tv Politics and Public Policy Today CSPAN December 9, 2016 8:00pm-12:01am EST
hearing on government classification rules. then oklahoma city senator james inhofe talks about the environment. and later, vice president biden shares his thoughts on governing and the u.s. political system. now, a look at efforts to combat child trafficking. speakers discuss how human trafficking his evolved over the years and the role technology has in monitoring at-risk children. from the center for strategic and international studies, this is an hour. . we're going to get started. i'm dan run de. i hold a chair here at csis. we're going to be having a conversation about combath child
trafficking. i can do this with my friend and colleague shannon green who runs our program. i don't think i have to -- one of the great evils of our age is the trafficking in persons. i think both the bush administration, bush 43 and the obama administration have worked very hard to shine a greater light on this and have taken a number of steps both domestically and internationally to combat this great evil. there are some terrible statistics about this that belie the great human suffering that's involved with this. 1.2 million children are trafficked each year. i won't go on. i think most of the people in this audience are just aware of the gravity of this. we have a number of those we
want to bring to washington to have a conversation about this certainly in the context of -- we had an election last month. so we'll have a new government. so i think at the same time there's a broad republican and democrat consensus that this is a terrible -- a terrible problem. and in both the last two administrations, there have been steps taken. so i'm confident that there are opportunities for taking yet additional steps to solve this terrible problem. so we have hillary chester from u.s. counsel -- >> u.s. conference of catholic bishops. >> u.s. conference of catholic bishops. and jean geran from s.t.r.e.e.t.s., from madison, wisconsin. had a past life at the state department. hillary, i'm going to ask you to go first and then have jean speak as well. i know shannon has some questions and some additional
comments she may want to make. go ahead. >> thank you so much. my name is hillary chester with the u.s. conference of catholic bishops. >> it's not just difficult for me. >> the catholic church has been really engaged on the issue of trafficking since i guess sort of -- since the codification of the law, the actual defining of trafficking as a distinct form of exploitation. as a state criminal activity. my office, we house our anti-trafficking efforts in our office of migrant and refugee services. but we work very closely with our sister organizations, the different offices which are essentially kat lly catholic ch in development across the clone. the pontifical care and the pontifical academy of social sciences which is where pope francis asked specifically the issue of human trafficking be examined and addressed more fully. my organization, we work very much with people on the move.
so here in the u.s., we're working with victims and survivors. foreign nationals, either who came here as part of a trafficking scheme. we've seen many young adults, children, quite frankly, from northern mexico that are sort of forced, coerced by cartels to smuggle drugs, smuggle people across the border and then wind up here in u.s. custody. we work also with children who have been part of labor trafficking schemes. we had some young adults come out of an egg farm that you may have read about in illinois about a year ago. specifically targeted because they were children, recruited because they were under age and there was an expectation they'd be able to get them out of custody and put them to work. but we also see a lot of migrants, including young adults here in the u.s. who are here without status, which makes them very vulnerable. they are sort of compelled to be -- an economy to begin with and then can fall into trafficking schemes. so the entire process. the recruitment, exploitation,
all takes place in the u.s. and then my counterparts abroad work both with refugees and migrants. migrant laborers and street children in some countries. a symposium in a gathering last september at the vatican to look at the issue of trafficking among street children globally. so thinking about the runaway and homeless youth here in the u.s. were very vulnerable to sexual exploitation. and looking at street children in more traditional terms. much younger children living on the streets, often in small groups, and then they are often very vulnerable to sexual and labor exploitation. so we are looking at the issue. we work in partnership which gives us a good perspect identify following trafficking both from source countries or source communities through transit destination and often back again. so we work collaboratively with people who have been trafficked, whether in their own country or across borders want to go back
to their home community and need assistance reintegrating so they're not just retrafficked all over again. >> thank you very much. jean, thanks for being here. >> thank you. my name is jean gerran. i'm at the university of wis wirks madison. and co-directing a new anti-trafficking initiative there called s.t.r.e.e.t.s., which stands for social transformations to end exploitation and trafficking for sex. so we are specifically focused on sex trafficking. and i've had a longstanding interest in child protection globally. i did work internationally at the state department on broad-based human rights and childs rights issues. what i wanted to do today was just present some ideas that i've been mulling over and talking to a lot of people for over the years on how we can be using technology better to address some of the challenges of child trafficking around the world and specifically as it relates to the vulnerability of the lack of identity of children. that so many children, whether
they are in institutions, street children, or unaccompanied migrants, what have you, often just lack someone who is keeping track of that -- their identity. they often lack birth registration as well. so my proposed collaborative technology ideas or projects that i think we should consider how we can pull off together. i'm calling juvenile life information exchange network because it really is a data and technology collaborative to end child trafficking but it's not focused on the perpetrators or the deep web or some of the other important aspects of combath trafficking. but it's really focusod at-risk children and survivors of trafficking and trying to improve tracking of outcomes for them and improved service provision for them through that. so here are the various vulnerabilities in my work at the state department uncovered. the statistics, they are up there. they come from usaid. but usaid will be one of the first to tell you they are based
on very little and conjecture. that's one of the challenges i'd like to present as a solution that technology could help us solve by tracking all these different types of children. after working in places like uganda and hearing the challenges of counting the number of orphans and institutions or the number of street children, or even the number of ngos working in their country with child welfare, so you have government officials in places like uganda, rwanda who are concerned about children in their countries and the trafficking of those children but have no way to really keep track of them. at the same time, you have social workers, small community based organizations that are resource poor and are trying to work under very difficult circumstances. and they, too, need tools to better keep track of the children in their care. so i kept seeing these data challenges around the world in these different contexts. and then i went back to the university of wisconsin, and i'm now part of a statewide
anti-trafficking task force. specifically one of the working groups on data and research and also identification and screening. and as i was sitting in these wisconsin-based meetings with the department of justice, department of children and families, the service providers in dane county who provide aftercare services for survivors, all of the same data challenges i saw all over the world were propping up. now they're different because we have more sophisticated systems in this country but they're siloed. each law enforcement, for example, each police agency in every county in wisconsin uses their own technology vendors to keep track of their data. so at the federal level, they are asking for more consistent reporting on trafficking, and they are getting that, but all these different systems being used makes it very hard to share data. of course, not all of it should be shared. so here's the mandate of that working group is to identify
mechanisms to connect and link data regarding sex trafficking victims across systems through modifications in existing -- the exist systems or dwchg new systems. it's the developing or modification that i'd like to talk about. and we have some models already out there in the business world, in the technology world. some of you may be familiar with one that's housed at darfa but it's an open source repository of tools for data capture and mapping and visualization. all the things the sector needs. some of the collaboration behind memex, again, is at darpa on the government side. lots of universities involved of different -- in different ways. and then, of course, companies, technology companies and others. and they come together to think about memek's goal is for -- specifically designed for deep web and online trafficking
issues and going after perpetrateors online sexual exploitation through backpage or other mechanisms. so those are the tools or that's the goal of memex. what i'm proposing is a mirror or something similar as it relates to identification and at-risk children and survivors. so some of the functions of the current memex are data collection, distributive programming, infrastructure and all of these same functions are in the tools, have potential to be applied on the survivor tracking, child tracking area as well. and may already exist and i'm not an expert on memex so some of you may have some more updates on this. but it serves as a model that's already out there that we can replicate to really start getting at these global issues. so some notional collaboration for doing that is our -- are listed here. these are notional. and it's a hope that i'm kind of
here to try to rally some support and speak to interested parties about bringing tech companies, the private sector together with various universities, and i have colleagues at different universities who are working with technology in different ways to address some pieces of this challenge. and i think if we came together with some large donors who also are funding different types of technology initiatives, mcarthur, for example, investing quite a bit in citizen science and citizen kind of crowd sourcing democracy initiatives and human rights tracking. but those similar initiatives, i think, could apply to child protection as well. again, the same sort of functions as memex but with some specificity and customization for child specific data capture. improved case management tools that are needed desperately by different levels and different types of organizations around the world. a data gateway for secure but
appropriate data sharing, as it's appropriate. and then some mapping and analytics as well. and being at the university, my big goal is the research which is also so lacking in this field. and it's in part because we don't have the data to even start with. although hillary and usccb has -- georgetown university has done a great study using some administrative data from them looking at the capabilities of survivors and their recovery. and that's exactly the example that i think we can do more of if we had these kind of tools. so in wisconsin, i'm -- we're trying to get a pilot off the ground to work with the task force to build an open source repository of tools and adapt them to our child trafficking identification needs in wisconsin. by the way, most of the states, many of them have task forces now, but most of them can't answer the question. how many trafficking victims do we have in our state? we have 50 states, right?
and all of these same tools that could be developed for our domestic trafficking challenges can be applied to other transnational challenges like the u.s. central america dynamic of the unaccompanied mug rants coming from central america to the u.s., often trafficked. we're not able to keep track of them right now. they're handed over to uncles and then they disappear. so we need better tools for tracking them. i was involved in usaid family first initiative which is continuing work and it was a design thinking exercise we did in pnom phen. and all of the ngos in their different way, we need better harmonized data, better case management. we need to work -- the local government needs tools to track the kids in their districts, etviate. there are all these needs for technology, and there are things being done on a one-off basis by
each organization, but we need -- i believe we need to invest in a global, labrative to start system cat lool the producing these tools and customizing them. and the last example again was, ganda. i already kind of spoke through some of that. so my proposal, which i'm delighted to be here and thank you dan and shannon both for inviting me. i really think the next step would be bringing together some stakeholders who might be interested in participating in a memex-like initiative. and i'm hoping to do that sooner rather than later. so, thank you. >> shannon? >> so both of you spoke about partnerships. and partnership is often thought of as the fourth pillar of the comprehensive approach to it. whether it be partnering with tech companies to get better data company or the buying and selling of people online or as we're discussing earlier, in a
closed door session, really making sure that the private sector is aweaware of all the vulnerabilities in its supply chain. yet this field has been in development for at least the past 15 years. so i just wanted both of you to speak about what are some really positive examples of private sector engagement and collaboration, and what are some of the barriers we need to overcome in terms of building out those kinds of partnerships? >> start with you. >> i think in the context of human trafficking, beyond just child trafficking, i think certainly some of the companies that do software development have assisted non-profits around the world, overseas in southeast asia there's been efforts at using sales force and other kinds of data management systems to help track -- to improve case management, to track cases even
so that perhaps when individuals come and seek assistance in an organization, and then it turns out that they may have been trafficked by the same individual, that information is captured in a way that individual case worker might have missed because perhaps they're speaking to different people. and so those kinds of connections are not lost. can be passed on to law enforcement. so there are certainly technological partnerships. there's been some efforts at doing more with cell phone technology, recognizing that a lot of people in many african countries are now using cell phones. southeast asia. much more than computers. the 3g, 4g. as ways of either enabling people to report tips, to report incidents or to give them information. safe migration is something that certainly a lot of my partner organizations work on, which is sort of helping people recognize what are good and bad recruiting offers before they head out. or give them tips so when they get where they're going and
looking for work they might be able to recognize a bad offer and either stay away or if possible reach out for assistance. there's that kind of technology coming into the anti-trafficking work. i think, though, certainly the idea of good business partners in cleaning up supply chains is still something that we're struggling with. that we are trying to get more information from large corporations about their supply chains sowe as consumers can make more ethical choices, more informed choices -- >> so people aren't buying products with forced labor? >> right. we would hope that we'd have that information so you can select and preferentially support a company that's keeping a good supply chain. and we get a lot of -- we reached out to my organization in particular in the fishing, seafood industry and we get pushback they can only go back so far in their supply chain. they can't regulate everything. they can't be everywhere.
and some of the sourcing they say is just really beyond their capacity for some of the raw materials or the sort of prime materials in their supply chain. so i think that's still definitely an area that not just advocates but people of good will in general should be pushing more for that kind of information so we can be -- we can be consumers that are pushing and demanding better treatment for people in the supply chains. >> and i think the key to getting business engaged is, obviously it has to be in their interest to do so spoep that speaks to the pocketbook and consumers making choices based on clean supply chains. but i think there's really hopeful aspect, too, and the key is to folk ous what that corporate competency is. so i think it's much -- it's more attractive to businesses to give what they do, if that makes sense, which is why there's so
much potential for the technology building because they are already doing it and google already allows its staff to donate 20 hours a month or something to these kind of projects. but at the same time, there are other consortium and coalitions in the tourist industry, for example. and obviously, we know they're very engaged in that. i can't speak to the success of all of them. some in the room are more experienced with that. but hotel chains that reluctantly but some have come on board and i think there's potential to expand and some give rooms for shelter. emergency shelter for victims for example. they can post things in their hotels. they can make it a corporate, you know, kind of code of conduct and accept code of conduct. and that's what a lot of the business coalitions that are forming are trying to decide, you know, if we're part of this partnership, we're going to sign on to these different ethical
codes of conduct. and there's a lot of potential in expanding that, in trying to get more businesses to engage in that way. i know another good example is manpower. on the temporary -- >> the company -- >> the company that engage because that's what they do and so they're focused on contributing to the fight with their corporate identity. >> so let me ask a question i think we're going to have a new special ambassador to combat trafficking in persons. so if you are putting together a memo for that new ambassador, and we'll have one at some point, what would be one or two recommendations to build on the last two administrations? what would be opportunities to build on of the last 15 years because there's been a lot of effort and there's been some progress. there's some gaps. so what would be some areas -- what are some areas of, let's call it low-hanging fruit for
the next person who is the ambassador for trafficking in persons. let me start with you, hillary. >> we even talked about this earlier. someone mentioned it so it's not a unique idea but i think the office does need a longer term strategic plan. i think that right now, a lot of their funding decisions, where they fund projects, who they fund, what kind of activities they are funding, are driven by the tip report. and so it feels a little year to year to year. so the tip report comes out. it highlights the -- >> somebody's tier three. >> someone's tier three. you can sometimes pinpoint, it's because they're not getting prosecutions. it's because there isn't good shelter. so those become the funding -- >> the issue du jour. >> they're pretty standard. it's prosecutions, services to victims. so it's not super trendy, but it reflects the rankings of the prior year. and so there isn't -- it doesn't
feel like there are regional approaches. it doesn't feel like there are a lot of spaces to do really what i would think would be very good collaboration across regions or really multiyear perhaps projects that are -- the performance measures are more longer term, more longer visioned. that would be my recommendation. >> that's a good one. >> so speaking of collaborations, one of the things i've always thought is missing is relationships with related areas of practice. so, for example, you know, the folks that work on education, whether it be the educational exchange-type programs or the kinds of education programs that usaid does or the entire group of experts who do democracy human rights and governance work and are looking at issues like rule of law which are so relevant for this issue, or whether it be people who are
focused on women and girls or even people who are focused on transnational crime networks or countering violent extremism as it relates to terrorist networks. there are all of these connections that i don't think are being made as strategically as they could be. there's a lot of resources, a lot of expertise. a lot of manpower and tactics that could be leveraged to help deal with this issue that right now those connections are not being made. >> so the person needs to walk through the building and get to know the aid and state and what the opportunities tor collaborate? >> exactly. there's a danger in tip becoming everything and then being nothing. but at the same time, there are push factors related to underlying societal weaknesses or grievances that push people into other, you know, vulnerable situations that could be addressed together rather than in the silo. same thing with the poll factors
or facilitative environment. i'd like to see more connecting of the dots amongst the different fields that are related to tip. >> jean? >> that was basically going to be my exact point. but especially, i think, and this is not the only thing the tip office does, but in my experience, and focussing on child trafficking specifically, which i think can provide a lot of support and get a lot of engagement. but on that piece of the trafficking, which is one piece only, there are these great potentials. when i was at the state department working on these various issues it was so frustrating because you had these different offices who you have child soldiers were handled in the human rights bureau and trafficking victims in the tip office and then orphans and vulnerable children only at usaid. and there's another issue at the state department related to intercountry adoption around which there are lots of -- there's corruption. there can be trafficking.
