tv House Armed Services Subcommittee Hearing on Sexual Assault at Military... CSPAN February 13, 2019 2:14pm-6:24pm EST
a stick to try to get stuff to im prove and i think it is clear, i'm convinced by the literature, that zoning restrictions are causing major harm to the economy, and if you think about like the way the drinking age got moved or something, maybe there is some creative stuff that could happen, in that space. i think the relocation subsidies, that's something that might db. >> we are going to leave this recorded program, and take you live now to capitol hill, where a house panel is investigating sexual assaults at the u.s. military service academies. we expect to hear from the superintendents from the naval academy, air force academy and west point. live coverage here now on c-span 3. >> i think without any objection, we will start with them in abstemtia and move forward. this meeting will come to forward. my name is jackie spear i'm the
chair of the sub subcommittee of military personnel and i welcome all of you here today, those as witnesses and those as members of the audience. i was profoundly disturbed when i read the annual report on sexual harassment and violence at the military service academies. the results show that after a decade plus of concerted efforts to address sexual harassment and assault, the problem has only grown worse. i believe we all appreciate how alarming these numbers are. i cannot stress enough that this survey is among the best measures of the prevalence of unwanted sexual contact and harassment at any university, company, or organization. the survey has been administered for over a decade, with the same questions and an expert approved measurement. 68% of the students
participated. this isn't a blip, a me too bump, or some accident. it is a clear illustration of a destructive trend and a systemic problem. the report says that in four years, occurrences of unwanted sexual contact increased from 327 to 747. more than doubling the number of sexual assaults at the military academies. now, the term unwanted sexual contact is being defined in the survey by asking very specific questions. which i'm going to read now. lest any of us think that this is some mild tap on the buttocks. the questions are, sexually touched, the question is, unwanted sexual contact behavior, severally touched you,
for example intentionally touching of genitalia, buttocks, breasts, if you are a woman, or made you sexually touch them. attempted to make you have sexual intercourse but was not successful. made you have sexual intercourse. attempted to make you perform or receive oral sex, anal sex or penetration by a finger or object, but was not successful. made you perform or receive oral sex, anile sex or penetration by a finger or an object. those were the questions asked. and the answers to those questions doubled from 327 to 747. what makes this even more disturbing is that the number of reported sexual assaults occurring at the academies remained stagnant. that means the numbers went up dramatically, but the numbers who actually reported stayed the
same. only 12% of assaulted individuals formally reported. so we have to ask the question, why is it that only 12% of those who have been sexually assaulted in the terms that i have just spoken did not come forward? low reports should be no surprise given that half of those who did report were retaliated against. 37% of those reported experienced social os tra six, reflecting a culture defined by victim blaming. one of these 747-plus assaults and 69 unrestricted reports, the academies only convicted four perpetrators. victims report at their own peril. that is the message that is being sent. because they are more likely to face consequences than their perpetrators. the case of air ana bullard, and
stephanie gross, former west point students, who are presently, who had previously appeared before this subcommittee, demonstrate the problem. air ana, a top swimming recruit, was ostracized by her peers when she reported that fellow swim team members had sexually harassed her as a freshman. so who was punished? she was. she had to train alone. stephanie was violently raped the same year and an investigation found insufficient evidence to bring charges against her rapist. after stephanie was raped again, she considered not reporting, fearing that again, no one would believe her. stephanie reported anyway. and her attacker was convicted of assault, but not sexual assault. stephanie and airana face mounting retaliation in the form of mental fitness and drug tests until they chose to leave the academy. this type of treatment for the
brave few that do report deters the rest. meanwhile, half of all women at the academies reported being per vasively or severely sexually harassed in the 2017-2018 academic year. think about that for a minute. one-half of the women cadets and midshipmen reported being sexually harassed. that's 1,622 future officers who start their careers being harassed by their peers. none of them reported formally. not one. sex harassment can be a precursor to assault. we need to appreciate that. the survey also found that only 56% of the cadets and midshipmen think their peer leaders make honest and reasonable efforts to stop assault.
so if the peer leaders are not people you can trust, it shouldn't surprise us that they're not reporting. and despite the department touting relatively high trust in uniformed leadership, that number of 70% is worse than it was two years ago. to live, study, and learn in an environment where harassment is so pervasive, expected, and accepted, that half of all women are harassed, and none report, is a stunning rebuke in the confidence of the system, and a stunning example of perseverance by the young women. my colleagues and i have had the privilege to appoint high school seniors for admission to the academies. it is one of the great privileges we have as members of congress. they are consistently among the best, brightest and most accomplished young people in our communities. they are earnest, respectful and dedicated. and then they go away to school,
and we get this. i wonder if we're missing something when we recommend them. if we should be looking more closely at their moral fitness, or if the culture of these schools is that corrupting. perhaps it is a little bit of both. i do know this. three out of the four high school seniors that i recommended for admission this year are women. women will continue to attend the academies and serve our country. all three academies, freshmen class, have at least 24%, and i understand that next year, the numbers will grow. so the number of women coming to the academies, is only going to grow, and that's why it is essential that we fix this problem. these results don't call for tweaks and adjustments. the superintendents have been touting incremental fixes made after the survey were administered, but there is no
reason we should expect adjustments to change the overall trend. this report is a scathing indictment of the academies' culture. we need to expand our toolbox and use both carrots and sticks to hold perpetrators accountable, and deter others through serious repercussions. academy leaders must promote a strong culture of dignity, respect, educate students on right and wrong, and have zero tolerance for violations. the superintendents have said they're doing much of this. but the problem has gotten worse. leaders must earn student's trust by making good on promises to impose severe penalties on predators. they must treat survivors uniformly. modeling best practices from other academies. and they must address the issues that stem from over 25% of the students self-identifying as being problematic drinkers.
i guess my message really is quite simple. i'm putting the academies on notice. we're putting all of you in the situation where it's time for us to recognize that this is a crisis. and i intend to watch it like a hawk. you know, it's time for us to elevate the brave women and some men who come forward, and knowing full well that retaliation is likely. and instead, take the kinds of actions against perpetrators that will finally rid us of this rot. today, we have two panels. during the first panel, we will have the opportunity to hear from outside experts who have dedicated their careers to these sensitive issues. during the second panel, the department of defense and the superintendents of our military service academies, will explain why their current approaches to
this problem have failed, and how we can rethink our approaches to sexual violence at our academies. i look forward to hearing from all of you today. but before i introduce our first panel, let me offer ranking member kelly an opportunity to make some opening remarks. >> thank you to the chair. first, i want to congratulate representative spear on becoming the chair woman of this very important subcommittee on the very important armed services committee. i want to welcome our fellow members of the subcommittee on both sides. i look forward to working with each of you on all of the issues impacting our service members, and their families. i also am very troubled by the results of this year's annual report, on sexual harassment and violence at the military service academies. just as the nation continues to struggle with an increase in sexual violence, it is clear that the military and our service academies are not immune from this crisis. every cadet and midshipmen is
told from day one that they must rely on each other in order to succeed at the academy. the vast majority of cadets and midshipmen treat each other with dignity and respect and go on to distinguished careers in the military. however, when a cadet or midshipmen preys on another, through sexual assault, or harassment, the betrayal is profound. and shakes the institution to its core. these horrific crimes not only deeply impact the victim, they do wide-ranging damage to the entire academy, and to our society as a whole. the academies have put enormous resources and attention towards improving sexual assault prevention and response. nonetheless, the problems seem to be getting worse. while this is a multi-faceted and difficult issue, one thing is clear. the results of this survey are unacceptable, and the leadership of the military service academies must redouble their efforts in order to fix this
immediately. therefore, i look forward to hearing from both of our panels today, about how to improve sexual assault prevention and response. i'm particularly interested to hear from the superintendents about their plans to address this increase in prevalence. i'm interested to hear more about the efforts to enhance pre-admission screening in order to accurately identify candidates who have character issues that may preclude their admissions. i would also like to hear more about how the economies are improving prevention, and intervention efforts to ensure they resonate with young cadets and midshipmen. finally as a former district attorney who has prosecuted sex crimes, i would like to learn more about how the academy is used in judicial and administrative authorities very to hold perpetrators accountable. one case of sexual assault, violence or harassment is one too many. and one case of sexual assault that is not reported because of systemic problems is sun
acceptable. i want to hear how each of the service academies is proceeding to address this critical issue. with that i look forward to hearing from both of our panels. and i yield back. thank you ms. spear. >> thank you ranking member kelly. each witness will have an opportunity to present his or her testimony and each member will have an opportunity to question the witnesses for five minutes. we respectfully ask the witnesses to summarize their testimony in five minutes. your written comments and statements will be made part of the record. so now we will welcome our first panel, first, retired colonel don christianson, united states air force who is president of protect our defenders. and second, retired colonel lawrence morris of the u.s. army, chief of staff now, to the catholic university of america. welcome to both of you. and colonel christianson, you can begin. >> chair woman spear, and ranking member kelly, thank you for the opportunity to appear before you on this vitally
important topic for our nation's security. as a brief introduction, i retired after 23 years service as an air force jag. during that time, i served twice as a defense counsel, multiple times as a prosecutor, including as the chief prosecutor for europe and southwest asia, and as the chief prosecutor for the united states air force. i have served as a trial judge and i had been selected to serve as an appellate judge when i elected to retire. for the last four years, i have been the president protector defenders, a human rights organization dedicated to advocating for victims of military sexual trauma. we provide attorneys free of charge. and i myself represent clients who are going through the often hostile military justice process. during this time, i have talked with hundreds of survivor, including those from all of the service academies. as congresswoman spear has very succinctly and very correctly identified, there is a huge problem with sexual assault at
the academies. the one thing that i really think needs to be brought to the committee's attention is these rates compare to the active duty force. 16%, just about 16% of the women at the academies are sexually assaulted. that is four times the rate of the active duty force. for men, 2.4%. that's three times the rate of the active duty force. these are sobering estimates. especially when we compare that to the active duty force. yet accountability for perpetrators is almost nonexistent. last year, only four offenders were convicted at a court martial for their offenses and a tiny handful were discharged this. should be a make wakeup call for academy leadership. the failure to weed out perpetrators means that hundreds of sex offenders are commissioned into the active force every year.
that should be very sobering. every year, hundreds of sex offenders are commissioned into the active force. we can only imagine the impact this has on the military's ability to address sexual assault and harassment throughout the services. a service academy commission undoubtedly gives an officer an advantage for competition for promotions, command, and ultimately the obtainment of general and flag rank. the last three chiefs of staff of the air force, and five of the last seven have been air force academy grads. the current chief of naval operations is a naval academy grade. the academies have an impact on the active force much greater than the actual numbers of their graduates. it is for this very reason that congress, the president, and the american people, must demand solutions to what is going on. however, i fear the reality of the rampant epidemic of sexual
harassment and assault is not being accepted by leadership. i also fear that leadership does not understand the level of distrust that the survivors have of the chain of command. when i talked to academy survivors, the constant i hear is the fear of leadership, the fear that leadership won't believe them, the fear that leadership will not hold the offender accountable, the fear that leadership will drive them from the academies, where they report and the numbers bear witness to that. 31% of the air force academy women, and 32% of the women at the naval academy, do not believe that senior leadership is making an honest and reasonable effort to stop sexual assault. almost a third of the women attending those two institutions do not trust senior leadership. is it any wonder that women are reluctant to report when they're more likely to be forced out of the academies, and then end up
paying in hundreds of thousands of dollars in tuition, than they are to see their perpetrator held accountable? despite sexual assaults being up 50% from two years, and over double from four years ago, report rates as a percentage have plummeted. unrestricted report, the kind of reports that allows us to prosecute a case, are actually down to 8%. 92% of the victims do not report in a way that can result in an investigation. we cannot solve this crisis if men and women are afraid to report. and again, what does this mean? that the perpetrators are commissioned officers and future leaders on our active force. leadership controls every aspect of the discipline process. it is time for them to acknowledge that this is in their control, and as it is time for them to ask and for to you ask what tool have they not had
in the last 20 years that they need now, and what promise are they going to make, that they are actually going to carry out with. thank you. and i look forward to your questions. >> colonel morris? >> thanks, chair woman spear, and members. i'll just try to highlight a couple of things from my prepared remarks. it was my great honor to serve 30 years in uniform. 27 of them as an active duty judge advocate. and three as a reservist tanker in milwaukee while i was in law school. a a pretty typical army career trying cases all over the world, later supervising people who tried cases in normal installations, and in bosnia, southwest asia, and had the privilege of advising commanders and later on supervising counsel on both sides of the courtroom. including when i served as the army's chief defense counsel, the one job that i did seek during my career. also was the chief prosecutor at guantanamo bay, and the sja, or
general counsel at west point. i helped initiate the army's training program regarding sexual assault for prosecutors and defense counsel after i left the army and then again at catholic university since then. i also served on the response systems panel from 2012 to '14, on the, i'm the son and father west pointers and the father of a marine. today, i'm just here giving my own opinions. the four matters i would like to mention and first off, i expect i differer little in my biases and expectations from colonel christianson. we had parallel careers in many respects, starting from the same law school in wisconsin, and i think we both have a particular affection for and loyalty to people who serve. first point about data. i'm not an expert in looking at the data that has been produced, and i think at least it has to be taken for the idea that there is an intract ability to this problem. it is not unique to the military. it is not unique to the
academies. but it's stark in the way it presents itself. and poses the question of how to care for, make people feel protected, and confident in the system. it is, it caught my eye, though, that also, there is a relatively high level of confidence by the cadeted a midshipmen in their senior leaders so we do expect more of the academies, but that was a notable contrast. second on training, training is not a panacea, but it does work, and it is part of the solution. i think in the military, we have what is sometime considered the con seat that we can train out of anything and train to most any standard, and the ambition or behavior. tougher to do. sexual behavior is harder to train out of than let's say smoking or drug and alcohol abuse and those sorts of things. and in addition, society's messages regarding sexuality, are not always clear or consistent to the emerging
adult, and our students at the service academies come from that same culture. still, training plus accountability is part of the approach. third point, administering discipline, where the military is unique and particularly well-suited to the range of sexual potentials, because it has a uniquely rich range of fative and disciplinary options. it gives the opportunity rightly exercised to snuff out the sort of precursor behavior, and hold somebody accountable and send a message of accountability to survivors and observers, besides the person himself who is, who sees the system against him. i'm sure as well though, that my experience isn't unique in having taken to trial in military courts cases that civilian authorities would not pursue. last points, on some fundamentals of the system, and some cautions. it seems cun of the we questions you're tang ling with is whether
and how much to trust commanders and their counsel to rightly exercise the considerable justice-based instruments available to them. if you think commanders are unsuited by training, not being lawyers, or perspective, considering they might be self protective or some reason disinclined to attack sexual misconduct, then you might want another system or a great change to the current system. my sense is that commanders are pledged to care for, enforce, the good order and discipline, and that the uniting of command authority with discipline authority levened by the required and appropriate involvement of judge advocates along the way, is appropriate to the requirements of the service and the expectations of command. so disassociating that authority would reduce accountability, and not enhance discipline in general, nor in the realm of sexual misconduct in particular. last point. defending soldiers and poefrping and training defense counsel is the hardest and most rewarding
work i did in my career. i am also aware of the risks of unlawful command influence and believe like our appellate courts there is such a thing as command influence in the air. that some participants in the system might be inclined to convict or have harsher punishment based on a commander's predilections. so in fixing the problem, it is care to take care to preserve the integ result of the system for all participants. >> finally we should seek cautious in seeking justice metrics that might provide some insight into the workings of the system, but alone shouldn't the major indicators of success, in combatting sexual assault. thanks for the opportunity to be here. >> thank you, colonel morris. colonel christianson, what's stunning to me about this report is that we see the increase in sexual assault go up 50%, and we see the incidents of
retaliation, being such a factor in the unwillingness to report. why, in your estimation, has the prevalence of assault at the academies gone up so much? well, from my conversations with cadets at the academy, there is a perception among many that senior leadership does not care, and as you see, there's such a lack of accountability, so if a perpetrator, they understand that the odds of them ever being punished are almost zero. probably have a better chance of being struck by lightning. and so there is absolutely nothing to dissuade those who would committee sexual assault from doing so. and then you have the problem of trust. and the women and the men do not feel that they can come forward and report without them suffering more consequences than
their perpetrator suffer, they won't come forward. last, i believe two weeks ago, the air force academy finally got a conviction of a cadet for digitally penetrating another cadet without her consent. he got a whole whopping 75 days of confinement, while facing 30 years of confinement. so we have a process that doesn't deliver. a sentence that deters. and then after this happened, from several sources, at the academy, cadets who have contacted me, and said that there is a rampant social media campaign shaming the victims. and that is the kind of stuff that has to stop. and it has to be an acceptance by leadership that this is going on. i think one of the biggest problems is, is that the leadership hears these numbers, but they truly do not internalize them as a problem. and i'm not necessarily talking
about the superintendents. i'm talking about the people in between the superintendents and the cadets. i had an opportunity to meet with the vice command ant of cadets at the air force academy last year, i was representing a young cadet, that they were talking about kicking out, after she reported. and i asked him, i said, have you ever talked to a survivor, when it wasn't an adversarial process? and he said i don't have time for that. and to me, that was such the wrong answer. because you will never know what is your vives are go, survivors are going through if the only time you talk to them is when you are trying to kick them out of the institution. so i think those people that are in the middle need to accept that there is a problem, and they need to be willing to ferret out those who are shaming
victims. >> one of the issues that comes to my mind, having spent time with all of the superintendents over the last few days, is that there is really a difference that exists in how they handle the cases. for instance, in some of the academies, a victim can take a sbat sabbatical. in others, they cannot. some may want to transfer to another academy. and that hasn't been an opportunity made available to them. some have wanted to, in some situations, there is going to be recruitment, not just at the junior and senior level but at the freshman and sofr more level, where a cadet is found to have sexually assaulted. do you have any thoughts on whether it's time for us to make sure that all the academies follow a similar process in terms of the kinds of resources
that are available to the victim survivors? >> absolutely. i think it is time for them to have a unified front. the cadets and midshipmen understand that they're going to be treated the same, no matter where they're going to school. and this has been a complex issue that they've taken individually, versus unified manner, and so therefore, you know, i don't think there is enough of an effort to see what's making at west point, is that going to work at annapolis, is that going to work at the air force academy. i also, you know, one of the difficulties that we face in the military, is we have what we call the uniform military code of justice, and the uniform doesn't mean what we're wearing, it means that it is supposed to be the same. and each service has their way of doing things that often pull apart what is actually supposed to uniform. and i think there would be great benefit for, especially in the academies, each one of them,
focusing on how do we do this jointly. >> thank you. ranking member kelly. >> thank you again, chair woman spear. i'm of the view that we need to fully acknowledge the problem. and we have a problem. and i think we're doing that. but we need to get to work on fixing it immediately. mr. christiansen, what are some of the specific things the service academies are not doing that they should be doing to reduce sexual assault and sexual harassment, from your perspective? >> i think number one thing is trust, and that trust results in reports, so for example, in the air force academy last year, they had 29 reports of sexual assault out of over 200 actual cases. of those 29, 20 of them are restricted reports, which for those, if you don't understand, that means they can't be prosecuted. that means only nine people out of over 200 actually report, and what did that get?
