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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  June 17, 2016 4:00am-6:01am EDT

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create a better climate there? >> so when i came on in 2009, i actually created the first program for relevancy, diversity and inclusion in the history of the national park service. i specifically gathered individuals through the organization that represent the diversity of our nation creating the allies for inclusion, and they have been working directly with the leadership of the national park service to help us create an inclusive workforce, one that reflects the diversity of the nation and has a work environment that is supportive of diversity, that being ethnic diversity, sexual orientation, women, young people, you know, the whole range. and so we use that information both to communicate -- i've done a number of web chats, specific videos out to the field on eo, on inclusion, and diversity as
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well. >> thank you. director jarvis, the information that i have is that the eeoc function or functionary still reports three levels below you. so when did you actually -- did you change that reporting level? and when? >> i moved it up. no, it has been moved up. but i agree with you and this is an issue that i've discussed with our hr, that i believe that in order to really meet the standards expected of us in eeoc and particularly in light of these new issues that have come out that clearly there is the potential for sexual harassment to occur in other pockets in the national park service i think the eo office needs to report directly to me and to meet the standards which are regular reporting to me and to the leadership, having add rvocates that represent the gediversity the nation and a regular
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understanding at the senior leadership about these issues. so i think there's change afoot. >> may i just bring something to -- >> sure go ahead. >> of the report that was submitted on 4/20/15 indicates that each region has an eeo manager that reports to a regional director and that the o director is under the third level reporting structure. so i think that maybe there's a lack of communication within your organization as to who reports where, which is sort of a red flag that we have some serious problems with accountability and responsibility there. thank you, mr. chairman. i yield back. >> now recognize the gentleman from texas mr. herd for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. the national parks are awesome. i have the pleasure of representing seven. i get to represent big bend national park, which is headed by an amazing superintendent, and she really is a treasure for
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the federal government. y'all have a hard task, to make sure that these jewels of our nation are around for future generations and that future generations continue to interact with them in the ways that pa s generations have. it's been a real pleasure over the last 17 months that i've been in congress when i crisscross the district and talk throughout the country about encouraging americans to find their park or his or her park. this is an important resource for our country. it's unfortunate that we're here today talking about sexual harassment, poor culture of management. and my question -- my first question to you, director jar s jarvis, is to piggyback on what my friend and colleague from new jersey has been talking about. what steps are being taken to ensure there's zero tolerance for sexual harassment within the
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national park service? >> well, clearly, zero tolerance was not the standard at the grand canyon or at cape canaveral, canaveral national sea shore. and that's just unacceptable. we at the senior leadership a discussion that i led in may and this is the regional directors, the associate directors and the senior superintendents of the organization had a very open and emotional discussion about zero tolerance and why this agency has -- >> so why are you doing right now? what steps, concrete steps, have been taken to ensure this culture changes? >> so the first thing that we feel as recommended by the department of defense is a prevalent survey. and that is to get baseline, understanding of whether or not or how much harassment is occurring in the workplace in
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the service. so getting that survey done, we've committed to doing that by a third party as soon as possible. i can't give you a specific date because we have to go through a contracting process to get there. but that's the first step. we have reinforced a message to the field on zero tolerance and i think we're making very public the actions we're taking at the grand canyon, in particular about disciplinary actions and expectations of behavior to meet the zero tolerance policy. >> so director jarvis, in your opinion -- and i know you're getting ready to do a survey -- what allowed this kind of culture to seep in in these two parks that we've been talking about today? >> i think one was the conditions of the particular activity create an environment that vulnerable individuals can be preyed upon. so this is an area the department of defense has made
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some -- within defense, they have sort of special unit -- in the park service, we have what we call special units, river districts, fire districts, fire crews, trail crews. these are places where individuals are thrown together in a tough environment and the potential is there. so this is an area we're folk you ustion on particularly right now. and we've made management aware across the system that these are areas that you need special attention. we have to create an ombudsman, individuals that are subject to this harassment can call safely. i mean, if it's your supervisor that is harassing you, that's a bad reporting chain if you have to report this to the person who's actually harassing you. so we've created the opportunity for outside of that to be able to report this issue so that we can get -- and if we find it, we're reporting it to the ig and saying, we need to go in and investigate. >> well, you mentioned the fire crews.
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i also represent guadalupe mountains national park. i know that's one place you served over 14,000 acres on fire and what the fire crews are doing is heroic work. and ms. kendall, my last 30 seconds to you. what types of steps should be taken by the national park service to address the poor culture of management and lack of accountability and leadership? >> well, i think holding individuals accountable for misconduct. mr. jarvis is correct in that you cannot always make public how discipline is imposed, but doing that, doing it regularly -- i mentioned progressive discipline, documentation -- it's something that can be done, and if it's done properly it's very effective. >> i yield back, mr. chairman. >> now go to the gentle woman from michigan, ms. lawrence, for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman and ranking member cummings.
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the deputy -- this question is to you, director jarvis -- secretary of interior reviewed the ig's finding and issued aco the department has reviewed the report of investigation carefully and come to the conclusion that director jarvis did violate federal employee ethics standards. dow agree with that statement? >> yes, ma'am, i do. >> when asked by the inspector general if, quote, looking back you, quote, would have done -- would you have done anything differently, you replied, would i have done the same thing? probably. i think i knew going in that there was a certain amount of risk. why would you say that? that make it's look like you
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didn't care about the ethic rules. >> well, let me apologize for that. i was absolutely wrong in that statement. >> on may 27, you sent an e-mail to all park services employees that said, and i quote, i failed to initially understand and accept my mistake. that was wrong. what part of the mistake did you initially fail to understand and what happened between your interview with the ig when you said you were probably would do the same thing again and then on may 27th in your e-mail that you stated that you were caused to accept that you had made a mistake. can you walk me through that? what changed? >> well, one of the requirements under my disciplinerary action is that i receive ethics training, and i have been
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spending that time with the departmental ethics office, and i have to say that i've developed a much deeper understanding and respect for and appreciation for the work of the office of the department of ethics. and i think that has resulted in me reconsidering and rethinking my position on this and saying that i was completely wrong, and in doing so violated the enl icks standards for the department of interior. and i apologize for that. >> sir, how long have you been the director? >> since 2009. >> and that from 2009 until your ethics training you were unaware of the requirements, the ethical requirements of your job? >> no, ma'am. i served as the national park service ethics officer, and i was well aware but not at the level of detail that i have now.
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>> that's a very hard pill to swallow. if you're training others and you're not aware of what your ethical responsibilities were, how could you train others and be responsible for them and not be personally aware? >> so in the execution of the book i thought i was following all of the ethical standards that are required of me. i was using a source that the park service normally uses. i was not personally benefiting. i was doing it on my own time. all of those are the ethics requirements. what i did not do was seek the advice of the ethics office, which would have clarified my mistakes right up front. and that was the ethics issue. and i think the discipline that i have received is appropriate to the action, and i think i've been open about my mistakes to
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everyone that has been involved. >> we all are human and make mistakes, but we're also hired to do a job that requires -- especially in leadership positions to set an example. i'm disappointed that your understanding, especially based on your previous requirements in this federal agency, did not allow you the depth of understand i understanding and your failure to meet the requirements. >> before the gentle woman yields back, could she yield to me? the problem with the ethics particularly with the book deal is the documentation shows the opposite. you sent a letter or an e-mail to the person who would be the publisher. there's a follow-up e-mail asking for the conversation because essentially you knew you had to have them ask you to do
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it as opposed to what really happened because told them you wanted to publish the book and you compounded the problem ethically by writing a handwritten note to the secretary assuring her that it was of the highest ethical starntds by saying it was reviewed by ethics and that they had asked you to do it, which was a lie. this wasn't an innocent mistake. it was a part. it was deceptive. and i think you knew you were creating an ethical problem. and as you said i think candidly to the i.g., i'm willing to take that risk, i many, many, many times have had these types of problems. i believe you when you write that. but the pattern, the documentation that ms. lawrence is talking about, is clear. you asked them to do this. they sell millions of dollars worth of stuff through the parks. they need you. you had a telephone conversation. and then they sent you a letter saying oh, yes, this is what we need from you. that's a pattern.
