
responsive politics, self-described operative political operative, and now runs fadden communications. patrick jay was the former assistant director to the church committees. has one of the most diverse careers. he was on the president's commission on aviation safety and security looking in after the twa 800 disaster. the national director for the bureau of land management and the deputy assistant secretary for land and minerals. thanks very much for participating. what did we get right? what did we get wrong? what do we do next? >> my submission is that the courts have a significant role in all of this along with all of the other actors providing oversight and guidance and policy input. to fight the court is not the
whole story. it is an important part. the improvements discussed here today would make it even better. i think there is a growing and very significant role for the regular courts as well. in the final analysis, legal rights are meaningless unless they are enforceable. that really means the courts have to be available and effective. i think that attitude of the judiciary, the level of understanding, the level of skepticism has changed mark edly just in the last year for all the obvious reasons of these dramatic disclosures of what was going on unbeknownst to all of them and all of the rest of the citizens of the country. so i think things like standing executive privilege, state sue credits, all these doctrines that have been used to avoid reaching the merits are losing
power and losing power fast. i predict the courts will do a much better job in the next few years than they have recently. with respect to dealing with secrets, courts have lots of experience. i, myself worked on a case involving stealth aircraft technology before the word stealth bomber ever entered the lexicon. we knew how to clear courtrooms and have classified storage devices and work with the defense department officials. the identify why that judges can't do it because it involves highly classified stuff i think is not really sound. now, to the extent that some level of specialization might be useful, there are about 1,000 federal trial judges and about almost 200 federal appellate judges. that's a lot. 94 districts in 50 states. there is some model that we could use if some degree of specialization was thought to be essential.
it was something called the temporary emergency court of appeals. which was staffed by regular judges from around the country on special assignment. somewhat like the fisa court. you could have that model used again. the biggest problem is the advance of technology specially electronic technology and its utilization by the intelligence community has been so rapid that the law has not kept up with it and lawsuits have not kept up with it. the fourth amendment obviously was written in a completely different tech lodgenological era. to my way of thinking, as valuable as the constitution bill of rights protections are, they are not really adequate because of this rapid, rapid advance of technology. it is advancing even more rapidly now than in recent
times. i think what's needed to make the courts more effective is for congress to define some red lines if we want to use that expression that intelligence agencies are not to cross with respect to analyzing data about americans that are not the target of founded concerns about being terrorists or criminals or whatever. if congress would do that, the effectiveness of the courts would rise even further. the core confidence of judges is they look at a law and a set of facts. they say, was it legal or was it not legal? they can't duck the issue. they have to decide the issue. they will decide the issue. if the law is clearer than the outcomes become more predictable, more consistent, fairer and more effective. that provides guidance for all the actors in the executive
branch and even help to the legislative branch. i think what we need is for congress to get in the game and to work, sort of in a tag team fashion with the courts. i also think that no one else can do it. you can't count on the executive to make a judgment for the whole society in a democracy in a republican form of government. only the congress is the legitimate person to assess these competing considerations and strike a balance. they are not perfect. nobody is perfect. they are the right people to do it. i hope that they will. i think that they are certainly moving in that direction. the last thing is we have talked a lot about some of the output of the church committee. there were a lot of statutory reforms that we haven't really talked about. for example, limiting the irs from being abused for political purposes. that was enacted in statutory form and so were some others.
there is more than can be done in that area as well. there was an effort to develop a charter for the fbi which was done cooperatively by the fbi and the justice department. it was mostly written by inspector john hotus and me. it got way down the track with approval from the carter administration, the attorney general, the director of the fbi. at the last stages it sort of got pulled from consideration. i think there is good potential to enact charters for the key agencies that would set a broad framework within which specific statutes, specific guidelines, specific oversight can take place and be more effective than it has been before. i also think there is a good role for guidelines. again, guidelines have to take place in a context. the context most broadly has to be set by congress in statutory form. that's the single biggest thing that we need to improve the
quality of the restraints on the intelligence community's activity. i actually think from having spent many years as a criminal investigator involving public corruption as you have heard na the intelligence agencies willtj r(t&háhp &hc% not only be able to observe.=ñ appropriate civil liberties,dçñ1ñ civil rights and privacy interests but will become more efficient and more effective against real terrorists if we move in this direction. it isñhiru not a question of give up safety so we can have privacy. you can have both but it takes smart laws and constant updating, because the whole ")&4v;ñ is a moving target. the technology is changing a mile a minute. congress has to get in the act. the courts need to step up. i think they are. i think8 &ó they will. like the congress there is sort of a special role of judges. they are appointed for life, nonpolitical. they are like monks in days of
old. they are very dependant, very attached. they are not emotionally wrought up in the dispute. they areable like all other humans. if you have to pick who should say this, there is no better alternative than federal judges. let us play our role and congress play their role, we can advance this very rapidly. >>s a federal law enforcement officer and fbi agent i agree with you entirely i never found bad guys by investigating people that were innocent. i think that's something that's missed in this. peter? >> first of all, my hat goes off to you and to the brennan center and to fritz and the whole staff. this has been an incredible day. you have done so much work to prepare for it. i now you are going to do a lot of work after it is over.
this is a public service, it has come with the right time even with us gray hairs up here trying to make sense of some of it. i come from the political, public side of this in addition to the time spent on the committee and the time spent in senator church's office. i have worked for three decades to elect candidates to office, failed with this fellow in utah but pat and i have been great buddies for a long, long time, even about have the church committee. so one of the things that concerns me a lot is how do you bring theil public into this? how do you move the ball down the field when you've got some very complicated issues.
