tv Politics and Public Policy Today CSPAN September 11, 2015 5:00pm-7:01pm EDT
industrial accident, pandemic outbreak or biological event. this ensures that we are not only prepared to respond to likely scenarios, but that we have the training, capability to respond to any threat presented to us expected or not. this is not a capability that the department had on 9/11. and our ability to build this capability has been largely as a result of the funding we've received from the federal government. a perfect example of how even the day-to-day work of the fdny is impacted by this training is that times square bombing attempt in 2010. though first responders from engine 54 and ladder 4 initially responded to a typical fire call, once on the scene they immediately recognized the threat potential of the smoking vehicle and ensured the appropriate law enforcement resources were called to the scene. they took action that day that reduced injuries, protected
property, and saved lives. this type of training is happening every day in the fdny and is essential to our ability to serve the city of new york. by investing in core areas, planning, incident management, leadership, communications, patient triage and treatment, haz-mat, marine firefighter and search and technical rescue, we are better prepared to adapt to a changing threat environment if disaster strikes. we have structured our core competencies to respond to routine and extreme events, including acts of terrorism. thank you again for the opportunity to speak here today on this important topic. >> thank you. chair recognizes mr. ielpi. >> thank you for inviting me here. it's a pleasure to be able to speak to you. before i start, i'd like to acknowledge behind me there's a large number of family members
who lost their loved ones here that are here to listen to this talk today. i'd like to thank the port authority who lost fabulous 37 guys and gals, 12 still missing today. new york city police department behind me, lost 23, 7 still missing today. and the fire service who lost 343, including my beautiful son, jonathan. who today, 127 new york city firefighters are still missing. along with 1, 113 beautiful people who were murdered on 9/11 who are still missing this very minute. i have listened to mayor giuliani and you folks who have done yeoman work to keep us safe in this country of ours.
i had the privilege of going around the country, i've spoken many cities, many states, have traveled out of country, speaking about 9/11 and the importance of understanding what happened to our country, our world, on 9/11. i spend nine months here in recovery work. i work with the best of best that this country had to offer. not just the police, not just the fire department, emergency people but our civilians from every one of your states, every one. they gave of themselves. they are now sick. sick. and it's up to you people of congress to speak up and support this bill. i heard many of you talk about the importance of making thus a national memorial. it's critical, we make this a national memorial. and your support to do that is
instrumental in making this just that, the most powerful memorial this country has, the worst attack on our country's soil in history. it was not an attack on new york city or the pentagon or flight 93. it was an attack on portland maine. it was an attack on houston, texas, in north dakota. it was an attack on our soil, our beliefs, lifestyles, freedom, by people that do not believe that. i listened to you talk about, and the commissioners, how we protect ourselves. the police force, military what we need to do. but i am very, very concerned that there is one thing that we've totally lacked in 14 years, and that's education. and i can look at every one of you, every one of you, and we do not have a state in our country
that i know of that has a curriculum to teach the history, what happened to us on 9/11. not a state. find that very troubling. we have teachers now that are 22, 23, 24, 25 years old that 14 years ago were 9, 10, 11, 12 years old, 13 years old. they went to school, there's no curriculum. they weren't taught about 9/11. they don't know about 9/11. and now they're teachers. and when i tell you they don't know, i speak in these schools. i speak in these states. the last place i spoke was omaha, and very large class of graduating students from high school who did not know about 9/11. the principal called me up,
e-mailed me, three, four days later and said, lee, i have students walking in the hallways of this school asking about 9/11. what happened on 9/11? i have parents calling me up saying, you don't teach 9/11? you don't educate our children about what happened to our country on 9/11. and the answer is no. and just to drive that point home, a few days from now on september 11th, new york city schools do not have to have a moment of silence, not do they have to talk about the significance of the day unless the teacher wants to. and so many of them do. but they're handcuffed. we teach to the test. you all know it. i've spoke to teachers again throughout the country and they've all said the same thing, we're failing our children. continue your beautiful work. you have to continue to keep us
safe. but, please, when you go back to your individual states your constituents, it's up to you to say to michigan, to texas, to california, we don't have a curriculum in our state to teach what happened? we can fight these terrorists all day long, we know they're coming back, we hear it from our commissioners, we hear it from you, but wouldn't it be powerful to be able to say that our young people can take a stand with this by understanding, by enlightenment. understanding that this terrorism fact is here to stay. one of the big of the things that we were taught from our forefathers is education. and it will solve problems. and i will end, i spoke with an educator in london whose husband was murdered here.
she within baent back to speak must educate here in the uk, in london. this is a few years back, and this is an individual, just one person, and she came back and said to me, lee, i was told no, we are not going to teach 9/11 in the uk. we do not want to to aggravate muslim community. i never heard such foolishness. but to be ignorant that we are afraid to be politically correct is a downfall. so we do have a lot of missions in our lives, don't we? i would sincerely -- i would beg you, when you go to your states, ask that question, and you're going to be very surprised with then then answers you're going to ge.
no, we don't teach. thank you. >> thank you, sir, for your passion and advocacy for the victims. chair recognizes mr. thomas. >> good morning, chairman, and members of the house committee on homeland security. my name is gregory thomas, national president of the national organization of black executives referred to as noble. i'm pleased to bring to you testimony on behalf our executive board and 3,000 members who we represent internationally or african-american chief officers of law enforcement at the federal, state, county, municipal levels. since 1976 we are proved to have served as law enforcement by taking steps to ensure equity in administration of justice in all communities of the united states. in response to the similar events that occurred in our country over the past year, noble is proud to played efforts to improve the level of respect
and police and citizens they serve. whether serving a key member of president obama's policing or working closely with the department of justice on the ground in ferguson, missouri, we've been an important part of the discourse sought to bring a fresh look to the manner in which police professionally engage with communities that they serve and in the manner in which communities engage. noble is pleased to present this committee with a view from the field on levels of cooperation between federal, state, local law enforcement agencies and joint efforts to prevent, prepare for, respond to, mitigate, recover from a terrorist attack. as we approach the 14th day of wreck nati recognition, noble would like to o offer -- we'll like to thank men
and women and everyday citizens who responded to the sites of the terrorist attacks both here in new york city and pennsylvania and in pentagon in virginia. the lessons learned from the september 11th attacks, a day referred to as 9/11, are many. arguably the most important one is that there must be a unified intelligence gathering effort to make share we can properly identify plots and plans to attack our homeland and bring those who are behind these attacks to quick and determined justice. recent statements from director comey that the islamic state known as isis or isil poses a more challenging terror threat in the united states than al qaeda does, highlights the need for us to keep our collective eyes open for those who will choose to act in a singular manner to create terror, the likes of which evidence in a thwarted attempt in france. this ever present threat requires top level effort on the
part of federal, state, local law enforcement officials, an effort enhanced if these officials are given the structure to function properly. fortunately, since 9/11, there's been significant progress made in regards to information sharing between agencies, but in order to achieve a more reburst environment that promotes horizontal and vertical information sharing, noble believes intelligence centers can serve a dual purpose, battling terror up and fighting crime. in 2006 issued guide lines on intelligence fusion centers the department of justice defined the center as collaborative effort of two or more agencies that provides resources and information to the center with the goal of maximizing their ability to detect, prevent, investigate, and respond to criminal and terrorist activity. many members across the country either work in or worked with the centers and have hutsuch
commented to provide a forum in government and private sector entities can unite to maximize available resources, build trusted resources, networks, and relationships and thoroughly investigate and prevent criminal and terrorist activity. with some of the cities experiencing upticks in crime and with the general call for government to do more with less, expansion of centers can serve to provide effective sources of timely intelligent related to violent gangs, drug trafficking, weapon smuggling and other crimes that have a nexus to violence. fusion centers have a viable place in the communities noble continues to work with periodic independent review and held to high standards like those previously established by the department of justice, for example, as to minimize the chances of civil liberty or private a and buss. example of properly functioning fusion center can be found in
georgia, where the analysis center named fusion center of the year by the u.s. department of homeland security. in addition to creating and properly funding fusion centers, noble urges congress to continue to support, create, fund programs that ensure that equipment purchased after 9/11 like those that were purchased, for example, to properly respond to chemical, biological, radio logical, nuclear, explosive threats remain current and usable by our nation's first responders. lastly, we recommend that a strong emphasis put on providing objective technical assistance and support for agencies who want to apply for homeland security grants and assistance but because of their size and financial capacity have difficulty employee grant writers, for example, on a short or long-term basis. on the national organization of black law enforcement executives i thank you for the opportunity to provide our views on this
important and timely topic. i will remain and look forward to responding to your questions. >> want to thank all of the witnesses. chair recognizes himself for questions. commissioner bratton, you and i have talked a great deal about the evolving threat, in the days of bin laden, caves and couriers used to communicate. a different type of threat, more of a command and control structure. but we see a threat today that you talked about the garland case and talked about the fourth of july plot in new york, here. many of these new threats we worry about foreign fighters but many new threats are internet driven, coming out of places out of syria, by what we call the cyber sort of isis commanders, if you will. sending out directives to attack military to kill police
officers, and you, sir, i think have dealt with a majority of these threat i think you mentioned in your testimony, 20 plots have been thwarted just here in new york. and we've arrested over 60 the last year. this is a threat that i believe is growing exponentially, it's a very different type of threat, more difficult to manage because of the sheer volume. it's loud. there's a lot of chatter. 200,000 tweets, isis tweets per day. we did have a recent victory with the air strike, it was sending many of these directives, sometimes with different twitter handlers, sometimes in dark space, we can't even monitor if we -- even if we have a court order. we just, my understanding, just recently now took out the number