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and it's unethical. i yield back. now i recognize the gentleman from virginia, mr. connolly. >> i thank the chair. well, forgive me if i have a dissenting voice here. i'm not quite sure what the tempest is in a teapot with respect to the book. miss kendall. so director jarvis wanted to surreptitiously publish a book and benefit from it, is that correct? >> that's my understanding, yes, sir. >> surreptitiously benefit? >> oh, i'm sorry. >> please speak up. we can't hear you. >> i'm sorry. what was your question? >> my question was your finding is director jarvis deliberately and surreptitiously engineered the publication of the book that he surreptitiously wrote in order to benefit surreptitiously
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personalitiesly. >> i don't believe we concluded he would benefit -- >> no, you didn't. he benefited not at all. >> that's correct. >> his motivation was to help the park service on its centennial. is that correct? >> i believe so. >> what a crime. what a terrible thing for the head of the park service to want to promote the park service on its 100th anniversary. and ethically we're going to what, burn him at the stake and destroy his reputation because, all right, some rules were put aside. they were put aside if i understand it correctly because there was a deadline we were approaching and he had some legitimate concerns about that deadline, if we didn't expedite it it wasn't going to happen because no one else was doing it. fair enough? >> it was self-imposed deadline if it was a deadline. >> well, the centennial is not a
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self-imposed deadline. what's the centennial? >> you're right. >> right. >> that's what was on his mind. he wasn't going to benefit from th this. the proceeds he dedicated to the park foundation. you know, i must say to my colleagues, it's -- we might walk a little humbly in the face of the lord when we're a body that's been accused individually of sexual harassment. we've had charges brought against members, including of this committee. we've had people involved in book deals, brought down two speakers. doesn't make it right. of course everyone should follow the strict letter of the law. but i will say, my own experience in this body dealing with an ethics committee, rules can be very arbitrary. and there are two approaches to life. one is a common sense kind of work it through approach and the
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other is a very law-driven, rule-driven approach to life and religion and politics. the latter may be a comfortable for some, but it's not really a practical approach to life. sexual harassment is a different matter. i have to say with respect to the book thing, shame on everybody for making it such a big issue. i don't think it is. and director jarvis, i'm sorry you have to even put up with that, frankly. maybe you made some mistakes. maybe you cut some corners. but the motivation to me was to try to help the park service. and i don't share my colleagues' outrage or faux outrage about it. sexual harassment's a different matter. i've got to ask you, director jarvis. when did you become aware of the fact there was a problem with
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sexual harassment at canaveral and at grand canyon? >> so in the canyon case i became aware upon the letter that was sent to the secretary of interior that initiated -- >> you were unaware of any problems prior to that? >> absolutely awn ware. >> and when was that? give me just the date. >> i forget the exact -- >> quickly. >> 2014. >> okay. 2014. was that before or after the subject david ubaragua was appointed as superintendent of the grand canyon? >> it was after. he'd been there for about four years. >> that was the sequence? you confirmed that, miss kendall? >> yes, sir. >> and miss kendall, when it was brought to director jarvis's attention there was a problem, did he take action? did he ignore it? did he punish whistleblowers? did he punish alleged victims?
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>> we received a request directly from the secretary in response to those letters, and we undertook the investigation at the secretary's request. >> but was there any -- i'm asking a different question. was there any evidence that director jarvis covered up, was complicit, turned a blind eye, ignored these allegations? >> no, sir. >> none. i thank you. my time is up. >> go to the second round. i'm not going to recognize myself for five minutes. director jarvis, you write in your testimony, you said that you have zero tolerance for sexual harassment. what does that mean, zero tolerance? >> it means that when sexual harassment is identified within the organization at any level that there is an immediate response not only to the perpetrators but also to the victims of it, that zero means zero. >> does it mean you recommend
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that people be fired? >> again, chairman, these are federal employees. and jumping to firing is not an option that i have under the current laws of civil service. >> you can make the recommendation. you can push for it. you can -- can you not? >> i'm subject to those same laws just like any other manager. i can't say fire that employee because that violates the whole title 5 rights. there's a process we need to go through. >> i understand they need to go through a process, but your recommendation does have some weight, does it not? >> it definitely has weight in terms of that we have zero tolerance. and that -- >> but what's that mean? zero tolerance doesn't sound like it means anything. we're not going to tolerate that, just don't keep doing it. so when you have an allegation of multiple sexual harassment issues happening i want to know
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what you're doing about it. >> we are aggressively pursuing appropriate disciplinary -- >> i want to know what you think appropriate disciplinary action is for sexual harassment. >> i think removal is one of those very much possible options. and it is definitely on the plate. >> so when did you make those recommendations either in the case of the grand canyon or in the canaveral situation? did you make any of those recommendations? >> i have not made those recommendations as yet. >> how many women does it take? we've got dozens. so at what point do you make a recommendation that somebody be fired? how many times does somebody have to be sexually harassed for it to get on your radar screen to say enough's enough, now we're going to recommend firing? >> when that line supervisor for these employees brings to me the details of their proposed disciplinary action, i will at
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that time make my recommendation on what should be done. >> in none of the cases regarding sexual harassment in these two scenarios did you ever recommend somebody be fired? >> the process for their discipline is incomplete at this point. so i have not made a recommendation that anyone be fired. >> and that's the heart of the problem. that's the heart of the problem. >> let me go back to this. i want to read this. this is from the testimony from ms. kendall, the inspector general. we're talking about the canaveral national sea shore. the chief ranger was disciplined for the procurement violation, but a particular concern was that in 2015 the chief ranger publicly disputed a media story about a former canaveral park employee who had provided information to the oiga about allegations of improper hiring and procurement irregularities. we had substantiated those allegations, and we reported our findings to director jarvis in
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2012. but he has yet to respond to our office. to date national park service has also taken no action to address the chief ranger's unbecoming conduct. is that true or false? yeah, to you. you're the director. >> sorry. i thought you were asking -- >> no. she wrote. she wrote they provided you the findings in 2012 and is yet to respond to her office. >> these local park issues are referred to the regional director. >> so when you get an oig report and you're referring it down to the person who created the problem, the chief ranger and the superintendent, right? >> no. to the regional director, not the park superintendent. >> you give it to the regional director, wash your hands of it, but there's no response. doesn't that get on your raidar? is that something you're worried about? >> i am worried about it. i don't know why -- >> but you got no response. did you get a response, miss kendall? >> to my knowledge, no.
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>> so you don't even respond to her. let me go on. last week again we, being ms. kendall, issued a report to the national park service on a pattern and practice of sexual harassment by the same chief ranger, who continues to serve in that position despite three substantiated allegations against him in less than two years. she says the national park service has not had time to respond to this most recent report, but with three other reports in four years this is a profound example of leadership problem that the national park service has failed to address at multiple levels. what would you disagree with in her assessment there? >> we have taken action on the individual at cape canaveral. his commission has been removed. and he's been removed from the position of chief ranger. >> when did that happen? >> i do not know the exact date. >> i mean, is it in the last couple weeks? >> no. i don't know, honestly. i can get back to you, but i do not have that -- >> we're having a hearing about
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this. i mean, it's in our written testimony. you don't know the position of this person? >> i know that his commission's been removed. as all i know. >> when his commission is removed, does he still work there? >> he is still employed. >> where? >> at canaveral. >> so there's -- how many sexual harassments does it take to fire a federal worker or even get to your point where you even recommend somebody being fired? this is a group of 50 people. there's three substantiated allegations. and he still works there. the guy should be arrested. he should probably be in jail. he should at least be fired. and you should at least try to fire him. but you don't do i of that. what does that say to the women there? how would you look them in the eye? i've got two daughters entering the workforce. i've got a daughter and a daughter-in-law evan terg the workforce, and i don't want them to go and deal with the scum that is in your department in your agency because that sexual
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harassment as a percentage of the workforce is so detrimental. and i put it on your shoulders to hold those people accountable and at least try. at least go down fighting. at least let them know, you know what, i've got your back. because sexual harassment, it ain't going to stand in my department, in my agency. but i don't see any of that. like i don't know. i have no idea. and you've had dozens of situations and you've made no recommendation to try to do that. so don't complain that the system is failing you. you're failing the system. your leadership is lacking. my time's expired. i recognize the gentleman from maryland. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. >> i want to just go back for a moment to my friend mr. connolly's comments. i was hoping he would stay
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around for a minute even though he has another hearing. the problem is not so much the book. you know, my pastor has a saying. he says, it's not what you do. it's what you do says about you. and it seems to me that you really had an utter disregard for the ethics rules. it's not some -- you know, i can understand you're trying to get the book out. but when you talk about you don't mind taking a risk and that's how you -- i mean, i think you kind of laid it out very nicely. this is how you operate. you take a risk and you'd do it
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again. and i know you come in and apologize this morning and you apologized to your employees over and over again. but what do you think that says to employees? it probably is a link when they see the top person in the agency, the very person who is supposed to be making sure they do the right thing, and when they say you're not doing the right thing. that has to affect morale. would you agree? >> well, it's -- i think my employees know who i am and have e-mailed me hundreds of e-mails of support because they look at me as a human being that makes mistakes, that i've owned up to my mistake. i've openly apologized.