when ia lot is very complicated and people haven't studied and thought it through. when you have elected officials that tend to act very quickly when push comes to shove and they may not make the best decisions on sunday when they vote on this. i wrote a column partly at your urging where i said, you know i think we have got get it right. i think it is really difficult when you pass the patriot act in the heat of passion and folks that are not terribly congress on these issues are making the decisions. there are two things that a lot of us have talked about. politically, i understand they are tough. folks should call for a new church committee in the congress made up of people on the intelligence xhiltties
intelligence committees, on the homeland security committees, people that have a real interest and passion for this subject and step back and look at it. at the same time, my view is and i expressed this in the white house, as a political consultant, somehow i get in there and i have said to folks, you should have a simpson bowles type composition to look at the intelligence committees and have subpoena power and solid, good people on it, folks in serious staff and we should begin to look at some of the request es that paul just laid out. we should look at what we need to do with the fisa act. we should look at what the roles of judges are and take a real good, hard look at what the executive does with i.g.s and with whistle blowers. if we are shutting down in this country, people who are concerned and have moral
questions about what are policies are, if they are looking and they can't come and say, you know we are torturing people overseas. they then we're in real trouble, because whenór] you're spending 70 to $80 billion including the military money, overacb1r 107,000 staff people in the intelligence field now, plus the folks out there who are the contractors and they're building this multi billion dollar facility again in thedc áupáe of utah to suck in all this information that they gather somebody who has questions shouldn't have to travel to russia and to let it all out. we should figure out a way to make these people not pariahs but folks who are doing their job. so, you know i'm not a waif and
i'm not a political idiot. the second church political committee isn't the easiest thing to get done or to have a presidential commission. but i hope that this -- if president doesn't do it, that the next president does and gets really serious about it. >> and i think that's why you're right, that it's the public education part that's so important and that we're trying to accomplish here with your help because once the public puts that pressure on the politicians, whether it's the executive branch or -- >> and i will tell you one thing about an hour ago i did an interview with steve scully from c-span the wonderful folks who are here taping this. and steve played for me about a two-minute bite from frank church from 1975 on "meet the press" and i'm sure will be on c-span. i thought to myself holy cow, he could have said that yesterday. talk about looking inward,
precisely your words about what's going to happen with our technology that it's getting greater and greater. and so -- i mean the public needs to think a good deal more about this. >> and we have a rethinking intelligence project that if they want to -- >> pro bono. i just do pro bono stuff anyway. >> patrick. >> mike, i hope that you will become the next director of the fbi. it would be refreshing. >> i don't think that's likely. >> in utah if i can help somebody, i say that i will oppose them. i do want to thank fritz and bill millie. fritz schwartz, he and i have not always have a harmonious relationship on the committee. >> pat you haven't had a harmonious relationship with your friends. he's irish, you know. >> peter helped me on the
campaign. the opening line running for governor is an irish catholic democrat in mormon utah. it's i'm from the government and i'm here to help you. in 1992, that got the same response as it would today, unfortunately. and i think just what happened to me the other day yesterday when i arrived. in 1969 it was the first year that i was here in washington working as an intern for senator moss, a democrat from utah. i landed at dulles a new airport at the time and kept thinking of john kennedy's ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country and martin luther king's statement, i have a dream, and there was this positive aspirational aspect to government. people believed that we could make a difference. the other day when i got into reagan airport, all i could hear was the "house of cards" theme music and i think that really captures what's happened in these 40 years.
we've let hollywood in many ways define what we considered to be political reality. and as a criticism of the intelligence community, i think they watch too many movies and don't get enough experience. some of the people that we worked with seymour bolton, seymour had been captured in the german war and put in a prisoner of war camp and organized it. senator church was an intelligence officer in china, so they had firsthand experience. and the idea in the 21st century that we have a war on terrorism which is an oxymoron to me is absolutely ridiculous. it needs to be and should have been in 2001 a police action. police are under better control than the military because ike eisenhower who's emerging as one of the my favorite presidents understood the power of the military industrial complex. when you're talking about billions of dollars and you're talking about political
apointies, i was presidential appointed, senate confirmed the average life is 18 months. i remember at alm where i got to deal with wild horses having a senior official whorãsupposedly reported to me looking at me and said, look, i'll be here long after you're gone so i'm not going to do that. so i think we need to think about an ecosystem but the problem i see with the ecosystem that has developed in the security state, it's a monoculture and in biology monocultures don't survive very long. they do come in and take over the landscape but they fail because there's a lack of diversity. each time i've worked in washington, and it's been seven different times, i've had a letter of resignation or had a conversation with peter where after i told one member of the committee that he was just not really with ?lxsit, senator church reminded me that's not a way a
staff person talks, i go back outside the potomac village and i think in the potomac village there are each of these tribes that are more interested and that's true in blm, in defending their turf against, for instance, the forest service or fish and wildlife service dod, cia, nsa, they're all sort of mixed together. and the other thing margo i don't know if you're still here, but the one thing i really would disagree with you on is more people in the pie. when i came to washington in '69, there were 2500 staff people in the senate. today there are over 10,000. in the house there were 10,000. there are now over 30,000. and the 10,000 included the library of congress. so we've had this explosion of staff on the congress side. i would suggest to you with all due respect, your honor i do agree that the courts of a very good place to adjudicate conflict, but you need to have a congress that's going to be a
congress. and i don't think -- i mean the joke when i was in blm was that there's no one system now, it's an appropriation process. the authorization committees don't matter but the appropriators, man, you kiss their ring because they control your budget. so the only place i do want to talk specifically about the church committee is i think we had a unique opportunity and i think we took maybe three-quarters of that opportunity. we did prove to the public that there were abuses that were going on whether it was assassinating foreign leaders, nsa probes. but what we didn't do in my judgment which was a missed opportunity was set up a predictable budgetary process and make sure that the chain of command was traceable. because we concede even today that the agencies are so good at fluffing over things, that who's responsible for spending those dollars or who's going to be accountable. the cia, walt elder was a
historian. every time there was a covert operation, he had to write up a history report where he interviewed the people there and determine whether they were successful or unsuccessful. and i think that kind of accountability first internal to the executive branch and then in some way reviewable by an independent body. i think since citizens united, i'm not convinced congress is going to be independent because the money interest -- when i ran for the senate against orrin hatch and i ran on the bus theory, he had to get hit by a bus before i'd get alektdelected, but when somebody hands you a check for $10,000 or $20,000, it's not because they like your curly hair or your irish demeanor, it's because they want something out of you. and now that there's unlimited spending and unfortunately peter makes good money off of this -- >> pro bono now.
