Skip to main content

tv   Intelligence and National Security Conference Panel on Biotechnology...  CSPAN  October 6, 2017 4:14am-5:07am EDT

4:14 am
and one yellow. >> and hear about lewis and clark's encounters with members of the lucoata sioux along the river. watch saturday at noon eastern and sunday at 2:00 p.m. o histo. working with our cable affiliates and visiting cities across the country. next on c-span 3, the cia and george washington university co-host an intelligence and national security conference. this portion featured a panel discussion about threats posed by biological weapons and biotechnology. >> well, our second panel of the day will tackle the dangers of bio tech, biological warfare
4:15 am
agents and bio-innovation. addressing these issues requires focus not only from the intelligence can community but also development of national and international strategies, consensus on laws, standards, and authorities. we've got an awesome group to shed some light on these issues moderated by my good friend frank sesno, george washington university, dr. charles, the honorable senator joe leiberman, who we're thrilled to get back on campus and dr. roper. so over to you guys. thank you, frank. [ applause ] >> well, good morning, everyone. we are delighted -- i think we're delighted to be hereafter we had the conversation that was such a delight. i think it will be. it's one i think we're all looking forward to.
4:16 am
i thought what we would do before we actually dive into the topic itself is to connect each of you with the topic area and your areas of interest and focus. charles, your a bioscientist with the cia. what else can you tell us about what you do on a daily basis? >> well, i'm a scientist who explains scientific concepts and technology to nonscientists. so i don't actually practice science in a lab anymore. but i use my skills and background to write and communicate to the policy makers we need to provide warning to about the implication of those technologies. >> with a focus on. >> my focus is in biology and microbiology. >> senator leiberman, we all know you from your campaigns. but you've had throughout your career a very serious focus on
4:17 am
national security. and in fact now we'll talk about this, you're also focused on biological crimes and terrorism. tell us a little more about that. >> good. charles said he was teaching scientists to nonscientists. when i went to college there was still a science requirement, but they had a special track for science for nonscience majors. >> i did one of those, too. it was called something like physics for the intimidated. >> yeah. so i took a course. have the year was astronomy, half geology. anyways, so for the last three years i've been privileged to coach here with former security of technology on biodefense. this was not created by an
4:18 am
executive or congressional branches of our government. it sprang up because of concerned individuals, particularly senator, called the -- institute. i've been involved of national and homeland security. i've always worried about the threat of both bioterrorist attacks but also very related in some senses similar risks of infectious disease pandemics, which we probably won't talk about much today. so for the last three years we've done a series of reports. and unfortunately the conclusion was both the threat of bioterrorist attack and infectious disease epidemics is real and growing, and our government is not organized to protect us adequately from it. >> and we will talk about all
4:19 am
that. will roper, i was trying to find the most interesting profile of you. and i think i did. from fox news not too long ago. roper's résume reads like a character back story from the big bang theory. graduated from georgia tech with a masters degree, a road scholar, truman scholar, received a presidential kmenidation and served at georgia schools. second degree black belt in tikwando. >> i'll be very interested to discuss that with you today
4:20 am
especially as applies to biology. it's very interesting when you're brought out from behind the door and there is no paper trail with your 38-year-old modern self. my job in the pentagon is very simple. it's to get the department ready for the next war. we haven't done a lot of thinking about how to get a military that has been relatively predictable but unstoppable over the last 25 years, how to get it ready to deal with modern competition, modern warfare. and bio comes into that very strongly because it is a new kid on the block. it has not been something at this level of maturity from the
4:21 am
private sector with medical research that could provide new effects that don't have the same methods we have. we're going to be playing defense while the rest of the world is playing offense, and defense is always harder. so we'll have the start earlier. >> so let's dive in. the issue of the bio threat really reflects a two-sided coin. in many cases it's a direct result of the opportunities, break throughs that come from biotechnology and biodiscovery. i'd just very quickly like to ask each of you when you think about biotechnology, where do you see the greatest break throughs. before we go to the perils, i'm just interested in what you see as the opportunity. >> i think speaking broadly when we look at the news and see the headlines and whatnot, those approaches and potentially allow the creation of animal models to
4:22 am