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and admitted that i was wrong. and i'm being disciplined openly. no hiding of that discipline to anyone. and that is being applied appropriately. so i think that it may affect some people from a morale standpoint. but i think that this is -- i'm doing what i need to do as the director of the national park service to own up to my mistakes and apologize for them. >> in my private life before i became a congressman one of the things that i did was counsel and work with lawyers when they had disciplinary problems. and we had lawyers who had stellar careers. stellar. and did one thing and got disbarred, weren't able to practice law forever. so when you talk about employees
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knowing you and what a great guy you are, you know, but when you say things like i think i knew going into this there was a certain amount of risk, i've never been afraid of a risk, i've gotten my ass in trouble many, many, many -- you got three manys. times in the park service. by necessarily -- by necessarily getting -- by not -- listen to what you said. by not necessarily getting permission. and i'm trying -- i'm really, really, really bending over backwards trying to give you the benefit of the doubt. but when somebody says basically
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screw you, this is how i operate. then that makes me wonder, these people doing the sexual harassing. you said something else that really kind of got next to me. you said it's not that the women are afraid. they're concerned that something will not be done about the harassment. is that what i said? >> that's part of it, yes. >> well, if a young lady is sitting watching this right now and she's thinking about coming into the park service and she knows that -- this pattern. she knows the top guy takes an attitude of it's rules, what the hell, and doesn't see much happening and sees things happening over and over and over again, what's that say to them? if it was your daughter, i'm just curious. would you feel comfortable?
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sending her to the park service. >> i do have a daughter who works on public health for women in africa. and she is a very strong individual. and probably watching this. as we speak. and i think she'd say she would work for the park service because we are aggressively addressing this issue. this issue has come out and it's incredibly disturbing to me that we have tolerated sexual harassment within our organization. but i'll tell you this. the senior leadership, the senior women of our organization are committed to rooting this out. it's not going to be easy, and it's not going to be overnight. and frankly as we take this on aggressively you're going to see more. more going to come out. that's exactly what the department of defense told us, is that you're going to, as we aggressively pursue it, and women that have been harassed, who have not been willing to speak out in the past, will suddenly speak out.
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and probably will be back in here saying how come you've got now six cases or eight cases of harassment in the organization? and that's because we are aggressively pursuing it and individuals are finally feeling empowered and protected and willing to speak. that's a commitment i'm making and the senior part of my organization is also making backing me up on this, that we are going to root this out of the national park service. >> miss kendall, this is my last question. he just said that we're going to probably hear more cases because women are going to feel more empowered. can you tell us to your knowledge whether you have confidence based on what you know that that would likely be the case? >> i don't really have any basis to say yes or no, sir.
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>> and your recommendations are what right now? >> we did not make specific recommendations. we usually don't with our reports of investigation except for two things that we did provide to the secretary and to mr. jarvis. one was to be careful about backgrounds of people that they hire because they did hire back or allowed back one of the perpetrators as a volunteer. the other was to handle internal sexual harassment investigations properly, which was part of the problem in the grand canyon case. the initial investigation that they conducted internally did not proceed properly and it was also handled improperly because it was allowed to be distributed to more individuals than needed to know about it. >> mr. jarvis, you know, assuming you stay in the
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position, what can we do to hold your feet to the fire? what would you suggest? because we've got a problem here. we have women who want to be treated properly. i don't want the norm to be you come in and get harassed. that shouldn't be the norm. we'r moving toward that if we're not already there from what you've described to me. said more cases probably coming up. how would you hold your feet to the fire? because i think we have a duty to our constituents to protect them. i mean, you're a nice guy. but if people are coming into the workplace feeling threatened, i don't understand how they can do their job properly. if they're sitting there feeling afraid that somebody's going to say something improper to them or force them into a position that they don't want to be in.
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so how do we hold your feet to the fire in. >> sir, i think you hold my feet to the fire by requiring me to come back up here and meet with any individuals or group of individuals from this committee or any of the other committees that have jurisdiction and report to you specific actions that we are taking, both a timeline, individual actions and response through the rest of this year and the coming years. i mean, we have been getting excellent advice from the department of defense and the national oceanic -- >> have you been taking it? >> yes, absolutely we have been taking it. we are actively engaged with them on this process. and i think you need to hold me accountable. you need to hold the agency accountable. and we owe it to the women and the men of the organization that we create an inclusive workforce, a respectful and supportive and safe workplace
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for all of our employees and we are absolutely committed to that and you should hold me accountable. >> do you have a plan? you have a plan, right? >> yes, we do have a plan. >> thank you. >> mr. jarvis, director, the i.g. dealing with the chief ranger in canaveral sent you a report in 2012. i guess i fundamentally don't understand why you can just dismiss that and send that off to your regional person to deal with. there's a reason why they have the inspectors general give them directly to either directors or cabinet secretaries, so it can be on their radar screen. so they can take care of it. let me read to you another thing that ms. kendall wrote in her testimony. finally, this is again talking about canaveral. the same superintendent, not the chief ranger but this time the superintendent has been at canaveral since 2010. was named a subject in our 2012 report to director jarvis.
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are you familiar with that report? >> yes, i am. >> did you read it when you got it in 2012? >> i don't remember. >> the employee that reported the allegations of misconduct in her 2012 report made additional allegations of reprisal that were founded by the merit systems protection board and resulted in a settlement with the national park service. the merit system protection board noted the sunt was aware of the employee's allegation of recurring misconduct, did nothing to address the issue and failed to process an administrative request made by the whistleblower as a reprisal against her for contacting the inspector general. additionally, based on our report the merit system protection board noted the superintendent showed "a lack of candor" when responding to investigators and the highlighted action she took to obstruct the investigation. yet we have no indication that
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the national park service is taking any disciplinary action against her. did you take any disciplinary action against her? >> i don't know. >> how do you not know that? you know, mr. cummings is asking if you get it, if you're responding, if you're paying attention, if you're learning. you've got an outside inspector general who comes in and says there's a problem here, there's a reprisal. and i tell you what. whistleblowers who step up and do the difficult thing of saying hey, there's a problem here, we'll go to the mat for those people. and you know what? that happened in this case. and she's telling you that they had a lack of candor. they weren't candid about this. so much so it cost the american taxpayers -- i don't know how much we had to pay this person to get them right and whole. but that person still works there, correct? >> yes, sir. >> and you didn't do anything about it. so why do we believe that you will actually do something in
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the future? we had multiple reports going to you. these are years old. you purposely, intentionally mislead the secretary. you've got i.g. reports that you don't respond to. you have more than a dozen, two dozen sexual harassment cases. you say there's zero tolerance but not one time did you recommend somebody be fired, and guess what, nobody was fired. if you're going to -- you've done a lot of good things in your service, i'm sure. but if you want a new direction, if you want there to be the type of park service that you claim that you want, it's going to require new leadership zprks it isn't going to happen with you. you've had more than seven years to get this right. and it's getting worse, not better. only later do we actually see all these things percolate up to the top. but i've got to tell you, if we're going to do right by federal employees we're going to have a different -- we're going
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to have to have a change. you say in your written testimony the thing you gave us last night, you've got zero tolerance, and then you just told mr. cummings a few minutes ago it's unbelievable to me that we tolerated this for so long. it has no tolerance. recommend these people be fired. talk to the prosecutors so there can be action. that's the kind of government that i want to see. that's what i think the employees of the park service, of which i've got two parks in my district, that's what they want to see. because management's treated a whole lot different than that rank-and-file person and that cannot stand. i think it's been deception. i don't think it's been a mistake. yield back and recognize the ranking member, mr. cummings. >> just one last thing. there were some ladies who were dancing and they got 14-day suspensions, is that right? >> that's correct. >> can you tell us about that a little bit? >> so the situation at the grand
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canyon, once the information about harassment on the river district was made aware to the management at the park level, this would be superintendent ubaraga and his deputy, they instituted some specific policies about behavior. they eliminated alcohol use on the river trips. and they met with the river rangers and the staff as they went down -- before they went down the river and said this kind of suggestive behavior, harassment will not be tolerated. and then there was an incident on the river that involved a number of individuals including the two women. so that's when they imposed the disciplinary action on the
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women. and frankly this was an enormous mistake. it was wrong. >> and why do you say that? >> well, zero tolerance is zero tolerance. it's not to be reinterpreted by the park superintendent in a way of setting new standards for behavior. it's he did not take action on when he was made aware that this was going on in the park. he instituted a new set of policies to try to prevent it, and it didn't prevent, and then he took action on the two women. they have filed complaints with the national park service which are being adjudicated -- >> you know, as i listen to you, it goes back to some of the things the chairman was saying. i'm sitting here and listening to you. you told untrue statements to
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those above you, but yet you're sitting there and talking all of this strong talk. but when it comes to you it's a whole different thing. why is that? why should that be? >> i think i've been appropriately disciplined myself. and i've apologized for that. >> say that again? >> i said that in the -- if i understand your question about holding myself accountable? is that the question? >> yes. >> i believe that for the ethics violation that i did in production of the book i have been held accountable by the department of the interior, by my superiors. >> basically you got a reprimand and told -- and the interesting thing is you were an iktds
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officer you told us but you had to go back and get the ethics training. >> that's correct. >> last thing, let me tell you something, one of the most important -- and mr. chairman, i think this is part of the problem. one of the most important things, one of them you that said many -- and it goes back to what you asked, mr. chairman. you said, miss kendall, that the leadership tries to avoid taking disciplinary actions altogether. i'm paraphrasing what you said. so are you capable of doing what the chairman asks? yeah. of taking appropriate disciplinary action. >> yes, i am. >> the committee stands adjourned.