so these are overlapping issues. you have core counselor affairs trying to handle difficult adoption proceedings and systems in weak countries with weak regulations who could benefit, i think, from usaid funding some, you know, social protection infrastructure in those countries where those problems are happening. so exactly to your point. and especially when it relates to children, it's the last thing people are kind of thinking about. but at the same time, it is low hanging fruit. it wouldn't take much at all. just really talking to each other and saying, okay, here's what we're funding in guatemala. well, we have challenges in this way. from the tip offices or vice versa. and strategically using every taxpayer dollar in foreign assistance and other state department and department of labor programs to address multiple challenges because they can. we can do that. but it takes coordination. i will say there's a great
development a few years ago in the u.s. national plan on children and adversity. the child specific issue that was a really heavy lift, and came out through a lot of hard work and collaboration across -- it was the first whole of government kind of plan that came out and that exists. there was no money behind it, and it's still struggling for implementation. that's another opportunity that a new administration could seize. >> i want to go back to something that hillary said because i think one of the connections that is not being made is between the humanitarian community and people who are looking at providing services for displaced persons, whether they be refugees, migrants or internally displaced. you mentioned a particular vulnerability for people on the move. so i'm curious about that nexus between trafficking and people on the move and how you think we could stitch together a strategy
that is much more comprehensive and much more effective in terms of catching those vulnerabilities and making sure that people who are closest in proximity to some of those communities have their eyes out for it and know what to do if they see signs of trafficking. >> sure. i think that's -- my organization particularly, we're focused on migrants and refugees. so for us, we have thought about these sort of periods of migration or different sort of places that people can be in a migration journey that sometimes they are a displaced person. sometimes they're seeking asylum. sometimes they may be trafficked. when it comes to funding, when it comes to jurisdiction of intergovernmental jurisdiction and ngos, we think in very rigid categories. i'm a refugee serving agency. i assist people in seeking asylum. and those -- or i serve victims of trafficking.
and the reality is that people are in some more dynamic situations. most migration flows are rather mixed. people are not just fleeing violence or war but they're also seeking an opportunity. they intend to work when they get where they're going. are they an economic migrant, a refugee? i think that these categories and the jurisdiction of who serves them and what services are available, what protections are available are becoming very -- they are becoming obstacles to us in this field to really meeting people's needs. first and foremost we should be meeting the needs of people in front of us and not be so categorical. also recognizing with displacement comes the lack of some social norms and social protections that are normally in place. and people begin making what we would see perhaps as poor choices given their change of choices. they are perhaps making the best
available. but that puts children at risk. it puts adults at risk. and so i think to mitigate some of those bad choices, and simply allowing adults who are seeking asylum or who are refugees to work would keep their children from being pushed into the informal economy where really these children are often doing the kind of work that an adult would do much more efficiently. we had a report recently that immigrant refugee sefrkss went to jordan, turkey and -- i'm blanking on the third one. jordan, turkey -- >> lebanon? >> lebanon. to look at those living in these cities primarily. there were children working in agricultural fields just outside the populated areas in jordan and in -- why am i blanking on that one? >> lebanon. >> and what was so problematic is that it's illegal for adults who are syrian or noncitizens to
work. so the adults can't go. they'd be spotted and picked up and perhaps ejected from the country. so it's a real deterrent to chem working for sure. everyone turns a blind eye to children working. 8 to 10 to 12 to 13-year-olds working in these fields. small hands, less efficient. an adult could do that work and probably for the same cost to the farmer, quite frankly. so just almost common sensical, i think, solutions to just letting people remain in what are more healthy and more secure forms of making a living, supporting their families, even when they're in these incredibly disrupted and unstable situations. >> jean, do you want to comment? >> i wanted to go back. i think another thing a new ambassador could do with the office but do more effectively,
actually, across the building really, the state department, is continue to make those links between trafficking and -- as a national security issue. people think of it, i think most people often just think of it as a humanitarian, a human rights, like we have to do this for the moral imperative. but much like the businesses, you need to appeal to their best interest. similarly, for different departments in the state department or different offices, you need to make sure you're -- someone is in charge of making those links because if there's not a trafficking -- athive trafficking person engaged in the counterterrorism or even the sanctions that we place on countries or waivers, and i've been involved in debates over whether because there are child soldier problems in a certain country whether they should be waived or not. and making the national security argument that child soldiers,
it's hard for adult and our military to deal with child soldiers. that's a challenge for them because they are not trained for it. and then let alone the fact that then these young men or women used as labor in military militias become drains on society and -- or gang members who are also a threat. and that's just one example. there are ways in the transnational or the -- yeah, transnational organized crime networks that you referenced as well, they are often the same people moving contraband and drugs and people and it's all about what's the most lucrative. so there is interest in really working with the treasury, with other agencies but as, you know, as a money laundering issue or as a national security issue or as a counterterrorism issue. and i don't think generally because the tip off as with some
of the other special offices, which i love, which i've always worked in, but we haven't always been as effective at making those -- >> those linkages. so could i ask either of you to talk about a god neod news stor. is there a country where we say in the last 10 or 15 years has been ain credible turnaround story? can you give an example of that? is there an example of a happy story? are there happy stories on this topic? >> i think that my organization has provided foster care for victims of trafficking alongside our refugees minor population. and we've seen some good outcomes. we've seen some positive outcomes certainly. so i think there are certainly those individual cases where people come out of trafficked situations and are able to really rebuild their lives. >> has any country gone from tier three to tier one? >> i don't know that anyone has
done that. we've been working not so much with child trafficking but working with the court chaplains in thailand the last couple of years and helping have the court chaplains in the courts who can get on to ships who are able to bring fishermen who are not citizens of thailand back to their -- their port centers where you can get online. they are like duty-free zones. not being admitted into thailand so they can pass to these centers. we see that as a great opportunity to intervene what say very vulnerable and often unsort of -- people can't contact these fishermen. they're often isolated. we see the court chaplain as a first contact to recognize trafficking, to be responsive to trafficking. we've been doing that for about
two years. the thai government was intrigued by this. and now the last year has been having our court chaplains alongside their staff training their port inspectors. they've increased the number of port inspectors. they have our port chaplains speaking more from a humanitarian, more of a human rights perspective. so they do joint trainings now, joint operations, but when they go on to ships and do inspections, the port chaplains that accompany them so while the inspectors are chatting, they can speak with the crew and get a more real sense of what treatment is like, what the pay is like. are they getting paid? getting their share of the catch? what are the working conditions? do they have contracts? can they see them? so we see that as a real benefit, and in part because of those activities, thailand went from three to tier two watch. at least one level up. >> that's great. thank you.
>> cambodia is a good example. there are still lots of issues and things to work on including in the orphan tourism area. that is again linked to trafficking, but through engagement by ngos like international justice mission and others who have done -- and state department engagement and training and it's taken many years but the prevalence of specifically child trafficking for sex -- sexual exploitation has decreased dramatically. and i think that's also happened in places like the philippines. unfortunately, for every happy story there's a negative counterpart. and as an example in the philippines, some of my ngo colleagues have described as they make -- they have some success in closing down brothels because their engagement with physical brothels has -- their work has improved, right? they've learned how to really crack that, rescue children go in, explore what's going on and
rescue, but as they have had success there, more of the trafficking, even in places like the philippines, has moved online. and so now they are faced with a whole other challenge which we face here with backpage and et cetera. so again, we're -- i think our challenges here on trafficking and overseas often can come together. so -- but i think the tip report overall has been very effective in getting countries to make good changes. thailand is an example of kind of forward. did well in the sex trafficking area. they have a big state list problem there and the fishing industry has now, you know, exploded as a huge problem. so they're back down again. so it's cyclical as well. >> so that's actually a good segue to something i wanted to mention which is, as a human rights person, i actually view the tip report as a really important and effective tool. it's not perfect, but unlike many of the reports that we have
in the human rights space, it has teeth. so if you find yourself on the tier three, there are punitive measures that can be taken to penalize those countries for not taking trafficking seriously. it has moved the needle in a lot of countries. and a very forceful policy advocacy tool. i pulled a couple of stats in preparation for this meeting. it's again, not where we need to be but it's improvement. 194 pieces of anti-trafficking legislation have been passed throughout the world. the most recent reporting period saw 238% more prosecutions and 58% more convictions. and victims identified when compared to the data compared to 2009. so we are seeing some improvements. now the magnitude of those
prosecutions are nowhere near the scope of the challenge. and as jean mentioned, as long as it's a lucrative business, traffickers are going to continue to adapt and find ways to make money, but i think there have been improvement. another area there's been tremendous improvement is in awareness raising. people have a lexicon that they understand whether they use trafficking in persons or human slavery. there's been a lot of attention from the u.s. and even within the united nations security council talking about trafficking. so i do think it's on the global agenda in a way it wasn't 15 years ago. and we have a foundation that we can build upon. certainly a lot more work that needs to be done, but the ground has been laid, i would say. >> let's open this up. let's take two or three questions. why don't we bunch them together. so you get extra credit if you
say your name, organization and frame it in the form of a short question as opposed to a soap box moment. i want to hear from my friend mark lagon, this woman back here and this gentleman. first start with my friend mark, this woman here and this gentleman. >> i have a question for jean. you've been at the cutting edge on the use of technology to look at data with regard to vulnerable children and connected it to traffic iking. could you just say briefly about where it's more useful and less useful? businesses, some data firms want to step forward because that's the tool they have in the toolbox to offer. but, you know, because of the danger of sometimes having a hammer and then going and finding a nail because you have a hammer, what is, you know, data and that technology more useful for or less useful for in your view on child trafficking. >> hillary, i'll welcome your views on that, too.
let's get a couple more first. this woman here first. >> i'm chris with the office monitoring of trafficking persons. i'm afraid i'm going to do the soap box thing but i just -- >> you get credit as long as it's short. keep it short. >> i just wanted to respond. i really appreciate you guys setting out an agenda and suggestions for specifically for our office. and i just wanted to mention two things to complement what you've said. one is a good news story case in relation to the tip report is the philippines. they were ranked tier one for the first time in 2016 and the only country in the area to do that. that, of course, despite moving from the brothel, you know kind of setting to online child exploitation. it's about the government's response, which has been really, really tremendous, okay? and then the other thing is just in terms of a partnership and
investing in long-term strategies that you spoke to. i don't know if you're familiar with the partnerships, the first of which is in ghana. started in 2015. it's a much bigger investment in the country. $5 million in foreign assistance over the course of four years. and that will continue, hopefully, to be done in more and more countries. i just wanted to mention that. >> thank you. this gentleman up here. thanks. >> herald vaughn. i'm involved in some work with the rotary club here and in bangkok. and the issue that's come up is a changing environment, particularly in thailand but also laos and cambodia and so on. and part of the difficulty of knowing how to apply that information to strategies, it's not always consistent. we get months of information
from the embassy and another set of information from a group called the alliance of anti-trafficking. some overlap, but there are differences, too, so trying to sort that out. so basically my question is, what are you aware of in terms of the changing environment, particularly in southeast asia and thailand that causes us to reconsider maybe the strategies we've been trying to apply. >> thank you. okay. so we had three interesting comments and questions. please let's make sure we cover all of them. i want to start with you first, jean. >> to mark's question, i think you certainly don't want to use any technology out there for the -- an inappropriate use, right? but in the sector, there's use for really simple child record management for small community based organizations.
again, there are systems already built out there. it's just an issue of customizing for that purpose. but then there are needs for data sharing, data gateways, et cetera. so i think the key to doing this well is getting multiple types of technology companies together with different stakeholders who are all working on this issue at different levels from government, our state task force or government uganda, for example, ministry officials with service providers, ngos, different types of ngos who work with different types of vulnerable kids from orphans to judicial juvenile justice issues and bringing them together and saying, this is what we need from the service providers and let the tech companies hear that and i think we had this collaborative mechanism, you'd start match making, partnerships. and other projects would flow from it. it's just a collaborative mechanism to match up the kinds
of technology input that the companies might be able to give and apply it to this sector. social workers don't talk to technology guys and even bridging that language gap, i think, is a huge step forward. >> you want to reflect on either the gentleman from the rotary club or our friend from the state department. >> thanks for the state department. that's great news. you guys are doing great work. so just keep at it. and i wish you all the best. i know how hard it is. but to the southeast asia question, i think i can't speak to the details of any of those countries which i used to follow much more closely, but i think it is always hard to get real information. real data. it's difficult to understand trends. but one of the things in thailand and it impacts the rest of the mekong region are that trafficking doesn't -- it's not static. it's different in each place. different scenarios of how people are trafficked. and you have still hot spots of the sexual exploitation and
movement. but then you have, for example, the rohingya and burmese going into the fishing industry and having these slave ships. so there are these different types of trafficking and then there's labor sweat shots, et cetera. so it's complex, and it can kind of ebb and flow, but the other issue that has been close to my heart for a long time, which i think underpins a lot of the trafficking that happens of various types in southeast asia, is statelessness and undocumented kind of migration. or unsafe migration. and that's an issue that some policy changes could really have a big impact on and the thai government is working on that. they're trying to get citizenship for the people that have been born there and living there for generations. but it's a slow process. and it's -- it needs to move faster. i think we still need to be putting pressure on the thai government to solve some of those structural issues that cause some of the trafficking problems.
>> hillary? >> so the question of data, my first thought is that one of the best uses of data is to have sort of pattern recognition that an individual would normally miss. and i think that to have data that is collected that then can be analyzed, whether that's on a weekly basis, if you are looking for risk factors or something that can be done sort of in a quarterly basis to look at trends so you know where your emerging problems or emerging hot spots or hot industries might be. and i think that that's one real benefit of having data that is collected and then stored so that you can kind of repull it and look at it with fresh eyes or look at it across a lot of people collecting data because then you'll see trends. and the dallas police department many years ago began collecting data on children who ran away from child welfare, like foster
homes. and so they had a list that the police department asked child welfare agency. every time a child hits three runs. if they run away three times, then refer them to us, and we will look for that child in a way that we wouldn't normally have looked for a 16-year-old or 17-year-old run away for the first time because they recognized among children that were at the time arresting for prostitution and solicitation charges that those kids had, when they ran, sort of through their data, found they had been reported missing or reported as awol from, you know, group homes or residential treatment centers. so on its own, nobody would have recognized that clear pattern if they hadn't been collected at some point. then it became a predictive tool and they could look for these kids they knew were at particular risk. and i think that was a really smart use of data. >> do you want to comment on the other -- either of the other
two, from the state department, too? >> i hadn't thought through the project in ghana, and i think i appreciate those longer term. i think of that more as usaid or even department of laborusaid or even the department of labor with their child initiatives do. i think that's an exciting development. i'm happy to hear about that. and i think i understood the question or thought about it more as ecological, when he said environment. because the environment is impacting people in southeast asia in agriculture or the fishing industry, driving people out of more rural into urban settings when puts them at risk for different forms of exploitation, driving people to go seek work on long line fishing boats where they're out to sea rather than being able to leave from their home port, fish, and sell their home product. we see ecological change, environmental change in that regard as a heightening
vulnerabilities and risks. that's something that when people are thinking about development projects, how can you help people adapt what their livelihoods are to changing environments so they can stay put and aren't pushed into these more marginal settings where they're more at risk. >> dan, i do feel compelled, no one from usaid has spoken up, usaid has made great strides at elevating and integrating t.i.p. one of the things they did in their 2012 policy was to say trafficking a person should be integrated into other activities as well as a standalone area of investment. so they've looked for ways to do t.i.p. as a standalone set of programs looking at drivers and factors in those areas, but also
how to apply other kinds of development resources to deal with some of the underlying factors that make people vulnerable to trafficking. i thought that was worth mentioning. >> thank you. let's get two more comments or questions from the audience if we have any. yes, this woman here, please. and this woman here. these two. name, organization, if you have one, and a question or comment. short. >> hi, my name is maria kolot. i'm a graduate student of american university, i also work at clfr, not related to this at all. my interest is in counterinsurgency. can you discuss the similarities and difference between child trafficking by visit organizations and by organized criminal organizations? >> excellent, thank you. and this woman over here, please. >> my name is amy ota, a masters in international development candidate at american
university. my question is really just, how do you combat trafficking without making life worse or more difficult for the victims, in a lot of cases when there's a crackdown on trafficking, you knock down brothels and it moves to the internet. how do you combat trafficking without pushing the victims into worse conditions? >> shannon, can i ask you to address the first really interesting question and welcome the panelists to reflect on the other as well. let me start with the efficiency question. >> as jean mentions, there is emerging evidence that the same networks, the same traffickers, the same routes, the same mechanisms and tactics are being used to traffic a variety of contrabands. it's being used to traffic oil by terrorist groups. it's being used to traffic
historical and religious objects of significant any n significan traffic wildlife, and used to traffic human beings, whatever is most lucrative or possible for those networks to use at this time. we are seeing overlap in the organizations doing trafficking. depending on what they have access to and what serves their interest, how they can make money, what pressure they're feeling, what points of access they have, we are seeing a lot of overlap in terms of the kinds of organizations doing the trafficking. and i think that's where you can start to make that argument, which is that terrorist organizations are trafficking in human beings as well as all of these other kinds of materials in order to fund themselves. and that is a national security reason why you would want to crack down at least on that aspect of trafficking. >> could i ask our two guests to
reflect on that in particular. hilary. >> it's a tough question. as a service providing organization, we provide services on behalf of health and human services here in the u.s. to victims and survivors. we also, again, have our forest care program which is much more long term. it's very difficult to -- it's very difficult because when people are coming out of a trafficking situation they obviously have immediate needs. those are the ones that service agencies are in place often to meet those kinds of -- sort of the immediate needs, basic needs. we often -- there are -- not often, but there are shelters, not always enough, but in places where there are shelters, we can often get housing pretty quickly.