discover diseases and math genesis in ways we couldn't do before because we had inadequate model systems. and those models, scientists need to test hypotheses and make new discoveries. those models have been lacking. they were few and not as good. but now with these new editing tools we have the potential to really improve models and make the models faster. and that will allow experimentation to occur to build that period of knowledge and science that can be misused but can also be used for great things. >> senator. >> let me say a word about two sides of the continue first. this is obviously not new in human history. >> right. >> we've got a long track record of people taking advances that improve the way they live and then using them for warfare or
4:23 am
other efforts. so you can go back to creation of fire, which enabled people to do a lot they couldn't do before but also enabled them to hurt each other in different ways. and you could take it right through to today's headlines with the extraordinary growth of information technology, social media. now we find that a hostile country has used facebook, twitter, et cetera to try to control our elections. pretty amazing and unnerving. so we're dealing here with a problem that the human race has faced before. as answers have suggested biotechnology revolution is moving not only to different areas but rapidly. incredibly rapidly. also beginning to use information technology service
4:24 am
based. so what are the great potentials? great potentials, this in some ways you could say this is going to be the century of biotechnology, positively speaking. things will happen as a result of biotechnology that will cure diseases that are shortening our lives, that will enable us to live better in many ways, a user encrypted sample of the infectious disease of pandemic fear. you can imagine a case -- look, next year is the 100th anniversary of the -- epidemic. about 1,500 people died from that pandemic. with genetic sequences, jinetic
4:25 am
developments you can step in quickly. so that's the bright side. >> what excites me is anytime you've got two fields that have not over lapped before, that's exciting. that's as exciting as a reformed scientist that now has the government bureaucrat. i would love to be at the intersection of biology and computer science, which is what gene editing represents. to be able to image molecules at the subatomic model, that would be exciting to be a researcher. biologists that don't understand computer stiens and scientists that don't understand computer biology. there will be greater leaps ahead on the scientific front. we're going to be producing new data, new finds at a rate that
4:26 am
policies and findings won't be able to keep up with. if we're playing defense on this, defense means we're going to have to be better, faster, stronger than any foreign government that my be tempted to make future biological weapons the next class of future weapon. i find the government's not good about recognizing a long-term trend of these slow ticking clocks that are eventually going to go off and making sound investments ahead of time to get ahead of them. >> we know they've led to vaccines, hundreds of them have been developed or in development much more rapidly through the digitization of biology. i was talking to a food expert the other day who was talk about
4:27 am
taking rice and it needing less water. with the proliferation of these technologies and access to the data and informational round, how much more vulnerable are we and to what the. >> i can address one element of that question in the sense that technology is becoming more d democeratized and available. scientists have the ability to troubleshoot problems in biology that aren't just something you find on the internet. you know, there's a certain level of imperical and tas utknowledge that comes with being a scientist. it does temper what you're saying a little bit. on the flip side it is true as these knowledge proliferate that
4:28 am
these discoveries made in medicine could be picked up by a bioweapon here in some dark corner -- >> to do what of? >> to really increase the creativity of some individual to some end. >> i think that's why it's tough for us to figure out, what's the top priority? i could imagine bad actors saying i would like to edit your genome nal way that's going to let me coerce you into acting the way that i want. so basically a long ticking clock or a long fuse, bit of tnt, that i know that's going to go to go off that's going to be a strategic impacter. i worry about artificial biology. i worry about taking biological mechanisms that have been evolving for billions of years
4:29 am
and being around us and giving us features that will likely never happen unless we get in and influence them and not being able to contain the potential like a leak. when you start mixing the artificial and the real, and i think bilogical machines are working. the. >> biological machines. >> that's where a lot of research is going into being able to see the basic mechanical mechanisms that make it work. that's what the nobel prize recently were given about. we're really where our stone age counter parts were. we're trying to find wheels and pulleys but not at the stone level. we're trying to find them at molecular atomic level. maybe our future engineers have huge components you can't even see. so we're back to offense is always going to be easier than defense. so if that's a possibility in
4:30 am
the not too far future, it needs some strategic investments. >> before we go on, your job is to imagine future wars, right? so when you're thinking about that what does that future war that you're thinking about look like? >> i may decide not to go into future weapons that i decide too costly or don't have that technical research in-house. i might decide to go down this biological path that may be cheaper, faster. >> i think you're one step away -- fixing yourself you're one step away from hufrting yourself. so i worry about that because it's a kind of development that would be kind of hard to put your finger on it.
