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tv   Lieutenant General Lew Allen Church Committee Testimony  CSPAN  May 28, 2016 10:00pm-11:01pm EDT

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>> at to watch more from the presidential library vietnam war summit, please visit our website. the video from the conference re.hive the c-span3. >> welcome to real america on american history tv. 40 years ago in the wake of watergate, the senate created a special committee to look into the activities of u.s. intelligence services. the committee had a long official title. it quickly took on the nickname of its chairman. it was best known in the history of the church committee. for 16 months.et it called 800 witnesses. its legacy includes the creation
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of the select intelligence committee providing ongoing oversight of the intelligence agencies and the creation of the foreign intelligence act of 1978 . two former staffers are with us and will be with us to help provide historical context and understand the significance of the 40-year-old video you are about to see from new york city. fredericks forges with us. and here is elliot maxwell, a counsel to the committee. thank you to both of you for joining us. >> in this installment of our series looking at the work 40 we will focus on the committee's investigation into andnational security agency the fourth amendment rights of american citizens. to get us started, let's watch a
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clip from 1979. >> the agency remains unknown to most americans either by its acronym or its full name. , one hasst to the cia to search for in life to find someone who has heard of the nsa. >> to his right is the chief counsel to committee. he is with us in new york. the nsa is something of a household world for anyone who follows the news. how well known was the agency in
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1975? all, the joke was that nsa stood for no such agency. it was not meant to be discussed and it wasn't generally. to have the hearings on the nsa was one of the most hard-fought issues within the committee. the note ande of not at all on partisan lines about whether we should or should not have a public hearing and we decided to have a public hearing. then there was dispute on whether we should reveal the names of the companies that for 30 years had given every single telegram every day to the nsa and we voted again very closely to do that. the wonderful staff member who uncovered that recommended we
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not disclose their names and i disagreed with them. i remember speaking to the general counsel when we began getting information and indicating we needed to get more information. he said to me the constitution does not apply to international security agencies. that was an interesting idea that the constitution didn't apply to an entire agency. their work was meant to be foreign. they were meant to be doing things overseas largely. rejoinder to him was of course the constitution applies you affectwhen
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americans. elliott may remember more details that it was a controversial issue within the committee were actually you on onet predict what was side at all and it was a close vote about whether we should have the public hearings or just issue some report. to getit also difficult the director to testify? >> i think that was another issue. the nsa is a peculiar beast and it was the only reference to the legal authority for nsa was a provision in the espionage act about the disclosure of signature intelligence.
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agency withrge ativities around the world, giant vacuum cleaner for information. it rested on the legal authority on a crime to disclose its product. you looked forf books about the cia or nsa or fbi, he would come up with one or two. nobody knew anything about it. and it was remarkably effective at what it did. also was a creature of the defense department and the leadership was a military officer because the primary support was for defense activities. and military officers respond to the chain of command and they do what they are told.
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nsa was being told partly in the totext of the vietnam war target will be on that which they would target outside the country. i spent six months going up every day to nsa and the conversations i had at the time, which i think were genuine or that we wanted to know what we were allowed to do. we're not going to fight about the restrictions. we will do what we are told to do. we will honor what we are told to do. and there is nothing that says we cannot. that was extraordinary. they acted inappropriately, improperly.
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they violated the rights of americans. they weredoing what told. not aggressively going out and saying i want to do more but tells me my commander to do that, i will do that. >> we have another clip that will resonate. this is general all in testifying before the committee. >> requirements were developed in four basic areas. international drug trafficking, presidential protection, accept terrorism, and possible influence on the civilian. there was presidential concern
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voiced over the massive flow of drugs into our country. early in president nixon's administration, he instructed vigoria to put do with intelligence efforts to identify foreign sources of drugs and the method used to introduce illicit drugs into the united states. >> that is one of the great lessons from the work of the committee, that one has to be constantly vigilant when power can be exercised in secret whether it is now or it was then. the same questions will be asked and the same forces will be pushing for more and more and more and it's an object lesson that we have to be vigilant. >> before we show a longer portion of this, anything to
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comment about the context we are about to see? >> you always have to have in missions off the these organizations are important, vital to the country. thein a way, one of tragedies of where the agencies go beyond the bounds they should go is it can undermine their ability and reputation to do the things we want them to do. 29,et's watch from october 1975, portions of the church committee hearing. this was recorded by nbc. >> the hearing will please come to order.