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[ room noise ] the democratic party's platform committee is holding a
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forum in phoenix to hear testimony on what should be included in the party's platform ahead of next month's democratic national convention. the platform committee meets friday at 1:00 p.m. eastern and you can see that live on our companion network c-span. then saturday day 2 of the platform committee heerg in phoenix. that's also live on c-span starting at noon eastern. on american history tv on c-span 3 this saturday starting at 1:00 p.m. eastern we're live from gettysburg college in gettysburg, pennsylvania for the annual civil war institute summer conference. as authors, historians, and professors examine topics such as free people's refugee camps, reconstruction in the north, and the post-civil war career of ulysses s. grant. also hear conversations on the return of the confederate veterans and the origins of the lost cause. at 10:00 with the approach of the 40th anniversary of the smithsonian's national air and space museum in july, real america will showcase a series of nasa films. this weekend we'll look at the
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1966 film "science reporter: suited for space." >> a couple of our earlier models. here we have the al sheppard suit. this is the mercury suit. after themarkry suit is the gemini. and here you have -- >> this looks familiar. >> this is a suit very similar to this. in fact, identical to this. was worn by white in his extravehicular excursions. >> this does look quite a bit different from the gemini suit we saw. >> it is. this is one of our earlier models of the apollo suit. >> tracing the development of spacesuits from the mercury program to the apollo moon mission. and sunday evening at 6:00 on american artifacts, curator jeremy kenney takes us on a tour of the smithsonian national air and space museum to show some of the museum's one-of-a-kind artifacts and the quest to go higher, farther and faster.
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>> this flew 3700 miles in 33 1/2 hours from new york to paris. flown by charles lindbergh, who was an unknown mail pilot. his goal was to win the orteg prize of $25,000 for the first nonstop flight from new york to paris. and so that was the impetus for this flight. but what it represents in the history of aviation was part of the telling of the air and the transformation of what the wright brothers created and how it transitioned in the '20s and '30s to what we call the modern airplane. >> for the complete ameri tv weo c-span.org. the state department's special envoy for libya testified recently before the senate foreign relations committee about the security and economic situation in libya and the continuing struggle of the libyan government to maintain control beyond the nation's capital.
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the foreign relations committee will come to order. we welcome everyone. thank you for being here. i want to thank our witness for testifying today. five years after u.s. -- the u.s. decision to italian veen in libya, which i think most of us including our witness would agree was a textbook case in what not to do in foreign policy, if you look at where we are today, i'm still wondering what our libya policy is. i read through the briefings. i know senator cardin and others did the same. and you know, we spend most of our time on foreign policy issues obviously. and i have to tell you just looking at the committee memo that was put in place by crs, the countervetting forces on the ground in libya are really many and very, very tough, complex
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situation. that has developed there. i think our hearing today is an attempt to understand what is an achievable outcome in libya that is in line with u.s. interests and at what cost. and obviously if we can cause people to come together through the efforts that are under way at present, we'd really just be getting back to where we were in 2013. so there's been a lot of time and a lot of lives lost. a lot of backward momentum. as different factions continue to compete across libya, as isis continues to use the chaos to establish an operating base outside syria, it appears that we are providing arms and training through some type libyan national security force. i hope mr. winer can explain to us what lessons the administration has learned from the failure of the last time we tried to develop libyan security forces and what political progress needs to occur in order for us to try again.
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to determine the way forward we need an accurate assessment of tripoli's ability to govern and what we are doing to help them and what can bring the rival administration on board with the new government. we have sanctioned libyan individuals who are hindering the formation of a unity government in the past. but are we prepared to do so in the future? for a country with vast oil wealth and thankfully void of widespread sectarian tensions, libya should become a success story. i think we all are disheartened that nm ways the failure of u.s. policy following the fall of gadhafi has hindered libya's progress. with that i want to thank our special envoy for being here. who i know has concerns about the future of libya. we look forward to your testimony. we thank you for being here today to help us understand the way forward.
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and with that i'll durn to our distinguished ranking member senator ben cardin. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i think this hearing is particularly important as to how we proceed in libya. and it's complicated. and i thank our witness for being here and your service to our country. but in order to counter isil and libya the united states and others have accelerated efforts to strike at the stronghold in sirltee while stepping up efforts to achieve libyan unity. on a broad level this is the right approach. although i'm pleased to learn that isil is now physically on the run and stress that they continue to make inroads by inspiring people online to commit atrocities, as we've seen in our own country in orlando. but oftentimes in the rush to beat back the latest terrorist threats the expediency of counterterrorism actions far outpaces and exceeds our political strategy. and that's a matter of major concern. we want to take action but we
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need to know we can follow up that action with a workable strategy. a fear that if we're not careful we do not devote the same amount of time and resources to good governance, democracy, promotion of humanitarian support in libya, then we will simply be worsening the country's division and repeating past mistakes that we've made elsewhere. if we arm one militia to counter isil today, even a militia acting under the newly recognized international unity government, who knows who will take up arms against us tomorrow? now, let me be clear. if the administration has information about a threat against the united states, then we have to act. we have to act and do what's safe for the people of our country. i know this administration is trying its best to support the national court. three months before i conveyed the urgency for libyan national unity. enhancing their legitimacy is
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critical to restoring security to the country, bringing prosperity to the people and helping libya take its place among the community of nations. gna control over all libya is critical to combating the extremist forces and resolving a migrant crisis that has tragically witnessed the drowning deaths of thousands. we've lost thousands of people that have been trafficked through libya. that's one of the casualties of the instability in that country. and yet while the gna is doing its best to restore order the country's political division still festers as spoilers in the eastern part of the country continue to block a vote on approval of gna. as long as libya remains a fractured, terrorist groups like isil will thrive and the temptation for growing foreign intervention will only grow. the gna itself has not requested foreign intervention. and while we can provide training to gna hif controlled units we cannot fight this fight for them. i think that's a very important
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point. if and when the u.s. military decides to give military equipment and training to libyan forces it must be with the full cognizance whof we're giving the support to and the potential for that support later to be turned against the united states. we need to have a clear strategy in libya. as i've said repeatedly before this committee i'm concerned about the open-ended nature of this neverending war on terror that is pursued without congressional authorization, whether it's waged in libya, yemen, syria, or iraq. what begins as a small mission to build partner's capacity can morph into something much larger. and all this is based on an authorization of u.s. force predating the upheaval in the arab world. predating the very existence of the islamic state. and even predating u.s. invasion in iraq more than 13 years ago. as i said earlier, our libya policy must strike a balance between achieving security and creating good governance. libya's core problem is that it's fracture add long regional, tribal, and religious lines between the old order and the
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new. we in the international community must continue our best to try to bridge these gaps. libyans are tired of having multiple competing governments. they deserve better. i want to compliment the u.s. leadership and security council working with the wlisht colleagues in getting the security council's actions. i'll be interested in hearing whether that will have a major impact on our policy. the united states should help a country like libya achieve unity, security, and prosperity. it's my hope we pursue a balanced policy and not just an expedient one. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you very much for those comments. and mr. winer, we really appreciate you being here. as people know, you're the special envoy for libya. bureau of near eastern affairs at the u.s. state department. i think you know that you can summarize your comments, if you will, in about five minutes without objection. all of your written testimony
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will be entered into the record. again, thank you for being here, and if i would, please proceed. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. chairman, ranking member cardin, and distinguished members of the committee, i thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today to discuss u.s. foreign policy on libya. i've just returned from consultationed with regional and european partners to discuss our mutual support for the transitional government of national accord, or gna, in libya whose challenges include ending civil conflict, promoting stability and addressing the ongoing terrorist threat. our strategic interest in libya is to support a unified accountable government that meets the economic and security needs of the lib yap people. we also seek a government with whom we can partner on bilateral and regional objectives including countering the terrorism and illegal migration which threaten security across north africa and europe. at the center of our policy has
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been support for the creation of the gna as a unifying bridge to help libyans move beyond the damaging period of political competition referred to by the chairman and ranking member and fragmentation until the country adopts a new constitution and long-term government. to do that we engaged last year with a wide range of libyans, international partners and with u.n. special representative of the secretary-general martin kobl relative and his predecessor bernardino leon to support creation of the political agreement which was signed on december 17th, 2015 to bring about the gna. since entering tripoli march 30th, 75 days ago roughly, the gna has been able to demonstrate its commitment to inclusiveness and national reconciliation and has begun the critical work of rebuilding the libyan state. rather than fighting one another through the gna backed by the political dialogue, libyans have begun the hard work of
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addressing common challenges. our collective international support for the gna has already had practical impact on the ground. in recent days we've seen libyan forces aligned with the gna engaged in sustained fighting against daesh in the region around sirte and entering into the city. they have made impressive gains against a ruthless enemy. the gna has announced plans to form a presidential guard. it has established command centers to combat daesh and sirte. prime minister fayez al saraj has stated he will seek international assistance to train and equip gna forces for this fierkts which will not be a fight that will be merely over in days or weeks. the libyans look to the united states for our help in combating daesh and we are prepared to provide it. the united states counterterrorism policy in libya is focused on degrading daesh and other violent extremist groups and reducing the threat they pose to our national security and to our interests in north africa and in europe.