>> it's a system that is broken and we need to have some accountability. but finally, the most important thing is i teach at the university of utah. and it's interesting to me to see, i've been teaching for 35 years now how events that were very real in my life, watergate, for instance, the impeachment of president nixon are now as relative to my students as world war i was to me when i was their age. and you could ask me at their age what i thought about world war i and i could give you some very general ideas. we're failing in transferring the sense of responsibility, and some people ñ
to do the right thing and want their agencies to be effective and efficient. and we have to figure a way to empower them and to make sure that they're able to work within the system so it can work well. and the commitment of this group of people for over 40 years now is inspirational. thanks very much for the work that you've put in and continue to put in. and i'm going to continue calling you. so thanks very much to the church committee staff. >> and fritz schwartz and bill miller, if you wouldn't mind standing and taking a -- [ applause ]
and of course thanks to vice president mondale and senator hart for coming this morning. that was a terrific addition to the program. thanks to all of you for coming and thanks to c-span. good night, everyone. tonight on "the communicators," co-chair of the congressional privacy caucus, texas republican representative joe barton on the recent fcc regulation rules and the issues with privacy and cyber security. >> you've got the basic
principle whose information is it. is it automatically in the public domain because i choose to use a mobile app and we know that the way these things work, they go into the cloud and all that? or can i use it and still have a reasonable expectation of personal privacy? if you take the latter view that it is personal, that changes the way you regulate and the way you legislate. if you take the position that i am by act of being a part of, by participating, by using the app i am foregoing my individual right to privacy, that's a different issue in its entirety.
here at the woodrow wilson center in washington. senator murphy is on the counterterrorism subcommittee. he's expected to when he arrives propose a u.s. foreign policy overhaul and that would include making climate change a larger part of the broader debate. this is live coverage on c-span 3. it's expected to start in just a moment.(n-
again we're live at the wilson center here in washington awaiting comments from senate foreign relations subcommittee member, senator patrick murphy of connecticut. he's the ranking member on that subcommittee and he'll take a look at overhauling foreign policy, including climate change as a part of the wider debate. this is getting under way live here on c-span 3.
good afternoon, everyone. welcome to the woodrow wilson center. we're very pleased to have senator murphy here with us today. i'm andrew sealy, executive vice president of the woodrow wilson center. the wilson center, as you know, is both a trusted platform, a trusted space for nonpartisan dialogue on global issues as well as a place that does a great deal of issue on global issues, regional issues, issues of science and technology, of population environment, women's leadership and many other areas. we're very delighted to have senator murphy with us today. in the past couple of weeks alone, we've had the pleasure of hosting many of his colleagues from the hill. this is actually a rather unusual number from both parties, including senator john cornyn who was here last week, senator bob corker was here a couple of weeks ago, chairman ed royce was here a week ago as well and congress mal henry convey aur and will hurd were here last night. i'll introduce the senator second. aaron david miller is our
moderator today and will ask a few questions as well. he is the vice president for newer initiatives here at the wilson center and a distinguished scholar. he served previously in the state department as advisor to republican and democratic secretaries of state where he helped formulate policy in the middle east and most recently is the senior advisor for arab-israeli negotiations. he is the author of a number of books and most recently and i forgot to bring my copy of this but i like to show it it's a fabulous book and i recommend you go out and get it "the end of greatness why america can't have and doesn't want another great president," a book that he published just this fall, actually a few months ago. senator chris murphy, our main speaker today, is a junior united states senator for ú)q(ur(uá, elected in 2012. murphy serves on several committees including appropriations, health education, labor pensions and the committee on foreign relations. prior to his election to the u.s. senate, murphy served
connecticut's fifth congressional district for three terms in the u.s. house of representatives and also served in local politics in connecticut as well. it gives me great honor to welcome to the podium senator murphy. thank you. [ applause ] >> well thank you very much andrew, for that kind introduction. thank you to the wilson center for hosting me here today. i'm really looking forward to a conversation with aaron david miller in absentia. let me think my great friend jane harmon for all the fantastic work she's doing here. in connecticut, we are very proud about our largely unpublicized connection to the history and legacy of president wilson. very few people know this, but he actually started his academic career teaching at wesleyan university and many credit his positive experience with his
teaching job there as an inspiration to keep him in the profession. he spent, as did his first wife many of their summers in old lime, connection. he was spaurt she was part of the old artists colony and he made most of his decisions sitting at florence griswold's kitchen table in old lime. so we love the connections that we have to the wilson legacy and to this center and it's really wonderful for me to be with you here today. i remember this particular day that i'm going to talk about like it was yesterday. it was the spring of 2011. i was in a small, small village called parmacon in harat province, afghanistan. it was my third and really my most memorable trip to afghanistan. president obama's afghanistan surge was under way.