it finally got one conviction. i think that there's a definite value to training. i'm not anti-training. i just don't think it is the panacea. i think one of the things, as a prosecutor, talking to a prosecutor, is acknowledge that prosecution is one way to deter crime. prosecution is another way to send a message to survivors, that we are going to take you seriously. the second thing i would say, is that i think there is a problem across both the active force and the, the academy is the experience level of people who are acting as investigators and acting as the prosecutors. the services have to commit to making sure that we have the most experienced and best people doing those jobs. we have a ton of talent in the military. but they often get rotated out of those jobs very quickly. and as a prosecutor, i think you would agree with this, that 90% of the cases won or lost before
it ever reaches you, by the great work done by investigators. and if they don't uncover what you need, it is kind of tough to finish it up at trial. so we need to make sure we have the best investigators possible. and again, this isn't a slam on the people doing it. they're very dedicated. very hard working, but they don't stay in those positions long enough to become the experts they should be. >> thank you very much. as a former commander, who has administered ucmj at the brigade level and former district attorney who has seen the inside of both the grand jury and a courtroom, i think that is very important to look at, how do we collect the facts, how do we get the evidence, because the case is only as strong, so a very good point kernel christiansen. mr. morris, you have experience in the civilian setting and the academy setting and what is the difference between how universities settle sexual assault investors service academies and are there any best
practices that civilian universities are using that we can adopt? >> the similarity is in prevention and education, and the great difference is in adjudication. so i don't think there is much difference in the way you have to smother your student population with information about sexual assault and about prevention and about dignity and respect and all of those factors that contribute to somebody's behavior. and as i mentioned before, you are taking a product of society, into some degree, reorienting those individuals. in theed a adjudicative process, a great difference. under title nine, of course, there is the expectation, since the dear colleague letter produced by the obama administration, in 2011, to
essentially set up amateur, informal court systems, adjudicative systems, and they have proved to be really tough to manage. all coming from the right impulse of attacking this behavior and having a system that has enough credibility that it cares for the survivor, and sends a message to the other students, that this process has the possibility of bringing about justice, that it stings enough to correct that person's behavior, hold that person accountable, and deter others. the difficulty there is it is really qusi and quasi--judicial, you are allowed to have counsel there but they can't speak, there is not direct cross-examination, all of the things that are limited because they are just, they are created and kind of cooked out of the university's processes. so the contrast is the military system of course has that full
range of administrative and nonjudicial options and corrective training and all that available to it, besides the cases that are appropriate to get to a court martial. >> i agree that training alone, we can't train ourself out of this crisis. i'm at a loss to see how removing the commander and the authority of a commander, which has many more tools than i can tell you as a former district attorney and prosecutor, has many more tools available than just a prosecution side. i'm at a loss to -- do you know any way in which removing the commander from sexual assault prosecutions improves the situation? >> i think i understand where the impulse is coming from, because it comes from a point of frustration of feeling like we are many years into this and haven't been able to crack it. while understanding that, my sense is almost to go more in the other direction, to hold commanders more accountable, to
be still more demanding on those leaders to turn this around and to use all of the levers that are available to them. so the removal of them then makes them less accountable, disincentivizes them as opposed to providing extra ensinni ince. >> my final question. this one i think is really important. meeting with all the service academy super inintendents -- o of the things -- senior dod officials. one thing that's apparent is you have competing chains of leadership, of leaders. you have the superintendents that are professional officers and soldiers and should conduct themselves that way. you have the pressure from a group and having three children of my own, i understand sometimes the peer pressure can be greater than parental or teacher pressure.
so what can we do to reduce the amount of peer pressure so that they feel comfortable among their peers reporting and also feel that same peer pressure to keep them from doing sexual assaults or harassment? >> one of the unhappy results of this long-term struggle at all institutes of higher education is that there's a pretty well understood set of best practices in terms of education and prevention. you can vary from school to school. but there's an understanding of hitting them -- at our school, you have to do online training before you walk into class, first day of school in august. then they have mandatory training all along the way. there's this thought of what the industry calls booster shots at each year so that as their perspectives on the world change, catching them again and trying to reinforce the right behavior.
it is the sustained aspect of it more than anything else. >> thank you. i yield back. >> thank you. >> thank you, madam chairwoman. colonel, could you explain the difference between restrict and unrestricted reports? >> i'd be happy to. about 2004, 2005 time frame, congress looked at the reporting problems. one of the problems was that many victims were looking for mental health treatment or medical treatment, talked to an attorney, talked to a chaplain or something. when they did that, because we don't have, for example, medical privilege in the military, they would go to the e.r., say i was just raped, i just want treatment, i'm not looking for an investigation, but they had to be reported.
so congress said, we need to do something about that. they gave the option of restricted reporting. restricted reporting allows the survivor to go to mental health, go to medical, go to the victim advocate, go to an attorney, go to the chaplain and get whatever service they believe they need without it starting a corresponding investigation. an unrestricted report is if the military finds out any other way that there's been a sexual assault, by law that must result in an investigation. by law, that investigation must be done by one of the criminal investigative services, ncis, cid, osi. so if a survivor tells her commander, that's unrestricted. survivor tells a friend, that's unrestricted. survivor tells osi, that's unrestricted. >> that victim still gets
services as well? >> yes, yes. >> you just kind of said -- can you go through that again? who are mandatory reports? if a vehicle. >> tommy: covictim cop comes too is required to report that sexual assault? >> anybody wearing a uniform other than the attorney, such as special victims attorney, medical, mental health, chaplain. they tell anyone else, it's a mandatory report. >> according to this report and your statement, 92% of the victims are choosing to do a restricted report rather than to tell somebody who would have to then report it? >> actually, 92% aren't telling anyone.
about 4%, depending on which academy you are at, about 4% to 8% are doing restricted reports. somewhere around 6% to 8% are doing unrestricted reports. >> colonel, with your experience at a university, civilian university, if somebody came to an individual or doctor there at the university, would that doctor, physician, counselor, be required to report that assault? >> they would not. only under the narrow areas in the law where there's mandatory reporting. of course, that's mainly of minors. >> one of the problems i see -- i understand the concern of the victim. we want to take care of the victim and have their privacy. if they are continuing where they don't feel comfortable where they can report it and people are going to go and be --
held accountable for their actions, we're in the situation now, like you said, where sexual harassers, people commit sexual assault, are going into the military service now more or less maybe with the opportunity to do it again and commit that crime again. what recommendation would you have to get around this to where we can go and to make the victim feel comfortable where they can do an unrestricted report? >> number one is understand what a survivor is going through. somebody who has sexually assaulted is usually suffering from ptsd. ptsd is going to affect their ability to succeed, a lot of times. it can result in minor misconduct. it can result in counterintuitive behavior and destructive behavior.
what we see too often is that the academies turn that natural impulse from being a survivor into a reason to kick you out. that's the message that's being sent. the second thing i would say is making sure survivors understand it, if they choose to want to pursue justice through a court-martial, that that is something that if the evidence is there, it's going to be taken seriously and done. i think commanders have a role regardless of who makes the ultimate decision to prosecute. i just think that the person who makes the ultimate decision to prosecute should be a very experienced, seasoned jag, not a commander. what needs to be understood is that within the military, there are 14,000 or so commanders. there are only 400 of them that have general court-martial convenient authority. only 140 of them use it. commanders have a role everyday
to become short of prosecution. when we talk about non-judicial punishment, we talk about administrative actions that the colonel talked about, those exist. but a survivor has to have faith. there was a survey done by the iran afghanistan veterans of america that was release aid coupa couple weeks ago. they asked thousands of veterans and active duty members, would you be more likely to report if a prosecutor made the decision than a commander? over 50% said yes. only 3% said no. professionalizing the system would go a long way. >> thank you, madam. as a medical doctor, i can tell you, it takes courage when you are an assault victim and
survivor to step out of the shadow s and tell your story. this is for both of you. i do believe the academies are trying to work this out, find the right solution. specifically, for both of you, what programs have you seen that work? what programs would you change to help allow that survivor, that victim to step out? >> i don't have a program as such to recommend. i have watched programs now, particularly when i was -- when i served at west point, and then watching it in the civilian world. the greatest thing is to make no assumptions about the experience or perspective of these 17, 18 and 19-year-olds as they come through the door and to work
from a standpoint of kind of institutional humility on information they would need to make right decisions. we have a little more freedom at a private catholic school to fully bring out issues of how those choices are made and framed. the biggest thing is to have a plan that isn't perceived by the students as this obligatory burst of stuff and then they don't hear about it again or then there's a display or something later in the year. it is a prepared, planned out, sustained program that grows as the student works his way through the school is the greatest part. then you don't lose them. they have a sense that they must take this seriously. they are talking to me about this again. >> a continuing education? >> certainly. >> so to speak. do you have any comments? >> this isn't unique to the academies. i think one of the most important things that has been done -- this is a result of
action by congress -- was the creation of the special victims counsel, victims legal counsel program. i think that's the most ground changing legislation that has been passed concerning military justice. it is a game changer for survivors, because they have somebody in their corner. beyond that, i will give the general a credit. he speaks passionately. i think those words need to be heard. one of the problems though with command being in charge is if the general speaks too passionately, speaks critically of certain processes or if any of the superintendents do, that creates unlawful command influence. it's one additional reason i think commanders need to be freed to be advocates for change, without having the burden that if they talk too much as a commander, too much as
somebody who says this is unacceptable, that it creates unlawful command questions. >> to both of you, the way i understand it, most of the retaliation is from peers. what can we do to prevent that? >> i don't have a particular perspective on that other than in my prep for this that really struck me that there seeps ms te a substantial amount of that. you see the contrast between the cadet trust of the peers and the leaders. really high level, 80%, of leaders. in the 40s and 50s of their peers. the peers always have the greatest influence. in the academy, you don't have much volition in how you live. looking at it as somebody who once served there and looking at the new data, if i wereconcentr
be building whatever makes the peers not a trusted source of support and encouragement and deterrents. >> do you have a comment? >> i would say that there needs to be a greater attention to social media and the impact of social media on shaming of victims. from clients i talk to, that's a huge problem is the social media bullying. i know that's not necessarily easy for the academy to follow. but i think they should make efforts to see what's going. when they see that that is happening, for example, people shaming the victims in the case last week, that they need to speak out about leader -- leadership needs to speak out. >> let me point out that when they come to the kad meacademy, are overseen by the senior
leadership. they go to sophomor junior year, they are overseen by senior leaders within the actual military academy who are also cadets. it's cadet leadership that is overseeing sophomores, juniors and seniors. we will now go to miss holland. >> thank you, madam chair. thank you both for being here today. what roles do senior academy leaders have in preventing and responding to sexual response and harassment at academies? second, how do you believe senior leaders should be held accountable for continued increased rates at those academies?
>> i think the role is the central focus of each academy, what can the superintendent do. they are the voice. for those who haven't served in the military -- many of you have. when you are a cadet, people like the general and others are gods. their words matter. being that vocal person, holding people accountable, whether it's people on their staff who are retaliating, holding cadets accountable who retaliate. i think retaliation is one of those huge problems that they really need to tackle. i'm sorry. your second question? >> excuse me. how do you believe senior leaders should be held accountable for a continued increase in rates? >> i say this mindful that they are sitting next to me. i would say that there are certain times we need to let
people go, move them on if they aren't getting the job done. there seems to be institutionally now in the military a reluctance to hold senior leaders accountable. general eisenhower fires half his generals over the war. it's almost rare -- it's a rarity a general is told now you are not getting the job done, time to move on. i think that's it. how many times do you get to fail before you are fired? >> i agree and don't have much to add. the superintendents are just phenomenal phenomenally in charge of those institutions, even in some ways greater than a division commander or some equivalent in the field. so they are able to marshal all
of that authority and prominence in constructive ways. when i was the staff judge advocate of west point, one thing our superintendent did was went to women's sports games more than men's. just one micro piece of making clear that we really all are part of the same team. it then requires at times to leverage that prominence and that power to potentially be unpopular be being just inflexible on matters like sexuality in particular and driving home in all the ways you can with those at peer and near peer levels a s and accountabil. the traditional army, military methods of holding senior leaders accountable is appropriate. >> thank you so much. i yield my time. >> mr. bergman. >> thank you, madam chair.
thanks to both of you for your decades of service. because as sjas and legal advice to commanders, good commanders rely on you for good, sage advice to make wise decisions on behalf of whatever unit they have in command of. that's not easy. it's not exact. you mentioned you used statistics comparing academy to active duty. did your active duty stats also include a breakdown of officer and enlisted? >> it does, although, i could not off the top of my head tell you what it does -- or what those are. obviously, in the active force, crime rates are higher among -- >> the point is, you have got --
you entered academy at the age of roughly 18. there's a good chance you will enter the enlisted ranks at the age of 18 or close. if you are going into an officer program, you know, you are going to enter as you become an officer, it's going to be -- you will be 22, 23. in your testimony you said that congress needs to either, quote, empower military prosecutors to lead the process and decide whether to prosecute cases or if necessary, turn over all academy cases to the relevant civilian justice systems, end quote. back when you were on active duty, you successfully prosecuted many cases that civilian jurisdictions simply refused to. my understanding is that the services still prosecute sex-related offenses that would never be taken to trial by
civilian prosecutors. what is the basis then for believing at this point that the civilian system would be better? >> yes, i have prosecuted many cases. and i have prosecuted cases that were declined by sufficient ici systems. remember, there are cases being prosecuted right now in the civilian system that military would not have prosecuted. >> what precipitated the change? you were on one side and you were successful. is there some tool that you used or the folks on your team used to successfully do these that no longer exists in military side? >> there's no tool. but what we are looking at is a failure at the academies. >> so what i hear you saying then is that you -- we have a long-term failure that has fallen outside the realm of the
services or the academy's ability to use the effectively? >> it's not being used effectively if you have four convictions. there were 70 reports that were unrestricted. four resulted in conviction. that tells me that we're not doind doing a good job. >> what's changed? >> what's changed since when? >> to cause the change. >> i'm sorry. >> if you were successful but now we're not being successful, what's changed? >> i can arrogantly say i'm not there anymore. >> that's a good assessment. >> that's not the case. >> before we run out -- my time -- do you have any comment on that situation? >> on the issue of -- >> transitioning the cases to civilian as opposed to under e
the -- >> i do. i have thought about it a lot. it's the thing that all of us discussed and argued about among ourselves as we worked our way through the system from both sides. i have a pretty strong sense that a system that reinforces the authority of commanders in military justice is appropriate to the expectations we have of commanders. you have to unite the responsible -- the comprehensive responsibility that a commander has for his or her people is like nothing else in society. to extract the ability to bring discipline from that makes that commander less effective. it's not to say all commanders are the perfect fonts of wisdom. it's understood to be in most respects with the counsel of judge advocate. the frur the rules require there's
sufficient evidence to go forward. >> i see my time is expired. i yield back. >> thank you. miss davis. >> thank you very much, madam chair. thank you to you for being here as well. nice to see you again. i know we were working on these issues for many, many years. rather than go back and review some of that, there are a few more specific questions i have. one is, you mentioned that one of the good stories out of this is the special victims advocate. i would agree with that. i think that we have at least had good reports coming back from time to time that the training and the ability to actually testify on behalf of a victim was very -- made a big difference really in the way that victim was seen, i think and understood. do you feel that that's so in the academies? the role of the special victims counsel is one that you see
reflected even for active duty the same? is there a difference? >> i think they're probably similar. going back to what i talked about before, what i see is a lack of experience. special victims counsel, all the ones i have dealt with are dedicated, fighting very hard f for their clients. the first survivor is when they are counsel. i can't specifically speak to all the special victims counsels at all three institutions. the ones i deal with are trying. what i have seen of my experience with them is that mistakes made by a lack of experience that have resulted in less justice than i think could have been. >> thank you. i wanted to double-check with that. i know you had that regular
university experience. it is a catholic university. perhaps there are different expectations. could you speak to really the differences that you see? we would think it would be cultural perhaps. i'm particularly concerned that as sophomores, there is a difference at the academies in the rate of reporting that we have seen. one can suggest that perhaps the pressure on students is different as freshmen. as sophomores there's a little more freedom. what do you think is different? i'm wondering whether -- if you were to look at all that goes on in the academies, is there any difference you think between the pressure that young people are under? we know it's tough. academically it's tough. socially it's tough.