two isis cyber recruiter and that's good news but there will be many more to replace them. so i guess my question is, it's very challenging, how -- what is nypd doing working and with federal partners to rise to this challenge to protect the american people? let me just say, i commend you and your department for the great success you have had. but the, again, the volume is so high, it worries me that we won't be able to stop all of this. >> you comment about the volume being so high reinforces the need for what new york has been very actively engaged in the collaborative effort with all of our various colleagues to ensure we have seamless interaction with them. it's been a trial and error process going back to the events immediately after 9/11. as chief in los angeles, along
colleagues among the major city chiefs we had to use a battering ram in washington to break down the doors of homeland security to allow us into the room to share information, to share what we had. fortunately those days are largely behind us and in new york city, i'd like to think they are totally behind us, that in this effort there is too much to do to be bickering among ourselves or keeping information from each other. and my predecessor, ray kelly in the days after 9/11 and 12 years he ran nypd, developed an extraordinary operation that not only would work with our federal colleagues, which was an absolute necessity, but also because of the critical issues facing new york being probably the most significant terrorist target remaining in the world and continuing. created a very large and robust counterterrorism capability. to that end, as the threats have changed and particularly last 18 months since my appointment as commissioner by mayor de blasio
january 2014, we have seen the threat of isis, isil expand exponentially with each passing month using social media. also a strategy very different than al qaeda, al qaeda was focused on the big event, multiple big events which had been their practice. isil has gone in a very different direction, a direction that is really a 21st century initiative on their part, the idea that social media allows them to not only attract fighters to syria, but also inspire fighters elsewhere in the world who don't have to be trained in training camps or experience warfare to conduct attacks. and you've referenced the 20 attacks that have been focused on new york city. 16 in 12 years thwarted by nypd, fbi and others. but increasing pace, the idea that we have had four in just the last now 19 months, the pace is increasing because of the social media.
we're going to continue to expand our response. we're going to continue to expand our pro activity. just during my time as commissioner with additional resources mayor de blasio has been providing, 1300 additional officers added to the department for the first time in 15 years. for 15 years it was decreasing. it is now increasing a number of the officers going into strategic response group expanding from 400 to 800 offices. a large part to train for counterterrorism capabilities. many are policing u.s. open, running security check points that go into that facility. additionally, commissioner miller's creating 415-person unit that will be very specifically focused on protecting sites in new york city, equipped and armed to take interim measure created by commissioner kelly and institutionalized because of the nature of the threat we're
facing has now become so big and we've referenced issue of cybersecurity, something whose full extent of potential harm we don't fully understand. i know mayor giuliani's concerns, we are not doing enough but we are continually with our resources in new york trying to do more, 250 detectives assigned to cybersecurity-related investigations, a year or so ago, and recently the increase in assignment of personnel to the bureau, as well as district attorney vance's office. we are fully engaged and we are constantly looking at the exponential expansion of the threats in the new direction the threats are going. >> i certainly commend you for your service. thank you very much. chair recognizes ranging member. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and it's nice to have all of you gentlemen before us. commissioner bratton, good to see you again. i used to work a little with y'all in los angeles. i'm pretty thrilled there are so many members here today
especially some of our newer members. so, in the interest of time i have just one question and it will go to the commissioner. we have been investing a lot of resources. the resources that we have at the federal level, of course we have diligently worked to help new york city. my question is, you're so far ahead in so many ways on this whole counterterrorism and how to deal with your communities and policing, how do you share that with some of the other cities, maybe smaller cities, that don't get those types of resources? >> that's a great question. we consciously seek to take what we learn and share it. there is -- the major city chief's organization, noble, here at the table, continually throughout the year but then at various annual conferences that the issue of terrorism is now almost always a major topic of
discussion at those roundtables. and below the major city chiefs, in most of the major cities of the country, is the intelligence commanders group, an entity formed after 9/11, los angeles, when i was police chief there, led the way, chief michael downing has become one of the more renowned experts on this issue, they meet continually to share information. not only in actual face-to-face meetings but through the various technologies available to us now. and then in collaboration with iacp, national sheriff's organization, there's a lot more effort to keep them aware of changing tactics, techniques. at homeland security level, homeland security has evolved under the leadership of the various seconds but particularly under secretary johnson, he's really made an effort to ensure that the various fusion centers, various initiatives undertaken,
that we are true partners at the table. that there should be nobody below the salt, if you will, at our table, that all of us should be in a position to share. it was not the case in 2002, 2003, 2004, when we we receirep were banging on the door, let alone sit the table. a lot has changed and we are continuing to improve collaborative efforts. >> thank you, commissioner. i yield back, commissioner chairman. >> thank you, loretta. first i want to thank all of the witnesses being here today and time is short. i'd like to focus on the whole issue of the bill. let me commend chief joe phifer he's done during the time i was chairman, joe was extremely helpful. also the tremendous heroism he showed on 9/11. lee ielpi drove home the issue of the health care and people
are dying to this day. dan, you and i were at the chief ganski's funeral. you spoke of 343 killed. since then 111 died directly from 9/11 health-related illnesses. i'd like to ask commissioner nigro and bratton if they can focus on the importance of extending this bill and i would say parenthetically, every presidential issue should take a stand on the issue. it's to the heart of what america's all about. commissioner, who suffered the most. >> certainly the fire department support for the bill couldn't be stronger. as you stated, we might have thought on 9/11 our losses ended with 343. we've added more than 100. this afternoon we'll add 21 names of the families of the 21 members who will be at our headquarters as those names get added to memorial wall i'm sad to say the memorial wall we
created will be too small because those losses continue to mount. we have 15,000 people registered, retired and active members, in the world trade center health program. we have more than 1,000 cases of cancer among those people and we have many sick members retired and active to take care of. so the perfoimportance of this for us should go without saying, but i'll repeat it. i could not support it in a more strong fashion. >> commissioner bratton? >> my comments would echo those of the commissioner, during my time as commissioner, participated in a number of wakes and funerals for survives are of 9/11 but who did not ultimately survive the efforts that they put in at the pile and illnesses that they contracted there. this is a national obligation, national debt and it must be fulfilled. >> bill expires this year and funding will run out by next
year. we have 35 seconds. lee ielpi? what can you tell us on zadroga? >> i spent nine months in recovery work and worked with the best of the best that this country had to offer. it is our obligation to support them. the fire service we've been very fortunate. but the underlying problem is the people that don't have this, they're not firefighters, p.d. they're people that came here from all over the country. we don't support them, what kind of a message are we sending out to the rest of the country of ours? they need help. major illnesses are cancers, respiratory, sinus, psychological problems. those are the major ones. there's more besides that. the psychological problems don't show themselves until it's manifested to the point where you realize that the person is
having a severe problem. suicides, drug, marriage abuse, problems, we focused on them. we can find them because we keep track of them within the uniformed services. it's the people that don't have that support. we must endorse the zadroga bill, it critical for our country. >> thank you, lee. thank you for your service. i urge every presidential candidate to come out on the issue. the lady from texas, miss jackson lee. >> thank you so very much. i'm interested in making a little history here this morning, this afternoon, maybe draw upon the great committee to sign a letter to encourage the immediate placing of this legislation on the floor of house to be voted on and to get it to the president's desk. i want to thank congressman king, congresswoman loney and congressman adler leading on
this and all of us have joined them. i believe the message today, besides this being a very key hearing as we lead up to 9/11, we can leave no one behind. and certainly those who now live or those who have passed tragically since 9/11 because of the tragic impact of that devastating day. mr. ielpi, let me say to you that the families will never be forgott forgotten. i know what an emotional drain and experience that you've had. thank you for your courage of going around to educate people. you've certainly given me a moment to raise the question, why don't we have across america a moment of silence on that day or that we work with our students and our schools across america? so thank you for that. but i mourn the loss, it is a painful experience, and it is one that we feel deeply and i thank you so much for your presence here. let me quickly ask my questions to commissioners nigro,
mr. thomas mr. ielpi. let me get them out and you can answer them. mr. commission, we committed on 9/11 to not let fear or terrorism cause us to terrorize ourselves. i hope that you and mr. thomas can share in this, that is how the civilian police have to balance, to interact, to do their duties, both in term of law enforcement fighting terror and dealing with a democratic society. mr. nigro, if you would answer as i came in i could not avoid the powerful image of ladder 3. i paused to read that story, the potent thing of what history is about, to know that captain, i believe, had to use a landline, one phone, dealing with giving signals or messages down, god bless him, may he rest in peace. but the question of inner operate ability. answer that question. mr. thomas, i want to thank you for bold leadership and ask you
about the law enforcement trust and integrity act that gives sort of a road map for officers to continue to improve themselves as they serve us but also the same question you might want to answer of interacting in a world where you're dealing with terrorism but also dealing with a democratic society. i thank you all very much. commissioner bratton? i asked you about the terrorism. but i'll go to him first. >> certainly. certainly a sad story about communications on 9/11 and the failures that day. and i think that the department in the 14 years since has recognized those fall ilures an identified each one and corrected the problems. so today, in today's world, we communicate with the other agencies, with the police department quite readily, we have the capacity to communicate with one another, now from all floors of these buildings.