and icef command had sent us to this tiny little village to see general petraeus' counterinsurgency strategy in action. we went out to parmacan where we met with 100 army commandos which was led pie a young man from a town of goshen connection. they were wildly impressive. there was no doubt that they had brought a modicum of piece and stability to a parcel of harat province that had been under the thumb of the taliban just months ago. after a briefing in their ramshackle headquarters, they led us on a heavily guarded walk through the town, along with a collection of village elders. it was a stunningly beautiful walk. rocky, dirt roads surrounded by acres and acres of the most beautiful flowers that i had ever seen. irrigation canals maintained with u.s. dollars protected by
our newly arriving soldiers. a half dozen workers were busy harvesting whatever crop these flowers provided a canopy for. i finally asked one of our hosts, one of our elders what that crop was. poppy, of course, he said plainly. what do you do with it once you harvest it? he said we sell it. we sell it to the taliban who comes and buys it for a pretty good price. that's what he said within ear shot of u.s. soldiers who no doubt knew all about this arrangement. an arrangement for which they were sent to provide cover and protection. now, i can't say that i was stunned because by this time i had heard it all during my trips to afghanistan and iraq but this was as clear cut an indictment of our presence in those theaters as you could imagine. 100 troops in far western afghanistan. they were buying us temporary space, and we could credibly claim that we had purged the
taliban from control of that town. but the taliban were lying in wait. they still surrounded the village. worse, they were marching into town to collect the revenue that would fuel their return once we left. we were achieving our military objective, no doubt. but we had done nothing meaningful to change the underlying long-term susceptibility of parmacan to extremist influence and control. they still had no way to feed their families other than producing poppy, which was being sold to the very guys that we were sent there to eliminate. local governance was either irrelevant, corrupt or nonexistent. all signs pointed to the disturbing but to me increasingly unsurprising reality that our military success was practically meaningless there if we didn't have a viable strategy to change the economic and political reality on the ground for these people. now, in iraq, in contradiction
played out with even more devastating results in the aftermath of the late bush administration surge. waves of u.s. troops and even bigger waves of u.s. cash provided a security blanket over parts of iraq, while political and economic progress went in the opposite direction. the u.s. handed out bags of cash to sunni tribal leaders, a short-sighted, impractical strategy for the long term while prime minister al maliki waged a war against the sunnis, to the point that when our troops left they were happy to align themselves with anyone who was willing to fight the central government in baghdad. now, today i'm confident that the vast majority of our high level military planners and diplomats fully understand this failing of our u.s. military intervention over the past decade. plus just last week army chief of staff, a battle hardened veteran of iraq said this when he was asked about calls to deploy troops back to the middle east to fight isis. he said, quote, my worry is
could i put 150,000 soldiers on the ground and defeat isis? yes. but then what? it would go right back to where we are. a year later it would be right back to where we are today. before we even consider anything like that, we need to solve the political problem. and of course secretary bob gates remarked upon leaving the defense department that any future president that contemplated sending combat troops back to the middle east should have their head examined. and yet there are these creeping signs that we're on the verge in many ways of repeating the very mistakes that we should have learned. the architects of the iraq war are back, unapologetic and in charge of republican candidates' foreign policy. the intraparty fight between john mccain and the interventionalists and rand paul and the isolationists is over with a convincing neoconservative victory. republican senators right now are calling for thousands of american troops to march back into iraq and maybe into syria too. and recently, these senators are
making an interesting claim, one that we wouldn't have thought possible a year or so ago. they're saying that the american public is on their side. interestingly, they have a few polls to back them up. there is numbers on both sides, but a few recent surveys suggest that americans are scared to death by isis and they want washington to do something about it, something dramatic, something that answers the ferocity of iris with the kind of powerful shock and awe response that only america can muster. so mccain and graham are right that some polls are showing that americans support putting combat troops into the fight against isis. these polls also have something else in common. they ask respondents a battery of questions about how concerned they are about isis and how they feel about how president obama is handling the problem. but then when it comes to possible responses they ask only one question. do you support combat troops or not? there is no other option, there is no other alternative. send troops or effectively do nothing. given how scared people are of the real perceived threat that
isis poses, they choose to do the only something that they're presented with. but polling and simple organic voter touch and feel tells us that america is still very weary about war. witness the unexpectedly ferocious backlash against the president's plan to bomb syria in 2013. and no matter what the neoconservatives and republican presidential candidates say, the lessons of places like parmacan and mosul haven't gone away. that's why i believe now more than ever that americans want an alternative vision for how america can protect itself from threats like al qaeda and isis and the taliban that are something more than simple military intervention. americans will responsible to a new forward-looking progressive strategy that meets these new threats with new tools rather than simply relying on interventions that were designed for a time when armies marched against each other and grand peace treaties ended conflicts. and to be political for just a moment in a place that i know is not supposed to be political,
this is a moment for progressive democrats to seize the opportunity to lead. i'd argue the congressional democrats, especially over the last few years, have been absent from a serious interesting debate over the future course of american foreign policy. yet we weigh in on the weighty issues that demand our temporal attention, but it's only president obama and the republicans that are attempting to offer a broad vision for the rules of how we engage in a world full of very new, very scary threats. now maybe our vision silence has been understandable since we've frankly been able to lean on a president who we broadly agree with. we read the president's may 2014 west point speech and in it there's really little to argue with. but we only have his cover for the next 18 months. now, i support secretary clinton and i support her foreign policy ideas, but in a 50-50 country, we can't simply hold our tongues and hope that she wins. we have to show some leadership and show it now so that the american people have a choice
when evaluating how to respond to these new enemies that we face. so this is the context in which we decided to produce a set of eight pretty common sense principles that we think should guide american foreign policy and congress' foreign policy ajeblda as we reorient our policies to meet these new challenges. first we argue that america's nonkinetic tool set is dangerously underresourced. we seem to have forgotten the lessons of post-world war ii in which we were spending 3% of gdp on foreign aid in an attempt to rebuild stability in war-torn areas. we learned the lessons from after world war i and we invested gigantic sums of money in rebuilding our friends and our enemies to use economic development and political inclusiveness to stomp out instability that could undo the post-war balance of power. today foreign aid is 4% of what
it was in 1950 as a share of our economy. a 96% realtime reduction. so we believe that a new marshal plan for at-risk regions like the middle east or portions of russia or china's periphery can get us the stability and win us the allies that were produced by a large nonmilitary investment in the '40s, '50s and '60s. now, we don't need to spent 3% of gdp on foreign aid on this but you can't justify spending 15 times more money on military and military aid than we do on usaid and peacekeeping combined. secondly we believe in working multi laterally to increase you are effectiveness working through international bodies like the u.n. and nato make us stronger, not weaker. just as importantly, multi lateral support can be a check on american hub russ. if no other ally is willing to join us in a military endeavor why shouldn't it cause us to question the wisdom of that
intervention in the first place? yes, there are instances where america is under immediate threat and we can't wait for partners to sign up. but as a rule with limited exceptions, our actions are more effective within coalition. third, we believe in a far more thoughtful and restrained approach to military intervention. significant military action has got to have clear goals, exit strategies, a plan to pay for it and it's got to be authorized by congress as the framers of our constitution intended. if you measure calls to dramatically increase troop levels in iraq to fight isis, i'd argue that none of these tests can be met. fourth, we believe that military action is only worthwhile when there is a political strategy to clean up the mess once the fighting ends. this is our caution. the u.s. military is the most powerful in the world but even it has limits. if there isn't a political answer on the ground to remove the impetus for terrorist organizations, then military gains are only going to be temporary and rarely worth the price in lives and treasure.