physically it's tough. there are differences. how do you compare that to university? >> i think no doubt there's an intensity at the academies that there isn't an equivalent to in many civilian universities. the harder question out of that is then, what out of that entire package of heavy regimentation on so many parts of your life -- is there any correlation between that and what looks to be some reluctance or some lack of confidence to report? does it relate to how we're running the academy? does it relate to always being a minority, no matter how high the numbers are, you have three-quarters, 80% to 20% split. when you look at the relationships, which seems to be such an ongoing concern, it's bother with the men but also with other women.
are there aspects of even energizing that subpopulation of upper class women? >> do you see any reluctance to look at that? on the part of the academies, on the part of others who deal with this issue. how central is that? i'm not suggesting that that alone is something that we need to be aware of. but i'm just raising that question as we look at those statistics. it is interesting to note the difference between freshmen and sophomores and going on to juniors. perhaps that's something that -- i hope our superintendents will address that in a little while. my time is running out. any last minute thought about that? >> i'm outside my competence on current academy operations. we have looked at -- we had for a while a declining order of
confidence as people got to be -- as women got to be jean jur jean yo juniors and seniors. they had a legacy perspective of a not very strong reporting culture. then we saw that change with the next wave who worked through, which just reinforced the idea that a continued drum beat then we ended up with jean juruniors seniors with less faith. >> your time has expired. i would say that one of the things we should look at though with the special victims counsel is how they are being utilized. with one of the victims that i spoke with, she only ever talked to her special victims counsel by phone. we might want to evaluate the actual exchanges that take place and whether we need more resources there. miss cheney, you are next. >> thank you.
thank you for holding this important hearing. i commend you and our witnesses for being here today. this is an incredibly difficult set of issues that both of our witnesses have pointed to the fact that it's something we're dealing with across the nation. certainly our service academies but at probably every single institute of higher learning. looking for ways that we can address the issue, that we can effectively address the issue and that we can reduce the numbers is a priority for every one of us. i wanted to ask a couple questions. you began talking about the issue of restricted reporting versus unrestricted reporting. it sounded to me like you were saying that the numbers in terms of cases that are brought to prosecution are clearly affected by the fact that some of the reports are restricted. can you address that? i think we share the view it's very important for victims to be able to get help and support without telling them they must
absolutely go public. it sounded to me like you were suggesting the restricted reporting is some sort of a difficulty or a challenge. >> as a prosecutor, you are frustrated by restrict report because you know there's a crime out there that you can't address. it's not without controversy. >> are you advocating change? >> no. the reason i'm not is because for survivors, they tell us tea very important. >> exactly. i appreciate that. the issue of alcohol, i think any conversation about sexual harassment, sexual assault on college campuses, including the service academies, has to get into this issue of alcohol. i would be interested to hear both of your perspectives what we can do at our academies on that issue in particular as it relates to these set of attacks.
>> i think that's a great question, representative cheney. obviously, alcohol is a factor. i think it's too easy to look at as a panacea. if we get rid of alcohol, it goes away. >> there's no panacea. >> i think deglamourization is important. i think that's where the -- a lot of this responsibility goes on the seniors at these academies who are of the legal drinking age to ensure they set the right example. i talked to grads who said, i remember when i was a first year being ordered by the senior to find alcohol for him. my job was to bring him a case of alcohol. you were supposed to leave it in the staircase. that's something that needs to be rooted out. you can't have a culture that allows that.
getting at alcohol clearly is something that reduces a risk factor for sexual assault. >> thank you. >> i think you can't emphasize that enough. alcohol plus youth plus first time unsupervised. there's a giant correlation and i think indisputable. it's both the formal stuff, how do you keep it away, informal of managing even if a person is going to drink and then letting other things go on. there used to be a discussion at west point about when the club would close and the seniors would stream their way back to the barracks, not all of them sober. you talk about the harder right. it makes clear to those leaders that you don't take the guys to new york city to drink underage. you do step up and provide an example, unpopular, constructive example that has an impact on the rates of assault.
>> thank you. i think again, i'm sure all of us on this panel agree that we need to do better across the board. i would like colonel morris to get your perspective. as we look to improve the system and look at what's going on in the civilian world and look at the possibility of removing these cases from the command authority, is there something that you see in the civilian world particularly on our college campuses that would make you think that would somehow be more effective? >> no. we have had -- we have a good relationship with mpd here in washington. of course, of course there's a reluctance to try the marginal case. military -- i'm generalizing from my experience but not my personal one, but my time serving. much more willing to try the close case, willing to take a chance and lose the close case for the collateral benefit of
serious sal daolidarity of the m and know you are brought through the process even if you escape not convicted. you have exercised the process in a way that has an impact on those who observe it and not just the principles involved in the case. >> thank you very much. my time has expired. >> there's ten minutes left. we will continue until five minutes before. we want to try to finish this panel before we bring the superintendents in. >> thank you very much for being here today and talking about this important issue. i just wanted to quote back colonel morris a comment you made in your opening remarks that you are not an expert in looking at dad ta. i wanted to note that there seems to be sharp disparities in the data. it seems the number of women that the academies over time would pass the 40-year mark of
having them at the academy. i'm a graduate from 20 years ago. are we normalizing the data as the number of women that the service academies grows? based off of the number of women in the population at the service academies. >> i can't answer that for you. >> there was a reference by both of you early on in your remarks that we have seen a 50% increase over last year. i'm looking at the data. i'm looking at first the number of reports for west point, for the military academy, went from 43 to 48 reports. the way that it is estimated -- this is the blue dots on the chart. cadets estimated to have experienced unwanted sexual contact based on the survey prevalence rates, the best i can tell this is an extrapolation from the number of reports to correlate to the number of incidents that happened. if you look at that from from one to the next at the military
academy. it looks as though the jump, which is an alarming amount, however if you base it off the number of reports, which more than doubled themselves, could this not indicate that we have an improved reporting rate versus an increased number of actual incidents? it's unclear the way the me methodology is written how such a significant jump can take place in that two-year period. to discount the fact that actually reporting has gone up, because reading the comments of what the superintendent at each academy has done, it shows they have taken measures to improve reporting. i did have the opportunity to sit down with the superintendent from the naval academy earlier this week. the simple affect of having moved the location of the person that you go report to to a more out of the way spot that was not as visible. midshipmen wanted to report, had a significant impact on their
willingness to report and what they felt a more confidential way. during the earlier remarks, i heard you say that senior leaders trust -- trust in seener leadership that people would report was an issue. i read the report. they have confidence their leadership is taking correct action in order to prevent these incidents. i'm hearing one tone in your remarks but that's not matching the data that's indicated here. can you explain the difference? >> first, on the data you talked about, i broke that down to the women. the overall academy rate, for example, might be 80%. but at west point -- excuse me,
annapolis and colorado springs, what you see is among women who have the higher sexual assault rate, their satisfaction rate or confidence rate was about 70%. you can say, that's great, 70%. when i was chief prosecutor, i had 20 prosecutors working for me, a third of my prosecutors thought i wasn't doing a good job, i would think i was failing. i don't think those are good numbers. glass half full, glass half empty. >> i understand your point on that topic. we disagree on the numbers of confidence we are reporting back. there's a difference based off of gender which could be expected based off of people having different life experiences. colonel morris you said, i'm outside my competence in current
academy operations. i'm curious the last time you spoke to leadership there at the midshipman level, brigade offer level or the senior leadership superintendent level to have an assessment from their perspective on the effectiveness of the measures they are implementing. >> none at all. no formal contact. >> thank you. i yield the balance of my time. >> there's six minutes left. you can go ahead if you would like. we can -- go right ahead. >> thank you. thank you so much for your service. thanks for being here today. the survey indicates that there are more instances of unwanted sexual contact than there are actual reports. restricted or otherwise. as you noted, it does seem clear that accountability must be clear and consistent to make real change. men and women must feel as
though they will be safe. the perpetrator has justice if they come out of the shadows. you spoke about training being a constant while sexual assault numbers continue to rise. i'm curious to understand if you see any merit in the training programs as they are designed today and what other steps we should be taking. >> sure. i'm not an expert on training. i have sat through many of the trainings. i do think trainings have an important part of this. i think where it brings awareness to issues, it makes people see things in a different way. i leave it to what i believe are very dedicated experts in the programs to develop that training. i'm not critical of the training. i'm just saying it's not going to end what we're doing. i think the right mix of training, how that is done is left to the experts. which i'm not an expert on
training. as far as accountability and where we are and things like that, going back to the question earlier about what's changed, well, when we talk about accountability at the academies, it's never been good. in the 2003 crisis at the air force academy, i believe there were 139 women who said they were sexually assaulted and zero had prosecution out of it. when we are talking about differences, it's just a decades long problem that hasn't changed. the question is, how many times are you going to say, we're going to change the program and we will get a different result? >> i guess my only other question in terms of culture often reinforces training. what cultural factors at the service academies are at play in allowing these crimes to continue? >> one of the cultures we talked about is alcohol. another culture is there's
definitely perception, there's a different accountability level fora athletes than rank and fil. the starting quarterback who had alcohol violations, allegations of sexual assault. he led west point to a game -- a victory over navy. that's a big deal for them. army failed to tout his virtues as a cadet. he had serious misconduct in his background. when you look at victims who are being forced out because of what is really minor misconduct, for them it's very difficult to understand why there's this cultural divide. >> thank you. i yield back. >> thank you. miss escobar, there's 250 to 300 votes that have not been recorded. we still have time.
please go. >> thank you so much for having this hearing. this is such an important topic. gentlemen, thank you for your testimony here today. the military obviously is a very different institution than any other institution. are there other male dominated institutions that could offer some best practices? i know training, you mentioned. we're not going to get ourselves out of this through training. are there some best practices that have not yet been embraced, adopted, utilized as a way to try to attack the problem? >> if i were the superintendents, i would have terry cruz at my academies next week. they need to hear a voice from somebody like him. he comes from sports and entertainment. he has been a survivor. what an amazing human being. i think the most important thing
is for people to hear actual voices of survivors. the difficulty is, it's very difficult for cadets survivors to stand up and talk to the cadet wing because of what they go through. if you can bring in somebody who has instant credibility -- if terry cruz can be sexually assaulted, anybody in the world can be sexually assaulted. that -- leaders like him who can speak powerfully to the issue. >> nothing to add other than to -- once you have a sense of a program in place, leave it in place long enough to evaluate it. there's always a lagging indicator from any kind of training and any kind of consciousness raising on most any behavior. the military saw it and attacked it with unusual success with drugs and alcohol and fitness and other things. sex is harder to do. it's not just subject to the solitary self-discipline that
some of the other behaviors relate to. there's no lack of really excellent programs that have worked at places. put it in place, have a set of reliable metrics and monitors and then let it work long enough that you know you are evaluating a system that has given you results. >> the other aspect that was mentioned earlier that is very troubling is the sort of social media bullying that happens as part of the retaliation. that's something that is obviously prevalent in every aspect of our lives. kids, middle school kids deal with a lot of that in a way that my generation never did. my children have had to deal with that in a way that my generation never did. one of the things that i try to teach my kids was about being witnesses. when they sense something about
being an advocate. many times that's very, very difficult, because then the advocate faces the same retaliation or similar or sometimes worse retaliation. is that a component of the training so that individuals who are witnesses either through what's happening on social media or witnesses to retaliation or bullies, that they have an obligation to stand up and show that strong moral character to speak out and act out? >> absolutely. to the academy credit, all academies, i think they have emphasized very strongly bystander training and intervention. the surveys indicate that to self-report of people that are bystanders that they become involved.
a lot of sexual assault doesn't occur in front of somebody else. if it did it would make it easier to prosecute. stepping in -- >> the retaliation sometimes is -- many tyimes it's not in secret, especially on social media. >> they have to feel comfortable that when they come forward to leadership, say -- i saw this, boss, i saw this on whatever social media site. this is what they're saying about cadet so and so. bring that to them. i don't know if they have that confidence level. >> anything to add? >> same thing. social media has been a big and recent part of the emphasis, because both of the chatter as well as the sharing of images and that kind of stuff. then bystanders, it seems to be one of the most tried and true. we show movies about accidentally spilling a drink on something to break the situation so the students then talk about that and realize that's appropriate to them and a legitimate expectation as a
fellow student. >> i yield. >> your time has expired. we will thank both of you for your participation. we will take about a half hour break so everyone can go vote. then we will be joined by the director of the department of defense, dr. van winkle, and the three superintendents. thank you. we're in recess.
[ no audio ] as you can see, a vote going on on the floor of the house. this hearing temporarily taking a break while the members go and cast their votes. this is a hearing investigating sexual assaults at the u.s. military service academies. we will resume our live coverage from the armed services subcommittee on military personnel here on c-span3 as soon as it gets back underway. in the meantime, a portion of "washington journal." this is a freshman member of congress, democrat from new jersey, a member of the foreign affairs committee joining us to talk about aspects of foreign policy. good morning. >> good morning. >> we start with the border and where you are on this reported compromise that's being reported.
where do you stand on that? >> what's being supported is something i can support. i do not want to close the government again. i don't know too many of my colleagues who want to close the government again. certainly, the american people desperately don't want us to do that again. this is a way out. we should take it. >> what about the lower dollar figure? is that something you are comfortable with? >> absolutely. yes. this was a debate that we didn't need to have. for two years, president trump had control, republican party had control of the house and senate. at no point did he request $5.7 billion for a border wall. only after the midterm elections did he suddenly come in in late december and threaten to shut down the government if he dp idt get what he wanted. that's what the debate was about whether a president over any issue can take the american people hostage when he can't get his way from the congress. i think we settled that clearly. the answer is no. we need to move on.