certainly in the new one world trade center, in the buildings around them, we have hardened communications that will sustain themselves. but all of those sad fact of 9/11, and many other areas where we saw that we could improve, we have. and much of that is with the help of the federal government and funding that we've received. >> if i could interject, we have a hard stop at 1:00 to catch our train. in the interest of time, so all of the members can fully participate, i'd like to move on and ask members to be as brief as possible. >> mr. chairman, if i could ask witnesses to provide the answers in writing and thank them again for their very astute presence here today. thank you. i yield back. >> and i appreciate that. thank you. the chair recognizes miss
miller. >> thank you mr. chairman. in the interest of time, i'm not sure i have a question, maybe a comment, particularly for mr. ielpi, who talked eloquently about our lack of educational curriculum in all of our schools about what happened on 9/11 and why it happened and what we are -- what this symbolizes here and the threats that our world and this new generation is facing as well. so, just listening to you, i e-mailed one of my staff here saying, listen, i need to draft a letter to the hi michigan state department of education and and what kind of curriculum they have about 9/11. i intend to do that. i might be calling you later to ask you what some thoughts on that. but i think it is very, very important, 14 years later and many kids weren't born or were so young they don't really understand it. and i think it's absolutely critical is educational
component to help them all understand it how important what it really symbolizeds and how we keep ourselves safe and secure going forward. it's up to the next generation, i it always is, that's the way of the world. >> we've been saying for years one of the ways to fight terrorism go at it full force and one is through education, enlightenment. we continue down this road, political correctness, afraid to say things, that's foolish and the terrorists are laughing at us every time this subject comes up so thank you. i hope you can prove me wrong, but i know michigan. >> i'm not aware. i hadn't thought about it, to tell you the truth. >> we're all on the same subject we assume that our children are getting the correct education when they go to school and then we find out that we're not. and we spoke about this last night. in our state. thank you very much. i yield back. >> chair recognizes mr. avela.
>> five of us the texas delegation we can get together with the other member of the texas delegation and write a letter and see what to do. i think it's very important. on the issue of the national museum you, can count on all of us here to support that effort as well. i do have questions with respect to the streamlining of your efforts, economice eer commissie country. but in the interest of time i'm going to yield my time so our colleagues interest the state of new york will have time to ask questions. >> i thank the gentleman. chair recognizes mr. katko. >> thank you for being here today. i've had the pleasure of being in a secure briefing with mr. -- commissioner bratton and response speaking with him last night and mr. nigro, it's clear
to me new york is in excellent hands and you're doing a great job combatting -- fighting the war on terrorism and thinking outside the box, being innovative and doing a wonderful job. i simply want to comment you for that. mr. ielpi, i had wonderful conversations with you last flight. and i still can't imagine what it's like to lose a loved one in a manner in which you did and for you to have to carry your son's body out of the wreckage. it's got -- i know it's life altering thing for you. and for other families here today, my heart bleeds for you, our hearts bleed for you. going through the memorial yesterday, i saw that adjacent to one wall some of the remains that have been unidentified, behind in the coroner's office. i hope we continue to support that effort. with respect to education i was horrified to learn the lack of education and lack of priority given to this. we learned, as kids in school,
about world war i, world war ii, vietnam war, this is a war on terror, a greatest act of the war on terror perpetrated against us. it's our solemn duty to make sure we don't forget. we learn from history. mr. ielpi, if you can wave a wand, what would you like to have happen to make sure this education effort continues? what would be the best way to do it? >> i have nine grandchildren, my buddy, my son, my eldest son -- i have four children -- gave his life that day. my wish would be that my grandchildren understand the sacrifices made, not just by the people that were murdered on 9/11, pentagon, shanksville, here, but the sacrifices that were made by our men and women in uniform since 9/11. that's why we're here, that's why this commission has been established. that would be my wish, that i would leave this beautiful world
of ours knowing that our children, our grandchildren, are going to have that knowledge on how to make tomorrow that better day. it is our obligation to make tomorrow a better day. and that would be my wish. >> mr. herd is recognized. >> this is why we do field hearings, right, learning about issues, and mr. ielpi, i appreciate making us aware of these, income you have on people close to getting it done or suggestions so that we're not starting from ground zero would be helpful for the entire committee. if you can submit that to us, that would be fantastic. on the night at 2:00 a.m., night after the airplane went into the twin towers, i was called by my boss and said, report to the basement of the old headquarters building in the cia office. i became one of the first
employees on the unit that ended up prosecuting the war on afghanistan and bringing justice to those who did these dastardly deeds on our land. it would be great if this is the last facility of its kind in the united states of america. and if i were to engage my pessimistic side, i would say this is not going to be the last. but when i think about the heroism that was displayed on that day, when i think about the number of men and women in the intelligence services and diplomatic court and military, and the men and women that you all represent on local law enforcement, that are still operating as if it's september 12th, 2001, it warms my heart, makes me think maybe this going to be the last facility of its kind in the united states of america. it's important, i remember what it was like in august in the cia building and there was -- there was concern, chatter, something's going to happen, we don't know what it is, we weren't able to put the dots
together, and knowing and then seeing what happened, those intelligence failures, you know, one of the reasons being where i am today, to see how i can help the intelligence community. we alluded to it earlier, this idea of instead of need to know and moving to need to share. it's hard to change culture. that's what the intelligence community is based off of. things have changed in a huge way. but i'm interested to hear from y'all, from the commissioners, what specific things can we be doing to get more intelligence if your hands to do your jobs. >> i think we're doing it. i think, as i've with referenced, mayor giuliani referenced, the collaborative efforts that have helped to inform us to the extent of here in new york, thwarting those 20 attempted attacks, around the country the increasing pace of attacks that are being constantly disrupted, it really is all about collaboration.
it is about the idea of openness and transpair aren't si between the respective entities that have engaged in trying to keep our communities safe. good news is we are evolving in a rapid pace in that regard and continuing to do so. >> i think for the fire department, congressman king mentioned, works very closely with local, national law enforcement, keeping our members up to date, keeping situational awareness each and every day as if it's september 12th, the department has not forgotten, the department stays alert and stays ready. and we appreciate the support that makes this possible because these things take support and we have been getting support from federal government, we need it to be sustained.
i yield back. >> if i might, mr. chair? i mentioned in my statement about the fusion centers, their structure is robust enough to keep that flow of information going properly. one of the sectors affected on 9/11, i was the director of security for new york city cools we had eight schools, two high schools 20 yards south of the south tower and the collaboration on that day led to us rescuiing 9,000 students, nobody killed or injured because the fire and police department worked beforehand, preparedness plans and on the day of the event, the fire and nypd's response, important to have those children rescued. it's important the plans include areas of the government mostly schools, or designated as soft target but was right in the realm of what can go on, depending where they're located in your respective states. >> mr. ratcliff?