we can get them in to see a doctor and get whatever lingering medical issues or u e urgent medical care they may need, get them clothed, fed, put them in touch with their family if that's a safe option. then it becomes difficult, we have to manage expectations and be very transparent with what more we as service agencies can do. and we can't overpromise, because people will wait for those things to happen. and if you are overpromising, it can really do more damage, i think, which is what you're hinting at. if people are waiting for something that doesn't materialize, if it's a job, if it's a reunification with their family, those things don't always the work out. there are a lot of factors that play into whether those things will work out for individuals or
not. and when those fall through or people's expectations aren't met, it can spiral down and put people in more vulnerable situations. and what i've seen even with sex trafficking victims and survivors, certainly labor trafficking victims, these are people who certainly they had vulnerabilities, but they are your go-getters, people with ream ambition, people willing to take risks to get out there and accomplish something, support their families, get themselves out of a bad situation into hopefully a better one. they're not often, in my experience working more directly with victims and survivors, they don't like to wait around and be assisted. it makes them feel they're not progressing. that can be very successful. and the want to get back out in most cases and get to work, move forward. and so i think that just being very honest and always being as transparent as we can be as providers, is the best we can
do. i think that advocating for funding for more longer term services, for less perhaps intensive and more extensive services, is a model we're thinking more about, rather than front end load so much that we're totally supporting people, trying to get them back in their communities, get them back with family, and then do more long term but less intensive check-ins, social support, legal assistance. but not being the be-all, end-all for them and then the transition can be very ugly, quite frankly. but to sort of from the outset say, let's figure out where you can live and take care of yourself and i can assist you in a much longer term way. that's a model, we're experimenting with that and looking at that as perhaps more sustainable and fair to the survivors as well. >> jean? >> we had a lovely event at georgetown university yesterday,
speaking to some of these issues on human dignity and wellbeing of survivors and how do we support the well-being of survivors of tragedy. there can be tension, because your desire to increase prosecutions, you know, you often need the victim to testify. they may or may not be ready to do that. so i think the key really is one of these issues of human dignity, right, to make that primary in all the work we do, and understand that there may be tradeoffs and there may be times where a change or an abrupt change might not be in the best interests of that survivor. it's a case by case thing. it is very difficult work. that's why i want to make it easier if i can with some more tools. but i think that's important to prioritize, is the human dignity of survivors and their choice of what they want. that also, i think, links to
another funding -- development/funding priority which would consider, which is mental health assistance and psychosocial support. the medical community uses psychosocial, in my world we use trauma-informed, these kind of really, really important aspects to providing services to survivors of trafficking. i work quite a bit on gender-based violence as well in burma. women coming across having been gang-raped into northern thailand, rape survivors, so traumatized. if you can't get them some assistance to heal and recover from their trauma, their health won't improve, they won't be able to focus on education or hold down a job. these things are all related. i think it's an often-overlooked part of the solution. >> okay . the two guests, 30 seconds. what are you optimistic about? this is a downer of a topic, a
really tough topic. leave us with something that you're optimistic about for the future, because this is tough stuff. hilary? >> i would say that having now been in this field for a very long time, i am now hearing from survivors who are doing really well, survivors that i served in direct service ten years ago, now are managers at chipotle and have children. and my colleagues in other countries who have, you know, done this kind of work also, they hire people to work as their case managers. and so i think that it is -- it is a devastating crime against an individual, and their dignity is sort of what is the most attacked, often. but people can come around and can come out of this and move forward, i think that's very hopeful. i think just the level of awareness, the level of recognition of the pervasiveness
of the crime is also i think a positive, because i think it's helping people realize that, oh, this is something that through my professional or personal capacity, i can also in some ways address because it is so pervasive. it's pervasiveness, i think, although that's bad, it's an opportunity for more people to sort of be engaged, whether professionally or personally. >> and that's what mine relates to, the bipartisan nature of the issue and the strange bedfellows it can often create. i absolutely love working on human trafficking, especially child trafficking, i know it's a bigger issue, because so many people are supportive. once they learn that there is a problem, they want to help. and in highly polarized political environments like washington, dc, like the state of wisconsin, it is a joy to see republicans, democrats, service providers, faith-based groups, all rallying around and trying
to solve this, what is a very difficult issue, but together i think we can do it. that's my hope. >> thank you. okay. please join me in thanking the panelists, thanks shannon for co-hosting. [ applause ] c-span's "washington journal," live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. coming up saturday morning, gallup senior economist johnathan rothwell will join us. he argues there has been a decline in long term productivity growth, increased regulatory burdens, and poor performance of health care, education, and how fausing sect. then robert levinson will discuss what national security could look like under the trump administration. mr. levinson will also discuss president-elect trump's
selection of retired general james mattis as defense general and the criticism that there are too many generals in the trump cabinet. and kiplinger's kevin mcormley. be sure to watch c-span's "washington journal." join the discussion. next, the house oversight hearing on classification rules for government documents. witnesses testify on the government's track record for declassifying information and how the process can become more efficient. this is just over two hours. [ room noise ]
good morning. the committee on oversight and government reform legislation to order. without objection the chair is authorized to declare a recess at any time. we have an important hearing this morning, examining the cost of overclassification on transparency and security. sunlight is said to be the best disinfectant. without knowing what our government is doing, we can't ensure it is operating efficiently and effectively. it's also important to remember that the american people pay for the federal government. the federal government works for the american people. it's not the other way around. and so it is, you would think,
logical to make sure that we are as open and transparent and accessible as possible. but this is always a running battle. we always have to find the proper balance between safety and security and openness and transparency. but we can't give up all of our liberties in the name of security. and so we have this hearing today with four experts, people who have poured their time, effort, talent, their careers, really, into this topic. there is a wealth of information they're going to share with us. that's what we're excited to hear about today. without knowing what our government is doing, we can't ensure it's operating efficiently and effectively, as i said. transparency is the basis ultimately for accountability. at the same time, transparency into certain government activities can create opportunity for those who wish to do us harm. so congress gives some agencies the authority to withhold certain information from public disclosure. this authority to classify
information and create secrets is needed to protect our national security. i don't think anybody doubts that there should be a degree of this. the question is what degree of this. when you give the authority to classify certain information, congress has a whole to play in making sure that authority is being properly exercised. overclassification of information has become a concern. estimates range from 50 to 90% of classified material is not properly labeled. in the 1990s, congress established the commission on protecting and reducing government secrecy to study those issues and develop recommendations. in 1997, the commission issued a final report including 16 recommendations. three of those recommendations were implemented. seven were partially implemented. and six remain open today. the chairman of the commission, the late senator patrick moynihan, wrote, and i quote, if the present report is to serve any large purpose, it is to introduce the public to the
thought that secrecy is a mode of regulation and truth is the ultimate mode for the citizen does not even know that he or she is being regulated, end quote. patrick moynihan, hats off to him and his leadership in understanding and really helping to champion this effort to move forward and really examine the degree of which secrecy is needed in our nation. here, we don't even know what can hurt us. as the tendency to overclassify information goes, so does the lack of accountability to both congress and the american taxpayer. the commission also warned about the dangers of restricting information from those who actually do need it. looking back, that point seems also prophetic in light of the events that unfolded on september 11th, 2001. after conducting an exhaustive study of the attacks, the 9/11 commission issued its own report
that suggested we need to move forward to a culture of need to share rather than need to know. it can lead to second-guessing what might have been if we were only able to get the information in the right hands at the right time. according to a report by the information security oversight office at the national archives, in the last ten years the federal government has spent more than $100 billion on security classification activities. in fact i ask unanimous consent to enter that report into the record. without objection, so ordered. last year alone, classification is stimulated to have cost $16 billion. it's unclear what exactly the taxpayers got in return for this expense. there was presumably some level of greater security as a result of restricting access to certain information. again, no doubt that there needs to be classification that needs to be implicated, but at what level? this leads us to a number of basic questions.
does the billions of dollars spent to classify make us safer? how much money did we spend on security clearances for folks who probably didn't need them in the first place? earlier this week "the washington post" reported the department of defense found $125 billion in savings over five years by simply streamlining bureaucracy. $125 billion. to give you an idea, the entire state of utah, everything we do in utah, a smaller state, granted, but everything we do, from education to the national guard to roads and paying teachers, is about $14 billion. and here at the department of defense, five years' savings, $125 billion by simply streamlining bureaucracy. the department of defense was sufficiently embarrassed by this, as they should be, and decided to bury this study. trust me, we are going to look into this. according to the article, quote, the pentagon imposed secrecy restrictions on the data which
ensured that no one could replicate the findings, end quote. no what we should be doing as a nation. it's a prime example of why we're holding this hearing today. when agencies have a tool to keep information from the public, congress must ensure those tools aren't used for nefarious reasons. i look forward to discussing these issues with the witnesses today. i thank the panel of experts for coming before the committee to help us better understand some of the complexities of the government secrecy. i think you'll find that congress, in particular this committee, has a keen interest on this. the committee has been a leader and a champion of the freedom of information act, it's one of the tools that is important for the american public to understand what their government, their government is supposed to be working for them, is actually doing. so i look forward to this discussion. somebody i knew who holds an equal passion for this is my colleague, elijah cummings, ranking member from maryland.
i would like to recognize him for his opening statement. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. thank you very much for holding this hearing. government transparency is a bipartisan issue. over multiple sessions of congress, our committee has made significant progress in making the federal government more open and accountable. we do this best when we work together. during this congress, we worked together to strengthen the freedom of information act. and those amendments were signed into law by president obama in june. just this past monday, we sent another bill to the white house to strengthen protections for employees working for contractors and grantees, who blow the whistle on waste, fraud, and abuse. we now have the opportunity to
work together to address the flaws in our classification systems. over the past several years, our committee has conducted multiple investigations, including our review of secretary clinton's e-mails that exposed serious flaws in our classification system. we've even agencies disagree with each other on whether an e-mail was classified. we've seen information that began unclassified later being retroactively classified. we've seen documents that were not properly marked as classified. as we have seen documents that were classified after they had already been publicly released. and first and foremost, i believe that we in congress should exercise our authority to improve the classification
system and make government information more transparent. we can conduct oversight such as these hearings. and we can investigate specific allegations of security breaches and unwarranted government secrecy. congress can also legislate. we can pass reforms that actually address the problems we will wihear about today. 20 years ago, the moynihan provision provided a roadmap improving the classification system. too little has been done since that report was issued. for example, the commission recommended that congress enact a statute establishing the principles of classification. the congress still has not taken that step. the fundamental purpose underlying all of our efforts
today is to provide the american people with more information, especially when it impacts our national security. our operating premise is that a better informed electorate leads to a better functioning government on behalf of all of the american people. mr. chairman, i thank you for calling today's critical hearing. but there is another national security area that i believe the american people should have much more information about from their government. on november 17th, 2016, i wrote a letter to the chairman requesting that our committee conduct a bipartisan investigation into russia's role into interfering with and influencing the 2016 presidential election. i specifically requested that we
receive a classified briefing from the intelligence community. today, nearly three weeks have now gone by. i have received no response, and the committee has taken no action. now, mr. chairman, i know you have said that you do not want to do any oversight relating to president-elect donald trump until he is sworn into office, and i can understand that. but these attacks on our country have already happened. they already happened. this is not something of a future threat. this has already been done. and unless we act, it may very well happen again. for these reasons, yesterday i joined democratic whip steny hoyer and ranked members of the committee on armed services, homeland security, intelligence, judiciary, and foreign affairs. and we did ourselves what this committee did not.
we sent a letter to the president requesting that all members, that all of us, all members of congress, democrats and republicans, be provided the opportunity to receive a classified briefing by the intelligence community with the most up to date information on this issue. this is not a partisan issue. and it should not be. republican senator lindsey graham has called for this type of investigation in the senate. essentially saying that republicans should not sit on the sidelines and let allegations about foreign governments interfering in our election go unanswered just because it may have been beneficial to them in this instance. republican senator marco rubio put it even more bluntly, saying, quote, today it is the
democrats. tomorrow, it could be us, end of quote. the bottom line is that this is not a democratic issue and it is not a republican issue. this is an american issue. elections are a core american value and are central to our democracy. and when any foreign interference with our elections should be of the greatest concern to every single member of this congress. the american people deserve as much information as possible about these threats and the actions their government is taking to address them. as i say to my constituents over and over again in the last election and during these times, this is bigger than hillary clinton. this is bigger than donald trump. this is about a struggle for the soul of our democracy.
so it is our job to ensure that we get this kind of information, since it is our duty to make sure that our democracy stand strong and that our children's children can have a democracy just as strong as the one that we have experienced. with that, i yield back. >> i thank the gentleman. we'll hold the record for five legislative days for any members who would like to submit a written statement. we will now recognize our panel of witnesses. mr. j. william leonard, former director of the security oversight office. mr. steven aftergood, director of the project on government secrecy at the federation of american scientists. mr. tom blanton, director of the national security archive at the george washington university. and mr. scott -- is it amey? i want to make sure i pronounce that properly.
mr. scott amey, general counsel on the project for government oversight. we welcome you and thank you for being here. pursuant to committee rules, all witnesses are to be sworn before they testify. if you will please rise and raise your right hand. do you solemnly swear or affirm that the testimony you are about to give will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth? thank you. you may be seated. let the record reflect all witnesses answered in the affirmative. in order to allow time for discussion we would appreciate you limiting your verbal comments to no greater than five minutes to members have ample time to ask questions. your entire written statement and extraneous materials will be entered into the record. mr. leonard, you're now recognized for five minutes. the microphones in this committee, you have to straighten 'em up and put 'em right up uncomfortably close. thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman, mr. cummings, members of the committee, i appreciate the opportunity to attend this meeting this morning.