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in libya as elsewhere the president has made clear his willingness to take action wherever our interests are in danger. in the past year the united states has conducted direct action against several terror targets in libya including a february 19th strike that took out a daesh training camp in the town of sabrata west of tripoli. we've also been working to disrupt connections between a daesh branch in libya and the core group in iraq and syria to halt the flow of foreign fighters to libya, to shut off daesh finances there and to counter and defeat its destructive messages. as with our other policy priorities achieving our counterterrorism objectives depends on helping the libyans rebuild an effective state. while real progress has been made in recent months, much work remains to fully implement the libyan political agreement and to achieve a durable and broad political reconciliation. with our partners in europe and within the region we continue to urge all libyans to put aside their personal interests in the name of uniting libya under the
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gna. so libyans throughout the country, east, west, and south can rebuild their nation. we further urge them to support the integrity of libya's core economic institutions, in particular the central bank of libya and the national oil corporation, whose unity is vital to the country's recovery and long-term stability. u.s. assistantssistance has pla important part. we look to congress as the gna takes shape. the administration has requested $25 million for assistance to libyan fy 2017. these funds would enable us to respond to libya's emerging needs, help the gna function and support increasing libyan security and counterterrorism capabilities. the administration is also planning to provide $35 million in fy 2016 and prior year funds to help libya's political transition produce an accountable and effective national government. as part of this assistance we intend to commit up to $4 million in support of the
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undp-4red stabilization facility for libya. mr. chairman and members of this committee as i described at the outset today the united states supports the as praigsz of the libyan people for united, inclusive, and responsible -- responsive national government capable of overcoming the country's significant national challenges and divisions. we remain deeply engaged with libya because flts part of our national security for north afri africa, for europe and the interests we share. i look forward to taking your questions. thank you. >> i assume you believe it's reasonable that libya can be put back together as a unified state that can secure its border and maintain monopoly over the use of force. is that something that you believe can occur? >> i believe it can occur. there are several things in your statement that need to all be taken into consideration. a unitary state of libya is essential. any division of libya into parts will be disastrous for the
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people libya, for the country, for the region and bad across the board. border control is something that's going to require work by libya's neighbors as well as by libya. >> yeah. and based on the way things are progressing at present, how long into the future do you think that is? >> well, the government of national accord has made more progress over the last 75 days than most people ever expected it would be able to make in that period of time. the advances that they've made against daesh in the sirte region are fruly impressive and involve a tremendous amount of sacrifice by libyan soldiers. >> is daesh the unifying force right now that's causing them to come together? >> samuel johnson, the british writer, once said that the prospect of a hanging concentrates the mind. i think that has been an element that's helped bring libyans together, is concern about their security as well as -- >> after isis is dealt with effectively, is there any sense that because this is a unifying
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force that's bringing people together citing historians, is there concern that after that is dealt with civil war can again break out? >> i think that the approach of having a government of national accord for a transition is designed to produce mechanisms for getting services provided and political support in east, west, and south. for the government to succeed it has to be able to provide services at the local level. there has to be buy-in in municipalities throughout the country with real attention given to underserved areas from the past. that's a real part of the -- >> and are they capable of doing that? we don't have sectarian issues here, but we certainly have divisions within the country. so is it reasonable to believe in a period of time that matters they're going to be able to do that? >> i don't think it's easy for them to do it. i think they're working on it. the presidency council consists
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of nine people representing all three major regions. and i've seen them begin to work together and grow together into a working unit. and i think they're committed to that. the constitution athat the libyans still need to build out and the elections they need to carry out for a permanent government are going to have to be designed by libyans to address these core issues so they have a nation they can build for the future. but given their potential oil wealth, past and future, they have the tools in theory to be able to do it. >> this was a case of -- i know that most of the committee were in a different place than i was on this, but i didn't understand what our national interests were in going in in the first place. i certainly didn't understand going in, decapitating the government and leaving as we have. you just laid out a series of numbers which certainly to most americans is a lot of money.
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but on the other hand as we know, as it relates to dealing with these kind of issues, very, very light amount of resources. i'm just wondering what role you see the u.s. playing right now. are we one of 30 countries? are we the lead country? it doesn't appear if you look at the resources being allocated, if we're the major force in helping this all come together with as much effort that's happening on the ground, can you share with us your thoughts in that regard? >> yes, mr. chairman. the assistance money we're asking for are comparatively small amounts. by comparison to what we're doing in iraq, for example, or in many other places. there we're part of an international coalition to try to help libya through this. >> who's leading that coalition? >> the u.n. is essentially in the lead. the u.n. mission in libya. the european union is committing substantial amounts. as are individual --
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>> are they taking more of a leading role in libya than the united states and european union? >> no, sir. but in the assistance area our requests are what they are. our core work over this past year has been political in the first instance. to get alignment amongst all libya's neighbors, important regional players beyond libya's neighbors. the europeans and us to work with the libyans to try to bring them together, get them aligned instead of fighting one another. that's taken an immense amount of work, and it played a substantial role in the creation of a government of national accord. >> i think all of us on the committee have traveled through northern africa and just seen the havoc that the fall of libya has created. the amount of arms that's traveled through those countries. the support that's given for transnationalist terrorist groups to be able to do what they're doing. that's happened. that's water, if you will, under the bridge.
