tv Politics and Public Policy Today CSPAN April 26, 2016 2:30pm-4:31pm EDT
person's life and implicate the privacy to that extent is a concern for the court. i think it's the vanguard official live looking at some of the documents that underlie the fourth amendment for the third party rule which basically says, once you turn information over and expose it to a third person, you no longer have a reasonable expectation. >> that was actually going to be my next to the last question. you're all going to have a chance to ask questions in about five minutes here. so think of questions you might have. but a large fraction of what the intelligence collects it does not necessarily collect directly. it collects from third parties, whether it's telephone operators or police departments or google, you name it, there's just a host of new collection platforms out
there that are privately operated, that the government can tap into. often without much, if any, judicial intervention, because as you say, the third party rule has been around since the 1970s. says that if you've exposed this information to your bank or your telephone company, you don't have any fourth amendment privacy right in it it. and the statutory rules often have pretty broad national security law enforcement sections that allow ready to access. so, the last question i'd ask you to talk about is your prediction about whether or not -- that's going to change and your assessment of whether or not it needs to change. and are you comfortable at least from a constitutional level that does not involve courts in the collection of information from third party providers.
>> yeah, i'm generally comfortable with the existing set of rules. based on the cases jones and subsequent case called riley involving a cell phone. so the trend is one that we're going to have to watch closely. because i was a prosecutor in d.c. for ten years i can't imagine a regime where i get a cell phone record for a suspect or a record or a subpoena relative to a criminal investigation. but changing that basic rule, that once you turn that information over you've lost justification of privacy seems to be fundamental to think about how we conduct criminal investigations. again, it's important to know it is subject to subpoena. so there is court oversight in the sense that the chief judge
overseas the grand jury recommendation. so there's the opportunity for people to challenge that, you know, subpoena. but i do think it's a good question, that we're going to see some efforts change. >> i would put my faith more in legislative oversight and solution to the kinds of problems you anticipated than i would in a court solution. i used to be a judge and i hung out with judges. and i can't think of a group of people, you know, most of them, you know, poly-sci majors and whatnot, less suited for making this kind of decision by training with ability to gather evidence. they have no ability to gather evidence. they consider what people put before them, period. people may have more confidence in them, but that confidence may
very well be misleading. i think it's a responsibility better exercised by a legislature that has the ability to gather facts in private when necessary or executive session. and consider putting restrictions on how information is handled. rather than having courts cut with a meat ax to determine what is believable. >> that's an interesting perspective. i'm just reflecting on that fact to what general hayden said on the last panel about the growing lack of confidence that he perceives the american public having in their representative institutions for making these decisions. now, granted, judges are being less remember tpresentative. but you just premised the entire -- well, the bulk of your response on somehow reviving
that confidence in congress. as a -- i guess i agree with you but that sort of troubles me. >> it troubles me, too. but to say that people don't have confidence in a representative government is not to say that you're okay to turn it over to somebody else because people have lost confidence. i think the answer to that is prove your socks off and get yourself worthy of confidence. >> and we have experience with cases talking about going back a number of decades to the statute. smith versus maryland rule. the supreme court rule you that don't have anticipation of privacy in the numbers dialed into your phone under the fourth amendment. so if congress enacted and adopted a statute that regulated the government's ability to obtain access to that type of information and a regime of court approval based on a
standard that even though wasn't required by the fourth amendment, it does further their privacy from there. >> i was planning more questions but we've got about 10, 12 minutes left. i thought i'd invite the audience to participate. i see one and then two -- the gentleman in the tan and the gentleman in the front row. anybody over here want to get my attention? >> thank you, tim wilson, american citizen, british veteran involved in counterterrorism. it seems to me that we're not the only country that has problems like this. britain, too, has been through a fair amount. back in the late '70s and early '80s, the provision ira was bombing. one situation that came up, the city of london realized it was the most expensive real estate
in the world. it was private enterprise that installed the first network of cameras with facial recognition software all bought privately initially around there for the city of london police. britain still seems a pretty free country. i'm delighted to see this debate going on. but it does seem to me there may be some other way of reinventing the wheel. perhaps we can look at other nations. we're not alone in this. your thoughts, please. >> london has the most comprehensive network of cameras anywhere in the world. i had not known until just now that this was provided by private enterprise originally. we're now, of course, having a bit of a tangle with private enterprise in other setting. sure, i think we can learn from
it. and we can learn from the fact that people go about their business in london, perfectly relaxed about the fact that cameras are focused on them because they know that although the camera may pick up their image, there isn't some public official sitting in an office some place monitoring their particular activity. and now it's not the gathering of the information, but rather how it's processed, who processes it and for what purpose. and so long as it's being processed only in rare number of instances for a perfectly proper purpose, people are perfectly relaxed about it. >> right here.
>> my question is -- >> the question sort of how -- how do we conduct information sharing with japan or i can make it more broadly another country. when i was at the center, we weren't the main way information was shared on counterterrorism. that largely is done by the collection agencies themselves, cia and nsa and fbi with their counterparts. because they were the initial collectors of the information. they understood who to share it with, what rules would apply to the sharing of information. you know, that's it. we had had strong relationships with japan and particularly countries in europe and
cia, fbi, or police. >> thank you. i mean, it's a good perception, but sometimes, coordination is not as well directed as it might be. this woman here. wait for the microphone, please. >> thank you. doris white, housewife. the question i have i don't think the american people have more cases of law. the question i have when the law remains consistently the case the policy changes as it has to, how did that policy change
affect people at your level in terms of where you draw the chalk line? interpretation of the law and what can and cannot be done, are you personally affected by your policy on the executive level? i think that's what we want to know. that we don't know if we are protected -- protected by the law but interpretation of that law, i would assume you guys would continue your integrity, no matter what the executive pressures are? i hope that's the case. >> the policy determinations are made by the political branches and the people who are selected to staff them, the people they appoint. the law remains -- it's supposed to remain constant. and either you get a policy
request from either within -- within the department or from an entity outside the department, usually goes to the office of legal counsel. and they answer questions every day. can we do this, can we not do this? and the policy is supposed to be what our democracy is about. it's supposed to be the basis on which we complete it. they were apply this policy or that policy. but they will apply in a setting where the law is supposed to remain the same. >> i would just add, i do think your question is, you knowee reflects this view. it's that many people recalled what we learned in the last few years is that the intelligence agencies were abusing the authority that they had. and i think that's really unfortunate. because, you know, i served as a lawyer for the justice department with judge mukasey,
and that's not the right perception. there was not an abuse. in fact to report like i identified from the private use for citizens, i did independent reviews. but you know, what my experience has been that these agencies are working very hard to stay within the bounds of the law. and if anything, lawyers play a greater role than ever before, in channeling, controlling, directing, guiding intelligence activities. and that's generally been a positive thing. and that perception that nsa, for example, who has run amok in the last five years just has a false perception. >> my favorite is that really the famous shakespeare line -- first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers -- but it's set by somebody who wants to disrupt and create chaos in society. and he thinks killing the lawyers will eliminate the clue that keeps and binds society
together. that's matt's job. he's the glue. this lady here, that gentleman there, i think that will probably take us to the end. >> yeah, claudia rezack, i'm a journalist. >> that's an understatement, folks. she's a pro journalist. >> thank you. i have a question about the broad case. you're discussing details of how to ensure justice, follow the law, what should be done. and yet you get sort of following the housewife question these sweeping policies that where we see the rise of isis in syria. we see iran having access to a large amount of money and markets and mobility, all of which that seems like a terrorist threat in this country, in major ways. and here i'd just like to ask you, okay, in one sense that might be a good employment program for the intelligence
community because of the job that further contracts, but is there a rise in frustration that makes it difficult to get good work done? in other words, meticulous crafting of things to try to track down these threats and then broadbrush policy that engenders massive amounts more, inside the intelligence community hour, does that play out? >> i think your question suggesting the reality which is the threats we face are in some way becoming more complex. just looking at the terrorism side of the security promoted here. the number of spread of jihadist groups has grown. so the threat is up. and at the same atime, our capabilities are going down. so the trend lines are going in the wrong direction. and that that is certainly a source of frustration for people
who are responsible, who are charged with protecting the country. and let me just say, a little bit more, one of the reasons our capabilities are going down is because we explained so much -- we've given away so much. not so much explained. but we've let loose so much information on how we conduct surveillance. that's a critical way in terms of how we lose ability to conduct surveillance. we lost capability at the time when we need that capability more than ever. >> the value of it. >> the gentleman over there. >> hi. briefly, i worked in air force intelligence and now i'm an entrepreneur where i can move things along a little quicker. i'm curious, where -- an intelligence agency, how and where should they cooperate with
the private sector? and we can think about apple and the fbi, if you want to do that, or just speak more generally. >> sure. among the negative repercussions of the snowden leaks, in some way from our vantage point, the most damaging has been the impact on the cooperation between the private sector and the government, when it comes to protecting this country. and we're seeing this play out in a number of ways. you've identified one. but i think it's really across the board. and it's been critical thwarting terrorist communities to be able to take advantage of innovation, ingenuity within the technology community in the united states. and if that's not available to nsa, cia and fbi that will make us significantly less capable. i think we made back some of the ground -- we've regained some of the ground we lost in terms of the snowden leaks, in terms of
trust of the american people. and allies and a long way within the intelligence community and ai think it's caused some concern. >> i think, actually, i'll use the moderator's words. i think it's really an interesting development when people sound like they're more likely to trust a large private company to defend their freedom than they are their own representative government. that's a description, not a critique. maybe that's where we are right now box of some of the snowden revelations but it certainly isn't consistent with the madisonian tri-part model that we were talking about earlier. with that, it's 11:55. we're going to take a five-minute break and come back to our keynote lunch address by the honorable michael rodgers. please join me in thanks general
results from today's primaries in connecticut, delaware, maryland, pennsylvania and rhode island will be part of our campaign 2016 coverage tonight. we'll also hear from the candidates and will take your phone calls and get reactions on facebook and twitter. it all starts tonight live at 8:30 eastern on c-span.