fifth, we believe that covert actions like mass surveillance and large scale cia lethal operations have to be constrained. the dramatic expansion of our intelligence operations after 9/11 needs greater oversight and restraint. the usa freedom act is a step in the right direction but more has to be done like taking large scale military operations like drones away from the cia for good. sixth, we believe that strength at home leads to strength abroad. americans simply won't support more foreign aid spending if we aren't rebuilding our own roads and schools. if we aren't addressing their own economic limitations. that makes sense in part because america leads by example. countries follow our lead because they look up to our track record to our standard of living. as it slips, so does our ability to lead. seventh, we need to watch the gulf between what we say on human rights and what we do about it. how can we tell other countries to get serious about how they treat people if we are mealy-mouthed on torture.
if we hold people at guantanamo bay with no hope of trial. if we listen in on our allies and own citizens. our ability to affect international change on human rights is dependent on our ability to walk the walk at home. finally, we believe that climate change has to be at the center of every international relationship we have. future generations are going to judge us by whether we elevated this discussion in every forum possible given the catastrophe that will be wrought if we don't act. plus the effects of climate change like increased drought in syria and mali are already here. now, i think it's important to say that i'm not suggesting that there's anything earth shattering or ground breaking in these principles, but at least they would stand in contrast to the enviably simple world view of our neoconservative competition. they argue for ending sequester only for the defense budget. we'd say that the other elements of the national security budget
are just if not more important than military funding. they believe that participating in international -- that participating in international organizations demonstrates weakness. we think it's the key to strength in this new multi polar world. they think that terrorism exists in a military vacuum. we believe that it exists in a political and economic vacuum and that our policies should respond accordingly. they think that there's a choice between protecting civil liberties and national security. we believe that they're co-dependent. and these differences play out in realtime as applied to current crises. a progressive foreign policy applied to the fight against isis would start with an honest assessment of our goals. for instance, it sounds really good to say that the american objective is to defeat isis. but should it be? frankly our policy should be to eliminate the ability of isis to attack the united states. and whether isis is going to be wiped from the face of the middle east is really a question for our partners in the region. and if our goal is to end the
threat of isis in the united states, then ground troops makes no sense. but it would argue for the massive plus up of assistance. it would argue for a robust military partnership with our regional partners so long as that partnership is broad and deep. it wouldn't ever rule out going after high value targets that present a threat to the united states and it would call for us to learn from the successes of those bags of cash that we handed out in anbar province in 2007. it was the wrong tactic, but a bigger smarter assistance budget administered in coordination with the embodied government could move mountains. on the night of our delegation's visit to parmacan we were briefed by admiral mccraven at special operations command. as we walked in the briefing room, he showed us a pyramid of pictures of the most wanted terrorists in the region. at the top of that pyramid was the photo of osama bin laden. what we didn't know was that before and after our briefing
mcraven was putting the finishing touches on the bin laden raid. the night after we made blackhawk helicopters set off to take him down. despite what we saw the bin laden raid was a reminder of the seemingly infinite capacity of our armed forces our men and women in uniform. when you watch them work, it is easy to understand why our influence in the world has been viewed through the prism of the u.s. military for so long. they are damn good at what they do. but today as president obama has warned us, we can't view every problem as a nail simply because we have the most effective hammer in the world. the tactic of terrorism is impossible to fight an army. disease epidemics can't be cowed by an air force. today we are reading reports of attacks on the parliament building in kabul. it's crushing to hear. after over a decade of american intervention in afghanistan. but last week a report noticed almost by no one noted that the
taliban in fierce fighting had taken back four villages in harat province, afghanistan in the district right next to parmacan. the new threats that we face don't look like the old ones. that's why we need new rules for engagement and new allies in this endeavor. thank you to the wilson center for having me and i look forward to the discussion. [ applause ] >> senator, let me again welcome you to the wilson center. i didn't know about the connecticut connection but it's an important one. wilson was our only ph.d. president and our only one buried in washington, d.c. let me thank you also for a thoughtful and thought-provoking discussion. there's a lot to unpack here. i have a few questions for you and then we'll go to audience questions, but i want to make several points. not necessarily directed at your presentation, although there are some relationships. it's more a personal cree de
cour. first i think the challenge for this republic is not to identify progressive or conservative foreign policy, the challenge essentially is to try to find a policy that obviously is designed to protect the national interests but also a policy that in essence should work. the dividing line for that policy and i worked for republicans and democrats and i voted for republicans and democrats shouldn't be between left and right liberal or conservative or republican and democrat. it should be between policies that are smart on one hand or alternatively policies that are dumb on the other. and if you want america to be on the smart side it seems to me we need to focus on substance and effectiveness, not politics. on reality. that is the world the way it
actually is before we get around to conceptualize and conceive how we want it to be rather than ideology. on tactics for sure but also on sound strategies. and understand that while american leadership is critical it also has limitations too. second from my own personal experience doctrines and principles can be extremely effective, particularly in articulating clearly and with a measure of honesty a general approach so that congress understands our policy and more important so the american people understand our policy. the problem with doctrines and principles, of course is that they're limited in how they apply to a blueprint to navigate in what has become an anomalous hypocritical, cruel and unforgiving world. think about it just for a minute. we participated in military action in libya but not in syria. we supported an arab spring in egypt but not in saudi arabia.