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this morning, the committee begins public hearings on the agency or morety commonly known, the nsa. this is peculiar because the collect security agency intelligence by intercepting foreign communication, employees and operatespeople on an anonymous budget. it's expensive facilities comprise some of the most sophisticated electronic machinery and the world. as the nsa is one of the largest and least known, it is also the
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partisan. it sleeps and messages around the world and gives precious about itself. even a legal basis for the activities is different from that of other intelligence agencies. no statute establishes the national security agency. or defines the permissible scope of its responsibility. executive directives makeup sold charter of the agency. representatives of the national security agency have never appeared before the senate in a public hearing. today we will bring the agency from behind closed doors.
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we have prepared ourselves exhaustively. we have a particular obligation to examine the nsa in light of its tremendous potential for abuse. it has the capacity to monitor the private conversations of american citizens without the use of attack. the interception of international communication signals is the job of nsa and thanks to modern technological developments, it does its job well. the danger lies in the ability of the nsa to turn its technology against domestic communication. as our hearings into the houston plan demonstrated, a previous administration in a former nsa director favored using this potential against certain u.s. citizens for domestic intelligence purposes. while the houston plan was never put into effect, our investigation revealed the nsa had been intentionally
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monitoring the overseas communication of certain u.s. citizens long before the houston plan was proposed and continue to do so after it was revoked. this incident illustrates how the nsa could returned inward and used against our own people. task ofeen a difficult this committee to find a way for the tangled webs of classification and claims of national security. however valid they may be to their intelligence services. it is not of course a task without risk. but it is the one we have set out for ourselves. the discussions which will be our efforts tong identify publicly certain negativities undertaken by the national security agency which are of questionable propriety and dubious legality. of the alan, director
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nsa, will provide for us today the background of these activities. he will be questioned on their origins and objectives by the committee members. nsa the cia and irs, the two had a watch list containing citizens.of u.s. this list will be of particular interest to us this morning that we will take up another important subject as well. the dominant concern of this committee is the intrusion by the federal government into the inalienable rights guaranteed americans by the constitution. in previous hearings, we have seen how these rights have been violated by the intelligence services of the cia and fbi. as the present hearings will reveal, the nsa has not escaped the temptation to have its operation expanded into
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provinces protected by the law. while the committee has found the work of the nsa to be of high caliber and has tremendous respect for the professional caliber of the people who work there, the topic we shall explore today do illustrate successes and suggest areas where legislative action is desirable. that is why we are here. >> this complex and sophisticated electronic capability is the most fragile weapon in our arsenal. and unfortunately, i cannot elaborate on that because that would not be comparable. on nsa ic inquiry believe serves no legitimate legislative purpose by exposing this vital element of our .ntelligence capability
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this has been done very thoroughly. beginning in that can 67, requesting agencies provided names of persons and whom wereons, some of u.s. citizens to the national security agency in an effort to obtain information available in foreign communications as a byproduct of our normal foreign intelligence mission. the purpose of the list very but common trend in which the national security agency was requested to review information available through our usual sources. the initial purpose was to help determine the existence of foreign influence on specified activities of interest agencies of the u.s. government with emphasis and on civil occurring throughout the nation.