and we have more now on the role of intelligence in national security with house intelligence committee chair, mike rogers. he outlined global threats facing the u.s. including russian aggression, chinese cyber espionage and nuclear programs. also the importance of creating a strategic advantage for the u.s. and its allies. welcome back from that short break. i hope you enjoyed the second panel as much as i did. we're going to continue the conversation and particularly pleased to have mike rogers give us his viewpoint now in a key post. we heard from two panels really giving you a view from the
executive branch perspective and we're building our way to the last panel which is the view from inside the white house from the national security advisor and how the president actually uses intelligence. but for now we have a lunchtime treat for you and my friend michael allan will be giving some framing remarks. mike started his career at the republican national committee and he worked for senator sessions. after law school he worked for president bush in the white house national security area and for about three years he was a staff director. i can't think of a better person to introduce our keynote speaker than mike allan. [ applause ] >> thanks cully and david and to heritage for organizing such a
great event. it's an honor for me today to introduce my former boss and future national security leader mike rogers, former congressman and chairman of the house intelligence committee. i want to speak by way of introduction for a few minutes about chairman roger's time as chairman of the house intelligence committee. he was a strong, conservative voice for conservative internationalism. a strong national defense and an aggressive and fair intelligence community. himself once a man in the field as an fbi agent, he knew what it was like to be around the camp fire and to be at the tip of the sphere and he brought those instincts back to washington. when i was his staff director and chairman rogers when he was a member of the committee had a reputation for jumping on c-130s
or going down range as it was called to different places where some were unenthusiastic to go down range when he was chairman of the committee but the main point is he was never content with the party line in washington and always wanted to go out to the source to get the real story. and through that experience won the confidence of the men and women in the intelligence community and was able to therefore earn their trust. and they would give him and by extension of the committee the real story of what might be going on in the war on terror itch and our struggles with china or russian. i want to give two or three examples and i'll turn it over to the keynote speaker. but the first example i think of what you can do on the
intelligence committee as a member was the role chairman rogers played with regard to the war on terrorism. he is a member of the committee that became aware of a misalignment of resources and some of our direct action programs and lobbied very hard all the way up to president bush to try to correct what he saw as a rule of engagement issue and some micromanagement that was hurting the way the national security operation was running in the united states. he brought this attitude to the chairmanmanship and i think when president obama and some of his directors became weighed down with rules of engagement and other micro management issues was able to take their concerns directly to the director, in some cases over and over and over again. on a couple of occasions it was over dinner and i was relieved
that there was wine served to calm the atmosphere there. chairman rogers also knew when things needed a good airing in the intelligence community. i think history is going to show that he was one of the ones that really broke the dam on chinese economic espionage. he spoke about this in our world hearings from 2011 and 2012 and people began to talk about our intellectual property. chairman rogers was a friend and a real compatriot and someone who listened to what people deep in the intelligence community were telling members of congress. and in the case of chinese telecommunication giants that seemed to be growing across the world, chairman rogers announced an investigation and put out a
report that i think educated people around the globe. indeed, you can't read an article about zte today without there being a reference to the report that chairmanen rogers and mr. roopersburger put out warning of this element in china. finally, in the age of snowden when so many people turned tale and wouldn't defend the national security agency, chairman rogers stood tall in the saddle and helped explain to the american people the need for great intelligence and why it was so critical to our national security and diplomacy and giving us indications and warning across the globe. this is a time when it wasn't popular to stand up and certainly at a time when the president wasn't necessarily doing all he could have been doing to back some of our men and women in the intelligence community. he was a tough critic of the intelligence community and certainly went after them on
budget matters and authorities and like i said earlier, on areas where he thought there was too much micro management, but i think his chairmanship will be regarded in history as one that's sort of re-established a tradition of aggressive but fair oversight of the intelligence community. therefore i'm pleased to introduce the chairman here today, chairman mike rogers. thank you. [ applause ] >> i wish mike was that nice to me when i was chairman. that would have been great. i'm very fortunate. i see former staff folks here. i think we had assembled at a time in history some of the most able national security people in this town and in this country to help so any success that i had was led by my staff director as well and the able team that he put together. i was always honored not only to call them colleagues but friends
as well in what i thought was very, very serious course work in trying to get the intelligence business right. i also want to point out the quickest yes i think i ever got to one of these is when david shed called me and said would you participate. he's a guy whose integrity is inpeckable, who i had the great privilege to work with the entire time i served on the intelligence community. david, it was a loss when you left, and believe me, there's still a hole there that is yet to be filled with your experience and your intellect that you apply both at the cia and the dia and i want to say thank you very much. well done. i want to talk a minute and i want to get to questions just about where we are a little bit. somebody the other day and i was with leon panetta, the former secretary and we were at an event and somebody asked, what is the biggest threat, what is the biggest threat facing us today. you have is to stop and pause and look at the world that's certainly changed. the security structure of the world, the threat matrix has
significantly changed just in the last few years. i thought about it for a second and i said one issue, one thing scares me more on all of the land, air, sea, cyber, space threats that we now face in ways we couldn't even contemplate 15 or 20 years ago, and that's miscalculation. what if we get it wrong on north korea? what if we get it wrong on some maritime conflict in the south china sea? what if we get it wrong on the new missile testing program? what if one of our allies gets it wrong? they make a mistake they were very aggressive about wanting to show that they could push back against chinese aggression with
the united states help, but they wanted to lead that charge. now you have some kind of a conflict, small conflict. we could spend two hours today talking about the threats. i give cyber talks all over the country and normally my job is apparently just to scare the e bejesus out of people on how bad it's getting. but the one way that we, the united states, has the ability to leverage away from that miscalculation, certainly in a diplomatic core that's engaged in the world all the time, and secondly is good intelligence. intelligence in the last couple of years has certainly taken a beating by reputation, i think completely undeservedly. you think about where we are and
what kind of problems have been caused i think by nation states deciding that intelligence services are bad. i argue that europe is suffering under the hangover of world war ii. they geared their laws on what the activities of their intelligence services based on what they witnessed and suffered under intelligence services whose business it was to oppress their populations. so you can't blame them. you can't blame how they got there. when you look at what happened in brussels or paris or even the united kingdom, you can see where those laws, rules, restrictions, are pushing in to the strategic value of intelligence services protecting its population. intelligence services are bad was their fundamental building block. that's not going to work. let's look at a great example on that recently. bell ja con is a major
telecommunication company in brussels. brussels was leading that charge in many ways to do the kinds of operations it needed to do to keep brussels safe, to get the information, at least on the counter-terrorism threat for sure. so what was happening is european -- other european intelligence services decided that there was lots of threats, threats to this particular country. these folks were coming through great britain according to public reports, going to other places across europe. they needed information on these individuals as they traveled across europe. so they decided one way, again according to public reports, that they were going to go in and try to get those communications, follow those individuals across europe by going into one of the telecommunication companies that had lots of access to those kind of target sets. and it was beljacon. the snowden leaks come out. they say oh, my gosh, this
intelligence service, great britain, is spying on europe. how awful, how terrible. we need to really gear ourselves to closing it down. what happens is all of the information that the u.k. was collecting, was disbursing -- there's a great article on this you can read in some of the british reporting, talked about the value of the information that they were getting that they could go back to brussels intelligence services and police agencies and say you have a problem and you don't know it, here it is. they could go to places like paris and say you have a problem by the way, here it is. they could go to places like germany and say you have a problem, here it is. that went away. we decided -- the european union decided through big versio investigations to target the ability to collect information which was lawfully and appropriate by their nation's laws and collection standards to protect both their country and
the added benefit of that was across the european union. so think about that debate. in that same time period -- this was exposed in about 2014. that same time period there was this huge rampup of fake passports. the thai police had an arrest on an individual who was iranian, traveled to thailand on a fake passport, stays in thailand for 20 years on a fake passport. his sole purpose in thailand was to engage in the production of fake passports. his clientele were middle eastern clients seeking passports to get into europe. when they arrested him -- there was gum shoe detective work. this isn't any big intelligence operation. somebody found a case of resident stickers going to a
place through a random inspection through a customs house. that's how they got onto this. the guy had been there for 20 years. when they came in the door they had 1,000 passports ready to go, 173 already named, i.d.ed and by the way they had veisa stamps already through these fake passports. and they were exceptionally good. a pakistani ring was operating in greece for about five years. they broke up a ring recently. how did they get that? same way. somebody in syria was mad at the competition. they were sending a case of these resident stickers that were immaculately close. they were so good, so detailed, so accurate. it was going in with the adhesive on the back and all you had to do is take it out of the box, put it on your passport, you're ready to go.