the ability and authority to classify national security information is a tool for the federal government and its leaders to protect our nation and its citizen sense however when negligently or recklessly applied, it can undermine the integrity of the classification system and create needless impediments to transparency that can undermine our government. i've got to the conclusion that on its own the executive branch is both incapable and unwilling to achieve true reform in this area. incapable and that absent external pressure from the legislative and judiciary branches of our government, true reform in the executive branch involving multiple agency can only be achieved with the direct leadership emanating directly from the white house inform in the past 40 years we've seen only one white house lead an attempted classification reform, and that was in the 1990s. the responses were typical, delay and foot drag, because agency officials know sooner or
later every administration eventually goes away, providing opportunities for rollback. with respect to the executive branch's unwillingness to implement real classification reform, i believe it's reasonable to expect it to do so, primarily since the unconstrained ability to classify information is such an attractive tool for any administration to facilitate implementation of its national security agenda. in this regard, especially in the years since 9/11, we've seen successive administrations to claim new authorities and wrap these claims in classification. ed this this can amount to unchecked power. the limits of the president's authority to act unilaterally are defined by the willingness and the ability of congress and the courts to constrain it. of course, before the congress or the courts can constrain presidential claims to inherent unilateral powers, they must first be aware of those claims. yet a long-recognized power of
presidents to declassify in the interests of national security to include access by congress or the courts. the combination of these two powers, that is, when the president lays claim to inherent powers to act unilaterally but does so in secret, can equate to the very open-ended, noncircumscribed executive authority that the constitution's framers sought to avoid in constructing a system of checks and balances. thus absent ongoing congressional oversight or judicial review of executive assertions of classification, no one should ever be surprised that the authority to classify information is routinely abused in matters big and small. i've attached to my formal statement specific examples of classification use relating to criminal cases in which the prosecution ultimately did not prevail in large part due to government overreach in claims that certain information was classified. in each of these cases, the government abused the classification system and used it for other than its intended
purpose. i believe that there are steps that congress can take in order to address this matter. the first deals with enforcing accountability. over the past several decades, a significant number of individuals have rightly been held accountable for improperly handling classified information. to my knowledge, during the same period, no one has ever been held accountable and subjected to sanctions for abusing the system. despite the fact that the president's executive order governing this authority treats unauthorized disclosures of classified information and inappropriate classification of information as equal violations of the order subjecting perpetrators to comparable sanctions. absent real accountability, it's no surprise that overclassification occurs with impunity. a second area worthy of possible legislative attention is that of providing a mechanism for routine, independent expert review of agency classification decisions, especially as a tool to be made available to the
executive's two co-equal branches of government when exercising congressional oversight or judicial action in which they could come to their own independent judgment as to the appropriateness of executive assertions of classification. traditionally congress and the courts are understandably differe deferential to such assertions. it is not only possible but entirely appropriate to conduct a standards-based review of classification decisions. i've attached to my formal statement one potential methodology for such reviews. i applaud this committee for focusing on this critical topic to our nation's wellbeing and i thank you for inviting me here today, mr. chairman. i'll be happy to answer any questions. >> thank you. there's a model for ending right at the five-minute mark. mr. aftergood, i challenge you
to come within one second of that mark as well, but you're now recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and ranking member cummings. as you know, and as you really expressed very well, overclassification presents many kinds of problems. it makes your oversight job more difficult. it incurs substantial financial and operational costs. and it often leaves the public in the dark about national security matters of urgent importance that they should be aware of. why do we even have overclassification? i think there are many reasons. for one thing, it's easier for officials to restrict access to information without carefully weighing the pros and cons of what should be disclosed. overclassification many times is simply the path of least resistance. unchecked classification can also serve the political interests the classifiers. it's a way to manage public
perceptions, to advance an agenda, to limit oversight or simply to gain a form of political advantage. so what is the solution to overclassification? i don't think there is a single solution. i discuss several partial solutions in my written statement. many of those solutions depend on congress to assert itself and to affirm its own institutional interests. congress is not a spectator and it should not be a victim when it comes to overclassification. it is a co-equal branch of government. in the executive branch, there are lots of fine and conscientious people who are involved in classification policy, fortunately. but we should not have to rely on their integrity. we rely instead on congress to exercise checks and balances in performing its routine oversight
duties. finally, i would like to say that we are in a peculiar moment in our history that makes this issue particularly urgent. everything i've just said about overclassification could have been said ten years ago or 20 years ago. this is a stubborn and persistent problem. but there is something different today. we are living in a period of unusual political instability that i believe requires even greater transparency. almost every day, we see increased expression of hostility against religious and ethnic minorities. so-called fake news has lately resulted in actual acts of violence here in washington, dc in the past week. and it seems that our political institutions are under a subtle form of attack by foreign actors, as the ranking member
discussed. this is not a normal situation. and it's not the way that things have always been. what complicates things further is that the incoming administration, at least during the election cycle, has indicated policy preferences that depart significantly from existing law and policy in areas such as foreign policy, questions of whether or not to engage in torture, questions involving freedom of religion. in some cases these raise basic constitutional issues. so the bottom line is that we are entering a turbulent time. reducing overclassification and increasing transparency will not solve our problems. but if we fail to reduce overclassification, we are going to make those problems worse and harder to solve. thank you again for holding this
hearing and for the essential work of oversight that you do. i would be glad to answer any questions you may have. >> thank you. mr. blanton, you're now recognized for five minutes. >> i'm certainly not going to match those timings. he did five minutes, he did four minutes. it was outstanding. thank you, mr. chairman, and thank you, ranking member cummings, and thank you, other distinguished members of the committee for having me here today. i'm here to make three points. one of is a thank you for the freedom of information act amendments that you all mentioned because it's a model of what you can do on classification. second is to reinforce the message of that moynihan commission report. it was actually moynihan, comebest, jesse helms, john podesta commission. you can tell when it's unanimous bipartisan, it's something to pay attention to. the number one recommendation was to pass a law, to govern and fix the system. the third thing i'm here to tell you is that when security
officials tell you something is classified, don't believe 'em. most of the time, they're wrong. 50 to 90% of the time, as the chairman commented, they're wrong. so don't believe 'em. i'm going to back that up with a few examples. but first, the freedom of information act amendments and why that's a model. you've already had an impact. y'all, this committee, was the leaders in this house of representatives to get those amendments passed. and already, the central intelligence agency has released its bay of pigs draft history that they locked up for 30 years. on what grounds? well, when you read it, you find out the grounds. the historian who wrote it and drafted it said, after more than 20 years it appears that fear of supposing the agency's dirty linen rather than any significant security information is what prompts continued denial of requests for release of these records. that's the norm in the bureaucracy. your amendments broke this
loose, the cia historian wrote on the backs, well, shucks, recent 2016 changes in the fr d freedom of information act requires to us release some drafts. you did it by statute. that's the congress's role. you can do it to the classification system. and i recommend the detailed list of recommendations in the back of this extraordinary report, the moynihan-comebest report, for how you can do that. you can build in cost-benefit into the originating classification decision. you can build in assessments of what's the real risk, what's the real vulnerability, what's the stream of cost to the public and to efficient government operations from classifying? you can do that on the front end. you can build in a declassification board with a power to release to you get a rational declassification system on the back end so the system doesn't get completely gummed up with unnecessary secrets. you can move those 50 to 90% of what shouldn't be secret out to the public. you can do that.
but you got to do it by statute, as bill leonard says, the government is not going to fix itself. you've got to do it. my third point is, just don't believe 'em on classification. last month we get a nice, you know, letter from the joint chiefs of staff in answer to a freedom of information request. that's the document they gave us. it's all blacked out, because releasing it will damage our national security. seriously damage. this is at the secret level, right? it was fascinating, because our staff person took a look and said, whoa, that's the joint chief's advice on a presidential policy directive back in july of 1986, that looks kind of familiar. he flipped back in the files. turned out we got it in 2010, in full. that made us go look at the cover letter. you know what the cover letter says? it says, we have coordinated your freedom of information review in consultation with the joint staff and the national
security counsecil. it says osd and nsc have no objection to declassification in full. however, mr. mark patrick of the joint staff things it ought to be classified and thus you've got the black blotches. classic case. one office doesn't agree with another office. one says it's been released for six years. another says it's going to damage our national security. attached to my testimony i've got another bunch of examples. it's the same reviewer, one week apart, when diametrically opposed views on what would damage our nation by release. mr. chairman, ranking member, don't believe 'em. thank you very much. i welcome your questions. >> thank you, we love your passion, it's good. mr. amey? >> that's a tough act to follow. good morning, chairman chaffetz, ranking member cummings, and
members of the committee. pogo recognized the difference and has developed new ways to conceal information. impede sharing. and harm efforts to identify and remedy waste, fraud, and abuse. the 9/11 commission said it simply. secrecy, while necessary, can also harm oversight. sometimes the result of classification is not for the legitimate need of secrecy but the concealment of embarrassing information which creates public distrust. there are five main points i would to briefly discuss today. overclassification, retroactive classification, controlled unclassified information, treatment in handling cases, and finally, exclusive branch use of secret laws. in overclassification, overclassification might be a form of either excessive
redactions or improper markings. reports by the national security archive and isu show that the classification process is mostly heading in the right direction and we have seen some improvement over the last few years, especially considering the amount of electronic documents that have to be reviewed. but one number is a concern. in 2015, classification decisions were overturned in whole or in part in over 50% of the challenges. that was 411 cases overturned out of 814 decisions that were made. additionally, we've heard stories about the lack of clarity and authority and standards leaving different agencies to come to different collection, as mr. blanton just discussed. they're also concerned about the lack of clarity, what constitutes intelligence sources and methods which also can lead to overclassification. finally, classifications aren't free. as the chairman mentioned, total security classification costs
competed $16 billion back in 2015. the moynihan commission had an excellent recommendation to improve the system. classification decisions including the establishment of special access programs no longer be based on damage to national security. additional factors such as cost of protection, vulnerability, threat risk, value of the information and public benefit from release could also be considered when making classification decisions. we're in agreement such factors should be considered to reduce exclusive branch secrecy. on the issue of retroactive classification, for years we've expressed concerns about questionable activities to retroactively classify government information. we have firsthand experience because we were involved in instances of area 51 and unclassified briefings to members of congress in a whistle blower retaliation case. we believe any reviews should include a comprehensive look at issues affecting retroactive
classification including failures in the system to classify the information appropriately, how frequently it occurs, what considerations were given to the information, if it's publicly available, and what constitutes constitutional issues relating to prior restraints. on the issue of controlled unclassified information, there's been a proliferation of cui. and by 2010 there were over 1 hundred different cui markings within government agencies. we've specifiwitnessed examples misuse and we hope the committee will consider providing oversight of the implementation of the recently released cui regulations. we've even recently heard an example, it was something that we had complained about during the process, that employees at dhs when they were given a foia training were also instructed that if they have a foia that comes in and the information is marked cui, it should not be released. so that's opposite to the executive order that the president issued, as well as the language that is in the final
regulation. unequal treatment in handling cases. in the past few years we've witnessed numerous instances of mishandling of classified or protected information. i go into more detail in my written testimony. we think that if an intent is considered in high profile cases involving senior officials, it should also be considered in whistle blower cases. we have voiced many concerns about the executive branch use of secret law. how we come to collection nclus striking the right balance between security and our rights is imperative. secret law poses a serious harm to our democracy. our written recommendations are in our written testimony. but i think there is one issue and point that the 9/11 commission made that is important about nurturing, that the current system nurtures overclassification. there are no punishments for not sharing information.
agencies uphold a need to know culture of information protecting rather than promoting a need to share culture of integration. thank you for inviting me to testify. i look forward to working with the committee and further exploring how to protect legitimately classified information and reducing government secrecy and costs. thank you. >> thank you. i appreciate all of the opening statements. we'll now recognize the gentleman from michigan, mr. wahlberl walberg, for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for holding this hearing. it's something that probably many of us have surmised what's going on. it certainly goes to a frustrating level. and i appreciate the fact that in this report that you pointed out, mr. chairman, the pentagon buries evidence of $125 billion in bureaucratic waste, done by two reports, one of which certainly has established credentials for doing
investigative reporting, and we ought to take this seriously. but i think when i read this, the frustrating thing was the number of assertions that lawmakers don't want to do anything about this because of impact on their districts. and certainly there is evidence to show that. but i think this committee has lawmakers better than that. and i hope that this is a real start. mr. amey, according to that article in "the washington post," the department of defense first commissioned and then hid, hid, the unflattering results, and did it aggressively, hid that, with retribution offered, threats, you name it, of the waste and inefficiencies. are you familiar with the report? >> yes. >> i would expect so. in your view, what reasons could the dod have had to keep the results of the report from the republic? >> oh, boy. you're putting me on the spot on
trying to predict what the department of defense was thinking. i don't know. i mean, it's very difficult, because the report is actually on the internet. we found it yesterday, when the story came out. it has been on the internet since that time. the defense business commission actually had a slide presentation, a summary of the report on its website. and so we're trying to actually figure out, and we actually reached out to the reporters to figure out where the secrecy was taking place. i would imagine it's public embarrassment. at the end of the day we're talking about the department of defense trying to protect $125 billion and the fact that they can't pass an audited and there's other scrutiny on top of them that i think that this was just an issue of, we didn't want this to get out, so let's try to keep it under wraps. >> and i'm sure that $125 billion doesn't sound unreasonable to you? >> oh, no, sir. we've been saying it for years,
that between when you look at goods and services, most of my work is on contract oversight. when you look at the department of defense and goods and services, we're into the hundreds of billions of dollars' worth of waste. >> as i read that, it goes back to the simple truth that a bureaucracy will protect itself. and a bureaucracy does not want to be downsize income any way, shape, or form. in a time of sequestration, in a time when our war fighters and their families, et cetera, are suffering reductions, for this type of dollar amount to be held over and attempted at least to be hid from us, is unconscionable. to think that this could, as i've read, cover the cost, the operational cost of 50 army brigades, that's pretty significant. or 3,000 f-35 strike forces.
or ten strike forces of carriers. that is just unconscionable, that this would have been disregarded and hidden. what can congress do to ensure that agencies engage in this type of self-analysis but then also use results to improve existing operations? >> it's a wonderful question, because that's exactly what the point is, is at the end of the day, we've asked for inventories of contracts, of inventories of what we're buying, how many services are being provided. unfortunately there was actually a chart out a few years ago that said that the government doesn't often know how much the government is spending and what it's being used for. that's where we need to get to the audits. but specific audits, not just check the box, did people do x, y, and z. we need specific audits of specific spending. gao does a very good job. dcaa is involved in the process.