>> when you hear this cast as a matter of national emergency or a national concern, what is your interpretation of that? >> if it was an emergency, why didn't we hear about it for two years? it's about politics. it's clear that this was the president trying to greet this new democratic house of representatives with a crisis. i don't think he really knew what he was doing or where he wanted to go with this. in the end, the house said no to a border wall that we felt was wasteful and unnecessary. we are where we are right now. let's move on. let's fund the government. let's get back to a positive agenda on health care, taxes, infrastructure, things that voters want us to be focused on. >> what's your level of satisfaction with the current amount of border security that takes place particularly on the southern border? >> i think there are needs that need to be met. they can be met with technology and with people. we do need better technology at border crossings, which is where
most drugs and contraband cross. we can use technology better to monitor the situations between the border crossings. it can be done actually relatively cheaply with more modern technology that's coming into use right now. we absolutely do not need a massive wall that's going to make america look fearful, foolish. we shouldn't just be talking about border security. we need to be talking about immigration policy. we need to be talking about immigration reform. we need to be talking about having a humane and lawful asylum policy at the border. we need to be talking about the fact that we have stopped admitting refugees to america in the last two years almost entirely, turning our backs on a tradition that goes back to our generosity to refugees from europe after the second world war. these are the things that are hurting people right now and hurting the economy. we're not talking about them because of the president's obsession with the wall.
let's get back to talking about the real issues. >> part of the current debate over border security, the compromise deals with this topic of detention beds. where do you stand on the issue and the number that's being floated as far as the amount of beds? >> i'm fine with the number that's being floated in this compromise. let's move on. we certainly do not need to expand facilities at the border for the detention of people who don't need to be detained. we don't need to be detaining families. these families do not pose a threat to anybody. these are people who are escaping violence in central america. we don't have to let them into the country. but they have a right to ask under our law. the law allows people to claim asylum if they are fleeing persecution or violence. we can hear them out without throwing families in prison. >> a member of the foreign affairs committee. if you want to ask questions, 202-748-8001 for republicans,
8002 for interedependents. tell the viewers your background. you were in the obama administration. >> i was. i was assistant secretary of state for democracy, hugh rman rights and labor for three years. >> tell us a little bit then, how does that apply to your experience on the foreign affairs committee? >> well, it applies to everything i'm doing. my job was to stand up on behalf of our country for our values in the world, values of democracy and the rule of law, integrity, fighting corruption. those are things that we have to fight for in the united states right now. that's one of the reasons why i ran for congress. my service across the board is influenced by my background. i want to make sure that the united states continue to stand by our allies around the world. for our values of democracy and
freedom and human rights. >> one of the debates going on amongst republicans and democrats is what to do about yemen, particularly the role that saudi arabia plays. >> the war in yemen has caused the greatest humanitarian crisis that the world is facing right now. ten of thousands of civilians killed and suffering from cholera and other diseases because humanitarian aid to the country has been blocked. we have no interest in helping saudi arabia continue this humanitarian catastrophe. we need to extricate ourselves from this. i think you are going to see action by the house and senate that's bipartisan to challenge. >> they say we are not involved in the conflict and it stops us from further influence. >> we're directly involved. when you are refuelling aircraft on the way to bombing, whether
you service those aircraft on the ground in between bombing runs, when you are providing targeting information to those aircraft, which is what we have been doing, of course, we are directly involved. and complicit. saudi arabia has been taking advantage of the united states for many, many years. they need us more than we need them. it is a partnership that has helped us in some respects. saudi arabia without the united states cannot continue as a country. we have leverage that we need to use to end this. >> let's go to our first call, baltimore, maryland. good morning. go ahead. >> caller: good morning. i had questions for ben. he is not there. i'm wondering, after 9/11, the republicans could have gotten --
hello? >> you are on. go ahead. >> caller: after 9/11, the republicans could have built the wall around the country if they wanted. the whole country would have voted for that. they didn't do that. they didn't talk about building a wall. when trump got into office, he had two years. he controlled everything. he could have built his own wall. he could have built it across the country. the republicans would have done it if he asked for it. he just wants a controversy. he doesn't want a wall. that's my opinion. >> i kind of agree with you. certainly, mr. trump had his party control the house and senate in the last two years. at no point did the trump administration ask the congress for money to build a wall. it was only after the midterm elections. my conclusion is just as the caller said, he doesn't really want a wall. he wants a fight over the wall. because the fight is a
distraction. it keeps us all busy fighting each other over this controversial issue rather than getting to work on the positive agenda that the american people sent us here to work on. >> from our democrat line, pat in new york, go ahead. >> caller: good morning. representative malinowski, you gave the impression this morning that president trump only recently has shown a concern about the wall, border security. it was his whole platform that he campaigned on was building a wall. my other concern was, earlier this week on your show, on the "washington journal" there, someone stated the shutdown cost the federal government $11 billion, $8 billion they'll recoup. that's $3 billion they'll never get back. now they're giving him $1.3 billion, and when they could
have saved $1.5 billion or so, not having the government shutdown, just giving him this. this is just a political game, and ultimately, when you have a shutdown, you're playing a political game with people's livelihoods. there needs to be more reasonable negotiation between legislature and executive branch here. and nancy pelosi seems to be more occupied with showing her influence in washington and not negotiating with the president. >> okay, thanks, caller. >> so, of course it's true that president trump has been talking about the wall from the very, very beginning. but you know, the way things work in our democracy is if you want to spend money on something, you're the president. you go to the congress and you make a proposal. he was giving speeches but he never actually proposed money for the wall in his budget requests until december of last year when we all thought we had a deal, republicans and
democrats, to fund border security without a wall. we thought that president trump was prepared to sign that, and then he tore it up at the last minute and shut the government down. yes, that is wrong. whether it's a democratic president or a republican president, no matter what the issue, we should not be shutting the government down if we can't get our way. one of the things i'm proud to be doing right now is working with my colleagues on legislation that would make it almost impossible to shut the government down again. it's a bill that says if you can't agree on a budget, eventually both members of congress and senior executive branch officials will stop getting paid until we agree. >> from theresa in michigan, for our guest, republican line. good morning. >> caller: good morning. let's not forget that donald trump's platform was mexico was going to pay for that wall. and i'd like to point out that
i'm understanding there's like 3,000 jobs that aren't even filled down at the border. if he's so concerned about it, fill those jobs. and put more judges in so that they can get rid of all those people that are in cages. that's just ridiculous. he's just playing games. look at the border, while he screws over american people in other areas. wake up. thanks. >> and very good point. what we need at the border is people to do these jobs, to fulfill the border patrol positions that we need. the caller mentioned judges. that's very, very important because there is a very big backlog of asylum cases. people waiting to have their cases adjudicated, and we need to hire the judges that are going to do that work. it's not as glamorous as -- it's not as amenable to sound bites
and bumper stickers as build a wall, but that's the real stuff that we need to be coming together around if we're truly concerned about the situation at the border. >> independent line. carol. good morning. go ahead. you're on with our guest. >> caller: hi. >> carol, go ahead. you're on. >> caller: yes, yes. first of all, a lot of callers say that we had an election in 2016, but we also had an election in 2018, so when they say let trump have his way, i think we also recognize that the election in 2018 was a repudiation of that. second, i have a couple responses to the guy before, but it's pertinent. he said the democrats brought in the acting a.g. whitaker, and they were, you know, it wasn't an oversight committee. i wanted to point out there were several on the gop side, jim jordan and the ranking member had plenty of theatrics and jim
jordan actually was worse than the dems in my opinion. >> sorry to interrupt. that was the last segment. he's not there to respond. do you have a question for the speaker? >> caller: yes, also, he represented northam and i'm from virginia. 58% of black voters want him to stay. 50/50 on white voters. >> the question to our guest, please. >> caller: all right, for him, hr-1. that seems to have lots of things that the people i agree with, but if there's one thing that like the republicans won't go for, how can you do a compromise? and the other thing is, the big issue on how can we be against illegal immigrants when we have a president that hires illegals, and you know, it's kind of disingenuous. >> thank you. >> actually, he's hired illegal immigrants right in my home
district, in new jersey at his golf course in bedminster. so you know, americans, we're divided on immigration policy. i don't think we're divided on hypocrisy. we can see it when it's staring us in the face. it's another argument for dealing with a much more complicated, much more important question of how to reform our immigration system and what to do with the millions of undocumented immigrants who are working in the united states today. and then on hr-1, this is the bill that we will be presenting to the house to make it easier for americans to vote, to fight voter suppression, to fight corruption in our politics and in our campaign finance system. to try to increase the standard of ethics for our congress and for the executive branch. we will present this as a package to the united states congress because we think it will give us a chance to make a
very, very powerful statement on behalf of integrity and honesty and against corruption in our country. but if we can find agreement with republicans on individual pieces of hr-1, most democrats, including myself, would be very, very happy to seize those opportunities. i want to pass all of hr-1 if i can, but if i can pass parts of it in the next two years, i think that will still be a victory for the american people. >> you serve on the foreign affairs committee. there's been much discussion in the last couple days about the tweets from a fellow member of yours, representative omar of minnesota. what did you think about those tweets? >> i thought they were wrong. i condemned them. i think we can have a debate, an honest and legitimate debate in our country about the substance of our policy to the middle east. the substance of our relationship with israel. but to suggest that that policy is somehow determined by jewish
money, that is anti-semitism. that has no place in america, whether it's coming from the left or whether it's coming from the right. now, she has apologized unequivocally for that statement, which is very, very good. hopefully this will lead to a dialogue, that she will be a part of, that she can grow from, that all of us can learn from. and certainly, i hope that my colleagues on the other side will also be equally vigilant in policing anti-semitism that comes from the right, because it is a problem on both sides. >> when it comes to some calls to remove her from the foreign affairs committee itself, where do you stand on that? >> she's been a member of congress for a month. she has unequivocally apologized for those comments, so i want to see how she evolves over the coming weeks and months. and i think some of those calls are very, very hypocritical coming from republicans who have
never taken president trump to account for making, using equally anti-semitic tropes in his campaign and throughout his presidency, attacking globalists, quote/unquote, who all happen to be jews. telling groups of jewish donors that, you know, he wants their money and that's the reason why he's speaking to them. he's the president of the united states. he is setting that example. every single day. and his comments about white supremacists in charlottesville. there's a reason why anti-semitic attacks have risen by more than 50% in the last two years. and a lot of it is rhetoric coming from the very top that is legitimizing these old hatreds in the minds of people who are very disturbed. >> you draw a line particularly with those two things. the rise in numbers and what the president said? >> what i see in my district, what i see in new jersey, is a lot of people who were there
under the surface. these attitudes have always been there, but who now feel emboldened for the first time to come out and say these things publicly, to spray paint graffiti in schools, to march in rallies, to go on television and use these dog whistles like globalist. and yes, i think that is coming from the president and his supporters, and it's something that needs to be called out by leaders in the republican party who are genuinely sicken by the rise of anti-semitism as i am in this country and around the world. >> here's jane, democrat for our guest represent tom malinowski. go ahead. >> caller: good morning, gentlemen. a couple real quick, don't cut me off. one, to all supporters, not all americans -- let's get that straight. electoral college got him in office, not the voters.
but the one thing you can put up any of his supporters can look up on his pre-potus moments on town hall meeting with chris matthews after numerous questions, i think it was in ohio, but i wasn't sure. >> okay, caller. we're short on time. you have to direct the question or comment to our guest directly. >> caller: all right, it had to do with e-verify, did he use it in his business? he said yes. and all his businesses, he said he uses e-verify. hello, look what just happened. he's a liar. he's always been a liar. and nato is my biggest fear. he wants to pull us out of nato. that scares me to death. >> okay. thank you. >> so a lot of us share that fear, not just democrats but republicans, with respect to pulling out of nato. nato is the most successful alliance in modern history. it has helped to prevent war in europe and to keep america from having to fight another war in
europe for decades. russia wants us to pull out of nato. russia wants to break up nato. the idea that an american president would align himself potentially with that way of thinking is very scary to a lot of us, so the house of representatives a short time ago overwhelmingly republicans and democrats, came together, passed a bill to prevent the president from withdrawing from nato. and we're going to continue to serve as a check and a balance against those extreme ideas. >> when it comes to the topic of north korea, what about this second summit that's scheduled for february? what do you think comes from it, and what do you think about the process so far as far as relations? >> i'm in favor of diplomacy and dialogue with north korea. i'm not in favor of giving kim jong-un presidential summits when he's giving us absolutely nothing in terms of the nuclear disarmament of his country. no progress has been made in terms of denuclearizing north
korea as far as i can see. but certainly progress has been made from kim jong-un's point of view. we suspended military exercises in south korea. the president is talking about pulling our troops out of south korea, which i think would be a disaster. and he's been given this extraordinary platform, presented as the equal of the president of the united states on the world stage. should we be talking? yes. absolutely. it's far better than war. it's far better than the fire and fury rhetoric of last year. but i don't support a process that empowers and legitimizes one of the worst dictators in the world in exchange for no concessions on nuclear weapons. >> and you think a summit, the perception there would be that we give that legitimizy. >> i worry about what is going to be said. i see going into the summit, president trump is really interesting. in his state of the union, he
made this really strong statement against socialism. in venezuela and said america will never become a socialist country. then he goes out and tweets basically praise of communism in north korea and says this could be a wonderful, prosperous country and all we have to do is give them some money and they're going to have the most amazing economy in the world. what is that? what does it say when the president says he's falling in love with kim jong-un? this isn't normal, and we have to be careful not to treat these kinds of statements from the president and a policy that seems to be based on those statements as normal or as in the interest of the united states of america. >> you brought up venezuela. what did you make of the strong approach that the couple weeks ago that the united states took? >> i agree with that. and look, i want to give the president credit where i think he has done something right. it was a bold policy.
it was -- they took a very, very bold stand for democracy and human rights in venezuela. but uncharacteristically for them, they did it with our allies. they brought the organization of american states, the latin american countries, onboard. they brought our european allies and canada onboard, so we're doing this together with fellow democracies around the world. very important that we stay together in this process until there's a change in venezuela that all of us seek. >> this is joe, and joe is calling us from new jersey. republican line. go ahead. >> caller: yes, hello. good morning, gentlemen. i have a question for this representative. sir, i would like to know why you and the democrats never think outside the box. you always think small. the wall is not necessary just for immigration. do you realize that the pentagon back in the '80s, i think it was during president reagan's plan, president reagan's era, was mexico would become a failed
state. seven to ten years away from becoming a fail state. if you know anything about american history, we have to sent troops into mexico back way during general persian, general douglas macarthur had to go, and we had to send troops in because of what they were doing to our border towns. can't you guys realize the wall is not just for what you said it is or what president trump said it is. it's needed now because mexico is going to fall apart. do you want them lobbing missiles in just like israel has? is that what you want? why are you guys so stupid? i don't understand. >> we'll leave it there. >> well, i'm not sure what a wall is going to do for a country that's lobbing missiles into the united states. last i checked, missiles can go over a wall, as can immigrants, as can drugs. you know, as john mccain said a number of years ago, show me a 30-foot wall, i'll show you a 35-foot ladder. so we're against it because
we're pragmatic. it's not because we don't see threats. of course, there are threats. that come to us across the border with mexico. there are threats that come to us across the border with canada. we want to meet those threats in an effective way and not with some campaign sound bite. >> one more call. robin from pennsylvania, republican line. >> caller: yeah, i just heard him saying about north korea, the problem with north korea. trump is the only one that has done anything. he got hostages back. he got them to stop firing missiles, for god's sakes. can't you give him any credit? what is wrong with you democrats? and nancy pelosi and chuck schumer, they just want the power. that's why you don't want a wall. because you know you want all them mexicans and everybody else to come in here because they'll vote democrat. >> okay, caller, thanks. >> i just gave president trump
credit on venezuela. absolutely willing to do that when i think he's done something right. hostages, we're all grateful to see americans who were held illegally in north korea come home, but that has actually happened in every past administration, every past administration has managed to get americans back home from north korea. and in the case of this administration, we got one person home who had been tortured essentially to death by the north koreans. and to then say that we're falling in love with a dictator who tortured that american to death is something that i would hope all americans, republicans, democrats, conservatives and liberals, would be disturbed by. we should talk to the north koreans. but let's not be falling in love with people who would do that to an innocent young american.
>> representative eliot engel, chairman of the foreign affairs committee, says he wants to take a look at business interests by this president, particularly how it could impact foreign policy decisions. what do you think of that approach and what would you want him to search out? >> i am very concerned that this president, who is the first president who has not divested himself of his businesses, who continues to profit personally from businesses that have a major presence overseas, maybe under the influence. his family may be under the influence of foreigners who have poured money into his businesses and into his real estate holdings over the years. president trump could have avoided that scrutiny by doing what all past presidents have done, and that is by divesting fully. what every ethics expert advised him to do. he refused to do that, therefore, i think it's absolutely legitimate that our elected representatives be vigilant in making sure there is
no malign foreign influence on this president and his administration. >> our guest is a member of the foreign affairs committee. they're holding a hearing on venezuela today. you can see that at c-span.org. representative tom malinowski, democrat of new jersey, a part of that committee. thanks for your time. >> thank you so much. >> this is molly o'toole, with the los angeles times and reports on immigration and security matters. good morning. >> good morning. >> could you tell us where we're at currently when it comes to these negotiations over border security? >> monday night, we had sort of preliminary deal that emerged. we had a few details over the last couple days. the top line big ones are $1.375 billion for about 55 miles of border wall. obviously, that was a key item that a lot of people were paying attention to. also, a major impasse over detention beds. in the ends, it seems the democrats dropped their proposed cap on basically the number of people that immigration agencies can detain. those were the big ones. the cap seemed to be dropped, but a much lower number for the
border wall had a lot of posturing in the last 24 hours. liberal democrats and the president's republican allies both saying they can't really stomach this bill. once the language is getting hammered out, that's where we're seeing sort of some of those tensions emerge. >> when it comes to detention beds themselves, how does this process work? what's the policy? >> generally when we're talking about detention beds, it's sort of how immigration agencies measure the space that they have to hold people, so it's pretty interchangeable, one bed for one person. that's what we're talking about when we talk about detention beds. the debate emerged, essentially it's between what it comes down to is democrats who think that the immigration agencies should we focusing limited resources on the most dangerous criminal violent offenders, focus on them first for deportation, whereas under the republicans, they criticized the obama administration for this quote/unquote catch and release,
for not, what they say, not enforcing the law because the obama administration engaged in prosecutorial discretion, which was intended to focus on immigrant with criminal reports and we have seen deportations and detentions ramp up under the trump administration, so that's really detention. so democrats in the funding negotiations were trying to place a hard cap on the number of people that immigration agencies could detain. they were initially going for around 35,000. looks like they have settled at about 40,000, which is actually where the funding levels were before. >> 40,520, how do these numbers get developed? >> it's supposed to be informed by the immigration agencies themselves when they say this is what we think we need. they do modeling based on immigration levels, the detention space that they know that they have, detention space has been an issue for some time now. for example, the levels that they were funded at before was
40,520 number. i.c.e. is currently holding around 48,000, 49,000. and they're doing that routinely. they have been routinely exceeding the amount of funding provided to them guy congress, who are treating that number of 40,520 as more of a bottom rather than a ceiling, where the democrats were trying to turn that funding number into a hard cap. obviously, the immigration agencies shont be exceeding the funding that congress has given them, but that's what's been happening. >> when it comes to what democrats are looking for, if i have it right, that number would go from 40,520, to 35,520. >> exactly, initially they were looking to drop that number. they argue that it would force i.c.e. in particular, the acronym that most people know, the interior enforcement, immigration enforcement agency, it would force them to focus their efforts on the hardened criminals. republicans argue this is going to force them to release
hardened immigrants with criminal records onto the streets. so we had a lot of rhetoric going back and forth on this, but in the end, they seem to have settled around this 40,000 number that they mentioned before. and the real impasse was over actually how many i.c.e. specifically can detain in the interior of the country. that means not necessarily what you might not think of, the people being taken in once they cross the border or right at the border. we're talking about what you might think of, these workplace raids, people in the country for a long time. the interior enforcement number, they were looking to put a hard cap on that as well as 16,500, but that proposal appears to have been dropped in the negotiations over the last couple days. >> reporting would say that then republicans were looking for an increase in the number of beds to 52,000. >> exactly. the white house had requested around 52,000. that's also what we had i.c.e.