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i still am having difficulties seeing the progress. i'm glad we have someone like yourself there. but do understand that if we end up in a situation years from now where a country cannot maintain its borders, cannot, you know, have total control over what's happening militarily in the country, that havoc is going to continue. we thank you for your efforts and look forward to additional questions. senator cardin. >> well, thank you, mr. chairman. mr. winer, i certainly understand the u.s. participation with the international community in 2011. and it i think was well received in congress, although the administration chose not to submit a authorization for use of military force. and as i said in my opening statement i think we have to act when we have a reason to do it
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but we have to think about the consequences after those actions. now, today my understanding is we have a limited number of special op force that's are operating in libya. and i know that the great britain and france have also interjected some troops. are foreign nations considering sending in ground forces into libya? >> i'm not aware of anything beyond training and equip missions, senator. >> and what is the intentions for u.s. additional personnel being used in libya? >> i think additional personnel being used in libya? >> i think that question needs to bedri addressed probably in another setting and participation of other parts of the u.s. government. >> can you tell us whether the administration is considering sending up an for use in the
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military campaign in libya? >> i don't know of a military campaign in libya being contemplated, senator. >> we have our people there. i understand the difference between combat and the lines that you're drawing. but so, is it anticipated that you will seek congressional action as part of the strategy for a united front for u.s. participation in whatever is done in libya? >> i'm prepared to provide you any information i have in an appropriate setting at any time. >> one of the factors that you judge how well we are proceeding, and i acknowledged the progress you've made against the terrorists and that's been some major advancements. and we have yet to see the
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radification of the unity government, which is a major step that has yet to be taken and we know there are leaders in libya that are resisting that. so, we're not there yet by any stretch of the imagination and you gave a pretty optimistic account. one of the indicators would be the reopening of our embassy. is that likely to occur in the near future? >> senator, we very much want to have our embassy reopen in libya. that's a policy goal. we think it's important we're present in libya. our ability to do that depends on the evaluation of the security situation and we have not evaluated it's time for us to do that. before we do that, we'll be back here to talk to you all about it. >> can you speak specifically what conditions will be necessary? >> diplomatic security is going to have to feel it's the right
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thing and other parts of the administration would have to concur and then we'd be down here talking to you about it. >> tell me the capacity of the libyan people taking on isil. what is that capacity with or without a gna? how do you see their ability to defend themselves against isil? >> under the period of divided government, when the government that we recognized, whose house was based in toebric and whose government was based in beta in the extreme east of libya, when we had that period and there was a competing government no one recognized in tripally, that's the period of time when dash secured a presence in the far east of the country and a substantial geographic territory in the region around sert in the center of libya's coastal region. since the national accord was
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agreed on on december 17th and voted on favorably for the presancy counsel and the political agreement and by the house of representatives on january 25th, we have seen different libyan forces take on dash with some substantial success. dash has been -- was first kicked out of durna. they didn't like being told what to do by foreign extremists and they have undertaken further efforts and in around durna and east and west of cert have collaborated through operations rooms to impressively push dash back out of cert. >> i don't want to disappoint the chairman and not mention my favorite subject of good
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govern governance and corruption. one of the challenges is traffickers trying to get people to europe. part of that is corruption of the libyan government and people in desperate need of humanitarian assistance and the institutions of government are so weak it's hard to get that aid. what is the prognosis that we will have a functioning government that can stop the traffickers and be available to deliver the humanitarian aid that's needed? >> i can't offer a probability, senator. the government is working, initially, to counter -- >> is that a high priority for us? i understand we have a lot of political problems, but are we making, with our international partners, a high priority to make sure we can stop the tragedies that are taking place? >> just this week, senator, the
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un endorsed a resolution put forth by the united kingdom to inhans maritime oversight, from my point of view, the more vessels in the area of libya, the more likely we'll be able to combat the migrant flow. we talked to libyans about it. dealing with migrant trafficking in any country, as europe has demonstrated itself through any number of national boarders is going to take a lot of work over a long time. in terms of the humanitarian crisis, we've been working with the central bank of libya, with the national oil company, with the presidency counsel on measures to try to reduce the risk of humanitarian crisis and get some traction or liquidity they've been facing during the two-government period and we're making progress in that area.
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>> thank you. >> thank you. and thank you for your service. i want to get to the arms embargo that the ranking member mentioned. but i want to get your opinion on this potential financial situation in libya, which i think is very critical as well. oil is right now almost 97% of their revenue and i know with the price of oil being down and also their annual production is about a 1/3 of their capacity and i look at the reserves and depending on the amount of out take every year could be as short lived as three to nine years. that's shocking. the best situation, what's the outcome here? because you got a financial catastrophe sitting right here in the midst of this very distressed battle situation. so, i'm trying to get past the ceasefire and say what do we do to rebuild that country
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economically so you can stop the fostering of this radical element? so, would you address the potential collapse we're looking at here. >> you've just identified one of the core issues we've been concerned about and working on. they're at risk of eating all of their seed corn and being left with a disaster if they don't get their acts together to pump their oil. we're working right now to try and get abraham and his petroleum forces to turn their forces on. >> and then that shortens the number of years before they actually burn it all out. >> i think the problem is not so much pumping it out and loseing it, there's still room for further development. as it is the problem of too much money going out and not enough coming in . there is no reforms they can take if they're not producing oil.
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they're in a very difficult economic situation as a result of pumping their oil. they've been pumping less than 400,000 a day. i talked to the head of the petroleum forces and said you have to turn the oil back on. he now supports the government of national accord. they've been fighting to get rid of dash. it's absolutely critical. there are forces in the west. some of their concerns have not been met. >> and isis, since that's -- does isis pose a threat to that oil production, even if they could turn it up? >> to the production, yes, to exploitation, probably not. the pipelines run north-south, south-north and they're not really exploitable in libya in the way they've been exploitable in iraq. dash did attack the oil crescent area and destroyed some
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terminals, some areas where oil was being stored at the terminals and that's probably reduced their capacity some but it's quite limited damage at this point. one of the things that is really impressive is it's begun to push them away from their ability to threaten libya's future oil produksz. so, that's a significant development. the libyans need draw together and address one another's grievances so everybody allows the oil to be pumped again, so they have less of a mismatch between the money going in and out. >> would you agree in the best case scenario, within a year or two of having a collapse? >> yes, sir. couple of years. >> thank you for that candor. relative to the un security counsel resolution, just yesterday, i believe. what do you think the impact of that will be? and will it have an impact on
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what's coming in to support dash? >> it's not clear to me where dash is getting its weapons from. what's important about the arms embargo is limiting the risk of different international players aligning themselves with different forces within the country and thus exacerbating the risk of internal conflict. we spent a tremendous amount of time getting regional players aligned. there are three conditions for us to have success in libya. very briefly. one, negotiating process. we worked that out and got the government of national accord by having one un led process. secondly, having regional players with interests and relationships in libya agree on a common course. and press forces within libya that they have been working with to participate and agree with it. we have gotten tremendous success in that. that's the second.
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third, there has to be benefits. at the local level, at municipalities in different regions from the agreement and from the government so they have a stake in stability. we're working on that, senator. >> one last comment. i applaud all of that. my onliey ed admonition would b ad a fourth, what happens to the economy and the people and the economy we're talking about so we can minimalize the danger of continued radical zasization th? >> ultimately we would like to see the libyans develop a revenue and get the basics down so there is greater accountability for their resources and spending. that would be very good for libya. >> of the money we're requesting from congress today would go to that. some of the money you've provided in the past will go to
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ad ministration. >> senator, marquee, are we squared away? >> is that sunonmoynonymous wit sitting down? >> it was your staff was in your ear, i wasn't sure if you were taking it all in. >> thank you for your service. senator gardner, we were just saudi arabia about 10 weeks ago. and one of the highest ranking ministers said to us that libya was going to make syria look like a piece of cake. which was a very stark comment to come from that source. what would it take for that set
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of circumstances to unfold and what can we do to avoid it from ultimately transpiring? >> senator, regional competition supported different forces so that libyans can't come together to fight terrorists. potentially lead to a very bad scenario, and that's one of the things we've been working to counter over the last year, year 1/2. having the terrorists destroy oil infrastructure and having the oil not continue to flow, to fund core government activities and salaries for government workers and for the people of libya would be another threat. if there's a humanitarian collapse due to the inability of libya to sustain its economy. the third element would be not taking on dash now. and allowing to gain a further foot hold. they don't produce anything, islamic state. they live off the land and in an
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extraordinarily ugly and ruthless fashion, as we all know. so, they need to grab more territory at all times in order to survive. so, when you push them back and take territory away from them, it's very difficult to continue because they need to be able to generate income to keep themselves going. so, ignoring that problem would create that kind of risk you're talking about. so, the risk of internal conflict, economic and humanitarian collapse and the risk from dash. they're intertwined, which is why the strategy has been to get political alignment to get the libyans to undertake, as they want to do, countering the threat to all of them from the islamic state, which they detest. >> in your testimony you pointed out that in libya isis lacks the ability to use oil smuggling as a major revenue generating resource as it has in iraq and
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syria. in march, this committee held a hearing on libya and i expressed deep concerns that isis seemed to be expanding to the point they could have improved their longer term capability to move against oil production facilities in the interior regions to the south. but now the immediate risk appears to be greatly reduced thanks to the current offensive operations by militias loyal to the government of national accord, which appears close to defeating isis in cert. i give great credit to the administration, our military forces and our international partners for what appears to be progress against isis in libya. if it were not for their efforts that i believe we could have faced a real risk of isis gaining revenue oil resources in libya as it has done in syria. that said, no single tactical success is sufficient to avoid
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this kind of strategic risk while militias loyal to the government of national accord, general hifter, who is align would the house of representatives is positioning his forces to the south of cert where they are watching and waiting. although, general hifter oppose isis, they have not agreed to support the government of national accord. this appears to be a moment ripe for political intervention. our allies have a history of supporting general hifter. if he goes to war with the militias loyal to the government of national accord, there will only be further chaos and isis will have an opportunity to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat and will resume the expansion in libya. what are we, the un and eu doing
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to bring the general and the tobrook house of representatives together with the government of national accord? >> thank you, senator. i must say that each of you worry about the same things that i worry about. with the anxieties i've heard today are consistent with thing thes we're worrying about and thinking about every day when it comes to libya. >> could you specifically tell me if we're working with egypt and the uae to push them towards a an agreement with the new government? >> egypt and the uae, like every other country in the region has signed on both expresly and in bilateral discussions as in multilateral forau on supporting the government of national accord and getting people they've been close to into the government of national accord.