that's where i think we need to go a lot deeper into specific programs and why we see overruns on programs. there's a lot of waste out there. we have to identify and come to the solution on how to remedy it from the beginning. let's stop trying to put the milk back in the bottle after the fact. let's do it at the start of the process, before billions is wasted. >> i trust that because of this hearing and others, i would assume that we can do that, plus starting new, afresh, on january 20th as well, that this lesson will not be lost. because frankly, this is the number one responsibility of our federal government, to make sure that we have the resources available tolerati do what's ney to defend and protect our citizens and not just protect the bureaucracy. >> the chair recognizes mr. cummings for five minutes. >> thank you very much, mr. chair. mr. aftergood, i and many other americans have serious concerns with reports of hacking and
other actions by the russian government to interfere with the 2016 presidential election. the intelligence community has confirmed that the russian government or its associated entities hacked the e-mail accounts of individuals and political organizations before the presidential election. the director of the national security agency, admiral my knowledge michael rodgers said, and i quote, there shouldn't be any doubt in anybody's mind, this was not something that was done casually. this was not something that was done by chance. this was not a target that was selected purely arbitrarily. this was a conscious effort by a nation state to attempt to achieve a specific effect, end
of quote. do you believe this is an important issue for our country? and i notice in your testimony you talked about classification and you talked about the state that we find ourselves in overall today. and i'm just curious. >> it's a crucial issue. the integrity of the electoral process is absolutely fundamental. if we don't have credible, authoritative elections, the foundation of our political system is washed away. so yes, it's an extremely serious question. i think the blanket of classification that has been spread over it needs to be reevaluated. even before that happens, congress needs to understand exactly what did happen. there are actually several questions here. what kind of attack occurred? what are our vulnerabilities? and what steps can be taken to
prevent future attacks of this kind? i think all of those questions are wide open. i would also say, though, that it's important that this not be construed as a sort of left-handed attack or attempt to undermine the incoming administration. because that would only aggravate whatever damage has already been done, at least in my opinion. so, you know, i would hope that this be undertaken, as you said, on a bipartisan basis, to say, look, we've got a problem, we need to deal with it. >> i agree with you. i think it's definitely a bipartisan issue. the fbi has refused to disclose any information about its investigation of these hacks. this is the opposite approach to the one the fbi took in the
clinton e-mail investigation. i wrote our chairman on november 17th, 2016, to request that our committee conduct a bipartisan investigation into russia's role in interfering with and influencing the presidential election. again, not to take anything away from president-elect trump, but just the idea of it, it should bother every single american, even republican lindsey graham, senator graham, called for an investigation into it. outside experts have also called for congress to act. a group of 158 scholars from colleges and universities around the country sent congress a letter calling for a congressional investigation. a group of experts on cyber security, defense, and fair elections wrote, and i quote, this evidence made available in an investigation might show that
foreign powers have played an important role. it might show that such a role was negligible. at this juncture we can only say that existing reports are plausible with the -- it's a bl blend, do you believe there's a role for congress in investigating these allegations? >> yes, sir. to mezv the one of the great headlines appeared in the washington post on november 1st when the fbi tried to explain why it didn't sign on to director and homeland security and the headline read, comey was concerned publicly blaming russia for hacks of democrats could appear too political in run up to collection. that's thehu(árr'gton post headline.
it's interesting, as you point out. congress should get your classified grieving, you should understand the hacking. there's a huge problem, we're constructing at the national security web site a whole cyber vault trying to get declassified much of the cyber security policy documents. as former national security agency said one of the problems with cyber security is÷ú it was born classified. it grew up in this hot house when it was all shielded by compartments, what we need in our society is robust that tearians, the tech companies and this committee and this congress. we've got to open it up. it's beginning to get populated. it needs more, it needs this congress to get into this. it needs to press the intelligence community and homeland security to release the basis of their attributions, that's the hardest part as you i'm worried about future
generations. >> i just see -- i'm very conce concerned -- i appreciate your comments because it seems as if you can just chip away and the next thing you know you won't have a democracy. do you all have similar concerns, any of you? mr. leonard? >> yes, mr. u!coupummings, obvi is it's what i've seen in open court. i do know -- based on my past experiences, this is just something straight out of the seen it repeatedly, happen in europe, in eastern europe and things along thoseym lines.÷ú
it was use and things i long those lines. clearly it does go with the very fabric. this is an example of what i of the impact denying information that congress can have in terms of congress's own ability to carry its own authorities, which, essentially, iszv oversight. >> if i can make one more comment onp that issue, i think we've got to look at this attribution and rolls with an eye to what's thuç long-term fi if you look at what the obama
administration achieved with china,÷ú price of state visit f the head of state of china, china had to stop its hacking and that whole part of the arm kind ofym went on hold that wasn 1997. and why and what's the damage, is what's the fix. a]%q! new international norms governing cyber war because our country is the most vun able in the cyber sphere, it'sym in our national security interest to impose rules on other folks and to cut the deals like president obama did with the president, to rerdrain us. they restrained them. it will also restrain us, but
it's fouo with the controlled unclassified information, cui out there, anybody can be stamped cui and all of a sudden that had the control on it. and then it can't be shired and then there's questions on wait a second, if people can't learn about it how can we afford it. we have to figure out what the punishment can be and maybe it's purelyzv administrative, i'm su the other panelists have some ideas on it as well but i think it has to be something. >> let's talk a little bit. this commitfqq has had pretty good success with the ig community --s-- and technology officers under -- is there a model in which we create all agencies a classification office or are we better offsetting up something outside the agency, term, you
know, move something within the national ar kiefs where there's a method of declassify -- archives where there's a method of declassification. we'll start with you and let anybody else weigh in. >> excellent question. all i can do is point back to which are the times when we had real enforcing unneeded secrets out of the systemb is when congress took action with the nazi war crime, with the records bill, jfk assassination records bill, jfk assassination records bill, outsidea >> part of our problem is, you know, we can do a lot of things. we need your suggestions on what -- what's -- what specifically to do, i understand that probably more depth we can get in in the 2.5 minutes that i have left, let me let anybody y do you want to weigh in? >> i'm a big advocate of these types of issues. i haven't been external to
agencies when. i was part of the federal government. i was limited what i can do with the department of de -- defense, i don't experience those limitations. plus jhave reporting responsibilities of both the executive and legislative branch. >> your suggestion might be to expand. >> absolutely, there was the÷ú 2010 reducing over classification act which returned specific responsibilities, i believe those things can be greatly expanded and given the proper training. >> one hopeful sign in currentp classification policy is the growth in classification challenges from within the system. the current executive order allows people whoht have accesso the -- to classified information
number. >> does anybody think we should. >> i believe -- congress should, in fact, some committees by virtue of rules power themselves with the option, to my knowledge have never been ymacknowledged. it's a dicey issue, but branches of government and -- >> i think it should be -- i think my time is expired.zv >> thank you very much. thank youzv -- >> and we need balance and accountability and we need fairness. so this is a huge area with so many people in iraq and there's
disagreement among agencies and within agencies and a lot has to be done here. and answer them and sort of es seshltly.÷úym >> congress has not -- i'm no expert i assume that you can give far more sophisticated answer to zvthat. >> testified with one of the congressional hearings, they were in powerful positions and they didn't push through the recommendation. my own sense is there wasn't enough of a notion of crisis and we've got a crisis today, i think, in the classification. >> i think that you're quite
accurate on that we may be in a situation right now where we're in an unprecedentedzv environme. mr. -- would you like to comment. >> the commission reported sales included÷ú an appendix of previs studies of previous decades that have not solved the problem, here we are 20 years later looking back, i think it may be the recommendation didn't quite capture the issue properly and it seems to me thatzv a law on secrecy is a means to an end. it's not the end. i would think about what is the end that you really want and then go for that. and the end that you really want is greater congressional control over what is or is not classified, focus on that, go for that. if there are particular areas, particular topical areas that need classification, declassification, mandate their
declassification. >> probably -- and the end >> probably -- and the end result should be -- as i sov mentioned, the issue of security of balance, fairness and accountability. again, you talked about reformz that could be made by statute, one of those would be implement a life cycle of secrets. would you talk to me a little bit about whatko that is. >> in the most straightforward version, it was in the freedom of information amendments, like a 25-year sun set for delivered of process. the reality of our system, one of the reasons for entering crisis, we've got a tsunami. the volume isu! we're talking p bites of information. we're not going to be able to do page by page review, which is what our system currently we're going to have to build in automatic releases for entire categories or records without
review and that, i think, is going to be the÷ú only way to dl with this electronic record. life cycle is a summary term to say, we've got to put some on the secrets. you've got toym have better decisions on the front end that build in, otherwise we're sunk. >> i think with your testimony o that i will we can take can be deleted automatically if it's programmed to do so. programmed to do so. >> they say they've gota at every single cable to make sure there's no social security or i want to ask two questions here, number onep is even thoug
that information might besshared with other agencies. is there a proposalp where wher those thingkú can be vetted undr standards and circumstances and then sort of move in a way that agencies can sort of agree on the groundlevel and would reduce the amount of --p >> it doesn't have the power, maybe the will to over ride those agencies so you get a constant equity referral wherez% the agencies get a bite at the apple. wuchb of the recommendations in my testimony is empower that center, make the decisions. if something issolder than 25 years, that center should be able to review it!
so that empowerment, my last -- i'm sorry. does that require our legislative action to reconfigure this and empower in a different way. >> thank you. >> thank you mr.÷ú chairman. >> thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. iym appreciate the testimony an the invitation to congress to be involved in this. but i want to just start at the beginning and justko ask everybody, does everyone agree that at some level the executive does have inherent authority under article two, as part of the executive power to maintain secrecy of information related to the national security? mr. leonard? >> absolutely. >> yes. yes, but, because there's an article i that says congress make as rule to govern the military armed forces and national security, so it's both.
>> well, it's both, but i think hamilton, when -- there was a debate whether you should have a single executive. they revolted against george iii, one of hamilton's main argue ms was for secrecy, national security. there's got to be -- i mean, is there anyplace, i guess, that congress can't go into that orb% could congress basically legislate late as far. >> can legislate late as far as it wants. that's the key and i think the founder said separate the power of first to power of sword that's key. it takes money to run a company. >> so the congrdcs could abolish the cia if they wanted to. we do that because congress has passed a statute saying declassify, you ÷29=]1ñ as much sensitive stuff as we want. would there be any constitutional concern with doing that? >> none and congress has already done so with the nazi war crimes
which expose the files of cia recruited, so congress has done that. >> when did they do that, though. >> in 1998/1999. >> if congress wanted to start declassifying things that were germane and right right now with how our government conducting sensitive operations, you see that would still be okay even though it could jeopardize lives. >> it would still be okay because my bet is, this congress and committee would act pretty judiciously on that. you're not going to willie nilly. >> i get it -- >> i have a lot of confidence -- >> well, there's certain constitutional prerogatives, we, obviously, have the power to legislate the executive has -- the executive power means something, i mean, there are certain things. what i'm trying to figure out is, are there certain bplaces, think we all agree some of this stuff is ridiculous. there's an incentive to take -- some of this stuff isn't even
classified0a" being protective. let me give it to you on the end. >> i do believe there's constitutional protection for secrecy, but at the same time as tom said in his at the same time we'll have tozv get down throug the challenge process or through briefings that congress get on questioning what the executive branch iszv doing. >> it's an example, perhaps,
of --÷ú when i was in my positi at, one of the things i had to do was to deal with request for agencies to getp original classification authority. quite frankly, one of the issues contend with, it was one of convenience more than anything nd there were a number of hing instances where there were agencies or even small activities looking for original classification that had÷ú to pu back because they were looking to really accomplish something that should have been and accomplished through legislation. there was a legitimate reason to withhold information of public disclose sure. >> how do you analyze -- because some of this stuff, it's just, the agencies are embarrassed, they don't want to do it and it's clearly not credible. but sometimes when you're tryinç to get information, you are
diverting thed8 executive when they screw up or when they're not competent, how do you do this in a way that's not going to impose too many costs. we're not going to always review -- that's going to create some costs, how would you recommend wesstrike that balance, is that a valid concern. >> one way would be to, as mr. blatant referred to, was to consolidathm authority and responsibility and not spreadzv
>> chair now recognizes ms. kelly for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chair. thank you for holding this hearing. i believe that secrecy is a serious problem that is widespread in the federal government and that it goes beyond classified information. for instance, there's a categorú of pseudo classification that has exploded called controlled unclassified information. i understand there may be as in use, but the label sensitive but unclassified is one of the words defenders. first i want to get a sense of the extent of thiszv problem, information current oversight obvious annually reports how many classifications, decisions, agencies make. however, there's not a corresponding section on how
many decisions were made to designate materials as controlled as classified information. you previously servedht as director. our agencies required to track how many materials they designate as controlled one of my copanelists because i've been away from -- since that assumed that responsibility and have not followed it that clb >> i would say that there have been significant progress compared to where we were ten years ago. it use to be÷ú that anybody can mark any document anything. you can say this is far efficient -- and that would restrict it.a now, under the executive order on control unclassified information, there is what's called a cui registry and only thosev: markings that have been approved and validated can be used. and there are many things, of course, we want to protect. we want to protect tav returns.
we want to protect privacy information, all of those things have been validated and only those markings that are on they cui registry are suppose to be used. is that system working perfectly, are people bending the rules. i don't know the answer to that question. i think --÷ú it's -- it just we to very recently, we're waiting to see how it's working. r(t&háhp &hc% improved substantially over the past ymdecade. >> i don't think we know the answer toyota. agencies are going to be required -- required to report how much information is marked. they did over the 100 categories down to 20. there are some categories, so at that point you still end up wi,f a real patch work of designations of markings that can be placed on documentation. the big thing with it, also, is
there's going to be better training, you know, they're doing a very good job. i have to applaud them because they reached out to our community and worked with us on the rules, you know, as it went through the process. rr(t&ho they worked with the agency. >> we'llym have to wait and see and full implementation isn't expected to be completed until 2017, 18, '19. at that point it will take a long time to get some answers on it. but -- >> i know you called it a greys area, i was going to say what do you think the potential for s.
and so at that point something was marked sbu, i think four even though it didn't have any marking they marked that ÷ú information. now the nice thing with the cui rule is that there is a misuse provision, that may be something that can be borrowed upon and also the challenge procedure, but, again, challenges go back$% to the agency and i think you have a right to dispute resolution, due to the fact you're gog. back that may have been originally marked it. there are some concerns with that. >> i yield back to that.
>> thank you, gentle lady. the chair is going to recognize himself for five minutes. i want to goq% back to somethin that came up a little while ago. and that is the number of classifications over the lastzv five years some 400 million and yet only a little over 2,300 in the same five-year period have been challenged and those numbers can be debated here and there. whatever it is, 2,300 outsof 400 million is virtually no challenge whatsoever, just real quickly just from a sentence or too, why so few challenges we hadv: reports of my inbox and t secret report, which one would i read÷ú first.
and just expect nothing else. >> in my cases, employees are÷ú not aware of the that enabled them to make this challenge and that's one simple step that can be taken tob say, look, as soon as you sign your nondisclose sure agreement you sign that i'm aware i can challenge a classification marking that i believe is ÷úimproper. i would also mention that i think your hundreds of millions. >> i don't want to get into that right now. key challenges? >>÷ú it's easier just to classi and much classification just occurs reflectively and most of those derivativezv classificatis
is keep it going, because there's not a thought process on the front end of the first decision, what's the cost÷ú whas that? and you've got to educate them at nondisclose sure agreement point. but i would argue. >> just quickly, it could be career suicide, at thiszv pointe have insider threat investigation and retaliation, so a lot of times as mr. bland said to it, it's a lot easier to >> it's not a matter of red tape, perhaps, poor advertisement, people don't know, perhapsmy a culture or whatever, but red tape is not the problem. is that correct? all of you would agree with that. >> ibrolutely. lack of accountability is key, too. >> okay. now when it comes to, obviously, we know there's been a lot÷ú of threats to our country and i'm concerned about the lack of information sharing within our federal government, on a scale
of one to pten, how serious of problem is ÷úzvymthis? >> there's been a roll back with respect to some of the rather significant wholesale compromises that have÷ú occur2"y >> it's a serious challenge. when you classify your strict dissemination, there's a flip side of each other.p it's an on-going problem. >> ae greeed. >> so a -- agreed.