you're now legal in greece. if you're legal in greece, you can go other places as well. the reason they got onto it, it wasn't great intelligence and people trying to figure out what bad things are trying to happen to these countries. it was somebody got jealous because another ring had opened up and in syria the guy called up and said i got one for you. here's a big days coming into greece. you ought to take a look at where that goes, hangs up the phone. we used to love those cases in the fbi. that's always great. you want that cooperation. but that's not a way when you're under siege to protect your nation. strategic intelligence can help you do that. unleashing the power of these intelligence services to actually find out what they can do versus all the time and energy we spend trying to tell them what they cannot do. and we miss that boat. it happened here a little bit in the united states. we saw that same suffrage. the president issued a directive that restricted certain collection activities in the united states. we're going to pay a price for
that. i argue in many ways we have already paid a price for that. because of that restriction. again, the debate here, the political debate was how do we restrict these big, bad intelligence agencies from doing something really bad and awful. now, they never found anything big, bad and awful. everything was legal and appropriate, even the president's review teams were external, all found that they were legal and appropriate. the congressional investigations found that they were legal and appropriate. might not have liked what they were doing, that's a different topic, but there was nothing illegal about it. in that debate, in that nsa contractor leak of massive am s amounts of information, we decided our intelligence agencies were bad. think about the threats today. think about what's going on today. the russians are certainly on the march. what we see in russian change of policy on cyber ought to give you a bead of sweat. they have fundamentally changed where they're coming at us. we are going to get that
miscalculation effort somewhere. they have gone into a place like ukraine and shut down their electric grid. now, the good news about ukraine is it wasn't connected the way our electric grid might be connected. so they just basically went back and as i joked before, got into a little trouble for this, love my ukrainian friends, pulled the lawn mower startup and personally ran them. they got their power back after this massive attack. guess what, we couldn't do that. it would take a very long time. when you start to see russian policy change on being more aggressive in cyber in ways that we had never seen before, especially when it comes to destructive attacks overseas and doing activities in the united states where it's clear that they don't mind that their signatures are being found, that tells you we better pay attention. we have a strategic problem now in cyber space. they've launched a very sophisticated nuclear submarines. they're talking about running more runs up to the arctic.
we announced we're going to cut our army. they announced that they are sending 40,000 in a training exercise in the arctic. strategically we need to understand what the world is thinking. that's how you avoid miscalculation. what are the chinese thinking by for the first time in their history announcing by parliament last year that they were going to allow chinese troops outside of their defensive region. when they did that, they passed it in the parliament. first time ever the chinese have military components outside of their defensive region. they've upped their silent submarine cache to a way that's very, very disturbing. they've invested in militarization of space to try to take away a strategic advantage for the united states of america. they've developed counter ship missiles that make our navy folks very, very nervous.
why? they're basing their strength on what our strength is. in other words, they're trying to go after our achilles heel. gps, great example, very concerned about how russia and china have militarized space in a way that could disrupt our ability for gps. you think of the strategic advantage of the united states of america. it's because we have smart weapons and smart ships and smart aircraft and everything else that's pretty smart. it got so bad and the navy worries about this and if the navy is worried about it i argue you ought to worry about it, that every new naval officer off the class of 2013 has to learn how to use the sextant developed in 1724. every new naval officer that graduates will now have to use the sextant. our military is very concerned what happens when that carrier gps goes out. i know what many of you are thinking, how do i get to starbucks? can you imagine 30 million very
cranky noncaffeinated americans in the morning? we're going to have a problem. if you look at those strategic threats and how that tilt has happened and many have started to argue both in this town and around the world about america's loss of strategic advantage in the world. some would argue it's a little. some would argue it's a lot. some say it's 10 years out, 15 years out, 20 years out, but our adversaries are working on the option that every day that they get better and we don't, the cia director recently said that the cia does not steal secrets. i don't know about the rest of you, that scared me to death. as an fbi agent, you don't want your agents stealing secrets but you sure want your cia stealing secrets. that tells you that there might be a little bit of a strategic problem in how we're approaching strategic intelligence.
if you're not stealing secrets, how in god's green earth do you know what chinese military leadership's intentions are? when they show up, we need to know what are their intentions. and you do that to avoid miscalculation. sometimes people were upset, i wasn't one of them, that maybe we were looking at our good friends and allies on occasion in the intelligence business, you do that because sometimes your allies can get you in more trouble than you can get in yourself. you think of the defense pacts we have around the world. what if japan decides they want to be aggressive with a china convoy. we ought to know that. what if the filipinos decide they're going to be aggressive on pushing back without coordination with the united states. we have a defense pact with the philippines. shouldn't we know that?