>> commissioner bratton, as the chairman of the subcommittee on cyber, i wanted to ask you a little bit about isis. we've talked today about how they have effectively used social media in a way that al qaeda never did to essentially create terror franchises, to create a force multiplier of the disenfranchised in our society. one of the problems with respect to that has been their effective use in using encrypted communications through social media. that's been a growing concern for law enforcement generally, fbi director comey has talked about. i wanted to give you an opportunity to talk about that publicly and comment in any way how your police force is able to or is trying to mitigate the associated risks with that. >> excellent question. this morning's "new york times"
front page story on this issue about the many aspects of it that are going to have to be addressed as we go forward, i have met with the fbi director on a number of occasions on this issue, as recently as last week, with district attorney cy vance, the concerns about the encryption capability's being built into so many devices that various companies, whether it's google, apple and others, marketing to their customers, and how that's impacting potentially on our ability to investigate not only crime but terrorism. but it's a pandora's box of many issues, as we've found, as we've opened it but we need to get into the box and sort it out. it does impact greatly on our ability to investigate traditional crime, kidnappings, other forms of crime, or the growing, ever growing, area of terrorism and impacts on our
ability to track these people down once we in fact fougspot t social media. >> chair recognizes mr. donovan. >> thank you mr. chairman. commissioner bratton, commissioner nigro, i'd like to ask the same question to both of you. when i was the district attorney of staten island for 12 years there were certain things i didn't want the public to know how i pent my money. i didn't want people to know what hotels we put witnesses in and auditors had ways we could account for monies we spent but without revealing, for safety reasons, how we spent that money. the department of homeland security funding that you receive, are there order requirements, restricts, things that hamper your ability to utilize that money in best way you could use it to protect the people of new york city? >> one of the issues that we've discussed over a number of years with homeland security and in fact, you and congress have some control over this, is the issue
of when we spend the money and the time frame within which we spend it. that by the time we get the authorization suspended, by the time we get the appropriate requests in, oftentimes there's a need to go beyond the requirements of the law as to within what time frame we have to spend it. you want to close the books and it's an issue we've raised repeatedly and hopefully as you go forward, your efforts on this committee to take a closer look at that still unresolved issue. we get fortunately a lot of money into new york city, and i certainly thank the congressional delegation that leads those efforts. but it is the requirements in terms of how quickly we have to spend it. it takes quite a while to get contracts up and running and we spend it over a period of time. so that's an issue of concern as it relates to funding mechanisms that we still experience.
>> bill took the words right out of my mouth because we are recently experiencing the same issues. it one thing we can sometimes purchase things if it's -- if they are items to purchase. but much is training and the training takes time and scheduled and to try to fit it into a certain very specific time frame becomes very difficult. so we constantly run into that issue of spending the money within the assigned time, especially in areas of training. >> i thank you both for being here today and for protecting my family. i yield my time, mr. chairman. >> i thank the members for being efficient on timing. we have a little extra time. i want to recognize miss jackson leave for her one follow-up question. >> mr. chairman, thank you. it was mr. thomas who did not get a chance to answer the question that i had given him. as i do that, let me acknowledge one of my constituents, deputy daron goforth, we buried him
last week, and certainly it speaks to the difficulty of serving in law enforcement. what i asked you, mr. thomas, about the law enforcement integrity act but to talk about that and the dual role that law enforcement have of this issue of terrorism but also working in civilian population, p how they balance those responsibilities. thank you for your presence. >> thank you. the law enforcement trust integrity act you're referring to, which one noble supports endorses wholly, one focusing on trying to improve standards for law enforcement, there will be structure, that will be focusing on how to conduct themselves in a structured way. some police departments do that every day on a regular basis, some have challenges doing that based on numbers of personnel and budgets but the act itself defined standards easy to attain, similar to ones that are clear, put forth, the commission on accreditation agencies.
it talks about the need to look at how we sentence our youth. some youth have, i guess, events that are deviant, that are not there -- they're doing per se but based on their mental state, the act in itself look as that the issue as it relates to those incarcerated for a longer period of time, as it relates to solitary confinement and the like. over the past year in law enforcement, it it is a challenge for the law enforcement community generally to focus on the regular day issues of crime fighting but adding on top of that terrorism and interwoving those together. we know that the challenges out there now in the community are really few, there's a lot in the media now. law enforcement is doing their job properly every day. it's more that we focus on issues doing right rather than wrong. any effort now to empower law enforcement better with the ability to do better community policing, have better training and appropriate staff, that's another issue as well, because since 9/11, staffing has waned
in some police departments in new york city, number has gone down. it's important we not lose focus on making sure we have the right amount of people staffed properly and properly trained. mr. chairman, thank you very much. i also want to thank mayor deblasio for his service and all of you here. i yield back. >> chair recognizes mr. king for a brief statement. >> i just -- what bilp did not say is that he suffered cancer from 9/11 and now it's in his lungs. hang in there, lee. >> thank you. for those of you i think the question was brought up before about curriculum. our organization which is the 9/11 tribute center, i'm a board member this have organization which i am so proud of or what's been accomplished here. our organization we give out a teacher award every year to teachers that go above and beyond that talk about 9/11, teach 9/11. we gave an award out three years ago to a teacher that came from
milford, connecticut, she received the award. when she came she came with her principal and some of the other staff members from the school. when they went back to milford, connecticut, they wrote us and said would you come and help us, we're thinking of putting together a curriculum for the school district of milford, connecticut. every state runs their educational system differently, new york it's regents folks. milford, connecticut, we went, we spoke. last year milford, connecticut to the best of our knowledge is the only school district in our country that has a written curriculum to teach the history of 9/11. they are not afraid to talk about who did this, why and how do we make it better. so if you are interested we are always in contact with our teachers, we will be able to supply a -- their curriculum. i'm not going to say it's the best in the world but it's a start. if you are interested for your
own states, milford would be more than happy to assist you in any way they can. >> let me thank the witnesses and let me close with this. i recently co-sponsored the 9/11 healthcare bill. mr. king is one of the chief sponsors and also the national 9/11 memorial at the world trade center act. it's our obligation, i think, and our duty, the responsibility of the federal government to do so let me close with saying this, as with pearl harbor, kennedy assassination, i think everybody remembers where they were and what they were doing on september the 11th. i for one was with my five-year-old, now 19-year-old daughter, watching the second plane fly into the second tower. realizing at that time as a federal prosecutor that this was
not some random act, but rather very cold, calculated act of terrorism. and i think it's incumbent, mr. ielpi, as you pointed out that we never forget that day and that we teach the next generation of americans the importance of what happened that day so that it never happens again. so with that let me, again, thaik the witnesses, it's been a very valuable hearing. i want to thank again the museum for allowing us to conduct this hearing in a very historic setting. it's been a tremendous experience and i want to thank everybody involved, including all of the staff who worked so hard to make this possible. and with that this hearing now stands adjourned.