>> there may be some improvements. we still have a÷ú serious probl with sharing information, even when potential threats are hanging in the balance of our country. and in the mix of all of that, also came up earlier, is the ability of congress to do our job, how serious is the issue or is it at all an issue where agencies are over classifying to complicate or obstruct congressional poversight. >> i think it varies by agency and i think the intelligence community hasym the worst cultul problem. you've got to go into that. you can't bring out notes, you can't have staff. how are you going to havev: serious consideration some of the most important and sensitive
and deadly operations of our entire government. >> any new commissions is going and secrecy issue is why you have to get out of check the box kiéd of audit, are people following procedures but take a look at some specifics where challenges have been raised and why those things are allowed to be over÷ú classified. >> our time is exspired. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and you mentioned a nazi war crime that happened to have been a bill i authored and it took four years to pass it because the cia was objecting, it opened up the files of nazi germany and
environment. >> in other words they were not classified atzv the time they we sent or received by her, but then they were reclassified after the fact by staff and the department of the office. and patrick kennedy testified that 1,400 of these documents, or 70% were retroactively classified because they contain what is foreign government information. so my÷ú question is, it seems t me that this is a con fewing process, foreign government information is not treated like classified information until it's reviewed for public relief and now all of a sudden it's classified. seems toym me how are they suppe to know whenp to treat
information if it might change without warnzving. >> he asked this committee to create an exemption for foreign government information, which i think it's a terrible idea for three reasons, one itu! puts standards into our freedom of information law, no thank you, lowest secrecy. i think the second reason is,if there's harm from release of that foreign government information, it's protected alrea already, that's. jooirk -- how you protect us, they don't want to think about it. i can remind u!you, only suprem court over foreign government information finally got turned out the document issue had been handed and the governmenthad no idea and it wasn't going to damage our relationship with great britain, which is where it came from. so skepticism is inp order.
>> -- and i truly understand truly sensitive u!diplomatic. but using the classification what makes it even more confusing andzv i would argue ls effective. we need to have find a better solution, with that statement i would like to ask all of panelists in my rmhining time, do you have any recommendation of how to improve this process to go right downyuy and we can start with you and go right down the line. >> i agree with it wholeheartedly is providing legislative backing to various systems. in order to ensure uniformity, consistency and most of all÷ú accountability and also for to enable -- toym facilitate the
congress to be able to fulfill their article i constitutional authorities, as well. >> the government requires a degree of flexibility and so i would be cautious zvabout, you know, strict provisions, information that's provided in confidence needs to beym protecd somehow, if one wants to maintain that working relationship. whether that classification seems like a heavy handed way t% do it, but if the alternative is --÷úzv >> -- comprehensive kit on where
when and so i think that will be it.zv >> the fundamentalal phenomenon is being driven by agency, like what mr. leonard said, the cia is starting control and no÷ú to state declassify own ÷ú information. >> it's very important to me y careful not to disclose anything that's classified. about a month ago i went back down to one of those ski+= he was talking about. you can't take notes out. i reread the 28 pages. i brought the redacted version with me so that i want to ask you guy a question later so you can get ready with an answer --
certain reasons that might be legitimate and maybe a law that says when you redact or even small portions, that you have to give the reason. if the reason is to ,cid embarrassment or to protect a source or protect somebody who may not be guilty -- the crimes or infraction could be that you lied about the reason because that's what i want to get to is 28 pages and the reasons for those redactions. and ithink i can disclose my perceived reason for some of these redactions without disclosing anything classified. 20% of the redactions, i would :
say. >> they change the nature of the document, the way it's perceived by the public and the impact÷ú that it should have. for instance,z. >> this is going to be a textbook case of how the government over classified something in an effort to control the narrative. in fact, before the pages came out, there was an opp ed in thes usa today by the chairman on the commission. it said, these are unvetted sources, right. were made to support that -- --
>>ym 20 years now, we'll look bk at this, we'll see the key words and acronyms and sentences were removed. >> with the fact from reading the unredactedzv pages, which i saudi arabia, and i can say that name now because it's in the redacted pages, has soey kind f civil liability or criminal culpability -- and not because of their citizens but because of their government, acted either in, i would say, acts of omission or c commission and i'm afraid that's been diminished by the redactions that have been over classified. this is a prime example, so one of the questions i want to ask is, you think it's a good idea if we require them to give the reasons for the hthtredacti.
>> somebody thinks it's the right move. becaãof the subjective you and i make disagree, so providing the reason i think will be helpful. but it wouldn't necessarily resolve theym disagreement. i disagree with that reason. instead, i would suggest that in cases of. >> try to %att it and take the decision away. take it to a third party. there's a public interest declassification board, there may need to be a new omy and say, does this make sense, i want you to evaluate it as a
third party and come back to us with a recommendation. >> mr. chairman, i appeal to let the other twoym answer the question. >> just very briefly, exactly, this mechanism exists for mandatory review request, this inner agency appeals panel and it's ruled in favor of openness over 70% of the time. just a third party, the simple maneuver of taking the document away fromv: the original agency and putting it in a panel that includes the original agency, you get a completely different result. and this is alsop a process wit the freedom of information act.m we use to get a letter back with tons of markings and then introe they will say we redacted things for b three÷ú 34567 and you app this one specific redaction. now they're required to go through documents subject to th% freedom of information act and list right next to each
redaction, what exemption was being cited to justify the reason for that and also then you also have an administration appeal we hope that it goes to a different entity inside of the department rather than the person that made that marking and there's also a pr sesz to challenge those determinations and go to in essence, an arbitrati arbitration, it's funny that we havep a better procedure than w do for that classification process. >> i've seen this document and they're somewhat helpful.o@ r(t% they classified the stuff they sent to us. they try not to disclose. but i haven't seen that on the 28 pages. i've just seen there's nothing and by the way, it was released the day before he was named vice president, which is÷ú another zv
thing. >> i guess i will say, what happens when two agencies classified at all. and this is -- this is not a hypothetical in a recent investigation ofzv e-mails, we d multiple examples where the state department said one thing and the intelligence communhdy says another. specific example, really quite÷ú -- -- the state departmt employee about the late ambassador chris stevens of libya waszv marked clearly centered but unclassified. the management, mr. o'nedy confirms and testimony before the committee that the state department considered the e-mail unclassified and that anyone reading the e-mail would assume
it was not classified. but after the e-mail was sent, the intelligence community, nonetheless, claims it wass÷ú classified. explained that the intelligence committee was wrong. the letter from the state department statedht that the suggestion that the e-mail should have been treated as classified was, and i quote, surprising and in the rj view, incorrect, ÷úym unquote. tom referred to the security classification of appeals panel. i use to serve as executive
last year that the full numbers are available, for appeals that came to that panel, which consists from various agencies, 95% of the timev: that determination was written and in part or in whole, 95% of the time, since -- since 1995. >> yes,ht but in this case, mr. the originating agency did not want to see it pclassified. even though it was in the state department document and the state department said, no, it
isn't. >> so let's hypothetically say wezv invite the fbi, a nonpolitical organization, to come and look and see if there were violatrd's of our secrecy laws, well, how is this -- determine whether violation occurred when two major agencies or:emtities looking at classification have different views about the nature of the document, the sourcing of the document andym what it should b classified as. >> part of the÷ú problem and that's the reality of our classification system. õ they're both classified and
>> that's not how it works. i was at the private sector, we went around checking to make sure nobody was sloppy andç it' not going to go to the attorney general, you've got a thing because i saw that document on your zvdesk. and they say this, they put people at risk and frankly i'mu glad i can be arbitrated at some point. i'm certainly glad the attorney general can ultimately adjudicate. we're talking about, you know, thousands of documents,ko thousands ofdisputes are a real
delima for people trying in good faith to with the ÷úlaw. >> the reality it disputes drive, the issue to the lowest common denominator. they result. they end up adopting the view that it's ÷úcaused. send it to your grandmother. i have an opinion when he was the head of information securit! oversight office. you take it to the bank, you can keep it on your web site, even if somebody else, sorry, mr. blatant, that's classified, no, wrong, send it to your ÷ú
grandmother. >> we're told the government -- which is the stunning amount of money and if÷ú it's 100 billion over ten years it must be going up like a rocket, that seems like five million doessanyone care to comment, how do you wind up spending that amount of money. it seems like phenomenonzv numb. >> that's a difficult thing to evaluate. let's put it this way, i spent many yearszv on the defenseym
>> we have michaelko bradley. >> you know, it was never goings to be an open i think mr. bradley is a good pick because he has a broad understanding of the problem of secrecy, he was aid to the lateym senator. he is has a doj national security lawyer has degree of credibility with the national security agencies that others might have trouble matching. >> we look forward to meeting with mr. bradley as soon as he's s a9 the job.
. you can look at the previous, and you can see those folks make some real differences in the security difference, i can hope for that trend. >> certainly when you're back out to our ÷úcommunity. they know it's a burden on secrecy, but then on openness and have providedv: the proper weight test to that and i think that's been beneficial to the å&,áuqs >> there was inspector general report in 2013 that said that 33% of the employees didn't understand theirko zvrole.
but could you comment on that and answer to us why thatg# v: happened. >> i think based on my experience for over 40 years that's rather typical. it's a reflection of as÷ú much÷ do not spend comparable amount of money in terms of trying to train people in theu! basis. we make distinction between original classification and derivative. my experience has been is thatt
pages. >> as we were asking for disclose sure and÷ú declassification, administration was pushing back and saying know this was too sensitive. we had some of the agencies saying, no, it's method and sources. they flipped -- they flipped and said there's nothing here and the information is not valid and they took totally different tact. now, we're struggling with theh dea and fbi in regard to classified -- excuse me, confidential informants, so we've learned from the office÷úf the inspector general for the dea that we've got 18,000, they've got 18,000 confidential informants out there that are underym÷ú
they don't know the way they're operating. dea headquarters isn't independently involved. this is all operated at the field level. so that -- and that's just the dea. from our conversations with the fbi, i believe that the numbers are double. probably about 500 million that the fbi is paying to confidential informants. probably double the number, probably in the area of 30,000 or 40,000 informants. confidential informants. that's totally out of our purview. i'm wondering, you have all hit on this, you know, with the interagency panel reviewing classifications, is there some way to super charge that, that
process? because it is painstakingly slow, and it doesn't work in the timeframe in which the information would be useful to us. mr. leonard, i know that you said that the last time somebody took a good swing at this was during the clinton administration, in your remarks. your earlier comments. is there some way we can get this interagency declassification review panel resourced and equipped to give congress, and i have seen -- i have seen my colleagues across the aisle tear their hair out when they couldn't get information. i have been in the same position. is there some way we can formalize this process to get the information in a timely manner? >> one way i would suggest would be to make provisions to allow appeals directly to that panel under certain circumstances. right now, requesters have to go to the individual agency.
if they get turned down in whole or part, they have to appeal to the same agency. it's only after that process that they can go to the interagency panel. even that panel then has its own coordination of things which can be problematic, which is easier to address, but the individual agency time delays can be problematic. also, for purpose of congress, congress does have the public interest declassification board that they can refer to. and that is another avenue that quite frankly i never believe is utilized enough. but that's another avenue. >> yeah. to expedite it, you know, maybe we just have to figure this out legislatively, to introduce an expedited process where the information we believe is so critical and i guess i'm just thinking, is there a way to get the judiciary involved here so they would review -- i don't
want to create a political question that the courts can't rule on, but we're being stonewalled in wide areas of public interest, and i feel like it's hampering congress' ability to do its job. >> one of the things is the interagency panel is actually exercising on behalf of the president. it's exercising his article ii authority, and the public interest declassification board, ultimately, they just make recommendations to the president who makes the final decision. >> you have something you want to add? >> yes, sir, you mentioned sources and methods. i think it goes right to your informants problem and one of the big drivers of classification, which is under the current statutory system, anything that is a source of method can be claimed to be withheld, whether or not its release would actually harm a security value or get a source killed. i think congress can take very simple action, both in the intelligence field and the law
enforcement field to say sources and methods is not a burka. it should only cover the things that would do damage. get somebody killed, ruin an investigation. right now, that identifiable harm standard, which is now in the freedom of information statute, it doesn't apply in this informants and sources method. it needs to apply. congress has to take that action. >> and that recommendation was in the moynahan commission report, and it hasn't been acted on now in almost 20 years. so it may be time for congress to enter that world. >> yeah. i know that attorney general reno issued some guidelines, but they're not being followed. i actually have legislation. i don't even want to know who the informants are. i just want to know how many are out there, what they're being paid and what crimes if any they have committed while being a part of this government program. we had a difficult time getting that through. but that's all i have, mr. chairman. thank you for your indulgence. i yield back the balance of my time. >> the chair now recognizes
mr. duncan for five minutes. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. first of all, i want to say that i want to go on record as saying i agree with mr. grothman in saying i'm astounded by the amount of spending that's being done on this, this $16 billion estimate and over $100 billion in the last ten years. i think we lose sight up here of how much a billion dollars actually is. but having said that, i had two other meetings so i unfortunately didn't get to hear your testimony. i apologize if you have gone into some of this earlier. but mr. blanton, in skimming over some of this testimony, i was fascinated by your report about the moynahan commission and that we went through all of this 20 years ago, basically.
and also, i think the thing that impressed me the most was, i mean, there seems to be general agreement here today that there is a real problem of over classification. but i saw where mr. mcdaniel, who was president reagan's national security adviser, said that only 10% of what's being classified probably really needed to be classified. is that correct? and why do you think -- you mentioned there that this was a tremendously bipartisan commission, had jesse helms and daniel patrick moynahan. and obviously, you're disappointed that not -- very little was done with that, those recommendations. why do you think that was? and do you think we should take another look at that? what -- just go into that a little bit for me. >> i think in the testimony i
quoted mr. mcdaniel, who the moynahan commission quoted and said based on my experience with a few million pages of declassified documents, he's right, especially about the historical materials. i think an estimates that's closer to reality for current material, the material on terrorists and isis, the best estimate came from the republican head of the 9/11 commission tom kane. he said 75% of what i read about al qaeda and osama bin laden that was classified shouldn't have been, and we would have been safer as a country. so i think the range is in there. the 75% to 90%. it's a bureaucratic problem. bill knows it better than anybody. steve aftergood has been studies it, pogo. every incentive is to classify. there's almost no disincentive. there are no penalties. there has to be, i think, this is the main reason why congress needs to take action. because y'all can change the minds of the bureaucracy and how
it actually works. you can change the laws and their hearts and minds will follow. >> i actually believe that the executive branch in general agencies in particular actually want the ambiguity because the ambiguity gives them almost unlimited discretion. in dealing with issues. and yes, it results in dumb things, but it's the ultimate trump card to pull out whether you're dealing with the courts, whether you're dealing with congressional oversight or whatever. nobody wants to be the one who compromised truly sensitive information. so there tends to be this over deferential to any assertion, and that's what it is, a simple assertion. it cannot be demonstrated that it truly should be classified. >> well, there's so many other things i would like to add or comment on, but mr. amey, i'm assuming -- this committee has requested through the years a great deal of classified material.
and do you think that agencies are classifying some material or a lot of material that really doesn't need to be classified? just to avoid or get around effective congressional oversight? >> yes, but it's hard to know at what level. i don't know what i don't know. that's unfortunately when something shows up and it's a blackened out page and marked classified, and then a foia exemption attached to it, it's hard to know. sometimes we get documents released to us, and at that point, you can do the comparison. that can allow you to ask some questions. unfortunately, with the amount of classification we have, its very difficult to put your finger on it, the experts that have taken a look at it, the 75% to 90%, but the culture. i think that's it. even after 9/11 with the 9/11 commission, you have a culture who the default setting is err on the side of caution. >> i have run out of time, but i will say this. we're going to have to, it seems
to me, go to much more of a carrot and stick approach on all of this, and incentivize good behavior and penalize bad behavior in this area. and at any rate, thank you very much. >> thank the gentleman. the chair now recognizes miss lujan grisham for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and hearing some of the comments at the tail end, you may have to repeat some of that because representing my district and of course new mexico, we're home to world-class national security defense operating labs and related defense. both private and public sector institutions and businesses. and i understand unequivocally the need for being very clear that sensitive, classified security aspects related to information, that we have to be very clear about protecting the
integrity of those systems and that information. having this committee work on furthering our effort at transparency and recognizing that across agencies that we don't have an effective handle of that, who's determining and what parameters apply and what circumstances before, during, and after information is being shared in a variety of what i would call sort of post and pre-security issues. i also worry about unintended consequences. and being a long-standing bureaucrat, i can argue either way that having ambiguity is -- can be a protective mechanism to not change anything, because you fear those unintended consequences and your own accountability, particularly here where national security is at stake. right? there's no incentive to be a little bit -- to talk about being less risk averse when we need better transparency in
order to inform ourselves in a way that's productive so we can do policy making and you can increase the way in which we address national security issues. both in the congress, both in the bureaucracy, and defend and secure the nation. but i also know that it's very frustrating not to have clear direction so that you can make recommendations and include reforms. it's both. and so to provide those leaders with better guidance, help me with some very specific ideas about balancing our efforts, the need for transparency and the clear issue that we have, which is also protecting classified, secure information and the national security interests of this country, because my constituents are going to say, and they're right, be very careful about unintended consequences here. once it's out of the box, it's out. anyone.