shouldn't we know that germany had relationships with iran prior to the iran deal? i argue we probably should know that. shouldn't we know what they're thinking after the iran deal? i would argue i would like to know that. if i'm a policy maker whose finger is on that button, if i'm deciding how to use our strategic intelligence to avoid trouble, then we need to be as aggressive as we can in accordance with the law. so we're in this hangover period is basically where i think we are today. we're still hung over. we're trying to figure it out. the fbi beats up apple, apple beats up fbi, completely inappropriate in my mind. we should have handled that behind closed doors. there's no path forward. all that's happened now is they found a solution that doesn't mean they have to go to court. fair enough. all of those policy discussions are going to have to happen. this is what worries me most about our strategic alliances in the world and the value of intelligence collection we get. self-restriction, big problem in
u.s. intelligence collection for really not great reasons. not because we found anything illegal but because we didn't feel right. okay? bad call, interesting decision, not great for our strategic value in trying to avoid miscalculation. but when you look at the alliances of economics and security in the world, some of them are starting to part. so why does apple as a great example here locally say we're for endescription, fbi, go stuff it. we don't care that we have the ability to get into a phone that might have information to save other american lives and lead to the full investigation of the death of 13 americans because their economics have not aligned with our national security. they need to sell these devices in europe. they need to sell these devices in china and asia. so the security and economics of that problem did not align. if you look at some of the changes in world demographics, one of our staunchest allies in
asia is australia. australia, about 25% of their gdp is related to exports to china. so now every time you have a national security discussion with australia about how we're going to push back the chinese in the south china sea, they pause for a minute. they're still one of our greatest allies and they're not going anywhere, but you can imagine the challenge now of trying to get to a place where we have a common decision matrix on how to push back either militarily or intelligence when 25% of their gdp comes from the nation state that's at question. i argue the reason strategic intelligence, the reason an intelligence posture is important and why we ought to go through every line and every personal and presidential directive when we get the
opportunity, i know they debate at 12333. there are some restrictions in there that we can probably improve on. we ought to go back and say what serves u.s. interest and the world's interest by the way and we should stop apologizing for helping europe because we had an aggressive intelligence campaign that may have found the culprit or a new cell or the fact that, say, the taiwanese were able to get passports that were used in thailand, packaged through syria to get people into europe. we call that a good day's work in the intelligence business. but none of that happened because of self-imposed restrictions either by the europeans or us. when you look at belljacon, we took a major resource of finding bad guys traveling through europe and took it off of the table in 2014. how many would like to have an
intel share sheet that says, hey, you got a problem brewing in belgium. we found them because they're talking to people in france who are talking to people in great britain who are talking to people in syria. we lost that and for what appreciable reason? i argue really none. caused a lot of problems, big investigations. spend a lot of time beating people up but not a lot of time catching folks with fake passports. the residents permit case was pretty fascinating so when they got it through customs, remember those stickers i was telling you about came prepackaged. they do the ruse of the customs inspection, oh, we found it. i used to love that. look what we stumbled on. wink, wink. so you get there, they follow it back. there were 4,000 of these resident stickers in this box, one box, 4,000. 4,000. when they got to the place, there was something on the order
of 20,000 documents being prepared in a forgery factory in the back shop of a front operation, some 20,000, one operation. one operation. we need to look at what we need to do right as we work through this process. another great example and i want to take some questions here, on the entities list and michael mentioned what i thought was a fairly ground breaking investigation on the committee into waway because we had pretty good information that the chinese were engaged in a nation state craft, espionage craft, of trying to get a company that is a chinese company into markets where they could collect information. it was one of the largest
operations to collect information against both u.s. targets but it was asia, europe, you name it. they were very aggressive. what happened recently and i don't know, michael, if you saw this. pretty interesting that the commerce department -- this is why that strategic investigation -- by the way, that report freed up some of our intelligence services to be more aggressive in their investigation. sometimes politics can get in the way on what they were up to. just put zte on the entities list because of a very complicated conspiracy to violate export rules in every country you don't want things going on -- north korea, somalia, iran, and other places around the globe. what was interesting in that investigation is it was determined -- and you can find these papers on the department of commerce website. if you really are interested in this stuff, i say read the chinese version first.
that's how i know you're really serious about this. then they have the english interpretation of the document. what they were doing is zte and the chinese company was working with a code name of another particular company. in these documents it's called f7. they were working with f7 to further this conspiracy on trying to get these units into places where they could own the pipes, and when you own the pipes you get to look at everything in it. by the way, they were trying to do this in the united states very aggressively. they were successful in a small way in the united kingdom. they were trying to do it in australia, canada. i'm sure you'll find these interesting countries of target. new zealand. i five that interesting. they were very aggressive, still trying to work at the united states. they found out through this investigation that f7 was waway. so much for the denial that these weren't intelligence operation platforms trying to get into the united states of
america. without aggressive intelligence and strategic thought in how we apply our resources, we are going to get behind the 8 ball. there are more spies in the united states today from foreign nation states than at any time in our history including the cold war. more spies today, and they're stealing everything. if it's not bolted down, it's gone. if it's bolted down, give them about an hour, they'll figure out how to get that, too. they're doing it through human operations, through cyber operations. they are stealing intellectual property at a breathtaking rate, government secrets at a breathtaking rate. anyone look at the recent chinese fighter? i think it's the j-31. looks a lot like an f-35 to me. as a matter of fact, one of the great fbi cases of the last couple of years was catching the chinese trying to steal silent technology on submarines. caught them trying to export that material through a long-term spy operation on the
west coast. fascinating case that i would highly recommend you go to the fbi website and they have a lot of these listed in these cases. so they are aggressively using their espionage networks against the united states. think of the debate in the last six months here in the united states. the government is bad. i think judge mukesy said it best when he said pretty interesting that we think these private companies are going to handle your private information better than your government which i find interesting. we always joked in the intelligence space, we would love to get one-tenth of what google has on you. unbelievable. the so the fight i think has been in the wrong direction. how do we appropriately protect privacy. that's called the fourth amendment. they've been doing it since we've been a nation. it tells you how to move forward, but now is not the time to curtail our strategic value and intelligence. if you want to avoid that miscalculation, we better know what zte is doing. we better know what russian
front companies are doing. we better understand what they're trying to do in the arctic. we better understand what putin is trying to do in syria, not just on paper, that's where his troops are on a map, but what are his intentions and long-term intentions. what are the iranians trying to do and how far will they push the united nations on missile testing? we better know that. we all better know that or we're going to pay a horrible national security price. thanks for having me. i think i went over a little bit. go into some questions, comments, concerns. lunch? yes, ma'am. >> on the iran deal, is there any way -- [ inaudible ] >> oh, look at the time. no, and let me tell you why. two things that i thought -- obviously i didn't support it. there are some good components in the iran deal. the problem is we have given away every ounce of leverage we
will ever have. this whole notion of snap-back provisions just isn't accurate under the law. so there's a provision in the deal that talks about grandfathering any contract not specific to the nuclear program which means if it doesn't do with aluminum tubes and has to do with car parts, that contract will stand, which is why you see this huge flood of inking contracts as fast as they can. we have a great american company that's trying to ink a contract as fast as they can. it would be a huge deal to this particular company. once that's signed, some notion that the united states is going to go back and undo those contracts i think is fairy dust. as a matter of fact, i had this debate last week on the west coast with one of the -- who by the way is a great diplomat and very smart, wendy sherman. we just passionately disagree on the arrangement and the deal.
the response was, well, we will reclassify those contracts. i don't know -- i don't know some lawyers in the room, somebody want to help me through that. the deal says one thing. they want to go back and try to reclassify them. good luck with that. it's not going to happen. part of my fear is we've lost all of our leverage to try to contain them which is exactly why they stepped up their missile program. three parts of their nuclear program, weaponization, enrichment and missiles. they just ramped up their missile testing very clearly. they get to have an enrichment program now. it's legitimized. i think they have whatever it was, 5,000 centrifuges spinning at any one time. weaponization, you can do this through computer modelling in a way that you don't have to have the trigger test like you used to. you still want to do that at some point to confirm your weapon system but you can go a long way on weaponization. my argument is if that was our
goal, then i think we swung and missed. i don't see a way now to get it back. what we're going to have to do is continue to put pressure -- the next president says he's going to rip it up and this all sounds great. unfortunately, it's not realist realistic. yes, sir? >> i'm from the reagan foundation. do we have enough information on north korea because of nuclear weapons that they're developing? >> anybody will tell you we never have enough. no, i don't. they were able to do some things, i think, that were -- that happened under the nose of many intelligence services, including ours, so they had some advancement i think that caught our intelligence services a little bit by surprise, which tells you that they have been very, very good about making
sure that those operations are very, very -- that the cover of those operations are pretty intense. so we have some things that they can go through on the checklist to try to figure out if you're doing something bad, five things let's say. maybe you see one or two or three but you never see four or five until this last hydrogen bomb, so-called hydrogen bomb explosion. i think that caught a few people off guard. it tells you it's a very hard target, very hard to penetrate, which is why the investment in that strategic intelligence component which means all of the avenues we have available. it could be satellites. it could be signals. it has to have a human component. these are big, expensive programs, all of them. i argue if you want to avoid something really big and nasty down the road, you better invest in this and use it up front. hopefully that woke china up a little bit. they have economic leverage in
the black market on their northern border that never gets talked about. my argument, if you really want to hurt north korea, you have the chinese cooperate with us on closing down the black market for goods and services crossing that border in the north. the problem is china is in an economic downturn so i would argue, good luck with that. yes, ma'am? >> hi, my name is dee, i'm a lawyer here in washington d.c. you said that we have more spies from foreign nations in this country than ever before. how do you know that? >> that's what the intelligence business is designed to do, determine that we have individuals here who are engaged in espionage activities. if you look at even -- everybody does it a little different. the russians tend to have professional intelligence officers. the chinese do it a little different. they recruit people that aren't necessarily intelligence officers to perform intelligence activities when they get to the
united states. if you look at the rash of indictments and prosecutions recently, especially on the chinese program, it really starts to highlight how they go about doing their business and how these folks are not necessarily trained intelligence agents and officers. they might be engineers. they might be fill in the mont blanc skcientists who are stealing a very specific piece of intellectual property. it's a very difficult thing for our fbi to get their arms around because it's massive, huge, an the numbers are a little overwhelming. you can see it on the russian front, you can see it on mois folks from iran, their activities here and the reports that you would see come through. certainly you start adding up the numbers and it's clear that their activities against the united states have increased and i'm not sure we have adjusted quite correctly on the way we're going to respond to those activities here in the united states. yes, ma'am.