officials in the last couple days on various news shows saying this is what they needed to do their job. that 52,000. right now, they're holding around 48,000, 49,000 overall. so that gives you a sense of where things are. >> matters of border security, a discussion about detention beds with molly o'toole of the los angeles times. a couple more questions. once someone gets a bed, how long can they stay there? >> that's a hard question to answer because it depends a lot on their background, how they were taken in. obviously, we have different populations, for example, when we're talking about immigration detention, we're not talking about undocumented youths, necessarily, because there are restrictions on how they can be held. they'll be moved to shelters that are specific for youth. families are another one. there are court cases that dictate that children can only be held for a certain period of
time. we had the zero tolerance policy that came with the trump administration, that they argue necessitated the family separation. that's no longer happening. family detention is different. mostly here we're talking about adults that can be held for a long period of time, but it should be noted currently there are hunger strikes going on right now among some people being held in i.c.e. detention who are asylum seekers because they're being held for quite a lengthy period of time. there are options, generally, where they can be a term called paroled where they'll be released awaiting their proceedings but there's such a backlog in the united states in addition to the fact that the trump administration has really discouraged people from being released from detention while they're awaiting their proceedings, that even someylum essentially broken no laws and are trying to claim refuge in the united states, they could be held up to years at a time. these are the different populations that we have to be careful about who we're referring to. >> so this is john from pennsylvania, republican line.
our first call for our guest molly o'toole of the los angeles times. go ahead. >> caller: mrs. o'toole, california spends over $20 billion to take care of illegals. texas spends over $10 billion to take care of illegals. and you people, the democrats and the liberals, are worried about $5.7 billion for a wall? that doesn't make sense. >> caller, thank you. so if someone gets a detention bed, what services are they entitled to? >> there are obviously laws in the united states about obligations that you have to humanely detain someone. and there are some cases in which, for example, there's overcrowding in federal detention facilities that are geared more toward immigration, some federal prisons, for example, private contractors will take detainees when they're -- will take immigrants who are detained when there are
limits. regarding, there could be many conversations that occur about government spending. i think when we talk about the wall and the $5.7 billion for the wall, it should be noted that for fiscal 2019, the trump administration only requested about $1.6 billion for the wall. that was supposed to go towards 66 miles of wall in texas, and where the funding negotiaotionsd to end up with fewer. this is the white house's initial request and we had this dramatic jump up to $5.7 billion. so people are questioning whether that $5.7 billion is really necessary and how much we want to spend on border security as the american taxpayer is a valid question. but you can see that sort of dramatic jump that happened that led in large part to the government shutdown and there are valid questions about
whether, which amount is necessary to insure border security. >> the idea of the caller's question when it comes to detention beds itself, is there a way to figure out how much this service costs? >> it is extremely expensive. that would be true whether you're talking about an immigrant detained population or a prison population. it is expensive to detain people, but you would have democrats on one side arguing that a lot of these population should not be detained. they don't have a criminal record. for example, if we're talking about asylum seekers awaiting proceedings, or they would argue that actually if you limit the amount of detention bed space, you're focusing resources on the populations you might really want to consider for deportation, such as people with serious criminal records rather than sort of this dragnet that is potentially more inefficient and more expensive because you're detaining a much larger number of people. >> jeff is next from ohio. democrats line.
>> caller: how are you, pedro and molly? hello? >> jeff, you're on. go ahead. >> caller: okay. i would like to put together the green deal and this wall and immigration. why can't we make it like ellis island, make the wall a housing project where we can teach these asylum seekers to speak english like we would like them to and to, you know, check them out so that we know that their health is good, and that's -- i could think of a few other things, but the green deal -- >> okay, but to that first part, caller. >> well, it should be noted that asylum seekers have to go through an extremely stringent process. it's not an easy process by any
means. asylum law says that you have to present yourself at the border to claim asylum. you have to pass a credible fear test. after that, then you go through an extremely, what has become an extremely lengthy process to await asylum proceedings. not very many people are actually ultimately granted asylum. i think it's about 80% you pass a credible fear screening. around 10% and 20% is the number now, where you would eventually be granted asylum. it's a very stringent process, it takes a very long time. many legal proceedings. if you think about the situations which many of these pem are fleeing, for example, the primary population now are central american migrants. they're fleeing corruption, violence, both state-sponsored and gang violence. obviously, poverty. but many of these factors in guatemala, el salvador, honduras, where many people are coming from. if you were in that situation,
what kind of documentary you would think to bring with you if you were fearing for your life. so asylum is extremely strict. the united states is very careful about who they grant asylum to and who they let in, so responding to some of the recommendations you have, there is a pretty strict and stringent process already for asylum seekers. within a year, they have to apply for legal status that would give them permission to work, for example. and there has been many studies that show that asylum seekers in particular really benefit a lot and really contribute resources in many ways. they want to work. they want to learn english. they want to have a life and adopt the united states as their country because of what they're fleeing back home. that's sort of the definition of asylum. >> this is bruce off twitter asking a question, if detainees are granted legal representation? >> it depends on which population you're referring to.
they do have -- that's a little more complicated to answer. in certain circumstances, it's not provided by the government, but they have access to, for example, they can obtain their own legal counsel, and they do have the right to do that. but depends on the population, it's not necessarily provided by the government. and your chances of, for example, we were talking about the asylum population. the chances of getting asylum are astronomically higher if you are able to obtain a lawyer and obtain legal counsel. and without it, there's pretty much very little chance you can get asylum, and particularly if you're central american. the rates are incredibly low. >> from minneapolis, democrats line. this is ryan. >> caller: good morning, pedro and molly. i wanted to ask about that $5.7 billion price tag for the wall which i have heard a lot of people tell me it's just a drop in the bucket.
however, it doesn't seem like any border state district can come up with any reason or any positive thing that can come from the wall, and furthermore, i understand that most of the land is privately owned and there's some sensitive environmental reasons like the rio grande valley, where certain endangered species would be affected by building a wall of the magnitude that the administration has proposed. could you speak to either one of those issues? >> yeah, definitely. i was actually just looking at this last night. it's really interesting if you sort of see it all laid out. in terms of the current amount of border barrier, there's 654 miles across the roughly 2,000-mile border. almost all of that is going to be in california, arizona, new mexico, and then west of el paso in texas. and that lines up almost perfectly when you see the amount of federal land versus
private land along the border. so the least fenced state, despite having the most miles of border, is texas. and that's primarily because of some of these issues you mentioned. a lot of it is private land. so it's much more difficult for the government to sort of come in, ask people to sell their land in order for the government to have access to it and to build a wall. all along the border, there's a lot of environmental issues. what's really interesting is there's been some litigation around this, even just in the last couple days and some environmental groups who brought suit against the trump administration for border construction, border infrastructure projects around the border, arguing that it harms the environment there and that also it potentially could violate some of these environmental laws and public notification laws. they have consistently lost those suits because there's a 1996 law, and it's sort of been reiterated in a few big most of the litigation, most of the laws that congress has passed funding border barrier, and it says essentially that the homeland
security secretary can waive any environmental law, pretty much any law, if it is for the purpose of a border construction project. and the trump administration has used that environmental waiver, used that authority more than any other president. they have used it about six times which is more than the bush administration, which used it a handful of times and more than the obama administration, which didn't use it at all. >> from virginia, republican line. susan, go ahead. >> caller: hi, good morning. been a while since i have called. hope everyone is doing well. i'm sitting here and listening to this young lady, and the numbers, just the magnitude of the money, the numbers, the detentions, the people going on hunger strikes. i mean, my gosh. just take a far away look at the whole picture, and it's a racket. and the truth needs to be said
that the u.n. is pushing all of these people to the united states, to crash our economy and to crash the united states. it's a u.n. ploy. >> thank you, caller. >> well, i have no evidence, and there's none that i know of that the united nations is pushing migrants to the u.s. border. i mean, we should note that we are in the midst of a historic refugee crisis worldwide. the united states, so there are more people displaced on the planet right now than at any other point in history. even after world war ii, which was the previous largest. there's a number of conflicts that contribute to that, generally speaking, the united states has been -- hasn't really seen the effects of that. we have seen europe clearly, the refugee crisis that many people sort of became aware of in 2015,
and the united states has been somewhat removed from that. but we should note that there are almost record levels of violence, particularly outside of a war zone, in central america, which is the primary country of origin for most of the migrants that are coming to the united states right now, so in el salvador, in honduras, guatemala, a lot of improvements have been made in terms of violence there, but we're talking about homicides that nowhere in the united states would anyone be familiar with. so there are conflicts, poverty, corruption, gang violence, in central america, that are pushing people north. so not the united nations but there are certainly other factors that are pushing people north. and based on the way our laws are written, our asylum laws are written, if someone presents themselves at the border and claims asylum, according to our law, they are given the chance for those claims to be heard so that the united nations is not pushing people north, but there
are a wide array of push factors that are resulting in people coming, and there's a number of pull factors. clearly, the united states has a very strong economy. and there's some debate over whether the way u.s. immigration laws are written, people understand that in part due to the backlog in immigration cases, that if they present themselves alt the border and they get to the u.s. border, they will be allowed to stay for some time, essentially until their cases are heard or in some cases, you know, they'll be allowed to stay even longer. >> she talked about numbers. let me throw another number into the mix. 54,630 people, detainees in 2018, had criminal convictions. they included driving under the influence, drug abuse, traffic violations and the like. how does that number compare to the total amount of immigrants detained? >> well, it's difficult. but it's important. because obviously, we heard the president himself really seem to particularly as this debate has
raged on about detention beds, republicans, too, saying we're going to have violent criminals released into american communities. the trump administration saying democrats want murder, literally said murderers released into communities. when you look at the detained population, there are those, about 54,000 criminal convictions. but crossing the border is now treated as an administrative violation, which tended to be treated under previous administrations, it's now treated as a criminal violation, a criminal act. so some of those people will have things on their records, so among that number that you said, the 54,000, will be things as simple for this context as immigration violation, as a traffic stop. the second, i believe the most significant number within those criminal convictions are duis. then next is sort of other drug
traffic immigration violations. but when we have the president talking about murderers being released on the street, out of the 54,000 criminal convictions for the current detained population, i believe it was about 1600 were for homicide, for example. so while that is a high number, clearly any one homicide you would want to be prevented, that's a very small fraction of the total that we're talking about. and we should note that there are many studies that have consistently shown that immigrants actually commit crimes at a lesser rate than u.s. scitizens. that's true for both undocumented and documented immigrants. commit crimes at a lesser rate, and also that border cities, for example, in the united states, are among the safest in the entire united states. there's a lot of misinformation that can sort of fuel the political debate, but it's really important to understand that to a large extent, we're
not talking about violent, serious criminal records. >> this is molly o'toole with the lost times who reports on immigration and security matters. this is casey from maryland, independent line. go ahead. >> caller: thank you. thank you, molly, for what you just said. that was really wonderful, what you just said. i wanted to comment on a couple other things that you're not really talking about because people are not staying informed. to actually complete the wall that donald trump wants to build would cost over $30 billion. the $5 billion is a down payment. we're comparing $5 billion, like it's the cost of the wall. that's only a down payment. it comes nowhere near the cost of the whole thing. the reality is that border crossings have gone down consistently over the years. even before the trump administration. i would like you to speak on the
fact that various like walls lead to more people staying in the country, the cost of taking care of immigrants or immigrant issues going up because people are having more difficulty going back and forth like they would otherwise, and end up staying. the wall actually increases the cost of dealing with incarcerations related to border security. >> thanks, caller. >> there's a lot of really good points he raised there. it is really important to note, and i think if we're in the middle of saying we, but as lawmakers are in the middle of negotiations over spending agreement to try to avert another shutdown, it is really important to note that apprehensions, which is basically the measure that most people use for illegal immigration, so how many people, how many migrants, border authorities are apprehending. they have gone way down.
they're at historic lows. so through the 1980s, 1990s, in the mid-2000s, routinely, it was more than 1 million every year. and we had for last year, excuse me, for last year, i believe it was around 500,000. so we're at about half of where we were. and that used to sort of be the goal when officials in the last few decades would talk about border security or control of the border. those were the kinds of numbers they were actually aiming for. and so that's where we're at now, historic lows for apprehension. there are a record number of or a significant rise in families, central american families and unaccompanied youth. and it's a very different population, and many are presenting themselves for asylum. it's a different population with different needs. it is true that our immigration system has been strained by this shift in population because it was designed for single adult mexican males. primarily. what you said about the wall,
the $5.7 billion wouldn't come anywhere close. it is hard to say because what the president has said the wall is or what he wants sort of constantly shifted, but if we look at the sort of thousand-mile wall, the big, beautiful al he often talked about in his campaign and even after, there have been estimates, and that's anywhere from i believe it's from $20 billion to $70 billion, some even higher than that. so you're right. this $5.7 billion for the wall that was sort of the sticking point in the last shutdown and that we still hear a lot about, that's only for 66 miles, believe, or excuse me, the $5.7 billion would be for 230 miles, and what looks like they're going to settle on with the negotiations, that's the $1.357 billion for only about 55 miles. so it's true that these kinds of infrastructure projects on the border are extremely, extremely
expensive. i think a lot of people would say, how the heck does it cost $1.357 billion to only have 55 miles of wall. >> democrats line from illinois. >> caller: yes. good morning, both of you. just a quick story. my husband's mother immigrated in 1937. she came here. she was a very successful businesswoman. in 1983, a person came into her store, shot and killed her. it was not somebody from outside, but it was somebody in the country. the point is, walls don't work. look at the great wall of china. it kept people out. that is true. but it was china's downfall was the people inside china that
brought china down. that's what i wanted to say. thank you. >> when we're having this discussion and these negotiations are going on that hinge on border security, obviously, that's a really key question, is do walls work? there's some evidence that for barriers that went up very early on in the '90s, which were among the first border barriers, there's some evidence that in combination with a number of other factors may have at least shifted people elsewhere. and the goal was to, the border agency's own documentation and justification for these barriers states that, they essentially they were designed to get people away from really heavily populated urban areas and sort of push them out to more remote areas where border agencies had more of an advantage when it came to detaining them. the most significant factor for contributing to what we were just talking about, this
historic drop in apprehensions, which most people use to measure illegal immigration, is really the great recession. it's when the american economy and then the global economy severely contracted, 2007, 2006, 2008. that's when we really saw the most dramatic drop. so generally speaking, people sort of attribute this, what you could argue is a success, if the goal is to reduce illegal immigration. most people attribute it primarily to the economic recession, and then some combination of these other deterrent factors, barriers, technology, more border patrol agents, because we should also note that as apprehensions and illegal immigration have gone way down, we have also seen the numbers of border patrol agents, of border enforcement in the united states, go way up. so there's more border patrol agents. more immigration officers now relative to the amount of
illegal crossings and clearly more miles of barrier now than, relative to the number of illegal immigration than there was before. about 654 miles of barrier now, whereas before 2005, you were talking about 119 miles of barrier. >> one more call. this is from new york. republican line. anthony, go ahead. >> caller: yes, good morning. thank you, c-span. i just have a question and a comment. comment first. the $5.7 billion that is thrown around, everybody is attributing this dollar amount as being trump's number. this number actually came from a request from border patrol and the department of homeland security as the number they need to effectively do their job. they want to funnel people using these barriers. you know, this idea of an immoral wall is crazy. and if it is immoral, take down
the wall in san diego and take down the wall in el paso, and see what kind of crime comes across the border, because mexico is a failed state. my question for the guest, and i appreciate you listening to me. out of the number of people that are caught and released under the obama policy and what trump has forced now to accommodate because there's so many people come in, what percentage of these people are actually come back to get under a judge's jurisdiction and do they report back to that hearing? >> there's a lot of debate around that sort of immigration lawyers and advocates will say that it's a much higher number than the government wants you to believe. that would come back and report for their hearings. the administration has used much lower numbers. there's a lot of debate about the people who actually report for their hearings and come back
sort of before the court. but i think when you were talking about that, we also should look at the fact that i think it's around 800,000 is the backlog for immigration cases right now. and so it could be years before people come before a judge. and so i think it is a valid question as to whether people should remain in detention and the american taxpayer should be sort of funding their detention for the entirety of that time or whether they should be released, particularly if we're talking about a population, for example, like asylum seekers who when they present themselves at the border and claim asylum are breaking no laws, and they're seeking refuge in the united states. should they be essentially imprisoned for years while they await their hearing or should they be released so they can begin to work, begin to contribute to the american economy, and that's sort of where the debate hinges.