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later because of other developments such as widespread national concern over such criminal activity as drug trafficking and acts of emphasis came to include these areas. ,uring the early 1960's requesting agencies asked national security agencies to look for reflections in international communications of certain u.s. citizens traveling to cuba. requirements for a watch list or developed" drove basic areas. international drug trafficking, presidential protection, accept terrorism, and possible foreign support or influence uncivil disturbances. the 60's, there was presidential concern voiced over the massive flow of drugs into our country. president nixon's administration, he instructed the cia to pursue intelligence efforts to identify foreign
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foreignof drugs and organizations and methods used to elicit drugs into the united states. the mdd provided watchlist with some u.s. names. the one instance in which inspectedssages were was the collection of some between thealls united states and south america. the collection was conducted at the request to produce intelligence information on the methods and locations of four nick carter asked trafficking. by nsa to assist.
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nsa provided names of individuals from the narcotics trafficking watchlist. this lasted for six months. stopped because of statutory restrictions. >> with respect to holy domestic is there anys, statute that prohibits your interception thereof or is it merely a matter of your internal executive branch? that theerstanding is national security council intelligence directive defines our activity as foreign communications and we've adopted a definition consistent with the foreign communications act of 1934. >> you believe you are consistent with the statutes but
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there isn't a statute that prohibits your interception of domestic communication. >> i believe that's correct. 1969s a term that began in . it formalized the process by which messages are handled. communication,al is it true that one of the equally important aspects was not to disclose the nsa was doing this? what was the reason for not disclosing to the other intelligence agencies? was the reason for not disclosing to the other intelligence agencies that nsa was not doing this? >> it's hard for me to answer because in not exactly sure of
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what the feeling was from people at a time. my understanding was the concern was that the people at the nsa felt it was important that the activity be solely related to foreign intelligence and by delivering these kinds of messages to an agency with a law enforcement function, there was a danger the material would end up being used for a purpose which would not be appropriate. therefore for that reason, there were a set of procedures adopted handledde the material in the separate way to where it for background use and also devoid of the kind of designators which are placed on the kind of intelligent inflation nsa produces for a broader range of users.
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>> might there be some concern this was a questionable legal area and dissemination of who was doing it and how they were doing it might've also been injurious to the agency? >> it's possible. i think the concern was -- the basic concern, as i imagine it in people's mind at that time, if the material were used for associated with an , the -- theresis is a very great concern to ensure this material was handled in such a way as to minimize the insibility it would be used this fashion. >> what has occurred yesterday could occur tomorrow if we leave
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it all to executive decision. now, as i have said, as to one of these, the watchlist, the administration agrees to declassify the documents. as to the other, the executive branch has consistently opposed public hearings or any other form of public disclosure. >> i really see no legislative for this. it is not part of our legislative mandate. rulepears that committee 75 is the only one having any bearing it must fail. this rule provides for the
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protection of classified materials. not authorized the unilateral release of classified information. the proper reading would be the rule goes to the disclosure -- information,e of not the declassification. the majority voted prior to the release of classified material. but the case at hand has to do with unlawful conduct as relates to certain domesticc come -- companies in this country and is not a matter of such gravity that it would impair the united states in the way you suggest -- sen. tower: we will debate. sen. church: good deal. were highlights from the archives of the church committee hearings. they were looking into the nsa. its director testified before the committee.