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secretary kerry said in via that we see him as playing a significant role but not the only one. and it has to be under gna and within the context of a civilian led government. we're working on that. and we're consulting with the uae and egypt among others and i feel we have a very great degree of alignment and a constructive fashion that could well lead to positive results as we've already seen positive results these past weeks in cert. >> thank you very much, senator gardner. >> couple of months ago, we had the opportunity to travel to saudi arabia and visit with the crown prince and others in the royal family as well as foreign minister and other members of the government and one of the questions to, i believe it was
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the crown prince i believe, was the situation in libya, the situation in syria, and when it came specifically to the situation in libya, the question was asked how do you think it compares to syria? and i believe the response was simply syria will be a piece of cake compared to libya, should this collapse occur. i believe perhaps you had already mentioned that and i don't want to mischaracterize the statement. can you say whether or not that could be the case and you look at the crown prince's remarks that syria's a piece of cake compared to libya and could you perhaps compare that to comments made yesterday by the president isis morale is shrinking and is that consistent with what you're seeing on the ground in libya and what the crown prince was saying. >> you were there 10 weeks ago,
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roughly? >> roughly. >> the government of national accord has been placed precisely that amount of time and bit by bit the libyans have configured themselves to begin to take dash on. they have secured increasing support domestically. it's not complete, but i would note a majority of the house of representatives has been ready to support the cabinet. they hadn't been permitted to vote by a minority and so we do have political limitations. but you have seen support for this government grow. libyan people expect more than they've gotten. that's normal and natural. they want more than they tend to get and there's frustrations with what the government can actually do. the government needs to do more but progress being made is being made on the ground, sir, every day, right now. so, i think a pessimistic snap shots in libya are absolutely legitimate.
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and there's grounds for optimism and real progress. if we were today, in a situation, where you had still competing governments, no government of national accord, no progress against dash, no prospect for getting oil turned on again and addressing the mismatch, we would be in a much worse situation, a much more threatening situation than the one we're in. now, could the advancements of the past few months still get worse? yes, the situation is fragile. we can't say we're in a safe place. libyans are going to have to come together to address grievances for the common good and it's our job, as the united states to encourage them to do that, and encourage other countries to help them do that and be part of a unity building process. that's hard to do in any country. it's very hard in libya. but it is not futile. it is beginning to happen and
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we're seeing positive results as a consequence. >> and i apologize if i'm asking a question that's been addressed here. down to $20 million in 2016. in state department administered funds. why is that the case? >> the absorbative capacity of the libyan government in the past has been very limited. our focus is on delivering sources to communities, is the kind of thing, for example we're doing. working with a constitutional drafting assembly to get that process completed. we're trying to act as -- sinnergize other activities, working with the irun and other countries, rather than to do it all ourselves. these modest amounts are there to help fill the territory where there are gaps and provide
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impulses to help them go forward. but the core of the work has been political first, political security and then it's development and all three of those things are go having to go together. if libya gets its acts together successfully, libyans continue to come together, they should again be able to finance these activities. but they have to begin pumping their oil again at least a million barrels a day. and then they can begin to work through creating a national budget and starting to invest in their own infrastructure and projects again. we're trying to jump start things but the vast preponderance of the funding is likely to come from libya, as it should. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. senator. >> well, i'm encouraged by some of your comments. obviously, this is not an easy situation, particularly the
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three goals that you mentioned, including that the people seek benefit. i think that's a critically important part for stability in libya and you mentioned that the oil flow was part of that. you mentioned security was part of that. and the oil flow goes to help the people of libya, then they see the benefit of it. if it goes to fuel corruption, they don't. if security is there to help the welfare of the general population, they see the benefit. if its there to preserve the corruption regime, they don't see the benefit. so, i want to underscore my just request and i know the administration is committed to democratic institutions in the countries that we work in and fighting corruption and dealing with those issues. but to me, unless that's in the
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priorities from the beginning, it gets lost as we go through the process. so, i just really want to underscore what i hope is your commitment, as our representative on this, that it will be clearer that as you go through the process of reconciliation and developing a unity government that there's accountability in there for the governance. so that the people of libya can see the benefits of where it's going, that there can be the type of support for a unity government to succeed and we really can have a long-term stability in that very important country in the region. >> senator, the young people of libya are the country's future. at some level that's a cliche but it's such a profoundly true statement about these countries in north africa and the middle east that have such a preponderance of younger people, the degree to which they're
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interest saed in political diale is very impressive. the interim government, the government of national accord has to be successful enough to give the new libya a chance to be born and to build. and everything that we do in libya, as the united states needs to be consistent with the values you just expressed and the values of the american people at its foundation, which are very similar to most libyans i've been exposed to. they say things that are similar to what you just said to me. >> thank you. >> senator, menendez. >> thank you, mr. chairman. want to thank you for your work in this regard. i think this is a particularly important hearing because we should be riveted on what if anything the united states can do beyond what it is doing to assist the libyan people and building a country that a mad
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dictator had systematically dismantles over the course of four decades and ultimately, how to bring libya into the community of nations with respect for human rights and a productive economy that contributes to global resource and other markets but this complicated reality on the ground is one that has been centuries in the making. it is a transactional society with hundreds of militias competing ethnic and tribal affiliations, very competitive regional loyalties that on any single day can include home grown and foreign-born radical islamists seeking to spread jihad, neighbors seeking to defend their homes and families, gangs engaging in gratuitous violence. tribes and states of cold and hot wars against one another for generations. regional actors in three
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distinct region exploiting natural resources like oil. what could an intervening party, like the international community have been posed on these competing and conflicting groups to bring them to a resolution? we had a democratic prosacy that produced relatively free and fair elections in 2012 peacefully transition power from one elected body to an elected body. seated a national parliament that established legitimate government all in the anniversary of gaddafi's death. so, what can be done to impose upon these parties the ability to achieve the goal that we all collectively want? >> thank you, senator. all the problems are real. and they should not be glossed over and treated lightly.
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the challenges that any libyan government faces are substantial. but it also has a group of people who are patriotic, have some education, have some vision of what their country could be and are distributed in many different parts of the country. national dialogue and reconciliation, political mechanisms, political activities are central to the future of the country and having the country emerge from this period of fragmanitatifra fragmentation that it's just gone through. our job is to align regional players, as well as europeans and us. in support of a common approach to strengthen national institutions so they can combat at least some of those threats that you've just articulated long enough for libya to evolve to its next phase. supported by the considerable
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wealth at 1.5 billion barrel as day. >> if our goal is to bring other nations in the region in harmony with that goal, then it seems to me that's a concern in so far as to support pledges in the government of national accord, there have been reports that numerous u.s. allies including egypt, cutter and turkey have violated the un arms embargo supplying arms to both sides of the conflict and i understand now, and maybe you can respond to this that administration has expressed a willingness to consider loosening the embargo to arm the ga in its fight against the islamic state. how can you insure that its
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allies are abiding by law and not undermining the unity government and how can the united states ensure that government of national accord is strong enough to control any arms that are supplied? >> lots of questions embedded in that question, sir. let's start with the arms embargo. we've made no findings about violations. the un panel of experts in march, i believe, march or april issued a report which described the issues that you've raised without making any final findings. i've talked to all the countries you've mentioned about the need not to support competing forces but to support a unified government of national accord and i believe we have very considerable alignment on that. i was just in the region last week on these very issues. the idea behind exemption to the arms embargo is to provide a
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uniform set of weapons that can provide relatively integrated counter terrorism capabilities to address the threat from islamic state and other terrorist forces near term and medium term and to do so in a way that's trackable and traceable and subject to oversight. so, it doesn't disappear, go to bad places, go to the wrong people. that's the idea and the idea would be for libyan government to ask that of the united states and other countries at the same time and to have any exemption get notified through the un so it's visible, can be seen by the p 5 and other security counsel members and by the whole world and as a result of being transparent be more subject to oversight and accountability for the libyan people, for the region and the world. >> if i may, that takes a conditioned precedent, that ga is sufficiently strong and capable enough, even giving that
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process to ensure that it can control the arms that its supplied, have we come to that conclusion? >> yes, but it's also responsibility of any country providing those. it can be a shared responsibility and happy to brief further on that, senator. >> i would look forward to that. i used to hold up weapons sales to some countries because i feared that in fact they did not have the where with all to do that and sure enough, we lost a lot of weapons to isis and other -- not libya, but in other locations and we need not to do that again. thank you, mr. chairman. >> what is occurring relative to dash or isis? we had estimated 5 to 6500 troops there and yet it seems they're falling away rapidly.