visits president reagan's alma mater, eureka college then louisiana governor bobby jindal at the national press club. sunday at 6:35 p.m. two profile interviews with gop candidates, first former new york governor george pataki talks about his political career and issues shaping his candidacy then former pennsylvania senator rick cantor rum talks about his run for congress. on c-span 2's book tv saturday at 8:45 p.m. jack cashel discusses his book scarlet letters, the ever increasing cult of inn toll richl to opposing political views. sunday at 9:00 p.m. minnesota senator talks about her life and political career are "usa today" washington bureau chief sue an page. on c-span 3 saturday at 8:00 become on lectures in history. clemson's university paul
christopher anderson teaches a class on how former south carolina confederates viewed reconstruction in the wake of the civil war. he discusses how some promote advertised their defeat and reasons for fighting. at 2:00 the landmark supreme court decision ruled it was unconstitutional to prohibit interracial marriage. at the virginia historical society author and history professor peter wallen steen discusses the complex of love v. virginia and how it affected similar legal challenges. getting our complete schedule at c-span.org. lisa mascaro covers congress, covering the iran gate for the l.a. times and tribune newspapers. the iran nuclear agreement fails to move forward in the house, but you tweet about the president's reaction, they are happy at the exhaust, the president a shout out on the
iran deal. i'm grad if i had that the lawmakers led by democratic leader pell lowsy who have taken care to judge the deal. tell us about how leader pelosi got the votes she got although 25 went over and voted against the iran deal in the house. >> right. well, you know, this is not just a win for president obama and his legacy as he builds this iran deal but really for the democratic leadership here in congress. leader pelosi was able to keep so many of her democratic lawmakers, they are in the minority, but keep them aligned behind president obama, enough numbers really that had the republicans succeeded in sending a resolution of disapproval to the president and if he had sent it back with a veto, she would have had the numbers to uphold that. it's a real testament to the strength of leader pelosi in keeping folks together on what was for many a very, very difficult issue. you saw people just over the
last several weeks really taking so much care to make their decisions, talking to so many constituents, having so much pressure. they were releasing these pages and payments long statements of their views. it was a very difficult decision, but leader pelosi was able to keep her democrats behind the president and that was a real change from what i think a lot of people thought going into this, republicans really had the wind at their back going into that debate and they came out not with the outcome they had hoped for snoot house took up and pass twod ancillary mesh urks one dealing with their contention that the administration hadn't provided enough information on these so-called side deals and the other one preventing the president from lifting those fankss. so republicans see this as a win but what does this mean in terms of any future action in the senate? >> right. this is a bit of a sort of slow motion end of the debate. i think we will continue to see
votes like this, you know, possibly more in the house and certainly senate majority leader mitch mcconnell has already set up another vote in the senate for next tuesday evening to try again to break the democratic filibuster on the senate's resolution of disapproval of the deal. those efforts at this point appear to be largely symbolic because it does not seem that republicans are going to be able to change any of their democrats tick colleagues to join them on this. i think once these lawmakers have made up their minds, again, on a very difficult decision, it's difficult for them to switch back. so these measures will sort of be out there and i think there will be continued efforts, but i don't know that it will result in any changes to the implementation of the iran deal which as you know by september 17th was sort of the original deadline, congress appears that it will kind of blow past that
and have to take up these issues, you know, down the road. >> you talked about symbolic of one of the headlines in your l.a. times.com piece says that as well. the after failing to block iran deal gop conducts symbolic votes against it. take us back a little bit, back to the house and their determination to switch from a resolution of disapproval to this three prong approach including trying to pass an approval resolution and the other two measures that we talked b what's the fallout from that or is there any fallout in terms of leadership and their relationship to the rank and file on the republican side? >> sure. well, you had a real last minute sort of upsurge of opposition in the house. this is a familiar territory we've seen before where republican leaders have a plan, it's agreed on in both the house and senate and rank and file lawmakers in the house decide at the last minute not to go along. this shouldn't be surprising because there was a lot of concern among rank and file
lawmakers over the plan or the strategy, but it did certainly blind side house speaker john boehner and majority leader kevin mccarthy and they had to switch gears this week. so while the senate was passing this disapproval resolution or was trying to, which it always has been the republican plan. they thought we will take this opportunity, we will disapprove of the resolution and we will start a veto show down with the white house, we will force president obama to have to veto the bill and send it back to congress. even if congress was unable to overturn that veto, republicans thought that would at least be a strong show of their -- of their disappointment and their rejection of this deal. of course, that didn't happen. it didn't get out of the senate and the house never even voted on that because of their own infighting. the problems among the rank and file were both practical and political. they didn't -- they didn't think that the resolution of
disapproval was strong enough, they had concerns about these side deals that the atomic -- international atomic energy agency has negotiated with iran and they wanted more meat to it. they also on a practical level didn't -- they were frustrated by what was happening in the senate and the democrats' ability to filibuster. so they wanted to do something stronger that would put everyone in the house on stronger footing going forward. again, that didn't pass, either, and this issue that had once been sort of in the republican's favor really sort of collapsed around them. >> viewers can read more about the iran debate at la times.com and follow lisa mascaro on twitter @lisa mascaro. thanks for that upbet. next a forum on strategic responses to terrorism including the tactic of hostage taking. panelists including a former fbi legal attache in the middle east a former marine corps commander
and israel minister for counterterrorism affairs. it's about two hours. why don't we get started i'm professor wallace and i want to welcome you to the international institute in which i'm a colleague. i'm joe do you say joe na. the topic of this program. those of you who have come to other programs of atomic institute and ourselves will know is that yonah invariably says we shouldn't forgot the victims of terrorism. this is a program about victims in a way. maybe the first one we have had. one of my colleagues pointed out that -- i think it's isis is the affiliate of isis in egypt has just apparently killed a croatian -- not a -- i think sefs just working in egypt. so tactics and strategy.
and i think yonah mentions in this write up the is that poe best practices. one of our colleagues that you will hear dr. ullman has written a book which i happened to have read by shear coincidence at this time and he makes the point that we are not very good on strategy and i suppose it's a real test it seems to me in this area. how does one formulate a strategy in what might be the strategy for dealing this w. this extraordinary sort of array of victims who are of terrorism. we've heard a lot recently about ran some negotiation sz, et cetera, and i'm imagining that we will deal with all of these things. at this time i will turn everyone over to yonah and he will introduce the speakers and program. thank you very much.
thank you very much, don, for your brief introduction, but i know more is coming. since you did not speak in terms of substantive issues of law and that particular topic i am now going to present twou books. one is al gray, general gray is sitting next to you, only those who speak are deserved to get a copy >> i hid this. >> the only thing since -- since
you did say a few words i'm going to present to you a smaller version of yonah gray's wisdom right there. okay? >> grayisms. >> secondly i am now going to present to you another book which just was released yesterday, this is my only copy, yours is coming on nato because nato plays a very key role, as you know, in terms of piracy and counterterrorism strategy, also related to hostages and so on. we will go into this issue later on. what i would like to do very briefly because we have a very distinguished panel is to provide some context, perhaps a roadmap to what we are going to
discuss hopefully today. as moderator i am taking the liberty to do that. first of all, i would like to introduce our panel. you do have the program in front of you, i'm sure. the program itself. first of all, i would like to introduce very briefly the panel. you met professor don wallace. next to him is general al gray. the come an dant of the united states marine corps and currently chairman of the board of regents of the potomac institute for policy studies. he always requests to have the last word. he can have the last word and first word, but i am going to leave it to him to decide when
to jump into it. at any rate, we're going to have first ambassador -- retired i will say -- ed marks. fortunately for me i had the opportunity to meet him and for many, many years when he was at the office of state and contributed to our work. next to him on the left, not politically, but at any rate my friend and colleague dr. wayne zaideman. the only thing i will say now is a true academic scholar and former fbi attache in the middle east, et cetera, et cetera. then next to him is ifat refresh chef who is a minister and counselor for the middle east
and counterterrorism affairs at the embassy of israel. and then next to him -- next to her, i'm sorry, is dr. harlan ullman, also friend and colleague going all the way back to csi, he is currently a senior adviser of the atlantic council and we are fortunate to have his wisdom and articles basically every week. >> now, i would like to acknowledge the contribution of the c-span that is recording our event and bringing the discussion to a much wider audience in the united states and around the world. and to our co-sponsors in addition to the international institute, the potomac institute
for policy studies and the university of virginia law school cooperating with us, many of this discussion. let me be very, very, very brief at this point. i will have something to say later on. first of all, what we are going to discuss today basically two challenges that the international society is facing for many, many years. one is the change of mother nature of course that we know that sometimes we have no control over, but then what is of security -- grave security concern is man-made. i think our challenges first on the technological disasters that
we see what's happening now with this terrible explosion i think today in china, injuring and killing many people, devastating, which has to do with some chemical apparently explosion and the reason why i'm mentioning this, because we have to think about the future in terms that the worst is yet to come in terms of hostage taking and i will come back to it in a minute. then today of course the report about the croatian hostage allegedly was killed by the islamic state province in sinai. i say allegedly because we need the evidence in terms of that particular event, but i believe