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the bodyxwell, language was so interesting between the chairman and vice chairman, senator church and senator tower. give us a sense of what was going on in that room. one of the central missions of the committee was obtaining material from the executive ranch. the back and forth with -- went work of the end of the the committee. there were a number of instances where the executive ranch dog in it -- executive branch dug in its heels and said you cannot disclose this. in some cases they eventually relented. in some they did not. it was said earlier in the series that john tower had been an active supporter of committee
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in many earlyrial instances, but that -- that grew weaker and weaker over the course of the committee. as -- i think in the case of john tower -- as a thing that got closer to the military were john tower had been on the armed services committee for years and was later chairman of the armed services committee -- he wasn't at the time -- that was an area where he felt more protective of the domestic activities of the fbi. that was not his area of greatest interest. the case that be the executive branch is a little more protective about its the congress is more aggressive -- more or less aggressive about what it does. one of the lessons of the committee is there has to be
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ingrained aggressiveness on the part of congress to get materials or they will not get materials. a facts. i do not know how you provide a kind of vaccine against acquiescence for the overseers. there used to be a kind of vaccine that provides skepticism in general about secret activities, recognizing that many of them are very important, but that you have to keep asking the questions to make sure you do not go beyond what people are required and should be doing. april 1976,rs ago, the church committee wrapped up 14ir final report, which was separate reports on the scope of the work the committee had been asked to look at. oft were your perceptions
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the way that was released in washington and to the public? frederick: i remember being done.d that we were the general reaction to our final reports was very favorable. if you step away from what was done, it was never really partisan -- that does not mean that there were not differences. described how john tower ofame less favorable disclosure. there is no real partisan difference on that. committee,of the showing it could deal with secretive information, it could get the information, distillate,
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describe it to the public, and bring it to the attention of the american public, the importance of the issues we focused on, i think, was a very, very great accomplishment, and i do know that never since then has there ever been anything like it in this country or anywhere else. severalt me break down areas. the congress responsibility for oversight. what happened with the church committee's work? they set up an oversight committee. prior to the church committee, there was some of the senate lions -- the chair of the armed
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senate committee -- there were eight senators you talked to and that constituted the oversight. after that, there was now a permanent intelligence committee and it would have to wrestle that he of the issues was just talking about. and there was a requirement that covert action be notified to the intelligence committee, and there is one other piece that for me was particularly interesting. i had written a paper about the disclosure of the intelligence committee budget. host: you were 25 years old, right? mr. maxwell: right. , andommittee voted disclosure -- the aggregate budget was defeated by one vote.
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later in the 1990's, one of the cia directors decided they could release the aggregate budget safely without harming national security. one number was disclosed in 1994. in 1995, they decided that it would harm the country. it was not until the 9/11 committee that the aggregate amounts that we spend on intelligence was disclosed to the american public. and there was a requirement that regular expenditures be disclosed in time to time. if you opened them up prior to 1995, you would not find cia, nsa. it was somewhere hidden in this document. we have some notion of disclosure, some notion of boundaries. fisa work wasthe extraordinary and was important, we never went further, as i think the congress should have
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done, to clarify the authority of these agencies, to make it absolutely clear what they can toand what they can't do bolster the worthwhile and ,mportant things that they do to prevent being pushed by their political masters or pushed by what the technology can do to go beyond their limits. host: so, fritz schwartz, one of the effects that this had, the fisa law, as we know it. what was the importance for american society and congressional oversight? chwarz: the court has
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approved almost everything that is come before them, but that does not mean the law has not a positive impact. the kinds of things the fbi and other agents these were doing in terms of surveillance would not be tried now because they would not feel, they would not want to put on paper what they were trying to do. and then after 9/11, the fisa in a wayan being used the court does not do very well. it was more a sort of public policy agency. let me make a bigger point. there will be another church committee at some point and there should be. learnhat is done, we will that there have continued to be things that are done which we would not wish to be done. there will be surprises, and some of them will be very