>> hi. i'm a lawyer also, but i was a former naval reserve intelligence officer. i thought your comments about zte and waway were interesting. my question is about the interplay between the congress and the executive branch. zte was put on the denied parties list by the department of commerce but a few days later major retractions occurred or what were perceived to be major retractions. could you talk a little about maybe some solutions, some ways forward to repair what's happened to the intelligence service and the role that congress can play to reign in some of the inconsistent actions that the executive branch takes that frankly seem to be shooting us in the foot. >> this is a problem when your largest banker -- never punch your banker in the nose is the
old expression. this is a problem for the united states. if you want to take a whole is tick approach, this is why many of us kept talking about it's really important that we get to a balanced budget. over time we stop borrowing money from people who have ill intentions not necessarily from an aggressive one-on-one there's going to be a conflict. they're just going to be aggressive in pursuing their interests around the world and they don't have the same restrictions that we do. they understand that some of our weaknesses are also our strengths. we have a great, wide open free market oriented economy and it's a strength for us and they see that as a weakness for us as well which is why i argue zte would come in and make these offers on trying to get into any network at any time. if you look at their activities, they're still up to it by the way. they've repurposed some companies that are trying to go into small municipalities and offer services where they'll say
we'll do it for free you remember there was a sports team recently that was going to get free wi-fi by waway. they would come in and do everything for free. it's a pretty expensive operation. you start to come to the conclusion pretty quickly that this is not a for-profit enterprise. so how do you do that? a, congress needs to step up and push back a little on this. the information is pretty clear. the fact that they made it on the entities list, there's lots of reasons for that. my argument is for the investigators that went through that process, they ought to be up at congress laying out the facts so that you can't get -- let the investigation get away with saying, it was bad but maybe not so bad. no, it's bad. if you allow them to control the pipes of information in the united states, they win, we lose, end of story. that data is that important. so i think we have to be aggressive about pushing back. it doesn't mean you're calling
for a trade war. doesn't mean you don't like engagement in china. you have to be careful about people saying, oh, this is just about you want to set up walls and be an isolationist. absolutely not. i want to teach china to be good business partners today so that when they're an export nation we have leverage. when they become a consumer nation, we will no longer have leverage. so let's get them to act right now. and we do that by i think very aggressive steps on catching them when their chinese intelligence services are doing bad things like they were and aggressively push back on an administration that says there might be some financial implications. feel that pain now or we will definitely feel that pain later. i think we can get through this. it's a serious problem but we'll get through it. transparency is a great thing. just show the world who they are and what they're doing and why it's free. normally something that's free or darn near close to free,
there's a reason. so when they show up with that great offer, just remember who controls that information. thanks for having me. i appreciate it. [ applause ] >> we're not done yet, folks, but you get to eat. so food and drink are provided and then we will convene exactly at 2:00 to hear the view from the national security advisor on how the president uses intelligence. see you after lunch. results from today's primarys will be part of our campaign 2016 coverage tonight. we'll hear from the candidates and take your phone calls and get reactions on facebook and twitter. it all starts tonight live at 8:30 eastern on c-span.
returning now to the forum on intelligence and national security and a conversation with steven hadley, a former national security advisor to george w. bush. he talked about his experiences in that role, the president's utilization of intelligence to make policy decisions, and he offered advice for the next national security council staff. >> let's try to set the stage for our discussion and if you could, paint a broad picture for us regarding how the president gets intelligence information. obviously he doesn't just turn on the news and watch it, although i assume presidents watch the news. but since you served president bush, let's focus on your time in the white house and president
george w. bush's routine. what was his intelligence routine, the daily routine that he had with respect to receiving intelligence briefings. what was your role in that? >> so, my sense is that it varies president to president. the presidents i know well are george h.w. bush and george w. bush, and certainly george w. bush even better. president bush and vice-president cheney, you had two people who were avid consumers of intelligence, believed in the importance of intelligence, and it was how each of them in separate ways would start their day. vice-president cheney for example would have his brief -- and david addington can talk in more detail. have his briefing in and he would get actually an intelligence briefing before he walked in, sit down with president bush to hear the
intelligence briefing presented to president bush and would comment on that and sometimes add items that he was aware of that maybe had not been covered by president bush's briefer. so you had two people who were avid consumers of intelligence. we tried to get intelligence to him and to them in different ways. of course, the one everybody knows about is the pdb, the president's daily brief, which is a book with a series of intelligence pieces that a briefer comes in, hands to the president of the united states and walks the president through piece by piece. some presidents get the briefing book before and dispense meeting with the briefer. some presidents get the briefing book before and talk about it with the briefer. president bush was someone who could actually read and listen at the same time. i have trouble doing either one but certainly have trouble doing
both at the same time. he could both listen and read at the same time. he started his day six days a week with that briefing. consuming intelligence means that you are not necessarily passive, but he would ask questions and he would push, and he would many times say, now i'm not pressing you to change your opinions, i'm not pressing you to change your opinions, but i want to test you because i want to know what you know and i want to know how confident you are in what you're telling me because that allows a president to know how much weight the president gives to what they're being told. so there would be a back and forth. most intelligence analysts i think liked that. indeed, one of the things we started late in the bush administration is try to get usually a president has a briefer that briefs all the
elements in the pdb but they're written by other analysts. we would try to -- so the analysts could hear first hand. >> i'm sure that was somewhat unnerving for these first-time analysts. >> it was unnerving because the blowback we got from it was that they loved it. they loved it. it really showed in them in vivid terms the value of what they were doing. of course that's what we really all liked. we liked being valued for what we all do and that was a real affirmation. we did a couple other things. there is a tendency when you brief the president on intelligence when you have a sort of hands-on president, the president would then say, what are we doing about it, let's talk about the policy initiatives that ought to come out of this intelligence.