4:31 am
i worry about that kind of future. i worry about a future where there's significant human performance, enhancement. which, again, we will have lots of ethical barriers in the u.s. but other countries won't. and how do you have your operators? one of the great privileges of this job is having our operators. and i go to work every day, but i don't like the idea of them going against the deck that's continuously stacked against them. i think the artificial biology and the biological machines will be a step beyond. but that doesn't mean we shouldn't be worrying about them and investing to deal with the consequences. >> senator. >> really right now we have a pretty good reason to believe our countries that don't wish us
4:32 am
well well -- syrians we know. so the short run danger here that we've talked about in your own investigations is that non-state actors who have been very clear -- terrorists have been very clear they are working on biological warfare capacity probably at a level that is relatively primitive compared to what we've just been talking about, but still capable of doing a lot of damage and taking a while for us to detect. beyond that i was thinking as i was listening to my colleagues that i spent a fair amount of time on cybersecurity the last four or five years i was in the senate. and what was clear to me that's no surprise to anyone in this
4:33 am
room, we were well ahead of our cyberdefensi cyb cyberoffensive capabilities. we were behind in our cyber defensive. a lot of it is cysted by government. obviously there are other countries including china particularly both commercial and potentially belligerent uses, they're investing a lot of money in biotechnology. >> let me ask you about something that was quite controversial and notable at the time. and this is a piece from the bulletin of the atomic scientists that i pulled this from. when the national of science intelligence james clapper
4:34 am
testified a little more than a year ago about jinetic editing, how jinetic editing became a security threat. national security james clapper sent shock waves with his assertion and his worldwide threat assessment test from the senate armed services committee. the genome editing had become a global danger. he went so far to include in his reports, weapons of mass destruction section. said since the discovery of double all the rest. exceeding that of any other technology in human history. biotech is a weapon of mass destruction? >> i think the statement is leaning towards -- biological weapons or future biological weapons could become the next strategic class of weapon. the way that when nuclear weapons were first made, we realized these are very different than a traditional
4:35 am
bomb. and what's different about them, is ha ththat this is a tragic w that in many cases you could reverse the effect of. you could pull the trigger and then unpull the trigger. that means there are strategy eck weapons that will have more appeal or likelihood of use. >> what are you talking about exactly? >> so if you could edit the genome to put in things that are harmful for the people or person targeted then you can undo those. o you've got the poison and an antidote in a way that a nuclear weapon has no antidote. once you pull the trigger, you have to deal with the consequences and the consequences are dire. it's the reversibility of the strategy eck effe strategic effect that i think will be very challenging for us. because it will feel like it has the effect of weapons that you can't take back, but it will have that take-back ability.
4:36 am
you have to keep up with the science. and to the point earlier, a lot of the defense department is well-trained in things that we built in the past century. so how radars work and sensors work and fighters work. but we're not pushing people hard in biology or computer science. >> it will be important to detect genome editing. >> in would be essentially invisible. i'm using a layman's term here. to some extent, it's the next step, it's not really related, but it will be. with the unconventional threats we're paci we're facing in our time. we're most fearful in many ways not of traditional attacks by planes and battleships, et cetera. but by, you know, enemies that sort of walk up to people at a train station in marseille and
4:37 am
knife them or fly planes into the world trade center. it will be essentially invisible. and we have programs now, one called biowatch, our panel's conclusion of this, it's way beneath what we need to create a system in which we can accurately detect an attack as it's going on. honestly, frank, to go back to what you said, looking at history, thinking about the enormous potential for biotechnology used for bad purposes, it's not hard to imagine in the not too distant future for want of a better term, i call a biotechnology arms race, and we're not really ready for it yet. >> charles as a scientist and one of the perennial issues that comes up is regulation of science and surveillance of
4:38 am
breakthrough. >> there have been discussions about conventions and various ways to do that, there's been huge pushback from the scientific community. how do we make sense of this, and what do we need from the perspective of you're watching national security? >> i think balance is important. >> what does that mean? >> balance between the concern of accidents, if you're doing experiments that are perhaps, you know, on the edge, while you're studying disease processes or infectious diseases. the new research done a few years ago with the avian influenza really kicked off a lot of these discussions in this regard, called dual research and concern issue. and that's something that's keenkind of flooded through the scientific community as a buzz phrase. but there are some things that you might need to do that are an a little risky, but they would