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unpleasant surprises. culture and the agencies is a little bit better. longts tend to last less for complicated reasons. some of which i talk about in my democracy incalled " the dark." but the culture is a little bit better. of course, when there is a new attack, you get, oh, let's do more by way of law enforcement, and of course we should do a lot by way of law enforcement, but that does not mean you do not need to have appropriate oversight. and the culture in the congress is better than it was -- infinitely better than it was before the church committee. and the public is more knowledgeable about the complexity of these issues and the importance of these issues. me turn to the
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agencies. the foreign intelligence agencies, nsa, cia -- what happens with those agencies and their operations in the wake of the church committee? mr. maxwell: i guess i would argue their activities oscillate over time. likeu said what they were right after the church committee and for the next number of years -- i think there was a lot more internal discussion about what is appropriate and what is not appropriate. recognitionlot more of the importance of their central role and the need to the able to constrain their activities to that. 1980's, that changed somewhat and it changed because the president wanted it to andge and the news
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intelligence wanted it to change. there were a number of episodes, if you remember, in the 1980's, where the agencies were involved in a number of things that we as a country have said they should not be doing. after 9/11 and the patriot act, one saw another swing back to older patterns of behavior and toward doing all that the technology allowed you to do and asserting a kind of general powerde of presidential and that's almost unlimited. we are being told to use every means necessary to implement the policies of the presidents. and forth withck the tenor of the times. i think after the snowden revelations, there was a move that was -- these are things we do not want to do. we have tohings
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understand what the limits are. we have to respond to those and do the work we need to do. we will always be subject to these oscillations. that oversight as the church committee recommended is critical, but it's hard to do. it's very hard to do. and it's hard, as i said, to have an attitude of skepticism with people you work with all the time. if you imagine a work place where every time you come into are looking --ou is she doing something wrong? is he doing something wrong? it's a terrible kind of burden. and yet, oversight is like that. you need to be close to the people to understand what they need to do. you have to give them the authority to do it. you have to encourage them and empower them. at the same time, you have to say, beyond this there be dragons and you cannot go there. if there will ever
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be a church committee, but there will be things that go wrong and related totegrally the pressures of the moment. talk about the oscillation and the tenor of the times, i know we established at of time the church committee was looking at, presidents dealing with the warity of the cold war, the in vietnam, protesting that war, civil rights. there were things going on in the country that presidents were trying to restore public faith in. can you put that context, the period the committee was observing? mr. schwarz: if you start with franklin roosevelt and run nixon, that is what we covered. there was crisis almost time -- all the time and there has been. you have to be vigilant to
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protect the country and you don't want to use the need to protect the country as a device to let you do things that everybody would say are improper . i would like to make teedo other elliot' in response to s excellent summary of how it vacillates. after the snowden revelations -- and the snowden revelations happen when we have dysfunction in the congress because both parties are unable or unwilling to cooperate with each other -- but the legislation that was was completely bipartisan . the senators were senator mike lee, ht part he senator from -- a tea party senator from utah and patrick leahy, a democratic
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senator from vermont. the leader of the house was a very young tea party person and the other sponsor of reform in the house was john conyers, a long-time african-american, democratic liberal from detroit. these issues can bring people together. the other point i would like to , in terms of what the church committee did and didn't do -- on the afternoon of 9/11, james baker, who was bush and bush, hw and, and ronald reagan member and was principal lawyer for george w. bush in florida and was a real establishment, intelligent person went on channel seven, abc news and said the church committee caused 9/11. that was a very far-fetched
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thought. at first, if you read what the church committee said, we said, for example with the fbi, that the fbi should increase attention to terrorism and devote less or no attention to american domestic politics. that they should increase their attention to terrorism and we said the cia should do more to use human infiltration of bad rely onnd not simply the wonderful technology we now have. in making the comment we caused 9/11, did not go back and read our reports or what howard baker had said, which was the investigation had been good for the intelligence committee. the other thing that was sort of