the problem, of course, is he's talking policy without any of his national security principles who are supposedly his policy advisers sitting in the room. one of the things we started to do is that those intelligence pieces that begged for a policy discussion, we would schedule on wednesday and we would invite the secretary of state, secretary of defense, chairman of the joint chiefs to join that meeting so everybody could hear the intelligence presentation and then you could have an initial policy discussion if there's something to be done with it. we would then put it in the interagency process for further work. other thing we would do is on tuesday we would have a threat briefing and i think it was tuesday, david. tuesday we would have a threat briefing and director of homeland security and the fbi director was there and we would talk about the threats that they were working that were a problem for the country. and the president could again
interact directly with those people responsible for dealing with those threats. and on thursday, the cia director would come in and join the intelligence briefing and he would then talk about cia operations that were ongoing, again, so the president could hear directly from him, and he could hear directly from the president. so we tried to mix it up and in some sense have an intelligence week if you will. the last thing i will say is we started -- i started working with mike mcconnell who is in the dni, and we would look two or three weeks ahead. we would look at the president's calendar, what trips was he taking, what foreign leaders were in town that he was meeting with, and what issues were coming up to him for decision through the interagency process. we would map intelligence briefings against those so that the president would get the day
or two before an intelligence briefing on egypt if he was meeting with the president of egypt or on china if he was going on a trip to china or on some issue if he was going to be asked to make a decision. so we tried to really structure it so the intelligence would support the policy process. >> you've described a battle rhythm, the weekly battle rhythm of the intelligence. what time in the morning are we talking here? >> 8:00. >> and who was in the room usually? >> the president, the vice-president, the chief of staff, the national security advisor, the dni, director for national intelligence. that was the core. then it would be supplemented on wednesday and tuesday and thursday as i described with other actors, but that was the core group of people that were in the room. david, have i missed anybody? got it. >> negative response from addington. >> david addington is back there. he's going to correct me as a
go. >> did you know personally governor bush? did you know him when he was running? when did you first meet president george w. bush? >> i was -- it was in the campaign period probably late 1998, early 1999. i was asked by condi rice and paul wolfwits to come down and sit in on a meeting and brief then governor bush. that's how i got started to know him. i made a big mistake in my first meeting and he schooled me a little bit. we were talking about a speech he was going to give on defense and he wanted to talk about how we were going to revise and reform defense. and i told him, well, you better not get into the details, governor, because there are a lot of experts who will then show the world that you don't know what you're talking about. and he said, who are you anyway? and he said, you don't
understand what elections are about, do you? i said i guess i don't, governor. he said if i want to reform the pentagon and i don't say anything about it in the campaign i get elected and go to the joint chiefs and say we're going to reform the pentagon and they're going to say who is this guy, he'll be gone in four years. but if i come in with a mandate and i go into the chiefs and i say the people i've spoken with are going to reform the pentagon, that's a different matter all together. know your candidate before you meet with him and sit down with him and don't step into potholes, but if you do, you can still survive. that's the lesson of that. >> obviously over time you developed a chemistry with the president you serve and as the deputy national security advisor, the national security advisor, you spend a lot of time with the president. i take it that like any other human interaction you got to learn how to read the president
just like you do with a close friend or what not. how did your relationship with the president develop? you started off in a sort of fashion by making a mistake when he was thinking about running. how did you come into the fold to eventually become the deputy national security advisor? >> condi rice asked me to serve that role. there was a group of people that was called the vulcans. it was a group of about ten of us headed by paul and condi rice. we spent a lot of time on the phone and in meetings and developing positions for the candidate and i got to know -- i had known condi from before, from bush 41. i had worked with paul with bush 41 and they asked me to be a part of the team and i was delighted to do it. when it looked like the president was going to be president, condi called me up and said, well, if this comes through, i'd like you to be deputy national security advisor, and if it doesn't, you
can go back to practicing law. there it was. >> talk with us if you could about how your role as the national security advisor changed over time. you're serving as the deputy for a period of years. you obviously evolve over time and agrgrow in your role and yoe tapped to be the national security advisor. talk about your develop over time and how your relationship with the president evolved over time. >> one of the things that's interesting is that i had a very close relationship with condi rice when she was national security advisor and i was deputy national security advisor and i would have told you i knew very clearly what her job was and what she did with her time because i was literally in an office that was five steps from her office. i saw her go in and out. we would talk 15, 20 times a day. and i realized when i became the national security advisor i had
really no real conception of how she had spent her time. what i didn't realize was how much time the national security advisor spends with the president. under the pace in our administration is josh bolton, chief of staff, and i would show up at 7:05 in the morning in the oval office talking to the president about what happened overnight and what are we doing in the course of the day. and some days you would be then continuously with the president until 10 or 10:30 when you got through national security and briefings and through morning phone calls and the like and if you were going to a meeting you would go to the situation room and you might not get done with the president of the united states until 12 or 12:30. that's a long time with the president of the united states, and this is a president who wanted to know what was going on so you would get calls a couple times in the afternoon, what's going on. what do i need to know.
so one of the things is the relationship between the national security advisor and the president becomes a very close one. if you're doing it right, you have a lot of credibility. it right you have a lot of credibility. and it is one of the things that puts a big burden on the national security advisor, because if you -- you can use that proximity to undermine and discredit the cabinet secretaries if you want to. i can give you examples of how you do that. and you can also use that proximity to put your finger on the scales and take what should be an open, transparent process. put your fingers on the scales and push to a particular outcome. and i think a national security advisor has to be aware of those temptations and resist them. and that's what president bush basically said. and very briefly, the only thing he said when he asked me to be national security advisor -- i
told him i thought it was a mistake, i thought there were people who could do a better job than i. but it is one of the few arguments i lost with the president. when you get in that position, only thing he said to me, was i want you to be an honest broker. i interpreted that, that he wanted a process that is transparent, in which the cabinet secretaries would be full participants, and the vice president would be a full participant. they would have access to him, they would be able to express their views to him, and it would be a balanced way with a full set of views available. not tilted by the national security advisor. the president would make his decision. that's the burden i think that comes with it. >> let's play out a hypothetical here. secretary of defense wants to talk to the president about topic a. secretary of state wants to talk to the president about topic a. you obviously figured out what their positions are somehow.
they're different. do you as national security advisor try to resolve that first and foremost as they say in the military, try to resolve problems at the lowest possible level? or do you eventually make a value judgment that actually these have to be teed up to the president? give us a hypothetical answer to that type of question. >> it's a great question. and i think it is one of the things that the president has to decide, what kind of nsc process they want. and he needs to be explicit about it. because i think early on, there is a tendency -- and there certainly was in the bush administration, i think, to try to, well, when the president says to the national security advisor, i have a problem, and the national security advisor will say, well, let me get the principals together and we'll come up with a recommendation for you.
there is a tendency then to try to force a consensus. i think there was a lot of discussion in the first term about whether condi was knocking heads to force a consensus. she was a powerful figure and close to the president. i became national security advisor. the national security press pool came in and basically first person raised their hand and said, if condi rice, with her close access to the president and her strong personality, wasn't able to knock heads and force a consensus, how are you, wimpy steve hadley, going to do it? and how are you going to manage this? i said i don't have any intention of knocking heads among six others. because i got a 1,200 pound gorilla 47 steps down that hall who loves to make decisions. and so we're going to have a good airing of the issue among the principals, and then we're going to go down the hall and in various forms we're going to put it to the president. the president is going to decide. i think that is the preferable model and it is easier to do in a second term because in a second term a president has been through a couple crises, knows all the world leaders, knows what they think. it's harder to do in the first
term, particularly if you have a president who is not familiar with the national security policy. there might be a tendency by the president, we'll see what the consensus is. >> at the risk of playing lawyer and cross examining you just for a second, you did an interview on the council of foreign relations talking about this issue back on july 29, 2014. you said, "only the most important issues are the ones --" you say, the ones that are the most important have the most interagency aspects are the ones that get to the white house. talk more about that. >> if you think about what should the national security
staff be doing, i would say its purpose of the national security -- remember, there's national security advisor, there's national security council, which is the president, vice president, secretary of state, secretary of defense, various other folks. there is the national security staff, couple hundred people to support the president. then there is these inner agency committees at various levels. what's the whole purpose? i think it is three purposes. particularly the nsc staff to support the president in their unique role in foreign policy, help write his speeches, help brief him for meetings, help prepare his trips. secondly, it's to be the advocate for the president's initiatives within the government as a whole. because if the staff doesn't advocate the president's initiatives, no one else is going to. finally, it is to take those issues that require various
agencies to work together and accomplish that coordination function. that word requested coordination" is in the -- if you're sucking up to the white house for white house review issues that are the province of a single agency, stop. don't substitute the white house staff for the line responsibilities of the cabinet secretaries. that's why i say it is the inner agency things. it's things that require coordination or that are important issues and initiatives for the president, or these kind of transcending issues of war and peace. those are what ought to go to the president. that's where the staff should be spending their time. >> you described in an interview with chris wallace that you saw your job as "to work a little bit offstage." is that what you're talking about in terms of the way you approached your role? >> i think it's -- right.