because this backlog is so long now, years long, what should people do in the meantime? what should be done with them in the meantime? >> molly o'toole is an immigration and security reporter for the los angeles times. l.a.times.com is where you can see her writing on these matters. we thank you for your time. >> thank you. >> the latest headline from politico says that the president is panning this deal. using their words in their headline, as congress moves towards a vote, and joining us to give us the latest on where the negotiations are and when a possible vote may take place is caitlin emma who reports for politico on budget and appropriations matters. good morning to you. >> good morning. >> could you remind our viewers as far as what's being offered in this compromise deal and where the president's current thinking is on it. >> right, well the president sent mixed messages yesterday about his support for this deal, which includes about $1.4 billion for about 55 miles of
fencing along the u.s./mexico border. that is far less than what he requested in terms of the $5.7 billion, the demand he's been making for weeks. but on twitter and in comments, it seems like he might be supportive. last night, he sort of tweeted to the effect that, you know, republicans worked really hard to craft this deal, and that he's looking at it, and you know, yesterday, he said he wasn't necessarily happy with the deal, but he is studying it. he might add to it. so far, we've gotten no firm no and not a firm yes. >> when it comes then to republicans and democrats on getting the president to support this deal, particularly republicans, we heard from mark meadows last night on the house side, downplaying this deal. how much pressure will the president receive from some republicans on rejecting it? >> he's definitely going to receive significant pressure from members of the house freedom caucus like mark meadows and conservative sort of pundits
like sean hannity and ann coulter. they have been focus about the fact they see this as a weak deal, they see this as the president sort of getting the short shrift from democrats. and that kind of influence has been shown to impact the president's thinking before. you know, he shut down the government in december over sort of outcries from the conservative television pundits saying he's got to stand strong. he's got to deliver on what his base wants. so you know, whether or not he listens to those voices this time around remains to be seen. i think everybody realizes that a second government shutdown at this point would be pretty catastrophic. >> since you cover budget and appropriations matters, the president talks about looking for these other sources of money. how easy of a task will that be for him? >> it will definitely be a big lift. the fact that he's looking at these sources of money, i mean, it's definitely a less significant or drastic move than declaring a national emergency, but the fact that he is looking
at, you know, moving around funds for disaster relief or, you know, army corps of engineering funding, for water projects or military construction funds. those actions, if he takes them, will likely be faced with legal challenges. >> because just to help our viewers understand the budget process, if money is appropriated to a certain amount or to a certain cause, can it be lifted and used for other purposes? >> right. i mean, the deal that they're crafting would likely give him some amount of transfer authorities. this is what republicans are stressing. they're saying he'll have lots of flexibility to shift around some funds and possibly increase the number of detention beds. but right now, the deal, for example, funds about 45,000 detention beds that republicans are saying that if they use the most flexibility allowed by the deal, he could get as many as 52,000, which is a huge number.
so in terms of using his executive authority to tap around, tap into unspent funds elsewhere, that will definitely be challenged by democrats. >> your colleague, heather cagle, at politico, is reporting via tweet saying that this deal that's being considered might appear as a house vote as early as tomorrow night on border security. is that what you're hearing as well? >> i think that we could probably see text today or tonight. i think there's been interest in the house moving as quickly as possible. we could see a vote, you know, possibly tomorrow. politico playbook this morning reports that as some of the staff for the negotiators are drafting the actual text, they're running into some snags. so it will be interesting to see how some of those, you know, potential pitfalls when it comes to language, whether that will hold things up significantly. the government does shut down on friday at midnight, so they need
to move quickly. so some of these issues they have to work through, whether or not they're enough to sink this deal remains to be seen. >> and caitlin reports on budget and appropriations matters for politico joining us. we want to thank you so much for giving your time today on informing our viewers on this. thank you. >> thank you.
>> so, we're expecting the second half of this hearing on sexual assault prevention at military service academies to resume shortly. it looks like the house finishing up their last vote of the series just about now. so if that's the case, we should get back under way very shortly. live coverage here on c-span3.
this will be a very valuable opportunity for all of us to get a new perspective on how we can address this problem. first, on our panel, is dr. elizabeth van winkle. our second panelist is lieutenant general darrel williams, the superintendent of the united states military academy. third, vice admiral walter cater, who is the superintendent of the naval academy. finally, lieutenant general jay, the superintendent of the u.s. air force academy. we welcome each of you now to make your opening statements. >> thank you. madam chair, ranking member kelly and other distinguished members of the subcommittee, thank you for having me here
today to discuss the d.o.d. report on sexual harassment at military academies. two years ago i sat here and pledged to do more to end sexual assault at the academies. two years ago, i told you we were treating them with dignity and respect. i meant what i said, yet i sit before you and deliver news too similar to what i reported two years ago. sexual assault is on the rise, again, at the academies. they developed and implemented action plans not in place for the current assessment, department leadership was not complacent waiting for changes. another increase in rates is not acceptable. preventing criminal -- it has been and continue to be top priorities. yet, our most recent data
indicates we have far to go to eliminate this crime. it is devastating to be sitting here delivering this report. data tells us, rates of unwanted sexual attacks increased by varying degrees all too high. rates of sexual harassment varied and also unacceptably high, particularly among women. the data indicated across the three academies, a large majority of students think their senior leaders are making efforts to address the behaviors. the same students rate their peer leaders lower. it shows declining rates of students watching out for each other to prevent these crimes. this tells us, despite hard work, cadets feel power to disrespect and victimize others. some feel neither empowered or responsible for daily interactions to hold each other accountable.
the vast majority of cadets are good people and will become strong leaders the nation needs. we must show them how to leverage their character. there is no single fix for this. we cannot blame our way out. we cannot train our way out. the department, congress and our nation as a whole has been challenged to crack the code on how to change behavior regarding sexual misconduct. the department of defense, we are the one who is have been entrusted by the country to lead the way. we must lead. we are working to do just that. we will change our approach. what we have done in the past may not be abandon, but we must determine what needs to be done differently, adjusted, implemented and new. we are analyzing the data we have. we will partner and collaborate with experts in the field. you have found strategies that show promise. we have already taken some steps. we have hired specialists to
inform our efforts and assessments. we are enhancing reporting procedures available. the unique concern of cadets in mid shipment and aim to address repeat offenders. we will look at the life cycle from selection to graduation and work to target approaches accordingly. the focus is to not only achieve progress, but sustain it. i am optimistic it will render intended results. i sit before you today frustrated, but resolved. i have been working in this field 20 years. i left the civilian sector because i felt i was spending too much time fighting a system. i'm committed to stay with the department of defense because of the support of leadership and witnessed the system make changes to produce an infrastructure of policies, programs and resources that have
benefited our military members and not found in the civilian sector. we are not there yet, but we are committed. no one has solved this. if there was a way to eliminate it, we would have done it already. we are responsible for behavior change. we mold them, instill courage where there may have been none. we discipline where there may have otherwise been disorder. we create global warriors from young women and men who never left their local communities. eliminating sexual misconduct is a challenge, but we refuse to run from it. we will not tolerate it. we appreciate your concern and support as we work to protect the people who keep our nation safe. thank you for the opportunity for coming to speak. >> thank you. next, lieutenant williams. >> madam chair, ranking member kelly and distinguished members of the subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to talk
about the very serious problem of sexual assault and sexual harassment at the united states military academy. i wish i were here to tell you how we have solved this problem at west point, but i'm not. instead, i'm here because this behavior continues to manifest its in our ranks. any case of unwanted sexual contact or sexual harassment is unacceptable. our mission is to develop leaders. we are ready to lead in the crucible of ground combat. the issues i will discuss today have an impact on army readiness. sexual assault erodes that. i am committed to preventing sexual assault and harassment and resolute in my commitment to seek resolutions at west point. i'm here to talk about west point. i recognize this point is not
isolated. the increase in the number of cadets experiencing unwanted sexual conduct is not acceptable and troubles me. it erodes trust. contrary to the army core values. these are situations no one should have to experience. as leaders, we must protect the welfare of our victims who trusted us, while at the same time, holding perpetrators accountable and appropriate with their actions in due process of law. as we continuously improve the program, we must focus on changing the culture to prevent these acts from occurring in the first place. to that end, we are open and welcome to forums such as these, to find ideas we may not have considered. much of what we see in a survey is troubling, some of the results are encouraging and indicate efforts having some effect in trust and the organization. 85% of cadets surveyed indicate
they believe the academy's senior leaders are taking honest and reasonable efforts to stop sexual assault. the fact they trust leadership is the result of our efforts addressing the problem. more troubling is the lack of trust they have in their peer leaders. this is a cultural problem we must address. when cadets first report to west point, they bring with them a set of values developed over their past 18 years. our job is to take these young men and women and mold them into leaders with the character that aligns with the ideals of west point and the values of our army. we frequently talk about our leader development program as a 47-month developmental experience. when it comes to sexual harassment and sexual assault, we don't have four years to shape their attitudes. we must prioritize early on in their cadet experience. moving forward, we will strengthen and provide the
knowledge and skills to define and address the behaviors. we continue to address cultural challenges like social media and ak set to materials that impact the population. with the goal to helping cadets think more critically about themselves and their relationships. success in prevention and education must permeate throughout the entire west point community. every individual working or living at west point needs to recognize his or her role in contributing to this cultural change. thank you for the opportunity to share our work with the committee. i appreciate your feedback is trying to find a solution. we are in the business of developing leaders for the army and the nation. we must set and enforce the highest of standards. i look forward to answering your questions. >> admiral carter. >> madam chair, ranking member kelly and distinguished members of the subcommittee. thank you for the opportunity to
appear before you on behalf of the united states naval academy. morally, mentally and physically and view the highest ideals of honor and loyalty. we have a responsibility to ensure the brigade has the opportunity to develop professionally in an environment that fosters dignity and respect. despite it, we continue to experience incidents of unwanted sexual contact within our ranks. i and the rest of our team sought professional advice from experts on the best strategies to discourage this within the student body. while we have made some improvements, we must do better. we initiated the plan of action this past summer. it is a comprehensive approach and involves four primary components. first, we continue our rigorous
preadmission screening process, which relies on required teacher recommendations and police record checks to identify character challenges of those applying to the naval academy. second, we continue to hone our sexual assault prevention programs, in addition to the student led training. this year, we launched an evaluation of the four-year leadership curriculum program pulling together all themes addressing life skills. this more closely aligned all programs and resulted in publishing a life skills handbook. third, we have launched several initiatives to promote responsible alcohol choices. we understand the strong correlation between alcohol use and unwanted sexual contact. since we put them into effect, we have experienced a 49% fewer alcohol related incidence. finally, we must continue to hold perpetrators accountable. all allegations of sexual
assault are thoroughly investigated by the naval criminal investigative service and receive careful review, prior to me deciding on a disposition. we are not where i want us to be nor where the navy needs us to be. the naval academy must have leaders that treat others with respect and demand that of those we lead. thank you, i'm prepared to answer your questions. >> thank you. lieutenant general jay. >> madam chair, kelly -- health and safety of our cadets at the united states air force academy and of grave importance to our national security. thank you for your dedication to confronts sexual harassment and sexual assault, misconduct that has no place in our academies or our military.
for your concern about the well being of cadets, i can assure you, these are concerns shared not only by myself, but staff, faculty, leadership and most importantly, the cadets. as superintendent of the air force academy, i'm here on behalf of cadets and 203 preparatory candidates as well as the faculty and staff that are developing them into leaders of the air force. i'm also here as an academy graduate, privileged to wear this uniform more than 33 years. as a father of two young members we are training and educating. from these perspectives, the results of the recent survey are disgusting. they do not reflect the standards we hold ourselves to as leaders. they do not reflect us. we are committed to addressing these head on, to be an example for the air force, department of defense and society. it is clear, our past efforts
have not had the effects we intended or expected. these results are unacceptable. there is no question, one instance is a problem. too many cadets have had experiences of harmful behaviors from sexual harassment to sexual assault. the survey data shows our cadets have been harmed and too many feel they can't come forward for help and support. the cadets harmed the fears they are alongside in defense of our nation. the data does not show us why these egregious acts occur. leadership is the solution. i am frus raitted and angered by the results, but i will not rest in my leadership until we get this right. in addition to implementing direction from the department of defense and department of the air force, we are taking action with several current and future
trams i have highlighted that we can elaborate on today and provide additional information as requested. holding perpetrators of the crimes is key to our efforts. when a victim makes an unrestricted report of sexual assault, we make sure the victim is getting necessary care and support and the air force office of special investigations begins to investigate. in addition to courts marshall and discipline tools, we have a cadet discipline system that allows me to disenroll cadets for misconduct, boards of inquiry used for officer discharges. for victims hesitant to testify publicly, the processes give them a voice in a nonpublic setting while affording those accused of crimes a due process right. this committee heard testimony from academy superintendents, from experts and survivors on the progress or lack thereof on
this topic. i appreciate your individual lens on this problem that requires steadfast attention. your oversight is care for our cadets and military that i whole heartedly share. i also share your frustration, patience and anger you may have for the results we have seen this year. i have personally met with many survivors, both men and women, one-on-one that come to me voluntarily. i have learned and will continue to learn a great deal about their survivor experience. as a commander, leader, airman and father, their stories and their faces rock me to the core. my motivation to change this culture and they are my motivation to change this culture and stop this crime. we invite you to come visit our campus, see our programs firsthand, please, and speak with faculty, staff and cadets. through interactions, we can work for improvement.
i look forward to your questions. >> thank you, general silveria. i would like to begin by asking dr. van winkle a question. you have been in this area a very long time, do a lot of research and a lot of analysis. in your experience, what percentage of victims are telling the truth? >> based on the data we have, and this is active duty at the service academies, we see about 2% of the reports of sexual assault to be unfounded, which means there's evidence the crime did not occur. it is a vast minority. >> vast minority? it's 98% of those coming forward are telling the truth? >> what we know is there's a larger proportion where we have an unsubstantiated report.
there wasn't enough evidence to move forward with the case of sexual assault. that's very different than a false report. a false report, meaning the crime did not occur is at that 2%. >> so, one of the issues that i think we have to address moving forward is the fact that there are so many restricted reports and they are restricted because of a fear of retaliation. i think that if we get to a place where that information is shared, maybe online with calisto or some other company that provides that benefit so the victim can go online, put down information about their experience, photographs, if they want, identify the perpetrator and then, if they see that that perpetrator is, in fact, responsible for conducting himself or herself in the same
manner with others, they are more motivated either to come forward in an unrestricted report and hopefully rid the military of the predator. let me ask the three superintendents. have each of you spoken to your cadets and mid shipmen about this report? have you had an actual information setting in which you have provided them with this information? >> yes, ma'am, i have electronically through the core of my common dant. we are doing a full west point stand down. there will be no classes, no sports, nothing but me talking to the cadets on the 25th of february. i plan on shutting down everything and do a stand down. i have not had the opportunity to talk to my cadets. i have talked and sent a note,
immediately after the report came out, i sent a note to every one of my cadets. >> admiral carter? >> i have. i have addressed the entire brigade on reformation after the holiday break. i rarely have the whole brigade together where i do not cover this topic. we covered this topic based on this report. they have heard the details of this report. to be quite frank, the reaction from the brigade was the same reaction all of us have, what a shock. i don't take that as anything that changes that except the brigade was surprised by the results. >> general silveria? >> yes, ma'am, i have addressed the cadet wing about this report. part of that, i told them that i was planning on discussing with them next week, i have sessions planned with all the classes to discuss this testimony. addition nally, i opened up to them after i explained the report to send me e-mails.