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are they just blending in with the rest of the country? what do we think is occurring with the rest of dash? >> mr. chairman, i still have a fragmentary picture because the situation is so dynamic. i've heard reports of elements of dash bleeding away to the south and to the west. both in connection with the current offensive by current of the east and west to cert. they've clearly lost 700 fighters. i was talking to a member of the presidency counsel late last night about the state of play. he told me that the forces of the government of national accord had essentially come into the city from the west and now had geographic control of the entire territory of the west and the south that they still not have control from 7 kilometers east of cert. that there were mines laid and improvised explosive devices which were impeding them getting
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the rest of the way into cert. so, i'm hearing from other cells and of substantial losses by the islamic state in cert to the forces align woued with the government of national accord. still trying to develop further information but that is the core of what we have seen so far. before this, we were already seeing something interesting. i mentioned earlier that dash is predatory and doesn't generate income or wealth of its own. it haddall red a ebeen devastated in the dhofrs revolution. it was resource poor. there were grievances among ordinary people in cert that were legitimate because it never came back after the revolution to oust gaddafi. so, they were beginning to run into resource constrant in libya, which i think were beginning to affect its success.
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i fully expect that the successes of the past few weeks will be responded to by elements of dash. there's al qaeda, we should not forget them. there's sharia. two different elements they're still there. the fight against terrorism in libya is by no means over. it's going to required a sustained effort. but the geographic control for the financial sustainment of isil is dropping away. there's core believers and people for whom it may be a better paycheck or opportunity this week and something else may be better next week. >> one of the things we have to expand a lot amount of resources on is building up military through training and making sure there's a unified force. what is happening in that regard in tripally throughout libya, either by us or by other
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governments to building up an actual trained military force that can in fact do the things we know need to be done there? >> mr. chairman, the presidency counsel has been in place for 75 days now in tripally. they have yet to ask foreigners for help. i suspect that is going to come. and they began organizing the current effort which involved the creation of operation rooms to take them on, which, as we have seen, as been remarkably successful, though no one should be overly optimistic that it's all over. it's not going to be. and general supported by other elements of the libyan national army and undertaken efforts in derma were kicking out foreign
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extremis extremists. so, the picture is not a simple one. we're going to have to, collectively, not just the united states, support the creation of uniformed, uniform police and military that can provide security on a national basis that are still respectful of localities. and the fleed need for local security as we have in our own federalist system. it will have to be on an interim basis for the next year, year 1/2, whatever the term of its existence and then by a successor of government under the new constitution that is right we hope they'll adopt. >> let me ask one last question. we, through i guess just the way we know things, we're aware that outside of cert, actually out away from the city, there were training camps that had
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thousands of dash people in them and they were, as i understand it, not near urban population but out in training camps and we were waiting for a unity government to be formed and didn't want to be involved there without that occurring. but was there an opportunity missed to do severe damage, if you will to dash while they were out away from cert or was that ever the case? >> the united states has some criteria by which it evaluates when it can engage against terrorism. and a critical element of that criteria is imminent threat to americans. and there are some other components to it but that's a very important one. the president has demonstrated his willingness to take action as we did in february.
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as we did against the islamic state amir. earlier. and as we did against another terrorist figure before that. the administration continues to take action when that action is warranted and meets the criteria the president has set for that action. that's really all i can say. >> i will say it sounds to me like yes, there was that opportunity; that yes, they were in training camps out away from cert and that at the time we didn't feel like those conditions that you just described existed and that in the interim, they moved back into the urban areas but the criteria was thought there for us to take action, if i'm hearing what you're saying. >> i can't address the issue further, senator, other than to note the islamic state has been
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very substantially pushed back from the geographic control it had as recently as a month ago. >> senator. are there any other questions? do you have anything else you'd like to say or feel like you might have left an impression you didn't want to leave because you were cut off? >> senator, i think the most important -- mr. chairman, i feel we do have a strategy and the strategy's been to counter fragmentation, counter chaos, by working to get libyans and their neighbors and the region aligned in support of a government of national accord to operate in a transitional way and bring them together in a process of reconciliation that will allow them have function on the behalf of their people.
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i think the kbequestions have b to the point and welcome the opportunity to testify before you. >> we welcome you for your service to our country. if you would promptly respond to any written questions that will come by the close of friday, we'd appreciate it. you can respond before, of course. again, as i said in my opening comments and this certainly isn't directed in you in any way. it's directed at our country. i felt our involvement in libya was very poorly thought out. and the basis was pretty unbelievable to me that we weren't involved in hostilities when we're bombing the country. so, that part to me was very difficult to digest and then for us to decapitate a government and just leave it there and here
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we are in the year 2016 after this occurring in 2011, i think speaks to what senator said and that is when we go into these engagements, we need to at least be thinking 30 days out after and in this case, certainly that was not what occurred and there's been lot of people tortured, a lot of lives ruined. a lot of problems that have been created throughout the region that have been very destabilizing and has bled into europe now and i think we can learn from this. it still appears to me that we have a really light touch, very, very light touch in a country that, as senator gardner and senator marquee mentioned, could breed problems far greater than syria, by some onlookers in the
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neighborhood. so, it still doesn't appear to me that we've come together around something that has a sense of urgency or seriousness to it relative to the negativity that can occur if libya fails. so, i don't know if you want to respond or just agree with me and wish more was happening. >> senator, we're doing the best we can. mr. chairman, i'm doing the best that i can. >> you know this isn't directed at you in any way. >> thank you, sir. >> with that, the meeting's adjourned.
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the democratic party's platform committee is holding a forum in phoenix to hold time in what should be included ahead of next month's democratic national convention. the platform committee meets friday 1:00 p.m. eastern and you can see that live on our companion network c-span, and saturday, day two of the platform committee in phoenix, live at noon eastern. after the surrender at apmattoc apmattocks, the united states faced more than a decade of challenges. in policies had a lasting impact on american history. this saturday starting at 1:00 p.m. eastern, american history tv on c-span 3 is live from g
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get gettiesbering, college for the annual civil war conference. freed people's refugee camps with abigail cooper assistant for fes professor in history. associate professor of history at east tennessee university . >> professor of history at arizona state university and hear conversations on the return of the confederate veteran and the origins of the lost cause. the annual civil war institute summer conference live all day saturday beginning at 1:00 p.m. eastern on c-span 3's american history tv. for the complete american history tv schedule, go to c-span.org. the house, homeland security subcommittee on border security recently held a hearing on
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people who stay in the country longer their their visas allow. and homeland security department, as well as immigration and kums customs enforcement. the committee on homeland security, will come to order. subcommittee is meeting today to examine dhs's entry, exit and over stay efforts. before we begin today, i would ask that we observe a moment of silence for those killed and wounded during the terror attack in orlando. thank you. our thoughts and prayers go out the victims and families of this terrible tragedy. i now recognize myself for an opening statement.
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border security evoked images of dusty border roads, agents in green fencing and camera towers. but a broader view recognizes there's more to consider. time and time again, terrorists have exploited the visa system by legally entering america. for terrorists travel documents are as important as weapons. the commission's focus on travel documents is not surprising. since the 1993 world trade center bombing, terrorists have abused the hospitality of the american people to conduct attacks here at home. abaaoud, an egyptian convicted of the world trade sinter bombing, worked illegally as a cab driver after his visa expired. four were out of status or expired. a missed opportunityt

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