because if you think about it, the national security advisor is not senate confirmed, and does not go testify before the congress. why is that? that was an issue that was litigated in 1987 under the tower commission report which is remember the result of the disclosure that arms were being basically traded for hostages with iran. and the reason it is structured that way so that the national security advisor and nsc staff are completely independent of congress and are part of the executive branch and enable the president to carry out his or her roles in confidence. if the national security advisor
then starts talking publicly and acting like a surrogate secretary of state, and particularly if they start doing operations out of the white house -- which is a very dangerous matter -- congress of the united states can rightfully say -- foul. you've got a substitute secretary of state. they should be senate confirmed, they should testify. so i think the national security advisor needs to be off stage, needs to be reinforcing the authority of the cabinet secretaries, both publicly and with the president. and when the national security advisor talks publicly, he or she should never say "i think." it's always "the president has said," and "the president's view is." because your authority comes simply by fact that you work for the president. you don't have an independent power base for senate confirmation. it is i think very important that the national security advisor expects that. >> let's switch focus slightly to the nsa. what is the role of the nsa from
the perspective of the national security advisor? >> you have two functions. one is the honest broker function. running this inner agency process and bringing matters to the president for decision in this open and transparent way. then once a decision is made, you need to make sure that it is actually being executed by the agencies. that's your honest broker transparent role. put that aside, you're also an advisor and counselor to the president. and that is a tricky role, because you've got to balance that with your requirement to run a transparent process. in which everyone -- and the way i did it in my own case was the following. i would never express my views at a large meeting. when the nsc meetings would occur, i would not express a
substantive view and i would sit in those meetings in such a way so i could watch everybody else and watch the president's interaction with people. and my job, i thought, was to make sure that that meeting produced all the information that the president needed and so that he got a good view of the views of his principals. but it wasn't for me to express my views. and i would do that one-on-one with the president, in confidence, and i would not talk with others about what my views were. but i did do one thing. in meetings with my national security colleagues, i would not tell them what i was going to advise the president, but i would tell them very clearly where i was leaning, how i viewed the issue. so that they would know that was probably going to be what i was telling the president. and if they disagreed, vice president and the other nsc principals would have an opportunity to put that in their
briefings. that's how i tried to balance the roles between broker but also confidential advisor to the president. >> as we prepared for this discussion, we talked about this division of time. i can just tell you, i was thinking of the first time you and i met when i came over to the white house and i remember the first thing you said is, the president thinks we should -- x, y and z. i never heard steve hadley think, "i think," or "i think about," or "it would be nice if you did." one of the things we discussed was, in retrospect, now that you've had many years back out in the private sector, what things would you have done differently as -- none of us does our job perfectly. we all try our best and keep plodding forward, but what would you have done differently if you had a chance to have done it all over again
th all the circumstances being the same? >> one of the things i think, we all come in with limitations from our own experience. and i spent very little time with the congress in my career. and i think that was a limitation. i don't think i was creative enough -- and it is risky. i don't think we were creative enough in using the congress in our diplomacy. what do i mean by that? when a congressional delegation would be going out, inviting them to come in, talk about the
countries they were going to, suggesting some messages that would be useful for the country if they would then deliver. and then when the trip was over, ask him to come in and brief me on what they heard so i could pass that on to the president or better yet, have a session where they could sit down with the president. you have a tendency to sort of let congressional relations handle congress, and i think i should have been more active -- i did a lot of briefing to the congress but i don't think i was really thinking about how to use the congress affirmatively to advance the foreign policy of the united states. >> let's switch focus again to intelligence assessments and the president. let's say the intelligence community says "x" about a certain topic and that's their reasoned judgment. how much did president bush push back, and why might a president push back? >> well, my sense is -- and a lot of people here can talk about this. but the intelligence community i think puts a lot of weight on what is the judgment of the intelligence community. the intelligence community assesses that x, y and z, or its judgment is x, y. or z. particularly once the president
has been in office for a while, presidents i think are less concerned about what their bottom line judgment is and more what is it they know and how do they know it, and what don't they know. and i think that's the grist of the interaction between the president and the intelligence analysts, because in the end of the day, particularly a second-term president, they'll make their own judgments. so i think the interaction has to be what do they know and how do they know it. second of all, there is a phenomenon that comes in and there would be briefers who would come in and brief an intelligence report, and the report would go something like this. a reliable source who works next to someone who reports to a third-level position in the iraqi government says that
malaki will not great to the agreement that would allow us to keep forces in iraq after 2008. this is briefed to the president of the united states. he says, i just talked to he says i just talked to maliki on a security video yesterday. we talked about this very issue and he says he wants the agreement. so one of the problems, in some sense -- and it is a dilemma that david shead and i tried to fix it. when there's intelligence coming
from the intelligence community, there's intelligence being gathered by the united states and the vice president of the united states, and that isn't shared down to the analysts. so you're putting analysts in a very difficult position because the analysts are dealing with all these various sources and doesn't know the intelligence that the president has in his direct interactions with his other heads of state. we never fixed that problem. if you make someone play a card game and don't give them half
the deck, it is not going to be a productive game. >> in one sense when we talked to prepare for this, we talked about how obviously the intelligence community influence the president, but the president also influences the various agencies as well, by his questions, et cetera. put more words around that. because i think people miss the fact that the president is a person and presidents tend to be inquisitive or push back for various reasons. how does that shape or influence the intelligence community? >> again, other analysts can answer this. but when the briefers of the various principals take the presidents' daily briefing, brief the president, vice president, national security advisor, various cabinet secretaries, i'm told that at the end of the day they all kind of get together and they talk about what they learned and what questions were raised by the president and vice president, various principals. presumably that causes them to do a little bit more digging. secondly, presidents can ask for information. i remember in one instance a briefer said, well, in iran, there are 80 families that control really everything. really make all the decisions. president said, oh, really? so bring me a list. well, took a couple weeks. and a list came back and there were 86. he said, great. now give me a list of all the contacts of these 86 families with the united states. i want to know the businesses they own here, i want to know bank accounts they own here, i
want to know where their children are going to college, i want to know what real estate they have here, because he was thinking about the potential pressure points on these folks. the intelligence community never came back with that list. so one of the things the president can do is he can pass. then the third thing is, when there is something that people believe is an intelligence failure, he can set up a commission. he did that after 9/11. we did it after the iraq wmd. to take a hard look at what happened, come out with recommendations in order to try to help the intelligence community. but it is a dynamic, if it's healthy. >> i'm not going to tell my kids that even the cia doesn't do their homework assignments. none of you parents out there -- >> there were a couple incompletes. >> let's jump into some of the myths about the nsa and the nsa -- nsc.
one is that the nsc makes decisions or the nsa and cabinet officer, or that competition and conflict between the nsa and nsc is inevitable. pick up on any of those myths that you want to debunk. >> sure. i will try. you'll have to remind me because i can never remember more than two or three things at a time. in 19 -- february of 1987 we issued a report out of the tower commission which reviewed the arms for hostage activity under the reagan administration. what turned out to happen was the nsc was running on behalf of the cia intelligence operations with respect to iran. that's a very dangerous thing to do. it's not -- it's not what the nsc is supposed to do. it does not have the competence. operations get done by the military or by the intelligence community. and it was one of the things that really was at the center of that tower commission report -- do not do operations -- [ inaudible ] we talked about
the national security advisor not a cabinet agency, not confirmed by the senate, doesn't testify before congress, and therefore has to be self-limiting as to their role. which is the way you avoid conflict with the secretary of state. the national security advisor is operating mostly off stage and behind the scenes and lets the secretary of state be the face of the foreign policy of the administration to the american people, to the world. that is the right relationship. again, when the national security advisor does come forward, national security advisor should be speaking in the name of the president and only the president. finally, national security advisor, as i said early on, can undermine cabinet secretaries. i'll give you the easiest
example. so you get up at 4:30 in the morning and you're in your office at 5:30 in the morning. you're looking at the newspapers and you see there is a leak on the front page of the "washington post." out of the state department. now there are two ways you can handle it. you can wait, you can go in to the president, at 7:05 and say, mr. president, i'm sure you saw the front page of the "washington post" today. there's a leak out of the state department. i told condi rice she has to get her hands on that building. but don't worry, mr. president, i'll call her up and i'll fix it for you. now that's a prescription to make yourself look good and the secretary of state look bad. that is not, i would say, the recommended practice. the recommended practice is that you call condi rice at 5:30 and she will be on her elliptical because she worked out at 5:30. she would pick up the phone out of the breath, and i would say, did you see "the washington post" today? she'd say no.