we claim to stand for democracy and human rights, particularly in the wake of the arab spring, and yet our most stable partners right now aren't democrats, they're authoritarians in the gulf and in egypt and we're negotiating even now as we speak a punitive nuclear deal with iran and yet at the same time for whatever the reasons we can't, won't or are unable to take a tougher view on iranian repression at home or their efforts to advance their interests in the region. so the question is how do you reconcile these anomalies and in fact do you need principles, but do you also have to recognize that a principleless foreign policy for a great power may well be more suited to the complicated world in which we live in. finally, if you ask me what the greatest challenge was for our foreign policy it would be
finding a better balance between the risk readiness of previous administrations, perhaps one in particular, and the risk aversion perhaps of the current administration. that is to say we've abandoned the middle ground. we insist on looking at the world as all in or not in. and the question is, is there a more effective balance between risk readiness and risk aversion, perhaps borrowing on some of your principles that might in fact serve and suit our interests. one final point we have an extraordinary advantage over the rest of the world. it's basically our location. we have nonpredatory neighbors to our north and south and fish to our east and west. but one historian called brilliantly our liquid assets. these oceans literally create
the framework within which we see the world. our privileged security position explains our naivete. we somehow believe we have abandoned the notion of what it's like to be a small power. it explains our pragmatism. we believe every problem in the world can somehow be fixed. it explains our arrogance, because we don't have to listen. great powers have tremendous margin for absorbing mistakes and even very costly errors. we need to take account of that and understand that our view of the world is not necessarily the one that will be held by those whose security positions aren't as fortuitous as ours. so with that in mind, let me ask you a question or two and then we'll go -- we have plenty of time, we'll go to audience questions. i'll start with something you didn't refer to, which is
congress' role in foreign policy. the founders in their infinite wisdom created an open invitation to struggle a system in which powers are shared and separated. if i asked you whether or not you thought congress' role in foreign policy was an effective and credible one, how would you respond? >> i hope that in some way this entire effort is a call to action for congress. it's underlaid by my belief that we have largely been out to lunch, and what i would agree is that our constitutional obligation to set in some degree of measure with the president foreign policy moving forward. now, the constitution gives us very specific powers to decide how much money gets spent on a variety of activities. it's not lost on me that we haven't passed a state department authorization bill through the united states congress in over a decade. it tells us that we are the only
branch of the federal government that declare war and we simply have chosen not to do that when it comes to the current conflict unless you believe that the 9/11 amf gives you the authorization to take on isis. so i think senators menendez carter and corker have done a tremendous job of putting the foreign relations committee in the senate back as a relevant element of the debate. the willingness to take hard votes on intervention in syria or on a process for evaluating an iran agreement. that's important but it's insufficient i would argue so these other pieces are left undone. let me -- i really love your comments, but let me take the opportunity to just maybe give a little bit of flavor as to how the guy who gave that speech might respond to a couple of things that you said. i completely understand the
caution on doctrine and principles. i think it's important that we have tried not to presuppose outcomes in foreign countries as an element of these principles. what i mean by that is nowhere in here does it say that the united states should always pursue democracy right? or nowhere does it say that the united states should only pursue our immediate security interests by supporting people that we might idea logically intervene with. what it does say is that you have to have some political plan of what happens in the aftermath. as to this question of risk, i think that's a wonderful challenge as well but i think it's important to talk about what kind of risks we're debating. we normally think about that in terms of military risk. that's the parair paradigm in which we exist. the president has not been willing to exercise the degree of military risk that others would want him to.
but there are other kinds of risks we aren't even talking about because there isn't even the conversation space with which to debate it. for instance, in eastern europe, it would be risky but incredibly important to make a mayor giuliani u.s. investment in energy independence in our allies. to put u.s. dollars, planning resources on the table to try to change the way in which gas moves in and around that region. but we can't have that conversation because there's nowhere in the budget where that's allowable. but we can have a conversation about a military risk increased intervention in syria because there's just a common acceptance that once the president wants to do that, we will fund it one way or another. but if the president takes a nonkinetic risk, there may not be anybody there to back him up. so i love the conversation about increasing risk, but i want to frame the discussion that allows for it to happen in military terms and nonmilitary terms. >> with respect to risk, you do
transition into the issue of an authorization to use force memorandum. you've got the two longest wars in american history, which is a stunning fact, fought by 0.5% in a volunteer military which gives the president tremendous discretion to use military power and force without controls, without constraints in t response to the perception that america is under threat. that would imply a greater role on the part of congress in an effort to create some sort of sound basis as to when and under what circumstances force can be applied. now maybe congress is simply too -- i suspect this is the answer, too divided on these questions to create a consensus that would be meaningful, but it does really come -- if you want to change the nature of the
discussion, there is a piece of this which does imply a much greater level of congressional involvement and, frankly unity in response to safeguarding and protecting the american -- this is a very risk averse administration. can you imagine a risk ready administration under these circumstances. you implied it in some of your comments. so congress' role would be even more important. iran. now, you don't know what's in this deal neither do i. but based on what you're sensing, do you think you'd be in a position to support the administration's case for a comprehensive agreement on the nuclear issue with iran? >> absolutely. i agree with you, that we don't know what the details look like and there is evidence that there wasn't as much agreement in the framework as we might have all
suspected or maybe there's just evidence that a political conversation has to play out in a certain way in and around tehran and we have to accept the reality of that before we get a signature. but to me this speaks to the principles that we're talking about here, which is finding alternatives to military action that may, while not being perfect, may be much better than a thoughtless military prevention without a planning process afterwards. that's what i think is amazingly absent from this conversation about this debate. one of my colleagues goes down to the floor of the senate and says, well taking out iran's nuclear capability militarily would be a two-day endeavor without any conversation about what the follow-on effects of that would be. so the conversation of the framework can't happen in a vacuum. it has to come with a comparative analysis as to what the alternatives are. would i love for the agreement to be longer than ten years?
absolutely, but elements of it are. and i do buy the argument that if you're able to give wind to the moderates that there is a better chance than if you rejected this agreement that ultimately you were able to work with that coalition on other underlying festering issues as well. and as to congressional intervention, i would say the way in which the president decides to conduct these operations matters as to how congress is -- how willing congress is to react. in syria, he said he wasn't going to act without congressional authorization and so a debate was forced in the united states senate foreign relations committee. when it came to the fight against isis, he provided in a very different way. what would have happened if he said i need to act and i am not going to do it until the congress gives me the power to do it. i would argue that we would have come together that we would have figured out a path forward.