at this point, i have so many i can't get through. >> general silveria, i'm in receipt of an e-mail from the vice commondant. i think the copy has been made available to you. do you have it there? >> yes, ma'am, i have it here. >> what troubles me about this e-mail is, it appears there's been a crest that has been stolen at the academy and, i guess it's one of those pranks that happens not all that rarely, but the essence of the complaints, i guess, that have been visited on colonel camp belle bell is there's more interest in returning the class crest than in talking about the results of the survey of sexual harassment and sexual assault. the one part of this e-mail that
is deeply troubling to me, that i want to read and get your comments on is the last paragraph which he says your cadet leaders are not at fault for the information flow, i am. if you want a target, it is me. they have no control on this topic. if you are that passionate, my door is open, come on in and we can discuss. if you want to attack from a platform then have at it. you are a coward and we aren't listening. if you have a problem, bring a solution. there is no room in our air force for those not willing to own their opinions or positions. if you don't like this idea, you are free to leave. i'll happily expedite your transition to the civilian world. we hold higher standards here. if you don't like them, move on. you don't deserve to lead our incredible airmen. do you have a comment about that? >> yes, ma'am, if i could add
some context. yes, it was a prank where the cadets, the freshmen, the fourth classmen had stolen the crest. >> i'm not concerned about the crest. >> yes, ma'am. in the effort to recover the crest, the cadet leadership was trying to find who had taken the crest. in that, there was a lot of conversation about the crest and it was beginning to take over a lot of the conversation among the cadet wing. so, at the same time, it it was moment i stepped in and i addressed the cadet wing about the results and told them i was going to testify. colonel campbell was very concerned the cadets perceive there was a perception the crest was more important than the results i discussed. >> i understand all that, general. my concern is, one of the issues we are dealing with is the fear of retaliation. an minty is often offered to cadets in a restricted report
because of their fear of retaliation. the way i read that last paragraph, he is mocking those who are commenting about the fact that there's more interest and concern about the crest being stolen than about talking about this issue of sexual assault and sexual harassment in the academies. the tone of that e-mail is hostile. for anyone, if i was a cadet at the air force academy, which i would have never gotten into, but if i was a cadet and i read that paragraph, i would know full well the last thing i would ever do is report a sexual assault. >> ma'am, in this case, the an minty he was referring to is useing an minty to use it as a platform to criticize. that cyber bullying is what was going on that he was addressing
directly. we all have, at all of our academies, we have social media platforms that are anonymous. they continue to be a problem. there's all sorts of different versions of them. so, this anonymous platform was being used to be very critical, very negative, and in his view, very cowardess. it's not about the fact they wouldn't have a chance to report something anonymous, it was about the fact they were anonymously criticizing about that fact. ma'am, we fully support the idea of the restricted report. we fully support the idea of calisto and others to give cadet that is opportunity to report anonymously. >> okay. i don't know that i fully agree with you in terms of the evaluation of that paragraph. let's move on. i want to see uniformity of benefits for the victims. i want to be able to say to each appointee that i make to the
academies, you are all going to be treeated alike if you are sexual aassaulted or harassed. let me ask this, would each of you offer to a cadet or mid shipman who has been sexually assaulted restricted or unrestricted, confirmed or unconfirmed, the ability to take a sabbatical year? general williams? >> i would. we do that now. it's a medical leave of absence. >> i don't know that we need to call it a medical leave of absence. a sabbatical doesn't carry a spin one way or the other. yes. >> yes, ma'am, we initiated that program and it's alive and well. >> yes, ma'am, we have had it for a number of years. it functions very well, six months and for a year. >> it's automatic, if it's requested? >> yes, ma'am. >> how about a transfer to another academy?
general williams? >> if it would help the victim and help them heal in this process, i would support it. yes, ma'am. >> you don't have it presently? >> i do not. >> admiral? >> we have not gathered our thoughts together on the mechanism to do it. i am not opposed to it as superintendent of the naval academy. that would extend somebody's academic time, but if it benefited them to get through the program, i don't think any of us would have an issue with it. >> thank you. general? >> ma'am, i completely agree, if it benefited a victim, we don't have that in place right now, but if it benefited the victim, i would fully support. >> and, how about, i know at least one of the academies have taken a public position that you will not, there will be no action taken against you for collateral violations if you
want to file a sexual assault or sexual harassment report. is that true for all of you? >> yes, madam chair. >> is it made public to all cadets? >> yes, madam chair. >> admiral? >> madam chair, we have the same program. this is one of those events where collaborating and seeing how the air force did it presented a better idea than how we were doing it. we have incorporated their program and it's been announced to our brigade. >> this is the first year it will be operational? >> there's a slight difference. we don't hold any of the victims to collateral misconduct during the course of the investigation, but in light of the way we see how air force did it, if the knowledge of misconduct comes up during the course of the investigation, never be held against the victim at all. we have been previously revisiting it after adjudication, but not to a separation level. i like the way the air force
academy was doing better. >> general? >> ma'am, we did start that, initiate that, as we call it a safe to report policy that ensures that no collateral misconduct, no charges would be brought or any, you know, retribution in any way for some misconduct if they were a sexual assault victim. >> finally, i think one of the admirals, one of the superintendents that i have spoken to in the last few days i understand kated you are about to implement recruitment from first or second year cadets or mid shipmen. historically, it's only been juniors or seniors. i want to know, to what extent we can make that something that is going to be used in each of the academy's across the board where there is a conviction.
>> ma'am, i'll start. that was me. as you know, all of us seek recruitment the last two years. yes, we have changed that. in the first two years, if you commit serious misconduct n this case, sexual assault or, you know, drug offense or something you were disenrolled for serious misconduct, we will seek recoopment. >> admiral? >> we have not explored that. we are aware of it and interested in knowing how it works, exactly. it should be the same. as you know, it's a recommendation by us to our secretary of the navy or service secretaries for that decision. i am in full support of that option. >> madam chair, i would be open to that as well. we have not been there. >> dr. van winkle, having gone over those various services for
the benefits for the victims, do you have any comments you would like to make about them? >> no, i would just say on the osd side, we obviously understand each academy has unique cultures and differences in policies and protocols. where there's a promising practice, we support standardization across the academies. >> thank you. >> thank you, madam chair. the best way to prevent these crimes from happening is prevent those with character issues from entering the academy to begin with. if each of you, starting with dr. van winkle how to get the nomination process, to ensure we have a good assessment of the candidates character. >> thank you for the question. as you heard in my opening
statement, we are looking at the entire life cycle of cadets including selection into the academies. this is not to say the current selection criteria is inadequate. what we are looking at and in the infancy stages of evaluation is whether there are additional metrics we could use that get to that moral development and moral character that we are looking for. we are, right now, just in the evaluation stage of the data and what we are looking for and what metrics might be feasible. again, it is important to note we are, in no way saying the selection criteria be changed, it's more of an enhancement. >> thanks, ranking member kelly. i think this is a place where we owe you a better model. currently, when we admit cadets to west point, we know very well their academic potential based on their academic performance, s.a.t.s, a.c.t.s, what is
missing is the superintendent is more there. we owe you a better template. we ask principles, teachers to white about candidate x, y, but it could be more robust in that space. >> admiral? >> this is a tough problem to figure out. i will tell you what we are currently doing, where i think we could do a little more. we put a great deal of stock in the teacher evaluations. we often pick out nuggets within the evaluations that are worthy to look at. the interviews we do, blue and gold. they represent me in interviews you and your staff do for your perspective candidates from your voting districts. we look at police records. i would like to tell you we have the access to look at everybody's social media background. we certainly do that for a number of the mid shipmen that come, but it's not 100%. that is a space that could
probably be looked at more. i will share with you, on occasion, we get an anonymous letter about something that might have happened. when that happens, we take that seriously and set up a character review board on that individual. again, we are doing as much as we can right now, but i think we could do more. >> general, real quickly. >> sir, i would agree, we owe you a better, we need to work together better on that with your staff and with your nomination processes. all of us need to focus on qualities, as opposed to qualifications of an individual and, just like admiral carter points out, we all look for the slightest hints and clues from teachers, from coaches, from recommendation letters. we look and pursue those, whether it's social media, police, you know, we pursue the slightest lead we have, if there's any concern. >> the only thing i'll say, we already have issues with this resource wise and getting
security clearance for enough people. that's much more in-depth. i don't know if we can morph that into something else and do it different? sometimes those folks might be able to do a similar thing that goes beyond what just the teachers say. as a former district attorney, i'm aware how challenging sexual assault can be to prosecute. there are a number of reasons the victim doesn't come forward. some are retaliatory. some are a different range of options why they don't come forward. can you explain the current options you have to hold the offenders accountable? what can you do to hold a potential offender accountable? >> ranking member kelly, thank you. the uniform code of military justice, as we spoke earlier gives me the options and tools i
need as a commander. short of that, you have nonjudicial punishment. i have administrative actions i can take. the chain of command in this space is very valuable in setting the right tone and expectations in the command. that's the tools that i cherish in this space. >> and, i would also encourage you to understand that there's a code of moral and ethics and honor at each of the academies. sometimes, you might not be able to approve a sense of unsubstantiated report against an offender. other things make them unfit. i would encourage you, when you have the opportunity, you could have that person go away if they have a course of conduct that you can't substantiate the sexual assault. developing morally and ethically strong ulcers is a primary mission of all the service
academies. trust is tantamount to military orders among leaders. how do you incorporate it to character in the academy. if you could tell me about that. character in the curriculum? >> we have a west point system which is focused primarily on character. it's engrained in all things we do, whether it's academics, sports. character is my number one. we do that in terms of curriculum and in terms of practically how we do it day-to-day from a practitioner standpoint as well. >> we have embedded in leadership curriculum. over the last couple years, it's taken time to revamp the ap tud member suring which -- we can look at the character development specifically of our mid shipmen and actually get a
discreet grade in a subjective system that uses pure ranking to rankings by others in sports teams and clubs. the officer that is directly over them. this is relatively new and we find good progress. >> sir, we have a center for creative leadership, a center for character and leadership development. we use that for character elements across the curriculum, across the military, training and across the athletic department so it's integrated everywhere a cadet interacts. there's character development and leadership responsibilities. >> the final question, i'll start with you dr. van winkle, but preface with a statement. you are accountable to get this right and make this the right thing. our job is to make sure you have every tool available to you to take care of each and every soldier so we don't have one sexual assault, especially not
one that is not reported. dr. van winkle and each member, what tool can we give you to do that. if you need to do it in writing later, that's fine. what tool? >> i can respond right now, generally, your partnership is extremely important. i feel from the data, our infrastructure is sound. we have evidence when somebody makes that decision to report, that our systems that are in place are good systems. 81% of the service academy students who came forward to make a report said they would make the same decision again. however, we have too few people reporting and we have an issue in terms of our culture and climate. that, we need to look at our strategies and we certainly appreciate your feedback on that as our partners in this space. >> ranking member kelly, 273 young men and women spoke to us on this survey.
you have given us what we need. you have given us the resources. it's my responsibility to take care of the sons and daughters you have given us. you have given us what we need. we need an action plan to come back and talk to you about how to fix it. >> we are developing a multifaceted plan. i don't know that i need to ask for more resources or more capability in terms of us owning it, which is what we need to do. that's what you are hearing from us today. i have been a superintendent for five years and testified in front of this committee before. as dr. van winkle said, i have committed myself. i am frustrated. i think we can't educate our way out or train our way out, the accountability is going to move the needle on this. i'm committed to getting that part better and more right. i think i have the resources to do that. if we come up with something we could ask you for, we are going to send you a note, sir. >> sir, i have the same
sentiment. i have the resources and policy i need. what i need is to continue to build on the culture that i own and i'm responsible for as the leader. it's clear from this survey, one of the areas we have to work on is the peer-to-peer relationship. we are going to take that on. we have plans to do that. i'll come back to you if i need resources. right now, sir, i have the resources i need. it's my responsibilities as the leader to execute this. i do own this. >> thank you, ranking member. since you have indicated that you have a resource issue with review the social media of applicants, why not ask the blue and gold officers to do that as they are spending time interviewing the potential candidates? >> i think we could certainly incorporate that. certain districts, it's going to be more time consuming. i don't think there's anything that prevents us from doing that
or a legal reason. we will explore that. >> right. mrs. davis? >> thank you, madam chair. going through the social media situation, i know that, i think dr. van winkle, you mentioned this as well. i remember a hearing we held several years ago and general neller was there and we asked that question, basically, are you monitoring facebook and twitter, every possible account that the student has? at that time, quite honestly, they weren't. i know we have -- i had a discussion with the general recently about this. it still sounds to me like they are not doing as much as they could be doing in general recruiting, so, i think when it comes to the academies as well, i'm not suggesting that's -- but on the other hand, i think even from a sense of entitlement, that somebody might be
expressing on twitter, which isn't blatant, i guess i would read that and want to know a little more. so, i'm really hopeful that, if there are problems, if there are barriers, let's address them and figure it out. i can assure you, we don't have a barrier when we hire someone in our office. we let them know that we are going to monitor and take a look at their accounts. i just think that's important. i think it's important for young people to know that for their future, it's better and not engage in that behavior, even if they think it's, you know, cool. i hope you do that. that, you know, could be helpful. i also wanted to ask, i believe admiral carter, you mentioned that you thought you were getting to the alcohol problem or seeing improvements, is that right, sir? what are you doing? >> what we have done is, again,
a multifaceted approach. we went on this campaign in front of the whole brigade to make them understand this is part of their professional life. we went to health and comfort inspections in the large dormitory they all live in called bancrotf to make sure there's no alcohol in their dormitory. if you are found with it in your room, you are dismissed from the naval academy. we put together a joint task force to put together the programs to show why they used alcohol. we put together a program called the midnight teachable moments where we actually use alcohol under controlled circumstances to show mid shipmen exactly what the results of those are. so, those are just some of the things we have done that mid shipmen themselves created a guardian angel program. these are the seniors.
they go downtown annapolis and they are preventing things before they happen. i will share one example with you. we had an incident a couple weeks ago where a mid shipman got out of hand with alcohol and got into a little bit of an engagement with a guardian angel. we secured liberty for two weeks. one alcohol incident was treated to punish the entire brigade. they got that quickly. they had a hard time understanding it. we are now enforcing that type of part of the program. >> do you think -- sorry to interrupt. do you think that's being heard and sort of the same context for men and women? >> i don't have the breakout between men and women. i know men at the naval academy have a higher tendency to be involved in bing drinking than women, but this this case, 72% of surveyed -- if you take it
away completely, i'm not saying it doesn't happen. >> it does happen. the safe to report that you mentioned, i think that my understanding is that there are a number of women who feel they are held accountable and a few drinks. therefore, they will not report a sexual assault or harassment because they are then transferred or something happens to them that is negative. so, the safe to report allows them to report without that, is that correct? >> never separated a female victim for collateral misconduct. >> finally, we talk about peer leaders and how important they are. are we doing the same kind of climate assessments of their leadership so if it's determined they are not leading well, their
advancement is hampered, called in. how actively are you doing that? how much do they know you are doing that? how many people have you stopped in their career ladder because of that behavior? >> this is why we created the aptitude measuring system. part is to measure the leadership capability whether they are a junior or senior. i didn't want to have anybody flying under the radar meeting the minimums academically and physically and everything looked okay because they didn't have a conduct record. this is a chance for peers, those that know them best to tell us about them. we are putting the shipmen in front of us that have problems that might not have shown up before. i'm optimistic for this approach and how to look at that measuring system. >> thank you. sometimes people are achieving but doesn't mean they are acting appropriately. thank you. >> thank you. i just want to make a point here
that i think is important. we are talking about alcohol and we would be amiss if we somehow want to place the blame on alcohol because in the actual survey, at west point, 45% of the women indicated the alleged offender had been drinking alcohol, so, almost half, but not a significant majority of cases. at the naval academy, it wasn't broken out quite the same way. it said nearly two-thirds, 64% indicated they or their alleged offender had been drinking alcohol. at the air force academy, 53% indicated the alleged offender had been drinking and 51% indicated they had been drinking. so, maybe it's half. but, it's not 65, 75, 85%.
so, i don't want us to lose sight of that fact in looking at this issue. mr. abraham? >> thank you, madam chair. admiral, back to you and miss davis' exchange, the naval academy has been recognized for doing good stuff. was some of that that you mentioned some of the highlights of that program or would you wish to elaborate on what they could learn from? >> the program we have at the naval academy is called shape, sexual harassment and assault prevention. it's developed by experts and we have been working on it 12 years. it's training across four years. it starts on induction day. it's peer led with mentors and it's been updated. we have peer educators. we have 130 that apply for 80 positions.
they receive an extensive two-week program and lead nine syllabus sessions during the course of the year. we have guides that are part of the program. they are embedded into each of the 30 companies, 150 mid shipmen, two per company and they are that resource that knows when somebody is having a problem and can say here are the resources or make a report. they also receive an extensive two-week program and 130 applicants for that. that's a thumbnail of what that education program looks like. >> general silveria is your program similar to that? give me a little gfo on that. >> similar in the elements they have. we know, at this point, small group in this subject matter works best while initially, when our cadets and mid shipmen arrive, we need to get a lot of information out quickly. but, we move to chips cadet
healthy internship skills. we have shown, with evidence informed of how that is changing behavior in surveys. healthy relationship training, sir, is a lot of the programs we have done in the past have been about whatnot to do. we tell someone they can't do this or touch that and can't do that and without consent. healthy relationship training takes a different approach. it teaches them how to have a healthy relationship between two people, what consent is, what boundaries are. it's an approach of how to, what to, how to have a healthy relationship. so, those are a little bit different. >> dr. van winkle, i'll take this for the record. answer if you can. i was looking at your resume, it's quite impressive. you have a ph.d. in applied psychology. on these predators, whatever you
want to call these people that do these terrible things to these survivors, have you analyzed, is there a blip on the radar screen in something they have done in a personality previously? just that marker that won't say they are going to go this particular way, but maybe they might? >> i would have to take that for the record. it's not within my area of expertise. certainly, there is research to predict offending behaviors. it's certainly not a settled science. i could take that for the record and get you the information we have on that. >> i would appreciate that. as a physician it's appreciated. >> general, i'll send this to you and get the others involvement. on the last panel, mr. christianson mentioned in his talking points, if i understood that right, athletes are not
held to the same level of accountability as other cadets. is that true? >> congressman, that is not true. all athletes, cadets are held to the same standard at west point and i'm sure the other academies as well. there's no sanctuary for athletes. >> i understand. i see the others nod. madam chair, i yield back. >> all right. would you like to postpone? all right. let's then move on to miss escobar. >> thank you, madam chair. dr. van winkle, in the report, one of the reasons why women did not choose to report was, quote, they would take care of the problem themselves. does this indicate that there's
a problem in the actual reporting process or that it's cumbersome or that -- what are your thoughts about that? why or just a sense that it's, you know, too painful to go through the process. >> i appreciate the question. the data doesn't get at exactly what they mean by when they say they took care of the problem themselves either by avoiding or confronting the person. we know a few things from our focus groups. we go out every other year to talk to the cadets and mid shipmen. we talk about the survey results and ask questions about it. often, what we see in the data, the reasons for not reporting are personal reasons, less to do with the system in place, but much more with wanting to forget about it and move on. we also have concerns within the academy about gossiping and peer response, which, again, speaks to what we are trying to do when
engaging the cadets and mid shipmen themselves. it also looks different from what we see in the active duty. what we hear is freshmen and sophomore often say they hesita report because i don't wanted to define them. they are only there for four years. juniors and seniors don't want to report because i don't want the investigation to be following them into the active duty or be defined by the active report. all of them talk about concerns about peer reaction. more than barriers of the actual system in place. when we get folks to come forward and report from our survey data, 81% said they would make the same decision again. it is getting them to come forward and report that is a challenge we are trying to address. >> that peer reaction, that is very interesting. i feel like that's where we as a society, whether in the military or private sector,
people need to feel accommodated and supported by peers or the peers will stand up to that retaliation. we have a long way to go on that front. the four areas were mentioned, promoting responsible alcohol, reinvigorating -- the third one i am curious about. enhancing a culture respect. each superintendent briefly tell me how you are doing that? >> is my colleague mentioned we have a simon center professional military as well.