i said take a look at the front page, there is a leak. call me back. she'd call back 20 minutes later. yeah, i saw it. here is how it happened, here is what i am doing about it. then she would say do you want to tell the president or shall i? i would generally say why don't you call the president at 7:05? tell him what you're doing. then you come in to see the president at 7:15. not 7:05. you walk in, the president is on the phone, he puts his hand over the receiver says, i'm talking to condi. it's about the leak this morning. and you don't say, i know, mr. president, i told her to call you. which again makes you look good. your job is to encourage the president to have confidence in their cabinet secretaries until the point when the cabinet secretary is not able to do that. then you go in to the president and say, mr. president, there is a problem. >> how do you know they're not able to do their job? there is no course you took in college or in law school, you
didn't read a book about how to be the national security advisor, the golden rule book. i take it from your life's experience, you were assistant secretary of defense in the george h.w. bush administration. put more words around that. how do you know that? >> these are very tough jobs. no one -- i don't think people appreciate how difficult it is to have these jobs. when someone's drowning in a job, it becomes pretty apparent. it becomes pretty apparent. and the truth is, it is probably going to be apparent to the president. in some sense what you're doing is you're telling the president something that the president already knows. and the other thing i would say is, the national security advisor is not the only voice. i mean one of the things i think -- somebody like vice president cheney did for president bush, vice president cheney had been a cabinet
secretary, been a white house chief of staff, been up on the hill, wide experience. you know, that -- when the two of them would have a lunch -- the president could say to the vice president, how's so and so doing? and that would be the kind of conversation on those issues. >> so, i, in my time at the pentagon, came over to the white house a bunch of times with secretary rumsfeld as plus-one or deputy secretary of defense as plus-one. the additional person at the table for those of you who haven't had to do that yet. those are principals meetings and deputies meetings. talk to us about -- there is a lot of policy making that goes on behind the scenes in interagency. in preparing for principals' meetings, how do you go about getting the full intelligence picture to prepare for that meeting? and what role does the president play in those principals meetings? >> so one of the things we would try to do, as i mentioned, is if
there was a principals meeting come up -- principals basically meeting was all the cabinet secretaries, and the vice president, with the national security advisor in the chair, meeting without the president. and the way a principals committee then becomes a nsc or national security council meeting is the same cast of characters with the president present. so in some sense, principals committees are opportunities to work through issues and get all the issues on the table and prepare to go to the president. what we would try to do is when there was an nsc meeting, we would, as i say, try to have the presidents' daily brief provide relevant intelligence on the morning of or the day before an nsc meeting that was going to address the issue of kosovo or
something like that. and then secondly, most nsc meetings would begin with the president turning to the director of national intelligence, the director of cia, and saying, today's subject is -- let's have an initial scene setter from an intelligence person. i would do that in the principals' commit meetings. a cia person or someone else from the intelligence committee would stand up and frame the issue in terms of what we knew of the intelligence, of what was happening on the ground. thirdly, when you got into the policy discussion, and even though the director of national intelligence or the director of cia was not supposed to do policy, i would usually invite george tenet, for example, to give us his view about what the policy issue was. of course he would say i'm director of cia and cia doesn't do policy. but if you ask my view.
because i always thought that was helpful. i think that's kind of the input. michael, have i missed something? >> he's shaking his head no. in one of the panels this morning, they discussed at length overseas collection of intelligence. they talked about it in various contexts, but they also talked about it in the context of section 702 which expires next year and hopefully will be reauthorized. how valuable is information about foreign leaders to the president, and what role does
positive foreign intelligence play in the run-up to those types of bilateral or multi-lateral meetings? >> usually when the president would meet with a foreign leader or go on a trip, there would be kind of a one or two-page cia document that would talk about the foreign leader. those are helpful particularly for a new president who hasn't met the leaders. when you get to a second-term president, you spend a lot of time with the leaders, it is probably a lot less important. secondly, my sense of what would be useful for the president -- these are political leaders. these are political analysts that become president of the united states, and they're dealing with political leaders. and one of the questions they always have is, what are the political problems that the leader i'm going to meet with? what political issues are they working with and what are their
strengths? and i -- the president i worked for i think was always interested in that piece. i don't recall -- and others can comment -- i don't recall us getting an ah-ha, you know, that the intelligence community would say that leader "x" is going to raise issue "y," and we're certainly surprised that that's the issue. maybe that happened on occasion.
i think generally the policy community kind of knew in advance what issues were going to come. you would occasionally see stuff -- you read me? yes, mr. president, loud and clear. it did not happen. >> two more questions,nd then i want to open it up, if you don't mind, to questions from our distinguished audience. given your years of government service, including several transitions. what advice can you give the incoming new and national security adviser in terms of structures, lessons learned, things to avoid or how best to observe his or her boss?
the nsc is a team sport. two of the considerations in the people you ask to serve and in your senior cabinet positions is one is good if you know them particularly early on i think the state department has disappointed the president, and elgts important to have a good relationship. it is a team sport. and can work together. i would say in the -- you know -- for vice president cheney. i had known bob gates for 40 years, i have known connedi for 20 years. you know, you have a comfort with people and you have
confidence with them there's a presumption of good -- i would say the interagency process in the nsc is the president -- and if it's not working sand disfunctional, the president needs to fix it, because nobody else will be able to fix it but takes it to the president it prepares decisions for the position to make. so yes, work on consensus, but bring the consensus to the president, and on the big issues
bring him or bring her options. let's have the president makes decisions, and that's the way it works best. there's two ways the done business. one is how domestic policy tense to get done. goes to the president and says i like that one, and then it's brought to the cabinet secretaries in the sense that there's a train going down the track, and the president is driving the train. we had a different left in the natural security side, to involve the cabinet secretaries in the development of policy from the get-go. i think it met for better
policies. these are the people that the president has chosen and the senate has confirmed to be the national security aspirin balances, but they feel they have part of the process, they're the ones that have -- who tend to be more. think you've been a part of. i would say, use that in terms of running that in the pros. again, don't try to substitutes for the cabinet secretaries, and do not undercud the cabinet secretaries, by modest, stay in your lane and work offsays. stage. great advice. my last question kef great
program here. a lot of them saying how did you get to be an a naval officer or how did they get to be in this position. a lot of them are interested in national security matters. regardless of party ideology because that's irreg vanity. what do you have for the young men of women how these can position themselves to be able to take advantage of opportunities that you had. you went to cornel undergrad, yale law school, and onward and upward. how does one position one's self to do that sort of things. so five things. what do you study?
real history, and how we understand law. i took too much government, but not enough history. travel outside the country. there's no substitute for having the perspective of the rest of the world when you conduct foreign policy. we don't do that enough. be more of a risk takers i was very cautious. takes time to get to know your
checks, particularly in the early jobs. you're going to get to know a peer group they're liable to be your colleagues. you are job knew what i could do. so take time to get to know these people, and build confident with these people, so when you arrive at the to be, you're working with people that you know and trust, and have confidence in, and who know and trust, have confidence in you. and fifth is be smart, smart is great. it gets you in the door, but i believe that how far you go in your career is going to be more
determined by your character. >> i think character counts. character is what you do when nobody is looking. i think -- washington is a small town, and you want to get a reputation for integrity, a person who as principles, a person who says what they're going to do, and always does what they say. a person who treats people with respect whether up -- above you or below you. and as my friend david beers used to say, always answer your phone calls, and always return your mail. but i would say, you know, think about crier reputation, think about character, because i think those things at the end of the
day matter. >> well, thank you very much. i think we have some time for questions, if you would be so kind as to raise your hand, and after any affiliation you may have. so go ahead. mr. johnson in the front. versus what you're able to get from the intelligence community, what you're getting through official government channels, how that informs a president's decision-making process. and how that impacts senior leaders? >> the good news is there's been a huge explosion of information. from a lot of sources, and the
agency i think understands that and they're using open sources big data collecting, and in, for example, being able to detect where electoral violence, and exploring a counter-twitter or counter-text message campaign to calm the violence down. these are wonderful tools that allow us to know in real time what's going on, and i think the challenge is for the intelligence community becoming an information community, and incorporate these into the kind of information support that goes to principals. there's a tendency to think that the only reliable information is the information you steal? i t