4:39 am
enable you to better understand, what makes this virus technically transmissable? how can we develop a better defense against that. i wouldn't claim that i have an answer to that. but, it's something that needs to be thought out pretty carefully. because you don't want to hinder your own defense in the process. >> not to make the problem overly dire. the solution to these ills, we've already mentioned, that there's going to be a huge emphasis on making new biotech the next medicine at a gene level and at a small nano level. so i see a lot of hope if the government starts encouraging startups trying to work in this business to work on things like gene monitoring that can be done inex-pen selfly by people at home, especially if that same monitoring has a lot of medical applications. so the dual use of the technology is a strength if we have a national strategy for how to interweave medical research
4:40 am
and make sure we're not blind on the things we're going to need for national security applications. but the division for most companies in this research is that eventually, this biotech is cheap enough that you're doing it at home on a routine basis. that's why there's hope to try to detect these kinds of attacks in the future, as long as we're projecting it faster than its ill uses. >> this is a perfect setup to the blue ribbon study panel that you participated in that had a gathering just yesterday. >> yes. >> and the document, u.s. not prepared to identify perpetrators of biological crimes, proliferation and warfare. aside from that, mrs. lincoln, enjoy the show. >> right. >> so what, you know, having these surveillance models to be able to bring this home, that's a good thing, it that's like using social media to make us safer. we also know there's a flip side to that. >> so yesterday's session, just
4:41 am
part of our ongoing work was on attribution. let's say we have pretty good reason to believe that a bioterrorist attack has occurred. it's important for our government to be able to figure out, obviously, first, we want to treat people and a host of other questions about whether our public health system is really prepared to do that adequately. but then you want to find out, to the best of your ability, who did it? this also has the parallels -- >> you find out how fast because you need to find out what else they have and what else they're planning to do. >> what else they're planning to do, and in a way, one of the members of the panel who is a former prosecutor approached this from a criminal laup law perspective, which is reasonable, you got to deter it from happening again, but probably the more relevant questions will be in the case of a bioterrorist attack, can you
4:42 am
gather enough information to tell the national command authority, the president, who did this? and then to enable the president to be able and to decide how to respond. >> are we prepared for this? >> no. no. we are, we have some capacity. and there's a lot of people thinking about it, working about it. there's some groups both at defense and state. incidentally, the intelligence community, we haven't talked about this. this is cia-part-sponsored in a way. this is a world of science complicated. but honestly, once again, we're going to need a whole level of intelligence here that will be just critical. i mean, we, without it, we, we won't be able to rapidly, it's not going to be easy, but we need to be, we need to be into hostile parties' labs or whatever, businesses, even. i mean, we just have to be
4:43 am
gathering information so we know who's taken the turn from good biotechnology to bad. >> charles, you want to jump in on that in. >> what i would add to the senator's comments is you face sort of a multi-faceted challenge in an attribution scenario following a biological attack. you have evidence analyzed that might be micro biological in nature. and the way you attribute to an investigation might be fraught with scientific challenges that just haven't been answered yet, because people haven't thought about that particular problem set. they don't give grants in that area. so that's one element, but i would also caution that it's not merely the analysis of micro biological evidence per se, it's party of a larger picture, a puzzle, if you will, of other
4:44 am
pieces of information thaw tht think of as a traditional w whodunit situation. you have the analysis of the physical evidence to generate leads for an investigation and prime the intelligence community to look under rocks maybe we haven't looked under yet. all those things contribute to that puzzle. but i think in the area of the scientific challenges, there are a lot of questions that are unanswered. how do you do analysis of particular types of evidence? what does comparison of viral sequences buy you? you can certainly sequence a lot of things and determine a lot of differences, but can you make comparisons that are meaningful that lead to it a trail back to a potential perpetrator's lab. >> i agree. i totally agree. which is why i ended up talking about the importance of intelligence, as a way to have early warning or a base of information in the case of an attack where you can go back and look at potential sources of