the division on this is significant, but not irreconcilable. but we haven't forced to do it because there is no consequence, no practical consequence for our inaction. it's incumbent upon the president to follow the constitutional balance and alignment of responsibilities as well, and i would argue that he should have come to us for authorization on this war before proceeding. >> one final question. you referenced the marshall plan. how would you respond to the argument that the world or at least the area of the world to which that extraordinary assistance program proceeded, what came after it, was directed, was simply a parallel universe to the one we see today. we occupy japan from 1945 to 1952. there were no americans killed. not one. during the entire period on the japanese mainland. you're talking about a marshal
plan for a region of the world that is broken angry dysfunctional. how do you reconcile -- in other words, doesn't a marshal plan become to some degree as difficult a prospect as an open-ended military intervention intervention. without the political infrastructure, how do you actually do that? >> so -- good question. it's a fair critique, right, and it's a very imperfect imprecise analogy. i make it more just to sort of wake folks up to how little we are spending on this project today compared to how much money we spent. you know it's still stunning to think that the average american taxpayers thinks that 28% of their dollar is going to foreign aid when 1% arguably of it is. i think it's just important to remind our country as to how much money we used to spend on this. no, it is fundamentally different but that's why i
reference what was happening during the surge. these bags of cash being handed out. i can't tell you that i can sit here and lay out the precise manner in which you develop long-term economic stability that tamps down on the reasons that people join terrorist organizations. but i know that part of the reason why we did get a modicum of stability there was because we answered people's economic concerns. i would argue that political stability follows economic stability. it's hard to stand up a politically stable government when you have over 50% of young people out of work. and so if you start with economic stability, and with partners, by the way i'm not suggesting that america be the only one, but nobody else is going to spend billions if we don't commit to spending billions. if you even attempt to put in a place for economic answers to the problems in places like iraq or lebanon or yemen, then political stability at least has a shot. it doesn't without that
endeavor. i would just argue that -- people will say that it's crazy how can you say we're not trying that right now because they look at how much money we spent and say that must have gotten us something. that's why i talk about the marshal plan because comparatively we are spending a fraction of what we spent on a like, although albeit, very different endeavor decades ago. >> thank you so much. okay. to questions. let me emphasize questions. please identify yourselves before you speak. we have mics. yes, down here in the front row -- or the fourth, fifth right here. we'll get to you next. promise. >> my name is alex fenoff. i used to teach at the foreign service institute. i talked about aid. i would like your views on title viii programs which fund international exchange language, our education about the abroad. those funds have been slashed.
how do you see bringing them back? >> last fall i took a trip to the balkans and in another forum i can tell you why i think we should be talking much more about what's happening there. we sort of take for granted the level of stability there, but there are very few great conflicts over the last 100 years that didn't emanate in some way shape or form from that region and there is some simmering instability that should concern this. i was in serbia, which is a country that russia has a lot of interest in. it's very relevant to us because it's a transit point for energy through and around the region. i happened to be there on the day that vladimir putin was marching his army through the streets of belgrade in an enormous show of force. our ambassador there our great ambassador there was begging me for $20,000 for an exchange program that he had had cut from his budget. and just the incongruity of
putin marching billions of dollars of assets down the streets of belgrade and our ambassador wanting a handful of dollars for an exchange program seemed to suggest how wrong-footed our priorities had become. but he spoke to how incredibly important this was. as you went around that region you saw all of these graduates from title viii funded exchange programs in positions of power friendly to the united states and our allies. it was a small amount of money that paid off. as i would argue for how we spent money on these projects, how we allocate a new marshal plan, part of it would certainly be on that type of programming. >> okay. let's -- yes, right here. wait for the mic. here it comes. >> yeah. can you elaborate on how your
nan nonkinetic approach would deal with isis given the 1400-year disagreements between the shia and the sunni and at this particular time we know that the sunnis are the backbone of isis. how would you handle that situation? >> well i go back to a couple things. first, i'd go back to the notion that we have to be honest about what our objectives are here. and i don't think that we could have a realistic objective that could be settling that dispute. nor do i argue that we could have a realistic objective on our own that would use the terminology defeat isil. i think that our objective has to be degrading them to a point where they are no longer a threat to the united states. that's very different than the objective that you might be foreshadowing, which is to somehow find a way for usaid to
mediate a fight in the region between the two sides. but, i would go back even further. no one can guarantee that this sort of cascading proxy war wouldn't have occurred notwithstanding the iraq war. but you can make a pretty good argument that if it didn't create the mess that we're living with today, then it at least exacerbated it or expedited it. and so clearly the case i'm laying out today would have never allowed us to go into iraq in the first place because we simply didn't understand the political ramifications of that decision. many of them were tightly knit inside iraq but many of them also have spilled out to other places around the region. and so some of this is -- some of what i'm offering is totally unsatisfactory looking forward. it's just a caution to not do something again like iraq
without understanding the hell that it often brings to regions like that. >> okay. how about right over here to the left. yes, thank you. >> hi. my name is sally and i'm from sixth killer consulting. my question is twofold. the first one is that the press had stated that the senate foreign relations committee met to discuss uamf. i wanted to ask you if you believe that has legs and then the second question is what are you doing to ensure that the 2001 aumf sunset is part of those discussions. thank you. >> well there's two issues. 2001 aumf 2003 aumf. i don't think anybody can argue the 2003 aumf should hang around. 2001 is trickier. we can't get rid of our 2001 aumf. it is our authorization to fight al qaeda. it authorizes current activities
of the u.s. government so what we can kredably do is sunset it and force us to have a discussion. i would like that to be baked into any aumf that we pass, but i think it's more important to get an aumf that limits the authorization of fighting isis to the terms of that aumf. that's a greater imperative. i am so appreciative of the work that senator cane was done in particular but also senator flake to bring the two parties together around an authorization. i have worries that the limitations in their authorization will not prove to be limitations at all. i believe that we should put a box around the deployment of combat troops to the middle east. i'm worried that their language does not do that. i would be more comfortable with looser language on troop limitations or geographic limitations or language on connected forces if there was a
sunset, if we were forced to come back and debate the whole thing in three years. that's not included in that authorization either. so i think it's an important starting point. but to me, it it allows for a little bit too much leeway for the next administration to take strategic steps that i deeply disagree with in the region and listen, there's been an important debate happening over whether congress should be involved at all in the strategy of warfare or rather if our job is only to name the enemy and then get out of the way. i would argue that there's a long history of congressional intervention on foreign affairs that suggest that we have the power and i'd argue the responsibility to also include some discussion of strategy in our authorizeationuthorizations. >> thank you, senator for being here and provoking us.