six the relationships. what is important is you get the cadets, the faculty and coaches all pulling the same way in this area. can't just be the cadets doing this. it requires a comprehensive approach across the academy. >> i will briefly give two examples. one is the life skills handbook i mentioned that we have now initiated. and not only dives down into the understanding of what the respect means from a midshipmen perspective, our faculty and staff and sponsor parents, that is built into our in classroom curriculum. cheryl sandberg came smoking -- speaking to is, it's where she coined the phrase lean in. the naval academy has taken on
lean in circles. there approximately 200 midshipmen that meet in circles and cover every tough topic about what it means to be a professional. some circles are all women, some almond and some mixed. i think this is a grassroots program we can help. >> my time is expired. thank you. >> you can respond. >> for us what that means is we are looking at the whole person. not just about dignity and respect regarding another gender in the area of sexual harassment or sexual assault. but we have to teach is the discrimination in all manners, whether it's race, religion, ground, sexuality, any discrimination in any way takes away the grades at dignity and respect. we go out of our way to support and encourage a number of infinity groups in the areas of
lgb and the number of race groups and ethnic groups that allow them in the convex desk cadets interact that way. i was with the jewish cadets as an example, we have to continue to show that richness of diversity. i have spoken a lot about that to my cadets, specifically about that richness of diversity. we all have remarkably diverse campuses and remarkably diverse student bodies continuing to grow that more. that is what we are referring to. >> thank you. >> thank you madam chair. general williams, i want to make sure i got this right. cadets lack trust in peer leaders, could you expound on that? >> thank you. yes. the survey suggests that cadets
do not have the same respect or trust, and this is about accountability. part of being a professional, whether an airman, is about stewardship. they are struggling with, depending on what their classes, ownership for each other. this is part of what we do, the egos of our army culture. the cadets work very hard on their 47 months experience. they understand general williams or captain smith, but as they develop and are learning to take ownership with their profession, they have a hard time sometimes each other accountable. >> is that something that is happened over time where because of their high school experience they are used to -- they are not used to the hierarchy that maybe some of us who are older and went to high school decades earlier where now everyone feels as though the participation trophy mentality?
>> congressman i think that is part of it. we are taking folks from all over america and it's a tough transition for some. summit need 47 months and some need longer to make that transition. >> so, since we are talking about, do we have black and gold? what does the air force have? >> -- >> get any or all of you describe, is this blue and gold or black and gold, is that a volunteer position? a paid position? tell us about who these people are and how much time they have to devote to, if you will, digging into the background of an applicant. >> i will answer first. are blue and gold officers are representatives of the superintendent but work for admissions part in. they are volunteers.
they are not always naval academy graduates. they are in every voting district throughout the country. they are over 2000 strong. they are the eyes of who we are looking at beyond what we see on paper. the personal statement, teacher recommendations, grades, all of it. but i don't want to dwell on this, but the idea is they are volunteers. they are working probably a full-time career doing something else and because of their passion for the service academies they have volunteered their time to interview and interact with -- etc., and to advise. >> they are required to get training every five years. so they understand what we are looking for. >> one final question that any or all of you can answer, or maybe dr. van winkle, is there any comparative data to any nonmilitary, basic public or
private colleges or universities, as to the type of behavior, the type of at risk behavior if you will that the 18-20-year-olds in the first couple of years, is there comparative data out there that says the service academies have more of a problem then xyz college or university? >> i can speak to that in general terms. we don't typically have the good comparison point in civilian colleges and universities. nor do we compare ourselves to them, certainly are mission spaces different, expectations are different and our selection criteria is different. >> i know my time is going short here, the idea is, two friends graduate from high school together, one goes to an academy, one goes to some other school, they come in, they are
matched ideally if you will in their experience, their outlook, education, they are a match, but then they split and go down two different educational paths. i'm wondering is the behavior of the individual who chooses something other than a service academy, do we know, are there differences? >> what we do know in looking at colleges and universities for may 2015 study sponsored by the american association of universities which looked at 27 colleges and universities across the country. looking at those rates compared to ours, which are slightly apples and oranges, are about on par. but as i mentioned we hold ourselves to a higher standard. >> thank you very much. i yield back. >> dr. van winkle, you had indicated 80% are happy with
the way they were treated. is that correct? is that how you put it? but no. for clarification i would say 81%, and this is from the survey, and estimate, of those who came forward and reported would make the same decision to report again. >> thank you for the clarification. what i think is important for us to .2, and each of the academies it's probably most true at the air force academy, is that women who have not forward to comport do not have a high confidence that they will be protected at the military academy, 55% of the women indicated they would trust the academy to a large extent to ensure their safety. at the naval academy it was 46%. at the air force academy it was 39%. that would suggest to us that
there is not the confidence in the academy leadership that their safety will be insured if only half or less than half have confidence in it. that is something we should drill down about later. >> thank you for being here to testify today. i am trying to go through some of the comments made and rectify these in my mind versus my personal experience being that, i attended the naval academy and spent 20 years in the fleet and as a commanding officer having to deal with these situations for sailors who worked for me, there were several comments that have been made but i wanted to touch on this in the hearing because i discussed in my office earlier this week, how does this compare relative to the fleet or are active forces, and then, are there any lessons that have
been done more effectively within the fleet we think we should be transferring back to the academy setting? i will start with you admiral carter since we touched on this. >> i certainly think there are things to learn from the two living conditions and the demographics and age groups. i think we could take ourselves down a dangerous path if we think the 17-21-year-olds demographic of the fleet is exactly the same as what we see the naval academy. >> myself in command, you had said you had been in command in some capacity since 1999 and served together on truman after that, that is a demographic, at least in my experience, where these reports come in as far as fleet sailors as well. when you consider there to be a difference? >> the enlisted sailors coming in, that would be the demographic we are looking at, they are changing. very different than when you and i served on truman 20 years
ago. they are better educated. many more are married. they live a different lifestyle. of course once we send them out on a ship or deployment with an air squadron or submarine, they live in a close environment, they are controlled and watched in the work environment mother's no alcohol involved. over the course of that time in that environment, you are going to see a lot less of these unwanted sexual contacts data. i'm confident of that. the midshipman are still in an academic setting. even though it's an controlled academic setting. that's not to make a pass of the type of lifestyle they have at the naval academy, it's just a different environment as you recall living there. i think we can still look your best this is the come from the fleet see if you can apply them to what we do at the naval
academy. >> of all the comments made today there were a couple of things that popped out, because i think we are all scratching ahead, these are not the results we want to do here. something that came up in the earlier testimony was that the victim's legal counsel for example didn't have a lot of experience dealing with victims so that the point of an area maybe we can look at what type of training they get. on the side of medical professionals indicated he was how they fit into the picture of developing midshipmen mentally and physically that they tie into that picture with dealing with the victims. i think my frustration as a commanding officer in the fleet, and i had sailors who dealt with this was that i felt that the reticence of people to report was because i thought nothing would ever happen. and the nothing that wasn't going to happen wasn't because of the chain of command didn't take it seriously because we took it seriously, but was more so that the process took so long for anything to happen, glacial speed. like you said dr. van winkle, people are worried about this, so junior year following through with them to the fleet. i don't know how to cook crack
that not of a more expeditious process to make sure it's being handled so people know it's being handled and what the results are. as we spoke the other day, you said that ability was the biggest issue. if someone report something and nothing happens for two years, that is hard to draw the accountability back. people's memories are actually short. i don't know if anyone has any comments on that topic. >> i will say one brief thing. the victim legal counsel was brought on during my tenure here at the naval academy. i thought it would change and make a difference for those that had stepped forward. quite honestly, i did not see more female victims actually go through with the investigation or go through with the preliminary hearing office. i didn't see that change. that victim legal counsel does not work for me. they are intimately assigned to the naval academy. their permanent.
i found them to be experience, not the first legal job, and they meet with five survivors and victims in person. >> that was different than what was mentioned earlier. thank you for sharing that. i yield back my time. >> thank you. i appreciate that that gentleman submitted for the record the entire email from colonel campbell, i wanted to mention a couple things that were not read, in the first paragraph of the email the colonel says that the sag art report is quote exceptionally important. in the second graph uses sexual assault in gender relations report is a command pretty. the third paragraph he says, don't for a minute think we think it's more important sexual assault. in the paragraph the chairwoman red had nothing to do with victim anonymity. it's important that the record reflect that is not a
conversation at all about victim anonymity. i think in fact victim anonymity is crucial. i think it is very important that we not look towards increasing the number of unrestricted reports as her only measure of success here. i think as dr. van winkle mentioned, there are number of reasons why people don't report, a number of reasons why they want to be able to report in a restricted fashion occluding they don't want to have this follow them for their life. i don't want to be known as a victim. i think that's important. i think we need to keep in mind that compassion for survivors and victims and not look as though we are forcing everyone into a public reporting setting. secondly i would say that while it is true that the report shows that alcohol was a factor in at least half of these incidents that were reported, that's a huge issue. i think it would be reckless and irresponsible if we did not address the issue of alcohol. it is not a silver bullet. but when we have something we
know is present in approximately half and in some cases over half of these incidents that we know of, we have to address it. i would like to ask each of the superintendents if you can talk specifically about the programs you have in place, the programs you need to put in place at each of the academies to deal with this issue of alcohol. >> congresswoman, we have a long way to in this space. we have done everything from a cadet who has -- had some sort of misconduct with alcohol, put them in the alcohol substance abuse program. it was mentioned earlier about the leader development program. if a cadet commits an act in this space he gets an academic grade as part of his gpa. that is one end of the spectrum. the other end is every week they work this really hard.
before special events, before the weekend, they do briefings with the cadets. i'm not satisfied with where we are. i look at all the policies in terms of how long we have a number of places on west point where cadets, if they are of age, they can drink alcohol. we look at all of our current policies. we are looking at doing some changes in that respect. we are doing a lot but we are not doing enough and i'm re- looking at the whole thing. >> thank you. admiral carter? >> ma'am, i started to talk about some of our programs such as the guardian angel. midnight teachable moments. the task force we set up. i would also tell you that accountability at this lower level of a problem before it turns into potential assault when you take away the alcohol piece as i said won't take them all away but as i said we think it has a significant part. we are defining what those are.
for example if you get a dui the naval academy you will be separated from the naval academy. two alcohol related incidents, whether they happen senior year you will be dismissed. failure from an alcohol treatment program will be cause for dismissal. higher penalty for underage drinking, even though it's not a zero defect mentality it's one we have to continue to go after. is you are hearing us today, we all meet and talk about our best practices and how we are doing as we can get to some were common themes that we are all doing it about the same way. >> thank you. >> after i arrived, i didn't like the way a lot of the alcohol was available in the way it was handled within the cadet link, i made a number of changes last year in the availability, how it was served , i made a number of changes increasing supervision both at events inside the academy and outside the academy. with supervision.
the other thing we have done is created a training program for our sophomores, that is the age when they become of age, for most of them, we have created a training program that focuses on prevention of alcohol related incidents. and all of you commanders have availability in the use it if they get a risk factor where they see that someone has used it they can put someone in that prevention program whether they are in 3 degree or not. we are training and the increased supervision. >> thank you very much. my time has expired. >> that brings us to the end of the hearing. let me think you very much for your participation today. i really believe that you want to do the right thing i also worry that we have not found the formula that is going to reduce the numbers. the can't keep going up.
dr. van winkle, i am very heartened to hear you say we are not going to be able to train ourselves out of this problem. we have to recognize that there is something more needs to be done. i do know in talking to a couple of superintendents that you have also realized that once there is a conviction or once someone has identified, some of these cadets attorney to predators where it wasn't just once, it was to a number of cadets that they had easily either sexually harassed or sexually assaulted. these are our leaders for the next generation. we have a responsibility. thank you for being here. thank you for your commitment. i am hopeful we will make a number of trips to the academy over the course of the next year to work with you. with that we will stand
>> there are nearly 100 new members of the house of representatives this year. ohio, west virginia, maryland, mississippi and washington are five of the states that added one new member. president of anthony gonzalez was a football star at ohio state for the indianapolis holds drafted him in 2007. after injuries cut short his professional football career opposite of gonzalez earned his mba at stanford business school. he is the first latino elected to ohio's congressional delegation. presented carol miller served over a decade in the statehouse before voters in west virginia's third district elected to congress. politics runs in her family. she is the daughter of former investment samuel divine whose seat would later be filled by future ohio governor in 2016 presidential candidate john kasich. congressman michael guess was a local prosecutor in mississippi for nearly 25 years. the last decade is district attorney before his election to
the house. he was also a sunday school teacher at his local baptist church. representative david drone and his brother opened a small liquor store in delaware in the early 1980s. the company eventually moved its headquarters to maryland. and has expanded to become the largest independent fine wine retailer in the country. washington's eighth district elected represented kim schrier, a pediatrician and the only female doctor in congress. new congress, new leaders. watch it all on c-span. there is a funeral service thursday in washington for the late john dingell who died last week at the age of 92. the former critic lawmaker was first elected to the house of representatives in 1953 and remained there for nearly 6 decades. aching him the longest serving member of congress in 19 -- in history. in honor of his service gretchen whitmer spoke about his life in 19 -- during her
recent state of the state address. here's a look. >> one of those veterans and one of michigan's greatest leaders was congressman john dingell. who passed away last week at the age of 92. from his courageous service in world war ii to his model leadership over 59 years in the united states house of representatives. he devoted his life to serving the people of michigan. and he will forever be remembered as the dean of congress. but not simply for the length of his service, but for the crucial role he played in passing some of the most monumental laws of the past century. he was the epitome of what i think we in michigan know, you don't have to be mean to be
strong. >> [applause] and those who live by this creed can get a lot of things done so i want to extend my deepest and most heartfelt condolences to the entire dingell family for their loss. we are a great nation and a proud state for the work john dingell did. >> [applause] >> our live coverage of the funeral for michigan congressman john dingell
continues thursday morning at 10:30 am eastern. a funeral mass will be held in washington, d.c. speakers at the funeral include resident bill clinton. house majority leader, and former house speaker john bader. watch the funeral services for congressman john dingell live on c-span and c-span.org. or listen with the radio app . illinois is the land of lincoln, springfield is a city of lincoln.'s home is here. the old state capital where he gave the house divided speeches here. he is buried on the outskirts of town. lincoln is extraordinarily important to the city of springfield. >> she spans city tour is on the road exploring the american story. this weekend was visit springfield the capital city of illinois. >> illinois had it made. when they knew they were going to build a new capital they wanted something that showed that illinois, we are it.
that's what this building is and that's to some extent what it represents. >> with the help of our comcast cable partners will travel to the city to learn about the life of our 16th president. >> disguised is political ambition under the umbrella of his law practice. that's the significance of the circuit and in doing so he built his network that eventually he used in 1850 to put himself into the position of getting the republican nomination. >> these are the gloves that were in abraham lincoln's pocket on the night of the assassination. you can see the remnants of the blood. >> join us this saturday at noon as we speak with local springfield authors and this sunday at 2 pm to learn about lincolns ties to springfield and the political history of this town on american history tv. watch c-span's city tour of
springfield, illinois. working with our cable affiliate as we explore the american story. nasa officials said today after more than 15 years on the surface of mars rover opportunities mission is finished. the announcement came after nasa lost contact with the rover in june and made a final attempt yesterday to reestablish the signal. when opportunity landed on mars in 2004 the voyage was expected to last only 90 days. this briefing from the jet propulsion laboratory in pasadena, california runs one hour. >> hello welcome to nasa's jet propulsion laboratory. i am standing in the historic von karman auditorium. this is where jpl has historically released its news on voyager, and today on one of our mars rovers. the day