4:45 am
that attack. based on intelligence actually more than what happened in the attack. >> then it comes to your question, the audience questions in just a couple minutes. >> i think the key is, what do we incentivize in the government? so this research is going to have broad funding from, from venure capitalists, because there's going to be huge pay back in medicine. >> already does. already does. it's going to continue to have it. >> it's going to be global. >> global. >> going to be done by multi-national corporations that cross borders. >> my view is what the government can do is to try to create lanes or channels where outside money flows faster, gets the results, gets to profitability earlier. my opinion on this is we ought to be going all in all early in detection in any of these three big veins. that we will not be able to build a wall to keep it out. that's a different kind ofib
4:46 am
technological approach. in my mind, that's probably a dead end before you begin. but we saw the trend happen in the last century where cancer went to basically a death sentence to something that's survivable because we shifted emphasis for early detection. i predict the analog's going to happen here. but we need to incentivize the industry that will get us that detection and cultural awareness for what this means. and that means a government that is much, much smarter on the science and implications of what we've been talking about. >> are you making this a priority in your job? >> this is a big priority for me this year. every year i take on something that is new in the wild west for the department. and this is an area that everything i read i'm excited when i think about personal applications in terms of living longer, living better. but then when i flip it and put my day job hat on i worry. i worry because it's a
4:47 am
look-term -- >> what you are saying is you are, as we speak, in real time, raising this as a priority at the department of defense. >> my goal is to get department leadership more aware, not necessarily giving them the details of the science, but telling them what the implication is, and where the trend is, because we need to make investments. in our r&d funding, which is significant, there's $70 billionish per year. and we need to make smart choices in bio. >> i want to ask you one more. what are, in your view, the actual realities of sort of real-life x-men. the real life genetically altered super athletes, needl s need less sleep, feel less pain. is that something you had to think about it?
4:48 am
is that real? >> >> i had to think about it at south by southwest when i was asked if we are thinking about making a person swim as fast as a shark. >> you didn't invite them to washington? >> i could do the michael phelps gig and raise a real shark and shark week. that's hard for me to see, but i can think about modifications that make people more alert, that allow them to have better attention spans to deal with more data. that avoid fatigue, that avoid the immediate forres rest immediately, to give people better stamina, and all those things to get people ready for the battle field. there are laws and safety checks that have to be climbed. it is one of the hardest areas. if you want to change the mre, which is the meals ready to eat unit, that's harder than
4:49 am
changing a major weapon system. so how we're going to do that against countries that don't have those policy implications and that may be pulling down red tape to just let the wild west happen scares me the most. because i don't like when the slope of development is very different between us and the rest of the world. >> it probably will be in blo biology for the foreseeable future. >> if you look at where we are now, we're at the level of pharmaceutical intervention for enhancement. and that's enabled by the understanding of physiological processes. as we're able to build bert model systems to study things in animals where we can't ethically do things like that in humans you're going to learn more. so you're going to see more improvements in the pharmaceutical aspect. lots of science fiction writers
4:50 am
have written on this well. the x-man is a little far-fetched unless you can find biological corollaries. being a comic book nerd myself. characters like storm who can control the weather, not a biological coronary for that. looks good on the screen. but something like wolverine, the claws aside, he has fast-wound healing. the wound healing is obvious biological corollary. it's a well-studied process. and we still don't understand it fully. lots of cell types. extra cellular matrix, all that kind of thing. but understanding that process will enable better interventions to promote faster or wound healing where it would be difficult to occur, such as severe burn cases and things along those leans. i see those types of advancements more so on the
4:51 am
horizon more so than the super soldier or the x-men. >> i want to go to your questions. our lights come up. go ahead. we'll get in as many as we can. >> excellent significance. my name is john whiler. and a study looking at the impediments. we seem mott to hanot to be abl overcome the red tape that d.o.d. has today in ingesting innovations. if we don't fix that, will the same problems impede us in biotechnology? >> yeah, it will for sure. also in our ability to defend ourselves. one of the things we found in our study of the current state of biodefense in the american government, you're not going to be shocked to hear this. it's disorganized.