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ludicrous at about baker's statement was, at that point, it had been 25 years from the church committee. ronald reagan and george h w bush andeorge h. w. mr. baker himself had been in power. if the church committee had disabled the intelligence agencies, they could have done something about it. it was interesting, emotional, and i'm sure if mr. baker were questioned today, he would say i was all over iraq on the afternoon of 9/11 and i said something that did not make sense -- i was a little overwrought on the afternoon of 9/11, and i said something that did not make sense and it surely didn't. host: pointing back to the church committee, saying that intelligence gathering had been sharply curtailed as a result of your committee's work -- what
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was your reaction? hismaxwell: i think i share view that it was nonsense. what was happening, and what the 9/11 commission said happened, was people failing to communicate and follow what the intelligence they could have followed. it had nothing to do with what the church committee had done. notion of these isolated towers, for whatever reason, not communicating with the adjoining silo. not responding to the .ntelligence that was gathered it was an easy scapegoat. it was saying we can just point to the church committee and say that destroyed american intelligence. so, it was annoying. but you get used to it being annoying. with critics of
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the church committee since 1975. it will destroy american intelligence, it has the storied american intelligence, it will in the future destroy american intelligence. those people were not wrestling with the issues in the way that i think the committee genuinely wrestled with -- how do we affirm the importance of the secret security agencies? how do we make sure they do not go beyond their writ? and how do we make sure that the rights of americans are protected in a world in which there is danger? by agencies that are, by necessity, secret, but also because they are secret, potentially dangerous to the rights of americans and the well-being of the united states? you get a little thicker skinned
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about this. enormous, i think, an expenditure of time and effort by a very talented group of people who were genuinely struggling with the dilemma of how do you have secret agencies in a democracy? how do you make sure they way we would be comfortable with? the: we have talked about constitutional rights and our need for security. i would like to close on a personal note. i'm wondering how the work that you did with the church committee 40 years ago affected both of you in terms of your careers and are thinking about american citizenship in our society. -- youstart with you have written two books.
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this has become something of your life's work. mr. schwarz: it certainly is an aspect of my life's work. i did a lot of work for new york its lawyer and changing its constitution, but definitely the church committee work made a huge, had a huge impact on me. a good reputation, which is always a nice thing to have. it did not stick with me as great that were of importance to the country. the first one, "unchecked and unbalanced" is about presidential power in the time of terror, and the more recent is "democracy in the dark" wrestling with something elliot
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has brought up a lot in this conversation, the importance of secrecy. which is necessary sometimes and abused and unnecessary other times. it certainly affected my work a great deal. how has it affected you over the course of these 40 years? mr. maxwell: i stayed to work on the permanent committee for a while. i had to make the decision whether i wanted to be a national security lawyer where, if i did everything right, only six other people would know i was successful, and if i did something wrong, it would be on the front page of "the washington post." that led to me doing other things. if i look at the arc of my theer, it probably is that last 14 years or so, i have been writing and speaking about
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openness and the importance of openness to have progress and innovation. i think probably the seeds of that were in the church was for awork, which young, not yet bar certified lawyer and extraordinary -- an extraordinary experience to engage at the deepest level questions of importance to the country. here it was, frank church and tower.oldwater and john if there were to be a discussion about the tensions between civil liberties and the needs of the intelligence community and the andr of government
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security, this is where these things should be fought out. this is where these things should be discussed. this was an extraordinary ,pportunity, not only for me but fritz and others. wrap one other thing up. when we talk about partisanship, goes to france, but the staff director who served for the staff director of the entire committee, bill miller, was an important part of that. fritz. of credit goes to senate andge of the his general optimistic view of the world was very important in achieving that for the committee. was a treat.t it was a wonderful, wonderful
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gift that was given to me and i hope i did what i should do in response. host: on that note, thank you. , forell, mr. schwarz your retrospective on the church committee 40 years ago this month, thanks for your time. thursday,esday and june 1 and second, c-span will be on the u.s.-mexico border. wednesday we will look at immigration with the managing director and editor for breitbart texas. he talks about players in the covers well as efforts to the issue. and then a local immigration lawyer will discuss practicing whogration law in the area, she represents, and books related to citizenship and deportation and the "dallas