>> i think one way to understand the issue is that classification is treated as a security function. understandably. the people who are making the classification decisions are asking about the security consequences of disclosure. that's fine. that makes perfect sense. the problem is that security is not the only consideration. because classifying has implications from oversight, it has implications for public understanding, for diplomacy, for technological development. it can have all kinds of implications. to ask the security officer to weigh the public interest or weigh the diplomatic effects is totally unrealistic, i think. what that -- where that takes me is that in areas of significant interest by congress or the public, there needs to be an additional venue where this
original security classification decision can be reconsidered in the light of broader issues. what is the public interest? what is the need for oversight? what are the undesirable unintended consequences of continuing to classify? don't ask the poor security officer to make this complicated assessment. take it somewhere else and re-evaluate it in light of the big picture. >> anyone else? that is in and of itself sort of a balance and a chance for a re-review as a lawyer and what i would fashion in an appellate aspect. again, making those decisions and then creating the parameters for asking for that guidance is also a set of reforms that can also have unintended consequences. are there specifics in that regard, and the concept, i think, is one i'm very interested in. getting to the concept, are
there ways to include the agencies in terms of their recommendations about what those parameters would look like? without having them protected on interest. that's the other problem. in a way that doesn't get you, then, to that appellate level, which gets us right back where we started. >> right. we really need more experimentation in this area than what we've had. i think one model is the ice cap model, the interagency panel that's been discussed. there may be others. you would want the voice of security represented, of course, but it would not be the only voice. so you would want diversity and diversity of opinion and perspective brought to bear. you would also want to define who could elevate the issue. a congressional committee, maybe just a member of congress. you know, who else could ask for this kind of review and under what circumstances. these are all questions that could be hashed out.
i don't think the answers are obvious. they might not become obvious until they're tried in practice. >> well, mr. chairman, thank you very much for giving me this extra time, and thank you very much for weighing in on what i think is a really critical issue for us to deal with. so thank you. >> thank the gentle lady. the chair now recognizes mr. amash for five minutes. >> i yield my time to mr. massie. >> i would like to thank the gentleman from michigan. i have tons of stuff i want to discuss. we try to get three things in in the last five minutes. the first two fall under the category of there's good news but. okay, there's good news in terms of the intelligence budget, right? because the 9/11 commission recommended that at least the aggregate number be disclosed. so it is disclosed. and the executive branch, actually in this case, does a better job than the legislative branch. they disclose their request for the budget. but the situation we had last
week is you had 435 members of congress, probably less than 80 knew what was in the budget, but they all voted for it. they can find out what's in it two years from now. like the 2015 number, i can tell you, it's on the website. but we still don't disclose the top line number, aggregate number for intelligence appropriations until a year after it's been voted on. so that's the good news is that it's disclosed. the bad news is most of congress is voting on it to see what's in it. they can go down to -- like my colleague and i from michigan did, and see what's in it. that's the good news, but some of this is just lack of attention on our part. another good news but. mr. desantis capably and appropriately pointed out the executive branch has to have secrets to conduct its diplomacy, et cetera, et cetera. then mr. blanton, you talked about how you could use the power of the purse. there is one department that does effectively use the power of the purse for oversight.
and that's the intelligence committee. they don't give the intelligence community a tranche of money and say, okay, you have no strings attached and we don't want to know anything until next year. they're continuously -- that money is contingent upon certain things and also when certain things happen, they have to be reported back to that committee. the judiciary committee would do well to follow that example. you could -- the judiciary could fence money and say we will give you part of it but you're not getting the rest until we get this answer. so to the theoretical point of can you get this information from the executive branch or can you not based on the constitution and article i versus article ii, the answer is what you provided, mr. blanton. the key is in the power of the purse. and you can always get that information. so that's the good news is that you can get the information and
the intel committee does it. the bad news is doj doesn't do it. the other bad news is the intel committee controls this information very tightly and it's hard for a rank and file member to access that. it's basically 20 questions and a skiff. and without staff walking out. that's the bad news. now, and if i have time, i'll let you comment on that, but here's the third thing i want to talk about. i think it falls within this committee hearing today. and this question is for mr. aftergood. the federation of american scientists keeps a bootleg copy of all the congressional research service reports. is that correct? >> not all of them. >> well, the ones that you can obtain? >> yes. >> okay. this is -- the congressional research service, for those who don't know about it, is this enormous wonderful resource available to congress, and they have all the historical context for the reasons of things. they prepare these wonderful reports. but they're confidential to
congress. and the irony here is i could disclose them to a constituent, but the crs has no clearing-house for this. a greater irony is on a weekend, i go to your website to find out what the congressional research service has prepared. how ridiculous is that? so i would like your comment on that, mr. aftergood. >> um, you know, there's been a lot of talk lately about fake news and how it's corrupting our public discourse and so forth. to me, i think of crs reports as kind of the antidote and opposite of fake news. >> we get a lot of fake information in congress from various sources. >> i mean, you know, we all need to be critical consumers. but i think the crs product on the whole are extremely informative. they're balanced. they aim to educate. if you read them, you're going to get smarter than you are.
and so i'm not -- you know, i'm not -- >> that's not hard to do for a congressman. >> or for a citizen. i don't have too big a chip on my shoulder about doing this. i'm not -- you know, i would just as soon congress do it the right way. i think you have a product that you can be proud of. and you should be making it available to the public. until that happens, i hope to be able to continue doing it through the federation. >> i hope you do, too, because i need access to that on weekends. thank you very much. >> i would only suggest it's the end of the year. you might want to contribute to steve's web page. >> i thank the gentleman, and i also want to extend a sincere thanks to each of our witnesses for appearing before us here today. if there's no further business, without objection, the committee stands adjourned.
lindsley, one of the 429 casualties. his remains were recently identified 75 years after the attack. then at 9:00, tour pearl harbor attack sites and memorials with national park service historian daniel martinez. at 9:30, president roosevelt's speech to congress asking for a declaration of war. followed by the pearl harbor ceremony at pearl harbor. from 11:00 to 1:00, we're taking your calls and tweets live. ian tull discussing the pacific war from the attack on pearl harbor through the u.s. victory over the japanese. at noon, we are live with paul travers. giving a behind the scenes acount of the japanese attack
from his more than 200 interviews with pearl harbor veterans. the 75th anniversary ceremony from the world war ii memorial in washington, d.c. with keynote remarks by arizona senator john mccain. saturday on american history tv on c-span3. oklahoma senator james inhofe shared his thoughts on an incoming trump administration and what it would mean for the environment and energy policy. the republican lawmak maker, hi remarks are followed by a representative from the oil and gas industry discussing the impact of federal regulations. from the heritage foundation, this is 50 minutes.
>> ladies and gentlemen, how is the day going so far? pretty cool, huh? cool, that's a great word. okay. we it is my distinct honor to introduce your next speaker. you know, my notes here say that our next speaker is the most accomplished pilot in the senate and has flown all over the world. >> all around the world. >> all around the world and over it, too. he is chairman of the epw committee, 12 years total as ranking member and chairman. married for 57 years with 21 kids and grandkids. that's all really great and important stuff. but let me tell you, when you are a political leader in the
united states of america, seeking truth, standing for truth, speaking out for truth, writing about truth is a wonderful attribute. and so i would like to bring to the podium one of the great champions for truth in our country today, senator jim inhofe. >> did they mention this thing about the drawing? >> no. >> just for a second here, we're going -- there's going to be a drawing later on. olympia, you have my books. if you want one, put your card in -- i don't know where. anyway, i can't tell you how exciting this is. you know, i just found out today when i looked at it, all of my heros are on the program. i'm going to come back at 3:30. i wouldn't miss that panel.
my gosh. people i haven't seen for a long time. let me tell you, when i see a group like this -- there's a book you ought to go to the library and check out. "american political patterns." in this book, you will be convinced that the decisions in this country are made by one half of 1% of the people. those are the people he identifies as activists. he defined activists as someone who will come in and listen to politicians for a whole day on a given subject. now, that's what you guys are. so i look at each one of you as being an army of 200. you are voices out there in the wilderness with me. and i love all of you for it. now on this thing that we're going to be talking about, there's just one thing i would like to put across. you guys in your capacity of being each one an army of 200 people are going to be talking about these controversial
things. and you know, one of the smartest things the other side did is when they got rid of -- they quit talking about global warming and started talking about climate change. don't get caught in that trap. i've had to say this on the senate floor many times. climate has changed. look at spiritually, scientifically, climate always changing. don't put yourself in a category where they disqualify you for that reason. will quickly run through this thing. where are you? there you are. this right here is kind of interesting. it tells a story. you can't read it from there. over here, that is 12:30 a.m. it's right after midnight eastern time on election night. that's "the new york times." then at 2:30, what happens? reluctantly, those lines cross. they actually crossed way back here. then, of course, you know the outcome. it gives you an indication of what happened and the significance of that. you stop and think about it,
what is happening, the things that are going to change in this country. the repeal and replacement of obamacare. the balancing of our budget. a lot of you folks may have forgotten, because with all the things that have happened recently, you may have forgotten about the fact that when this administration took office, our debt was $10.6 trillion. today it's $20 trillion. it's doubled in the last eight years. that's an extremely significant thing. with all of the things that have happened, people have forgotten about that. don't forget about the fact that we're going to rebuild the military. i got a phone call that -- way back in october. it was my friend -- i see richard down here. i was excited. it was trump inviting me to talk to him. i've been advising him on things that are -- the military nature. we have to do it. why should defending america be
a partisan issue? it shouldn't. but it is. the administration has a policy. with what's happened to military, the disarming of america in the last eight years. you can't put more money into the military unless -- this is obama talking, unless you put an equal amount in the social programs. what does that tell you? what's the message? i have to say this about democrats. they are smarter than we are in some ways. they will disciplined. they do what they say. there's not one democrat who will back down from that. you can't do anything in the military unless you do it to the social programs. that's not what the constitution says. where our priorities should be. but that's where it is. they all go along with it. that's going to change. by the way, to put it in a longer perspective, up until about 19 -- the middle '60s and 1970, we were spending 52% of our total revenue on defending america. now it's 15%. keep that in mind when you are talking to some of these people.
then the fourth thing, the killing of the over regulation that we're going to have. we had an experience yesterday that some of you may have seen on television. you may be still a little upset with me, because i actually like barbara boxer. she and i have been -- traded back and forth every time we're a majority. every time she's a majority, sheshe is. up until 2006, republicans were a majority in the senate. that was neat. then she -- when that changed, she had this thing -- elections have consequences. she said, you are not making the rules. you used to when you were a majority. elections have consequences. let me tell you, this is very consequential what's happening in america. when we had our first meeting after the election, i presented her with the t-shirt that, yes, elections have consequences.
anyway, the things that are happening are just very, very exciting. the first person i saw when i came in was richard lindsen. he has been my hero for a long time. i didn't know until this morning, until right before i came down here, you guys -- don't worry about staying here for my thing. come back at 3:30 and you have my here rose fros from the old there. spencer -- dr. spencer, david lagate. in fact, all but one have been a witness in the committee that i chair. you've got them all in one room. i have never seen this before. you are all here. i'm excited about it. i'm going to come back and be with you. anyway, just remember some of the things happened in the very beginning. i think it's important for us to get that perspective. that is that i was the bad guy back in the turn of the century. i was. after we studied this thing -- i
assumed, like everybody else, way back in -- when everyone was talking about global warming, i assumed that was right, until i found out what it was going to cost. th this is interesting. whether it's through regulation or through legislation, the cost remains the same. it's between 300 and $400 billion a year. if we were to give in to that, that would be the largest tax increase in the history of america. i started looking at it. i started talking to scientists that you will be seeing tonight. i realize that -- that's when i used the word hoax. the first thing that came up was the mccain/lieberman bill. each time it has come for a vote, they have lost. our trend lines are good. we're winning this thing very clearly. that's what is happening. i always use my favorite quote
of richard, which is that controlling carbon is a bureaucrat's dream if you control carbon, you control life. control. that's what they want. so we have gone through this thing. you might keep in mind that we have rejected it legislatively. you might be reminded also of what happened in 1997. we had the bird/hagel rule. they were going to come back with a treaty -- the treaties have to be ratified by the senate. we passed a provision that said, if you come back with any treaty that either is a financial hardsh hardship on america or treats developing countries different than developed countries, we're not going to ratify. that passed 95-0. here came clinton and gore and kyoto. they never submitted it for ratification. they knew it wasn't going to happen.
i thought -- it was interesting, because in a minute i'm going to talk about these big parties that the united nations had every december. one of them right before that took place, i was -- we had the administrator of the epa. i said, i know that you guys once i leave town are going to have an endangerment hearing, a determination. if you do that, then you are going to go and start passing regulations. when you do that, that has to be based on science. what science are you going to use? they said, the ipcc. keep in mind, the ipcc is the united nations power plan. it's one that is -- that's where it all started. it's very important that people understand that. so all of a sudden, right after she made the declaration -- this was poetic justice. she talked about it's based on the ipcc.
it was right after that, a matter of hours after that that climategate came in. it didn't get the attention here in the united states that it got all over the world. the financial times said, the stake of intellectual corruption is overwhelming. that's something. the uk telegraph, one of the biggest london publications, it's the worst -- talking about ipcc, the worst scientific scandal of our generation. all of that was people realized. so i thought that should mean it was -- with the media -- they were able to -- yet -- things came out like the 97% consensus, which is a joke and has been pretty much disproven. along comes the united nations. i wanted to say something something about that. they have been behind the global warming movement since the
1970s. 1970s, think about that. then in the -- things got started off with the earth summit in rio in 1992. you remember what happened when al gore came in and said, we're going to be doing all this stuff. you have to keep in mind the reason for it. this is the short version. if you end up taking my -- forget the rest of it and read the last chapter. it talks about the history how this thing started. it was the united nations. i lead a little group in the united states senate. it goes back to the time that john bolton was the ambassador to the united nations from the united states. every time -- which is most of the time the u.n. comes out with something that is not in the best interest of the united states, we would send a communication up. john bolton would take it to them saying we in the united states are going to withhold our funding of the united nations. it infuriates them. they don't like to be
accountable to anyone. what was their plan so they wouldn't have to be accountable? come with their only source of funding. this is all in detail in the last chapter in my book. look at that. that's the thing that people don't really understand. they came up with this thing. if they're able to come up with a co2 tax or something like that, they don't have to then be accountable to anyone. that's really what it was all about. you remember some of the early statements, even people who were not our friends who were honest about the evaluation of the whole global warming thing, he said, quote, international global warming regulations represent the first component of an authentic global governance. the prime minister of canada called it a socialist scheme. here is a good one. the eu minister, she's the eu minister of environment, she came out and she said that,
quote, kyoto is about the economy, about leveling the playing field worldwide. they are honest about it back during that time. then, of course, we had the u.n. came along. with a strategy. this is 21 years ago. it was a strategy, let's have a party to end all parties every december. we will bring in 192 nations. all they have to do is say yes we're going to put some kind of a policy in place to reduce co2 emissions. they came in. they started having these parties. the first one i went to was in milan, italy. i remember that. there are three people in the room that were there with me at the time. we went to milan, italy. when i arrived, i saw they had on every telephone pole, a wanted poster. it was my picture. they said, dangerous man on planet. when that was over, i went back to where they were distributing them. i got the leftover ones.