4:52 am
it's spread throughout the government. in fact, the government itself can't tell you how much we're spending every year on b biodefense. there's no unified budget. we had to go to the university of pittsburgh to give us an estimate. so let's just talk about two sides of a coin. you mentioned before, part of what distinguishes us is we try to apply rules and values to development. so while we might be able -- and we're going to begin to have the technological, biological capability, maybe not to produce x-men or women, but to move in that direction. it's inevitable. there's a blurring, a bridge, the gaps between organic and inorganic material, the gene editing going on. inevitably, some country's going to do it that doesn't worry about rules. but the other side of a rule-based society like ours is that we get in the way of each other, and we get in the way of
4:53 am
achieving our goals. >> certainly, we've seen that with the olympics, right? in looking at teams where athletes were enhanced and others weren't. and you see this collision of rules and -- yeah. >> yeah. >> another question from the floor. there we go, right in front. i'm sorry, i didn't see you. lights are in our eyes. >> yeah, my question is, has to do with the food change is very sensitive aspect for daily life in any country. as yet, i don't see the fda or any government agency doing more rigorous control, particularly in the waters, particularly on vegetables. having vegetables imported from china. we don't know what earth that was used to grow, what fertilizer they use. so i think this biohazard, it could come very easily in the food change.
4:54 am
>> food. that's interesting. >> food. >> it gets back if we can't make the fundamental sensing unit of biological change, whether modification or artificial feature. if we can't make it cheap enough to make an attachment to your smartphone, then we'll be vulnerable. because it's taylorable and it will hit all -- tailorable. they want to get this where you can consume this new science and where you want to do it because it improves your life. so what's really needed is a national strategy, right? to basically make that consumer investment drive and improve our lives but not leave us with gaps on national security. and my five years in the government -- and that's not nearly enough compared to the senator here -- have shown me that we're not very good at this strategy. we're not good at grand strategies. i think this technology's going
4:55 am
to force us to have one, though. >> just to make sure that you don't get any sleep tonight. so this is another area our panel has looked at, which is bioterrorist attacks on our food supply. we are actually looking at, as the introduction of pathogens, synthetic pathogens into, for instance, poultry in america. that crosses over to humans, but also in our agricultural industry. not even thinking about from abroad. if you start to get into raising safety standards on food coming in, wow, just think about the screaming about globalization, and we're trying to stop trade. but it's a, i mean, it is a real concern. as i study this, i must say i'm both surprised and grateful that
4:56 am
we haven't been, suffered a biological attack by terrorists yet, thank god, because it's, when you think about it, it's not easy, but it's relatively less daunting than other kinds of attacks they could carry out. >> i worry about things like defending the food supply. less about the thing once grown and coming in, but more about attacking the genome of corn or rice or things that without them, there's no, there's no economy within any country that depends on them for their food source. it things that can be attacked in the future. >> i think it was alluded to in before. but as we have a convergence of biology and computer science there then becomes the possibility of essentially hacking into the biology and distorting it to our great harm.
4:57 am
so you can think of a lot of ways that can happen both personally and more broad layly terms of food supply. >> i'd like to add one more thing to that. one of the chief means we need now to detect things is dna sequencing technology. if you look at that, the commercial drivers have pushed that to faster, better, cheaper and smaller. so ultimately, as will alluded to, you know, if you have an attachment on your smartphone that can perform those kind of activities, we're not there yet, but if the drivers continue, that technology will become more diffuse and available to inspectors and others who can screen things, looking for things out of the ordinary. so there is hope on the technology front in that regard. so there are a lot of good drivers ot there f drivers out thayer fere for tha. >> another question. right here? mic is on its way. >> so, as someone that isn't
4:58 am
really a scientist, my question is more on the strategy part. as major powers kind of continue to invest in biotechnology and it becomes kind of a part of the arsenal of most major powers, how do you see it being used strategically? do you see it being kind of like nuclear weapons, where's used as more of a deterrent? or as it's used only covertly? or do you see major powers using this technology openly to harm other people? >> well, i can address that a little bit in perhaps, not directly, but how you might want to think about it. a set of questions you might want to ask and pose to people like well, depending on in other places, if an adversary wants to pursue biological weapons to add to their military toolbox, what might they want to do with it that they wouldn't be able to do with any other weapon system that would provide an advantage in a certain scenario? then you have to kind of game
4:59 am