that whatever the situation is, at least the message came through loud and clear to intimidate the international community. so it's not only the hostage himself who was slaughtered and killed, but around the world and basically the entire society is a potential victim of terrorism. so we have that particular situation and in addition to that of course we know and we are going to discuss today is the role of isis, the islamic state in this particular area. the hostages that we know that we have seen and intimidated not only the families, but the united states and their friends and allies abroad all the way
from the journalists who were beheaded, the united states, the u.k., the japanese, jordanian and so forth. so i think we would have to talk about islamic state, but also let me mention that the islamic state we have to define hostages or kidnapping in a broader context as well. that in the strategic thinking of the isis they are taking slaves as a major target and that particular practice not only individuals but entire communities and ethnic, racial and religious, i think, members and so on. in terms of the hostage situation, the media recently as you know focused attention on the u.s. citizens who are
so-called prisoners in iran and in the context of the nuclear deal with the iranians the question really was why did not the united states try to pressure iran to release the hostages and prisoners in iran. i really think that in addition to what we traditionally talk about hostages and kidnapping and i will come back to it in a minute, i think we have to look also at the pirates and piracy. whether it is a criminal act or also related to some ideological and political goal as well. piracy, again, is as old as history itself and so is
terrorism. now, in terms of the kidnapping as we know and i'm raising this again, i think we talk about kidnapping for ransom, for example, and the whole issue relates to relates to policies of government that we would have to deal with whether governments have a clear policy related to paying ransom by families, for example, or institutions and so on. so we will have to deal with that. and of course the whole area you cannot isolate the terrorism political let's say tactic from organized crime. for example, the whole issue of narco trafficking, we see what's happening in mexico, we see what's happening in central america, we see what's happening in latin america and again in
latin america it used to be the capital of kidnapping in the world. in the 1980s and '90s, but still we find a great deal of kidnapping in latin america as well, about 23% during the year. and then of course we have to look at some other regions around the world like in africa, the boko haram kidnapping or abduction of the school girls. that's particular challenge still continues and it has many implications regionally and globally. one or two other things that i think we also discuss today. one is this so-called historical lessons because we are dealing really with anniversary date, for example, what kind of
lessons can we learn? today august 13th is the fourth anniversary of the kidnapping or the abduction of the hostage taking of weinstein, a u.s. contractor who was kidnapped by al qaeda in pakistan. as you know the united states tried to rescue him and another hostage from italy. unfortunately they were killed. so this actually happened 2011, in other words, about four years ago. what kind of lessons can we learn from that? and also i would like to mention that elsewhere, for example, in spain on august 13, 1997, this is its 18th anniversary that a spanish politician blanco and we
do have some people here who are experts on spain, he was kidnapped and shot by the eta, by eta, and i think we have to remember this as well. it's not only the americans, but there are many others. we will have to deal with that. >> so the point i'm making is that we really need a new approach, so to speak, to deal with hostages in terms of placing priority rather than another victim or other statistics how to save lives. there is a saying you know in judism and islam and christianity that if you save one life it deems as if you save the entire world and after all i do hope that we learn from history. thus far we learned from history as many of you know that we
don't learn from history. what really concerns me as one of the generation of the ho holacaust because my family was killed during the second world war, 70 years later now of that particular period and also one has to talk into account some other atrocities, what is really clear that in the post world war entire communities were held hostage if we look at the situation in cambodia or in the ball cans or in rwanda and so forth. >> so, again, what i'm trying to suggest that we must look at the case studies of terrorism, of hostages and there is a very long list.
i just would mention two or three because it really provides some sort of a trend that happened since the 1970s. the first one is 1972 when the u.s. embassy in tehran was taken over and that time not only the 52 american hostages, but the united states for 444 days was held hostage. actually, i'm talk being 1979. i think in 1972 we had the earlier episode and tragedy in munich when the 11 israel athletes were taken hostage and then killed and the entire world were watching and watching and did not actually lift a finger. later on in order to do something about the terrorist
threat. finally also in 1979 the takeover of the mecca mosque by terrorists in saudi arabia that sent a signal that the threat within islam, the divide between the sunni and the shiite is also critical to take into account. with this i think context i would like to invite our speakers to discuss whatever they think is important or develop a dialogue later on. general gray, would you like to say a few words now or later on? >> later. >> okay. ed, it's all yours. here we have someone who has a very extensive diplomatic background and also academic background and he has dealt with many of these issues. as i said, we will present to you later on the books.
okay? >> thank you yonah. >> okay. >> thank you, yonah. thank you, don. are these working all right? it's good to be back here. thank you ven gunmen for inviting me back here. this time i will go to a different form because i'm leading off which enables me to make the broad general statements. last time i was here i was the last speaker and then i spent most of the time lining out stuff as everybody said anything and i ended up with notes that looked like a cia redacted document. but we will talk today yonah said about hostage taking and terrorism hostage policy. i'm going to focus mostly on the united states. it's always good to start with the definition, so the seizure or detention of a person with a threat to kill, injure or continue to detain that person in order to compel a third
person or governmental organization to do or to abstain from doing an act as an explicit or implicit condition for the release of the person being detained. that's from the u.s. code, the u.s. government's official definition. in a sense modern political hostage taking arises from two historical precedence, traditions. one, which yonah referred to is the long history of the political and military use of hostages as guarantees of good faith and the observance of obligations between states, monarchees, et cetera. but the practice of taking hostages as security for the carrying out of a treaty between civilized states is now pretty much obsolete. in 1949 geneva conventions and international convention against taking of hostages both prohibit hostage taking as a crime or act of terrorism. the criminal version of
kidnapping is also historical, lots of historical precedence of that. that continues of course. in fact n some countries hostage taking for profit has become almost an industry. ransom only being the only demand for what is basically a purely criminal activity. a major problem, therefore, facing governments in dealing with this situation is determining whether a specific threat or event is actually political intent or only pre tends to be political. because for some reason some criminals appear to be claiming that a political motivation in some way is more respectable so you have got this problem facing governments deciding what it is they're actually facing. but the modern subject we are really talk being is about political hostage taking, something intended to make a political statement, challenge an existing government or further the influence of a
particular movement or group. so i leave the question of criminal kidnapping to the fbi, this is their turf, they have been doing it for a long time. they know how to do it. now, modern terrorism hostage taking began to some degree loosely defined in the 1960s, we had the marksist terrorist groups in latin america, japan. became centers of training and orientation where marksist militants of different nationalities learned foreign trade craft from the kgb, east germans and each other. then we have the afghanistan situation i guess we will call it which spawned al qaeda and other global jihadist movements. where training was done by the cia and pakistan's inter services intelligence direct nr particular. and of course we had some of us remember now what seem like the innocent days of the red
brigades group. the boutique terrorism. that period produced traditional ust government, u.s. government ct policy. we bring terrorist toss justice, isolate state sponsors of terrorism, improve allies counterterrorism capability and with respect to hostages no concessions, no deals. after 9/11 that policy was somewhat expanded with the global war on terrorism, much more aggressive policy, at least rhetorically and especially more of a roll for the military. a hard line with others, you are with us or against us. and then we had afghanistan, iraq followed by the united states the patriot act, creation of the department of homeland security, et cetera. part of ct policy is always the question of dealing with
hostages and i was much taken by a recent discussion of the background of this policy by rand cooperation's brian jenkins who you all know. his basic thesis is that many people erroneously believe that negotiation was terrorists are prohibited in all circumstances, at least for the u.s. government. but there is no law against negotiating with terrorists, the twisting u.s. no negotiation policy was intended to apply only to hostage situations and even there it was exaggerated. as i said to begin with there is no legislation, no statute in the criminal books, no explicit directive prohibiting negotiations with terrorists. the only guidance is in the form of policy statements that pertain to negotiations. this development began in the early 1970s when terrorists began seizing diplomats and other government officials,
professional diplomats resent this enormously you know. the traditional rule of the international community is that thou shall not attack nuns, children and diplomats, but that rule is gone in a world which has clearly lost all sense of decency. the united states took the position the host country was responsible for the safety of diplomats accredited to it, yieldsing to terrorist's demands seemed only to encourage the possibility of more occurring. the united states worried that if it was seen to intervene in the negotiations it might attract more kidnappings of american officials, invite direct demands on the united states not to the host government and thereby absolve local governments of their responsibilities. the policy in a sense sealed in march 1973 when the terrorist group black september took two american diplomats hostage in
kartoom. they demanded the release of hostages held in israel. respond to go a question during the crisis president nixon stated, quote, as far as the united states as a government giving into blackmail demands we cannot do so and we will not do so, end quote. shortly after the statement went public the terrorists murdered the two diplomats plus a belgium colleague and a few days later a state department director was issued using the president's language. therefore, an unscripted response to a specific question in specific circumstances became general policy. it was used often in subsequent iterations over the year as giving -- not giving into blackmail demands became no concessions which was expanded to include no negotiations.