used them for fund-raisers back here. it was very effective. the next one i went to was in copenhagen in 2009. this was a good one. if you remember, the ones who went over on the same boat were obama, hillary, pelosi, john kerry. they went and told the 192 nations that we are going to pass a cap on trade. stimulate them to do the same thing. of course, we weren't going to that. i went over right after they left in the same 192 nations were all in the same -- like you guis guys. i had them all to myself. they all hated me. they thought i was going to -- i saw a guy, he was from west africa. i have had a jesus thing in west africa for the last 20 years.
this guy -- i said, what are you doing here? i said, you don't believe this. no, of course not. this is the biggest party of the year. it really is. anyway, that's what has been going on there for a long period of time. then, of course, we have on the same -- have mike -- i always liked him. it has been -- 2004 he wrote his book. if you want to get a perspective -- in my book, i have a chapter talking about how he describes how they manipulated the press to get on their side. it was a genius. i had him as a witness also. those are the fun days whether we had our own witnesses. all of the panel -- but he came in. he was not just an author. he was a medical doctor and scientist. he said not many of us, including myself, are intellectual enough to
understand exactly what he said, but when adhered to, the scientific method can transaccident potransscent politics. it's often the primary -- independent verification has been abandoned. it's phony. it's a hoax. that's what we did. that's a book i strongly recommend that you -- let's fast forward to current. i'm running out of time here. when the president came back and he said the clean power plan is going to be -- all of you in this room remember, because you were involved or you won be here today. he said, we're going to reduce our co2 emissions between 26% and 28% by 2025. we knew it couldn't be done. in fact, we even tried to get -- we in that committee have jurisdiction over the epa. this is the first time in my memory that the party -- the
committee that oversees -- has the jurisdiction where they have refused to come and testify. they did. they wouldn't come in. they knew there's no way you can have that kind of a reduction. everybody else knew it. of course, we had during that time -- we had ten hearings, three oversights. the regulation -- it's kind of funny. liberals love regulations. what they don't want to do is have people at home know. they love regulations because they can be as liberal as they want and nobody knows it back home. what they don't like -- what they like about regulations is, they don't have to cast a vote. they can go back to wherever they come from and the people are bleeding saying, we are going to have do something about the over regulation we're having from the epa and other burr oblg k bureaucracies. don't blame us.
the what the cra -- most of you know this. you have to use it. you will see it this coming up in the first part of january. it's going to be a real winner. cra is the vehicle that can be used that if you -- if you have a regulation and you want to do away with it legislatively, it's a congressional review act. all it takes is 51 in the senate to do this. so we passed cras on all the over regulations. the problem is the president vetoed it. then we couldn't -- didn't have votes to override the veto. it did a wonderful thing. it forced them to take -- to get on record. stop and think about it. they have never been on record. now they have to cast a vote. that was the good thing. of course, we passed two cras. they passed by a good particular begin. we did it on several of the issues.
one was the clean power plan. is everyone aware that scott pruitt will be the epa director? she mentioned it in the introduction that i've been flying an airplane a long time. i flew scott, never dreaming he would end up being the director of the epa. you will love this guy. the demise was setting in at that time as far as the clean power plan. we knew it wasn't going to work. we had so many people -- we had 29 states filing lawsuits, including scott pruitt, i might add, as our attorney general in oklahoma, against -- so this supreme court put a stay. we know that. the courts have been our friends. they had a stay. that's part of the joy that we're basking in right now. over half the states disagreeing with it. i want to say this about the paris agreement.
john kerry is still looking for something that he can do that's right. by the way, during his confirmation, there were two of us who voted against his confirmation. i was one of the two. the other 98 have come to -- not all of them, but some of them, what did you know that we didn't know at that time? you have seen john kerry talking about how great all of his things are. the disaster in iran is something we can talk about for a long period of time. he came back from paris thinking we have never been successful. let's paint this with the help of the media, they did this, something important happened in paris. it didn't -- it happened. the president came out with this thing saying we're going to have a reduction in co2 which we know we can't do. look at some of the others. china, the big victory that john kerry had with china was china agreed that they would continue to increase their co2 emissions
until 2025. they are now today building every ten days a new coal-fired power plant. that's a success? nonetheless, that's the thing that is happening right now and you need to be aware of it, which i'm sure you already are. anyway, that was another one of the failures and another thing working in our favor. next, the -- to demonstrate we're winning this. be careful. i don't want people to think it's over. it's never over. you stop and think about this. the american people know better. i can remember in 2002, the polls showed the number one concern in america was global warming. that's why when i took on the mccain/lieberman bill, the only two senators who had spent a lot of time on floor with me -- we did defeat it.
we defeated that bill in 2003. mccain/leeb ieberman came back no. the polls at that time, the poll in march of 2015, they -- the climate change came in dead last for a national problem. the same thing happened two weeks later, a different poll. it was dead last of the environmental issues. the fox news poll earlier said 97% of americans don't care about global warming. when they put it up against terrorism and the real issues. the cbs/"new york times" poll, it was in last place again. what i'm saying is, we have won this thing in terms of the people. the american people are smarter than those people that are down on the floor trying to keep this issue going. one of the things that really concerned me -- on morning of election day, on november 8, i
was concerned. just thinking about -- i looked it up and i built a speech around all of the -- in the last four years, the 5-4 decisions of the supreme court. everything we hold dear is in the 5-4 thing. if hillary won -- i don't care if it's abortion or if it's second amendment or anything else. america would have changed from that in a way we wouldn't even recognize it. that's why i said in the morning -- it's funny. richard, you scientists, you like to base things on science. this was not on science. this was something i thought -- is god going to let america change that much? i thought, no, that's not going to happen. i came up with this thing in an interview. said, yeah, he is going to win, not based on anything scientific. god is not going to let that happen to america. that night the results came in. i was a great prognosticator. they thought it was good.
if you look at the decisions, again, i won't go over them, but i have the list of them here that i think is very significant. then next one -- this was my favorite weekly standard cover. by the way, don't think that al gore is resurrected. he is not just because he showed up. it shows we have a guy coming into has president who will tal to anybody. "the new york times" and the first of the -- identifying him as the first environmental billionaire in america. there he is. for commencement speeches, talk about the fact that there's a direct relationship with the amount of wealth they have and some of the perversions in this country. he is a good example. anyway, the gore affect, we had
fun with that when gore was doing all these things. every one of his events he had ended up being snowed out. there's a global warming cruise across the northwest passage. talk about global warming. the passage was frozen. they had to cancel. february '07, he was at a house hearing on global warming that was canceled after snow and ice storm. march of 2009, pelosi and gore had to cancel a thing. this has been going on for a long time. it shows that mother nature does have a sense of humor. along came tom steyer. i have a life size poster of tom steyer i use on floor of the senate. tom steyer who said trying to s reresurrect -- he raiseed -- i assume the money went in. one of the things they had to do was there order to be -- to do
justice to him -- she's tell meg two minutes. this is going to be difficult. oh, yeah. anyway, let me finish this thought. all he had to do was go down to the senate floor for an all night thing. i was the only republican on the senate floor. i had this poster of tom steyer. i said tom steyer, he is -- i showed his picture. he put up $100 million. that's why you are here. if anybody out there in america who is watching this now has insomnia, you have come to the right place. all night long we're going to be talking about this. then someone said, are you saying that we're here because we're getting part of -- we're getting paid to in i? i'm not saying that. that's what tom steyer is saying. i didn't realize, i have gone -- going a little over my time. let me just say this. this is great. the fact that you are all here and your panel is going to be so
great this afternoon. i can tell you, i never want to say and be quoted that this is over and we have won. let me tell you, the american people have pulled this thing out. there's damage still lingering out there. my 21 kids and grandkids, maggie inhofe who graduated from college, when she was in the sixth or seventh grade she said, popi, why don't you understand global warming? i said, why do you ask that? she showed me the stuff that emanates from the epa and comes through our system. i can assure you that's one thing that hand in hand scott pruitt and i are going to try to do something to save our next generation. i'm glad you are here. you are doing the lord's work. he will bless you for it. thank you very much.
>> thank you. what a gift to have senator inhofe with us. did becky say you have been married 57 years? >> yeah. >> did you get married when you were 5 or 10? >> that's why i came down here. >> seriously, although it is oklahoma. so you never know. i don't know. i'm just saying. thank you, senator. one other important point, he mentioned today -- how many of you were in austin with us last year at this event? okay. quite a few. what he said about our panel at 3:30 and most of them are sitting here in the front row, was what was said last year. never before or at least that any of us in the normal world knew of had this collection of intellect and fire power been gathered on this issue. we were so proud and honored to have that last year in austin and again -- i'm glad again senator inhofe pointed it out to have it again today in d.c. thank all for being here.
it really is an honor. i think what he said too is so important that we are winning. certainly, a couple of years ago it didn't seem possible. but today it does. the hope is extraordinary. one other quick thing before i -- two other quick things before i introduce our next speaker who i'm proud is here. many of you have seen the book by kathleen white and steve moore. kathleen is sitting in the back. i know we are all so excited about our incoming epa administrator scott pruitt. many of you probably also know that the other finalist for the job was our kathleen white who spent time in new york and talking to the transition team and while that job is not going to go to her, i think something extraordinary will. what an honor and privilege to have worked with you all these years. thank you. buy a book. you will hear more from her this
evening. she will be doing an informal book signing there. steve will be there as well. we've got the books on sale outside. a great plug for our compatriot kathleen. the very quickly i wanted to note that you will hear and hopefully we will hear more and more that as this new administration and this new day there washington begins, that the power that will devolve oust washington, whether it's in this arena or healthcare or education or whatever it may be, moves back to the states. certainly representing the largest conserve tough staative that provided job growth for the country over the last decade, it's a really exciting time to be in the states. on that note, i want to quickly note that we have representatives here from michigan, utah, colorado, washington, ohio, delaware and west virginia in from the state think tanks to work with all of you in washington to really move our country back where it needs to be.
can i ask my friends from around the country to stand up? we're so glad you are here. thank you. and jennifer butler. now it's my great honor to introduce our next speaker. we of course really enjoy and it's so important to hear from our elected officials. they are the ones making the decisions for our country and making sure they are educated and have the opportunity to give their ideas like senator inhofe and the elections officials we heard from earlier, that's wonderful and a big part of what we do. we also think it's extraordinarily important to hear from those who are actually in the field creating the jobs and building the businesses that create prosperity and lift people from poverty to a better life. we have one of the great entrepreneurs of our generation here with us, corbin robertson. you have probably read about him. let me note that he is one of the largest coal owners in the united states. he is a third generation oil,
gas and coal man. i think you started the coal in your business. he has been and his family have been directly impacted, especially over the last eight years. it's a real honor to hear from someone like him. i think it's easy to forget all of us in policy world, we try not to every minute of every day, but what we're working on has real impact and real affect and absolutely changes for better or worse real people's lives. so please help me welcome the great texas entrepreneur corbin robertson. just a little side note. he was an all american linebacker for the university of texas in 1968. thank you for being with us. >> thank you for that wonderful introduction. i'm sure honored and delighted to be here with you.
i'm going to start out with a confession. i'm guilty. i'm guilty of providing goods, services and clean, affordable energy to the world's growing population. the environmentalists and media would convict me for my services to humanity because fossil fuel adds co2 to the atmosphere. what's my defense and what's my story? i grew up in a family business. we did energy. so we formed partnerships that invested in the oil and gas exploration and production, mid stream, down stream, we run an oil field service company, a coal royalty preparation, coal producer, power plants, gas to liquid conversion, we have done all kinds of other things. real estate, banking, financial services, timber, furniture
store, mortgage company, title companies, even built the number one golf club in texas. so we have done business in 30 states. in about 18 foreign countries. in 1968, my college roommate and i started camp olympia. in 1978, camp olympia founded the hisd outdoor education program. for 50 years we have been taking kids to camp and 40 years we have been teaching them outdoor education. there have been 350,000 kids that have gone through camp olympia's programs. and we have helped them grow in body, mind and spirit. we think -- i think of myself as an environmental educator. we enable these kids to understand the outdoors where things are real. that's my history and background.
since 1990s, when the ipcc started with its climate change propaganda, i took it upon myself to study their findings, read their proposals, read everything i could, read the massachusetts versus epa supreme court ruling, the big thick book to see what they did in 2007. the bush epa didn't provide any scientific evidence on the other side. they basically said that the reason we think we should not regulate co2 is because we said so. that's not a very good argument. it didn't stand up in court, unfortunately. i think that's why they're saying that the science is settled. one of the major mistakes. i have read many books by the
great authors and people that you have for your speakers here today. and they have been my guiding light in terms of trying to understand the science. the scientists have stood up to incredible government, academic, media pressure to -- and presented empirical data. they are the real heros. i'm here to honor you. that's the reason i came to this. i'm not running for office. i'm just a business guy trying do my thing. but before we examine the international movement to eliminate fossil fuels, let's review u.s. energy policy. i understand the energy policy going forward, it helps to consider what we have experienced going backwards. my observation from looking at the past, that governments have always been hungry for power and money. after the 1973 embargo, the u.s.
adopted the emergency allocation act to control energy production. it was written by someone who plays football for the university of texas a couple years ahead of me. he got a law degree. fast as he could write the law he quit so he could be a consultant to interpret a goofy set of laws. in addition to that, they wrote the entitlement program that would help send money from refiners who had domestic sources of crude to refiners that had foreign sources of crude. every quarter, they send $60 million to someone else. go figure. they stopped the use of natural gas to generate electricity. what was i hearing about gas being important for electricity these days? in any case, in 1970s, we weren't supposed to use gas for
that. it was too valuable. all these activities did was restrain u.s. industries production. when the arab nations demonstrated their hostility, which they have done again, it increased our balance page deficit and basically restrai d restrained restraine restrained -- made us more import dependent. when oil hit -- in 1981, oil hit its peak. ronald reagan decontrolled the oil price. by 1986, we had a deep recession and an oil glut. the free market works. during the 1990s, they made predictions about climate. news bulletin, the world is warming. of course it's been warming since 1750. when the ice age ended.
sea levels have been rising. of course, they have been rising for last 100 years. the government and media latched on to the cause. save the world from fossil fuels that produce co2. the ipcc claimed the fossil fwurlz responsib fuels were responsible for climate change. the computer models shows it will have a catastrophic affect on mother earth and its people. they love to sell bad news. those who got $170 billion in federal subsidies in the last decade, the power hungry bureaucrats, the save the world citizens and chicken little reporters, after eight years of being shouted down by the obama administration, his political base. you have the opportunity to present your case for co2 and fossil fuels to the public. i must say the media has done a
marvellous job of not presenting the facts. i just can't think of any more biased presentation. the educational community has not presented the facts. so it is now time in the next four years, if we don't present the facts, when are we going to get a chance to? we need understandable bullet points. the science is hard to condense into ten second sound bites. the truth can be summarized. i got a call to action. i'm here on a call to action to you guys. it's time to go on offense. develop a series of newspaper foldouts with clear, concise bullet points that explain co2's role in life on earth and its beneficial affect on plant growth. co2 always was and always will
be, manic sales, it takes in 390. something tell me how many parts per million you exhale? gentlemen? 5,000. you take in 390 parts per million. you exhale 5,000. what does that tell you about the carbon -- >> 14,000. >> 14,000. >> 40. >> i heard 40,000. is that all verifiable? >> yeah. >> wait a minute. time-out. we have to back up our facts with science. they don't, but we do. i want to be accountable. i don't want to put our a bunch of bs. we're all part of the -- whether it was 5,000 or 40,000, we're part of the carbon cycle. this is all a part of living on life on earth as richard has said.