you just use the the term put boxes around the middle east which gets back to what is in our national interest a term that he used earlier and you hinted at that and why are we so focused on the middle east. what happened to south asia and what happened to latin america, africa? the different kinds of -- the different parts of europe? what is -- what are american priorities for you and how do you plan to deal with them? because we're totally obsessed with the middle east and is it or isn't it in our interest. well listen. our interests are multifold. they start with protecting the united states from attack, and that project is not exclusive to the middle east. what we know is that terrorist groups, isis at the top of the list these days are setting up
shop in a variety of places all around the globe and we simply again don't have the resources to meet that challenge and i would look to africa as an example and the paltry sums that our state department has to spend means we can't do spending for the group like al shabaab moves and the american foreign policy would have seen what was happening in somalia and easily predicted the move of that organization in parts of kenya and taken steps ahead of time to try to blunt that momentum. we just didn't have the resources to do that. so again part of this challenge is plussing up the resources we have available to think outside of the box of the middle east. um, we do have an interest in preventing slaughter and genocide, and so i accept that as part and parcel of america's interests in the world, and i just argue that in proposing an intervention you make damn sure
that it's going to make the carnage better rather than worse, and i argued two summers ago that in syria dropping bombs in the middle of a stew of civil and military unrest would have made the situation for people on the ground worse, not better. so there would begin to be your set of interests but you are right. we are hyperfocused on the middle east. there are good reasons for that. not so good reasons for that and part of this project is to try to hopefully awaken people's interests and attention to other parts of the world, as well. >> yes. right here in the middle. thank you. >> my name is steven short. senator, would you please speak about the importance of trade with relation to american foreign policy specifically fast track authority? >> so there's no doubt that as
hillary clinton coined it, there's an important element of economic state crafts to all of the work in which i'm talking about here. many of us would just argue about the terms upon which you're engaging in that discussion. so i voted against fasttrack and this is off topic, but i will tell you my opposition to it. i totally understand the rationale that greasing the wheels of the legislation process makes a trade deal easier to pass but why on earth do we elevate trade for fast track consideration and nothing else that's important? a energy bill increasing american energy independence would also make this country a lot more secure, but we subject that debate to the traditional set of rules and nobody talks about a fast track for energy reform and immigration reform which you could argue that our demographic advantage is one of our primary strengths in and around the world but nobody is talking about a fast track for
immigration reform. i think it's oughtdd that we set a process for trade and nothing else. i hope that there will be one of these deals either tpp or ttip that i can support because i believe trade is intertwined with american foreign power and it's just to be on the right terms. >> way in the back. i mean, as far as you can go. >> i hope i'm not the only one interested in the china question. so tomorrow the u.s.-china strategic dialogue will begin. what do you expect are the most pressing issues that should be discussed? does congress play a role in it? thank you. >> i mean -- congress arguably has been pretty awol on u.s.-china policy. you know, there hasn't been a lot of significant or really relevant discussion in the
united states congress about what to do with china moving forward. you know a lot of us believe that there are places where we can get tougher that for those that worry that increased sanctions against currency policy or cyber attacks would erupt a trade war. we suggest that we're already fighting a trade war with china and it's only one country fighting it, but i, again, look internally when i think about how we deal with china. it's hard for us to say that disputes in the east and south china sea should be resolved through diplomatic means when the united states won't sign the treaty of the seas. it's hard for us to make that argument credibly when we're not willing to be at the table. if we expect china to really be a participant in the 2015 climate change negotiations then how do we do that when the majority of the senate and the house argue that climate change isn't happening and 99% of
scientists are wrong. so i -- i think that there are tangible things that congress can weigh in on the u.s.-china relationship and obama will say that the trade agreement is a big part of that but i also think the way in which we conduct ourses and this is a big part of the principles is you need to look inward in order to look outward. i think we have to do a lot to strengthen our hand when we sit across the table from china. on cybersecurity, it's a big problem. there's no way to defend against what they're doing with stealing secrets and invading people's privacy. they claim we do it too. we don't but when we are tapping into the cell phones of foreign leaders without much of a credible explanation, it just robs us of the moral authority to get them to change the way in which they do things. >> i think we have time for a question -- one more question. maybe another? yes, in the back?
>> thank you. my name is david and i represent the georgian television station in washington, d.c. you made several statements of nato enlargement and offering member expansion plans to the states and neighboring russia. how do you see russia's neighborhood in the new foreign policy of the united states? thank you, sir. >> so, you know, again, back to the ideas that we rolled out. none of these are breakthrough ideas and one of them is clearly reinvesting in the international organizations. you know i think we threaten nato's future legitimacy as we slowly close the door on the open-door policy. there are countries that are willing to join, that are ready to join. i think georgia obviously has some particular and important problems that have to be worked out, but money it negro is
absolutely ready to join and when we refuse to enlarge we start to diminish the importance of the organization to begin with. just a word about ukraine before we end because it's inter29ed on the responses to crises. i am stunned with how it begins and ends with arming the ukrainian military. that is 80% of the oxygen that we expend. i think that's a really important question and i've come around on it. i opposed it at first but i think as long as we're doing it in coordination with the majority of our allies in europe which is nothing that we can presuppose today that it's worthwhile, but the reality is that right now the most important debate playing out is how ukraine structures its debt to the point of $15 billion of relief. america has a lot to say about that in part because it's american companies, american
pension funds that have to come to the table but nowhere in congress is there a realistic conversation about putting the pressure on those companies or investing in real economic assistance that would help ukraine. we're willing to spend potentially billions of dollars to hand arms to the ukrainians apparently for free but we're arguing over guaranteeing loans to them in a manner that sort of i compare to arguing with your neighbor about how they're going to pay back the cost of the bucket of water before you deliver it to them to put out the fire. i just think that we should be much more generous with that country, but we're not having that debate but again, there's an obsession with the military power of the united states to the point of -- in the ukrainian debate almost ignoring all of the other levers and resources that we have at our disposal