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morning news" mexico city bureau these smuggling of people and narcotics. he is the author of the book "midnight in mexico." on thursday, our focus will be trade. brezosky will be our guest bob cash, a nafta critic, looks at how the trade deal to jobs from southern texas to mexico and that hurts mexico as well. be sure to watch "washington june 1 and second from laredo, texas. join the discussion. >> this weekend on "american
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artifacts," a tour of some of capitolst rooms in the with senator mitch mcconnell. here's a preview. sen. mcconnell: i came back to visit with friends i had made the previous two summers, the next summer, the summer of 1965. once again, i happened to hit on the right day. i was sitting in the outer office of senator cooper -- the reception area of senator cooper from opposite, hoping to see him. he walks out, grabs me by the i'm going toem, take you to something really important. we come over to the rotunda. there i am in the back of the room, watching lyndon baines johnson signed the voting rights act of 1965. i had a better seat than i did for the martin luther king speech. one more anecdote you might be 2008, i wasn -- in
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in the rotunda. we were celebrating the 100th anniversary of the birth of lbj, and i met lucy johnson, who i have never met before. and i said, lucy, i was here on the day your dad signed the voting rights act. she said, i was, too. i said, really? isaid, i'm sure nobody knew was here, but i'm positive everybody knew you are here. here is what she told me. she said her dad said, come on, get in the car. and going to take you to the capitol. this is something important. on the way, he explained everett dirksen would be right beside he signed the bill. she said, daddy, why would you have a republican there for this? you said, it's important the american people understand this is done on a bipartisan basis
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and the american people would be much more likely to accept what we are doing. and that is what lucy johnson on lbj's 100th birthday down in the senate hall. did this interest and politics get started for you? probably high: school. iran for the student body president in high school. if i have lost, maybe i would do something else. host: was there a mentor? sen. mcconnell: i just got interested. in fifth grade, my fifth grade picture -- host: there weren't too many republicans. you were in kentucky -- sen. mcconnell: i was in georgia at that point. and you're right, there were not that many republicans. my dad served in world war ii. vote ford to eisenhower. obviously, eisenhower did not
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carry any southern states. my dad was a great admirer of the commander. i began to identify with republicans a little bit. four years later, we were in kentucky. you know, it was a democratic state. republicans occasionally one. my daddy was a republican. i began to it and if i is republican. i took a shot at it. president and lost, too. clean sweep. >> you can want to this and american history programs at any time on our website, www.c-span.org/history. "q&a," sunday night on the u.s. historian betty koed worker officee does. >> i was a newly minted senate
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historian. my colleague said, we have an election coming up. you will have lots of time to settle lion. house a few weeks, the decided to impeach bill clinton and we got very busy, very quickly. i had to do a good deal of research on impeachment trials. we had not had a presidential sincehment and's 19 -- 1968. they wanted to follow historical precedent as much as they could. p.m. eastern and pacific on c-span's q&a." up. think we catch we have been the invisible half the lastngress for seven years. we watch our house colleagues with interest -- at least i have interest. >> today, the u.s. senate comes out of the communications dark
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ages. we create another historic moment in the relationship between congress and technological advancements in communications through radio and television. gore: today marks the first time our legislative branch, in its entirety, appears on the medium of community through which most americans get their information about what our government and our country does. senator thurmond: broadcast media coverage recognizes the basic right and need of the citizens of our nation to know the business of their government. >> thursday, c-span marks the 30th anniversary of our live apple to gavel floor coverage on c-span2. -- gavel floor coverage on c-span2.
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special moments from the past 30 years. >> do you trust william jefferson clinton? >> we have just witnessed something that has never happened in all of senate history -- the change of power during a session of congress. >> what people do not understand about this hill is there are three areas in this bill that in the next five years will but the government in charge of everybody's health care. >> plus an interview with senator mitch mcconnell. i have made a: number of mistakes in my political career, but voting against c-span broadcasting the senate was one of them. >> what's 30 years of the u.s. senate on television beginning thursday on c-span. to see more of our coverage of the u.s. senate on c-span2, go to www.c-span.org.
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>> next on american history tv, yale university professor akhil reed amar discusses the complex relationship between supreme court justices and american sidents. he argues that historically judges were geographically balanced and there has been a more recent orientation toward political affiliation. to welcomehrilled akhil reed amar professor of law and political science at yale university. clerked for then judge stephen breyer. yale'slso a recipient of highest award for teaching

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