this was widely interpreted as a ban on all discussions. this approach became a mantra for the u.s. government repeated in numerous situations from the twa airliner high-jack nothing 1985 to secretary of state condoleezza rice stating in 2004 that, quote, the president of the united states does not negotiate with terrorists, end quote. but policy statements are not law. history and current law including the patriot act make it clear that the no negotiations policy was never intended to interfere with the authority of the executive branch to conduct foreign policy or to pursue negotiations with anybody. in addition, the reported threat by u.s. official in 2014 to persecute the family of a hostage for providing material support to a terrorist organization if they paid ransom would have gone nowhere in a
u.s. court. there are too many contrary examples. u.s. policy does not preclude the fbi from assisting families faced with ransom kidnappings and it would not be able to hold to that policy in a court. not only the united states, the united kingdom adopt add no negotiations, no concessions policy for dealing with hostages long before us, yet that policy did not preclude -- did not prevent them from communicating and eventually negotiating with the ira, nor did american policy against negotiation prevent the u.s. from using its influence on both sides in that issue. so we negotiated and dealt with the ira as well. i won't mention the peace accords in vietnam which involved the viet cong or despite the promise we made to the israelis we would never talk to the poo we in fact have talked to the poo many times and negotiate wdbj them n sum despite the situation and i will
quote brian jenkins here because he's pretty good, quote, absurd interpretations by cautious bureaucrats and con trorted for trails by unknowledgeable officials, unquote, led to the adoption of a policy which comes from essentially short term responses. now, policy guidance, in other words, is just that is correct it's guidance. it might be the right guidance, the way to go, the policy you want to follow, but you have to always let circumstances determine when it makes no sense it must be ignored and we and others have done that and will do that in the future. now, the u.s. government recently came under severe pressure, criticism for what appeared to be a very callous policy. a lot of press comment, a lot of criticism and in response president obama invoked a special review which issued a new presidential policy directive, pdd-30.
us nationals taken hostage abroad and personal recovery effects, pdd-30 reaffirms the traditional no concessions policy, but -- but for the first time no concessions does not mean no communications. the u.s. government may communicate with hostage takers and others. the u.s. government may also assist private efforts to communicate with hostage takers to secure the safe recovery ever a hostage. and this is interesting. the u.s. department of justice will no longer imply, hint or warn that families could face criminal prosecution. and then also in the best tradition of washington we have new administrative arrangements. there is now a hostage response group, an issue manager, a family engagement team and a new presidential envoy -- special presidential envoy for hostage
affairs. presumably they will join the 4050 other presidential invoice who swan up and down the halls of the state department. a factor -- a fax on the new policy was released last june on the 24th explaining the pdd and it makes two very explicit points. this is in the facts sheet to the public. the new u.s. executive order is intended to, quote, ensure that the u.s. government is doing all that it can to safely recover americans taken hostage overseas and is being responsive to the needs of their families, end quote. and second, therefore, quote, a shift in focus from providing social services to families to a new paradigm that emphasizes continual collaboration between the government and families in the safe recovery of their loved ones. the fact sheet states the u.s.
government must earn each family's trust and confidence. so now we have seen maybe not a change, but it's certainly a significant reorientation in how we're doing. now, this is all part of a change of usct policy over the last few years since 9/11. we had first an intensification of ct policy, a militarization of it, we have over the last few years trying to move from the g war to the long war, the acceptance of war complicated conflict t hasn't had too much effect on hostage policy except of the stuff i just talked about and that's all been on the tactical level. however, many of the practitioners of hostages have taken on a transnational character as yonah talked about. exacerbating this transnational political development is the intermingling of terrorist and insurgent activity with other types of transnational crime, piracy, weapons of mass
destruction and on and on. criminal organizations as well as terrorist groups have gone global present ago new challenge to governments. some of whom are overmatched and outgunned. the result is a global transnational nexus of political and criminal threats. the evolution of insurgency movements reflects what is happening to other organizations and is preventing -- providing a situation where more or less even more or less solid nation states now come under attack by actors representing self-proclaimed racial, ethnic, religious and class entities. as borders have become more open all this legal trafficking, all this illegal activity sin creasing expo mention alley. the threat to a larger number of more fragile states in today's world is obvious.
more broadly put it is the western nation state system itself which is now under attack. this means that the terms of terrorist policy we have to focus on the strategic level, the tactical level in fact is relatively simple. now with the latest development with the isis or dash we have a self-proclaimed hostage taking state. so in a sense we are returning to the older tradition, at least in the eyes of isis, the geneva conventions become relevant again, but how do you apply them? how do nation states defend themselves? the logical as well as the obvious answer is effective mobilization of the nation state system. in addition to the necessary national response by governments there must be a coordinated response by the community, the international community, several levels. governments, governments acting as groups, governments acting as
collisions and government and international organizations. much easier said than done, of course, as the current situation in the middle east demonstrates. the arab middle east is in political social collapse. this is an essential anarchy, the major regional players that are standing on the scene with ability to act to any degree, turkey, iran, saudi arabia and israel are hardly a homogeneous group and only one of them is arab. they all oppose hostage taking, at least in theory. they have a common enemy in isis, but all engage in crosscutting competitions among each other. in the end as in the beginning it's all about politics. you could deploy special operation force teams from now until dooms day and you will not solve the problem. what challenges about dealing with hostage taking in the middle east in particular is what challenges us with dealing
with the middle east period. how to sort out our en these from our friends. thank you. [ applause ]emies from our friends. thank you. [ applause ] as i said you will get your books. >> is this a political commentary? >> yes. >> that i got the small book? >> it was designed free by potomac institute to be the size of an iphone 6. >> okay. we have to continue. by the way, i think we have to discuss not only groups, the islamic state and al qaeda and the others and states of course, but also the lone wolves, meaning that particularly now as
we are seeing to take over a theater and to hold the people who came to watch a movie hostage in a way and all that. obviously we have to think about also the future in terms of the involvement of the so-called lone wolf now to weapon niez, let's say, balla and take over, you know, entire communities hostage. let me move on to our friend and colleague dr. wayne zaideman. as i mentioned with his experience for decades at the fbi, but also academically, he has a doctorate from nyu on iran and i will ask him to share with us his experiences in the middle east and elsewhere.
>> thank you, professor yonah. when i took a crisis hostage negotiations course in the fbi in the early '90s it was focused basically on criminal hostages and when i asked the instructor, well, what about terrorist situations, he said, well, you would handle it the same way. i'm going to go through this and show how i believe that was incorrect at that time and is incorrect now. they said -- they taught us that when you have a hostage negotiation or a barricade situation where a crime has gone wrong and they have taken hostages or there is a domestic dispute and there is a feeling of desperation by the people or somebody who wants to commit suicide by cop by having a
policeman shoot them and there's hostages involved, they said the first thing the people tend to want to do is work on problem-solving spring and then the behavioral change, hopefully the behavioral change is hands up and they leave. but that rarely works unless you precede it with three other things to do. the first is active listening. they basically mirror what the hostage taker is saying and in effect letting them tell their side of the story. then you bring empathy into it. you want to determine how they feel or what their feelings are. and then you want to gain rapport and gain their trust. once this process gains momentum then you get into the influence part, which is working on problem-solving spring with the hostage takers and bringing about the behavioral change.