that out. that's one way to approach it. and, as you do that, you start to narrow your field of the possible. as i said earlier, you know, biothreats are potentially limited by the creativity of the sort of unethical biologist who wants to go down that road, right? >> so game that out. >> i think, this is, again, it's predicting, based on where the science is going, but i predict that there will be a class biological weapon or capability in the future that will designate as strategic in nature. so fitting in the category of nuclear, of major cyberattacks in that it create the an extension threat at the nation or nations at which it is projected and then we'll work on policies and strategies of deterrence to make sure those weapons are never used. and how to draw that line is going to be the difficult thing. it's easy to draw for nuclear
5:00 am
weapons. hard to draw for biological, hash hard to draw for cyber. >> we're almost out of time here. it's been a fascinating and yes, scary conversation. we'll try to sleep this evening. but i'd like to ask you to leave us with a look ahead. what is it that you feel moist needs to be happening within the intelligence community and the government, pick one thing if we have a scorecard and we're going to see ourselves preparing for one of these frightening realities. >> one of the things we look at, how do you stay current with these technologies and imagine their implication, but part of that involves our ability as scientists within the agency to interact with academic scientists on the cutting edge of these things. people in industry and whatnot. they have things that concern them that we might not have thought about. how do you make those connections happen? and it's an area we could have
5:01 am
improvement. >> we need cheap, scalable detection of biological meddling that can be pushed out to individuals. we need to encouple those investments. >> senator, we'll give you the last word. >> thanks. so based on our panel's work, i'd say we need to get our act organized. we couldn't think of anybody, it's possible you could create a position at this national security council to organize. and then to adequately fund intelligence in this area, to continue to create a positive climate for private sector investment in biotechnology. the other thing that say, at this strategic level is that there is now a biological weapons convention. you know, people argue that it hasn't worked very well, but the very fact that it sets a standard. it hasn't worked for everybody, but it's worked for some.
5:02 am
and the question is, does it cover biotechnology weapons? to me, biotechnology weapon is a biological weapon, so it's cover oed. but i think it would be a constructive move if the u.s. would sort of open discussion about more specifically about the threat of biotechnology weaponization through the bioweapons convention and begin to put it on the screen at least for civilized society >> are we going to do that? yes or no? >> yes. i think policies are always behind the science. we need to start having policies that we are updating more frequently. treaties that we update more frequently. because when they are a maid 'r years earlier, there are things they haven't thought of before. >> the 9/11 commission report says it right in the beginning, what we experienced among other things was a failure of
5:03 am
imagination. this is one of the areas that we must not have a failure of imagination, as scary as that might be. [ applause ] >> thank you. saturday night on c-span, an interview with former first lady, michelle obama. she spoke with tv creator and producer, shonda rhimes at the annual pennsylvania conference for women in philadelphia. >> you want to talk about, what was the syndrome? >> imposter syndrome. >> you want to talk about some imposter syndromes? i've sign impos titers at a lot tables. when you are at the table and you are like, oh, you are a fool, and i'm worried about raising my hand? look, i have been at so many tables with so many fools. >> absolutely. >> who were imposters, but. [ applause ] but shame on us if we sit by and
5:04 am
let an imposter talk us down. >> yeah. >> you know? shame on us. that at some point when you know you're right. you know what's right, and then you don't say anything? you know, you see wrong happening and you sit by quietly because you're afraid to fail or you're afraid to -- that's what i want to challenge us as women to be is to, you know, to speak up in all the tables that we're in. because if we don't speak up, our voices are never, are never involved in the process of problem solving. and we don't get to the right answers without our voices. >> you can catch the full interview on c-span this saturday at 8:00 p.m. eastern. sunday night, on afterwards. radio host and contributor,
5:05 am
charles sikes discusses his bock how the right lost its mind. i's joined by tammy bruce. >> donald trump represented something. he certainly represented a big middle finger from voters to the establishment. but if you really, really wanted to deal with some of these issues, you, the republicans would have gone with a ted cruz or a marco rubio or carl ey fiorina, and i didn't. he's a master of twitter. he's a liar, erratic, a fraud. >> not that you have an opinion. >> this was relatively will known. and conservatives who, not that long ago, used to argue that character matters. that the president was a role model. has found a way to rationalize the behavior of somebody who insults women, mocks the disabled.
5:06 am
mocks p.o.w.s, paid a multi-million dollar fine to students who just wanted to get an education. >> sunday at 9:00 p.m. eastern on c-span's book tv. now to a discussion on data analysis, artificial intelligence and threat forecasting. this is part of an intelligence and national security conference, co-hosted by the cia and george washington university. thank you. if i could ask everyone to please find their seats. >> so i get the privilege of actually moderating this next panel. and i can tell you based on the

3 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on