however, this has very little relation to modern day hostage taking when you are dealing with islamic extremist terrorism. let me go into a little bit of history before i go into the islamic extremist ideology. in 1980s, around 1986, president ronald reagan transferred arms for seven hostages in lebanon and he finally in 1996 admitted that, but said that it wasn't to gain the hostage release, it was to foster better relations with iran, but in effect what this proved was it became a revolving door. you pay for hostages, they lee rooe lease them and then get more hostages and that was whafrg going on in lebanon at the time. in 2002 president bush had a policy that ransom can be paid
if officials believe if doing so would help gain intelligence about the terrorist groups or individual terrorist but not for the sole purpose of freeing american hostages because you don't want to encourage more terror and you don't want to materially support terrorism, but this did allow for negotiations and it did allow for using the rationale of helping to gain intelligence about the terrorist groups or the terrorists. as ambassador marks mentioned there is a statute, u.s. statute 18 us code 1203 about the seizing or detaining of u.s. citizens outside the united states. basically as he mentioned the policy in some ways remained the same. you can negotiate but no concessions, no ransom, no change in u.s. policies to reward the hostage takers,
however, as you mentioned the one change is that we can -- while we urge the american citizens not to pay ransom, if they want to do it anyway we provide basic logistical support and help with contacts with the host governments. it should be noted that the department of justice has never -- and i repeat never prosecuted anyone for paying a rans ransom. now, recently president obama swapped five top taliban commanders in exchange for army sergeant bowe bergdahl. now, the rationale that he used was that for our own soldiers we do not leave anyone behind once a conflict is over. howev however, in my opinion sergeant bergdahl lost this covenant owed to our troops when he deserted and when he collaborated with
the enemy n that case i think that he lost the right to have the united states release five top taliban commanders for his release. in 2002 the national criminal justice reference service pointed out that the hamas mowed does operandi is to kidnap israel soldiers or civilians to bargain for release of their prisoners. now, my colleague ifat will go into this this further detail but their policy was no concessions and they relied on hostage rescue operations, however, due to public pressure, israel is a small country and people tend to know each other and as a result israel began releasing prisoners and some -- there was some criticism of government officials for releasing those who had [ inaudible ] in return for
releasing hostages. now, getting on to the hostage negotiations for islamic extremists i must know that terrorists -- radical islamic terrorist right side not concerned about public opinion. they are not concerned -- their audience is not what the public says, their audience is only god. their validation comes from god. so as a result there is no need to minimize casualties. in fact, it's fine for them to maximize casualties, it's find for them to do barbaric things like beheadings, burngs, drownings, crucifixions. the leadership believes to know what god wants of them. for example, in iran the religious scholars rule on behalf of the imam until his return so they are tied in with god basically and once the
citizens of a country empower the clergy to speak on behalf of god they are forever precluded from criticizing the clergy. it would be like criticizing god himself. so terrorism becomes an act of religious expression. now, one time people of the book, which would be like jews and christians, were a protected status. while they were persecuted and while they had to pay exorbitant tax rates and they were second class citizens, at least they were protected from being killed. they were people of the book. however, islamic extremists get around this, too. instead of people of the book they refer to jews, christians or fellow muslims who don't agree with them as mush rmplt akin which is a pagan. by changing the label anyone can
become a fair target. christian, jew or fellow muslim. now, lands that were once islamic are part of the islamic entity until the end of time. so it's not negotiable. for example, spain was at one time under islamic rule, israel at one time was under islamic rule. so therapy excluded from negotiating or giving up any part of that and it's an obligation on them to wage jihad until either the people are willing to be ruled under islam or they become muslims. now, what's my solution? we can't win a war against terror in our time. we can't win any war if we wore about political correctness and collateral damage. it's true that we have to identify the enemy, the enemy is islamic extremist terror.
and while it is important to try our best to limit civilians casualties, we cannot become paralyzed by -- to take action for worry that there will be some collateral damage. if we were paralyzed in this way in world war ii we would have lost the war. we must identify the enemy and allow the military to succeed in its mission. during world war ii if we were worried about collateral damage, we wouldn't have been bombing dresden or japan. we wouldn't have obtained unconditional surrender. politically fought wars end badly. we must fight to win and obtain an unconditional surrender. if we go back to a position of military and economic strength, we can deter war. with weakness, war is inevitable. [ applause ]
>> thank you very much. we'll come back to some of the issues that you raised. our next speaker is a minister can counsellor as i mentioned before. he's a graduate of tel aviv university, the school of law in cairo and the israeli embassy several times. and she will deal with the israeli response. taking aincidentally, they declared they do have some body parts of some of the israeli
soldiers were killed during the gaza campaign about a year ago. and it raises a lot of questions. >> thank you very much, professor alexander. can everybody hear me? thank you. i'm here to share a little bit of our experiences in the state of israel. and i have to say from the start that i will offer more dilemmas than answers. i simply don't have -- we don't have good answers for what is one of the toughest, i think, most difficult situation for decision makers anywhere and in the state of israel in particular.
another o another opening remark is i will not be discussing isil. unfortunately we border isil and al qaeda. but we still have bigger threats and bigger problems that we face from those terrorist organizations that have been targeting israel for decades now. mostly palestinian terrorist organization and lebanese, the most famous lebanese terrorist organization which is the famous proxy of iran, hes bola. this is one that has gone through different phases. it's fair to say we are still undermidst of the learning curve. while we've reached several
conclusions this is not the end of the process unfortunately. i would like to begin with first of all, the understanding that while we, i think, we in israel face a unique aspect of the phenomenon of kidnapping for ransom, which is to say we are mostly faced by a ransom which is to release prisoner, to release terrorists, this is not kidnapping for ransom that is paying money. so the families of the people who are kidnapped be soldiers or citizens are not faced with this dilemma. that the former speaker spoke about whether to pay out of pocket or get the money in another way. this is an issue that the states need to deal with and the understanding in israel is this
is the responsibility of the state to deal with these issue. the families can do a lot in terms of public relation campaigning, in terms of making this issue remain very much in the news. it's not in their capability to do whatever is needed to release their loved ones. so this is an another, i think, remark, which is unique to our situation. but, also, i would like to give a little bit of background in saying that the whole issue of kidnapping for ransom is actually a very old one in our tradition or the tradition of the jewish people. not only it has roots in the bible. but this is one of the most important commandments you have in the jewish religion, and it
was extensively debated in the rabbinical literature because not only it referred to a phenomenon that was going on, jewish communities were phasing situations where people were became hostage or put in jail by authorities in order to pressure the community to pay ransom. the reason for that was not just the fact that they were very vulnerable in different places and under different circumstances, but because there was such commandment, a commandment that was considered much more important than other commandments that dealt with ho helping the poor, helping the weak and the issue of solidarity within the jewish communities. that was very known to their surroundings. so we have discussions that they're going back almost 2,000
years ago. what's fascinating is the same questions and dilemmas we have today were already discussed bide our sages, by our most important rabbis from those years. and the questions are mostly how do you weigh the life of a person, the life of an individual and the better benefit of the whole community. and how do you put value on human life. could it even be possible? and if you are willing to give everything you have and the ransom back then was, indeed, mostly money, if the community is ready to get the funding necessary and to pay the ransom, wouldn't that be counterproductive because it would just bring about the next incident where a person from the community would be abducted,
kidnapped and so on and so forth. these dilemmas are very ancient in our history. and the dilemmas continue, the answers, i'm afraid have not been very successful. the answers have been given, by the way. there is even -- was even an attempt to actually say you can pay ten times the fair value of a hostage. and, again, you can ask who is to tell what is a fair value of a human being? how can you even presume to say that? apparently, people found ways to do that. i have to say, even those rules were not exactly maintained. there were exceptions. for example, in the case of a husband and wife, the husband has the duty to pay everything he has to release his wife, at least for the first time. in the case of important jewish scholars, for example, some of the rabbis thought there are no
limits to what you need to pay because these people, their value for the community is much higher and so on and so forth. again, this is to say that rules were never really kept. there were attempts to sort of create some kind of logic for the community to operate according to, but the reality was always stronger than those attempts. if i go now to our times, the modern state of israel, again, the nature of the demands have changed. it is mostly the release of prisoners, the release of terrorists. that adds another set of complications and dilemmas, of course, to our decision makers because mostly it's again, a question of motivation, it's a question of if you do pay this price, what happens next? wouldn't that just encourage the next abduction, the next hostage
taking, the next kidnapping? but, also, we have to take into consideration that those people that are released. those terrorists, they themselves have the potential in a lot of times it's been fulfilled to go back with and engage in terrorism. the dilemma we are facing is, again, how do you weigh lives against lives. if you know there is a person or persons, a citizen or a soldier that have been kidnapped. they have a face, they have a name. they have parents, they have family, they have friends. we are a very small country and everybody knows everybody. at the same time, you are asked today release arch terrorists that once released will probably go back to terrorism and then they might kill an indefinite number of people that you still don't know their identities and their face and